What do game pirates get out of piracy?

Nivlacart

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Isn't it strange that game pirates like SKIDROW, who pirate games and then upload their torrents to the internet, get nothing in return?

Do they get donations?

Do they have a company full of pirates where they get paid to pirate games all day?

Is that .dll file you have to turn your antivirus down for just to get the game to work really as harmless as they say?

What do they gain from this? What's their incentive?

Unless they're happy with gaining recognition just as hackers then I guess... ehh...
 
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They want to give people virus's so their computer breaks and they like doing that because they're hackers and want to break stuff and be illegal. 
 
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boldpaste2

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I remember seeing a chart some where that said a huge majority do it because they can or for the thrill.
 

EFizzle

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Most of them do it because there's a community around them. Pirating is a community endeavor and well you do favors for your friends right? It's just become a huge thing that's evolved from burning your age of empires onto a disk and handing it to your friend. Most of them don't get money from it, most of them have no ill intentions, and most of them just do it for the fun of it. Sure donations are a thing, and the all-exclusive peer-groups motivate it further, but all-in-all it's a hobby that has grown into an international enterprise-like thing.
 

Oriceles

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Most of them do it because there's a community around them. Pirating is a community endeavor and well you do favors for your friends right? It's just become a huge thing that's evolved from burning your age of empires onto a disk and handing it to your friend. Most of them don't get money from it, most of them have no ill intentions, and most of them just do it for the fun of it. Sure donations are a thing, and the all-exclusive peer-groups motivate it further, but all-in-all it's a hobby that has grown into an international enterprise-like thing.
This ^.

Don't quote me on this, there used to be torrent sites that pay a small portion of their ad income to the top members. In the deep web that kind of stuff is crazy.
 

Caitlin

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Some, it's the thrill or the challenge of doing it, while others, it's the challenge of spreading as many virus that they program. Of course, the people who download pirated things it is 'I don't want to support badly done DRM", I don't want to support bad company X's horrible policies", "I want to play this game, but not willing to spend money" or "I would spend money, but can't find product" or the last "I would support this game, but can not afford it"... even "I just want to try it out first, but ...the company's demo doesn't really show me what it's about..." Yeah, the people who pirate games are an open book, but it's more interesting for people who download pirated game.  I suppose if you can understand their reasons, you can figure out a way of stopping it as much as humanly possible.  Though, there will always be a small amount of people who do, but we can minimize it.
 

whitesphere

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@Caitlin

It's pretty easy to describe people who download pirated stuff (without purchasing a copy).  They want to get stuff for free and have cooked up a rationale in their heads to quiet their conscience.

Now, if someone does download pirated stuff, tries it then deletes it, using it as an unofficial demo, I don't see it as a big problem.   It's if they keep the pirated stuff and play the entire game, etc, without purchasing a copy, that I think any rationales are crap.   If they hate the DRM, then purchase a copy, put it aside and use a pirated copy instead --- at least the company is being paid for their work.  As long as they don't ever give anyone else the purchased copy, without first deleting their pirated copy, I don't see it as a problem.

As for the original topic:  I think some pirates do it for the sheer challenge of breaking the DRM.  I would guess organized crime has something to do with some pirates --- "Sure, we'll crack this DRM, just use this DLL" (which has a nasty virus that helps said crime ring somehow) or "We'll pay you $50,000 to crack this DRM, if you have the crack intercept web site requests and reroute them to our website list."
 

Andar

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Some pirates do this for the thrill or as a challenge - but a lot of them do this to increase their botnets.


That way you install their spambot program together with the pirated copy (they hope that your antivirus doesn't detect that, and that your computer remains stable after that).


Even if only in a hundred pirated downloads one gets the spambot through without detection - that is enough to make them a lot of money, because after that they use your internet connection to send out spam emails and spamposts in the background task, and get paid for that by the people selling that crap without having to pay the transfer volume for the thousands of emails send by your computer...


Or alternatively they might use your background processing power for distributed DOS-Attacks that disable websites they don't like, or use your processing power to work on one of the (paid) mathematical challenges (which isn't as illegal compared to use that same processing to hack other sites) and a lot more ways.


Believe me, there are a lot of ways to earn money from your computer after you install a spambot on it without knowing it...
 

hian

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@Caitlin

It's pretty easy to describe people who download pirated stuff (without purchasing a copy).  They want to get stuff for free and have cooked up a rationale in their heads to quiet their conscience.
This assumes they had a conscience surrounding piracy, which I think a lot of people don't.

I don't pirate games anymore (mostly because I game on my Vita, and my computer can't run any current gen games anyway), but I never considered it a moral issue when I did.

Why? Because it really isn't.

A lot of people like to label piracy theft, but there is a very big difference. Theft is unlawful redistribution - that is to say, thing(s) changing hands. Piracy, is illegal copying and redistribution of the copies, not the original material, hence what is being lost is not the thing itself, but the potential revenue of the thing in question.

(imagine if I built my own carbon-copy of the latest Audi model, have I stolen an Audi?)

I.E if piracy is theft, it's the theft of potential revenue - however, that assumes the person who is pirating would have bought the product in question if he or she couldn't pirate it, and that my friend, is an assumption on part of the production companies that cannot be justified.

Point in case, most of the games I pirated in my youth (if not all of them), I would never have bought in the first place. If piracy wasn't an option, I'd go "too bad" and just forgotten about them. I think that's true for a lot of "pirates".

They're moderately interested in a product, but not enough to spend money on it (that much is true, and might sound reprehensible to certain people, but perspectives are as varied as there are stars in the sky).

Hence, they wouldn't have been a part of the potential consumer demographic if piracy wasn't an option.

What does that mean? It means that no profit is actually lost.

So, is theft occurring at that point?

No, because the original product is not stolen from anyone (merely copied), and no profit is lost (because these people would never have bought the product to begin with).

Why would anyone feel a bad conscience over that? I can't even imagine.

All that being said, I don't generally pirate and most of the piracy I did as a teenager was for Jrpgs that were never released in Europe, and couldn't be played on European consoles due to zone-restrictions and electrical out-put differences.

I'm simply saying that you shouldn't assume people need to rationalize something that they might not even consider problematic to begin with. You're assuming the default emotion of all human beings is that piracy is wrong. I doubt that would be the case, even if by any and all logic, piracy was objectively wrong. Unfortunately, it's not even that, since in most cases it's a victimless crime (since no objects are redistributed, and no profit is lost).
 

Andar

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A lot of people like to label piracy theft, but there is a very big difference. Theft is unlawful redistribution - that is to say, thing(s) changing hands. Piracy, is illegal copying and redistribution of the copies, not the original material, hence what is being lost is not the thing itself, but the potential revenue of the thing in question.


So, is theft occurring at that point?


No, because the original product is not stolen from anyone (merely copied), and no profit is lost (because these people would never have bought the product to begin with).
I'm always amused by how many people are arguing around software piracy by words and labels, trying to come up with a justification for it.
I absolutely agree that "theft" and "piracy" are the wrong words choosen to describe this form of crime, because they indeed do not explain it correctly. A lot of very wordy posts could have been prevented if some thirty years ago the people responsible would have choosen better names for the crime.


But it basically goes down to very simple fact:


If for example an artist makes pictures that can be used in games, and offers you the option to use them if you pay him (for food and living cost, so he can continue working as an artist without starving), then the question is "do you use those pictures?" - if yes, then you have to pay the artist for the work - if no, then you don't need to download them and can erase them from your computer.


No, there are no physical objects to be exchanged - but there are a lot of other things where that is also not the case. If you pay rent to live somewhere, then using those rooms without paying is also a crime, don't you agree? Or do you then argue "it's not theft because I don't steal any object? And there is no profit lost, because I could always choose to live on the streets instead of paying?".
 

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In the case of the room, there is profit lost because other people who would want to rent won't be able to do so anymore since there's someone already living in the room...

@OP - Possibly the thrill of being able to do so, and also maybe because of the "playerbase".
 
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Lars Ulrika

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It depends, in Indonesia you have SHOPS with pirated games. In malls , anybody can grab it. Why? Because an official physical copy costs half an average month salary. 

So, there is a huge "black" market here with pirated games and softwares sold on cd-r. You can pretty much find anything and, cherry on the cake , they SELL copies of Linux. Yep. 
 

hian

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In the case of the room, there is profit lost because other people who would want to rent won't be able to do so anymore since there's someone already living in the room...


@OP - Possibly the thrill of being able to do so, and also maybe because of the "playerbase".
 
Exactly.

I'm always amused by how many people are arguing around software piracy by words and labels, trying to come up with a justification for it.
From where I am standing it sounds more like the sympathizers of the industries being stricken are scrambling for justifications to use for their moral outrage.


Firstly, all arguments boil down to words and labels - if you're going to discount proper use of words and labels, you might as well stop talking to other human beings.


Similarly, if people are going to argue that piracy is morally wrong, if nothing that piracy does actually harms someone else (it might do in the cases where people pirate instead of buying, but my argument is that such rarely happens), then I have no idea what you mean by morally wrong.

I absolutely agree that "theft" and "piracy" are the wrong words choosen to describe this form of crime, because they indeed do not explain it correctly. A lot of very wordy posts could have been prevented if some thirty years ago the people responsible would have choosen better names for the crime.
No. The laws never call it theft (usually called things like "illegal file-sharing" and "breach of copyright" etc). The people who call it theft are the moralists and legislators who recognize that calling it theft is the only way to make it sound like a conventional crime is happening, even though it isn't.


How do you pass a law for doing something that in the vast majority of cases hurts no-one (except perhaps the feelings of certain moralists)? You dress it up as something else entirely.

But it basically goes down to very simple fact:


If for example an artist makes pictures that can be used in games, and offers you the option to use them if you pay him (for food and living cost, so he can continue working as an artist without starving), then the question is "do you use those pictures?" - if yes, then you have to pay the artist for the work - if no, then you don't need to download them and can erase them from your computer.
This illustrates the issue perfectly, because now you are, as most people, creating false analogies to illustrate the problem with piracy, showing that you don't really understand what happens when somebody pirates a software and digital information to begin with.


See, for your analogy to work, this has to happen -


An artist makes a picture. Then someone buys his picture, which provides the artist enough money to live off of, and then the person who bought the picture makes a copy of it, and givers it away for free to someone else who likes it, but never would have bought it.


No artists are starving because people are pirating. If they were, it's because their product isn't selling. Again if you assume that they're "starving because people are pirating", the real assumption you're making underneath is that these people are pirating instead of buying, which is an unfounded assumption.

No, there are no physical objects to be exchanged - but there are a lot of other things where that is also not the case. If you pay rent to live somewhere, then using those rooms without paying is also a crime, don't you agree? Or do you then argue "it's not theft because I don't steal any object? And there is no profit lost, because I could always choose to live on the streets instead of paying?".
Actually, an object is being exchanged. The room. If I pay to stay in a room, I am receiving the room for pay. If somebody stays there for free, other people can't stay there. Profit is objectively lost.


Now, if your example was to be analogous to piracy it would go like this -


Is it theft if I build a room next to the room that you're renting out, and allow people to stay in my room for free?


Do you really not see the difference between copying a product and giving it away for free, and taking an actual product and giving it away?


There is a reason it's called "copyright violations" and "illegal files-haring", because it's the right to copy that is being broken, and because it's redistributed without permission of the original creators.


Call a spade a spade, don't dress it up as anything else.


The problem though, as most people recognize, is that when you recognize what piracy actually is, it also ceases to be a moral issue for most people.


After all, the logical thing to think at that point is


"if I'm not stealing anything, and I wouldn't buy this stuff to begin with, so the company isn't losing any profit of me, then how am I doing something wrong?"


Bear in mind that I'm not defending piracy by saying I think people ought to pirate, or that everybody should (because obviously, many people would then pirate instead of buying) - I am simply saying that it's over-simplifying and unwarranted to assume that pirates suffer a bad conscious doing what they do, or that piracy is somehow a black-and-white criminal and moral offense, when it's literally completely different from every other type of crime we have, and as an act, falls out of almost every ethical system known to man.


If you're going to make an argument for why piracy is morally wrong, you need to make the argument why copying the work of someone else and giving it away for free, is wrong. That's pretty tough to do in a convincing manner. That's all I'm saying.]

It depends, in Indonesia you have SHOPS with pirated games. In malls , anybody can grab it. Why? Because an official physical copy costs half an average month salary.


So, there is a huge "black" market here with pirated games and softwares sold on cd-r. You can pretty much find anything and, cherry on the cake , they SELL copies of Linux. Yep.
This IMO would be a good argument where piracy is objectively problematic, because here profit is actually being stolen.


Here some people are profiting off a product they didn't make, and the customers who buy it prove that they're willing to pay for the product (just not the original product somehow), which damages the argument "I wouldn't have bought it otherwise".


This is a type of piracy I understand very well, and it's analogous to a lot of non-digital type of crime.


Best example being, if I started to sell cheap variants of a known car-model, which is a 100% copy in terms of design, but cheaply produced in China, I would be held accountable by law, and rightly so.


Same applies to the kind of piracy Lars mentions here.
 
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whitesphere

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The simple fact of the matter is this:  There is no way to precisely quantify HOW much money artists lose when people pirate their work, because there's no way to know how many people would have paid for it if they had no alternative.

There's also the matter of "keeping honest people honest."  I think REM released an album in downloadable format and asked people to pay what they felt it was worth.  90% of people didn't pay a dime.  If REM were a small garage band, and trying to pay their rent and such with their music, could they afford that?

The fact is for every highly successful artist who can easily afford to earn a lot less, there are a million who can't afford to make a living on their work.  Some of these probably include various professional artists who make RPG Maker resources (I have no idea; I'm just guessing).  Now, as consumers if we want these artists to be able to work full time producing art, they need to be paid enough SOLELY from their art, so they don't need to work a second job just to pay the bills.

For those who say "We can donate directly to the artist," I say "That's great, would YOU want to live solely on donations?"

Now, I do start laughing or rolling my eyes when I hear amounts quoted for "Piracy has cost the economy X billion!" for the reason I stated earlier --- anywhere from 0% to 99% of the people who pirate something would have paid for it, and that percent is unknown.  But I believe strongly if we like what an artist or company makes, we should buy it so said artist or company has resources to make more of what we like.  I'm sure quite a few software dev companies have folded due to piracy.
 

Lars Ulrika

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The problem is in south-east asia copyright laws are very very very very weak. Even public school are involved in copyright infringement with walls having paintings of Naruto or Spongebob lol. 
 
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Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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with walls having paintings of Naruto
 
There's a department in our university where the rooms have pictures of national heroes, then one of the rooms have a picture of Naruto... XD

Here some people are profiting off a product they didn't make, and the customers who buy it prove that they're willing to pay for the product (just not the original product somehow), which damages the argument "I wouldn't have bought it otherwise".
 
They're still not willing to buy the product, if we consider the cost that the creators put as part of the product itself. This would be because cost is a part of the marketing of a product and is actually a huge factor on whether a product will sell or not... Essentially (under normal circumstances), you wouldn't buy something that you think is overpriced. But yeah, these people are gaining profit from something they did not create (which IMHO would be bad). Though mostly (at least here in PH I think), the people who sell them aren't the people who made the copies themselves. Rather they simply downloaded the pirated versions then burned them into discs. 
 
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Andar

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I don't have time to answer to all points, perhaps later.


I'm not a defender of the industry (quite the contrary), but the key point in my opinion is "how to get food on the worker's table" - the "industry" is often wrong because they also try to get their products as cheap as possible, reducing their worker's pay below fair levels.


However, you are also using wrong analogues and problematic assumptions:

This illustrates the issue perfectly, because now you are, as most people, creating false analogies to illustrate the problem with piracy, showing that you don't really understand what happens when somebody pirates a software and digital information to begin with.


See, for your analogy to work, this has to happen -


An artist makes a picture. Then someone buys his picture, which provides the artist enough money to live off of, and then the person who bought the picture makes a copy of it, and givers it away for free to someone else who likes it, but never would have bought it.


No artists are starving because people are pirating. If they were, it's because their product isn't selling. Again if you assume that they're "starving because people are pirating", the real assumption you're making underneath is that these people are pirating instead of buying, which is an unfounded assumption.
With this argument, you're assuming that ONE person buys the artwork for the full cost to the artist. This is possible and done often, but the price for exclusive art is a lot higher than anything else - for example, the true cost to make a full tileset usually goes up to several thousand dollars (unless they're edits - edits are cheaper). Just go to the classified area and calculate the prices given there (which are often non-professional, low rates) for a full tileset (which usually needs more than a hundred different tiles).
If one person makes an exclusive commission, then that person usually can do with the result whatever he wants, including giving it away for free. I have purchased commissions in the past, and I always got the right to do with the results whatever I want, and sometimes I've posted them for everyone to see or use.


However, that is not affordable by anyone so the there was made a different option: to purchase something non-exclusive with the calculating that if something is sold to a hundred persons for let's say 20$ each, the artists gets the 2000$ he would have gotten from the single-person exclusive commission.


And now imagine one of those people (who paid only a small part of the artworks cost) distributes it free of charge, resulting in less people purchasing that pack.


I never said that everyone who pirated something would have purchase it if it weren't available for free - that assumption is as wrong as your assumption that no one pirates something just because it is available.


Both sides of the argument needs to get off their horses of absolute numbers - of course not everyone is a pirate, but claiming that pirates do not exist is as wrong as the other side. The problem is that neither the "industry" nor the "pirates" are interested in getting hard and proovable numbers.


The industry doesn't want real numbers because they can go with higher shocking numbers by assuming that every illegal download is lost payment, and the pirates don't want hard numbers because then they would have to admit that there are people illegally profiting from other people's work.


I assume that the real numbers are somewhere in the middle - there are a lot of people pirating software and resources without ever using them, but there are also people who pirate resources and then use them in commercial games.


So I have a challenge for everyone who thinks that software piracy is no crime:


Instead of arguing why software piracy is no crime, please tell the artists how they should get food on their table based on their work. The only condition I have is: don't make differences between people (no one should have special access that others don't have) and don't claim structures like "let someone else pay if I cannot".


Above you said that an artist should only work exclusively, charging several thousand dollars for large projects. The result of that would be that most games will become RTP-only, with only a few selected companies being able to pay for custom artwork in other styles.


What other RELIABLE payment structures are there? Can anyone defending software piracy offer some solution that does not boil down to "let someone else pay, I don't care who?".
 

Lars Ulrika

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Oh yep Adiktuzmiko I assume the situation must pretty much be the same in your country hehehe. Anyway you'll find that in any country with low income where stuff is overpriced. I don't approve of but I totally understand. 
 

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The simple fact of the matter is this:  There is no way to precisely quantify HOW much money artists lose when people pirate their work, because there's no way to know how many people would have paid for it if they had no alternative.
However, that is not relevant when talking about individual pirates. I might not know if other people would have payed if they couldn't pirate, but I do know whether I would have payed or not, and so does every other pirate.


If I know personally, "I'd never pay for this product", then that is argument enough to remove any moral component for my own piracy, which is why I never had a bad conscience pirating when I did.

There's also the matter of "keeping honest people honest."  I think REM released an album in downloadable format and asked people to pay what they felt it was worth.  90% of people didn't pay a dime.  If REM were a small garage band, and trying to pay their rent and such with their music, could they afford that?
True, but then again one might ask the question whether the product offered is "worth" the prize. As a person who produces music, I don't charge for the music I make, ever. Granted that's my choice, it's also because, at this point, producing music doesn't cost me anything other than time, and electrical bills. I have a payed primary job in either case.


People forget that getting payed isn't a human right. If nobody is willing to buy your stuff, then you need to take a hard and long look at what you make and ask yourself if what you make is really something you can make into a full-time profession or not.


You can't go into creative efforts with the assumption that it's worth the monetary equivalent of a full-time job, and then blame consumers when they don't think it is.


Again, your assumption here is that, not given the choice, the majority of that 90% would have bought the music of REM at that point, but we don't know that.

The fact is for every highly successful artist who can easily afford to earn a lot less, there are a million who can't afford to make a living on their work.  Some of these probably include various professional artists who make RPG Maker resources (I have no idea; I'm just guessing).  Now, as consumers if we want these artists to be able to work full time producing art, they need to be paid enough SOLELY from their art, so they don't need to work a second job just to pay the bills.
The thing here is that the I think we can safely assume that the majority of pirates don't pirate indie work (I might be wrong though) - they pirate off the major producers, so that's a non-starter.


Secondly, as a consumer, I'm impartial to whether or not artists produce full time. All I care about is the final product when it is there.


Future, potential products, and when they might come out, are irrelevant to me.


And, with that being said, all this is still irrelevant as you're still running off the assumption that pirates are potential customers. I'd say that the ones who end up not buying anyway, are not.


This can be illustrated by statistics that have shown overlaps between piracy and sales, and pirate's testimonies saying that bought the product after downloading it.


At the end of the day - people who buy, buy, whether they pirate or not on the side. Those who pirate without buying are most likely a demographic of people who wouldn't buy anything to begin with. Hence they don't affect sales, and don't affect whether creative producers can pay their bills or not.


(and again, before somebody jumps at this, this is all conjecture on my part, meant to balance out the argument. I'm not saying this is necessarily the case)

For those who say "We can donate directly to the artist," I say "That's great, would YOU want to live solely on donations?"
No, but then again, I don't assume that it's a human right to be able to live off my art, and will never try to do so prior to knowing for sure that enough people are willing to pay the required amount of money for it.

Now, I do start laughing or rolling my eyes when I hear amounts quoted for "Piracy has cost the economy X billion!" for the reason I stated earlier --- anywhere from 0% to 99% of the people who pirate something would have paid for it, and that percent is unknown.  But I believe strongly if we like what an artist or company makes, we should buy it so said artist or company has resources to make more of what we like.  I'm sure quite a few software dev companies have folded due to piracy.
I agree that if you like a product you should buy it. That's why I buy the games I want to play.


That goes without saying.


My argument is simply that people who pirate without buying probably don't like the product all that much, don't care whether the company releases new products in the future, and are doing it only for a cheap shot at killing time with a product that caught their eye at that moment.


As for your last statement - I'm not sure, but I've never heard about it, so I wouldn't be so sure.


Again, I'm impartial (or even slightly negative) to your statement about promise of future products.


When I buy a product I consider myself paying for the costs of the product in question, and time and effort it took to make it - not to cover the artists future endeavors.


In fact, that's what the price of his or her next product is supposed to cover.


That's why being an artist is an inherently risky choice of work which boils down to talent (you produce first and get payed afterwards, unless you work in AAA industries where a company with backers and shareholders pay your salary).


You can't presuppose the value of your art before producing it, and put that into the cost of earlier made works, because the value of your art is for the consumer to determine.


Set inflated prices to your art, and nobody is going to buy it. That's the real issue. They'll still pirate it though, if they can.


Naturally, cost of most products includes a surplus that is probably going to be used for future salaries and projects, but the point I'm trying to make is that you can't as an artist, assume that whatever cost you set is going to be accepted by the consumer simply because you see it as necessary.

However, you are also using wrong analogues and problematic assumptions:


With this argument, you're assuming that ONE person buys the artwork for the full cost to the artist. This is possible and done often, but the price for exclusive art is a lot higher than anything else - for example, the true cost to make a full tileset usually goes up to several thousand dollars (unless they're edits - edits are cheaper). Just go to the classified area and calculate the prices given there (which are often non-professional, low rates) for a full tileset (which usually needs more than a hundred different tiles).
Except that I didn't. My argument wasn't "this is how it is", my argument was "this is how it can be, therefore your analogy doesn't work".


You pointing out a new scenario does nothing to change the fact that the scenario I raised is a real concern which dismisses the idea that you can equate piracy with theft.


The tangent about cost is irrelevant in either case. The costs aren't the issue - the issue is whether or not you're actually stealing, or doing something immoral, , when you haven't actually taken anything from somebody, but rather copied something and redistributed it for free.

However, that is not affordable by anyone so the there was made a different option: to purchase something non-exclusive with the calculating that if something is sold to a hundred persons for let's say 20$ each, the artists gets the 2000$ he would have gotten from the single-person exclusive commission.


And now imagine one of those people (who paid only a small part of the artworks cost) distributes it free of charge, resulting in less people purchasing that pack.
Which again assumes that these people would have bought them if they couldn't pirate it - which is an assumption.

I never said that everyone who pirated something would have purchase it if it weren't available for free - that assumption is as wrong as your assumption that no one pirates something just because it is available.
No, but every single statement you make is based on the assumption that such is the case.


I am not assuming that everyone who pirate are not potential customers, I am simply rejecting the assumption that they are.


When you do that, the default assumption should be "I cannot know one way or another whether pirates would have bought it or not (except for those who explicitly say they would or wouldn't), therefore I cannot know whether companies lose money or not."


"If I cannot know whether or not companies lose money or not, I cannot make a moral argument for why it is wrong to pirate, hence the logic thing to do so to not make that claim."


People are making that claim though, so here I am pointing out that you can't.

Both sides of the argument needs to get off their horses of absolute numbers - of course not everyone is a pirate, but claiming that pirates do not exist is as wrong as the other side. The problem is that neither the "industry" nor the "pirates" are interested in getting hard and proovable numbers.
Except that there aren't really two sides. This isn't two sides both making a positive claim - it's one side making a positive claim and the other side rejecting it.


It's not my job to prove that it's okay to pirate, it's the job of those rejecting it to prove that it's immoral/wrong.


If the only argument is "companies are losing profit", then my answer to that is "how do you qualify that?". If you can't, the default position should be either "it isn't wrong", or a tentative "if it causes company to lose money, it's wrong".


To say that there is some sort of equal footing here is to imply that it's okay to label an action as immoral, wrong, or legally unjustified by default, and then try to force people justify it. That's extremely backwards in my opinion.

So I have a challenge for everyone who thinks that software piracy is no crime:


Instead of arguing why software piracy is no crime, please tell the artists how they should get food on their table based on their work. The only condition I have is: don't make differences between people (no one should have special access that others don't have) and don't claim structures like "let someone else pay if I cannot".
Well, I've pointed out when and where I think piracy is wrong. The act of pirating game resources, then using them in your own creation and selling it, is clearly wrong, and is also clearly different from just pirating something for personal use, but I digress, since my last post already made that clear.


I think artists should have primary jobs, like everyone else. Living of art is a privilege that you earn by first making art and then having your art recognized to the point that you can quit your day-job.


People who think you start off by living off your art, are getting things backwards.


What people tend to forget is that literally every single art industry in the world was built by enthusiasts at some point, with really meager and shitty beginnings.


Now people feel entitled to step into the role of a fully fledged artist from the get-go and it's ridiculous.


If you want to be an artist, make art when you can with what you have. If what you make has any worth, people will recognize you and pay for it. That allows you to spend more time and effort on your art, until one day you can be self-sufficient.


Many people will take risks - they approach possible backers, banks etc, accumulate loans in a gamble on their final product selling well enough to pay it back down.


The relative success of the game then enables them to carry on with their creative work.


This is how the game industry was made to begin with. If people aren't willing to do this, I can't say I think their careers or their products have the right to see light of day to begin with.


These industries are competitive for a reason.
 
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Sharm

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I've tried to read your post, Hian, but I'm just getting too upset. All I can see is someone trying to explain to me that my art is not mine and that all my friends who've permanently given up art or gone bankrupt because of pirates shouldn't exist.
 

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