My point is, a single mother gets sued for millions of dollars for
downloading $30 worth of music
Suing for millions of dollars for $30 worth seems more a problem of the US law system - in Germany the amounts sued for are somewhat more reasonable (although not totally so).
My point is, a single mother gets sued for millions of dollars for
downloading $30 worth of music. What happened to blizzard for selling
a game that was incomplete, that didnt work the first couple days due
to not spending enough money on servers to handle the spike, and
falsely advertised game content on the box that wasn't in the game due
to making a launch date without spending tons of cash to make new
In an ideal society one could sue them too, not happen too soon. However, this is clearly an area where the Internet has helped in empowering consumers (both happy and unhappy) to get their word out. I think the net will be that companies treating their customers badly will fail more likely than before - a good thing!
Can I loan my car to a friend who would otherwise have to purchase a
car to get around? If I share a vehicle I have (in the software
industries pov) stolen a sale from them by providing transportation to
someone who otherwise was about to go buy a car.
Again my position is kind of "formal": It is up to the manufacturer of the good to decide what people can do with the good. If car companies would put in their selling contract "you cannot have anybody than you drive the car", it simply would not fly as car sharing is obviously good.
"would people still build porsche cars? Invent new things? sounds like
socialism to me..." Personally I think they would and the games
industry is a perfect example. One can argue that in socialism there
might not be as much incentive to innovate or invent, I say why not?
Why does money always have to be the only motivator? Why can't I just
be fascinated with something and have a dream of doing something great
regardless of wether it makes me rich or not. Its the same with
capitalism, many of the richest people got that rich because they had
a passion to make a dream come true, and it turned out for them that
so many people wanted their product that they got rich. I think most
indie developers just want to make games, sure they want to survive
but they arent going to be bitter if they aren't millionaires in 10
years. What happens when they are millionaires? Activision happens.
Activision imo is a perfect example of a comparison with socialism.
They get those big name houses. Their schedule turns into "make 2
shooters, 1 car, 1 sports and 1/2 of an rpg a year. Make 10% more
money than last year, hire 2-6 of the highest graduating programmers
artists etc" whatever. There is no innovation, there is no reason to
invent new things. I think the call of duty series speaks for itself
here. There are countless articles on sites like ign, pcworld talking
about the stagnation of franchises and companies massive fears of new
ips. Companies have gotten so big that they can't afford a game to
fail, most AAA games take more resources than a company even has, and
if people dont like it, bye. This is a perfect example of capitalism
failing with innovation/invention etc, places where is should top
socialism, it is now failing.
Although I am no gamer and hence can't follow the details, I do agree with many things you say. IMHO, there has be a VERY bad trend in the past 20-30 years: 25 years ago big companies were led by "experts in the field": Microsoft by Bill Gates, Chemical Companies by Chemists, Car Companies by "car dudes" and so forth. As of today, most company CEOs have a bl**dy MBA or law background. They can crunch numbers, increase effectiveness, talk "strategy" - but the core value of any good company is creating good products. Today, the focus all too often is on cost savings, marketing, risk aversion. This all does not help if you are selling cars, video games, mobile phones because your competitors do the exact same things. So the success stories of past (Nokia) and present (Apple, Google) is often exactly as you have written - passionate people rather than greedy people.
However, I still think this can be fixed without moving from capitalism to full-blown socialism. The funny bit about capitalism these days is even the CEO of a big public company (think Tim Cook) has very LITTLE power of decision: his main job is to make profits for the shareholders in the next three months... I am somewhat hopeful that we will get back to a bit more healthy form of capitalism - but that will require some massive changes in the way people evaluate stocks, in the way large companies are controlled, in the way board of directors give guidance and compensation rules to CEOs (how about a bonus for 5 year share price development rather than for yearly?).
I'm writing too much so as for your last questions, first, I think
software piracy is a GREAT thing. I think it was as inevitable as
freeing the slaves. Activision is a monopoly in the games industry
wether anyone wants to admit or not and because the government doesn't
have time to deal with it customers are doing it for them. I see
piracy as a force that is breaking up monopolies in the industry and
has forced more innovation/invention than I have seen in the industry
in my lifetime. I think another huge point here is when you say you
have the choice" don't buy". This isnt a choice like it used to be.
You can say you have a choice to buy a cell phone, but do you really?
What kind of software company is going to hire you if they can't ever
get ahold of you unless your at your house. What about breaking down
on the interstate? While not yet a necessity, its becoming clear that
owning a cell phone is getting more and more essential. You could
argue that people used to deal with it, but do you really want to be
the one saying people should be stranded or left for dead in an
emergencey because they couldn't afford a contract with a provider
that is charged much much more than it needs to because of demand?
What ever happened to fairness?
Mmhh... I agree that people do need a cell phone these days (in most jobs anyway) - but I think in gaming the choice of 'not buying' is still very valid. While I certainly appreciate to get 'the other' viewpoint explained in more depth, I am still not convinced "SW piracy is good".
IMO free to play with microtransactions will take over for new ips.
The risk of failure drops incredibly and people are willing to spend
more money on a game the more time they have invested in it.
Regulation of free to play will either come about quickly to keep
companies from ripping people off, or imo "pirate server" will be as
big a word as piracy in the next few years" The old pricing model
still has a place imo and I can a game coming out free to play,
turning into a $60 game for a sequal based on its success. The other
thing f2p brings to the table are players. AI can be one of the most
time consuming parts of creating a game, f2p brings you smarter
ai(other players) than you could ever program, free of cost and time.
TFC and league of legends are the idols if your thinking about free to
Agree on free-to-play as good model. Do you think it would not have come out w/o SW piracy? Side note: I tried to get into LOL a bit and failed miserably... Personally any game where I have to invest days of prep work before being able to play is not for me - just a shift in life priorities I guess ...
Walking through my grocery store one day a lady was handing out free
hot pretzels with cheese...free. For examples sake, say I took a bite,
like them and bought a box semi regularly. What is the difference
between me and the guy who stole a box to try them, not wanting to
waste money if they sucked, liked them and now buys them semi
regularly(lets be real he isnt gonna steal every time). Jail him just
because he wasn't there the day they were handing them out? If so
shouldn't I look at the lady giving away free pretzels as an act of
hostility? an attempt to get me hooked on their product that I never
would have tried, should i compare her to a crack dealer giving out
free hits? I think many acts of piracy can be looked at the same way.
Some are theft(oh freakin well). Some you should be thankful for.
I think (most of) humankind is simply not mature enough to decide for themselves when 'stealing' would be considered an act of trying with the option to buy later and when not. Which brings me back to square one of my argument: It is the producers decision whether he wants to give away free pretzels, beer trials, SW games, Porsche test drives - not the buyers. More so, if the buyer doesn't like the producers decision he should not sidestep this - I think chaos lurks then.
Piracy could be a criticism of your game. Maybe less people would
pirate if the graphics would have been better etc. But its looked at
black and white, and if every pirate on earth is a stealing thug. We
could talk all day and never cover all the bases, its just far too
I agree on piracy being complex. Hey, even more complex than I thought I still don't think it is 'morally' or legally right - but we don't have to agree on everything... I certainly enjoyed the discussion!