UK Game-Sharers Being Sued; Peter Moore Says Bad Idea

Illustration for article titled UK Game-Sharers Being Sued; Peter Moore Says Bad Idea

In the United Kingdom, Atari, Codemasters and three other game companies are going to court to demand GBP300 from 25,000 file-sharers, reports The Times of London. Apparently, file-sharing got really obnoxious recently - 691,000 downloads of Operation Flashpoint by Codemasters in one week alone. So the five have asked the court to demand internet service providers turn over information on all 25,000 accused of breaking the law. Those users will get notices inviting them to pay up or face prosecution, and the first 500 to ignore it get sued. Asked about it in an interview with Eurogamer, EA Sports boss Peter Moore called that practice a bad idea. "I'm not a huge fan of trying to punish your consumer," he said. "Albeit these people have clearly stolen intellectual property, I think there are better ways of resolving this within our power as developers and publishers."Moore went on:

"Yes, we've got to find solutions," Moore continued. "We absolutely should crack down on piracy. People put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their content and deserve to get paid for it. It's absolutely wrong, it is stealing. "But at the same time I think there are better solutions than chasing people for money. I'm not sure what they are, other than to build game experiences that make it more difficult for there to be any value in pirating games. "If we learned anything from the music business, they just don't win any friends by suing their consumers. Speaking personally, I think our industry does not want to fall foul of what happened with music."

I'm sure it's a lot easier for Moore to say that when his bottom line is waaaaaaay better than Atari's, or these other five. Still, it stands to reason EA titles are swapped around too, although to what extent - and what EA's threshold of pain is - I don't know. Yet Moore says he's not aware of any EA plans to join these five and "chase down consumers." Moore Warns Against Suing File-Sharers [Eurogamer] Computer Games Industry Threat to Downloaders: "Pay Up or We'll Sue" [The Times of London via Eurogamer]

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DISCUSSION

EmpressInYellow
EmpressInYellow

@Jonn: Your logical fallacies are like -ambrosia- to me.

When you take money from someone, you have -deprived- them of that value. The fact that the money exists as 1s and 0s instead of paper currency is irrelevant; by taking that money, you have deprived them of the use of that money.

The entire system of trade is based on the assumptions of ownership and exchange of value. Ownership, ie. I own X and the value it represents, is transferred from person to person in exchange for other things of value.

Theft is -depriving- someone of X, which they own, against their will. So again, I steal someone's car, I have deprived them of that value: they owned the car, and now they have nothing.

With software piracy, it's different. The "value" here is the software. When someone downloads it, they have not "deprived" the owner of that value; the owner still has the software and can continue to sell it. In your example, you are stealing the -money-, and the people you've stolen it from no longer have access to it.

Ideas about exchange of value and the like are simply -different- when you start discussing information that can be copied 1:1 without any loss of the original. Value in the traditional sense relies, to an extent, on scarcity: there are only so many apples, or cars, or whatever. You can't wave your hand and make one materialize. They are a limited resource, just like money, the time of people who provide services, etc.

If there were a magic machine that could copy apples, 1:1, without any expense or loss of the original, would you be STEALING from that apple farmer if you made a bunch of copies of his apples? He still has them, after all.

Again, people get hung up on this because they act like it's a DEFENSE of piracy. It's not. It's just a call for a little more clarity and intellectual honesty in the language.