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"Why I Pirate" - An Open Letter to Content Creators (Very, very, very long read inside)

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Why are so many normally smart people being so obtuse here? Xbob and Gabe Newell are right. Piracy is a service problem. However, it's also never going to go away. Spending any time out effort into stopping it is just an excuse in futility. That's time and money that should just be going back into the pockets of content creators.

If you're trying to compete with free and easy you just need to make it easier. That's why Netflix and Steam have done so well. It's easier to get stuff from them than it is other places. Do people still pirate? Of course and nothing anyone will or can ever do will fix that. It's impossible to stop software piracy. It just can't happen.

Right now, the solution of content creators to this problem has been to make things more complicated. They're missing the point. For instance, I want the Professor Layton movie on high def. Unfortunately, it's only available on Blu-ray in Japan and Europe. Fine, I'll import. Unfortunately, it's also region locked and I don't own a region free Blu-ray player. I ended up borrowing it from a friend. I'll hold out hope for a Blu-ray release in the future. At that point, however, I may as well have pirated it. They would have gotten the same amount of money from me. I had money burning a hole in my pocket and nobody to give it to.

Then you have the whole Netflix problem with everyone pulling their content from the service...And putting it where? I consider myself pretty tech savvy and I don't know where to go to get everything I want.

In my case, I just skip most of this stuff. I get nothing, nobody gets my money...Nobody wins. We can't expect everyone to act like that, so why build a business model around that ideal? That just seems like a really stupid thing to do.

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Again and again you guys miss the point. It's demand from a consumer who feels he is not being satisfied. Your opinion of him makes no difference. Because he's telling you why, not trying to convince you that it's "okay," because he doesn't give a shit if it's okay or not. He can do it, so he does.

And yet he feels the need to point out that he doesn't feel bad about what he does. Part of that post is definitely trying to convince himself and others that he's being ethical.

There are some real problems with the entertainment industry refusing to move forward with technology, but that doesn't mean you can just pirate whatever you want because you're entitled and think you deserve it. It's especially backwards to pirate software for free because you think the content should be cheaper. This guys bullshit should be clear by the fact that Steam—which is very easy, convenient, and priced right—and DRM free iTunes and other music services as well as the enumerable ways listen to content in full for free (e.g., Pandora) are not good enough for him. Fact of the matter is, he wants to take what he wants.

But fine, lets ignore the fact that it seems clear that he tries to justify what he does. If wants to talk reality, lets talk reality. Laws are created to prevent people from doing whatever they want because society doesn't function like that. The reality is piracy will always be illegal because if people can't profit from their creations then innovation and motivation will halt. If he is caught, he will be brought up on charges and no justification is going to change that nor should it.

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Why are so many normally smart people being so obtuse here? Xbob and Gabe Newell are right. Piracy is a service problem. However, it's also never going to go away.

But the point of this douche knobs overly long write up is simply "I take without paying and don't give a fuck."

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Why are so many normally smart people being so obtuse here? Xbob and Gabe Newell are right. Piracy is a service problem. However, it's also never going to go away. Spending any time out effort into stopping it is just an excuse in futility. That's time and money that should just be going back into the pockets of content creators.

If you're trying to compete with free and easy you just need to make it easier. That's why Netflix and Steam have done so well. It's easier to get stuff from them than it is other places. Do people still pirate? Of course and nothing anyone will or can ever do will fix that. It's impossible to stop software piracy. It just can't happen.

Right now, the solution of content creators to this problem has been to make things more complicated. They're missing the point. For instance, I want the Professor Layton movie on high def. Unfortunately, it's only available on Blu-ray in Japan and Europe. Fine, I'll import. Unfortunately, it's also region locked and I don't own a region free Blu-ray player. I ended up borrowing it from a friend. I'll hold out hope for a Blu-ray release in the future. At that point, however, I may as well have pirated it. They would have gotten the same amount of money from me. I had money burning a hole in my pocket and nobody to give it to.

Then you have the whole Netflix problem with everyone pulling their content from the service...And putting it where? I consider myself pretty tech savvy and I don't know where to go to get everything I want.

In my case, I just skip most of this stuff. I get nothing, nobody gets my money...Nobody wins. We can't expect everyone to act like that, so why build a business model around that ideal? That just seems like a really stupid thing to do.

And again, there is absolutely no way of knowing how many pirates will actual buy content if it's a little easier for them to. Pirating is so damn easy and free...there is literally nothing these companies can do to satisfy people like this guy. I mean one of his complaints is that they shouldn't spend so much money on making premium AAA games!

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I read the whole thing, and all I see is a whining bitch who doesn't want to pay for some stuff. As far as I am concerned, he can go fuck himself. There's a reason why any law enforcement polygraph asks you if you've ever stolen anything... and if you say no, they ask you if you've downloaded anything for free without paying for it. After 2 hours, unless you're a sociopath, you will fail that polygraph... every time. So you know what I say? Have fun looking for a job if you download shit. Have fun failing polygraphs and losing out on job opportunities. What a tool.

I still wanna know. What the hell was the point of this post? How many jobs make you take a polygraph? Extremely few and only in a very few select areas. So what were you trying to prove? You'll lose out on a job with the FBI or CIA if you've ever pirated? Ooooookay. Aside from the fact that polygraphs are really unreliable and not admissible in court.

I don't pirate games, because I like to support devs. Plus, my backlog is so filled with games I legally own, there isn't an need for me to pirate. If I feel a game isn't worth my money at $60, then I wait for it to get cheaper. thanks to Steam this isn't a big problem, usually. I do, however, download ROMs of games I own and stick them on flash carts for backup. Mostly stuff like NES, SNES, Genesis, Master System, GB, GBA, DS, etc. And I do rip my Wii and PS2 games and back them up to a hard drive on my hacked PS2 and Wii. And I rip my PSP games to the memory stick on my hacked PSP. I do have some fan translations of games that never have been released here. But I always import the actual game. I don't have a single copy of a game that I don't already own. I can honestly say that.

I don't pirate music or movies. Music I either buy or listen to on youtube and Pandora. Movies I either buy on blu ray or if I don't care enough to pay full price or don't think I'll watch them again, I just rent them on Amazon.

I will admit I pirate TV shows. I don't really feel bad about it. I don't watch enough TV to justify a cable bill and I'm sure as hell not paying for HBO or Showtime when I only watch 1 show from there. I pretty much only pirate the shows from HBO and Showtime. I've pirated Dexter, True Blood, and the Tudors. I'd download them as soon as they were uploaded, watch them, then delete them. Then when they come out for sale on DVD/BD, I buy them. I own every season of those shows so far. So I don't really feel bad about it and I probably won't stop doing it. The very few other shows I watch, I just watch on ABC or CBS websites the following day. Or I watch them on Hulu. Same goes for Anime. I'll watch what I can on Hulu. If it's not on there, I might pirate a couple episodes to see if it's good and if I like it, I'll buy it. If I don't like it, then I didn't waste a ton of money on expensive anime.

The author of the article makes some good points, but it's largely overshadowed by him acting like a whiny, entitled douchebag. The business model needs to change, yes, but people are always gonna pirate.

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What incentive is there for a pirate to buy something? Almost none.

What risk is there for someone that pirates? Almost none.

Publishers / Developers are in a lose lose situation.

Make the punishment for pirating just. No stupid $100,000 fines....but how about community service? A warning on your first offense, 30 day ISP suspension on second, something that will actually deter people.

It's not hard to track this sort of thing, and the "OH I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD AN UNSECURED NETWORK!???1!!" stuff is squashed with the first warning. Ignorance isn't an excuse.

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And again, there is absolutely no way of knowing how many pirates will actual buy content if it's a little easier for them to. Pirating is so damn easy and free...there is literally nothing these companies can do to satisfy people like this guy. I mean one of his complaints is that they shouldn't spend so much money on making premium AAA games!

That's beside the point. What is anyone gaining from all the efforts to stop online piracy? Is it slowing the pirates down? Is it stopping piracy? Is it taking a chunk out of piracy? No, no, and no. It accomplishes nothing but annoy the people that are willing to spend money and making things more complicated for those that will spend that money regardless of what silly hoops they have to jump through to legally get the content they want.

Piracy is free and easy, but it's not the as easy as it could be. Piracy will never get to be as easy as, say, Netflix or Steam. Those are as easy as it gets and they've succeeded because of it. Those are good services...However, they are and will be torn apart not by pirates but content creators. Netflix is hurting more and more by having publishers pull their titles. Steam is now having the same issue.

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That's beside the point. What is anyone gaining from all the efforts to stop online piracy? Is it slowing the pirates down? Is it stopping piracy? Is it taking a chunk out of piracy? No, no, and no. It accomplishes nothing but annoy the people that are willing to spend money and making things more complicated for those that will spend that money regardless of what silly hoops they have to jump through to legally get the content they want.

Piracy is free and easy, but it's not the as easy as it could be. Piracy will never get to be as easy as, say, Netflix or Steam. Those are as easy as it gets and they've succeeded because of it. Those are good services...However, they are and will be torn apart not by pirates but content creators. Netflix is hurting more and more by having publishers pull their titles. Steam is now having the same issue.

Your second paragraph contradicts the first.

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Your second paragraph contradicts the first.

You misunderstand me. Steam and Netflix are not attempts to stop online piracy. They are attempts to compete with it. They both compete by being easier than piracy, but they can only do so much. Netflix doesn't have everything and everyday it has fewer and fewer titles. Steam also doesn't have everything and it's also not available on every platform. Steam has done a lot for PC piracy. It's no coincident that since Steam PC gaming has been on the uptick.

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I read enough of it to figure out he's a whiney entitled doucebag.

Exactly! Yes he makes a few good points, especially on digital pricing. But for the most part he sounds like a huge douche.

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That's beside the point. What is anyone gaining from all the efforts to stop online piracy? Is it slowing the pirates down? Is it stopping piracy? Is it taking a chunk out of piracy? No, no, and no. It accomplishes nothing but annoy the people that are willing to spend money and making things more complicated for those that will spend that money regardless of what silly hoops they have to jump through to legally get the content they want.

Piracy is free and easy, but it's not the as easy as it could be. Piracy will never get to be as easy as, say, Netflix or Steam. Those are as easy as it gets and they've succeeded because of it. Those are good services...However, they are and will be torn apart not by pirates but content creators. Netflix is hurting more and more by having publishers pull their titles. Steam is now having the same issue.

You just don't get it. Even if every single movie was available on Netflix and every single game was available on Steam, pirates like this guy would complain about prices. They always have an excuse.

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You just don't get it. Even if every single movie was available on Netflix and every single game was available on Steam, pirates like this guy would complain about prices. They always have an excuse.

The point isn't to convert every pirate. The point is to convert enough while taking the roadblocks away from willing customers.

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The point isn't to convert every pirate. The point is to convert enough while taking the roadblocks away from willing customers.

There really are not any roadblocks to video games though....

What roadblocks do PC gamers have?

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This dude is a whiney douchebag, but he does have a point.

Content creators are bitching and trying to strong arm the government into maintaining their obsolete business models because they don't like having to adapt to the times. People who pirate occasionally but do spend a large portion of their income on media consumption are technically doing something illegal, but they really need to be viewed as an untapped market and not as a criminal element that needs to be dealt with. That's just going to push people away.

But I disagree with his notion that the industry owes him anything or that it's okay to simply pirate everything because he can't buy it right now for the price he wants to buy it for. I pay what I want to pay for a game or movie or TV show or whatever, and if a company isn't willing to give me some media for the price I'm interested in paying with the level of DRM i consider acceptable, I'll skip it and go to the guy who does or I'll wait until they drop the price to something reasonable. The longer they wait, of course, the more money they'll make per sale on the copies they do sell, but the more likely i'll forget about the game in the meantime.

On the other hand, I think the whole thing is right, whether or not he comes off like an entitled douche. The fact of the matter is, stuff can and will be shared/pirated no matter what companies do. It's up to the businesses to figure out how to extract the most value out of such a marketplace. Their view of maintaining their old business model while trying to get people to punish file sharing/piracy is shortsighted at best. As younger and younger generations move into the demo they are targetting, they need to make sure their business model reflects the needs and desires of those generations. Pretending they can do the same thing they could always do is just asking to be made irrelevant as their ability to buy support from the government dries up and the content creators that they currently employ/represent move to a more flexible business model.

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I want to ask everyone a question. Do you think digital products are priced appropriately?

I for one do not think they are. The fact that a digital product is charged the same amount of money as for a physical product doesn't sit right with me. The costs of distributing and stocking a physical product are not present, so I feel that price should be lowered to reflect that. I also fully agree with having physical products come with digital copies of the product for free.

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There really are not any roadblocks to video games though....

What roadblocks do PC gamers have?

Is that a serious question? What kind of problems does anyone that wants to play an Ubisoft game on the PC have to go through? Even if you accept everything they throw at you and do your best to play by their rules, there are still times when they are upgrading their servers which make your local installation of the game unplayable. DRM on the PC has not been fun. Steam is fine in most cases, but not every game is available on Steam. I also understand the complaint people have in regards to Steam. Some people don't like the Steam pop ups. I don't have a problem with them, but to say there are no roadblocks on the PC side of things is ignoring the very large DRM elephant in the room.

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I want to ask everyone a question. Do you think digital products are priced appropriately?

I for one do not think they are. The fact that a digital product is charged the same amount of money as for a physical product doesn't sit right with me. The costs of distributing and stocking a physical product are not present, so I feel that price should be lowered to reflect that. I also fully agree with having physical products come with digital copies of the product for free.

Agreed.

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I want to ask everyone a question. Do you think digital products are priced appropriately?

I for one do not think they are. The fact that a digital product is charged the same amount of money as for a physical product doesn't sit right with me. The costs of distributing and stocking a physical product are not present, so I feel that price should be lowered to reflect that. I also fully agree with having physical products come with digital copies of the product for free.

There is no such thing as something being "priced appropriately", unless we are talking about illegal price fixing between the companies. Value is a matter of supply and demand.

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I want to ask everyone a question. Do you think digital products are priced appropriately?

I for one do not think they are. The fact that a digital product is charged the same amount of money as for a physical product doesn't sit right with me. The costs of distributing and stocking a physical product are not present, so I feel that price should be lowered to reflect that. I also fully agree with having physical products come with digital copies of the product for free.

I agree.

So the fault may not necessarily be the content creator's fault, it could be pressure from retailers keeping the digital prices higher than they ought to be. If gamestop or walmart says "Hey, we don't like the idea of you selling this 60$ game for 45$ on your website, even though that would provide you with more revenue per unit sold. If you do that, we're going to stop selling your game, period.".

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I want to ask everyone a question. Do you think digital products are priced appropriately?

I for one do not think they are. The fact that a digital product is charged the same amount of money as for a physical product doesn't sit right with me. The costs of distributing and stocking a physical product are not present, so I feel that price should be lowered to reflect that. I also fully agree with having physical products come with digital copies of the product for free.

You are totally correct. I do not think they are priced appropriately. Though the guy is a whiner, he was spot on when he brought up the point about digital books. I pay $7.99 for my share of the glue, paper, ink, etc. of all the books printed. That much paper costs much more than 1MB of server space that is recycled with 99.9% efficiency with every purchase. I wouldn't mind having a free digital copy of a physical product, but I personally am willing to pay a very tiny percentage more for an included digital copy.

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There is no such thing as something being "priced appropriately", unless we are talking about illegal price fixing between the companies. Value is a matter of supply and demand.

I thought I'd pop in one last (hopefully.) time and say that by this logic piracy is the ultimate, idyllic solution to this, then. Unlimited supply meets any and all demand for free.

That's what content suppliers are competing with. No matter how little people may like it. Which is why you have to have an attractive price that makes people say "Man, spending a couple bucks on this is gonna be way easier than trying to track down a download that isn't infested with viruses and hoping the crack actually works."

Again, that's why Steam is so popular.

That is all I have to say. Carry on once more.

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Try playing assassins creed on pc when ubisoft does maintenance

Is that a serious question? What kind of problems does anyone that wants to play an Ubisoft game on the PC have to go through? Even if you accept everything they throw at you and do your best to play by their rules, there are still times when they are upgrading their servers which make your local installation of the game unplayable. DRM on the PC has not been fun. Steam is fine in most cases, but not every game is available on Steam. I also understand the complaint people have in regards to Steam. Some people don't like the Steam pop ups. I don't have a problem with them, but to say there are no roadblocks on the PC side of things is ignoring the very large DRM elephant in the room.

So the only games people pirate are Ubisoft ones?

The vast majority of games can be purchased on Steam, GoG, Origin....and outside of Ubisoft I don't see any DRM issues.

But keep on using shitty Ubisoft ports as your golden example.

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So the only games people pirate are Ubisoft ones?

Apparently Ubisoft makes the least profit out of the major publishers on the PC. EA allegedly makes the most, which is why they started up Origin, digital PC sales are becoming a huge market for them. Ubisoft constantly screams "Pirates!" and adds more DRM. EA has used DRM, but it's never been a huge focus for them aside from like Spore and shit. EA's games keep doing better, and Ubisoft's... not so much. Coincidence?

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Apparently Ubisoft makes the least profit out of the major publishers on the PC. EA allegedly makes the most, which is why they started up Origin, digital PC sales are becoming a huge market for them. Ubisoft constantly screams "Pirates!" and adds more DRM. EA has used DRM, but it's never been a huge focus for them aside from like Spore and shit. EA's games keep doing better, and Ubisoft's... not so much. Coincidence?

They don't make money because people don't want to play their shitty games on the PC.

DRM is scaring people away.

Shitty ports are scaring people away.

But people still pirate the shit out of every game under the sun.

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They don't make money because people don't want to play their shitty games on the PC.

DRM is scaring people away.

Shitty ports are scaring people away.

But people still pirate the shit out of every game under the sun.

Indeed they do. But EA makes double digit percentage of their annual profits (Was like 23-30% last I remember, was in an article on the main PC board here.) from the PC scene while Ubisoft was at like 3%. The goal isn't to end piracy completely, because that's like fighting a war on drugs. It's insane and only an idiot would think it could actually be accomplished. The real goal is to get every last person who MIGHT pay to actually pay. Some people absolutely never will, because lots of people are scum/broke/broke scum/ugly/women.

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Since you’re bringing up that “War on Drugs” analogy again: I’m still bemused by the inconsistent reasoning of most of the users here when it comes to how one should treat this matter. Ominous even used the good ol’ “Harder punishments will deter crime” bullshit :lol:

Laws are created to prevent people from doing whatever they want because society doesn't function like that. The reality is piracy will always be illegal because if people can't profit from their creations then innovation and motivation will halt.

Damn, legend, I expected more from you. Suppose that copyright infringements were legal (or rather, not illegal), do you really believe that there would be no way for people to profit from their creations and innovations anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the times before these laws were created? That argument is so overused and nonsensical especially when it comes to art and other creative work. Besides, it’s not money first and foremost that drives people to create things.

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Since you’re bringing up that “War on Drugs” analogy again: I’m still bemused by the inconsistent reasoning of most of the users here when it comes to how one should treat this matter. Ominous even used the good ol’ “Harder punishments will deter crime” bullshit :lol:

Damn, legend, I expected more from you. Suppose that copyright infringements were legal (or rather, not illegal), do you really believe that there would be no way for people to profit from their creations and innovations anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the times before these laws were created? That argument is so overused and nonsensical especially when it comes to art and other creative work. Besides, it’s not money first and foremost that drives people to create things.

But.... copyright infringement and pirating media are both illegal. Sorry to burst your fantasy land bubble. Keep trying to justify why you steal stuff. Want a shovel? Because you just keep digging.... this is getting to be entertaining.

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Since you’re bringing up that “War on Drugs” analogy again: I’m still bemused by the inconsistent reasoning of most of the users here when it comes to how one should treat this matter. Ominous even used the good ol’ “Harder punishments will deter crime” bullshit :lol:

Damn, legend, I expected more from you. Suppose that copyright infringements were legal (or rather, not illegal), do you really believe that there would be no way for people to profit from their creations and innovations anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the times before these laws were created? That argument is so overused and nonsensical especially when it comes to art and other creative work. Besides, it’s not money first and foremost that drives people to create things.

But.... copyright infringement and pirating media are both illegal. Sorry to burst your fantasy land bubble. Keep trying to justify why you steal stuff. Want a shovel? Because you just keep digging.... this is getting to be entertaining.

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