UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

August 20, 2008 -

Yesterday, GamePolitics reported that an unemployed immigrant mother of two was ordered by a British court to pay £16,086 (roughly $30,000) to Topware Interactive for uploading its pinball game to a file-sharing network.

Things are about to get much worse.

Today's Times Online reports that Topware's case against Isabella Barwinska may only have been the tip of the iceberg. According to the Times, a quintet of U.K. publishers are targeting those who share PC games. Calling the action an "unprecedented assault on illegal downloads," the Times names Topware, Atari, Reality Pump, Techland and Codemasters as the firms involved. The report says the companies plan to notify 25,000 U.K. consumers that they must pay £300 to settle file-sharing accusations. Otherwise, they risk a ruinous court judgment of the type lodged against Barwinska.

From the Times:

It is estimated that as many as six million people in Britain share games illegally over the internet. The aggressive action marks a dramatic change in the approach to copyright on the internet. The British music industry, hit hard by illegal file-sharing, has taken action against just 150 people in ten years...

 

The move has provoked strong criticism within the games industry. A source close to the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association said that most publishers would be reluctant to bring legal actions against their “core market” and would be likely to look for other ways to minimise losses due to piracy.

A lawyer for the five publishers commented:

Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading. In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully people will think twice if they risk being taken to court.

Via: Edge Online


Comments

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Worth noting that Zippy has posted on here before stating he is known to p2p games.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

What he does is immaterial to be honest, assuming that anyone who opposes a legal stance must therefore be breaking the law is a recipe for disaster. The whole 'If you are not with us, you are against us' argument is not only being over-used, but is an incredibly dangerous position to adopt.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Not anyone, Just Zippy.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

So says the Anontroll, and prey tell when I can not return a game and there is either a bad demo or no demo of a game and no way to return/exchange it how am I to protect my money in this time of casual focused casual gaming when I am not a casual  gamer? Not to mention the older games that are 40$ -200$ collectors are not IP owners and IP owners rarely get profit from older titles....

.
I am lucky to have 50$  to spend on gaming once every 2 months FYI.

If you can not tell shearing/downloading is oblivious to the industry they can't get blood from a stone(or stoner :P).

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

I want a new TV, but I cant afford the nice 50" plasma that I want, is it ok for me to steal it?

Saying that something costs too much for you is not a justification for piracy. 

I'm not being naive about piracy, and i'm not saying that everyone who has downloaded a game at sometime in their life is a bad person.  How on earth however can we say that piracy is ok? whether or not you believe it is positive or negative for the industry, they have the law on their side on this one.  Uploading someone elses copyrighted work without their permission is against the law.  Forget whether you think that is right or wrong, it is just true.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

its not about 'i cant afford it therefore im entitled to getting X free'.  its more along the lines of 'i only have enough money to buy one of these 6 games on this shelf...  if i buy one i decide i dont like, i cant return it because i already opened it.  so how am i going to make the most of my buck?'  game boxes on a shelf dont have demos, just pretty pictures and fancy text.  i think zippy's position is about try before you buy and honestly, thats what i do.  i dont like it, i just delete the game or if i like it enough, ill go out and buy a copy.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Well if your spending the time to download six games why don't you read some reviews and get a feel it, checkout one of the many trailers for it, a lot of PC games do have demo's as well (have a gander here http://www.gamershell.com/demo_download_archive.html).

Zippy, in his barely readable way, has said he can't afford games. So since he wouldn't otherwise be able to purchase them he just downloads them. In his mind he since he can't afford to be a hardcore gamer he'll just take without giving back.

And the thing is, sometimes your going to make bad purchasing decisions. You might buy a car (well except you mibby you zippy) that you later regret or perhaps that PS3 might not have been worth the money. Just because its a digital product doesn't mean its cool to take it for a test drive. Your position can be summerised as risk management. Zippys is about entitlement.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

So because you can't afford it your entitled to it? And you call me a troll.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

No it dose not harm the industry you can't prove it and neither can the industry, you can not and will never sell to those who will not buy, saying 1=1 shearing equates to equal losses is madness.

Even for small developers there is a price to be paid not joining up with a bigger dev house and whatnot you cannot say well because pricey made them lose money and not a bad product or poorly marketed game was the real reason for it, you giving hippies to much credit for damaging the retail market if you truly think they can damage it by love peace and shearing.

Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale, again you have to factor in all facets of the issue not just the "ZOMG STEALERS SUCK!!! lulz!!!" idiotisim.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

And at the same time Zippy you cannot prove that the people pirating software wouldn't have bought it anyway. I think its more along the lines of poor ethics and market forces, If you have infinite supply, no price, of course certain people are going to endulge. If you took that market away legitimate sales are going to increase as the ethically challenged would have no other avenue to get their software from.

Your the one saying the industry cannot prove it and yet you say "Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale." Is this you making up figures again or do you have any sources to back that up?

Next you will be saying piracy helps the industry. Care to tell us all how often you have "helped" the industry lately.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

""

And at the same time Zippy you cannot prove that the people pirating software wouldn't have bought it anyway. I think its more along the lines of poor ethics and market forces, If you have infinite supply, no price, of course certain people are going to endulge. If you took that market away legitimate sales are going to increase as the ethically challenged would have no other avenue to get their software from.

Your the one saying the industry cannot prove it and yet you say "Again the real damage is bootlegs or money for illicit data and even then the damage it dose is barely a quarter of what the profit made off each sale." Is this you making up figures again or do you have any sources to back that up?

Next you will be saying piracy helps the industry. Care to tell us all how often you have "helped" the industry lately.

before it goes discount and loses every drop of profit the CP owner can get out of it.
Because of these facts the "cost" of sharing  is mitigated to the point its a normal part of the cost of producing and publishing a media title, its not a loss its the cost of business no different from bad sales due to a  poor product, or do you decry there is no such a thing as a bad product?

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

You are defending an indusyty that would happily have someone jailed for simply tryign to play imported games. Mod chips are NOT just for piracy.

ZIppy has a problem with the crackdown, not with te industry defendign itself.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

 


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Not the populous, just the people raped the game developers by uploading their copyrighted material.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Who's talking about mod-chips?

I'm defending independant game developers who find their products being pirated at a ratio of 15 to 1 of legit sales.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Hmmm, £300? Bargain, considering how much I've downloaded.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Uh, maybe you shouldn't tell people that.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Nah, I'm safe. At least I'm pretty sure I am. I don't upload, I only leech (feel free to boo & hiss but I'm unapologetic.)

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Whether you leech or upload, the charges are roughly the same. You can get in just as much trouble for downloading or buying pirated goods as you can for uploading or selling.

I think this is a completely justifiable action on the part of games manufacturers. If they can't protect their livelihood, then we can't expect good games in the future.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Actually it is not... it is the act of publishing that is easily punishable here...

I also think that it is perfectly justifiable for the games devs and publishers to pursue this.  Arguements about how piracy actually helps the industry and other such like are all well and good... but they aren't doing anything wrong by using the law in this way.

Producing a copy of a game for my own purposes, not a problem.
Making a mixed tape, not an issue.
Photocopying a page from a book in a library, again fine.

Making a copy of a game and posting it on a website, not fine
copying a CD and posting it online, not fine
scanning a book and posting it online... not good...

publishing others work (and seeding a torrent is indeed the equivalent of publishing it) is illegal!

no matter how much people want video game piracy and music piracy not to be punished, it doesn't make it wrong that companies are trying to.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Demanding money from people who illegaly obtained your games is justifiable.

Demanding much more than the game actually costs (even if you figure legal fees) is not.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

So if I distributed a game via p2p to five users I should only have to pay for one? I don't think so. You forget its not the downloading that gets you into bother, its the uploading part.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Just help out the developers.  Buy the games please.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Good!

 

If you don't want to get fined, don't pirate games.

Let me tweak that a bit...

If you don't want to get CAUGHT and possibly fined, don't distribute pirated games in easy, well publicized methods, such as Kazaa.

That being said, there will always be piracy at some level.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

And when the music police come to look through everythign yuo own and find a mix tape or CD they take you to jail, becuse this is where we are headed.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

Nice slippery slope fallacy you've got going there. This has nothing to do with raiding personal residences or searching personal property. It's all about people taking another person's work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product. If you want to justify your pirating activities with ridiculous conclusions, so be it, but at least man-up and admit it.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

HA! Good one, first year philosophy major! The slippery slope fallacy does not apply in this instance, moron. People like you give philosophy majors everywhere a bad name.

"It's all about people taking another person's work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product."

If you follow that conclusion to its logical conclusion, that is what you will get. The crux of his argument, if you were capable of reading at an intellegient level, was that IP laws are not/should not be about 'compensation' or 'theft'. If this was the case, simply quoting, copying, or 'making vailible' parts of any book or song would also be illegal. If I decided to make a photocopy of a chapter of a book I found in the library, I would be committing a crime under your interpretation. If we also extrapolate from the industry's efforts to render 'accessories to piracy' illegal as well (mod chips, bittorrent, P2P, etc.) then photocopiers should be made illegal as well, along with VCRs, and tape recorders. Would not the posting of song lyrics be violating your interpretation as well? How about transcripts of TV shows?

In fact, there have already been efforts to define guitar/other musical tabs availible online as copyright infringement. Simply listenting to a song and figuring out the notes by ear, then writting them down and sharing them online is considered illegal! I don't know if you're musically inclined at all, but to someone who is, this is outrageously absurd. Musicians and students of music have been doing this for as long as people have been putting notes on paper. It is only because publishing companies who publish third-party tabs are 'losing profit' that legal action was taken and is successful. The fact is, very few, if any, of the tabs availible are copied from an already avialible tab book. The irony being that online tabs are usually far more accurate and helpful than ones in the tab books they charge you an absurd amount for. They want to eliminate anyone who is in the business of making tabs for free because they are their direct competitors, even though no infringement took place (how can it if the tab is an original, made by ear?). The only reason this is successful, is because estabilshed corporations have more political clout than some guys on the internet. Consumers don't win here (the published tabs are often SHIT), the people who make the tabs out of a passion for music don't win here (they never made any money from it anyways) -- only the publishers do.

So fuck them, and fuck IP laws. They were meant to prevent others from profiting or stealing someone's work and claiming it as their own, not enforce the interests of corporations against their own customers and ordinary people.

Re: UK Game Publishers Get Medieval on File-Sharers

"It's all about people taking another person's work product and making it available to others with no compensation going to the creator of the work product."

would that also include used game sales?  none of the profits from that go to the original creator(s).

 
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