Feeds

EA, Sony swoop on Paradigm pirates

But is the piracy situation quite as bad as the industry makes out?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Games software companies Sony and Electronic Arts (EA) today announced they had jointly begun legal action against alleged members of a software piracy gang dubbed Paradigm. Both companies say Paradigm is responsible for trading illegal copies of their games over the Internet. The dynamic duo -- with the help of US Marshals -- raided the home of one the alleged copyright infringers and seized a PC and a stack of CDs. Among the material confiscated were the real names and addresses of people believed to be Paradigm members in the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Russia and elsewhere. Now, software piracy is a pretty despicable act, and the actions of Sony and EA, while not eliminating the crime, should at least plug one of the many outlets for illegal copies of software. But what's really interesting about all this is what it says about the level of software piracy out there. According to EA's senior VP and general counsel, Ruth Kennedy, software pirates cost the worldwide games industry $3.2 billion. So how can the European Leisure Software Publishers' Association (Elspa) claim, as it did earlier this week, that games piracy costs European developers alone £3 billion ($4.8 billion)? Can it be that no one really knows how much money is lost to games pirates, and that perhaps its effects really aren't as bad as the industry's various participants would like us all to believe? It's certainly hard to imagine any other reason for such divergent statistics. Of course, all piracy is bad -- or at least illegal, which is perhaps more to the point -- so games companies are perfectly justified in taking action against people who are, after all, thieves. But why not be a little more realistic about the figures? The clue, perhaps, lies in another part of Sony/EA's news release about the anti-Paradigm action. This year, EA alone posted revenues of $1.2 billion. Sony didn't mention its software sales, but they're probably higher still. And there are plenty of other games publishers making similar amounts of money, suggesting that each company's losses due to piracy actually aren't that significant. Yes, piracy is wrong and should be battled -- but please, let's be a little less melodramatic about it, guys. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.