Musings on piracy

Once again a short rant (not a proper post) I posted on Steam that describes my thoughts on piracy.

You wouldn't download a car? Fuck you, I would if I could!

Post also copied below.

Most people pirate because they don’t have the spare money.
In my life, I’ve only ever pirated when I had no income. When I have a job I buy everything (and anything!).
This fact is not mentioned much in the “stats” which take the emotion and humanity out of our actions.
People need to realise that if people enjoy something, they become fans, fans support producers. If people can’t pay, they share (tell a friend, give them a copy). And the process repeats.
Piracy may sound bad, but the truth is it helps many things get well known.

I won’t mention paid for piracy or hard core pirates who have incomes but refuse to pay for things (unless its music / movies, RIAA / MPAA can fuck right off), those people don’t factor into my above logic and should be treated as a separate issue.

5 Responses to “Musings on piracy”

  1. theTrav Says:

    I pirated for a long time when I could probably have afforded a purchase (although I wasn’t rich or anything).

    I’ve mostly switched to purchases because of convenience, also because I feel far more financially secure, so ability is definitely a factor.

    DRM had little to no involvement in my switch. In fact, when I was transitioning to paying, and still today, I will pirate, or simply not play games that are overly inconvenient due to DRM (Spore, Settlers 7 etc)

    Your comment on fans giving money is spot on, I’ve donated more money to free projects than I’ve spent on commercial games.

    Having said that, monetizing fans and affection is a very different model to the traditional game dev & publish role, you’ve got to do things quite differently to get good results. Most large software dev places aren’t set up to do that, in in order to make the transition I believe they’d need to undergo a lot of upheaval that shareholders are unlikely to tollerate.

    Have I mentioned before that publicly traded companies are the devil?

    • I’ve purchased games that I’ve downloaded before. Vampire Bloodlines, Vietcong, Quake 3, etc.

      I do avoid games with DRM. It’s harder to tell with physical games, labelling is better on digital regarding DRM, but not always 100%.

      I want the Settlers games but won’t buy them because of UbiDRM.

      Convenience is a good point. I like steam, I also hate steam. Being on a bad internet connection was painful before. Steam could take 1 hour to login sometimes (when capped to 72kps) or it could take 1 hour and fail. Only then did it ask if I wanted to go offline. Fun.
      But thats more an implementation issue, not a digital service issue.

      In the last few years I haven’t pirated anything. Only recently since I quit my job have I bothered with torrents of any kind. Even then, I’ve only “pirated” older games that I can’t get anymore (Blood, Shadow Warrior, Haegemonia, etc) and that I wouldn’t buy anyway.
      I have also had to download the Doom 3 ISOs because the steam version doesn’t work well with some mods.
      Once again, implementation issue.

      But yes, DRM has not stopped me from “pirating”. In fact it encourages me and at the least prevents a sale.

      I think we also need to call it “file sharing” rather than “pirating” as I believe there is a big difference between downloading files when you have no intention of buying (sharing). And downloading everything because you don’t want to spend the money (pirating).

    • I am curious what you mean but upheaval in traditional software dev environment to receive donations. See as I am in that situation myself =P.

    • I may have been drunk when I wrote that…. *looks at time* and still am. Forgive thee bad grammar and spelling =P
      oooh sno

  2. I’ll full out admit to being a filthy pirate, I have a $0 income (aside from SSI for my autism which hardly pays)… what do you expect me to do, sit in a hole, become bored, and die?
    heck no, if I’m gonna be banished to a hole due to lifes incompatibilities with my autism, I’m at least gonna do something with my life and create something cool.
    (I pirate development software and games, and who doesn’t pirate music)
    ^actually on the topic of media, pirating is better than paying for it, if your compy fries you’re screwed, time to download 80,000 songs again.

    I pirate games because I hack them and replace their content to do something creative to make the game much more fun…
    just look at my ava… heh

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