10 Practical Reasons Not to Pirate



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The Corrupted One



If you want games without DRM, buy them and rip them. If you want it for free, that's called shoplifting. And the downside is jail time.



It's only stealing if you are selling it. Otherwise it's the digital library that doesn't exists yet, giving you more control over what you deem worthy of your money, trying before you buy since demo's has only started coming back with steam and even then it's still lacking. and for cheapskates.



Holy crap REALLY? It's only stealing if I sell it?


HELL YEAH I WILL NEVER HAVE TO PAY FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN!!!!! I'm gonna go get some gas without paying for it, because since I'm not gonna sell it and I couldn't afford it in the first place because it's so expensive....it's not a lost sale!





There's an important difference there. Lets say the milk costs $0.50. If you steal it, the producer is losing $0.50 of product. If you stay at home, they don't lose any money. As for software, it doesn't cost any money to make each distinct product, the marginal cost is zero. If you don't download it, the producer doesn't get any money, but they don't lose any if you pirate it, unless you would have bought the game in the first place. And thats the difference. Many people that pirate software, like photoshop, would never have bought that software at the price its sold at. If they couldn't pirate it, they would just use something like GIMP, so its not really losing adobe any money.



"but they don't lose any if you pirate it, unless you would have bought the game in the first place"


How are you this stupid?


Let's use Photoshop for example.

I want Photoshop. I download Photoshop because I can, it's easy and the best part is I don't have to pay for it. I get to use Photoshop just like a paid customer, even though I did not pay for it.

How in the world do you justify piracy like that dude?

"but they don't lose any if you pirate it"

You are basically saying that, for example if Valve release Half-Life 3....and EVERYONE pirated it instead of buying it....because they "wern't gonna buy it anyway"....that Vavle DIDN'T LOSE ANYTHING. If that's the case then WHY BUY ANY SOFTWARE? I mean it's perfectly OK to download it, as long as ur attitude is "well I wouldn't buy it anyway so I can use it and they didn't lose a sale".


You must be from West Virginia or something. Normal logical people know the difference between right and wrong. You think you're "entitled" to everything just because it's there.




"You are basically saying that, for example if Valve release Half-Life 3....and EVERYONE pirated it instead of buying it....because they "wern't gonna buy it anyway"....that Vavle DIDN'T LOSE ANYTHING."

Idiot, they didn't lose anything. They just didn't gain anything. Get smart.



You failed to mention the recently-released Witcher 2 piracy stats.  Here's a game that has no DRM, is loved by its community and still has 4.5-5 pirated copies out there for every 1 legit copy.

So what it comes down to is that people complain about DRM and rationalize their piracy based on that DRM, then when a game comes out that has none, they still pirate it -- legitimizing the need for DRM and working against their own interests.  It's kind of an amazing spectacle.



That's not really a good representative number. See another thing about pirates that most people don't talk about is the fact that they're collectors by nature. A lot of those pirsted copies are just downloaded literally to say they have them.

Don't know the exact stats on this, but I remember back in the day some people guessed that as much as 80 percent of pirated copies of software never even got installed, it just sat on a drive so the pirate could say he had it. This was a while ago, though, before the net made it quite as easy as it is to today, so I'm not remotely familiar with current stats.



Well the World of Goo stats, for example, are based on a connection made to their servers, not torrent tracker stats or anything like that.  So they are indeed unlicensed copies.  If the actual number is not 90%, it's certainly up there.

I haven't looked at how CDProjekt gathered their stats, but I imagine it's something similar.  They have a certain amount of sales and a certain amount of unique clients having played the game, etc...



No they estimated based on users connected to trackers, however they didn't factor in the fact that some people torrent to maintain a ratio, multiple versions of the crack (some don't work/released by different crackers), and most other issues.



Ok, then here we've crossed the line from 'Noble Intent' to 'Idiotic Idealist'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for no DRM, but if I'm paying for bandwidth and such then as a businesman I would be insisting that each connection came from a certified copy of the game. Ie through a serial number or something along those lines.

Hell, I'd still let em play but if they don't have a valid serial number then charge em when they sign up. The software is one thing, but letting people rip off your bandwidth and server space is just bad business.



No it was a guesstimation math number looking at the number of people on p2p trackers. But in that same interview they also talk about why they don`t care about piracy.




Well, in that case I refer back to my collector mentality point.



I do NOT pirate but that piracy comment made me rage.

I work in Business Intelligence and it is very clear to me that companies which throw around a 90% piracy rate number are Businesses which are lacking in Intelligence!! One Pirated copy does NOT equal One lost sale!!!

Piracy is NOT killing PC games - DRM IS!!! GOG will forever be invited to have their hand in my wallet simply because they are DRM free. Even Steam takes a back seat to GOG.



“Piracy is NOT killing PC games - DRM IS!!!”

I see this line of crap all the time.  Of course by this failed logic, the locks on the doors is what brings down home values in crime ridden neighborhoods.



Well you must not be doing very well in the Business Intelligence field then.  DRM is not killing PC gaming.  When a game like Crysis experiences 8 million illegal downloads in a week - THAT'S what's killing PC gaming.  I buy games all the time and could care less if their is DRM.  DRM is just a lame excuse for people to steal.

And the old "one pirated copy does not mean one lost sale" excuse is the worst.  What, that's supposed to make it OK to steal then?  And exactly how many copies WOULD have been sold if there was no theft?  Oh, that's right - there's no way to tell.  So let's just come up with some chickensh*t catch-all phrase to make stealing OK.

Unreal the crap people come up with to legitimize their theft...


The Corrupted One

Business, intelligence?

Isn't that an oxymoron?

Hahah, no.


When games have no DRM, people just fuck em anyways, it's just their exscuse.



"Well you must not be doing very well in the Business Intelligence field then" - don't be an internet douche it's disrepectful to your parents.

8 million downloads is an arbitrary number unto itself. There is no backing up any kind of data which correlates those 8 millions to a lost sale.

I am in no way arguing that there is no problem with piracy. I am arguing that people spout off numbers without being able to draw a fact based conclusion from it.

The only people DRM affects is the paying customer. DRM is *always* cracked in the end by those who priate and then offer a better service to the end user. Gabe Newell said it himself - Steam does so well because it offers value based service.


Svetty Parabols

No whats unreal is you getting laughed off TechSpot for spouting this same drivel TomSEA



I only pirate what I own in another format. Such as Skyrim for PC. The PS3 and Xbox versions are both overstuffed shit sausages. The loading time is horrendous, I spend more time loading then I do playing the game. So I pirated a copy of Skyrim for PC. Is it wrong? Yeah, I guess. I don't think it's THAT wrong. I legally own a copy and I'm format shifting. I think one of the biggest reasons for piracy is the fact that most games suck, and they suck HARD. I mean, look at Sony's Zipper Interactive. I thought MAG and SOCOM were supposed to be insanly high quality. MAG was awesome gameplay wise, but it's a POS now. SOCOM is a friggin clownshow. I'm pretty pissed off I spent $120 on the games. The number 1 reason I pirate is to try before I buy. I pirated Fallout 3 and New Vegas -- a day later I bought them. I pirated Medal of Honor Tier 1 -- bought it that day. If I could have tried SOCOM I'd have had time to not vomit all over myself when I thought about the amount of money I spent on it. Same with Skyrim. I dispise the console version so much I completely gave up on it and started playing it on PC. What do the rest of you think? Should there be a return policy on games? Would you pirate less if you were able to actually try before you buy?



Why didn't you just buy the PC version in the first place? Certainly you knew the PC version of Skyrim would be superior to the console version. Certainly you knew that if it wasn't, the active mod community would make it so. I'm just sort of baffled by your decision there.



Yeah, why buy an old console version and then pirate a PC version instead of just buying the PC version in the first place?



ok me I DO buy it if its worth it or the dev isnt pissing on me (looking at you ea ubi and act...) i will torrent games that i want but the dev ^ any game i pirate that dosnt have a attached to it and is fun and i enjoy i buy (most of the time on a steam sale) now one more thing most games these days ARE NOT WORTH the $75 i have to pay (i live in canada with a fuck tone of taxs) for all this i buy lots of indie games i normally get just as much/more play time out of them compared to block buster games (1000+ on minecraft) and they are normally very fun.



I cannot watch a blu-ray movie on my new Blu-Ray Drive because of the damn HDCP compliance says that my computer is not HDCP compliant but I checked that my GPU and screen are compliant. I can't seem to find the way to play a movie without having to use ANYDVD (that I got for free "wink wink" because I don't think I need it since I don't do a backup, I just want to read them legit).

Stupid DRM, Now I regret buying a blu-ray drive.



Do I ever agree with you on that one! I spent about a half hour struggling to get my blu-ray copy of "Sunshine", which I purchased completely legally, to play off of my roommates notebook onto our HDCP compliant TV over HDMI. Could not get it to work. So instead we streamed it illegally online.

It's times like that, that make me want to find who ever came up with HDCP and smash his face in. 



An excellent article on this topic. It has taken me some years to come around to agreeing with you that pirating, in the long term, saved me nothing really. By not pirating I now have to find other avenues to fight back against the wrongs I feel vendors are doing to users (DRM sucks) but pirating actually plays against those us who want to see change as it justifies, in the minds of these vendors, that DRM is the only choice they have to protect their goods. There has to be a better middle ground here.

Keep the conversation going, please.



For the savvy among us:

1. We can troubleshoot, diagnose and fix (RARE) stability issues.

2. We have a SHIT TON of storage

3. We recieve updates, and on occasion, find workarounds for difficult warez updates

4. LOL What drm

5. LOL malware... idiots

6. Better, more helpful support from the communities

7. Can't argue much there - this probably the ONLY proper, not LAME arguement you have here (although it is still arguable)

8. PC Gaming is dying because of asshat devs and pubs killing release dates, and putting out garbage

   We'd rather test software for free, than be screwed out of cash because there wasn't a way to judge said software ahead of time (and i personally hate paying for shitty movies, or cds with one decent track on them)

9.  Well woth the wait

10. ^8 

BTW this is coming from someone that does believe in paying for media in any form that deserves my hard earned cash (which is harder to come by these days ) 



Hats off good sir!  I couldnt have said it better.

I rarely have the time to play any sort of multiplayer anymore and apparently THAT is the only thing that counts to game companies these days.  I have downloaded every single big name title through the last 2 years and have deleted most of them without more than an hour play time second thought.

BF3 - Crap

MW3 - Crap

Drago Age - Crap

Rage - Crap

Batman AA - Crap

The only exception so far is Skyrim which I've gotten a little bit of value out of and I will be buying no sweat, but even that reeks of a poor console port with crappy graphics, bugs and glitches.

Countless 'AAA' titles that have barely 5 hours of play time in them unless you want to play multiplayer.  In Aus a 'AAA' title usually sets you back $90+ - I would be so pissed if I spent that sort of money on BF3,  I barely remember playing it and it only took me 2 afternoons of light play.

All the way up until FarCry / Half Life 2 (around there) I bought almost every game I played but when they just turned into cash hungry monsters I stopped caring about the 'plight of developers' ... fuck me if I performed so badly at my job I certainly wouldn't be there that long I'll tell you! 



I couldn't agree with you more - for certain multiplayer games, and such games that are accomadated better, i will choose to purchase for the console (black ops feels better all around imo on the console due to xbl and most of my friends being on there and forza...)

but for such games as Skyrim, I most certaintly will purchase it because despite some issues, its been effing glorious and the devs are more than earning their nickel from me once its patched a couple of times, but i just won't pre purchase, nor purchase on release anymore - even from devs that i once loved because i've been shat on much too frequently - their starting to even forgoe demos more and more often!?!? i just don't get it



I have alway hated pirates and now have a good article to show my pirate friends that there are good reasons not to pirate.



this is not a good article to show them if you want to live without ridicule this article was obiously writen by someone who doesn't know jack sqat about the subject



I don't pirate software.

But every time I buy a program and it gives me a headache due to DRM or anti-piracy bloatware, I make a mental note of this, and vow to send my money elsewhere.

Poor service and poor product performance = no more $$$ coming your way.... ever.

If your DRM negatively affects this equation.... better think hard on it first.



When DRM makes the gaming experience for legitimate customers worse than for pirates, something is really wrong.

Case in hand, Skyrim (PC). It crashes a lot, supposedly in part because it only uses 2GB of RAM.  Someone made a program that easily patched the executable to make use of 4GB, making it more stable and faster.  But next Skyrim patch didn't fix any of the many bugs, nor did it add any content. All it did was stop this and other mods from working.

In the meantime, those who pirated the game are still enjoying a better gaming experience than me and my lighter wallet do.



Ubisoft fails to realize this.  Assassain's Creed anyone?

The funny thing is, consumers always lose.  If we pirate or tolerate piracy, we're told piracy is killing PC games.  If we vote with our dollars by not patronizing companies with crappy DRM, the company *cough Ubisoft cough* blames piracy anyway even though it might have been their last ANTI-piracy scheme that pissed off gamers and caused them to make the (perfectly legal) move of buying other games.



And then, when you do vote with your wallet and refuse to purchase software with intrusive DRM, then the developers say there is no audience for PC gaming and start developing primarily for consoles. This adds another nail in PC gaming's coffin. So what do we do? It would seem we are stuck. DRM is killing PC gaming, and not purchasing games with DRM is also killing PC gaming. The only solution is to actually stop pirating software, which removes any reason for DRM. You see, consoles have something that developers actually hate just as much as piracy: that is the used game market. PC gaming does not have this. If we could put piracy to bed, then developers would see PC gaming as a more lucrative market. We actually win in that situation. So, the author is correct; piracy must stop. It has a negative impact on developers and consumers.



Archangel, excellent words. Maybe companies need to look at why their money is disappearing even faster now. DRM causing people to NOT buy software at all (but not pirating it) coupled with the pirating has caused these companies to lose even MORE money.

What really has me scared is, this gives them even MORE of a reason to dump the PC as a gaming platform and stick to consoles. Of course, consoles STILL have pirating, but it's harder to circumvent that protection scheme, but it's still being done, just not on as large a scale as on PCs. However, if PC gaming were to die, you can bet that you'll see the piracy increase ten-fold on the consoles then.

I'm just not sure what can be done now. The pirates in their infinite wisdom think they are doing us a service when in reality, they aren't. They are providing the most disservice to PC gaming that we could ever imagine.

Problem is, you'll never stop it.




I'll be honest, it's made me real selective about where I put my money.

UbiSoft hasn't seen a red-cent from me since Splinter Cell. And they likely never will again. I am, on the other hand, looking at Valve and their approach and thinking of financially "rewarding" them by engaging with them MORE after reading that their approach is.... "create greater service value than pirates."   http://www.maximumpc.com/article/gaming/valves_newell_%E2%80%9Cpiracy_basically_non-issue_our_company%E2%80%9D

So, I'm reduced to conducting Pavlovian behavior modification on a micro level. It kinda sucks in that I don't get the instant gratification of seeing the companies I don't support fold, but at the same time, at least I'm not allowing myself to be their victim.

Might it hurt PC gaming? Maybe. Of course, the last time I bought an Xbox360 game was Halo3. Since then..... zip. Why? It's such a limited platform.

And for the devs.... lmao... they're insane. Do they really think that consoles won't be pirated? Let's assume a worst case scenario that no one develops for PC anymore. Guess what was just created? An EXCLUSIVE MARKET for pirates. Or, they just simply shift their tactics to hit where the market is.

Sorry, but the way I see it, companies that scream, rant, rave over DRM and piracy.... they're simply failing to adapt. Instead of adjusting their tactics, say... creating a system where I sell a digital product with download rights to a person for an initial cost to PC, and a smaller fee for cross-platform products, and offering customer support to back them. Take Skyrim. Sell a person a copy for PC at $60, but also give us an option to port that to our Xbox360 for an additional $10 if we'd like. Reward the customers that pay by giving great service and treating them like they are valued. Offer an actual return policy, maybe giving the customer back $40 of the $60 if they change their mind in 72 hours, and saying that $20 is retained as a demo fee. Give some options.

Instead, we're faced with an inflexible industry (for the most part) whose solution is to revert to tyrannical solutions vice adopting to new operating models.

Again, on my end though.... what I CAN do is support the Valve's of the world and reward them with my business for adopting a positive attitude towards me. As for companies like UbiSoft.... it's like an abusive partner.... no matter how "hot" they are, they don't respect you. And to me, my dignity and self-worth means more to me than that. Sorry, but to me, it really comes down to a lack of respect.



I almost agree with all of these, though some of them are a little more marginal than others, with the exception of one.

DRM is a reason TO pirate, not a reason to buy a game. You argue that if people stopped pirating DRM would go away, or at least not get worse... but it's already to the point where it hurts the people who pay cash for the games, not the pirates.

I *bought* Arkham Asylum and City. I Love the games. I also cannot, under ANY circumstances, seem to get MS Games for Windows to work on my computer. I always get the same error message and NO help from tech support.

Guess who has to beat the Arkham games without ever being able to save a game?

I should have downloaded a crack, honestly, but instead just played through in a couple days without shutting down the game. That said, I can't save my games, don't get to keep my trophies, achievments, new maps, etc

And why? Because the internet connected requirement, for a NON internet based game, doesn't work. What's worse? I consider myself lucky because at least I was still allowed to *play* the damned games.

There are two types of security. Show security that is there really just to make people feel safe, and real security that is almost always INVISIBLE. DRM is, unfortunately, very intrusive show security. Kinda like the dicks guarding airports. They don't do jack, everyone knows it, but no one does anything about it cause it's got to be better than nothing, right?

Except it's not.

DRM has never worked, pirates have *always* existed. These two things are not going to change. Given these facts, so long as DRM is as bad as it is for paying customers... Yo Ho Yo Ho.



>DRM is a reason TO pirate, not a reason to buy a game. You argue that if people stopped pirating DRM would go away, or at least not get worse... but it's already to the point where it hurts the people who pay cash for the games, not the pirates.


Actually, the most honorable thing to do would be to neither buy nor pirate a game whose DRM you disagree with.  Pirating such a game is a straight up selfish act, not some kind of righteous protest like you seem to think.


>DRM has never worked, pirates have *always* existed. These two things are not going to change. Given these facts, so long as DRM is as bad as it is for paying customers... Yo Ho Yo Ho.


DRM does work actually.  No one ever claimed it would stop piracy, but it certainly reduces it or companies wouldn't invest millions in implementing these strategies.  The entire existence of Steam is proof that DRM works.



Honorable? Please. Here we disagree strongly because I don't think honor enters into it. If Honor were to enter into it, I'd point out that it's dishonorable to screw paying customers over with intrusive show security that doesn't work, and they deserve what they get in response.


As for DRM actually working... uh, no it doesn't. Back to my comment on 'show security', that is what DRM is. It's there to make people feel good for 'fighting the pirate menace', execs who don't know crap about software get to clap each other on the back and whine into their beer over how much they spend protecting their product while programmers who DO know pocket millions of dollars for software that doesn't work.

If DRM did work piracy wouldn't be an issue, at best it would be relegated to the corners of the net where only highly technical people could even think about it. It is NOT. DRM *provably* does not work. Period.

Steam works because it offers a central place to get games, often at nice discounts, with reasonable service. DRM doesn't enter into the picture from the users POV, except as an annoyance. Steam based DRM is, again, just a show pony to keep the idiot execs and lawyers happy. Most pirated releases I see initially come from Steam because that's often the first source pirates have easy access to.



Honarable, as in having integrity.  Stealing a game that you want to play because you don't agree with some aspect of that game is a dishonorable, selfish and illegal act.  There's no way around it.  You can try to rationalize it any way you want, but it always comes down to that.  It's selfishness often accompanied by an overblown sense of entitlement.  The only way to have any sort of integrity in this situation is to avoid the game altogether.  Don't buy it or pirate it.

You're also conveniently ignoring the most important aspect of why Steam works.  Hint: it's the DRM.  Without the DRM, game companies wouldn't sell their games on Steam.  It would be strictly for Valve and indie games, which would diminish the value of the service substantially.

>"If DRM did work piracy wouldn't be an issue"

That's a statement founded in ignorance.  There has always been a black market for entertainment products like games and movies.  DRM exists to protect a certain percentage of sales lost to piracy.  Even if DRM is only able to protect against as little as 5% loss to piracy, it's worth it for developers.  Chances are that the percentage is much higher or the bean counters at these major publishers wouldn't invest money in DRM.

You'd like to think that your rationalization for your piracy is sound, but it simply doesn't fit with the facts.  You're only feeding into the negative feedback loop.



Your argument is complete bullshit. Both of them.


My statements aren't founded in ignorance, I know the stats better than you I'd warrant. DRM doesn't work, provably so. Oh, don't get me wrong, your 5% argument is valid but you're ignoring the fact that that same percentage would be perfectly protected by far less intrusive DRM. Once it's cracked, it's cracked. It no longer matters how stupidly complicated the DRM is once it has been removed from the software. So, for 99% of users, just plain old basic DRM that was developped twenty years ago is just as effective as the latest insano version.

People who want to download a cracked version can always find it, no matter which DRM was used.  So, continuing the logic, if you want to pirate you always can. Therefore, since pirates download software that is ALREADY cracked, which type of DRM had been in use is irrelevant to the majority of pirates.

Therefore, that 5% protection you were talking is as relevant for 20 year old DRM as it is for the latest and greatest.

So, in conclusion, new and more complex DRM is just pissing away money for nothing.

All you need is the basic 'no copy' version that keeps casual copies from being made. While it is easier to crack, that's not relavent to most pirates because the don't crack it themselves.

Intrusive DRM creates more pirates because paying customers often have to go find a crack just to make use of their legally owned software. (See my problems with Windows Live and the Batman games)

Once a paying customer knows how to download cracks and pirated copies... well, you gain a certain percentage of those people as permanent pirates.

You see, I'm not the one in the negative feedback loop.

As for Honor, I pirated Batman AA. Now I OWN copies of it, AC, and Lego Batman as a bonus because I said 'what the hell?' when I went to buy the other two. Good games are worth paying for, but I will most likely have to crack them with pirated solutions just so I can fricken SAVE my games.

Honor is lacking somewhere in this equation, but I'm pretty sure it's not on my side of the equals sign.



.... a pirate's life for me.

lmao....   good post. +1

Still laughing at the crack at TSA (worthless) and the final comment.

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