1. Post #1

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    I couldn't find any reliable source except a few indie developers who say "yes, it does" (their games don't sell well) and others who say "no, it helped me promote my game" (their games sell well)
    but to be honest how many games of big gaming companies have you bought where you had to find out the game actually sucks? would that happen with indie games? not in the slightest they have
    no money to promote their games thus accidently buying indie games that suck doesn't happen as often (and because of the few $ you might even not care).

    on the other hand, have you bought an indie game after you pirated it? I couldn't come up with a single occasion as I really do buy every single indie game I played even if in the end just for 2-3 hours.

    and last but not least game size to download, big games usually pack 7-9 GB dvd downloads, an indie game isn't more than 100-300MB, one takes a few seconds and the other (depending on connection and method from 3 hours to several days) and the moment you played through the game (indie games are usually short) you might not even want to buy it any more.

    so what do you think? does piracy hurt indie developers?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Switzerland Show Events Disagree Disagree x 14Agree Agree x 2Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    1solidsnake2's Avatar
    April 2009
    1,602 Posts
    It's a double edged sword.
    One side is that someone pirates the game just to save them some money - a lost sale.
    The other side is that someone pirates the game, then goes on to buy the game, which he would not have done had he not pirated it and played it like a 'demo' version - a gained sale.

    Then it can get more complex than that, take the top example, what if a friend pops round, sees the game, then goes on to buy it himself.

    It's not a simple yes/no answer.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 4Useful Useful x 1 (list)

  3. Post #3

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    Yeah that's why I actually want to discuss it (instead of collecting disagrees)

    first question: those who disagree, do you pirate games? I noticed that friends of mine who pirate stuff don't think it hurts. those who don't, think it does.

    One example that IMO supports the case of hurting is the Indie humble packs. you could pay almost NOTHING for 4+ games but even the whole pack during the sale got pirated?? isn't that weird?

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    I don't pirate, but I am of the opinion that copyright law is broken and information should be able to be distributed without restriction. When like 65% of the people are breaking some law, it's the law that is broken, not the people.

    Compensation is a problem because we've kludged ideas into an economic system that was designed for trading physical goods and, in doing so, we've had to treat them as physical goods (which they are certainly not).
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Agree Agree x 9Disagree Disagree x 2Dumb Dumb x 1 (list)

  5. Post #5

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    You know the rape rate in africa? with your logic it should be legal down there ;p

    IMO just because everyone does it doesn't make it right. it's because it's so easy to do. that's the problem. I'm not even trying to defend big companies that make millions of some copyright or patent. but I do believe that copyright is something that shouldn't be abolished. If i invented something that is unique why should I allow others to have it for free? I have the right to do so of course (freeware) but I should have the same right to not share it for free) This couldn't happen with material things why should it with software/games?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Switzerland Show Events Dumb Dumb x 4Agree Agree x 3Disagree Disagree x 1 (list)

  6. Post #6
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    Because you don't have a limited supply of information. You have a truly unlimited supply.
    We live in the information age, but we are held back by an economic system that was designed for the stone age.

    What should happen is that the government (or an international body in which individual governments have representatives), should host a public Wiki / torrent tracker and they should use the information they aggregate to decide how to fairly compensate artists and researchers. I think that it should operate on a sort of normalized logarithmic scale, so that the total amount of compensation is the number of artists times some expected mean salary, and individual's earnings are determined by a coefficient which is proportional to the logarithm of the total number of downloads they have (or something like that). It could be funded through taxes. (If the good, law-abiding citizens are paying for their media anyway, the taxes they'd pay are likely to be substantially less than what they'd pay for physical media now).

    It's easy for the individual, since all they do is upload it to the collective and say "hey guys, look at what I made" and post a link, then they collect money if people like it. It also completely abolishes the need for copyright law, since it provides an alternative means to compensate artists without limiting the exchange of information.

    There are definitely solutions, it's just that nobody is willing to try them.


    Also, I don't think there's anything morally wrong with piracy. Pretty much the only reason I don't pirate is so that my arguments aren't dismissed outright when I bitch and moan about how broken IP law is.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Artistic x 2Winner x 2Disagree x 1Useful x 1Informative x 1Dumb x 1Agree x 1 (list)

  7. Post #7

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    interesting concept, so you'd be for a tax to pay artists?
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Switzerland Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  8. Post #8
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    If, and only if, it meant that any information (software, media, etc.) could be distributed without restriction.

  9. Post #9
    Fabulous!
    Jack Trades's Avatar
    April 2010
    6,483 Posts
    It hurts Indie games most. Take a World of Goo for example. It had 90% piracy rate. Even if 1/9th of all who pirated the game would buy it, developers would get two times more money for their work.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 3Agree Agree x 3 (list)

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    BlkDucky's Avatar
    May 2008
    6,483 Posts
    It hurts Indie games most. Take a World of Goo for example. It had 90% piracy rate. Even if 1/9th of all who pirated the game would buy it, developers would get two times more money for their work.
    No, it doesn't.

    And I would really, really, really like to see proof of that 90% piracy rate. You can't give a statistic that extreme and not back it up.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows Vista United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 3Dumb Dumb x 2 (list)

  11. Post #11
    Fabulous!
    Jack Trades's Avatar
    April 2010
    6,483 Posts
    No, it doesn't.

    And I would really, really, really like to see proof of that 90% piracy rate. You can't give a statistic that extreme and not back it up.
    2DBoy blog:
    http://2dboy.com/2008/11/13/90/
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 3Zing Zing x 2 (list)

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Matte's Avatar
    July 2009
    424 Posts
    Because you don't have a limited supply of information. You have a truly unlimited supply.
    We live in the information age, but we are held back by an economic system that was designed for the stone age.

    What should happen is that the government (or an international body in which individual governments have representatives), should host a public Wiki / torrent tracker and they should use the information they aggregate to decide how to fairly compensate artists and researchers. I think that it should operate on a sort of normalized logarithmic scale, so that the total amount of compensation is the number of artists times some expected mean salary, and individual's earnings are determined by a coefficient which is proportional to the logarithm of the total number of downloads they have (or something like that). It could be funded through taxes. (If the good, law-abiding citizens are paying for their media anyway, the taxes they'd pay are likely to be substantially less than what they'd pay for physical media now).

    It's easy for the individual, since all they do is upload it to the collective and say "hey guys, look at what I made" and post a link, then they collect money if people like it. It also completely abolishes the need for copyright law, since it provides an alternative means to compensate artists without limiting the exchange of information.

    There are definitely solutions, it's just that nobody is willing to try them.


    Also, I don't think there's anything morally wrong with piracy. Pretty much the only reason I don't pirate is so that my arguments aren't dismissed outright when I bitch and moan about how broken IP law is.
    Ok, but consider this. What if I download a song, make a slight alteration and then reupload it? Then, let's say that song becomes more popular than the original. Is it right that I should get more money for making a small change than the original artist did for composing the whole song?

  13. Post #13

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    90% Oo that's insane

    but as they said DRM has no use because it can be easily circumvented but as they I would implement some kind of call back function just to find out how much has been "stolen"

  14. Post #14
    NovembrDobby's Avatar
    April 2007
    1,145 Posts
    a few indie developers who say "yes, it does" (their games don't sell well) and others who say "no, it helped me promote my game" (their games sell well)
    It's pretty much this. If a game gets popular, it will be pirated a ton - but it may not matter much by then. If a game doesn't sell well, I'd guess it probably isn't being pirated much either.

    I'm sure it's nice for people like Notch to be able to tell people that they can pirate it, but Minecraft has a gazillion sales so they can afford to be less bothered by it.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Chryseus's Avatar
    February 2009
    2,377 Posts
    Piracy is going to happen regardless of what you do so there is no point in worrying about it.
    Any measures to counteract piracy are only going to hurt the legitimate players in the end and people are much more willing to purchase things that are DRM free (I certainly am) as has been shown many times.

    Above all having a strong community and regular updates is the best way to ensure people buy and ultimately play your game, I would cite Minecraft as an example but that seems to have gone down the toilet as of late.

  16. Post #16

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    It's pretty much this. If a game gets popular, it will be pirated a ton - but it may not matter much by then. If a game doesn't sell well, I'd guess it probably isn't being pirated much either.

    I'm sure it's nice for people like Notch to be able to tell people that they can pirate it, but Minecraft has a gazillion sales so they can afford to be less bothered by it.
    that's what I mean, same with music groups that sell their music almost for free (Radiohead) because they already have enough. sure the concept works when you are famous but making money with money isn't as hard as starting out with almost nothing

  17. Post #17
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    "we divided the total number of sales we had from all sources by the total number of unique IPs in our database"
    Because nobody has dynamic IP leases, travels, plays from a friend's house, etc.
    Their methodology is flawed. I play my games from home, school, and friends' house, so, by their logic, that makes me 2/3rds pirate.

    They say 'it should balance out' because of some other crap, but I think it's a really, really bad assumption to make.

    When people give outrageous statistics like that, you have to really skeptical about how they came up with it.
    Ok, but consider this. What if I download a song, make a slight alteration and then reupload it? Then, let's say that song becomes more popular than the original. Is it right that I should get more money for making a small change than the original artist did for composing the whole song?
    This is a problem which is trivial to solve with a little technology. You can match one song (or movie, etc.) to another in O(log n) time. I've done something similar with images. Youtube does this already, identifying the song used in a video, etc.

    So if someone tries to upload an exact duplicate, you tell them that it's a copy of this other track, and give them information about the uploader so they can dispute it if they are in fact the orignator of the work. If it's somewhat different, you accept it, but you treat it as a derivative work and send some of the compensation to the creator of the original.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Agree Agree x 3 (list)

  18. Post #18
    Fabulous!
    Jack Trades's Avatar
    April 2010
    6,483 Posts
    "we divided the total number of sales we had from all sources by the total number of unique IPs in our database"
    Because nobody has dynamic IP leases, travels, plays from a friend's house, etc.
    Their methodology is flawed. I play my games from home, school, and friends' house, so, by their logic, that makes me 2/3rds pirate.
    And if don't read whole article before bitching, it will make you 1/2 illiterate.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 4Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  19. Post #19
    NotAName's Avatar
    April 2010
    1,912 Posts
    It hurts Indie games most. Take a World of Goo for example. It had 90% piracy rate. Even if 1/9th of all who pirated the game would buy it, developers would get two times more money for their work.
    That doesn't mean a whole lot. Pirates have infinite buying power, legit buyers have a limited buying power. Therefore, pirates can download anything for free while consumers can only get some games before running out of money they can afford to spend on entertainment.
    It's only natural that some games will be pirated a lot, since pirates can get an infinite amount of games.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Israel Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  20. Post #20
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    And if don't read whole article before bitching, it will make you 1/2 illiterate.
    I read it.
    They still don't have any idea how many installations a given user has. They have "unique player IDs", but it doesn't appear that they are tied to the game copy, it appears to be tied to the profile (and they imply that a user can have more than one profile). So if you move, reformat, reinstall, etc., you could end up with many unique IPs and unique player IDs.

    The fact is, they don't have a good way to tell how many legitimate users they have. They're making a lot of assumptions that they cannot justify.

  21. Post #21

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    but so does the pro piracy crowd? there is no way of actually telling. from a personal level I just think it's wrong to steal from upcoming indie developers.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Switzerland Show Events Dumb Dumb x 1Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  22. Post #22
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    It is certainly wrong for a player who has enjoyed an independent game to not compensate it's creators, but it is not the same as theft. Piracy is not theft and theft is not piracy. Big media uses theft analogies in their rhetoric as a means to provoke emotional reactions.

    Like I could get the Humble Indie Bundle games for free (legally), but I don't. I've always paid what I thought they were worth. Because developers need to eat, too.
    However people should not believe that just because we pay per-copy for software and media now, and disallow all redistribution, modification, etc. that this is the only option. It is not the only option, and I certainly do not believe that it is the right option.

    So, on the individual level, you should be paying the developers (if they deserve it), but higher-up, things should be restructured so that information isn't so encumbered.

  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    KillerJaguar's Avatar
    October 2006
    3,051 Posts
    I would say that it piracy definitely impacts Indie Developers to an extent. Every sale to them counts, because it is their income.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 3 (list)

  24. Post #24
    ASK ME ABOUT MY PLAYBOOK INSTEAD OF COLLEGE
    icantread49's Avatar
    April 2011
    1,616 Posts
    criticize outrageous claims

    You can match one song (or movie, etc.) to another in O(log n) time.
    make outrageous claim
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows XP United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 5Zing Zing x 1 (list)

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Matte's Avatar
    July 2009
    424 Posts

    This is a problem which is trivial to solve with a little technology. You can match one song (or movie, etc.) to another in O(log n) time. I've done something similar with images. Youtube does this already, identifying the song used in a video, etc.

    So if someone tries to upload an exact duplicate, you tell them that it's a copy of this other track, and give them information about the uploader so they can dispute it if they are in fact the orignator of the work. If it's somewhat different, you accept it, but you treat it as a derivative work and send some of the compensation to the creator of the original.
    But then it does not completely abolish the need for a copyright law.
    I see what you mean, but my point was that it does need some form of regulation and rights for the owner of a work.
    And, while I agree that something needs to be done, I don't think it will (or can) be as simple as you described in your first post. Though, if you meant your original statement as to only apply to the strictest sense of copyright, I might have misunderstood your post a bit and then this argument served no purpose

  26. Post #26
    Philly c's Avatar
    February 2008
    552 Posts
    I don't really see what's so bad about something that can be freely copied having worth. Just because it doesn't match the current laws doesn't mean it's stupid outright.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United Kingdom Show Events Disagree Disagree x 2 (list)

  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    KillerJaguar's Avatar
    October 2006
    3,051 Posts
    I don't really see what's so bad about something that can be freely copied having worth. Just because it doesn't match the current laws doesn't mean it's stupid outright.
    Because all that work and hundreds of man hours to make something that can be freely copied means nothing.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Disagree Disagree x 3 (list)

  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    BlkDucky's Avatar
    May 2008
    6,483 Posts
    yeah, that article is so clearly flawed that I'm not even going to bother continuing with this.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United Kingdom Show Events Agree Agree x 3Dumb Dumb x 2 (list)

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    make outrageous claim
    It's not an outrageous claim. All you need is a 'distance' metric, like Hamming distance, Levenshtein distance, or similar (I think I saw something based on cosine similarity once). Then you just plug it into a vp-tree or BK-tree (the latter requires distance values to be quantized).

    When I did this, I took the image data and scaled it to a predetermined size, then took the DCT. I discarded all of the high-frequency coefficients, and kept only the signs of the low-frequency coefficients. There are at least several papers on measuring image similarity from DCT sign, I don't remember what I read, but the advantage of this approach is that it captures general 'features' without a lot of dependence on details, which could be corrupted by noise, or overarching qualities like brightness. I took this value (at this point, the entire >1MB image is represented in several dozen to a few hundred bits of information) and used the Hamming distance to construct a BK-tree. The hardest part, by far, is determining what information to discard such that the resulting 'hash' uniquely identifies the media, without being either too complex or too general.

    It might take a little more power to create a sort of hash from a video, but it is certainly possible to do it in a reasonable amount of time. The whole process could be simplified considerably if we switched to 3D wavelets for encoding video, as it wouldn't have to be downsampled from full resolution (wavelet encoding provides access to the image/video data at many resolutions).
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Show Events Winner Winner x 2 (list)

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    marvincmarvin's Avatar
    January 2011
    795 Posts
    Pirating from indie developers is a dick move. Odds are they worked hard to produce a product and either want some compensation for their time or it's their lively hood.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 10 (list)

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    Smashmaster's Avatar
    April 2005
    1,506 Posts
    Regardless of whether or not it hurts devs, there's nothing anybody can do about it without making things much worse for everybody. We've struck a nice compromise between 'nobody makes money off of anything' and 'the internet is illegal.' Piracy is just a fact of life, like car accidents, rain on parades, and hair in McDoubles. It's something you just have to accept to get into the business.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    Lord Ned's Avatar
    April 2006
    3,702 Posts
    Think of it this way:
    You release a game and put in anti-piracy measures. People crack it in a week and put it out there, and they dislike you for trying to protect it.
    You release a game and put in no anti-piracy measures. People put it out there, they don't dislike you and it gets your name out in a more positive light.
    You release a game on p2p yourself. It gets you out there in a positive light and you have some control over the release.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 United States Show Events Optimistic Optimistic x 2Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  33. Post #33
    Map in a box's Avatar
    July 2009
    7,131 Posts
    Wrong. Not all anti-piracy is intrusive.
    --
    Explain how this is wrong instead of rating me dumb.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows XP United States Show Events Dumb Dumb x 6Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    Jookia's Avatar
    July 2007
    6,768 Posts
    People would pay to buy the game if they couldn't get it any other way and they wanted to play it. Those sales are pretty much invalid though seeing as you're making people buy your game instead of letting them choose. Think games without demos that turn out to be bad games. Potential sales are bullshit, and without them you can't calculate if piracy hurts you or not.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Linux Australia Show Events Dumb Dumb x 4 (list)

  35. Post #35

    September 2011
    6 Posts
    It hurts. I cry every night about it.

  36. Post #36
    Hi.
    reevezy67's Avatar
    July 2011
    4,289 Posts
    Even though I don't play games anywhere near as much as I used to, I buy all my games now I have a full time job, though sometimes I wish that I didn't waste my money.

    There's something about buying games that makes me enjoy them more.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Australia Show Events Agree Agree x 2 (list)

  37. Post #37
    Gold Member
    Sir Whoopsalot's Avatar
    August 2010
    22,320 Posts
    Pirating from indie developers is a dick move. Odds are they worked hard to produce a product and either want some compensation for their time or it's their lively hood.
    And pirating from a bigger developer who also probably worked hard to produce a product and either want some compensation for their time? That's just as big a dick move.
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Netherlands Show Events Disagree Disagree x 7 (list)

  38. Post #38

    August 2011
    192 Posts
    And pirating from a bigger developer who also probably worked hard to produce a product and either want some compensation for their time? That's just as big a dick move.
    the only difference I see is that they get paid no matter what, the company MAY lay them off if the game doesn't sell good but the person creating the game got paid.
    Indie developers rely on every single sold game to get paid
    Reply With Quote Edit / Delete Reply Windows 7 Switzerland Show Events Agree Agree x 1 (list)

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member

    March 2005
    3,028 Posts
    And pirating from a bigger developer who also probably worked hard to produce a product and either want some compensation for their time? That's just as big a dick move.
    No, it's not.
    Most of the people at a big games development company don't give a shit about games. They've got absolute certainty that no matter what kind of shit they churn out, they'll make millions, because they're first-and-foremost an advertising machine.

  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    Smashmaster's Avatar
    April 2005
    1,506 Posts
    Are we already going down the "big business doesn't know the meaning of games" road?

    That was fast.