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Comment Re:As the great Bartle said (Score 3, Insightful) 337

Seeing as no one plays for 1 month continuously, that's a rather weak argument. I suppose you could argue that while you're traveling, you're not casting spells and stuff, reducing server load *shrug*

It's not really that difficult to grasp his point, but you seem to be doing a great job of missing it anyway.

If you pay for a month of play, there's only a certain number of minutes you can physically play the game - that would be your play time (not sleeping, working, or doing other normal things). Let's say you only have 1800 minutes of play time every month - that's 60 minutes per day, the amount of time a normal healthy person with a life would have to play. Now, that 60 minutes could be spent battling new monsters, going on raids, exploring new areas, etc. Things that might be considered fun. Or, from that 60 minutes, you could spend 10 minutes fighting and exploring, and 50 minutes travelling to/through places you've already been. That's 50 minutes worth of content that that Blizzard don't have to create, and it means you have to spend 5 more days to do what you should have been able to do in 1 day.

And then what do you think happens? The player is left unfulfilled because they didn't get much done that month because of all the time spent travelling, they didn't get to fight that new monster on the other side of the map, they barely even reached the entrance to the new dungeon, or they didn't reach the level they wanted to, or whatever it is MMO players do (I'm not one). So now they have to pay for another month. Ergo, wasting the player's time with bullshit like travelling leads to more revenue for the developers.

Comment Re:does an iphone.... (Score 3, Insightful) 582

What's wrong with the labels is that they're usually not used in reference to vaguely-defined styles of gaming, but that they're branded against people (as in "casual gamer" vs "hardcore gamer") or consoles. Which becomes a major problem when you have someone such as myself, who enjoys playing Wii Sports, Mario Galaxy, Boom Blox or LEGO Batman on Wii one day, then playing Sins of a Solar Empire, Supreme Commander, DEFCON or Starcraft on PC another day. God forbid I should also play Peggle, Spore or World of Goo on PC and MadWorld, No More Heroes or House of the Dead Overkill on Wii, because that just fucks everything up and the little self-assuring pigeon-holing definitions become as pointless as A/V-philes arguing that DVD is for "casual movies" and Blu-Ray is for "hardcore movies" .

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

Sorry, but it's a little difficult to take you seriously after this little blunder:

I'd argue the comparison to printing counterfeit money (in that someone gains but nobody else directly loses from it), and then you'd look quite the fool.

counterfeiting money devalues the currency, undermining the entire economy and making everyone slightly poorer.

people only care about value when they're buying or selling something. That's the only time value is important.

Hmm, you wash your hands of the counterfeiting comparison by saying it devalues everyone's copies of the currency and therefore is wrong (I can only assume morally wrong, since you don't believe "illegal" is actually wrong at all). Then all of a sudden, the argument is that nobody really cares about value, it's only important if you're buying or selling (and no surprise, you even ignored the impact of it then). Bravo. Well, I guess a mistake like that is the only logical conclusion when your whole argument is structured solely to absolve you of any morally wrong-doing just to help you sleep at night.

I also can't help but notice you didn't take me up on that offer to raise funds for a game no one knows anything about, from a developer no one's heard of. Quite telling that even you yourself doesn't believe that system would work.

Bye bye now! Come visit us when you grow up!

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

It isn't. Software is subject to sales contracts like anything else. But no one is obligated to enter into such a contract: just because you want to sell me a copy of a game for $50 doesn't mean I have to get it from you, rather than from someone else who's offering it for free.

But the person who's offering it for free obviously does not have any legal distribution rights, so you're guilty of receiving stolen goods.

"It's wrong to harm people" is a general tenet of most systems of morality.

And yet, I have this feeling that illegally obtaining a work you have no right to, is conveniently not a part of this magical "morality" you refer to.

No, it's still quite clear. You're never obligated to buy a product from someone just because he really, really wants your money.

But you're not obligated to steal it either, so why do you?

You're just rephrasing what I said. You think they own a particular arrangement of toaster parts, and I'm sorry, but that's just stupid. You can't own an arrangement any more than you can own a color, or a length, or a weight. It's an attribute of a thing, not an actual thing.

Obviously you can, otherwise we wouldn't have a whole subset of laws specifying how you can and what you can do with it. But that's really irrelevent, since you didn't even address the argument.

It's not scarce; there's no justification for preventing me from using a certain arrangement of parts when it can't possibly interfere with anyone else's use of that same arrangement.

You're right about one thing: there's no justification for YOU to not steal property. We call that being selfish.

Once again, just because someone expends labor to draw up the original plans for the toaster, that doesn't mean they "own" that arrangement of parts.

Once again, it DOES, that's why there's laws for it.

Still having trouble seeing the difference between morality and legality, huh? That's a shame. Maybe when you're older you'll be able to grasp the distinction.

Still have trouble addressing arguments, being intelligent, and not being a criminal huh? Oh well, maybe that will all stop when you're dead.

Ha! No, sir, I'm not jealous, because that's what I do for a living. And amazingly enough, I don't need to sell copies in order to make a living as a developer.

You really need to break out of that fantasy world.

Yes, essentially, because they'd have no other choice. That would be the only way to get new games: paying developers to make them. And since everyone would still want new games, and still have money to spend on them, those developers would get paid.

If people today are willing to make a choice which could lead to fines or jail, I'm sure people in your fantasy world would have no problems hanging out for a few months while other people pay for the development of games you're too cheap to.

Once again, we've already established that there's nothing wrong with "interfering with the value" of another person's property, as long as you don't interfere with the actual property itself.

No, we haven't. YOU have this strange idea in your head that people care about physical property, when all they really care about is value. Reality is on a different page.

That's right (assuming you managed to obtain a copy of the book without trespassing, vandalism, theft, etc.).

Funny, I don't really see what you've lost physically by me trespassing? Because as YOU'VE established, nobody cares about anything except loss of physical property.

In that scenario, I made a big mistake when I agreed to get paid based on sales. Why would I do that, when I knew that someone could come along and distribute the book themselves?

Because there are laws there to protect you. Laws that you want to get rid of.

I know what my time is worth, and that figure has nothing to do with how many copies of my book eventually get sold; I should've demanded to get paid based on the time I spent writing, or paid a flat rate for writing the entire book.

Then you would have never had a job, because reality doesn't work like that.

Taken away from whom?

From legitimate owners of the copy, from the creators, from retailers, from distributers, from all the men in the middle....still having trouble with this one I see. Quite clearly you are a self-centred little prick who is not capable of caring about other people, or even simply extending to the logical conclusion that if they continue to lose out, they won't bother, which means you lose out too. Like I said, you definitely earned the 'Me Generation' moniker, you don't need to keep proving it.

Ah, then I guess it's settled: game development is service work, and so game developers should charge for their time instead of per copy. After all, that's what everyone else does who provides a service, right? I'm so glad we were able to reach an agreement on this point!

Right, and they charge for their time by placing that time cost into a fixed value, so users who choose to take advantage of the service know exactly what they need to pay and, thanks to the CURRENT system, almost exactly what they will be getting for their dollars. It's great that you feel the same way!

But you know, I can't help but feel a little confused...I mean, not too long ago you were telling me how software developers are evil because they sell physical products (the plastic discs that magically appear with content on them) at highly inflated prices. Isn't that what you were implying when you said "you think designing games can never be profitable in itself, and the only way to make a profit is by providing an essentially worthless service that anyone can do for themselves: making and distributing copies" and "You pay a plumber for the time he spends working. He doesn't fix your pipes for free and then force you to buy an overpriced certificate so he can recoup his costs", or even "Can you think of any other market where the important service is hidden behind a curtain, and every customer who wants a piece of it is instead required to pay for something else they don't actually need?"? Of course, the easy answer to that is: name me a product, any product, in which you aren't paying for any portion of the "hidden behind a curtain" service that goes into making the product. Just one. Should be real easy, if what you say is true.

When you hire a plumber, the price you pay is based on his hourly rate. If he charges $50 an hour and he works for two hours, you owe him $100. He knows what his time is worth and charges at least enough to turn a profit no matter how long he works. When you buy a game, you pay a fixed price. If two people buy a copy at $50 each, the developer makes $100. On the other hand, if 200 people buy a copy, the developer makes $10,000. But the developer has only done a fixed amount of labor! His costs are the same whether he sells 2 copies, 200 copies, or 2 million copies. Depending on the number of copies he sells, he might lose money, break even, or turn a profit. The price you pay per copy has no relation to the actual cost of development.

Yes that's exactly correct, that is a perfect legitimate way in which most services are different from development services. With development services, the developer (and other stakeholders) take a risk in doing all the work beforehand, without having any consumers commit to a sale. In this way, the advantages are:
-The stakeholders potentially stand to gain more to compensate for the risk they took. This is standard behaviour in any game theory.
-It encourages developers to aim to create better products to cater for the lack of pre-commitment
-In most cases, consumers know pretty much exactly what they are getting, at exactly what price
-Consumers are less likely to get stuck with shoddy work, undelivered promises, increased budget etc
The system is so advantageous that a whole set of laws was created to protect and encourage it it. In fact the only fatal flaw of such a system is people such as you: criminals. But of course you can hardly fault the system for that, since criminals will ruin pretty much any system. Even in your magical fantasy world, works can - and I guarantee you, will - be ruined by criminals. Only since you've decriminalised IP theft, there's nothing that can be done about it.

Still prepared to advocate piracy on the basis that it's ok, because surely the stakeholders are expecting the possibility of a loss, since that's just a possible result of taking such a big risk, right? Fine. Meanwhile, I'll just stand outside a casino and mug the winners, because hey, they're taking such huge risks with their money, surely they were expecting to lose it, it's not like I'm doing anything that couldn't have happened naturally anyway. And as you've so often implied, there's no moral difference between someone losing value naturally, and having it taken from them intentionally by force. Thanks for that!

Uh, because the seats smell bad and I have to smell that while I'm driving.

So? What's your physical loss? What's your loss of utility? You're not selling the car, what's your loss of value?

Please, keep up these personal insults. It's always fun to see someone thrashing around desperately after they've run out of arguments because their position is logically bankrupt.

Please, keep ignoring the arguments, dishing out insults, then acting surprised at any form of retaliation because you never really had a logical position in the first place and would rather just troll. That's why you responded to my initial argument with off-topic pro-pirate bullshit right? Please, just go back to your Facebook page and stop bothering the intelligent grown-ups.

but in the sense that the labor has been done.

But not been paid for, which is why the cost is transferred to the end product, even though that happens with EVERY product and you can't seem to grasp the oh-so-simple concept.

The developer wrote a game, uninvited, just like the lawnmower man cuts your grass without being invited.

But the developer didn't write the game for you. You just took it and benefited from it without paying for it.

You only have an obligation to pay if it was performed at your request.

No, you only have an obligation to pay if you CHOOSE to benefit from the work. News flash: that toaster was never made for you either, the manufacturer just went ahead and made it without your approval, and then they EXPECT you to pay for it if you wish to use it? The NERVE!
No, it's more like somebody has grown a field of grass, mowed it, taken care of it, brought it around to your house, and asked if you'd like to pay for it. You reject the offer, but then go back later and mug him and take the grass anyway. You've CHOSEN to benefit from the labour he put into the grass, but have refused to abide by the sales contract whereby you pay him for his effort.

No, I don't believe that, but it is pretty telling that you've chosen to make up easily-attacked beliefs and attribute them to me.

Really? So when you compare a game developer making a game and offering it for sale to anyone who wants to use it; to a guy coming around to your house, mowing your lawn, an act from which YOU, and only you, would personally benefit from; you don't see the self-righteousness in that?
Wait, what am I asking you for? That would be like asking a serial killer if they thought murder was wrong. Or, God forbid, asking a pirate why they think they are entitled to other people's work.

Not true! He still has the ability to sell that very thing. It's just that people might not want it anymore once they have a better alternative. But that's business; you can't always expect that people will want to buy products from you. Buggy whip makers also found that although they still had the capability of selling buggy whips, it became harder to find customers who wanted buggy whips once cars became available.

Right. Because there's no legal or even moral difference between people not wanting your product because it's crap or because there's a better product available, and people not wanting your product because some moron broke into your store and destroyed all your products, or stole them and started selling them for lower prices or giving them away for free.

People continue using things that have little or no economic value (old appliances, for example), because they continue to provide utility.

Right, ok. It surely can't be because it would cost them more money to buy a new product that would, for them, do exactly the same thing, and that forces them to give up some of their personal value.

They also care about physical property, as you can see from the widely differing attitudes toward theft vs. copyright infringement (most P2P traders wouldn't consider shoplifting, for example, because they consider it immoral).

Oh, you mean pirates don't consider piracy to be morally wrong? I'm shocked!

In fact, people only care about value when they're buying or selling something. That's the only time value is important.

Too true. It's a shame, then, that people are ALWAYS buying or selling something. Unless you perhaps live in one of those self-sufficient hippie communes, or a remote African tribe or something.

Close, but not quite: you've mixed up cause and effect. Lots of people do it because there's nothing really wrong with it.

Close, but...nah, you're way off. People believe there's nothing wrong with it because they do it themselves and cognitive dissonance forces them to rationalise away any logic that states otherwise. The same is true of all criminals, you're nothing special.

I guess I'm still waiting for that person to come along, then. So far you've only managed to bring insults and bluster.

The whole point of your argument is that, rather than being a moral, law-abiding citizen, you'll just keep pirating until the whole industry and legal system changes just to suit your behaviour. Where I come from, that's called that extortion.

There's also these points I forgot to address last time:

With typical service work, nothing's hidden. A plumber's time is the scarce resource in that exchange: you could buy your own pipe fittings and such, but you'd still need his expertise to make them work. And that's exactly what he sells: his labor.

False. When you pay for the plumber's labour, you're also paying for his "hidden" expenses. How else do you think a plumber pays for all the tools they use? The van they drive? The fuel for it?

It's not like that demand is just going to sit around stewing. There won't be some dystopia where a bunch of angry gamers sit around with money and no games, a bunch of angry game developers sit around with ideas and no money, and the twain never do meet because copyright isn't there to bring them together through the magic of ridiculous lawsuits.

I did in fact address how this would fail in your fantasy world, but of course I glossed over an important fact: the context of the original argument was not based on your fantasy world, but in reality. So I pose the question again: If piracy is the legitimate market competing with the CURRENT games industry, what happens to the "competition" - piracy - when it pushes the legitimate industry out of the market? How would piracy survive if it is the legitimate competition you attribute it?

Oh, oh, this one's my favourite:

Funny, it sounds like you believe there's some moral or even legal obligation to pay for those services after they've been performed, but game development is somehow, inexplicably an exception to the rule.

Wow, you must have a short memory. Remember when we were talking about contracts, up there at the top of the post? That's where the "exception" comes from.

So why is software exempt from sales contracts?

It isn't. Software is subject to sales contracts like anything else.

Wow, that just blows my mind. It's hard to believe the human mind is capable of rationalising such disturbing conflicts.

You've also ignored, several times now, the idea of people valuing VALUE rather than material items. If it is the material items they value as you contiuously suggest, why the value of digital downloads? A digital economy? Information having monetary worth? Do you seriously not realise the stupidity of your argument where you're basically saying that people don't value Value itself, but they value physical items?

And I guess you're not a fan of subscription-based gaming then, since that wouldn't work in your fantasy world.

But hey, why listen to me? I'm just a regular person who happens to be vastly morally, logically and itellectually suprior to you, who isn't biased by conflict of interest and self-preservation (ie a willingness to justify my irrational, criminal behavior). It's totally unfair of me to totally destroy your fantasy argument merely because it makes no sense, wouldn't work, and even if it did, still wouldn't account for your criminal activities in the CURRENT world. It pains me to see someone as mentally disadvantaged as yourself take on someone way out of your league. Here Dorothy, let me throw you a bone: feel free to take on something a little more generic, it shouldn't be too hard to fight an argument that can't adapt or fight back. Meanwhile, us intellectual-like adults will be waiting right here for you to grow the fuck up and hopefully eventually become a moral, productive member of society. Studies suggest this may happen around about when you hit puberty.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

But this is losing sight of the original point.

Good point. So why is software exempt from sales contracts?

The difference that matters here between a sales contract and copyright law is that a contract carries with it a moral obligation, and the law does not. You are morally obligated to do what you promise to do; you're not morally obligated to obey a piece of paper just because it was signed by the governor or the president or the king or whoever signs bills into law in this alternate universe of yours.

I promise to kill you. What now?

If you don't see a moral difference between killing a sentient human being and copying a file without permission, then you sound awfully dangerous to be around. You're not posting from prison, are you?

Once again, show me the concrete rule that says murder is immoral but breaking other laws isn't.

For the record, I'm not religious. You don't need a Bible to see the difference between an act that directly harms someone and an act that reduces the likelihood that they'll receive a few dollars which they might never have received anyway.

True. But how about the difference between killing someone who's a matter of minutes away from dying anyway, and a game developer who's only a few hundred dollars short of a life-saving operation for his 10 year old son? Not so clear then, huh? Hey, you know what, maybe we could come up with a set of rules, let's call them "laws", that prevents either of these things happening, so then we don't have to make stupid assumptions about why some people deserve legal protection and others don't.

It's as if you think they own the concept of putting a few parts together in a certain arrangement!

No, not the concept of doing it, just the specific way they do it. I'm not sure what you're talking about, but it's certainly not copyright (your confusion makes all the more sense now!). Unless of course you believe that work has no value, and we're back to square one: why are you wasting time on something you believe has no value? If it has no value, surely it must be easy to re-construct your own version of it from scratch right?

If I buy those parts, I'm entitled to put them together into a toaster. If I don't know how to put them together, and I find someone out there who'll tell me how to do it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with enlisting their help. I have no obligation to reinvent the wheel just because I don't want to pay $100 for a toaster.

Right, but putting parts together into "a toaster", with or without an engineer/electrician's help, is not the same as putting them together knowingly in the exact same configuration as an existing product, which had actual people perform actual work on it (it's this crazy concept called labour). Unless of course you can prove that the exact replica is purely coincidence. Regardless, I fail to see how this relates to piracy. There's no piracy law that prevents you from putting together program code to make "a game" either, and as explained, even if you manage to make it identical to an existing game, no one will really care as long as you keep it to yourself.

If you see two stores selling identical items, one for $100 and the other for $25, is there anything wrong with buying it from the cheaper store? Of course not. It's a consensual transaction. They have an item, they can sell it for whatever price they want. If they think $25 is a fair price, then there's nothing wrong with buying it at that price.

And if a store is selling a toaster for $100, but a shady guy in an alley outside is selling the same product for $5 from the boot of his car, but without the fancy packaging, why, that's a perfectly legal transaction too, right?
But it is a valid point. Show me a store who's offering legal copies of video games for sale for $0, and I'll be more than happy to agree with you.

If by "smart person" you mean someone who's incapable of distinguishing between morality and legality, maybe. Luckily, most of us are smart enough -- under the traditional definition, meaning intelligent and informed -- to see the difference.

Ooh, nice comeback! It's almost like you don't have an argument to counter this...

Well, according to you and your friends at the RIAA, it isn't. But according to me, it is. What an impasse!

And about 300 years of international laws. And anybody who's intelligent enough to be able to create content. Jealous much? But hey, you do get brownie points for saying I'm only "friends" with the RIAA (an organisation from another country to me), rather than assuming I'm some kind of shill who works for them. I'm so proud of you and your organised crime friends!

Exactly as I've described: if there's enough demand for new games to be designed, then people will band together and hire game designers directly. Just because you can't sell copies of the finished game doesn't mean you can't get paid for writing it in the first place.

Right, that's the future magical candy world where criminals who previously pirated games knowing full details about them, would suddenly turn around and start paying top dollar for games they know nothing about even though you took away the legal incentive for doing so. Right? Right. Now, just for a laugh, try this: set up a website for a game. This game can be anything you want. It must not already exist, and any time spent on it comes out of your own pocket (this will be easy since you've acknowledged your time has no value). On this website you will accept pre-orders for the game, you can charge any amount you want. There are 4 conditions:
1) Your game must be of equal or greater quality than current "blockbuster" games on the market. This simulates market competition and technological progression.
2) Any costs involved in the game must come only from pre-orders, or otherwise out of your own pocket. this simulates financial practicality.
3) You cannot have any other full-time job while doing this. This simulates the idea of game development being a profession.
4) Anyone who you hire must also abide by these rules. This simulates the reality of team development, external contractors etc.
Think it's practical, or even possible? Prove it.

No, I'm afraid physically damaging another person's property is still nothing at all like copyright infringement, whether you do it with a key or with your bladder.

How so? Are you losing anything? Has the car lost its utility? Sorry, but just because you proclaim something, doesn't make it true.

It has nothing to do with the value of the car.

Then what does it have to do with?

Even if pissing on the seats did somehow raise the resale value of the car, that still isn't your choice to make. You can, however, piss on the seats in your car. Or you can build an identical copy of my car and piss on the seats in that one. Hell, you can build a thousand copies and piss in all of them. That's fine because it doesn't interfere with my car.

You can download any software you want, so long as it doesn't interfere with the value of MY software.

Or how about we try this: another analogy. Yes, I know, sigh, I thought you would have got it by now too. Obviously logic is too difficult for you.
I buy up all the properties around your house. I the turn them into, I dunno, let's say freeways or slums or something. You've lost nothing, I haven't touched your house, but your house has lost most of its value. Still a happy chappy?
Or this: you buy some shares in a company. I then proceed to drive that company into the ground by spreading rumors, illegaly manipulating the stock market, whatever.
Or: you write a book. Let's say it's...perhaps your memoirs. "Secret Confessions of a Habitual Criminal" or whatever. Your publisher promises to pay you for the work based on sales. Naturally you work really hard to make sure it sells well. Only I've stolen your near-finished copy and already published it, making millions of dollars. Your version sells nothing. Your publisher hasn't broken their promise. Maybe it's forced you to break your promise to pay back all the loans you got from your friends, but hey, that's not my problem, you made the promises not me. I've done nothing wrong, right?
Or how about...ahh, forget it. If you can't understand it by now, chances are you're mentally incapable of doing so. Sorry to hear that.

If he didn't care about the historical significance, he could've printed out his own sheet of paper with the same arrangement of colors on it for a few pennies. Pirates don't care about the historical significance of game discs.

It's a good thing they don't hold historical significance. Unfortunately, they still hold plenty of VALUE (from the work put into producing it) that is being taken unlawfully by pirates.

Yes, thanks for making my point for me! Game design is service work, even though you're afraid to admit it.

I never said it wasn't service work. In fact, service work is the whole reason why paying for work done "behind the curtains" as YOU called it, ISN'T exempt from having to be paid for by consumers who have CHOSEN to make use of the end product of that work. That's exactly why "game development is service work" is a great argument in my favor. Thanks for agreeing with me!

You pay a plumber for the time he spends working. He doesn't fix your pipes for free and then force you to buy an overpriced certificate so he can recoup his costs.

It does if it look at it the same way you look at software, that the consumer is being overcharged for a piece of paper that says "this work was performed and you owe $X". Commonly we call these bills or invoices. But in the same way you don't buy a bill when the plumbing work was just incidental, when you "buy" a game, you aren't being overcharged for the price of a plastic disc and packaging, you're paying for the effort that goes into making the content that's ON the disc. I'd hate to think what it is you believe people are paying for when they purchase downloadable content...

No, actually, it's not the same thing at all. Although I can see how if you foolishly thought it was the same thing, that might lead you to all sorts of hilariously wrong conclusions.

So you're saying the concept of Value doesn't translate into physical loss? At all? Then why so unhappy about the urinated car? Or devalued currency?

Wow, you must have a short memory. Remember when we were talking about contracts, up there at the top of the post? That's where the "exception" comes from.

Wow, you must be a retard. Remember how a game is sold, as in a SALE, as a way to compensate the developers for all the work that was involved in producing that part?

See, even though the money might not actually change hands until "AFTER the service is performed", you enter into a contract before the service is performed. You agree to pay $X in exchange for service Y, then they perform service Y, then you pay $X. If you didn't agree to pay, they wouldn't bother providing the service.

And by being a citizen of your country, you agree to abide by the laws or suffer the consequences. Seems some self-important people feel they have the right to pick and choose what laws to follow.

Let me emphasize again that in all these cases, you aren't obligated to pay just because they performed the service: you're obligated to pay because you promised to pay them for performing the service and then they did it. If someone comes to your house uninvited and mows your lawn, you don't owe him a dime, because you never agreed to pay him for it -- just like you aren't obligated to pay a game developer for work he chose to do without any input from you.

Let me emphasise this minor factor: NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO PLAY THE GAME. By CHOOSING to make use of it, you are becoming a user. This is absolutely NOTHING like someone mowing your lawns without your consent then expecting payment. If you do not benefit from the game, you do not have to pay for it, simple as that. Choose to benefit from it, you are by law and by morality making a promise to compensate the makers for their effort in a way that they deem necessary. Don't agree with their terms? Don't get the game. Why is that such a difficult concept for you? Frankly, it's pretty telling that you honestly believe that game developers are making their games solely for your own personal benefit, and as such this gives you full control over which games you play and how much/if you should compensate them for their work. I didn't realise that was the case, Your Majesty.

And you wonder why they call you the "Me Generation"...

Of course not, because that would make the store poorer: they'd have one fewer toaster than they had before. That's an important difference between physical items, like toasters, and information, like games or music files.

But in both cases they're losing something of value: the store loses a product which has a value, and the game maker loses the ability to sell something which has value. Since we know "value" directly equates to physical financial's not rocket science to see where this is going. Here's a hint: no one cares about concepts of utility or physical property. People only care about value.

Get this: the stores aren't using the toaster, where is their concept of utility for it? Stores don't care about physical property either, they'd be just as happy if the toaster was half the size. Hell, they'd be real happy if they didn't have to stock the shelves with any physical items at all, it'd sure save on paying shelf jockeys, buying furniture etc. It's almost as the store values the VALUE of the item rather than any other abstract or physical attribute. Value, of course, also being an attribute of information and digital content alike, as acknowledged by yourself on and off in various posts. That's why you can sell information. And people will pay for digital downloads.

Money, currency, is just a concept invented to be the physical representation of value, in order to control it (because of course without scarcity, value has no meaning). And hell, even that's being traded away for credit and debit cards, electronic funds etc. I know that facing this is more than inconvenience to you and your ideals that, screw the economy and crazy abstract concepts of value, it's easy to copy software and you more than likely won't get caught, and lots of people do it, therefore there's nothing really wrong with it. But unfortunately you have to face up to reality sometime, there's only so much you can curl up in a foetal position and proclaim yourself to be king of the internet before someone will call you on it with fact and logic.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

Sorry, but that's simply not true. Nothing like that appears anywhere in the text of US copyright law, except perhaps the mechanical licenses used by radio broadcasters.

I see you are unfamiliar with the concept of logical opposites then. Sales contract: you must fulfil conditions X in return for Y. Copyright: you cannot use/copy/distribute Y without fulfilling conditions X. Or hey, let's mix and match this crazy thing just to confuse you! Sales contract: you cannot take Y without fulfilling conditions X. Copyright: you must fulfil conditions X before you can use/copy/distribute Y. I know, it's really difficult to understand, but just concentrate real hard, I'm sure you'll get it eventually!

Incorrect. Murder is immoral for reasons that have nothing to do with its legality, and even if it were legal, it would still be immoral. Morality and legality are separate issues: copyright violation may be illegal, but that doesn't make it immoral.

I'm not aware of any definitive concept which makes murder immoral but copyright infringement not immoral. Perhaps you could elaborate? I know, I know, your big powerful God says murder is bad, while copyright law was only invented by a bunch of lowly humans during an era in which the most intelligent thinking human minds existed; but still, surely you have some definitive, concrete definition of those morals?

However, if both toasters were priced at $100, I wouldn't be willing to buy either of them. I'm not paying $100 for a toaster, period. If I could download pirated plans to build the same toaster from $10 worth of parts, I might do that. That doesn't mean I think toasters have no value, it means that the value of a toaster in my mind is less than $100 but more than $10.

And because you don't value the toaster at $100, it also doesn't mean you can take the toaster without paying anything. But it's lovely to see that your answer to "this product isn't worth $100!" is "this product is worth only the cost of materials from a third party, but knowing that I'm not smart enough to design my own toaster I have to abuse the work that somebody else put into designing one".

Or looking at it without the analogy, if you don't like the price of a video game, you're free to download programming tutorials legally off the internet and make your own game. And hey, as long as you don't release it publicly or sell it, I'm sure no one would even care if you made it as identical to the original as humanly possible, despite the trademark/copyright infringements. It wouldn't even cost you anything, and is more or less legal. Seems like the only reason to resort to piracy is pure laziness (or mental retardedness, attention seeking, etc).

No action I've committed, encouraged, or condoned implies that I believe games have no value, either, but whatever.

So despite acknowledgement that video games, as digital products, have value, you don't see anything wrong with obtaining something of value without remuneration for the work that went into creating that item of value? Despite the fact that it devalues every instance of that product, new and old, devalues the industry in general, and leads to annoying protective measures (that is then used to justify MORE crime)? Now THAT'S amusing!

Not just "other events", but other events -- deliberate actions, in fact -- which we all consider perfectly acceptable. By accepting those actions, we've already established that there's nothing inherently wrong with devaluing another person's property, so you can hardly expect to use that as an argument against copying.

Just like how if someone's going to die anyway, it doesn't really matter if they get killed, right? I mean, we accept "dying of old age", why not "dying of being shot"? Just as we accept that older games have less value, there should be no problem devaluing them by stealing them too, right? Or perhaps we could make the logical conclusion that as a culture we accept LEGITIMATE, LEGAL, NON-ARTIFICIAL, NON-DELIBERATE and/or UNAVOIDABLE devaluations of that product, while those that are done by committing crimes are not acceptable? At least that's what a smart person would do. I mean it's not like "devaluation" is binary, either is or isn't being devalued. Value has a magnitude, as acknowledged by yourself when you said you wouldn't buy a toaster for $100 but would even be willing to make one yourself if the price was right.

Again, so what? The existence of cars makes it harder to sell buggy whips. The existence of MP3 players makes it harder to sell Walkmans. The existence of $1.29 Suave shampoo makes it harder to sell $10 Paul Mitchell shampoo. The existence of the Gutenberg Project makes it harder to sell copies of old public domain books.

And those are all legitimate forms of competition. Piracy is not. Of course, the other major, I would have thought obvious, problem is that if video games DO get pushed out of the market place, how exactly do you expect piracy to replace them?

Keying my car and snapping off my antenna certainly does cause me to lose something. You've altered the appearance and caused the radio to stop working! Now I've lost utility, and if I pay to restore it, I will have lost money.

But it would be your choice to pay to restore it. Remember, utility doesn't imply value, and loss of value couldn't possibly translate to any physical loss, so it's ok! But I digress, not the best choices of examples. What if I urinated on the seats then? I'm just ADDING value right? Surely you didn't buy the car for the smell, and you haven't physically lost anything. If you decide to clean the car, that's your choice. If you want to sell your car, but get less money because it smells of urine, who cares, it's not like the car hadn't already lost some value anyway, what's the difference if I artificially lower it even more by performing an illegal act?

Yes, so am I, but you seem hung up on the way things "currently" are.

Because you are talking about pirating in the current world. Or perhaps you forgot to mention that when you implied piracy doesn't really hurt anybody, you meant in a fantasy world in your mind, and simply cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality?

There is a valuable, scarce service: designing games. There is significant demand for that service to be performed. There are millions of customers who are willing to spend money in order for that service to be provided. Somehow, though, you think designing games can never be profitable in itself, and the only way to make a profit is by providing an essentially worthless service that anyone can do for themselves: making and distributing copies.

Really? That's how you see it? Gamers aren't compensating for the investors, or the makers' time, they're just paying for a cheap plastic disc which, I suppose, just magically popped into existence with the game data on it?

Can you think of any other market where the important service is hidden behind a curtain, and every customer who wants a piece of it is instead required to pay for something else they don't actually need?

Umm, yeah...only EVERYTHING. Glossing over digital content, because that would be too easy, let's start with something simple: art. Let's take a totally random piece: Irises by van Gogh. USD$53.9 million in 1987. $50 million for a flimsy piece of paper? Hey, it must be a magical piece of paper, because its owner sure as hell wouldn't have paid $50M for a regular piece of paper, where all the real work was "hidden behind a curtain". Or how about a whole type of industry: service work. IT, plumbers, electricians, lawyers, doctors. Why should I have to pay them so much? Or ANY product. Unless you believe that consumers should only ever pay for the exact cost of materials of the product they're receiving, you're accepting that perhaps they're paying for a little something else that goes into the product: like the design of it, creation, maintenance of the machines that make it, the doctors that treat them, and the lawyers that protect the doctors. Disregarding that this works in exactly the same that a gamer pays for the work that goes into every aspect of the game, not just the physical end product itself, is short-sighted, dishonest, and frankly absolutely idiotic. But you just keep paying no attention to the man behind the curtain! Don't worry Scarecrow, maybe someday you'll get what you need.

Startup investment is important for any business, of course. The software development model I've described would also require an initial investment. But there's a difference between putting together a little money to get yourself off the ground, and actually doing all the work before you have any idea when or how much you'll get paid for it.

Not sure if you've noticed, but the people who stock the shelves in supermarkets aren't exactly pushing the limits of their mental abilities. They're certainly not contributing to the creation of the products themselves. Why, it's almost as if the entire product is created before it even makes it into the store. I wonder how that happens?

This is doubly true in an industry like software. If you're making clay pots to sell, you at least know you have those pots: if they don't sell, you can smash them and sell them as gravel instead, or you can hang onto them until they come back in style. Those pots are physically yours, and as long as you lock your door, you know that anyone who wants them has to go through you.

Or you could look at it the way it works in the real world (though I know you're having trouble figuring out which of your worlds is real). Your investors - the people who take the risk and fork out the money for the game makers to work - calculate the costs and risks involved. How many people you expect to buy the product, what will work and what won't, etc. Kind of like how you wouldn't make pots with holes in the bottom because you know they won't sell, but you'd have some idea of how many you sell before you commit to buying the clay and spending the time making them. If you're experienced at this, you can guess pretty well. Until some little prick comes along, breaks down your "locked" door and steals your product (or performs some other act which devalues them, same thing). You could say they should have improved their security, but no security is impenetrable. You could say it was the potters fault for taking such a big risk with so many pots, but they could hardly expect to have them all stolen. You could even say the potter should have factored theft into the risk of making the pots, but if you set the precedent that the investors should have fully factored criminals into their risk assessments, you'd be disregarding what you said only a few posts ago when you complained about the poor insurance companies who have to pay the banks if they get robbed - insurance companies whose whole BUSINESS is assessing risk and, by all rights, would barely even exist (or would be much less profitable) if it weren't for (the threat of) criminals.

It's foolish to start a business based on the idea that your software won't be copied, except by you, when you know from day one that it's not true.

See above. It's foolish to start a bank based on the idea that the money won't be stolen. Thank goodness, robbing banks is ok again!

Funny. It sounds like you live in a world where there are no maids, doctors, gardeners, painters, accountants, barbers, babysitters, mechanics, architects, actors, or indeed any other service professions -- a world where the only way to bring in money is to sell manufactured goods, because no one is willing to spend a dime without knowing exactly what they'll get in return.

And in most/all of those professions, the person is paid AFTER the service is performed. Funny, it sounds like you believe there's some moral or even legal obligation to pay for those services after they've been performed, but game development is somehow, inexplicably an exception to the rule.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

First, copyright law is quite different from a sales contract. A contract says "if you give me $X, I'll give you product Y". Copyright law says "if you make unauthorized copies, you're in trouble". The law doesn't obligate anyone to buy copies of your work just because you spent time making it; unlike a sales contract, they can uphold the law simply by ignoring your work.

A sales contract says "you get X in exchange for Y". Copyright law says "you get X in exchange for Y", where X is something along the lines of "the right to use Z". Both are types of obligation, both legal and moral, instituted and protected by law.

Second, you have a moral obligation to fulfill your promises, but you have no moral obligation to obey the law.

So it's not immoral to commit murder then?

You're confusing economic value with utility: people download games not because they're worth money, but because they're useful (i.e. fun to play).

And utility gives what? VALUE.
Or look at it this way: there are two toasters for sale. Both are the same price, same brand, model, physically identical in every way. Except one works fine, while the other is in 1000 pieces and obviously doesn't work. You're getting the same product either way, and you've just made the argument that utility doesn't imply value. It doesn't really matter to you which toaster you get, right?

But of course I never said games have no value, anyway.

Your actions speak louder than your words.

I'm not sure what argument you think I'm making here, but again, I never said games have no economic value. Obviously they do: people do pay for copies of games. What I said is that diminishing a used game's resale value doesn't destroy its usefulness the way counterfeiting money destroys the currency's usefulness.

You're making the argument that it's ok to devalue a product by committing a crime, because there are already other events which devalue that product anyway.

Having a lot of pirated copies out there might make it harder for me to resell my own copy, but no one really cares about that. People don't buy games just so they can resell them at a loss; they buy games to play them, and making copies doesn't diminish anyone else's ability to play them.

Try telling that to the myriad of stores that deal with second-hand video games. Then stop and think for all of 3 seconds why those stores no longer trade in second-hand PC games. Oh, you forgot one tiny problem: having lots of pirated copies around also makes it harder for retailers to sell NEW copies, and even for the developers to sell original copies also (physical or digital). And all the other people along the way: distributers, logistics, advertisers etc. But no one really cares about them. One magic hand wave and Whoosh! you've absolved yourself of any liability in that.

If you want to argue that copyright infringement is wrong because it diminishes the economic value of copies, then like I said, you must also believe that writing negative reviews is wrong for the same reason: people won't pay as much for a product that they think sucks.

No, I mustn't, because it's a fallacy. You're essentially saying that it's morally ok to key someone's car and snap the aerial off, thus decreasing the car's value without physically taking anything, because the owner never really lost anything, and there are lots of other ways that the car's value will decrease so it doesn't really make any difference. Congratulations! You've just legitimized vandalism!

I assume you're asking where it would come from in a game industry that weren't based around selling copies.

No, I'm not talking about some fantasy neo-communist future society where everything is free and the world is made out of candy, all because some juvenile, immature selfish little criminal thinks he can run the global economy better than the last century or two's most brilliant, collective minds, simply because he doesn't want to be labelled a criminal any more and that the best way to do that is to rework the whole industry to suit his false sense of righteousness rather than simply not commiting crimes. The same Utopia where there's no murder and rape, not because they've stopped occurring, but rather because they're no longer illegal because it's easier and hey, it's not like they're losing anything.

Because frankly I think that's a wonderful idea - let's rely on gamers to fund new games. I'm sure gamers would LOVE to pay money for a game that may or may not arrive some time in the next 5 years, may or may not do everything the makers say it will or even be any good, and certainly won't have any demos/betas, reviews, previews, gameplay footage, screenshots, concepts on which to judge its worthiness. Hell, we have all that now, and a certain few "gamers" STILL bitch that there's not enough information to judge the game on - funnily enough, it's one of the 70 million reasons pirates come up with for why they simply MUST pirate the game or the world will implode and that they're the good guys. And then of course the game is only developed if enough people invest in it, and don't collectively hang back and think "this game seems like a great idea, but it might suck when made, I'm going to let everybody else take the risk on it". In which case you have exactly the same situation you have now, where the real gamers, the honest people, the ones willing to take the chance to invest, theyt're the ones who support the software industry, while a certain section of scum always end up just leaching off of everyone else's risk-taking, and receive exactly the same benefit for free because there's no incentive to do otherwise seeing as yoo've now legalised it. No prizes for guessing the type of people who are going the belong to that particular group.

You know the project triangle, you can have it done fast, cheap, or good - pick two? Your investors aren't professionals, they're gamers, they want it NOW. Must be Fast. As shown, gamers are also not going to invest a lot of money in such a high-risk project. That's Cheap. Too bad, now your games suck, and no one wants to invest in anything anymore. You have been eaten by a Grue and ruined the game industry. Not that I'm surprised to tell the truth, the criminal antics of the likes of you are ruining the industry now, I don't see why you wouldn't have some grand scheme to ruin it in the future, except with a way to escape the blame when (not if) it does.

No, no, wait, even better, let's let corporations fund development. "Hey everybody, come play Burger King Presents: Darwinia (Development Proudly Funded By NVIDIA)! Oh this game's awesome! What's that, you have LAST month's NVIDIA graphics card? Sorry, it won't work on that old thing. Hey, don't worry, here play Sins of a Solar Empire, I heard that's pretty good. Oh, sorry, you have an AMD processor? No, this only works with a Core2 CPU on an Intel motherboard...But hey, at least you don't have to pay for it, those other suckers called 'gamers' all lost out!"

No, you're mistaken, I'm talking about REALITY, where the makers of a game have to be paid, and currently their only form of renumeration is to make the game first, then take sales later. You know, the same way that EVERY business works today (or do you really believe that you can set up a legitimate, successful business without any startup investment? - or perhaps somehow that if you pirate software, you're not bound by a sales contract because you're not a customer - in the same way that you're not really a customer at a restaurant if you sneak in through the kitchen and take the food that's already been prepared). You're the one who's so keen to justify your criminal behaviour in the present world, you're going to have to prove how your crimes don't cause any harm in the present world, a world where we DON'T have the benefit of games development being fully paid for before design has even begun, even though it may never see the light of day, and even if it does, may not be any good - except there's no chance of word of mouth, reviews or demos to inform people. In the real world, how do the game makers get paid? If people invest in the game, where does their renumeration money come from? If everybody thought like you, how could that be possible?

TL;DR version: you've identified a problem in the current retail software system, by which consumers are taking risks on games that may be [buggy/crap/misleading] despite the several ways they can get information on a game; while some criminal scum get the same benefit with only the minor risk that they may get caught and fined for it. And your solution to this is to increase the risk for the legitimate consumers, taking away all prior knowledge of the game and requiring a committed investment even before any design begins, still ending up with the same possibility of [buggy/crap/misleading] games with the natural side-effect of reducing innovation; while making it legal for the same scum to do what they already do now and reap the same benefit without ANY risk? This, THIS is your solution? Wow, I knew pirates were retarded, but I never though they were THIS bad...

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 509

The labor needed to create a video game, however, has already been performed by the time anyone has a chance to pirate it. It's a fixed cost.

And the labour that goes into cooking a meal has already been performed, so why should you pay for it afterwards right? It's not like it costs them any more if you didn't eat it.
Or that loan with the bank you have, they've already paid you the money, so they're not losing anything from you not paying it back, right?

Ha, please, I'd like to see how think the creators of a game are going to get paid without anyone buying it.

Well, I care if we steal from them, but copying isn't stealing. It makes one person richer without making anyone else poorer.

Haha, yes, and killing isn't murder, it's just assisted undesired suicide.

Please, give it a shot. I can't wait to see how you handwave away the fact that counterfeiting money devalues the currency, undermining the entire economy and making everyone slightly poorer.

And copying games devalues the them, making the entire gaming industry and anyone who legitimately owns those games poorer. Or are you really that blinded to the simple fact?

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