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#123244 - 06/24/03 06:43 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Clare Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/12/00
Posts: 691
Loc: London, UK
Another thing that occurs to me - in the UK, books say inside them something like "This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser". happydance

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#123245 - 06/24/03 07:45 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by TheDerman:
My comments about piracy were in relation to increasing retail prices rather than license agreements. "Pirates" care nothing of licenses or copyright laws - piracy, especially with games will always be around until we get rid of the attitude that games cost the earth just because developers are greedy and want to rip us off, or the absurd notion that piracy is not a problem.
Hrmn - practically every friend I know and spoken to realises that developers are not "greedy" and that piracy is indeed a problem. So attitude from these 2 perspective are definitely not the problem here.

The following are a few scenarios I've encountered through my friends about the issue of legal/pirated games...

One scenario is my friends want games and they don't see why they have to pay for something which their other friends got for free... and so the trend begins.

The other scenario (though much rarer) is they can't afford the game. Some of my friends will buy as many games their budget allows, then pirate the rest.

Yet another scenario is my friends don't see the game as something they'd bother buy or play much - but they are merely curious... so they'll pirate, play the game once through, then wipe it off the hard-drive or give the pirated CD away (or return it to the person who lent it to them if it's borrowed). However, they will buy games that they intend on replaying over in the future.

Another possible case is they can't find the game they want when they visit the shops - so they'll think to themselve "stuff this - I've made the effort to buy the game, but there simply isn't one for sale - I might as well download it"...

The final scenario is sort of a catch-22 situation - they aren't willing to pay so much for a particular game they'll quickly lose attention over, so they pirate... but then piracy causes the prices to rise...

So as you can see from the above, there's a wide array of reasons why people don't buy the legal version of games - and as demonstrated from the above, it's definitely a difficult issue to address...

As far as I am concerned, pirating softwares and games are just like shoplifting - and it is only with this attitude that I purchase legal games (although like real life purchases, I sometimes exclaim with a sigh at a bad bargain or choice). I observed the ability to sell/trade games through ebay and gtz helps - but not much.

Personally, I tolerate a little piracy in the following manner - if I am unsure if the game is something I want or not, and there's no demo (or if the demo is extremely large and there happens to be a copy I could quickly borrow for a day or 2), then I'd play on the pirated version for about a hour to get an idea of whether I like the game or not. Regardless of the outcome, I will stop playing after that 1 hour and return the pirated version to my friend, and then I'll either buy the game or not. I find this comparable to say trying on a suit whilst shopping for suits - after all, you don't buy a suit before you try it out to make sure it fits you.

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#123246 - 06/24/03 08:36 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
There is a definite opinion overall that piracy hurts nobody because the companies involved can afford it - it's not just games, it's movies, and music - are we forgetting the Napster uproar? Now that Napster is all but dead, or at least the Napster how it used to be, we have other things like Kazaa springing up, which are no different and a much bigger problem than Napster ever was - you can go on Kazaa and get anything you want.

Your friends may not think that developers are greedy etc. and may agree piracy is wrong, but this is not the overall opinion - people can understand that piracy is illegal but that's as far as they get - the attitude that it doesn't hurt anyone and doesn't really matter prevails over all else, I think - if it didn't then piracy would not exist and wouldn't be a problem - and the feeling that companies are greedy and want to make as much money as possible any way they can is all too present - "if a blank CD cost me 50 cents how can a game cost me 50 dollars?", is one attitude they have - they don't seem to grasp the idea that making games costs money in areas beyond the actual physical production of the CD and packaging - they will think nothing of paying $5 for a game, movie, CD off a guy on a market stall - why? - because it's a lot lot cheaper - and while this may be the underlying reason for buying the game, it doesn't stop anyone sleeping at night, or have them worrying that the developers are now out of pocket.

Of course not everyone shares these views, and most dedicated gamers will not touch pirated games - but don't forget the majority of the gaming public do not visit Game Boomers or any online forum - the people who do visit forums regularly and who DO understand the problems of piracy and who DO feel it wrong, are not the majority and are not the problem.

Piracy is NEVER right - just because you want to try out a game and don't intend to ever really play it, doesn't mean you can go buy a pirated game - you are still giving money to criminals who will put it to use elsewhere in yet more criminal activities.

Dan.
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Derman

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#123247 - 06/25/03 12:53 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
hrmn - I think the problem here is people do realise companies get hurt in some way or another - but they couldn't care less about it. Most people only say "they didn't realise companies get hurt" as an excuse I find. I've spoken to a few of my friends and their view about that is as follows:

If a games (or software) company goes down - who cares? another one will spring up in time... that's their perspective... there will always be a software company that will make a software for this and that...

Movie industry are less affected (compared to the software and music industries that is) because people still go to cinemas for the "experience" - and that's still where they rake in a significant portion of the money...

Music industry, though, I know is severely hampered by the recent trend... but most people I know who get illegal music couldn't care less either - because they have the opinion there will always be another music artist that will make the music they like...

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a viable way to solve any of the above perspectives relating to the music and software industry... perhaps the only way to solve such attitude amongst the general public is to boycott the customers by refusing to make any more of a certain product until people do the right thing - which obviously won't work in the commercial sense...

PS. any idea how much money criminals and gangs gain through pirating software, music and movies?? I'd be curious about its influence...

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#123248 - 06/25/03 07:45 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Quote:
As far as I am concerned, pirating softwares and games are just like shoplifting - and it is only with this attitude that I purchase legal games
This is the attitude you must have in order to resist the pirating temptation. It can seem rigid and a bit prudish -- until your favorite software developer goes belly up and you know their work is available for free through pirates.

I've been offered pirated games by friends who felt they were being extremely generous -- it's as though knowing how to pirate is regarded as a kind of gift you can give the unitiated, unexperienced computer user.

Maybe we need a Software Developer Sim game -- where piracy in certain scenarios puts your character out of business. I think that at least some of the piracy is a simple lack of putting yourself in the other person's shoes.

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#123249 - 06/25/03 09:26 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Singer Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/04/01
Posts: 2521
Of course, part of the argument is that small scale, end user piracy ISN'T really the problem, and everyone knows it, including industry insiders and law enforcement officials.

No, Joe Q. Pirate and his borrowed-and-burned copy of Syberia are not toppling the games industry. The (potential) loss of individual sales from consumer copying amount to peanuts. Otherwise lending, trading, and re-selling WOULD be made illegal.

The problem is really in large scale illegal distribution, as others have noted. This is true in music with Napster, etc., movies with bootleg homemade recordings and illegal DVD's, and games with warez and pirated CD's.

Hopefully governments can get together and help stop this kind of larger scale piracy. Every time I go to eBay Canada, I have to wade through a slew of auctions for cheap "new" games from Thailand or Belarus. I'm 100% for raising public awareness and promoting strong ethical values, but it's still not good enough to sit on our hands while people commit crimes right in plain view and pretty much thumb their noses at the law. I say let's lynch 'em! laugh

I'm not discounting each individual's responsibility, of course. But you'll never be able to penetrate SOME people's apathy about the issue if action isn't taken to stop it on the grand scene.

Jack
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Editor, Adventure Gamers

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#123250 - 06/25/03 09:35 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
I think people generally overall, not just a few people you know, but overal, think piracy does not affect anyone as it's not really a problem.

And I'm unsure how much criminal gangs make, but if you imagine a $3 billion loss to the games industry due to piracy, then you can imagine, it's quite lucrative.
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Derman

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#123251 - 06/25/03 05:30 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Oh - I'd like to point out a few things also about pirating that you may or may not have heard of.

Awhile back, one of my friend visited Thailand and bought some games - the quality with which the games were made were just absolutely exquisite (for a lack of better term). It was fully boxed and jewel cased and the CD was labelled and printed just as if its a legal version, and the manual was full colour and beautifully bounded - all of this was just worth $10 Australian dollar (about 6 US dollars - and this is for a brand new game so it's obviously illegal). Now, I've gotten the same game as my friend so I could tell you there was absolutely no visible difference between a legal and an illegal copy - if those Thailand piraters came to Australia, set up a store, and sold them for the standard retail price of 90 or 100 dollars, the chances are people will go in and buy them, thinking they were fully legit - and I'm sure this is happening somewhere... for all I know, some of my games may actually be made by game pirates and I'm simply unaware of it!

The same is also happening in the music industry - a few years back, many Australian retailers were fooled into thinking a whole batch of music CDs they got was the one direct from the publishers. After careful scrutinisation, the only difference they could find is that the illegal music covers (to be placed in the front flap of the jewel case) was a tad (just a tad) lighter shade than the legal copies... By the time they found out, they've already sold a considerable amount of stock.

Given these, I'm more willing to believe that if a criminal gang is really set on making money from the public by pirating music and games, they'd be so good at the job that the public doesn't even know about it. More likely the ones you could spot as being pirated are made by those small-time gangs or one-person pirate in the neighbourhood. It's those extreme quality pirated copies which are probably made by the larger criminal gangs, and those are definitely hard to track and trace...

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#123252 - 06/25/03 09:42 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
The criminals gangs ARE set on making large amounts of money with piracy and DO make large amounts of money from it.

Piracy with all media is BIG BUSINESS, and it does not stop at the guy in a cinema with a camcorder - people working in all the respective industries are heavily involved too - prerelease copies mysteriously disappear off the back of trucks or warehouse shelves, review copies get lost and are never seen again, and even the raw files have a habit of being copied and smuggled out of offices - those "exquisite" copies you mention were probably produced using the same artwork files that the final releases would be produced with - the differences are simply in the quality of the CD/DVD, paper, and equipment that is used - Eminem actually rushed through the release of The Eminem Show in a last ditch effort to actually beat the pirate copies onto the streets, because he and his label knew, if you leave it too late, the CD will be out there anyway, thanks to some dude who works with you.

Just recently, a few months prior to the release of Harry Potter 5, some pages of the book managed to find themselves in the parking lot of the printers, and one worker there decided he would steal them and try to sell them to the newspapers - he was of course, arrested - one week before Harry Potter 5 was due on sale, an entire lorry filled with copies of the book was stolen - it was later found, empty!

The reason some people may not know what they are buying is stolen because it looks so like the real thing, may be, because it actually is the real thing, stolen and sold with no profit to the real developers - and the reason pirates strive to make better copies? - so they can sell more to more people in all different areas of the retail market place.

And I have to disagree about John Q and his CD burner not being a problem - this is a very large problem - for example, if people don't know where to buy a pirate game/dvd or whatever, they will almost certainly go buy it for real if they want it - this is not out of some loyalty to the developers or because of some pangs of guilt or fear of the law, it's just, that's the only way they'll get it - now, if one of those guy's buddies comes along and says, hey I've got a copy of so-and-so, do you want to borrow it - that person is going to say yes ok - they'll borrow it, play, may even copy it for themselves - that results then in 1 less real copy sold - multiply that by 10 million people, and multiply that by the 50 dollar price tag of a real game, and hey, the industry has just lost another 500 million dollars - that seems like a big problem - this is my point about people not really caring about piracy and not really understanding that companies can't afford it - some peope even feel resentful because they nave to pay so much and will pay less for a pirate to make a point - other people just don't care one way or the other, the cheaper the better - also, the law isn't really going to care about arresting a guy for making one copy of a game for himself, because they'll simply never know, and also they haven't got the time or resources to be chasing down Mr Smith and Mr Jones for copying 1 game - they have to go after the more organised elements, because it is those elements that are the real problem in a bigger sense - every pirate is a problem to the actual industry, but as far as the law in concerned, it is the criminal gangs that will put that illegal money to use in other areas that are the real problem - the law isn't interested in the industry, they are interested in stopping bigger and badder crimes being fed by game/movie/music piracy - if pointed in the direction of Mr Smith and Mr Jones, they are duty bound to investigate, but doing so off their own backs is way down their list.

The world is a big place - when you add up all those "small insignificant" pirate copies, it all amounts to a lot more than just John Q and his CD burner - and when you add that to the major organised piracy gangs that make use of industry insiders, you just have a bigger problem - then add to that the people who place copies for download on peer to peer file sharing apps like Kazaa, which results in less people buying the real things, you have an even bigger problem - in the end, it doesn't matter whether you buy an illegal copy from an organised gang, from a guy on the street, borrow an illegal copy from your friend etc - whatever stops you from buying a real copy results in loss of sales.

And yet still people walk around, saying the companies can afford it, it's no problem, why should I pay 50 dollars when I can get it for 10? Naivety and ignorance are bliss to some people.
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Derman

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#123253 - 06/25/03 10:48 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Singer Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/04/01
Posts: 2521
Poor Joe Q. rolleyes You're saying something is a big problem based on a hypothetical projection. I was simply basing a statement on realistic figures. If 10 million people did it (assuming also that all 10 million would purchase a game otherwise), of course it would be a problem, but that just doesn't happen. Not even close. Of course, if 10 million people traded or re-sold the same game to each other, that would amount to the same loss of income for the developers (and that would be legal).

I'm not defending end user piracy. But it's a drop in the bucket, plain and simple. It's an interesting ethical argument, but let's just be realistic about which issues are the ones threatening the industry.
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Editor, Adventure Gamers

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#123254 - 06/25/03 11:38 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
Jack,

Where are these realistic figures coming from?

Of course end-user piracy is a big problem - I can understand the argument that they may very well NOT buy the game anyway - but, if they don't HAVE TO buy the real game due to availability of pirate copies from their buddy Frank, then they won't ever buy the game, regardless of whether or not they were prepared to - who can say how many people operate in this way? 10 million people out of the billions on the planet is not a lot.

Napster was an example of end-user piracy as far as I can see - people downloaded what other people made available instead of going out and buying the actual CD - these actions resulted in the whole Napster court battle - Napster was just for music - with the arrival of Kazaa and other apps that do the same, people are now downloading games, movies, music and software - in doing so they are abstaining from actually purchasing a real copy - if these file sharing apps did not exist then they would find it a lot harder to find the stuff for free and would be much more inclined to go and buy - just because you are getting it for free and criminals are not making money out of it, does not mean it has no effect on the industry - it does.

And the whole sharing, lending thing is different - you're NOT dealing in stolen goods - if you borrowed a real game off someone and you really liked it, you might go buy it, because your friend would want it back - if it's a pirate version, you can just make a copy yourself and hence, no need to go buy it - people have always loaned and resold things - the effects of this will never be the same as the effects of piracy.
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Derman

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#123255 - 06/26/03 12:06 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Singer Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/04/01
Posts: 2521
Napster, Kazaa and the like are a totally different situation, which is what I've been saying. Those are NOT examples of "end user piracy", but wide-scale distribution, which precisely IS what hurts the industry.

As for your question, I've read several articles in gaming/computer magazines in the past that examined the issue of end user piracy (both games and the much pricier programs). Do I believe everything I read? No, but whoever these people are that make studies of such things, presumably they're doing more than pulling numbers out of a hat.

EVERY single gamer I know (and I know many) buys as many games as they can, and I'll gladly stand by my assertion that the odd schmuck making a CD for himself or a buddy isn't crippling EA or Microsoft.
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Editor, Adventure Gamers

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#123256 - 06/26/03 12:32 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
So "end-user" piracy equals a lone solitary guy making a copy of something for himself? And he's the only one is he? Nobody else does that? You know that's not true - millions of people do the very same thing - if this wasn't a problem, they wouldn't bother to put copy protection on their products, and other freeware developers out there wouldn;t bother making little progs that can easily get around those protections, but only on the computer you have copied the game to - cracking that protection completely is no problem for a guy who knows what's he's doing - he then adds it to Kazaa or dedicated Warez sites, or sells to to some crim - that copy protection is there to stop YOU or ME from copying that game.

Napster was the same - end-user makes copy of something - whether they get it off a friend or off the net, so what? They're still getting it.

My number of 10 million was used to highlight how easily a huge amount of money could accumolate - if it's 5 million, it's still a huge loss - if it's 1 million, same thing - however I wager that in any one year there are easily 10 million people in the entire world who copy a game from a friend - not the same game, but a game - even if it's just 1 game for each person, that's still 10 million games not bought, and still a massive amount of money that could have been.

And I stand by my assertion that this is as much a problem as every piracy outlet.
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Derman

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#123257 - 06/26/03 12:46 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Marian Offline
Moderator
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 20219
Loc: near Yosemite in California
It may well be true that wide-scale distribution is hurting the industry far more than the end user. However, piracy is against the law; therefore, all the reasons that people give for why piracy is "okay" at times fall under the heading of situational ethics. Thus, what it ultimately comes down to in regards to choosing piracy or refusing it is whether or not a determination is made to exercise individual conscience and principles.

Unfortunately, in the increasingly cynical times in which we live, the attitude of most, being that all they see from "authority" and higher institutions is greed and graft, and that the ideals above are not being upheld, is a feeling of hopelessness that the exercising of conscience and principles will ever make so much as the slightest difference in the outcome overall, and this is what I see as one of the single biggest problems confronting society as a whole.

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#123258 - 06/26/03 01:09 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hrmn - I've got an ethical topic similar to this that I'm fairly interested in, due to various debates with fellow peers...

I don't think that copyright or licensing agreement legally end after a certain period of time. Given this, how old would a game have to be before copying/distribution of the game is considered morally or ethically justifiable?

I know there are some very old games that are considered quite good, but unfortunately are very hard to obtain or find - despite services such as 'ebay' or 'game trading zone'. So does people think there's ever a point in time when the copying of game would be considered alright?... would 5 years be considered long enough? 10 years? 20 years? (not going to bother go back any further - I am not sure if there's going to be a computer capable of running games older than 20 years *giggle*)...

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