Detrius

Feedback on "Goldhawk Interactive & Piracy"

135 posts in this topic

Hi Chris,

Could not find any feedback on it, but i feel you deserve it.

I totally agree with you on all points.

In addition I would like to point out that most people would understand that buing from a fence is wrong. When it comes to Pirating, the torrentsite becomes a fence.

And yes, I have also in my youth gotten hold of pirated goods. Most everyone has.

In my case I stopped doing it for ethical reasons, and later when I started working in gaming media it became a matter of fact.

And off course, to not be a hypocrite, for me Piracy includes everything.

Not only games, but movies and music as well.

Thats my 5 cent.

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I think that only one thing seems overlooked, people that can't afford games but pirate it will become part of the gaming community which they might not have been otherwise, thus getting them self more invested in gaming as a whole and generally people tend to grow out of feeling like they want to pirate things (or get a good income so it doesn't actually kill their wallet) and thus you have a new person spending much more money on the industry as a whole compared to if he had never pirated.

Of course everything regarding this is really just speculation and guesswork since there is no hard data on conversion rates of pirates to buying consumers so we can't know if it does more good then harm but the people that pirate the most are young people without a reliable and steady income but that want to be involved in the gaming community because that's what all their friends do. This then becomes their hobby and something they spend money on more and more as they mature.

I can definitely say that this is the case for me, as I was growing up I pirated things a lot and this made me very much into a gamer, if I didn't have access to all these awesome games (without piracy I wouldn't be able to afford it) I seriously doubt I would be such a massive fan of games that I am today. Nowadays I Always buy games that I feel is worth their price and when I want to support what the developer is doing and as I said before, I seriously doubt I would be as much into gaming now if I couldn't pirate games when I was younger.

But again this is guesswork and nothing that can be proven with hard facts, note that I am not trying to say that piracy is morally justifiable, it's obviously wrong but it also doesn't absolutely mean that piracy in all cases hurt the industry either, do you all seriously think that the gaming industry would be as big as it is today and constantly growing if there was absolutely 0 piracy? I doubt it personally.

Last thing, I am in all shapes and forms against the kind of piracy that involves people selling pirated copy's of someone's work for their own profit, that is just outright despicable.

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Hello!

First of all i read all of Chris text but i don't agree with the substance, eventhough i can understand that a game developer wants to get money compensation for his work, i think this understandable but i think the problem is more on the economic system than on piracy itself. An artist almost has to sell himself sometimes, but i don't want to get to much into this philosophical discussion of capitalism, and that art is money and advertising and not art anymore.

Xenonauts is the only game i ever paid money for. Mostly i played games when i was young and always pirated. I paid for xenonauts because i see goldhawk as an independent small company. I really don't give a fuck about this big game industries i hope everyone pirates them.

I also use linux so most games are difficult to work 100 per cent, so commercial gaming is not much for me, altough sometimes i try some games for a bit.

But truth be told i only got to know xcom because i got it pirated when i was teenager. I would never get to know it probably if piracy did not exist, because my parents would never pay for games. And so i got to know xcom and now the only reason I found xenonauts existed was because i was looking for some games like xcom, and im pretty happy about the development of it, eventhough i think the game could be legendary if more work with be put into it, with more mission types, forests, port attacks, etc. I was rather dissapointed that Chris was a bit tired of it and wasn't going to work after the game comes out... but its understandable.

I think firaxis game will be interesting but i think xenonauts in its more simple way for me its more appealing. Sometimes wanting so much graphical beauty interfers with the fun of playing.

But going back to the subject, piracy is not stealing, because it is a copy, nobody stays without it because somebody copied, and in financial terms for the game developers i really don't know how damaging it really is. I think it would be difficult to know... but in the case of xenonauts i think you should be happy that it existed because most xcom fans probably never bought the game xcom, and if they did, they probably first pirated and then so it was a great game a bought it! I think piracy as a role in making games accessible to everyone.

Other thing i think also xenonauts is very cheap, which was good, but for me to pay for this large industry games, im not rich, and after i don't even know if will even really like it even if i played a demo. I have priorities in my life, buy organic food, I have a baby, i don't win a lot of money im really not a spender why should i pay for this big game industries? I don't even know how much this actually benefits the actual developers... or it all goes to marketing or stock holders of the company, people getting loaded of money and im here struggling to have good food on the table.

And then it terms of moral judgement, I really don't look at life by with is legal what is not... I try to have my own ethics in this case, xenonauts i paid, because i thought it was fair, in other cases i analyse and see...

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If something isn't worth the price someone is asking for it then I don't buy it.

I wouldn't steal a car because I didn't think it was worth the buying price and the only real difference is scale.

If I could drive away in another persons car any time I wanted then that would get me more interested in driving in the future and I might buy one later!

Sounds stupid if you try that excuse for anything other than piracy yet people still use it.

Just because another player hasn't lost out on using a game because you chose to pirate it instead of buy it doesn't mean it is not wrong.

The developers, artists, publishers, coders etc who worked on that game are not being paid by the person who is playing it.

If you don't want to pay then don't play.

Just because it is easy to take their hard work for free doesn't mean it is right to do it.

I don't think a lot of music gigs are worth the ticket price but that doesn't mean I would expect to be able to wander in and listen to them for free, even if I wasn't taking another persons place.

There is a lot of hard work going in to the product and if you want to use that product you should pay the price for it, if not then do without it.

It isn't like you need that to survive, it is pure greed that you want it without paying for it.

It is impossible to know how financially damaging piracy is to the big companies as you say.

That is often used as a justification by people who take their products without paying for them.

Basically it isn't the financial system or the big companies that are responsible for piracy, it is the morals of the person downloading the copy.

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I for one think that Chris is right on this one. However, when I think of the history of pirating in my life it always went along with the purchase of retail games. This seems to me in retrospective to always have been mainly dependent on monetary capabilities at any given time throughout my life.

However, I think that the main issue with pirating is that its hard to consider it a crime when you actually do it, especially in this day and age of torrents, usenet, sharing sites, etc. I mean, what indication you have when you download a pirated game that you're doing something wrong? Its not like anyone's out there watching you and giving you a distasteful look as if you were shoplifting or anything like that.

I started out as a pirating brat when I was with my first 386 AT processor about 18 years ago or so. On the other hand, their were also no actual ways for me to buy a game back then cause none of the local stores offered such merchandise. However, I do remember all of my school buddies knew back then that pirating was wrong and we kept it as kind of a boy's club secret whenever we exchanged copied games with one another. At about...18 or so I picked my first game which was X-COM apocalypse from a local computer game library (leave it to local dealers to make up all kinds of BS explanations to why that's legal when they have no actual right to do it) and it really felt great. But the prices were overkillers and I could barely afford 1-2 games a year at the time. Then came the obligatory service in the army which I couldn't afford anything really but a short while after my release I got a job in a toy store with its own computers and multimedia retail section and soon enough I started buying much more frequently. I still pirated mind you, but mostly those games that I wasn't sure if I'd like in the first place (besides, the store expected us to know each and every game to the core without it actually lending us any game to take home or try at work).

Anyway - then came the student years and more pirating, etc and finally we hit about 3 years or so ago, I ran into this short thread in piratebay where this guy appeared after some AAA got leaked before official release and he wrote there, that he and many others have been working on that game for 3 years and they practically been busting their asses off for it and instead of looking forward for their main income from the games' sales, they were expecting massive income loss and possible unemployment by their studio as a reaction to the leakage of the game. Then he wrote a bit about himself (he was almost my age) and then told about his wife and his kid...and maybe it was all just a heap of BS but something in me just...woke up. I can't point out the explicit reason for the sudden change of heart I had - maybe I was just sympathizing with the guy with my own family to worry about and the current economy with all its hardships or perhaps I'm just a big ol' softie.

The bottom line is that I realized that this is the livelihood for many good people who basically get chewed over by piracy as well as the big corporations that have these poor bastards laboring for them only to treat them like wiping mops when things go badly.

Anyway...soon enough I joined steam and later to GOG (the best electronic game shop EVER). I do keep an eye out for good sales but sometimes I buy full price. Lately I ran into Xenonauts' kickstarter and after 5 minutes of reviewing the demo I knew that I wanted this project to succeed. And yeah, I feel for goldhawk interactive, cause I feel for the little companies. If things would've worked out a bit differently in my life I could've easily imagined myself being in such a company and I won't want anyone to treat my hard work and effort as free slave labor. I guess what i'm trying to say is that I think of games not just as virtual or physical goods, or even in terms of intellectual property - I think of it in terms of people, of young families, of young men and women trying to give something to the world and to the gaming communities (yes yes...consoles included) and hoping to get some appreciation and gratitude (that also comes in $) back from the people they strive to please.

So yeah, they all deserve some damn respect. *Cheers*

Edited by raziel1981

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If something isn't worth the price someone is asking for it then I don't buy it.

I wouldn't steal a car because I didn't think it was worth the buying price and the only real difference is scale.

If I could drive away in another persons car any time I wanted then that would get me more interested in driving in the future and I might buy one later!

Sounds stupid if you try that excuse for anything other than piracy yet people still use it.

Again with people drawing straight comparisons between stealing and piracy, they are quite different things since stealing involves someone actually losing a physical product and thus they end up with negative money, for piracy at worst it means that the sale is lost but they are still stuck at 0 then which obviously sucks but it's still Very different.

But as I said in my post, not saying piracy is morally justifiable (at best it's very much in the gray zone) but it sure as hell isn't stealing either so that comparison is just terrible. I definitely do think that creators of content should be paid for their work if people like what they create and just for the record I own 85+ games on steam and probably equally as many in retail copies or other digital services.

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While there's the argument that the creator isn't losing money because it's a copy of a game, I don't think it's a particularly strong one.

For example, say X-Com enemy unknown comes out. But only a single copy is bought and the rest pirated from it. That's it for X-Com. It would be fair to say that the game suffered a huge financial loss due to pirating, even though no one actually stole a physical version of the game, they copied one.

An extreme example perhaps, but it illustrates that the pirates are essentially drawing life from the product, but hopefully there will be enough genuine buyers to keep the whole thing going.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to be paid for every copy of something I've created. If it's something done through a studio or as work for hire, then I won't even be the one setting the price for the thing. But my future projects will certainly depend in part on the sales of this one. Therefore, why shouldn't I consider every sale important.

If the price is prohibitive, then don't buy it. Let the creators know why you've not done so. I don't really think it's as morally grey as some folks would like to pretend it is, in order to justify their actions.

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Again with people drawing straight comparisons between stealing and piracy, they are quite different things since stealing involves someone actually losing a physical product and thus they end up with negative money, for piracy at worst it means that the sale is lost but they are still stuck at 0 then which obviously sucks but it's still Very different.

This is only true if new games grew on trees or something.

In the real world, games cost time and especially money to develop, just like physical products do. Artists, coders, marketing, site maintenance, paying off reviewers, etc - it all comes out of the developer's pocket. If people pirate the game, the developer is still in the hole.

It's good that you think that creators should be paid for their work. But piracy is still a method of taking something that doesn't rightfully belong to you and that you are not entitled to. That's the very definition of stealing.

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Piracy is nothing to do with it. Who wants to support the development - will make it.

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Again with people drawing straight comparisons between stealing and piracy, they are quite different things since stealing involves someone actually losing a physical product and thus they end up with negative money, for piracy at worst it means that the sale is lost but they are still stuck at 0 then which obviously sucks but it's still Very different.

But as I said in my post, not saying piracy is morally justifiable (at best it's very much in the gray zone) but it sure as hell isn't stealing either so that comparison is just terrible. I definitely do think that creators of content should be paid for their work if people like what they create and just for the record I own 85+ games on steam and probably equally as many in retail copies or other digital services.

That someone is not stealing a product because there is not a physical copy is a false justification that only gets used with piracy.

If I ask a plumber to come to check out my gas heater then refuse to pay him because I didn't get a physical product at the end of the day is that justifiable, despite the time and effort he put into the work?

How about not paying the taxi driver at the end of my journey because I have not taken anything from him, even though he had to take time out of his life to make the journey?

A developer puts their time and effort into making a game then someone takes their time and effort without rewarding them for it and, because they don't have to do it face to face, they justify it by saying they are taking nothing.

I don't feel piracy is a moral grey area at all.

I think it is easy to do and gets people something for free with little risk.

That in no way makes it right to do.

We aren't talking about someone taking food or water they need in order to live.

That I would justify as life being more important than property.

We are talking about someone taking a luxury item they want but don't want to pay for.

That is greed being more important than respect/morals/ethics whatever you want to call it.

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I don't know Chris, making soup in a microwave sounds like a bad idea.

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So what about all the people that started out their gaming "careers" pirating games and because of that they got to experience something they normally wouldn't have considered if it had cost them money? (money that they most likely didn't have at the time) People that then over time become more and more attached to gaming and realizing that it was important to them and thus start feeding money into the industry as they get more disposable income. If they couldn't have pirated the things in the start they wouldn't have gotten invested in the industry and their total money that they spend on games would have been MUCH less?

I can definitely say that I am one of those people and I have multiple people I know that are exactly the same, growing up with very little or no money to spend and a small interest in games which then was fueled by getting my hands on many games I would never have been able to try otherwise, eventually growing into my largest hobby.

I have no doubt that If I only had a very few number of games I would have occupied my time with other things and most likely not been such a massively invested gamer that I am today thus spending WAY less on games in total, there obviously are no hard numbers to know how many are in similar situations but among my friends I know several that grew up in very similar situations.

And yet again it seems I must repeat that I am not saying that piracy is morally justifiable but it's also not a completely guaranteed bad thing for the gaming industry either, though it has definitely hurt specific games (which many were pretty terrible products, most people want to spend money on things they like if they can) but who knows how much it has boosted the gaming industry as a whole...

Edited by raidsoft

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We don't know how strong the current PC games industry might have been if piracy wasn't as rife as it is.

We can't therefore draw any conclusions about if piracy has hurt or helped the industry it is leeching off.

It is just another justification people use to show that they are really not taking anything away from the people putting the work in, honest.

Maybe consoles would have faded out as developers put their effort into making games for the more versatile PC platform rather than focussing on ones that made piracy harder.

More PC games may have meant far greater choice for us all and incredibly low prices as competition increased.

Or maybe they would have just figured they had a captive audience and cranked out rubbish fps after fps and put the prices steadily higher, who knows.

I am not directing any of these posts at anyone in particular, I just think an awful lot of the justifications people use for piracy are hypocrisy.

Stealing something now is not justified because you may (or may not) have ended up spending more in the future because of it.

There is no real use continuing this discussion though.

I can't be convinced that taking a persons work without paying for it is right and it is probably equally unlikely that I would convince someone else that getting free stuff is a bad thing.

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First of all i don't see at all that piracy is stealing, and also i don't think it is an argument to say something is morally wrong, but to say why it is morally wrong. And that is what is what we should be thinking about... not that is wrong or right, or that its just justifications, but what is better and look and at this issue from all angles.

Piracy is a copy of a game. Its not like stealing a car or getting the car without owners consent. A copy is giving by who owns the game.

Now imagine this example, somebody,lets call mr x, buys a car, a porche, but this person likes his neighbours a lot, and the neighbours also like this car. So this Mr X guy decides this car is colective property and shares his car with everyone. Are the people using Mr X car thiefs?

Porche can argue that because of this people are not paying whoever builded and created the porche and this is wrecking their business, so it is right for a rule who bans somebody to share property?

What about second hand clothes? I dont buy clothes for more than 10 years, I reuse other peoples clothes who don't use it anymore because its not stylish or whatever.

Should there be a law against reusing clothes because the stylists, and clothes manufactures can get ruined businesses? what if everyone starts reusing clothes? econimic colapse!! so we should ban 2 hand clothing?

I think we should all think about this issues.

There are musicians for example who are in favour of piracy. Even more, there are musicians who are releasing their work under creative commons licenses (like big industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails). They redesign their business... Like in games, kickstarter for example is one of the ways to get funding.

Most artists mostly get screwed by big companies... and all this copyrights issues are mostly bullshit for someone to get loaded.

For me this thing of copyright and patents has to be addressed by society. We have to have more public discussions on this issues...

Bands like Nine Inch Nails are not much more rich then when they were inslaved by a record company and had a manager who got all the money, leaving at some point the musicians with nothing (has it happened to trent reznor).

The linux development community shows that you can have a collaborative, opensource, copyright free system working and working very good. I think here lies future, not in copyright and intelectual property. This is past business, artist have to adjust to modern society and use piracy for their benefit, for advertising of their own product for example.

You can get the game free... but if you want your name in the game, you want a physical copy of the game, you want to have Chris poster, whatever you pay for that... this is what innovating is, not going on complaning about how piracy is morally wrong. but its my opinion.

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Now imagine this example, somebody,lets call mr x, buys a car, a porche, but this person likes his neighbours a lot, and the neighbours also like this car. So this Mr X guy decides this car is colective property and shares his car with everyone. Are the people using Mr X car thiefs?

Porche can argue that because of this people are not paying whoever builded and created the porche and this is wrecking their business, so it is right for a rule who bans somebody to share property?

Games aren't cars, dude.

Ugh. First piracy advocates are like "Games aren't physical products! Taking them isn't stealing!" Now it's "Loaning or even giving away your physical product doesn't hurt anyone! We should treat games the same way!"

Can't have it both ways.

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Your example doesn't really fit the discussion pedrog.

If a game dev or musician chooses to release their work for free then that is their choice and anyone can take advantage of their generosity.

We were not talking about people who allow you access to their work for free, we were talking about people who take that work even though it is not free.

If someone chooses to sell their work and you take it without paying the price they are asking then that is not right.

If I allow someone to use my car without asking for payment then they are not doing anything wrong when they do so.

They are using the offered service for the asking price.

If however someone has taken my car without my permission, or used all of my petrol without paying for it as agreed, then that is not abiding by the terms of use and is therefore not right.

You also shot down your own example.

Games are not a physical property that can be passed on with the original owner losing access to it when they do so.

It is possible to give away copies of that game without losing use of it for yourself.

In your example you would have to say that the person was not loaning his car out, he was making copies of it and giving the copies to others while continuing to drive the original himself.

Then 100 people could all be driving that car at the same time without paying anything to the people who designed and created it.

You can't say "one person gives away their time and effort for free therefore I don't have to pay for anything from another person".

If that was the case we would all be working for free because some people work as volunteers in their spare time.

If everyone was to give their work away free like the perfect linux society you envisage then piracy wouldn't be a problem.

You would be able to access anything, at any time, for nothing because that is exactly what the supplier is asking for in return.

However you can't justify taking things you do not have permission to have without paying the price just because in your perfect world you would be able to.

In the future it may be the case that everything is free, but that is not the case right now.

I really do hope they sort out all of the bad copyright law but lets face it, large corporations have a lot more say in the law than most of us so it would probably be 'resolved' in their favour, which would be a shame for us all.

Also note that practically every one of my posts has said why it is wrong to take something you are not entitled to, no one has yet come up with a real reason why it is right to take something that they have no right to.

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no one has yet come up with a real reason why it is right to take something that they have no right to.

because the voices in my head tell me that the Stone of Destiny is my birthright and destiny, and it must be mine that I might conquer the world!

The If I hadn't stolen that car, I wouldn't have been able to strip it's engine and become a mechanic type of argument doesn't work.

The evil corporation prices things I don't need to live out of my reach, so they must be made available to all (especially me) argument doesn't work.

The it's not stealing it's copying so it won't impact the creator's bottom line argument really doesn't work.

The some artists agree with piracy so it all must be OK then argument doesn't work. They can give all of their work away if they like, but they can't speak for anyone else's. People should respect the artist's wishes. But they don't because their greed is more important than that.

copyrights are there to prevent everyone ripping off someone's work. Which they would in a heartbeat. Yes, certain deals are struck that will result in pennies for certain parties. But that's surely a contractual matter between the record company and the artist. It's not for a third party to suddenly appear and say "hey, none of you should get anything, because I want it for free."

Games reduce in price over time, albums reduce in value over time or there are sales for both. If you can't afford it, then take advantage of those.

Honestly, it's an an argument that been going on since they were doing knock off copies of pamphlets after the rise of the printing press. Even then there were arguments about the "written word getting into the hands of the masses being a good thing surely gov." While they charged a much smaller fee, but still a fee, for the knock off copies. It was theft then, and it's really not that different now.

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Piracy is a copy of a game. Its not like stealing a car or getting the car without owners consent. A copy is giving by who owns the game.

Now imagine this example, somebody,lets call mr x, buys a car, a porche, but this person likes his neighbours a lot, and the neighbours also like this car. So this Mr X guy decides this car is colective property and shares his car with everyone. Are the people using Mr X car thiefs?

Porche can argue that because of this people are not paying whoever builded and created the porche and this is wrecking their business, so it is right for a rule who bans somebody to share property?

Goddamnit that car analogy is stupid both ways. Can people stop comparing apples and kangaroos?

And while you are at it stop trying to justify theft (if you don't need to feed a hungry family and have no other way).

PS. Buying a game does not mean you own any part of the game or IP. You own a license to play the game and use the code (which still belongs to the developer) in accordance to the developers directions. Illegal distribution is not part of those directions.

Edited by Gorlom

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EU law states you do own the game, and you do have the right to resell it, no matter what a made up agreement you are forced to agree to says.

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Really? Did not know that. Or do you mean that I can resell my license?

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Right, you can resell the license. The license and the game are inseparable to the owner of the game.

"It makes no difference whether the copy of the computer program was made available by means of a download from the rightholder’s website or by means of a material medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD," the court ruled. "Even if the rightholder formally separates the customer’s right to use the copy of the program supplied from the operation of transferring the copy of the program to the customer on a material medium, the operation of downloading from that medium a copy of the computer program and that of concluding a license agreement remain inseparable from the point of view of the acquirer."

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/07/top-eu-court-upholds-right-to-resell-downloaded-software/

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EU law states you do own the game, and you do have the right to resell it, no matter what a made up agreement you are forced to agree to says.
Right, you can resell the license. The license and the game are inseparable to the owner of the game.

"It makes no difference whether the copy of the computer program was made available by means of a download from the rightholder’s website or by means of a material medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD," the court ruled. "Even if the rightholder formally separates the customer’s right to use the copy of the program supplied from the operation of transferring the copy of the program to the customer on a material medium, the operation of downloading from that medium a copy of the computer program and that of concluding a license agreement remain inseparable from the point of view of the acquirer."

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/07/top-eu-court-upholds-right-to-resell-downloaded-software/

Nowhere in that article do I find that the court ruled that the license holder (in certain cases refereed to as "acquirer") Owns the game or any of its code. I think you and I mean different things when we say "own the game". Just because you own a license doesn't mean you can copy the code and sell more games. A developer (or publisher in some cases) owns the game and has the right to sell copies.

Case in point this paragragh:

The court also held that after reselling the software, the previous owner must render his own copy of the software inoperable. Oracle had argued that this would be impossible to enforce in practice. But the court noted that this difficulty isn't unique to online software sales—the same problem arises when a customer resells a CD or DVD after using it to install software on his own computer.

All that article says is that the holder of a license has the right to resell his license, which I don't disagree with. It doesn't contradict what I've said earlier (as far as I can tell)... At least not in the edited post.

Edited by Gorlom

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Nowhere in that article do I find that the court ruled that the license holder (in certain cases refereed to as "acquirer") Owns the game or any of its code. I think you and I mean different things when we say "own the game". Just because you own a license doesn't mean you can copy the code and sell more games. A developer (or publisher in some cases) owns the game and has the right to sell copies.

OK, misunderstood. I often hear people say that you (collective you) only have a license to use the software, and never really own it.

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You can sell or loan a book to a friend, what you can't do is photocopy it and give or sell the copies.

Same goes for digital items.

As long as you transfer your access rather than duplicate it then there isn't a problem.

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Hehe. I'm not going to read this thread mostly because everyone knows my views. But in short - I can't stop people pirating Xenonauts (or other games) and I won't do anything to stop it, or even lecture people on morality beyond what I have in the article, but please don't tell me it's right!

There are good points to piracy as well as the bad points, but the act itself is still wrong.

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