What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

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araujo117
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What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by araujo117 »

Hello fellow Christians! I am very honored to be part of this website's forum, I'm a Catholic from Brazil and this is my first post!
So, I was wondering what is this website's users take on videogame piracy. The Holy Bible condemns theft - but my definition of it is a property steal. Of course, robbing someone else's videogame is a thief and must be condemned.
But piracy isn't exacly theft: it's just sharing. For example, someone buys a game and make a torrent so other can plays it. The industry condemn it, and even some countries' goverments: but it's just sharing. You are not stealing a property from anyone.
I always try to buy games when I can, but I admit for some testing proporses I pirate sometimes. If I liked it, I always buy it on Steam or another website so I can support the devs.
So what is your take on this matter?
Thank you!

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by ccgr »

We've been asked to cover this issue on our YouTube channel, I guess we better hop to it!

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by Sstavix »

In my opinion, it is a matter of copyright law. The laws may be different in Brazil, but here in the U.S. published material is protected by law.

Here's an example. Let's say that I publish a book (yay!) I decide to give a copy of that book to my buddy here, ArcticFox. Now let's say that AF decides to make photocopies of that book and give it to his friends to read. He may not have meant any harm by it, but by doing this without my express, written permission he just violated U.S. copyright law, and I could pursue charges against him, if I decided to.

The exact same thing applies to piracy of computer games. If someone loans a physical copy of a game to a friend - or even sells it or gifts it - it is not a violation. But by making copies of the game to give to his friends - or, more than likely, uploads it to the Internet so anyone can freely download it - that does violate copyright law, and the developers would be well within their rights to pursue legal action against the pirates.

You say that it isn't theft,but it really is. Pirates basically rob the developers of their products. This is money that the companies use to pay their employees (writers, designers, marketing reps, etc) and develop new games. Let's say that a game costs $10 to buy from an online site (like Humble Bundle, since they offer games that have no DRM). Someone purchases the game and decides to upload it to a piracy site. The first day, 10 people download it. The second day, another 10 downloads. Let's say this continues for, say, three months, at an average of 10 downloads a day.

At the end of three months, that is approximately $900 in lost revenue. Sure, some people might dismiss that as small change - especially if they are stealing it from a big-name company - but for a small, independent game designer (maybe a one-man operation) that could really make a difference in whether or not they can afford their car payment or mortgage. It might even be a discouraging blow that leads to the one-man team to just give up and never design another game again.

So think about it this way - it's not faceless companies that people are stealing money from. It's individuals. It could be the graphics designer. It could be the Web designer. It could be your neighbor. It isn't sharing if you take something without permission. It's stealing. Simple as that.

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by J.K. Riki »

As a game developer I can assure anyone interested that piracy, whether you look at it as sharing or stealing, hurts us a ton. We are trying to pay bills, and if someone decides they want to play our game but does it without doing their share and paying for it (a fair exchange of goods/services), that means we can't make more games. It isn't a little thing, either, because every sale really, really matters for us. Our next game will be for sale in September and kind of determine if we will be able to continue doing this or have to quit. This is literally something that changes the course of the rest of two people's lives! It is not a small thing!

Now, one could say "that isn't true of the big studios" but then I really think we enter a weird justification where we say it is okay to take from some people, but not others. And that's a double standard/hypocrisy, which the Bible warns against over and over.

In the end we all have to answer to God, so it is best taken up with him. I tend to look at it that way in general. If I get to Heaven am I going to be okay with saying to him: "I know that game/music/whatever was for sale and was how someone paid for food and shelter, but I wanted to get it for free instead." I would not be okay with saying that to his face, I think. I believe I would need to be forgiven for it, and it wouldn't be justified, even if I called it only "sharing" in the here and now.

The truth is making games is a job (and a really hard one!), and we all need to eat. It really hurts us when people steal/share our work for free. If a game is valuable enough to give your time to playing, it should be rewarded with helping that developer pay their bills to literally live, I'd say.

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by BryanOnAPC »

I think the bible teaches to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1, Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13&14.) If I'm wrong in thinking this I'll humbly take biblical and loving correction.

That being said, in the U.S.A. piracy is actual breaking the law. I came across this when looking up copying music without paying for it (I use to record music for local artist.)

Even if you are not making money off of it.

If software cost money and it does not have a free trial or something in the end user agreement saying it is play before you pare (like shareware,) if you are playing it and you obtain that software without paying for it, you stole it.

My take as short as I could keep it for a forum post.

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by Beastbot »

In modern times I don't really see any moral excuse for it, for reasons enumerated by earlier posters.

Back in the 80s and 90s I could POSSIBLY see it excused ONLY if you legitimately wanted to see if you liked a game, played it an hour or so to "demo" it, and then bought it or deleted it based on how much you liked it.

But nowadays there's so many gameplay videos and demos online you can know exactly how a game plays before you get it, so that's no longer a valid excuse, IMO.
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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by BryanOnAPC »

Beastbot wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:17 am

But nowadays there's so many gameplay videos and demos online you can know exactly how a game plays before you get it, so that's no longer a valid excuse, IMO.
WOW! That point right there is on the money! I totally agree!

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by SquishySphere »

I'm generally against it, as it deprives developers of money and all the work and resources they spent on their games go to waste.
However there are people the pirate a game to "test it" and see if they like it, so they later biy it to reward the devs for the good time they had with it. After all, it is true that only seeing gameplay videos can not be enough to convince some people to buy a game, in this case I'd day the best solution would be to bring back free demo versions of game with only a tad bit of content so that you can try it out: if you like it you buy it, if not you just ignore it. Sadly demos are disappearing because many people simply get satisfied with the demo itself without buying the full game, or they can juat get the feedback from a YouTuber playing the game, plus demos can be kinda tricky to make at times.

So yeah, I am against piracy most of the time and I think re-adding free downloadable demos to let you try the game out would be a small fix to that.
Sure, piracy would still be there, but it'd at least make it a bit less rampant...

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Re: What is your opinion on videogame piracy?

Post by MC89 »

It's true that bringing back demos could be quite a tool against piracy; I dare you to find ONE person who thought the demo was enough when they liked a game!
But now, I'm against game piracy as it deprives the developer of well deserved money, but if these games belong to a large company who bought the rights to the license to turn it into an insult to its former self and spits on the playerbase, I'll look the other way if someone's pirating the game... :roll:

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