[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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author=Liberty
...I would download a car if I could. Is it right to do so? Fuck no. But I'd still do it.

Nuff said.

Pretty much sums up my view on piracy.

It's bad overall, yes, but depending on WHAT you torrent, it's not really a big deal.
The region lock stuff reminded me of how some digital distributors do the $ = € = £ for European pricing which is absolutely bullshit.

I can see region locking having a point but as it is implemented is awful. I feel region locking should be on the basis of economic status instead of geographical location. Hollywood and Friends can sell Dick Hugeguns The Movie to the rich region (Europe and the rich Anglosphere) for $20 USD. $20 USD is a lot of money in the poorer regions of the world so the next region would reflect that: Have it cover the rest of the Americas and have the price of this region a fraction of the original 20bux so it is affordable to the masses there and hopefully convert some of the bootleg market into legitimate sales. Repeat with another price cut for the next poorer region. The goal of the region locks in this case is to prevent a race to the bottom by the stores cutting costs by importing their inventory from the cheapest market so they can undercut their local competitors.

All that was what I came up with over lunch and I don't know much about the markets to give a realistic solution that would work but I do agree that region locking as it is done now sucks.
No,it's not ethical,but if it wasn't for piracy
I wouldn't have 90% of the games that I have.
Well,technically,I did pay for them,
but to some random shop-guy...not legally...

PIRACY IS BAD

If you have money,buy the original version.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28444
Do I condone it? No. Is it ethical? Certainly not.

That having been said, art is an act of creation. It is our effort to understand spirit, soul, mortality, god, goddess, zoe, divine, source, infinity, ad infinitum. Does that which we create belong to us?

The moment we have an idea, it is formed in our minds for a brief moment and then it is obliterated, constantly changing. We set up canvas and daub paint onto it in a desperate effort to capture the idea but it changes as we paint and so the image we paint never matches the original idea. It becomes an abstraction of many ideas, a progression of ideas parading on a little march through our synapses. It is thus, a representation of our spirit.

It would be nice to sell the painting and get a little spending cash, but do you really want to put a dollar value on something so deeply personal? The video game, or the song, or the television show, is no less an idea and in most cases, more than one person has become involved and the energy becomes akin to something that can only be described as jazz.

Now, for as long as anyone can remember, you could listen to any song on the radio, record it, or watch anything on TV, and record it for free. Most online "pirates" provide the same service with video games. Now, all of the above is illegal (it is no longer legal to tape a show and watch it later). It is now piracy. Why? Did the free exchange of information (a legal concept believed by many experts to be crucial to freedom of speech and to the democratic process), do that much damage to Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Nashville? The people who are pushing for these laws are the people who have sprawling multimillion dollar complexes and a garage full of Ferraris.

The free exchange of information never hurt them before and was always encouraged. It was viewed as free advertising and commercial advertising always compensated them. I do not believe downloading an old game for free is piracy. I believe it falls under free exchange principles. What's more, I feel the same way about my own writings and about my own creations. Once I have published these things for others to see, I may reasonably expect to be paid for actual books I sell, materials I pay for, and I can even reasonably expect to have my signature on the final product protected (copyright). But I do not believe that I can reasonably expect, or even have the right to regulate and control who enjoys it, or who uses it. Free exchange of information is not piracy. As long as nobody is selling it or putting their own name on it, I don't care what you do with it. Like the short story put in Creative Corner. It's yours now. I only ask that you leave my name on it.

I do not believe that going to a warez site and downloading music, games, and TV is piracy, and there is a very old legal precedent for that belief. Of course, that comes of having been married to a journalist, a woman who was actually educated in these matters and who passed that wisdom on to me before she died.
It's certainly unethical - You're taking something without paying for it.

That being said, agencies such as the RIAA(and many copyright holders themselves) are pretty much monopolizing the broken copyright laws. Take a look at this relatively recent article. A man was fined $22,500 per song for 30 songs. Granted, he did share them, but according to the RIAA the minimum fine for a single pirated song is $750, or about 750%(on average) of the song's original value. Those damages are payed to the copyright holder. In the aforementioned case, the copyright holder just made back over 400'000%of the pirated material's value. That's being generous and accounting for potential losses that came from sharing the files.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is piracy is unethical, but the laws designed to deter copyright infringements are equally unethical and only work to serve the copyright holders. While you probably shouldn't have pirated in the first place, the current legal process is effectively disproportionate retribution.
Is piracy unethical? Absolutely.

Is that going to stop anyone? Absolutely not.
author=Travio
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.


This in itself is false, but many people can't realize it because they do not count experiences as possessions, even if the only reason they do so is because they have not been taught that perspective.

For example, a movie. Easily copied and distributed over the internet. No harm in making many copies. No physical medium stolen.

But once you see it once, that's it. That first viewing that made you laugh and cry and jump in your seat is gone forever. You might consider buying it afterwards. But the secrets have been revealed. It's inside your memory now.

But this loss is not the true toll of piracy.

It's the act of piracy itself, which says, "I didn't trust you. I'll save some money..." Artists and developers, who currently make the most pirated products, aren't dumb. They can see what society has said about their work through the actions of a mass number of people. When a game intended to earn $2 million earns about $200,000 instead, and contains code that reveals that 99% of players did not purchase the game, it doesn't matter if even some money was made back. Mutual consideration for a human being hasn't been given. And the developers can recognize this, and hesitate in making the next game.

This is piracy's biggest ethical concern, I think: the message it sends through its act, which destroys solidarity and hope. And not just for the creator of the product, but for all other creators keeping watch on what other creators are doing. They can see that they might not be able to survive, based on the success (or lack thereof) of their peers.
No, it's not.

Anybody who argues otherwise is intentionally Being a Dick.

author=JJJ7
No,it's not ethical,but if it wasn't for piracy
I wouldn't have 90% of the games that I have.
Well,technically,I did pay for them,
but to some random shop-guy...not legally...

PIRACY IS BAD

If you have money,buy the original version.
Dude, if you're going to pirate, at least do it in a way that doesn't profit a loser. They have no right to that money. If they can't maintain a business ethically they don't deserve a business. Either pirate without a third party, or buy things legally, otherwise you're letting criminals make a profit off other people's work, that they thoroughly don't deserve.
Some movies I've seen many, many times - same with books. I pdf nowdays since my book shelf is a bit too full but some books I know I love and will buy and read, re-read and re-re-read because they're just that great. Same thing applies to games, anime and many other 'experienced' things.

Memory deteriorates. It's not a 'there forever' thing. So yeah, invalid argument right there~ ^.^
author=Travio
Fallacy - stealing deprives another person of the aforementioned object. Piracy isn't, by definition, stealing - you do not deprive another of the original item.

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...

It's a form of theft, but not the same as stealing a physical piece of property. You are still stealing from their overall profit.

Beyond that, though, I agree with you 100%. I really think this poll needs a "Depends" because that's where I think many would fall.

If a game is no longer made or supported, and not available for purchase, then I don't see pirating the game as being unethical, because the copyright holders (if they still exist) aren't making money off you anyways. If stealing another person's profit makes that person homeless, or unable to feed their family, sure. But if it takes a few dollars out of some CEO's Christmas check, I'm sure nobody would bat an eye.

It also depends on how many pirate a game. One or two, no big deal. But if everybody does it, then that's going to have a nasty impact.

However, the issue you bring up about racing to stop piracy is absolutely true. Piracy is an ugly reality we must learn to coexist with... much like some of my relatives. The harder you fight it, though, the harder it comes back to bite you in the arse... again, much like some of my relatives.

I've learned that by tolerating and acknowledging my relatives (as opposed to fighting them) the day goes fine for me, and in the end I know they'll eventually leave. The same is with pirates. They may not try so hard to undermine your work if you don't bother them, and they'll leave you alone outside of their own circles. The harder you fight, though, the harder they'll resist, and it's the customers that lose in the end.

One of the main reasons I still stick to old console games (pre PS3 era) - outside of my biased opinion that they still appear far superior to many of the new games - is that I could simply insert the game cartridge or CD and play it. I don't have to mess with online activation, registries, username/accounts, DRMs, etc. I just plug and play.

What game companies need to ask themselves is this. Has all these oddball steps and hoops a consumer has to jump through helped or hindered their overall profit. Sure, it might have stopped short term piracy, but has it also stopped people from wanting to legitimately buy the products as well?
I wouldn't really say piracy is bad in general. Piracy is bad if you had enough the means to buy the game and you really like the game and still don't pay for it.

But there are many reasons where I can see it makes sense to get a pirated version of a game, for example:
- you really want the game but it's not available in your country or you don't have the means to buy it (like offering no payment method you can use)
- you want to try out the game before buying it but the developer doesn't offer a demo version at all
- you actually bought the game but the bought version enforces an always-online DRM on you or is buggy and the cracked version runs much better and you can actually play it without internet connection (and it won't kick you out if you lose connection)
- the game is officially only available in a language you don't understand but there is a fan translation; you however have no means no get the game data from your purchased copy to the PC (for example because it's a cartridge), so you get a pirated version to apply the fan translation to it

You are still stealing from their overall profit.
This is assuming you would have actually bought the game if you didn't pirate it, though!
This is assuming you would have actually bought the game if you didn't pirate it, though!


If you pirate it then you're likely to have possibly bought it at some point in the future. Perhaps in a sale, after saving up, as a gift from a friend, etc. There's a chance.

If you pirate it though... then you're definitely not going to buy it.

It's a tough one, but it's definitely reduced sales. Like people who use spotify over buying CDs.
In this regard piracy isn't a problem as much as before. if i'm curious about a particular game, simply watch a nice let's play for a while and if it's worth, wait for it to be on steam at discount (after all, i seriously doubt anyone have the time to finish every single crap they bought in steam sales). Games today are made incomplete. If you really want to play something you have to wait for all DLC and bug fixes, driver updates...etc.

Is ethical to pay full price for a incomplete piece of trash like aliens colonial marines?
author=ricifidi
Is ethical to pay full price for a incomplete piece of trash like aliens colonial marines?


That's another good point. I knew for a fact that when I invested in a game on the old (pre PS3 consoles) I was getting a complete game that was, more or less, fully tested enough to be playable prior to release. These days, it's hard to tell.
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
It depends. IMO filesharing for personal/hobby use should be allowed, but I draw the line when it comes to commercial/business use.

Take RPG Maker for example. I have absolutely no problem with people making games using pirated RM, "borrowed" sprites and audio, but I'd be absolutely angry if e.g. someone would try to sell game made with pirated version of RM. If you going to get money from it, buy the damn license! Same thing with e.g. shop owner playing in his shop music. He/she should get proper license for said music because he is benefiting from it commercially.

Unfortunately law always take insane route.
Filesharing by most legal system is more serious crime that such "minor" offences like
- Rape
- Murder
- Actual theft (where original owner doesn't have thing anymore, CTRL+C, then CTRL+V IS NOT CTRL+X, then CTRL+V for devil's sake!)
- Stalking
- Mobbing


//edit: And regarding "if you pirate it, you're not gonna buy it" crap, here's my example.

First game I actually bought was Minecraft (Beta 1.7.3). But why I bought it? Because I played pirated version first (the only "demo" at the time was MC Classic which is crap). When I saw those pigs and sheeps walking around, I KNEW I have to buy it.

A Valley Without Wind... Well, I actually pirated it in first place, but quickly uninstalled as it was so good game that I felt actually guilty for not paying its creation (second AVWW isn't so good, for once they removed free 360 aim. Bad idea). Now I bought it along HIB so I can play it to my pleasure.
Terraria? Same deal, though I didn't feel as guilty for not paying for it and bought it only to get access to mods and because of Terraria 1.2.
Today I bought Space Engineers. Guess which version I played first?

If anything, this only make me buy games that are actually good. Only crappy game developers (*cough*WarZ*cough*Colonial Marines*cough*) will lose money because of me.
Filesharing more serious than murder

what country are you even in :/
Rave
Even newspapers have those nowadays.
290
author=Amy
Filesharing more serious than murder

what country are you even in :/


Poland. But here police rarely do anything and it is safe country for filesharers. But in U.S. some murderers (especially in states without death penalty) get out after just few years in prison (parole) whereas filesharers often get like 15-20 years without possibility of parole. For more scandals like that visit torrentfreak.com. Great site that actually expose MAFIAA.
author=Amy
This is assuming you would have actually bought the game if you didn't pirate it, though!
If you pirate it then you're likely to have possibly bought it at some point in the future. Perhaps in a sale, after saving up, as a gift from a friend, etc. There's a chance.

If you pirate it though... then you're definitely not going to buy it.


That second part isn't true - I have plenty of games that I've downloaded and later bought. Just downloading it does not remove the possibility of purchasing it, and there's been a number of studies done that've basically concluded there's no sales lost because those who pirate and don't buy it wouldn't have bought it anyways and those who would have tend to support the company anyways.

author=Zachary_Braun
author=Travio
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.
This in itself is false, but many people can't realize it because they do not count experiences as possessions, even if the only reason they do so is because they have not been taught that perspective.

For example, a movie. Easily copied and distributed over the internet. No harm in making many copies. No physical medium stolen.

But once you see it once, that's it. That first viewing that made you laugh and cry and jump in your seat is gone forever. You might consider buying it afterwards. But the secrets have been revealed. It's inside your memory now.

But this loss is not the true toll of piracy.

It's the act of piracy itself, which says, "I didn't trust you. I'll save some money..." Artists and developers, who currently make the most pirated products, aren't dumb. They can see what society has said about their work through the actions of a mass number of people. When a game intended to earn $2 million earns about $200,000 instead, and contains code that reveals that 99% of players did not purchase the game, it doesn't matter if even some money was made back. Mutual consideration for a human being hasn't been given. And the developers can recognize this, and hesitate in making the next game.

This is piracy's biggest ethical concern, I think: the message it sends through its act, which destroys solidarity and hope. And not just for the creator of the product, but for all other creators keeping watch on what other creators are doing. They can see that they might not be able to survive, based on the success (or lack thereof) of their peers.


No, I'd say you've made an incorrect assumption as well, otherwise you'd never be able to sell movies in the first place. I watch movies that I like a lot. I have downloaded numerous movies, but I also have a DVD collection numbering well over 500 (and a VHS collection half that size and a BluRay collection about a further half that size). And I watch them, pretty thoroughly - my VHS collection is shrinking because the tapes are wearing out from being watched, so I then buy them in another format - so I've supported these particular acts multiple times.

At the end of the day, the producers of work need to stop worrying if people are going to pirate their work and instead just focus on making it good. If it is, you'll get people actually giving you money for it. If you lose money off of it, you have to start to wonder: was the product bad?; are you using too big of a budget? If a game is intended to earn $2 million and only made $200k, they really need to address where they fucked up, not that the game was pirated - piracy, in almost all cases, does not result in lost sales in the end, as has been addressed numerous times by earnings numbers; most of the highest pirated games are also among the highest earning games.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28444
Whoa, slow down on the murder thing, Amy.

Most murderers and rapists will be back on the streets after barely a couple of years under our current legal system in the U. S. (because they plead for reductions, or because of various technicalities, and in many cases of rape, the judge often just doesn't think rape is wrong or should be considered a crime, or even that the victim of rape is the one that should be punished).

Filesharing annoys corporate America. There are no pleas, no technicalities, and it will be prosecuted under federal law, under which you must serve 80 percent of the time sentenced before you may have the possibility of parole. Even better, filesharing, where no money exchanges hands, is legitimately free exchange of information under federal law and is 1st Amendment protected. Filesharing being considered and prosecuted as piracy, though entirely uncontested, is actually a 1st Amendment violation.

As I said before, yes, if I write something, then I have the right to assume that my name will be associated with it and that I will receive a reasonable compensation. Of course, I am not a corporation, so I am legally entitled to almost nothing, but that is besides the point. Of course, once what I have written is in the public, I have no reasonable right of expectation to who reads it or even who pays to read it. Under current filesharing laws, buying a book, reading it, and then giving it to a friend is an act of piracy. Indeed, under current filesharing laws, you're only paying to BORROW the book's content. Under current laws, in theory, once you buy a book, you could be forced to pay for it again after a certain amount of time, or send it back to the publisher. Again, that's in theory. In practice, that would be impossible, but a police officer seeing your book collection could reasonably assume you are not paying for the content in those books and you could be prosecuted for piracy; in fact, this is exactly what happens when the FBI analyzes your computer and sees all of the downloaded MP3s and then prosecutes. This is what corporate America has done to our legal system. If downloading music without paying for it is illegal, then listening to regular radio is also illegal. What is called piracy is actually Free Speech.

Again, these warez sites, ethically, shouldn't be illegal, shouldn't be considered piracy.
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