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The ESA (Otherwise known as gaming's RIAA) Asks Govt. for Help Battling Pirates


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February 11, 2008 - The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade group representing the videogame industry, filed a "Special 301" report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today pleading for help battling software piracy. The report singles out Canada, China, Malaysia, Russia, and parts of Europe as being extreme problem areas where piracy runs rampant.


"Countries that support computer and videogame piracy discourage publishers from establishing viable and legitimate markets," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA. "The Special 301 process sends a strong message to them to clean up their act to avoid damaging trade sanctions.


"In 2007, our industry had a record-breaking year with receipts totaling $18.85 billion, but piracy closes off promising markets, artificially limiting our industry's ability to contribute even more economic growth to the American high-tech economy and economies of our trading partners."


The many forms of piracy cited in the report include online file swapping, CD-R and DVD-R burning, the factory production of new discs, cartridge counterfeiting, and "Internet café piracy." The ESA says parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central/South America have videogame markets made up of 80 to 90 percent pirated software.


The Special 301 report asks for government help dealing with the following specific problems:


* Legal and enforcement deficiencies in Canada. Pirated copies of games and circumvention devices have permeated retail markets in Canada, due to legal deficiencies and that IPR enforcement remains a low priority for public officials.

* Pirate production for export in China and Malaysia. Pirated optical discs and cartridge games manufactured in China stunt legitimate game sales in many foreign markets. Pirated optical discs produced in and exported from Malaysia produce similar problems.

* Impediments to growth in the Chinese market. Excessive bureaucratic delays in title approval, coupled with easy access to pirated copies and a ban on the sale of home consoles artificially constrain industry growth in China.

* Saturation of Russian market. Factory production of pirated games in Russia has saturated what should otherwise be a rich market, particularly for PC game product.

* Online piracy explosion in Europe. Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden are among the most problematic countries with respect to online piracy, particularly through the use of P-2-P protocols. Online piracy growth is not confined to Europe, with extraordinarily high online piracy noted in Brazil, Canada and China.

* Paraguay as pirate hub for Latin America. Paraguay continues to serve as a major transshipment point for pirated and counterfeit games from Asia, affecting many South American markets, including Brazil.

* Market access in Brazil and India. Legitimate game sales are virtually non-existent in Brazil and India, owing to high tariffs and additional taxes.



"This year our Special 301 filing highlights countries that urgently need to begin backing up their commitment to creativity and innovation," said Gallagher. "We look forward to working with USTR and other supporting government agencies to achieve tangible results and hopefully succeed in lowering piracy in these key countries," said Gallagher. "Freeing these markets from the pirates' stranglehold will also help empower a local video game economy."


More: http://ps2.ign.com/articles/851/851250p1.html

I don't really have much to say about this. What do you think? :(

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Well, unless they produced the game locally with local price, i would say this would not get done. Piracy is a lucrative business. Heck, even some government officials are in cahoot with those pirates to get a cut from the profit.

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"Freeing these markets from the pirates' stranglehold..."

So, they want taxpayers money to re-establish their own stranglehold instead.

Complete with grossly inflated prices, and artificial shortages.


And, of course, it will only make the grossly rich even richer. (I'm talking game companies here)


Piracy brings the price and availablility to something reasonable.

If the companies did the same thing there would be no need for shady market stalls.

Many gamers would be prepared to pay when the price is much lower.


It's time these companies stopped blaming others for their own "troubles",

and started competing instead. The bully-boy tactics and misuse of the law

simply causes resentment and new forms of piracy.

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Michael Pachter reckons we are getting a 'gift' from publishers at the $59.99USD price point, saying games should really cost a lot more.


Games already cost a lot more than that in Australia, but that's what he says of the US.




Most new games here cost $100 AUD and thats just for PCs....Xbox 360 game prices are much worse....

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I still keep at the argument that games that are pirated in those countries would not be bought original anyways. The people that can afford it will buy them. Any gamer likes having their original box with artwork, I know I do. So I'm sick of the RIAA reporting inflated numbers that are not equal to actual sales.

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I would like it if games only cost the price of the input of manufacturing goods and shipping, of course then there would be no profit but, just add 5-8 $ on it and it is a suitable price for me (I don't get an allowance or otherwise and I barely have any money, neither do I have a job as I am not a minor yet)

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$60 for a game is highway robbery. Look at how many titles are released. I should miss out on most of them because I don't have an income of half a million dollars a year to purchase them all?


As for piracy being rampant in Canada, YEAH RIGHT! You can't count those of us who download and burn our own copies as "PIRATES". We are NOT pirates FFS!

Pirates make money off the theft.


I'm not buying games anymore unless they're $19.99 or less. Period. I'm sick and f**king tired of getting the shaft with shovelware and emptying my pockets for nothing. Is it just a coincedence the RIAA is after the same goals? No, because they too aren't getting their pockets lined enough, because they allow artists to put out albums with 1 or 2 good songs and expect people to cough up $20 on avg for a little piece of plastic with mostly crap music on it.


F**K the RIAA and the ESA. They can both blow me.

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