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I'm actually not sure what I think of this, I've not come across such a situation before. Initially I think I would mostly be wary. The guise of 'donations' has been used inaccurately in the past.
Thankyou for this question by the way. I've been having difficulty coming up with an answer I find satisfactory, which suggest to me that I need to reevaluate.
For the most part I would hope to look at the situation as something I would 'ignore'. As you mentioned in this hypothetical, there is no profit element on your side, and my product (I would hope) would advertise itself. So in a sense you would simply be providing free advertising, and absorbing all the 'demo' bandwidth costs on my behalf. Those are the apparent benefits. There is the issue of 'competing' with my own product for my own profits.
At the end of the day, I don't know. I would likely keep a careful eye on this, and try to find out exactly what sort of effect (positive or negative) such a situation might have for me, and make a decision based upon that instead. In either case, I would do my best to contact you and discuss the situation, possibly for our mutual benefit if such a thing is possible.
I will certainly contemplate this more. (And for anyone who knows who I am/what I sell etc, I'd prefer you contact me before you try to take a casual conversation on the internet as hard-boiled, irrefutable fact and decide to start making websites with my product all over them. ^_^)
Curious. There is a significant difference between someone who downloads my products to play them, and someone who copies my product in order to make a profit off my work.
The first makes no appreciable difference to me, with the -possible- gain that I might one day get customers from within that group of people.
The second directly challenges what little money I -do- make, by allowing a third party who has done and added nothing of value, to take a share of the profits from -my- work.
Honestly, no I don't think that big business products would be created in such a situation, but it's a false comparison.
For the record, I would consider the second of those options to be theft.
I try to avoid this subject, and unfortunately, I'm not always successful in that goal.
I'd like to offer you my perspective as an actual, real, game developer. Not some imagined or particularly convenient for your opinion one, a real one.
Some of what you say is correct, but just because those things are correct, does not mean you can make some wild leap into entirely unrelated contexts and base your reasoning on the previous thing.
Piracy is not theft.
WHEN someone downloads a copy of the games I create, it costs me absolutely nothing. -NOT ONE CENT-. I don't care if they enjoy the game, or thing it's the worst thing to have been created since the wheel. Those people are completely, and utterly irrelevant. The ONLY people who matter, are my customers. I create a product that they enjoy, and they pay me for that service.
I will not spend money paying tha 'mafiaa' thugs to bankrupt some sap because he didn't have the cash to pay me. I won't waste my time, money and effort trying to 'punish' or 'disrupt' the imagined boogey-man. I put every cent I have, and every moment of my development time -exactly where it's needed-, improving the product, and making the next product FOR MY CUSTOMERS.
If people don't want to pay me, that's their business. They haven't 'stolen' from me. "Potential profit" IS NOT PROFIT.
Because I spend my time and effort on making products that people want, they buy them. Occasionally I even get the "big bad evil pirates" buy my products. Not because I punished them (and my customers with them) but because they liked what I had to sell, and knew that paying me for it means I can make more.
Patents are designed to protect the -greater good-, in that these ideas which have been invented, will not be kept secret, but instead be made known, in exchange for a -limited- monopoly while the inventor recoups their costs. Whatever the current system, I believe the intent was not to make 'inventors' sit around all day without doing any actual work to see their ideas become reality.
From a software developer perspective, 'inventing' an idea is trivial, it's the hard work of turning that concept into a reality that has ANY value whatsoever. There is -nothing- good about the idea of making nothing, but coming up with lots of 'inventions', and forcing those who -can- and -will- do the hard work, to pay in order to actually create.
heh, my second thought was, "Oh wait, yet more kinda cool tech I'll never use."
Wireless is interesting and all, but personally I prefer my data to arrive at the other end. I'm more of a fan of the good old ethernet cable all things considered. Will be interesting to see when we start putting more data over those cables (ie: the 'new' idea of plugging your screen into an ethernet cable), avoids a great many of the issues something like this brings up. (Security, packet loss, expected transfer rates, expected transfer distances.)
I'm inclined to disagree here... while these 'uneducated' people may not be able to solve the issue in it's entirety, they have one significant advantage; perspective. Some of the greatest technologies we have today were made not by the 'educated' people who were busy looking at the problem, but by someone having an unusual perspective on the issue which all the rest wrote off before even thinking about it.
This 'game' gives the opportunity for all those -other- perspectives to get a little light, and maybe, just maybe, start growing.
Alright, I'll give you that. How's this for a rephrase: "There is no logical business sense to DRM in it's stated purpose."
Sony would be making a killing on development licenses if stopping pirates was the real reason for DRM.
I'm curious, do you count the near 6 billion OTHER people who did not buy a game as a "loss" as well?
As a game developer myself, I must say that you've got it wrong.
These 'pirates' are NOT A LOSS.
There is -no- appreciable cost to them having a "pirated" version of the software, so spending the millions they do on DRM schemes is complete and utter lunacy. Instead they should reinvest those millions into making their games better, and enticing "those who didn't buy", or even -not- spending it at all, and requiring lower returns to still make a profit. There is NO logical business sense to DRM.
No, I don't equate those two. Distasteful as the child pornography idea is, it is still a thought-crime law, and that's a very slippery slope for the government to have gone down. We're already seeing the start of this. First it's possession of images of a criminal act, then it's 'artificially replicated' versions (re; simpsons porn = child porn?), next is 'things that kinda look similar' (small breasted women = child porn?). Add in the fact that our current government has openly equated disagreement with their policy to 'advocating such crimes', and at the very least the slander begins to be an issue.
Sure,... they've not locked anyone away -yet-, for simply disagreeing.
Depends... do you consider you still have a life if you're locked away in a dank dark hole, and your name is forever slandered with the title 'pedophile', simply because you disagree with thought-crime laws?
That actually made me laugh out loud... well done