Note: This is not to say that piracy’s legal; far from it. However, I think it should be (at least certain types) for the following reasons. 😉
Here’s the deal. There are three kinds of pirates. They are:
- ‘Foreign’ Pirates: These pirates live in another country where the product is not available (e.g.: not sold in stores, or not available outside the U.S. and/or Canada, or U.K.). If they move to the place where it is available, they could use or buy it.
- Poor Pirates: These people pirate because they cannot afford a particular product. If they somehow got money, (like by winning the lottery or by getting a steady income from a job), they would buy the product.
- ‘For the Sake of It’ Pirates: As the name implies, these people pirate just because, even if they have the money to buy the product, or live in the proper place to use or buy it.
We (me and Garf) are the first type (and the second type since the price is huge when paying with rupees), since we live in India. In India, China, etc. there are many shameless pirates, but the majority of them are the first type. Here’s why.
1. The Product is Obsolete
Suppose you played an incredibly rare childhood game and yearn to find it again, but you cannot buy it from Ebay or Amazon because there are not much copies available or you have to pay more due to being in another continent, and it’s not sold in stores. What do you do? You torrent it! The only problem here is, lack of places to download it, the risk of viruses or not much seeds on a torrent. If you’re lucky, you can get that product and not have to pay, not even in the future! Simply because, if it’s that rare, most likely the company is gone so, you won’t have to pay anyone later on to make up for it 😉
2. Your Original CDs Don’t Work Anymore
It’s a fact: CDs are very temperamental. You might get lucky and have them work for a long time, but sometimes they’ll just die and not work anymore. Case in point: Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest. It’s a CD children’s game, and it was one of my favorites when I was a kid. Imagine my horror when I popped the CD in to install it on my third XP installation (tangent: which actually had a strange quirk; Microsoft Bob and other 16-bit applications didn’t work anymore even though they worked previously; Bob complained about Utopia.dll being missing; even when I moved everything from C:\MSBOB\HOME to C:\MSBOB, it crashed; I have a theory that it’s because of installing SP3 even though we didn’t install it before (dun dun dun!) Tangent over) and it didn’t open when I tried to open it after installing it! Oddly, the installation worked fine but I couldn’t open it since it crashed when trying to play the opening cutscene (i.e. the opening cutscene’s corrupt somehow). Also, in my third XP installation, Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean didn’t install anymore. Luckily I found some ISOs… (Not tellin’ where though! 😉 Just search.)
3. The Dangers of DRM
Okay, I know this is controversial but, there was an incident where Spore was cracked a few hours after release despite SecuROM, 😉 a Sony CD controversy and many DRMs (not all, Steam’s DRM is termed as better) usually cause trouble on people’s computers.
You probably know about Darkspore’s death (if not, watch this video now! 😀 ). It died because nobody pirated it! Okay, not really, 😛 but it required an always-online connection, even for single-player mode! Then the servers were shut down… (This is a recurring trend nowadays… 😦 )
How to pirate ‘ethically’: 😉
One must only pirate old programs. Old = 5 (or 10, if you like) & above year old programs. (eg. SimAnt & SimEarth are okay to pirate, but newer games aren’t). Simple. 🙂
One must also only pirate programs that are not available to buy from GOG or Steam, as they ship internationally and give the price in your currency (specifically, Steam does even when not logged in, and GOG doesn’t when not logged in[?]). Especially buy from GOG if possible! Even if they’re only available on Amazon, Ebay or similar sites, it’s better not to pirate, for various reasons (including viruses), unless there’s no other choice.
Oh, and piracy isn’t stealing, unless it’s 100% piracy. If the ratio of people buying it to people pirating it is 10:5, then it’s not so bad. 10:10, on the other hand…
Updated on Nov 6, 2018.