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You are a pirate!

Kaguya

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Lazy town memes have this weird tendency to fade away then come back stronger than ever after like 2 years. Dunno how to really explain it. God knows I got tired of listening to "we are number one" in recent times. I digress, though. 

This post is by no means a defense of piracy. Hear me out for a sec though.

Fuwa has been a weird place over the last few years. As I'm sure you all know, we used to be a VN-hosting website, with a bunch of pre-patched torrents that collectively pissed off the entire existing community when we started hosting them because translators didn't want their patches pre-patched so they wouldn't be associated with piracy and there was like a 1/4 chance something weird would break in the games we were pre-patching when we first started doing it (though by the time we stopped hosting them, we were actually pretty good at it.)

Aaeru, our creator, who is now a blur in the forums and you can only find via remembering exactly where she posted or via our discontinued gift bot (who has none of her involvement or her personality, but does maintan her avatar) was vehemently pro-piracy, going so far as to include a text file in every single one of our old torrents explaining how piracy was a good thing for an industry, an idea she passionately championed.  

A few years ago, we stopped hosting torrents, a decision that was probably for the best, and we got to this. What we currently have in the forums. Saying you have pirated a visual novel will lead to a slap in your wrist, and we're all more or less supposed to pretend no one pirates anything, even though everyone knows that's not the case. Like talking about being a nazi in germany, you will be strongly admonished, though without the getting arrested and loathed part. But hey, our torrents didn't enact a terrible, irrational and disgusting massacre against our fellow human beings, so I think the reaction being weaker is justified. Just a little bit. 

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There are several reasons that lead people to pirate things. One big problem is torrents. If this was back in the old days, where you had to download daemons tools, install that, figure out how to use it and, download 20 parts of zip files through your shitty wifi connection with the hosting service also being complete garbage and half of those files randomly crashing because internet and servers are a potato and you having to start their download from the beginning then figuring out how to install the patch it might be a pain, but torrents are very convenient.

It is literally easier for me to download a torrent for grisaia than it is for me to buy it right now. I will spend less time and go through less steps by downloading this torrent than I would if I tried to buy it. That is a serious problem, because I will obviously spend less money downloading a torrent for grisaia than I would if I bought it, and if I'm even slightly savvy at this, the torrent will be no less safe than buying the game. 

And that's for official releases. Fan translations are a completely different beast. No normal person will go out of their way to buy a game in japanese going through sites they don't understand or having to deal with the long ass 2 week wait and uncertain clusterfuck that is international shopping to then apply a fan patch to read a game just because they want to support the industry.

The average VN reader does not give half a fuck about the industry, and that will never change. 

You are probably a pirate. Chances are that if you are reading this, you are either a complete newcomer who hasn't even read 50 VNs or you have pirated games before. Because it's much much easier and more convenient to be one. Out of all the people this post will reach, I doubt even 5 go out of their way to buy jp games then patch them. 

And there's so many more small things that add up to it. If I want to buy VNs, I need to make accounts in like 5 different websites and input my credit card info in all of them when I could literally just go to the same torrent site and download all of them without any of the extra steps. 

 

I think the way VNs are sold needs to change somehow for them to actually get the sales they could get. No clue how, though. But until someone figures out how to do it, the vast majority of readers will continue being pirates. Because it's easier, convenient, doesn't take money and no one cares about the consequences. 

 



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Yeah, I was always wondering about how many veteran VN fans actually buy stuff most of the time. The only VN I've ever pirated was School Days HQ, just because I've found the asking price unreasonable (and it was before I really cared about VNs in general). Since then I simply kept my VN experience to Steam, which offers convenient sales and freeware OELVNs from places such as Itch.io, which are, well, free. Considering how the Steam VN market is developing I might never really run out of things to read there (or, at least, not within next 3-4 years), but it definitely discourages me from looking into titles that will never get on that kind of convenient distribution platform. If I was desperate to read Saya no Uta or Kara no Shoujo right now, or especially some untranslated VN, I would be super-tempted to pirate them - and I deal with that by simply reading what's easily available instead.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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i dont pirate but i know someone who does. someone whos constantly struggling with bills and such and cant buy all dez vns coming out but my friend has heard the weirdly high amount of annoyance that goes into owning a vn and downloading it after buying it, even from english releases.

 

i of course try to teach him to not pirate vns, nonetheless.

 

:rimu:

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I'm a pirating shit.

I don't see how pirating VNs with only fan translations hurts the industry, assuming that they cannot be bought easily from outside Japan. Whether we're actually entitled to do so is another matter (I don't claim any ethical or moral high ground) but if it is not even offered outside Japan, I feel it's a sort of "victimless crime". 

I don't know if I'd agree that I "don't give half a fuck about the industry". I get your point that we need to be far better at supporting VN companies, but pirates aren't necessarily exclusively pirates. What I mean is that even pirates buy stuff. I, for example, have pirated most of the VNs I played but I do own Clannad, Subahibi, all Steam releases of Higurashi (first 5 chapters), Danganronpa V3, 999, Virtue's Last Reward, et cetera. Does that count for anything? (Admittedly, I should buy Grisaia, Muv Luv and Umineko ASAP because I did pirate them. However, I believe those are technically the only VNs on Steam that I have pirated.) I feel it does, but I can't back that assertion up.

 

 

Edited by Funyarinpa

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12 minutes ago, Funyarinpa said:

I'm a pirating shit.

I don't see how pirating VNs with only fan translations hurts the industry, assuming that they cannot be bought easily from outside Japan. Whether we're actually entitled to do so is another matter (I don't claim any ethical or moral high ground) but if it is not even offered outside Japan, I feel it's a sort of "victimless crime". 

I don't know if I'd agree that I "don't give half a fuck about the industry". I get your point that we need to be far better at supporting VN companies, but pirates aren't necessarily exclusively pirates. What I mean is that even pirates buy stuff. I, for example, have pirated most of the VNs I played but I do own Clannad, Subahibi, all Steam releases of Higurashi (first 5 chapters), Danganronpa V3, 999, Virtue's Last Reward, et cetera. Does that count for anything? (Admittedly, I should buy Grisaia, Muv Luv and Umineko ASAP because I did pirate them. However, I believe those are technically the only VNs on Steam that I have pirated.) I feel it does, but I can't back that assertion up.

I don't actually think people need to start buying VNs because no one should be forced to support an industry they don't want to support. 

It's probably scummy to pirate stuff, yes, but pirates exist, and they will always exist. The job of a company selling digital goods is to make people want to buy their product despite the fact they can pirate it. This is done in several ways - you'll see subscription services like Netflix being incredibly popular because it's much more convenient to watch something on netflix than it is to watch it otherwise. 

If anything I see the current problem as a failing of the companies making these games. They haven't figured out how to make their audience want to buy their product instead of pirating it. Moral obligation and a vague sense of "helping the industry" should not be the product being sold, but in truth that's the only thing you get for your money when you could have gotten that exact product for free. 

Buying VNs needs to be more convenient than pirating them or they need offer something exclusive that pirated versions cannot possibly offer. 

Until the day that happens, the vast majority of the people reading them will still be pirating, regardless of the morals of the situation. 

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Personally I have never pirated a VN, though I did start playing VNs after a lot of things had already been localized, also I know enough japanese to get through VNs so I got a bunch of physical japanese VNs as well. I do pirate anime though, not a fan of subscription based systems (also pretty sure crunchyroll sucks in Norway), I rather like to watch it for free then buy the blu rays if it is something I really like.

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I buy VNs because I want to, not because I feel like I have to in order to support the industry. Really, to me "VN shopping" is like an addiction, lol. There is no better feeling than opening the packaging of a new VN, popping it into your PC and installing it. Even just downloading digital editions and looking at the collection I've accumulated in my VN folder is a rush to me. I generally tend to spend what I can on VNs each month, instead of other things. Yes, I'm weird, but who cares. Bring me more VNs!!! :Chocola:

Though I am still a pirate. While I don't pirate much, (not really at all in recent times,) I have done it in the past, so I'm not going to pretend like I'm not a pirate. It's not like the title goes away just because you buy a lot of VNs. My second VN ever was pirated, actually, and since it was what got me interested in the medium, I can't say I regret it. It was Grisaia no Kajitsu.

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The closest thing I did to pirating a VN was installing Imouto Work's 18+ patch on the Steam version of The Fruit of Grisaia. This was before Sekai Project cracked down on his patches and updated the software to stop running them. Though my reason for it was not because of money, but because the Steam version was easier to access than the Denpasoft version.

Other than that, most of my pirating history was from downloading fansubbed anime episodes. Technically, I still do it if the anime in question doesn't have an overseas release. But if the anime is released overseas, then I go out of my way to buy it.

Edited by EastCoastDrifter

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Convenience is paramount. I'm not interested in having my CC flagged for unusual activity and having to go through the process of getting it restored.

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17 hours ago, Asonn said:

Bring back the torrents. Bring back the lolis. Bring back Aaeru.

:reeee::conspiracy:

Torrents, lolis and Aaeru. My complete associations with old Fuwa. Just add Ryoji and Tay's former activity on the forums, and I would have an orgasm of nostalgia. 

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I'm a filthy pirate but at the same time I'm happy I haven't had to use the completely arcane magic of changing system locale and using applocale and mounting images and cracking games through keygen that play keygen music in years

If localization makes piracy easier too, well, that's an okay side effect. It applies to everything else anyway.

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Note: This post includes opinions of mine of a sort that I intend to show only in this post, for various (potentially obvious) reasons.

Yeah, I'm a "pirate". I've done it a ton, to the point where I likely could serve as evidence that "as long as you don't upload anything, and don't make yourself super obvious, downloading is almost certainly NOT going to be an issue". Of course, I also see it in a way that is similiar how the person you mentioned sees/saw it; "pirating"* is ultimately a direct moral good, and aids any industries it takes place in. Due to how the process works, anyone who actually benefits from being the one pirating (for games, and other art forms, it's entertainment/enjoyment they're probably getting, while other programs grant whatever benefit they would normally grant from being used) ends up adding to overall welfare of those involved without actually depriving anyone of anything (generally speaking, the other option someone who would pirate something sees is not "buy it instead", but "not get it at all". There may be exceptions, but they simply don't form the rule. Therefore, not even the already ridiculous concept of "lost potential sales" even applies.)

Of course, there are people who realize the nature of all software/digital data (games, non-entertainment software, and anything stored digitally alike), and among them are many who make up groups such as free & open source software developers. Those who choose to work on things like this benefit further themselves from things such as being able to recieve contributions, such as patches and bug reports, from people who may otherwise never have even considered using the software in the first place. Of course, the people using such software benefit in various ways as well, such as having saner methods of obtaining the software, not having to circumvent DRM (DRM universally making any digital data it tries to "protect" inherently worth less to anyone dealing with it, ESPECIALLY legitimate customers who are far less likely to have any method of completely getting around it provided to them), and benefiting from any improvements that patches and such things that would not have otherwise existed bring.

Anyways, long rant, and I could go on for ten times as long as I already have, but basically, I have strong opinions regarding copying/"piracy", and thanks for causing me to rant about it now so I don't end up accidentally doing it later or something.

*Actually literally just copying, pirating implies stealing, but the way digital data is transfered works similiar the way information in general does, with the product duplicating, and the person who's downloading getting that exact** copy, but not the original. Stealing instead deals only with the original object being transfered, resulting in the act depriving the original owner of the item.

**Exact, because it's between computers which have essentially perfect memory and transfering capablity at the level of 1's and 0's trading information that exist as 1's and 0's. Information transfer and memory of humans lacks that level of perfection, so "normal" information lacks the "exact" part.

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For me, an effective way to market a VN is to sell a physical edition of something I'm somewhat interested in. I don't think a digital version of a game has nearly as much value as a physical edition because I eventually want to stack my empty shelves with novels, manga and limited edition games. I've purchased the Steins;Gate LE when it first came out, and I've most recently funded the Newton VN with enough money to get the LE version.

I usually do make it a point to not pirate licensed visual novels since I don't really mind going through the effort that much. I do want to see more VNs translated into English, and I think buying from localization companies will give them the leverage they need to acquire more licenses. However, if a game doesn't have an LE release with worthwhile side merch, I likely won't feel urged to buy it until I feel like actually reading it. Steam sales also have a similar effect, though not as much.

That being said, I usually will pirate games that aren't officially translated. I really don't feel comfortable at all buying visual novels from international distributors.

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