Don't Focus On Why People Pirate; Focus On Why They Don't Buy

from the do-pirate-really-exist dept

Piracy has been a part of the entertainment industry for as long as content has been released on copyable media. Whenever piracy is around, content creators have attempted to fight the actions of fans sharing their favorite movies, music, games and other works with their friends. While some creators have learned to cope with piracy and have succeeded in spite of it, there are still many more that feel the need to do something. However, many of those creatives have that "something" wrong.

In an article over at Euro Gamer, Robert Florance shares his thoughts on piracy and what goes through the mind of a consumer when making a buying decision, and where content creators should target in order to maximize sales. Robert introduces us to what he considers to be the thought process of a consumer as he makes a choice to buy something.
1. HERE IS A THING I LIKE

2. DO I WANT IT? (YES)

3. DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT? (NO)

4. DO I WANT TO PAY FOR IT? (YES/NO)

5. YES: PAY FOR IT

6. NO: JUST TAKE IT FOR FREE

END

That's it in a nutshell. And here's the fundamental problem with the whole piracy issue. Publishers are focusing on dismantling Stage 6 of that process when they should be analysing decisions made at Stage 4.
We have written many times about how content creators can affect the result of the decision made at step four. We have written in the past about how consumers don't just look at price when making a purchasing decision, but weigh a number of currencies. By adding value through these and other currencies, a content creator can make it far easier for a consumer to choose to purchase over getting the content for free. However, if these content creators fail to add the value the consumers want, those customers will have a far more difficult time making the choice to purchase. As a result, the company making the content could fail.
"But these giant companies would have to close down. People will lose their jobs!" And yes, that's horrible. No one ever wants to see people lose their jobs. But if these companies can only stay in existence by charging their customers extortionate prices for bland, safe product, should they even be there in the first place? Are they not living on a lie? And the creative people at these companies, people who currently spend every day texturing guns and other guns and extra downloadable guns, might they not do greater work on their own? In small groups? Forming daring little companies? Working to progress gaming and earning goodwill from people who will pay and pay again to see their work?
Over the years we have seen companies lose creatives who then go on to create the content they want to make without the interference of gatekeepers. These creatives have moved on to work with enablers that help them add the right kind of value to their content, which in turn sells more to the end consumer. Will larger companies die off? If they don't adapt to changing trends in the market, yes they will. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. 

Finally, Robert explains just what a pirate actually is. He lead up to this in his intro, but it deserves its own little plug down here.
Let me tell you what a pirate actually is. It's just a word. And that word is a weapon. Corporations and governments will use that word to try to destroy our freedom and halt progress. They'll use it to try to turn us against each other. When big business talks about a pirate, it's creating a bogeyman that will be used to justify the continuation of its worst practices. We have to reject it, every time. There are no pirates. There's only me and you.
We can see these actions by corporations and governments all over the place. Whether it is SOPA, or excessive DRM, or the DMCA with its anti-circumvention clause and heavily abused takedown process, they have been used and promoted as a way to fight pirates even though there is little evidence that such measures are effective in any way. Even a company like Ubisoft, with its strong history of DRM use, has backed away from its previous position. Music rarely if ever comes bogged down by DRM anymore. However, DRM has been replaced by other excesses in copyright enforcement.

Yet, all those actions target the wrong part of the consumer decision making process. They all focus on step six when they should be focusing on adding value that leads the consumer to move to step five. Those pirates that will take content for free no matter what, if they do exist, are just not worth the hassle and burden of actions that negatively affect those who are willing to pay.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    And here's one the trolls will completely misunderstand and WARRGABBLE all over the comments.

    *grabs popcorn*

     

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    Cory of PC (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    I have a question:

    With all this talk about harm, who is really doing the most damage: the pirates/consumers, the content creators or the gatekeepers?

    If all of this boils down to money, then where's the harm, who is it harming, and what kind of harm is it doing?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    out of curiosity, has he been stood up against the wall, blindfolded and shot yet? how dare he have the balls to speak such sense! how dare he have the balls to tell it like it is! how dare he have the balls to tell the entertainment industries and governments that they have got it wrong!

     

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    Glen, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Let me see if I got this...

    It is better to be proactive than reactive. Right?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    some steps missing

    somewhere in there should be ease of obtaining said thing.

    If it is hard and you have to pay for it, VS easy and free, the obvious choice will be easy and free.

    Same is true if it will take 3 days to download and is 10 bucks in the store, PPL will go to the store.

    Silly gatekeepers.

     

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  6.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Carrot and the stick

    Another way to look at is the carrot and the stick. Most people will respond to the stick for only so long before a bigger and bigger stick is necessary Use it too often and people will rise up, take the stick from you and hit you with it. Meaning, the more the copyright maximalists keep using the copryight stick, and the bigger they make that stick, the more likely their going to end up with no copyrights at all. TBH, at this point, that's what it effectively is. The more they strive to stop piracy, the more piracy flourishes. They've already used some big sticks, but it's not helping at all.

    More people will respond to the carrot for a lot longer. Give them a reason to buy and they'll be happy. That's what the free market is all about. Two people making a mutual decision that benefits both. The problem with copyright is that it creates a monopoly. Monopolies and a free market are incompatible.

    As techdirt has been promoting for a long time, even more people will respond to love even longer. Simply connecting with your fans gives them a reason to buy already. Anything on top of that is gravy.

     

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  7.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: some steps missing

    True. I remember having played Darksiders on PS3, liked it, and wanted to get it on my PC (at the time, I had thought that when it came out on PC, it would have had extra graphical options, to take advantage of superior hardware - it doesn't).
    I thought about torrenting it, but at the time, I had a crappy internet connection, literally about 20-30kbps at best. So I went to the store and bought the PC version.

     

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    Forest_GS (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Availability, availability, and availability.

     

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    Decadre (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Missing Steps

    4a - After I buy it, will I need to pirate it so it will run on my PC. (Had to deal with this last year with Crysis)

    4b - After I buy it, will I feel compelled to pirate it anyway so I can play it without dealing with draconian DRM measures. (IE; no cd-exe kind of stuff)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Pirate Word Weapon Mike still hasn't addressed my points.

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Here's the proper process the entertainment industry needs to focus on:

    1. HERE IS A THING I LIKE

    2. DO I WANT IT? (YES)

    2a. Is is available for purchase? (YES/NO)
    2b. YES: Go to step 3.
    2c. No: Go to step 6.

    3. DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT? (NO)

    4. DO I WANT TO PAY FOR IT? (YES/NO)

    5. YES: PAY FOR IT

    6. NO: JUST TAKE IT FOR FREE

    END

    They need to focus on the steps between 2 and 3. If it's not available for purchase legally, and we want it now, we'll find a way to get it NOW.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re: some steps missing

    somewhere in there should be ease of obtaining said thing.

    Zach mentions that:
    We have written in the past about how consumers don't just look at price when making a purchasing decision, but weigh a number of currencies.
    The link is to an article discussing that and other "currencies" besides cash.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Missing Steps

    Usually if I have to go through 4a and/or 4b the answer to 4 itself is no.

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re:

    Wear a bra and they won't need addressing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    You forgot "can I afford it?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    "Don't Focus On Why People Pirate; Focus On Why They Don't Buy"

    Ummm... isn't that sort of self-defeating?

    Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free.

    Any discussion of why people won't buy has to include piracy, otherwise it's a fail.

    Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself.

    Perhaps Mike can get him to write for Techdirt, considering there doesn't appear to be much qualification required, right Zach?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver.

    You might have missed the point, I think.

    If the content producers focused on removing the hassle "Focus on why they don't buy" versus trying to make buying MORE of a hassle (DRM etc) "Focus on why people pirate" they might get more sales.

    Which is what I think the content producers ultimately want, right? Or would they rather be broke and "right"? I'm not really sure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re:

    Yeah, how dare a consumer speak about consumer experiences by speaking about his experiences as a consumer. The last thing consumers need are decision-making power. And figures pulled out of one's posterior? Fuck that shit; the RIAA's had a monopoly on that for years, and they're still going strong!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    When you purchase something digital it is not a purchase it is a rental. You do not own what you pay for. You cannot move to device to device or os to os, etc. You rent it. This is the problem among the bigger problem which is availability. If HBO GO was a stand alone product people would purchase it. If netflix had more movies people would watch them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    My thought process is a little more like this:

    1. HERE IS A THING I LIKE

    2. DO I WANT IT? (YES)

    3. PIRATE IT

    4. DO I STILL WANT TO PAY FOR IT? (YES/NO)

    5. YES: PAY FOR IT

    6. NO: DELETE IT FROM MY COMPUTER

    END

    I have downloaded many computer games. I have spent $500+ on computer games this past year. Both of these statements are true.

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    "Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free."

    First off, I love how you equate digital and physical products, that was genius and it actually highlights my thought. A pirated product and the legitimate product are usually not the same product. If they were the same product, there probably wouldn't be a market for the pirated one. The product is not just the end result of what the customer receives, it's the entire package. Customers now are used to convenience, and if they can't get it they will move on by finding the more convenient product. That may mean pirating, or it may mean doing without the original product completely and finding an alternative.

    "Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself.
    "

    So, because he's a consumer, he's not qualified to speak to how consumers' thought processes might work in regards to purchases? Who the hell should speak to that, Martians?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Re:

    When I eat oreos I only rent them.

    Not that you'd want to keep it afterwards :P

     

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    Gnudist, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ooooo AC wet T-shirt contests

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re:

    "You might have missed the point, I think."

    No, I got it fine.

    "If the content producers focused on removing the hassle "Focus on why they don't buy" versus trying to make buying MORE of a hassle (DRM etc) "Focus on why people pirate" they might get more sales."

    I think that even if you removed every one of the hassles (and you can't get rid of all of them and still have a business) people will still pirate it anyway. Mike has already told us that 95% of users don't pay, and since they got the product from somewhere, they are pirating.

    Let's put those numbers in perspective, okay?

    For every 100 people, 95% will never buy. Let's say that 1 out of the remaining 5 does buy, and the other 4 don't because of the hassle.

    Now, if you fix the "hassles" you might get up to 2 in 100 buying. If you make it harder to pirate the product or to fully enjoy the pirated product, you need only to convert 1 or 2% of the pirates to purchasing in order to have the same basic result.

    Since piracy is the biggest issue, changing even a small percentage of people's actions in this area can have a very positive effect.

    The reasons people pirate is mostly because it's easy, it's everywhere. Make it less easy, make it less everywhere, and suddenly piracy isn't as big an issue. You won't make a big shift, but if you move a couple of percentage points over, it's a big deal. It's why many of the console games don't suffer as much piracy, because they require a network connection to a central server to play in shared mode, and that mode checks that the software is valid. Those games get better sales in general (percentage paying customers).

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Typical bratard logic; looks like Underwear Mike can't defend his pro-brassiere agenda.

    What is he hiding?

     

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    Trails (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Extra points for bratard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    "Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free."

    Piracy more often than not is NOT the same product. It is usually a stripped down version of the product (with usually the main features), it is also usually a de-DRMed version of the product.

    The differences you listed are there though. Avoid hassle of going to the store, ordering online, and waiting for delivery. But you also fail to point out (probably out of convenience) that piracy has it's own hassles. Are you downloading the right product? Is it the full version? Is it virus free? How long will it take to download? Is there anything additional required to enjoy said download? And so on and so forth. Now, most of these aren't big deals to your average pirate. But to your un-average pirate, meaning the casual downloader (the one that is harped about incessantly and for whom the hassle of downloading in the form of enforcement and all that jazz is being done for), these are hassles that more often than not lead to them just giving up entirely and not bothering with downloading at all.

    "Any discussion of why people won't buy has to include piracy, otherwise it's a fail."

    That's your opinion. But it doesn't make it correct. Any discussion of why people pirate has to focus on one and only one thing, is the product being sought for purchase available and is it available in a reasonable manner? That's pretty much it. Can they buy it? Can they buy it easily?

    "Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself."

    Ah yes, the usual "I'll ignore the message because I don't like it, but because I can't factually disprove any of it, I'll attempt to discredit the messenger".

    "Perhaps Mike can get him to write for Techdirt, considering there doesn't appear to be much qualification required, right Zach?"

    And the usual ad hom aimed at the person who wrote the article.

    Well, you nailed all the troll talking points. Kudos to you. Too bad you're unoriginal, lacking in creative ability, and unable to actually refute anything in any meaningful way. Otherwise you might be able to actually convince people for why you're correct about whatever nonsense you're going on about today. So close yet so far. But hey, there's always tomorrow.

     

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  28.  
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    The Ultimate Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Why We Don't Buy; or, Confession of a "Pirate".

    Sometimes, we don't buy because we can't buy.

    Let me explain why I recently pirated an ebook.

    It was the second book in a series. I had bought the first ebook right around when it was published, using Amazon's online store; it had cost $4.99, well under hardcover or even paperback prices around here. And then I had enjoyed it, enough to eagerly anticipate the next installment.

    So, the announced publication date of that installment arrives and I turn my Kindle's wireless on and search the online store with it. Nothing. I try several different queries, on chunks of the title, on the author's name, etc. Nothing.

    Puzzled, I search Amazon's web site on my computer and find the title there, but it lists a publication date still a week in the future! Not when it had been promised at all.

    OK, that's annoying, but I can wait a week. So, I wait a week and repeat the attempt to find it on the Kindle, with the same results.

    Back to Amazon's web site. It's the publication date they'd claimed a week ago, but now it shows a publication date not of today but of a few days in the past.

    It also says, "Not currently available".

    Note: not "Not available in your country", which I'd seen on other titles while browsing (generally there's a different edition that is available instead, but stupidly their web site doesn't simply link to all the other editions from each edition so you have to search).

    Just "Not currently available".

    No rationale. No date when it will be available. Almost as if it was simply out of stock, even though since it's an ebook that's impossible.

    I search for other editions. They're all either not available in my country or have later publication dates. The edition for my own geographic area has a publication date three days in the past but is "not currently available".

    And, of course, the author's obscure enough that the single small local bookstore here in Podunk, Pennsylvania is devoid of any copies. Maybe they could order some in, but it would take weeks and I'd be expected to pay in advance. And pay the full hardcover price of around $20-30.

    There's no apparent way to pay my $4.99 to download the ebook legally the way they promised I could, and no ETA on when I will be able to do so.

    So a little web searching later I have an un-DRM'd .mobi of it from some file locker site or another, signing up for which cost me only a throwaway email address that it turns out they didn't even try to verify anyway.

    Amazon didn't want my money, so, they didn't get it. As for the author? Well I'd have liked for him to get some, but apparently Amazon and/or his publisher are standing in the way of him getting some of the money he could be getting. He can take it up with them.

    There should be at least one more book in this series. Amazon, you have until it's published to get your house in order. I will buy rather than pirate it on the following conditions:

    1. You don't lie to me about when I can download it. Especially not repeatedly.

    2. You don't pretend to be sold out of a fucking ebook, or whatever that nonsense was.

    3. You don't charge too much more than the $4.99 the first installment cost. I'll allow for a few percent added to keep pace with inflation -- so, say, no more than $5.99. If you, the publisher, and the author made a profit on the first one at $4.99 then you can make a profit on the third one at $5.99, and if you didn't why did you greenlight the sequels in the first place?

    Or, put more simply, once the publication date grows close I want a cursory check of the Amazon website (or a click from the author's own website) to show a publication date and a price of not more than $5.99. And at the stroke of midnight on the promised date I want it to appear in the Kindle store with a suitably-crafted search, buyable, and to download to my Kindle trouble-free given a good wifi signal and me being good for the at-most-$5.99.

    In the meantime, don't bother trying to figure out who I am or which title or which Kindle account. That's futile. Even if you identified the Kindle, I have backed up everything from it and stripped all the DRM so you can't do anything to it that I can't fix, short of bricking the device remotely, and if you do that, I will simply return it to the store under warranty as broken and get a new Nook or something.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    Netflix: you set it to bill your credit card monthly then get shitloads of content without further steps and with nice speeds.

    No hassle, pirate sites can't really compete with that level of convenience.

    As for the qualifications it doesn't matter if he was God Himself you'd still question his credentials because they don't fit your distorted views of the world. But assuming he's looking exclusively from his point of view as a consumer I'll present myself and a few of my friends as examples of this methodology. Although I will admit I weight in the money available, DRM and other aspects that will impact on my decision.

    If you are that expert, build a blog and express your opinions clearly and with facts and evidence to support them. I'll be sure to read. If you write as you comment here you won't go far though.

     

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    whabap01 (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    While I agree with some of what Florence has to say about media piracy, the first paragraph of his piece sums up perfectly what I feel is the REAL underlying philosophy of the subject. If you can't afford a computer game (or an iPhone, or a Netflix account, or whatever), and you're having to choose between buying it or feeding your family, then YES, guess what, you DO have to "sit out in the cold" and miss out on that "cultural event." Dingaling. You aren't ENTITLED to it simply because you're alive and you want it. No matter the arguments made later, that entitlement issue always feels like the underlying rational for online piracy to me, and I'm constantly surprised by how many seemingly intelligent people actually THINK like that. "Do I have to pay for it? (No)" Well, yeah, see: you don't have to pay for anything if you're willing to walk up and steal it. Talk about "Lost Humanity," dude. For serious.

     

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    Trails (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    "Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free."

    Have you ever tried to download something from TPB? It's not hassle free. Loads of fakes, listing page can be slow, people not seeding, having to apply cracks which often don't work, having to wade through idiotic comments like "I WISH TEHER WAS CHON LEE"S BOOBERS AND PEANUS!!!" and get inundated by ads offering you chinese, russian and brazilian brides as well as the opportunity to meet singles in my area while playing poker online and taking herbal male enhancements.

    Get a clue.

    "Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself."

    This is bullshit and you know it. The author isn't presenting it as a study, or empirical anything you're just trying to muckrake. That "process" is so obvious as to be self-evident.

    "Perhaps Mike can get him to write for Techdirt, considering there doesn't appear to be much qualification required, right Zach?"

    So why do you come here?

     

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    Michael (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    It boils down to convenience for me. If I want a new game, I can find several on Steam that I can get with a click of a button and a few bucks. If I want entertainment, Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan are selling full length concerts in HD that I can download with a click of a button and a few bucks. If I want music, there are Amazon, ITunes, and others.

    But if I want to watch a movie or Game of Thrones right away, I am out of luck. Acquisition by other means becomes mighty tempting.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    (and you can't get rid of all of them and still have a business) people will still pirate it anyway

    So you can't get rid of the hassles and have a business. But, you'll always have piracy to compete with which removes those hassles. Sounds like you're not in a business for the customers, but in the business of tricking/forcing your customer into buying something.

    Most people reviewing such a business plan would say that isn't a viable business.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    "Don't Focus On Why People Pirate; Focus On Why They Don't Buy"

    Ummm... isn't that sort of self-defeating?


    It would only be self-defeating if your goal is to go out of business. Isn't the object to get people to purchase?


    Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free.

    Excellent way to rephrase this article - the legit versions are a "hassle" and piracy isn't. So how are you going to fix that?


    Any discussion of why people won't buy has to include piracy, otherwise it's a fail.

    Wait. Did you even read the whole article? This discussion does include piracy (hint: that's the "JUST TAKE IT FOR FREE" part)


    Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself.

    From above:

    "Robert Florance shares his thoughts on piracy and what goes through the mind of a consumer".

    My guess is that his qualifications are that he has the ability to think.


    Perhaps Mike can get him to write for Techdirt, considering there doesn't appear to be much qualification required, right Zach?

    Is that supposed to some kind of dig? Pretty lame.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    Don't bother making piracy a moral issue. The **AAs spent manpower and advertising money on that for decades, and it didn't get them anywhere.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    1. Do you want it?
    2. Do you NEED it?
    3. Do you really like its mane?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sure, if you open with the assumption that removing barriers will only improve sales 2 out of 100 and that piracy is the biggest issue it's easy to prove that's the case but that's normal when you beg the question.

     

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  38.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    " Mike has already told us that 95% of users don't pay, and since they got the product from somewhere, they are pirating. "

    Uhh...nope. Mike never said such a thing. He reported that that number came from Ubisoft, who said that the infringement rate for their games versus paying customers was 95%, the same number that appears when they checked the number of players who didn't pay for anything on free-to-play games.

    Get your facts straight, or fuck off.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    I must admit that I'm far more likely to pirate after reading the TechDirt blog for years now than I was before reading.

    But, only because of reading the comments of the apologists like bob et al.

    If/when I do, it won't because I feel entitled to it. It's because I truly want the legacy players to go out of business so new players can fill their gap. That's how capitalism works and I might want to start doing my part.

     

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  40.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re:

    It depends on who you buy from. When you buy from the Humble Indie Bundle, you own the games. There is no regulating body or DRM to stop you from transferring from device to device. They actively encourage it. You can even trade off the games you don't want.

    But in many cases, especially in movies, you are right. You are merely renting.

     

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  41.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    I'm not entitled to anything. That is to say, I wouldn't knock on an author's door and demand he send me a copy of his ebook.

    However, if someone who has the ebook offers to send me a copy (BitTorrent, for example), I will gladly accept.

     

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  42.  
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    Jeff (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    ooohhhh!!!! UNICORNS!!!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your 95% statistic came from the article that said 95% of people who play free-to-play games would likely never pay for the full game.

    You've been parroting that statement as a claim to say what, exactly? That all consumers are pirates and that justifies harsh, reckless methodologies to put them in line?

    Console games don't suffer as much piracy? Nintendo is well known for having the least amount of protection in their games, and yet their stuff is more accessible (their consoles sold a lot more).

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, I got it fine."

    No, you didn't. Your comments thus far are testament to that.

    "I think that even if you removed every one of the hassles (and you can't get rid of all of them and still have a business) people will still pirate it anyway. Mike has already told us that 95% of users don't pay, and since they got the product from somewhere, they are pirating.

    Let's put those numbers in perspective, okay?

    For every 100 people, 95% will never buy. Let's say that 1 out of the remaining 5 does buy, and the other 4 don't because of the hassle."

    Actually, Mike NEVER said that 95% thing. NEVER. There was an article about free-to-play/freemium games offered by one publisher (I forget who exactly) and according to that publisher 95% of people weren't paying. But of course that can be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons. Ranging from how did they collect the data, can they/did they even show said data to others so it could be reviewed, and so on and so forth.

    That 95% is just that a number. With no meaning whatsoever and one that can't be applied to each case of a product, because there's nothing to support it.

    "The reasons people pirate is mostly because it's easy, it's everywhere. Make it less easy, make it less everywhere, and suddenly piracy isn't as big an issue. You won't make a big shift, but if you move a couple of percentage points over, it's a big deal. It's why many of the console games don't suffer as much piracy, because they require a network connection to a central server to play in shared mode, and that mode checks that the software is valid. Those games get better sales in general (percentage paying customers)."

    No, that's not the only reason why people pirate. I won't list all the reasons that people do, because they've been listed before. But suffice it to say there are plenty of others.

    As for console games, you fail to mention/realize that the reason console games get pirated less, and the reason you stated is most definitely not it, is that modding consoles to even play pirated games is not an easy process. For the Xbox 360 it requires modifying the firmware on the dvd-drive, it also requires connecting the Xbox 360/it's dvd drive to a desktop computer via an SATA and flashing different firmware. A task which is not easy for the majority of people. For the PS3, similar situation, although a bit easier. It requires downloading specific PS3 firmware to a USB drive and then flashing it. Of course, that is the process. You must ALSO be on a firmware version lower than 3.55, you also will NOT be able to play the majority of games. With each new release of games they require newer firmware to operate, which can't be easily bypassed (although I won't say it hasn't in some cases). So basically, the more popular/big name hit the game is, the greater the chance that you won't be able to play it. Also, even if you are on a hacked firmware, you won't be able to log in to the Playstation Network, because Sony checks to ensure you are on the current version before granting you access (which doesn't apply to only hacked PS3s, but all in general... don't want to update then TL you can't sign in to the PSN). And so on and so forth. Need me to go on pointing out why you're wrong even further? I'd be happy to do so.

     

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  45.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, I'll give that nasty troll at least one point - about not needing qualifications to write on Techdirt. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I don't have a college degree and I once wrote a post.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    So I have this friend of a friend, they pay $30 a month to a newsgroup service like Giganews.
    They get unlimited content (limited only to the bandwidth they pay for separately).
    Commercial and DRM free TV show available hours after they are aired.
    Trailer free and DRM free DVD or even Blue Ray quality movies usually as soon as or sooner then they available on DVD.
    Music in several DRM free formats.
    The content can be played anywhere on any device at any time.
    I would gladly pay for this service if it were offered to me from legitimate means and for a reasonable cost.
    It seems to me that the content creators are losing out on a lot of revenue because they want to control the market.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    I know we're not "entitled" to anything. So stop using it as a justification for harsher laws and enforcement with no regards for collateral damage. It makes "going without" look like not only a poorer option, but a poorer option that we're getting punished for.

     

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  48.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    What about step zero..

    Here is a company/person offering something. Do I like this person (Yes/No)

    No End

    Yes look at the something to see whether I like it.

     

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  49.  
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    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    Ummm... isn't that sort of self-defeating?

    Why is it self defeating to learn from consumers why they did not purchase and what would get them to purchase? Why is it self defeating to then implement changes that would lead them to purchase?

    Piracy is the same product, without the hassle of going to the store, or ordering online, or waiting for UPS guy to deliver. It's now, it's here, and it's free.

    In many cases, the pirated copy is a superior copy. Why? Because a pirated movie does not have 20 minutes of unskippable ads and an unskippable FBI threat tacked on. A Pirated video game does not have DRM and does not force you to insert a cd. A pirated song is often a higher quality format than an iTunes mp3. It is also a superior copy because it is available in all regions at the same time.

    There is a lot that the content owners can do to match and at time exceed the quality of the content, least of which is the time it takes to get the content.

    Any discussion of why people won't buy has to include piracy, otherwise it's a fail.

    Who is excluding piracy from the discussion? Piracy is not the reason people don't buy, it is an alternative to buying. When someone values a pirated version of a game/movie/song etc, the goal of the content creator is to figure out what will make those people value the purchased version more. This is about thinking positively rather than negatively.

    Also, I have to wonder: What are the qualifications for this guy to detail the consumer's mind. Was it an empirical study, or just something he pulled out of his ass? He doesn't appear to have any more qualifications except perhaps as a consumer himself.

    I would think that a consumer would have the right qualifications to speak about the thought processes of a consumer.

     

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  50.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    What do you want more: fans of the book who more than likely would recommend to their friends and out of that, you get a chance of a sale.
    Or not allowing anyone to read the book at all, without paying, which results in less fans?

    Those are your only two options. You can't have both, since its impossible to stop infringement.
    Given your attitude, I would avoid your work. If you have published works, care to tell me what they are so I can know to avoid them if ever I see them?

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    "I have downloaded many computer games. I have spent $500+ on computer games this past year. Both of these statements are true."

    Impossible! You do not exist. People are either pirates or they're not. I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

     

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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    #4 is the wrong question to ask.

    It should be:
    4. Is this a new work that's not a rebooted movie or barely legal high school girl singing but really pushing sex appeal or a very engaging book? Yes/No - Yes=buy, for many people.

    Because people don't buy crap if they can avoid it.

     

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  53.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    This. I've written similar comments before.

    The only thing Megaupload was missing was a stamp of legitimacy from the copyright cartels, then it would have been the 100% perfect online service. I was happy to pay for Premium accounts. I actually still would pay for a premium account, if I knew the site wasn't either going to discontinue sharing of links or be shut down (thus wasting my money).

     

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  54.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Make it less easy, make it less everywhere, and suddenly piracy isn't as big an issue.

    Maybe in your dream world. Look at marijuana to see if that really works. Since the eighties (Just say no!) marijuana was pushed out from the mainstream, made less easy to obtain, enforcement was stepped up and penalties were made harsher and it didn't change a damn thing. Basically the same number of pot smokes as before. Only now we have over crowded jails because of mandatory sentencing where 2 joints gets you 5 years with no parole and an aggravated assault charge only nets about 3 months because of the overcrowding.


    It's why many of the console games don't suffer as much piracy, because they require a network connection to a central server to play in shared mode, and that mode checks that the software is valid.

    Kind of funny you mention that. Those are the exact reasons I no longer purchase console games. I'm not real keen on big brother Sony checking up on me.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I really feel you missed the point.

    Granted some people will always pirate. Reasons vary as justification does. You can try to fight this but it is a losing fight financially in the long run.

    However, getting your product out to be seen/heard/used and appreciated builds a fan base. This builds your prospective base of those who love what you made and will buy. I know that I do.

    Figure out what people like about free (For example no DRM.) and use that to your advantage. Get to know what your fan base likes and you'll get those that wan to pay.

    Sure you can focus on those that will never pay and figure why bother? If you only focus on those that are not helping your business, you lose sight of those that are clamoring to help and buy what you offer. Isn't that the better group to focus on?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Why is it that Content providers are exempt from normal market competition?
    Grocery stores all have basically the same food and compete for your business.
    Banks, bowling allyís, car dealerships, appliance and electronics outlets even book stores all compete for your money.
    Content outlets should be able to purchase content in bulk and resell it to the public and whatever price they think they can make money at. Not at prices and restrictions dictated by the content manufacture.
    Content should be subject to the forces of the free market just like anything other product.
    Copyright laws are nothing more than market protectionism.

     

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  57.  
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    Chris Kellen (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    Yes, because the world turns around how you "feel" about a subject.

    Guess what? It doesn't matter how you feel about it. More and more content creators are figuring that out. DRM is a failed policy. Locking up content only pisses off your potential consumers. Whining about it makes it worse.

    Suck it up and deal with the fact that some people aren't going to pay for content, find the ones that will, and speak to them.

     

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  58.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    If you can't afford a computer game (or an iPhone, or a Netflix account, or whatever), and you're having to choose between buying it or feeding your family, then YES, guess what, you DO have to "sit out in the cold" and miss out on that "cultural event." Dingaling. You aren't ENTITLED to it simply because you're alive and you want it.


    So culture is only for those who can afford it?

    The Middle Ages just called and they want the feudal system restored.

     

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  59.  
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    MahaliaShere (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Funny how those with that attitude never let us know exactly what they produce. They think we should go without, and yet, are completely unwilling to allow us to choose to avoid their work.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They claim it's because we'll download it anyway. What they're really scared about is the fact that now people know how they really feel about consumers, they've lost what limited goodwill they had.

     

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  61.  
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    whabap01 (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, first of all, since when does a video game count as an important piece of "culture" that everyone needs to experience in order to be members of a society?

    You really think everyone alive on the planet has the right to any video game or movie or CD they want because it's part of "culture"? Don't be ridiculous. That's not the feudal system -- how clueless can you be? Frankly, how about, if we're going to start giving out freely all the things people in our society need in order to participate fully in the culture, we start with, like, clean water and food? Once we've got that figured out, maybe then we can move onto video games.

    That's just the dumbest thing I've ever heard, and I've been reading internet comments for decades. Whew.

     

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  62.  
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    Arne Babenhauserheide, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Control

    Step 6 is Freedom: If people can just share stuff, corporations can no longer decide what is available to us.

    They don’t get it, because it’s not about money: It’s about power. Their power over us.

     

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  63.  
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    Lord Binky, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    It harms fashion designers. I pirate naked.

     

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  64.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, first of all, since when does a video game count as an important piece of "culture" that everyone needs to experience in order to be members of a society?

    Who defines "important" in your book? Video games ARE pieces of culture.


    You really think everyone alive on the planet has the right to any video game or movie or CD they want because it's part of "culture"?

    Let me ask you the reverse - Do you think that locking up culture behind tollgates is beneficial to society?

    The original deal struck with copyright is that the public granted the creators limited rights in exchange for a richer culture. If it all stays locked up how does that make a richer culture?


    That's not the feudal system -- how clueless can you be?

    Obviously my attempt to make a joke failed. Back in the Middle Ages only clergy and nobles were taught to read. If you weren't born into money, you basically were left out.



    Frankly, how about, if we're going to start giving out freely all the things people in our society need in order to participate fully in the culture, we start with, like, clean water and food?

    How about we start with going back to sharing as the default?

     

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    Cory of PC (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

    ... Thank you for giving me some unnecessary thoughts.

     

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  66.  
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    DCX2, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Missing Steps

    Funny you should mention 4b. I sometimes hack games with Cheat Engine. Dark Byte, the author of Cheat Engine, has said that pirated games may have better performance, because things like anti-debugging code have been removed.

     

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  67.  
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    anon, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    why buy

    I just purchased my first ebook yeahhh I have been trying for years but just don't seem to find the price I am prepared to pay. If only more of the authors I read were charging reasonable prices for there new books I would have to stop myself from buying those I really want to read as it is so easy with Amazon and the Kindle, much easier than pirating the same book I bought. The book I bought was James Hurbert's Ash and it cost me 20p , I think if techdirt had to look into why the price was so low they could find an author really trying to find a price point that works for him, and it would be interesting to see how his experiment worked.And no it was not a missprice as there have been some other popular authors selling at the same price point recently or so I have heard after finding this deal.

     

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  68.  
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    Griffdog (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re:

    whabap01, you're missing a very big point. The guy who decides to feed his family instead of purchasing a song was never going to purchase the song, anyway. There's no lost revenue, because there is no possibility of revenue in the first place. Any money spent by the artist or his agency in trying to chase down such persons is a total waste, because even when they're found, you're still not going to be able to get a penny from them. Not even the lawyer fees.

    Now, I'm not at all trying to say that illegal downloads are acceptable. Just that I really can't bring myself to care if the type of person you're describing chooses to build a music collection for free, whether he does it by downloading, borrowing his friend's CDs, or visiting his local library. The RIAA should likewise not care, because there wasn't and is not now any income available from this source, even if tracked down and hauled off to court. But the artist should rejoice, because this freeloading lowlife might play the songs to broaden the cultural horizons of some better-off friends, and they, in turn might actually cough up some hard-earned cash to buy a song or a concert ticket. A good fan is a valuable resource for creating more fans, and any artist who wants to alienate his fans by hassling them for listening to his music, regardless of how it was acquired, is just a fool.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Carrot and the stick

    Well the reason a stick will fail is because is your goal to stop piracy or is it to increase your sales? The stick is trying to curb piracy while the carrot is trying to create more buyers. Ultimately creating more buyers is more beneficial they come to you rather than leave you.

     

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  70.  
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    whabap01 (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not missing the point -- the guy who wrote the original article is. He's the one who seems to be arguing that the poor man has the right to steal what he WANTS (not what he isn't that interested in having) -- for the sake of his "cultural" education.

    What you seem to be saying I'm missing is that lots of people who steal music (or etc.) do it because they aren't interested enough in the particular product to want to pay for it. And that disinterest somehow makes it okay for them to steal it -- hey, they weren't going to buy it anyway, right, so what does it cost the creator? But that's completely illogical. That same person probably don't have plans to buy a 10-foot HDTV either -- should they be allowed to steal one, in that case? How are these two things different, at their root? That's the part I simply do not understand.

    Also, unless I've just missed all the studies supporting this theory, piracy isn't making artists more money than they were making before piracy, right? If you offer someone a CHOICE between paying for something and taking it for free, taking it for free seems like it usually wins (remember Stephen King's experiment on this about 10 years ago, for example)?

    What it can't be is an either/or situation like it is now -- it's not as simple as just "locking down all content" or "sharing everything." There has to be a way for people to create art FOR A LIVING, which leaves out the "sharing everything" idea (and the argument that artists don't make that much from record companies, while valid, doesn't negate the fact that they make SOMETHING from record companies, as opposed to NOTHING from pirates).

    The current way this stuff is all set up is not working -- I could not agree more with that. But there's nothing "good" about a fan who steals content. Sure, word spreads -- word spreads about where you can steal the same content. The fan who stole could've had the same impact on other fans if he'd paid for the record, right? Only that way, the artist gets to keep making money off what they've created.

    I think the goal should be skirting the corporations and heading more towards self-publishing, personally. But until self-published art (books, music) has the same credibility as corporate-published works, that transition is going to be hellaciously hard and financially risky for artists of all kinds out there. Which to me is all the more reason to support them during this period of all kinds of experimentation and transition, instead of ripping them off and pretending you should be lauded for it. Stealing is stealing -- it's a bullshit thing to do. It's just that simple.

     

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  71.  
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    whabap01 (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re:

    People who BUY books also recommend and share those books with their friends, Rikuo. Why isn't that one of the options?

    Not to mention, when it comes to a lot of this material, people can already get it for free from their local public library system -- you left out that option as well.

    Is piracy leading to artists who are way more popular/successful than the artists that came before them? I haven't seen evidence of that. Nor evidence that piracy is helping artists make more money than they were making before piracy was possible.

    So, you'll be avoiding any work by artists who hope to be paid for that work? Nice attitude.

     

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  72.  
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    whabap01 (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How is all this culture being locked up? You can access a lot of books, music, and movies for free (legally!) from your local public library. Why isn't that an option for pirates? Because they want to OWN that material? Well, you know -- you don't get to own everything you want to own. I'm so puzzled by this attitude, I truly am. How does "sharing everything" keep artists in a job? Are artists making more money now that their art is being pirated? Did I miss the groundbreaking research paper that demonstrated that effect? If so, please send me the citation!

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You spelled copyright infringement wrong. That's okay though, because we all make mistakes!

     

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  74.  
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    AzureSky (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    education means little when it comes to writing ability, or thinking ability, infact, many of the smartest people I have worked with and known have been collage dropouts or never gone to collage, infact one of them never finished highschool, he dropped out and started working in the field and learned on his own.....

    some of the dumbist and most stuck up/self important people I have met have had multi degrees......heads where firmly stuck up their rectums......they wouldnt even let facts get in the way of their opinions.....

     

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  75.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You don't need a college degree to be intelligent. A college degree also does not mean the person holding it is intelligent.

     

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  76.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re:

    If you truly want the legacy players to go out of business, then don't pirate. Don't pirate, don't buy, don't even talk about them. The most damaging thing possible is obscurity. With piracy there's too much of a risk that you'll convince other people to buy it.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    with the moding consoles i think ds/3ds and wii are the easiers which only need a flash card correct me if im wrong and that still gave nintendo a 30 millon sales over mario kart if im not wrong on the game :P

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    hey he got somthing right if he makes it less "insert here somthing" how can i pirate i mean the movie is only in his mind isnt it?

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What kind of logic is "We should make finite resources infinite before admitting that infinite resource are infinite?!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How does "sharing everything" keep artists in a job?

    Where is it written that 'artist' needs to be a 'job?'

    Are artists making more money now that their art is being pirated?

    Unequivocally yes.

    Did I miss the groundbreaking research paper that demonstrated that effect?

    Yes. You missed all of them apparently. Across every industry more people are making more money on 'art' now than ever before: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120129/17272817580/sky-is-rising-entertainment-industry-is-large- growing-not-shrinking.shtml

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Idwalaphaearngyr, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Step 3

    What are all these extra steps?

    Step 3 is supposed to be PROFIT!!

    At least, that's what the RIAA keeps telling me...

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He's the one who seems to be arguing that the poor man has the right to steal what he WANTS

    It's about pragmatism, not morals. You can make a moral argument if you want but your stubborn refusal to see it from any other perspective does not automatically imply that if someone else, like the author of the article, doesn't see it from a moral perspective they're automatically defaulting to the opposite moral argument you take. What you're doing here is as logical as a Theist telling an Atheist that their lack of belief is somehow a position of faith. The response is generally the same too: if you feel at a disadvantage because your position is morally based and unsupportable by logic or evidence then pretending that everyone must be taking a moral position is a much easier option that facing up to the burden of proof you give yourself when you insist others take the position you do.

    How are these two things different, at their root?


    One is a physical, rivalrous, scarce good and the other is an intangible, non-rivalrous, infinite good. Seriously, how is this even a question?

    Also, unless I've just missed all the studies supporting this theory, piracy isn't making artists more money than they were making before piracy, right?


    So what? Making artists money isn't the point of copyright.

    There has to be a way for people to create art FOR A LIVING, which leaves out the "sharing everything" idea


    Why does there have to be a way for people to great art as the only source of income? Even assuming that's true how does it then follow that that leaves out "sharing everything?" Evidence please.

    (and the argument that artists don't make that much from record companies, while valid, doesn't negate the fact that they make SOMETHING from record companies, as opposed to NOTHING from pirates)


    Artists don't make nothing from infringers. Infringers are actually their best customers. Study after study has shown that the most prolific infringers overlap with the most prolific purchasers of content quite a bit. The two groups are not mutually exclusive you know.

    But there's nothing "good" about a fan who steals content. Sure, word spreads -- word spreads about where you can steal the same content. The fan who stole could've had the same impact on other fans if he'd paid for the record, right?
    ...
    Stealing is stealing -- it's a bullshit thing to do. It's just that simple.


    Is your position so indefensible and illogical that you have to resort to conflation to make it? Stealing is stealing and copying is copying, they're not the same thing.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, Wii and the DS are the easiest to mod if you're so inclined. With the Wii it's just a simple file on the sd card and that's it. What's interesting, is that oddly enough, as you pointed out, despite how easy it is to mod the Wii it has managed to outsell the other consoles and it's game sales have been so ridiculous as to shame the other consoles.

    Also, in related news, Nintendo never really bothered to lock down the Wii as stringently as Microsoft or Sony did with their consoles. Yet sales flourished (despite the ease with which one could pirate to their heart's content all Wii the games). I guess the way you treat your customers is the way they'll treat you.

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, and I'm a French model.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you haven't seen evidence, then you haven't been reading here very long. You've got a few years worth to catch up on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How is all this culture being locked up?

    There is a couple of different ways. One is that copyright creates a permission culture rather than a culture where people can freely create and build off of what has already been created.

    Another is the simple fact that nothing now enters the public domain and I feel that the creators have reneged on their part of the original copyright bargain.


    You can access a lot of books, music, and movies for free (legally!) from your local public library. Why isn't that an option for pirates?

    It is an option. One that actually combats piracy fairly well. Unfortunately the copyright maximalists are trying to chip away at libraries too. It's a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie scenario. Copyright keeps ratcheting in one direction only.


    As for the rest of you comment the AC above me covered that fairly well.

     

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  87.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 8:40pm

    Netflix vs TBP

    > Netflix: you set it to bill your credit card monthly then get shitloads of content without further steps and with nice speeds.
    >
    > No hassle, pirate sites can't really compete with that level of convenience.

    With Netflix I get an appliance that I attach to my TV and manipulate with a rather standard remote control.

    THAT is more convenient than some pirate downloads.

    Even if you had a means to get your random PC videos to your TV, you still have to acquire them. You have to find them and download them and wait for all of that to sort itself out. Even then, the result will likely not be nearly as "polished" as Netflix.

    All of the fancy bits you see on an AppleTV or a Roku don't just appear by themselves. Someone has to set all of that up. Automated software might be able to get the pretty bits right (or not).

    It's interesting that defenders of archaic business models don't understand the value of packaging and presentation.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'll be avoiding any work by artists who think all their consumers are pirates and support any legislation or technology that pre-emptively treats consumers as such, and unnecessarily punishes legitimate consumers. There's a difference, but it seems you're too wilfully blind to see it.

     

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  89.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

    "And we'd save up our pocket money for Mastertronic stuff"

    Are you kidding me? MASTERTRONIC STUFF? You paid for that? That was essentially the worst game maker for the C-64.

    uǝʌǝ ʇ,uop ı sıɥʇ sı ʇɐɥʍ

     

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  90.  
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    Togashi (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If I can get it for free from my public library, what difference is there if I download it? The library will have bought their copy whether I use theirs or download one. In both cases, I'm experiencing the content without paying a dime for it. In both cases, the content creator and their gatekeepers are in the exact same position before and after I'm done.

    I expect I'll get the same "authorized vs unauthorized" rubbish as I usually get, but why should that matter when they get the exact same attention and money either way?

     

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  91.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

    It's not step four that needs addressing.

    What you need to address is that you just simply can't continue to sell copies of anything, no matter how much RtB you try to provide customers. You have to forget selling your work as a product and start selling your skill as a service. People are going to copy what is able to be copied and they will get it for free, regardless of your legal offerings. The very fact that people are copying what the industry calls their "product", and bypassing the monetary transaction, just outlines that they are just flat-out selling the wrong thing.

    Don't sell copies. You can't stop copying, so selling copies in a world that has an unlimited ability to copy is just a poor business plan no matter how shiny your RtB is. What you can do is give away the copies. Let people have what you create without any monetary barrier to access. If they like it, they'll show it to others and talk about it. And they'll start talking about it and telling others about it as well. Eventually, you'll have a lot of people aware of, excited for, and in search of your works. They'll be clamoring for you to create more and there's where your business model comes into play.

    If you truly create art that people want and they want to see more, you tell them what you plan to create next. You tell them all about your next project, make them want it, and then you tell them how much it will cost to make it. If you're truly worth it, people will pay. If you're not, then people won't pay and you won't be doing work you're not getting paid for. But you have to build a connection with them, a reputation, a sense of trust, and social group that centers around your works. These people need to know that you create something they care about and you will consistently satisfy their expectations. If you can do that, you've really got something.

     

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  92.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Sep 12th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Missing Steps

    So, put another way, the people uploadng to pirate sites are either employees who have stripped debugging code and other dreck before sending it off into the great torrent cloud in the sky or someone along the way has reverse engineered the software and done the same thing.

    Either way, someone isn't understanding Step 4 so no matter how big a stick they use at Step 6 that won't change.

    (Waving my 36" chain saw in air menacingly at any nearby stickes carried by the Average Joe's of the world.)

     

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  93.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re:

    Steam sales say hi.

     

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  94.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    Re: Why We Don't Buy; or, Confession of a "Pirate".

    Here's a hint: send the author some poney via Paypal or somesuch, and let them know that you liked it, but were unable to purchase it through legitimate means , so here's some money, 'cause I like you.

     

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  95.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 1:08am

    I don't have time to read the comments posted above me (which I assume are a typical list of intelligent comments derailed by false accusations and trolls), but I just want to comment as to how simplistic and misleading the list in the article is. The list, in reality, should read something like this:

    1. HERE IS A THING I LIKE

    2. DO I WANT IT? (YES)

    3. DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT? (NO)

    4. DO I WANT TO PAY FOR IT? (YES/NO)
    4a. AM I ALLOWED TO PAY FOR IT IN MY REGION? (YES/NO)
    4b. IF YES TO 4a, IS RESTRICTED IN A WAY THAT MEANS I CAN'T USE IT? (YES/NO)
    4c. IF NO TO 4b, IS THE PRICE MORE THAN THE ITEM IS WORTH? (YES/NO)

    5. YES TO 4/4a && NO TO 4b/4c: PAY FOR IT

    6. NO TO 4 / YES TO 4c: DO I WISH TO TRY TO PRODUCT ANYWAY? (YES/NO)
    6a. IS THE PRODUCT AVAILABLE TO TRY LEGALLY THROUGH STREAMING/SUBSCRIPTION/ETC? (YES/NO)
    6b. YES TO 6 && YES TO 6b: TRY LEGALLY
    6c. YES TO 6 && NO TO 6b: JUST TAKE IT FOR FREE
    6d. NO TO 6 && NO TO 6a: DON'T PAY FOR IT, AND ALSO DON'T GET IT FOR FREE - BUY SOMETHING ELSE OR JUST KEEP MY MONEY

    7. IF YES TO 6a: DID I ENJOY THE PRODUCT ENOUGH TO PAY FOR IT OR FURTHER MERCHANDISING AFTER THE FACT?
    7a. IF YES TO 7: PAY MONEY
    7b. IF NO TO 7: PAY NOTHING

    END

    That's incomplete, but you get the point. The thought process a consumer goes through is far more complicated than shills pretend, and there's plenty of ways a person can be convinced to pay money without necessarily removing the piracy option from the equation.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    Re: Let me see if I got this...

    some say you can take pleasure with both

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:01am

    Re: some steps missing

    You can add trust in the source (reliability, speed, quality...). Even absolute freeloaders are willing to pay for a trusted source.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:09am

    Re:

    You're a pathetic broken record morron with an obsession on attacking the person voicing any opinion you disagree with.

    What are your qualifications to back up that "Any discussion of why people won't buy has to include piracy" ?

    What do you think the typical buyers decision making diagram is ?

    Do you have the guts to actually contribute to that debate rather than attacking others ?

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Why We Don't Buy; or, Confession of a "Pirate".

    and potentially make him aware of the hassle is public is facing getting access to his work.

     

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  100.  
    icon
    Tim Griffiths (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh this god damn fucking stupid "95% piracy rate" again. As glad as I am seeing Ubisoft change their mind they are still insisting on using a number that makes no god damn sense to support it.

    Let me explain, piracy rate is made by taking the number of people who brought the game and adding that to the number of people who pirated it and then working out the ratio. Make sense right? Well, no, because what you are doing is matching two different and distinct sets from the market.

    Note: For the sake of keeping things simple I'm going to presume that no pirate buys anything and no paying consumer pirates. It has no real impact on the point but helps make it easier to explain. I'll address this and other things towards the end.

    Put simply people who pirate games can easily pirate more games than people who buy them. Pirates on a whole have such a higher rate of use than the average paying consumer. The logic here is not hard to follow, people have a given budget they spend on games and likely means they can't afford to buy all the games they'd like to. They have to make choices between which games they are going to buy in a period and which games they are not going to buy. A pirate is only limited by bandwidth and time.

    What this means is simply that each individual pirate will be counted against far more games "piracy rate" than each individual paying consumer will be. So when you move from trying to astatine what percentage of a market is made of people who pirate to looking at the sub set of who buys and who pirates a given game the people who pirate are disproportionally represented.

    Pirates have a higher rate of use of games than paying consumers so compeering any given rate of use is only going to inform you of how greater that rate is.

    What's remarkable about all this is that this is not just theoretical. We have a huge real life market that we can look at for which we have a good guess at the amount of pirates in the market. That market is iOS devices.

    http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Another-view-of-game-piracy

    This is an old blog post from a indie dev responding to this exact issue. It goes in to more detail than I'm about to but it's likely also out of date. Still it's premise is where I first came across the ideas shown above and it's provides the factual base on which I rest them. Some of the links are dead but for the most part it's easy to find sources for he kind of numbers used in the post. The one exception to that might be piracy rates for apps but I've personally been in discussions with app devs who track use and who have backed up the 90-95% pirate rate numbers.

    The first thing to do is note that to pirate apps you need to have a jail broken Iphone. While not all jail broken Iphones are used to pirate we'll use their numbers as the upper limit and as such the worst case scenario. I'm even going to boost the estimated percentage of jail broken phones from the 10% seen in the blog post to 20% to be on the safe side.

    Now the astute among you will have already noticed the disparity between the piracy rates and that figure so the next thing to do is ask "If only 20% of the market can be pirates how does that represent a 90% piracy rate?" Well we already answered this question in the opening of this post. That 20% of the market can and does use more apps than the average consumer that makes up the other 80%.

    Out of 100 people 20 pirate and 80 buy. In a period in which a 5 games are realised pirates pirate a copy of each while the paying consumer buys 1. This gives the pirates 100 "votes" and the paying consumers 80 "votes. Assuming the consumers are evening spread out across the 5 games you get about a 55% piracy rate from only 20% of the market. And that is a very restrictive set up that is very unfavourable to the actual reality. If we want to make a guess for how much higher rate of use is between pirates and users, well, as it turns out we already have one. Pirates then to consume 95% more than paying consumers.

    So what does that all really mean? Well firstly it's factual proof that one download cannot equal one lost sale, secondly it gives some perspective on how damaging piracy can actually be. If we are producing 95% piracy rates out of iOS devices where only at worst 20% of the market can be pirates then it's reasonable to presume that it's the same everywhere. Thirdly we can actually use this, in the case of iOS, to asses the damages done.

    I've talked to iOS devs who said that if 1 in 10 of the pirates had brought the game he'd have doubled his revenue. Which is fine but meaningless unless he was selling to 1 in 10 of people in the iOS market for his app. I proposed that he works out his rate of sale to 80% of the total number of iOS devices and then apply that rate to the other 20% and he'd have a worst case for the sales he might have made maybe in a world in which people didn't or couldn't pirate. This of course would have to tempered by the fact that one of the major reasons for piracy is often lack availability and that a lot of pirates comes from places that can't afford given tiers of pricing. In the EU there are places that boxed copies of games are sold for less than others to help combat the piracy those poorer places produce. This is often why sites that sell you the keys from boxes can sell those keys cheaper than you can get in retail.

    Now to loop back to Ubisofts "10-15% of f2p players but" rubbish, I hope you can see why that number is meaningless and the connection pointless. I applaud Ubisoft for looking at the people who pirate their games as people who want to play them and seeking to find way to get money from that market via F2P the line of reasoning here does not sit well.

    Every one who plays a given F2P game exists in the same set, every one has only one "vote" to put towards the buying or not of items with in the game. It's it's own discrete set unlike the mismatched sets from the piracy rate mess.

    This all gets vastly more complex when you mix in the fact that a lot of users are both pirates and paying consumers and that often they are spending just as much money as they would have but only on the products they feel have value.

    Now I know I've gone off on a rant about this but I'm hoping that I can simply link back to this comment in to the future if these numbers are ever raised by any one ever again. I also thing that it's relevant to the over all discussion to have an sense of what we should be thinking about when we think about "piracy damage".

    Looking at any individual media item is irrelevant, you must base your judgements on the market as a whole. Ignoring the actual act of piracy to focus on the decision to buy is a hell of a lot less scary to people who may not understand that market when you are thinking in terms of 20 percent rather than 95.

     

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  101.  
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    Niall (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re:

    Have you sneaked on from Garfield, Jon Arbuckle?

     

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  102.  
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    JMT (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    "If you can't afford a computer game (or an iPhone, or a Netflix account, or whatever), and you're having to choose between buying it or feeding your family, then YES, guess what, you DO have to "sit out in the cold" and miss out on that "cultural event.""

    Er, no I don't. You might think that I should, but that's different.

    "You aren't ENTITLED to it simply because you're alive and you want it."

    Correct, and nobody here has ever claimed that, so you're arguing against something you just made up. That doesn't really strengthen your case.

    "No matter the arguments made later, that entitlement issue always feels like the underlying rational for online piracy to me, and I'm constantly surprised by how many seemingly intelligent people actually THINK like that."

    You mean you're constantly surprised by something you're imagining is happening? Wow...

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re:

    So why do you come here?

    He doesn't get paid if he doesn't leave at least 2 comments on each post and 6 comments on posts which specifically mention piracy, the RIAA, the MPAA, or copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104.  
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    Martin Thomas (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    They harm DVD's

    Some DVD's are blighted with ads claiming that pirates support drug pushers and terrorists. I guess that some drug pushers are so impoverished that they would be unable to push drugs if it were not for the money they get from selling pirated DVD's.

    The adverts are configured so that some DVD players will not yet you skip them or fast forward through them. Many open source DVD viewers do allow you to do that. I bet there are people who would like to ban such software!

     

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  105.  
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    Martin Thomas (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So what does that all really mean? Well firstly it's factual proof that one download cannot equal one lost sale, secondly it gives some perspective on how damaging piracy can actually be. If we are producing 95% piracy rates out of iOS devices where only at worst 20% of the market can be pirates then it's reasonable to presume that it's the same everywhere.


    It is also worth pointing out that if someone downloads a lot of items at once, they probably do not use them all. If they had to pay they would make more effort to work out in advance which ones they were most likely to use.

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 2:05am

    You missed a step:

    5: Can you pay for it?

    This point is always totally ignored because if you give it consideration it shows the failures of capitalism and how it creates the stratification of society into various levels of pay-to-live pay-to-experience. Not the kind of society intellectuals like to admit to being a part of.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    John Eppstein, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Pirates

    Fuck off! That's like saying that a mugger, a shoplifter or a rapist is "just like everyone else". It doesn't excuse criminal behavior just because "everyone's doing it", and make no mistake - content piracy - stealing from musicians and artists - is theft and criminal activity. In case you're not aware, theft and unauthorized distribution of intellectual property is in fact a federal felony that people have served hard time for in prison - it's not merely a "civil offense". You are condoning and abetting criminal activity.

    And before any of you creeps start shooting your mouths off about how I must be a shill for the RIAA or the labels, I'm not. I'm an independent, self employed musician who would like to be able to at least make back the money I'm spent recording a (real, high quality) album without having my work stolen by a bunch of spoiled, self-entitled delinquents.

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Earl, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Libraries, typical funded by council rates or state budgets, pay a lending royalty to authors or other copyright holders when books/CDs/DVDs are borrowed out. Depending on what country you're in. Its typically not as high as a sales royalty but is more than that one gets for radio air play.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    Earl, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Megaupload was making hundreds of millions of dollars off of usage fees and advertising, and not passing a cent on to anyone ('cartels' or creatives directly). If Kim had have wanted to play nice he probably could have negotiated some kind of spotiffy like royalty system and still been in good business, but he loved his rep as some kind of rebel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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