Status
Not open for further replies.

C-C-C-Cashmere (old)

Resident Weirdo
Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
832
Reaction score
341
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Well... is it? Discuss.


Definitions


piracy, n. - the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work, e.g. "software piracy".


ethical, adj. - morally good or correct, e.g. "ethical issues in nursing".


moral, adj. - concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour, e.g. "the moral dimensions of medical intervention".
 

Shaz

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
41,199
Reaction score
14,239
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Piracy is stealing. No, it's not ethical, no matter what "reason" you come up with.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Andar

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
32,096
Reaction score
7,990
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
All humans need to eat, and that means they need to gain money for purchasing food.


There are a lot of people (artists, programmers, and more) who decided to get that money by working in the creative business, producing artwork or programs that might be copied instead of purchased.


If someone does not pay them for their work, that is basically the same as stealing that money/food they expect to get from their work.


Do you want to work in whatever business you are in, just to be cheated out off the money you were promised for your work?


So basically the answer is NO, piracy is never ethical, no matter what excuses you try to come up with.





And a warning up front for everyone:


We are allowing discussions on topics like this only as long as they stay civil and factual.


If this topic goes into name-calling or such, expect it to be closed fast.


So behave yourselves ;-)
 

Alexander Amnell

Jaded Optimist
Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
3,404
Reaction score
1,733
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
   Software piracy is not ethical under any stretch of the imagination. Computer software and artistic works are not even a necessity of life; they are a desire, and as a desire they lose all true justification you might come up with for stealing them. If you choose to steal such a thing rather than pay for it you are taking something you don't need without reimbursing the one who created it for his/her hard work. Under no stretch of the imagination does that = 'ethical'.

   I know where this is probably going though, I've seen the arguments and one that's sure to pop up is "scenario A: Huge corporation has more money than they know what to do with == victim-less crime." This isn't even the case; take Wal-mart for example. (because it's the only such corporation that I have personal experience with.) The highest up of Walmart and the CEO's may be amoral *******s who deserve anything coming to them, but do you know what they do whenever you steal from them? They don't lose a damn penny, every cent of loss that comes from Walmart is taken from the quarterly bonuses of the lowly hourly employees of that store. So when you cut open that software box and steal the access key to 'take a stand' against corporate greed, all you are really doing is stealing bread from the poor and their families to feed your own ego by telling yourself that you are somehow 'justified' in doing so. 

   Corruption and abuse in power are the most valid arguments I've ever seen to justify piracy, but behaving amorally in response to someone else's amoral behavior just means your every bit the rear end in a top hat that you think the other guy is, nowhere in such a situation do his/her actions give you a pass to do the same.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Shinma

Lurker
Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
756
Reaction score
341
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
No matter how you look at it, piracy is stealing. So since stealing is unethical, that means piracy is as well.

The only possible way it could remotely be considered ok, is if you have permission from the creator, but at that point it is no longer piracy.
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
2,552
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Technically it's not "stealing" since the original product still exists at the same place.

Unless you steal a boxed game in a game shop, for digital productions it should be called "counterfeiting".

Obviously, neither is ethical.
 

OM3GA-Z3RO

Wounded Seraphim
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
826
Reaction score
181
Primarily Uses
That is still stealing no matter how you look at it, Product keys in boxes are now becoming 1 use only these days and let me tell you that is not good.

One day I bought a game that I was really looking forward to and since I managed to save up enough money and paid of all my taxes and rent I was finally able to purchase it, so I did. I installed it and it asked me to enter the product key, I happily entered it and you know what it said?

"This product key has already been used."

True story, so someone managed to steal the product key for the game and I purchased it and took the downfall. Software piracy is what brings situations like this to reality and no matter what other people say on other matter it is still considered as stealing whether the box is still there or not
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Zeriab

Huggins!
Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
1,277
Reaction score
1,443
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMXP
I dislike the typical equivalence put between software piracy and stealing as the latter usually is associated also with the loss of physical items. As such I consider stealing worse than software pirating. Of course this does not imply that software piracy is ok. Another silly counter-argument often made.

I like the name software piracy because it is obviously nowhere near as bad as actual real-world piracy.

Can conducting software piracy be ethical? Do there exist situations where it is morally right?

Sometimes you can acquire software faster by pirating it. Within safety-critical systems I can imagine a situation where pirating some software allows for a faster resolution of some emergency. Naturally proper licensing and such should be done afterwards, but the concept of software piracy being morally correct in some rare situations, yes, I can see that happening.

Are they any cases where pirating games is ethical? I doubt it.

*hugs*

 - Zeriab
 

C-C-C-Cashmere (old)

Resident Weirdo
Veteran
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
832
Reaction score
341
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I'm pretty sure I see everyone around me downloading movies illegally and streaming online. Plus downloading music albums or using YouTube downloaders etc. It is tempting.


But I would say it is unethical because of the things that Amnell talked about earlier. The question is: why do people continue to do it even if they know it's wrong?
 

OM3GA-Z3RO

Wounded Seraphim
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
826
Reaction score
181
Primarily Uses
I'm pretty sure I see everyone around me downloading movies illegally and streaming online. Plus downloading music albums or using YouTube downloaders etc. It is tempting.

But I would say it is unethical because of the things that Amnell talked about earlier. The question is: why do people continue to do it even if they know it's wrong?
Because it's free which is stealing
 

Arkecia

Database Queen
Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
268
Reaction score
192
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
There's always going to be tools who who say piracy is wrong to appease a herd and look good in front of others, but I doubt there are many like that in these forums. You're probably not going to get any answer saying piracy is ethical from people who create content that can be stolen. When it hits home people will rightly take a stand on the matter.

Morality is a very subjective thing, so the people who give reasons why they think piracy is okay, some of them in fact will truly believe they are morally right to experience all forms of art without paying them. Either not fully understanding what it causes, or believing all art should be free/shared/modified; not caring that doing so may stop said art from continuing. Artists need some way to make a living, or else the art can't happen, and using their art to make that living is their best case scenario to live a happy life. 

Personally, my own morality prevents me from pirating anything, (I literally have a wall I hollowed out and use as one huge CD library for albums I bought before going completely digital, so I can stay a shut in, thank you Agoraphobia!) but that's partly because I want to in turn sell art I make in the future. If I didn't have that outlook, would I pirate things? I couldn't answer that, because I'd lose a big part of myself in the equation, but I'd like to think I'd still follow my own moral code, which predates my desire to make a living on my creations.

Bottom Line: Morality is subjective, making it a hard thing to debate. Doesn't make the debate any less fun, but I doubt you'll find someone on these forums who seriously thinks piracy is cool.
 

Alexander Amnell

Jaded Optimist
Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
3,404
Reaction score
1,733
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I dislike the typical equivalence put between software piracy and stealing as the latter usually is associated also with the loss of physical items.
   The problem with this assertion is that so many products that exist now come in a digital format that the line is fairly blurred. The reason I use the term stealing is because while there may not be physical property to steal there is still something tangible taken from someone else. If I were to, say, break open the project file of a random rpgmaker game with custom graphics that were paid for by the games author specifically for use in that game though I might not be stealing his/her resources (as they'd still exist to be used) but now I release my own demo of a game using such graphics (not here, but there are places you can get away with it that I'm sure everyone has seen.) now these resources are no longer unique to the original author's game, so if later he/she tries to put it up on steam or kickstarter or what have you, there will be potential voters/backers that might have seen my ripped content and think to themselves "this isn't unique, it's just more common licence resources **** that people get for cheap, why should I pay them to create a game so cheaply, they must be lying when they say they need 15,000+ for resources." when in reality this person has spent and plans to continue to spend all the extra money associated with purchasing resources unique to their game, but I just stole the value that they paid above that of the 100 dollars or so that such resources would go for if they were common license items that the artist can resell as many times as they want, in addition to losing a chunk of the more casual backer/voter base that idealizes unique resources above all else.

   Likewise can be said for common items like the ones in the store. If I were to pirate one of the resource packs though I might not have technically stolen the resources from anyone (because again, they still exist for the author and everyone else.) there is now money in my bank account that doesn't belong there, because it was stolen from the artist/author of the resources I pirated. Cause and effect, I have their resources to use and I have the money they should have been paid, therefor at the very least I robbed them of income, regardless of whether stealing reproduced software items and resources can itself be classified as stealing or not, taking someone else's hard earned income is cut-and-dry stealing from them.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

??????

Diabolical Codemaster
Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
6,548
Reaction score
3,301
First Language
Binary
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
At the end of the day, all forms of piracy is morally wrong. If you disagree, you clearly have corrupt morals.

The only thing I personally would deem to be 'morally gray' would be a scenario like this...

- Person A wants to use Resource A. (lets pretend this resource is a tileset, just for arguments sake)

- Person A has no viable means of legally obtaining the aforementioned resource.

- Person A finds 'pirated' copy of the resource they want.

- Person A decides to use the pirated version ONLY UNTIL THEY CAN OBTAIN OFFICIAL VERSION, for example, to begin mapping their area's etc..

Even then, they are still initially stealing the resource. Whether they 'plan' to obtain a legitimate copy eventually is irrelevant. but maybe others will feel differently about that. As previously stated, morality is very subjective and is respective of the individual.
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
2,552
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@Alexander Amnell:

That's what is called Counterfeiting. You replicate something so you have it without the original owner losing a physical item.

That's also why you have the ®, the ™ an so on. That's to prevent couterfeiteing of resources.

So they do not lose a physical item, yet they have a (potential) financial loss.

I put potential in parentheses because one replica made is not always equal to one sale lost. The people who use the replica may never have bought the item (like a luxury brand's handbag).

So yes, in common language, you can say stealing as a shortcut. It also has a more powerful meaning for the everyday people than talking about counterfeiting.
 

Candacis

Pixel Pusher
Restaff
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
1,672
Reaction score
2,614
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
I think a lot of people here are in agreement, piracy is not okay and is maybe even the same as stealing because you hurt a lot of artists and/or employers.

But what about the more grey areas in piracy? For instance, in a far away country was a game released years ago. It isn't sold anymore and it didn't even make it to your country in the first place. Is piracy then okay to get said game or accept that is out of reach for you? Or maybe that person should invest more energy in a search, maybe get it from ebay or look for years on various garage sales?

Another example: a tv-series is shown on tv in another country. In your country it isn't shown yet. You pirate the series to watch it and later, as it gets available in your country, buy the dvd. Piracy? Stealing?

So, I just want to spark the discussion a bit more and want to know what you think about those "grey areas".
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
2,552
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
This grey area is clearly visible in the anime world.

Before they are licenced, series are often available as fansubbed versions.

That's a way for local distributors to let people know of series otherwise unknown to the public, but what happens as soon as the licence is bought ?

I know in France there was almost nothing done against fansubs for years. It's only recently that the biggest dstributors are trying to protect more their licences (providing services like day+1 subbed broadcasts).

Offering services is often the best way to protect a software/licence from piracy, but it's not always possible.
 

Andar

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
32,096
Reaction score
7,990
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
There are cases in which people are forced to resort to software piracy, and I can think of a lot of cases where that grey area is aczeptable, but the original question was whether or not piracy was ethical - and that is always a NO.


For example there are sites dedicated to "abandonedware" - computer programs whose developers are out of business, the trademarks lost because no one had interest in purchasing them and so on. Technically that is also piracy, but no one does anything against it because there is no one who could be paid to get those programs, and no other way to remember them.


But just the fact that in those cases, there really is no one to loose something when piracing/stealing/counterfaiting that data does not make the act itself an ethical one.


In a certain way, the wording of the OP's question provides the answer in itself. There is a grey area where piracy will never be called before court by law, simply because there is no one to call someone before court (you need to be the damaged party to be able to do that, and if no one is there to claim a loss then this can't be done).


So it is possible to discuss whether specific acts of piracy are punishable by law or illegal or not - but the original question wasn't about whether piracy is legal or not, it was about if it is ethical or not.


And in that area, there is no "grey" - piracy is never ethical, even if there are cases where you have no other choice but to do that.
 

Cyreides

Producer
Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
88
Reaction score
28
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
To me, it all comes down to circumstances. The whole claim some people like to make about all piracy being unquestionably wrong and harmful is just dumb on so many levels. It takes into account nothing about the situation of the piracy in question and also ignores that piracy is blatantly not the same thing as stealing and in no way does it have the same consequences. Literally every argument about this is filled with hideously flawed logic.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tsukihime

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
8,564
Reaction score
3,860
First Language
English
But I would say it is unethical because of the things that Amnell talked about earlier. The question is: why do people continue to do it even if they know it's wrong?
Some people don't know that it's wrong.


But let's ignore them.


For those that do know it's wrong, and still continue to do it, is because you can get away with it.


If you can obtain things without losing anything, that seems like a great option. Saving $40 on a game allows you to allocate $40 elsewhere.


Some people determine that saving that money is more important.


Others just do it cause ... free stuff!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Is it necroposting if I ask for more info in my own months old thread? All the information in the thread is relevant
JRPG TextBox HTML - Part 2:
So I'm resuming work on the Shadowstar Trilogy. I've decided that it will take place between the end of G4 and the start of G5, and two of the Lost Rulers will be Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer (who is the moon princess in my AU).
Been working on some sprites, My favorite out of all of them is this guy, his name is Moss:

Forum statistics

Threads
108,952
Messages
1,040,840
Members
141,414
Latest member
undacova44
Top