A Jas Purewal open letter to piracy defenders

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Cyber Terror and Piracy
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Software and music piracy has been a hotly debated topic ever since the Internet became popular. Some for, some against and almost always the subject comes down to taking each situation into perspective. Jas Purewal, a Game Lawyer, recently wrote an open letter to Edge titled “To those who defend game pirates.”
In this letter he discusses five reasons why people defend piracy then rates them based on a scale of ten as to how practical, legal and moral they might be. The first of which being dubbed “Technological Reasons.” On the subject he states, “There’s no empirical evidence so far to support how often IP spoofing is done and, without that evidence, claims that anti-piracy action is useless because IP tracing can be spoofed are just as silly as the unsupported claims by the music/film industries that massive piracy and that alone is killing them.” This is quite the little gem; it’s true both the music and film industries try to tie piracy as massive revenue loss without any substantial evidence being provided. The best piece of evidence to note would have to be the Swiss Federal Council coming out by saying that file-sharing losses are truly limited. On the other side, as he claims, IP Spoofing is sometimes relevant but certainly not in all cases.
The second “’Evidential’ reasons” Purewal goes on to say, “Yes, it’s possible someone nicked my connection to pirate a game when I wasn’t looking. But that’s not massively likely in ordinary circumstances. Has it ever happened to you? I bet not.” This is sort of similar to the first reason but otherwise how would one ever be able to tell if this were actually done to them? The answer being – you wouldn’t be able to tell, only your ISP has that data or you run your own network. A good indication of this would be when the RIAA claimed a third party vendor used their IP address to download copyrighted music. If they can use it as an “excuse” why aren’t regular folks afforded the same?
His third reason “Commercial reasons” stating that, “Maybe, maybe not. Piracy might result in an eventual purchase of a game, but in the meantime it means a financial loss for the developer. Sadly developers are not gamer banks, willing to effectively loan gamers money until we decide we like them enough to pay them.” One way to ensure this would be for publishers/developers to quit pushing games out the door well before they are ready for the market. The second way is for them to give their consumers a way to preview the title, ever heard of a demo?

He goes on to give two other common reasons he feels for those that defend pirates. “You just scare people by sending them big legal letters.” Purewal says, which is quite ludicrous. The last statement however holds much more back bone – “You can build more effective anti-piracy protection into games now.” This is very evident with Steam doubling as a Digital Rights Media(DRM) source and a Downloadable Content(DLC) platform. In fact they do it better then anyone else in the industry, which is one reason it is so popular.

With that being said, these corporate giants surely have enough treasure left over in their coffers to ensure their Intellectual Property isn’t stolen. Logically that is exactly what piracy is about, protecting your IP from being stolen. So how about doing it instead of always picking on the little guy? Oh wait, one’s memory doesn’t serve him dutifully always. Picking the pockets of the small man for your products and then serving him with legal action afterwords is exactly how the American justice system works. Maybe Anonymous should look into this.

Link to original article.

More piracy Links:
Warner Bros admits to misusing DMCA
Big name video game companies falsely accused
Swiss Federal Council says file sharing loses little

  1. Derrfff says:

    Jas Purewal is a Lawyer consulting on all things game related for developers and publishers alike.