Piracy… again


Reading this rant about piracy and DRM was a very peculiar experience. The guy says some things I can agree with, some things I’ll never agree with and some other things that just left me confused (drivers? what? pirates don’t have to deal with DRM drivers).

The guy advocates the use of DRM, and I suppose that’s hardly a surprise  – why would I be talking about him otherwise? – but he is clearly against the use of badly coded DRM. Mmmhhh, interesting.

Basically, what he’s saying in that rant is that if you are going to implement DRM, you have to do it right so it pisses off the least amount of people. And that takes work, hard work. So, let me get this straight: You have to pay the license to use the DRM (money spent, a few customers lost, game requires more resources than it would otherwise), then implement it early on and work hard at it so nobody complains about malfunctions (much more money spent) in order to get a few days or weeks without a pirated copy circulating the torrents (gained money: ???). We end up unsure if the benefits of DRM out-weight the cost.

This tells me one thing, the only one I need to know: He’s a man of principles. And that’s fine by me, nobody has any hard evidence of the DRM’s impact on sales, so the whole issue turns into a matter of principles more than anything else.

However, there is one thing that I can’t get over with:

Most gamers tend to justify their THEFT by saying that they wanted to try the game first before buying it – so they pirated it. Bollocks. Theft is theft. I can’t go next door and “borrow” my neighbor’s Ferrari just because I wanted to see what it drives like.

Piracy is NOT theft. You may feel it’s theft and you are being robbed, but that doesn’t make it theft. Piracy is copyright infringement.

I especially love the analogy, particularly because it doesn’t make the least bit of sense (you can drive a car around before buying it). Because, first of all, one owns a Ferrari, but one doesn’t own a videogame, one owns a license to play a videogame. See the difference? Well, apart from that, the users would have to be able to “copy” cars. Therefore, if you want to pirate a ferrari you would only have to walk a few meters to a very crowded place at plain sight in the middle of a shopping (a torrent site), copy one of the cars that they have (download a game) and drive away (play the game). Oh, and in this weird world, Ferraris cost 60 dollars at most and car companies are still magically solvent in spite of all the piracy. And the cars pirated use a little bit less fuel and go a little bit faster than the ones sold. And cars may be incompatible with the user, but there are not that many ways of making sure if you’ll be able to use the car after buying it. Oh, and there are no refunds.

And the car may not actually run properly and you’ll have to wait for patches to be released that would fix the problems. And the steering wheel may be missing, but hey, you only need to pay 15 dollars more for that to be included (badly made DLC).

And after you bought the car you have to sign an EULA. You know, a binding contract. After I bought the freaking car you won’t let me drive it until I sign a binding contract? Why would that make any kind of sense?



6 thoughts on “Piracy… again

  1. Novack

    Poor soul! control your temperature… You are dedicating a post to a rant from Derek Smart?

    Jeez, you are better than that…

  2. Diego Doumecq

    Nah, it’s not a rant (that tag is LYING I tell you!).

    Oh well, yes, it’s kind of a rant, but I had fun writing it, which sets this one apart from all the others. You know, coming up with such a twisted analogy, poking fun at the many, many faults of our industry was kind of therapeutic.

  3. Anon


    theft (thěft)
    The act or an instance of stealing; larceny.

    steal  /stil/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [steel] Show IPA ,verb, stole, sto⋅len, steal⋅ing, noun
    Use steal in a Sentence
    –verb (used with object) 1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
    2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.
    3. to take, get, or win insidiously, surreptitiously, subtly, or by chance: He stole my girlfriend.
    4. to move, bring, convey, or put secretly or quietly; smuggle (usually fol. by away, from, in, into, etc.): They stole the bicycle into the bedroom to surprise the child.
    5. Baseball. (of a base runner) to gain (a base) without the help of a walk or batted ball, as by running to it during the delivery of a pitch.
    6. Games. to gain (a point, advantage, etc.) by strategy, chance, or luck.
    7. to gain or seize more than one’s share of attention in, as by giving a superior performance: The comedian stole the show.

    When someone use words like theft or stealing in everyday life, they can mean any of a number of things.

    Of COURSE piracy is theft. And claiming that it isn’t, just makes you look pro-piracy.

  4. Dear Anon, the use of caps lock doesnt give you any kind of argumentative superiority.

    Ans using it as if would, just makes you look pro-idiocy.

    And as you like dictionary definitions, please show me where the definition of “theft” mentions copyright laws, because I cant find any reference, really.

    Neither I can find any real conection between the word “piracy” and the copyright infringement.

    No Sir, you are just another rage guy who doesnt like to go deep into the topics, just staying on the perimeter without any kind of insight or compromise.

    Read a bit more (the dictionary is a good start, I promise, but you are lookinf for the wrong words) and then, when you feel that you read enough… keep reading.

    And, maybe, after some time, you should be able to see why your intervention here was so infantile.

  5. Diego Doumecq

    I’m sorry, but discussing the definitions of words is not exactly what I intended. You see, what I was trying to say here is that stealing a handbag does not, in fact, equal to pirating music/movies/games/tools/etc.
    However, pirating software can be equated to photocopying a book, since both are copyright infringement, but you’ll never see that comparision anywhere because it doesn’t carry much weight.

    Let’s face it, pirating software is easily justifiable. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s “cheating” by a little bit, and we humans cheat at everything we can just by a little bit, so the next day we can look at ourselves in the mirror the next day and be able to say “I’m a good person”.

    Anyways, I’ll probably make a post about this subject some other time, expanding on the reasons why that is.

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