I’ve been thinking about DRM, copy protection, piracy and the current business model for digital media, based on outdated concepts and the idea of false scarcity. I think we need to create a new model. I think it will be hard and have a lot of false starts and failures but eventually I think we can give content providers a method of fighting piracy and maintaining profits while making it easier for consumers to get the games they want and improving relations and communications between consumers and creators. I’m going to explain my thoughts and welcome any discussion that will push this forward. Trolls and pro-piracy arguments will be ignored. On that note, let’s get some of my opinions about pirates out of the way first.
When “Arrr, Matey” sounds like self-righteous, entitled whining
Piracy advocates seem to have a rationalization for every argument thrown against them, some valid and others completely fabricated – and purely there to assuage the pirate’s guilt and stoke their false sense of entitlement. A creator deserves to be compensated for their work. You do not get to use that work for free because you are broke, because you want to see if it’s any good, because it “doesn’t hurt the publisher”, because the DRM has broken the game or any of the hundreds of other pathetic reasons that pirates give to make themselves feel better about stealing a product.
People will argue all day about the theft part; since there isn’t a physical product, only a bunch of digital bits and an invented false scarcity to drive the price, it can’t be considered theft. I would suggest they talk to the people who created the product, who worked for months or even years in some cases to create the work in question. I would ask the art director, the voice-over talent, the scriptwriters, the texture artists, the musicians, testers, advertising department and coders if they spent a good chunk of their life working on a valid product or a random assortment of bits. (more…)