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App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy 762

Posted by Soulskill
from the arr-me-hearties dept.
theguythatwrotethisthing sends in a write-up of his experience releasing an iPhone game on the App Store. By using a software flag to distinguish between high scores submitted by pirates and those submitted by users who purchased the game, the piracy rate is estimated at around 80% during the first week after release. Since a common excuse for piracy is "try before you buy," they also looked at the related iPhone DeviceIDs to see how many of the pirates went on to purchase the game. None of them did.
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App Store Developer Speaks Out On Game Piracy

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  • by amRadioHed (463061) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:18AM (#29855041)

    But seriously, I think the app store really needs to give you a trial period before you have to pay for apps. So many of the programs out there are crap, I'm not willing to pay for 5 programs just to find one that does what I want.

  • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradisNO@SPAMpalegray.net> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:25AM (#29855057) Homepage Journal
    If an app is good, you should be able to find independently written positive reviews for it. There's always the score provided in the app store, too. I release most of my code under BSD/GPL licenses, but I absolutely require people to abide by the terms as I own the copyrights. There's no excuse for violating the rights of others, regardless of how little faith you might have in "so many of the programs" available for purchase. If you've got that little faith in the app store, maybe you shouldn't bother with it in the first place.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:26AM (#29855059)

    Or, maybe the pirates are only after free stuffz, and the try before you buy ideology is just something they (we) have learned to say in order to justify pirating.

    Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

  • by JonathanBoyd (644397) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:29AM (#29855077) Homepage

    Sounds like you're just making excuses to justify yourself.

    If something's expensive, why do you feel the right to watch it/listen to it/use it, when others have to pay? Isn't it more ethical to just not pay? As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse. As for pirating professional software for 'fun' or 'non-commercial' use, if you don't need all the features, then why not get a more limited program that does what you want and actually compensate a developer? On the other hand, if you do need the features, then pay the money or don't use it.

    You don't have a right to use something for free just because you think it's too expensive.

  • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:30AM (#29855083)

    have they ruled out the reason why they haven't sold any to those pirates is because...they aren't really pirates but people who despise the App Store and it's restrictions?

    Are you suggesting that these so-called pirates are actually peaceful protesters performing civil disobedience? MLK Jr. would be so proud!

  • Re:Ads (Score:3, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradisNO@SPAMpalegray.net> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:31AM (#29855085) Homepage Journal
    I don't think you understand how the target audience in question thinks and behaves.
  • not surprising. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:33AM (#29855091) Journal
    When I did pirate back in the day it was mostly because i simply couldnt afford the things i wanted. Now that I CAN afford to buy the software i need, i NEVER pirate. Those that pirate are rarely going to pay, those that dont pirate usually will pay. Pretty simple really. For me personally,I cant tell you how freakin giddy i was the other day when i bought an mp3 off amazon the other day for $.79. I selected, purchased and downloaded it in the time it took to install itunes so i could do the same thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:34AM (#29855099)

    Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

    To recognise and reward the effort put in by the developer for something that was useful or fun for you.

  • by pHus10n (1443071) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:46AM (#29855121)
    I work in a communications squadron, and I know at least 15 people with iPhones ---- I only know of one of them that has jailbroken his phone, and that was specifically for the purpose of switching carriers. So.... is my sample unusual because of a higher-than-normal standard of integrity (military personnel)? I mean... these are comm geeks; jailbreaking a phone would be trivial.
  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:54AM (#29855151) Homepage Journal

    >>As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse.

    When I bought MATLAB, it came in the mail nearly 9 months after I began the process to buy it. We had licensed some MATLAB code that we needed to pay a yearly royalty fee on it, so this delay would have cost me XX,000 dollars had I not had access to computer labs with MATLAB on it to run and debug the code on it.

    The best part is? When they finally mailed it out to us, 6 months after billing my company / me thousands of dollars for it, they forgot to put the software in the box. Sure, it had a packing slip that said the CD should be in there, but nothing was inside the box but a manual. Their online download system is a POS as well.

  • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @05:56AM (#29855153)

    If you slash the price of the game in half in a few months and re-advertise it (like Steam has been doing with their weekly sales), then you will see another jump in sales. If you cut it down to 1/4, you will get even more sales. Some people think $4 is a good price, but others won't pay more than $2, and still some will wait for the $1 or $0.50 sale.

    Each step allows you to reel in more buyers, because everybody has their own price threshold.

    Games depreciate in value quickly--that's just how it is. Eventually the game won't be worth anything to anyone. Then you should give it out for free, along with a big fat advertisement for your next game. You ARE working on the next game, right?

    Some people wouldn't pay a cent for the game in the first place, and they are the real pirates. You can't negotiate with them, so don't even bother. It's wasted development time to fight them. Even if you somehow make your game unpirate-able, they will just ignore your game and find something else to occupy their time.

    What you CAN do is try to net the would-be pirates who simply have a lower price threshold. Also you might net a few guilt-ridden pirates who think they are "redeeming their sins" by eventually buying the game they pirated, even though it's been a few months since release and the price has dropped significantly in the meantime. You might also pick up a few people who just like thinking they're getting a good deal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:00AM (#29855165)

    Or maybe people are just thieving scum?
    I don't get to taste the food in my local restaurant before ordering either.
    Grow up and accept the truth. pirates are leeches and pathetic thieves, nothing more intellectual or elegant than that

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:05AM (#29855177)

    So the developer's time and effort is worthless? F*ck you, too, then.

  • Free software (Score:2, Insightful)

    by emanem (1356033) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:08AM (#29855191) Homepage
    Is it free or not?
    Jokes apart, compare this with World of Goo feedback. Given that 80% of WoG players could have a pirated version of the game, still devs don't complain and indeed made a give-us-what-you-want birthday sale.
    And apparently it worked.
    Apparently people want freedom to do what they want with their devices, they want to install what and from where they prefer.
    The app store model is broken...too much control in Apple's hands...people don't like this so the chances that they'll use a pirated version are higher.
    I don't own an iPhone, but a PS3. When I had to sign up to play SF4 online on their PSN I was so mad at them. Sony doesn't own my PS3, they don't own the copy of the game and don't own the connection used to move data between my host an other players.
    Again, the point is simple: piracy will always be there, and most of all, don't think that the 80% of pirated copies would translated automatically in sold software. You're wrong.

    Ciao!
  • by Carthag (643047) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:10AM (#29855209) Homepage

    For example: the new Stargate series, it'll be years before it's on TV here, and they'll probably mess up the order (I have no clue why they do this, but they can's seem to ever show any series in the correct order over here), stop halfway through a season, broadcast it at random times, etc. It's almost as if they don't want people to follow the series.

    Easy; it's filler, the content being commercials.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:18AM (#29855237)
    The "try before you buy" excuse that people give as a reason to pirate (very popular here at Slashdot) has always been a steaming pile of bullshit, as is the tale that PirateBay is primarily used for legitimate torrent downloads. Pure bullshit. Honestly, it's difficult to take people that say these things seriously.

    But of course, information wants to be free as in beer at a frat party. Stallman says so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:21AM (#29855245)

    Now that I think about it, why would I pay for something I can get for free?

    To recognize and reward the effort put in by the developer for something that was useful or fun for you.

    I don't think so. I think most people who are playing a pirated game will not stop mid-game and say, you know what? I really enjoy, this, I am going out to the store to buy it. I think the author of the article is right, software pirates are using flimsy excuses to justify their morally wrong actions.

    To be fair, I should mention that I got my hands on a free copy of Homeworld back in the day from a friend. And while I fell in love with the game, I would never buy it. Why? I already had it! Why spend money on something I already have! However, when Homeworld Cataclysm came out, and later Homeworld 2, you can bet your ass I was first in line to purchase both games.

    So, for the pirates out there, stop with the excuses, and be honest with yourself. You are a lazy sad sack who would rather find enjoyment in the hard work of others, without contributing to the effort. Perhaps then you will realize just how indefensible your actions truly are.

  • by Nomen Publicus (1150725) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:48AM (#29855343)
    Surely the real question is: How many of the people who are using pirated copies would pay for a copy if the pirated copies were not available?

    This is the RIAA fallacy, presuming that all pirated copies represent lost revenue.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @06:57AM (#29855371)

    Unfortunately, I can't think of a good way to test for it, but you are right on about the issue. The issue is NOT how many people got a copy without paying. The issue is if it was impossible, how many people would have payed?

    Reason this is important is because it tells you how much it matters to actually try and fight against it. Fighting copyright infringement takes time and money. Also, the more onerous the DRM you introduce, the more you piss off legit customers and thus the less money you make. So the trick is to find the best balance that gets you the most sales. To do that the most effectively, you need to know how many copies are actual lost sales, and how many would have just done without.

    You can compare it in some ways to shrinkage prevention at a store. All stores have problems with shoplifting, and in that case there is real loss since you lose the value of the item stolen. Ok well you could certainly reduce it a whole lot by hiring armed professional guards and forcing all employees and customers to undergo a strip search when they leave. You might even come close to zero. However, the problem is your business would go bust because nobody would shop there, never mind the extreme cost of such security. Thus stores don't do that. Their goal is not to stop all shrinkage, their goal is to maximize profit and that means stopping as much as they can cheaply, and without driving customers away.

    Same deal with copying software. I suspect you'd find that a rather large number of the people would simply do without. They aren't lost sales, they would buy it if they couldn't have it for free.

  • by pjt33 (739471) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:07AM (#29855407)

    This being the same MLK Jr who plagarised large portions of his doctoral thesis? I'm not sure he would be in the best position to criticise copyright violation.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by telchine (719345) * on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:11AM (#29855421)

    I think it's a biased sample. It only counts those that have submitted a high score.

    I'd have thought that if an honest person liked the game, they'll buy it before the stage where they start getting good at it and start submitting high scores.

    I think the sample here is selecting only those that have gone past the point where an honest person would buy the game.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:26AM (#29855463) Homepage

    That every pirated copy is a lost sale. If he's thinking "I could have made five times as much" then he's very mistaken.

  • by Durzel (137902) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:26AM (#29855465) Homepage

    So you argument is basically that development time costs nothing? Just because the process of copying the media is the same whether you're copying a game that's taken 2 years of paid development time to create and a load of CVs you've written yourself doesn't mean the value is the same.

    The problem with your attitude is that without someone ultimately paying for the development time and everything else that goes with it what you steal wouldn't exist in the first place. I know it's a convenient deceit to figure mainstream musicians, games developers, movie studios, etc "make too much money", but if it weren't so easy to copy stuff what would you do? Go without? Piracy is so fashionable because it's so easy, intangible and apparently victimless - if your only option to get something was to pay for it or do without you'd either find a way to scrape together the cash if you needed it bad enough, or you wouldn't.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:34AM (#29855493)

    Indeed. When I first built my pc it was almost all pirated software and games, with the remainder being free.

    Now, my pc has no pirated software or games on it at all (and with quite an extensive games collection). TV and movies on the other hand, would be a lot more expensive to buy all I have downloaded. I'm working on it though, slowly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:38AM (#29855519)

    What is available at iTunes and the App Store depends on where you live.

    Here in Brazil, there is no iTunes. The App Store sucks too and nothing is available in it due to restrictions I don't understand.

    Hence, tpb and Cydia.

  • by Haeleth (414428) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:51AM (#29855575) Journal

    You don't tend to get a high score unless you play the game. Why were all these people playing the game if it sucked?

  • by bwalling (195998) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:55AM (#29855597) Homepage
    He couldn't have made five times as much, but he could be paying for 1/5 as much bandwidth on his server...
  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @07:57AM (#29855609) Journal

    He didn't even say so, actually a little bit against that. While every pirated copy isn't a lost sale, it's also true that *some* pirated copies are lost sales.

    Besides, why do you think you should be allowed to use the software or game if you haven't paid the author what he is asking for it?

  • by vivaelamor (1418031) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:03AM (#29855629)

    To sum it up then, 'play by our rules or you're a bad person'?

    I won't write an essay of why ownership of copyright is arbitrary and I won't explain why there are differences between your rights as given by law and your rights as given by mutual need because that gets discussed a lot already. I will say that not doing something ineffectual because someone has convinced you it is morally wrong is a blight on peoples capacity to make those decisions for themselves and a counter-intuitive to achieve mutual goals. When you give people the choice of doing things your way or being branded criminals then what incentive is there to respect your needs, beyond the threat of punishment?

    I fully agree that people not paying to support work is a problem and if this study is to be trusted, that it provides evidence for such. I also believe however that the cause of this problem is the very system you would have them abide by. Instead of people placing value in creators they are told to place value in copies of their work.. this is how they are bought up to think when people use words like property and stealing to justify the current lawful way of doing things. So when they 'steal' something that is of high price and no value they will fail to see the harm done because what they stole was worthless. If you marketed the creator instead and encouraged people to invest in the value provided by them, you would have a much easier time convincing people to part with their money because they can recognise the value and the benefit to themselves in paying for it.

    In a free society the current system is doomed to failure. It places value where there is none and people do not find that to be rational. Any attempts to justify it as rational only further alienate rational people who are not content to do something just because someone says so. Creators need support and consumers need freedom, take one away and you risk the other becoming worthless.

    As a more enlightened pirate, I look for products that place value on the creator such as Magnatune.com (which I use as an example incessantly). Systems like these where the goal is mutual benefit encourage people to take part on their own terms. I pay for things I believe support the value I place on them, usually that of the creator. Lastly, the idea that those who don't believe a system works should have a moral obligation not to partake when taking part on their own terms has no effect is ludicrous. You may as well say people shouldn't watch TV if they don't like commercials, that is an option but it is still their choice.

  • Re:not surprising. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:13AM (#29855671) Homepage Journal

    There is absolutely no reason to pirate if you can pay for it.

    There are cases in which no individual can reasonably pay for something because one copy would cost tens of billions of dollars. The only way to buy a legitimate copy of, say, Disney's Song of the South would be to buy a controlling interest in the company and then force the company to make and distribute copies of the film on home video.

    Or... It's too expensive for the purpose. Then I try to find an open source / trial alternative

    The article is about video games, and a lot of them don't have a Free alternative. What's the open source alternative to Animal Crossing series? What's the open source alternative to Super Smash Bros. series?

    or get it through my university.

    People who have already graduated aren't likely to want to go back for a master's just for a discount on a computer program.

  • Re:Free software (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:17AM (#29855687) Homepage Journal

    Sony doesn't own [...] the connection used to move data between my host an other players.

    Sony owns the connection used to find other players and, as AC pointed out, is letting you use it at no charge.

  • Re:right and wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:24AM (#29855735) Homepage

    Wrong analogy is wrong.

    A correct analogy would be: Someone would order a meal, pay for it, and then it would prepare another meal copying the bought one and then(s)he would give it to you.

    The question is: is it wrong to make a meal copying a restaurant recipe?

  • Re:right and wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Animaether (411575) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:26AM (#29855753) Journal

    if I'm going out to eat in a restaurant, I cant first order the food and drinks and only after that decide if it was good enough to be paid

    Actually, restaurants - aside from fast food restaurants - tend to be one of the few places where you routinely -do- pay after-the-fact, and can base your payment on your experience.

    I'm not just talking about tipping the waiter either. I'm talking about telling the cashier that, for example, the steak was a bit rancid. Nevermind the fact that you could have complained about that when you had the first bite and probably gotten a replacement, the cashier will probably - on their own or through a manager - decide that you can pay a little less, or get a coupon for a next time you're there, etc.

    Unfortunately, we can't play a game first and -then- decide how much we want to pay. Of course a big reason for that is because a lot of people would simply decide not to pay, even if they did enjoy the game ( as per your parent poster ).. the cheaptards.

  • by BgJonson79 (129962) <srsmith@@@alum...wpi...edu> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:30AM (#29855767)

    >>Why get a more limited program when the more advanced programs costs the exact same amount to copy?

    Because it does not take the same amount of time to develop, and that is what you're paying for, correct? Why do we get so incensed when people violate the GPL/BSD/Apache/whatever licenses but we have no problem when people violate commercial licenses, despite the fact they all use the same copyright laws?

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:30AM (#29855769) Journal

    You keep bringing this same thing in to every discussion, but are you saying that people should be allowed to download those songs *because* only 1 album sale is lost? So that's your rationalizing for piracy?

    The other thing that is bringing down sales is the many streaming services, both free-with-ads and premium subscription. *Lots* of people in Europe use Spotify. It's not only piracy that is bringing down album sales.

    Never the less, if you dont want to buy the album, use legit streaming services or get the songs (or software, games and so on) in some other legit way approved by the maker, why do you think you should be obligated to get them? Even more so if you want to get them for free. If you dont approve with the price, you just dont get it then. Live with it and dont go stealing it and try to rationalize it.

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:36AM (#29855797)

    What gives you the moral right to restrict him from listening to/using it. It isn't like there is some law of scarcity involved that makes it necessary to restrict access?

    Rejection of the "I take what I want" attitude that pervades our society is in no way immoral. Quite the contrary, the people who think that just because they don't like the price or don't want to spend the money that they can have somebody else's time and effort anyway is immoral.

    Claiming "I wouldn't have bought it anyway, so shut up!" may be true in theory, but it's not relevant. It's not about control, it's not about lording money over the poor folks who would oh-so-love to use your product if only they could afford it. It's about realizing that there is a value to peoples' time and that they deserve to be compensated for that time if they so wish. If they so wish. Nobody gives a damn what you wish other peoples' work cost. If you don't find the product worth the money, if you don't have the money to spend, so be it; you're not entitled to take it. You wouldn't steal a physical object, and the reasons have nothing to do with some BS rationalization over whether or not property is actually lost.

    I've fought long and hard against people who call downloading music, movies or software "theft" or "stealing," but people like you abuse the difference to justify your entire behavior. No wonder so many people just want you to shut the hell up and go to jail. You're beginning to make me a convert.

    Those who claim that it is a sin, are those who want to strive backwards into the middle ages.

    It sounds awfully like you're the one who wants to strive backward into the middle ages. I'm sorry that people making money from non-tangible goods doesn't meet with your approval, but that's the way we've gone as a global society. That you would literally attack somebody who suggests maybe, just maybe, you should actually have to compensate people who create something rather than just taking it as you please makes you little more than a neanderthal, desperately trying to provide some sort of moral justification for something you planned on doing anyway.

    Of course, wasting resources is exactly what you are promoting. Efficiency is not in your vocabulary.

    You're right; stealing is the most money-efficient way for you to get something. In fact it's the most money-efficient way for anybody to get anything. Yet we've decided as a society that it's not only illegal but immoral. I wonder why that is? Could it be that the only way it doesn't collapse in on itself is when as few people as possible are doing it? And you're advocating doing that as efficient for a society? Congratulations, sir. Your self-entitlement astounds a person who thought he could no longer be astounded by the depths to which people will sink to self-justify.

    You have the right to claim that, but it doesn't make it true.

    It has been true since the formation of modern societies. Laws and punishments for theft are always among the first that socities create. That you want morality and legality set aside for your personal enrichment--just as long as other people go ahead and pick up the tab to allow your free-loading to continue--doesn't make it true, or reasonable, regardless of what overblown, over-used excuse you throw up for how this is sooooo different and we should all just chill, maaan.

    Efficiency my ass.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:42AM (#29855831) Homepage

    Wait... so you bought an iPhone despite not liking the terms and conditions that you agreed to when buying the iPhone? So you go out and pirate some independent developers game as a means of getting back at Apple for those terms that you voluntarily agreed to... and this somehow makes you not a pirate?

    This is quite possibly the dumbest explanation for piracy I've ever heard.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @08:55AM (#29855905) Journal

    First off, I think we should disclose who we work for. I work for the a defense contractor that builds tanks. You probably work for RIAA or some other content company.

    Second:

    I rationalize piracy because prior to the internet, I used to buy VHS tapes or Cassette albums, and oftentimes the purchase was trash (example: a copy of Casablanca that is so poor you can't see the actors on the screen). And of course it wasn't possible to get a refund.

    NOW I can try before I buy, and ONLY buy the good stuff. i.e. I avoided the trash that was Star Trek Voyager, but I discovered (and bought) the genius that is Babylon 5.

    As for the statistics, the point of me quoting them is to kill RIAA's claims that 1 download == 1 lost sale. In reality it takes 2500 downloads for 1 lost sale, therefore piracy still causes damage but not as extreme as LIAR.... ooops I mean RIAA would lead you to believe. Jamie Thomas, rather than owing 2 million dollars in damages, should only owe 2 mil/2500 == $800 (approximately).

  • Re:not surprising. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:12AM (#29856003)

    "When I did pirate back in the day it was mostly because i simply couldnt afford the things i wanted."

    I'm curious, back in the day, before technology made instant gratification easy. What did people do? Were they a "better" person because they restrained themselves till they could be satisfied? What are the long term effects of several generations of "instant gratification and I don't care what I have to do", going to do to a society?

    How about themselves? Do they think that if people get's wind of this it's simply going to be, "what children do", or do we simply live in a "bandwagon" world were "everyone's doing it" and hence no harm to self.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:13AM (#29856011) Journal

    I haven't had any pirated software for the last 10 years, but then again, I've been running Linux. Anyway, back in college (1982-1986), I pirated all sorts of software I could not even imagine being able to afford. When I got a real job (1986) and since, I've paid for virtually all of it. However, my generation didn't grow up comfortable with pirating.

    One interesting thing I found in 1991: I tried selling "shareware" where you are suppose to buy the application if you use it and like it. It was downloaded and obviously heavily used a few thousand times. It was a memory checker for Windows programmers. How many programmers sent me a check for $10? One. Good grief. At the same time, my father wrote a shareware application useful for Delta pilots to "bid" on their routes for the next month. Dad made $32K on it! The difference? Pilots were older, middle class workers who never pirated anything. Programmers were young and on the leading edge of piracy (and we still are).

    This game is a very interesting data point. I would expect that a young hacker who can pay $400 for an iPhone just might have $2 for a game. Frankly, I don't think this is as much about ability to pay as a new culture of piracy.

    As for me, I don't pirate anything any more unless the author deserves to burn in hell, which is a very small portion of authors. For example, to read books now days I need to convert them to audio and play them, since my central vision is failing. I can break the Microsoft Reader format, which works well for me. I just buy the e-books and then translate them for my needs. However, some authors, like J. K. Rowling, are rich greedy bastards who don't care about the disabled. I already own all her books, and most of the movies. I felt pretty good about downloading her collective works on The Pirate Bay, and would encourage all of you to get it there to punish her.

  • by discord5 (798235) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:21AM (#29856071)

    As for convenience, that's no excuse at all, it's just laziness. Given the ease of legally downloading these days, it's even less of an excuse.

    Here are a few examples of convenience:

    • Legally bought version of MathCAD (1300€ - license for 1 PC). The user has to wait 3 weeks for the package to arrive, and then installs it on his computer. The license manager fails in a spectacular way, resulting in the user uninstalling the application and installing it on another computer. The license however has already been tied to the computer he originally installed it on, and is now no longer valid for another computer. After 3 weeks of contacting the company we've still not made any progress. The user has in the meantime acquired other means to do his work in far less time and far less hassle (although legally not that quite nice). Convenient indeed.
    • Aforementioned user needed to use a software package developed by a partner to finish a project. This package came with a licensing product that installs itself and binds itself to port 8080, where you can conveniently upload a key that the software producer generates for you based on your MAC address (of all things). The licensing software contained a bug which made it freak out on computers with two network cards (which is default on many desktops these days). The result was a lot of mails going back and forth between the partner and us, where we were eventually told to wait until the 3rd party copyright protection library fixed their bug. After 2 weeks of waiting the user searched for a crack and applied it and finished his project. 2 months after the deadline a bugfix was issued.
    • An uncle of mine decided to use iTunes for his music needs. I can only applaud him for abandoning his luddite ways and converting to digital era. He decides to purchase about 300$ worth of jazz music, so he can put them on an mp3 player and enjoy his music without his wife complaining about the noise (a fervent music hater). He's convinced by his friends to buy something else than an iPod, which unfortunately cannot play iTunes DRM'ed format. He is now a big fan of various p2p services that allow him to download entire jazz cds for free, and the words "iTunes" and "scam" are mentioned in the same sentence. Sadly I am unable to change his mind on the subject.
    • My perfectly legally purchases copy of windows XP is currently in the process of reminding me that I might be running counterfeit software. I've decided not to bother with it at the time and give windows 7 (legally purchased, currently en route to me via snail mail) a try. I'm sure that if I google a bit I'll find enough ways to disable WGA until the next update.

    I'm sure that anyone here can come up with more examples that disprove that piracy is far more convenient these days than buying a legal copy in many instances. I'm not saying that piracy is ok, because it really isn't, but when it comes to convenience it stands undefeated in most cases. The two users I named beside myself are both the typical Joe Sixpack which slashdot likes to shun, and both of them have found their way to the pirated good on their own, and managed to find this approach much more convenient that the correct way of doing things.

    I believe that says a lot about the current state of affairs of copyright protection, and I personally long back for the days where the only thing that harassed me was a serial number on the inside of a box. In the case of software I find it inexcusable that when you've paid a considerable amount of money for a piece of software that you're being treated like a thief. In the case of iTunes... Well, despite that my uncle should've bought the correct piece of hardware, his mp3 player works very well and he's quite satisfied with it regretting the money he spent on a format he can only listen to on his computer.

    The more we decide to burden legitimate users with hassles, the more likely it will be they will turn into pirates, which will result in lost s

  • Or you could do as I do; wait until it's off the air, then buy the series on DVD. Eventually broadcast TV and even movie theaters will both go the way of the dodo (movie theaters first though) and then the consumers will pay the prices directly, without advertising. For me, it's worth it. Direct-to-DVD movies often make more money, whether by percentage of gross or simply by numbers, because the cost of a theatrical release is enormous. The argument is made that if we don't watch shows on commercial television, they will go away. That's fine by me; anything that can't survive without serving as an advertising substrate isn't worth saving, just like websites that can't survive without ads.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @09:38AM (#29856163)
    "Besides, why do you think you should be allowed to use the software or game if you haven't paid the author what he is asking for it?"

    Why should you be allowed to read a book without the author's permission? Why should you be allowed to use the techniques described in a math textbook without the author's permission?

    When copyrights were first envisioned, nobody was thinking, "Well, the general public should have to get the author's permission to read books." It was an issue of who was allowed to publish the book, not who was allowed to read it. Now we include software in copyright law, but the law should remain the same: an issue of who may publish, not who may use. Unfortunately, we have not updated copyright law to fit the times that we live in, and the line between "publishing" and "using" software has become blurred; instead of rethinking copyrights to compensate for this new age, we just pretend that everything is the same and pass laws like the DMCA to help prop up that fantasy.

    So why should you be allowed to use the software without the author's permission? Because we live in a new age, and it is time for publishers of all sorts to adapt to that new age instead of clinging to the realities of a previous era.
  • Re:First pirate! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elnyka (803306) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:20AM (#29856459) Homepage

    I don't pirate to "try before you buy". I pirate because I can't afford the software, and I need it (want it?).

    Half of my lawn died and need to be replaced with fresh sod. I need it before it deteriorates further causing damage to my property. But I can't afford that right now. Should I sneak out into a nursery and take the sod I need?

    If I need something, I buy it. If I can't, then I suck it up and live with the consequences. That's how honesty works in the real world. In software, it should not be different. It cannot be. When I was in college, I use to pirate stuff with "me need, me haz no moolah!" lame explanation... not excuse, but explanation (that can't possibly be construed as a legitimate excuse at all.)

    Somehow I grew up. Perhaps it was because, once out of college, I had a good job that allowed me to get the things I wanted, plus having to cope with other financial obligations that we don't get when living under our parent's basements got me a sense to respect other people's properties. Or perhaps it was that once I started working in software (not just playing or studying, but actually working on it), that's when I realized how difficult and how expensive it is to create software. Who knows.

    But, I have purchased 3 rather high dollar 3D graphics programs that I pirated. I purchased them because I liked them, and when I managed to get the cash together, I wanted to make sure that the company that made them got some of my scratch.

    Sure, I could have only stuck with what I could afford at the time,

    Like, the way honest people in the real world do?

    but then I would only be using Truespace, and the other 3 companies (Truespace was what turned me on to graphic art, me and my brother purchased it back in 96, the other three I pirated before I purchased) would not have gotten any money out of me.

    They would have if you could afford them, and they would have if you could not. Welcome to life.

    So to say it is total bullshit is not correct. Some of us really do purchase the software we pirate first. It just takes awhile.

    Games of semantics dude. Doesn't matter if the statement is 100% accurate or not. The transgression has occurred, rendering any other apologetic red herrings moot.

    Think of it this way. I car dealer gets me inside a car, to give it a try in the parking lot just to get a feel for it (try it before you buy it). But I take off with it. Weeks later you come back with the money saying "if you thought I was stealing it, that's bullshit. I had to take it then because I really needed it (wanted it). It just took a while to get the money."

    There is nothing intrinsic about these two analogies that makes them logically different if we are to follow the line of argument you are presenting here.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by McGiraf (196030) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:27AM (#29856505) Homepage

    "Not a single piece of pirated software is on that website"

    This is a true statement, Pirate Bay does not have any software of music at all on their servers, legitimate or not. Well except for a webserver, a tracker and an OS.

  • by SuperAlgae (953330) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:31AM (#29856531)
    The point is that the rabid anti-piracy techniques used by a lot of publishers do not just hurt pirates; they hurt legitimate customers.

    I do not pirate software. I do exactly as you describe ... "If you dont approve with the price, you just dont get it then". And as a paying customer, I expect the money I provide to be used to produce a good product, not to make me suffer through invasive anti-copy software, key codes, etc. Actually, the key codes are not so bad, but why should I put up with them when pirates don't. Almost all software gets cracked, and cracked versions often lack these anti-features. And THAT is what really pisses me off. I give these companies my money, and how do they reward me? They make me go through all this crap that does not even stop the pirates. At best, I am punished for no good reason, and in some cases, the pirates are actually rewarded with less crippled software than me. And when it's all done, even if piracy is curtailed, what has been gained? Maybe one sale for 2500 stopped piracies. That is NOT an effective use of my money.

    And by the way, if most people seriously followed the "If you dont approve with the price, you just dont get it then" policy, then that really would impact sales. As someone who follows it, I can say that "just dont get it then" is the most common result.

    I see a few possible explanations as to why companies continue to cause customers pain in the name of fighting piracy...
    - The the people in charge are stupid.
    - They have a hatred (or at least disdain) for their own customers.
    - Stopping piracy is not the real goal. A lot of publishers would love it if they could dictate exactly when, where, and how customers access the media we pay for. It's really just an obsession with control.

    I think it is a little bit of all of these in conjunction.
  • Re:First pirate! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlamedaStone (114462) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:36AM (#29856563)

    Half of my lawn died and need to be replaced with fresh sod. I need it before it deteriorates further causing damage to my property. But I can't afford that right now. Should I sneak out into a nursery and take the sod I need?

    Of course not, you would be depriving the nursery of a physical item, and therefore be stealing.

    Think of it this way. I car dealer gets me inside a car, to give it a try in the parking lot just to get a feel for it (try it before you buy it). But I take off with it. Weeks later you come back with the money saying "if you thought I was stealing it, that's bullshit. I had to take it then because I really needed it (wanted it). It just took a while to get the money."

    Again, you completely fail to capture the issue with your flawed car analogy. Physical item, depriving owner, theft.

    This is simply not the black-and-white issue you claim it is, no matter how long or loudly you rail against it. Now I'm not saying that piracy is 100% right - but copying bits is never in the same category of "wrong" as stealing a car.

    Get a grip.

  • by kackle (910159) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:43AM (#29856593)
    They hated it so much that they got high scores playing something they couldn't stand to play.
  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Duradin (1261418) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:46AM (#29856621)

    You've never used a coffee house in the correct manner then. The price you pay for the coffee includes the 'rent' for your being there and enjoying whatever amenities the place has to offer. Books, board games, social gathering place, etc.

    A good coffee house is not a place to go if you're in a hurry and you plan to complain about spend $X on a coffee even though *you* are willingly ignoring most of the value of your purchase. To use a car analogy, getting a coffee from a coffee house to go is like buying a new car and only driving it once and then complaining how expensive it is to get around.

  • by AlamedaStone (114462) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:49AM (#29856637)

    dont go stealing it and try to rationalize it.

    Again with the theft? Copying bits is still not theft. Maybe if you keep saying it, some day it will be true.

    But not today.

    Get a grip.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @10:55AM (#29856675) Homepage Journal

    I'm wondering if his methodology is bad. I haven't read TFA as yet but it seems from scanning the posts here that he was comparing the deviceID that purchased with the deviceID that posted the score... in which case, how is he accounting for the fact that users are specifically allowed to share their apps with up to 5 devices?

    I do this all the time between my wife and I. We download games for our kids to play as well as apps and music for ourselves when we find them... then sync up the phones via iTunes (as we are specifically allowed to do) - so that we can share our household purchases between the two phones.

    If you assume a maximum of sharing.... take a sample of 100 downloads, then share it out to 5 people = 500 downloads, using his method you instantly have an 80% pirate rate!!!!

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damburger (981828) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @11:31AM (#29856905)
    Selling games is strictly self-serving also. Apparently, you think its fantastic for companies to be driven by greed, but the customers should be selfless? Same old shit as the banks - capitalise the profit, socialise the loss.
  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beej (82035) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @11:40AM (#29856995) Homepage Journal

    Half of my lawn died and need to be replaced with fresh sod. I need it before it deteriorates further causing damage to my property. But I can't afford that right now. Should I sneak out into a nursery and take the sod I need?

    No, because that would be stealing. You should use a replicator and duplicate the sod (which you aren't going to pay for, anyway) from over the fence.

    I'm not a fan of software piracy (and I am a software developer who enjoys earning money), but every time someone compares software piracy to physical theft, Zeus kills 10 kittens.

  • by julesh (229690) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @11:51AM (#29857091)

    Quite the contrary, the people who think that just because they don't like the price or don't want to spend the money that they can have somebody else's time and effort anyway is immoral.

    If I copy something that an artist produced, it doesn't cost that artist either time or effort. The time and effort has already been spent, they have no way of getting it back.

    The only possibility is that they might get payment in compensation for it. As long as anything I do does not affect their chance of getting this compensation, I see no possible way in which it can be immoral. Therefore, as long as I can be sure that I am not going to pay for a copy, I see no way that making my own copy is immoral.

    If you believe otherwise, can you explain why?

    You're right; stealing is the most money-efficient way for you to get something. In fact it's the most money-efficient way for anybody to get anything. Yet we've decided as a society that it's not only illegal but immoral. I wonder why that is? Could it be that the only way it doesn't collapse in on itself is when as few people as possible are doing it? And you're advocating doing that as efficient for a society?

    What the OP is advocating is not stealing. Stealing involves somebody losing something; it is a zero sum game: for one person to gain, another must lose. Unauthorised copying is not: one person can gain while nobody else loses. This is an essential difference that means your entire analogy is basically worthless.

    It has been true since the formation of modern societies. Laws and punishments for theft are always among the first that socities create.

    Here's a legal definition of theft: "the wrongful or willful taking of money or property belonging to someone else with intent to deprive the owner of its use or benefit either temporarily or permanently". Can I ask in the case being discussed, what money or property has somebody been deprived of wrongfully? Please note that you cannot be deprived of something that you never had a right to have in the first place. Unauthorised copying is not theft. The two are totally different concepts, and while laws against theft are, as you say, usually among the first that societies create, it is worth noting that unauthorised copying was not a crime anywhere until only around 300 years ago.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @11:55AM (#29857115)
    As a general rule, we don't pay for content. Speaking as a society. We pay for the wrapper that the content is encased in, or we pay to reward the creator...but to pretty much all of us, we're not paying for the content, at least not directly. People don't hear a song on the radio, then go to the bands website to toss a quarter at them, they don't get a lend of a friends book/DVD then send them a check for 19.99. We have no problem with renting a movie, or getting a book out of the library. Even though we are gaining the experience of the content, the only "cost" we perceive with it to be the cost of the packaging itself. Why is this? I suspect that to most of us, content is culture. Or to be more precise, culture is content. And culture is something that we feel entitled to (and to be honest, in terms of our society we probably are. Our culture defines a large part of who and what we are). The efforts of big media to deny this, are doomed to fail. Not that I'm supporting this sort of piracy. Far from it. 2 bucks for even a small game is actually a VERY reasonable price. I like paying for content that I want to enjoy on a long-term basis. But that said, I get books from the library. I rent movies and games. The problem with such a download is that it is probably offering very little packaging value for the cost. It's a big danger of DDL software. You need to add value to the packaging, I.E Steam with its auto-update/download system, friends lists, etc. or the perceived value will be effectively zero.
  • Re:First pirate! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by elnyka (803306) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @12:19PM (#29857273) Homepage

    Half of my lawn died and need to be replaced with fresh sod. I need it before it deteriorates further causing damage to my property. But I can't afford that right now. Should I sneak out into a nursery and take the sod I need?

    The problem with this analogy is that with pirate software you are not "taking" anything, you are copying.

    And by copying you are "taking" an intangible property that provides revenue to the maker of the software. Property can either be tangible or intangible. The notion of intangible property is an ancient, time honored one.

    In your example you deprive the nursery of some sod, but when copying software you don't deprive anyone of physical property.

    Again, property does not be to be physical to be qualified as such.

    At best they loose a potential sale.

    And there is nothing wrong with that, right?

    Imagine the recipe for Pepsi Cola was leaked on to the internet, and you decided to make your own instead of buying actual Pepsi. I'm sure Pepsi would argue that they have lost something of value to them but it would be hard to accuse someone of stealing Pepsi if they made their own.

    But you are forgetting that to get the recipe, Pepsi invested millions in term of payroll, research, equipment, infrastructure and product development to create something that is unique and for which they built a customer base and generate revenue. That is, they created an intangible property.

    Leakage of that over the internet would be a break in the law and it would cause potential harm to the company (and thus its shareholders, employees and 3rd party companies that have business deals with it.)

    You taking that recipe and using it to make profit (or even just to use it for your own) is no different from me taking your car and use it (either to make profit as a delivery boy or for pleasure to drive me to disneyland or a strip club.)

    Computers and the internet are good at copying stuff.

    Photocopiers are good at copying stuff. I can copy a book using my copier or someone else and not pay what I should morally and legitimately should.

    You need to build your business model around that.

    Though this is true, this argument is no much different from me saying I'm a bank robber and banks need to invest in their security infrastructure to take bank robbery into account. It's like telling the insurance industry to develop their business model to take fraud into account (with me actively filling bogus claims.)

    The old artificial scarcity thing is dying pretty rapidly, and not just in computer/internet related fields. The value of news has fallen dramatically due to it being available for free.

    Non sequitur.

    It's a shame that a lot of newspapers will close but it's also pointless trying to reverse the situation.

    Maybe you just have to accept that in a store with 85,000+ apps, many of which are free, you just can't make a lot of money unless your app is really, really popular. I mean, if you can't do it in the App Store with a captive audience of millions of un-jailbroken iPhone users...

    All of those points have no principle in them, they are simply a matter of convenience to satisfy a "I-want-it-so-I'm-entitled-for-it-no-matter-what" mentality.

  • Silly Pirates (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 24, 2009 @12:37PM (#29857411)

    So let me get this straight, you have a phone that costs around $400 that allows you to put applications on it. The applications cost between $1 and $4, yet you have people whose time is worth so little to them that they bother to go through the trouble of jailbreaking their phone, installing weirdo software on it, downloading the apps from some pirate site and then installing it on their phone all to "Try it out first"? what a waste of time! just buy the damn app! even it it is only a dollar, you're out about...what...a DOLLAR! as opposed to the $10-$20 in personal time you have spent with your "free, pirated, jailbroken" app.

    I'm afraid that you people who pirate things just don't understand economy. Your attempts at stealing are actually costing you much more than just buying the app in the first place.

    Save your time and money and just spend your dollar through the legit way and then post your review to the site to warn others if you don't think the app is worthwhile. People generally key on negative things and a lot of times, such reviews offer interesting tidbits of information about why something is good or bad.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elnyka (803306) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @01:26PM (#29857779) Homepage

    You guys keep differentiating the scenarios simply by saying that one refers to a physical property. You keep neglecting the existence of intangible property.

    EXACTLY. It doesn't exist. Who says it's property? The media cartels, the entertainment companies, the guys who cry "piracy! piracy!". Of course, they sell this idea to governments and schools, who end producing mass-marketed sheep like you who believes everything they see on TV.

    Even bad hollywood productions still manage to get a profit. Do you know what profit means? It means that you earn more than you invested. And that of course, is AFTER you pay the salaries / agreed amount of money to the director, the actors, the extras, the special effects people, etc. etc. etc. The guys who invested in games / movies / music / etc. GAINED money.

    If someone pirates their album, they should congratulate themselves and say "wow, our production is so good that it's the nth top pirated item!". But no, they cry "ah! thieves! My precious money!"

    People who claim to be losing money to piracy are forgetting one very important fact: Until it's in their bank accounts, it's NOT their money.

    Do yourself a favor and purchase/download the book "The Pirate's dilemma". Then you'd realize how piracy is an implicit market phenomenon instead of the crime you claim it to be.

    So the concept of an intangible property is a recently created fallacy, not something that has existed for a long time in different cultures, and codified for centuries?

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elnyka (803306) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @01:51PM (#29858015) Homepage

    If copying bits is never wrong, I suppose you won't mind copying the bits that spell out the url for your bank, your username and password and your credit cards to Slashdot.

    If copying bits is never wrong, then company data leaks are no big deal.

    If copying bits is never wrong, why don't you make a video of your neighbor masturbating and post it to you tube.

    OBJECTION! (Cue Phoenix Wright pic)

    You're confusing breach of privacy with software/media piracy. Very different things indeed.

    Why? Simple. A game was meant to be enjoyed by people. Movies are made to be watched. Music is meant to be listened.

    Where they meant to be enjoyed/watched/listened for free without ever reimbursing the costs to the authors. Did the authors say "have at it" or did they say "these are objects of my creation, you are entitled to enjoy/watch/listen under my conditions; you are free from refraining to enjoy/watch/listen them if you do not agree with my conditions."?

    Next time Cirque Du Soleil come to my town, should I start planning a scheme to sneak in and avoid paying the entrace fee simply because the show was meant, artistically speaking, to be enjoyed and watched?

    Private personal information is meant to be KEPT SECRET. And that includes a video of your neighbor masturbating, your hotmail userid/password, or your bank account password.

    This is why people who tape things that shouldn't be taped often find themselves in trouble (insert your favorite celebrity sex video). The moment they're taping themselves, they're crossing the realm of "private matters" and moving to the public affairs zone. And that's the problem with your analogy.

    Yes, there are bits that are more important that others. But you don't say in which way they're meant to be important, and fail to make the difference.

    Just in case, I'll specify it for you:

    Movies. Games. Software. They're MEANT TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE PUBLIC. Passwords. NIPs. Private matters. Private software source code. They're MEANT TO BE KEPT SECRET.

    Understand now? The only thing piracy does with bits is removing the economic factor in bits already meant for public distribution. Failing to tell the difference between the two is equating pirates with black hat hackers.

    Everything else that you have built there is a red herring and a strawman; that there is a distinction between privacy concerns and the protection of intangible assets does not mean that the second one does not exist or does not deserve as much level of legal protection as the former.

  • Re:First pirate! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elnyka (803306) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @02:09PM (#29858199) Homepage

    Think of this way. My walls of my new place are bare and I need some art. So I go to the local museum with my bajilion-pixel camera, snap some photos, and print them "poster printing" (one photo spanning several pages) and put them on my wall.

    For you to do so you will have to break the rules of the museum (which most likely forbids the usage of cameras for the purpose of reproduction in print). So that on itself makes your action an illegitimate one since you entered the museum with the purpose of breaking the rules which you implicitly agreed upon the moment you set foot inside it.

    I now have great works of art at home. Years later I hear the originals are being auctioned and I buy them thinking "I had to take them then because I really needed (wanted) some art for my walls, it just took awhile to get the money".

    The existence of a copy at your home does not decrease the value of the originals nor poses a risk, however insignificant, of lowering its value potential.

    There is nothing intrinsic about these two analogies that makes them logically different if we are to follow the line of argument you are presenting here

    Except for the fact that the acquisition of your copy originated from violating the access rules established by the museum, which are his to established, which are yours to obey whenever you agree to set foot inside it, and which no ones forces you to obey if you agree not to go inside the museum.

    My argument follows from the nature of legitimate transactions, and possession and usage via legitimate means. Yours does not.

    except now we're comparing digital copy with digital copy.

    Except for the fact that the issue at hand is not about comparing apples to apples but the legitimacy by which who gets to possess what and under what legitimate conditions.

    And don't say "Yeah but, you took a photo and printed it, that's not the same as pirating". Oh really? Am I not enjoying these paintings on my walls? How exactly is it different?

    Still missing the point of legitimacy. You don't get to take the picture the way you just described. You want a copy of the art in question, then buy a poster from a legitimate manufacturer or purchase a hand-made copy made legitimately.

    Furthermore, you are still missing the point of creating a loss on potential (and legitimate whether your like it or not) revenue. The creation of the copy in this example, does not create a loss of value on the original, unless you attempt to pass your copy as an original one (or using your copy to fake a copy for sale.)

    The copy of digital software indeed creates a digital copy, of an intangible property, that belongs to someone else (not you), the action of which creates a potential loss of legitimate revenue for the author/owner of the aforementioned intangible copy (in this case, the software.)

    Sure I can't sell my printouts but most pirates don't pirate to make $$$, they do it so they can enjoy and use something without paying for it. Am I not doing that with these paintings?

    Not because the enjoyment of your legitimately obtained copy (illegitimate for the reasons previously stated) does not cause potential financial harm to the owner of the copied property in question.

    Again, it is a matter of legitimacy not of simply copying stuff around for whatever purpose that fancies you.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Saturday October 24, 2009 @03:58PM (#29859073)

    From Toucharcade:

    "Ethan Nicholas is one of the big indie success stories of the App Store. Nicholas quit his job back in January after his tank artillery game iShoot grabbed the #1 spot in the App Store. Nicholas reportedly made over $800,000 within five months."

    This is just one of MANY games that made a crap load of money via legal sales on iTunes. Such games as that include, Trisms, Space Invaders: Infinity Gene, 2 Across, Fieldrunners, Real Racing, Madden, Tiger Woods, Need for Speed, Flight Control, AIM, Baseball Stars, Texas Hold'em, Rock Band, Tap Tap Dance, and MANY MORE....

    These games have made a lot of money in very short time. Trism's made the indie developer, $250,000 in 2 months. 2 Across, also made an indie developer $1800 a DAY in sales. Tap Tap Dance, made $6,927 a week when it launched. Now Tap Tap has several games out, which are HUGE successes for an indie developer on the iphone. You can only imagine how profitable they are now.

    This developers game (Tap-Fu) is bad. Its not a good game. Its not even a complete game. Its missing most of the story mode, as it hasnt been made yet. It has very simple gameplay that really doesnt work well.

    There was no trial version for the game. Many games have free trial versions known as "lite" versions on iTunes. The developer tries to shoot down the idea that warez users tend to try out software, then some possibly buy it.

    Frankly by not providing a free trial version via itunes, he forced people to try out a warezed version.

    I bought Tap-Fu after reading about it on Toucharcade.com. It looked promising, but it fell flat. Its bad. iTunes has a no return policy.... perhaps that forces more people to use warez versions because the proof is that... PEOPLE DO BUY these apps legally... IF they are good and worth it. These companies do make good money selling them. The App store has helped keep the indie developement scene alive. Many people have quit their day jobs to code Apps full time that generate $200,000 in profit in 2 months.

    TAP-Fu was simply not a good game. At least in my opinion

    The fact is, all of those games I mentioned above have made a LOT of money, under the same circumstances as this developer's "Tap-Fu" game. They all faced the "threat" of piracy. The difference is, those other games were worth owning, and Tap-Fu is not. That's the real reason why its not selling well. Not some silly piracy excuse.

    The developers score board data is certainly interesting, but it is not proof of ANYTHING, other than people didnt find his app worth buying. MOST apps arent worth buying, or even installing illegally...

    There are a good handful of ones that are... and they do make money. Lots.

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