DRM, Pirates, and much more

Every discussion that doesn't have a home gets thrown into the Starless Void. Posters included.

Moderators: SDS Members, SDS Owner

Forum rules
1. Nothing obscene.
2. No advertising or spamming.
3. No personal information. Mostly aimed at the posting of OTHER people's information.
4. No flame wars. We encourage debate, but it becomes a flame when insults fly and tempers flare.

More than likely if your thread got moved, it got moved here. It is highly unlikely that a topic in the starless void can attain enough velocity to escape this sub-forum's event horizon.

DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby Cralis on Mon 23 Jan 2012 01:19

Read:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_i ... tory=20424
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2865 ... rating.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ChadFill ... growth.php

What you need to realize about DRM, is that it isn't about piracy in the sense you are thinking. It isn't about "Joe" making a copy and not buying the game - there is a good chance he never intended to do so in the first place - at least at the price it is being sold.

It isn't about the guy who cracks the DRM and gives away (or relabels and sells) 50,000 copies. He doesn't care, he breaks it, burns copies or posts it online and is done. In fact, Copyright law in the United States was about punishing this guy and never about punishing the individual person who has an unpaid copy - but the laws are currently being badly abused to do just that. "Copying" isn't technically a crime because it isn't theft as we define it: it neither takes a physical "thing" away from the developer nor denies them control over their physical "thing." And with several studies showing that the majority of people who download a copy would never have purchased in the first place, it is arguable that the developer never even lost a sale. Copyright law was about punishing the mass distributor who REALLY DOES cost the original developer sales - ie. the guy in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Where DRM IS directed is SECOND-HAND SALES. Major developers feel that they shouldn't be subject to "book law" that says once you sell a physical item to someone, they can destroy it, bury it, or sell it to someone else. They can't copy it... but they can give it away or sell it. This is purely greed - they either want you to buy the game at full price or they want to force everyone to give them a portion of second hand sales. Look at the third link, you'll see them bemoaning the fact that Gamestop sells the used copy for $5 less and they don't get anything from it. It shows a complete lack of understanding or care of how economics really works.

Anyway, the point I'm going is that I don't see this "copy culture" as being the morale degradation of society. Copyright lasts something like life + 150 years. Patents are totally fubar'd and they are allowing the patenting of things like mathematical equivalents and genetic sequences. The justice department has 6 of the top 10 people being ex-RIAA/MPAA lawyers and allowing them to abuse the courts to racketeer the public who can't afford to fight back. On top of it, more and more of our real knowledge is being locked away in pay-only journals, magazines, and websites and our scientific knowledge is available only to the ivory towers of the academic elite...or those who can afford to pay. All of this in an age where we can see the Internet allows us more freedom and capability to disseminate information than ever before in history.

I see this "copy culture" as the same type of social disobedience we saw from Mohandas Gandhi. During his time the British had similar onerous laws allowing companies to charge obscene amounts for salt and to forbid anyone else from making or distributing salt. Gandhi brought people to the beaches where they made salt. So it is today with many people fighting against the both perceived and real corporate and government corruption that is doing the same thing with our creative and intellectual arts. It is why we have people who are anti-copyright to the point of terrorizing and antagonizing despite the personal cost to themselves.

Don't think it is true? There was SOOOO much backlash at SOPA and PIPA that those bills were shelved. So many bad applications of bills like the DMCA have occurred that consumers are now weary and tired of the charade. The average person is fighting back in the only way they know how - don't pay for overpriced crap, copy! Deny these evildoers any sort of profit.

Ironically, despite this "massive delinquency" - intellectual property holders and distributors are STILL making record profits. This is a lot like the oil companies ... it should be hard to argue that you're company is being strangled by all these law breakers and the lack of laws that enforce "what is right" (as your lawyers define it) when you post record profits. Someone is obviously lying here.

Perhaps you should take a gander at Chris Dodd's chastisement of Senators who get campaign money from the RIAA/MPAA. If this isn't tacit admission of buying votes - from someone who legally isn't allowed to lobby until 2013 no less - then I don't know what is:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... 7120120123

DRM sucks. It makes life difficult for the paying, legal customer. Pirates strip DRM and it has zero effect on them. But the customer deals with it until he either stops playing your game or he pirates a copy that doesn't have the DRM. Entire games have gone belly-up from DRM... look at Titan's Quest. It got a reputation for being buggy and unstable...only to find out it was because it had hidden DRM that caused it to crash. They can moan and bemoan the reasons and circumstances, but the truth is that the DRM is what killed their rep.

Baen books is a great example of someone who "gets it." The entire micro-payment culture of games like D&D Online, World of Tanks, and others "gets it." There are a number of examples: small and major music bands alike putting music out for cheap, free, or bid prices; book companies making older material free to hook readers; scientists who are trying to GPL their work so it can be used for the advancement of science instead of making money; and even a political party that was formed just to make this fight. They know that they can either jump on the dying bandwagon of "big business" and join the rent-seeking lobbyists that are making the consumer's life harder and entertainment more costly, or they can try and seek out a new business model that both produces a profit and placates this social backlash. And these companies are becoming profitable and successful when they weren't profitable or successful using traditional methods before! (We are looking at you, D&D Online...nice turn around)

The fight is far from over. Major corporations and law makers are still fighting the new anti-copyright culture that is deeply rooted in not just our society, but worldwide. The irony here is that many of the same companies trying to stomp on the consumer for exercising their traditional "book rights" are the same companies that gave away their products, stole ideas from other companies, and even pushed their R&D by demanding that knowledge be shared. They've forgotten where they started.

What does this mean for us? I've talked this over with Marvin a little bit and honestly, we all know that the "table-top wargame" is dying as an industry. (NOTE: I didn't say board gaming) Computer gaming has taken over and the attention span of the average gamer is getting shorter. We know that we need to computerize and we know that we need to do it on our terms in order to maintain control of the game - STARFIRE is more complex than the typical game out today. But that is why we love it...

We are currently engaged in rebuilding the STARFIRE brand. If you feel that the game is worth it => then buy it. We are a small group of people and Marvin has a very small company with a niche product. If we can keep STARFIRE going...even better if we can expand it...then we can perhaps make it to a stage where we can computerize it. There are many decisions to be made on the way, and probably a while to go before we get there, but by God... I promised ten years ago that I was going to see it happen and I returned to do just that.

If you agree then I know you'll support our endeavor. I'm not worried about some kid who copies an old version from the Pirate Bay. When we get the computerized stuff going, he might become a customer :)
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10684
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby Club on Mon 23 Jan 2012 03:33

I'm sorry I started this. I remember the last time it was brought up in this forum. only time I've seen the place devolve into flames.

I'm staying away. And suggest everyone limit themselves to a single statement of opinion and then agree to disagree.
TAG: As I understand it, he sought to avoid turning one-point-six trillion Terran sophonts into undead, war-mongering super-soldiers.
Captain Tagon: It it wrong for me to think that would be pretty cool to watch?

http://www.schlockmercenary.com
Club
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
 
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun 02 Aug 2009 15:43
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby procyon on Mon 23 Jan 2012 03:42

I am pretty much computer illiterate.

Whatever hoop I have to jump through to get my Ultra II rules openned and printed is fine.

So long as it doesn't take too long !!!!!
:mrgreen:
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
User avatar
procyon
Sky Marshal
Sky Marshal
 
Posts: 2547
Joined: Mon 26 Apr 2010 16:26
Location: SE IOWA

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby Cralis on Mon 23 Jan 2012 09:33

Club wrote:I'm sorry I started this. I remember the last time it was brought up in this forum. only time I've seen the place devolve into flames.

I'm staying away. And suggest everyone limit themselves to a single statement of opinion and then agree to disagree.


Unfortunately, Club, I believe this subject is a MASSIVE concern for the SDS - where we choose to fall on the issue and how we use it (or not) for our products will have a direct impact upon how well people do/don't like our product.

If we choose incorrectly then we are - depending upon how you believe - either:

A> losing revenue to people who are stealing our product vs. using DRM to rightfully enforce our copyright and revenues, or

B> recognizing that file sharing is a social phenomena that we can't fight vs. avoiding DRM as it hinders our customers, not the file sharers. And in doing so, disarming the file sharer and using it as a form of advertising.

This is an important distinction because our customer cares. Kind of like choosing to be for or against SOPA/PIPA (I am against it, btw).
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10684
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby godsgopher on Mon 23 Jan 2012 10:41

May I simply say wow...

Cralis, that was an exceptionally written, I'll go ahead and call it an "article". I was impressed by the well reasoned, rational nature of it. It was concise and to the point and you seem to express many of my own personal growing resentments towards American Bureaucracy and Business.

I love this country, but I can not help but feel that copyrights are strangling our creativity. I want to be against piracy as I do see it as taking away from the developer, especial in the gaming markets. However I'm also a "Pirate". I have easily lost track of the number of Roleplaying Books I have downloaded over the years and it could easily be said that I'm quite the hypocrite, none the less. With full confidence say that of all the material I have downloaded, I would not have bought a copy if a pirated version had not been available. The bottom line is all of it was casual interest material, not one item I have "pirated" was something I couldn't do without. I was never going to be a customer, I was never going to shell out the 20-60$ for a book.

However, on a few rare instances I have obtained material that I eventually did end up wanting to use in a D&D game. When this happened I usually did go out and obtain a physical copy of the book in question. Why? because I can't sit in front of a computer when I'm running or am involved in a game. Furthermore I find it a pleasure to hold a book in my hands.

DRM has been a losing battle for a long as I can remember. A recent experience was I tried to go back and play "Battlefleet Pacific" a stunning action WWII game of land and sea combat! However the DRM on it is so severe that I can not even update it to actually play the game and I OWN my copy! When I original bought the game I got it to run one time, only one, and by the time I did I was so frustrated I just deleted it right off my computer. And this after paying 50$ for it.

The new thing in the industry seems to be you no longer actually "own" your copy of a piece of software. Instead your "leasing" it from the distributor who can at any time yank your "right" to use there material. DRM is frankly just getting out of control. I don't mind people protecting their stuff, but when there protections interfere with my legal use of there product something has gone badly wrong indeed.

I'm going to support Starfire with my money. Because I like the game, I admire the community, and I am impressed with the staff who are just trying to keep alive a game they love.

-consequently Cralis, I'm currently studying to become a computer programer in Java and C++. I'm still a few years away from doing anything really functional, but keep me in mind...
godsgopher
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon 12 Sep 2011 21:01
Location: Centeral Oklahoma

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby tdh8192 on Mon 23 Jan 2012 16:45

:oops: For my post in that other thread, I apologize. My intent was not to hijack the thread - therefore, he content of that post has been deleted by me.
- Tom
User avatar
tdh8192
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu 24 Sep 2009 16:01
Location: In orbit around Jupiter

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby krenshala on Mon 23 Jan 2012 18:22

tdh8192 wrote::oops: For my post in that other thread, I apologize. My intent was not to hijack the thread - therefore, he content of that post has been deleted by me.

Actually, you didn't need to delete your post. If it was enough to consider that, Matt or I would have moved it here to start a new thread instead of just getting a new thread started based on it. ;)
-- krenshala
None survive the harvest!

Yeah, I'm finally back (again)! Sometimes, life (and 9yo son's) don't leave you time to play SF and earn a paycheck. :/

No, really! Matt actually made me an admin here!
krenshala
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 2573
Joined: Thu 02 Jul 2009 17:13
Location: Austin TX, NorAm, Sol III

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby Cralis on Mon 23 Jan 2012 20:07

tdh8192: don't worry and don't apologize. We aren't topic stormtroopers here. As Krenshala said, if there was a problem we'd have moved the topic and/or private messaged you.

I just felt that the this topic is a hot-button topic with enough emotion on both sides of the argument that it needed it's own home in the off-topics section :) IMHO it isn't off-topic because it is of great concern to the future of the SDS, and of all intellectual property rights and knowledge, but it isn't about the actual game of STARFIRE!

godsgopher: how you feel is how many, many people feel. I know a LOT of smart, technologically-savvy people who are producers of everything from stories, books, and games to actual physical products ranging from electronics to toys. And they are tired of the problems. Businesses are getting hammered by the poor state of the patent system...

...fun fact: in the '70s my uncle owned a patent for the digital speedometer. Because he was poor he couldn't enforce the patent and lost it. Now'a'days he says that he wishes he'd been smart enough (and devious enough) to have sold it to Ford or Chevy (or someone like that).

But don't get me wrong. I do see the inherent "wrongness" of the anti-copyright culture. I personally have not downloaded or copied anything in almost 20 years. I simply don't buy what I can't afford or don't agree with (I'm looking at you, EA). But at the same time, unless everyone else is going to do the same thing my vote is nearly meaningless and only a point of personal integrity.

(Which means a lot IMHO, since I'm now a content creator)

Anyway, I feel that much is going to have to change before the subject will be settled. In the meantime, we'll be plotting, planning, and executing STARFIRE's release :) If anyone wants to make little programs and utilities for free download we've always encouraged that, for any version, within reason (go ahead and email for permission, we do have some agreements out there). So practice up :) Sooner or later (likely years but hey...) I'm planning on getting in on the business side and doing some hiring...
Image
User avatar
Cralis
SDS Member
SDS Member
 
Posts: 10684
Joined: Tue 30 Jun 2009 19:27
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby procyon on Tue 24 Jan 2012 05:31

Oh my, I must really be ancient....

My plan when I get Ultra 2 is to

1. Hurry and print a copy so I can sit down and read it.

2. Clean the 7 y/o's fingerprints off of my reading glasses so I will be able to see it.

3. Park in my chair with a pot of coffee so that I can stay awake long enough to read it.

I expect #3 will be periodical interrupted by my wife and children, but that is the price of a family that plays Starfire ;) :D

I would never have realized copyright issues on electronic material were such a problem... :?: :!:
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
User avatar
procyon
Sky Marshal
Sky Marshal
 
Posts: 2547
Joined: Mon 26 Apr 2010 16:26
Location: SE IOWA

Re: DRM, Pirates, and much more

Postby godsgopher on Tue 24 Jan 2012 07:30

Welcome to the 21st Century!

I keep telling people that the "good O' days" are nothing but fond memories of specific times and that they were never as good as people like to remember. Then again I read the news I do occasionally wonder...

DRM, is slowly becoming a major Social issue. It's one of those thing that we will ether successfully negotiate or it quite litterly will be the undoing of us as a nation as it will bring progress to a halt in the name of fair trade.
godsgopher
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon 12 Sep 2011 21:01
Location: Centeral Oklahoma

Next

Return to The Starless Void

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest