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Thread: Humble Bundle Gives Pirates What They Want and Still Gets Ripped Off

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    Humble Bundle Gives Pirates What They Want and Still Gets Ripped Off

    Humble Bundle gives pirates what they want, gets ripped off

    By Ben Kuchera

    The Humble Bundle is a great deal for gamers for a number of reasons. The games work on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You can pay as little or as much as you want, and you can donate some or all of the money to the included charities. There is absolutely no DRM on any of the games. So why does it look like one quarter of the people enjoying the games have pirated them?

    Unpacking the actual numbers behind piracy is often difficult, but Wolfire has been incredibly transparent about its numbers. The result is strong evidence that no matter what steps developers take, piracy will still be an issue.
    Piracy is inevitable

    We spoke to Jeffery Rosen, cofounder of Wolfire Games, about the piracy rate of the Humble Bundle. "I think piracy is absolutely inevitable—this is a really clear example of it," Rosen said. "People will literally not pay a penny to a charity in order to legitimately get a bundle of games that they want."

    Rosen points out that the Bundle has stripped away nearly every rationalization for piracy. "A lot of the common rationalizations for piracy simply don't exist here: DRM, an agent between you and the developers, or high prices. Some people rationalize it by claiming they can't pay—but they could have asked their mom. They could have e-mailed us (we're currently at inbox zero for support requests)." Rosen claims they received thousands of technical support questions throughout the week, about 10 of them relating to payment.

    Those who e-mailed and said they couldn't pay? The number was so low that Rosen personally made a contribution on their behalf.

    Pirating the Humble Bundle titles is easy. "When I say this bundle is DRM-free—I really mean DRM-free. Not only do the games themselves have no copy protection (not even a simple serial number check), but the Humble Indie Bundle website has limited copy protection," Rosen wrote on the official blog. "That means there are no download limits, everything is reachable on the command-line with 'wget', you can resume downloads, and do anything else you would expect to be able to do with a personal download link." Linux users in particular praised these decisions to make the downloads painless.
    Are there reasons to pirate?

    Rosen came up with a few reasons people feel the need to pirate games. Laziness is a big one: it's simply easier to click a link than to fill out the fields needed to donate even a single cent. There may be customers who live in an area where PayPal, Google Checkout, and Amazon are not supported, leaving them with no way to pay. Some people may have made a single large donation for multiple bundles. Others may simply like the feeling of getting something for nothing.

    Rosen lays out these reasons, saying that Wolfire doesn't plan on doing anything to thwart those who pirate the games. "When considering any kind of DRM, we have to ask ourselves, 'How many legitimate users is it OK to inconvenience in order to reduce piracy?' The answer should be none."

    This is why the DRM debate is so destructive. There is no technology that can't be cracked, and invasive strategies only make the companies targets for the more aggressive hackers and crackers. If you give gamers everything they say they want, there will still be a significant number of people who will grab the game without paying. "A lot of these people don't just pirate the game, they take pleasure in spreading the pirated links to their friends or anonymous buddies for fun," Rosen told Ars. "They just don't care, and if you can't get someone to pay a penny in this case—will they really pay full price for a game?"

    While piracy may be frustrating, the bundle has been quite the success: as of this writing almost 84,000 people have paid $716,944 in total for the games.

    Source: Humble Bundle gives pirates what they want, gets ripped off
    Last edited by Gen3SF; 05-10-2010 at 11:17 AM.

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    Sorry I know it's like I'm stalking your news posts today gen but the video for this site is too awesome not to post:



    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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    Linux Users Not as Cheap as Rumored

    Links for the Humble Bundle have been posted on a number of forums, 4chan, and Steam...Scumbags!! They won't even pay one cent to be legitimate. Wolfire.com has one request for those deadset on pirating the Humble Bundle-use BitTorrent instead of using up their bandwidth.

    On a good note:

    85,361 people have contributed $735,556. The average contributions by PC platform are Windows $7.45, Mac $9.86, and Linux $14.01


    Total Revenue by Platform

    The statistics counter the impression that some have that Linux users are cheap.

    Source: The Humble Indie Bundle (pay what you want for five awesome indie games)

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    Not a problem, Ithian. At least you're adding to the discussion and content rather than being a detrimental influence Also nice to see someone is reading my News posts...not only reading but paying attention and thinking about the topics.

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    Absolutely. In fact I just made a contribution to the site (split to charities). Not much, but as much as I can afford to give right now. I think what they're attempting is noble in this day and age when internet scheming and corruption is so prevalent.

    Right now I'm downloading World of Goo at about 1MB/sec. So they have pretty nice servers as host and the download links do indeed arrive right after payment is cleared.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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    I also gave (also split evenly) and I don't even play games. These generous gestures need to be supported as best we can.

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    As soon as I have some time, I am gonna make a donation to them! Finally a company that understands people! Finally a company which is brave enough to try this! Hoepfully, other companies will follow their brave and good example.

    EDIT: I just noticed that world of goo is one of their games. I pirated it without knowing it was theirs Problem is I do not have paypal. But i'll ask a friend who does to donate for me and give him the money when I see him.
    Last edited by Bliepo; 05-11-2010 at 04:02 AM.
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    Payment for the Humble Bundle is available through PayPal, Amazon, and Google Checkout. That's great to hear you will be making a contribution, Bliepo. Contributors have donated $320,660 to EFF and Child's Play.

    According to a notice on the Wolfire.com site:

    "
    As of 5/11/10, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, and Penumbra Overture pledge to go open source. We are preparing the sources right now and will be releasing them ASAP. We spent last night preparing Lugaru and it is almost available now. The code is still a little rough (no Visual Studio project yet, for instance) but hopefully with the help of the community we can rapidly make it more accessible to everyone.

    Note, the games will be "free as in 'free speech', not as in 'free beer'": see each license for the full, finalized details as they come out very hopefully this week -- stay tuned. It is the underlying code that will be made available to everyone.

    Feel free to continue donating to charity, to the developers, or any combination thereof below. We will still be distributing humble bundles to anyone who contributes."

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    If I recall right when I clicked on the Paypal button it gave me an option to enter credit card info before I even logged in. So you might be able to submit a contribution without a Paypal account.

    That's awesome btw that they're still taking in larger and larger contributions, and trying to support their own project by giving back. I need to post this up on my Facebook already.

    Oh, and as soon as I'm finished with my finals and other projects this week, me and World of Goo are about to become best buds. That game is horrendously addicting.
    ------------------

    As of 5/12 they've raised over a million dollars and extended the offer by another 4 days.

    Here are the latest stats:

    Child's Play: $173,124.61
    Electronic Frontier Foundation: $167,886.37
    Aquaria: $152,397.12
    Gish: $152,397.12
    Lugaru HD: $152,397.12
    Penumbra: Overture: $152,397.12
    World of Goo: $152,397.12
    Total contributed: $1,164,545
    Contributions: 128,192
    Average contribution: $9.17
    Largest contribution: $3,333.33 by Anonymous
    Coolest contribution: $1,337.00 by Anonymous
    Last edited by Ithian; 05-12-2010 at 06:14 PM.
    "I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing

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