Piracy is not theft! It is copyright infringement …

On February 24, 2009, in Opinion Pieces, by Steffen Itterheim

I’ve wanted to write about piracy for a while but this topic is so complex and “hot”, especially coming from a game developer like myself. But why bother writing my own article if there’s already an excellent coverage about PC Game Piracy on Tweak Guides?

The good part of this article is – it is not biased. At least not as far as i can tell. It’s as neutral as one can get about such a controversial and heavily debated issue. Go ahead, read it. Uhm, unless:

“If your only interest in reading the article is to quickly skim through it to see if it supports your preconceived notions of piracy, then you’re probably better off not bothering with it in the first place.”

There’s another quote i’d like to pick out, not so much because it is probably controversial (hence the headline) but because i always felt that the slogan “piracy is theft” is just not true. Now i know why:

“[…] it does bear noting that strictly speaking, it is correct to say that piracy is not theft. As noted earlier, piracy is copyright infringement, and this is distinct from theft of physical property.”

UPDATE: if you’re thinking that the Piracy Crisis is overblown then read that article.

I also haven’t written my own believes about piracy here, so not to mislead anyone here’s what i think in one sentence: i do believe that piracy is rampant but fighting piracy has to be done on a costumer service-level, eg. added value for paying costumers (free or micro-payment DLC) while making sure no one can cheat (server side account validation).

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