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StarCraft II Victim of Pirate Rush: Downloaded Illegally Over 260,000 Times

starcraft_2_logoAs you may have heard, a little known franchise called StarCraft returned from obscurity this past week, shocking everyone in the world by selling 721,000 copies in its first week according to the NPD numbers. Surely this unexpected bonanza will lift Activision-Blizzard from the depths of poverty in which they had lain for so long.

What may or may not shock you, depending on your depth of reality, is that StarCraft II is also the most pirated game of the year. Probably. I mean, no one has bothered to check the figures on APB, but I doubt they come close.

According to TorrentFreak, the rampant pirates of the Internet have illegally downloaded StarCraft II 260,000 times, with 50,000 people sharing the game at one time on BitTorrent. Now, you may call me naive, but I tend to think that this isn’t the same few people downloading and redownloading the game over and over. No, call me cynical, but I think these are all unique users.

Now, despite my earlier sarcasm, we all know that StarCraft II is one of the most anticipated games of all time. So, keeping that in mind…wouldn’t you just save up some money and buy it? I mean, you know it’s coming out, it’s not like they kept it a secret or anything.

How does this make you feel? I know, I know, most of these people will buy it once they verify that the OVERWHELMINGLY positive reviews are not giant balls of deceit, but I still can’t help but feel angry on behalf of the people who worked for years on this game, only to have some dude with a broadband connection decide he (or she; I’m not sexist) doesn’t have to pay money for it.

We actually talked about this very subject in the new podcast you must listen to right this second, regarding the game Machinarium, which was also a victim of massive piracy.

What do you guys think? Did you buy StarCraft II? Does it make you angry that some people choose not to play by the rules?

Source: TorrentFreak

Written by

Age: 34 PSN ID: Starkiller81. I've played games since before I can remember, starting with my dad's Atari and I haven't stopped yet. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them.

32 thoughts on “StarCraft II Victim of Pirate Rush: Downloaded Illegally Over 260,000 Times”

  1. Hearing this stuff really pisses me off, because these guys put their blood, sweat and tears into this game for almost six years and you can’t bother to pay $60 for the fruits of their labor? Especially if that fruit is amazing?

  2. This is sad. Anyone who downloads this game illegally is personally complicit in the assassination of pc gaming. And pc gamers wonder why so many developers have abandoned the platform.

    This is such a slap in the face for Blizzard, a developer that has bent over backwards to cater to its fanbase. Is there a developer that has done more to please its fans that Blizzard or Valve? And look what their generosity gets them: Hordes of ungrateful thieves who feel entitled to steal anything the developer makes just because they know how to operate a torrent program.

    I’d like to hear how many people offer the excuse, “Oh, well, I wanted to try it out to see if it was any good first. You know, because this Blizzard company is an unknown quantity, I want to make sure that the game is worth my money.”

    But I think it might actually be interesting to hear the “excuses” on this one. If you don’t think that Starcraft 2, perhaps THE most anticipated game of all time, is worth your money then I’d like to hear the rationale behind such odd logic. I mean, people have been waiting for this game for over ten years but then have no intention of buying it?

    P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C

  3. Where I live, Starcraft 2 is STILL sold-out. The next batch is to arrive in about three weeks. I get pissed at illegal downloaders too, but at the same time, if you CAN’T buy the game due to faulty supply, what are you supposed to do? (ignoring Steam)

  4. I have little remorse for anyone who gets “pirated”, mainly because I don’t think that should be a crime, or that it should even be called piracy, (after all, why did the RIAA begin calling it piracy in the first place; because “sharing on mass levels, additionally, for no profit” didn’t sound as criminal).

    Now, that is not to say that I agree with what these people who downloaded the game for free did, but I can’t in good faith see Machinarium as a victim, especially since no one knows how they got their percentage on piracy rates ( I don’t know what the policy is on sharing other sites but, look at the discussion on ArsTechnica, if you’re a fan of that site).

    Media companies need to put forth the money to develop technology that prevents games and programs from being easily shared, which most seem like they would rather not do, and instead have laws put in place. A significant amount DRM methods go around the issue, by blocking a certain amount of installs on a machine, instead of addressing the issue directly by doing something similar to what Steam does. I may be wrong, but to my knowledge, people can’t pirate games from Steam in the traditional sense. Accounts can be sold, but that’s a different issue altogether. If I was a game developer, I’d be angry that someone didn’t pay for my game, but I’d be even more angry at myself if I didn’t do something to prevent that, and DRM hasn’t had a history of being effective, so I’d be even more angry at myself if I wasted money on something that hasn’t shown itself to work instead of investing in new ideas on how to protect my work. And if it was an extra cost that I couldn’t deal with, well, I, personally, would rather pay that cost, then have laws put in place that establish companies as being able to regulate how I could freely share content that I bought, as there’s more room for abuse in that then there is in me finding a way to restrict my content to one machine. And as for gamers who complain about DRM, if it works, but it’s annoying, they need to deal with it, as most of the first ones to complain about DRM are also the first ones to call “pirates” pathetic.

    [To be linguistically accurate, this much of the last part of the comment is hypothetical, so consider a “possibly” to be inserted anywhere that you would deem it to apply.]

  5. And to clarify the Machinarium thing, a 90% piracy rate is very questionable for various logistical and economic reasons, and a few media developers have begun to use “piracy” claims and the holes in the logic behind copyright (for example, how bars and restaurants can use music generally freely, and make a profit off of it by creating an atmosphere, and get charged in the $10,000 or less realm, while someone who downloads 10 songs or a movie from a torrent site with no intent to profit from it can be forced to pay $150,000 in losses) as a means to make money, which is why I take a percentage like that with a grain of salt.

  6. So TravelingManIII, if someone steals stuff from my house, I should have done more to have it protected? That’s a flimsy excuse at best. Illegal is illegal.

    The problem with what you’re saying is that when people try to force DRM onto consumers, everyone loses and whines and complains because pirates can’t seem to stop themselves from stealing. I don’t know why anybody would defend pirates with a straight face.

    Like, I’m not going to judge someone for it, but I will judge someone for making a ludicrous justification for their behavior. If you’re going to steal it, own up to it and don’t make excuses about it.

    I find it hard to see why the creators of Machinarium aren’t a victim when they clearly have lost out on profits that belonged to them.

  7. I mean, who in their right mind would make a $100 Million dollar game, and not protect it as such an investment. And in Machinarium’s case, unless I’m wrong, most people are paying for it online if they do buy it, so why not set up some sort of online protection, (and if gamers have an issue with being watched while they’re playing the game, they again, need to deal with it). Anyway, that’s my last point on that for now.

  8. [quote comment=”12664″]So TravelingManIII, if someone steals stuff from my house, I should have done more to have it protected? That’s a flimsy excuse at best. Illegal is illegal.

    The problem with what you’re saying is that when people try to force DRM onto consumers, everyone loses and whines and complains because pirates can’t seem to stop themselves from stealing. I don’t know why anybody would defend pirates with a straight face.

    Like, I’m not going to judge someone for it, but I will judge someone for making a ludicrous justification for their behavior. If you’re going to steal it, own up to it and don’t make excuses about it.

    I find it hard to see why the creators of Machinarium aren’t a victim when they clearly have lost out on profits that belonged to them.[/quote]

    But Eddy, with piracy, no one’s stealing anything from you, in the sense that it’s like going to a movie theater and recording the movie on camera, and then sharing that movie with other people (note: not selling it). You still have the movie, you could still have people watch that movie and make money off of it, you can still sell the DVD, and you haven’t lost anything physically (nor digitally. What you would have lost as a game developer is a potential sale, and I specifically say potential because many times a lot of the people who “pirate” it don’t have the money to pay for it anyway).

    DRM should be forced onto customers, DRM that works, not “prevent a certain amount of installs”. Consumers need to deal with it. If you go to a bank, you don’t get mad because you have to memorize a pin and put it in the machine to prevent other people from getting into your account, and you don’t get mad that the bank has to watch over your money to a point, because if they didn’t, you could lose money, and the banks could be liable. In gaming, companies should watch over their games better, instead of just tossing them out there online like they’re physical objects. most things copied online can be 1 – 1 copies, so they need to be protected from copying, and the current best way to do that to my knowledge is to set up something similar to what Steam uses.

    And as for piracy being stealing, I can’t in good faith call it that, because again, the only thing being stolen is a potential sale. If I were to, say, buy a movie, and watch it with 7 other people. Those 7 other people wouldn’t be paying for the movie, yet they’re getting the experience, and online, that’s piracy. If that 7 people turned into 50,000, it’s no different, except that there’s a lot more people not paying for it, and a lot less potential sales for the movie developer, and yet, people don’t think it’s wrong that people watch movies with friends and don’t pay for that movie viewing, and even more, possibly don’t buy the movie on BluRay or DVD.

    I’m not defending piracy. I think that people should have bought the game, if they supported the studio, but I don’t think that sharing is illegal, and I wouldn’t want it to be. If these people pirating were making money off of their pirating, say, selling that “recorded theater movie” for money, I’d have less of an issue with calling what they’re doing illegal.

    The creators of Machinarium haven’t released how they got that piracy percentage to my knowledge, and think about it, if a game’s got an %85- %90 piracy rate, who was buying it, and why weren’t those people buying it, where in other cases, the people who buy something outnumbers the people who pirate something. It must mean that most people who came upon the game and could have bought it did not, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that it would be because they could pirate it, because that isn’t the case for other games. Look at the Indie Bundle example. Many people paid for it, some people “pirated” it, but the “pirated” did not outnumber the people who felt like it was worth it and paid for it, to my knowledge.

    As for piracy protection in general, if you’ve got a video you don’t want someone to download, you don’t give them the option to do so, you stream it (there may be ways to download streamed videos, never tried so I’m not sure). Why isn’t the same thing done for games? They’re just left out there for people to buy, copy, upload, etc. Why can’t those options be restricted in some fashion? Lock certain files, sync them on a server whenever there are updates to the game (general ideas, may not be feasible). With so many things going digital, protection needs to be revamped, and it doesn’t seem like anyone out there, gaming companies, music companies, movie companies, are willing to spend the money to do so. And when you’ve got people like the US Copyright Group doing what they’re doing, you have to question the information you get nowadays.

  9. And just to clarify the logic behind the first paragraph of that response, someone steals something from your house, you now no longer have that object, and must either spend money or physical resources to get a similar object, or, you can get that object back from the person, and that person will no longer have the stolen object (in a sense, you can compare it to how energy is supposedly never created, only transferred), whereas, online, no ones taking it away. Imagine someone coming to your house, and “cloning” an object that they wanted. You still have the object, but the person who sold that object to you just lost out, even though nothing was technically stolen from them either (compare that cloning to energy being created and adding to an equation where no new energy is supposed to be added, where things should only be able to transfer). It’s an issue because say that person who cloned the object was arrested for doing something illegal and had to return the cloned object to the person who sold you the object. Think about that: that salesperson technically just got a free product to sell, on top of the product that they still have. Now that’s if piracy punishments were balanced. Currently, you pirate a $30 DVD or a $60 game, you get get fined hundreds of times that, beyond simply a penalty to make you not want to pirate again, but what I would call cruel and unusual amounts of money. That is essentially free money, and some people have begun to realize that and have tried to capitalize on copyright infringement as a means of gaining money. I mean if you do the math, and say, %100 of people pirated Machinarium, however much the game costs, and yet, if and when they get fined for it, they’re paying hundreds of times more, and that company is gaining hundreds of times more than what they would have gotten if people bought the game legitimately. That doesn’t make sense economically, unless infringement is supposed to be a way for companies to make money.

    I don’t agree with “piracy”, but there are issues on the other side as well, and neither side seems willing to address them, because both sides can potentially get something for free (the pirates, “free” content if they get away with it, the developers, more money than they should get, if they choose to sue and win, which they most likely would).

  10. I’m usually a jerk when it comes to this subject, and I had a long response typed out. I decided to erase it. Machinarium deserves millions more than any shitty blizzard game. That’s always been my point.

    I’m a musician. If people stole my music, I’d be flattered; so long as they shared it with their friends. Who knows, maybe one of them shows up at a concert and buys a t-shirt. That would mean more to me (and be more profitable) than a kid buying a disc at HMV. I know, that’s not how video games work.. which is the hard part.

    If you wanna make a difference, buy the $4.99 games on Steam, support the college-crew games. Don’t pay a company who prints money with MMO’s. They couldn’t care less. If they’re really PC Geeks, I can almost guarantee you they’re stealing something as you read this.

    At the end of the day, if you don’t want your game to be pirated, build something for 9 years olds on the Wii… Don’t make something for dudes who liquid-cool their over-clocked machines and share 8GB’s of torrents all night while folding proteins with nVidia as it idles.

    Just go buy machinarium.

  11. Okay, first of all, it’s okay to steal a copy of the game online because you can’t find it on the store shelf? How is this logical in any way? This is somehow Blizzard’s fault because they didn’t manufacture enough copies of the game? That might be the worst excuse I’ve ever heard. You mean to tell me that not one of the 260,000+ downloads mentioned above, not ONE of those people could either find a copy of the game on the shelf or could bear to wait a week or so for a new shipment to come in?

    Second, how is piracy not stealing, exactly? You take something that someone else produced without paying for it. That’s the definition of stealing as I understand it. Sure, games, music, and movies might not exist tangibly (like a truck, television, or tool), but in economic terms they are the products of someone’s labor all the same and as such they have a value. The act of piracy diminishes that value. Taken to it’s logical conclusion, continued piracy of intellectual property can diminish that value to such an extent that it is no longer worth the producer’s time and effort to create the product in the first place because they can’t cover the costs of production, much less make a profit.

    So, if you want to spend your future playing homemade flash web browser games and Farmville, by all means keep defending this sort of behavior because that’s all you’re going to be left with after developers finally decide that producing games for the pc platform is not a profitable endeavor.

  12. Cloning an object in someone’s house? Really? That’s the lengths we’re going to here to justify piracy now?

    I would submit that anyone that is making that argument has never made a product that they wanted to sell. Come back to this discussion after you’ve gone and made something and seen it distributed for free when you wanted (read: needed) to make money off of it. The entitlement issues there are astounding, really. Just because something is digital does not mean it’s not real. Anyone arguing that knows that what they’re arguing is total garbage, and frankly, I’m not willing to engage that person on the issue any longer.

    Like I said, people pirate stuff, I can live with that. But saying it’s not wrong because a)developers didn’t do a good enough job to keep me from doing something illegal so I’m not responsible and b) it’s not really stealing because I didn’t take a product… both of those are hogwash of the highest degree.

    And what does it matter how they got the numbers? To me it doesn’t change if they just took them away and said “A LOT” of people have pirated Machinarium. As Julez said, it’s detestable either way when it comes to these smaller studios. People don’t deserve to get whatever they want for free. That’s not the way the world works and anyone that thinks so is delusional. Not a bad person, just completely out of touch.

  13. No offense to anyone, but piracy is piracy. There’s a reason it is called such, instead of “sharing on mass levels not for profit.” If you copy a game and distribute it for free, that’s not only cheating the creator of that product out of their hard earned money, it’s also encouraging the cycle of piracy to ensure that this continues to happen in the future.

    See, the problem with internet piracy is that it’s a faceless crime. Not to say it’s victimless, but for the most part, those of us who torrent never see the people we’re stealing from. It’s easy to download millions of bytes and rationalize that no one’s going to be harmed by your actions because it’s just on the internet and the victim is a big company. Those big companies aren’t invulnerable, though, and every time a legitimate sale is denied through piracy, it just means more and more people lose their jobs.

  14. [quote comment=”12675″]Cloning an object in someone’s house? Really? That’s the lengths we’re going to here to justify piracy now?

    I would submit that anyone that is making that argument has never made a product that they wanted to sell. Come back to this discussion after you’ve gone and made something and seen it distributed for free when you wanted (read: needed) to make money off of it. The entitlement issues there are astounding, really. Just because something is digital does not mean it’s not real. Anyone arguing that knows that what they’re arguing is total garbage, and frankly, I’m not willing to engage that person on the issue any longer.

    Like I said, people pirate stuff, I can live with that. But saying it’s not wrong because a)developers didn’t do a good enough job to keep me from doing something illegal so I’m not responsible and b) it’s not really stealing because I didn’t take a product… both of those are hogwash of the highest degree.

    And what does it matter how they got the numbers? To me it doesn’t change if they just took them away and said “A LOT” of people have pirated Machinarium. As Julez said, it’s detestable either way when it comes to these smaller studios. People don’t deserve to get whatever they want for free. That’s not the way the world works and anyone that thinks so is delusional. Not a bad person, just completely out of touch.[/quote]

    Eddy, I’ve said twice that I’m not justifying piracy. I used the cloning thing as an example to make the point that copying some data online is a potential sale lost, not property lost. It doesn’t equate, as you can always, always sell whatever you’ve got online to someone, whereas if someone steals your property, you don’t have it anymore, it’s gone, no sale. When you’ve had something stolen, you’re also not only losing a profit, you’re losing what you made. I didn’t say that it wasn’t real. I made the point that it’s different when you’re selling something that, when it comes down to it, is data that can be copied very easily, and like I also said, if you put it out there without putting any protection on it beyond having access to the data = ability to play the game, then it’s also an issue on your part. I mean, I don’t want my game to get pirated, why would I not set up a system where people have to at least log into some thing and confirm that they’ve bought the game before playing? Obviously, there’s no reason for game studios to trust that people will buy their game legitimately, so why not do something like that. If I were to be making, say, machinima, and I could sell it, why would I put it out there in a downloadable format instead of having people pay to stream it if I knew that if I put it out there in a downloadable format, without any protection I might add, that people can easily copy it and redistribute it? Yeah, people can find issue with the fact that it may not be accessible in all cases. Fine, i’ll put it out there with some protection. Then people come back and complain about the protection on it. I mean, come on. Games aren’t properly protected, that doesn’t mean that the people who download them freely aren’t responsible, it means just that: that games are not properly protected, and the games that are protected by DRM are usually flushing money down a system that hasn’t been working, and sometimes in cases where the money doesn’t want to be spent on a system with better protection, because people feel like they don’t need to, that people shouldn’t be downloading freely regardless. For the amount of money and time that is put into games, that’s not an excuse either. And when you’ve got a situation where instead of paying the $60 cost for an actual product, you’re charged with a $1,000 – $7,000 fine minimum, it’s not a fair system.

    And what do you mean how does it matter? If any studio goes out and says I got pirated by X amount of people, one, they’ve got free publicity, two, they’ve got everyone in the world feeling sorry for them and buying up their stuff. A 90% piracy rate is ridiculous, and it means something very significant not only for the issue of piracy, but to the value that people who could have bought their game saw it as having, and that’s if that percentage is real. What if they got their numbers by stating that they should have made X amount of sales and because they didn’t, X amount of their games must have been pirated. That would be a bogus percentage. And like I said in my comments, some people have used the current stigma around torrent sharing to try to make money off of copyright cases, not regain losses from them, and in some cases even promote themselves. “Piracy” is wrong, but there are inherent issues with the ideology behind calling something piracy in some cases vs. it not being piracy in others, as well as the fact that when it comes down to money lost vs. money gained, it’s not a one sided issue.

    Also, a lot of the remedies for boil down to companies having legal control over how people share things, when they share it. If I had to choose between a company telling me when I legally had a right to do something like sharing, and them having to spend extra money on protection, yeah they can spend extra money on protection. Unfortunately, you have to decide who the power is going to go to, and someone is going to lose out if they don’t cover their bases properly.

    And you didn’t comment on the fact that many people who pirate wouldn’t have been able to buy the product anyway.

  15. And to make the point about security, some studios state that they release on consoles because of the security. Consoles are like controlled systems for games, so why is a similar system for an XBOX 360 arcade game download not implemented online? And if a studio can’t pay for something like that, why not release a game with someone like, say, Steam, who can? And if Steam won’t pick up the game, either the studio needs to figure out how to protect their stuff, or deal with whatever comes. I mean, if Microsoft wasn’t going to pick up a game that someone decided to develop, what choice would that person or group of people have in the matter. They wouldn’t be able to release it on an XBOX 360, plain and simple. The PC’s great because of the exposure that smaller studios can get with the freedom that they have with publishing their stuff, but them being smaller doesn’t excuse them from securing their stuff as best as is possible, and not just leaving their product out in the open and complaining when someone comes and picks it up. And with the home example, with that even. You’ve got a home, you’ve put your valuables inside your home, you’d lock your door, I would think. Close your windows, etc., and only give access to your home to people who you approve of for whatever reason. That needs to happen for games. If someone were to break that lock on the door, smash your windows, well that’s different in regards to security than you leaving all of those things open, stating that you’re having an issue with people waltzing into your home, legally fining people for doing so, and, in the end, not putting a lock on your door or closing your windows.

  16. Here’s the thing: when companies spend money on DRM policies, people are still going to pirate it. So… if people are going to pirate it no matter what you do, why spend the money on it?

    Also, I didn’t comment on “the fact that many people who pirate wouldn’t have been able to buy the product anyway” because that’s even more ludicrous of a “fact” than you claim the Machinarium number to be. Where did you pull that research from? I trust at least their studio had a way of collecting their numbers before posting them. How much is “many”? Half? Ten? 80 percent? How do you know they couldn’t buy it? Did you do a poll? Can I see your numbers? Pics or it didn’t happen?

    And yes, any fine is a fair system, because what people are doing is wrong. If they know the penalty and know it’s wrong, then there is no passing the buck when it stops at them. Like, if you know there’s a potential for getting a fine, and then commit the act anyway, you knowingly accepted that when you did it.

    Like I said before, I’m not really willing to engage on this discussion very far if people are going to act like stealing isn’t stealing. You’re now at the point where you’re arguing that breaking a lock on someone’s house is different than leaving the doors open. It’s not different at all. If I don’t lock my home, it’s my business, but it’s everyone else’s choice to come in and invade my property. I can’t believe you’re seriously arguing this at this point.

    If this is the route we’re going to keep going down here, the discussion is going to be moot.

  17. [quote comment=”12682″]Here’s the thing: when companies spend money on DRM policies, people are still going to pirate it. So… if people are going to pirate it no matter what you do, why spend the money on it?

    Also, I didn’t comment on “the fact that many people who pirate wouldn’t have been able to buy the product anyway” because that’s even more ludicrous of a “fact” than you claim the Machinarium number to be. Where did you pull that research from? I trust at least their studio had a way of collecting their numbers before posting them. How much is “many”? Half? Ten? 80 percent? How do you know they couldn’t buy it? Did you do a poll? Can I see your numbers? Pics or it didn’t happen?

    And yes, any fine is a fair system, because what people are doing is wrong. If they know the penalty and know it’s wrong, then there is no passing the buck when it stops at them. Like, if you know there’s a potential for getting a fine, and then commit the act anyway, you knowingly accepted that when you did it.

    Like I said before, I’m not really willing to engage on this discussion very far if people are going to act like stealing isn’t stealing. You’re now at the point where you’re arguing that breaking a lock on someone’s house is different than leaving the doors open. It’s not different at all. If I don’t lock my home, it’s my business, but it’s everyone else’s choice to come in and invade my property. I can’t believe you’re seriously arguing this at this point.

    If this is the route we’re going to keep going down here, the discussion is going to be moot.[/quote]

    That was the point I made about DRM; it doesn’t work in most cases, so why keep using it? Use something different, something that works, again, like having your game authenticated through some type of server like Steam.

    Most people who pirate are either in their teens, for example. There are percentages on that online. Teens often don’t have their own direct source of income. Note: that’s not an excuse, or a defense of action; simply a statement.

    A fine is a fair system, but are you truly saying that it’s okay for a movie developer to get $1,500 – $7,000 for a $30 film? Send random letters requiring people to pay that $1,500 or risk being sued for $150,000, based on little more than an IP number? I mean, we could get into the territory of saying that speeding tickets should be $100,000 then, as I would think that speeding is more dangerous than pirating, and prevention of that is more of a priority. The fine has to equate to the crime, and when it doesn’t, it’s either a matter of weak punishment, or of gain, and in the case of copyright issues, in most cases, it’s about a whole lot more gain than a creator would initially have had.

    Also, breaking into someone’s say, private estate and walking onto someone’s private estate isn’t different, but if you’re not doing anything to stop someone from doing just that, and simply put up a sign that says “don’t come onto this property” or a low fence, then how can you seriously complain about it? I mean, look at it on a large scale world-example. We’ve got borders for the US, but what if the government didn’t bother to send out border guards, or build fences, or send out drones or any of that. Could they really complain about more people coming illegally into the US if they did? There has to be a better effort on protection because as you stated, DRM doesn’t really work in most cases, yet it’s really expected that that low fence is going to prevent someone from hopping over. That makes as little sense to me as the act of piracy when you’ve got the money to pay for it.

  18. I’m guessing you don’t own property. If someone really wants to get into your house, a lock isn’t going to stop them from kicking a door in or breaking the window. So yes, if someone just walks into my house, I think I can complain about it.

    It’s the same with DRM. One lock isn’t going to stop people from doing what they shouldn’t be doing.

  19. I frankly can’t believe what I’m reading here.

    So, people are now ENTITLED to having games even if they can’t pay for them? There are a lot of things that I believe all people are entitled to in civilized society, but video games are not included in that list.

    Furthermore, this matter of putting blame on the victim is crazy. If I go beat up an old lady and take her money, no one can really blame me because she didn’t carry a can of mace to stop me? Or if someone breaks into my house, steals my stuff and assaults my family, then you’re telling me that the fault lies squarely upon my shoulders because I don’t have armed guards patrolling in my front lawn? These are exaggerated examples, obviously, but so is the idea that the victims must bear sole responsibility for the crime committed against them. It also overlooks the fact that someone is very clearly committing a crime in each of these examples, regardless of whether or not the victim was “asking for it.”

    We’re all playing along with this “stealing stuff from my house” analogy, but it’s distracting us from the key issue. This question about piracy is purely about economic concepts.

    TravellingManIII, it sounds like you just don’t believe in, or understand, the concept of intellectual property and the laws that protect it. Intellectual property is a product of someone’s labor and, legal, differs in no way from any tangible product produced by any form of labor. The fact that it can be easily copied is irrelevant. The only reason IP laws exist is to ensure that intellectual property can be protected by the same laws that protect physical property.

    When I buy a Playstation, there is no need for it to be protected by a law that imposes a penalty for copying and distributing the console because it’s not possible to do so. But if I could somehow “clone” Playstation consoles and distribute them to my friends, there would have to be a law against doing so.

    For a market economy to function, producers must have some measure of confidence that their right to profit from the sale of things they produce by their own labor and/or capital will be protected by law. If not, then there is no incentive to produce anything because the producers have no recourse when their products are stolen or otherwise unpaid for. Simple economics dictates that a good is produced and the consumer pays for it. Unless the producer is giving away goods out of charity, any absence of payment on the part of the consumer equates to theft. Plain and simple.

    Now, if you just don’t believe in the notion that intellectual property should not be protected by the same laws that protect physical products of labor, then that’s an entirely different, and far more complicated, conversation.

  20. Although I have not bought Starcraft 2, I would want to play it. It is sold out where I live in and I desperately want to play it. However that would not justify me going online to pirate the game. It is illegal. That is why it is called PIRACY!
    For those of Time Traveller 3 I quote”If I were to, say, buy a movie, and watch it with 7 other people. Those 7 other people wouldn’t be paying for the movie, yet they’re getting the experience, and online, that’s piracy.” That is a terrible excuse. If you bought said DVD you would note you paid probadly $50 For it while comparison buying a movie ticket is only $10. There is a difference. So in no way should you pirate stuff.

  21. [quote comment=”12698″]Although I have not bought Starcraft 2, I would want to play it. It is sold out where I live in and I desperately want to play it. However that would not justify me going online to pirate the game. It is illegal. That is why it is called PIRACY!
    For those of Time Traveller 3 I quote”If I were to, say, buy a movie, and watch it with 7 other people. Those 7 other people wouldn’t be paying for the movie, yet they’re getting the experience, and online, that’s piracy.” That is a terrible excuse. If you bought said DVD you would note you paid probadly $50 For it while comparison buying a movie ticket is only $10. There is a difference. So in no way should you pirate stuff.[/quote]

    Also, watching it with someone is different than making them a copy.

  22. Piracy is a grey area for a reason. Comparing it to real life laws like Breaking and Entering or beating up and old woman just isn’t fair. It’s far more of an ethical dilemma than it’s real life $1,000,000 suit counterparts.

    If piracy didn’t exist, it’s not like all the people who pirated Star Craft II would have bought a copy. So, it shouldn’t be considered “lost profits”. It’s an interesting way of gauging your games interest, and that’s about it.

    There are games I own now, that if it wasn’t for piracy, I wouldn’t have got to “try before you buy”, and I certainly wouldn’t have spent $70 on them. PC gaming is SO different than Console gaming (rentals, trade-ins, people don’t usually sit with their friends at a PC, lol etc) that if a Dev won’t release a demo, we’re going to sample their game some other way.

  23. Julez,

    With all respect…it is not a grey issue. It is illegal. It is stealing. It is obtaining something that you didn’t pay for.

    You are right in that not all of the people who pirated SCII would have bought it, but more of them would have.

    It is not an “interesting way of gauging your games interest”.

    People use that excuse all the time, but look at Machinarium. 85% of the people who played it didn’t buy it. Now, by all accounts, it’s a pretty good game and only 20 bucks. But they pirated it and didn’t buy it. That excuse doesn’t hold water.

    Not to mention that just because they don’t release a demo doesn’t give you the right to break the law!

    There are other ways of finding out about a game. Reviews are a big one.

    You’re right about PC gaming being different, in that so many people seem to think they are above the law.

    It’s a shame b/c that kind of thing is killing PC gaming. People complain about games, like Alan Wake, being canceled for PC, but I promise that piracy was at least one of the factors.

    You say that “if a Dev won’t release a demo, we’re going to sample their game some other way.” But that is passing the buck. At the end of the day, it is you who is deciding to break the law to “try” a game out.

    The pirates make their choices. No one is forcing them.

  24. I think Jeff Vogel pretty much sums it up with this, “I think that the best way of evaluating the morality of an action is to ask, “What would happen if everyone who wanted to do it did it?” Littering and dumping toxic waste into rivers are wrong because, if everyone who wanted to do those things did them, our streets would be choked with refuse and our drinking water would be half benzene.”

    and this,

    “Sorry. You don’t get everything you want in this world. You can get piles of cool stuff for free. Or you can be an honorable, ethical being. You don’t get both.”

  25. Yup. I am making that choice consciously. There are the pirates that steal just to steal, and there are pirates like me, who use it to find out about things.

    I’m not saying that’s a justification or that I think I’m not breaking the law. I am very aware of those things. But I think it’s moronic to spend $70 bucks on something you don’t know anything about, especially in PC gaming where your computer’s specs are as important to your enjoyment of the game as the developer’s effort. A simple review isn’t going to tell you how a game “feels”.

    I agree with you about Machinarium, that was in my original post.

    It’s a grey area because it’s hard to stop, hard to enforce, and hard to really define the terms of copyright infringement when not every country as the same Laws. Many torrent sites are located in places like Sweden, which does NOT have the same copyright laws as we do here in North America.

    My points about not having the ability to trade in games or buy them used is huge.

  26. On DRM, all that it has to do is delay piracy for the first month or two because that is where most of the sales come from. also as I said on Ep 7 of The GamerSushi Show, those who complain that “honest” gamers are being treated like criminals if 90% of world of goo’s (or 85% of Machinarium) copy’s are pirated, then 90% (or 85%) of those gamers are criminals and therefore studio’s have a right to treat us like criminals because if you don’t pirate games you are a minority.

  27. Julez,

    You are right, but not everyone trades in games or buys used ones. I never buy used games. I rarely trade them in. I hate buying a game knowing I will trade it in.

    A review should be enough. I read reviews from several different websites and thanks to Metacritic, you can find dozens of them in one place. I know enough about what kinds of games I like to read a review and know if I will like the game. I don’t think I have some special ability or anything. Anyone can do it.

    And the fact that the laws are different in other countries DOES NOT make it a grey area. The laws in the country you live in are what matters.

    In some countries, it is illegal to kiss in public. I don’t care. I am not in that country.
    In some countries, it is legal to smoke pot. Don’t care, I am not in that country.

    Tell you what,lol, go smoke pot on a street corner and when the cops arrest you, tell them it is a grey area b/c you can smoke pot in Amsterdam.

    But at least you do admit that it is illegal, so props to you there,lol.

  28. I’m in Canada. We do smoke pot on our porch and in our front yard, cops do very little about it. It’s not something that really gets enforced here unless you’re a big dealer or you’re asking for trouble.

    Again, my point about a review “not being enough” wasn’t about not trusting people, because I do know a few reviewers that I usually agree with. However, with PC games, you need to know how a game will RUN on your machine. It’s not like a console where the thing is DESIGNED only for 1 system.

    If drugs were legal, I wouldn’t start doing Heroin. Drugs aren’t illegal because they’re bad for people, they’re illegal because governments can’t regulate them enough to make profits on them. If PIRACY was legal, game sales wouldn’t really change much. The people who know how to steal would continue, and the people who DON’T pirate now either don’t know how, or have a morale issue with it.

    It’s not like anyone is actually tempted to pirate, but doesn’t because they’re afraid of the RIAA… lololololol.

    So therefor, the law is useless. It comes down to the kind of person you are. I choose to be a greasy online thief sometimes. BUT, some devs / bands / films owe my small contribution to the fact that I was able to get a little taste first =).

  29. Don’t give us the lame excuse that because you don’t know how the game will run on your machine you’re entitled to steal a copy to find out. You’ve already spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, throwing assorted components into your pc and spending all sorts of time optimizing your settings to make all these components work in sync with one another and now you expect us to believe that you’re gunshy about buying a game because it might crash the first time you play it because of the way you have your video card set up? That’s nonsense. Besides, isn’t tinkering with your system to make games run properly one of the things that makes pc gamers so much smarter than the rest of us simpletons who just toss a game into a console and press power?

    Besides, much like reviews of games, there’s this fascinating thing called the internet where people discuss this sort of problem. If you’re worried about the stability of a game, you can find out if people with similar systems have any trouble running it. Yeah, maybe there isn’t anyone who has the exact same setup, but I’m sure the combined brainpower of so many brilliant pc gamers can
    give you a pretty good idea of what to expect when you install the game.
    Back when I played PC games, I never stopped to think about whether or not a game would run on my system provided I met the system requirements printed on the box. I don’t remember ever throwing down cash for a game and then get it home to find out I couldn’t run it for some reason.

    Also, the question of whether the laws are effective or enforced is irrelevant to this conversation. They are still the laws and they are still being broken. The fact that the local cops don’t fine/arrest you for smoking pot on your porch doesn’t change the fact that they still have the legal right to do so if they wanted. There is a big difference between talking about the letter of the law and the enforcement of the law.

  30. Lol zayven. I said I wasn’t justifying it, I was giving My reason, my excuse, and even called myself a greasy thief. What more do you want from me? You’ve got me cornered!!

    Resident Evil 3 was better Anthony XD. I actually still own it… YAH I PAYED FOR IT!

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