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MacRumors
Dec 3, 2012, 10:18 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/03/piracy-cripples-ios-game-in-less-than-a-week/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/battledungeon.pngWhen software piracy is mentioned, it is usually in reference to PC games and movies downloaded off of illegal sites. Very little attention is given to the piracy of iOS games, which has become a huge problem for some developers.

Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon, was forced to shut down its game this afternoon because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game. Here's what the team told fans (http://www.battledungeon.com):
Unfortunately we have taken Battle Dungeon down for the forseeable future. This was due to high levels of server load created by large numbers of pirated copies of the game. The high load revealed technical issues which we don't feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve.In a forum post, the developers went on to explain that after a pirated .ipa surfaced on the internet, the number of people joining the game multiplied. As they were not paying customers, Hunted Cow was left without resources to maintain the server. Battle Dungeon, which is no longer available in the App Store, was a game that impressed app review site Touch Arcade (http://toucharcade.com/2012/12/03/battle-dungeon-pulled-due-to-piracy/).
Battle Dungeon offered up gameplay in the vein of Outwitters [Free] and Hero Academy [Free], with a 3D environment, XCOM style action points and an RPG twist. The ability to level up characters and buy better equipment was balanced against a point-cost system in which having more powerful champions meant playing with fewer of them. It was an appealing package for anyone who wanted more "crunch" and micromangement out of their async strategy games.Players who invested money in the game will have the opportunity to get a refund by contacting support (https://www.huntedcow.com/support), which will include the $4.99 purchase price and any cash spent on in-app purchase.

Article Link: Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/03/piracy-cripples-ios-game-in-less-than-a-week/)



Bchagey
Dec 3, 2012, 10:21 PM
Support your favorite game developers. Buy the game!

itsthenewdc
Dec 3, 2012, 10:24 PM
A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/

chrono1081
Dec 3, 2012, 10:29 PM
But but but, piracy doesn't hurt anyone since its just a copy and people who won't really play it wont buy it! (Says internet idiots who never actually created anything.)

Its sad to see this happen. Piracy really does hurt the little guy more then people realize.

People deserve to be paid for their work. Period.

ZacNicholson
Dec 3, 2012, 10:32 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

bpran
Dec 3, 2012, 10:33 PM
If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?

notjustjay
Dec 3, 2012, 10:34 PM
A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/

Yup. What a shame. You work so hard and put hours into the development of a game, spending a lot of money to do so. You briefly get excited because, hey, people LOVE what you did and the money starts coming in. And then, this. You end up refunding everybody, shutting it down, all your hard work is down the toilet AND you lost money in the process.

How likely are you to work on that second great idea you had?

Piracy DOES hurt, folks. Pay for your software.

Rudy69
Dec 3, 2012, 10:36 PM
Mobile piracy is HUGE, luckily for me my game doesn't require a server otherwise it might cost me more to run it than what I make with it.

komodrone
Dec 3, 2012, 10:39 PM
if I'm not mistaken, you could go the freemium route. offline mode for non-paying users, but if you want to play online, buy inapp purchase. that way people can't pirate the game?

haruhiko
Dec 3, 2012, 10:41 PM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/03/piracy-cripples-ios-game-in-less-than-a-week/)


Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/battledungeon.png)When piracy is mentioned, it is usually in referral to PC games and movies downloaded off of illegal sites. Very little attention is given to the piracy of iOS games, which has become a huge problem for some developers.

Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon was forced to shut down its game this afternoon, because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game. Here's what the team told fans (http://www.battledungeon.com):
In a forum post, the developers went on to explain that after a pirated .ipa surfaced on the internet, the number of people joining the game multiplied. As they were not paying customers, Hunted Cow was left without resources to maintain the server. Battle Dungeon, which is no longer available in the App Store, was a game that impressed app review site Touch Arcade (http://toucharcade.com/2012/12/03/battle-dungeon-pulled-due-to-piracy/).
Players who invested money in the game will have the opportunity to get a refund by contacting support (https://www.huntedcow.com/support), which will include the $4.99 purchase price and any cash spent on in-app purchase.

Article Link: Piracy Cripples iOS Game in Less than a Week (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/03/piracy-cripples-ios-game-in-less-than-a-week/)
Guess this developer never made an Android game.

JoEw
Dec 3, 2012, 10:43 PM
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

nagromme
Dec 3, 2012, 10:46 PM
How likely are you to work on that second great idea you had?

Piracy DOES hurt, folks. Pay for your software.

And how likely is someone else to try their FIRST idea (if server-based)? Less likely thanks to pirates. I have an iOS game in the works, and some awesome multiplayer ideas—but they’re shelved because piracy makes server-based systems more difficult. I’m one guy, self0funded—there are only so many challenges I can tackle. Pirates make multiplayer, and ad-free play, and IAP-free play, all harder to deal with.

I know some people like to think piracy is good and developers who lose their shirt making their dream simply deserve what they get, since some devs do succeed anyway.

What about the ones that would have succeeded without pirates? It happens. Piracy makes a difference.

Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

Things can be done—depending on the specifics of how the app is built and why it’s built that way. Apple and some engine-makers can (and do) also help solve such problems (in some cases).

But if a developer fails to beat the pirates... it’s not the developers fault first and foremost, it’s the pirates. If thieves break the lock on my door... I could have had a bigger lock, but if I focused on my roof instead, say, it’s still the thieves at fault for their own crimes.

Put another way, if someone has an awesome new game idea for me to play, but they’re not savvy about fighting pirates and don’t have money to hire others, I STILL don’t want to be deprived of that game.

Shorties
Dec 3, 2012, 10:48 PM
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

Because there is no differentiation between a non paying user and a paying user. Sometimes developers will block access to jailbroken devices, but this just hurts paying customers on jailbroken devices, and usually is worked around quickly.

haruhiko
Dec 3, 2012, 10:50 PM
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

Apple doesn't share user information to app developers. This is a fundamental system of protecting your privacy.

rdlink
Dec 3, 2012, 10:52 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

Then you're a thief.

Plutonius
Dec 3, 2012, 10:53 PM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

besweeet2
Dec 3, 2012, 10:55 PM
If they truly believe that the surge in server load was due to pirates, then they should be able to lock them out. Lots of apps have pretty strong measures to beat pirates. Heck, even some popular paid jailbreak tweaks aren't cracked.

And don't blame jailbreaking in particular for this, as any non-jailbroken user can do the same.

mrsir2009
Dec 3, 2012, 10:56 PM
Pirates are cowards. Traditionally you had to have some balls to steal something, (in real life) but to pirate something via the internet requires nothing at all. They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.

haruhiko
Dec 3, 2012, 10:57 PM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

mrsir2009
Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

-AG-
Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM
We can all run around and blame pirates but there could be another issue at play here.

Who is to say that the servers would not have crashed anyhow?

This could just be the case of a developer underestimates the loads their servers would suffer from when it goes live, said servers crash and instead of saying that they stuffed up they blame pirates.

The media are all over the story, people feel sorry for the company and feel that they shouldn't be punished any further by them claiming a refund.

The company then no longer goes broke from their own incompetence.

OR it could just be pirates...

besweeet2
Dec 3, 2012, 10:58 PM
They do it because there's little risk and they never have to face the people they steal from.

It's mainly because of how easy it is. Apple could easily patch the way apps are codesigned.

kd5jos
Dec 3, 2012, 11:01 PM
I'm willing to pay double the asking price of this game to the developer to help them come up with a way to fight the pirates. It's sad that all these app purchasers would LET the pirates win like this. Fight back dammit!

ArtOfWarfare
Dec 3, 2012, 11:03 PM
I've actually found torrents of software I've written. I did two things:

1 - I contacted the web hosts and had the torrents taken down.

2 - I added in some code that assigns each user a unique ID. I can shut down users that pirate the app.

I've never had to actually use #2 before (I've found that only 2% or so of my users use pirated versions, and I suspect many of them wouldn't pay if I shut them down, and they don't seem to be seeding out torrents, so I don't really care,) but I put it in as a safeguard for if I ever need it.

mrsir2009
Dec 3, 2012, 11:04 PM
I'm willing to pay double the asking price of this game to the developer to help them come up with a way to fight the pirates. It's sad that all these app purchasers would LET the pirates win like this. Fight back dammit!

Pirates ruin everything for everyone. Thanks to them we've had to put up with annoying anti-piracy measures like having to put a game's DVD in every single frickin' time you play the game. Grr.

kd5jos
Dec 3, 2012, 11:08 PM
We can all run around and blame pirates but there could be another issue at play here.

Who is to say that the servers would not have crashed anyhow?


And who's to say they would have? Who's to say that the company didn't plan a steady upgrade stream based on purchases? Do you know otherwise? No, didn't think so...


This could just be the case of a developer underestimates the loads their servers would suffer from when it goes live, said servers crash and instead of saying that they stuffed up they blame pirates.


So they take the financial hit AND refund everyone's money? I call B.S. on your theory so far...


The media are all over the story, people feel sorry for the company and feel that they shouldn't be punished any further by them claiming a refund.


You mean people can see a group trying to do something good, and HELP them when it backfires? WTFark is this world coming to?


The company then no longer goes broke from their own incompetence.


Which you have no proof of AND you forgot about the pirated copy of the game floating around out there. Sure that had NOTHING to do with it, PURELY coincidental...


OR it could just be pirates...

That's kinda what all the people that know what they're talking about are saying....

brayhite
Dec 3, 2012, 11:18 PM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

This analogy doesn't work, considering software doesn't have a CoGS associated with it.

But for the sake of the analogy, I'll say this: what the pirate guy said is no different than someone buying a pair of headphones, trying it out for 29 days, then on the 30th day returning it for a full refund or keeping it. The only difference, assuming he's true to his word, is that he doesn't have to provide a "downpayment" so to speak.

So really, in his case, it's only wrong if you think people should provide money upfront. In the same breath, do you think it's outrageous if the local frozen yogurt shop won't let you sample their flavors without money down? Or if a car dealership wouldn't let you test drive before buying?

Yamcha
Dec 3, 2012, 11:19 PM
Sad, but I doubt piracy will ever end. I think developers need to find different ways to fund their projects, one example is kickstarter..

People are willing to pay for great ideas or games, it's evident with the success of many projects in Kickstarter.

I'm not sure of the ins and outs of game development, but we gotta find different ways to fight piracy, DRM doesn't really work..

All DRM does is ruin the experience for paying customers. The games get pirated either way.. I remember tons of upset customers because of Ubisoft DRM..

Anyway, I think anyone would be open to good suggestions..

Ibjr
Dec 3, 2012, 11:25 PM
This analogy doesn't work, considering software doesn't have a CoGS associated with it.

But for the sake of the analogy, I'll say this: what the pirate guy said is no different than someone buying a pair of headphones, trying it out for 29 days, then on the 30th day returning it for a full refund or keeping it. The only difference, assuming he's true to his word, is that he doesn't have to provide a "downpayment" so to speak.


Entirely different. When you have 30 days to return something, you have a finite amount of time and that time is set by the company you are doing business with. In a pirate "try before you buy" situation, the pirate is unilaterally adding his own terms without allowing the other party to consent.


So really, in his case, it's only wrong if you think people should provide money upfront. In the same breath, do you think it's outrageous if the local frozen yogurt shop won't let you sample their flavors without money down? Or if a car dealership wouldn't let you test drive before buying?

The samples and test drives are offered by businesses to convince you to buy the product. It is up to the business.

mrsir2009
Dec 3, 2012, 11:27 PM
This analogy doesn't work, considering software doesn't have a CoGS associated with it.

But for the sake of the analogy, I'll say this: what the pirate guy said is no different than someone buying a pair of headphones, trying it out for 29 days, then on the 30th day returning it for a full refund or keeping it. The only difference, assuming he's true to his word, is that he doesn't have to provide a "downpayment" so to speak.

So really, in his case, it's only wrong if you think people should provide money upfront. In the same breath, do you think it's outrageous if the local frozen yogurt shop won't let you sample their flavors without money down? Or if a car dealership wouldn't let you test drive before buying?

Well, those examples would be comparable to trying a game's free trial. However this case is stealing the product and then 'maybe' paying for it later if they like it. That is comparable to stealing IRL. No difference, really.

NSeven
Dec 3, 2012, 11:36 PM
So what, i am a developer, and my apps have been cracked and sent all over the net, we cant do anything by talking about it, people who crack software and make the tools to get them out on the web to people should be taken out into a public open square and shot in the back of the head.

This is the only way people will learn, our world is too soft.

Joe-Diver
Dec 3, 2012, 11:38 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

Thank you for admitting to criminal activity in a public forum. I hope the administrators will turn over any and all identifying information about you to the authorities so that they can get a search warrant and seize all of your systems.

notjustjay
Dec 3, 2012, 11:43 PM
The samples and test drives are offered by businesses to convince you to buy the product. It is up to the business.

I do, however, wish that Apple's App Store had a return policy like Google's, where you can get a full refund after buying an app and trying it for 15 minutes.

thewitt
Dec 3, 2012, 11:46 PM
If they truly believe that the surge in server load was due to pirates, then they should be able to lock them out. Lots of apps have pretty strong measures to beat pirates. Heck, even some popular paid jailbreak tweaks aren't cracked.

And don't blame jailbreaking in particular for this, as any non-jailbroken user can do the same.

Um, no they cannot. You cannot install an .ipa without being jail broken.

topmounter
Dec 3, 2012, 11:50 PM
This story is just a little too neat and tidy to be 100% believable... In that viral marketing sort of way.

Especially considering there is no shortage of wildly popular paid multiplayer games that have figured out how to deal with the "piracy issue" and haven't had to shut down.

When this game goes back up on the app store, it will once again be in the headlines and sales will skyrocket.

TechieGeek
Dec 3, 2012, 11:54 PM
I feel like the developers could have priced it lower than $5 :) I guarantee more people would have bought it instead of pirating it.

thewitt
Dec 4, 2012, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately there are few options available to app developers.

We have done several different things for customer apps, most relying on a test for Jailbroken devices and then disabling or debilitating the app.

Yes, it hurts the honest Jailbroken device owner, however since all pirates are running on Jailbroken devices, the good get hurt with the bad, but with significantly less impact than the bad destroying the rest.

Our TOS clearly states that running on a Jailbroken device is not supported, so caveat emptor.

We are also among the many developers lobbying Apple for a better way to determine if an app was purchased so we don't have to play these games, but pirates are doing enough damage out there that we have taken measures against them both for our own and our customers apps.

In one example of one of our customer apps, they sold roughly 50,000 copies, yet had over 400,000 active connections to their game servers. This has since been corrected and only legitimate users are now on their servers - up over 250,000 paid users now.

Do pirates hurt companies? Undoubtably. Rationalizing it away as a "trial" use is disingenuous at best.

CindyRed
Dec 4, 2012, 12:01 AM
Seriosly? Pirates are ripping people off for five measly bucks? I mean, you could almost defend them over stuff like a $60 video game that was full of ads, but five bucks from a small company who's biggest expenditure this year was the iOS 6 dev kit for a Benny? C'mon!

kockgunner
Dec 4, 2012, 12:10 AM
It really sucks for those developers who spent so much time on their app only to have it killed not because it sucks, but because of piracy. It sucks that jailbreaking, which is used to explore alternative UIs, can be used to steal.

a0me
Dec 4, 2012, 12:18 AM
Can't developers use some sort of server-side authentication that prevents unauthorized copies of the game (pirated games) from being able to log into the game?

People would still be able to get the pirated version, but at least they wouldn't add to the server load.

coolspot18
Dec 4, 2012, 12:28 AM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

Because software is not a physical good. In most cases piracy does not contribute to loss of income as the pirate would not have bought the app in the first place.

xxcysxx
Dec 4, 2012, 12:30 AM
i confess, i steal games from torrents sites all the time.:(
however, "ALL" the games that i own and play are paid out of my pocket. though, i steal them first and play them, then if i like them i go to steam and pay for them and download them again. though, the stolen copy is deleted prior to downloading the purchased copy.

i don't know, i find myself enjoying games that i paid for a lot more than games that i steal.

cheers:D

AzoozG
Dec 4, 2012, 12:39 AM
I don't support piracy. But if the content is not sold in my country, I will obtain it illegally.

thewitt
Dec 4, 2012, 12:44 AM
Can't developers use some sort of server-side authentication that prevents unauthorized copies of the game (pirated games) from being able to log into the game?

People would still be able to get the pirated version, but at least they wouldn't add to the server load.

There is no way to tell who purchased an app legitimately. Apple does not share this information with developers.

----------

Because software is not a physical good. In most cases piracy does not contribute to loss of income as the pirate would not have bought the app in the first place.

Complete and total BS, used to rationalize theft.

----------

i confess, i steal games from torrents sites all the time.:(
however, "ALL" the games that i own and play are paid out of my pocket. though, i steal them first and play them, then if i like them i go to steam and pay for them and download them again. though, the stolen copy is deleted prior to downloading the purchased copy.

i don't know, i find myself enjoying games that i paid for a lot more than games that i steal.

cheers:D

Though we only have your word on this, I find it completely unbelievable.

maxinc
Dec 4, 2012, 12:51 AM
This story smells IMO. Any developer should take so called piracy into account when scaling up their models and either be prepared for the extra traffic and publicity they're about to receive or develop preventive measures to keep them at bay. Blame it on the convenient "pirates" is only a convenient way to bail out for whichever reasons they may have.

As for piracy, you really believe that humans love to pay money in order to discover new and amazing things in this internet age? I do respect devs work and I do pay for it but when a means for trying first doesn't exist, I either move away or try other means.

I think the current business model is broken where you need to pay upfront to try. If it works for you it's great for everybody but if it doesn't it's still great for the dev as it doesn't need to scale up but the customer has to suck it up for trying.

Snowy_River
Dec 4, 2012, 01:03 AM
This story is just a little too neat and tidy to be 100% believable... In that viral marketing sort of way.

Especially considering there is no shortage of wildly popular paid multiplayer games that have figured out how to deal with the "piracy issue" and haven't had to shut down.

When this game goes back up on the app store, it will once again be in the headlines and sales will skyrocket.

Yes, this is why they're bankrupting themselves by refunding everyone the full price of the game.

If they we planning on continuing, I'm sure they would shut down their servers, say that this was due to pirated versions of their app, and announce that there would be an update soon that would address this issue. Then, shortly, they'd release an update, with much fanfare, that would include some anti-piracy elements. But, refunding money doesn't sound like the publicity stunt you're suggesting that it is...

ladeer
Dec 4, 2012, 01:08 AM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

Wow I can't believe someone would say stuff like this. I guess you agree that "don't blame the rapist who rapes your wife/daughter or the robber who murdered your son/father, blame them for not learning self defense or looking too attractive"

Dainin
Dec 4, 2012, 01:13 AM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

I jailbreak and have never pirated an iOS app. I've even installed installious, in order to beta test apps (at the request of the developer). Saves them a UDID registration slot.

haruhiko
Dec 4, 2012, 01:15 AM
Wow I can't believe someone would say stuff like this. I guess you agree that "don't blame the rapist who rapes your wife/daughter or the robber who murdered your son/father, blame them for not learning self defense or looking too attractive"

My point was that they should implement some relatively easy mechanisms (than shutting down the whole app altogether) like an online account system and/or require in app purchase to enable online functionalities. The fact is that thieves are everywhere in the software industry. Also, software piracy, while being wrong, is not at the same level as murder or rape. It's more like shoplifting with a much lower risk to be caught. That's why some deterrent mechanisms can turn many pirates into paying customers.

Shookster
Dec 4, 2012, 01:16 AM
If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?

I'd imagine it's more along the lines of "we sold 3,000 copies and 10,000 people are connected to our server."

Billy Boo Bob
Dec 4, 2012, 01:42 AM
There is no way to tell who purchased an app legitimately. Apple does not share this information with developers.

Well, if Apple would help, they certainly could... I'm sure any iOS app has the same kind of App Store receipt that Mac App Store apps have (Contents/_MASReceipt/receipt)... This info is private to Apple for a variety of things (probably App Store version checks for updates, machine authorization, account verification, verifying a match of other data inside it with what Apple has on record, etc...)...

If it gets removed before being distributed to hide the ID of who originally purchased it, then the developer simply tests for the presence of that file... Not there? Don't run... Is there? Well... If Apple would allow it (with their very strict app rules) you could run an MD5 hash on that file and have the hash string sent along with the check-in to the game server. It doesn't give the developer any privacy info about the user, just that a copy of that .ipsw was loaded. If you're seeing a few copies hit the server then that's fine... Shared apps with family members / multiple iOS devices in the family can account for that... If you start seeing dozens / hundreds / thousands of that hash show up, then you disable it. No private info being sent to the server / developer.

And, Apple could provide, in the OS, a method for the developer to simply ask the OS if this is a legit receipt in the first place so people don't just put some junk file there in order to not leave the filepath empty.

baryon
Dec 4, 2012, 02:14 AM
Isn't there a way to block only the pirated copies from accessing the server? I mean most PC multiplayer games already do that, so it's not possible to play with a pirated copy. Wouldn't that be an option?

In this case, not only are people using software they didn't pay for, but they're also creating more damage by using a server they're not paying for…

H2SO4
Dec 4, 2012, 02:25 AM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

EH? You're joking right? WADR. You are an ass. The ONLY person you can blame for stealing something is the thief. Sure the developer can make things harder but he is not to blame, he didn't help but the's not the blame.

----------

Well, those examples would be comparable to trying a game's free trial. However this case is stealing the product and then 'maybe' paying for it later if they like it. That is comparable to stealing IRL. No difference, really.

Can't believe you all can't see the simple difference. We all know what the point is but the analogy fails because if I pirate a game, usually the owner can still play it also as it's more often than not been copied. If I take his headphones he can't.

Makosuke
Dec 4, 2012, 02:52 AM
There's a relatively important distinction to be made between two types of pirated software that at least a few people don't seem to be grasping:

A: In the case of a music album, a movie, or a "traditional" game, if you pirate it, try it, and decide to buy it, the original producer wasn't directly harmed by the action, at least in theory. And if some good-for-nothing jerk pirates it and doesn't pay, but never was going to in the first place, he's benefitting from somebody else's hard work that he has no right to and deserves to get punched in the face, but again, he's not actually causing active harm to the creators of said work. Might even be helping them, if he tells a friend who's not quite so much of a lout how awesome the game/album/movie is and that friend goes out and buys it.

Leaving aside the large grey area of abandonware or things that aren't available legally, at any price, in your country.

There is a much, much different case, however, which applies to situations like this story:

B: For software that has a cost of supplying service, such as (mainly, really) an online game that requires servers to support it, if somebody pirates it and doesn't pay for it, then the developer is having to support the pirated user with actual outlay of resources, without the corresponding compensation expected for it.

It doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between those two versions.

Now, in type A, it is certainly possible for everybody to pirate something, to the point that nobody buys it and the creator just can't make enough money to justify producing the material. It has certainly happened in at least some cases. But there are other cases where the opposite has played out, and a large middle ground (the modern movie industry, for example) where it seems to be more or less a wash. The analogy of intangible good piracy = shoplifting, however, just isn't 100% equivalent.

Type B is a different matter entirely--that's pretty much directly equivalent to shoplifting. You're stealing something--bandwith and server resources--that you're not paying for. You can only make the argument you're not if you're either 12 years old and not too sharp, or just an idiot. Or an unashamed pirate, which probably puts you in one or both of the other categories.


And I should add that I hate DRM with a passion (and when given the option, didn't put it on the books I've published online, so my money is where my mouth is), but if it comes down to no DRM = no game for anybody, you don't really have much choice.

I'll also add that even if this story turned out to not be true (which I can't honestly see why--if they're not selling the game and giving refunds, there's no marketing benefit for the company), the above still holds entirely true.

THOPMedia
Dec 4, 2012, 02:55 AM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

Congrats! You are a thief.

Edit: I see now that this fact has already been made known.
So I shall change my response: you are an ass.

Macman45
Dec 4, 2012, 02:58 AM
A crappy thing indeed, but if they're refunding 100% of the money they earned from the legit users, won't he be losing money, as they've obviously had costs along the way? :/

Dev's always lose when piracy is involved...Time taken to write the code, setup the servers is not included in the monies taken from the buyers. This kind of thing makes me sick, and I really hope we do not see an increase in IOS hacked apps, but I'm afraid it's a sign of the times...IOS is becoming increasingly more popular as a gaming platform, and with popularity comes piracy.:mad:

freedevil
Dec 4, 2012, 03:07 AM
The biggest problem is the lack of game trials. I don't mind spending money but I have no idea if I'll like a game or not by just looking at the images and reading the description.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 03:18 AM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

For every one like you (assuming you aren't lying to yourself as well as us), you encourage and support an ecosystem of around 10 to 100 others who are even less honorable than you

App piracy is a sad fact. Crooks exist. The developers of this game were a little stupid in not figuring out ahead of time a business plan and marketing strategy that would take advantage of this piracy instead of being killed by it.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 03:20 AM
The amount of people on their high horse in this thread is ridiculous.

It's NOT theft. It's software piracy. There's a difference.

To those using the headphone's analogy - try using something more relevant. Say I go to an art dealer, see a painting I like, and take a photograph of it. I then have it printed, and hung on my wall. No, it's probably not fair, but the original owner hasn't lost anything (unless you count a potential sale).

It's been proven many times that piracy actually increases sales in most industries - server based games, like this, however are possibly the one exception to the rule due to the relatively high cost of running servers. To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?

I suggest you read this - it's a really good editorial about Piracy, and some of the reasons people do it. http://www.neowin.net/news/editorial-how-piracy-changed-my-life

Tastydirt
Dec 4, 2012, 03:24 AM
A good way to temporarily fix their piracy issue is to require iOS 6.0 as the minimum version to prevent most jailbroken people who are still running 5.x.

This isn't a long term fix but it buys them some time to work out the server load issue before 6.0 is jailbroken.

thewitt
Dec 4, 2012, 03:32 AM
The amount of people on their high horse in this thread is ridiculous.

It's NOT theft. It's software piracy. There's a difference.

[clip]

It's been proven many times that piracy actually increases sales in most industries[clip]

Sorry, there is no difference. It's theft.

There is no proof that piracy increases sales. That's more nonsense spouted by thieves to rationalize their theft.

I've been developing software for more than 25 years, and pirates have been spouting the same nonsense for just as long. It's never been true, and it continues to simply be rationalized theft.

Truffy
Dec 4, 2012, 03:40 AM
If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?
Perhaps they can't differentiate the two, but they can estimate the level of piracy from the revenue that the number of copies hitting their servers should've generated minus the actual revenue accrued.

----------

It's NOT theft. It's software piracy. There's a difference.

To those using the headphone's analogy - try using something more relevant. Say I go to an art dealer, see a painting I like, and take a photograph of it. I then have it printed, and hung on my wall. No, it's probably not fair, but the original owner hasn't lost anything (unless you count a potential sale).

It's been proven many times that piracy actually increases sales in most industries - server based games, like this, however are possibly the one exception to the rule due to the relatively high cost of running servers. To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?
Piracy is theft, there is no difference.

Your photographing a painting analogy is flawed because what you end up with is a different entity (it lacks the texture of paint and canvas/paper, for example, which adds to the specialness of a painting).

And you don't have to rip off YT to discover new music there and buy it. Trust me.

djstile
Dec 4, 2012, 03:43 AM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

You kind of can...buy headphones, return them within the return period, get all your money back. I know the point you were trying to make but this does bring up iOS's nonsensical lack of an app return policy. I do believe there are some people who would buy more apps or pirate less apps if they were able to try them out first, even for 15 minutes like android.

thewitt
Dec 4, 2012, 03:57 AM
You kind of can...buy headphones, return them within the return period, get all your money back. I know the point you were trying to make but this does bring up iOS's nonsensical lack of an app return policy. I do believe there are some people who would buy more apps or pirate less apps if they were able to try them out first, even for 15 minutes like android.

Though this is a compelling argument, it has not proven itself on the Android platform, where piracy is so high many of us have dropped the paid software model completely and gone with adware instead. We won't bring our premium offerings to Android because there is so little chance of financial return.

I would like to see Apple support a demo or limited use mode however, and do believe it would result in more sales, but not because it would stop thieves, only because it allows more people to be exposed to your app.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 04:03 AM
Piracy is theft, there is no difference

Talk to your local District Attorney and an IP lawyer. There's a huge difference. Two completely different legal specialties, laws and jurisdictions.

Copyrights also expire at a time determined by the whim of Congress, when all your IP will become legally free for the taking. Will Disney be able to buy off politicians forever?

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 04:07 AM
Sorry, there is no difference. It's theft.

There is no proof that piracy increases sales. That's more nonsense spouted by thieves to rationalize their theft.

I've been developing software for more than 25 years, and pirates have been spouting the same nonsense for just as long. It's never been true, and it continues to simply be rationalized theft.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/12/05/swiss-government-study-finds-internet-downloads-increase-sales/

http://www.osnews.com/story/24376/Piracy_Increases_Anime_DVD_Sales_Study_Concludes

http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/bittorrent-piracy-increases-sales-of-leaked-albums-study/

Yeah, no proof at all.

----------


Piracy is theft, there is no difference.

Your photographing a painting analogy is flawed because what you end up with is a different entity (it lacks the texture of paint and canvas/paper, for example, which adds to the specialness of a painting).

And you don't have to rip off YT to discover new music there and buy it. Trust me.

Erm, nope. Legally, piracy is not theft. By definition of theft, you take without consent. If you download something illegally, then you haven't removed anything, you have duplicated (no matter what the various industry bodies would like you to believe).

It's copyright infringement at best.

And for the record I'm a software developer (granted I haven't been around 25 years) - I've written a small piece of software which handles load balancing of web servers - sells for £199, and has been doing quite well.

There's a pirated version of my software floating around - have I tried to get it removed? No way. There's a small piece of code which displays a banner in pirated copies (only in the admin panel) asking them to buy a license, and I quote "or at least make a charitable donation, send me an email with proof, and I'll send them a key to remove the banner". One small company made a £500 donation to Cancer Research UK, and I've had over £10k in sales through this banner, all originating through pirated copies. I doubt these people would have bought the software if they hadn't pirated it first.

Digging further into sales, registered users get 3 support tickets included, but you can buy more at £50-£150 (multi packs or diagnostics) a pop (a strategy clearly targeted to "unregistered" users - since I never limit registered customers to the 3). Support tickets from unregistered users who haven't purchased the software make up, on average, 10% of revenue. That is - for every 2 and a half registered users, there's a pirate who needs help. Now, I could get on my high horse and say "Look, you didn't pay for the software, bugger off", or I could sell them a support ticket for £50. Since there's no material cost-per-copy to me, I'll take the £50 from the pirate, thanks.

poobear
Dec 4, 2012, 04:16 AM
Don't bother to sell a game to me if it won't work when many people play it at the same time. Make your game scale better.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 04:17 AM
I would like to see Apple support a demo or limited use mode however, and do believe it would result in more sales, but not because it would stop thieves, only because it allows more people to be exposed to your app.

Apple does. It's called in-app-purchase, and an increasing number of developers are taking advantage of it. Find the free app useful, but find more and more ads appearing? Pay to remove. Or pay to play the next bunch of levels. Or for more app-berries instead of 100 hours of digging. There's still piracy, but reportedly less of it.

smirking
Dec 4, 2012, 04:22 AM
Apple does. It's called in-app-purchase, and an increasing number of developers are taking advantage of it. Find the free app useful, but find more and more ads appearing? Pay to remove. Or pay to play the next bunch of levels. Or for more app-berries instead of 100 hours of digging. There's still piracy, but reportedly less of it.

In-app purchases are screwed up too. Most of the the people dominating a lot of the multi-player games found ways to get free in-app money.

If you've ever played a game like Original Gangstaz you may have noticed that there are an awful lot of rich wanna be virtual tough guys totally dominating the game and being total pricks to everyone. People's first reaction is that they can't believe there are people who are such losers that they'd spend thousands of dollars to bully other players online like that. You can stop laughing at their foolishness because that game is the epitome of this problem. The most dominant players aren't paying anything to the devs. They're finding ways to obtain their "Street Creds" (the in-app currency) through hacks and cheats.

In the case of Original Gangstaz, I don't think the devs really care because they actually end up making bank because the cheaters drive a lot of purchases from people who got ripped by them and want to get even. One guy who hacks his way to $10,000 worth of street cred, bullies and trash talks dozens of people to spend $20 or $50 in futility to try to get even without realizing that the bully isn't playing by the same rules.

Just about every multiplayer game I've seen has signs of rampant cheating like this.

Music_Producer
Dec 4, 2012, 04:31 AM
To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?

I suggest you read this - it's a really good editorial about Piracy, and some of the reasons people do it. http://www.neowin.net/news/editorial-how-piracy-changed-my-life

Right :rolleyes:

Not every band/musician plays live.. or for that matter, wants to. I quit music a while ago (professionally) because there is no way to make a living anymore as an artist. Only the high-end artists make it (a handful) Studios are shutting down, music labels are pushing singles instead of albums.. studio engineers, mixing personnel are working for peanuts., etc etc.

Speaking from personal experience, I put up a 30 second clip of one of my tracks on YouTube. Kinda like radio, right? If you like what you hear, you buy it. If not, no big deal. 90% of the comments were 'Where can I download this song for free?'

Seriously, people don't want to pay $0.99 for a song. And you might think, that oh well at least it's publicity. Guess what? The ones who download illegally, will continue to do so. They don't understand the time, effort and money that goes into making a song/ tv show/ movie, etc. If it's easily available, effortless to download, and best of all - without any consequences.. then why not do so?

cdmoore74
Dec 4, 2012, 04:50 AM
We won't bring our premium offerings to Android because there is so little chance of financial return.

So your saying that the story is full of crap and every ios pays? Or are you saying every Android user is a thief? Not all ios/Apple users are saints. As a Android user I pay for each and every app. Same can be said about ios users as well.

Varedis
Dec 4, 2012, 04:57 AM
Don't bother to sell a game to me if it won't work when many people play it at the same time. Make your game scale better.

Maybe you should invite them to live in your magical fantasy world where servers cost nothing to run. I'm pretty sure they did their maths and factored in scaling server architecture to accomodate users, but they can't do that if a large portion of the players haven't paid to be on the servers in the first place.

92jlee
Dec 4, 2012, 05:06 AM
On the other hand we have Adobe's software that costs thousands of pounds - bet hardly any of you on this forum actually paid for it! "oh but they made their money already" "ill buy it when I become a professional" etc..
I pirate, I won't lie. I torrent pretty much everything because too many times ive bought a game, program or film and they are either rubbish, don't do what they are suppose to etc.

I torrent and if I like what I download then ill go out and buy it.

hamkor04
Dec 4, 2012, 05:18 AM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

I think he is trying to say, that games or other paid apps should be offered as a trial app for try it out. Or they offer 7 or 14 days money back guaranty schema?
There is no other way to cut piracy down, if they offer trial they will cut piracy at least 50% (it is tested, and don't try to ignore it)

BergerFan
Dec 4, 2012, 05:46 AM
Apple needs to implement some sort of digital signing feature, that is linked to your iTunes account, and only gets activated when you make the purchase.
Then give devs some sort of way to deny access to any .ipa file that's hasn't gone through that process.
Surely there has to be a way, for Apple to add something like this, considering the App Store is the only gatekeeper?

The other way, is to make your game free, and have one IAP, to unlock the full content.

alFR
Dec 4, 2012, 05:48 AM
Not every band/musician plays live.. or for that matter, wants to. I quit music a while ago (professionally) because there is no way to make a living anymore as an artist. Only the high-end artists make it (a handful)

Yeah, it's only massive high-end artists like Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm and The Long Winters that are making it now. Oh, wait...

Personally, I pay for my music (yep, all of it). However, the music industry has to recognise that the old business model (well, actually the recent business model - it's only for a relatively short time compared to the history of music that artists have made most of their money from selling recordings via massive companies that keep most of the profits) is dead (or at least dying). The internet and digital are killing it, hopefully along with a lot of the talentless manufactured rubbish posing as bands that we've had to put up with recently from the big labels. The digital genie isn't going back in the bottle anytime soon (if ever) so it's adapt or die time, guys.

Xenc
Dec 4, 2012, 05:55 AM
This is saddening. Apple does very little to ensure its "FairPlay" security actually protects developers.

Switchback666
Dec 4, 2012, 06:20 AM
Why they dont consider things like beejiveim does ? Use the udid to identify paying customers ? Its a damm shame.

CmdrThor
Dec 4, 2012, 06:24 AM
i steal cars, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i return them to the dealer.

Fixed your post. Think you would get arrested for that?

iConcept
Dec 4, 2012, 06:24 AM
Sorry, there is no difference. It's theft.

Would it be construed as theft if a reader went into a bookstore and spent time reading a novel to completion, as so many people seem to do? No, but if the book was taken from the store, that would be theft.

I'm not quoting any law or reference here, only my opinion, but if the software is taken away from the developer, I would class that as theft, whereas if someone utilises the content it is something else entirely.

I do not condone piracy, it is wrong and for the record, it really bugs me that people read a book in a store without purchasing it, but I feel that as an end user, if more 'free trial' or 'taster' options were available to me, I would end up purchasing more, rather than dismissing it based on cost.

I wholeheartedly believe that devs should be supported, and I regularly upgrade to 'Premium' versions or make donations, just to help them...but IMO, theft is categorically different to what's being done here.

whooleytoo
Dec 4, 2012, 06:35 AM
Why they dont consider things like beejiveim does ? Use the udid to identify paying customers ? Its a damm shame.

Apple will reject any app that sends the UDID without the user's consent; and anyone who pirates an app is unlikely to agree to send it.

Phil A.
Dec 4, 2012, 06:40 AM
IMO, this sort of piracy is more akin to theft.
We always get the tired excuse from people who pirate that "they're not depriving anyone of anything so it's not theft" and "I wouldn't have bought it anyway, so nothing's been lost".

However, in the case of software that connects to back end systems, pirates are permanently depriving the vendor of network bandwidth (which has to be paid for) and server resources (again, which have to be be paid for) that could be used for paying customers.

So, the "nothing has been lost" argument is fundamentally flawed and the pirates are stealing from the vendor

thewitt
Dec 4, 2012, 07:12 AM
So your saying that the story is full of crap and every ios pays? Or are you saying every Android user is a thief? Not all ios/Apple users are saints. As a Android user I pay for each and every app. Same can be said about ios users as well.

Um, no.

What I said, and I thought it was pretty clear, was the trial period in the Android App Store has done nothing to curb piracy, and its significantly higher there than in the iOS App Store.

Sorry if these facts upset you, but its the harsh reality of the situation.

Are all Android users pirates? Of course not. I never said that.

What I said was piracy there is so bad however that we will not bring our premium products to th platform.

----------

Would it be construed as theft if a reader went into a bookstore and spent time reading a novel to completion, as so many people seem to do? No, but if the book was taken from the store, that would be theft.
[clip]

Walk into a retail store and use my software on their iPad, and no. You have done nothing wrong.

Install my software on your device without paying me for it, and yes you have stolen it.

The bookstore owner needs to decide how he wants to treat people who abuse his service, but I would not let you sit in my bookstore and treat it like your personal library.

nwcs
Dec 4, 2012, 07:19 AM
It's amazing how many people in here are blaming the developer as if it is their fault that they were stolen from. It would be interesting to have their words handed to them next time something they made is stolen from them.

----------

Would it be construed as theft if a reader went into a bookstore and spent time reading a novel to completion, as so many people seem to do? No, but if the book was taken from the store, that would be theft.

Yes. Not theft from the bookstore but theft from the author who created the book that you consumed without paying for. Reading a chapter to see if you like a book and then putting it back or buying is one thing. Reading the whole thing without paying for it is different. If you need to do that then go to the library where the author was compensated for the book sale.

SprSynJn
Dec 4, 2012, 07:21 AM
This analogy doesn't work, considering software doesn't have a CoGS associated with it.

But for the sake of the analogy, I'll say this: what the pirate guy said is no different than someone buying a pair of headphones, trying it out for 29 days, then on the 30th day returning it for a full refund or keeping it. The only difference, assuming he's true to his word, is that he doesn't have to provide a "downpayment" so to speak.

That doesn't make any sense. If you don't take it back, then your money is still gone and the manufacturer gets paid like they should. Someone who pirates is doing exactly like what he said, stealing something and then paying for it afterwards. There is no way around this.

labars
Dec 4, 2012, 07:43 AM
People, just because you write in a forum that piracy is theft does not make it so. Piracy is piracy, there is no connection to thievery.

DrRadon
Dec 4, 2012, 07:48 AM
Then you're a thief.

Copying something is not stealing because there is no physical harm don. Now when you illegaly use their servers and cause the developers actual harm we can talk about this differently.

With iOS games it might be a slitghtly different story since you can say it´s cheap, why not take the risk and buy a game based on 3 screenshots. But if you look at full PC games for 60 bucks that bind the game to an acount on Steam/Origin/uPlay so you can never trade it in... hell no. Especialy if you got someone as stupid as UbiSoft creating DRM that is so restrictive that the pirated copy of a game actualy works smother than the original 60$ edition.

It´s a battle. They try to take your right in game ownership and you got to take the power back. Pay for the games that deserve it since you will never be able to resell them or bring them over to a frinds house. They are worth less than yesterdays games but sold for the same price.

Jsameds
Dec 4, 2012, 07:51 AM
How much bandwidth does a relatively small iOS game use anyway? It can't be that much, can it?

I know, multiply by a few thousand and it all adds up, but surely the better option is to optimise the game so the load on the servers is reduced?

whooleytoo
Dec 4, 2012, 07:55 AM
With iOS games it might be a slitghtly different story since you can say it´s cheap, why not take the risk and buy a game based on 3 screenshots. But if you look at full PC games for 60 bucks that bind the game to an acount on Steam/Origin/uPlay so you can never trade it in... hell no. Especialy if you got someone as stupid as UbiSoft creating DRM that is so restrictive that the pirated copy of a game actualy works smother than the original 60$ edition.


Fine, in that case pirate the game, then send the game publishers $60. Everybody wins.

I wonder how many of those who pirate games would actually do that. 1%. 0.01%?

derek4484
Dec 4, 2012, 07:58 AM
If this was Android where you can just copy the .apk file from one device to a file sharing site and millions can download it, then I would. But its much harder to pirate games on iOS. I'm not believing what they're saying. To begin with, the portion of people who have jailbroken iphones is not very much.

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 08:01 AM
People, just because you write in a forum that piracy is theft does not make it so. Piracy is piracy, there is no connection to thievery.

I guess you subscribe to this theory. Regardless, piracy is taking something that doesn't belong to you, in an illegal manner. Try to justify it any way you want, but you're wrong.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jWNhyMUpjSE/TLItM8FFAvI/AAAAAAAAHZ4/LZhHTueXx00/s1600/piracy-600x597.jpg

ncaissie
Dec 4, 2012, 08:25 AM
Deleted

notjustjay
Dec 4, 2012, 08:27 AM
Because software is not a physical good. In most cases piracy does not contribute to loss of income as the pirate would not have bought the app in the first place.

But this very article that you are commenting on is indicating that this is simply not true. It may have been, at one point, but now when apps connect to servers and contribute to server load and bandwidth, then it DOES cause a loss of income in the form of additional ongoing expenses that haven't been paid for.

Kaibelf
Dec 4, 2012, 08:37 AM
Because software is not a physical good. In most cases piracy does not contribute to loss of income as the pirate would not have bought the app in the first place.

Parking your car isn't a physical good. Neither is cleaning your house. Or doing your taxes. Or babysitting your kids. People still pay for these things. Why? Because you don't deserve things for free, no matter how self-absorbed and entitled you want to act.

----------

I don't! And I take offence to you saying I do.
Do you think all black people are criminals also? All Muslims are terrorists? :rolleyes: idiot
It's a fact that I JB my ipad two on iOS5 because I wanted to put a theme and use that cool utility. I have since upgraded to iOS 6 because that was the only reason I JB my iPad. I regret it every day because I miss the theme and cool icons.

----------

One thing that pisses me off and I wish Apple would ban is in app purchases.
Specially these *******s that say do you want this? And don’t even give you the price. They could be charging you $100 and you wouldn’t know it. I am happy there is a way to turn it off but it still pisses me off. Just make a demo and charge for the full game you greedy pigs.

----------



Exactly. What did they use a 386 for a server?
I believe they did it as an excuse for some reason.

So to you as long as it isn't TOO expensive for your financial situation, it's okay to just steal. Okay then.

Saladinos
Dec 4, 2012, 08:45 AM
Isn't there a way to block only the pirated copies from accessing the server? I mean most PC multiplayer games already do that, so it's not possible to play with a pirated copy. Wouldn't that be an option?

In this case, not only are people using software they didn't pay for, but they're also creating more damage by using a server they're not paying for…

There are a bunch of developers who have created additional anti-piracy measures for iOS. Some of them are free libraries (like mtiks). I don't have any experience with them personally, but I know they do exist.

He could release an update that includes any of them and require it to connect to the server.

The situation is salvageable for the the developer.

the8thark
Dec 4, 2012, 08:45 AM
Your photographing a painting analogy is flawed because what you end up with is a different entity (it lacks the texture of paint and canvas/paper, for example, which adds to the specialness of a painting).

His analogy works. In many cases the pirated software is not identical to the paid App. No online or other features accessible. So you're getting a mostly similar comparison to the original and not paying for it.

And I think piracy is a two way street as is music. Hear music on the radio. Live the song and buy the album. Sale generated.

Play the game at . . . well you can't till you buy it. But how do you know if you want it till you try it hence the piracy. And a lot of times people try out a game love it and end up buying it. Technically it's piracy. But I don't feel bad about that. Cause if they never had the trial then there was 0% chance of a sale being made. The days of good game demos and trial versions are over.

And game reviews are not good enough. Some random game critic gives the game a 9. But I might hate it. There are a few high rated games out there I bought and played and realised . . . what a piece of junk. Was the game reviewer high when they gave it a high score? A few purchases I have regretted. So now for cheap games I take the risk. But for expensive ones I get a lot of feedback first. Friends, critics, game videos/screenshots etc etc and a demo if there is one before I choose to buy or not.

Compile 'em all
Dec 4, 2012, 08:49 AM
An easy solution would be requiring iOS 6. AFAIK, iOS 6 isn't jailbroken. Simply block any requests from iOS 5.

aliensporebomb
Dec 4, 2012, 08:54 AM
They're going bonkers pirating a five dollar game. What are these pirates? School kids with no allowances? Who can't afford a 5 dollar game?

bumblebritches5
Dec 4, 2012, 09:13 AM
Then you're a thief.

You can't steal information.

koban4max
Dec 4, 2012, 09:26 AM
Then you're a thief.
My my aren't you quick to judge. Burn the witch have you?

Switchback666
Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
Most people i see with jailbroken iphones have installous, they dont even download the free apps from the appstore :eek:

Varedis
Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
There are a bunch of developers who have created additional anti-piracy measures for iOS. Some of them are free libraries (like mtiks). I don't have any experience with them personally, but I know they do exist.

He could release an update that includes any of them and require it to connect to the server.

The situation is salvageable for the the developer.

Free anti-piracy libraries are not going to provide any extra layer of protection over cracking, the fact that the whole code is published on the internet somewhere means that anyone could bypass it by just looking for the predefined function calls.

Most anti-piracy measures takes much longer to implement than it does for someone to crack it, either by running an automated script or by bypassing the code altogether. For many indie developers those precious hours are better spent making a half decent game rather than coming up with convoluted ways to stop someone cracking the .ipa.

Piracy is never going to be totally eradicated, the best you can hope is that you can hold the pirates off until you have turned a profit, but it only takes one person to feed it to the world.

spazzcat
Dec 4, 2012, 09:29 AM
Seriosly? Pirates are ripping people off for five measly bucks? I mean, you could almost defend them over stuff like a $60 video game that was full of ads, but five bucks from a small company who's biggest expenditure this year was the iOS 6 dev kit for a Benny? C'mon!

I am sure those project managers, graphic arts, and developers worked for free...

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 09:29 AM
It's funny seeing all these armchair lawyers.

If you think piracy is stealing/theft, call your lawyer and ask them what they think. It's *not* theft - it's copyright infringement which isn't even illegal in most countries, let alone being theft (in the UK for example it's a civil matter, not a criminal one).

spazzcat
Dec 4, 2012, 09:34 AM
The amount of people on their high horse in this thread is ridiculous.

It's NOT theft. It's software piracy. There's a difference.

To those using the headphone's analogy - try using something more relevant. Say I go to an art dealer, see a painting I like, and take a photograph of it. I then have it printed, and hung on my wall. No, it's probably not fair, but the original owner hasn't lost anything (unless you count a potential sale).

It's been proven many times that piracy actually increases sales in most industries - server based games, like this, however are possibly the one exception to the rule due to the relatively high cost of running servers. To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?

I suggest you read this - it's a really good editorial about Piracy, and some of the reasons people do it. http://www.neowin.net/news/editorial-how-piracy-changed-my-life

Expect the part where developer has to support the person that didn't pay for the game with bandwidth and server resources...

ChazUK
Dec 4, 2012, 09:38 AM
They're going bonkers pirating a five dollar game. What are these pirates? School kids with no allowances? Who can't afford a 5 dollar game?

This is what always mystifies me.

These devices they play/use their pirated games/apps on cost hundreds of £/$/€/¥/whatever, yet, they can't afford the pittance that most developers ask for the use of their hard work? :(

It doesn't make sense.

AnonMac50
Dec 4, 2012, 09:42 AM
So sad…:(

Can't they put something that detects if it's pirated? I'm sure I read about a few apps before that do that.

spazzcat
Dec 4, 2012, 09:43 AM
I guess you subscribe to this theory. Regardless, piracy is taking something that doesn't belong to you, in an illegal manner. Try to justify it any way you want, but you're wrong.

Image (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_jWNhyMUpjSE/TLItM8FFAvI/AAAAAAAAHZ4/LZhHTueXx00/s1600/piracy-600x597.jpg)

Look at this way, your car is back in the morning, but the gas tank is empty. The developer has a cost for every copy that isn't paid for...

ethicalfan
Dec 4, 2012, 09:49 AM
ISPs asked congress for a shield from copyright liability and they got it in the DMCA in 1998. Now they abuse the law they asked for and have reneged on their agreement with congress and the American people. US law says that ISPs only have safe harbor from their subscribers illegally distributing content if they have a policy for terminating repeat infringers (17 USC 512 (i). If they were doing this, 42% of all US internet upstream traffic wouldn't be used to illegally distribute music, movies, games, software and ebooks. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that musicians wages are down 45% since p2p technology arrived. US Home video sales (DVD, BluRay, PayTV, VOD, Streaming) are down 25% to $18.5B in 2011 from $25B in 2006.
The first BitTorrent search engines debuted in 2004. Recorded music is down worldwide from $27B in 1999 (Napster) to $15B in 2011. Video Game revenue (consoles & PC) is down 13% from 2007. In the meantime US broadband revenues grew from zero to $50B a year in the US with p2p as the killer app that drove broadband adoption. Those are real jobs lost that are not coming back until the public realizes that these are your friends and neighbors whose careers are being destroyed by lack of copyright enforcement. Who is destroying these industries? ISPs who ignore the law 17 USC 512 (i) and do not terminate repeat infringers. US Telecom makes >$400B a year, US creative industries less than <$80B a year. Verizon $120B a year, Electronic Arts $4B, Viacom (CBS, MTV & Paramount Pictures) $14B a year, Warner Music Group $2.4B a year.

brayhite
Dec 4, 2012, 09:53 AM
Entirely different. When you have 30 days to return something, you have a finite amount of time and that time is set by the company you are doing business with. In a pirate "try before you buy" situation, the pirate is unilaterally adding his own terms without allowing the other party to consent.



The samples and test drives are offered by businesses to convince you to buy the product. It is up to the business.

So it's not wrong that he's taking the software, trying it, then making the purchase decision - it's wrong that he's doing this without the seller's consent. Okay.

Well, those examples would be comparable to trying a game's free trial. However this case is stealing the product and then 'maybe' paying for it later if they like it. That is comparable to stealing IRL. No difference, really.

Again, my post was referring to the guy who said he will pirate the game, try it out, and if he likes it then buy it. If he ends up liking it, the end result is no different than if he paid for it before using it. If he doesn't like it, then he got a small amount of time of use with the app for free. Okay.

That doesn't make any sense. If you don't take it back, then your money is still gone and the manufacturer gets paid like they should. Someone who pirates is doing exactly like what he said, stealing something and then paying for it afterwards. There is no way around this.

You are correct. Again, I'm focusing on the ends justifying the means. The ends are still the company getting paid. So the only difference is whether the user paid upfront or not, and the issue of the company not wanting this to happen.

Developers don't control the terms of the App Store - Apple does. And in Taiwan, there is a 7-day return policy, put in place in the App Store by Apple.

In that sense, it's unfair to non-Taiwanese App Store purchasers that Apple doesn't provide this benefit. So would it be okay if a pirate said they were pirating because they want this 7-day return policy and until they get it from Apple, they will download an app for free and try it before buying it?

Jo Bot
Dec 4, 2012, 09:57 AM
I don't see what the problem is here.

1) Change the client/server method signatures.
2) Push out update to iTunes.

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 10:00 AM
Wow I can't believe someone would say stuff like this. I guess you agree that "don't blame the rapist who rapes your wife/daughter or the robber who murdered your son/father, blame them for not learning self defense or looking too attractive"
You are not properly fulfilling Godwin's law. Better luck next time.

larrybeo
Dec 4, 2012, 10:01 AM
If you like to pirate gaames, download the app Appshopper. Go through the app store and put 300-400 apps that you want on your wishlist. Set up notification alerts on your device so that when an app in your wishlist drops in price or becomes free, you will be notified. You will find within no time that you are downloading more apps than you can possibly play for FREE LEGALLY. Devs are constantly dropping prices and making their apps free if you know when they drop in price. No need to do anything illegal.

gnasher729
Dec 4, 2012, 10:01 AM
If you've ever played a game like Original Gangstaz you may have noticed that there are an awful lot of rich wanna be virtual tough guys totally dominating the game and being total pricks to everyone. People's first reaction is that they can't believe there are people who are such losers that they'd spend thousands of dollars to bully other players online like that. You can stop laughing at their foolishness because that game is the epitome of this problem. The most dominant players aren't paying anything to the devs. They're finding ways to obtain their "Street Creds" (the in-app currency) through hacks and cheats.

In that particular case, I would argue that an in-app purchase is a legally binding contract, even if you managed to convince the app to give you your in-app purchase without you handing over money. So anybody with $10,000 of "cheated" in-app purchases actually owes the developer that amount of money. Would be fun if the started finding out identities and suing.

koban4max
Dec 4, 2012, 10:02 AM
Most people i see with jailbroken iphones have installous, they dont even download the free apps from the appstore :eek:

point being..?

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 10:06 AM
Um, no.

What I said, and I thought it was pretty clear, was the trial period in the Android App Store has done nothing to curb piracy, and its significantly higher there than in the iOS App Store.


----------



Walk into a retail store and use my software on their iPad, and no. You have done nothing wrong.

It would still be better to have a trial period available on iOS, and it would fit better, too. Android makes it easy to pirate, iOS does not. That is why there is a greater amount of piracy.

If your software has a price, I can't walk into a retail store to try it, unless it just happens to be one of the few they have installed. That's pretty unreliable. We did just install a game my daughter tried at Apple while I was picking something up, so that does work if possible. But that was a free app, anyway.

mijail
Dec 4, 2012, 10:11 AM
The high load revealed technical issues which we don’t feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve

Am I the only one mystified by that sentence?
Looks like the high number of pirates revealed a problem which can't be fixed. Was the problem unfixable anyway and this was going to happen as soon as enough players appeared? ...or what?

koban4max
Dec 4, 2012, 10:12 AM
Some things that developers can do to reduce piracy

1) reduce the price
2) if the consumer purchased the whole app, developer must drop the in-app
3) Make the game worthwhile (long game, gameplay, fix crashes/other issues)
4) more updates to expand the game without extra charge (e.g. infinity blade 2)

seecoolguy
Dec 4, 2012, 10:12 AM
[/COLOR]
Piracy is theft, there is no difference.

Your photographing a painting analogy is flawed because what you end up with is a different entity (it lacks the texture of paint and canvas/paper, for example, which adds to the specialness of a painting).

And you don't have to rip off YT to discover new music there and buy it. Trust me.

@Truffy, I think what we really want to call this is copyright infringement
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piracy

but copyright infringement (piracy) does always equate to a loss of funds as ruled in http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/473/207.html

in this case there happens to be a financial burden on the game authors because of the obvious burden on their servers and cost in bandwidth. The problem with trying to define piracy and attempting to calculate loss is that none of these users would have paid for such games, it's a plain and simple fact, and those users that state they try and then buy, that's also non-sense. it's possible they buy 1 out of many games they play, but I doubt that the games they keep are all 100% non-copyright infringed.

plain and simple it's difficult to prevent copyright infringement, because as you add more draconian methods, you also impede your paying customers. case in point, buying a CD instead of online music makes it so that i'm not supposed to be ripping my CD, remember how there used to be damaged data on audio CD's in a vain attempt to thwart would be pirates? Same goes for DVD movies.

I'm more curious for users out there, if they would stop playing my addictive game to stay jail-broken, or if they would prefer to keep my game? I know that many video streaming services dont work if they detect the device to be jail-broken. What would happen if apps suddenly stopped functioning because they detected the cydia store? That's what I want to know...

GoCubsGo
Dec 4, 2012, 10:13 AM
Am I the only one mystified by that sentence?
Looks like the high number of pirates revealed a problem which can't be fixed. Was the problem unfixable anyway and this was going to happen as soon as enough players appeared? ...or what?

No, I think the problem could be fixed if they had the funds. The funds are not available because people playing did not purchase the game.

koban4max
Dec 4, 2012, 10:14 AM
I don't see what the problem is here.

1) Change the client/server method signatures.
2) Push out update to iTunes.

right...jailbreak for iOS 6 coming soon to your nearest idevices.

theluggage
Dec 4, 2012, 10:14 AM
I guess you subscribe to this theory. Regardless, piracy is taking something that doesn't belong to you, in an illegal manner. Try to justify it any way you want, but you're wrong.

The point is, it is not theft it is copyright violation. People can keep saying otherwise as many times as they want, but that won't change the fact that, if you get prosecuted for "piracy" you will be charged with some variation on copyright violation not theft.

That doesn't mean that piracy is good clean wholesome fun for the family or that pirates should be let off with a pat on the head and a lollypop - but nor does it excuse FUD that inflates its seriousness by confusing an age-old sin (theft) with the relatively modern concept of copyright protection. It doesn't help that certain groups have brought the whole issue into disrepute by making grossly inflated claims of "losses" based on multiplying the (guesstimated) number of pirate copies by the purchase price of the product. The important thing is how many products have been sold, not some wishful-thinking fortune that might have been made if only people were more honest.

Now, this particular case is a bit different in that the problem is not pirating the App, as such, but people subsequently obtaining services under false pretences by using those apps to connect to the publisher's server. There's a somewhat stronger justification for calling that theft (although I'm sure its still legally distinct) since there is a real (if pretty small per-user) cost associated with providing that service.

In this case it seems a deficiency in the App Store if sellers can't identify legitimately-purchased items (they don't even need UDIDs, just some encrypted hash of the UDID that can be sent to Apple for verification). The alternative which has been suggested by several here and which seems eminently sensible, is to give the app away and charge via in-app purchase for access to the servers. There's a reason why successful software houses like Rovio have gone with the "freemium" model... Or, you could try writing the 11th commandment (as if nobody ever broke the first 10) and embark on some Quixotic plan to change human nature. Good luck with that, but that way lies draconian DRM that inconveniences honest users (while the pirates just crack it) and police raiding the homes of 9 year-old kids (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/23/finnish_isp_monitors_bust_nine_year_old/).

There's not enough info to say whether it applies to this case, but I do, however, get the impression that some smaller iOS developers have unrealistic expectations of how much of their income they can expect to count as cashy money. 30%-of-purchase-price, with only $100/year developer subscription up-front, in return for Apple handling all the expensive payment processing and inclusion in a top-name store is a really sweet deal compared with the old days of copying, packing and shipping media (which, in turn, was obscenely profitable c.f. making and selling any sort of physical goods). I wonder how much they were planning on ploughing back into running their server and how long they were going to keep them running, maintained, patched, backed up after the inevitable initial surge of sales had dried up?

Meanwhile, I see a lot of first stones being cast here...

I assume the people who take such a black-and-white moral stance on this issue have never given a "mix tape" to their friends, or received one, made more than the allotted number of backup copies of a piece of software, bought a bit of software and installed it on more than one computer (without checking the EULA allows this) or attached a scene from Futurama with a humorous caption to a blog post. YMMV depending on the "fair use" laws wherever you live, but here in the UK anybody who has purchased a CD and ripped it to iTunes*, or taped something off the telly and kept the recording is a copyright violator (and hence, by the reasoning displayed by some people here, a thief).

NB: Personally, I pay for the software I use, or use free stuff, but I wouldn't like to bet that I haven't stepped on some crack in some EULA... some years ago I bought a C compiler (non-cheap) with a EULA cut & pasted by some lawyer who didn't know what a compiler was, that was violated as soon as you ran a "Hello World" program.

(* even the recording industries in the UK aren't stupid enough to try and enforce this against ordinary customers, but the law is the law and makers of CD rippers have to be careful how they word their adverts (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/03/30/asa-cd-burner-“incites”-law-breaking/))

malofx
Dec 4, 2012, 10:20 AM
Where can I download it ;)

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 10:21 AM
In that particular case, I would argue that an in-app purchase is a legally binding contract, even if you managed to convince the app to give you your in-app purchase without you handing over money. So anybody with $10,000 of "cheated" in-app purchases actually owes the developer that amount of money. Would be fun if the started finding out identities and suing.
I don't know that game, but usually you can earn the in-game money by playing. Purchasing it with real money is just a shortcut. That one does get a little fuzzier. Are you cheating the company? Or just your "score"? Compare to Angry Birds scores, where all the top players have cheated to get the highest number the software can display, 9 quintillion...

Westside guy
Dec 4, 2012, 10:22 AM
I think a lot of people are glossing over what's likely the real problem in this case:

The high load revealed technical issues which we don't feel we can fix to the level that our paying customers deserve.

I think piracy is stealing, plain and simple - but the real issue here is some technical problem the publisher can't figure out. Their model won't scale, and they don't know how to fix it. This was going to happen whether or not the game was being stolen by children.

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 10:23 AM
The point is, it is not theft it is copyright violation. People can keep saying otherwise as many times as they want, but that won't change the fact that, if you get prosecuted for "piracy" you will be charged with some variation on copyright violation not theft.


Your wordplay doesn't make a difference to me, obtaining something illegally is still wrong.

Michaelgtrusa
Dec 4, 2012, 10:27 AM
Really sad.

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 10:33 AM
(* even the recording industries in the UK aren't stupid enough to try and enforce this against ordinary customers, but the law is the law and makers of CD rippers have to be careful how they word their adverts (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2011/03/30/asa-cd-burner-“incites”-law-breaking/))
What is the law in UK? Because CD (redbook) was designed to allow one digital copy to be made. In the USA, the most stringent law is the DMCA, which says you may not "get around" digital protection. But CD allows for one, unlike DVD and later tech that does not allow any copying.

jinnj
Dec 4, 2012, 10:36 AM
If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?

They can't tell which are pirated copies, they can only see that they sold a certain amount of copies and the amount of connections to their servers in multiple times larger than the amounts sold.

dcorban
Dec 4, 2012, 10:37 AM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

This is absurd and not a correct analogy. An accurate analogy would be: make an identical copy of the headphones, try them, then return to pay for an original set if I like them, and dispose of them if I don't. In reality, you would simply test the headphones at the store first.

"Pirating" games to demo them is actually saving the developer money. Producing a proper stand-alone demonstration version costs quite a bit of time and effort. The cynical side of me feels that developers are so afraid of pirating because it allows consumers to properly test the product before buying. Imagine if retail stores banned refunds on every product as software companies do currently! I'm sure the frequency of shoplifting would increase.

rdlink
Dec 4, 2012, 10:38 AM
Copying something is not stealing because there is no physical harm don. Now when you illegaly use their servers and cause the developers actual harm we can talk about this differently.

With iOS games it might be a slitghtly different story since you can say it´s cheap, why not take the risk and buy a game based on 3 screenshots. But if you look at full PC games for 60 bucks that bind the game to an acount on Steam/Origin/uPlay so you can never trade it in... hell no. Especialy if you got someone as stupid as UbiSoft creating DRM that is so restrictive that the pirated copy of a game actualy works smother than the original 60$ edition.

It´s a battle. They try to take your right in game ownership and you got to take the power back. Pay for the games that deserve it since you will never be able to resell them or bring them over to a frinds house. They are worth less than yesterdays games but sold for the same price.

If you pirate someone's intellectual property you're a thief. It's really that simple. You don't think their business model is fair? Don't buy it.

Switchback666
Dec 4, 2012, 10:39 AM
point being..?

And your point :rolleyes: ?

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 10:40 AM
This is absurd and not a correct analogy. An accurate analogy would be: make an identical copy of the headphones, try them, then return to pay for an original set if I like them, and dispose of them if I don't. In reality, you would simply test the headphones at the store first.

You may wish to look up analogy. It is not an equivalency.

rdlink
Dec 4, 2012, 10:45 AM
You can't steal information.

It's not "information." It's someone's work. Get out of the 19th century.

----------

My my aren't you quick to judge. Burn the witch have you?

Quick when it's such an easy call, yes.

"I pirate software."=Thief.

You don't think (or know if) a product is worth the price? You don't like the licensing agreement? The proper action is to either walk away and not buy it, or give the developer the feedback that they might want to offer a trial version. It's not to take something that doesn't belong to you.

hoits2000
Dec 4, 2012, 10:47 AM
I'm calling BS. When was the last jailbreak? There are less and less jailbroken iOS devices out there everyday, none of my iPhones are jailbroken anymore thanks to 6.0. And all the pirates are flocking to this game? Sounds like a cop out of a company who was mismanaged and didn't project cost and forecast efficiently.

zachkolk
Dec 4, 2012, 10:47 AM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

I always update to the newest iOS when it comes out, so I rejailbreak often. Every time I do I install 4 things; SBSettings, Activator, TetherMe, & FaceBreak (FaceTime over 3G). Nothing else. I don't jailbreak for piracy (though I used to, I pay for everything now) or for the themes, only those four extra functionality tweaks.

topmounter
Dec 4, 2012, 10:53 AM
Yes, this is why they're bankrupting themselves by refunding everyone the full price of the game.

If they we planning on continuing, I'm sure they would shut down their servers, say that this was due to pirated versions of their app, and announce that there would be an update soon that would address this issue. Then, shortly, they'd release an update, with much fanfare, that would include some anti-piracy elements. But, refunding money doesn't sound like the publicity stunt you're suggesting that it is...

Maybe they are actually in over their heads and just threw in the towel, but regardless, I find it HIGHLY improbable that they have run into an insurmountable problem that hasn't been experienced and addressed by Apple or any other IOS developer.

dasmb
Dec 4, 2012, 10:54 AM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

Flat rate apps with heavy on-line features are doomed from jump. You can't run "forever" off ANY amount of money, let alone $5 a download. It's entirely likely they picked up a few hundred thousand more users than they had planned for due to piracy, but these users may have shown up through legitimate channels as well -- what then? Well, you'd have a bit more money in the pipeline to apportion new servers, but to me it seems this is an infrastructure problem they would have run into regardless.

Devs, if you want to have on-line features, you have to support them through in-app purchases. That's how this model works. Subscriptions, currency, "activate on-line play," however you like, but you do need something. It is much more difficult -- and traceable -- to pirate in-app authentication than it is to pirate a binary. What's more, it's perfectly acceptable to copy app binaries between i-devices within the same house -- if these devices are actually used by different primary account holders, in app purchases can get a buy from both of them off the same app download. At this point, piracy is just an alternate distribution vector for the same paid app.

I won't go so far as to say "don't blame the thieves," but this is an obvious case of a developer not really thinking through their strategy. But they should be able to regroup and re-release this app without too much trouble.

Zimmy68
Dec 4, 2012, 10:56 AM
I'm no game programmer but let me help them out.
Feel free to use the below code without giving me an ounce of credit!


[logon]
Check appleid.user vs paid.database
if appleid.user in paid.database

allow on

else

kick off with pirate.message

[end logon]

It's not that hard to implement, is it?
Or maybe piracy is a nice excuse for not having the infrastructure actually needed.

superfula
Dec 4, 2012, 11:09 AM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/12/05/swiss-government-study-finds-internet-downloads-increase-sales/

http://www.osnews.com/story/24376/Piracy_Increases_Anime_DVD_Sales_Study_Concludes

http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/bittorrent-piracy-increases-sales-of-leaked-albums-study/

Yeah, no proof at all.

Hehe, read the entire article instead of just the headline. None of them back up your farfetched claim.

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 11:11 AM
You don't think their business model is fair? Don't buy it.

I think that's why they don't buy it. ;)

UnspokenOne
Dec 4, 2012, 11:17 AM
A simple way for most game developers around this is to have it free for a limited time ie you need to set up an account in app and after 7-14 days if you like the game an in app purchase is required to continue playing if not you cant play followed by say after a further 14 of your account being inactive it's deleted from the sever. This allows a try before u buy approached of course you now need to block things like iapfree and iapcracker but these have been proven to be easy to block in recent games. Lastly I do feel for the developer and no the measures should not be required, if you have a great idea you deserve to be rewarded for it. But and there is always a but piracy will always exist such as thieves will always exist. That's life it's how we deal with it that makes the difference and yes I check all my apps against the latest jailbroken devices to ensure the iap crackers arnt one step ahead and if they are a mandatory update is required to continue using my apps

anomie
Dec 4, 2012, 11:21 AM
Then you're a thief.

Really? Then thieving is a good thing.

iSee
Dec 4, 2012, 11:22 AM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

Are you joking?!?
"Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system." !?!?!?!?
God, I hope you are joking.

Here's a sensible way to think of it:
Blame the thieves. Blame them a lot! Those bastards are stealing, which drives some games and developers out-of-business. Also blame the security system--a little bit--because it could always be better. But the vast bulk of the blame belongs to the pirates.

The

Plutonius
Dec 4, 2012, 11:38 AM
I always update to the newest iOS when it comes out, so I rejailbreak often. Every time I do I install 4 things; SBSettings, Activator, TetherMe, & FaceBreak (FaceTime over 3G). Nothing else. I don't jailbreak for piracy (though I used to, I pay for everything now) or for the themes, only those four extra functionality tweaks.

I don't think all people who jailbreak do it to pirate although I believe a majority of people who jailbreak do pirate (They originally jailbreak for other reasons then pirating but end up pirating).

Makos62
Dec 4, 2012, 11:48 AM
If you want the people to create the games, they need to be paid.....:apple:

SmileyBlast!
Dec 4, 2012, 11:52 AM
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

That's a good question.
It's not easy to answer.
Perhaps a solution lies in keeping track of purchases. A purchasing API linked to iCloud / iTunes accounts could be used to verify that a game was payed for before allowing the person to play and use resources on the server.

This is something that developer's need to build into there games from the beginning. They shouldn't have to roll their own. It should be part of the Apple eco-system.

This reminds me of the in app purchases piracy that occurred a while ago because a bunch of developers were not checking verification tokens from the in-app purchasing api. A hacker exploited it and they lost money.

Piracy could be the single biggest threat to the iTunes eco-system. I'm sure Apple will step up and protect it. They simply have to.:apple:

JAT
Dec 4, 2012, 11:52 AM
Are you joking?!?
"Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system." !?!?!?!?
God, I hope you are joking.

Not just "security system", "too-small server setup". There is definitely a question here as to what really happened. What if this game had gone completely viral like Angry Birds? What would they do when the server crashed with 2 million legal players?

We don't know what the precise problem is. But the dev's reaction is very odd, regardless. Pulling the game, refunding money? Weird.

aristotle
Dec 4, 2012, 12:03 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.
Talk about a sense of entitlement. Did you even read the story? The pirated copies cost the developers money not just in lost revenue from sales but bandwidth on their servers.

You have no excuse to pirate. Some games offer a "lite" or "free" version and you can always read the reviews and watch the review videos before you purchase.

In most cases, you are risking less money than an average meal at a takeout restaurant.

Do you expect to eat for free at a local fast food joint and then only pay if you like it?
:rolleyes:

lohocla
Dec 4, 2012, 12:23 PM
There is no way to tell who purchased an app legitimately. Apple does not share this information with developers.

Yes Pirated versions can be detected and limited serverside, has nothing to do with Apple and privacy rights. Please do not misinform to get your anti-piracy agenda across.. People like you are worse than the pirates, spreading misinformation to suit your own ideologies..

----------



Complete and total BS, used to rationalize theft.[COLOR="#808080"]
No actually hes right, software piracy in the way described does not lead to profit loss. Once the program is written its written.. that's it... future updates are not charged for, they are provided free as such. A pirate will pirate no matter what, he never intended on spending any money. the developer would have never saw his l00t otherwise

This is a clever marketing trick, Gameloft games are the most pirated out there for iOS and Android, and they are not crying bankrupt.

Basically what happened here is the company put up way too much initial startup, they overshot themselves. so in the end blame piracy... From what i can tell this is the ONLY case of a software co. failing and blaming it on piracy.. it just doesn't happen that way.

Im sure half the lying *******s here have pirated something, none of you have downloaded an mp3?.. if you did, thats THEFT you ****in hypocrites

----------

gnasher729
Dec 4, 2012, 12:25 PM
Some things that developers can do to reduce piracy

1) reduce the price
2) if the consumer purchased the whole app, developer must drop the in-app
3) Make the game worthwhile (long game, gameplay, fix crashes/other issues)
4) more updates to expand the game without extra charge (e.g. infinity blade 2)

Here's what customers can do to reduce piracy: Buy the game instead of stealing it!

All the things you say do not one thing against piracy. They just increase the cost and reduce the income from those who pay. Pirates are going to steal anyway.

firesuite
Dec 4, 2012, 12:26 PM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

I am not defending piracy, but this is not a fair comparison. "The store" likely has a return policy which would prevent this scenario in the first place. If he didn't like the headphones, he could get a refund. The same can't be said for software. I fully understand why software cannot be returned, but don't demonize one person's logical and rational use of the tools available to him to avoid a capitalist quicksand trap, just because others abuse the ***** out of the same tools.

aristotle
Dec 4, 2012, 12:26 PM
It's funny seeing all these armchair lawyers.

If you think piracy is stealing/theft, call your lawyer and ask them what they think. It's *not* theft - it's copyright infringement which isn't even illegal in most countries, let alone being theft (in the UK for example it's a civil matter, not a criminal one).
If you are using the bandwidth on their servers without purchasing a license for the game then you are stealing bandwidth.

You amoralists make me sick. Do you expect to eat for free? Do you expect lodging for free? Do you expect to be paid for your own work?

If you deserve to be paid a wage then what gives you the right to take something for free?

jtrenda33
Dec 4, 2012, 12:28 PM
Support your favorite game developers. Buy the game!

Offer free version. Expand your market.

usarioclave
Dec 4, 2012, 12:30 PM
I think this is the main benefit to a freemium game: piracy is much more difficult, because you have to pay to play.

jtrenda33
Dec 4, 2012, 12:32 PM
Rather than quoting everyone on here and saying the same thing, I'll just say it once. If developers offered a free version of their software, or if Apple ever implements game samples like they did with iBooks, it would help to alleviate a good amount of piracy--at least I think so.

BanterClaus
Dec 4, 2012, 12:34 PM
Here's what customers can do to reduce piracy: Buy the game instead of stealing it!

All the things you say do not one thing against piracy. They just increase the cost and reduce the income from those who pay. Pirates are going to steal anyway.

Have you heard of Steam? Price plays a massive part in reducing piracy.

dalexa
Dec 4, 2012, 12:35 PM
Hehe, read the entire article instead of just the headline. None of them back up your farfetched claim.

you should read the rest of his post.
he's giving you a first person view of the subject.

Analog Kid
Dec 4, 2012, 12:40 PM
Pirating a $5 game? There goes the argument this is economically motivated...

Offer free version. Expand your market.

That right! You'll lose money on every copy but make it up on volume! :rolleyes:

Some things that developers can do to reduce piracy

1) reduce the price
2) if the consumer purchased the whole app, developer must drop the in-app
3) Make the game worthwhile (long game, gameplay, fix crashes/other issues)
4) more updates to expand the game without extra charge (e.g. infinity blade 2)

In summary:
1) reduce the price
2-4) make it cost more

----------

Have you heard of Steam? Price plays a massive part in reducing piracy.

If they're stealing a $4.99 game they can click to download, I'm pretty convinced they'd steal a free one. Price might play a role for $50 games, and price/inconvenience certainly played a role in music piracy, but in this particular case I think we've found the asymptotic limit where people do it just because they can.

lohocla
Dec 4, 2012, 12:41 PM
One more thing not mentioned is that piracy has been proven to jumpstart sales, especially for things that might not be otherwise seen to all eyes in the world. since pirating I have rekindled a love affair with so many old game system roms, comic books and 360 games that I now have dumped $1,000's of dollars into to have the real thing. Piracy is a miniscule problem at best, worst case, some *******s on a forum is getting mad at piracy because he doesnt have access to all the websites we do so they feel the need to come on here and condone it over and over.. get over yourselves you whiny little *****.. Piracy helps software companies immensely

theluggage
Dec 4, 2012, 12:43 PM
Your wordplay doesn't make a difference to me, obtaining something illegally is still wrong.

I didn't say that "piracy" wasn't wrong. I said that it wasn't theft (which is what many people in this thread - maybe not you - have tried to claim).

Some things are "more wrong" than others and, I'm sorry, but depriving someone of some hypothetical profit that they might have made (if only more people had bought their software) may be wrong but is is just not in the same league as actually taking away someone's money or property.

"How wrong" is important in determining proportionate punishments and how much intrusion into people's lives - not to mention police and court resources - can be justified to enforce it.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 12:44 PM
you should read the rest of his post.
he's giving you a first person view of the subject.

That would be too sensible. It's far easier to just bash somebody that doesn't agree with your views.

----------

If you are using the bandwidth on their servers without purchasing a license for the game then you are stealing bandwidth.

You amoralists make me sick. Do you expect to eat for free? Do you expect lodging for free? Do you expect to be paid for your own work?

If you deserve to be paid a wage then what gives you the right to take something for free?

I make you sick?

No. I don't expect to eat for free. That's why I work as a software developer (both employed AND on my own) while I'm getting ready to tackle my PhD. If you looked at my previous posts in this thread - you'll see my own take on it, after selling my OWN software.

But no, as above it's easier to just bash.

chrono1081
Dec 4, 2012, 12:45 PM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/12/05/swiss-government-study-finds-internet-downloads-increase-sales/

http://www.osnews.com/story/24376/Piracy_Increases_Anime_DVD_Sales_Study_Concludes

http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/bittorrent-piracy-increases-sales-of-leaked-albums-study/

Yeah, no proof at all.

----------



Erm, nope. Legally, piracy is not theft. By definition of theft, you take without consent. If you download something illegally, then you haven't removed anything, you have duplicated (no matter what the various industry bodies would like you to believe).

It's copyright infringement at best.

And for the record I'm a software developer (granted I haven't been around 25 years) - I've written a small piece of software which handles load balancing of web servers - sells for £199, and has been doing quite well.

There's a pirated version of my software floating around - have I tried to get it removed? No way. There's a small piece of code which displays a banner in pirated copies (only in the admin panel) asking them to buy a license, and I quote "or at least make a charitable donation, send me an email with proof, and I'll send them a key to remove the banner". One small company made a £500 donation to Cancer Research UK, and I've had over £10k in sales through this banner, all originating through pirated copies. I doubt these people would have bought the software if they hadn't pirated it first.

Digging further into sales, registered users get 3 support tickets included, but you can buy more at £50-£150 (multi packs or diagnostics) a pop (a strategy clearly targeted to "unregistered" users - since I never limit registered customers to the 3). Support tickets from unregistered users who haven't purchased the software make up, on average, 10% of revenue. That is - for every 2 and a half registered users, there's a pirate who needs help. Now, I could get on my high horse and say "Look, you didn't pay for the software, bugger off", or I could sell them a support ticket for £50. Since there's no material cost-per-copy to me, I'll take the £50 from the pirate, thanks.

Please stop splitting hairs you're making yourself look stupid.

Piracy IS THEFT PERIOD!

Say you're a photographer, and you take a lot of photos, and I download them from your site and use them for my graphic design work for free. Thats theft.

Say I go to the movie theater and sneak in without paying and watch a movie. Its free for the theater right since the movie is just a copy? Wrong. Its theft of services.

What about a public pool where you pay $10 to get in? The pool is already there so whats it hurt if you swim for free? Again, theft of services.

People deserve to get paid for their work and there is not one single valid argument you can make to counter that.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 12:48 PM
One more thing not mentioned is that piracy has been proven to jumpstart sales, especially for things that might not be otherwise seen to all eyes in the world. since pirating I have rekindled a love affair with so many old game system roms, comic books and 360 games that I now have dumped $1,000's of dollars into to have the real thing. Piracy is a miniscule problem at best, worst case, some *******s on a forum is getting mad at piracy because he doesnt have access to all the websites we do so they feel the need to come on here and condone it over and over.. get over yourselves you whiny little *****.. Piracy helps software companies immensely

As a software dev, I estimate that ~10% of my revenue (in support tickets) comes from pirated versions, and I've made over £10k in sales converting pirated to non pirated through a nicely placed banner/message.

If piracy didn't exist/I had the pirated versions removed, that's alot of lost revenue.

nitro912gr
Dec 4, 2012, 12:49 PM
If they can differentiate between pirated copy and original copy of the client software, why don't they just restrict access to the server for the pirated one?

I was thinking the same, ban the pirates and keep the "players".

theluggage
Dec 4, 2012, 12:49 PM
What is the law in UK? Because CD (redbook) was designed to allow one digital copy to be made.

Basically - ripping a CD (or taping an LP) = making an unauthorised copy. End of. Not that anybody in their right mind would ever try to enforce that unless someone were distributing copies, but it makes it rather difficult to take an absolutist view of the law.

There was some talk a few years about fixing it, but no action AFAIK.

Analog Kid
Dec 4, 2012, 12:49 PM
The point is, it is not theft it is copyright violation. People can keep saying otherwise as many times as they want, but that won't change the fact that, if you get prosecuted for "piracy" you will be charged with some variation on copyright violation not theft.
Your argument is all well and good except for the point that if you're a thief, you likely aren't being charged with theft either-- you're being charged with larceny, or burglary, or armed robbery, or... Theft is a generic term for taking something of value that doesn't belong to you.

While I agree there is precious little information to judge this situation by, I think the discussion has long since left the particulars of Battle Dungeon and is now a discussion about piracy in general.

lohocla
Dec 4, 2012, 12:50 PM
Please stop splitting hairs you're making yourself look stupid.

Piracy IS THEFT PERIOD!

Say you're a photographer, and you take a lot of photos, and I download them from your site and use them for my graphic design work for free. Thats theft.

Say I go to the movie theater and sneak in without paying and watch a movie. Its free for the theater right since the movie is just a copy? Wrong. Its theft of services.

What about a public pool where you pay $10 to get in? The pool is already there so whats it hurt if you swim for free? Again, theft of services.

People deserve to get paid for their work and there is not one single valid argument you can make to counter that.


actually he made several valid arguments

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 12:51 PM
Please stop splitting hairs you're making yourself look stupid.

Piracy IS THEFT PERIOD!

Say you're a photographer, and you take a lot of photos, and I download them from your site and use them for my graphic design work for free. Thats theft.

Say I go to the movie theater and sneak in without paying and watch a movie. Its free for the theater right since the movie is just a copy? Wrong. Its theft of services.

What about a public pool where you pay $10 to get in? The pool is already there so whats it hurt if you swim for free? Again, theft of services.

People deserve to get paid for their work and there is not one single valid argument you can make to counter that.

I'm not the one making myself look stupid, it is not theft. From the Theft Act, 1968:


(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and ìthiefî and ìstealî shall be construed accordingly.

(2) It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thiefís own benefit.

STiNG Operation
Dec 4, 2012, 12:52 PM
Storm8 Should do this

yakapo
Dec 4, 2012, 12:54 PM
If you are using the bandwidth on their servers without purchasing a license for the game then you are stealing bandwidth.

You amoralists make me sick. Do you expect to eat for free? Do you expect lodging for free? Do you expect to be paid for your own work?

If you deserve to be paid a wage then what gives you the right to take something for free?

Funny you should say amoral - can't really deal with this issue without getting into philosophy. This postmodern culture we live in has little value for morals. "What's right for you, isn't right for me." "Who's to say what's right or wrong?" There are no absolutes... absolutely no absolutes.

I quit pirating years ago. Sad thing is that when you pirate a movie, you just hit play and you see the movie. When you rent a blu-ray from redbox, you have to skip through all the previews, advertisements, and fbi warnings to get to the movie.

----------

I'm not the one making myself look stupid, it is not theft. From the Theft Act, 1968:

So if I borrow your car without asking you, it's not grand theft auto if I intended to return it? :D

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 12:56 PM
I didn't say that "piracy" wasn't wrong. I said that it wasn't theft (which is what many people in this thread - maybe not you - have tried to claim).

Either way, you are arguing semantics. Depriving someone of their property rights is theft per common law.

Here is a good explanation:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=9183731&highlight=common+law+theft#post9183731

mully1121
Dec 4, 2012, 12:58 PM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

I can only speak for myself of course but I have a jailbroken phone and have never pirated anything. I mostly jailbroke because I was bored (and now I really like some of the jailbroken apps, apps I paid for btw). Granted there are plenty jailbreaking for piracy but not everyone.

aristotle
Dec 4, 2012, 01:02 PM
That would be too sensible. It's far easier to just bash somebody that doesn't agree with your views.

----------



I make you sick?

No. I don't expect to eat for free. That's why I work as a software developer (both employed AND on my own) while I'm getting ready to tackle my PhD. If you looked at my previous posts in this thread - you'll see my own take on it, after selling my OWN software.

But no, as above it's easier to just bash.
Sorry but you are a hypocrite. If you are "paid" to develop software as an employee then you should understand how much it "costs" to write software and "value" the work of others enough to pay for it if you obtain it or simply leave it alone if don't. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to play the game. If you eat food then you pay for it so why is the software, music, movie someone else produces be something you can take for free without consent?

I have been employed as a software developer for over a decade and I am also branching out into iOS on my own. I have also sung in live performances so I understand how hard it is to both write software and create a musical performance. Because of this, I don't pirate software, music, tv shows or movies. I value the work of others as an responsible adult should.

Don't be a digital hoarder because that is what pirates are. They take more than then could ever possibly need or use.

BTW. I used to jailbreak back in the old days before things like Installous existed and I even created some icon themes for winterboard. I stopped jailbreaking as soon as things like backgrounds became customizable. Eventually ringtones and alert tones were also customizable removing any last temptation to jailbreak. At that point, the risks outweighed the gains for me.

lohocla
Dec 4, 2012, 01:03 PM
I wonder how many people here have say maybe... copied a recipe from a friends cookbook. you didnt buy that book, he/she did.. you copied that information from that book without buying the intellectual rights to it.

so lets argue this and see where it gets you "piracy is theft" lunatics.

melvinn
Dec 4, 2012, 01:03 PM
Piracy happens. Whether we're talking about black flag sailing scallywags plundering ships for bounty, or the unauthorized duplication of 1's and 0's, piracy has always happened. It will always happen.

In the context of software duplication and distribution, the onus is on the software developer to plan and account for unauthorized users. (Why? Because piracy happens.) Developers have been doing so for decades. Product keys, phoning home, DRM schemes of several varieties, etc.

It would seem in this case the developer didn't effectively stop unauthorized players from joining their server. The only party at fault is the developer. (Why? Piracy happens.)

Other games in the Appstore with similar features and similar or higher levels of success (and piracy; it happens.) haven't folded. This would indicate there are effective ways to manage online access. Could Apple help more by offering x, y, or z? Absolutely. Is is absolutely necessary? Nope.

People here complaining that pirates ruin everything aren't seeing the forest for the trees. Because software copyright infringement (The unauthorized duplication/distribution of 1's and 0's) is impossible to stop, complaining about it is wasted energy. The onus has been on software developers for decades. And that's who/what failed here.

That's not to say I'm pro-piracy; I'm not. I just see it as an unavoidable fact of life.

----

An analogy to the argument of utilizing piracy for try-before-you-buy would be trying on shoes at a shoe store before buying them or putting them back on the shelf. Not shoplifting said shoes to try on at home.

----

And, if you buy a burger at a fast food outlet and it tastes off/bad, you can generally return the uneaten portion for a refund. Same scenario in a sit down restaurant, you definitely get a refund.

hchung
Dec 4, 2012, 01:04 PM
Apple needs to implement some sort of digital signing feature, that is linked to your iTunes account, and only gets activated when you make the purchase.
Then give devs some sort of way to deny access to any .ipa file that's hasn't gone through that process.
Surely there has to be a way, for Apple to add something like this, considering the App Store is the only gatekeeper?

The other way, is to make your game free, and have one IAP, to unlock the full content.

The IAP thing is the only solution that won't get some people up in arms.

Apple already signs it, already ties apps to your account. But this is all bypassed by jailbreaking. For that to succeed, Apple needs to successfully shut down jailbreaking.

theluggage
Dec 4, 2012, 01:07 PM
Theft is a generic term for taking something of value that doesn't belong to you.

The key word there is "taking" (i.e. depriving the original owner of it) rather than "copying".

The idea that "copying" could be wrong and intangible things could be owned is a very recent one compared with the concept of stealing - and the modern concept of quick, effortless, cheap copying as something that the average person in the street (rather than a writer or publisher) might do would still have been science fiction to the original authors of copyright law.

As I've already said - its not about whether piracy is wrong, it is about how serious it is and what measures can be justified to prevent it. The word "theft" is being used as an emotive term to justify a disproportionate reaction.

When someone invents the Star Trek replicator (or even as 3D printing and robotic machining improve) we'll have the same debate about physical objects and why I can't just make a copy of my car*.

(* Probably because the engine management unit contains software and World President i.am introduces the death penalty for software piracy in 2021).

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 01:07 PM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

"Jailbreaking to customize" is still copyright infringement. The DMCA exemption legalizing jailbreaking was specifically to allow installation of otherwise compatible applications. It does not allow for indiscriminate modification of the OS.

ncaissie
Dec 4, 2012, 01:13 PM
Originally Posted by bma
To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?

I suggest you read this - it's a really good editorial about Piracy, and some of the reasons people do it. http://www.neowin.net/news/editorial...hanged-my-life


Right

Not every band/musician plays live.. or for that matter, wants to. I quit music a while ago (professionally) because there is no way to make a living anymore as an artist. Only the high-end artists make it (a handful) Studios are shutting down, music labels are pushing singles instead of albums.. studio engineers, mixing personnel are working for peanuts., etc etc.

Speaking from personal experience, I put up a 30 second clip of one of my tracks on YouTube. Kinda like radio, right? If you like what you hear, you buy it. If not, no big deal. 90% of the comments were 'Where can I download this song for free?'

Seriously, people don't want to pay $0.99 for a song. And you might think, that oh well at least it's publicity. Guess what? The ones who download illegally, will continue to do so. They don't understand the time, effort and money that goes into making a song/ tv show/ movie, etc. If it's easily available, effortless to download, and best of all - without any consequences.. then why not do so?

He says people buy after hearing the song you say people steal. I say it's both. Some people are honest and some aren't. That's life. Get over it.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 01:26 PM
Sorry but you are a hypocrite. If you are "paid" to develop software as an employee then you should understand how much it "costs" to write software and "value" the work of others enough to pay for it if you obtain it or simply leave it alone if don't. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to play the game. If you eat food then you pay for it so why is the software, music, movie someone else produces be something you can take for free without consent?

I have been employed as a software developer for over a decade and I am also branching out into iOS on my own. I have also sung in live performances so I understand how hard it is to both write software and create a musical performance. Because of this, I don't pirate software, music, tv shows or movies. I value the work of others as an responsible adult should.

Don't be a digital hoarder because that is what pirates are. They take more than then could ever possibly need or use.

BTW. I used to jailbreak back in the old days before things like Installous existed and I even created some icon themes for winterboard. I stopped jailbreaking as soon as things like backgrounds became customizable. Eventually ringtones and alert tones were also customizable removing any last temptation to jailbreak. At that point, the risks outweighed the gains for me.

And if you bothered to read my posts I have explained how I have actually made more money due to the existence of piracy. That's not hypocritical, it's business. I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall here, but here goes:

I know that

- A: There is no cost-per unit to me of distributing my software digitally (I'm ignoring the "server/bandwidth aspect here - this is a hypothetical example).

- B: Piracy isn't going away.

Therefore I expand my **user base** by:

- A: Not disabling pirated copies. Having somebody pirate my software costs me nothing. I am no worse off if somebody is using my software. I don't believe in this whole "potential sale" BS that various industries like to throw around - if my software wasn't available, they'd just pirate something else.

- B: Inserting a reminder/link back to my website - constantly reminding people that they're using a pirated copy.

And monetize this by:

- A: Selling support requests to pirated installs. For complex server software, pirates are just as likely to run in to problems - in fact, they're more likely to run into issues since the software is probably more than they need. (10% of my revenue)

- B: Reminding users, in the admin panel, that they are using a pirated version, and asking them to buy a license. (Nothing is ever disabled) (£10k in sales)

- C: Adding adverts to the admin panel of pirated users, with another message saying that they'll be removed if they register. (Only small $$, but it's an annoyance to pirates).

I don't see what part of this concept is so hard to grasp. If my software hadn't been pirated - I'd lose two large revenue streams, and 1 smaller one, which = less money. I'll dig into a few more numbers for you. According to my install tracker, ~60% of known installations of my software are pirated. Now, given that a lot of pirates probably install it, think they dont like it and uninstall it, the real life number is probably lower (my best estimate is about 20% pirated "active" installs).

Now, consider the fact that 10% of my revenue comes from supporting pirated users. If I cut off the pirated versions, I would need to approximately 28.5% of people who would have pirated the software to buy it in order to maintain my current revenue levels, and I know for a fact, that would never happen.

Again, I don't really see what's so hard to grasp with this concept - yes, people pirating your app can increase revenue if managed correctly. It increases exposure, widens your user base, and provides the opportunity for additional revenue streams.

hchung
Dec 4, 2012, 01:39 PM
[/COLOR]One thing that pisses me off and I wish Apple would ban is in app purchases.
Specially these *******s that say do you want this? And don’t even give you the price. They could be charging you $100 and you wouldn’t know it. I am happy there is a way to turn it off but it still pisses me off. Just make a demo and charge for the full game you greedy pigs.

----------



Exactly. What did they use a 386 for a server?
I believe they did it as an excuse for some reason.

1) I recall that all in app purchases are forced to show a confirmation with the price. So you're never stuck with a unknown charge unless you just don't feel like reading.

2) You obviously don't know how much cost there is in running a server.

Consider this. If you have 10000 users, and each tries to connect to send one byte. You've just done 10kB. Obviously you need more than 1 byte to make a game meaningful. So say you need 1kB per user. If everybody logs on all at once to play, you've just maxed out a 10/100 ethernet port.

And then you need to pay for bandwidth.

And then you also have to consider that having 10000 users for a multiplayer game is a pretty sad userbase. So keep multiplying your costs from there.

chrono1081
Dec 4, 2012, 01:47 PM
actually he made several valid arguments

I'm not the one making myself look stupid, it is not theft. From the Theft Act, 1968:

I wonder how many people here have say maybe... copied a recipe from a friends cookbook. you didnt buy that book, he/she did.. you copied that information from that book without buying the intellectual rights to it.

so lets argue this and see where it gets you "piracy is theft" lunatics.

How on earth is piracy not theft? No offense but you are 100% wrong. There is no possible way to say other wise.

Splitting hairs like bma did only makes you look silly. Stealing is stealing. Taking something someone else is selling without paying for it is stealing. End of discussion.

phr0ze
Dec 4, 2012, 01:47 PM
Pirating is just using something in a way that you don't have the proper license. Its the license thats being sold, not the copy.

Everyone here is a pirate in one way or another. I could name hundreds of ways we have all been caught up, but here are some things people don't think of.

Using student edition OS or software for non-student things, beyond college, or buying a copy for mom.
Putting a picture or graphic on a flyer without paying for it
Commercially using a clip art from software you bought. (business cards, etc).
Forwarding an email which contained a cute graphic, poem, or inspirational message. Heck even recieving that message.
Grabbing your photo off a website provided by a photographer or event.
Putting your senior/yearbook photo on facebook
Using an graphic that you don't have a license for as your avatar ;)


Sorry, all these people who are creating things also deserve to be paid for their work. And we all sit here justifying it one way or another but really only get upset if it directly affects our particular business/life.

ncaissie
Dec 4, 2012, 01:50 PM
1) I recall that all in app purchases are forced to show a confirmation with the price. So you're never stuck with a unknown charge unless you just don't feel like reading..

1) I have yet to see an app show me the cost of an in app purchase. For example I had to go to the app in the app store and look at the most popular inapp purchases to find out that the Atari games cost $9.99 to buy all the games. (Just got an iCade cab.)

2) You obviously don't know how much cost there is in running a server.
Consider this. If you have 10000 users, and each tries to connect to send one byte. You've just done 10kB. Obviously you need more than 1 byte to make a game meaningful. So say you need 1kB per user. If everybody logs on all at once to play, you've just maxed out a 10/100 ethernet port.

And then you need to pay for bandwidth.

And then you also have to consider that having 10000 users for a multiplayer game is a pretty sad userbase. So keep multiplying your costs from there.

2) I have been an application and web application developer (Java and .Net for over 13 years. I am a member of the iOS development group. I am in the beginning of the Stanford Developing Apps for iOS.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:00 PM
How on earth is piracy not theft? No offense but you are 100% wrong. There is no possible way to say other wise.

Splitting hairs like bma did only makes you look silly. Stealing is stealing. Taking something someone else is selling without paying for it is stealing. End of discussion.

I've presented the evidence, and a quote directly from UK law backing it up. If you choose to remain ignorant of this and continue bickering, that's your choice. How is showing that I've earned money from pirates of my own software splitting hairs?

I don't see how that logic is so hard to grasp?

And I may look silly but you look childish - I know which I'd rather be ;)

chrono1081
Dec 4, 2012, 02:06 PM
I've presented the evidence, and a quote directly from UK law backing it up. If you choose to remain ignorant of this and continue bickering, that's your choice. How is showing that I've earned money from pirates of my own software splitting hairs?

I don't see how that logic is so hard to grasp?

And I may look silly but you look childish - I know which I'd rather be ;)

Like I said, I don't care what "definition" you come up with, taking something you didn't pay for is theft. Its been that way for thousands of years and its not going to change because some law in your country says its not quite the same thing.

I challenge you to get caught by RIAA and see if the judge favors you because "pirating isn't stealing".

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 02:07 PM
Well when I look up the definition of "Steal" I would say piracy is stealing, if you steal are you not a theft? Sorry but you can post all the UK law you want, but you're a theft if you are stealing software.


I've presented the evidence, and a quote directly from UK law backing it up. If you choose to remain ignorant of this and continue bickering, that's your choice. How is showing that I've earned money from pirates of my own software splitting hairs?

I don't see how that logic is so hard to grasp?

And I may look silly but you look childish - I know which I'd rather be ;)

phr0ze
Dec 4, 2012, 02:08 PM
Like I said, I don't care what "definition" you come up with, taking something you didn't pay for is theft.

Like your avatar?

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 02:09 PM
Like I said, I don't care what "definition" you come up with, taking something you didn't pay for is theft. Its been that way for thousands of years and its not going to change because some law in your country says its not quite the same thing.

I challenge you to get caught by RIAA and see if the judge favors you because "pirating isn't stealing".

I agree with you 100%, but these are the "loopholes" that are put into law (most likely not always intentional), that get people off the hook for all kinds of crimes. Then people use these laws for definition, rather than the actual meaning of the word to try to justify something they did wrong.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:09 PM
Like I said, I don't care what "definition" you come up with, taking something you didn't pay for is theft. Its been that way for thousands of years and its not going to change because some law in your country says its not quite the same thing.

I challenge you to get caught by RIAA and see if the judge favors you because "pirating isn't stealing".

If they did, it would be in a civil case, not a criminal case, because, wait for it, it's *not* theft. Jesus.

You may not care what definition I come up with, but that is THE definition of theft. You can't say "well this is what X is but I don't care, because X is actually this, and I'm not willing to listen to any logical debate otherwise".

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 02:10 PM
I've presented the evidence, and a quote directly from UK law backing it up

No, you presented one section from a UK law that you apply a limited interpretation to and refuse to consider any other definitions of the word.

The law that you quoted specifically includes intangible property. And piracy does involve the intent to permanently deprive the developer of their property rights. You can't undo the fact that you created an illegal copy.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:12 PM
Well when I look up the definition of "Steal" I would say piracy is stealing, if you steal are you not a theft? Sorry but you can post all the UK law you want, but you're a theft if you are stealing software.

Stealing: Take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it: "thieves stole her bicycle".


You aren't taking anything, you're duplicating it.

Look, I'm not pro-piracy, and I don't pirate myself. I'm just looking at this logically and trying to debate the topic (is that not the point of a forum - to debate the pros and cons of both sides of an argument)?

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 PM
You aren't taking anything, you're duplicating it.

Look, I'm not pro-piracy, and I don't pirate myself. I'm just looking at this logically and trying to debate the topic (is that not the point of a forum - to debate the pros and cons of both sides of an argument)?

Oh lord, you took a copy of it. smh

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 PM
You aren't taking anything, you're duplicating it.

Of course you are taking something. You are taking the copy. :rolleyes:

koban4max
Dec 4, 2012, 02:18 PM
Here's what customers can do to reduce piracy: Buy the game instead of stealing it!

All the things you say do not one thing against piracy. They just increase the cost and reduce the income from those who pay. Pirates are going to steal anyway.

Wrong. Some people pirate apps due to high price. Games may be fun... but to pay a game that is almost 20 bucks is definitely not worth it to those gamers. In app discourage people to buy their apps. So... Stop bashing on those people and quit using your philosophy on them.

AriX
Dec 4, 2012, 02:19 PM
Piracy sucks. But it sounds like this developer needs a lesson in how to deal with it.

Release a new copy of the app using trickier, more subtle protection. For example, on app startup, ensure the app has not been modified, and when connecting to the server, send down a hash of the binary, or a signature, which can be verified and refused if invalid. Obviously, some of these methods can be cracked, but if you put in enough, people will probably give up. There are a lot of ways of doing this; the big game companies do it all the time. This developer is doing it wrong.

phr0ze
Dec 4, 2012, 02:22 PM
Consider this. If you have 10000 users, and each tries to connect to send one byte. You've just done 10kB. Obviously you need more than 1 byte to make a game meaningful. So say you need 1kB per user. If everybody logs on all at once to play, you've just maxed out a 10/100 ethernet port.

And then you need to pay for bandwidth.


And there is the real culprit. Seriously how did they think a 1 time payment of $5 was going to cover this bandwidth month after month.

Either they realised the serious flaw in the pricing model and blamed it on pirates or they never intended users really play it and were hoping for the 'gym membership' effect.

If all the users were legit and there were no pirates, I doubt an extra $5 from 7000 users ($3500) would have covered enough to run month after month.

Not saying I favor the pirates, I'm just saying they were going to fail anyways.

EvilMole
Dec 4, 2012, 02:22 PM
Therefore I expand my **user base** by:

- A: Not disabling pirated copies. Having somebody pirate my software costs me nothing. I am no worse off if somebody is using my software. I don't believe in this whole "potential sale" BS that various industries like to throw around - if my software wasn't available, they'd just pirate something else.

- B: Inserting a reminder/link back to my website - constantly reminding people that they're using a pirated copy.

And monetize this by:

- A: Selling support requests to pirated installs. For complex server software, pirates are just as likely to run in to problems - in fact, they're more likely to run into issues since the software is probably more than they need. (10% of my revenue)

- B: Reminding users, in the admin panel, that they are using a pirated version, and asking them to buy a license. (Nothing is ever disabled) (£10k in sales)

- C: Adding adverts to the admin panel of pirated users, with another message saying that they'll be removed if they register. (Only small $$, but it's an annoyance to pirates).

I don't see what part of this concept is so hard to grasp. If my software hadn't been pirated - I'd lose two large revenue streams, and 1 smaller one, which = less money. I'll dig into a few more numbers for you. According to my install tracker, ~60% of known installations of my software are pirated. Now, given that a lot of pirates probably install it, think they dont like it and uninstall it, the real life number is probably lower (my best estimate is about 20% pirated "active" installs).

Now, consider the fact that 10% of my revenue comes from supporting pirated users. If I cut off the pirated versions, I would need to approximately 28.5% of people who would have pirated the software to buy it in order to maintain my current revenue levels, and I know for a fact, that would never happen.

Again, I don't really see what's so hard to grasp with this concept - yes, people pirating your app can increase revenue if managed correctly. It increases exposure, widens your user base, and provides the opportunity for additional revenue streams.

Anyone who will pirate software will ignore the kinds of "please pay me" notices you're talking about. I know developers who have had *complaints* from people who've pirated software and been nagged in exactly the way you describe.

There's a really good, simple test of whether something is good or bad. I call it the "What if everyone did this?" test. If you're thinking of doing something, ask "what if everyone did this?" Would the consequences be good or bad.

Apply that to software piracy, and you end up with no software industry - or with ****** freeware (I hope Freecell is your favourite game).

I don't give a crap about the definitions of whether "piracy" is "theft". Those are the inane witterings of people seeking to justify what they do, when they know it's wrong.

If everyone pirated, there would be no software industry. That's all I need to know. That's why I don't pirate.

hchung
Dec 4, 2012, 02:23 PM
I'm no game programmer but let me help them out.
Feel free to use the below code without giving me an ounce of credit!


[logon]
Check appleid.user vs paid.database
if appleid.user in paid.database

allow on

else

kick off with pirate.message

[end logon]

It's not that hard to implement, is it?
Or maybe piracy is a nice excuse for not having the infrastructure actually needed.

It's hard to implement because Apple respects Apple's customer's privacy.
So.... there's no "appleid" to compare to.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:23 PM
Oh lord, you took a copy of it. smh

Of course you are taking something. You are taking the copy. :rolleyes:

And you said I was splitting hairs? Why do I get the feeling I'm just being trolled here :/

Since the developer never owned the copy you "took", we're in the same boat - you're just using a play on words, something which you said made me look stupid? To try a more philosophical approach, imagine somebody took your car, but it was still there.

ericrwalker
Dec 4, 2012, 02:24 PM
And you said I was splitting hairs? Why do I get the feeling I'm just being trolled here :/

Since the developer never owned the copy you "took", we're in the same boat - you're just using a play on words, something which you said made me look stupid? To try a more philosophical approach, imagine somebody took your car, but it was still there.


Maybe because it takes one to know one? There is no point continuing with you. Thanks for your input.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:25 PM
I don't give a crap about the definitions of whether "piracy" is "theft". Those are the inane witterings of people seeking to justify what they do, when they know it's wrong.


I don't pirate, and my example was to show how I've dealt with it, and adapted my business model to make the most of it.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 02:29 PM
Like I said, I don't care what "definition" you come up with, taking something you didn't pay for is theft. Its been that way for thousands of years and its not going to change because some law in your country says its not quite the same thing.

Actually copyright law is fairly new in historical times. It pretty much didn't exist before Gutenberg, and even then was only occasionally granted by the king to a few printer buddies.

Lots of people like you believe silly things and make false accusations. Only what's written in the law books actually applies. Go read some.

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 02:34 PM
And you said I was splitting hairs? Why do I get the feeling I'm just being trolled here :/

Since the developer never owned the copy you "took", we're in the same boat - you're just using a play on words, something which you said made me look stupid? To try a more philosophical approach, imagine somebody took your car, but it was still there.

Again, you are just arguing semantics. The developer's rights to their property (app) specifically include the exclusive right to create copies. Depriving someone of their property rights with a dishonest intent is theft as defined through common law.

Read the law that you quoted. It specifically includes intangible property.
http://sixthformlaw.info/06_misc/statutes/16_theft_act_1968.htm

hchung
Dec 4, 2012, 02:37 PM
1) I have yet to see an app show me the cost of an in app purchase. For example I had to go to the app in the app store and look at the most popular inapp purchases to find out that the Atari games cost $9.99 to buy all the games. (Just got an iCade cab.)



2) I have been an application and web application developer (Java and .Net for over 13 years. I am a member of the iOS development group. I am in the beginning of the Stanford Developing Apps for iOS.

Let me know if that Stanford prof fixed his lecture on retain/release, if he still teaches that stuff now that we have ARC.

The iCade app will tell you when you try to buy it.

Go into an any app with IAP. Click to buy something. Anything.
It'll show a window titled "Confirm Your In-App Purchase" "Do you want to buy one Pile of Gems for $4.99?"

This is done for all IAP. It's a system dialog, not something the app developers have to put in.

airwalke
Dec 4, 2012, 02:38 PM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

Terrible argument, because you can't return a game that you've paid for and tried out.

hchung
Dec 4, 2012, 02:42 PM
And there is the real culprit. Seriously how did they think a 1 time payment of $5 was going to cover this bandwidth month after month.

Either they realised the serious flaw in the pricing model and blamed it on pirates or they never intended users really play it and were hoping for the 'gym membership' effect.

If all the users were legit and there were no pirates, I doubt an extra $5 from 7000 users ($3500) would have covered enough to run month after month.

Not saying I favor the pirates, I'm just saying they were going to fail anyways.

Indeed, $5 isn't much. I haven't played this game, but I'd venture to guess they hoped to do the same sort of thing that the Smurfs game or Clash of Clans or whatever is doing:

Bank on the fact that some people are really competitive and would pay for in app purchases to get ahead. And use these to fund everything.
Those who don't pay arn't just there to leech, they're in the game to drive the competitive people to buy more widgets.

Or in the Smurfs case, make tons of money off kids who swipe(in both terms) their parents credit cards.

When you've got a ton of people and income, piracy would help.
When you're a small developer, pirates make your overhead run you into the ground before you can get a profitable user base.

http://deconstructoroffun.blogspot.com/2012/09/clash-of-clans-winning-formula.html
http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2012/10/09/supercells-free-to-play-titles-grossing-15m-a-month-on-ios/

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:47 PM
Again, you are just arguing semantics. The developer's rights to their property (app) specifically include the exclusive right to create copies. Depriving someone of their property rights with a dishonest intent is theft as defined through common law.

Read the law that you quoted. It specifically includes intangible property.
http://sixthformlaw.info/06_misc/statutes/16_theft_act_1968.htm

I have read the page you linked (I don't quote things without reading through them first). And whilst I agree piracy is wrong, it's also just as wrong to apply a blanket statement of "theft".

My interpretation of that law, from re-reading the page you linked:

Theft: dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and ‘thief’ and ‘steal’ shall be construed accordingly

Property: includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

So yes, in theory, theft of intangible property is possible. However, what we need to consider is exactly what the intangible is, and how piracy relates to the definition of theft. With computer software - what is the intangible property? Well, for the purpose of this debate, I'll consider it to be a) the app itself, b) the rights to distribute the app, c) the right to sell the app and d) all other rights to the app (whilst it overlaps, it allows us to explain b/c in more depth).

Now, say I downloaded a copy of the app. The definition of theft is that we are depriving the other party of something. So how does that relate back to our intangible property:

a) The developer still owns the app itself. Nothing deprived.
b) The developer still has the rights to distribute the app. Nothing deprived.
d) The developer still has all other rights to the app. Nothing deprived.

I've specifically left c out. Because, whilst the developer has received no renumeration for me downloading the app, they still have the rights to sell the app and collect payment - therefore nothing has been deprived rights-wise.

Again, this is just my interpretation and I hope I've explained my reasoning. All of this boils down to trying to apply old laws to new issues and whilst I agree piracy is wrong, I also agree it's wrong to classify it as something it's not. And again, this just covers the UK, I'm not really well read up on US law.

jinnj
Dec 4, 2012, 02:53 PM
I don't see what the problem is here.

1) Change the client/server method signatures.
2) Push out update to iTunes.

So what will prevent a pirate from publishing the new IPA? The problem is one that honestly can't be fixed because I support this. The app and the developer has no way of knowing who purchased their app because Apple protects all user information from the apps. The only change which would be big is to make the app free and then in-app purchase for the online portion. This would be a big re-write.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 02:54 PM
Again, you are just arguing semantics.

And if you've ever been in court, you will know that semantics and picking the correct law to apply is very important. Trying to accuse someone who burns your house down with rape instead of arson in court will likely land both of you in jail.

Brian Y
Dec 4, 2012, 02:55 PM
So what will prevent a pirate from publishing the new IPA? The problem is one that honestly can't be fixed because I support this. The app and the developer has no way of knowing who purchased their app because Apple protects all user information from the apps. The only change which would be big is to make the app free and then in-app purchase for the online portion. This would be a big re-write.

Even that wouldn't really help, since I believe it's possible to crack IAP too.

ncaissie
Dec 4, 2012, 02:59 PM
Let me know if that Stanford prof fixed his lecture on retain/release, if he still teaches that stuff now that we have ARC.

The iCade app will tell you when you try to buy it.

Go into an any app with IAP. Click to buy something. Anything.
It'll show a window titled "Confirm Your In-App Purchase" "Do you want to buy one Pile of Gems for $4.99?"

This is done for all IAP. It's a system dialog, not something the app developers have to put in.

The web is full of valuable information for free. I’m done replying to your comments.
Let’s agree to disagree.

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 03:05 PM
My interpretation of that law, from re-reading the page you linked:

Theft: dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and ‘thief’ and ‘steal’ shall be construed accordingly

Property: includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

So yes, in theory, theft of intangible property is possible. However, what we need to consider is exactly what the intangible is, and how piracy relates to the definition of theft. With computer software - what is the intangible property? Well, for the purpose of this debate, I'll consider it to be a) the app itself, b) the rights to distribute the app, c) the right to sell the app and d) all other rights to the app (whilst it overlaps, it allows us to explain b/c in more depth).

Now, say I downloaded a copy of the app. The definition of theft is that we are depriving the other party of something. So how does that relate back to our intangible property:

a) The developer still owns the app itself. Nothing deprived.
b) The developer still has the rights to distribute the app. Nothing deprived.
d) The developer still has all other rights to the app. Nothing deprived.

I've specifically left c out. Because, whilst the developer has received no renumeration for me downloading the app, they still have the rights to sell the app and collect payment - therefore nothing has been deprived rights-wise.

Again, this is just my interpretation and I hope I've explained my reasoning. All of this boils down to trying to apply old laws to new issues and whilst I agree piracy is wrong, I also agree it's wrong to classify it as something it's not. And again, this just covers the UK, I'm not really well read up on US law.

That may be your interpretation, but it's wrong. Your interpretation ignores the law and the facts that contradict your point. You intentionally limited the property rights to ones that you felt you could defend. And you ignored the specific right that I claimed had been deprived.

Most obviously, copyright law grants the developer exclusive rights to duplication and distribution of their app. It should be pretty clear how piracy interferes with these rights.

So yes, in theory, theft of intangible property is possible.

Not in theory. In statute.

jinnj
Dec 4, 2012, 03:09 PM
Even that wouldn't really help, since I believe it's possible to crack IAP too.

But the in-app purchase system it will check to see if a bill of goods exists for it before allowing the app to download it. Now I don't keep up with the latest hacks but I would believe it is difficult to provide the .ipa with all of it's downloaded add-ons.

BaldiMac
Dec 4, 2012, 03:10 PM
And if you've ever been in court, you will know that semantics and picking the correct law to apply is very important. Trying to accuse someone who burns your house down with rape instead of arson in court will likely land both of you in jail.

And if I were in court, I would be quoting a specific statute. I wouldn't accuse them of "theft". The term encompasses many different crimes and actions.

But I'm not in court. And the definition of the word theft as it has evolved through common law over hundreds of years is inclusive of actions such as piracy.

aristotle
Dec 4, 2012, 03:10 PM
bma, what do you think the word "copyright" means? Take a close look at it.

Copyright is about the right to copy/distribute. If you own the copyright or have assigned it to a third party like Apple, that entity is the only one allowed to legally "copy" and distribute those copies to other people.

When you pirate something, you are either distributing copies of something that you have no "right" to distribute or are receiving illegal copies which is basically the same as receiving stolen goods. Since the sharing party did not enter into any agreement with the copyright holder, they are not breaking any agreement. They are however, stealing the value of the "right" to copy the item in question and the recipient is knowingly receiving stolen property.

The sharer is stealing the value of the goods and the downloader is knowingly obtaining stolen property.

rdlink
Dec 4, 2012, 03:19 PM
Really? Then thieving is a good thing.

Two things I know are true:

Good people sometimes use rationalization to justify doing bad things, such as stealing other peoples' property.

Bad people just have no conscience, and don't really care whether their actions hurt people unfairly.

Which one are you?

thasan
Dec 4, 2012, 03:34 PM
The amount of people on their high horse in this thread is ridiculous.

It's NOT theft. It's software piracy. There's a difference.

To those using the headphone's analogy - try using something more relevant. Say I go to an art dealer, see a painting I like, and take a photograph of it. I then have it printed, and hung on my wall. No, it's probably not fair, but the original owner hasn't lost anything (unless you count a potential sale).

It's been proven many times that piracy actually increases sales in most industries - server based games, like this, however are possibly the one exception to the rule due to the relatively high cost of running servers. To all of those stuck on their high horses - have you never downloaded an MP3, or ripped a song off of youtube, only to discover you really like the band - and then go out and buy their CD, or (even better for the band) gone to see them live?

I suggest you read this - it's a really good editorial about Piracy, and some of the reasons people do it. http://www.neowin.net/news/editorial-how-piracy-changed-my-life

eh? u serious?? :confused:
it IS a theft. doesnt matter how people want to twist it. this especially hurt small developers who are just building up a business.

coolspot18
Dec 4, 2012, 03:42 PM
But this very article that you are commenting on is indicating that this is simply not true. It may have been, at one point, but now when apps connect to servers and contribute to server load and bandwidth, then it DOES cause a loss of income in the form of additional ongoing expenses that haven't been paid for.

This is a difference case since it is an online game ... but the developer could have easily added in a log in mechanism to prevent such piracy.

----------

Parking your car isn't a physical good. Neither is cleaning your house. Or doing your taxes. Or babysitting your kids. People still pay for these things. Why? Because you don't deserve things for free, no matter how self-absorbed and entitled you want to act.

Parking a stop takes up a physical resource.

Cleaning your house, you need to be physically there, same with baby sitting. It's not like you can replicate ad infinitum a baby sitter/cleaner yet.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 03:52 PM
The ONLY person you can blame for stealing something is the thief.

The number of people you point blame at has little effect on helping solve the problem. You can leave your new car unlocked with the keys in the ignition in the bad part of town over the weekend, and blame somebody for you ending up with no wheels; or you can park your car in safer locations, take the keys, and buy insurance. Which do you do?

The more savvy developers (including some of the bigger iOS game companies) assume the existence of some percentage of broken OS devices, with more than half of those devices "somehow" getting apps installed without benefit of paying, and plan their business accordingly (occasionally to even take profitable advantage of this extra "installed base").

FakeWozniak
Dec 4, 2012, 03:58 PM
i pirate games, and if i like them i'll buy them. if i dont i delete the game.

That is what the free demo version is for.

firewood
Dec 4, 2012, 04:00 PM
eh? u serious?? :confused:
it IS a theft. doesnt matter how people want to twist it. this especially hurt small developers who are just building up a business.

Rape and arson would also hurt small developers who are trying to build up a business. But that doesn't make either of those crimes the same as theft. Highly illegal in many/most jurisdictions? Yes. Theft? No.

GoCubsGo
Dec 4, 2012, 04:02 PM
This "discussion" went to **** real fast, didn't it?! :D

chrono1081
Dec 4, 2012, 04:09 PM
Like your avatar?

Nice try but these were available on Valves website for download. All kinds of icons, wallpapers, even ringtones. They also fall under "fair use" since I am not making money off of it.

Stealing games however does not fall under fair use as they are something that is charged for.

Actually copyright law is fairly new in historical times. It pretty much didn't exist before Gutenberg, and even then was only occasionally granted by the king to a few printer buddies.

Lots of people like you believe silly things and make false accusations. Only what's written in the law books actually applies. Go read some.

Re-read what I wrote. I'm talking about theft. Stealing something without paying for it. Its been around for thousands of years. Back in ancient times (and even some places today) they cut peoples hands off for it.

MarcelEdward
Dec 4, 2012, 05:32 PM
I'd imagine it's more along the lines of "we sold 3,000 copies and 10,000 people are connected to our server."

Is is not possible that an app is bought and then installed on different ios devices with the same account ?
So i doubt that if there a 3000 copies sold the there would be 7000 pirated copies.
You can assume that if you make a succesfull game that one legitimate copy will be installed legal on multiple devices.

ActionableMango
Dec 4, 2012, 05:43 PM
Theft of Services:

"Theft of services is the legal term for a crime which is committed when a person obtains valuable services — as opposed to goods — by deception, force, threat or other unlawful means, i.e., without lawfully compensating the provider for these services."

It is the theft of services that put this game out of action, not the act of copyright violation.

haruhiko
Dec 4, 2012, 05:56 PM
Flat rate apps with heavy on-line features are doomed from jump. You can't run "forever" off ANY amount of money, let alone $5 a download. It's entirely likely they picked up a few hundred thousand more users than they had planned for due to piracy, but these users may have shown up through legitimate channels as well -- what then? Well, you'd have a bit more money in the pipeline to apportion new servers, but to me it seems this is an infrastructure problem they would have run into regardless.

Devs, if you want to have on-line features, you have to support them through in-app purchases. That's how this model works. Subscriptions, currency, "activate on-line play," however you like, but you do need something. It is much more difficult -- and traceable -- to pirate in-app authentication than it is to pirate a binary. What's more, it's perfectly acceptable to copy app binaries between i-devices within the same house -- if these devices are actually used by different primary account holders, in app purchases can get a buy from both of them off the same app download. At this point, piracy is just an alternate distribution vector for the same paid app.

I won't go so far as to say "don't blame the thieves," but this is an obvious case of a developer not really thinking through their strategy. But they should be able to regroup and re-release this app without too much trouble.
Thanks for your sensible reply.

mabhatter
Dec 4, 2012, 06:45 PM
if I'm not mistaken, you could go the freemium route. offline mode for non-paying users, but if you want to play online, buy inapp purchase. that way people can't pirate the game?

Didn't Apple take away in-app receipts "signed" with your device ID a while back? Because the App Store reciept is nothing more that a "paid" tag, there's nothing stopping clever people from shipping the hacked version with a hacked reciept too.

I still wonder how a non-multiplayer game is contacting third party servers? I thought Apple handled all the downloading?

Perhaps that's the fix here. Maybe Devs need to push Apple to host all the media for the game... When it's conning out of APPLE's 30% they will try a lot harder to lock shlitz down!

Hidesuru
Dec 4, 2012, 06:56 PM
I'll be fairly short (compared to what I want to say). To all the folks legitimizing piracy in ANY FORM:
You make me sick, you socially immature piece of human refuse.

Someone worked to create what you are enjoying for free. Don't like something they did? DON'T BUY IT! Think its overpriced? DON'T BUY IT! Think they should have offered a demo version? Maybe, but that was their choice, DON'T BUY IT!

The author of original work has the right to do WHATEVER they want with it, and to sell it to you under ANY TERMS THEY CHOOSE! You, as the consumer, have the right to spend your money on things you think are worth it and withhold that money if it is not for any reason. NOTHING MORE.

I am a software developer (thankfully in a specific industry where piracy is not an issue) and have a close friend who made a great game that sold very well... up until the day a pirate copy appeared on the internet. He sold next to nothing after that.

~Disgusted with most of humanity

flameproof
Dec 4, 2012, 07:18 PM
Can't something be done to keep non paying users from contacting the server? Many console games can do this, why not IOS?

The system is designed so Apple can make money, not the developers. Apple got their profit in after the buyers pay the $4.99 - there is nothing in for them after that.

And since iOS is highly restrictive (someone called the North Korea of the internet :D) I doubt* that developers can design protection around it.

* I am not a developer, I wonder if the device ID can be automatically transmitted to a 3rd party server. That's what I doubt.

-------------
To add to the initial quote, what I found peculiar: If they know that pirates call their server means that they are able to identify the pirates. If they are able to identify them it would be very easy to block them. Could it be that the server is simply not up to the task? I smell a rat....

Pigumon
Dec 4, 2012, 07:53 PM
100% proof positive of the effects of piracy.

Just wish karma was real, pirates deserve it.

Sharing is Caring... But taking other people's creative works, making duplicates, giving away for free to the point that the creators are no longer able to justify all the work they put into the work, is not sharing, and therefore, not caring.

thekev
Dec 4, 2012, 08:10 PM
Flat rate apps with heavy on-line features are doomed from jump. You can't run "forever" off ANY amount of money, let alone $5 a download. It's entirely likely they picked up a few hundred thousand more users than they had planned for due to piracy, but these users may have shown up through legitimate channels as well -- what then? Well, you'd have a bit more money in the pipeline to apportion new servers, but to me it seems this is an infrastructure problem they would have run into regardless.


We don't know their startup budget, but that kind of growth would have potentially provided funds required to upgrade hardware. I doubt they would have seen these numbers for a while at $5/download compared to 0.

ScottishCaptain
Dec 4, 2012, 08:50 PM
Reading this thread makes my head spin.

1) Piracy is not theft
2) Piracy can, however, enable theft of services
3) The developer took down the server due to theft of services (see #2)

If you pirate an app that has no online features, you're not depriving anyone of anything. Period. That doesn't mean that piracy is right, because ethically, it isn't. You should support people who write applications that you enjoy, because they deserve a few bucks if you find their stuff useful or entertaining.

If you pirate an app and proceed to utilize the online features in an unauthorized manner (given that you haven't paid for the right to access those features), then you are STEALING THE SERVICE.

Bandwidth is not free. Hosting is not free. CPU cycles are not free. If you're using those up on someone else's box without their permission (their permission being your legitimate purchase of their app), then you're a ****ing thief. End of story.

Software piracy and stealing a service are two completely different things, even though the word "piracy" can be bent around either (since it's common to call illegal satellite TV receivers "pirated" and/or piracy, but that's still a theft of service).

What happened to these guys truly sucks, but it kinda sounds like they simply assumed this wouldn't happen when they should have seen it coming. Most of the projects I've worked on that had a multiplayer component were for free games where the game cost was recuperated by an IAP for whatever the price was to be originally. You have to purchase the IAP before you can connect to the multiplayer server, because the IAP gives you a few tidbits that one can use to securely identify a legitimate player when connecting to the remote server.

It sucks that developers have to go through that kind of hoop jumping, but if you want to keep the pirates off your MP servers then IAP is basically the only way to positively identify and record legitimate players. I'm kind of surprised these guys released the game like that given that they seem to have plenty of experience building online games. I've gotta raise an eyebrow at the fact that they blatantly assumed all iOS users are nice people with sane ethics.

-SC

XboxMySocks
Dec 4, 2012, 09:21 PM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

Because stealing headphones and throwing them out is an entirely different concept than having a replicated string of 0's and 1's on your device and trashing them. How the hell are you supposed to know if you like something without trying it? How are you supposed to know that something is worth your hard earned money without trying it out? By your (flawed) logic, buying a pair of headphones, then realising you don't like them and returning it simply because of that reason is just as bad. Hell it's worse, because end result is that if you follow his logic, the company gets their money. If you return it, the company doesn't.

samdev
Dec 4, 2012, 09:32 PM
Hunted Cow, the team behind the title Battle Dungeon, was forced to shut down its game this afternoon because the servers could not handle the load created by significant numbers of pirated copies of the game.


If they're allowing pirates to use their servers, then their online system is flawed. They should be using a login system, like what many MMOs do. Players should be required to create login accounts.

They shouldn't allow people to use their servers simply because the app is installed on their device.
That's just plain wreckless.

WatchTheThrone
Dec 4, 2012, 09:53 PM
Then why don't you go down to the store, shoplift a pair of headphones, then if you like them go back and pay for them, or if you don't chuck them out?

I can go to a store,buy something, and if I don't like it I have my receipt and return it. The same goes with apps....wait a second YOU CAN'T!!!!
So if I buy a 5 dollar app and it sucks I'm screwed out of 5 bucks with no way to get my money back. That's why (some) people resort to
downloading a cracked ipa to test it out.
I think Apple should create a trial period on all apps because sometimes the "lite" versions don't come with the original apps full features!!

Snowy_River
Dec 4, 2012, 09:57 PM
To add to the initial quote, what I found peculiar: If they know that pirates call their server means that they are able to identify the pirates. If they are able to identify them it would be very easy to block them. Could it be that the server is simply not up to the task? I smell a rat....

As many others have pointed out, this is a false conclusion. That they can that there are pirates is different than being able to tell who the pirates are.

Simply put, if you sell 500 copies of your app, but your server registers 1500 unique users logging in, you pretty well know that 2/3rds of your users have pirated your app, but which 2/3rds? So, their inability to block the pirates is not grounds for "smelling a rat".

Now, all of that said, it does seem that this is more than an issue of "pirates have forced us to quit". It seems that the pirates demonstrated that there was a flaw in their server software, which came up under the much heavier load that the pirates brought, that they didn't know how to solve.

Now, perhaps they might have been able to find and fix this problem if they were able to have the more gradual ramp up that they would have faced with paying customer purchases, but that's not the situation that confronted them. They would have needed to both deal with fixing their server software and work on a way to make it harder for pirates to steal their app, all while facing falling sales due to server outages from the problem.

Essentially, it sounds like they were faced with needing to rewrite their entire system, both app and server software, all at once, in order to make things work. In the face of that, they chose to pull the plug, and did the remarkably honorable thing and have offered a full refund to anyone who asks for it.

I hardly think there's much "ratty-ness" to their behavior.

haruhiko
Dec 4, 2012, 10:22 PM
I can go to a store,buy something, and if I don't like it I have my receipt and return it. The same goes with apps....wait a second YOU CAN'T!!!!
So if I buy a 5 dollar app and it sucks I'm screwed out of 5 bucks with no way to get my money back. That's why (some) people resort to
downloading a cracked ipa to test it out.
I think Apple should create a trial period on all apps because sometimes the "lite" versions don't come with the original apps full features!!
You can get your money back. Just contact iTunes support. Google iTunes Support and fill out the form and they will refund within 24 hours.

mrsir2009
Dec 4, 2012, 11:30 PM
How the hell are you supposed to know if you like something without trying it? How are you supposed to know that something is worth your hard earned money without trying it out?

You're not really risking much - Most apps cost ninety-nine cents, while the more expensive ones cost a shocking four-ninety-nine. If you search up reviews and demos of the game on the Internet, you'd be able to get an idea about wether you'd 'probably' like the game or not. Don't you think one or two dollars is worth a game you'll probably like (after you've purchased a 1k cellphone)?

And at the end of the day it isn't your god given right to steal something in order to 'try it out'. The app is the developer's property, and if you don't agree to their terms (of giving them a dollar for their product) then you don't have the right to use the product, wether it's trying it out or not.

nia820
Dec 5, 2012, 12:06 AM
But people have been saying that they have only been jailbreaking to customize. You don't think they have really been jailbreaking to pirate software ?

well maybe if ios would allow you to change simple things like the icons and default browsers people wouldn't feel the need to jail break. don't put piracy on those who jail break their ios devices.

Switchback666
Dec 5, 2012, 12:16 AM
You can get your money back. Just contact iTunes support. Google iTunes Support and fill out the form and they will refund within 24 hours.

Thanks mate ! Totally forgot about it :( wasted a couple of bucks last week; i only use the giftcards atm, do they refund credits also ?

thewitt
Dec 5, 2012, 12:27 AM
People, just because you write in a forum that piracy is theft does not make it so. Piracy is piracy, there is no connection to thievery.

I created the product and I sell it. It's my intellectual property.

Did you purchase your copy?

No? Then you came by it illegally, because the only legal way for you to receive a copy is to purchase it from me.

You stole it.

It's actually a very simply concept to grasp.

carlos33018
Dec 5, 2012, 12:32 AM
While this is unfortunate, the developer should have implemented a method for checking the authenticity of the client software. It's not rocket science. There is nothing more compelling than trying to access something and having a big red box tell you , " please purchase the app for 4.99".

Analog Kid
Dec 5, 2012, 12:35 AM
The key word there is "taking" (i.e. depriving the original owner of it) rather than "copying".

The idea that "copying" could be wrong and intangible things could be owned is a very recent one compared with the concept of stealing - and the modern concept of quick, effortless, cheap copying as something that the average person in the street (rather than a writer or publisher) might do would still have been science fiction to the original authors of copyright law.

As I've already said - its not about whether piracy is wrong, it is about how serious it is and what measures can be justified to prevent it. The word "theft" is being used as an emotive term to justify a disproportionate reaction.
You're living in a semantic world of one, methinks.

Also, that semantic world has a different history than this one. Intellectual property theft is not a new idea-- it's a concept that dates back hundreds of years. Protection of intellectual property is mentioned in the US constitution, and it certainly didn't originate there. You can redefine words how ever you choose, but you're going to have a hard time keeping a conversation.

Regarind the seriousness of the crime: they did, in fact, deprive the owner of the value of what they stole. In aggregate, the value of the stolen property is probably somewhat less than the combined purchase price because there may be some number of people unwilling to pay $5 for a game, but it had value none-the-less.

The kicker though is that they've deprived the owners of far more than the value of their stolen property. They've deprived them of the value of all the property sold to date as the refunds go out. Further, they've deprived the legitimate buyers of the surplus value they would have received beyond the purchase price, the time they've invested in the product in anticipation of future value and the opportunity to have invested their purchase price elsewhere.

The mistake you're making is assuming you can only steal atoms. Even when a car is stolen, we register the loss in dollars, not pounds. If I steal an iPad from the Apple Store, the value of the theft I will be charged with includes the labor, design, and energy that went into it as well as the raw physical materials. If I found your bank login and transferred your life savings to my account, you'd certainly call the police. Those bits in the bank computer are equally, and I'm not even copying anything-- just moving a few electrons a few nanometers one way or another, flipping magnetic polarity on a platter somewhere.

So yes, stealing different things have different magnitudes of ill effect, just like it matters which pound of flesh you choose to excise. To argue that stealing enough copies of a game to shutdown a company isn't theft, though, is just wrong.

Daveoc64
Dec 5, 2012, 12:40 AM
100% proof positive of the effects of piracy.

It's pretty weak proof. The vast majority of games don't work on this principle of having servers to support.

Typically games like this have a subscription that's harder to "pirate".

I'm not condoning piracy or anything, but I do think that content producers vastly overvalue the amount they are losing from piracy.

quaternio
Dec 5, 2012, 03:20 AM
As much as I hate people pirating things, I think this developer simply don't know how to control their online system. They may well require customers to create a log-in and set up their own payment system, or require in-app purchase for online functionalities. There are always thieves, especially for softwares. Don't blame the thieves. Blame your security system. I'm sure in Android there must be 10 times more pirates than in iOS given the difficulty in jailbreaking newer iOS devices. Then why are there some Android developers still afloat? People are cheap and they will steal your thing if it's very easy to do so. It's life.

Uh, no. Blaming the victim because they're "asking for it" is pure crap. One would be wise to protect their self, but it is still 100% the thief's fault.

Brian Y
Dec 5, 2012, 04:42 AM
Regarind the seriousness of the crime: they did, in fact, deprive the owner of the value of what they stole. In aggregate, the value of the stolen property is probably somewhat less than the combined purchase price because there may be some number of people unwilling to pay $5 for a game, but it had value none-the-less.

The kicker though is that they've deprived the owners of far more than the value of their stolen property. They've deprived them of the value of all the property sold to date as the refunds go out. Further, they've deprived the legitimate buyers of the surplus value they would have received beyond the purchase price, the time they've invested in the product in anticipation of future value and the opportunity to have invested their purchase price elsewhere.


That's not how it works, legally. You can't be deprived of something you never had.

The developer never had the value of the app. It might be classed as a "potential sale", but "potential sales" have no value legally. In this case, the only thing the developer has been deprived of, in a legal sense, is server bandwidth and resources.

XboxMySocks
Dec 5, 2012, 06:20 AM
You're not really risking much - Most apps cost ninety-nine cents, while the more expensive ones cost a shocking four-ninety-nine. If you search up reviews and demos of the game on the Internet, you'd be able to get an idea about wether you'd 'probably' like the game or not. Don't you think one or two dollars is worth a game you'll probably like (after you've purchased a 1k cellphone)?

And at the end of the day it isn't your god given right to steal something in order to 'try it out'. The app is the developer's property, and if you don't agree to their terms (of giving them a dollar for their product) then you don't have the right to use the product, wether it's trying it out or not.

The funny part is you're arguing with a person who doesn't even do this. Just someone who sees why it is done.

Let me put it in perspective.
My father (a law enforcement officer) has downloaded over 3,000 apps for his iPad. Out of those, he has decided he liked, kept, and if applicable (generally), paid for around a hundred of them. (Already he's dropped $100 for apps).

ROUGLY out of those, 2500 are paid apps. So right there, at bare minimum, we have $2,500. If we include say, 125 of those cost $4.99 (or more) we get a figure of $3,000. Significantly more than "One or two dollars".

See where I am coming from here?

You also confused the definition of "Steal". See, piracy isn't theft. It's replication. It can become theft of services (as in this case, which, yes I do not agree with), but the actual act of piracy in and of itself is not theft simply by definition. You cannot steal something that is never removed from it's original location.

I disagree with your argument that it is unethical (and even in most places, unlawful). Just because it is against the law doesn't mean it's unethical.

phr0ze
Dec 5, 2012, 07:45 AM
Nice try but these were available on Valves website for download. All kinds of icons, wallpapers, even ringtones.

Ok so you have a license to redistribute Valve's work, Highly unlikely.


They also fall under "fair use" since I am not making money off of it.

Stealing games however does not fall under fair use as they are something that is charged for.


LOL are we justifying another type of theft. Free to Use since you are not making money off it? Sounds like what the pirates say.

Section 107 of the Copyright Act states:

the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.


Your use on a forum as an avatar for self/brand recognition doesn't fall under that definition. While I'll trust that the image was on Valves site and if you say they included words that specifically say you may redistribute the work, then fine. There doesn't appear to be anything like that now. There are videos, screen shots, and music. But I don't see anything that says you can redistribute the copyrighted work. Infact I see a 'All rights reserved' statement at the bottom of the page.