[POLL] IS PIRACY ETHICAL?

Poll

Is Piracy Ethical? - Results

Yes
4
12%
No
22
66%
Maybe
4
12%
I don't know
0
0%
Other
3
9%

Posts

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CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
10842
Well... is it? Discuss.

Definitions
piracy, n. - the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work, e.g. "software piracy".
ethical, adj. - morally good or correct, e.g. "ethical issues in nursing".
moral, adj. - concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour, e.g. "the moral dimensions of medical intervention".
Isrieri
"My father told me this would happen."
6155
This can only end in tears.

No, piracy is not ethical. It's taking intellectual content that doesn't belong to you without permission. If you don't like people borrowing things without telling you, or have random people come into your house without your say-so, then piracy is kind of wrong too.

Is everyone on the planet going to do it anyway? Yes. (Half the people on here are probably guilty of it)

/thread


A better discussion to have would be whether or not the act of piracy shows significant profit loses from individuals and/or business in the long term. And whether or not its ethical to allow that to happen. To individuals or businesses.
...I would download a car if I could. Is it right to do so? Fuck no. But I'd still do it.

Nuff said.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7376
How could it be ethical? The word illegal is even in the word's definition!

With that said, I don't mind casual piracy. Obviously a lot of us don't have MAJOR qualms with some levels of piracy considering how many of us got our start in game making, and how many of us do not have mp3s on our computers?

I've reached a point where I'll torrent things. Music, movies, games, etc. If I like them a lot, I buy them. If I have the ability to try a game this way before I buy, I'll do it sometimes. Same with movies and music, I'll go out and buy it. I have a sort of "try before you buy" mentality when it comes to pirating. It's still wrong on various levels, but I don't want to waste money on things that I'd end up not being satisfied with, especially since I don't make much money as it is already.
Aremen
Then the LORD Aremen said unto Zack, "Behold, I will rain gams from Heaven for you; and the people shall go out and play a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My maps, or no." - 3TileRule 4:16, Holy Help File
4796
One shalt not steal if one wishes not to anger the Almighty Aremen! Instead, play thee more of My games, freely given to thee to while away hours of boredom and discontent!
unity
You're magical to me.
12399
The Lord hath spoken.
If it's from some bigwig company I couldn't care less about the CEO getting a couple of dollars less for his christmas bonus, but if it's from a small indie-dev I would think twice before pirating it.
author=SnowOwl
If it's from some bigwig company I couldn't care less about the CEO getting a couple of dollars less for his christmas bonus, but if it's from a small indie-dev I would think twice before pirating it.
This is how I feel, but the bottom line is my morals don't matter in the face of the law. It's illegal and unjustifiable. Can you get away with it? Certainly. Is copyright law outdated for the internet age? Maybe. But if the society you live in believes stealing is wrong, and punishable, then there's no argument.

You could make an argument for "try before you buy", but what stops people from "trying" until they're tired of the product and then not buying?
Nothing, but frankly, if it was good enough for you to do that, you're more than likely to eventually buy it - if you see it on sale, or see a toy/merchandise of it and the like.

I mean, hell, I bought a 3DS JUST SO I COULD PLAY POKEMON. (Sure I got other games after the fact, but the big reason for it was Pokemon.) I could have waited and just downloaded it eventually, but I decided that I wanted to buy.

It's like with RPG Maker products. Back in the day I would take 'em with no worries, but now? Now I know how much I love the product and have gotten so much out of it, I feel guilty not buying before (even is XP is ugh compared to Ace... yeah, I went there). Even more-so knowing the people behind the actual creation of things like music and graphic packs. I now actively hunt assholes who distribute those packs freely because I know they're ripping off the little man, not the big one.

...I would still download a car though. Just saying.
author=Binturong
This is how I feel, but the bottom line is my morals don't matter in the face of the law. It's illegal and unjustifiable.
Sure, but that wasn't the question, the question was if it was ethical.

author=Liberty
...I would still download a car though. Just saying.
Definitely.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20073
author=Aremen
One shalt not steal if one wishes not to anger the Almighty Aremen! Instead, play thee more of My games, freely given to thee to while away hours of boredom and discontent!


Thus spake the Almightly Aremen: Thou shalt not steal! Instead, receive Mine bounty of game, as it was given onto you freely.



Anyway, I don't really think I can add to this. I mean, piracy is against the law. Which would, by extension, make it an unethical action. There's... not a lot of wiggle room here. Not that I'm going to be in line to turn myself in for having an illagal copy of RPG Maker 2K/2K3 anytime soon, though.
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4011
author=Liberty
...I would download a car if I could. Is it right to do so? Fuck no. But I'd still do it.

Pretty much this... it's hard to justify piracy morally, because often the creators of software have put a lot of work and effort into it and could use the money.

Still, if you live in a country where that software isn't available for purchase, or you truly didn't have the money but could still get a lot of use out of it - for example, a young artist pirating Photoshop - it's totally understandable.

As an aside... something being illegal doesn't necessarily mean it's immoral, at least in my book.
Who cares what the law is? The law doesn't define what is ethical. Nevermind copyright infringement isn't such a simple black-and-white issue. The movie Ink never got the backing of a publisher and had to self-distribute and it saw a surge in sales due to people pirating the movie and subsequently purchasing it. I've used software to crack digital locks on my DVD sets (which is now copyright infringement here thanks to Dear Leader) so that I could use some simple filters to clean up the video and store it in an easy to watch format on any hardware that supports DLNA streaming. There's plenty of awful piracy that goes on like a significant amount of zero-day piracy but if I could I would totally Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V my car and give it to a friend.


I also really like this story about Spyro Year of the Dragon's copy protection. It's pretty neat stuff with some of the various checks and the mentality of what they were trying to achieve and how it was ultimately broken.
author=Binturong
But if the society you live in believes stealing is wrong, and punishable, then there's no argument.

Fallacy - stealing deprives another person of the aforementioned object. Piracy isn't, by definition, stealing - you do not deprive another of the original item. And that's where the definitions start to get mucky, because the law still strongly follows the concept that everything is a physical object that can only be owned by a single individual (or group of individuals) at a time.

The argument of lost sales is invalid; most individuals who pirate a particular item, statistically, were never going to purchase the item in the first place. However, a great number of them, having enjoyed the item, will contribute to the creator regardless of how they first obtained the item in question. There have been some rather intensive studies on the practice, and many television show production teams are noticing that piracy of their programs is actually a good thing.

In the end, the race by companies to prevent piracy of their products (especially DRM) hurts legitimate end users more than it does pirates; won't be long before a particular DRM is broken and a pirated copy of a game can be played freely without restriction while the end user is still waiting in a queue to get a connection to a verification server every time they start up...
author=Travio
In the end, the race by companies to prevent piracy of their products (especially DRM) hurts legitimate end users more than it does pirates; won't be long before a particular DRM is broken and a pirated copy of a game can be played freely without restriction while the end user is still waiting in a queue to get a connection to a verification server every time they start up...


This is me. I bought Farcry 3: Blood Dragon when it came out because I love 90's shit and the Blood Dragon ads were 90's as shit. I could not play my legitimately purchased software because uPlay would not let me register, I could put in all my account details and it would simply not respond. I am very confident that if I had pirated the software I would not have hit any uPlay issues. I will not be purchasing any games published by Ubisoft ever again because fuck you ubisoft.


I wonder if the Mass Effect 2 cracks removed that "Checking in with Servers" at the start of the game. A game shouldn't seemingly softlock for half a minute just so it can speil some



I just want to play some video games.
Depends on what you're pirating. If its a new game that can be purchased anywhere for 10 bucks then you're just being a dick. If its a 30 year old Japanese-only game by a defunct company that's out of print and the cheapest used cart is 180 dollars, you don't have a lot of options, nor is much of anyone losing anything anyways.

The latter is generally what I pirate - old ass games no one is making money off of anymore, or games that are otherwise totally unavailable. Even then I don't really like doing it since I always feel like I'm going to contract 30 viruses from these websites. Even then, I've bought some of these games, and would buy most of the others in a heartbeat if I saw them anywhere. For now, though, its just a "stuff to buy off Amazon later".
Of course, if Sutte Hakkun, Magical Pop'n, Sparkster, Rocket Knight Adventures, Contra: The Hard Corps, and Castlevania: Bloodlines were to appear on the Virtual Console, I'D BUY THAT SHIT DAY ONE!

Since this topic will obviously go into DRM eventually, I'll agree with Travio and also give my two cents now: Anything beyond the most basic level of DRM seems to be largely pointless. They all get cracked eventually, at which point piracy is the same "one click and done" scenario as usual, the only difference being the amount of time it takes to crack it, and the amount of money blown on the DRM's development. In the long run, DRM seems to only stop people who don't want to go on questionable websites for downloadz, or break the law at all.
...what new game can be purchased for $10 that is not on Steam? I was lucky to pay $30 for my GOTY Fallout 3, but that was only after I'd already pirated it and played it to check that it was a game I'd enjoy. Same with Skyrim, Minecraft, Starbound and numerous other games I've tried first/bought later.

I'm not gonna lie - there are some that I've downloaded, tried and played a bit of, but not wanted to pay $60 just to get. And you can bet your asses that if Rune Factory 4 gets a rom release I'll be downloading that (fuck you and your non-PAL policy! I wanted to buy the game but nooooo. Fuck region locks!)

For the most part, though, if I really liked a game, I will buy it. I will buy the fuck out of it. I will buy hardware to go with it. If Suikoden 6 was reported to be being released on PS4 I would skimp and save to buy that shit. Because love is more important than money.

(Except when they don't give us fucking region fluidity. I am NOT buying a whole new 3DS just to play that game ffs)
author=Liberty
...what new game can be purchased for $10 that is not on Steam?

Various XBLA/PSN titles. Also, prices on retail games and their digital download versions can plummet really fast if they're plentiful and/or unpopular. Akai Katana was released in 2012 for I think $40, and you can download it for now $15, or buy a new physical copy for ~$12 on Amazon right now. I guess 2012 isn't "new" according to most people, but it is to me.

But yeah, region-locking is a pain, especially on download markets - I hear the import prices on the gift cards people use to buy Japanese PSN or Wii downloads are getting really high lately. Its nice to see that the PS3/4 and Xbox One are (normally) region-free, at least for retail games. Its also nice to see that a lot of the shoot 'em ups on the 360 were released region-free.
Pirating is what got me into games (and subsequently spending hundreds of dollars on them) in the first place.

You're welcome.
At the end of the day, devs should probably be a little less worried with the piracy itself and why their game isn't managing to do the sales conversion observed across a number of heavily pirated titles (or why they're not doing sales in the first place). If the game ain't fun, you're not going to convince anyone to buy it.
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