Piracy in software industry is not a new issue. The illegal copying and redistributing of professional software was practiced globally for a long time. The new addition to this piracy cycle is illegal copying and selling of PC games for profit. USA the biggest computer game producing country is not even out of piracy business. Asian countries like China, Malaysia, and Singapore are the biggest hub for producing pirated PC games. Bangladesh is one of the biggest consumers of pirated products, in which PC games is a major part.
Recently the cyber culture, several gaming competitions and availability of pirated games is helping the gaming market to boost up more. No one is considering one fact that if the availability of this pirated game is being stopped then what will be conditions of the market. The piracy problem is causing billion dollar lose to the Game developers. So it is really a big issue which has to stop by taking effective actions.
Through this report we will find out the current condition of piracy in Bangladesh. We will focus on the control of piracy on gaming market, the markets role, the piracy cycle in Bangladesh, key players in this business, the customer profile and their reactions towards pirated product, awareness and opinion about the piracy law. We will also reveal some global issue and information about piracy which will help us to compare and conclude the report with effective results.
Bodies Involved in the Gaming Industry in Bangladesh: Roles and Interrelations
- Original Manufacturer
- Distributor of Original Game
- Pirated Manufacturer
- Importer & Distributor
- Wholesaler & Retailers
- Local Supplier
- Local Game Developer
Different Bodies and Their Interrelation in case of Roles:
The existed Gaming Industry in Bangladesh can be considered as an industry of pirated product as because major portion of the games available in Bangladesh are pirated somehow. Wholesaler, Retailer and the importers of these pirated games are key players in this industry. Though according to them Customer of these pirated products is the main source of this business. It is basically a demand & Supply cycle which keeps the business running. The original manufacturer is never receiving the ultimate price for this piracy business. The ultimate gainers are the local wholesaler, retailers and the importers as they are earning handsome amount of profit, because of growing customer demand. The piracy business is actually operating from some other countries where people relevant in this piracy business are ready to spend huge amount money. Bangladeshi business people are basically the client of those pirated product. All these people are interconnected somehow. Like according to customer demand the wholesalers are placing order to the importer for this pirated product and because of this demand the pirated manufacturer from outside country are operating the business to meet this growing demand.
- Original Manufacturer:
The Flow Chart of the procedure of Providing Game from the original manufacturer to the End user/ consumer is quite complex as it includes several player. Though, in Bangladeshi Gaming industry the original game manufacturer is deprived from the price of the game as because most of the games available here are pirated. In some case Consumer seek for original PC DVD, PS 2 games, but the rate is very low and only in this case the ultimate manufacturer is receiving the real price. All the Original games are normally protected by nature from the manufacturer. The manufacturer or parent company normally plays the role of Marketer as well. Normally most of
the marketing campaigns are organized by the parent company. The Manufacturer arranges huge Print Ads, Internet Ads, and some Multimedia Ads as part of marketing and promotional campaigns.
- Distributor of Original Game:
This Distributor is basically works with the parent company for distributing the game allover the world. They are responsible for the distribution of the Games and they are not basically related to piracy cycle; because, the distributor generally distribute the games as per direction from the Parent organization. When the original game is available in the market people affiliated with the piracy business collect the DVD or CD and start piracy.
- Pirated Manufacturer:
“Pirated Manufacturer” is one the crucial part of this Gaming Flow chart. After having an original Game DVD or CD the Manufacturer appoints several programming specialists to crack the Game. In this process some of the Game data destroyed and the game becomes Hacked or Cracked. As the Game losses some data of the original version, that’s why it requires less space while copying in DVD. The game is being hacked or Cracked by professionals or specialists and then it is ready for Reproduction. In this way the Pirated Manufacturer manages one or two DVDs of the original Game and then starts processing it with the help of their Highly Paid Specialist. The Hacking or Cracking procedure is quite expensive and needs highly knowledgeable professionals. That is why very few countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and China operate this cycle of Piracy business.
- Importer & Distributor:
The role of Importer & Distributor is played by local people in Bangladesh. There are some people those who have engages themselves in the business of Piracy and generally they are responsible for importing and distributing the Pirated copies of Games, Movies & software. This Group of people often visit countries like China, Malaysia and Dubai; and brought the pirated copies with them secretly in their luggage. Now they have an unethical affiliation with some people of the Airport Customs, so it becomes easy for the importers to carry out the Games DVD from the Airport to the local store House by giving a small percentage to those Customs officials. Some people also import games from Pakistan, India by road and also an unethical affiliation is exists between the local importers and the law enforcement force in Border area. Now these importers also play the role of distributing the Pirated Games as well. Local wholesaler and retailer places order to them and they normally brought those games. Normally the wholesaler goes to the distributors to collect the Game DVD or CD.
- Wholesaler & Retailers:
In case of Game sales some parties plays both the role of wholesaler and retailer as well. Like there are some Major and Powerful wholesaler exists specially in Dhaka city, and they have showrooms in different shopping mall around the city, through which they are operating the retailing part and they also supply games to several local small retailers those who have showrooms in several corners in the city. The wholesalers normally acquire those games by asking the quantity and types to importers. Some of the wholesaler has got their own system to crack down several games. These wholesalers sometimes appoint some internet professionals locally to download game files from internet. These professionals download several games using high-speed net, from the blog sites and some free sites which offers free downloading by using some free servers. These games are normally uploaded by the regular users from different country. These wholesalers normally don’t take any marketing communication activities or promotional activities. But some big wholesaler and retailer like P&P, Bells often take part in local software fair and sometimes participate in fair organized local universities.
- Local Supplier:
Local supplier are basically a group of people having an internet connection which data downloading speed is higher than regular speed of the general customers internet connection. In our country, generally customers use internet connection which has a download speed of 10-15 KBPS. But people associates in the piracy business normally use high speed data downloading connections like Fiber optics for downloading Games, Software, Movies, and Mp3s from different free websites. These Connections normally need a broadband speed of 64-128 KBPS. Now several Internet Service providers are engaged in this piracy business. ISPs having a strong storage backup with a high-speed internet connection often collaborate themselves with local wholesalers to continue the piracy business. Or sometimes the wholesalers are taking a high-speed connection paying a bit high price and appoint a person to do the downloading job. The high priced internet connection is not affecting their business that much as because they are customer base is huge and their average sales volume is also high.
- Local Game Developer:
Bangladesh is not in a very good position in case of game developing. The reason behind for that is, to develop a gaming industry rather than just importing pirated games, will take up huge amount of money. The investors are still not interested in this industry. Though there are some talented programmers, 3D model designers and analysts already combined their contributions and have developed some exciting games. Among them “Dhaka Racing”, Bangladesh-71, are have gained huge number of responses from the local customers. But as they are not financially and technologically backed up by any recognized organization that’s why they couldn’t take the project that far.
The most important part in the Gaming industry flowchart is, “The Customer”. Before we begin to talk about this part, it’s better to define the Customers of Gaming industry. The Customer base for PC Game in Bangladesh is huge. If we concentrate in Dhaka city then we find students allover from Scholl, colleges and in even from universities are mainly interested in this PC Games Culture. Now days the Gaming Consoles are becoming popular as well among the customer as well; Specially PS 2, PSP, XBOX, Game Boy- Advance, as because the price of these consoles has fall down. And the pirated copies of these console’s Games are available in a very cheap price as well. According to the Retailer, the Consumer group of this Gaming sector is not willing to pay a high price for the Games DVD or CD. They will definitely not pay 4000-6000 to buy to single DVD or PS 2 Disk. The no. of the customer for original PC game and Console Game is extremely low. According to the Wholesaler and Retailer if Bangladeshi Government takes some action on this piracy business then definitely it will destroy the Customer Demand for PC Game. The demand is sky high because of the low price that the sellers are offering.
1.1 Problem Statement
Over the past several years, advances in computer software have brought us time-saving business programs, educational software that teaches basic skills and sophisticated subjects, graphics programs that have revolutionized the design industry, Internet applications that help connect us with other computer users, and an increasingly complex variety of computer games to entertain us. As the software industry grows, everyone stands to benefit.
Compared to literature, music, movies and computer software, PC Game is a relatively new form of Entertainment property. Nevertheless, PC Game is protected under the very same laws that govern music, literature, movies and other copyrighted content. Copying PC Game illegally is not any different than illegally copying any of these forms of entertainment property –and the punishments for doing so are equally harsh.
We can actually consider the PC game as one type of software. The reason is it has got some sort of same installation procedure. All PC game comes with a license agreement that specifically states the terms and conditions under which the Game may be legally used. Licenses vary from program to program and may authorize as few as one computer or individual to use the Game or as many as several hundred network users to share the application across the system. It is important to read and understand the license accompanying the application to ensure that you have enough legal copies of the software (PC Game) for your organization’s or Individual needs. Making additional copies, or loading the software onto more than one machine, may violate copyright law and be considered piracy.
Unfortunately, there are many people who, either ignorantly or deliberately, engages in software piracy. Whenever we use a piece of software or Game that is unlicensed, we are depriving software/ Game companies of their earnings. More importantly, we are depriving the creative teams who have developed the software (e.g., programmers, writers, graphic artists) of compensation for the thousands of hours they have spent working on a particular program. In a real sense, PC Game piracy adversely affects the world economy by diverting money that stimulates further product development.
If we can focus on the software Industry then we will find out; on average, the software industry loses about US$11 to US$12 billion in revenue to software piracy annually. Of the billions of dollars lost to piracy, a little less than half comes from Asia, where China and Indonesia are the biggest offenders. Piracy is also a big problem in Western Europe, where piracy losses annually range from $2.5 and $3 billion dollars.
Now coming to the overall PC game ; Electronic Console game industry which is generally controlled by USA, we have found that in the year of 2004, Global piracy cost the US games industry more than $4billion , not including losses from net piracy. In this following year USA game industry’s total revenue was $7.3 billion. Macro vision’s recent Study Reveals Widespread Gaming Piracy: The surveys(1) of 6,000 Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 users show that 21% of gamers play pirated games, but 73% would have bought the game within one month if a free version had not been readily available. This high level of piracy on console systems, which are generally considered to be secure closed systems, is surprising. The study also shows that 43% of all gamers who play pirated games download over 15 pirated titles a year. Over 74% of downloaded pirated games come from Internet websites or peer-to-peer networks, while 21% of the games are copied from friends. Of those who play pirated games, 64% have installed mod chips on their consoles.
Now in Bangladesh the existing PC gaming industry is huge. Recently all manufacturers have cut down the Gaming consoles price worldwide as well; so the number of electronic game lovers is increasing in a higher rate. Here the considered factor is the ongoing piracy in this gaming industry in Bangladesh. Though Bangladesh is not a Game developing nation like USA or Australia but existed PC game market here is a huge one. The local retailer and the wholesalers are playing a vital role to control this cycle of piracy. Actually the cyber culture, several gaming competitions, improved IT publications are generating interest among the youth segment about this gaming. But the concerned issue is Bangladesh is one of the biggest markets of pirated Games ; software, under Asia region. So our main objective is to “Identify the exact condition of the pirated PC game industry, consumer pattern and the relative legislative issues in Bangladesh.”
1.2.1 Broad objective:
The broad objective of the study is to identify the exact condition of the pirated PC game industry and the relative legislative issues in Bangladesh.
1.2.2 Specific objective:
- Market size of the industry
- Customer profile and view towards Piracy ; Gaming industry
- Market demand ;
- Market Players role and influences
- We expect that, this report will be help to the:
- The local marketer (Retailer ; Wholesaler)
- The government to take actions against piracy.
- The general people; mainly the customer group to know about this sector very easily ? The students for their study purpose
1.4 Limitations of the study
- Time is the main limitations for our report.
- Marketers (Retailers ; Wholesalers) are not much cooperative.
- Lack of Secondary Data about PC Gaming Industry ; the market of Bangladesh ? Limited professionals working in the industry
- Unwillingness of the people related with the piracy for interview
1.5.1 Sources of Information:
Primary: To collect data ; information for our study we went to the several retailer ; wholesaler shop and have taken interviews of them. Initially we have concentrated only on the Dhaka city’s business people. We have asked them several questions from the prepared questionnaire set and also conducted a general discussion session. We have also generated questionnaire for the consumer group of the Gaming market and have asked a certain consumers some questions about the topic. We have conducted some discussion session with the consumers as well depending upon their willingness.
Secondary: We have collected lots of secondary information by browsing Internet. Several journals, online news forum, reactions from gamers Blog sites. These really helped us a lot for preparing this report. And some secondary information is collected from magazines, newspapers.
2. Research Approach:
Survey: Our total concentration was on survey for preparing the
research paper. We have visited personally several retailers and wholesalers places and asked relevant questions to them and customers to collect data.
1.5.3 Research Instrument:
Questionnaire: We have prepared a questionnaire with a set of minimum 15 questions and asked to the marketers and we have also asked to the customers those who buy ; play game regularly.
Open ended: The questionnaire was open ended. The unavailability of the information was the reason for this. But this type of questionnaire was really helpful and we understood properly and also used that information in our report effectively.
Study Approach: For better understanding and making appropriate results from the collected information we have used Microsoft Word, Excel software.
1.6 Sampling Plan:
The total number shops selling PC games and other electronic gaming consoles in Dhaka city are around 1500 to 2500.
1.6.2 Sampling Unit:
For study purpose we have taken 25 retailers ; wholesalers as sample units and we have taken 150 customers opinion because our objective was to reveal real conditions of piracy and the customer’s awareness and reactions about the piracy issues. Judgmental and purposive sampling method will be followed to get the data from the respondents. In marketers segment we have tried to collect information only from the major retailers and wholesalers.
1.6.3 Sample Procedure:
We have visited some renowned shopping malls where most of the PC games shop exists. We have collected information from people affiliated with those shops. We have selected customers for the interview randomly.
1.7 Contact Method:
1.7.1 Personal Interview:
Arranged interview: we have taken interviews personally; most of these were arranged interviews. We have given the questionnaire to the sample and also conducted some discussion during interviews for collecting as much as data as we can.
1.7.2 Mail questionnaire:
We have sent questionnaire to several Gaming Blog sites over electronic mail (depends upon accessibility) but we have found very few responses from there. The reason for this e-mail operation was to find out some opinions for the gamers of other countries.
2.0 Information about Piracy ; its existence in the Gaming Market in Bangladesh
Piracy is the unauthorized duplication of an original recording for commercial gain without the consent of the rights owner. In relation to the PC Gaming industry it refers to unauthorized copying ; distribution of PC or any other electronic games with out the permission of the rights owner or the original manufactures permission. Violating the piracy law is not big deal in Bangladesh and Bangladesh is considered as one of the biggest market of pirated product in Asian region. The problem of piracy has arisen with the rapid advance of technology. New techniques of printing, recording and fixation of broadcast or recorded programs have emerged, making it easy for the pirates to carry on their illegal activities. Piracy is an illegal and criminal activity.
2.2 Marketers in International arena
United States of America is considered as one of the biggest PC games producing country around the world. But surprisingly the Game industry of USA Losses around $3-4 billion every year for the gaming piracy and almost 25% of overall piracy business occurring around the world is operated by the USA business personals. Federal customs agents in USA already raided more than 30 businesses and homes in 16 states last year, looking for devices that allow pirated video games to play on Wiis, PlayStation 2s and Xboxes and they have found 32 business organizations directly affiliated with the piracy business. Piracy losses for Nintendo and its game developers and publishers likely totaled $762 million last year only in USA. So it’s really becoming tough to defeat this piracy issue. USA is only country where the piracy law is active and maintained very strongly but still one gamer out of four in USA is using a pirated content.
But the Asian countries like China, Indonesia, and Malaysia are becoming another big hub for producing pirated copies of PC game. The reason of the increased business channels of piracy is the booming market around the world. Especially in some African countries and Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Srilanka and even China the market for the pirated products are growing extremely quick. The pirated business is becoming a gold mine for many people because the profit is huge in terms of the investment needed for the business. 2.3 Customers
Customers are the main issue of the success piracy business around the world. Several marketers of pirated products are saying that the only factor which is responsible for the growing industry of pirated product is the consumer demand and the unwillingness of paying for the original product. The original product is really cost too high. Even in USA the regular price of PC game is around $(50-100) dollar. So its natural that consumer will switch towards the pirated product. Like in Bangladesh one can get 70 copies of pirated game by spending $100, so it’s tough to sell an original copy of PC game here.
2.4 Piracy category in World Market ; in Bangladesh
Many computer users have found themselves caught in the piracy trap, unaware they were doing anything illegal, because they don’t even know that they are engaging themselves in piracy. There are some ways through now days
the piracy business is being operated.
The ways are enlisted below:
- Soft lifting: Soft lifting occurs when a person purchases a single licensed copy of a software/game program and loads it on several machines, in violation of the terms of the license agreement. Typical examples of soft lifting include, “sharing” software with friends and co-workers and installing software on home/laptop computers if not allowed to do so by the license.
- Unrestricted Client Access: Unrestricted client access piracy occurs when a copy of a software/game program is copied onto an organization’s servers and the organization’s network “clients” are allowed to freely access the software/game in violation of the terms of the license agreement. This is a violation when the organization has a “single instance” license that permits installation of the software onto a single computer, rather than a client-server license that allows concurrent server-based network access to the software. A violation also occurs when the organization has a client-server license; the organization is not enforcing user restrictions outlined in the license. For instance, when the license places a restriction on the umber of concurrent users that are allowed access to that program and the organization is not enforcing that number. Unrestricted client access piracy is similar to softlifting, in that it results in more employees having access to a particular program than is permitted under the license for that software. Unlike softlifting though, unrestricted client access piracy occurs when the software is loaded onto a company’s server – not on individual machines – and clients are permitted to access the server-based software application through the organization’s network.
- Hard-disk loading: Hard-disk loading occurs when an individual or company sells computers preloaded with illegal copies of software/ Game. Often this is done by the vendor as an incentive to buy certain hardware. If someone buys or rent computers with preloaded software/ game, the purchase documentation and contract with the vendor must specify which software is preloaded and those are legal licensed copies. If it does not and the vendor is unwilling to supply the proper documentation, then it is considered as piracy.
- OEM Piracy/Unbundling: Some game or software, known as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software/ game, is only legally sold with specified hardware. When these programs are copied and sold separately from the hardware, this is a violation of the distribution contract between the vendor and the software/ game publisher. Similarly, the term “unbundling” refers to the act of selling software/ game separately that is legally sold only when bundled with another package. Software programs that are marked “not for resale” are often bundled applications. For an example several Graphics Card manufacture offers free CDs of Game with the Graphics car package, now someone try to sell those CDs separately then it will be piracy business effort.
- Commercial Use of Noncommercial Software: Using educational or other commercial-use-restricted software/game in violation of the software/game license is a form of game or software piracy. Companies often market special non-commercial software/game aimed at a particular audience. For example, many companies sell versions of their Game to public schools, universities and other educational institutions. The price of this software/game is often greatly reduced by the publisher in recognition of the educational nature of the institutions. Acquiring and using noncommercial software hurts not only the software publisher, but also the institution that was the intended recipient of the software.
- Counterfeiting: Counterfeiting is the duplication and sale of unauthorized copies of software/game in such a manner as to try to pass off the illegal copy as if it were a legitimate copy produced or authorized by the legal publisher. Much of the software/game offered for bargain sale at non-trade computer shows is counterfeit software. SIIA (Anti Piracy Division) USA estimates that at least 50% of the software sales that take place at computer shows throughout the United States involve counterfeit software.
- CD-R Piracy: CD-R piracy is the illegal copying of software/game using CD-R recording technology. This form of piracy occurs when a person obtains a copy of a software program and makes a copy or copies and re-distributes them to friends or for resale. This the most popular form of piracy business operated by the local retailer or wholesaler in Bangladesh.
- Internet Piracy: Internet piracy is the uploading of commercial software/game (i.e., software/game that is not freeware or public domain) on to the Internet for anyone to copy or copying commercial software/game from any of these services. Internet piracy also includes making available or offering for sale pirated software over the Internet. Examples of this include the offering of software through an auction site, IM, IRC or a warez site. Incidences of Internet piracy have risen exponentially over the last few years. Internet piracy is discussed in greater detail below.
- Manufacturing Plant Sale of Overruns and ‘Scraps’: Software/Game publishers routinely authorize CD manufacturing plants to produce copies of their software onto CD-ROM so that they can distribute these CD-ROMs to their authorized vendors for resale to the public. Plant piracy occurs when the plant produces more copies of the software than it was authorized to make, and then resells these unauthorized overruns. Piracy also occurs when the plant is ordered by the publisher to destroy any CDs not distributed to its vendors, but the plant, in violation of these orders, resells those CDs that were intended to be scrapped. While most plants appear to be compliant, and there are compliance procedures in place, there have been several instances of these forms of piracy.
- Renting: Renting software for temporary use, like you would a movie or in some cases game as well, was made illegal in the United States by the Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990 and in Canada by a 1993 amendment to the Copyright Act. As a result, rental of software is rare in USA but in Bangladesh is very much practiced.
2.5 Consequences of PC Game Piracy
The losses suffered through PC Game piracy directly affect the profitability of the gaming industry. Because of the money lost to pirates, publishers have fewer resources to devote to research and development of new products, have less revenue to justify lowering game prices and are forced to pass these costs on to their customers. Consequently, game publishers, developers, and vendors are taking serious actions to protect their revenues.
Using pirated game is also risky for users. Those who use pirate software/game can experience following complications:
- Increase the chances that the software will not function correctly or will fail completely.
- Forfeit access to customer support, upgrades, technical documentation, training, and bug fixes.
- Have no warranty to protect them.
- Increase their risk of exposure to a debilitating virus that can destroy valuable data;
- May find that the software is actually an outdated version, a beta (test) version, or a nonfunctioning copy.
- Are subject to significant fines for copyright infringement.
2.6 Market Size:
The market size of the gaming industry in Bangladesh is very profitable. Particularly the customer base of PC gaming is really huge. Availability of PCs in low price and the pirated games are making the market o PC game quite strong. Recently the market of the electronic game consoles like PS2, PSP, PS3, XBOX, XBOX 360, Nintendo are becoming popular as well in Bangladeshi market. The manufacturer has reduced the price of these consoles since these are manufactured in China now. The availability pirated copies of games are also encouraging the consumer group to purchase such consoles as game equipment.
According to the local marketer in Bangladesh the consumer group of PC game ; other Console game includes the following age group:
*includes both male and female
Among these groups the most attractive segment is the age group of (16-20) ; (20-26) as because these customer involves themselves physically in case buying games and downloading relevant data like cheat codes, patch file, add-ons fro the internet. For the other two groups their parents have some influences on the pattern of the game that they are consuming. So considering the marketer preferences if we see at the population pyramid of Bangladesh then we will find out that the age group of (8-26) is consuming the most portion of the pyramid. So the local marketer is having huge customer base always.
2.7 Piracy and Relative legislative issues
Piracy is considered as a serious crime worldwide but few countries have Legal facilities against this issue. And surprisingly few countries having piracy law can not enforce it either for several purposes. While talking about the piracy problem the first issue that comes in front us is copyright law. Copyright law provides an incentive to create software, music, literature, PC game and other works by ensuring that the creator will be able to reap the financial benefits of the work.
Copyright law gives a creator of software, music, literature, Game and other works a limited monopoly to reproduce or distribute in the created work. If someone is accused of piracy, then the developer can claim that that person have violated their copyright by copying part or all of their work without authorization, or have enabled other people to make such copies.
IN USA a copyright violator may be liable for a copyright owner’s actual damages plus any profits made from the infringement. Alternatively, the copyright owner may avoid proving actual damage by electing a statutory damage recovery of up to $30,000 or, where the court determines that the infringement occurred willfully, up to $150,000. The actual amount will be based upon what the court in its discretion considers just. (17 U.S.C. 504) Violation of copyright law is also considered a federal crime when done willfully with intent to profit. Criminal penalties include up to ten years imprisonment depending on the nature of the violation. (No. Electronic Theft Act, 18 U.S.C. 2319) But in USA still it’s very tough to stop internet piracy efforts.
Because websites or P2P networks providing illegal copies of Games have the authority to upload content and they all are registered internet business organizations. Several Blog sites which are controlled by individual or small group of internet professionals are increasing the piracy effort very much as well. Software/ Game are copyrightable in the European Union and piracy act is available there.  Specifically, it is (with a few very limited exceptions) unlawful for anyone other than the owner of the rights to run the program, copy the program, modify the program or distribute the program, except with the permission of the rights owner. But in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China especially in Asian countries the copyright law is exists but it is not that practiced in work. But in case piracy there is no such laws exists and even the government is not taking any actions to his growing piracy sector.
In this section we will discuss about our collected information. Most of the information is being collected through arranged personal interviews. As we have already stated that our sample size was 150 consumers but we have to wipe out almost 20 questionnaires; because the sample didn’t reply well. Questionnaire was open ended. The answers that we have gathered were not in well formed. That’s why collected information was mixed up with some irrelevant facts, because the interview was quite discussion type. So later on we have managed the data in a category and have defined the findings in a descriptive manner. We have generalized our findings and have described
under following headings.
- Gaming Piracy in local market (Bangladesh)
- Piracy effects on Game Publishers internationally
- Piracy through Internet in locally & globally
- Legal actions and Government policies
- General consumer & Piracy
- Marketers (pirated product) reactions towards legal actions
3.1 Gaming Piracy in local market
In Bangladesh almost 98% percent product is pirated among the total available software, Game, Movies and other contents. Generally the piracy business is operated by regular wholesaler & retailer. The other player of this business is the importer of these pirated products. Some IT professionals and ISP are directly involved in this piracy cycle. Normally marketers’ import pirated product from China, Malaysia & in some case India. They also use the internet for collecting several contents available in free websites. PC games provided by local marketers are in demo versions or trial version by 20%. Marketers use mostly use PC DVD for copying games. Because DVD is a safer version than CD for copying any content: “marketers admitted”. As there is always a chance of data loses in pirated product so marketer’s first preference is DVD now days. Out of every 100 games 5 games normally returned by the consumers because of data lose.
The market of PC game in Bangladesh is not very old. According to some established marketer the business of software and game has started from 1996-1997 and then started to flourish from the year 2000-2001. The advancement of internet connection has helped the marketer to grow quickly and lots of people have engaged themselves in this business because the equipment for piracy is available in Bangladesh in a cheaper price. And as there are less legal regulations are exists so the chances of getting caught are very low.
3.2 Piracy effects on Game developers in international level
In 2004 sales of video games in the U.S. set a record at $7.3 billion, while the industry lost more than $4 billion to global piracy. As both the industry and piracy rates continue to grow, game producers and researchers are increasingly interested in addressing the issues surrounding piracy.
The term “PC game piracy” covers a variety of different attacks that unfortunately are routinely conducted. These attacks include illegal copying, counterfeiting, and distribution. Preventing piracy is of equal interest to game developers and hardware manufacturers. It is common practice for console producers to sell their devices for a loss and instead draw profit from software sales. In an attempt to prevent piracy, the video game industry has utilized a variety of hardware and software-based protection techniques. These techniques often rely on proprietary information, however once that information is discovered by a pirate, it can be easily exploited to circumvent the protection mechanism.
Piracy affects the entire gaming community. The obvious victims are game publishers; however, there are peripheral victims as well. For example, in September of 2003 a significant portion of the source code for Half-Life 2 (2004) was stolen. The theft occurred prior to the release of the game and subsequently further delayed the titles release. This delay likely caused graphics card company ATI to lose money. ATI had planned to distribute free versions of the game with their latest graphics cards as a marketing scheme. Since the game was not ready when ATI released their product, they were unable to use it to entice consumers to upgrade. Hardware producers such as ATI rely on PC game players to consistently buy the newest, fastest, and most expensive products to play the newest games.
Due to rampant piracy, the video game industry must also contend with retailers who feel a lack of incentive to sell legitimate copies of games. Unscrupulous retailers are able to significantly increase their profit margin by producing and selling illegal copies. While a legitimate copy of a game may cost a retailer $42, they can only competitively sell it for $49—a profit of $7 per unit sold. By contrast, that same retailer could simply buy one hundred blank CDs for $20, and then create one hundred illegal copies of the $42 game, selling each one for $10 to $20 a piece. Such a strategy would not only allow the retailer to more than double her or his per-unit profit margin, but would also likely increase sales volume because consumers would be attracted to the lower prices.
The question of how software should be protected under the law has been debated for many years. Patents are used to protect an invention, which software appears to be. However, a program is also similar to an algorithm, which is a series of steps and thus not typically eligible for patent protection. For many years, it was unclear whether software should be protected by copyright, patent, or trademark, and thus was not protected at all. Today, there are various ways software can be protected under these laws. However, because the application of the laws is inconsistent, it is still unclear whether those protections are viable for software. In addition, since games and other personal computer software run on personal systems (which are not monitored by an external entity), detecting that copyright, patent, and trademark violation is difficult.
3.3 Piracy through Internet in locally & globally
Internet piracy is the most rapidly expanding type of piracy and the most difficult form to combat. In Bangladesh the most common practice of piracy is done through internet; marketers download the illegal and cracked copies of game from the several sites using internet. Internet piracy takes many forms: ? Auction Site Piracy;
- FTP Sites;
- Cracks/Serial Numbers sites; and
? Auction site piracy occurs when the seller burns software onto CD-ROMs, offers the software for sale in an online auction. The auctioneer will often data-mine the names and e-mails of losing bidders and contacts those bidders in an attempt to sell additional copies. Example: eBay
? FTP allows one to upload files and download files to a site. Software pirates who transfer programs to one another commonly use FTP sites because it is efficient for transferring large files and most FTP servers support some form of anonymous login.
? Web sites, often called Warez Sites allow the downloading of software — generally free of charge — from the Web.
? Peer-to -Peer [P2P] technologies allow users to communicate in real-time and transfer files to each other. Because of the distributed and often anonymous nature of P2P sites, they are widely used for distribution of unauthorized software and content. P2P networks are also popular because they are basically “one stop shopping” where a user can find just about anything they are looking for – games, music, software, movies. Of all the forms of piracy discussed, P2P piracy is the most difficult to stop.
? Lastly, another form of piracy that is prevalent on the Internet is the use of cracks, key-generators and patches. Cracks and patches are small files that circumvent copyright protection — either technical access or copy restrictions — by altering the source code. A key-gen or key generator is an application that uses the serial number or CD key-generating algorithm to create fake, yet still valid, serial numbers and CD keys. ? These procedures are generally practiced globally mostly in USA and China. In Bangladesh marketer normally use the warez sites and FTP sites to download the illegal copies.
Pricing is crucial factor which influence the piracy business. In previous years game developers used ignore this issue that pricing is one of major concerns for which the gamin piracy is increasing worldwide. But continuous reactions from the consumer segment and several studies conducted in USA and in some other countries admitted that piracy is increasing because consumer unwillingness to buy the original game and fact responsible fact for this unwillingness is the high pricing of the original game.
In Bangladesh the local marketers charge for the pirated copies of the game Tk.100-120/- per game. The average sale of Game is almost 30-50 per day. In other hand the price of original PC game is about Tk.4000-6000/-. So it’s almost impossible for the gamers to buy games in regular basis; so marketers are relying on pirated copies.
In USA the regular price of an original game is $50-100 while the consumer demand is that the price should in some where between $10-30. According to several research outcomes conducted in USA if the price still remain same then it will be difficult to remove piracy.
3.5 Legal actions and Government policies
Legal deterrents to piracy, such as patents and copyright laws are only effective when enforceable and detecting and isolating pirates is very difficult. Most piracy occurs within players homes, making it extremely costly to investigate and enforce intellectual property laws, and many of the current technological anti-piracy solutions rely on proprietary information that once broken can easily be exploited by all. In Bangladesh so far there is such legal actions taken by any government to prevent piracy business. Even the ISPs are not even properly monitored. Some time law & enforcement force like RAB or Police do some raid and captures some pirated products but that’s all, the real players of this piracy cycle always escaped. And the local retailers and wholesalers don’t bother about the legal issues because there is no such legal protections and government polices exist. Though some exists but those are not actively enforceable.
3.6 General consumer & Piracy
To overcome the piracy problem the consumer awareness is most important. Because the term piracy is not clear to lots of people either. Like if renting Game DVD is a type of piracy then we all are doing piracy frequently. Our one objective in this report is to find out the consumer reactions about the piracy issue and the legal actions against piracy. After the survey and some personal interviews we have found out following outcomes:
- 80% of 120 samples spend 2hrs for playing games.
- 40% of 120 samples are member of several gaming club exists in Dhaka city.
- 90% of 120 samples are satisfied with current price of pirated product.
- 60% of 120 samples don’t know properly about the piracy issue.
- 50% of 120 samples knew that the Malaysian copies of the Games are original. The reason for this confusion was the look of the Malaysian copy is more attractive than the local copies.
- Out of this 120 gamers only one person have played the original game. But he didn’t purchase that one; it was gift from his uncle.
- 40% of 120 sample regularly use internet to download demo and trial version of the games from the warez sites. This is also piracy.
- If government imposes any sort of restrictions on pirated game imports and the pirated copies are not available in local market then no one will buy original game because it is costly. All the samples agree on this.
- 40% of 120 samples prefer console games like PS2, XBOX because this devices are not needed to update frequently to play games; While PCs are needed to update in regular basis to play high end game.
- 25% of the gamers of this 120 are not happy at all with this pirated product because they often technical difficulties during playing. These are mostly graphical and programming related problems. Rests of them are moderately satisfied.
3.7 Marketers (pirated product) reactions towards legal actions
The local marketers are not that much eager to talk about the piracy issue and the legal aspects against it. Though for the report requirements we have asked several questions to them and have tried to find out as much as data we can. Almost all the samples have told same kind of facts. According to the survey we have collected some opinions from the marketers which are enlisted as point below:
- Piracy can not be stopped by enforcing legal actions locally. Restrictions on import are not the solution. Rather than this the piracy practice has to be stooped frequently.
- If only the law is being imposed on import then the retailer & marketer will face a disaster on sale. Consumer will not purchase frequently the original game.
- Only hardcore gamer will purchase the game if they have the financial capability. Normal gamer will not spend 4000-6000/- to purchase a single DVD of PC game.
- Then the internet piracy will be practiced more if the ISPs are not being monitored properly.
- There is no meaning of imposing import restrictions on PC games piracy if government doesn’t create any sort of awareness about original PC
Computer Gaming is an emerging market in Bangladesh. But the problem is that the market is totally depends on the pirated products. The piracy issue is not only a problem in Bangladesh; globally it’s becoming a big threat for several industries. In case computer gaming industries the over pricing and the unclear information about piracy are responsible. Like we have already discussed that, if renting a game DVD to a friend is piracy then it is a big problem for the general users. Piracy category should be Cleary stated so that general consumers can stay away from piracy.
After the survey and interview we have figure out some problems and we have mentioned those problems in previous (Findings) section. Here in this section, after analyzing those problems, we have tried to provide some recommendations, those might help resolve the problems and complications exist in this PC gaming sector. The recommendations are basically a combination of our surveyed samples suggestions and our analyzed efforts. We have tried to provide recommendations in global perspective. The recommendations are given below:
- The game developers have to reduce the price of the Game DVD to $15-30.
- Game developing companies can offer different versions of the game for the Asian market in cheaper price.
- General consumer should properly aware about the piracy issue.
- The most pirated product producer countries like in China, Dubai, Malaysia the piracy act should be imposed strictly.
- Especially in Bangladesh the ISPs should be monitored properly.
- Competitions like WCG should be organized regularly all over the world to promote the original games.
- The game developing companies can establish manufacturing plants in Asian countries to reduce the price.
- Consumer should have the options to purchase the game directly from the company websites.
- Licensed should be cancelled of those free sites which provides free downloading of games.
- Especially the Chinese government should take strict actions to stop the piracies by their professional hackers.
- The internet law should be enforced actively so that the hackers can not crack the original game and can upload those games in internet.
Questionnaire to asses
“The exact condition of the pirated PC game industry, consumer pattern and the relative legislative issues in Bangladesh”
? Name: Age: Profession:
? Started playing since: Platform:
? preferred category of game: (consumer part)
1. What kind of gamer you are?
[ ] PC[ ] Play Station[ ] X- Box
2. How many games CD do you purchase per month?
[ ] 1-3[ ] 4-6[ ] 7-9[ ] 10+
3. Do you purchase all the CDs original or pirated copies?
[ ] Original[ ] Pirated[ ] Mixed (Original & Pirated)
4. Do you know about piracy law of Bangladesh Government?
[ ] Yes I know[ ] No I don’t know
5. If Bangladesh Government impose law upon piracy of all kind of game CDs, stop to import and prepare pirated CDs and bound them to import and sale original CDs. Then what will you do as a gamer?
[ ] I will continue gaming purchasing original CDs.[ ] I will stop my gaming career here.
[ ] Very rare I will purchase games CDs.[ ] I will share CDs from my friends.
6. If government imposes new law then will you change your consumption pattern of games CDs?
[ ] Yes[ ] No[ ] I will Purchase limited[ ] I will stop purchasing.
7. Will you support the new law of government on games CDs rather than other software CDs?
[ ] Yes (Highly)[ ] No (Highly)[ ] Yes (Low)[ ] No (Low)
8. Do you think that this kind of law implementation in Bangladesh will discourage gamers and it will affect highly the game industry of Bangladesh?
[ ] Yes (Highly)[ ] No (Highly)[ ] Yes (Low)[ ] No (Low)
9. If the law implemented then the price of the games CDs will be increased up to 10 – 15 times higher. What do you think that how many of current gamer will continue gaming purchasing original CDs?
[ ] 1-5%[ ] 6-15%[ ] 16-30%[ ] 31-60%[ ] 61-100%
10. Do you think before implementation law of piracy up on games CDs, government should think to stop piracy of PC software and that is more important than games?
[ ] Yes (Highly)[ ] No (Highly)[ ] Yes (Low)[ ] No (Low)
Cite this Impact of Piracy and Relative Legislation on Pc Games Industry of Bangladesh
Impact of Piracy and Relative Legislation on Pc Games Industry of Bangladesh. (2017, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/impact-piracy-relative-legislation-pc-games-industry-bangladesh-101/