Author Topic: Digital Rights and Economics  (Read 51548 times)

siob

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 07:40:39 AM »
But your fair use example is wrong.  Unless you can provide a source on that?  Fair Use almost never allows the complete and un-transformed copying of something. 
[...]
We are allowed to make archival copies, as long as those copies are kept personal.  DRM is made to stop this.

that's what I meant! archival copies! my example with 'give copy to mom' was wierd. DRM makes both impossible.

similar to how I can lend any book to my mother (not making a copy). yet, you can't do that with books bought on the kindle. technically it's possible and some books allow it, but most indirectly limit your rights through DRM.


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You download, install, and play a copy of these games on your computer without paying, you are breaking the law.  This is fact.  If you don't accept this...we'll have to agree to disagree.


really, it's not. You can download whatever you want and play it. Not illegal. Uploading & providing software for which you do not have distribution rights: that is illeglal.

it's about distribution of software. what you distribute. not what you get.

the media tell you often that 'downloading' is illegal. but that doesn't make it true. do you have a source :)

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Is it moral to do so?  I think not, but now we are in the realm of opinion :) 

I don't think it's moral. We agree for once! :)

siob

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 07:42:09 AM »

Downloading pirated content is simply being an accomplice to the pirate's misdeed.

that sounds about right. but no one has ever been charged for downloading pirated content so it's hard to say what the courts would do in such a case.

Fenrir

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 02:27:14 PM »
That said I do agree that DRM violates our rights as consumers.
I had supposed that software containing DRM was labeled as such. Is that true? Unless you are unaware that a copy of software contains DRM, I disgree with your statement. If you buy a copy of software that they have told you contains DRM, your rights are not being violated, for you willingly purchased DRM.

I do not mean to imply that DRM is a good thing for anyone, for I do not know, but, if the seller has been honest about what the software contains, the choice belongs to the consumer.

Z

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 04:03:44 PM »
You don't provide reasons why you think it is "wrong".
I had supposed that I explained this in a previous post, but it seems I am mistaken.

I think it is wrong, because, when you buy a software license, you are buying only such priviledges as the license stipulates, and you are agreeing to be bound by that license. If you distribute the software, you're violating your agreement.

You are attacking a strawman here. I have asked why publishing fan fiction and other derived art is (morally) wrong, and you respond why breaking a software license is wrong.

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It is a well established fact that Da Vinci Code helped the original authors a lot (at least that's what I get from reading the Internet articles on this topic, I am not willing to do a accurate research on that).
"I am not willing to do a accurate research on that"
You admit that you're not even willing to confirm that it is truth, and yet you expect us to believe it? You would support your argument with things that you cannot prove are fact?

I did confirm that is it truth. (By googling it and finding information about that case on Wikipedia and other websites. It is possible that Wikipedia and other websites are spreading lies, but I prefer to believe them rather than your conspiracy theories. ) You know the title of the book in question, so you can do the same.

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Your example makes no sense IMO.
...which is exactly why I gave an example of a fictional circumstance where someone's rights are violated, but he is helped all the same.
Breaking into houses and cleaning dishes is wrong for many reasons which have no application in the case we are discussing (for example, it violates privacy). Besides, in good hotels, housekeepers are implicitly allowed to enter the guest rooms to clean them (unless guests state that they don't want it), and nobody seems to have any problems with that.

Fenrir

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 09:47:11 PM »
You are attacking a strawman here. I have asked why publishing fan fiction and other derived art is (morally) wrong, and you respond why breaking a software license is wrong.
Ah, apologies. It seems I have made a mistake.

Books do include copyright information printed upon them, but I am not sure if that is enough to say that one is agreeing to anything by reading it, so I could hardly write with any certainty about what is right in this case.

I did confirm that is it truth.
Just one post ago you said that you weren't going to accurate research, and now you're telling me that you have "confirmed that it is truth". How can you confirm truth without doing accurate research?

(By googling it and finding information about that case on Wikipedia and other websites. It is possible that Wikipedia and other websites are spreading lies...
They don't have to be lying. They can just be wrong.

but I prefer to believe them rather than your conspiracy theories. )
Where did I say anything about a conspiracy?

You know the title of the book in question, so you can do the same.
You can provide links to these credible studies that prove that The Da Vinci Code helped the original authors "alot", but you aren't, because you don't have them. I'm not going to look for them, because, like I said, your assertion isn't just unsubstantiated, it's irrelevant. It doesn't matter if they were helped or not.

Breaking into houses and cleaning dishes is wrong for many reasons which have no application in the case we are discussing (for example, it violates privacy).
EXACTLY. Rights were violated, and it didn't matter one bit that you were helped in the process, did it? Clearly, "it helped the victim," is insufficient reason to suppose that an action is not unjust. You have tried to justify plagiarism by saying that the original authors were assisted. If their rights were violated (not saying that they were), the dubious assertion that they were assisted is irrelevant, so it is hardly worth mentioning.

Besides, in good hotels, housekeepers are implicitly allowed to enter the guest rooms to clean them (unless guests state that they don't want it), and nobody seems to have any problems with that.
How can you compare trespassing in one's home and the cleaning lady at a hotel? The people that rent hotel rooms don't actually own the room, and, as you said, they can request that the cleaning lady not enter, so I don't understand what you have sought to prove here.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 09:56:16 PM by Fenrir »

Z

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2011, 07:34:20 PM »
Quote
Just one post ago you said that you weren't going to accurate research, and now you're telling me that you have "confirmed that it is truth". How can you confirm truth without doing accurate research?

I meant that I did enough research on this topic to convince myself and use it as an argument in our discussion. For example, see this article (precisely, the sentence quoted in the last paragraph). The judge agrees with my statement. I assume that he has good arguments for his claim (he probably has looked at the sales history and clearly sees that the rise in sales could not be attributed to anything else) and I believe him. By "accurate research" I would mean that I look at the sales history myself.

Note that I don't think it is very relevant for discussion, I just feel offended by your repeated claims that I cannot prove my statements. If you say that I cannot prove them beyond all doubt, you are right, but this can be done only for clearly defined mathematical statements (and even then you can change the axioms or logic). In our case, I think quoting the judge is good enough.

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Where did I say anything about a conspiracy?

By a "conspiracy theory" I meant "a claim that a commonly established fact is false". Sorry if this is a bit of an abuse.

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EXACTLY. Rights were violated, and it didn't matter one bit that you were helped in the process, did it? Clearly, "it helped the victim," is insufficient reason to suppose that an action is not unjust. You have tried to justify plagiarism by saying that the original authors were assisted. If their rights were violated (not saying that they were), the dubious assertion that they were assisted is irrelevant, so it is hardly worth mentioning.

Morality is of course a very difficult subject. But still, I think the good rule for separation of acts into moral and immoral is whether it benefits or harms the community, and the moral laws try to approximate this. The cases where people don't agree on morality are mostly situations where it is hard to determine whether something brings more good or harm. Let's use your example: allowing people to break into houses and clean dishes would harm them (because the right to privacy is destroyed) and give no benefits (since nobody would actually do clean the dishes, except for dark reasons like wanting to invade privacy). But if we change the circumstances a bit so that there is a benefit (like in my hotel example), it becomes moral. Can you give me a good example of a case where morality and benefit to community disagree?

Fenrir

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2011, 09:30:58 PM »
I meant that I did enough research on this topic to convince myself and use it as an argument in our discussion.
You have satisfied yourself with a certain level of accuracy. That is fine. You are certainly not required to really care. I, however, do care, or I would not have begun this whole conversation. If all your supposition is good enough for you, than so be it, but do not try to convince us with it.

For example, see this article (precisely, the sentence quoted in the last paragraph). The judge agrees with my statement. I assume that he has good arguments for his claim (he probably has looked at the sales history and clearly sees that the rise in sales could not be attributed to anything else) and I believe him. By "accurate research" I would mean that I look at the sales history myself.
"I assume..."
"...probably..."

These are not words of certainty.

Like I said, good enough for you is just fine, but you said that you had confirmed the truth. The words of one judge are not sufficient to confirm the truth.

Note that I don't think it is very relevant for discussion
I'm sorry, but surely you can understand why this perplexes me. If you did not think this relevant, why did you mention that they had been aided by the Da Vinci Code? I'm merely asking you to confirm assertions you made to make your point.

I just feel offended by your repeated claims that I cannot prove my statements.
Why have you taken offense? I do not ask you these things out of malice; I merely wish to see you provide sufficient proof that your assertions are truth, and you have yet to do so.

If you say that I cannot prove them beyond all doubt, you are right, but this can be done only for clearly defined mathematical statements (and even then you can change the axioms or logic). In our case, I think quoting the judge is good enough.
Then you should have said that, instead of "I have confirmed the truth."

By a "conspiracy theory" I meant "a claim that a commonly established fact is false". Sorry if this is a bit of an abuse.
I had but your word that it is "commonly established", and what does "commonly established" mean? If you mean to say that many people think it true, such is a logical fallacy, for popularity is not an indication of truth.

Let's use your example: allowing people to break into houses and clean dishes would harm them (because the right to privacy is destroyed) and give no benefits (since nobody would actually do clean the dishes, except for dark reasons like wanting to invade privacy). But if we change the circumstances a bit so that there is a benefit (like in my hotel example), it becomes moral.
You're not using my example. I never said that people should be allowed to do so. It was merely an example of a circumstance where someone's rights were violated (privacy), but they recieved a benefit (clean dishes).

Morality is of course a very difficult subject. But still, I think the good rule for separation of acts into moral and immoral is whether it benefits or harms the community, and the moral laws try to approximate this. The cases where people don't agree on morality are mostly situations where it is hard to determine whether something brings more good or harm.

[...]

Can you give me a good example of a case where morality and benefit to community disagree?
This argument begs the question. You define morality as "benefit to community", then you try to prove it by asking me to find an example of where morality and benefit to community disagree, but the question already assumes the conclusion that it is trying to prove.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 09:45:06 PM by Fenrir »

Z

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2011, 04:36:29 PM »
Like I said, good enough for you is just fine, but you said that you had confirmed the truth. The words of one judge are not sufficient to confirm the truth.

But do you believe that they had been aided by the Da Vinci Code or not? (yes/no/don't care/...)

I just feel offended by your repeated claims that I cannot prove my statements.
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Why have you taken offense? I do not ask you these things out of malice; I merely wish to see you provide sufficient proof that your assertions are truth, and you have yet to do so.
I would not be offended if you asked me for my arguments. I am offended because you say that I have no arguments.

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You're not using my example. I never said that people should be allowed to do so. It was merely an example of a circumstance where someone's rights were violated (privacy), but they recieved a benefit (clean dishes).
I have already explained why they have been harmed, not received a benefit.

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Can you give me a good example of a case where morality and benefit to community disagree?
This argument begs the question. You define morality as "benefit to community", then you try to prove it by asking me to find an example of where morality and benefit to community disagree, but the question already assumes the conclusion that it is trying to prove.

No, I did not define morality.

MrMorley

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2011, 04:33:10 PM »
Modern AAA titles have budgets in the millions.
http://www.planetxbox360.com/article_9268/Game_Development_Budget_Somewhere_Around_25_Million

Approximately $18-25 millions to be precise. Say you expect to sell a million copies. To break even you have to sell those at about $18 each. To break even. On the development budget. Problem is, very few AAA games even sell that well. A safer bet would be $36 estimating half a million copies.

But that's still very rare. In the end, publishers have to raise the cost of games because those games that sell millions of copies have to pay for not only the $18000000-25000000 budget of that game, but the other games that didn't break even. And they still have to make a noticeable profit from that. Remember here I haven't even factored in advertising, production costs, parts of that money took by various other sources, etc. Why do you think Console games cost more than the same game for PC? Simple: a percentage of the profits for Console games go to the producer of the Console.

AAA games are an expensive market to enter, and to work in. Indie games cost a lot less because they are developed by small teams with little initial investment, usually with cheaper middleware, less expensive-to-produce assets etc.

...As for people who think they are somehow morally just, even rightous in pirating software: Welcome to the world of self-delusion. Even if it's not stealing in the letter of the term, it's clearly stealing in the terms intent. It's like using a person's designs for an invention without their permission, since that's effectively all a computer program is: A designs, or set of instructions, for the computer to use to create the various changes required to bring about the invention, i.e run the program. Why do people fool themselves into thinking they aren't in the "moral wrong" by any reasonable sense of morality?.

They are not likely to be caught and punished significantly enough and even if you were the "moral defence" wouldn't be of use to you. The only two reasons to do so are to comfort themselves about the guilt, or to stroke their own ego. I vote the latter since they aren't likely to be caught, so the guilt can't be from that fear, and can't visibly see any sadness caused the action, so no guilt from empathy, so there are no sources of guilt.

That or they are psychopathic so can't feel guilt, but then they'd have no reason to try and defend themselves or justify their actions except as a way of escaping the consequences. Since we've established the "moral defence" is useless...yeah, not Psychopaths.

My guess is they pirate because they are, like all mentally-sound humans, selfish beings driven by selfish impulses who wants as much as possible for as little as possible. They've managed to latch onto a nice one with feeling moral over "piracy", a double-whammy of getting something for nothing and stroking your ego at the same time. Heck, they're still defending themselves now on web debates like this one for a simple reason: to keep stroking.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 06:54:55 PM by MrMorley »
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Fenrir

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2011, 06:04:53 PM »
But do you believe that they had been aided by the Da Vinci Code or not? (yes/no/don't care/...)
I don't know. I don't care either, because it doesn't matter.

I would not be offended if you asked me for my arguments. I am offended because you say that I have no arguments.
Arguments you have indeed! Proof is what you lacked (beyond some one-liner from a nameless judge). I'm saying you have no proof, as you were very reluctant to yield such. Of course, we don't really need to discuss it further, because, as I said, it doesn't really matter.

I have already explained why they have been harmed, not received a benefit.
I've already explained why you're wrong.

No, I did not define morality.
Please explain the following quote then.

Quote
I think the good rule for separation of acts into moral and immoral is whether it benefits or harms the community...
If this "rule" isn't what makes an act moral or immoral, why use it?

Mr. Morley, I agree with you that software piracy is wrong, but your post isn't helping. It's certainly permissable to feel that way, and I wouldn't object to you expressing the way you feel about it, but what you wrote can only make people upset. It's also completely unreasonable to think that software pirates are psychopaths, as you have no evidence. I'm having a difficult enough time trying to not insult people as it is.

I'm not even sure that Z advocates software piracy. We're talking about books right now.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 06:17:26 PM by Fenrir »

MrMorley

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2011, 06:18:08 PM »
Mr. Morley, I agree with you that software piracy is wrong, but your post isn't helping. It's certainly permissable to feel that way, and I wouldn't object to you expressing the way you feel about it, but what you wrote can only make people upset. It's also completely unreasonable to think that software pirates are psychopaths, as you have no evidence. I'm having a difficult enough time trying to not insult people as it is.

The first part of that post is an explanation of the costs that go down into making big games, the second sheer-bafflement at the "piracy is justice" attitude I've seen before...maybe I was a bit to confrontational but I don't tend to have many if any emotions when I write in debates and that seems to come across as coldly angry. I have that problem sometimes. Present logical point of view, people get horrified like I'm the next Hitler for not bringing warm and fuzzy emotions and kindness into a situation that involves neither :S

I'll admit I (disclaimer: not a confession) may have pirated before, I just don't see the need to try and justify it by making it seem right. I don't mean to insult outright, just be blunt as required to cut through all the bullshit.

I was using Psychopath in the purest medical sense, as-in it's key characteristic of a lack of empathy (which leads to a lack of guilt) and simply presenting and debunking one of the alternative explanations. Then again the gradious sense of self would explain the ego-stroking... In fact, I believe I outright said such people most likely don't have ASPD and for a good reason, such people only care enough to defend themselves when they get caught. (Though obviously some pirates have ASPD, that's just down to statistics).

My conclusion was they're just normal people doing what normal people do, either trying to remove guilt (though the source of that guilt I cannot fathom) and/or ego-stroke and all without giving something up. Seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. After all, charity is also an ego-stroke and/or attempt to remove guilt, but requires giving something up in payment.

From an individual point of view, piracy is more practical than charity. I don't see why people pretend they're doing charity out of anything more than ego-stroking and removing guilt either :S That or 1p coins are bloody annoying and it's easier to drop them in the charity box when you buy a 99p drink xD
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 07:07:35 PM by MrMorley »
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languard

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2011, 06:50:42 PM »
the media tell you often that 'downloading' is illegal. but that doesn't make it true. do you have a source :)

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=in%20fco%2020100910084.xml&docbase=cslwar3-2007-curr and http://www.lw.com/upload/pubContent/_pdf/pub4047_1.pdf 
It is not directly the same, but the principle is.  From the PDF I'll pull a relevant statement out:
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“Because Vernor was not an owner, his customers are also not owners of Release 14 copies. Therefore, when they install Release 14 on their computers, the copies of the software that they make during installation infringe Autodesk’s exclusive reproduction right because they too are not entitled to the benefit of the essential step doctrine.”9

The key here is that the vast majority of software is licensed, not sold.  And you aren't allowed to transfer the license.  And if you don't have a valid license, you cannot use the product.  If at this point you still don't believe that it is illegal to use downloaded commercial software, I'm done.  I'm not a judge, and if this hasn't convinced you most likely the only thing that will is a court rendering judgement on you or someone you know, and I most sincerely hope that does not happen.

Also, http://www.copyright.gov is a good place to visit as well.  For USA laws at least.  Also answers the fan fiction question I saw someplace.

@Fenrir:
Regarding ideas, the law doesn't protect the idea, nor should it.  If I want to create a game about a kid who goes off to collect monsters and have them battle in a tournament, I can.  Nintendo can do nothing to me.  But...I can't go and make a game in the Pokemon world, and I believe this is just.  It takes a lot of time, emotional, and creative investment to create something truly good.  I see nothing wrong with the creator wishing to protect their work, and I'm glad that the USA has laws to protect creators.

That said...the law does need work as it is to easy to abuse.  I'm mainly thinking of 'abandoned' works.  The copyright for, say, The Bard's Tale, is still active.  EA holds the rights.  But the franchise is effectively abandoned.  They only thing they did recently is sell the use of the name.  The lore, the world, everything is sitting collecting dust.  And that's a shame.  There are many, many other IP's like this in all forms of media, IP's that could be resurrected and given new creative life and interpretations, but can't because of copyright laws.

But is it moral of me to ignore the law, and ignore the wishes of creators who do not want other people to play in their world?  I think not.  How long should a creator be allowed to protect their work?  Now that is a hard question, and one that I don't have a ready answer to.

Numufu

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2011, 07:24:35 PM »
I'm going to pirate some cookies and take a megabyte out of them.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 07:30:01 PM by Numufu »

Z

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2011, 07:31:44 PM »
I don't know. I don't care either, because it doesn't matter.
In one of your previous posts you said that you care.

Arguments you have indeed! Proof is what you lacked (beyond some one-liner from a nameless judge).
The judge is not nameless.

Quote
If this "rule" isn't what makes an act moral or immoral, why use it?
Sorry, I don't understand.

Mr. Morley: OK, you said that the cost of creating an AAA game is $18 million, and a cost of creating an indie game is much less. From my experiences I know that I prefer playing indie games. (It seems that much of the cost of AAA game goes on advertisement (i.e., making a bad game seem good), movies (which I don't really care about), graphics (which some people like, but I am just bored of seeing the same animation again and again), and to compensate for other games which did not sell so well, as mentioned by you.) Thus I don't play AAA games at all. They spend $18 millions to create a game and they earn no money on me. I am very, very evil.

An advocate of piracy could now say that if I downloaded the game, played it, then maybe I would like it and change my opinion on AAA games and buy the sequel, recommend it to my friends, just send my thanks to the authors, or whatever. An anti-pirate could say that then anybody would download the game and the company would lose $18 million. Both are right, I suppose.

I think this all means that if indie games are created much cheaper than AAA games, and yet I prefer to play indie games, then the production process of AAA games is extremely ineffective. It should be stopped.

But coming to think about it, it seems that there actually is a hope for them. I am thinking about crowdfunding (like on 8bitfunding). I just have to convince people that if I get $30 million, I will release a game which will be worth this price, and everyone will then be able to play it. If I do, I get $30 million from the people whom I convinced, and everyone gets a game. No problems with piracy. And how do I convince the people? Well, by pointing out that I have created something great in the past. And only people who actually did create something great can do that. Those who just plagiarize or sell other people's work cannot. No problem with plagiarizing. No problems with DRM.

Fenrir

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Re: Digital Rights and Economics
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2011, 07:50:51 PM »
In one of your previous posts you said that you care.
I meant that I care about the entire topic of ethics and morality. In my previous post I stated that I don't care whether the original authors were assisted in this case.

The judge is not nameless.
True indeed! I have made a mistake. He has a name, but he is still just a judge that you're assuming looked at the sales figures that you're assuming exist.

Sorry, I don't understand.
You're saying that moral deeds and benefit to the community coincide. If you don't know what is moral, how can you tell when it coincides with benefit to community? If you do know what is moral, why do you need to judge deeds by their benefit to society?

Mr. Morley: OK, you said that the cost of creating an AAA game is $18 million, and a cost of creating an indie game is much less. From my experiences I know that I prefer playing indie games. (It seems that much of the cost of AAA game goes on advertisement (i.e., making a bad game seem good), movies (which I don't really care about), graphics (which some people like, but I am just bored of seeing the same animation again and again), and to compensate for other games which did not sell so well, as mentioned by you.) Thus I don't play AAA games at all. They spend $18 millions to create a game and they earn no money on me. I am very, very evil.
I agree entirely, Z.