UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Yesterday, GamePolitics reported that an unemployed immigrant mother of two was ordered by a British court to pay £16,086 (roughly $30,000) to Topware Interactive for uploading its pinball game to a file-sharing network.

Things are about to get much worse.

Today’s Times Online reports that Topware’s case against Isabella Barwinska may only have been the tip of the iceberg. According to the Times, a quintet of U.K. publishers are targeting those who share PC games. Calling the action an "unprecedented assault on illegal downloads," the Times names Topware, Atari, Reality Pump, Techland and Codemasters as the firms involved. The report says the companies plan to notify 25,000 U.K. consumers that they must pay £300 to settle file-sharing accusations. Otherwise, they risk a ruinous court judgment of the type lodged against Barwinska.

From the Times:

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 move has provoked strong criticism within the games industry. A source close to the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association said that most publishers would be reluctant to bring legal actions against their “core market” and would be likely to look for other ways to minimise losses due to piracy.

A lawyer for the five publishers commented:

Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading. In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court.

Via: Edge Online

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79 comments

  1. oto kirlama says:

    Nintendo is indeed selling SOME of these on the Virtual Console but not even close to all of them. While i agree in part to his piracy he was filling a market that Nintendo failed to recognize. Maybe someone doesnt want to buy a Wii. maybe they just want a console with 50 – 100 NES games on them?? maybe just maybe?

    but no Nintendo wants everyone araba kiralama to buy the Wii. thats their excuse but thats not what copyright is supposed to protect. i am real sure that the makers of 10 yard fight were losing sleep because they were missing out on their $0.00025 worth because they didnt get royalties from this player. *smirk*

    my question is, should Super Mario Bros. be banned from public domain forever? isnt 23 years enough time for Nintendo to have made their profits?

    If you have followed the Steamboat Willie case regarding Mickey Mouse you can rest in your bed well at night knowing that the MOUSE will still be under copyright law, away from public domain after your great grandchildren are in nursing homes. That is beyond ridiculous dont you think??

    Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it’s due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA’s Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there’s no one left on the Board.

    Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

    YES.

    Now I don’t have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

    Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

    Wait… I think that sounds like a good idea.

    But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God’s Sake… least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But none of those catagories apply to this case. The game was by an inde developer who sells the game online. Within two weeks of making the game avalible they found that the game was being pirated at a ratio of 15 to 1 legit copy. This game sold for about £15, thats cheap its hardley a gouge.

    So are you on the piracy side of this case? Do find piracy in this case morally wrong?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hate to say this, but I’m more on the pirates side than the publishers side in game piracy cases. I buy a lot of used games, partly to eliminate bloated software costs and partly to protest pricing. I’ll gladly pay $25-$35 for a new game, but $60? Screw that.

    That said, I’ve also "pirated" dozens of games. I consider myself to fall into the unharmful side of IP infringement, in that each offense fell into one of three categories:

    1) The software was produced by a developer and/or publisher who is now defunct, meaning even on the off-chance I could secure a new copy of the game the developer and/or publisher would not profit.

    2) The software was old enough that finding a new copy is virtually impossible and buying a used copy represents such a ludicrously expensive proposition that I feel no compunctions about snagging a pirated copy. Suikoden II for the Playstation 1 comes to mind.

    3) The software was an item I’d actually purchased for PC, but refused to run on my system as installed.

    I don’t consider any of these morally wrong. While I’d love to pick up a copy of Suikoden 2 which throws money into the developer’s pockets, the fact of the matter is that this is no longer an option. I can purchase a copy of it on eBay but no amount of arguing about how piracy like mine fosters harmful piracy will convince me that shelling out $200 for a used PS1 game is a viable solution.

    So to those who argue that ALL piracy is indefensible… How would you acquire a copy of a game in situation 1? If you’d bought a game and then found it refused to work, would you simply sit on your hands and mutter "Oh well?"

  4. Anonymous says:

    I had two computers running Diablo II. Exact same make, model, bought at the same time.
    One had a No-CD crack on it, the other died after a year.
    Playing games legit is the best way to ruin your system. The trojans and viruses you might encounter online are at least already known, as opposed to the things companies secretly put on your system.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Everytime you pay for something you fund another lawsuit. Stop buying all games and kill the industry.

  6. Nocturne says:

    A lot of people seem to be using the logic that of the 12000 people who downloaded it, only a handful would have bought it. That’s completely irrelevant. If you broke into a shop at night and started handing out goods to people for free, you can’t argue that of those who took a free item only a handful would have purchased it. Just because it was a digital download instead of a physical item doesn’t matter, though the owner isn’t losing physical property it still has a defined monetry value.

    I do agree that more demos/trial versions should be available and you should have the right to return a game to the store you bought it from if you are not satisfied with it (within a reasonable time frame, GAME used to do this but stopped due to abuse of the system), but it’s a far reach from that to justifying someone giving out the entire thing for free.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will admit, on numerous occasions, to having used No-CD patches on games, purely because, whilst the program installs without error, the CD-Check insists that the disc I have just bought is not an original.

    I will not name those games directly out of respect for the manufacturers, but the last one was distributed by DeepSilver.

    Once the patch was installed, the game ran perfectly, no errors whatsoever, so there wasn’t corruption on the disc itself, it’s just that, for some reason, my system doesn’t like programs like Starforce, something like a dll collision or the like, and I refuse to strip down, reformat, and re-install Windows purely to satisfy one program when the rest of my system runs just fine.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I will admit, I have downloaded many a game off torrents. I do this because I have been burned far to many times shelling out $50+ for a game only to get it home, play it for 30 minutes and then it collects dust. If I get a game I enjoy and can spend time playing it, I will go out and pick it up.

    You can’t return games to the store. I once attempted to get my money back via returning it to the publisher, I am now out one $40 game I didn’t like, $5 for shipping it to them, and another $10 from long distance calls trying to get my money. This was quite a few years ago.

    If more games offered playable demos out there I might be happier with the industry today. It seems all to common to churn out crap in the EA style syndrome and shovel it on to us instead of creating really good games.

    I also frequent sites looking for cracks for the software I have purchased because DRM drives me up a wall with all the hoops I have to jump through to play a game I put down cash for. Again, I am guilty.

    Mod Chips! I used to have one for my old psOne to play imports I payed my hard earned cash for. Once again… GUILTY!

    There are several arguable points on this article: One is that no matter what you put out there will be someone who pirates it, it is the challenge of it all that gives them their drive. Second is that some people will not feel that what you are charging is worth it to them or within their budget. If you charged a "reasonable" fee in their mind they would more than likely pay it without hesitation. Finally, there are some people who will pay for what they want as soon as they know it is worth paying for.

    This board has a lot of people who work in, for, or with the software industry. Theft is a big deal to them (and me as I work in it as well), but I cannot stand such insanity as this. Congratulations, you just fined an unemployed woman who probably has little to no money to begin with even more money she doesn’t have to take care of her children. I hope they feel good about themselves.

  9. Stetsonblade says:

    I don’t promote stealing copyrighted material, but I just wanted to say that I doubt that the company lost 12,000 customers. I believe that those people who downloaded it for free would not have ever bought it regardless. I believe the same of music sharers. Sure, they get it for free, but if they couldn’t, would they buy it? I doubt it. No, that does not make pirating a good thing, or something that should be legal. I just think it is going to be pretty hard to completely and utterly get rid of "sharing". I mean, it was happening before file sharing networks (anyone remember, "Don’t copy that floppy!"?).

  10. ZippyDSMlee says:

    """Legal expences not withstanding, what do people out there think she should be required to be paid to the publisher?

    What if she made a profit by selling copies on CD? Do you feel the value should stay the same?"""

     

    You can’t brush off legal/court fees, it can make a under 1K fine 2K+, however you can start offsetting the supposed losses the industry suffers from sharing by capping fines and creating a standardize rule and fines, if you do this and limit it to 1$ a song,15$ a game/movie you start pushing more money into industry, but sadly it dose nothing for smaller publishers  who can not maintain them selfs in a volatile industry (IE you either do really good or hang on until you fall)  and nothing for large pubs that spend that much money in a minute, as for it mitigating the practice of sharing there is really no telling until tis a standardized practice and the it should start ingraining itself in the populace as something not to do, but looking at, its easier than adult under age drinking there is no real way to govern it fully.

     

     edit

    wut? this was a reply not a new post ><

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  11. ZippyDSMlee says:

    """Sharing should be relegated to a slap on the wrist, to many CP/IP interests down the road to let industry nazi over the issue, however when it comes to profit off illicit data, fines and jail time up to 5-10K then start taking property away from those who made gross profit of it.

    If the industry want stop go after sharing then they should make burners and blanks illicit as well, they are double dipping getting profits out eh ass and want to belittle and treat the consumer as sht."""

    Clearfacation

    fines and jail time up to 5-10K in illicit profit then start taking property away from those who made gross profit of it.

     edit

    I really think 10K  or more would merit the confiscation of property, 5K is nothing in todays world sadly.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  12. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Mmmmmmmm I somewhow doubt she was the first original source in which case it would reasonable to charge retail price X each accountable IP that was uploaded to, the trouble comes do we want to give the IP/CP owners the right to hack and IP mine, it would be more reasonable to limit fines to to X file since the court system is unable to reliably police and track such things online, you must remember in the UK companies can hack and track in the US not so much.

    The way it "should"  work is you have been found to violate CP/IP you are sent a bill if you fall to pay it things move to court, court takes your hardware and such, if you lose the court limits fines1$ a song,15$ a movie and 15 a game then cap that off to  1-3K, when yuo add court fees they alone can crush an individual there is lil point to waste the courts time on ridiculous fines that will NEVER be paid in full.

    Germany I think has limited what cases the media mafia can bring to court because it was flooding their system over petty and unenforceable rulings.

     

    edit

    ya its Germany

    http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/15113.cfm

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well, from reading up on the details, from what I understand, the woman was the source of the file, the file wasn’t being shared till she uploaded it, which is, to my mind, slightly different to simply being part of the chain downloading a file that is already available.

  14. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Sharing should be relegated to a slap on the wrist, to many CP/IP interests down the road to let industry nazi over the issue, however when it comes to profit off illicit data, fines and jail time up to 5-10K then start taking property away from those who made gross profit of it.

    If the industry want stop go after sharing then they should make burners and blanks illicit as well, they are double dipping getting profits out eh ass and want to belittle and treat the consumer as sht.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  15. Anonymous says:

    On reading this closer, it looks like she was the originator of the software, not part of the P2P chain.

    If that is the case, you have a valid point, but a lot of semi computer-illiterate people don’t realise how these chains work, some people, who go onto sites that ask for a monthly fee, don’t even realise that what they are doing is not sanctioned by the company that created the software.

    I’ll retract some of my previous statements based on the fact she was the source, not simply a link in the chain, but I will be watching this with some interest from a legal standpoint.

  16. Bad River says:

    To clarify the point I made earlier, it is the act of distribution she is guilty of not downloading so sharing is very much relevant.

    I guess what I was getting at was if hypothetically she uploaded the game to 100 different users that would be no different than her handing out 100 cd’s with the game on it. But hey, in that scenario she only burnt the discs, advertised their avaliability, its not her fault people took them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    ‘What If’ situations are immaterial, she wasn’t, if she was then it would be a different story entirely.

    Assuming she even knew that people were loading from her as she was loading from them, she is not her ‘brothers keeper’, she isn’t responsible for their actions, and therefore shouldn’t be forced to pay for them, they chose to break the law, she didn’t force them to, just as they didn’t force her.

    I’d say a fine of 3 times the price of the game would have been acceptable, about 100 quid. That’s what you’d get fined if you stole a physical item from a shop, and the sharing is irrelevant, because she had no control over what other people did.

    However, in your defence, she chose to take the matter further, so the matter isn’t as clear cut as all that, but the final sum was ridiculously over the top.

  18. I_Kerotan_I says:

    Personally, I think the redistribution of abandonware is a godly practice, where copies of games are either completely unavaible, or only avaible second hand, because the retailers and the devs can hardly complain that there games are being stolen, when A, they don’t sell them in the tradinational market place sense, and B, where its a third party, such as a second hand retailer making all the profit.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I sense a new business model.

    1. Create crappy overpriced game.

    2. Sue file sharers.

    3. Profit.

    Easy.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just because they wouldn’t buy the game doesnt mean its right for them to share it online. Fact of the matter is its illegal and its unethical. Its safe to say that unless there was only one person seeding that entire game, a lot of those 12000 are criminals.

     

  21. SS says:

    I’m sure 0 out of the 12000 were actually gonna buy the game.  

    It just makes me feel kind that more people will download out of spite.  It won’t stop downloaders, who are probably kids with no money who would not buy the game anyway.  Go after the major piraters

    It just makes legitimate customers feel unsafe.

    Maybe we should sue them for providing faulty products. 

    A proper public awareness campaign would help, not one that treats everyone as criminals, but one that showcases the developers and the losses they suffer.

    Or maybe stop creating shitty games and overcharging for them.  Those who pirate would not usually not pay for the game itself so there’s not that much of a loss there. 

    The game’s industry treats us like shit so much, I sometimes empathize with the pirates. 

    I don’t pirate games because I’m not a pirate(used to when I was little kid in India and didn’t know better) but I will only only buy the best games.  I won’t buy a decent game for 60 bucks and publishers should learn to price games better to sell more games. 

  22. Freyar says:

    I would rather buy third party before resorting to downloading abandonware. I mean, at least the money is moving around for the abandoned title which means there is a bit of respect for it still. (Yes, I see that moving money to buy an older game is a sign of respect and appriciation for the title regardless.)

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

  23. Freyar says:

    Those that did in fact download or upload this game ought to be found guilty, but Topware should NOT be making a profit out of any case that is found in their favor. I wish I didn’t have to keep saying this. The poster above is right if the courts award more money than the damages owed.

    1. Create crappy overpriced game. 2. Sue file sharers. 3. Profit. Easy.

    Ugh.. I thought Codemasters was decent.. let’s wait and see what they ask for against their own little ‘yarrgh’-lings.

    —- There is a limit for both politicians against video games, and video games against politicians. http://www.goteamretard.com

  24. sortableturnip says:

    They would have made more money from this game by making it online and getting ad revenue.

    Just look at bejeweled…they made $300 million off that game…

  25. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never once pirated a game, and I’m no fan of pirates, but I believe this action on the part of these companies is suicidal.  The bad press they get from this will kill them.  This will be seen as big corporations going after poor folks, and even if it isn’t reality, that kind of thing never plays well and leaves a bad taste in the public’s mouth.

  26. Bad River says:

    This is a case of illegal distribution not procurement. Would you feel the same way if the person burned the game onto 100 CD’s and gave them away? How much would you levy to someone who sold them for £1 each? 

    Also, they gave her an out, a settlement for £300 but for reasons unknown at this point she refused and went to court. Now she has to pay £10k in legal fees and £6k to the developers of the game.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Kind of strange, why sign your companies death warrant purely to scrape back a bit of money?

    Certainly, they have a right to protect their copyright, but by trying to leech back more money than they could have made by selling it, they’ve pretty much assured a boycott of any further products.

    Wrong move for the right reasons.

  28. Bad River says:

    Legal expences not withstanding, what do people out there think she should be required to be paid to the publisher?

    What if she made a profit by selling copies on CD? Do you feel the value should stay the same?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Her legal strategy, whilst ill advised, is also immaterial.

    What people will see, as the comments from the Times are showing, is a woman being fined an abnormal amount for something not worth a tiny fraction of the price. People will remember that.

    I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m not privy to the details of the case, but the chances are the company have done far more to alienate themselves in the future than help themselves in the present.

  30. Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I know what you’re saying, but i think the "downloads = lost sales" is exactly what things like these are defended with. Sure they gotta draw the line (and this is a really nasty example of downloading), but it is a pinball game – how much money went to developing this? How much did they expect to sell?

    They do undoubtedly cater to a very small crowd, but my guess is that the vast majority of the people who downloaded this just played it as a 30-minute timekiller and deleted it. The people who would have bought it if there was no piracy probably did so anyways – precisely because they wish to support the developer. For an instance I am aware that many Bioware games could be downloaded off several shady websites, but i choose not to – for the simple reason that i like Bioware. I like their games. I like their methods, their style, their design. I like the way they tug the industry – everyone should make a choice. They should just be prepared to face the consequences of said choice.

    Before this turns into an essay: The company is in their right to demand money from the people who use their products without paying for it – but it annoys me when this results in every consumer becoming a suspect (cough Mass Effect).

  31. Bad River says:

    Well if your spending the time to download six games why don’t you read some reviews and get a feel it, checkout one of the many trailers for it, a lot of PC games do have demo’s as well (have a gander here http://www.gamershell.com/demo_download_archive.html).

    Zippy, in his barely readable way, has said he can’t afford games. So since he wouldn’t otherwise be able to purchase them he just downloads them. In his mind he since he can’t afford to be a hardcore gamer he’ll just take without giving back.

    And the thing is, sometimes your going to make bad purchasing decisions. You might buy a car (well except you mibby you zippy) that you later regret or perhaps that PS3 might not have been worth the money. Just because its a digital product doesn’t mean its cool to take it for a test drive. Your position can be summerised as risk management. Zippys is about entitlement.

  32. tallimar says:

    its not about ‘i cant afford it therefore im entitled to getting X free’.  its more along the lines of ‘i only have enough money to buy one of these 6 games on this shelf…  if i buy one i decide i dont like, i cant return it because i already opened it.  so how am i going to make the most of my buck?’  game boxes on a shelf dont have demos, just pretty pictures and fancy text.  i think zippy’s position is about try before you buy and honestly, thats what i do.  i dont like it, i just delete the game or if i like it enough, ill go out and buy a copy.

  33. Pug says:

    I want a new TV, but I cant afford the nice 50" plasma that I want, is it ok for me to steal it?

    Saying that something costs too much for you is not a justification for piracy. 

    I’m not being naive about piracy, and i’m not saying that everyone who has downloaded a game at sometime in their life is a bad person.  How on earth however can we say that piracy is ok? whether or not you believe it is positive or negative for the industry, they have the law on their side on this one.  Uploading someone elses copyrighted work without their permission is against the law.  Forget whether you think that is right or wrong, it is just true.

  34. ZippyDSMlee says:

    ""

    And at the same time Zippy you cannot prove that the people pirating software wouldn’t have bought it anyway. I think its more along the lines of poor ethics and market forces, If you have infinite supply, no price, of course certain people are going to endulge. If you took that market away legitimate sales are going to increase as the ethically challenged would have no other avenue to get their software from.

    Your the one saying the industry cannot prove it and yet you say "Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale." Is this you making up figures again or do you have any sources to back that up?

    Next you will be saying piracy helps the industry. Care to tell us all how often you have "helped" the industry lately.

    before it goes discount and loses every drop of profit the CP owner can get out of it.
    Because of these facts the "cost" of sharing  is mitigated to the point its a normal part of the cost of producing and publishing a media title, its not a loss its the cost of business no different from bad sales due to a  poor product, or do you decry there is no such a thing as a bad product?

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  35. ZippyDSMlee says:

    So says the Anontroll, and prey tell when I can not return a game and there is either a bad demo or no demo of a game and no way to return/exchange it how am I to protect my money in this time of casual focused casual gaming when I am not a casual  gamer? Not to mention the older games that are 40$ -200$ collectors are not IP owners and IP owners rarely get profit from older titles….

    .
    I am lucky to have 50$  to spend on gaming once every 2 months FYI.

    If you can not tell shearing/downloading is oblivious to the industry they can’t get blood from a stone(or stoner :P).

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  36. Anonymous says:

    I hate it when people resort to pathetic ‘If you don’t like it, you must be doing it!’ arguments.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Not the populous, just the people raped the game developers by uploading their copyrighted material.

  38. Bad River says:

    And at the same time Zippy you cannot prove that the people pirating software wouldn’t have bought it anyway. I think its more along the lines of poor ethics and market forces, If you have infinite supply, no price, of course certain people are going to endulge. If you took that market away legitimate sales are going to increase as the ethically challenged would have no other avenue to get their software from.

    Your the one saying the industry cannot prove it and yet you say "Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale." Is this you making up figures again or do you have any sources to back that up?

    Next you will be saying piracy helps the industry. Care to tell us all how often you have "helped" the industry lately.

  39. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

     

  40. ZippyDSMlee says:

    No it dose not harm the industry you can’t prove it and neither can the industry, you can not and will never sell to those who will not buy, saying 1=1 shearing equates to equal losses is madness.

    Even for small developers there is a price to be paid not joining up with a bigger dev house and whatnot you cannot say well because pricey made them lose money and not a bad product or poorly marketed game was the real reason for it, you giving hippies to much credit for damaging the retail market if you truly think they can damage it by love peace and shearing.

    Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale, again you have to factor in all facets of the issue not just the "ZOMG STEALERS SUCK!!! lulz!!!" idiotisim.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  41. Bad River says:

    Who’s talking about mod-chips?

    I’m defending independant game developers who find their products being pirated at a ratio of 15 to 1 of legit sales.

  42. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    You are defending an indusyty that would happily have someone jailed for simply tryign to play imported games. Mod chips are NOT just for piracy.

    ZIppy has a problem with the crackdown, not with te industry defendign itself.

  43. Father Time says:

    Aye not only is that an assumption you cannot prove but it’s also a ‘you too’ fallacy. I.E. even if we do file share that doesn’t make our points any less valid.

  44. Anonymous says:

    What he does is immaterial to be honest, assuming that anyone who opposes a legal stance must therefore be breaking the law is a recipe for disaster. The whole ‘If you are not with us, you are against us’ argument is not only being over-used, but is an incredibly dangerous position to adopt.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Actually it is not… it is the act of publishing that is easily punishable here…

    I also think that it is perfectly justifiable for the games devs and publishers to pursue this.  Arguements about how piracy actually helps the industry and other such like are all well and good… but they aren’t doing anything wrong by using the law in this way.

    Producing a copy of a game for my own purposes, not a problem.
    Making a mixed tape, not an issue.
    Photocopying a page from a book in a library, again fine.

    Making a copy of a game and posting it on a website, not fine
    copying a CD and posting it online, not fine
    scanning a book and posting it online… not good…

    publishing others work (and seeding a torrent is indeed the equivalent of publishing it) is illegal!

    no matter how much people want video game piracy and music piracy not to be punished, it doesn’t make it wrong that companies are trying to.

  46. Whether you leech or upload, the charges are roughly the same. You can get in just as much trouble for downloading or buying pirated goods as you can for uploading or selling.

    I think this is a completely justifiable action on the part of games manufacturers. If they can’t protect their livelihood, then we can’t expect good games in the future.

  47. DarkSaber says:

    Nah, I’m safe. At least I’m pretty sure I am. I don’t upload, I only leech (feel free to boo & hiss but I’m unapologetic.)

  48. Father Time says:

    Demanding money from people who illegaly obtained your games is justifiable.

    Demanding much more than the game actually costs (even if you figure legal fees) is not.

  49. Bad River says:

    So if I distributed a game via p2p to five users I should only have to pay for one? I don’t think so. You forget its not the downloading that gets you into bother, its the uploading part.

  50. jonwanker says:

    HA! Good one, first year philosophy major! The slippery slope fallacy does not apply in this instance, moron. People like you give philosophy majors everywhere a bad name.

    "It’s all about people taking another person’s work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product."

    If you follow that conclusion to its logical conclusion, that is what you will get. The crux of his argument, if you were capable of reading at an intellegient level, was that IP laws are not/should not be about ‘compensation’ or ‘theft’. If this was the case, simply quoting, copying, or ‘making vailible’ parts of any book or song would also be illegal. If I decided to make a photocopy of a chapter of a book I found in the library, I would be committing a crime under your interpretation. If we also extrapolate from the industry’s efforts to render ‘accessories to piracy’ illegal as well (mod chips, bittorrent, P2P, etc.) then photocopiers should be made illegal as well, along with VCRs, and tape recorders. Would not the posting of song lyrics be violating your interpretation as well? How about transcripts of TV shows?

    In fact, there have already been efforts to define guitar/other musical tabs availible online as copyright infringement. Simply listenting to a song and figuring out the notes by ear, then writting them down and sharing them online is considered illegal! I don’t know if you’re musically inclined at all, but to someone who is, this is outrageously absurd. Musicians and students of music have been doing this for as long as people have been putting notes on paper. It is only because publishing companies who publish third-party tabs are ‘losing profit’ that legal action was taken and is successful. The fact is, very few, if any, of the tabs availible are copied from an already avialible tab book. The irony being that online tabs are usually far more accurate and helpful than ones in the tab books they charge you an absurd amount for. They want to eliminate anyone who is in the business of making tabs for free because they are their direct competitors, even though no infringement took place (how can it if the tab is an original, made by ear?). The only reason this is successful, is because estabilshed corporations have more political clout than some guys on the internet. Consumers don’t win here (the published tabs are often SHIT), the people who make the tabs out of a passion for music don’t win here (they never made any money from it anyways) — only the publishers do.

    So fuck them, and fuck IP laws. They were meant to prevent others from profiting or stealing someone’s work and claiming it as their own, not enforce the interests of corporations against their own customers and ordinary people.

  51. tallimar says:

    "It’s all about people taking another person’s work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product."

    would that also include used game sales?  none of the profits from that go to the original creator(s).

  52. SpiralGray ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nice slippery slope fallacy you’ve got going there. This has nothing to do with raiding personal residences or searching personal property. It’s all about people taking another person’s work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product. If you want to justify your pirating activities with ridiculous conclusions, so be it, but at least man-up and admit it.

  53. BunchaKneejerks says:

    Be aware that downloading isn’t strickly the problem, its the act of distributing that gets you sued. Technically, thats their legal right. They still own the copyright if they choose not to distribute it that doesn’t give anyone the right to offer it for free.

    However if you read the Time article you will see that ELSPA states that it and parts of the industry is still hesetant to sue what it considers its core demographic.

  54. DarkSaber says:

    And what about Abandonware? And games that aren’t on sale anymore but aren’t public domain either? What’s to stop a company deciding to sue every person who downloads those after figuring out that they could turn a profit on a game they havn’t sold in 15 years?

  55. gs2005 says:

    If you don’t want to get CAUGHT and possibly fined, don’t distribute pirated games in easy, well publicized methods, such as Kazaa.

    That being said, there will always be piracy at some level.

  56. SimonBob says:

    Hahaha, their game sold less copies than the population of Prince Edward Island.

    I’ll echo the sentiment that £300 (about $580 CAD) won’t come anywhere near compensating for the amount that most people pirate.  This seems to be more of a symbolic statement, a warning shot if you will.  Assuming they split the money evenly, the companies are looking at something like a million pounds apiece, and that’s barely a dent against Atari’s operating budget if I’m not mistaken.


    The Mammon Industry

  57. bpm195 says:

    I’m pretty sure that they’re allowed to just go after the person on the bill and not necessarily the person who did it. It’s also possible to pinpoint the device though that may be too invasive and might jeapordize the case, but I’m quite sure they can always go after the owner of the machine.

  58. Bar says:

    One thing that always bugged me was, I assume they tracked down violators through IP addresses/ISPs, but how do they prove that you are the one who pirated. e.g. A family of 5, how do they pin point the exact person.

  59. pix ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Good, she deserves it.

    Its not that she downloaded it illegally, its that she put it up for sharing, if you dont want to be dragged through court dont break the law by filesharing stuff you have no right in file sharing.

    The fine was actually just over £6k , but she also (quite rightly) had to pay the othersides legal costs when she lost. I have no sympathy for her at all, she broke the law, now live with it

  60. bpm195 says:

    I’m of the belief that if somebody provides a disatisfactory service you should have the right to deny payment; if a barber screws up my hair I’m walking out without paying. Software is unique because the cost of duplication/distribution is practically negligible compared to the cost of creation. I’d like to see a world where software was available for free trials, where if you can have the option of using it for a while and deciding if you like it or not before deciding for or against buying. That way, if you deem the service worthwhile you can buy it, if you don’t then you don’t.

    Which makes me wonder, do games with Demos have better ratio of sold copies to pirated copies?

  61. SpiralGray ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Your second paragraph is where my thinking goes as well. That’s the problem with any copyright infringement suits, particularly those that involve downloading. The assumption, one that is seemingly upheld by the courts, is that every download represents a lost sale, and that is clearly not the case. If a free copy were not available. only a portion of those people would have purchased the item. The other factor to consider, and probably the more relevant one, is how many actually kept and played the game? Those are the actual losses. Perhaps the defense attorneys in these cases should start using XBox Live Arcade as an example. Find a similar game on XBLA, subpeona Microsoft’s records on the conversion rate for that game, and use that to determine damages. It’s a far better judge than the number of downloads, some (many) of which may have been deleted without even being installed.

    The question posed in your third paragraph is interesting as well. I think if someone creates a product but you don’t feel it’s worth the asking price then your options should be: don’t use it; buy it; barter for it. Unfortunately most western societies don’t believe in the latter, so you really only have the first two as options. You’ll notice that "steal it" isn’t listed. Just because you think a new Corvette isn’t worth the asking price, does that give you the right to hop in and take it when you think no one is looking?

  62. lumi says:

    Wow.  Ingenious way to make a quick £7.5m.

    Again, those 800:12,000 figures are really suspect, because they assume that those 12,000 downloads were replacing legitimate sales.  I would venture a guess that very, very few of those downloaders would have bothered buying the game.

    That, of course, leads into a bigger question.  One can argue that the developers and publishers have provided a service in the form of developing the game and making it available (no matter how terrible it might be).  They have attached a value to that service and associated product.  While you may not have planned on buying the product legitimately because you don’t feel it’s worth the asking price, does that still mean that the companies involved don’t deserve to be compensated when you use alternative means to benefit from their labor and the service they provided?

    I’m not answering that question either way, just bringing it up.

  63. BunchaKneejerks says:

    and yet 12800 people wanted to play it and it only costs about 15 pounds, thats hardly serious money and 800 people seem to agree with that.

    Does the fact that hes an inde developer with a niech market make it all right to pirate his material. Of course not, if anything inde developers are the ones hit worst by this kind of activity. For every one copy they sold, it was pirated 15 times. I’m not saying that downloads = lost sales but where do you draw the line.

  64. Anonymous says:

    "In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court."

    I am against piracy but maybe this might be caused by the fact that nobody in their right mind would pay any serious money for a game like that?

  65. Bad River says:

    It bloody well does harm the industry; to say otherwise is either naive or just your way of rationalising the fact that you frequently pirate software.

  66. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I hope this gets thrown out tis ridiculous they should not be able to charge more than what this game has made…EVER…. LOL

     

    But really charge more than the retial price of the game is stupid, shearing dose not damage the industry in a comprehensible way,  the whole thing needs to be brought down to reality each file limited to no more than retail price, plus court fines, that is more than reasonable for the supposed crime, these high fines just make things a mockery of justice.

     

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

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