Prison Bay?

Looks like Pirate Bay guys are facing rough times. The pirate bay owners “lost” the first session (this doesn’t mean they’ll go to prison… it will probably take years or something). What’s interesting thought, that technically speaking you can have pretty similar functionality as Pirate Bay (well, not so “dedicated to piracy, but still”). Should we shut down Google too…

(Net is filled with info about this news. One good place to check out is Indiegamer)

[poll id=4]

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Yeh, and of course there’s also the other end of the tunnel. I don’t know, but it might be just a tip of the iceberg of saying “games are too pricey/ things suck / I hate EA” whatnot… when in reality some people just couldn’t care less – and they just want to get everything free and they care nothing about developers. And so far these guys haven’t really needed to pay anything, and they got to continue this “bad habit” and never get any “punishment” whatsoever.

    If we look from that perspective, it was about time to do something about pirates and show them that this is serious thing.

    It’s not straightforward issue, and there’s arguments for both yes/no votes. Still, it puzzles me how come so many people are saying “they are totally favor in piratism”.

  2. Yeah it certainly isn’t straight forward and inevitable new business models will come to the front but meanwhile people with a vested interest in the old business model will try to defend it (until it becomes hopeless like a sandcastle in the tide).

  3. P.S. If this turns post into flames/trolling calling other names – or just “too heated discussion” I’ll be slapping everybody with a large trout, m’kay?

  4. Whoa, loads of comments here. I was away this weekend (had couple of posts scheduled), so reading now.

    @Jake: As for audience, 30ish % voted “making games for living”, so this is interesting…
    http://www.gameproducer.net/2009/04/11/are-you-a-part-time-producer-at-the-moment/ (although, I’d suspect that more of course chances are that this type of post title also attracts search engine users so…)

    Anyway, reading now… commenting soon…

    ps. I voted neutral. I really cannot tell if this is a good thing or not in a long run. And I don’t know if this actually increases piracy. The policy is based on attack (give jailtime), rather cooperation (figure out a way to benefit for all parties)… so my hunch says that this isn’t so straightforward issue.

  5. @Jake Birkett: I agree with you in the following: If somebody makes a living by selling something that can be reproduced at no cost, then the person may have a problem with the people that reproduce that something without paying to the creator.

    I also agree that if you aspire to make a living by selling things that can be reproduced at no cost, then you’ll probably be inclined to not copy such things yourself. That’s empathy, you are hurt by something and you don’t want to inflict the same pain to other people in your position. But that doesn’t say anything about reproducing Intellectual Property being right or wrong. The fact that unauthorized reproduction of IP could inflict emotional distress on game producers is not a logical argument against such reproduction. It is just an observation.

    Now, to my points:
    1. I believe that spending money in creating things that can be reproduced at no cost, and then expecting to make a living by hindering the distribution of such things so they become scarce, is not a good business model. It was a reasonable business model 5 years ago, it was a great business model 20 years ago (when you didn’t have to hinder the distribution too much) but it is not a good business model anymore, and it won’t be a business model at all in some years from now.

    2. I don’t know what business model could replace the old one, but that’s not the point at all. The point is the old model, and the old model is dying. And maybe that’s what we need in order for a new model to appear. I’m just ripping the band aid.

    3. People at pirate bay were NOT found guilty of copyright infliction. They were NOT found guilty of making copyrighted work available. They WERE found guilty of “assisting to make available”. That is, they were found guilty of allowing somebody who hosts “illegal files” to post torrent files so that other people can download such files. If you think about it, is like prosecuting the post office because I used their services to send you a photocopy of copyrighted lyrics. So, is this good news? Not at all. It now means that the carrier can be held responsible of the message, with the logical conclusion being that the carrier is obliged to monitor all communications. Why stop at the pirate bay? Let’s have the ISP monitoring all communications, sniffing packets in search of illegal activity (this is actually happening in some countries, and it is considered healthy practice because of the “piracy” brainwash). But why stopping at ISPs? See where I’m going? So no… not good news at all.

    4. But if you are concerned about game piracy… this won’t stop here. Pirate bay will be stronger now as a mean of distributing IP (thanks to all the free publicity they are getting and the fact that the servers were moved to another country). And even if they can stop “pirate bay”, there will always be another tracker. And even if they can stop torrents, there will be new technology (Or just use rapidshare, megaupload, or programs like amule or Usenet or other means I don’t know of). So I don’t see why should anybody be particularly happy with this outcome. It is just a grain of sand in the desert.

    5. My personal view on copying games is that it should be legal for personal and non-commercial use, in the same way that it is legal for me to lend a book or just read a book at a library or some bookstores. It should be legal to reproduce games in the same way that I can buy a movie and watch it with friends in private (instead of having to buy one copy for each friend that will be seeing it or that kind of nonsense). It should be illegal for people to copy games to sell them.

    6. I’m not a game developer at all. But you should be careful with that information, ad hominem fallacy…

  6. I just was too busy to type that much last time ;-) Sometimes the meaning has to be inferred by me and worked out by the reader rather than explicitly laid out by me due to time constraints…

  7. @Ezequiel: Let me clarify: If you make and sell video games (or any digital media product) via normal channels for a living you are probably less likely to condone piracy and websites/services used almost exclusively for piracy. I used to pirate stuff as a kid and young man (and so did Juuso judging by some recent posts), but when you start seeing your own hard work being ripped off your attitude towards piracy naturally begins to change. I’ve found that most other professionals I’ve spoken to in the game industry have a similar attitude towards piracy hence my assertion that less professionals read this site (or have voted) than I previously thought. If you look on Indiegamer, you’ll notice that most pro-piracy people don’t have a game to their name…(that’s a fact, not some elitism).

    My second point begins with “perhaps” meaning that I making a suggestion which may be food for thought for some people. For example, I’m a believer that to become rich you have to *think* like a rich person, to become good at sport you have to think you are good at sport, to become a good caring person you have to think like a good caring person. You can learn how other people think and as you practice it you become more like them and better at whatever it is you are aiming to do. Therefore it may help people aspiring to be professional game developers to start thinking like professional game developers. Juuso and I help people think like professional game “producers” via our blog posts and I believe that one small factor is changing your attitude towards piracy to be more in line with professional game developers – unless of course you believe in alternative sales/business models that rely on the viral transmission of your game, in which case, fair enough, go for it and let me know if it’s financially viable.

    @Ezequiel: Are you a professional game developer and how did you vote?

  8. @Jake Birkett: wow, great rhetorics there. Why don’t you try using a more logically sound argument instead of tossing logical fallacies around?

  9. Laws should reflect what the society find morally acceptable and not act as a protection mechanism for lazy fat cat corporations. Going after the real criminals i.e. ppl that download illegal materials would mean prosecuting like 80% of all internet users… and that is simply not acceptable…

    In this case there is also the shady issue of tbp only linking to possibly illegal material (just like google). There are all kinds of strange extrapolations and comparisons you can do here. The interpretation of the law simply has very strange effects.

    All in all I’m bummed out that my tax-$ was spent on protecting sony and universals ass when people are starving in the world.

  10. What I meant is: “If they are guilty, the law is wrong.”

  11. They are probably guilty. But the law is wrong.

  12. I voted. Judging by the results I would risk flaming by saying that there are less professionals reading this blog than I had suspected…if you are a professional, you can’t realistically condone anything like The Pirate Bay. Perhaps once that mindset changes in people they will be one step closer to being professional…

  13. I really don’t know about this case, so I didn’t vote at all.

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