ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... Canadian Readers Disagree

August 24, 2009 -

As the Canadian government undertakes a public consultation on copyright issues, the head of game publishers lobbying group ESA Canada has penned an op-ed on the issue for Straight.com.

Not surprisingly, Danielle Parr argues for technological protection measures (TPM) and against mod chips (which are not currently illegal in Canada). Parr writes:

For the video-game industry, TPMs are not only used to prevent piracy and cheating (e.g. “modding” game code to give an unfair advantage over other players); they also enable access to a greater range of features and options that would otherwise be unavailable. Things like parental controls... “trial” or “demo” versions of games, and new digital distribution platforms like Valve’s Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, or the PlayStation Network, all provide greater choice and access for consumers...

By ensuring that consumers have a variety of digital offerings to choose from, legal protection for TPMs allows market forces to protect consumer interests, so if a consumer does not like the conditions of sale or terms of service for one digital product or service, they can simply take their business elsewhere. Failing to protect TPMs under the law effectively means that the government is dictating the business model, which is bad news for business and for consumers.

Those commenting on the Straight.com piece, however, don't seem to be buying Ms. Parr's arguments. As I post this, there are 15 comments, all of which are critical of the ESA Canada boss's op-ed.

GFOX: Danielle Parr, and the [ESA Canada] are completely out of touch on this issue. By failing to bend to an American lobby group such as the ESA I hardly think that the government of Canada can be seen as "dictating" any particular business model... The ESA's [penchant] for freely spewing unsubstantiated and exaggerated statistical data with the sole intention of striking fear into the hearts and minds of lawmakers is appalling...

NerdOfAllTrades: I agree that measures should be taken to prevent piracy, but punishing your loyal customers with TPM, which will only mildly inconvenience real pirates for the few hours it takes them to remove it... will only make people want to buy fewer PC games.
 
Sébastien Duquette: DRM is a failure... I really don't like Parr's fear-mongering tone. The industry of video game is flourishing, without DRM inforcement

Will: The video game industry has claimed to be on the brink of collapse due to piracy since the 1980s, and yet it somehow continues to grow bigger and more profitable... There will always be free riders who don't pay for their copy, but that isn't relevant. It's how many games you sell, not how many you don't sell that matters... This control-freak mentality... serves only to create hostility between the industry the customers...

AWJ: once you throw in an anti-circumvention law like the American DMCA, your platform monopoly becomes a state-enforced monopoly... Danielle is even arguing is that if the government doesn't give Microsoft and Nintendo and Sony the state-enforced monopolies they want, then it's "dictating the business model". If nothing else, I admire her chutzpah...

WayneB: Let me get this straight - [DRM] is an advantage to the consumer? What a bald faced lie.

Idle: This is a disgusting show of contempt for canadians brought to you by the ESA "of Canada".

GP: In the photo at left, Parr is seen at ESA Canada's Ottawa Day 2009 lobbying event.


Comments

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

QUOTE: "For the video-game industry, TPMs are not only used to prevent piracy and cheating (e.g. “modding” game code to give an unfair advantage over other players); they also enable access to a greater range of features and options that would otherwise be unavailable. Things like parental controls... “trial” or “demo” versions of games, and new digital distribution platforms like Valve’s Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, or the PlayStation Network, all provide greater choice and access for consumers..."

 

I am confused by this entire statement (aside from the obvious fact that TPM's do not prevent piracy at all). Is she implying that demos, parental controls, Steam, and even anti-cheat services can't (or don't work) with a lack of TPM's. Last I checked, all of these do exist without it:

1. Game Demos: I can already access and download any available demo for any game. Demos typically strip away large chunks of the game data giving you a minimal version. They aren't encrypted as far as I can tell so I don't know where TPM comes into play here.

2. Parental Controls: Turning on parental controls on any modern console is just a setting accompanied by a password. Where is TPM involved here?

3. Steam: The only time TPM may be necessary with steam is when a game is unreleased. It MUST be encrypted to prevent people from accessing it before the release date. This lets you pre-load but not use the game. Other than that, steam versions have no DRM/TPM unless requested by the publisher

4. Cheating: Cheating online just gets you banned from the service in most cases anyway so why bother? TPM would make it harder to cheat but "rules" and loss of your privledge to play online gets the point accross a lot better. Cheating offline should not be anybody else's business but the gamer. They should be free to play a game by themselves the way they want.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Well, Straight.com doesn't seem to be loading right now so I can't read the whole story. But seriously, she's saying parental controls and demos can't exist without these so-called TPMs? I'm all for trying to prevent piracy, but there hasn't been a TPM/DRM solution that's worked yet, and I don't see it happening anytime soon.

I really don't know what they can do, because I don't think they can do anything. I really do think that piracy has a somewhat minimal impact (especially on consoles) on the larger companies. The thing that makes my blood boil is what happened to 2D Boy with World of Goo. An amazing indy game that was super cheap, and people still pirated the crap out of it. I want to punch those people in the face.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

5-9 is cheap 19.99 is not........


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

No, $20 IS cheap.  Especially considering that newly released "budget" titles often go for $30, and full priced games sell for $60.

Lets not live in that special dream world you've constructed for yourself Zippy, where $5 games grow on trees and everybody speaks your odd language.

There was no reason for anybody to pirate World of Goo.  It was accessible everywhere, it was a fantastic game, it had no DRM, and it was very inexpensive.  The people that pirated World of Goo are simply dicks.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

DRM is less about piracy protection and preventing resale. And by no longer allowing demos, you HAVE t obuy it to try it, and are then stuck with it.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Could someone answer me this question? What is the point of regional lock-outs? No one benefits at all with it. In Japan, they have a game where they drive around and kill zombies with modified vehicles and stuff, but it was never released in America. What is the business incentive for that company to both not release in America (which, would gather many many sales, being about zombies and cars and shooting) and not allow American systems to play it?

If they didn't have regional lock-outs, I would purchase the game and the company would get money and everyone wins, but because of lock-outs I don't buy the game and that company is losing out on money. This makes no sense to me.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

I know what game you are talking about, though I can't remember the name of it right now. I thought it was cancelled period. It only came out in Japan?

 - Warren

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Eh, I just heard about that game sometime ago, I'm not sure of its existence to be honest, but there are still plenty of games that never come out in America even if it would be a great seller.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Regional lock outs allow the copy right owners and license holders to funnel money into the popper domestic channels, without such the content creators and oringal CP owners might make more money than the domestic company.

Its about control and greed.


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Steam isn't a half bad DRM system. I don't mind using that. But we don't need stardock.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

But Steam is operated by Valve, and Valve is evil because they are going to release L4D2.

In all seriousness, you're absolutely right.  Steam is an excellent way to protect IP owners rights while making games easily accessible to consumers, without using anything inconvenient, like keys or being constantly connected to the internet.  I think that, if digital distribution used Steam as a model, there would be very little complaint from actual customers, then you'd only have to deal with actual criminals.  The only complaint I have over Steam is how long it takes to install a game with it, even with a high-speed connection.  I have 15-meg cable, and it took over a half hour to install the Batman: Arkham Asylum demo.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Meh after being kicked from a SP game becuse it could not phone home and could not play again untill the networked again those along with other issues I won't use steam untill they make a seamless offline mode for it.


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Sounds like the problem is with your network and not Steam.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

We don't need a company that is dedicated to bringing games to the consumer without ANY DRM?

I think you mean Starforce.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Opp, yeah, I meant Starforce. Stardock is the complete opposite with no DRM at all.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Hey guys, she's right.  Remember, we were never able to have demos of games until DRM came along.  Our lives have been immeasurably improved by being treated like a thief every time we buy a game.  If we don't allow the industry to use the government to force DRM upon us, that somehow means that the government is dictating business.  And the terrorists probably win, too.  Nobody wants that, now do they?

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Strange how 'TPM's will let you do everything you can already do without it. What sort of adventage is that?

Other than that, the woman could write for the Daily Mirror...

 

Strange how the ESA's behaviour is actually starting to promote an attitude among consumers that a huge collapse of the current member organistions would be preferable to the way ESA is dealing with the computer market. That's quite telling in and of itself.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Well, I guess it's Parr for the course that an industry group would make up whatever lies they can think up to excuse stricter and stricter DRM. I heard the new version of Starforce will not only turn every dvd-r and cd-r into a coaster, it will also kill your cat. 

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

bu-but...I like my cat....

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

I guess the new fad among the insiders is to make a new TLA (three letter acronym) for DRM? So TPM is the new DRM. Whatever....

Is TPM somehow more "slimming" than DRM? TPM is the "low-calorie" DRM?

Get real people and stop punishing the purchasing customer. Dump the DRM and take all that money and start prosecuting REAL PIRATES like the douchebags selling copied software in flea markets and street shops.

They are there in the street shops, bold as brass, infringing on your IP right under your very noses and you industry IDIOTS would rather ruin some 14 year olds life just because he ENTHUSIASTICLLY shared your game with his neighbors kids?

Riiiiiiiiight.... good luck with that plan. I'll keep buying from game developers who do NOT punish the purchasing customer.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Maybe instead of enforcing newer DRM, the IP holders should learn to adapt to the environment of digital content instead of trying to make it more "traditional".

And with digital content, traditional methods, ironically, work better on enforcing copyright law and stopping the real IP criminals. Some people think that you always need new technology to solve new problems, when the better solution is sometimes already under their noses. New isn't always better.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Here here!  I'm in total agreement!  There is nothing worse then someone who goes and pirates games to sell them.  It's sickening!

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

We put together an action for people to speak out on Canadian copyright laws.  You can speak out and send your thoughts to the Canadian government at http://action.theeca.com/t/2858/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2896.

Brett Schenker

Online Advocacy Manager

the ECA

www.theeca.com

Brett Schenker
Online Advocacy Director
the ECA
www.theeca.com

 

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Mod chips that allow a player to buy and play Japanese games on home consoles is one thing, I've never thought that people should be punished for that. Heck I've always thought that they should've released regionless systems from the beginning since it would only help game sales in some circumstances.

A chip that installs a ton of games or modding of a similair note, however, I do have a problem with since it is a form of stealing the product of those companies.

Now as to TPM, if a company can develop a TPM that doesn't screw up your computer/game system then that wouldn't be so bad really. Companies DO have the right to protect their intellectual properties. In point of fact several people on this site have openly declared that they pirate games and the like so complaining that you're being treated like a criminal when you actually do steal games/movies or what have you is more than a little disengenuous.

DRM was a bad idea because it limited installs and messed with your computer, so in practice it was a bad idea; but to say that companies have no right to protect their product when people knowingly and openly admit to stealing it is just asenine.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

The thing about mod chips though, is that many of the same chips that get rid of regional lock-outs CAN allow for the downloading of pirated games. Rather than take the constitutional and sensical route by just allowing mod chips and punishing the pirates, the DMCA just makes modding in general illegal, whether you're pirating or not.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Modchips have been made that much more marginlized due to Live and PSN you practically have to buy 2 units to ensure you are not baned and lose online access.

 

So frankly modchips are less intrusive on the bottom line than they where.


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

I think it's ridiculous that they make it seem that pirating a game or movie is on the same lines as terrorism.  It's kinda sad really.  As for DRM, it doesn't work, it hurts the consumers, and they're putting it in there for other reasons than pirates, SPORE anyone?

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

Like I said, DRM was a bad idea because it hurt the consumer on other levels rather than just protect the product against piracy. If there's a way to create a TPM that doesn't hurt the consumer and allows for the protection of a companies IP then they have every right to pursue it.

 

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

As strange as it sounds, the people looking to play imports are more likly the real target as opposed to people playing pirated games.

Marketing and buisness types HATE loosing control of when and where a product is released.  They put money and personal advancement on timing advertizing to a region to release, and making sure all the right people get a cut at the right time.

The import stuff digs at them in a way more fundemental then money.  It threatens their power and their control of distribution.

Always remember.. money is a means to power.... power and control are fare more deeply embedded then cash, and these are people who's careers depend on being seen as alphas and in control of situations.  So imports end up feeling very threatening.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

I challenge any one of these specious, double-talking monkeys pushing for more copyright on behalf on an industry that's already famous for treating their loyal customers like criminals and thieves to show me on, just ONE gamer who buys the "DRM/TPM is good for the consumer!" bullshit.

Just one... c'mon, just show me one gamer who knows what they're talking about who agrees that being further restricted is a good thing.

Who do these jackasses think they're fooling?

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

*Sarcasim Mode ON*

Oh Miss Parr, I am glad you have educated yourself on the situation rather than be a souless reitteration of the ESA's stand in the United States. DRM's are such an advantage to the consumer. I will blindly follow you as the millions of sheep will follow you into re-engineering our laws into an Industry policed haven.

*Sarcasim Mode OFF*

Ugh the stupidy of this woman makes me want to vomit. The sheer arrogance... yes I have to agree with Vake, some of the best arguments are already in the article itself.

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

How can I leave a comment when all the best arguments are in the article? Fight the Power, Brothers (and Sisters)!

Re: ESA Canada Head Argues for Stronger Copyright Laws... ...

  "Libera Me From Hell"

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Making the world a better place... one Headshot at a time...

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