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Why I Pirate stuff

2

Comments

  • azzman said: He's not decreasing demand, he's increasing supply.
    No, generally he is not supplying it to the market after copying it. Supply doesn't really make sense, especially with digitally copy-able work. Prices aren't set with a supply/demand model anyways, as there is no scarcity, prices set by publishers are pretty much totally arbitrary. I used demand because he is removing himself from the demand pool, which only has the effect of a single lost sale
  • DrAwkward said: I used demand because he is removing himself from the demand pool, which only has the effect of a single lost sale.
    Hrm, this brings up an interesting point. Copyright critics often claim that not every download equates to a lost sale, stating that if free hadn't been an option there is a not insignificant portion of people who bootlegged something that never would have paid for it in the first place. (Not just those who couldn't have afforded it to begin with).

    Good example, one day when I was home with a fever and in and out of sleep I fired up a streaming site that just played whatever the admins were in the mood for and watched the first three Twilight movies (did I mention the fever?). I never would have paid to see these in the theatre or get them on blu-ray, just wanted something I didn't have to interact with to distract me.

    Makes me wonder if content producers could use tiers catered to level of personal demand to their advantage. Like releasing blu-ray discs and low-rez netflix copies at the same time as the theatrical release, or perhaps splitting apart the single player and multiplayer campaigns of blockbuster games into two different products. I know we're all big on the multiplayer scene here but I work with a surprising number of CoD (and the like) fans who never go online cuz they don't wanna get beat down by 12 yr olds.

    Sort of a digital version of the difference in price between buying an original painting vs a reproduction, or the price of concert tickets vs a CD.

    Just a thought.
  • I see what you're saying... If he torrents it, would seeding it constitute increasing supply? I don't think either of our statements is correct. Just because he downloaded it, doesn't mean he would have purchased it. Even if he went to the library, that doesn't constitute a lost sale.

  • edited March 2012
    Yeah it's a blurry line for sure. Certainly there are people who just flat out would never pay for something if they could easily and anonymously steal it, but between them and the people who pay for theatre tickets, then for blu-ray discs, then for UHD discs (or whatever else is coming next) and so on and so on there's a BIG fuzzy area waiting to be monetized.
  • Wait, its a small point, but in my scenario I wasn't in demand of the book. I did not request it, it was actually recommended and given to me by a friend.

    In a world where 2 seperate people both wanted to borrow a single book from a friend, how often do you think the person that doesn't borrow it first actually go out and purchase the book? The only time the end result isn't the same is when one party would be impatient and purchase the book. I can't say how often this would actually happen, and I'm not going to speculate since its a personal preference for someone in that situation.

    To play devil's advocate though, with one person downloading a copy and a second person borrowing the physical copy, does that not give the author more exposure to a wider audience in a shorter time frame?
    DrAwkward said: I used demand because he is removing himself from the demand pool, which only has the effect of a single lost sale
    I don't think that it is a lost sale. Before the book was recommended, I would have had no interest in purchasing the book. The recommendation itself came with the added benefit of being able to borrow said book and give it a chance myself. In that scenario I don't think there was ever an opportunity for a sale to happen at any point.

  • Wader said: I guess a better question would be is there a difference to the copyright holders at all? The end result is, essentially, the same.
    Hmm, I think the result is different enough for the copyright holder. For the example you gave:
    -When sharing a physical copy of a book at least only one person can read it at a time.
    -It seems significantly less likely that a second copy will be purchased by either party. There is no limitation on concurrent use, and the copy is just as good as the original.
  • Fallen said: Ill pay full price for games / media when I am not paying $60+ a month for a cell phone and $60 again for internet a month when it should be a third of that.
    So because the ISP (essentially) charges a lot of money the content providers get screwed?

    This was the most interesting part of the article for me:

    "Take World of Goo for instance. I first heard about them in 2008 when Techdirt featured their blog post saying they had a 90% piracy rate. The World of Goo makers weren't complaining about piracy, they were just trying to put some numbers out there for analysis. I downloaded the game to see what all the fuss was about, to see what was so great about this game to give it a 90% piracy rate. I felt it was a decent puzzle-type game, and liked the attitude the makers had about piracy, so I considered buying it. The problem was it was $20. I'm not paying $20 for a puzzle-like game that is nothing more than a bunch of similar but different levels. $5 probably, maybe $7, not even $10. I played it a couple of more times to see if it would hook me. It didn't so I deleted it.

    Fast forward to 2010 when the first Humble Bundle was released. Upon hearing the details, I thought it was a fantastic concept and had already decided I was going to participate. Low and behold, World of Goo was one of the games. I paid $20 that day and got six games. I still haven't played World of Goo, but they got my money. I've purchased all 7 Humble Bundles and expect to continue doing so."


    Basically, this guy confirmed that they did it right.

    Someone mentioned tiered pricing. This is how tiered pricing works in practice. You start off on the high end and drop it down over time so you can catch the people who won't pay as much but will pay. There's largely been no other successful model for selling the same product.

    Sometimes you try to offer mildly different products, like GW2 is offering basic game copy vs. collector's edition. This is also how Kickstarter appears to be trending. If you pony up $10 you get the game, $200 might get you a poster, $10,000 invites you to a party with the creators and your face in the product.

    The amusing thing is this guy thinks World of Goo did it wrong initially and then did it right, but they did it right the entire time, and he proved it with his wallet.

    Of course, I fully admit I'm biased. My goal even in HS and most jobs have actually been in content creation, etc. That's not to say that I don't acknowledge piracy, digital availability in general, or lobby for DRM, which is often stupid.

    Yet it depends what you call DRM. Steam's financial success is at least half based on being DRM for the games it sells. Once upon a time (and still, for some console offerings, but not all!) you could share a physical video game as easily as a physical book. Now we all own a copy of TF2 or whatever else comes along and we each pay for it, generally. (I'm sure there are people in USDN who are still p(l)aying some games in the traditional USDN format, though.) How did they get us all to pay for these different games when once upon a time we might have just loaned them around? Convenience, as well as inconvenience. And options like Multiplayer where they can enforce DRM more strongly, but even then there's things like rogue WoW servers etc. It's just inconvenient to play on them.

    In the end, one good way into people's wallets is through laziness. =)
  • John makes sense.
  • edited March 2012
    These days - being that I now have disposable income - I'll mostly only pirate things if the creators make it difficult for me to get in some other fashion.

    Music is really easy to buy now. Games are easy to buy. I pay for 95% of those. (I'll still occasional 'try' out new albums, though if I end up liking them, I tend to buy all that artist's future work.)

    Television content is still a bitch. I have cable. But, if I miss the show at 8:30 on Monday night when the moon is full and the wind is in the north east, I still have no way to watch that episode.

    For me, and I believe many others, convenience is king. Make something easy and reasonably priced and I'll be all over that. Because, generally, I believe that people should be paid. However, my altruism only goes as far as you making it difficult for me to give you my money. Then I say 'fuck it'.
  • Etter said: Make something easy and reasonably priced and I'll be all over that.

    That pretty much sums it up. IMO that was the argument the guy was making, and is what media creator need to grasp fully. John's TF2 argument is very valid. When I purchased TF2 it was painless and well cheap for the amount of play I got. If I remember correctly i paid 20$ and got TF2 and three other games, all I had to do was click buy in steam and fire in a credit card number.

    Make things easy, and affordable, you will sell more and people will inevitably pirate less. win win.

  • I have a question: Is it stealing if I'm downloading a show that airs on my TV, (from a service I've paid for), and now store it on my Hard Drive?
  • edited March 2012
    Stealing? I'm not sure that's the word for it.

    It's not kosher, if that's what you mean. I mean, according to the powers that be it's not kosher.

    The argument being, I'd imagine, that you pay for a service to beam television channels to your home. However, the advertisements shown during the program are what pays for the television show itself. (I'm pretty sure little to none of your monthly cable bill goes to Fox or NBC or whoever.)

    That being said, I'm still very frustrated by the awful model of only being able to watch a show once, on a specific day, at a specific time. I'll watch the ads! Just let me do it on my schedule, not yours.

    We have the technology. I'm not sure what is holding this up. (They could even target different ads at those who watch on a different schedule. I bet you'd find those people fall into a different demographic. This is gold!)
  • edited March 2012
    I'm not sure if you have tried this or not Etter, but a bunch of Canadian television networks have pretty decent streaming options for current TV shows (CTV, CBC, Global, CityTV). They tend to have 30-60 second advertisement breaks in the usual spots, which seems reasonable. CBC's service is the best of them IMO, though it has slightly longer commercials.

    That covers most major network shows, but there may not be any good options for other networks like HBO or showtime. A VPN service would probably help open up more options.

    Anyway, that is an example where a content provider has made accessing their materials legitimately more convenient for me than pirating them. Hopefully the advertising revenue online makes production of these shows sustainable in the future.

    Obviously we also mentioned how Steam has helped do this for games. I purchase 100% of my games. Curiously though, I still download almost all my music in more questionable ways. There seem to be fairly convenient ways to purchase that content, but I just haven't adopted them. I suppose I just have a limited entertainment budget overall, and music has lost out. Sometimes, if I am honest, it isn't just about convenience, it is also about being cheap.
  • Etter said: Stealing? I'm not sure that's the word for it.

    It's not kosher, if that's what you mean. I mean, according to the powers that be it's not kosher.

    The argument being, I'd imagine, that you pay for a service to beam television channels to your home. However, the advertisements shown during the program are what pays for the television show itself. (I'm pretty sure little to none of your monthly cable bill goes to Fox or NBC or whoever.)

    I'd have to look up the law, but i don't think that's correct Etter. TV falls into public domain. once it's air'd it's fair game as long as you are not distributing or organizing a public viewing.

    I'm not a lawyer, but that was my impression of that law.

  • TV is definitely not public domain.
  • Just ask Disney
  • Clark - we do use some of those websites. That said, I'd like to see more stuff baked into my Rogers terminal or my Apple TV. Watching on my laptop isn't ideal when I have a nice TV. (Without plugging it in and such. Though, the Playbook with the mini-hdmi is pretty nice for this.)

    And all the US content is still walled off. And that's part of my cable package too.

    And yeah, sometimes it is just about being cheap. And I think it's important to realize that will never completely go away.
  • Plat -

    Yeah, I'm not familiar with the law.

    I doubt the content providers would agree with that definition. But, between Music, TV and Movies it seems that we hear a lot less about TV piracy.
  • edited March 2012
    Anneveld said: ust ask Disney
    You'll note all the Disney lawsuits were in the US, where it most definitely IS illegal to download television. We however (most of us anyway) live in Canada, where we have the public domain law. I will look this up and get you a source later tonight when i'm not at work, but generally it works like this.

    Television is considered a broadcast (like radio). The thinking is that once it has aired the public domain laws take over. You are allowed to keep a backup copy of any broadcast, as the copyrights holder has only purchased the right to broadcast it, they have not sold a copy to an individual. This is the same law that allows you to use a VCR to record a tv show or sporting event legally, but not to sell it to someone. Closing this "loophole" is one of the big reasons the PC's are looking at a Canadian version of the DMCA.
  • Gif said: I have a question: Is it stealing if I'm downloading a show that airs on my TV, (from a service I've paid for), and now store it on my Hard Drive?
    Etter said: The argument being, I'd imagine, that you pay for a service to beam television channels to your home. However, the advertisements shown during the program are what pays for the television show itself. (I'm pretty sure little to none of your monthly cable bill goes to Fox or NBC or whoever.)
    This is the case as I understand it. The cable is something split like 95% to keeping the copper to your house working and the rest paying affiliates and networks for content. In turn the affiliates and networks make up the remainder in advertising. So by downloading shows you already got on TV you're not costing Rogers anything, but not helping the shows stay in production.
  • GifGif
    edited March 2012
    How is me watching or not watching it on TV make the advertisers pay or not pay CBS for commercials for X Show. Doesnt CBS know Rogers has X million subscribers, and there fore share those figures with company Z to say, hey we could hit a potential X million people in Canada. and so they pay a figure that is appropriate to the timeslot, etc etc. I'm sure a lot of math goes into it.

  • Plat, I think you're confused here about what public domain means. Public domain means that the intellectual property has no copyright whatsoever. Either the copyright has expired, it has become void, or the artist has used some sort of free-copy system like JoCo does. If Rick Mercer wanted to play a Tragically Hip song on one of his rants he couldn't just say "it's free because I taped it off the radio." He'd have to pay the Tragically Hip to do it.
  • http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html

    Only 5 minutes long. Very funny. Very relevant to this thread.
  • Anneveld said: Plat, I think you're confused here about what public domain means. Public domain means that the intellectual property has no copyright whatsoever. Either the copyright has expired, it has become void, or the artist has used some sort of free-copy system like JoCo does. If Rick Mercer wanted to play a Tragically Hip song on one of his rants he couldn't just say "it's free because I taped it off the radio." He'd have to pay the Tragically Hip to do it.


    I may have terminology mixed up.

    however downloading TV does fall under the same laws as recording it with a vcr/dvr. as long as you are not DISTRIBUTING it.
  • Gif said: How is me watching or not watching it on TV make the advertisers pay or not pay CBS for commercials for X Show.
    Ratings. Advertisers pay more to run ads that have more viewers.
  • haven't touched this one, but have been reading. as a poor person who does/did have disposable monies from time to time, I use pirating to filter games, there are many games I have pirated and purchased ( and vice versa due to losing physical copies and such). Without said piracy there would be a lot of titles I missed out on due to not being willing to play craps with each and every game that tweaked my interest. People will say play demos (some) I will tell them to suck a dick, demos just don't cut it vs full game experience, some titles had better demos then full games. (jagged alliance comes to mind).
  • edited March 2012
    There is so much cognitive dissonance in this thread it is mind boggling. You are justifying illegally copying/downloading these games/shows from the internet. Reasons like "my cell phone bill is too high" or "I can't pay for EVERY game that I'm interested in" are complete bullshit. The first is a totally unrelated business sector that is exploiting price fixing (for a service you don't actually need, but they've lead you to believe you need). The second is just downright bollocks--if you can't afford to pay for every game that interests you, don't play them all.

    You don't somehow get the right to steal/copy something because you feel its price is unjustified, especially for things not essential for life like food.

    Many cable boxes, Nielson/Tivo/etc., are used to report viewership of shows to the content creators so they can get more money from advertisers and continue producing the show. Just because what they provide isn't convenient to you does not give you the right to steal their content, cut out their ads, and cut out their revenue. They want revenue from new convenience, and they are working toward it with network online streaming, hulu us, Netflix, etc.

    TLDR: What they make costs money, if it's too inconvenient or too expensive for you, you do not get the right to download it and deny them of revenue. If you want to download them, then nut up and accept the fact that you are stealing content like me, your hero, Dr. Awkward. You are stealing because you are selfish.
  • Right? I don't think it's /right/. I didn't mean to indicate this.

    I'm telling you /why/ I do it. Because I think by understanding the /why/, these companies could change to accommodate those people.

    I certainly don't believe I have an inherent right to access this stuff. That being said, it is trivial to do and sometimes I partake. If they modified their business model, I'd never partake. Just sayin'.
  • edited March 2012
    Yeah I think you are choosing to interpret things the way you want to Awkward. I and most others never said it was right, even if we don't agree it is technically stealing.

    At the end of the day, sometimes I am cheap and/or lazy and it leads me to do something wrong. I don't think it is AS wrong as some forms of stealing. But, yes, IP theft is wrong and sometimes I do it because I want to spend my money on other things. Or, sometimes it is just easier.
  • DrAwkward said: You don't somehow get the right to steal/copy something because you feel its price is unjustified
    There is no disputing that's what the law says, the more interesting question is why can't you copy something when the act doesn't deprive the owner of the original? The obvious answer would be that industries with an interest in the continued use of scarcity based economics can afford to lobby the lawmakers and do so regularly, but is that sustainable? I'd say it's fairly obvious that things are trending toward more products being digitized, what the hell are we going to do when you can download a car?

  • @DrAwkward I never said I wasnt stealing software, or movies or what have you. I was posing a question in regards to TV since the laws around that are a bit different.

    Also what the FUCK is the difference between that and a PVR solution? Aka NOT STEALING, I can later fast forward through the commercials anyways, like I can with Rogers On Demand (a streaming solution from a Canadian Cable provider), again how is that effecting advertising revenue. Only difference is I have to pay for that appliance and be constrained by a small hard drive and shitty UI.
  • edited March 2012
    @Gif Currently it isn't much different from the television network's point of view, at least when determining advertising revenue. Viewing a show from your PVR does not currently count towards the ratings that are used for advertising revenue.

    I imagine this hurts shows that tend to appeal to technologically savvy demographics.

    From wikipedia (I was curious if PVR's are counted or not):

    Nielsen television ratings are gathered in one of two ways:

    -> Viewer "diaries", in which a target audience self-records its viewing or listening habits. By targeting various demographics, the assembled statistical models provide a rendering of the audiences of any given show, network, and programming hour.

    -> A more technologically sophisticated system uses Set Meters, which are small devices connected to televisions in selected homes. These devices gather the viewing habits of the home and transmit the information nightly to Nielsen through a "Home Unit" connected to a phone line. The technology-based home unit system is meant to allow market researchers to study television viewing habits on a minute to minute basis, seeing the exact moment viewers change channels or turn off their TV. In addition to set meters, individual viewer reporting devices, such as people meters, have allowed the company to separate household viewing information into various demographic groups, but so far Nielsen has refused to change its distribution of data of ethnic groups into subgroups, which could give more targeted information to networks and advertisers.

    Changing systems of viewing have impacted Nielsen's methods of market research. In 2005, Nielsen began measuring the usage of digital video recordings such as TiVo. Initial results indicate that time-shifted viewing will have a significant impact on television ratings. The networks are not yet figuring these new results into their ad rates due to the resistance of advertisers
  • I can't believe they're still restricted to diaries and special meters to figure out what gets watched.

    I'm so used to such ubiquitous data gathering on the internet that making people write down what they watched on paper seems really old school.
  • Wader said: how often do you think the person that doesn't borrow it first actually go out and purchase the book?
    Totally being that guy here. You borrowed Game of Thrones of Lazer... you were taking your sweet ass time with it so I went and bought them ;)
  • edited March 2012
    Astanyx said: I'll just toss this in in case. www.unblock-us.com I use it, its great, works really well.
    So after reading this thread I tried out this service. I was able to authorize my home IP from a PC, and then hard-set my PS3 DNS servers to work with it. Not only do I get US Netflix, but this puts me "out of region" for ALL NHL games on NHL Gamecenter, so even games that would normally be blacked out (because they're showing on a local station) are viewable. This, plus Hulu on my media PC, means that I haven't downloaded a torrent since the day I signed up. Also, Pandora on my laptop at work! Joy!

    I realize this is probably only quasi-legal, but the fact is that I'm happy to pay for content, if given the opportunity.

    TL;DR Astanyx is a wonderful human being.
  • Nice, I am glad it works. My girlfriend loves the US Netflix and all the TLC shows she can't get on the Canada one :P

    I am glad to know that the NHL Gamecenter works because I will definitely be signing up next year to fulfill my pain quota that I get for being a Leafs fan LOL
  • Do you have to change your netflix subscription? If an existing Canadian customer accesses netflix using this service, suddenly the US catalogue is available?
  • Mr.Clark said: Do you have to change your netflix subscription? If an existing Canadian customer accesses netflix using this service, suddenly the US catalogue is available?
    Correct. When I went to Netflix.com after setting it up, it popped up a little thing saying something along the lines of "It looks like you're travelling, things may be a little different."

  • That's awesome.
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