Friday, September 27, 2013

Piracy: An AirDailyX Reader Rant!

[Reader Rant] Following a post I wrote earlier this week regarding BlackBox and FS software piracy , I was shocked to find myself having to moderate readers who felt it was okay to pirate the software based on the notion that said products were either not properly supported or below their expectations on a quality scale. I am not an advocate of actions likem these and I did think back to an article submitted by ADX reader Mark Smith a few months back and decided to re-post for those who missed it. Do you have a rant or thought you would like to share? Submit it to airdailyx@gmail.com!


So you want to complain about the product prices. Hmmm, lets talk about piracy, well blatant stealing. Call piracy what you want, a product or idea was taken without prior consent. Basically, you decided that you wanted to have something from someone or a company without paying for it. What can me just taking one copy do? 

Well, one copy from you and 100, 200, 300 from others. The list goes on and on. There are some big developing companies so they do not feel it as much (NOT REALLY), even though they have to pay the people who worked on the project you wanted for 1,2,3 years. There are whole websites dedicated to taking, stealing, pinching. 

HAR Matey, do I hear pirates? I'm sure you asking yourself, who needs a temperance lesson? Who gives Mark guy the right to question me? Well I pay for my stuff (Thanks for applause). I have a lot invested in simming and a lot of you do as well. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard for it all. I also believe a fair price for a product is what I deserve, don't you? Question is, if a developer spends his time, money and effort, should he take a hit for someone else? 

Would you go to work and at payday, the boss says "Mark, you had a good month but someone has to pay for all the stock missing, so I figured it should be the company, including theemployees, cause if we raise prices, the forums are going to light up and people are going to bash us into smithereens”. 

Ok, so a little far fetched, a little over the top, however the point is there. Wrong is wrong. Most of you like me pay for what we get and want a fair price. Every person who stops stealing, helps to break the chain. How can we change the poor habits of some. Spread the word that you are tired of paying for someone else's product. I know I have told people I met simming to grow up and pay like the rest of us. We are not talking about food or shelter here.

To be clear, I am not saying that any of the developers prices are too high or that any developer is charging to much for their product due to piracy, but a loss has to be factored in however big or small. At the end of the day we need to support the developers so we can continue to enjoy simming. Whatever reason you are simmimg, lets make sure that we do not destroy the community we depend on.

Cheers, Mark Smith.
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43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with this post... But i think 90% the people whose download the content in pirate website is < 18 years or people whose haven't any chance to bought from their country, because international payments. If the online stores support other payments methods beyond paypal, like paysafecard or other methods like Steam, I think the piracy will be grown down...

Regards :D

Anonymous said...

*like Steam payment methods

Anonymous said...

I feel like the link between the high costs of some addons and piracy is a little weak. obviously there are enough paying customers out there to support companies like PMDG, Orbx, FSDT, Flytampa etc (whose products are pirated as well). So I have a hard time seeing how other companies can claim they need to raise prices for those lost sales. The fact is that there are companies that charge FSDT or Flytampa prices for far worse quality. I see no reason to support a product unless its price is near what i feel is a fair value for its quality.

Successful FS companies have proven that if you make a quality product that has demand in the market and you price it fairly you will make money. Lets not use piracy as an excuse for lower quality scenery/airplanes being priced beyond its quality level.

ALX WNT said...

Piracy in FS is actually like piracy in gaming industry. Make your stuff worthy and with good price, people will buy it.

If a developer come and use some default textures, with laggy and fps eater crap and price it 40EUR, i wont buy it, simple. The majority will prefer pirated addon as demo or actual addon.

Again it returns to actual stuff, quality vs. price vs. ways to buy the product.

Majestic Dash deserves to be purchased, so does Flytampa's addons, so does some FSDT some flightbeam addons because quality is good and price is OK.

Developers who blame piracy is either lazy or dont have the talent, period.

1. There arent many places to download pirate stuff
2. It's small coverage of FS Industry
3. PMDG, Flytampa, ORBX dont care piracy because they do know that there will be always people to buy their stuff because they're making good stuff.

Pretty much like gaming, music and movie industry, you cant force people to buy your overpriced crap.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

It's this sense of entitlement OP is against. You don't have a 'right' to own things, even if they're over-priced. If you don't like it, just don't buy it.

Mark Smith said...

Are saying that stealing from a company does NOT influence the price? Lost profits have to be absorbed somewhere. Are you saying piracy is an excuse to lower the quality of the developers product? How so? The whole point is that, if you can't buy it regardless of the price, you do not have any right to steal it. There is no must have here, it is purely want.

Anonymous said...

I was not advocating for piracy. My point is everyone's software is pirated. However companies that make good quality products that have demand in the market and price them appropriately make money.

How can you say that people that pirate are "lost profit". Who's to say the pirates would even buy the software anyway.

Anonymous said...

Developers and publishers should really stop chasing their tails over piracy. If international corporations with huge budgets can't stop it what chance does a small FS developer have?

It's very tempting to point out some of the author's logical fallacies that are so often made when discussing software piracy, but they've been gone over ad nauseum so many times in so many different places.

John Venema has the right idea when it comes to piracy - i.e. accept it's there, accept there's nothing you can do about it other than continue to produce quality products that honest customers will keep buying.

As for piracy destroying the hobby... well just consider that there are now more payware developers than there has ever been at any point in FS history, despite the pirates.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can say it has caused lost sales when the individuals weren't buying in the first place. I think Steam is a good example of what modern software companies need to look like. Most importantly you need good products priced fairly. And marketing 101, you need to make it easy for customers to spend their money. You need to make them feel welcomed into the of community buyers. Additionally I think you need intensives, which I think is lacking from the FS market. Steam has gained many members through their sales, customers that enjoyed the experience and stayed to buy new releases and more games. Now the FS market certainly can't handle the same type of sales, but I think it's discouraging seeing publishers discontinuing their intensives. Lastly, WHY DO WE NOT HAVE DEMOS ANYMORE? Seriously, unless you are not proud of your product let us try it! It’s one less reason for someone to start pirating.

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

Quality software, with as few bugs as possible, with good support, and priced accordingly to its features and quality, has nothing to fear from piracy.

Anonymous said...

They wouldn't, not all of them, anyway.

A good quality product, priced fairly, "interacts" with pirates in two ways:
- they do not consider it worthy for whatever reason, and they do not buy it -> so it is not lost profit, as the profit was never there in the first place to begin with.
- they like it and they go and buy it -> in this case, it acts as free advertising, and is in the advantage of the developer.

I repeat that is only for a good quality product, priced fairly.

Anonymous said...

It's not the first time an inept business person has blamed members of the consuming public for their shortcomings. This would be an example of that very thing.

Ryan said...

He started off about product prices, well, food for thought...maybe people pirate because the price is too damn high. In a hobby that has a LOT of younger kids that rely on mom and dad to buy them stuff you really can't expect anything else.

Anonymous said...

While reading this, I have lost nearly 5 minutes of my life. What you said above is really (complete) bu11§hit in my eyes. If everyone would buy the addon we would have a potential "big" community and low-priced addons? Never ever. Everyone tries to get out the most of it. I am sure Aerosoft would never sell a mega airport for 10€ (when it's released) since they all want to make much money with their products and this as fast as possible. (If you do not believe me then maybe ask yourself why do they not release products as freeware?)
And on the other hand, we have the customers who want to save as much as possible. So the easiest way is to simply buy the addons which really need to be bought (usually with the highest protection) and the others are simply stealt. You cannot get rid of piracy except if you set up a dictature and control everyone. Either you live with it or you leave the community. Simple as that. Talking to people conscience does not help since most pirates give a §hit on what YOU think (is good or bad).

Mason Dominique said...

As a fact, some designers almost stopped their business because of piracy : Nemeth Design for instance.
Dom
ADX

Anonymous said...

PSS comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

You had me until "(If you do not believe me then maybe ask yourself why do they not release products as freeware?)" Are you really that dense? C'mon man, these people want to put time and effort into something to make it great. You have to work a lot to do that and money doesn't grow on trees. There is a big difference between market demands and price gouging.

Anonymous said...

Did you steal your Xbox games from Wall-Mart too (certainly they are overpriced too)? It's the same thing. If you want it, you'll work to get it. And FYI everything in aviation is expensive.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see this rant come on the heels of a developer rant where developers were saying that it was OK for them to defraud customers by delivering buggy and defective addons to customers, and that customers had no right to complain about it.

One developer went so far as to argue that customers needed to do "due diligence" before putting down their money.

Well, one way of doing "due diligence" is to download the addon from a pirate site and see if the product works as promised. I suspect that is not what the "due diligence" poster had in mind, but it is the one sure way that a consumer has to protect himself from fraudsters who don't deliver what they promise.

As far as stealing, it's not theft because addons are not property. The right to publish and copy books, music, artwork, inventions and yes, flight simulator addon is not "property" at common law and it is not "property" by statute. You cannot own an idea. You can possess a right to control publication of the expression of an idea for a limited period of time.

The copyright clause of the U.S. constitution provides under Congressional powers: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This is a far cry from creating a property right.

So once again, we have developers claiming legal rights which do not exist.

Anonymous said...

How can they raise the prices if there is no way to know how many pirates would actually buy the product if it weren't available for free on pirate sites? To say all the pirates would buy the product and raise the prices accordingly is basically ripping off your loyal customers under false pretenses. I'm not saying piracy is not the problem, I'm not a pirate, I buy everything!

Anonymous said...

Nemeth are not a good example. They make helicopters for FSX - a very small niche within an already niche market. What's more their products were also often released with plenty of bugs and needed several patches.

Likewise with PSS - a company which shot itself in the foot with its shoddy business practices.

Anonymous said...

Stealing Xbox games from WalMart does not equate to pirating software. Software piracy is not "theft" under most legal systems.

I'm all for an up front honest debate about piracy and what to do about it but it's really hard when people repeat the same logical fallacies over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post on all counts.

After all, a careful observation will reveal that the developers that complain about piracy are only those with faulty/buggy/overpriced products.

ALX WNT said...

As a response to Anonymous dude who replied my message above (i have a feeling that he's a developer), my opinion still stands. Blaming piracy is just a cover-up of your failures, nothing more. Developers who develop quality stuff never bithcin' about pirates or torrent sites, because they do not care. Because they believe in their stuff and they know that it'll sell well. FS Piracy is not very different thing from piracy in gaming or application or movie industry, do your homework before talking about it.

'If you don't like it, dont buy it' is also false statement. How can you expect me to buy stuff your stuff, if i have no idea ?

Should I check pictures of your addon first ? Pictures which were edited in photoshop, added blur to some parts, ENB for clarity, color changes, or scratch brushes to add more 'realistic' effect on addon ? Or do you think that simmers are pausing simulation for 5 minutes on approach so airport textures can load up ?

NOPE.

Make demos, make your product better, spend money to textures or other stuff instead of spending on protection systems, spend your time on your product instead of spending it on blaming piracy for your failures.

Like i said, PMDG, ORBX, Flytampa... Didnt piracy hurt these guys ? Sure, but they move on, because they trust themselves.

I'm not pirate but i'm in gaming industry, and i'm just sick of hearing same shit every time 'Piracy piracy piracy'.. There are games out there sold millions without any protection, meaning easy to crack, and yet people bought them because they thought it deserves the money.

Piracy will exist no matter what you do, there will be always people who will get your product illegally. You have two options, continue to bitching about it, spend your budget on protection types so in the end you'll have no penny to spend on product, this will end your career.. Or continue harder and make something which people will want pay for it in the end. So it becomes 'If you like it, go buy it' In Steam this works pretty good, in some developer and publisher it also work good (CDP for example)

So tl:dr, DEAL WITH IT, because there will be always pirates in programming business, it's the nature of it.




Anonymous said...

As you've made unfounded claims about posts on here, I'll make some too. So you're 14, you've pirated quite a few things because ya know, "stupid evil developers should give demos or do a better job". If you applied that logic of "It should be better for that price so I'm not paying $40 for it" to everything, the world wouldn't work.

I'm thinking of buying a car, say, a Ferrari F430, I've heard good and bad things about it, but I can't be sure until I've driven it as to whether I should buy it. Unfortunately my local dealer doesn't allow test-drives with it. Using your logic, it's completely understandable and acceptable for people to go and steal one, then come back and pay for it if they like it.

The problem with the whole "I'll pirate it and if I like it I'll buy it" mentality, is you're going to nit-pick the living daylights out of it until you convince yourself it's not worth the money you would have payed, and no longer feel guilty for pirating it.

In my opinion, piracy is a service issue. If the pirates offer a better service than you can, the pirates win. If it's easier to get a product via legitimate means, than it is to be downloading multiple 'duds' until you find an actual copy, that you then have to faff with registries and .dll files to get it working, then the pirates lose.

Anyway, it looks like you've spent too much time reading torrentfreak articles and following the hive-mind of r/gaming on Reddit. People complain about piracy as if it's all the developer's fault, when actually, it's both, and as you mature you'll realize this.

Anonymous said...

The charges of photoshopped preview pics keep coming up. Would you care to elaborate?

As a developer I've had my own pictures accused of being edited. All I do is pause the sim and make sure everything looks it's best before hitting 'V'! Then I get on forums and news sites and discover I've apparently been editing my screenshots! I swear people just want something to be upset about!

ALX WNT said...

I didnt make any unfounded claims actually, but considering you attitude towards someone you dont know or have no idea about personality or age, i'm fully certain that you're a developer. I also liked your Ferrari idea, you comparing a vehicle with an application easy to reach, that was nice.

You know that is why you're losing money and customer every time, saying 'you're 14 and you're a pirate' to everyone is proving that i'm right.

As long as you pay, you're good fella, if you criticize something, you become 14 years old of pirate.

Keep thinking like this, continue to compare Ferrari and addon, when your brilliant comparaison is too wide or standart, change Ferrari with Airbus A380 and call people hijackers instead of 14 years old of pirates.

Read some basic rules of economy, also listen some successful people in similar industries, maybe you'll learn something in the end.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, I'm not a developer ;) I would know how to use paintshop pro or the likes to save my life...

Richárd Dobos said...

First of all I think sceneries are way too overpriced. My biggest problem is if I want to fly somewhere I have to pay 25 euros, but it can easily happent that I don't fly there anymore. I can imagine a subscription system, where I have the choice to pay 1 euro for a 1 day subscription or pay the full price for lifetime subscription. If I have a base, or a frequent flown airport, then it's worth the price, but for a one time usage it's too much. Technically it's achievable, and maybe it would be good against piracy too.

Anonymous said...

Don't go down the road of pay-per-use subscription type systems...

Flight Sim in the Cloud anyone?

OK, we fly in the clouds, but I don't want to have my sim in any Cloud thanks...

The idea of having to "unlock" an airport or scenery for a specific flight kills all spontaneity of firing up the sim and just zooming around a bit, or shooting approaches into a new location. Given that there are a number of locations I use regularly, this pricing model would quickly cost a hell of a lot of money and I would simply stop doing it.

AE

Morgan Freeman said...

i love when an person from US comparing himslef with rest of world, for example with eastern europe.. where in US salary for mcdonald worker equals payment of policeman in eastern europe. really? spend 30% of salary on game addon?

especialy when they are crappy and totaly not worth it, like BBSs one are. there are only few developers that their products worth it = Flytampa, aerosoft and PMDG (few more too ofcourse im not going to mention 10 developers here)

you want me to buy your product? make it worth it. and BBS A330 is not worth 50€.

I dont support piracy, but i support try before buy. Same goes for games, and other software. Im not oging to spend money on product which i cant use then because of.. issues.

George LGAV said...

If only some devs were allowing a test period and I'd have saved lots of money.

On the other hand although I know where o find it, I'd never pirate a PMDG-level product. These guys really worth every penny and they're not cheap at all.

T.J. Streak said...

Back to this again?

But let's be honest. "Piracy" is pretty rampant and it is far more widespread than most people in the hobby are willing to acknowledge. Have you ever downloaded a livery or an aircraft from AVSIM or a similar site? Because, if you have, you are a "pirate." Because, AVSIM and similar sites are pirate sites, little different from the Pirate Bay.

Let me explain. Airlines, at the very least, have a trademark in their liveries. They may even have a copyright on their liveries. Aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Lockheed have copyrights on their aircraft designs under current law.

This is the reason Microsoft did not include real world liveries in flight simulator and why we have fictional airlines like World Travel and Sucuba. Microsoft and its lawyers simply did not want to negotiate licenses with every airline to use their liveries.

Similarly, the rights to an aircraft design are owned by the manufacturer, so Microsoft had to negotiate licenses for each aircraft it included in Flight Simulator. For a large company like Microsoft, birddogging the actual owners of a copyright and licensing the rights to use that material is both time consuming and expensive.

This is not only true for digital models, but for plastic ones as well. Most plastic aircraft models are made outside of the United States because aircraft manufacturers demand steep royalties. It just is not possible to price the product at a level to cover the licensing costs -- so the manufacturers cheat.

Likewise, with railroads, model railroad manufacturers pay a royalty to a railroad for using its livery. Some railroads, like the Union Pacific, derive considerable revenues from these royalties.

I suspect if you check around, you will discover that many of the developers of aircraft, liveries, and yes scenery (after all the plans to an airport are going to be owned by the architects or the operating authority), have secured licenses to make their products. But I suspect many have not; which means that those developers are pirates as well.

Sometimes, the piracy committed by developers is unintentional. For example, the developer of X-Plane is being sued for pirating a copy protection scheme. While his pirating of the copy protection scheme was innocent, he still failed to secure the rights to use it. He had a duty to investigate whether he actually could use the product without first paying for it. Like it or not, this means Laminar Research is a pirate.

Most hobbyists feel that they can make models of any plane they want, or make liveries for any aircraft, or afcads of any airport and simply upload them to a site like AVSIM. But they do not. Downloading a livery from AVSIM is no different than downloading a Britney Spears song from the Pirate Bay.

People ranting about "piracy" (which is an inaccurate and misleading term, by the way) really need to look at their own behavior and ask whether they have committed acts of "piracy" before they accuse their fellow hobbyists of being thieves. Sometimes it just sounds like a case of the pot calling the kettle "black."

chino said...

I wonder how many developers and people complaining of priacy Have some ripped mp3s or video on their devices? None you say? I'm not so sure about that.

Its ok for some devs to take your money for a fsx addon only to find out its buggy, poor quality and no support replies. Some of these complainers made their own bed and now have to sleep in it.

fridberg said...

You are correct, but many airlines like delta, AA, JetBlue, BA, AF, etc. they don't bother with this. I think they see it as free publication when someone made a livery for a PMDG 777 for example.

Mark said...

The hysteria about software sharing is on a par with the hysteria about terrorism. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPEeaxI0OPU

Philippe said...

Don't worry ... not because 100 ppl download a product, means 100 ppl own it illegaly the next day ..
Most people don't KEEP the products that they don't like ..

Philippe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Morvay said...

If I may, i want to clarify again my stance on this piracy issue. From what I see, and this is just from people talking on forums for products, I see the question of "trial usage or try before you buy", which leads me to believe a vast majority of pirates are those who want to try it out first before paying. As it typically goes, there aren't refunds given to people if they purchase a digital product that doesn't work and I know it is usually plastered on a products page stating as such, so it then becomes a game of chance for the buyer. then you have those devs who release something that has many issues and it ticks off the buyers, and they usually say "I paid XXX amunt of dollars for crap!"

There is a point to be made, but as many above me have stated, the piracy complaints usually stem from those devs who aren't doing so hot in sales and have low-quality or high-bug products. Personally, if every dev got on board with the trial idea, there may be less and less pirates...just my two cents.

Joshoc said...

well done ADX looks as though blog logging accounts has really helped with people posting rubbish hiding behind fictitious names...

Danny Terrazza said...

Maybe they should use protection system like FSDT so piracy won't be a issue. I didn't see any pirated products of them lately.

T.J. Streak said...

+1

Outside of the flightsim community, there are many products that offer a 30 day trial period, for a fully functioning product. At the end of that 30 day trial period, you can purchase a code which unlocks the product. I don't see why that cannot be done in the flightsim community.

Unfortunately a number of developers feel they have the right to charge high prices for freeware quality products. Take the recent Granada product, for example. While it's good that a developer may try to improve his craft, he does not get to charge ORBX prices while he is learning.

Moreover, many reviews are not as honest as one finds here on ADX. Even at that, ADX has a clearly stated bias towards pushing products which are not ready for prime time. Sometimes, I just wish ADX would be a little more insolent and more protective of its readers.

Until the day arrives when developers, and particularly new and unknown developers release products which live up to their claims, and reviewers provide honest reviews, consumers need to take steps to protect themselves.

Zach21GF said...

Mark, yes piracy has nothing to do with loss of profit, or at least only a very small part.
I would say that around 90% of all pirates that pirate a aircraft from a developer wasn't going to buy it if piracy wasn't an option. In that way there wouldn't have been generated any profit had piracy not existed. Actually, for these people, piracy can actually be good for the company. Some of them might like the software and buy it to support the developers. Let us not forget that a fair amount of the pirates only pirate it until they have the money to buy it legally.

So no, I don't believe piracy is an issue. Piracy is here to stay, whether someone likes it or not

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