Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Penny Arcade Calls It.

I normally have a hard time reading the main page text of Penny Arcade. Tycho's proclivity for plethoric verbiage can make reading his writing onerous. My eyes tend to just slide off of it.

But sometimes he just calls it completely perfectly:

It is not a mischaracterization to say that conversations with the hardcore PC community about software theft follow these tenets:

- There is no piracy.
- To the extent that piracy exists, which it doesn't, it's your fault.
- If you try to protect your game, we'll steal it as a matter of principle.

It's like, who wouldn't want to bend over backward in their service?

I would also add: "Trying to protect your game never keeps anyone from stealing it no matter what ever."

I've harped on DRM a lot in this space, and I imagine I will continue to do so. There's a good reason for that. It is THE issue now for music and software and (as eBooks become more popular) publishing. Intellectual property gets easier to steal pretty much daily. Coincidentally, profits at game developers, music publishers, and (soon) book publishers decrease on a pretty much daily basis.

It's a process, and we have not seen where it will end. No matter what your views on copy protection are, this should make the topic of great interest to anyone who likes music, books, or video games.

39 comments:

  1. We're gonna live in a world were copies are worthless, and then there will be no copies. And that's terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can I add a tenet?

    I don't pirate games, so please don't:

    - install securom on my computer.
    - limit the number of installs
    - make me call customer support to beg for my game to work

    ReplyDelete
  3. copy protection never worked and never will: if someone wants to copy it, he will.
    he just will and you know it.

    the very EVIL THING™ is that these copy protection systems too often pollute the PCs of people who actually bought the game, or even worst will prevent the BOUGHT game to function at all.
    this is utter madness to me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't care a bit about protection as long as it lets me do, painlessly, the things that I should be able to do. A short list would include, uninstall/reinstall many times, reinstall fresh after a crash or a system swap, install 20 years from now when I get nostalgia for your game, sell, loan, or give away my copy when I'm done with it. As long as I can do those things, I'm ok with it. So the protection on console games is fine, because I should be able to do all those things. These days the answer for boxed PC games is 'not so much'. Steam comes pretty close - only the 'sell/loan/give away' is missing for sure, and the 'install 20 years from now' will probably be missing. But even so, since steam takes away something I want I won't pay full retail for anything on Steam.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The thing about "install 20 years from now" is that it's a bit of a con. Are you saying that you can install the same game on today's PCs as you could from 1984 without spending 3 weeks on creating an emulator?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think this is what all game developers and publishers need to understand (this is more directed to the big companies than you):

    I don't care about the state of the industry. I don't care about piracy. I don't care about lost sales. Don't dare lecture me on anything.

    DON'T MESS WITH MY MACHINE, OR MAKE MY EXPERIENCE INCONVIENIENT IN ANY WAY!!!! PERIOD!!! No exceptions. No compromises. No, no, no, no!

    Piss me off, and kiss my money goodbye forever. Game companies need me more than I need them. How you feed your family is my trivial leisure activity. That gives me all the power in the relationship.

    Treate consumers with dignity and respect, and give them a good honest product, or the consumers will destroy you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I don't care about the state of the industry. I don't care about piracy. I don't care about lost sales. Don't dare lecture me on anything."
    Well, in that case, why read a software developer's blog, if not to hear what his problems are?

    "Treat consumers with dignity and respect, and give them a good honest product, or the consumers will destroy you."
    Except that, on PC at least, they'll destroy you anyway. I mean, you recognise that this is basically saying "attempting to make games for the PC is a waste of time, because half your users will refuse to pay for the product, and the other half will complain if you try to do anything about that."

    There's no carrot in this situation. All it does is convince companies to give up on the PC as a release platform, because they get better value for money on the consoles, where pirating games is significantly more difficult. Which is one of the reasons that companies like Infinity Ward are more focused on the console market, which is where this particular cluster-f**k pig's breakfast comes in. After all, console gamers won't even notice all of this is going on unless they go and look.

    As Terry Pratchett put it, "As for your damn parrot fanciers, if they don't care about anything much beyond things that go squawk in cages then one day there'll be someone in charge of this place who'll make them choke on their own budgies."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tycho's proclivity for plethoric verbiage can make reading his writing onerous.


    Clap, sir. Clap.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a tough topic. On on hand you have to protect the game/music/movie industry so they can make money, on the other hand they should not be allowed to take over your computer like a spyware.

    However even if they are acting like a spyware, as long as it didn't steal the information I care (bank account) or degrade my game experience, it is OK (I did play WOW).

    And I think the cost of piracy is bloated by the industry. For college students who don't have money, their piracy cost nothing. Normal adults don't have time to pirate, and they don't want pirated games in fears of spywares.

    ReplyDelete
  10. deworde, why yes, in general I can run games from 1984 without spending huge amounts of time getting them to run. In fact, the two sets of games that I spent most of my time in the mid-80s playing, the Bard's Tale games and the various infocom games, run on my PC today with zero changes or setup. I've run both in the last 2 years.

    There's a window of time, from about 1990 to 1996, where games are cranky to run, but pretty much most things before that range will run with no changes, or run in a dosemu session with only a slowdown factor (<30 seconds to set up), and most things after that will run with no changes either.

    But if I have to set up an emulator, so what? That's not the issue, the issue is that if it phones home for authentication and won't play without it, that stops working when they unplug the servers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "... and (soon) book publishers decrease on a pretty much daily basis."

    I'm curious what the basis for this prediction is given the success that Baen Books and Cory Doctorow, as two examples, have been having giving away most or all of their books for free electronically as a way to make more money off of their print books.

    Now that probably doesn't work as well with a PC game, since there really is no "print" version, but I think it's still an "adapt to modern technology or die" kind of issue. Modern technology just makes it more and more trivial to share files, regardless of legality or morality.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is awesome. This thread is already replicating what Tycho said, in miniature. It's like he gave a perfect prediction of every conversation on DRM ever.

    "copy protection never worked and never will: if someone wants to copy it, he will.
    he just will and you know it."

    No.

    This sort of thing is just crazy talk. The point of copy protection is not to prevent piracy forever. It's to shave off a handful of people who might have pirated it and get them to buy it. It's a game of percentages.

    "I'm curious what the basis for this prediction is given the success that Baen Books and Cory Doctorow, as two examples, have been having giving away most or all of their books for free electronically as a way to make more money off of their print books."

    This only works as long as people make money off of print books. But sales of print books are way down. The publishing industry is hurting. And if their drive to make eBook readers standard ever finally gets traction, then hey, those electronic versions being given away for free will be their new sales base. Ouch.

    - Jeff Vogel

    ReplyDelete
  13. It will be interesting to see how Baen books etc make money. Google books for example, hide certain chapters from online viewers.

    eBooks should be the way to go, it saves money and is good on the environment. The problem is they are too easy to be pirated. But nothing is too hard for the free market, I am sure netflix for books will be here very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jeff, Baen is actually pretty well positioned here. Their model is that usually the first 1-2 books in a series or by an author, are free, and the rest are purchased but at affordable rates, with non-DRM'd files. As the pirates will just strip the DRM off anyways that's no loss, and it saves them on the customer service of having to re-issue protected books as folks switch devices.

    For the paid books you have two options - every month they have a webscription, which is $15, which gets you usually 4 'new' books and 2-3 back catalog that have been in a webscription before. I say 'new', but usually at least one of them is a reissue of something long out of print. Like they've re-issued a bunch of the old Heinlein classics recently. But included in those webscriptions are books that are currently out in hardback only. You can also buy singles for $6 or so if you don't want the entire month.

    And are they giving away the whole business doing so? It doesn't appear so, they've been following this business model for over 10 years now and have a dedicated following. Now would the model work for a much larger publisher? I have no idea. None have tried it yet. If the ecosystem of locked devices gets big enough, with some interoperability, they may never have to.

    And copy protecting games can work - it just needs to be significantly easier for users to be legit than to not be. That's how copy protection on consoles work. I suspect that the above poster would argue that copy protection on consoles doesn't work, due to the existence of the fact you can download the games and there are mod chips to let you use them, but it actually argues exactly the opposite. I suspect that the percentage of modded consoles with pirated games is in the low single digits, the percentage of PCs with pirated games is much higher.

    ReplyDelete
  15. And let's not forget the related one:

    - Piracy doesn't hurt companies because piracy doesn't physically deprive them of anything.
    - People pirated Spore because it had Securom, so they decided to hurt EA and teach them a lesson by pirating the game.

    In case 1, piracy hurt no one. In case 2, piracy hurts EA.

    Conclusion: Piracy only harms companies when it's convenient for whatever argument we want to make about piracy.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Skip: "Jeff, Baen is actually pretty well positioned here. Their model is that usually the first 1-2 books in a series or by an author, are free, and the rest are purchased but at affordable rates, with non-DRM'd files. As the pirates will just strip the DRM off anyways that's no loss, and it saves them on the customer service of having to re-issue protected books as folks switch devices."

    I have no doubt they do all right for the same reason my business does: They have a loyal cadre of ethical fans who want to support what they're doing. Fans know Cory Doctorow (or David Weber or Ben Bova) and want to support that guy. If I got eBooks, I'd support them.

    But it's still a niche thing. The closer publishing goes to an electronic medium (and it's sure trying to) and the more mass market it becomes, the more the pirates will flood in. You seem to be arguing that books will be immune to the same factors that've been tearing at music and PC Games, and I really don't see that.

    - Jeff Vogel

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, I don't think that the publishing industry is immune, but I do think that the effects will be much less than on the PC software industry. Why? Because there already is, and always has been, a way to get books for free, called the public library, and it hasn't seemed to hurt sales yet. In fact I suspect if you polled heavy readers, something very near 100% of us got our starts using public or school libraries, and moved on to buying books as we could afford them.

    I see no reason for that to change when we read electronically, as long as, fairly soon, we get interoperability worked out so that if I switch from a kindle to a Nook or a Sony reader, for example, I don't lose my library. If instead the publishers continue to make that difficult as it becomes more mainstream, then yeah, I'd expect piracy to become a lot more dominant. If every time I replace or upgrade my device they want me to repurchase the works I already own, or download cracked versions, then folks will become conditioned to download the cracked version, and begin to download them first.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cory Doctorow is a bad example for anything. There are several reasons for this. First, he maintains a monopoly over the print copies of his books. Second, he's kind of an ideologue. In some ways, he has a following because of the controversial positions he advocates. For example, he promotes piracy. (For example, he once advocated a book teaching people how to pirate and not get caught.) He thinks filesharing should be legalized. In that sense, he's kind of like a cult prophet. People support him because of the political positions he advances. Third, he's very dodgy about how he makes his money. I read one article by him where he says that piracy helps his books sell, then two paragraphs later he says that authors can't expect to make a living off their work anymore. He essentially argued that authors should write books to get famous, then use that fame to earn high-paying speaking engagements at conventions or write columns in magazines. Obviously, it's unreasonable to ask all the world's programmers to write free software to get famous, then earn money by doing speaking engagements. Besides, if everyone persued this strategy (even if it was just authors), the market for speaking engagements would collapse.

    For those three reasons, I think he's a bad example to generalize to other businesses. If you really want to compare Doctorow to the digital media industry, then he'd have to: release his books as digital-only (NO print sales), and he'd have to be simply an author, rather than an ideologue (unless you think all authors should earn their living by being ideologues; but the market for that would quickly get overpopulated), and he'd have to give up writing for magazines and doing paid-speaking at conventions (unless you think software developers should do that, too).

    > "Because there already is, and always has been, a way to get books for free, called the public library, and it hasn't seemed to hurt sales yet."

    The library analogy doesn't work very well. Libraries are inconvenient for a variety of reasons. For one thing, you only have the book for a limited time. Piracy gives you a free copy you keep forever. There's a handful of other reasons libraries are inconvenient (you have to pickup/dropoff books, face the possibility of fines, etc). That inconvenience is extremely important in the survival of the printing industry because it makes book purchases more valuable than borrowing from the library. There's also the fact that libraries have to buy one copy for every copy they want. Publishers make about 10% of their profit from libraries. For those reasons, the library / piracy comparison is poor.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I hate the extents that DRM has resorted to, but I'm sympathetic. If you expect people to work for free, the only people that will work are those without the skills to make money doing anything. However, there are things I won't tolerate, like only being able to install something 3 times!

    The real villain as I see it is government(s). Laws (i.e. penalties) against intellectual property theft are virtually non-existant. If companies have to fend completely for themselves, draconian DRM is the expected result. This probably won't come to a remotely satisfactory solution for many many years when people who actually understand the problem get into positions of power. What scares the piss out of me is that in the mean time, entire generations of people have been, are currently, and will continue to be raised to expect everything digital for free. They pay for a normal physical good, but the idea of actually having to pay for a game or music is amoral! That's a lot of toothpaste to put back in the tube.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I steal stuff because I want to and the cost of not doing so is high. The cost benefit analysis says steal not be a douche and pay for stuff that's free.

    That being said I am a douche and do pay for games movies etc that I like. If I am impressed by your product I will most definitely hand some money over. I like you Jeff, I buy your games. If I didn't like you or your product I wouldn't pay.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "But if I have to set up an emulator, so what? That's not the issue, the issue is that if it phones home for authentication and won't play without it, that stops working when they unplug the servers."
    Not really. If the game has a fan-base, they can just set up servers to do the same job. Or design a patch to remove the phone home. Or run in offline mode. Or do whatever you can do *right now* to get the hacked copy. Or do any number of somethings that are in fact less complicated than setting up an emulator.
    Let's be honest, if you're still playing Spore in 2030 when the servers go down, there'll still be that hacked copy for you to pirate then.

    Bottom line: If you make it too hard for companies to sell you their products, they'll stop selling them to you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. You're right Jeff, I'm amazed at how well this particular pattern can be predicted.


    Maybe this isn't the place for it, but I'm hoping that we've got a couple interested and intelligent folk here who can shed some light on a copyright related issue for me. So this is an open question, but not video game related:

    Why should we care about piracy in the music industry?

    I get piracy in books, movies, and games. I really get how that hurts those industries. Those industries are all dependent on selling copies to generate revenue to produce more art.

    The music industry isn't though. Musicians got by for millenia on the revenue from performance, and that revenue has grown faster than their costs have. Most of the money from selling copies goes into the hands of marketing and other business types. People totally separate from the creation of said art. If those people went away, music business would get a lot less organized, but people would still make music and others would still listen to it. It's debatable if it would even be a negative outcome.

    So I figure I'm either missing something or I shouldn't worry too much about piracy in the music business. Anyone care to help me out on this one?


    BTW, I don't believe in a moral right to "intellectual property". I believe people are free to *try* to make money, whether it's by selling CDs of their music or not. I also believe that if we want people to create art we should support that creation, but in the same way I contribute to my chuch. It provides a public service that I use, and I support it as a way to show my appreciation and to ensure that this service continues. In that way my church and Jonathan Coulton have something in common. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. A few comments. One, I tend to read Penny Arcade more for Tycho's commentary than for the comics so I suppose I'm either a verbiage connoisseur or a bourgeosie snob. Two, I have thus far managed to restrain myself from pirating the vast majority of my games, those that I do fall into a very specific category, but I don't pretend that that is anybody's sin but my own. Justifications are just that.

    Third, if music piracy brings around the demise of outfits like Realworld music which has been responsible for seeking out unique voices throughout the world and bringing them to people's attention it will have done harm. Also, I'm part of a singing group that makes no money from our performances, but makes some from our CDs. While our circumstances are highly unusual, that's not to say that there aren't a lot of music groups that make a substantial part of their income selling their CDs at their performances. The threat is not so much from the loss of big record labels, it is from a change to a culture that thinks free music is their right. It is tricky, because a certain degree of exchange is advertising. I have a song I like from an artist whose album I own, and I'd like to share it with a friend in Washington who I think would like it. I want to be able to email him a copy of that song, which could lead to him buying the album at some point. But if I'm sharing that song with anybody and everybody who wants a copy for whatever reason, then it ceases to become word of mouth advertising and turns into an alternate distribution method competing with the musician's income. Is there a DRM method that allows one but not the other? That's the tricky bit. At least with Jeff's games I could send someone a copy of the demo.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I don't mind DRM under one condition. 10 years from now I should have no problem playing, reading or otherwise enjoying what I paid for.

    If the ebook is tied to and obsolete reader, or if the DRM relies on some future non-existent source to verify my software before it will play, then I want no part of it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. @John: As someone attempting to be a professional musician, I can tell you EVERY album sale counts. The selling of albums is what FUNDS all the other money making things like performances. In my particular case, being unsigned and currently unable to tour, someone that decides to download my music INSTEAD of buying it is literally taking food out of my mouth. I emphasized "instead" because, of course, nowhere near all of the people that download anything would have actually bought it, but like I said, every bit helps.

    As to "intellectual property rights", it is a balancing measure to make up the difference between physical and non-physical goods. If I make a car, someone can't download it. They can try to copy it if they have the money and a good deal of skill, but at that rate, they might as well design their own. If they tried to make money selling copies of my car, they'd be jailed for counterfeiting goods. None of those barriers exist with non-physical goods. It takes absolutely NO SKILL OR RESOURCES to steal intellectual property. If you deny intellectual property rights to those who create non-physical goods, they'll stop and just spend all their energy on physical goods. Goodbye software.

    Now you can say, "There would still be people willing to do it", my answer is "Yeah, the thoroughly mediocre." Same with music. Tell me, if no one could ever make a dime off of recording music, why would anyone ever record music again? Would you be satisfied with filling your iPod with cruddy bootlegs of concerts?

    From what I've seen in professional fields, 98% of people that disagree with intellectual property rights are those with nothing worth protecting and who can only emulate, not originate.

    ReplyDelete
  26. John: "Why should we care about piracy in the music industry? I get piracy in books, movies, and games. I really get how that hurts those industries. Those industries are all dependent on selling copies to generate revenue to produce more art. The music industry isn't though. Musicians got by for millenia on the revenue from performance"

    To parse apart what you're saying, what you're saying is that musicians can make decent income from performances, so why should they get money from selling recorded music as well? From that perspective, what you're asking is why shouldn't musicians give-up one of their revenue streams? True, musicians might be able to make it on performances only. Although, it does mean that musicians have to be more successful in order to earn a living. My uncle, for example, has put-out several CDs. He doesn't make enough money to be a full-time musician. When he does give performances, I don't think he charges. What this means is that music sales - even though they don't earn him a living - at least provide him with a little income from his music.

    Also, when you say that musicians earned money through performances in the past, it's worth pointing out that music is a really bad career to go into if you want to earn money. Performers in centuries past were especially bad-off.

    I have a few other reasons for opposing music piracy, but they are more out of principle: I think musicians are creating something of value, so they should be allowed to put legal limitations on it (copyright) in order to get something of value (money) back from the public who appreciates their creation. I think that music piracy is connected to other types of piracy (software, movies, etc) and I don't think music piracy can be legitimized without inadvertently legitimizing other forms of piracy. I also think that if people don't pay for recordings, that the quality of recordings will go down. Recently, I noticed that Coldplay released their album for free as a way to promote their concert tour. I thought it was an interesting idea, but after I downloaded it, I realized that it was a live recording of their music. I really don't like live recordings. Music recorded in a studio sounds a lot better to me. I couldn't help but think that if music piracy becomes the norm, that musicians will go cheaper and cheaper on music recordings. Eventually, we'll just have live recordings because those are the cheapest (as far as I know). Studio recordings cost a lot of money, and I think I'd rather pay than have a bunch of free live recordings from bands.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Extremeism on one side of an issue breeds extremeism on the other. I think we can confidently say the various IP industries went nuts long before file sharing was even possible, too. But that's human nature; businesses will maximise profits however they can unless you stop them, and one side in a feud will always use the other side's transgressions to justify their own.

    The whole "adapt or die" thing, though, that's bullshit propagated by people who think evolution is a touchy-feely process where God lovingly molds a species into some purposeful, higher state of consciousness, rather than just letting 95% percent of all living things either die starving in the dark or be ripped apart and eaten. You do not *really* want to let the IP industries "evolve" to meet the times, any more than you really want the internet to become self-aware and nuke Russia.

    What I don't see, is how any individual end-user can usefully affect the problem. Willful abstention from file-sharing requires convincing anonymous to exert self-control, and he hasn't got it and doesn't want it. Legislative change requires massive political will or cooperation from lobbyists, and you can all see how smoothly Health Care reform is going.

    I read a fascinating and somewhat technical article by a lawyer a couple of years ago arguing that copyright as a legal concept has become broken, and the best way to repair the law was to do away with copyright and resurrect the common law concept of a right to profit from one's labors. As intriguing as the article was, I cannot possibly imagine my congressman taking me seriously if I called him up and told him to propose completely re-writing all contemporary intellectual propery law from the ground up.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great feedback guys, thanks.

    Let me clarify my position a bit, Brit wrote:

    "To parse apart what you're saying, what you're saying is that musicians can make decent income from performances, so why should they get money from selling recorded music as well? From that perspective, what you're asking is why shouldn't musicians give-up one of their revenue streams? "

    I don't expect musicians to give up their revenue streams. If a musician can make a buck selling a CD, more power to them. However, what I am saying is: "You don't have a right to my dollar, why should I give it to you? If other people decide not to give you their dollars, why should this concern me?"

    Nothing against musicians, but no one is born with the right to income. You've got to do something that other people are willing to give you money for.

    Some musicians certainly create something of value. Performance is a way to monetize that value. It's not a perfect way, but neither are album sales. Still, there's a relatively high supply of musicians because there are non-monetary benefits to the field. I don't see that situation changing. It may get harder to make money than it was 20 years ago, but it will probably be doable enough.

    I think some of the points raised here are true though. I think that music piracy will negatively impact the quality and quantity of music produced. However, it will also put more music in more people's hands (music has value to society directly related to how much people listen to it). I think those two things are pretty much a wash. Certainly compared to the cost of preventing music piracy.

    Yes, album sales help fund things like studio recordings. Yes studio recordings are better than the alternative. However, studio recordings will continue to be made. A perfectly respectable studio job costs on the order of 50 grand. That's not pocket change, but I'd class that as a solid investment. You can offset much of that with CD sales at concerts, donations, convenience purchases, and just plain cost of advertising. My buddy spent 10 grand on his senior film to showcase his film talents. He's never recouping that cash, but it was a bet that it would help get his career going. Studio recordings are similar.


    BTW, I'm not suggesting we legitimize music piracy. I'm saying that music piracy is rampant, but I don't really see the need to do much about it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Robin: "Willful abstention from file-sharing requires convincing anonymous to exert self-control, and he hasn't got it and doesn't want it. Legislative change requires massive political will.."

    In the long-term, defeating piracy doesn't have much to do with asking users to maintain self-control. I'm not sure what legistative change you're talking about. Stoping piracy is mainly about enforcing existing laws. Right now, it seems the most effective way to stop piracy is to go after the "big guys" - the piracy sites and enforce the laws. There was a "wild west" type atmosphere for a long time, and people like TPB were able to sneak through loopholes in Swedish law. These loopholes aren't going to persist. The problem with the big pirate sites is that they suffer the same problem as drug dealers. Either you're operating with a small number of users and you quietly skirt the law, or you operate big-time and everyone knows about you (including law enforcement). In the first case, you can't cause too much damage because your user-base is so small. In the second case, you can cause a lot of damage, but law-enforcement knows about you. I think we're moving towards a time when only small-time copyright infringement can take place. The "big-boys" are going to get smacked down, and countries are writing the laws to close the loopholes. TBP and All-of-mp3 have limited lifespans, and if someone new pops up, they have to survive with fewer legal loopholes, which means their lifespan is shorter. Ultimately, we don't have to stop 100% of piracy. If we stop 90% of it, and that's good enough to get paid for our work. Except for the very dedicated pirates, most people don't want to keep track of the latest place where they can pirate stuff. If we can keep the pirate website lifespan short, users are going to get frustrated with jumping around trying to find this month's place to get pirated material.

    "I read a fascinating and somewhat technical article by a lawyer a couple of years ago arguing that copyright as a legal concept has become broken, and the best way to repair the law was to do away with copyright and resurrect the common law concept of a right to profit from one's labors."

    That sounds like Lessig. He's kind of a thorn in our side. One of these days, I'm going to write a full rebuttal of his arguments. I don't actually think his arguments hold up, and, if he had his way, it would do a lot of damage to creators.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I admit, I don't really object to DRM-based systems if they get a few things right:

    - Leave the system's hardware and operating system alone - low-level shims like StarDock are a recipe for malfunction and disaster.
    - Provide some sort of value-add for the customers - online play, new content/patches, even just quick and easy installation on a new computer
    - Have an 'escape clause' in case the verification system is going down for good, so that peoples' purchases can be preserved.

    Honestly, Valve's Steam platform does a pretty good job with most of this; the only point nobody's quite sure on is that last, and one must hope that it will not become an issue in the foreseeable future.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Brit said: "In the long-term, defeating piracy doesn't have much to do with asking users to maintain self-control. I'm not sure what legistative change you're talking about. Stoping piracy is mainly about enforcing existing laws."

    Sorry, my positions on this are a bit confused- I tend to let free culture and creator's rights issues blur into the basic "copyright" protection ones.

    What I was getting at was that file sharing is primarily a technological development, the technology isn't going away, and counter-technologies like DRM are just a mess. (You cannot simultaneously display and conceal an image.) So it seemed the answer had to come from something other than tech, like new law or a change in attitude from the end-users. But yeah, I keep forgetting about the 90% rule, which applies to copyright protection but not the other issues.

    What I want is a solution that removes the justifications for piracy. That makes the works reasonably priced, widely available, sends the money to the creators themselves and lets them maintain control over their own work- for a reasonable period of time. I can't see a path to those things, and it frustrates me.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sorry I just had to point out what I believe is a mistake in Chris' comment. I believe StarForce is the name of the low level shim you're referring to. StarDock are the awesome guys behind Impulse, one of the few companies that, in my opinion, have a fairly good attitude towards copyright/DRM.

    ReplyDelete
  33. dsquared store I have really enjoyied reading your well written article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! · fgwocjulhjd dsquared store

    ReplyDelete
  34. Tiffany is about the world's most renowned designers of first-rate offerings.Dissimilar to other vogue companies,tiffany necklaces deal firmly in products for instance jewelry,designer watches,glass wares,lamps,bags,plus more.
    tiffany jewellery
    tiffany silvers
    tiffany uk
    tiffany jewellery uk
    tiffany jewellery sale
    tiffany rings
    tiffany co rings
    tiffany engagement rings
    tiffany bracelets
    tiffany co bracelets
    tiffany necklaces
    tiffany charms
    replica tiffany jewellery
    replica tiffany
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a good common sense Blog. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.
      Kamagra UK

      Delete