Does any portal do *Anything* about piracy

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by cliffski, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    says who?

    I love the fact that people only see two types of people:

    1) lovely fuzzy warm paying customers who are honest
    2) evil p1r4tes who will stop at nothing to get free copies and will never buy.

    It really isn't that simple. We aren't talking 13yo kids on irc hacking quake. The situation now has soccer moms trading bejewelled rapidshare links.
    Defeating hardcore piracy is impossible
    Defeating casual piracy is hard, but doable, and every step you put between the potential customer and a hacked copy of the game is another opportunity for them to say "sod it, it's only $20 anyway".

    Theres a difference between using bittorrents to get an iso and just clicking a rapidshare link.
     
  2. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

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    Cliff, How do I know? OK, I'll be honest and say I don't have concrete facts, but we can deduce from what we do know:

    How many products are (on average) impacted by the typical crack site?
    How many companies are impacted?

    Thousands of products. And hundreds, if not thousands of companies.

    We can deduce that either:
    A. Out of thousands of affected publishers, NONE are doing anything about it.
    or
    B. Many are trying to do something about it, but there is still a ton of these sites! Why??

    I tend to believe the situation is scenario B. Sites keep popping up at the same rate as they are being shut down, and/or they are in "safe havens" such as countries that don't support copyright conventions, or even some of these sites use the "we only link to the files" argument to absolve themselves of liability.

    But the real solution here is to change the "soccer mom" from looking for a crack, to choosing to pay for the full game. The big question is How do we do this?
     
  3. princec

    Indie Author

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    Switch to a registration and licensing policy like we have at Puppygames. And don't deal with portals.



    Works for me.

    Cas :)
     
  4. cliffski

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    Hands up everyone else who is taking sites down.

    anyone?
     
  5. papillon

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    I admit, my activities are limited to reporting Answers and taking down rapidshare links posted in places that were moronic enough to hotlink my graphics so I could find them easily.
     
  6. princec

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    I don't bother because I've yet to find a site hosting a cracked version of one of my games. I still don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing...

    Cas :)
     
  7. FlySim

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    I have reported cracks on RapidShare a few times. They have always been responsive.
     
  8. Promaginy

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    A contract does not have to explicitly state that duty of care will be taken for it be expected. Just because a publisher does not sign on the dotted line that they will work to combat piracy, does not mean they can ignore it.

    I would agree that a DRM is a reasonable step to take. But the DRM is not working! its like locking a store door but knowing that copies of the key to that door are being distributed around and then not doing anything about it. As soon as the publishers is aware that its DRM is compromised it should take further reasonable steps to combat the problem. Reflexive's post demonstrates this perfectly.

    I think that publishers and portals share in the copyright responsibilities because they are acting as an agent. No bookstore would allow people to come in and make copies of an author's book and then leave! I am sure that Cliffski and others would be happy if they knew their publishers were taking such actions like writing letters to dissuade pirates.
     
  9. Promaginy

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    How hard would it be to create a service that does all of the things that you are doing now to make it harder for casual pirates?

    Do you think that a group of developers could fund something like this for a more concerted effort? I love the idea of a spider-bot going around and copying cracks files with files that don't work but leave messages like "buy me, its only $20" and a link to the developer's site! :D

    Perhaps a group of developers could take turns to look for cracks and sites that are cracking this group's products to help spread the effort around?
     
  10. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    But no DRM works so according to you there are no reasonable steps they can take. Surely all these complaints should be aimed at the DRM companies? What DRM solution should they switch to to fix this? Or should they employ armies of people to chase every crack site down? What about if they employed 20 people to sort this, would that be a good enough job? You'd still be able to find cracks and the same complaints would still be heard.
     
  11. Agent 4125

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    I was a perl hacker in a previous life, so I was thinking of writing a bot to find offenders, which developers could subscribe to like an rss feed. You would just add your search strings (game names, etc) with a form. The results could be in a boilerplate email so you could just copy & paste it into your mail client.

    I think any real action taken should be by the developer though, since false positives could be embarrassing. (e.g. no automatic posts or emails)
     
  12. cliffski

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    indeed, I'm sure technically that's doable,. but my web coding skills are non existant. I know of 3 forums where this stuff is traded widely, and anyone can sign up to join them (naturally I have accounts on them :D). If there was a bot that could just dump out the plain text of every post, you could then do text searches for game names quite easily.

    The real problem is the existance of sites like rapidshare, that effectively run a business model based on dodgy uploads. They have the billing information for people who have premium accounts and upload gigabytes of triple-A games. I don't understand why big publishers don't make a few examples of the major uploaders.

    In the last week, both id software and funcom have made major speeches about how they are abandoning the normal PC games market because piracy has made it unusable. funcom estimated that between 3 and 20 copies are pirated for every sold copy. I think that figure is high, but I do know that I can get a free working copy of absolutely any game ever made within an hour, on a fast download link, with no sign-ups and no hassle.

    We have to make it harder than that.
     
  13. Promaginy

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    Now you're just getting silly. We were having a discussion about legal / reasonable steps to take to deal with this issue. You're advocating that because the proposed solution would be less then perfect, its best to not even proceed. Reductio Ad Absurdum is a false arguement and never helpful. :(
     
  14. Cuculain

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    Forum bot

    Don't know if it's of any interest but company were I work have such a bot that can log in to forums and search through posts looking for keywords and send out mail sms etc when it finds a match. We have a few customers (betting companies) that monitor forums for foul language and cheating.
     
  15. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    the real problem is: google

    That's what I wonder too. In any case, the real solution would be to block google. How you can get access to those sites, that change URL often because are brought down, if you can't find them in google?
    I think that is about time that google start to do some censorship. If we want to continue to live doing this job.

    I don't think that this kind of censorship can damage the freedom of speech of anyone, banning all sites containing search queries like "kudos full version crack" or similar...!!! :mad:

    Otherwise, we can all go back working for a PS2 game... following the orders of a boss... :eek:
     
  16. papillon

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    Blocking things on google is NOT the answer, and suggesting such will piss off quite a lot of people.

    For one thing, any attempt to automatically punish and censor ALWAYS, ALWAYS gets false positives and punishes perfectly innocent sites. No mechanical system is perfect.

    For another, hiding the problem doesn't make it go away, it just makes it harder for YOU to find it to do anything about it. :)

    (Now, asking google to adjust their importance-balancing so that anything suspected of hosting a crack won't come up on the first pages of searches, that's a bit more reasonable.)

    Forcing sites like rapidshare to actually police their uploads properly would be nice. People are much more keen to download from a simple web link than to wait around on fileshare. Rapidshare will take links down as soon as you yell about them, but they're certainly not doing anything to stop people from putting up files they don't own.
     
  17. Sybixsus

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    I wonder how serious people would be about this. If it would pay my time for doing it, I would like to set up a service to chase down people pirating Indie games, because I think it is about as low as you can get. Even those who can justify stealing from "The Man" would find it hard to justify stealing from someone who is feeding his or her kids on what they make from their games. It would be more than a one man job, but if we perhaps found two or three people who were sufficiently motivated and sufficiently clued-up on where and how to find and stop these people, then it could well make a difference.

    But I have to feed myself and my loved ones, and I cannot really see a business model or even sufficient interest that would be enough to cover two or three people working together to put a dent in piracy. Heh, shame though, because there is surely a job that would get you up in the morning.
     
  18. cliffski

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    it doesn't have to be a paid business. just a few of us could be a bit more pro-active. I don't just report my games, I've had god knows how many other indie game racks removed while I'm about it.

    theres nothing more satisfying than the message "this file has been deleted for violating our terms of service" :D

    you can find some rapidshare (or similar site) links to cracked games quite easily. just google some and report them.
     
  19. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    No, you're missing the point. My disagreement was that the portal companies should be responsible for it, and unless your contract specifies that I can't see how that can be. Best case is the DRM companies should be held responsible. All this just seems like another stick to beat the portals with, "bad portals, down portals".

    If the amount of money spent trying to stop piracy exceeds the amount of money you earn from stopping piracy *then* you don't proceed.

    Would you spend loads of money on adverts if they don't bring in more money than they cost? Would you spend loads of money on adverts if you had no way to measure how effective they are?
     
  20. cliffski

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    clicking "new mail" abuse@filehost . com
    then CTRL +C on a rapidshare link
    CTRL +V on the email
    clicking send

    how expensive do you think it is?
     

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