WONDERBOY: THE DRAGON'S TRAP
Originally posted by antime@June 05 2002,09:04
The ELSPA Crime Unit raided him.
I DID NOT DO ANY PIRACY! YOU HEARD WHAT THE ELSPA SAID:To some the reasons why piracy is wrong are obvious, but to others, especially consumers, they aren't. This page is here to make you aware of some of the issues.
"Piracy is a criminal offence, which thus makes it an immoral business to be in. Piracy leads always to arrests, community service, hefty fines and prison sentences. Some people think that the rewards are worth the risks, others are already involved in other criminal activities, or already have criminal records and therefore don't feel too threatened by the penalties. So why then, do otherwise law-abiding citizens choose to line these people's pockets and put themselves and their children at risk?
Its because people fail to realise that there ARE risks involved. It's not just copying software that is against the law, owning copied software also constitutes a criminal offence; so anyone buying from these people is also at risk of arrest and prosecution. You may think that saying "piracy harms children" is unfounded, but it really is true. Many pirate compilation discs, mainly for the PC, also contain explicit pornographic material. Not just 'glamour' pictures, but anything and everything including paedophilia and rape.
Which leads to the next important issue that consumers may not be aware of. Out of all the raids the ELSPA Crime Unit have carried out against offenders this year, over 80% of offenders were involved in other criminal activity; from petty crime to drugs trafficking, money laundering, pornography rings and terrorism. Money raised from the sales of illegal software are more often than not invested into the furtherance of these secondary, and more sinister businesses. The guy that did you a 'favour' by saving a few quid on a game today could tomorrow be selling heroin to your son or daughter.
So the next time you're at a car boot sale, or flicking through the free ads and you fancy getting a copy of the latest game for a fiver, think of where the money is likely to be going, and ask yourself whether that's the type of thing you condone, or wish to actively support.
There are some pirates who justify their activities by saying "Â£40.00 for an original title is an absolute rip-off... why pay Â£40.00 when you can pay a fiver? By buying from me, you help stop the fat-cats lining their pockets."
There are several issues here:
Original titles are so expensive due to the enormous costs of game development. A pirate doesn't have to shell out over a million pounds to make the game in the first-place - doesn't have to pay artists, programmers, story-board writers, marketing departments, motion-capture studios etc. As opposed to trying to make money off an investment, a pirate simply pays a pound for a gold disc, places it into a CD-writer, clicks a record button, and makes Â£4.00 profit PER SALE for his troubles. Publishers and developers make mere pennies per sale of an original game.
And what about the "Fat Cats" comment... pirates think that by stopping the money going to a software publisher, it's going to damage the guy at the top of the company (it's amazing what people will do out of jealousy!); in reality, the guy in charge will still own his company regardless of how much of a profit it makes, and will suffer very little. The people that DO suffer are the artists, the programmers - basically the people who DESERVE the money. And these artists and programmers are losing jobs! Some of the most highly regarded creative individuals in the UK are losing jobs while anyone with half a brain can copy their CDs and make a profit off their hard work. Where's the justice in that?
And its very tempting to think "well, I'm saving Â£35.00 here... I'm sure one copy won't make much difference to a publisher"... if everyone shared that philosophy (and unfortunately, there's too many people who already do), then the publisher ends up with nothing. In the short-term, you may save Â£35.00, but you're spoiling your long-term enjoyment. The less revenue that goes back to a publisher, the less money it has to invest into the development of new titles, and therefore new titles will be, and are, of a poorer quality than they could be.
The industry in the UK in total turned over just under Â£1 billion pounds last year. You may think that's a lot of money... not compared to the amount that was lost. It is estimated that the industry lost in excess of Â£3 billion pounds to the pirates last year. If you use illegal software, then you contributed towards that three billionâ¦ large sums of that money could have quite easily (and probably has) been invested in the IRA, the Maffia, Triad gangs, money laundering rackets, prostitution ringsâ¦ how do you feel about that?
The simple fact about piracy is that it is illegal and punishable by fines and jail sentences. No matter which way you look at counterfeiting it is nothing more than theft. Counterfeiters are only out for one thing, money - and because of this consumers who buy counterfeit games have no recourse under law for faulty goods.
By knowingly purchasing a counterfeit computer game you are:
Supporting an illegal industry
Giving criminals money to invest in other criminal activities
Putting at risk the livelihoods of everyone involved in the legitimate leisure software industry
Running the risk of children having access to unsuitable material
Depriving the Government of revenue gained from legal sales, that could be reinvested into other areas such as healthcare and education"