Hail fellow fantasy-buffs and gamers!
Well, there has been something on my mind lately I was never really up to talking about, but by checking some stuff on the interwebs, I simply could not hold back on it anymore. The topic for today is piracy. Simple-minded piracy.
Just to put you up to speed: SOPA had been long forgotten by me when, while walking on the strange walky thingy and doin’ nothing else in the gym, one of my partners arrived and decided to start a chat while exercising. You know, to forget the monotony of stepping on the same place for 30 minutes. Anyway, he started talking with me about a new deal between Japan and my country and how this pretends to stop piracy. Now, we both agreed on all points, so this was more like an exchange of statements, but what I want to get out on this little post is that there is a reason to piracy.
Ever wondered why it happens?
It is a very important question. Companies have been thinking for years how to stop piracy; countries have tried to generate the most impossible laws to stop it and, up to now, no adequate solution has been found. And somehow, all pretend that the problem lies on a lazy and greedy consumer base that prefers cheap over original. Now, that last statement is partly true.
Take for example the PS Vita, the newest on handheld console gaming. Their idea to stop piracy was to create a special memory card with some special speed when reading, or something like that, to avoid the use of it on other systems. Now this all comes at the cost of dozens of dollars… only for the bare minimum of memories, the 4gb version (retail price of an equivalent SD card you use in your camera:not more than two dollars); this all instead of using regular technology. “Oh well!” you might think “different format means harder piracy”. No. It isn’t. All is a matter of time and some other company will provide you the tools to make piracy; they will produce a way to connect the new memory to the PC, innocently (since players want that connection) and let the stealing begin! Or someone will just come up with a good hack. Defeating piracy by creating an expensive product… Does that not sound moronic?
Now, most of this comes from an old video of AlphaOmegaSin, whose ranting abilities you might love as long as you can take a hundred bad words. But he also says something that really hits the nail on the problem of program theft: we are on a recession, we have less money. Now, that applies mostly to rich countries by the way. They do not win as much money as before, but let us face it: we want entertainment nonetheless. So the next best thing is piracy.
I come from a country where this phenomenon is more than usual. Now, my country is not one of the richest ones (neither the poorest), but here we barely make half the income US Americans make. Now make a comparison and start complaining about your recession again. Here we barely can afford original games, CDs or movies. But then again, it is our right to be able to entertain ourselves. So if we can’t buy the newest CD of band Zxcvbnm, what is left over for us? Download it. Surely a good torrent site has it already.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I love buying the stuff original. But take into consideration that I am not one of the poorest of my country, although I still have to fight for my income. But still, my stubbornness has permitted me to keep over 200 CDs in original format. Also, I buy the games I play legally. Still, it leaves me with not much left to spend on. I lived for a long time with a family, extremely poor. They had two kids only and still they wanted to enjoy the newest movies. The only solution: buying them pirated. I am very sorry, I can justify them in this case. It is either this or only watch one movie each two months.
I think it is extremely important to understand that the only way to avoid (but not stop, mind you) piracy, is to get affordable prices for the people. The companies tend to overprice a lot, and this makes us think that our money is not worth the spending in originals. Now, as you see, the profits of these companies lower because they themselves provoke it with their high pricing. This is pretty sad if you think about it. Just because they do not want to go down a bit they lose a lot of customers. Or maybe the governments should help them by helping the worker earn a bit more of money. In any case, consuming is pretty difficult when you can barely buy much or anything with the few cents you win by working hard every day. And we are not ready to give up our right to relax from time to time… much less if you throw us the need for those products with your aggressive advertising. In other words, we are set expectations that do not precisely concur with what the real life provides.
So there it is. I think piracy is here to stay, and it has always existed. But we can lower it by making products more accessible to people. I understand the need of profit, but not the greedy hoarding of as much money as ever possible. And believe me, more accesibel prices can open markets in many other countries, bringing in even more potential customers!
May they smile upon your way!