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Default General News - Developers demand damages from file-sharers in the UK

August 21st, 2008, 12:26
Originally Posted by itoqylas View Post
I usually wonder how society as a whole is different today than it was in the middle ages or even farther back - if you look from it from a non-technological perspective. Anyone care to explain that for me for I am honestly clueless about it.
The difference is back then people used brute force to rule, now we use litigation.

Simple really.
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August 21st, 2008, 14:01
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Bottom line the solution is to take down those torrent sites, not this.
How are they going to do that? Invade sweden? I remember US making som threats so atleast they made a good effort.

Taking down those sites does work and has worked i.e in germany - if they are allowed to be taken down.

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August 21st, 2008, 14:12
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
I really don't understand howcome all games aren't internet games yet (be connected and provide login and password to play).
The answer ist simple : Because telecommunication companies don't invest in *all* areas, especially not in rural areas, because there's only costs with it, and no profits.

Making all games into "internet games" would mean to give the people in not very good connected rural areas the "choice" to play games with the costs of an modem.

In my opinion, the fact that you don't see this says to me that you don't know too much about rural areas.

In my opinion, those who want "internet games" (this argument comes in every few months), are almost only people living in towns.

They seem to be willing to leave the people living in rural landscapes with few towns out of technology.

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August 21st, 2008, 14:29
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
"punish the perp and discourage others" well, why don't they go after the torrent sites? Oh right, they have tried and they can't. So instead of either trying other means of fighting piracy or to keep trying to take these torrent sites down,
So since they can't go after the torrent sites because the host countries don't give a shit about piracy, they should just throw their hands up and say "we tried!". Right.


they decide to go after the little guys and yes I think she should get a free pass because she is poor. The internet makes it too damn easy to steal, the reason it is so easy is because of those torrent sites.
So it's ok to steal if you are poor? No one forced her to go to the torrent sites.

Once again a PR nightmare. Do you want to send that mother to jail because she can't pay 16,000 pounds or if she can pay, I bet it will pretty much ruin the kids life.
I have no doubt it is a PR nightmare, but that's not really the point.

Don't get me wrong here, I think piracy is wrong and there should be something done about it.
It doesn't sound like it. You've basically said it is ok for a poor person to steal because it is easy and they are poor.

So sue her for the actual cost of the game $39.99 (or whatever it is) that would be ok, but sue her because they can't get their hands on the real criminals, the torrent sites, is just wrong.
Suing her for $39.99 wouldn't do shit and you know it.

Bottom line the solution is to take down those torrent sites, not this.
Bottom line is that they can't take down the torrent sites because they are located in countries that give them legal protection.

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August 21st, 2008, 15:08
Bottom line is to persecute the poor actually because they're easy targets.

Nothing new in the UK, nothing new anywhere.
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August 21st, 2008, 15:29
I always find it redicilous to ask someone obviously without money to pay some huge sum. Do like they do with taxes - tell the person to pay based on their economy.

There's a pretty fat chance someone with a fairly poor economy can't pay this kind of money, and will therefore either end up going to jail or losing their house. Come on now, let's face it, stealing a game is the exact same as shoplifting - not robbing a bank or killing someone, and should therefore get punishment on the same level as a shoplifter.
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August 21st, 2008, 15:41
If you like that perspective I believe there is an on the spot fine of 80 for shoplifting goods when the value of the goods are less than 100 here in the UK.
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August 21st, 2008, 16:35
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I always find it redicilous to ask someone obviously without money to pay some huge sum. Do like they do with taxes - tell the person to pay based on their economy.

There's a pretty fat chance someone with a fairly poor economy can't pay this kind of money, and will therefore either end up going to jail or losing their house. Come on now, let's face it, stealing a game is the exact same as shoplifting - not robbing a bank or killing someone, and should therefore get punishment on the same level as a shoplifter.
I don't think they still have debtors prison in the UK (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Most likely, they will settle for an amount less than the $16k. That's what usually happens in the US.

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August 21st, 2008, 16:39
Even Peter Moore isn't 'cool' on this one, putting EA in my good book for once, it's been a while.
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August 21st, 2008, 16:53
He recognizes that it didn't work for the music industry. Maybe the RIAA will one day get the message.

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August 22nd, 2008, 01:59
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I always find it redicilous to ask someone obviously without money to pay some huge sum. Do like they do with taxes - tell the person to pay based on their economy.

There's a pretty fat chance someone with a fairly poor economy can't pay this kind of money, and will therefore either end up going to jail or losing their house. Come on now, let's face it, stealing a game is the exact same as shoplifting - not robbing a bank or killing someone, and should therefore get punishment on the same level as a shoplifter.
Not a retailer, are you? You've encapsulated the problem perfectly. It's such a minor issue that society should barely bother with a "tsk, tsk" and send them on their way. That sends a crystal clear message that is doesn't matter and the problem spirals - after all, it's only shoplifting. Or piracy.

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August 22nd, 2008, 07:17
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
So it's ok to steal if you are poor? No one forced her to go to the torrent sites.
No it's not ok, but I sure as hell wouldn't sue her for a ridiculous amount of money. Only some coldhearted bastard would do something like that.

Are there no prisons? No workhouses? I didn't know that some companies in England were looking at the character Scrooge as a rolemodel.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I have no doubt it is a PR nightmare, but that's not really the point.
That's where you are definatly wrong. This is the point exactly. Like I said before I hate piracy. Do you think I like putting up with DRM or Starforce or only able to load a game 3 times before it blows up? No, I don't and I hate the people who download for free and the nonchalant attitude that they have towards it, however when the companies go after little people like that women then they turn me against them so quick it will make your head spin. It's just flat out wrong to go after the customers.

Keep trying to take down the torrent sites. That is where the real problem is. Make it difficult for the averge Joe (or in this case, Jane) to download products for free.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
It doesn't sound like it. You've basically said it is ok for a poor person to steal because it is easy and they are poor.
Sorry, I'm not cold-hearted enough that I can't take into account that she is poor and has kids. If I was, then I would say let her go to jail or find someway to pay that absurd amount of money for downloading a stupid pinball game.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Suing her for $39.99 wouldn't do shit and you know it..
Neither will suing her for 16,000 pounds. Oh wait, it will do something. It will turn consumers against the company.


Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Bottom line is that they can't take down the torrent sites because they are located in countries that give them legal protection.
For now they have legal protection. I noticed you didn't quote any of the progress in Asia concerning pirating. You really should have because it has bearing in this conversation. The reason Asia is getting tougher on pirating is because the businesses are putting pressure on them. That is how Atari and the others should have done this. To keep putting pressure on the governments to change some of their laws to protect their property. If you think that is impossible then I should remind you that only seven years ago there were brick and mortar shops that dealt exclusively in pirated software and now they are gone. This is in China. A place where you would think they wouldn't care about other countries laws. I'm under no illusions that this is a major blow to pirates but at least this is a real tangible start, that I have seen, to solving the problem.

I know it is difficult for governments to make new laws without infringing on privacy and other rights, but it wouldn't infringe on anyone if there was a law that made distributing copyrighted material or distributing torrents to copyrighted material against the law. Then even Sweden could take down webpages dedicated to file-sharing torrents to copyrighted material.

Take down the source, not the people who use it. Without the source of all this hoopla then the average Joe or Jane won't be able to use it and won't be breaking any laws. There will always be people who want something for nothing but the majority of this problem is that it is so easy for someone not technically savvy to steal it.

Originally Posted by woges View Post
Even Peter Moore isn't 'cool' on this one, putting EA in my good book for once, it's been a while.
It's been a looonnnggg time since I liked anything said from EA (I think the last time was back in the late 80's), but Peter Moore explains perfectly why this is an asinine aproach to solving the problem.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; August 22nd, 2008 at 08:26.
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Default Sensationalism at it's best

August 22nd, 2008, 16:52
Wow, what a spin that you guys have put on this. The truth she didn't just download it - she was also sharing it with everyone else to download from her as well (or did you all forget how torrents work?). You guys also left out the part where every single one of them was contacted before hand and given the option to settle out of court for 300 bucks, but they turned it down and said "You got nothing on us coppers, take us to court!". OK, I made up the quote, but they were offered to settle out of court. Here is a more balanced report of the action:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7568642.stm

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August 22nd, 2008, 17:04
Take down the source, not the people who use it. Without the source of all this hoopla then the average Joe or Jane won't be able to use it and won't be breaking any laws. There will always be people who want something for nothing but the majority of this problem is that it is so easy for someone not technically savvy to steal it.
What are you smoking? Torrents weren't the first, nor will they be the last way to steal games. Take down the torrent sites, and people will put up more, or use something else. Fighting piracy is an ongoing and neverending battle for developers.

Ah but "it's just 29$", or "I wasn't going to buy it anyway", or "everyone does it, so who cares".

Open letter to pirates:

Dear pirates: I care. I care because most of that pirate crap is filled with viruses. You've zombified your machines, and it's spitting out spam and more viruses (and occasionally attacking websites en masse). And it's costing businesses lots of money (businesses that have to protect against your machines, not just the game companies!). A loss they pass on to all of us. And it's making organized crime a LOT of money. Thats a lot of money they use to do even MORE crime. Oh, and don't say your virus scanner catches it. Many viruses are never caught - ever.
Thanks, you cheap idiots. Thanks for the net bloat. Thanks for the mountains of spam that have made email nearly useless. Thanks for the higher prices of goods that you have made for everybody else.

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August 22nd, 2008, 17:24
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
No it's not ok, but I sure as hell wouldn't sue her for a ridiculous amount of money. Only some coldhearted bastard would do something like that.
So basically it's not ok, but there shouldn't be any consequences of any significance? That's implicitly saying it is ok.

Are there no prisons? No workhouses? I didn't know that some companies in England were looking at the character Scrooge as a rolemodel.
Their job is not to be socially charitable, but to protect their profit margins and IP for the sake of their shareholders.

It's just flat out wrong to go after the customers.

Keep trying to take down the torrent sites. That is where the real problem is. Make it difficult for the averge Joe (or in this case, Jane) to download products for free.
Actually, it's the only effective way to combat product driven crime (not perfectly effective of course). Not saying that this method is the best way, but the only way to stop product driven crime is to reduce demand. If we've learned anything from the War on Drugs, it's that so long as there is demand, someone will find a way to supply it.

You can take down all the torrent sites you want, new ones will pop up. Or a new technology to facilitate the piracy will pop up. Demand is the driver and it is what must be reduced. It's basic economics. Demand drives supply, not the other way around.

Sorry, I'm not cold-hearted enough that I can't take into account that she is poor and has kids. If I was, then I would say let her go to jail or find someway to pay that absurd amount of money for downloading a stupid pinball game.
So what you are saying is that it is wrong, but there should be no consequences. And of course with out consequences, it will just get worse.

Neither will suing her for 16,000 pounds. Oh wait, it will do something. It will turn consumers against the company.
I doubt they will collect 100 pounds from her. Sure it will turn some customers away from the company such as yourself, but not the vast majority. When they started suing people in the US for uploading MP3's, it scared a lot of people into deleting their collections and not downloading MP3's anymore. It didn't stop the problem, and I don't know how many people went out and bought music they would have otherwise stolen, but it certainly had the desired affect on a large number of people.

For now they have legal protection. I noticed you didn't quote any of the progress in Asia concerning pirating. You really should have because it has bearing in this conversation. The reason Asia is getting tougher on pirating is because the businesses are putting pressure on them. That is how Atari and the others should have done this. To keep putting pressure on the governments to change some of their laws to protect their property.
I think that is a great idea, but it won't stop the piracy, slow down maybe. Like I said above, so long as there is demand, someone will find a way to supply it.

he truth she didn't just download it - she was also sharing it with everyone else to download from her as well (or did you all forget how torrents work?).
Exactly. They aren't going after people that just download it, but those people that download it then host it for others to download.

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Last edited by blatantninja; August 22nd, 2008 at 17:42.
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August 22nd, 2008, 17:31
Maybe you should check your own hyperbole bullshit before speaking about 'sensationalism'.

Your lack of any real empathy for real people (and kids at that) and the 'fact' that these companies felt the same way, enough to take to court and sue, regardless if she had a chance of paying 300 or not changes little in the ethics here. I'm not sure that I'd like to pay any company 300 that happened to pop a letter through my door.
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August 22nd, 2008, 20:13
As horrendous as this lawsuit is, the greater point here is that everyone in the entertainment industry wants to pull the internet plug from people who they have decided have downloaded files illegally. France is doing it. And the UK is looking into it. The rest of the countries in the European Community may soon follow France's example…

As I have said many times before, I don't sympathize nor do I advocate piracy in any shape or form, but to go to this length to hinder people using the internet, is at least —- I lack words to describe this.

As for the above example, they have no (legal?) right to claim that the mother shall pay them 16,000 English Pounds. I don't even know they came up with this figure.
In tort (or recompenation) law, I believe that it is they who claim they have lost a sum due to people dowloading games illegally that have to prove they have made a loss of 16,000 Pounds because of say an unemployed mother of two downloading the game Pinball 3D from Topware interactive. She probably just thought it was freeware game.

If this goes to court, my bet is that Topware Interactive can't prove that she is solely responsible for their losing a potential revenue or cincome of 16,000 English Pounds. My best bet is that they can get the 40 English Pounds the game costs in stores and maybe something for damages; nowhere near 16,000 Pounds however.

Both in this case and the case I mentioned first, (the one in where the entertainment wants ISP providers to shut down people's internet) the burden of proof seem to have shifted. It is now up to the consumers to prove that they are not guilty instead of the corporations trying to prove that the consumers are guilty.

As for the unemployed mother of two sharing it with others, this could just be a feature of the torrent site she was using (no, I'm not using one, but I do have a strong suspicision on how some of them work). As for not taking the offer for 300 pounds to settle out of court, would you do it if you didn't think you have done anything wrong? The money isn't important, paying the 300 pounds admits that you're guilty - even when you're not. (guilty, that is).

And maybe, just maybe the game sold 800 copies because it was -uhm-
bad??

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August 22nd, 2008, 21:09
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
As horrendous as this lawsuit is, the greater point here is that everyone in the entertainment industry wants to pull the internet plug from people who they have decided have downloaded files illegally. France is doing it. And the UK is looking into it. The rest of the countries in the European Community may soon follow France's example…
Well it's measures like these letters that are designed prevent the need for that I guess.

As for the above example, they have no (legal?) right to claim that the mother shall pay them 16,000 English Pounds. I don't even know they came up with this figure.
They didn't claim that. The court decided that the compensation should be 6000 quid and the costs were 10000.

If this goes to court, my bet is that Topware Interactive can't prove that she is solely responsible for their losing a potential revenue or cincome of 16,000 English Pounds. My best bet is that they can get the 40 English Pounds the game costs in stores and maybe something for damages; nowhere near 16,000 Pounds however.
Er.. it did go to court. It was court that decided the figure.

Both in this case and the case I mentioned first, (the one in where the entertainment wants ISP providers to shut down people's internet) the burden of proof seem to have shifted. It is now up to the consumers to prove that they are not guilty instead of the corporations trying to prove that the consumers are guilty.
Nope - it's a civil, not criminal case. There's no 'guilty' or 'non-guilty'.

The money isn't important, paying the 300 pounds admits that you're guilty - even when you're not. (guilty, that is).
See above, but more so in the case of the 300 pounds - that's just a settlement, not even a compensation or fine.
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August 22nd, 2008, 21:52
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
As for the above example, they have no (legal?) right to claim that the mother shall pay them 16,000 English Pounds. I don't even know they came up with this figure.
In tort (or recompenation) law, I believe that it is they who claim they have lost a sum due to people dowloading games illegally that have to prove they have made a loss of 16,000 Pounds because of say an unemployed mother of two downloading the game Pinball 3D from Topware interactive. She probably just thought it was freeware game.

If it is like the US system, it's not just the value of the product stolen in copyright claims, but also a punitive amount of something like $2k or $3k per instance.

So if it is similar in the UK, the figure may represent 8x that.

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August 24th, 2008, 19:42
Well, if I release something as Freeware, I could proudly claim "I would've received '2k or 3k per instance' - if I had sold it !"

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