Visa fullständig version : Question from a Content Creator

2009-06-09, 11:54
Hello :)

I will say upfront that I disagree with much of the Pirate Party's platform. As someone who creates software, it sounds to me like it's a bunch of people who want to be able to obtain music, movies, and games over the internet for free.

However, I do agree that copyright has gotten out of hand (I blame Disney :p ) and that the patent system is broken, especially in the area of software. DRM has also become ridiculous and invasive.

So although I have an emotional pull to think of "pirates" as evil people who undermine my ability to make a living doing what I enjoy, I'm trying to keep an open mind. That's why I'm posting here ;)

I have started independent game and application development as a job. I got tired of all the bureaucracy and corporate junk at my previous job and decided to work on my own, with a small team of people. While I don't expect to make a fortune since it is a competitive market, I DO think it's reasonable to expect (at least morally) that people who use my software and play my games compensate me for it. Software takes time and money to create, and obviously, nobody is going to be forced to use it.

I have two main issues for which I'm seeking the wisdom of the community:

1) If software was globally accepted as being freely-distributable, how would content creators like me make money? When people have a choice of paying for something and not paying for something... well, you can guess which one they'll usually choose. And when they do pay, it's generally a token amount to help ease their guilt. In any case, how would a small independent game/app-maker like me survive in such a world?

2) I had been creating freeware for 15 years (since I was 10.) One game I released became popular, and I did not ask for money. I only asked that people not distribute it without my permission. And (big surprise) I find it all over the internet even though no one even asked for my permission to distribute it. One website was even selling it for money! Laws aside, that's just plain rude. I was giving quality work away for free, and yet people trampled on my small request. Why do people feel this is morally acceptable? And do you agree?

I am genuinely interested in your thoughts.

Thank you!

2009-06-09, 12:17
Information just spreads, and anything digital contained therein :)

This is just how shit is stacked, piracy has always been a big factor, and the IT-revolution has only changed the spectrum. Since this has been going on for so long (10 years of broadband) and the market still remains, I don't see it changing a whole lot more just because of some hypothetical legislations, except for the very largest bussinesses (and nothing of value shall be lost). What we're initially aiming for is to ensure the Internet remains the same, and the arena you're playing in right now is the arena of the immediate future, where piracy IS a factor, but where quality and talent will always pay for itself.

EDIT: Oh yes, and a few things that haven been proven over and over through independent research (sadly not common knowledge yet), that should make most creators feel at ease with the situation is that you're still making tons of money. Even more than you did before '99. It's only the monopolies that are crumbling with the advent of more small-scale bussinesses. And the ones who are spending the most money are the pirates! :P

2009-06-09, 13:20
Kaysow (2009-Jun-09).....the arena you're playing in right now is the arena of the immediate future, where piracy IS a factor, but where quality and talent will always pay for itself.

Thank you for your reply :)

I don't understand what you mean by the quality and talent paying for itself, though. Could you please explain?

2009-06-09, 18:46
I just mean that attractive products will attract buyers, just like how great music will attract listeners. It's also way easier to compare them, so if one gets into the bussiness of churning out products that are neither new nor special, it's much harder to make a name for yourself. But originality and dedication will pay off, because word-of-mouth is the most effective way to advertise.

Billy Gellerstedt
2009-06-24, 00:09
Indeed, and you have to think of the long tail effect to (check out chris anderson if you havent allready).

Lets say our policy was adopted throu out the world, your commercial right to your games is not in any way diminished, other than the years you have a monolopy to spread your work commercially will be reduced from what it is today, but still long enough for you to make some money on the release, lots of money if it is a huge hit.

We cant provide you with a buisness model where digital piracy doesnt potentially hurt your retail sales because in some cases it does some cases it doesnt, no way to measure exactly how much, but the alternative to potential loss of money is a police state where every bit is searched for copyright infrigament, and we do not like that one bit.

And if we did have such a model you can bet your butt that we would use it like crazy.

But basicly, I do not pay for stuff I do not find reasonable priced, and worth my money, so far only paradox entertainment has provided me with games and support to those games to make me want to pay for them, and they stopped using DRM on their games a loooong time ago. (they still provide content/fix patches 3-4-5 years after the game has been released..)

The biggest problem I think today is that micro transactions are to expensive to turn into profit, and difficult enough to alianate ppl that want it fast, easy and reliable. Fix that and you have a whole new world of buisness models that can be done by micro transactions..

But the age old thing is true still.. If you make something that is original, good, and provide support for it, you will generate money on it.

Check out Paradox entertainments STEAM model, they have practically dubbled their cash flow each year throu that service from when it started a few years ago. Allso, there was another publisher wich I fail to remember the name of that saw a biiig increase in online sales when they lowered their prices on their products, and when they dropped about 80% of the price the increase in sales was nearly 4000%!, other products allso increased in sales during that time, not as much but enough to increase the revenue alot.. This is the same idea that IKEA have been using for years.. Sell something DIRT CHEAP at break even prices or even at a small loss, and ppl will spend money on other things to, and that is where you make your money.

God this was a big post.. =)

2009-07-03, 22:29
Personally, I pay for good games an good movies when I found them by trying them free. I own much more than six hundred original DVD movies. Most of them bougth after watching the downloaded free copy. I decide to pay for good work, I don't like to be forced to keep a copy of a bad movie or a bad software. I'm a prgrammer too and I will be very proud of one of my creations being vastly copied an used, or my source code and algorithms being useful and time saving to others. It would pay me much more than just money.

2009-07-04, 01:15
If copyrights were really paying the true creators of music, than why aren't half of the profits of Sony Music and BMG going to Ghana where the rhythms of popular music originated? Face it - music is a collective activity, and I don't simply mean people make and sing it together. Music "works" because it belongs to all of us - it is a cultural dialogue. The same is true of other forms of art and invention. The current environment where thugs steal our cultural legacy and sell it back to us piecemeal is artificial. The "correction" which is overdue will be painful for those who cling to the past and suckle the teat of tyranny. But there are many ways to do business without monopolistic protection of ideas. Your are in software? Maybe you should be looking at Saas instead of license software models.