I stick by my belief that the business, legal, and ethical issues of piracy are all separate. But it truly is insane how companies insist on making it easier to pirate their product than pay for it (this would be the business issue). Last week, Activision released their newest game with “state-of-the-art” access controls. You are not able to play the (single player!) game unless you are logged into their authentication servers at all times. So, if your cable goes out: no offline gaming for you. You’re on a train or plane: no offline gaming for you. On the bright side, the pirates don’t get to play at all. Of course, within 24 hours this was broken (I am led to believe that the crack simply involved copying a file or folder from the DVD onto your hard drive…somebody’s getting fired) and within a week, the authentication servers had crashed leaving the people who bought the game unable to play it (while the pirates and people who broke the law and cracked the game could). All this access control, copy control, DRM stuff is simply bad business. Whether people are right to pirate or not, these practices are just going to drive more people to do it.
Anyhoo, I wrote all that to introduce this graphic that I stole from Geekologie:
[Disclaimer: I do not think piracy is legal or right, I just think that many media companies demonstrate what can only be called contempt for their paying customers.]