Copyright Lobby Group Adopts Dick Cheney Dialogue Model

If comments by the head of the Copyright Alliance are any indication of things to come, it’s going to be difficult, indeed, for video game consumers to have an intelligent and productive dialogue on IP issues with the video game industry. The ESA, which represents U.S. video game publishers, is a member of the copyright lobbying group.

A portion of a recent blog entry by Copyright Alliance executive director Patrick Ross seeks to marginalize those who would question or criticize the current state of IP law. Ross displays a discouraging mentality reminiscent of the Bush administration’s efforts to paint Iraq War critics as soft on national defense.

With elected officials, consumer interest groups and gamers asking legitimate questions about issues like SecuROM DRM, the DMCA, ACTA, PRO-IP, and ownership of user-created content, we were disheartened to read these words from Ross:

Copyright truly is a consensus issue, with people and policymakers of all stripes recognizing its value. A few vocal blogs and a few sympathetic media outlets tend to create this notion of a war between creative industries and, well, I suppose consumers, but such a war doesn’t really exist.

The Copyright Alliance head implies that if one does not get behind IP protection as the content industry sees it, then one is either on the fringe, supportive of piracy, or both. In other words, If you’re not with us, you’re against us.

That’s nonsense.

Honest people don’t support piracy. But neither do honest people wish – or deserve – to live in an IP police state where tech-challenged elected officials accept IP industry campaign donations and proceed to pass laws that are heavily, if not completely, slanted toward big business.

Get a clue, Mr. Ross.

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  1. Shahab says:

    Well don’t forget, Steam games are piratable. Multi-player is a bit of a problem, though it does have its work arounds, but while I like Steam I don’t think it is going to be enough for the IP police.

  2. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Well that’s half right although Steam likes to be online to much for my tastes what IP control needs to learn is not to restrict the “SP” side of things let people install a limited install of a product and be able to play it without ever going online, the instant you go online you have to jump through a couple of simple hurdles but get more content instantly, the trouble is the industry sees anything with “offline compatibility” as a liability and just refuses to take their head out of their ass and see what profit that can be made vrs the profits they are trying to force. I do not like steam myself as it’s to restrictive and the instant I got the orange box used I downloaded a steamless version I simply refuse to put up with any restrictive DRM regardless of who’s it from.

    Once you link a game or install to an online server its over IMO you can not limit a game in such away unless its a MMO but for everything else online only is fail…


    Well I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  3. Good Lord says:

    "Only until my hard drive dies."

    At which point, since you’re using Steam, you log in and download it again once you buy a new hard drive. In fact, you can install your games on a billion hard drives. You just can’t be logged in to your account in more than one location at once.

  4. ConnorM5 says:

    You know, I’ve written to EA (and now these dudes) thanking them for treating me like a criminal, despite having a clean record. I’ve never pirated anything in my life. But it sure makes me want to. Either way, if everyone writes these guys… would it do anything? Or would they still treat the masses (the innocent ones, at that) as common thieves?

  5. GoodRobotUs says:

    Heh, well, that comment right there shows exactly how worried they are about the fact that consumers are catching on to their tricks. Fortunately, Jedi Mind-Tricks don’t work so well on an entire consumer base.

  6. Bennett Beeny says:

    Only until my hard drive dies.  With a game disc, as long as I keep it unscratched I can carry that thing forever.  Even if I do scratch it, I should be able to fix it.  I just don’t see why I should have any limits on my purchases and I’m not going to trust game companies who trust me so little that they force me to install annoying (even Steam is annoying) anti-piracy measures that I don’t want.

  7. Derovius says:

     Unscrew your harddisk after installing Steam and downloading your game; you can carry that bad boy whereever you want chief.

  8. Bennett Beeny says:

    When I buy a game I want it in a box that I can carry with me.  If games go down a road where the consumer has to purchase ‘rights’ to play games – rights that we have to trust software developers to keep safe for us, I won’t be going down that road with them.

    When I buy something, I should get to keep it and resell it if I want to.  Anything less is a rental, and rentals are for chumps.

  9. Derovius says:

     In my opinion, IP content security is driving at breakneck speed down a deadend road. The future of IP control will be with applications like Steam where you don’t have a physical copy of your software on you, but its accessible anywhere in the world once you purchase the right to use it. 

     For all of the (technical) problems that Steam may have, I believe the above is its greatest strength.

  10. Bennett Beeny says:

    I’m not a blogger, nor am I posting on behalf of a media outlet.  I’m just a consumer and I’m on the consumer side of a war that was started by software companies who want me to rent products that I ought to be able to buy.  I’ve never once pirated a game yet I’m called a pirate by these DRM advocates.  Why is it that the folks who are on the attack always insist they aren’t engaged in warfare?

    Personally, I’ve cut back my game-buying to a virtual standstill (I used to buy two games per month, but now I’m buying about two games per year – and I’m usually careful to make sure that the products I buy are from an honest source like Stardock) because I don’t feel I can trust game companies anymore.  As things stand I really don’t see why I should give money to folks who are fighting against my interests.

  11. NovaBlack says:

    im totally the same, i REALLY want to play RA3.


    im a MASSIVE C&C fan, ive bought EVERY game (EVEN RENEGADE!!!) 

    But i wont buy this… not with the drm. SORRY EA.

  12. Adamas Draconis says:

    I had the vision of 300,000 gamers showing up dressed in loincloths and bronze breastplates and it frightened me! Hmmmm now that I think about it…yeah treat them like the Picts did the Romans. Everybody show up naked except for blue body paint and mooning them while slapping game cases  against the walls of EA! (You have to admit that’d get their attention.)

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  13. Adamas Draconis says:

    That was very well done and and very thought provoking untill you brought Sparta into it. Alas the only way these assholes will listen is when they wake up one morning and find their profits somewhere in the 3rd sub-basement of their corporate HQ.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  14. DeepThorn says:

    Before SecuROM 2 limited my EA buys to 1 a year, but since SecuROM it is 0… Well…  teehee…

    Ross’s logic: I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia. – Woody Allen

    Real Logic: War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. – John Mill

    We are at war, and this war like any war will not be short lived.  The quickest way to end a war is to lose it, and we have no intent on losing this war.  These people will fight hard and dirty, but we know the true numbers.  We know how many people are against this.  Amazon reviews and torrent numbers are valid proof of those that are against these acts.  Though the common public may be too disconnected to know the truth, we do.  This isn’t a normal war like the ones you think of between countries, but a war between people of realization and men of greed.  We must win back our industry, gamers and honorable developers alike.  The executives and publishers have gone too far.

    This is SPARTA!

    In seriousness though, this guy is full of bullshit and throwing out typical corporate info to try to sound like they are the good guy, when they are trying to strip consumers of their rights, and all logical meaning of ownership of the consumer.  I buy my games to own them, and with ownership, I have the right to resell that item, just like with a car.  In the future EA will say their stock numbers were down just because of the market going bad, but they are down for more reasons than that.  Consumers are pissed, stock holders leaving, and they try to distort the facts.

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  15. Baruch_S says:

    I do the same. I wanted to play Red Alert 3, but I contented myself with sending EA a long email explaining why I wouldn’t buy it. They probably just trashed it, but at least I tried. So, instead of Red Alert 3, I got The Witcher. Hooray for supporting little studios nobody’s ever heard of!

  16. NovaBlack says:

    The EULA is BS.

    for a start, in the UK if i buy a pc game, i cant return it after its opened.

    Im only made aware of the  EULA at the install screen. So at that point, I cant return the game.

    In uk contract law, you have to present terms to the consumer BEFORE they agree to purchase said item, else those terms do not form part of the contract.



  17. Solipsis says:

    "Most EULA terms should be illegal."

    Actually, I think technically a lot of EULA terms are already illegal, we’ve just yet to see them challenged in court on a large enough scale to cause changes in the way they’re worded and set up. If the company can bully you into complying with their terms by forcing you to agree to an unenforceable TOU, why should they bother making an enforceable one?

  18. Adamas Draconis says:

    Got close. It was B A start, unless your talking Gyrus with was D,D,U,U,R,L,R,L,A,B,START. Ahh yes the Konami Code. Even mentioned in MGS3. You have to love a company that remember’s it’s past, and some of it’s newer Contra games still use it for extra continues.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  19. doewnskitty says:

    Such a great site and good deal.  Got both Fallouts since I’d never played them before.  Both are amazing.

    They’re also slowly gathering more steam, getting more and more companies signed on.  I really like the fact that they go through the trouble of optimizing each game to work on XP/Vista, taking out all the hassle and headache of having to figure it out yourself.  Only had to just download, install, and Robert’s your father’s brother.

  20. wehrgeist says:

    That sucks. Gametap = love for me. With my short attention span, and that number of games… Yum.





    Trust is the sound of death.

  21. Solipsis says:

    Gametap supports just about zero on 64bit vista. I’m done with them.

    They also don’t advertise this on their sign up screen so you’ve already paid your subscription fee and cursed out their tech support before they bother to tell you about their own technical limitations. This, in my opinion, is not okay. I will not be giving them any more of my money… despite their amazing collection of sierra and infocom games *sniff*

  22. hayabusa75 says:

    About your sig…didn’t that code give you 30 lives?

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  23. DeepThorn says:

    I think the funny thing is that these guys are doing all of this crap to drop resale of games at places like EB and GameStop, but I can’t find a God damn copy of Fallout or Fallout 2 anywhere, as well as other games.  So I have to blame the developers for fucking themselves over on their long term profit, because they could be making a shit load more.

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  24. sqlrob says:

    Copy protection, publish then patch, and the upgrade treadmill are why I gave up PC gaming going on 8 years now.

    Systems are getting powerful enough that I can run some of my old games in emulation, without touching the real box (emulation, not virtualization, my only curent computers are PPC ), I’ll probably be getting around to finishing them finally.

  25. InsidiousMrMoo says:

    Only the sith deal in absolutes.

    I think it is messed up how far companies are going with their malicious protection software that sometimes the consumer is not even aware of. I haven’t played a PC game in years, and frankly I am glad because I for one don’t want to spend a weekend fragging my harddrive and reinstalling everything just to get my computer to work properly again.


    "I don’t know many things but I know if you press up up down down left right left right a b start you get infinite lives in contra"

  26. TheEggplant says:

    If you want Tactics you can also get a hard copy compilation at

    Hasen’t been optimized though.

  27. Adamas Draconis says:

     Thats not right! Nobody should be molested by a donkey!

     Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  28. Shadow D. Darkman says:



    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  29. Northern Lights Bomb says:

    While primarily speaking about audio files, I think this xkcd comic pretty much hits the nail on the head and echoes those statements in sentiment.


    "The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom."

  30. sirdarkat says:

    As sad as it is I have to agree with this … if you treat your consumer as the thief then why should they keep raging aginst your expectations instead they should take the mantle you have thrusted upon them and become the villian you so desire. (the you here of course being the DRM loving companies such as EA).

    I have given up a lot of good games that I would have loved to show my support for by purchasing whose DRM alone made me go screw it never mind (Spore, DeadSpace, Mass Effect, and BioShock)

  31. Werrick says:

    The irony is that honest consumers like myself are now being tempted to turn to piracy to avoid these issues. I’d rather deal with the crap that comes with a pirated game than DRM because, at the very least, I know the bugs that I might get from those illegal games are bugs that I can handle and deal with.

    Why should I bother? If the industry that builds the games that are my life-long passion is going to treat me like a thieving criminal and mess with my system and if there’s going to be two sets of rules then why shouldn’t I just go ahead and grab some pirated games?

    It’s not like they’re going to go after me, the single, lone user who grabs the odd game, especially if I’m destroying the copy when I’m finished with it and not stock-piling them. Not only will I get to play the game, but I don’t have to worry about EA or Activision or Atari or whoever putting what basically amounts to a trojan on sector zero of my HDD (an act, by the way, that is ILLEGAL for anyone else… but somehow when couched in terms of IP protection is perfectly allowable for big, multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations).

    And given that I’m perfectly willing to pay for the games that I want, when I want them… instead of paying the company that made them, I’ll just download them pirated and donate the money to charity.

    This seems like a really easy choice for me…

  32. sqlrob says:

    Never mind the new ones, what about the old ones?

    I have games that run on 98, but not on XP. Crack them and they work on XP. There’s nothing inherent about the game itself that’s stopping it from running on XP, it’s perfectly compatible.

    I don’t see this trend stopping with the protection worming further and further into the OS.


  33. mogbert says:

    "…but such a war doesn’t really exist."

    Actually, such a war does exist, and you are fighting us. I am one of the ones that would like to play some of the new games, but refuse due to some of the extreme DRM issues. The people you are getting your information from are lying to you. Gamers are some of the most connected people in the world, we all talk to eachother, across many websites, and the outrage is only growing. Online activation is onerous enough, but some of the more draconian practices will need to go, or the games that have them will begin to see less and less sales.

    If you are only renting us the game and keep the right to take it away from us at any time, then I expect to pay a lot less for what is essentially, not mine anymore. I shouldn’t need to check with you every time I want to play my game again. In addition, selling partial games, then making people pay to unlock stuff that already exists on the disc and that they already purchased with the disc should be illegal. Most EULA terms should be illegal.

    You and your kind have been running roughshod over your consumers for too long. Shortly, more and more of the population will be people who grew up gaming, and your lobbying will not be able to keep these ugly truths under wraps any longer.

    The gamers will rise, and we wil take over this country the way that the founding fathers intended, and there isn’t anything you can do to stop us.

    We WILL be elected.

  34. Father Time says:

    Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jack comment on stories involving copyright, piracy, or IP protection.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  35. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    So when’s Jack gonna be here praising these people for "seeing the light" and other random BS?


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  36. DeepThorn says:

    Aw, thank you.  I am happy to be in the 22nd century.  Here, let me bend over and pull down my pants, now tell him to do his thing.  You know, I am not gay, but since the corporate world said that taking it up the ass nice and hard was what was right for the consumer…  I figured I should do what is right.  My friend Mr. Slave loves this type of stuff.  I think he does it daily by these corporate guys even.  Ow baby… ouch… whoa…  Oh my God no more…  No make it stop!  God please…  Oh no, no, no, nooooooooooooooooooooooooo….

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
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  37. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Copyright is an antiquated term past its prime you can no longer bully the populace over what they “hear” or what they “say” the only thing you can do is limit illicit profit by going after real criminals and sell cheaper at higher volumes to the world as a whole region to do anything more than these 2 things is to prove your incompetence, welcome to the 22th century!

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)

  38. CyberSkull says:

    So if I try to have a rational discussion with him he will shoot me in the face and make me apologize? Then make me pay a fee for allegedly ripping off someone else’s apology?

  39. Chris W says:

    You couldn’t have said it better.  I have not bought a PC game in about 10 years. 

    I also avoid anything with an EA on it.

    I do miss proper flight sims though

  40. Werrick says:

    Uh, yah, me too please. I’d kind of like to send him my comment and see what the response is… if any. Chances are, now that I think about it, there won’t be a response, he likely doesn’t give a shit.

  41. Krono says:

    Well said. I pretty much refuse to buy any of EA’s products solely because of concerns on my part about the DRM EA uses. That’s not to say I pirate them instead, that’s to say that I ignore them in favor of other games on my list of games to play eventually.


  42. Austin_Lewis says:

    Dear Mr. Ross,

    Fair enough.  But when Securom7 fucks up my computer’s ability to function, are you willing to shell out 3000 USDollars to replace it?  Are you willing to refund my 60 dollars when my wife can’t play spore any more because its locked her out?  No?  Sounds like a bit of conflict to me.

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