Sunday, September 28, 2008

6 Pirates caught: CoD 3 sales rise by 8.4%

Let me see.

We have roughly several hundred millions consoles and PCs combined sold worldwide, all capable of playing current games. If we include the 95% piracy figures from Yerli, plus the 90% of piracy in China and think about averages, I suppose that there's around several hundred millions pirates left out there, waiting for a sentence.

Come on, I'm sure you can do better than catching six folks the hand in the jar, right?

How did this end?

  • a Washington man, apparently unrepresented by counsel, agreed to pay Activision $100,000 (CoD 3 Wii, CoD 3 Xbox 360) to settle the case.
  • a South Carolina man, also apparently unrepresented, agreed to pay Activision $25,000 to settle the case. (CoD3 Wii, Tony Hawk's Project 8, Xbox 360).
  • a New Jersey man, apparently the only defendant who had an attorney, agreed to pay Activision $100,000 (CoD 3 Xbox 360).
  • a Minnesota woman, apparently with no attorney, agreed to pay Activision $1,000.
  • a second South Carolina man agreed to pay Activision $100,000 (CoD 3 Wii, Cod 2 The Big Red One PS2, Tony Hawk's Project 8, Xbox 360). He too was apparently unrepresented.
  • a New York man's case is still active (CoD 3 Xbox 360).

A most interesting aspect of this affair has been the claimed use of scare tactics by Activision (acting like a RIAA of video games), pressuring defendants to reject representation by attorneys, otherwise facing massive judicial costs.
A practice which is unacceptable, especially if less or not even guilty people get sued and were to be threatened the same way.

Really, the more Activision tightens its grip, the more sales will slip through its fingers. If anything, they're not spending their resources in the right direction, and overly disproportionate sanctions will only encourage crackers to pursue their activities, and they'll surely take the piss even more, no doubt about that, while the message sent to the average Joe (steal one game and we destroy your life) will get a lukewarm welcome, considering those dark times of relentless inflation and looming worldwide economical crisis.

So what's next?
Again, without condoning piracy, there are degrees of justice to apply, and those examples will remain utterly futile if the sanction doesn't even look fair to begin with.

It's as ridiculous as thinking that it's the securities embedded within the Blu-ray technology that prevent piracy on the PS3.
What prevents piracy is that no one burns Blu-ray discs because burners and discs are damn expensive, notably because it's a new technology, which half the planet doesn't care about, while many industrials deem the format already dead. Which is a good thing in fact, since it won't get popular, so the situation won't change and logically keep the "household" piracy low. Actually, developers certainly DON'T want the format becoming too popular.
Finally, and thus far, it seems that launching pirated games from the HDD is still a good challenge, even when running Linux on the console.

Meanwhile, I continue to buy my used games at incredibly low prices for an overall great quality.

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