Feeds

EA, Sony swoop on Paradigm pirates

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.