Blame Markets, not Criminals for Piracy (Canadian Study)

Matt Barton's picture

What's more to blame for piracy: a lax and ineffective legal means of going after and punishing offenders, or lack of access to your products? It's more the latter, according to a Canadian study by their International Development Research Centre. This probably applies more to foreign markets than domestic ones, obviously, but it makes sense--people are most likely to pirate when it is difficult or impossible for them to buy something legally. Maybe the product simply isn't physically or legally available in their country (such as new BBC shows in the U.S. or abandonware), or it could just be that the product is priced too high for the locals to afford (which is the case in developing countries). The study also suggests that anti-piracy measures (legal and educational) have completely and utterly failed to demonstrate a significant result. I should probably put that last sentence in bold.

Would you still pirate if the game was widely available and priced to match your budget? It could be that publishers would be better off simply lowering prices than investing in DRM, regional lock-outs, and fighting so many legal battles over piracy. Or would this simply make it impossible for publishers to make profits on their games?

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Matt Barton
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Yeah, there gets to be a

Yeah, there gets to be a point where you start to wonder how long it takes someone to see if they like it. If you play something for over two hours, does that mean you like it no matter what you say?

I had a musician friend who once put it this way--"No matter what people tell you after the show, the fact is that if they stayed, they liked it. If they really didn't like it, they would have left. There is no chain keeping them there." That has always stuck with me.

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Rob Daviau
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Yeah I know but
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, there gets to be a point where you start to wonder how long it takes someone to see if they like it. If you play something for over two hours, does that mean you like it no matter what you say?

I had a musician friend who once put it this way--"No matter what people tell you after the show, the fact is that if they stayed, they liked it. If they really didn't like it, they would have left. There is no chain keeping them there." That has always stuck with me.

That is a pretty good point but I will say in this example if you think of movies, I have NEVER walked out on a movie. Not to say I never wanted to, I often did badly but I will sit there right to the end because I paid to see the movie and for better or worse I am going to see that sucker through if anything so I can say I saw the whole damn thing and have every right to hate it and bitch about it lol!

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Matt Barton
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That's a good point, Rob. You

That's a good point, Rob. You have to laugh about the faulty reasoning we indulge in, though. If the movie sucks, WALK OUT! The excuse, "Well, I want to get my money's worth" doesn't make sense. The money is gone; you don't have to give them your time, too.

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Bill Loguidice
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Pay = Value, Free = Valueless
Matt Barton wrote:

That's a good point, Rob. You have to laugh about the faulty reasoning we indulge in, though. If the movie sucks, WALK OUT! The excuse, "Well, I want to get my money's worth" doesn't make sense. The money is gone; you don't have to give them your time, too.

This goes back to something we've talked about a lot on here as well--you tend to value something more if you pay for it (and the MORE you pay for it at that).

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Rob Daviau
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Ah but

Later when I want to rant about how much the movie sucked I can honestly say I saw it from beginning to end then there is no doubt that it sucked or that maybe it all magically came together at the end lol! I have heard of people even demand a refund for a bad movie, I could never do that, it is not my personality, the way I see it when you go see a movie you are taking a gamble, there is enough info these days to make a pretty informed decision anyways so if I still choose to go see it then, well I asked for it. Maybe it is a self punishment thing.

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Matt Barton
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There are lots of mitigating

There are lots of mitigating circumstances, of course, such as the mild pleasure we might get from watching any movie, even a bad one.

It would probably help if next time you're stuck watching a crappy movie, take a moment to think about something else you could be doing. Are you sure you want to sit there, completely voluntarily, not having fun, when you could go do that other thing? Think about it this way--what if somebody came along and said, "Look, I'll sit here and watch this terrible movie for you. Compensate me for my time, though." Wouldn't that be ridiculous? Yet, how is that more ridiculous than what you're doing to yourself?

You have to factor in the time factor. Those are hours you won't be getting back. So, if you stay, you not only will waste the money you spent on the ticket, but also those hours you could have been doing something else. Get angry about it--why are you wasting precious hours of your life? They are FINITE. Get the hell outta there.

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Rob Daviau
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I guess

I never thought about it like that. Good points, when you put it that way. Yes it is funny how we all rationalize differently. Well, to be fair, back when I was a teen and young adult I saw a LOT of movies in theater, no I am not talking what most people would consider a lot, I mean like anywhere from 200 - 300 hundred movies a year, first run, premiers, repertory etc. Movies were my thing back in those days even more than computers or games if you can believe it. Rarely though do I go out to see a movie these days, between the cost and obnoxious audience members any movies we watch are either downloaded, streamed, rented form Zip.ca etc so at least we have the option to turn it off. The rare time we would go out it is usually for something I am already considering a must see and that is very rare.

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Matt Barton
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Hey, Rob, don't forget that

Hey, Rob, don't forget that there's something to be said just being in a theater. Just going can be fun, and we all know how much fun the right people can make ANY movie. Heck, I'd rather see a terrible movie with the right group than a great movie by myself any day. If all else fails, you can go MST3K or "audience participation" on it. How else did Rocky Horror get to be a cult classic??? :)

My wife and I had a great time watching terrible movies. We'd get those 100 movie DVD sets with movies like Eegah! on it. Then we'd watch them and laugh about how terrible they were--or, in the case of a horror, pretend to be scared to death of the cheesy looking monster. Then we'd quote lines or make references to it the next day for laughs. Ah, great times.

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Rob Daviau
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Oh yeah

As someone who would frequent the theaters as much as I use to I certainly get that and of course I would not be opposed to going out to something like that where the audience as expected or even encouraged to participate with the movie. Did this a lot back in Toronto form Rockky Horror to all night Karate flicks! Sadly not a lot of options for that kind of thing here in Kelowna. I will say as quiet and laid back a guy I can be I DO take my movie going seriously, you would not want to be the guy behind me or near me if you are being an ass or an annoying disruption during a serious film, I think I scared and surprised my wife one time when I told a couple guys to either shut up and watch or get the hell out, fortunately at 6ft 4' 240 pounds I usually get compliance. It is not easy to get me to lose it but if I do then it was certainly deserved.

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Matt Barton
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Yeah, it definitely has to be

Yeah, it definitely has to be the right crowd for it. I very seldom yell things out during the actual movie. In any case, it's strictly movie-related. If there were just some guys talking about irrelevant subjects, that'd piss me off. If there were joking or discussing the film, that might be different. Guess it'd be a case by case basis at that point.

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