Reporting Piracy?

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#1 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:12 AM

I was on Slashdot a few minutes ago and noticed an ad for ending piracy. Curious, I clicked, and lo and behold, I came upon a site for reporting pirated software.

We all are programmers of some variety here: we all make software of some kind, everything from websites to PIC programming, so I have to ask, what do you think of this? What would you think of having your software being reported as pirated? what would you think of reporting somebody else who's using pirated software?

For myself, I'm not quite sure what to think. On one hand, I want the people responsible for making and distributing the software to make money and be fully compensated: but I sincerely believe that turning this into a "big brother" software state is the worst possible way to go about this- there are plenty of alternatives floating around to end piracy, everything from cutting the prices and the profit margins down and money on increased volume to changing the means of distribution, keeping the same margins, and lowering the price anyway (due to lower cost) for greater volume and a larger return, but a key feature is that the price must come down and volume must be allowed to go up. I think that giving amnesty in combination with lowering the price of a piece of software is the best way that is currently implementable to go about this: just look at what happened with the flash game "Machinarium".

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#2 pumbaa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 10:43 AM

Tough call.

I was a professional photographer for over 20 years and copyright violations and piracy was rampant. Not only from photogs stealing images for their own advertising, but customers copying and companies taking images for their advertising and even books and magazines!!

I actually charged high prices in the beginning and high session fees to cover any piracy of my work.

But as a large group of like minded photographers we were able to watch out for one another. One site had over 7000 photographers by the time I retired (I was number 170 or so). Imagine the number of eyes on the lookout!

Can programmers such as the ones on DIC keep an eye out for one another like that?

Watch out for one another.. it does work! :gunsmilie:

This post has been edited by pumbaa: 27 November 2010 - 10:45 AM

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#3 dorknexus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:52 AM

People pirating shit has no affect on you so you'd be a pretty big vagina if you ratted people out.
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#4 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 01:29 PM

US and Canada Only..

90% of pirating happens outside of these countries.. So it can't really do anything but try to control 10% to 30% of 10% therefore only being able to control about 1-3% of global pirating...

USELESS


Edit: Also Pirating accounts for about 20% of these two countries' software, whereas in the rest of the world for every Licensed software there are 30 pirated software..
making it up to about 90% of the world.. That's correct..

90% of all software (Globally) are pirated

This post has been edited by biggerB: 27 November 2010 - 01:33 PM

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#5 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:13 PM

I would download a car if I could. End of story.

I also would NEVER EVER EVER 'report' piracy. Why would I? The day I find one of my software products available illegally is the day I realize I'm a good programmer.
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#6 dorknexus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 04:06 PM

Quote

I also would NEVER EVER EVER 'report' piracy. Why would I? The day I find one of my software products available illegally is the day I realize I'm a good programmer.


People wanting free shit has nothing to do with quality.
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#7 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 05:21 PM

Yeah but even the worlds best code is worth crap unless the end users love using your software. :P
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#8 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 09:15 PM

View PostDark_Nexus, on 27 November 2010 - 03:06 PM, said:

Quote

I also would NEVER EVER EVER 'report' piracy. Why would I? The day I find one of my software products available illegally is the day I realize I'm a good programmer.


People wanting free shit has nothing to do with quality.


You'd be surprised how picky pirates can be of even pirated software.

I mean really, if your product has created enough demand that people want to steal it, that's certainly a good sign. It's not common for groups of people to pirate something useless (unless they are the creators and are trying to build rep for themselves, just like those indie movie studios who throw their failed movie project onto ThePirateBay in hopes it gets a cult following).



As for the OP's question...

Self monitoring, like a 'community watch', is certainly a good option IMO. I don't think this group should be pressing charges on the behalf of some specific coder, but certainly a notice of "Hey dude we saw your shit up for distribution over at pirate mc piraties place".

Also promoting an air of quality. Promoting the idea that unpirated software has a higher standard of quality. Unlike pirated software which has potential for visuses and the sort. (note: I believe open-source code is certainly a member of the 'unpirated' software side of things... I'm not saying 'pay' means quality, I'm saying 'official' means quality).


Legal course though, the majority of the time I wouldn't be bothered by it. The only times when I'd be bothered by that is when someone was making hand over fist profit on my hard work. Such as a large company stealing a small fishes idea for their own personal gain. But I don't have any data of this actually happening all to often and really isn't of a large concern.




From across the digital media gambit, most of the time though I hold the opinion that the majority of pirates wouldn't have purchased it in the first place. And a large group of them still invest a vast amount of money into the industries they pirate from.

Does this mean we shouldn't perform actions to stall pirates? Of course not, hinder them away all you like. With in reason... but suing Ms. Petticoat for ripping a copy of 'The Batman'... blargh, blargh blargh blargh.
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#9 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:42 PM

I have to disagree on the quality issue. Not only are a lot of annoying features removed from pirated software- eg, the parts of games where you're forced to see an overly dramatic take on whatever the company logo is of the game publisher- but there's a pretty active response to any 'unwanted' extra features installed with any software. Just look at the comments on anything available for download on the pirate bay. Above and beyond this, software that's got a long-term following is usually unoficially updated by a community of fans, some recent examples I've found of this are the games "Oni" and "Myth 2: Soulblighter" from Bungie before it was bought by Microsoft ~10 years ago.
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#10 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:49 PM

View PostChoscura, on 27 November 2010 - 10:42 PM, said:

I have to disagree on the quality issue. *snip*


I said:

"Also promoting an air of quality"

promoting an air is not me saying "it is higher quality", it is "doing your best to ensure a higher quality".

I was making suggestions how to combat pirating, not stating what is actually going on.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 28 November 2010 - 03:53 PM

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#11 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:38 AM

Several years back I actually had the experience of discovering a portion of something I wrote showing up in another app that I didn't write. My employer at the time thought it would be a great idea to outsource some modular work because he was too cheap to hire another dev a fucking moron so he chose, with zero input from the lead dev (me), to send our entire codebase to a firm in India. I very politely shit a brick in his office when I was informed of the development decision (he was VP of Sales at the time) and told him that I gave it 6 months before we started seeing copies of our product showing up for cheap or free.

It actually took closer to a year for me to discover one...and I didn't discover it. The "fucking moron" (I officially anointed him as such by then) came into my office asking me to look into a competitors app that he had discovered in between his surfing pr0n and checking his fantasy teams on ESPN. I contacted them, signed up for a trial of their software and did a simple view source. Now the actual app was written in CF so I couldn't see that but all the UI, all the JS and all the stylesheets were 95% the exact same even down to the naming of DOM objects and CSS styles. I even found the pages where I had neglected to do a whitespace compression on my CF code.

I experienced great joy when I informed "fucking moron" that the enemy was indeed us. Naturally, this fact was immediately buried never to be uttered or even referred to ever again.

True story.

That said, reporting piracy is a joke. In the U.S. there is the Business Software Alliance and I did in fact report this company when I was laid off (and "fucking moron" hired is brother in law to replace me) and they did absolutely nothing. I gave them everything they would have needed to basically prosecute them for theft/piracy and they did nothing more than send a form email (this via the office manager who equally despised "FM"). Believe me, don't bother wasting your time reporting piracy unless it's a movie or song.
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#12 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:07 AM

View PostbiggerB, on 27 November 2010 - 01:29 PM, said:

US and Canada Only..

90% of pirating happens outside of these countries.. So it can't really do anything but try to control 10% to 30% of 10% therefore only being able to control about 1-3% of global pirating...

USELESS


Edit: Also Pirating accounts for about 20% of these two countries' software, whereas in the rest of the world for every Licensed software there are 30 pirated software..
making it up to about 90% of the world.. That's correct..

90% of all software (Globally) are pirated


I like to pull statistics out of my asshole and type in big red HTML letters.
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#13 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:16 AM

View PostbiggerB, on 27 November 2010 - 08:29 PM, said:

90% of all software (Globally) are pirated

And you would know this how? Do people using pirated software routinely register that fact somewhere?
You can do nothing but guess.

Anti-piracy groups are big on promoting complete bullshit as truth. Propaganda based on nothing. I mean, have you seen the crappy anti-piracy thing they put on the DVD's? Comparing stealing a car to downloading a movie! - Not saying downloading movies is a good thing, but compared to stealing a car or stealing an actual DVD it is barely worth mentioning. - If you never intended to buy the movie/software, does downloading it hurt anybody? What if, after having decided not to buy it, you find you really like it and would like an official copy.

I'm not promoting piracy here. This kind of stuff just gets on my nerves.

As to the OP's questions. I can't really see this having much of an effect. Sure, it will probably get a random company a slap on the wrists every now an then, but it hardly seems worth the effort. Would the owner of the software even get any compensation? (And how much time/money would they have to spend on legal proceedings?)

Craig328 said:

My employer at the time thought it would be a great idea to outsource some modular work because he was too cheap to hire another dev a fucking moron so he chose, with zero input from the lead dev (me), to send our entire codebase to a firm in India.

Nice. That's like dropping the bar of soap on purpose. :eek:
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#14 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:31 AM

I can speak from first hand experience.

I used to work for the Software Legal (a BSA-type company in Latin America) and I went through at least 60 companies ranging from big to small here in Bolivia.

At least 70% of the computers I checked had pirated software. Seldom did I find a company 100% legit with full licenses for their servers, OS's and other software.

One time I found an entire company (big, about 500 machines) with nothing but Ubuntu OS. That was a great day! :D

One time I remember I checked some guys machine in a very large electric company Guaracachi, and he had a pirated copy of Adobe CS5 Suite. I OBVIOUSLY told them about this and they got pissed at the guy for installing this crap that had nothing to do with his job.

I told them I would report it but also state that you removed it immediately, and they were really thankful for it. Imagine paying 1k$+ for software you don't even want. Jesus!

Anyways, I'm glad I don't work there anymore. The money was good and the hours excellent (I worked tops 10 hours a week) but stress of fucking people was too much. AMA if you like.

This post has been edited by Sergio Tapia: 29 November 2010 - 10:34 AM

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#15 biggerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: Reporting Piracy?

Posted 30 November 2010 - 01:49 AM

View PostAtli, on 29 November 2010 - 04:16 PM, said:

And you would know this how? Do people using pirated software routinely register that fact somewhere?
You can do nothing but guess.

Well i would say that "my sources are confidential" but if you were a pirate i would say "me too", there are different communities online just for pirates.. they exchange knowledge and other stuff.. So the numbers are'nt 100% accurate but still close enough..
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