So, you mean that devaluing a human rights convention by adding stuff that does not belong in there gives YOU copyright maximalist the moral high ground??
You may have enough money to buy laws, you may be wealthy enough to codify your beliefs into the humanly most valued charters, but despite your financial power, despite your propaganda-machinery, you will not succeed in eradicating one simple thought:
Sharing is good.
It's how we learn. It's how we evolve. It's how we got from stone to digital age. Putting a fee on the sharing and calling the fee a human right gains you no sympathy, no understanding and absolutely no moral superiority.
Either you give your money to the "pros", minimizing your risk, minimizing your return, being more or less left in the dark about the money trail (it could be used for thing you may find morally objectionable) and therefore needing no time invested.
Or you invest your money yourself, maximizing your risk, maximizing your return, being fully aware where your money goes - if you also invest the time needed to make an informed decision.
"My money in the bank is not at risk. The bank, the FDIC, and others cover my deposits if the bank goes tits up. There is no connection between my money and the product being made."
Here in Switzerland we had to bailout UBS with the taxpayers money - our money. You think that can't happen in the USA, because?
"The crowd funded model is basically a recipe for vaporware and other empty box scams. It moves the risk to each individual, without suitable protections, without disclosure rules, and the like."
Vaporeware and empty box scams get financed one way or another - but with crowdfunding it's a lot more transparent than when you have a countless number of "failsave" intermediaries which disclose exactly nada because that would be bad business practice because it would give an advantage to competitors.
Obviously crowdfunding will not replace the current financing model in every sector. But I'm quite confident that it will become a major player concerning entertainment.
Mistake? I'd say it's a bet - and a good one at that.
Recognizing emerging trends BEFORE they become fait accompli IS what makes good stories. What looks like a side note now may be the norm in 10 years.
And concerning the "pay ahead for an uncertain product": You bring your money to the bank, the bank loans the money to the publisher, the publisher pays ahead for an uncertain product. I know, very simplified, but still. By crowdfunding you take the risk in your own hands instead of letting somebody else decide where to risk your money. By crowdfunding the success benefits you and the producer and not some intermediary parasites.
Oh, fine, so because the charging happens indirectly it's ok? It still goes into the pockets of the recording industry! While the few cents you pay per liter on gas is used to build and maintain the streets your driving on - that's called public service. Which public service is financed with the levy on blank CDs?
"They don't pay, they won't pay, they have no desire to pay, and will never pay."
Because they are all one homogeneous mass... Ever considered that people actually change their habits over the years? A student with little money to spend might become an employee with money to spend - on your game.
Free-to-play, more often than not, means pay-to-win. I don't like that business-model, because in comparison to retail-games you don't know in advance how much a game will cost you to get "the full experience"...
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is this the next bubble crushing economy in the future?
The problem arises when what once was seen as an idiocy becomes common practice. One step to make an idiocy common practice has been taken by Actiblizz by creating the real money auction house. The next step will be someone setting up a stock rated company which professionally farms items and/or gold. Further down the line banks will start to invest in such companys - until the bubble implodes...
Re: Re: Is this the next bubble crushing economy in the future?
To me gaming is my prefered form of entertainment (I wonder if the MPAA ever considered that decreasing sales might be caused by a shift of preferences...).
Up to Starcraft II Blizzard was my favourite game-producer and I bought every game unseen and untested. But with Diablo III this has changed. While the game per se is good there are too many things like the always-on-requirement, the real-money-auction-house and a few smaller complaints that changed my mind.
With the release of Diablo III Actiblizz has lost a lot of it's most valuable asset with me: reputation.
Re: Re: Is this the next bubble crushing economy in the future?
Actually, this is what most people do not realize: When they buy ingame-items they are not buying goods (as property) - they buy a time-limited license to use certain ingame-items. It is more like renting than it is buying: Ownership with an undetermined expiry-date.
The value of said items is bound to decrease over time. Either because the game loses it's appeal or it's popularity or because new, more powerful items become available (for instance with an expansion). Sooner or later their actual market-value will be exactly 0.
We can only hope that it remains a niche market, because otherwise it may become a real economical problem.
Is this the next bubble crushing economy in the future?
Well, this is what happens when you artificially create monetary value: Someone will try to profit from it by illegitimate means.
Diablo III differs on one essential point from its predecessors: It has no single-player-mode worth to be called such. Sure, you can play it alone, but you are forced to be always online, as the game has a client-server structure, where the client is on your machine and the server on ActiBlizzs own BattleNet-Servers.
Apart of being a quite effective DRM-measure (so far) it has been done to ensure a hack- and cheatfree environment - an essential requirement if you want to enable players to trade ingame-items for real money (while getting a share of the profit).
The trading of ingame-items for real money is nothing new, it has been done for years now over ebay and the likes. But this is the first time that the company developing the game also creates a trading-environment, effectively legitimizing and encouraging such trade. Suddenly gold- and item-farming aren't a shady business anymore but in time could become respectable professions. At the same time the value of these ingame-items becomes more tangible - or at least it feels more tangible, because it's value is supported and endorsed by the company responsible for it's "creation".
While I support the creation of new business opportunities I am troubled by the fact that ingame-items are becoming more and more a "respectable good", especially when these items ain't nothing but the product of a programmed chance-algorithm. The client-server-structure may hold hackers and cheaters off for now, but the more data they gather from the communication between client and server, the more likely they will find ways to deceive the system. It also makes the hijacking of anothers account (like with the trojan mentioned in this article) more valuable.
I haven't played SCII for a while now. But to my knowledge you should be able to play offline by now. The consequence of playing offline is that you don't get any achievements. But I think that's square and fair.
Diablo III doesn't offer any such option. In twenty years I will be able to show my grandkids Diablo (I) and Diablo II - but I'm not sure about diablo III. If by then the servers have gone offline (and Blizzard has not released a patch to play the game offline), the game will be dead bits and bytes...