UK Anti-Piracy Campaign

Times Online has news that five developers, Atari, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump, Techland, and Codemasters, are serving notice to 25,000 UK families demanding they pay a settlement, or risk being taken to court over software piracy (thanks Edge Online). Here's a portion:
The computer games industry has launched an unprecedented assault on illegal downloads, demanding payment from thousands of families who obtained the latest releases over the internet without paying.

Five of the world’s top games developers will serve notice on 25,000 people across the UK, requiring each one to pay £300 immediately to settle out of court. Those who refuse risk being taken to court. The companies will target their initial legal actions on 500 people who ignore the letters.

The companies involved – Atari, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump, Techland and Codemasters – make some of the popular games, including The Lord of the Rings, the Colin McRae Rally series and Operation Flashpoint. It is estimated that as many as six million people in Britain share games illegally over the internet. The aggressive action marks a dramatic change in the approach to copyright on the internet. The British music industry, hit hard by illegal file-sharing, has taken action against just 150 people in ten years.

The game makers have appointed the law firm Davenport Lyons. This week Isabela Barwinska, an unemployed mother of two, became the first person in the UK to be ordered to pay damages to a manufacturer. She must pay more than £16,000 to Topware after downloading Dream Pinball through a file-sharing site.
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76 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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76.
 
No subject
Aug 27, 2008, 12:33
76.
No subject Aug 27, 2008, 12:33
Aug 27, 2008, 12:33
 
"Anti-Piracy Campaign" Sounds good, maybe Obama should run with that.

"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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75.
 
Re: ...
Aug 22, 2008, 04:39
Prez
 
75.
Re: ... Aug 22, 2008, 04:39
Aug 22, 2008, 04:39
 Prez
 
Well it's a chicken before the egg sort of thing. Some pirates use the excuses you listed (cheap and a having a sense of entitlement to everything they want were not on your list, making it somewhat incomplete) Developers see no point in fixing the problems that ostensibly help promote piracy because they are losing revenue to pirates.

If I were to be sent a notice of this kind, I would not pay - it's extortion. I would have my case taken to court if necessary. I'll show them the receipts for all of the games that I paid for before downloading cracked versions to avoid the broken DRM garbage.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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74.
 
Re: ...
Aug 21, 2008, 00:56
74.
Re: ... Aug 21, 2008, 00:56
Aug 21, 2008, 00:56
 
My argument is that if DRM systems are to be used - which is currently the case - then more money is needed because the current systems don't work.

Eliminating piracy is all well and good except it doesn't fix the many problems that promote piracy in the first place. Lack of demos, terribly misrepresentative demos, unreliable reviews, games that are buggy messes, no return policy, no warranty, etc. I'd much rather see those things get fixed before piracy.

Avatar 20715
73.
 
No subject
Aug 21, 2008, 00:01
73.
No subject Aug 21, 2008, 00:01
Aug 21, 2008, 00:01
 
With the sharing of information, I can quickly discover which games are worthwhile, and which ones are shit.
Given I don't typically play games online, the lack of this functionality in my pir8ed titles doesn't bother me.

My library of Purchased games far outweighs any library I own. I don't burn these games, and typically, nobody I know actually wants them because believe it or not, they buy their games.

The fact about my piracy is that we do pir8 to try it and buy it when we like it.
If it sucks, we deep six it, and it's bitched about in forums.

Besides, given the scalability of computers, I think it's completely unwise that at this point, no games company has released a benchmarking software to test a potential customers machine.
Just imagine, something more than some fucked up Microsoft Experience Index for Vista. The all powerful, all knowing operating schism.

Damnit... I don't have enough time to finish this post.
Avatar 13202
72.
 
...
Aug 20, 2008, 23:38
72.
... Aug 20, 2008, 23:38
Aug 20, 2008, 23:38
 
And your solution is to just invest more money in it because we're obviously on the right track and we should just keep going in the direction that is not working...
My argument is that if DRM systems are to be used - which is currently the case - then more money is needed because the current systems don't work. Manipulating my point doesn't get us anywhere.

DRM won't prevent piracy
It doesn't currently but it's entirely possible for it to do so. Hardware dongles have already been used to eliminate piracy with Cubase 4 and iLok does the same for many others, so there are some DRM schemes that work - those schemes currently revolve around a piece of hardware that is a target for theft / at risk of damage so aren't suitable for the consumer world but it demonstrates that it is possible. The TPM is around the corner and we have already had indications that publishers intend to use it - it has the potential to eliminate piracy, though it remains to be seen.

Same with DRM, if the only solution to stopping piracy is to lock down everything so consumers have no say in how they use the software then we're not going to support it.
I agree, hence my point. DRM that restricts users is bad. DRM that protects publishers, eliminates piracy and doesn't impact upon legitimate users is good. We're not there yet but that doesn't mean it's unachievable.

DRM is one solution. Another is to trust users and other more incentives to legitimate users. However, if DRM works then it prevents piracy, whereas you're effectively accepting some degree of piracy if you rely purely on trust.


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Founder of the "I Hate Smiley Fitz" society

Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
This comment was edited on Aug 20, 23:41.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Avatar 22891
71.
 
Re: ...
Aug 20, 2008, 21:53
71.
Re: ... Aug 20, 2008, 21:53
Aug 20, 2008, 21:53
 
The problem is that at the moment DRM quite simply doesn't work, resulting in pirates being able to play the games and legitimate users coming across problems - the current crop of limited activations and disc checks are a perfect example of that.

And your solution is to just invest more money in it because we're obviously on the right track and we should just keep going in the direction that is not working...

DRM won't prevent piracy, that is like expecting a police department to prevent crime in a city, it's a deterrent at best. Something to give us all some peace of mind that people are obeying the law. Nobody expects the police to elimate all crime, the only way to do that is not a way anyone wants to live.

Same with DRM, if the only solution to stopping piracy is to lock down everything so consumers have no say in how they use the software then we're not going to support it.

70.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 21:52
70.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 21:52
Aug 20, 2008, 21:52
 
Dear Mr Derek Dumbass...

if you can walk into a store, steal something, then get arrested and convicted of shoplifting, why then can't you be arrested and convicted of stealing IP via an online medium?

You aren't fined the $30,000 (rough currency conversion) for stealing a $30 game, or goto jail for that matter, unless you've been convicted many times and been given many warnings.

She must pay more than £16,000 to Topware after downloading Dream Pinball through a file-sharing site.

While I completely agree that they have the right to enforce copywrite laws, it's also painfully obvious that corporations are bullying the legal system into making this a far bigger deal than it really is. If you can't see this, you truly are as dumb as you seem.

16,000 pounds for downloading a $20 or $30 game...like holy fucking shit, talk about extreme. People have committed assault & rape and walked away with less punishment.

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69.
 
...
Aug 20, 2008, 21:07
69.
... Aug 20, 2008, 21:07
Aug 20, 2008, 21:07
 
I think you're confusing Online Dist with DRM. They both have DRM but investing more in DRM means that that 3 limit activations will go down...not up.

The intent with DRM is to limit acceptable use for the software for end users to absolute bare minimum. 1 install, 1 computer, no exceptions, no returns, buyer beware.
No, I think it's you that is confused. DRM is designed to protect the rights of publishers, not to have an impact upon legitimate users. The problem is that at the moment DRM quite simply doesn't work, resulting in pirates being able to play the games and legitimate users coming across problems - the current crop of limited activations and disc checks are a perfect example of that. With more money invested in DRM we could see a system that eliminates piracy and allows you to play anywhere you want without any issues - if you're online then it connects to a server and lets you play anywhere you want without any restrictions, while if you're offline you can simply put in a disc. DRM is useless until it prevents people pirating the game and has no / negligible impact upon genuine users.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Founder of the "I Hate Smiley Fitz" society

Remember: Riley has autism. He has trouble communicating, and in an overstimulating
environment, he can get frightened and run away, leaving his parents frantic. - Auburn
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Avatar 22891
68.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 19:22
68.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 19:22
Aug 20, 2008, 19:22
 
Also, £16000 for uploading that POS game?. That judge should be sacked.
How much of that was damages? And how much of that was punative? I'd say the bulk of it was punitive. Software piracy, where it is proved to be actual piracy should be stomped on.

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 19:23.
Avatar 19028
67.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 19:21
67.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 19:21
Aug 20, 2008, 19:21
 
How can you claim to support this move when it clearly doesn't match your "as long as" criteria? Sending out 25,000 "pay us or we'll sue you" notices isn't putting the burden of proof on anyone.
Which is why I put the cavet on what I said. I'm all for prosecuting pirates as long as software companies can prove that they are legitimate pirates, and they the companies can't squirm out of paying court costs if they are proven wrong.

Bear in mind that the legal system in the US is very different to that in the UK. In the US, companies can get away with blue-murder at the expense of the "little guy". If the legal system in the UK is more that that in Australia (which I think it is), there is little latitude for companies to get away with running over people making spurious claims and then not paying court costs. Don't believe everything you read in the media ... who just want to sell papers and online advertising.

Avatar 19028
66.
 
No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 19:15
66.
No subject Aug 20, 2008, 19:15
Aug 20, 2008, 19:15
 
Goes to show, again, how the industry is full of idiots.

Also, £16000 for uploading that POS game?. That judge should be sacked.

The IT Crowd guys got it exactly right:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAr7zKxjCDY

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 19:17.
65.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 19:01
65.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 19:01
Aug 20, 2008, 19:01
 
I for one welcome this move .... AS LONG AS the burden of proof is on software companies

How can you claim to support this move when it clearly doesn't match your "as long as" criteria? Sending out 25,000 "pay us or we'll sue you" notices isn't putting the burden of proof on anyone.

Or, to illustrate it better, if you are innocent, and you get this notice, you have one of two options: 1) Pay the £300, or 2) Fight it in court, which involves hiring a lawyer, paying court fees, etc. Even if you win, and even if you manage to force them to pay the court costs, you are still out the money until you get to that stage. So for the "average" person, option (1) is the simpler, easier solution, even if you've done nothing wrong*.

* using the most generous definition of "wrong"

64.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 18:48
64.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 18:48
Aug 20, 2008, 18:48
 
I for one welcome this move .... AS LONG AS the burden of proof is on software companies, as opposed to the situation in the US where the RIAA which seems to have carte-blanche to ruin peoples lives and then get away with it.


This comment was edited on Aug 20, 18:49.
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63.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 17:52
63.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 17:52
Aug 20, 2008, 17:52
 
What do you think the current so-called "DRM" is all about? Stopping piracy is mostly a smoke-screen, they know they can't. But what they can do is completely kill the secondhand market.

Yep, I'm hoping others will realize this as well. My questions were trying to lead readers into saying this themselves.

Steam has been effective at eliminating the 2nd hand market with their games in a big way on the PC. The console is another matter. I appreciate them putting the orange box on the console because I rented it.

But my previous purchases of their software are locked behind steam. I cannot resell them without incurring a cost to valve. ($10 last I checked to unregister a key)

I don't think other companies are likely to be this generous and DRM in it's current form is more focused on making sure people don't resell or share software than it is combating piracy.

In a perfect world games would cost less and anyone who wants to play these games would pay a small price to the developers. (forever, ie no second hand market, just a fee to be able to play the game forever)

We won't get any closer to that place by using DRM, all we'll end up with is an environment where the consumers are at the mercy of companies that control who buys and sells that content legally.

I'll support companies that take care of their customers and deliver good products but when you tack on DRM and tell me it's to combat piracy it's like hearing a record skip...

There are plenty of ways to entice people to buy your product, throwing DRM into them isn't one of them.

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 17:54.
62.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 17:48
62.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 17:48
Aug 20, 2008, 17:48
 
Fuck your reasoning. 16,000 could ruin that family. Hooray.

Asshole. I'm embarrassed to be in the same industry as people such as yourself.

61.
 
Re: ...
Aug 20, 2008, 17:18
sir
61.
Re: ... Aug 20, 2008, 17:18
Aug 20, 2008, 17:18
sir
 
As far as personal freedoms go, the US is definitely better off than the UK. Especially if the current administration over there has its way.

Clearly, you have no clue what you are talking about. The UK is awash with 'chavs' (vernacular term, look it up) who abuse their 'personal freedoms' to the detriment of all around them. The UK is approaching a totalitarian state? I almost wish it was.

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60.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 16:25
60.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 16:25
Aug 20, 2008, 16:25
 
So why aren't you going after Ebay? Or craiglist. Those guys are actually charging for your software!

What do you think the current so-called "DRM" is all about? Stopping piracy is mostly a smoke-screen, they know they can't. But what they can do is completely kill the secondhand market.

59.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 15:55
59.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 15:55
Aug 20, 2008, 15:55
 
16,000 pound fine undoubtedly represents the retail price of the game * number of users that downloaded the game from her. She in essence, became a retail outlet with a lot of customers because she offered the best prices in town (free). Now it's time for her to pay up.

In fairness if she was reselling your game you would not be entitled to the full retail price because that is a marked up number after the store makes it's profit. So it should reflect the cost based on units sold as if a retailer had purchased them from you...no?

50% of retail? 75%?

And if someone resells their copy of your game on Ebay or craiglist and gets $20 for it, isn't that even worse? There must be hundreds of thousands of copies being resold that are technically causing you to lose money because you company is not getting the benefit of a sale or a share of the resell to a new client.

So aren't the people on ebay offering your product for a lesser cost, legally, a bigger threat than pirates? You can go online and buy the game for cheap and it's not paying any money to you... So if that wasn't an option the customers would have to buy from you and you'd make money...right?

So why aren't you going after Ebay? Or craiglist. Those guys are actually charging for your software!

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 16:02.
58.
 
Re: No subject
Aug 20, 2008, 15:52
58.
Re: No subject Aug 20, 2008, 15:52
Aug 20, 2008, 15:52
 
She in essence, became a retail outlet with a lot of customers because she offered the best prices in town (free).

Last time I checked, retail outlets actually sold stuff to make profits. Giving copies of something away for free isn't conducive to profits.

Avatar 20715
57.
 
Easy way to defeat this
Aug 20, 2008, 15:43
57.
Easy way to defeat this Aug 20, 2008, 15:43
Aug 20, 2008, 15:43
 
Small claims court never take your legal people, they are bound by the Laws of Evidence, you can get away with anything as you are not bound by the legal formalities if you represent yourself, secondly, let them take you to court, turn up with a newly purchased "license" of what they claim you stole and also bring a print out of copyright law and your rights.
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