piracy column piece cited in itjourno asia

ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only site for Asian tech journalists, cited my “Consumers and piracy” column piece in today’s Epitome.

Epitome: You know you’ve done a good job when…

By Victoria Lea
31/03/2005 11:25:00 AM

… you’ve struck enough of a chord with readers that they talk back. As Stefan Hammond talks to Ariel Tam in today’s ‘Epitome Response’, or as one irate reader emailed Joey Alarilla.

“You are SUCH a writer: all rhetoric and no sense of opportunity,” INQ7’s Alarilla quoted the reader as saying.

The quotes came from an email sent to Alarilla and related to an article by Alarilla on the need for the Philippines to vigorously fight piracy. The email had been published by the author on the web already, so Alarilla wrote he felt free to re-publish it himself.

“Joey, you dream of the day when the Philippines will become a world-class game development center, instead of becoming a developer of games and gaming systems that lots of people enjoy,” part of the email read.

“You dream of the day when our country will become a major market for international game publishers, instead of some local entrepreneur seizing dominance in a market deemed too small to be touched by the global players, (he can develop games like Patintero Online and World of Sungka). You dream of the day when Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will launch their consoles in the Philippines, instead of wondering why we need to make these corporate bastards richer than they already are.”

“Stick to writing, Joey.”

Ouch? All credit to Alarilla for publishing the critique, and for the way he managed to then himself defend his argument. You can see the story here.

You can also see the reaction of Computerworld Hong Kong’s Stefan Hammond, and one Chee Sing Chan, to an article penned by Ariel Tam at Today newspaper, in today’s ‘Epitome Response’ piece, here. Something about lads versus ladies, perchance?

4 thoughts on “piracy column piece cited in itjourno asia

  1. Kudos on your unabashed defense of your beliefs. There is nothing more remarkable nowadays than Filipinos with conviction, and you certainly have that. It’s pretty remarkable how you had the guts to write about such a touchy issue, fully knowing that you would attract a lot of heat for it, then still stand by your opinion when all was said and done.

    The ironic thing is that legitimate sofware should come down in price if the demand for it was high enough. It’s basic economics’ law of supply and demand. Since the demand for legit software is so low, it has to be priced higher, and that is one reason why piracy is so rampant. In this sense, we do have a vicious cycle. Consumers buying pirated goods to get a bargain are also making legit good more expensive. Remove the demand for pirated titles, and in practice demand for legit software should rise, and prices should go down. Prices may not become as cheap as pirated discs, but by then the additional perks and services one gets from using legit software could already make the trouble worthwhile.

    It would also help if stores like Data Blitz did their homework and actually devaluated their products months after release. The trouble with stores selling legit software (especially games software) is that the prices don’t go down after some time. Long after a title enters the budget bin in the States, people here are still going to have to pay the full launch price for the title. It’s not fair for me to have to pay over 2,000 pesos (40 or so dollars) for Virtua Fighter 4 over here when it’s easily worth only half that, or even less in the States (I don’t own the game, by the way).

    The stores also have to do their homework. If a title is already a budget title in its place of origin, they should sell it at budget prices. I’ve seen old games like the haphazard PC versions of FFVII and FFVIII go for as high as 1,750 even to this day, even if the games themselves are approaching a decade in age. The games are so old that modern systems can’t run them properly, so what gives? Electronics and software aren’t antiques that appreciate in value after time, they go down in worth due to obsolescence. That does not happen here though.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Though I am definitely not “holier than thou” on the issue I do find your courage remarkable. More power to you.


    Try to refrain from bashing your readers, no matter how idiotic they become. It solves nothing. I could see that Lyndon was being a jerk like his comic-book creation Harry but two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Also, ever sonsidered doing a piece on abandonware? That’s an even more interesting issue because it’s essentially non-profit theft. Abandonware sites are all over the ‘net, and with broadband becoming so prevalent nowaays people can easily download hundreds of megabytes worth of old DOS games along with a DOS emulator and run them for free, even on the newest computers. An opinion piece on this form of “non-profit piracy” would be really interesting.

  2. thanks migs, i really appreciate that, particularly coming from you.

    you’ve raised good points that datablitz, astrovision and other stores that sell original games here should consider.

    that’s true, the prices of some of the games don’t go down long after they’re in the bargain bin in the US. i suppose that’s because very few people here buy original games that the store inventory practically doesn’t move, so they still want to sell the games at the original prices. although some stores really do price their games too high in the first place — gamers keep complaining about the prices of console games at sm toy kingdom.

    personally, i would think being able to sell more titles by lowering the price is better than not being able to sell any at all.
    but i don’t know if that’s how store owners would think. it worked for original vcds and dvds though.

    for example, i’m a big wwe fan, and i was so happy that viva released P250 vcds of wrestlemania xx, royal rumble and different wwe pay-per-view events. these are 3-disc or even 4-disc titles. that’s cheaper than the old prices for pirated wwe vcds, though i suppose the pirates have also lowered their prices.

    still, i think the situation has improved when it comes to the prices of original pc games, especially with the EA budget titles that you can get at datablitz. they even have a “buy 1 premium EA title, get 1 budget EA title for free” promo w/c is ongoing until april 15.

    one thing stores might consider here is renting out games like gamefly and blockbuster do in the US, but since piracy killed the video rental industry in the philippines, i don’t know if such a business would thrive in the face of game piracy.

    and you’re right, i shouldn’t have gone down to the level of lyndon. i realized that right after i posted my blog entry.

    abandonware, huh? that’s an interesting idea, though i haven’t tried out those games. the most i’ve gone back in time is playing the original doom, hehe, which still rocks 🙂

    though once i did try to look for a free copy of laura bow online. never played it but i had a friend who was once addicted to it, back when it was state-of-the-art, and i’d watch her.

    anyway, thanks, migs. have a good weekend.


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