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The Internet Entertainment Games

Spore the Most Pirated Game of 2008 404

Posted by Soulskill
from the clearly-securom-is-doing-its-job dept.
TorrentFreak has posted some statistics on the most pirated games of the past year. Leading the list by a large margin is Spore, made infamous even before its release for the draconian DRM attached to the game. It was downloaded through BitTorrent roughly 1.7 million times, with The Sims 2 and Assassin's Creed following at just over a million each. (It's worth noting that Spore came out in September, so that figure is essentially for a mere three months.) GameSetWatch has posted a related piece discussing the countermeasures involved in dealing with piracy. It's the second article in a series about piracy; we discussed the first a couple days ago.
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Spore the Most Pirated Game of 2008

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  • Because of the DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode (1290856) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:20AM (#26011965)
    Maybe that is because of the DRM, even if you buy the game, you still have to pirate it to be able to play a clean version (clean meaning without DRM restrictions of course).
  • Re:The Solution. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:05AM (#26012073)

    And that time is, what, four years ago?

  • Re:The Solution. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by karstux (681641) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:16AM (#26012101) Homepage

    You jest, but this is precisely what the shareholders will demand of the publishers. They do not understand that piracy cannot be defeated by technical means, so they'll just keep on layering increasingly nasty DRM on the games.

    At the same time, they will lobby politicians to implement even more draconian "IP-protection" laws.

    So while the headline does induce a warm, fuzzy "serves you right" feeling, the implications are not so funny.

  • by LKM (227954) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:26AM (#26012125) Homepage

    Yes. Who would have thought that people would pirate the game if the version they can buy is broken by design!

    It boggles the mind.

  • Re:WRONG! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mascot (120795) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:35AM (#26012159)

    It's time to stop fighting this. Nobody I know associates "pirating a game" with hijacking a boat. Besides, it's gone colloquial and is making it into the dictionaries.

    piâ...raâ...cy
    â"noun, plural -cies.

    1. practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea.

    2. the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.: The record industry is beset with piracy.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:45AM (#26012207)

    Particularly in the case of Spore. That game was sold as just damn amazing. Well often when that's claimed it turns out not to be the case. Fable would be a good example. Had it been what it was originally claimed to be, it would likely be the defining RPG of this generation. Instead it was a fairly average action RPG.

    Such is the case with Spore as well. Now I don't know, maybe the game gets awesome in later stages but to me, it seemed very shallow the little I tooled around with it on a friend's copy. The first two stages were really boring. I also had a look at his game on the Civilization stage. Well guess what? I've already seen that done better in a game called... Civilization. I likes me a good Civ simulator, in fact I own Civ 4 and it's two expansions. So if you aren't doing it better than that, and it isn't, well then I am not that interested.

    Had I bought it, I would have felt rather ripped off. However I know you have to be careful on those extremely hyped games. You can't go by reviews either. Reviewers have already talked them selves in to how good the game will be, reviews are far too positively biased for Big Hits(tm).

    I also think in Spore's case a non-trivial amount of it may have been due to DRM protest. Now you can argue if that's the way to go about it or not, but there were lots of people pissed about it. I've decided EA can basically get fucked. I'm not buying their games with this activation bullshit unless they are absolutely superb. I bought Mass Effect, that game is just that good, but I'm giving most others a miss.

    For example I'm not going to get Red Alert 3. I'm a fan of the C&C series and have bought most of them. I quite liked C&C3 and Kane's Revenge. However though I like them, they aren't good enough for me to put up with the activation shit. So I'll get something else instead, Demigod probably.

    Now while I'm not going to go nab a copy off Bittorrent, that may be what some people do, people who are put off by the DRM.

    I'm reasonable when it comes to DRM. I'll accept that publishers are paranoid and need the "feel good" of having some DRM on the games, even though it seems it really doesn't help (see Sins of a Solar Empire for proof). However when it gets to be bullshit like "You can only install the game 3 times and then never again," well fuck you. Good games, I want to play and replay. I still fire up Baldur's Gate 2 from time to time. You'd better believe I've done more than 3 reinstalls since then. Hell I've gone through more than 3 complete system upgrades since that came out.

    EA really seems to have crossed the stupid threshold. In particular the activation limits imply that it isn't so much about preventing illegal copying as it is about preventing a used game market and forcing you to buy new versions. I think the rampant copying will help show that no, this shit DOESN'T stop it.

  • Re:The Solution. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:48AM (#26012221)

    You forget tho. The more restrictive the DRM the more people turn to the pirated version to avoid it. Whats the point of not using a CDkey? It still stops people that are dumb or lazy. The current DRM schemes do the same thing but while treating the paying customer as a thief.

          Its not I that should be going "Oh wow I cant believe I was allowed to play Spore on my computer!! Im so Lucky!" It should be the game companies that are happy that we want to play their game and pay them money to do it.

  • by HadouKen24 (989446) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @06:49AM (#26012227)
    The problem, perhaps, is in the kind of work he tried to make free. The evidence seems to point toward entertainment products being benefited by piracy. Not books on programming or other technical non-fiction. These are two very different kinds of products used in very different ways. One should not assume that trends in one should be a good indication of trends in the other.
  • Re:The Solution. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:16AM (#26012327)

    A company that makes Spore wants to earn a living.
    And they're doing a damn good job of it, piracy or no. Nobody is going to bed hungry because 1.7 million people pirated Spore.

  • Re:yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:42AM (#26012399)

    You've never been a teenager, have you? It's bragging rights. Remember kids, the more you download, the longer your penis is.

    In my days it was the kind of clothes you wear, later it was having the biggest trading card deck, today it's the amount of ripped software you store. It's not like anyone really needs 20 TB of software (or movies), it's our good ol' hunter and gatherer impulse.

  • Statistics? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:42AM (#26012401)

    Nice how you will always see statistics used in articles but they never go into detail how they generated the statistics. The article is entirely based on their own generated statistics yet there is no information how they generated them. Might as well be pulling the news from your... you get the idea..

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:46AM (#26012417)

    UbiSoft? You want me to trust a study regarding DRM troubles coming from a company that has to steal warez cracks to deal with their DRM troubles [slashdot.org]?

    Umm... any credible sources to back that up?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:55AM (#26012447)

    Umm... because they're a company and don't give a rat's rear about you?

    Let's calculate. One customer pissed off vs. thousands of cheap "imports" from countries where you couldn't charge 35 quid for a game because copying rates are already higher than the US national debt.

    Now imagine you're a company and think accordingly.

    Yes, it sucks for you. And don't get me wrong, I'm neither berating you nor taking EA's side here, but that's how it looks for them. You're one customer who already bought the game anyway, and it's not an MMO where they could squeeze any more money out of you.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:02AM (#26012461)

    Spore is, if anything, a lesson. I think it should be used as an example in game design classes.

    Spore is also a lesson to MMO makers, it really has a lot of qualities found in MMOs and it also shows why so many MMOs fail despite good outlook and design.

    The first few chapters in Spore is a lot like leveling your character in MMOs. You play and grind, you build your character, you "level" (as in, gain DNA and "evolve"), you make your decisions where to improve your character, what parts to focus on and what you can do without, aiming for the "endgame".

    Then you reach that endgame and realize a few things:
    Your decisions are pointless. No matter what you "evolved" and no matter what your race is like, the game is the same.
    The endgame itself stinks. Too much micromanagement, too little freedom in your decisions.

    The replay value, which could have been stunning considering the ways you could create your race, is near zero. Most of all, you do not want to replay, knowing that what is in for you in the end is the most tedious, boring part of the game.

  • by Kneo24 (688412) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:08AM (#26012481) Homepage

    Even sub 1% of a few million people is a lot of people. A half percent of a million is 5,000 people. The game obviously sold more than that. Would you really want to take that risk? Let's just assume that it won't affect you, as the chances really are small. Are you comfortable installing an unremoveable root-kit on your machine? I know I'm not. Or let's assume you're ok with both. Are you ok with the low installation limit? For me, no game is worth that potential hassle.

    You also have to keep in mind that the numbers are also going to be skewed by the fact that a large number of angry people will just automatically return a game if it doesn't work (which has become increasingly harder to do) and won't bother calling technical support. I can't say by how much those numbers are skewed, however. It's probably not significantly, but it's still something to consider.

  • Re:no demos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:08AM (#26012487)

    Well, when you saw Spore, I think you'll agree that any kind of demo would have hurt the sales, not helped them. What would you have demo'ed? The "eat and grow" treadmill in the beginning that I have seen done better in various flash games? Doubt that would have convinced anyone to actually buy the game.

    But if it tells me something it is to stay away from games that don't dare to offer a free sample of their gameplay. When they're not confident that the 20ish minutes I can usually play such a demo before I hit the "buy the full version to play on" wall will make me want more, the game is usually good for less than those 20 minutes.

    And, bluntly, 50 bucks for 20 minutes ... dunno, how much are hookers these days?

  • Exactly !!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrYak (748999) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:10AM (#26012491) Homepage

    Thanks for killing the games industry, you filthy thief.

    Yes, I second that !

    We need more suckers... huh, no... "customers" to fall for the brainwash... hu, sorry... for the marketing overhyping our product, and who will blindingly throw their money at whatever product we manage to persuade them will be the best-game-ever-even-better-than-blowjob-and-beacon-sammich !

    Our economy is dying because of all the filthy thieves who selfishly want to see what a game is worth before buying !

    --

    though, seriously, I actually found the game kind of cool.

  • Re:The Solution. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash.p10link@net> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:11AM (#26012497) Homepage

    I am not one for draconian DRM, but the reality is that people pirate way too much.
    The other fact is that draconian DRM doesn't stop people pirating single player PC games and may even encourage it.

    If your game is good and has strong multiplayer then you can control piracy through the online multiplayer component (think starcraft, I know plenty of people whose first copy of starcraft was a burnt copy but later bought legit copies to play online) but if your game is shit or mostly singleplayer than you have little hope stopping pirates on the PC platform.

  • Standard excuses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:17AM (#26012531)

    Standard excuses for not paying for this or any other game (pick any that apply):

    1) I will pirate it first and then pay only if I like it (a la when I go into a restaurant and only pay when I liked the food, or go to the theater to see a film and pay only if it didn't suck). If the game is not PERFECT, I don't pay.
    2) My pirating is good for the software developer (more people playing, even without paying is good, it gives them lots of free publicity). Piracy increases sales! I am doing them a HUGE favor.
    3) I am a cheap ass.
    4) There is no such thing as copyright (or shouldn't be). Other people should create art, music, games, films, and entertainment for me as a favor and fund it out of their own pocket.
    5) Piracy is a fact in the gaming world. Get used to it. It's the developer's own fault because they should have taken it into account in their business case (besides, they should have been working on this full time as an open source program for free anyway).
    6) $50 for this game is too much. Come to think of it, $25 is too. And if it is only $10, then pirating it shouldn't be that much of a burden to the developer.
    7) I do not want to try the demo because the only meaningful way to try out a game is to try out the ENTIRE game.
    8) Who cares if there is 99.9% piracy, all the developers need is to make just enough money to fund developing another game. They don't need to get rich (after all, I'm not).
    9) "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
    10) Because I have never had to create, develop and market a game and I don't have a clue as to what it takes to run a business.
    11) Because DRM is such a great excuse.

  • by DrYak (748999) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @08:56AM (#26012701) Homepage

    A company that makes Spore wants to earn a living. And to do that they put on DRM.

    And it just can't work.

    The premise of DRM is to make more difficult for people to casually copy the game.
    That means managing to put restriction for every last game player out there. Everyone has to be subjected to that shit in the hopes that the copying will be limited.

    But then, all it takes is 1 single unique copy. 1 single unique time when the DRM has been circumvented, for that copy to be made available to millions via the internet.

    Who in his right mind could guarantee that, out of the several millions of sold copies (2 million after 3 weeks according to EA as reported on Wikipedia*), the DRM will stand un-defeated, not even 1 single time.
    That requires failure rates lower than 1 in several dozen of millions. That are failure rates that even space exploration - with all its engineering brilliance - can't guarantee. And your expecting shitty manufacturer of crappy DRM systems, which can't even stay stable on a machine without crashing it, to be able to guarantee that ?

    Even without entering in the stupidity of the DRM's cryptographic details, or the complete out-of-reality of the pay-per-copy failed business model, just the sheer numbers involved tell you that DRM just doesn't stand a snowball in hell's chance to be even remotely reach something that could be interpreted as success.

    DRM just can't be the answer to the piracy problem :
    to succeed it must stop absolutely everyone from copying.
    to fail 1 single leak is all it takes.
    That's impossible.

    --

    *: EA reports 2 million copies sold after 3 weeks.
    TorrentFreaks reports ~2 million download after 3 months of BitTorrent.

    That's an incredibly high... SELLING RATE. Articles on /. have mentioned that 90% piracy is rather the norm in the gaming industries.Whereas, it seems that Spore has sold more copies than it got pirated.

    That's some damn fucking sign of tremendous success. And given this success, given all the money Spore has managed to earn, why does anybody need to give a fuck if some punks have downloaded copies of the intertube ?

  • Shareholders (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rpillala (583965) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:15AM (#26012755)

    A few people have mentioned DRM as shareholder appeasement. It would seem the company would enact more sensible policies if their shareholders were themselves gamers. Either that or people from this group who understand that DRM can always be circumvented.

    It would be interesting if a major benefit of holding shares in a company was a discount on the company's products. It's a very old fashioned view of the stock market, but I think you should buy shares because you believe in what a company is doing and want to help them succeed. Of course, their success = your success as far as your ownership goes, so it's not an altruistic act to purchase shares. Currently, many companies are run by people who have no interest in the products being good or even finished are a bad thing as well. Maximizing shareholder value doesn't always give you long term success or a good product - just look at Circuit City. They were held up as an exemplar in Good to Great of increasing shareholder value. Even during that time where they were doing a great job, their customer service (which I guess is one of their main products) was widely panned.

    I'm no economist so maybe this idea is hugely naive. I welcome being shown as naive.

  • by karstux (681641) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:19AM (#26012771) Homepage

    Steam isn't better than any other DRM, and worse than most. It's just very convenient, being able to download a game to any computer.

    Effectively, however, your Steam "purchases" are rentals. Internet connection down? Games are inaccessible. Account gets banned? Games are lost. Valve goes out of business? Games are lost. Valve gets bought up? Pray the new owners don't change the terms of use to something draconian.

    I wouldn't spend a dime on Steam. I like to own my stuff.

  • Re:WRONG! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NickFortune (613926) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:19AM (#26012773) Homepage Journal

    And in any case, what does anyone hope to prove by saying "it's not piracy because it's not robbery at sea?"

    I don't mind people using "piracy" as a sort of shorthand for "copyright infringement". I just object when people try to reason that because the word is also used to refer to armed robbery on the high seas, it is therefore morally and legally equivalent to armed and violent robbery and should be treated in a similar manner.

  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @09:35AM (#26012845)
    Hey, you actually got a very nice reply from EA Thailand explaining you why they didn't provide the English locale there. Someone actually read your mail and manually typed a reply explaining the situation, and quite honest too. No auto-generated mail. This gets my respect.
  • by theaveng (1243528) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:23AM (#26013081)

    Fortunately credit card laws are written to protect the consumer, so there are ways to get around that policy. Here's my favorite method:

    - Buy something. It's junk.
    - Return the item to the company using tracking or delivery confirmation.
    - Wait a month.
    - Call you credit company and ask to do a chargeback. Provide the DC number as proof the item was returned.
    - Get money refunded to your card.

    Easy.

  • by theaveng (1243528) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:36AM (#26013175)

    Precisely.

    Everyone always gets hyped around November 4th and other election days, but they forget that EVERY DAY is an election day. Your ballots are your dollars, and by not handing those dollars to companies like EA Thailand or EA-EU or EA-USA, you are slowly but surely driving that company into bankruptcy.

    But if you go ahead and "vote" for them, then all you've done is said, "I support you; keep up the good work." You never should have bought that Thai-only game if you wanted an English language version. You should have withheld your "ballots" and kept your money in your wallet, or given it to another company.

    Casting votes for or against corporations is the most-direct form of democracy we have.

  • by Mr. Picklesworth (931427) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:41AM (#26013215) Homepage

    Theaveng: The trouble was, it isn't! Those /were/ playable prototype builds.

    My theory is Maxis originally planned a single big game, then EA dug in and had them tear three quarters of it out into expansion packs. Everything that couldn't be moved due to technological reasons was simply scrapped. God forbid they actually give people a worthwhile product!

    EA is all about consuming as much shelf space as possible. Two years from now, PC game retailers will need dedicated Spore shelves just as they have dedicated Sims 2 shelves right now.

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:49AM (#26013267) Homepage Journal
    DRM isn't there to stop someone experienced in illegally obtaining software. It is there to stop the average person from doing so. Most people don't know how to download software, run key generators, replace binaries and that sort of thing. They want to click on something and have it run. It is just like a lock on a house doesn't do anything to stop a professional thief, but it will stop the guy going door to door just trying doorknobs until he's found one that is unlocked. The people screaming "DRM is useless", are like the professional thieves saying "locks are useless" all the time justifying that they only break into houses because people put locks on them.
  • Re:The Solution. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pwizard2 (920421) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @10:57AM (#26013315)

    Stings like Buccaneer and Fastlink certainly put some strain on "cracker groups", but whether or not they continue is no longer of pressing importance for the copying of games.

    The thing that bothers me the most is how much tax money went to fund those two operations. (anything that involves law enforcement also involves public funds) Why should the taxpayer have to pay to protect the bottom line of companies? If the release groups and game companies want to fight it out, that's fine with me, (since I'm involved in neither party) but the industry should have to pay for it if they want to get law enforcement involved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:25AM (#26013493)
    So why all the research into new and better DRM schemes? If DRM is only meant to keep out the common man, the simplest DRM should be enough.
  • We need facts. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Saturday December 06, 2008 @11:32AM (#26013543) Homepage

    "It seems that the current generation thinks that charging for software is a bad thing."

    That could only be true if the RATE of piracy is higher than in the past. And what you'd need to do is to study what is being pirated and how it compares to 5 or 10 years ago. You could do lots of interesting research in this area provided you have the data.

    What we're lacking is facts, and the people providing them have a vested interest in doing research only as long as the outcome they're paying for.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday December 06, 2008 @12:28PM (#26013883) Journal

    Not to mention all those things you can be reasonably sure you can actually use: You can eat the food, you can watch the movie, you can read the book. I for one am seriously fucking sick of paying the crazy money for a new game that I am WAY over the minimum system requirements for and then have the damned game eat it 10 minutes in if it even runs at all and having to wait a year+(if you ever get a patch at all) that fixes their shit code.

    And please don't say "run the demo" because that is BS and we all know it. The demo level is ALWAYS the most well tested and stable piece of code in the game, often having been passed out since before beta stage to try and drum up a buzz. A couple of examples from my own experience: Max Payne and Vampire:Bloodlines. The demos played like a dream and were really fun so I bought the games when first released. That was a BIG mistake. Max Payne had to set in my closet for 9 months thanks to a bug that would crash to desktop halfway through the second level. And Vampire:Bloodlines would have ended up in the trash if the modding community hadn't put out a patch a year and a half later that fixed my bug that was less than 30 minutes in that caused it to freeze the entire PC solid.

    And finally as a PC repairman I can't count how many times I have been called on to fix a "virus infection" that ended up being SecuROM, Starforce, or Safedisc. Frankly the new DRM causes more problems that a freaking Trojan. I have had machines that risked burning up the DVD burner because the DRM would keep throwing it into PIO mode, Had every singe burn in Nero fail because the DRM had screwed the Windows drivers, and more random crashes than I can even count. So before I will even pick up a game in the bargain bin I make damned sure I can get a clean copy from P2P. How sad is it that the risk of an infection from the P2P ISO is less than if you bought it at the store.

    So they can bitch and moan all the want. I will NOT be buying anymore games at release time thanks to the inability to return code that doesn't work, I will NOT buy any game that I can't find a clean version of so I can avoid the DRM infection on my PC, and I will NOT buy any more games from EA for their completely overboard asshat DRM. And this is from someone who ALWAYS bought a new C&C or MoH. So congratulations! You have mistreated yet another customer to the point they wouldn't buy from you if you entire catalog was on sale for $1.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin (1202876) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @01:38PM (#26014305)
    True,

    analogies are not good, because they never translate perfectly.

    However, just because you are not physically taking something from the company, does not grant you the right to play it without paying for it. The company has the right to choose how they want to release the game. You ahve the right if you want to purchase it under those terms, or not play the game.

    If you don't like the terms they set for playing their game, then don't play their game. Believing you have the right to play their game, without adhering to their terms means you are part of the "entitlement generation"

    If people took a righteous stance against these companies, we would probably see a change in their behaviour.
  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @02:47PM (#26014683) Journal

    If you bought a loaf of bread, got home and discovered it had weevils in the center of it, you'd return it to the store wouldn't you? And the store would exchange it or give you your money back. You were sold something that did not live up to your expectations.

    You buy a game, and even if it doesn't work, you can't return it.

    And yet it seems the industries that produce this effluence, and movies and music, have convinced the world that if you buy a piece of what should be unsellable garbage, you're screwed.

    THIS is why piracy is so rife. It has nothing to do with people being cheap, scum or whatever asinine insult is thrown around. It has far more to do with people being sick to death of being ripped off.

  • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @02:58PM (#26014759) Journal

    I had that "every disk fail to burn" crap happen thanks to Starforce. Disks hadn't actually failed, only Windows thought they had due to Starforce. Tossed loads of disks that I figured were bad, probably $20+ worth, before I learned about Starforce and started checking the disks on another system and discovered they were actually fine.

    I'm never buying a game on release day again unless it's from a developer I trust. (Stardock for example.) GTA IV is the latest example of customers being absolutely screwed, treated like dirt, and generally being abused.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ivucica (1001089) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @03:40PM (#26014983) Homepage

    Thing is, large portion of the society actively dislikes copyright. Authors are a minority. Spammers and identity thieves are also a disliked minority. Most definitely authors are not criminals, but making governments listen to their every whim in an effort to save "money milk factories"? No thanks.

    What happens to the "free market" thing? If publishing music and software without copyright and DRM is not profitable, then people should just switch to farming. Western city-dwellers speak of how there's not enough food in the world, there's not enough oil in the world, but none of them desires to farm the land and enjoys driving the cars.

    Free market and lack of copyright would destroy music/software publishing industries, and probably only book printing industry would survive since they actually manufacture physical stuff.

    Although I'm presenting a completely anti-copyright opinion here, that's not the entire opinion I hold. I'm aware that programmers like me would have no food on the table in case copyright system was completely disrupted today. Copyright-less world is, from today's perspective, completely utopistic. But justice is often utopistic.

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by servognome (738846) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:43PM (#26015627)

    Thing is, large portion of the society actively dislikes copyright. Authors are a minority. Spammers and identity thieves are also a disliked minority.

    Society dislikes a lot of things, doesn't mean those groups don't deserve legal protections. The majority has consistently pushed to abolish free speech, regulate private matters, and tried impose it's ideals, with only Constitutional law to keep its whims in check.
    I would argue in the digital age, intellectual property creators are a significant minority that can't be ignored. Manufacturing, even for physical objects, has become trivial. Anybody can make an MP3 player, computer chip, cell phone, or toy extremely cheaply - what is valuable is the design, which is not cheap to create.

    What happens to the "free market" thing? If publishing music and software without copyright and DRM is not profitable, then people should just switch to farming. Western city-dwellers speak of how there's not enough food in the world, there's not enough oil in the world, but none of them desires to farm the land and enjoys driving the cars.

    The masses will always complain. They will say schools aren't good enough, yet not want their taxes increased; they say they don't earn enough money, yet pay $5 for a latte. Western societies are built to be "unhappy," which is one of the reason they have progressed so much more in terms of technology. As Adam Smith noted - there are unlimited wants, so the wants satiated by every bit of progress will be replaced by new ones.

    Free market and lack of copyright would destroy music/software publishing industries, and probably only book printing industry would survive since they actually manufacture physical stuff.

    Which would be a sad loss, not just for individuals in software and music, but for society which loses the ideas and culture from specialized creators.

    Taking a step back. Lets say Spore had perfect DRM and very few could afford it, what is lost? All that is lost is the spreading of ideas which can lead to new ones. There really is no clear concrete loss, civilization won't collapse. On the flip side without copyright you lose investment, and viability of specialization which means Spore isn't created and you end up with the similar results. Now if the creator and public compromise, as is the intent of copyright law, you can end up with a win-win. The author has incentive to invest (time & money) in creating knowing they have the opportunity to recover that investment, but at some point their creation must be freed to the public so that the social gain can be fully realized.

    As I said, this compromise has been perverted to move too far in favor of personal gain for the creator. The problems with DRM at the time of release (an annoyance) is far less a worry than the problems with DRM down the road when the work is supposed to be public and can't be accessed (a breach of the original agreeement). Unfortunately people on both sides of the argument as well as legislators lose perspective on the original intent of copyright, a compromise between an individual and society to promote progress, and gravitate towards the extreme they like best.

    The system needs to be fixed, not abandoned.

  • by stephenhawking (571308) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @05:48PM (#26015657) Homepage
    Manages to stay alive and keep making hit games with no DRM.....Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 are all bona fide hits, surely making the company a big pile of money, and yet none contain DRM. Hmmm.....I wonder how that works....Maybe it has something to do with the fact that these games are great, and can yield years of entertainment. Morrowind is one of my most played and replayed games of all times, with it's open ended nature (in terms of game play and modability), and both Oblivion and Fallout 3 follow this trend. If you make quality stuff, you don't need DRM, apparently.
  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LandDolphin (1202876) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @07:59PM (#26016367)
    You are obviously trolling, but I'll bite.

    It might be not worth watching, I'm certainly not going to watch it. But that does not mean it is ok to watch it without paying for it.

    I have a right to not throw away money on junk.

    you are right, you have the right not to watch it in the first place. Just because it is crap, does not mean you get to watch it for free.

    As for the attacks of working for a living vs. having things paid for you. That does not change that if you want to watch something, you should pay for it. Just because you have to spend your own money instead of someone elses does not mean that it is ok to download things without paying for them. (BTW, I am not a child at home, so once again your arguement is moot).

  • Re:Exactly !!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by theaveng (1243528) on Sunday December 07, 2008 @02:41AM (#26018361)

    >>> All rights are granted by the society.

    False. There are some rights that are a *natural* consequence of being a human being. Such as the right to not be enslaved, or the right to use your brain, or the right to speak your thoughts, or the right of self-defense against thieves/murderers. *Study Greek, Roman, and Scottish philosophy.*

    And as a result of those rights being natural, they come from within each individual. Both natural rights and power comes from the people and is devolved upon government with our consent... not the other way around.

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