Ubisoft in self-pirating failure

They are making this too easy. How are angry Internet men supposed to put their massive intellects to use in making companies look stupid when they do something objectionable, when those very same companies can then turn around and perform a show of massive, impressive dunderheadedness.

I’ve ranted before about how publishers like EA and Ubisoft damage only their own customers, and by extension themselves, with their policies over anti-piracy and DRM. It always seems to me that the further you go towards making it difficult to use a product which you have bought and own*, the more you push your loyal consumers into workarounds, hacks and eventual wholesale illegality. It seems someone working at Ubisoft agrees with me.

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Could this story be any more ridiculous? A figurehead of the movement to deny that the creative industries have changed, that selling information is no longer the one-way controlled channel it used to be, is charged with benefiting from the very thing they have publicly execrated.

And why not? After all, the principle behind filesharing networks is that sharing is good for everyone (not that I am advocating giving everything away for free, inspiration deserves and requires sustenance). That philosophical statement is built into the very fabric of BitTorrent. If some poor soul in Ubi’s marketing department can get away with using torrents for the purpose they were intended for, easing the burden of tracking down and disseminating information, then more power to them. It does cast the general attitude of major creative industry titans in a somewhat hypocritical light.

How long have the big beasts of the music and film industries been exploiting the mass of artists who work for pennies in the faint hope of joining the pantheon of greats? Of course, there are some who make it, but they are the smallest, most vanishing minority in an industry which is built on the toil of countless people whose work will probably never even see the light of day.

Take advertising for example. It is an established practice for ad agencies to ‘borrow’ the ideas of independent filmmakers, package them up neatly and sell them back to a grateful client.

Is this theft? After all, noone has been deprived of anything. Unless of course you count the opportunity to work creative work in a society that values it for the contribution it makes to the sum of human happiness, not for the contribution it makes to the coffers of wealthy backers. That is the real tragedy here.

* Yes, you do own it. EULAs be damned.

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