Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

December 7, 2008 -

Leigh Alexander takes a look at piracy from the industry side in a two-parter for Gamasutra.

In the first installment, Leigh speaks with Ric Hirsch, the top IP enforcement guy for game publisher's trade group the Entertainment Software Association. Hirsch talks about the ESA's efforts to combat piracy, but points out that its work is undertaken only on behalf of its member (i.e., not on behalf of Activision and the six other publishers which left the organization in 2008):

Part of the problem is [that piracy is] vast... And that's exacerbated by the internet, which has the effect of anonymizing a lot of activity... We use an outside vendor through which we monitor instances of infringing activity involving our members' game product.  Based on the reports... we send takedown notices to ISPs all over the world.

We are trying to pursue some of the principal players... at the top of the piracy food chain, members of warez groups who within days of a game's release and sometimes before, manage to get pirate versions of games available out there on the internet for download.

Over the last eight to 10 years, the U.S. government has stepped up its efforts in addressing IP piracy, in which game piracy is a small but growing part... Part of our mission is to make law enforcement understand better the problems that game piracy creates for the development of local game markets and how it impacts businesses and tax revenues from the game sector...

Meanwhile, in part two, Bo Svensson, a spokesman for the fledgling PC Gaming Alliance, discusses the controversy surrounding digital rights management (DRM):

[Stardock CEO] Brad [Wardell]'s approach is very hands-off. I think that if the PCGA as an organization is going to be all-embracing, if Stardock were to become a member and EA were to become a member, I think there are very obvious differences in their strategy as pertains to DRM. As a PC gaming organization, we probably need to be able to embrace both approaches, and still be able to make recommendations.

I think it's fair to say that, along the continuum of what is the best experience for the consumer and what provides the highest level of protection for developers and publishers, there's a whole realm of grays in there. I don't think that anyone has the right answer today.

GP: Hirsch also discusses the ESA's efforts to get the anti-piracy message into elementary schools. While I don't disagree with the message, as a parent and a taxpayer, I find the idea of permitting a corporate lobbying group to waste valuable educational time to be fairly outrageous. It's surprising that watchdog group the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood hasn't weighed in on this one.

There's much more to Leigh Alexander's story than we can summarize here. If the topic interests you, be sure to check it out.


Comments

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Oh sorry it’s the damn meta tags this place takes in, if I word check in word 07  and copy paste it becomes bigger…… this place should format all text formatting styles….

 

This is copied from word07 and in FF looks like bold 14 font…..


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Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
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Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

They want to get the anti-piracy message into schools? Really?

Okay, how god-damn dillusional at these people. Trying to restrict the behavior of children and teens never works. Sex-Ed programs have been trying to stop pre-teen humping for decades to no avail, and now the ESA thinks its going to stop the most tech-saavy demographic in the world from downloading games?

Thats ridiclious enough. But what is more baffling is what the ESA thinks the initative will accomplish. OH, THAT'S RIGHT - the ESA operates under the hilarious assumption that pirated games represent lost sales. Oh, well, carry on then ESA. Fight the good fight and all that.

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Can we stop referring to DRM as digital "rights" management? It has nothing to do with rights. It's about restricting the user because they assume everyone is a pirate. Digital Restrictions Malware is a more fitting term.

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

I actually think the name is very suiting. They are trying to manage the consumer's right to use the product, afterall. When you think about what that really means, its insedious enough on its own.

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

The Honest Game - http://www.thehonestgame.org

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Oh there is no doubt the CP owners have been useing it as an excuse to sue people into the ground over works that are either unwanted or they themselfs have abandoed, its a racket pure and simple.
=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

If it were only so DRM is the copy rights management but I wish copy right would be changed to profit right as copy is to broad a a term for today’s world.


=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Piracy is a fundamental part of society that can not be dealt with easily, illicit profit is something that laws can easily deal with when such occurrences are found but for “end user” piracy its something the distribution model will have to completely overhaul to effect and even if you stream games once its cracked it will be a free for all so as a industry you have to decide you want to market your wares to a world wide populace or focus solely on a percentage of online users.

 

Frankly until infrastructure is up to snuff (faster, cheaper more wide spread)  an online only option is not a option for any mainstream dev that has huge overhead to deal with.

 

In the decades to come the consumer will give up the nuances of ownership over media, it will be a more vague service rather than a sold and tangible physical medium but societies views will have to change and technology will help that but only in time and its still at least a decade off before we will see any fundamental changes.

 


=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Zippy!!!!! I am frightened. Not only can I coherently understand you...you are actually using precise grammar, structure, and spelling... *walks into a corner, curls up in a fetal position, and rocks back and forth*

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

I use word 07 as much as I can to pummel stones of my grammar into sand but even then it does not always translate zippy speak…so good it’s all up to good days/bad days ><

 


=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

When you say "it will be a more vague service rather than a sold and tangible physical medium"  that annoys me alittle as sadly I like to physically own my things.

 

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

As do I but looking at trend and how consumerism works in a decade or 2 owning a physical medium will be on its way out, note I say on its way out, it will be replaced with a digital system that hopefully will be backed with a functional recite system, think of steam minus the online only aspect and instead of a normal account you have to setup you have a consumer card/account that’s universal you merely swipe it and then your payment method.

 

But I would not be surprised that we will have physical media mediums for 50 more years as both consumers and the industry will treat physical media as a privilege and not a mandatory medium.


=================================
Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
---------------------------------
I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


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

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

ZippyDSMlee, can you please stop shrinking your text?  I can barely read it.

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Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Well yeah as time goes on advances in technology will always shove the older ways aside.

Its just another reason I wish I was born in a way that I could have lived through the 50's.....back when eventually VHS would of been seen as a technological breakthrough.  :(  

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

Piracy will continue to occur no matter how many safe guards are in place. It is just the sad fact of life. I personally approve of the non-invasive security/anti-piracy checks on games (ie: CD checks, authentication code when installing it, etc etc). Just minor stuff of course. The problem is ESA seem to think they are pretty big and mighty now, and their morals and methods are getting a bit shifty. Considering that they are thinking about placing adverts of anti-piracy into schools? That is going a little too far. No wonder it seems to be bleeding members.

However Bo Svensson's comments I find a little interesting. He at least said the correct and valid thing that the ESA to this day has not (and should have said this a long time ago): "I think it's fair to say that, along the continuum of what is the best experience for the consumer and what provides the highest level of protection for developers and publishers, there's a whole realm of grays in there. I don't think that anyone has the right answer today."

I hope the day he does answer it isn't in support of Securom or other invaside material.

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

These guys don't give a damn about piracy, they just care about money.  SecuROM was never made to stop pirates, it was made to stop second hand sales.  Saying else wise is bullshit with how they made it and use it.  Piracy wasn't even that big of a problem until the game industry starting pulling this bullshit.  When you treat consumers like crap, they will look at piracy.  When you treat them well, they will look to retailers.

The most pirated games list was proof enough that piracy increased because of the DRM crap they have been pulling lately.  There were really good games that were not pirated as much that sold pretty damn well, ie Bioshock.  EA's games are going to be pirated more because of the douche bags that run the place, same with Activision, GTA just has a horrid target audience for that stuff in the first place so they can get the hell over it, I cant remember what is up with Assassins Creed but there is a story about that, Fallout has a form of SecuROM and I don't know enough about the other 2 games.

Them saying anything about piracy is bullshit, mainly because they all know their companies are doing far more illegal things than what these pirates are, especially EA & Activision.  Some of these pirates need to play hardball and blackmail these bastards so they can not be touched.  You know more than a few of these guys secrets that wouldn't want exposed.  If the companies are ran like EA is mostly, then hit them where it hurts until they start playing the right way.  No more of these exclusive contract bullshit where their Madden games suck like hell and are the same as the year before.

Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
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How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Gamasutra Talks to ESA, PCGA about Piracy

I agree with putting adverts of anti-piracy in schools.

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