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  • If your business model relies upon the ubiquitous law enforcement of a cyber police state, then I'd say your business model has a problem. A serious one.

    Somebody mentioned Microsoft Word? I haven't seen that in years! I've been using Open Office for close to a decade now.

    For the kind of small scale art projects we're talking about here, I do think that group commissions run through something like Offbeatr is a much better model that trying to sell it for ten bucks on Renderotica. Yes, I'll be putting both my efforts and my money where my mouth is.

    Crowdfunding can work for larger art projects too. Take a look Star Citizen. They've raised over 40 million so far. Capitalism is a great way to tool up a factory to make boats, but it's always sucked ass for making art. "Studios" have produced good results, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. That happens when the 'talent' is successful at keeping the money guys at bay. Most corporately created art is mediocre.



  • "The Problem" depends on what your frame of reference is and what you decide as your starting point. I see the business model as the solution and not the assumption. Granted, I don't like the idea that I now have to pay a subscription for Microsoft Word rather than just paying once, but I understand why they did it, and I probably save money anyways. You see it as the other way around, which is fine, but you seem to also want too many other dependent variables to instead be set at arbitrary constants (e.g. consumer-friendly, law enforcement, etc.).

    This, with the fact that there is simply so much stuff and so many people going so many different ways on the internet, I feel is an unreasonable expectation for digital media.



  • The problem isn't the business model, its law enforcement or lack thereof. The current business model for retail works only because the law prosecutes those who commit crimes. If rampant theft was allowed to proliferate with traditional products the way it does with digital, our economy would collapse. The prosecution rate for online piracy is laughably low.

    Do businesses need to change to suit the needs of their environment? Absolutely, but the changes implemented aren't consumer friendly. The subsequent laws to protect businesses probably won't be either.



  • Perhaps it should be treated as commission/service then? I see how certain types of things won't end up being created simply because the business model optimizes against it, but this is true for everything.



  • Before we go too far of the rails here, remember that we brought in piracy as topic for devaluing digital media. Not necessarily to find a solution, or cure, which is beyond the scope of the topic. Merely discussing its effects on the mindset of consumers and the value of digital products.

    Let me state for the record that I am not a copyright nazi. I am a believer of public domain, and I think RIAA and MPAA have taken things too far in regards to the "sampling of work". Creativity does not exist in a vacuum. People collaborate, or get inspired by others. In music some of my favorite songs are covers done by other artists. I am a huge fan of mashups. My issue in regards to this topic is simply that piracy devalues digital media. Its practice causes hardship on content creators and confusion among consumers.

    @'Elmo:

    The ease of making a copy reduces its value to practically nil. There is no inherent scarcity

    You're attempting to change a product into a service. Unfortunately this only really works with commissions or specialized work. The artists would also need have a substantial following to even get started. Doing this sort of thing with a mass market product probably won't mesh well with the aforementioned instant gratification people seem to be on, paying for something they can't have right away is a tough sell. The artists also runs the risk of not meeting their goal, which would end in embarrassment and a lot refunds.

    Scarcity argument is invalid with digital media. Everything can be copied. 10,000 dollar CAD software down to a 10 dollar 3DX set, neither is scarce because they are not based on finite materials. Your paying for effort, vision, functionality.

    If you want tie people into products you can add in additional server/client based media (expansion, DLC, etc) that requires an account to access. As I stated before the law will eventually catch up to the tech behind this media. In the meantime the medium will suffer, quality and/or content will be sacrificed for security (real or perceived).

    @korezaan
    The quoted text is not a logical statement. It ignores the entertainment variable in the equation which is tied directly into the price. Person 2 gained the benefit of entertainment without paying the developer.



  • ">person 1 does not have money to buy $60 new VIDEO GAME

    person 1 watches the paint dry on the wall for entertainment
    person 1 contributes $0 to game dev

    person 2 does not have money to buy $60 new VIDEO GAME
    person 2 pirates game and plays game for entertainment
    person 2 contributes $0 to game dev

    person 2 contribution = person 1 contribution
    not playing the game and not paying hurts the dev as much as playing the game and not paying
    using your logic every human being alive should be forced to give money to dev because otherwise they're hurting the industry"

    In 3DX, you work however many hours on your models and scenes. But how much is each one worth? For traditional drawings if I draw ten and I sell them I know I'm only going to be getting money once (or in installments, but same idea) for each piece and I know how much effort I spent on each of them. 3DX however, you only have some vague idea of how much each copy should be worth because you only worked on it "once".

    What is this number based off of? When Disney's Maleficent comes out and the ticket or DVD cost is around $20, that number isn't there because they think a viewing of their work costs $20 in an absolute sense. If they thought that only one person would care about their work, they'd probably price the ticket/DVD at about 150~300M. In other words, I imagine the "per cost" number is actually based off of an expected total return (or alternatively, the desired profit margin) divided by the number of people expected to be interested enough to pay.

    I can't find another reasonable way to justify a per/ cost so I'll run on this for now. If there is a 3DX creator here who decides on their price per unit on more than just "that's the number everyone else is using", I would be very interested in reading about their reasons.

    If you go over that expected number, then suddenly you are gaining "free money" - in a traditional sale this would be approximately equivalent to "keep the change" or a donation, but that's it. Basically can't happen. If you go under, then what? You estimated sales incorrectly? Pirates' fault? How do you know how much pirates have hurt you? Warehouses, shops, and projects always take into account margins for losses, they don't specify if it's stuff getting lost or stuff getting damaged or stuff getting stolen. Frankly at the management level it's not relevant whether it's a bad error estimate or if any one of those things are getting too large, so long as it's under control. Supposing it is plain obvious that piracy is wholly negative, what would you do about it?

    @'dizzydills':

    I'll be the first to admit that media adverts are sorely lacking these days despite information regarding our respective styles and tastes. The amount of effort I have to exert to in order to find good music (new or otherwise) is absurd. We need a better possibly centralized center for products. Affect3d is doing a great job of this in the 3DX world, but in general we could do better.

    This is largely why I support Affect3D - it does attempt to get piracy under control, and its method is its vision. G4E in my experience is unparalleled but I would be lying if I said that the management had no impact on my decisions in paying for the product or on spending my time in these forums.

    @'dizzydills':

    Needless to say this isn't possible with 3DX (or writing), nor is the quantity of work. Even if an artist's work was plagiarized in the Renaissance, they could relocate or go on tour to help promote their work. The internet is mind numbingly fast and there is nothing flattering about it.

    I'm not entirely sure how it worked back then but they probably had their own share of problems - relocating by horse and wagon through harsh weather with highwaymen probably was fairly difficult for them. The idea was that it's not necessarily bad that people pirate your ideas. You may disagree. I do not.

    I understand that 3DX is much more effort and time than writing or writing music. I don't think it changes much anything. This goes back to the rotten bananas and sandcastles I mentioned earlier. If your goal is money, then its value is zero until people give you money for it, whoever and however they give you it. If you want something like every single person enjoying your work giving you money, or no one sullying the characters you thought up of entirely by yourself, you'll run into a bit more trouble, but Sony/Microsoft have experience in the former in the field of used games and Disney in copyright in the latter. Also in the latter is the entirety of Japan. Anime makes a good-looking girl, there WILL be doujins on her and money WILL be made in her image.

    I can't say either of them are particularly succeeding. Disney is fine because they also continue to make new things to fawn over (!) but Sony/Microsoft have been alienating actual fans as a cost.

    @'Elmo:

    @'dizzydills':

    The majority of artists work hard on their products and expect to be paid as such. I don't think that's unreasonable.

    If an artist wants to be compensated per copy of his work, which is what you guys seem to be fixated on, then, yeah, it's completely unreasonable.

    I agree with Elmo Snard in that this is a a business model problem.

    Piracy isn't wrong. The only thing that's wrong is the idea that you can make a business off the sales of digital copies at an age when anyone can make those copy by himself. Whoever thought it was a viable thing back then when private copying capabilities were on the rise is an idiot, whoever thinks it's still viable today is a complete retard.

    I mean, last time I bought a car, not only it was unique, because based on the options I chose, there was hardly another similar car, and even then, based on the varying levels of quality, there wasn't an exact copy anywhere, but even then, I bought it because I can't copy it myself. No one would pirate movies if they weren't released on DVD just like no one pirates theater plays. No one would pirate music if you couldn't buy it on a CD just like no one pirates a concert. No one would pirate vidya if it didn't come in a discrete and autonomous copy just like no one pirates games with an online service.

    Publishers are responsible for having downgraded the value of content by having digitized it. Their business model is terribly outdated and fundamentally flawed, and it's not our fault if we can see the obvious flaws. They can shove all of their complaints up their asses. There's no need to justify piracy, because the reason is so obvious; paying for something you could be doing yourself is, on the other hand, certainly questionnable."

    Legend of Queen Opala: Origin recently started its Offbeatr, and Gabe will be releasing her work after it's complete for free. While I dislike prepurchasing/Kickstarter as a model for videogames and in general, I think a larger proportion of the 3DX audience would be open to this sort of thing. I certainly was for LOQO2, and I got a nice archive of files in an email from th creator that would've taken me much more time and effort to either extract them from the game or find them on a pirate site. Also, I got them with a thank-you note! How much money is that worth? You be the judge.

    It doesn't solve the piracy problem to be sure, but it gets around it. If the goal is getting the payment you want, this is a decent solution.

    That being said it might also just be a problem of scale. I'm not sure how much an average doujin circle in Japan makes but it's probably not too high and its members have to be taking on other jobs at the same time. If you don't expect to get a lot of money out of your work, or expect nothing, then all of this piracy stuff becomes a non-issue. It only becomes an issue when you aren't getting as much money as you expect or want.

    For reference: All the unattributed quotes I've posted are from /v/.
    Fred: I won't be responding to him anymore, so worry not.



  • I'm enjoying reading the very intellectual thoughts expressed in this thread, but there is no need for the increasingly hostile nature of the comments between aguiness and korezaan

    Take a breath and put you antagonism toward each other down to poorly chosen words rather than intending malice :)



  • @'dizzydills':

    The majority of artists work hard on their products and expect to be paid as such. I don't think that's unreasonable.

    If an artist wants to be compensated per copy of his work, which is what you guys seem to be fixated on, then, yeah, it's completely unreasonable.

    The ease of making a copy reduces its value to practically nil. There is no inherent scarcity, only an artificial one propped up by decrepit copyright laws enforced by corrupt governments.

    So, what is scarce? The vision and effort of the artist. The artist should be seeking his compensation for that. The artist can withhold releasing a work until he's fully paid for it, or if he's really popular, not even start work until he's paid. This is ethical, moral & completely eliminates the problem of piracy for that artist's work.



  • I'm not going to apologize for my comments, korezaan. All of your anger towards my commentary, and much of the framework that you find to be such a problem, is centered on a word you used: "deserves." I will quote your post:

    @'korezaan':

    My personal opinion is I will pay you if I think your work deserves my money.

    I did not put words into your mouth there, this is what you said. Without tone for context, "deserves" becomes a loaded word, and has a lot of negative connotations due to its connection with "entitlement." Had you followed up "if I think your work.." with "has a just/fair value," or "warrants purchase," I would not have made much of anything of it. But you said "deserves my money." It sounds standoffish, self-centered, and void of any trust. And then you followed up with this:

    If I think it isn't but I still want your product in particular, then I will adjust the pirate/proportion ratio to match what I think your work is worth, to the best of my ability.

    Again, had the previous sentence just said something about the product having a fair value or merit, this would have been somewhat insipid. But you said "deserves my money." This sentence thus gains a more haughty intent.

    In the absence of actual tone, words cannot simply be thrown about in a casual manner. You may think that your use of "deserves" is innocuous, but it can and will be seen as antagonistic when written, simply because it comes off as "you get what you deserve." I will not apologize, because I was writing in response to what sounded like a selfish attitude towards artists, and simply that (not even something to imply anti-pirate sentiment).

    (I could address other things, but since this is your primary concern, and because a lot of those things came from that portion of the response, I will wait)



  • This kinda fell into the piracy argument and that's ok since we're all in more less agreement of the other points covered the main points of the topic.

    The free net is being reigned in by the day. The future of piracy is dwindling. Net neutrality is dead, lobbyists are fighting hard to enforce copy protection laws at the cost of privacy and functionality. Merchants are crying out to a government that has failed to protect their businesses. If the NSA scandal taught us anything its that nothing is secure. If the government has the will (probably cause, legal precedent) they can and will infiltrate your computer. They have backdoors on the processor level. It is naive to think that this level of technology will forever be regulated to national security.

    Take Blizzard for example, some time ago they were having problems with their employees leaking alpha images to news sites for profit. Their solution was to code all screenshots in the game with a digital marker that identified the account and the computer from which the screenshot came. All they had to do was analyze the leaked screen shots to know where the leak came from. It would not surprise me if in the future we see some iteration of this in image based media. Any pirated copies could be attributed to an account which would be banned/prosecuted for the offense. And really that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    @'GumpOtaku':

    PS: I hope aguinness or someone else can shake this uneasy feeling I have after reading the above. aguinness said that artists cannot expect get what they deems as just for his hard work. I must ask, what should the artist view as just compensation? Is it at a level so high that no sales can be generated because it's is a big buy (around $20-$50)

    If I may be so bold, I think you're misinterpreting what aguinness was trying to say here. He was saying since piracy is rampant, an artist can't reasonable assume to get fair value for his product. Take a baker for example, and lets say he bakes a hundred donuts. Its takes him 2 hours, and a finite amount of ingredients to create, all of which represent his operating costs. His price will be above cost, as he needs to make a profit, but not so much that he drives away potential business. Unfortunately for our baker friend though, he happens to live in a town where certain people have grown accustomed to not paying baked goods. Its illegal but never enforced and as a result every time he bakes a batch of donuts some of it, in varying amounts, gets stolen. He knows as long as these people exist he cannot get the fair value for his donuts because not every donut is being paid for.

    Its a slightly inaccurate analogy in that pirates are stealing copies of which there can be an infinite amount, and the thieves are looting finite donuts, but I hope it helps convey the message. Even without piracy I don't forsee 3DX prices rising above dvd/blu ray prices for applicable content. They are still competing with other forms of entertainment, and high prices will alienate consumers.

    @korezaan
    True marketing is never free, but if piracy was properly contained, then those who visited the same site you originally did would most likely would not have a pirated site to go to. In that case advertisements, word of mouth, reviews, and the usual channels could help get the word out for G4E. Would you or anyone else have seen enough of the product to buy it, I can't say for certain, but at least a minimal amount of theft would have occurred.

    I'll be the first to admit that media adverts are sorely lacking these days despite information regarding our respective styles and tastes. The amount of effort I have to exert to in order to find good music (new or otherwise) is absurd. We need a better possibly centralized center for products. Affect3d is doing a great job of this in the 3DX world, but in general we could do better.

    Regarding the classical composers, this touches on composition (samples) and live performances which in truth is a completely different animal from writing (given your example) and 3DX. A good deal of modern musicians now make the majority of the income from live performances, rather than album sales, so this particular form of business still exists.

    Needless to say this isn't possible with 3DX (or writing), nor is the quantity of work. Even if an artist's work was plagiarized in the Renaissance, they could relocate or go on tour to help promote their work. The internet is mind numbingly fast and there is nothing flattering about it. I've had people throw their own watermarks/logos on my work and sell it as their own. There is no creative collaboration (inspiration perhaps), but its a much more hostile atmosphere. In addition I would argue that though our quality of life has obviously gone up, the cost of living is considerably higher now than it was back then.

    No one gets into 3DX to be the J.D. Salinger of porn. The majority of artists work hard on their products and expect to be paid as such. I don't think that's unreasonable.



  • Hmmmm. It's been said here that an artist can no longer be expected to receive meaningful compensation for his work. Actually there's a very old(pre-copyright) solution to this problem; don't release the work at all until compensation has been received.

    An artist could use the hostage funding method, holding back release until a payment threshold has been reached, or he can go the Kickstarter route and get payment before production starts. I think the adult Kickstarter is called Offbeatr. Both these methods require an artist to already have a fan base and good communications with them.



  • Post responds to dizzydills first and aguinness second.

    @'dizzydills':

    I don't equate piracy and loss of sales on a 1:1 ratio, for better or worse some people are just test driving your product. But then again not everyone is as willing to pay for something they had for free as you are. I would bet heavily that there was a loss incurred through this form of "free marketing".

    There is also the fact that Miro's product is being used to make money (through ads and direct download affiliate programs) for someone else, which is infuriating I'd imagine.

    Marketing is never free. If Miro spent time marketing it or hiring someone to market it, that's a cost. If he loses sales because people end up just taking it rather than paying for it after a test drive, that's also a cost. Hell taking your time to tell someone in person about your project is a cost.

    Are these comparable? Depends on what you want to believe. I think a fair case can be made that they can all be compared in dollar values, though I don't think it's as pretty.

    I do imagine there are more people that are just pure pirates than test drivers, though there's no way to tell, and even if there was a way to tell I'm not sure what purpose that information would serve.

    This is at the heart of the piracy issue. The "crime" element is being perpetrated by another party and so it removes some of guilt (and the risk) from those benefiting from theft.

    I don't think that's it. Most things which are stolen are resold on craigslist or something, so it's not like the same problem doesn't apply traditionally. It's a factor to be sure, but it's not unique.

    Something I didn't think about until you mentioned cars is that there's a lot more people in the know about cars than there is with code. I'm pretty sure that a lot of outrageous ideas didn't just pop into these people's heads as-is, they discussed it with friends or strangers who know just as little as they did, making it a bigger idea in the wrong directions. Basically can't happen with cars because you can talk to any old grandpa and he'd probably be able to give you a pretty good idea of what's reasonable.

    @'aguinness':

    For starters, I don't see how criticism fits into this context, really. Gaming criticism is an entirely different and warped beast from other media criticism, for starters: Critics essentially put themselves in a hole by establishing ridiculously high standards for just "good." Secondly, gaming is kind of its own beast that it can't be really lumped together with the rest of media.

    Topic: "Digital media and unrealistic expectations". dizzydills in post #3 says "games", so that's under the purview of this topic. Can't be lumped in with the rest? Depends on purpose and scope. I made a case given the restrictions I did see.

    Arguably so, but the marketing here has little to do with public relations, which while related are separate entities for the most part.

    The original point was that unrealistic expecations also exist for traditional stuff. I can't say I understand what kind of response you wanted for this.

    Putting aside the fact that libertarians are a useless lot, there's no real evidence that instant gratification had ever existed as a concept until the mid-20th century (and high expectations are a specifically post-WWII American phenomenon). And even then, my point is that the culture nurtured the idea of instant gratification through mass marketing: Marketing essentially moved toward selling lifestyles by the 1970s, which favored overcoming delays and deferments in gratification.

    No disagreement. Just that I don't think it's a developed enough explanation.

    Mass marketing came first (it's as old as radio). While media piracy existed to a small degree since their advent, it wasn't until the creation of digital formats and extraction methods that were acceptable enough for mass use in the 1990s that personal piracy could be done en masse. The reason you would say something like the latter sentence is because gaming is an anomaly in comparison to other mediums: Its roots were as toys for play, while the other mediums have roots in actual arts. Gaming's entire existence has been built around mass marketing to sell more of them. Its near-entire existence has been as a digital medium, thus making it prone to piracy.

    Can't say I agree with the whole analysis. The beginning is okay, but the end is probably not correct. Art museum thiefs have been written about for a long time in fairly prominent view; I've never heard of a toy thief.

    So what are you suggesting, exactly? That people are too stupid to appreciate all the details that go into making such and such software? Or that marketing oversteps itself in ensuring the product is sold through excess hype and weaselly language?

    Both, though I wouldn't put it in that way. I eventually figured out that jumping and swimming had to be coded and that there was such thing as code, but I didn't understand at the time.

    This would tie back into the having the opportunity to talk thing dizzydills talked about earlier. Children don't understand a lot of things, and at least traditionally, they were told to "be seen and not heard". And they asked their questions later, after the main event was over, so as to not interrupt and change the quality of the discussion with very basic questions. You can call it stupid, and that might be true, but I don't think that's the primary problem. This traditional attitude doesn't exist in many places on the internet, except for maybe 4chan, because no longer do people look for places they fit in, they fit the places to them.

    The second part I agree with.

    Not necessarily. In the very beginning of your post, right away you express that you would only pay if you think the artist "deserves it." By saying that, you have already set the product's value to 0, regardless if you pay or not:

    This will be the last time I respond to you until you give me a sufficient public apology.

    I understand content creators and people like yourself are frustrated because of piracy for your own reasons, but I stated that I am inclined to agree against piracy, just that there are some things I disagree with and think could have reasonable explanations. You want to be angry at pirates, fine. You want to be angry against me, accuse me of being two-faced and shoving words into my mouth, that's fine too. But I have my own moveset, and it's not dictated by your feelings.

    The value of the product itself, and the labors associated with it, is worthless, simply because you personally are setting the value, and the best value for you to have personally is 0 through piracy. Anything you pay is essentially a tip or a "I'm only paying you because I would feel guilty pirating it" pittance. The true value ties into the value people are willing to pay, and if people have the option of paying 0, the true value declines dramatically. As per the example you suggested, the only reason F2P works right now is because there hasn't been an easy way to circumvent the microtransaction system, and besides, that concept is only applicable to that medium.

    Nothing in a marketplace has any value until it is bought. This is why inventory in traditional items is a huge problem. Suppose you're the head honcho at your local Safeway and you had to decide how many bananas to buy for the week.

    How much do you buy?
    Buy too few and you lose on potential sales - in other words, the bananas you do sell are "sold for less than they should have" because if you take all willing customers and the money they would've spent, you should've sold the bananas for more.
    Buy too many and you have the opposite problem - the bananas you sold "costed more than they should have" because the ones that do sell have to make up for the waste cost of all the rotten ones.

    The rotten bananas have a value of zero. Doesn't matter that the farmers spent however long growing that tree or however much money they spent in water and fertilizer, doesn't matter if because you make too many mistakes all of your employees get laid off and the store closes and all of you starve, the value is still zero because nobody bought them.

    Suppose instead that everything in the world was nonscarce, that it costs essentially zero dollars or widgets or whatever to obtain anything you want or need. Would I get it for that minimum cost? Generally speaking, yes. I would have to be presented a pretty good reason to pay more than I otherwise "needed" to. The shaming of piracy is one method. Friendship is another.

    Or, at least when I first came to this site, "Buy G4E so Miro will make more and Affect3D can grow bigger!" I wholeheartedly agreed with that statement, so I stopped attempting to pirate Western 3DX altogether and just satisfied myself instead with what was released officially for free (e.g. Zzomp) or what I actually paid for (e.g. Blackadder, G4E). That being said, this does have the opposite effect of me having zero chance of seeing something amazing on a pirate site and then going to find it and buy it. Which way does the balance favor? Favors Blackadder and Miro for certain, but in general I don't know.

    This basic logic, scaled back into the real world of scarcity, is essentially the most basic optimization problem. Stripped of morality, this is why when laws are passed, black markets arise, or when people can't earn enough money some of them resort to stealing. From the other way, it's also why people can work long and hard on complicated things that never actually get paid "their true value". You could've spent all day on that sandcastle or mud cake, but it has no value unless someone's willing to give you money for it. If you're fine with not getting paid then feel free.

    But don't think that because you think it has value, it does.

    Because it doesn't.

    But let's say it does.

    Anything you pay is essentially a tip or a "I'm only paying you because I would feel guilty pirating it" pittance.

    I find this pretty funny, because supposed "guilty pirates" are damned either way. Oh you stole it? You didn't pay for it. Oh you paid the price asked for? You didn't pay enough.

    Like there's a repentance donation value I should be paying that's some multiple of the product's stated cost to the creator because I considered doing things the creator didn't like.

    What is important to understand is that piracy is not a separate entity from the market: It is a part of the market through democratization. The problem with democratizing any market—and thus, the true problem with piracy and over-expectations—is that it creates a supply that will always, always exceed demand, thus inevitably bringing the value of any product to near-worthless. The only reason "traditional" products have yet to suffer this fate is because the markets have not been democratized there through technology. If 3D printing continues to evolve at the rate it is going, they too will come to that inevitable conclusion in the coming decades.

    Good, you know your supply/demand curves. Congratulations.

    Your statement of "if I think your work deserves my money" basically sums up the problem: The artist can no longer be expected to given any meaningful amount of compensation for all the work they have done, simply because control of the product's value has been handed over to the consumer, and they cannot be trusted to pay anything, let alone a fair value.

    As much of a problem is as gravity is to a flying craft which lost power.

    And yet, some of those craft do fine. Most can start power up again. Some are gliders, they don't care at all. If you manage to land safely, then that problem's solved too, though obviously not as perfect as getting to your desired destination, so maybe install an electric backup motor or something next time.

    Let us suppose that you nailed the mark on me and the only reason that I paid for Miro's G4E is because I feel guilty about pirating it.

    Okay.

    Well I did pay for it, I'm looking forward to seeing his next work and paying for that too, and I'm recommending the same course of action to anyone interested in 3DX. What the fuck more do you want? I have to think your way too?

    Piracy will not kill off digital media. It'll kill off some forms, sure. But there are ways around it. I don't particularly like the looks of the "balance changes" to the world and how things are traded, but I tried being mad about it once. Didn't change anything.

    Also, I might be looking at it wrong. People of the classical era certainly looked at it differently and thought it was just fine.

    Indeed, prior to the introduction of copyright, European classical composers found it necessary to continually create music, as their older and already-famous pieces were often performed internationally without any compensation given to them. Even so, some of these composers managed to be phenomenally prosperous as well as prolific.

    The most famous composer of the early 18th century, and one of the most prosperous, was Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767), who is thought by some to be the most prolific composer in human history, with over 3000 works to his name. Telemann's status is rivaled by Simon Sechter (1788–1867), who wrote over 8000 works, many of them short fugues, and who endeavored to create at least one short composition every day. Neither composer lived under a copyright regime.

    Indeed, virtually all of the big names of classical music — Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Berlioz — composed without copyright and were not dismayed when their works were performed without their participation or consent. Composers through the Romantic era would often borrow passages from their peers and predecessors and develop creative orchestrations and variations thereof. This was not considered to be theft but rather the ultimate compliment: a demonstration that a composer had been able to cultivate a musical idea that could now thrive independently of his efforts.

    If composers could set still-unmatched records of productivity without copyrights while managing to earn a living, imagine what writers could do in an environment that did not give them the hope of forever subsisting off past accomplishments.



  • Piracy is a big issue, yea. some are more divided at it than others, My take is that although it is good advertising their is a price to pay and that is in the artist's livelihood. My solution however is simply this: Education of the masses.

    I believe aguinness said this:

    @'aguinness':

    So what are you suggesting, exactly? That people are too stupid to appreciate all the details that go into making such and such software? Or that marketing oversteps itself in ensuring the product is sold through excess hype and weaselly language?

    The successful artist never conceals what others can learn by themselves. If that is true for people getting into Poser\DAZ than surely it must mean the same for people who need to understand how long it takes to project simple jpegs and movie clips. I only use DS, but some of you use high end render engines and apps to do your magic _That, in itself, is an investment that needs protection. Education of the masses, ladies and gentlemen! show the people as far as conveniently possible into your workflow, and explain how hard it is to produces the work of art they now hold. In effect, the end user understands a little bit about the process and hopefully, would not be tempted to think that it's just jpegs and avis. What I am suggesting is that the square root of the problem and a big chunk of the solution is to show the people who don't know squat about 3DX… well, something about 3DX.

    ~GO

    PS: I hope aguinness or someone else can shake this uneasy feeling I have after reading the above. aguinness said that artists cannot expect get what they deems as just for his hard work. I must ask, what should the artist view as just compensation? Is it at a level so high that no sales can be generated because it's is a big buy (around $20-$50)_



  • I am going to answer some points on this, korezaan, given you said a lot here.

    @'korezaan':

    71 in 2014 is the equivalent to a ~30 back in the mid-2000s. Even the shittiest of the shitty easily clear 80 nowadays.

    It's not only that consumer expectations have changed. I remember when the only 10/10 games were Ocarina of Time and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, but now 10's are being handed out like candy on Halloween night. Are companies so innocent from this if they've drummed up that kind of expectation? It's not like they don't know about it either; I saw 10's all over Bioshock Infinite long before it was released. If they both accept/bribe for (Hi Bioware! Remember ME3?) 10 ratings, then that means that they should expect customers that demand a 10 piece of work out of them. If you're a big production company and a big reviewing company says something about you and you use it, then that's the sort of thing you will create in your customers.

    For starters, I don't see how criticism fits into this context, really. Gaming criticism is an entirely different and warped beast from other media criticism, for starters: Critics essentially put themselves in a hole by establishing ridiculously high standards for just "good." Secondly, gaming is kind of its own beast that it can't be really lumped together with the rest of media.

    This sort of thing seems to happen most around "digital media", though there are exceptions. It doesn't happen in more traditional things, or at least it's not as visible, because the marketing strategies and tones for say Charmin's toilet paper or Hot Pockets sandwiches are very different. My housemate works at a senator's office, apparently they have a whole internal wiki listing out how exactly to deal with crazy people. And you've probably seen those stories of people doing really dumb things with their iPhones and then complaining about it. So they exist. It's just more visible for digital media stuff because this sort of stuff was basically born in/with or in some cases survive only due to forums.

    Arguably so, but the marketing here has little to do with public relations, which while related are separate entities for the most part.

    People have always had high expectations and have always wanted instant gratification, so I think blaming that is about as useful as - borrowing from the libertarians - blaming greed for bad things happening in economics. Are people more inclined towards instant gratification these days? I'd absolutely agree. But I don't think that's an adequate enough explanation.

    Putting aside the fact that libertarians are a useless lot, there's no real evidence that instant gratification had ever existed as a concept until the mid-20th century (and high expectations are a specifically post-WWII American phenomenon). And even then, my point is that the culture nurtured the idea of instant gratification through mass marketing: Marketing essentially moved toward selling lifestyles by the 1970s, which favored overcoming delays and deferments in gratification.

    I don't know if mass piracy came first or mass marketing came first. Not sure it can be found or if the results would be help anything either way.

    Mass marketing came first (it's as old as radio). While media piracy existed to a small degree since their advent, it wasn't until the creation of digital formats and extraction methods that were acceptable enough for mass use in the 1990s that personal piracy could be done en masse. The reason you would say something like the latter sentence is because gaming is an anomaly in comparison to other mediums: Its roots were as toys for play, while the other mediums have roots in actual arts. Gaming's entire existence has been built around mass marketing to sell more of them. Its near-entire existence has been as a digital medium, thus making it prone to piracy.

    Lack of understanding: Very much. 3DX example: I didn't realize how amazing the G4E mates were until I looked through some beginner threads here, and I had to be told about how G4E's fluid physics were actually really good. Didn't know or see any of this, because when I saw it my dick was busy being hard. To put it more broadly, people only see their lack of understanding when they push beyond the capabilities of whatever they are using. If you only ever use Siri for voice texting, looking up stuff on Google, a daily agenda, and some really simple banter, while encountering no errors, but you've been told she's really smart and have heard hype about she's almost true AI, you might believe it.

    So what are you suggesting, exactly? That people are too stupid to appreciate all the details that go into making such and such software? Or that marketing oversteps itself in ensuring the product is sold through excess hype and weaselly language?

    Devaluing of digital media: Depends on what you mean. As in "the true value is dropping"? "The value people are willing to pay is dropping"? "Total income is dropping"? Various possible answers.

    Not necessarily. In the very beginning of your post, right away you express that you would only pay if you think the artist "deserves it." By saying that, you have already set the product's value to 0, regardless if you pay or not: The value of the product itself, and the labors associated with it, is worthless, simply because you personally are setting the value, and the best value for you to have personally is 0 through piracy. Anything you pay is essentially a tip or a "I'm only paying you because I would feel guilty pirating it" pittance. The true value ties into the value people are willing to pay, and if people have the option of paying 0, the true value declines dramatically. As per the example you suggested, the only reason F2P works right now is because there hasn't been an easy way to circumvent the microtransaction system, and besides, that concept is only applicable to that medium.

    What is important to understand is that piracy is not a separate entity from the market: It is a part of the market through democratization. The problem with democratizing any market—and thus, the true problem with piracy and over-expectations—is that it creates a supply that will always, always exceed demand, thus inevitably bringing the value of any product to near-worthless. The only reason "traditional" products have yet to suffer this fate is because the markets have not been democratized there through technology. If 3D printing continues to evolve at the rate it is going, they too will come to that inevitable conclusion in the coming decades.

    Your statement of "if I think your work deserves my money" basically sums up the problem: The artist can no longer be expected to given any meaningful amount of compensation for all the work they have done, simply because control of the product's value has been handed over to the consumer, and they cannot be trusted to pay anything, let alone a fair value.



  • @'aguinness':

    A culture nurturing instant gratification, over-democratization/commodification of the market

    I think this is the primary cause as well. The endless rants and demands posted on boards with the hope of having someone implement what they want. When something isn't the way they envisioned it, they feel the need to "correct" it.

    @'korezaan':

    Can't say if overall that site has reduced G4E sales or if piracy in general reduces sales, I'd be inclined to think it does, but it's still free marketing.

    I don't equate piracy and loss of sales on a 1:1 ratio, for better or worse some people are just test driving your product. But then again not everyone is as willing to pay for something they had for free as you are. I would bet heavily that there was a loss incurred through this form of "free marketing".

    There is also the fact that Miro's product is being used to make money (through ads and direct download affiliate programs) for someone else, which is infuriating I'd imagine.

    @'korezaan':

    Physical things you have to steal every time, even if you steal a whole container of them. Digital things only have to be stolen and shared once.

    This is at the heart of the piracy issue. The "crime" element is being perpetrated by another party and so it removes some of guilt (and the risk) from those benefiting from theft.

    To build on what Epoch was saying, I think the lack of physical materials required aids in the grandiose nature of peoples requests. With physical things, (car metaphor again) people know that the manufacturing process isn't cheap. They might not know how it all works, but marketing helps bring value to physical components. Leather seats, ceramic brakes, titanium exhaust, all carry value, and each product has a scope based on this value. Code is less tangible and therefore more flexible to those not in the know.



  • Speaking from my own personal experience after opening up a dialogue with my audience regarding future iterations of our Dynamic Comic Viewer (DCV) software, I experienced exactly what dizzydills described: a whole lot of overextension of ideas.

    In it's purest form, the DCV is simply a way to make comics more 'interactive', but the suggestions we were getting from many were trying to turn it into something it wasn't intended to be. There were ideas centered around full motion video and voice acting, real-time 3D manipulation of scene assets, and even 'choose your own adventure' style branching narratives. None of these would be feasible in a true 2D comic, so why would they think them viable options for my platform?

    I had to explain that, at some point, there's a line that we can't cross, or the DCV ceases to be a comic book software. If I was animating all scenes, and then adding voice talent, how is that still a comic? By then, it's pretty much transitioned into a short film.

    So I think the issue is what others have said; a lack of audience understanding. They want features that are not in alignment with what the software is intended to be. An analogy would be if Adobe opened up suggestions for a new version of Photoshop, and the feedback was that it should be able to edit video. That's what Premiere is for. One program simply cannot do everything. I think that the general public doesn't realize that.



  • My personal opinion is I will pay you if I think your work deserves my money. If I think it isn't but I still want your product in particular, then I will adjust the pirate/proportion ratio to match what I think your work is worth, to the best of my ability. I think 3DX has found a pretty solid number in this respect; I think 10$ is probably way too much for me to be spending, but when I'm turned on it's like meh, it's okay, I haven't bought anything like this in a while.

    That being said, I did originally find out about Affect3D's work on a pirate site (I'd heard about it from various 3D blogs but back then it was only MOTDs and I wasn't interested), and that one x-ray gif I found there of G4E made me go "WHERE DO I THROW MY MONEY". Bought G4E within the next 10 minutes. Can't say if overall that site has reduced G4E sales or if piracy in general reduces sales, I'd be inclined to think it does, but it's still free marketing.

    But I'll play the opposite side because I find it underplayed and somewhat interesting.

    I'm going to talk from the videogame field because I'm most familiar with it.

    71 in 2014 is the equivalent to a ~30 back in the mid-2000s. Even the shittiest of the shitty easily clear 80 nowadays.

    It's not only that consumer expectations have changed. I remember when the only 10/10 games were Ocarina of Time and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, but now 10's are being handed out like candy on Halloween night. Are companies so innocent from this if they've drummed up that kind of expectation? It's not like they don't know about it either; I saw 10's all over Bioshock Infinite long before it was released. If they both accept/bribe for (Hi Bioware! Remember ME3?) 10 ratings, then that means that they should expect customers that demand a 10 piece of work out of them. If you're a big production company and a big reviewing company says something about you and you use it, then that's the sort of thing you will create in your customers.

    This sort of thing seems to happen most around "digital media", though there are exceptions. It doesn't happen in more traditional things, or at least it's not as visible, because the marketing strategies and tones for say Charmin's toilet paper or Hot Pockets sandwiches are very different. My housemate works at a senator's office, apparently they have a whole internal wiki listing out how exactly to deal with crazy people. And you've probably seen those stories of people doing really dumb things with their iPhones and then complaining about it. So they exist. It's just more visible for digital media stuff because this sort of stuff was basically born in/with or in some cases survive only due to forums.

    People have always had high expectations and have always wanted instant gratification, so I think blaming that is about as useful as - borrowing from the libertarians - blaming greed for bad things happening in economics. Are people more inclined towards instant gratification these days? I'd absolutely agree. But I don't think that's an adequate enough explanation.

    I don't know if mass piracy came first or mass marketing came first. Not sure it can be found or if the results would be help anything either way. There are some companies who I'm sure as hell aren't giving any money anymore and I think they deserve any damage they get. The employees? I wish I could just pay the artists of TERA, AION, and Guild Wars / 2, but even that money goes through the bureaucracy first. 3DX is fairly easy (for now) because I'm preeeeetty sure the artists get a pretty damn large cut and that's who I want to pay, but for anything published by NCSoft, EA, or Ubisoft, I have to think, "I've been fucked by these guys enough times, probably out of 100 bucks they'd give somewhere under 2 bucks to the art team - yeah I'm not gonna buy it. Is it piratable? Cool. It isn't? Okay, that's fine too."

    As for the other things you pointed out:

    Lack of understanding: Very much. 3DX example: I didn't realize how amazing the G4E mates were until I looked through some beginner threads here, and I had to be told about how G4E's fluid physics were actually really good. Didn't know or see any of this, because when I saw it my dick was busy being hard. To put it more broadly, people only see their lack of understanding when they push beyond the capabilities of whatever they are using. If you only ever use Siri for voice texting, looking up stuff on Google, a daily agenda, and some really simple banter, while encountering no errors, but you've been told she's really smart and have heard hype about she's almost true AI, you might believe it.

    Personal example, when I started videogames, it made no sense to me why I couldn't jump or swim in a lot of games. The idea of "it isn't coded" and "there's an invisible wall here" was completely foreign to me. I eventually got to a "well if you say so" sort of acceptance, but that's not the same as understanding. Tying it back to the marketing stuff from earlier, you can get some really interesting comments.

    Devaluing of digital media: Depends on what you mean. As in "the true value is dropping"? "The value people are willing to pay is dropping"? "Total income is dropping"? Various possible answers.

    The last one for instance is probably very wrong - "Free to Play" games are a fairly recent model that's basically everywhere now, and it's the de-facto model on mobiles. They run on microtransactions, and while the total revenue might not be so high, the profit margins are apparently ridiculous. People just throw money at these "cow clickers", that's why so many companies are going there. Better quality? No, of course not. But if we're just counting the profit, no, it's not categorically being devalued.

    "I'm not a moralfag and I never buy single player games anymore.

    If you make piracy too trivial on a system then it's not going to make money. This is why free to play games are king for PC and the phone market. Why would I want to buy something when I can pirate it for virtually zero effort?"

    Finally, digital stuff is fundamentally different from traditional stuff. Physical things you have to make every time, even if it is on an assembly line by a robot. Digital things you only have to make once. Physical things you have to steal every time, even if you steal a whole container of them. Digital things only have to be stolen and shared once.

    It's much more volatile.



  • I must agree completely with aguinness' reply. It's the instant gratification; rampant content pirating and sharing on a ever changing series of 'forums and websites'. After nearly a decade; I've given up on any hope of returning to the halcyon days of the early internet; where hard work and creativity would pay dividends.

    The only thing I would consider doing now is just running a 'store' site with no content on a server to be pirated anymore. I've just seen far too much of everyone's hard 3d work being stolen and given away for free to even want to post anything online aside from a test picture anymore.

    Post mel eu (post at your own risk).

    Wish I could be posting a happier reply; but just gotta say it how it is and I don' t see things getting better anytime soon.



  • @'dizzydills':

    You would never hear a Ford Focus owner seriously asking for a 6 liter V12 to be installed in next year's model, since its so blatantly beyond the scope of a sub compact sedan. Yet I read the digital equivalent daily. So I must ask, what is it exactly about digital media and people voicing their ludicrous ideas regarding its development and features?

    Is it a lack of understanding the time required to create it? A devaluing of digital media brought on by piracy? Or simply the opportunity to voice one's opinion? Anyhoo what do you think?

    I don't know about that Ford Focus. Have you been on car forums? :P

    To put it simply, it's a combination of things: A culture nurturing instant gratification, over-democratization/commodification of the market, the fruits of marketing (which sells not products but abstracts which products simply seek to fulfill), a tech culture that seeks to attain some mythical level of greatness, social media, and a bit of the GIFT for good measure. Self-restraint is lacking due to the Internet, really. (Also, amazed/tripped out the GIFT comic turned 10 yesterday…on a day it would have been published)


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