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Most UK Video Game Devs Oppose ISP Internet Disconnection for Piracy

Monday, October 28th, 2013 (2:00 pm) - Score 671
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The Government’s much delayed Digital Economy Act (DEAct) has long threatened the possibility of Internet speed restrictions or even disconnection towards those who ignore broadband ISP warnings to stop downloading “illegal” copyright content. But a new survey of video game developers found that 73% disagreed with this approach.

According to TIGA, which represents the United Kingdom’s video games industry, the vast majority (87%) of respondents favour the adoption of new business models to minimize the problem of piracy (just 10% voted for stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights) and 40% felt that educating consumers against piracy was important.

Sadly 57% of respondents said that piracy was still a problem for their business. But 73% noted that it was staying at a constant level and indeed many games have recently adapted to tackle the problem, such as by adopting a Free-to-Play (F2P) model or moving content more into the online world; this is harder to access if you have a pirated copy and thus no legitimate code for access.

Overall the majority said they hadn’t attempted to contact sites that offered pirated version of their games. The study suggested that those who did do this often had a 50/50 chance of the content being removed. A little effort could go a long way.

Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO of Rebellion, said:

Piracy can be a challenge for many games developers and digital publishers. Piracy of video games appears to be particularly acute on the Android platform.

TIGA’s survey shows that many games businesses continue to find the most effective response to the problem of piracy is to adopt new business models, such as subscription based services and free to play games.

UK developers are taking the initiative to deal with the issue of piracy and are looking for new ways of delivering content and communicating directly with their consumers. This is testament to the generally pragmatic and innovative approach of the UK video game industry.

TIGA’s findings are encouraging, because although the issue of piracy is one that continues to threaten UK game developers and digital publishers, it’s also an issue our industry is responding to positively and creatively. It’s good to see so many UK games businesses looking to innovate their way around the challenge of piracy.”

It’s certainly a different approach to the more aggressive stance adopted by the music and film industry. On the other hand the DEAct, which outlines a system by which ISPs would issue Notification Letters to customers whom are suspected of Internet piracy, doesn’t even expect to send its first letters until “the latter half of 2015” and further delays look likely (here).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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