This might be the strangest comment I've ever read. You realise in the court system a judge and jury can be lenient based on circumstances.
You realise you have just compared piracy something that occurs for a variety of reasons to genocide, rape, child molestation. By being OK with piracy someone has to agree with these crimes?
So explain to me how piracy results in a lost sale if a game/TV show etc isn't released in a region?
I've a huge subscription for television services in Ireland and Netflix and i would pick up amazon prime if they would let me. But some content still isn't released over here because the rights holders demand more money or want it to air in the US first for example.
Because these dinosaurs don't want to release content I can't legally obtain it. This problem is further exacerbated in countries that have a smaller population or don't speak English. Maybe they don't deserve to enjoy these experiences but the fact they will pirate your content should say you are doing something wrong with your distribution chain (some customers want your product and you won't give it to them).
Or Netflix, let's take geoblocking as an example. I pay a Netflix subscription ireland's Netflix has maybe 10% of the content the US Netflix has thanks to our small consumer base. I don't actually bypass the geoblock but if I did that is considered piracy as the content isn't available to me. However I am still paying Netflix money who are giving it to the content owners just not the same amount they demand from me for living outside the great United States.
Or how about my movies collection, I have a combination of at least 2000 movies on bluray and dvd. In England it is not piracy if I choose to make a person backup however in my country it is. Discs get scratched, dvd drives die to protect my purchase I am committing a crime who is being hurt by this decision? The publisher? He already got my money. The economy? I have to buy additional storage to keep backups of these discs further spending money.
Thankfully steam now has a decent refund system which should work as a suitable trial for most people. However perishable goods are not the same as digital distribution. So saying a restaurant needs to give a demo of food is not even close to a fair comparison, that fresh lobster they decided to give out now cost them money to replace everytime. That 2gb demo that got thrown up on your website for free costs you the same in server costs in terms of restocking a digital download.
Probably worth noting that these companies are the same ones who make consumers waive their right to a refund in the EU something they are entitled to so they can be guaranteed a working product. It's hilarious that EA was the first that I know of to put their hands up and admit it's a shit move offering at least a small refund window. So they will be guaranteed if I want to check out their game I will buy it.
Actually let's go back to the restaurant comparison. If I am paying 200 euro for a nice dinner and the food comes out uncooked or burnt or not prepared to my request you know what I can do as a customer? I can send it back, So I'm still protected. And yet until recently most software companies have the approach once you download it your right to a refund is gone. If they want to have this approach that is fine but you better offer a decent trial or demo or people will resort to pirating.
People are always going to pirate things. It's the same with movies why would Jane go and buy a movie when she can download it the moment it's released from a provider. These people don't care about quality, you won't convince them. However some pirates do have a moral compass and would choose to spend money if possible. However without consumer protection or with a method to buy the item in the first place why or how could they part with their money. Consumer protection was the biggest sticking point for me until recently. The amount of shoddy games the industry releases is remarkable. Game breaking bug? Refund. 30 fps lock? Refund. Resolution lock? With the whole gamer gate fiasco the reviews aren't a reliable way to find out about if a game is worth purchasing.
I know this is a few years back now but Skyrim is a fine example my game is still bugged running over 60fps physics. Just go bananas the fact I don't remember a single review mentioning this even after I bought it seems like a large oversight. Eventually I see it talked about on forums but this issue just got glossed over by mainstream journalists. To this day this is still an issue. Hell even in fallout 4 lockpicks break twice as fast at 120 fps. This crappy physics issue still remains unaddressed by Bethesda.
Of course this isn't an issue that ruins the game for everyone but it was an example of bugs and issues that go unreported and can be considered game breaking. Also something I would not have been able to recreate it the first two hours of the game meaning goodbye steam refund. A demo would let me try the game out on my system see how it works for me.
Then you have people with niche hardware such as 6990 or 7990 sure they meet the requirements for a game to run but of crossfire support is terrible on these older gpus finding a review that matches your system isn't a certainty either.
I have a straight forward 1 cpu 1 gpu combo and trying to get fallout 4 to launch on release was an issue, one I was not alone in experiencing however no reviews mentioned this.
Funny enough I downloaded a pirated copy after just to check and it ran straight away. Can only put it down to drm or some nonsense, pretty sure@krimsin seen me launching the game over and over again on steam trying to get it to start. I wasted hours trying to fix it so no steam refund for me. Or when I bought far cry 3 and decided it was time to move it to my ssd and get flagged saying please purchase the game. Ubisofts drm didn't even recognise my copy as legitimate anymore because I had moved it from one drive to another. This was fixed in a later version of uplay but was an issue at launch the pirated version was not effected by.
What I'm trying to get at is without better consumer protection or a legitimate way to trial the program on our hardware software piracy will always be a thing. (although as I said earlier I don't believe you will ever stomp out piracy as you won't convert everyone) but you should try to convert the people who do care and want a legitimate method. Not comparing the guy who just wants a working game in exchange for his money to a rapist.
Steam, EA, Gog have come a long way in improving their customer service although in my opinion and apparently the bbb steam still has a long way to go. How they make so much money and still don't have a live chat is beyond me.
Tldr : pirates aren't all shit heads. Don't compare them to sex offenders and murderers.
Publishers need to convert the pirates who want to spend money but can't.
Software companies need to stop ignoring consumer rights.
Customer service needs to improve.