Pro-internet piracy party on course for EU seats

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by chrisroyale, May 22, 2009.

  1. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Don't we all live in a practically copyright-less world already? People can get your games for free if they want from any torrent or rapidshare or similar site. Nothing stops them. What can you do? Sue them? Is it practically possible? Send the police after them? Would they care? For small-scale companies and indies it doesn't make any difference. We already are in a copyright-less world.

    What i would do if copyright was formally abolished? Nothing. I would still sell (or otherwise try to profit from) my stuff. People might be able to find them for free (just like they do today), but that source wouldn't be me.

    In Greece we didn't had full copyright laws until about 1993. Yet most of today's biggest IT companies were formed in 80s.
     
  2. Dave TZ

    Dave TZ New Member

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    Without copyright, there's nothing to stop any distributor taking an indie game - or any other game or media, for that matter - and selling it. If copyright were abolished worldwide, I'd bet that within a matter of months premium download services would dominate internet distribution; for a small monthly fee you can access a well organised and cataloged database of darn near any media you like with great download times. These download services will be heavily marketed and will make a mint. Creators won't see a dime.

    But I do see your points. That's part of why I keep posting in these threads - I'm a bit frightened. I've only recently made the move aiming towards making indie games as a business, and I'm scared that the market will dry up before I even have my first shot. There's a bit of me that's always baffled how some people think they should expect an ever increasing quality and quantity of all types of media, but they shouldn't be expected to pay for it in any form.
     
  3. Allen Varney

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    This is demonstrably true right now. Inasmuch as this thread continues to raise the idea that unlimited filesharing would kill the field, I will in turn raise my often-repeated point: Developing a low-end boutique online game with an active and enthused community is a practical defense against piracy. It is significantly harder and more resource-intensive for a pirate to set up a pirate shard of your MMO than it is for him to copy a few files.

    Furthermore, with an MMO, your community is itself an attraction hard to clone. If you are attentively fostering your community, and you monetize them through micropayments or other non-subscription means, it is practically impossible for a pirate to pry away most of those players. The players stay because they seek status and friends within your community.

    To remain completely predictable, I'll link again to my 2006 Escapist article "Boutique MMOGs" and the companion blog post "Your Own MMOG?" There must be someone new here I haven't yet pushed at that piece.
     
  4. Acord

    Acord New Member

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  5. Acord

    Acord New Member

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  6. arzi

    Metacritic 75+ Indie Author

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    Check out Star Wreck, it was made pretty much on free time (although I doubt by plumbers), has nearly Hollywood-quality CGI and raked a pretty decent profit. It was even released for free. And now the core team employ themselves, making a new movie, which will also be released for free.

    Now that you mention it, IIRC, Lucas didn't make a penny out of the original Star Wars movie. He gave up royalties in exchange for licenced merchandise rights and I'm quite sure he isn't sorry. If someone asked for the same option now, I doubt the publisher would give them out so easily. But no one had done it back then, and most probably thought it wasn't worth doing.

    And it seems you have little knowledge on amateur/indie movie scene. Your comment is equivalent to saying "I don't see 'check out my facebook quiz lol' beating World of Worldcraft".

    You can capitalize your creativity in many ways, of which selling it as a product is only one. If it goes obsolete (and I'm not saying it necessarily does, it certainly isn't currently), clinging to it is hardly the wisest business choice.
     
  7. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    are you seriously suggesting that because there is one fan-made movie with decent CGI that this can replace the commercial movie industry?

    And the merchandise profits from star wars would be worth fuck-all if the movie wasn't as polished as it was.
    Lucas went to film school and spent all his time working on the movies. He has never had a job outside the movies. I'm not sure what Star Wars would have been like if he'd had to do a law degree and work daytime in a courtroom to fund them as a hobby.
    I'm not sure how he'd get six months off to go film in Tunisia for starters. And that's without coordinating all the part-time actors to go there with him...

    Wake me up when the most downloaded movie torrent on thepiratebay isn't a commercial movie.
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Yes all you say is true but:
    - a community isn't trivial to make. it takes LOT of effort / resources
    - there's more competition now in MMO than in any other fields
    - MMO players are hard to catch. I can play kudos 1-2, buying both, in 2-3 months. If a player gets hooked to a MMO, he'll play ONLY that. So it increases the difference between that 1% (WoW) that makes 99% of money and the remaining 99% that makes the 1%. I have no data but when I was playing Everquest, I was playing just that and not 4-5 other MMO at same time (months).
     
  9. Gary Preston

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    Hopefully that day will come, although lets hope it's due to an end of piracy and not due to a pirate party in power ;)

    BTW, thought this would be relevant to the discussion of IP/Copyright, here's a cherry picked quote from the report

    http://www.sabip.org.uk/sabip-ciberreport.pdf

    I've only skimmed through it, but it does raise some interesting issues that suggest copyright laws are in need of modernisation.

    Another interesting quote

    I wonder if that finding is representative of older age groups or if the attitude is one shared only by student ages.
     
    #89 Gary Preston, May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  10. Bui

    Bui New Member

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    I completely agree with this statement. Even if you look at this thread, most of everyone has a very solid idea of what should and shouldn't be in terms of copyright. That's not even factoring the wider discussions that are happening elsewhere. Ideas like this tend to be arrived at through emotion rather than logic.

    To take an extreme example, children usually have little qualms about smashing every bug in sight, but what they've been doing registers after they permanently lose a pet. They learn that killing is bad through the emotion and apply logic to why killing is bad afterward. I think that's roughly akin to what we're seeing here.

    People that aren't content creators don't know what they're doing until they become one (if they become one) and suffer losses. And since most content creators have suffered real losses, it's easy to see why people trying to undermine that are seen as an attack. That's why education is so imperative.

    I agree that novel writing is nothing like the modern movie and game production processes. Obviously, they're very different in practice too, I wouldn't want to go to a movie to interact with it.

    But you're basically saying that it's impossible for quality to come from places that aren't Hollywood and EA. A cynic might suggest that's exactly what they would like you to believe so there's no competition. They want you to believe it's not worth trying and spend most of their money to make you dependent on them.

    The truth about the majority of those collections of labels (RIAA, MPAA) is that they would love the Internet to go back in the bottle because it allows competition. It's an unparalleled distribution medium where everyone is a contributor and creator. Yes, this means that a lot of useless crap hits a lot of eyes. But that doesn't mean that there's nothing worthwhile.

    Humanity has always, always created. Copyright is a fairly recent invention. If the current mechanisms of content creation died, there would still be creators. Just because something has worked a certain way for a long time, doesn't mean that it can't work another way. I'm not sure if that's exactly what you were trying to convey, but that's the impression that I got.
     
  11. aiursrage2k

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    Unbelievable this really grinds my gears. Socialist scumbags and they got ELECTED. Maybe they will follow there dear leader Obama and print there way to prosperity, that way no one will ever have to work again. :mad:
     
  12. cliffski

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    Nothing like it. I'm saying that people who create good stuff should get rich from it, no matter who they are, so they can do more of it, full-time, and employ people to produce more in-depth and ambitious work.

    So are computers, the movie camera and television.
    Show me the golden age of TVs, Movies and games without copyright.

    BTW, there is another recent invention that can be theoretically trivially copied, and whose supply is tightly regulated on pain of imprisonment by the government, who employ state-of-the-art DRM systems to prevent anyone copying it in practice.

    It's called money.
     
  13. GBGames

    Indie Author

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    I don't know if you mean it this way, but there always seems to be this sense of entitlement by creators. "I made something good, so I should be rich!" No one owes anyone anything. The market decides, not the creator's sense of quality of his own work. I always hear "He deserves to be rewarded" which sounds hypocritical to me.

    The movie industry started by going where the patent laws couldn't touch them, allowing them to use cameras without paying Edison royalties.

    It's a Wonderful Life, a Christmas classic, was in the public domain before it was snatched back to copyright status after a court case. It wasn't popular before it hit the public domain, but it gained all its value once everyone played it to the point that it became synonymous with Christmas time.

    Music (not one of your listed options) had self-playing pianos, which essentially broke copyright, and radio play, which broke copyright, to name just two. Copyright changed to allow them. At least in the United States, there is a specific set of copyright laws in which song writers are paid for each time that a song they wrote is played on the radio.

    And I don't understand why someone always has to go find examples of things that couldn't have happened before you can be convinced of anything. "Show me how much better movies would have been had the Germans won WWII! I thought so..." Wha-? How am I supposed to show you a golden age of TV without copyright when anything on TV would still be under copyright today due to multiple extensions? Games, which are even younger? I can't.

    But this is a weird argument anyway. Who is arguing that getting rid of copyright would result in the same things being created, at the same quality, with the same amount of effort? No one that I can see.

    On the other hand, if copyright was reduced to 14 years again, you could bet that creators who make a living off of their works would be creating a lot more works. They can't ride on the royalties for a single popular creation all their life, after all. Is there a problem with reducing copyright length that I'm unaware of?
     
  14. Bad Sector

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    If i make something that is played by thousands (or even millions) of people, then i believe that its only fair to get rewarded in a rich way. After all, my creation entertained a lot of people.
     
  15. Dave TZ

    Dave TZ New Member

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    If a market segment says "We want high quality products but we're not prepared to pay the price to make them.", then business says "Well, it seems like you're not a viable market segment at all. Goodbye." and moves on to cater to another, actually viable market. Piracy only makes the issue starker. It becomes a problem to anyone who wants that high quality product and thinks the world will be a worse place without it.

    And, as Bad Sector said, it's an issue if you think that an ideal system should reward those who do a good job.

    Well, it will put a huge disincentive on any creator who works on a single IP property for an extended period of time. If you're creating a long serial, like if you're a newspaper cartoonist, a television series producer or a fantasy author, then you might spend your entire life working on a single story universe. With only a short copyright period then there's a very short shelf life for how long these IP properties are sellable. It wouldn't even be the entire copyrght period - it becomes less viable to market something that is about to expire, so funding opportunities are limited.

    The other issue is that everyone will be competing against a vast bulk of media from not too long ago. This may or may not be seen as a problem depending on what your view is how new media should compete. ;) But I could see it being a big problem for pitching television shows if you have to compete against free screening of absolutely everything from the eighties back.

    I suppose my biggest beef with a very short copyright period is that it seems to paint creative works are disposable entertainment - crank it out, market it to hell, recoup a quick haul of cash, discard it. It doesn't sound like a recipe to me for fostering great creative works.
     
  16. Allen Varney

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    A reasonable belief -- but reasonable people disagree over what constitutes a fair "rich reward." If you write one hit three-minute song that millions enjoy, should you be financially set for life, so you never need write another song again? Nor your children, nor your grandchildren? Maybe so, but it's not obvious this is best for the culture. Copyright maximalist Mark Helprin contends copyright should never, ever expire -- that we should still be paying Shakespeare's heirs for performance rights to Hamlet. Is that "fair"?

    Note that the modern concept of copyright didn't really exist in Shakespeare's time, or at least it wasn't well enforced; Shakespeare's plays were widely pirated. Doesn't seem to have kept the Elizabethan playwrights from making good works. They had business models that permitted profit despite piracy. Such things do exist.
     
  17. Dave TZ

    Dave TZ New Member

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    I do get where that argument is getting at in terms of the fairness argument, but that particular common one of the one-hit song always causes me to raise an eyebrow. I can't help wonder that if someone really thinks writing such a song is that easy, why are they not attempting themselves to write their own three minute song golden meal ticket? Sure beats playing the lottery. ;)

    True, but things have changed in the last 400 years. We've got new media now. If Shakespeare was a blockbuster film director/scriptwriter today I doubt he'd get away with starting Henry V with a lone guy complaining about the lack of special effects budget.

    I don't think anyone is arguing that they don't. However those business models already exist now - there's nothing stopping anyone releasing their work under any license or no license if they wish. All removing copyright will do is narrow the viable business models down drastically. For me to buy the argument for the abolishment of copyright, you need to make the case for how creative works in general will be better, not how they will still exist.
     
  18. cliffski

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    If I had bought some farmland on Manhattan island a long time ago, for a pittance, or just fenced it off and claimed it as a settler. I'd be set for life. So would my children, their children, ad finitum.
    There is a finite limit to the amount of land available, and as populations rise, its value rises *without the owners doing anything*. Collectively, society misses out on that resource, because each new generation is born knowing that land ownership is further and further out of reach...

    And yet not only do we allow perpetual ownership of land to pass through generations that did absolutely sod all to deserve it, we actually campaign AGAINST a tax on inheritance.

    If I could invest every penny I have right now in creating new IP or in buying land, I would buy land, because it will be mine forever. Why invest in new IP when people take it from you in X years? And note that the pirates even boast about their '0day' system, of taking it from you immediately.

    I'd like to know how many anti-copyright campaigners stand to inherit their parents house, and why they think they *deserve* that. And in practical economic terms and its effects on society, why does it matter than one of those investments is physical and one virtual? do we really want to totally de-value virtual products in the year 2009? Great way to kill-off progress.
     
  19. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Cliff you should candidate to the EU parliament. I would vote you! seriously.
     

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