On Piracy

Back in March, Shamus Young suggested practical ways software vendors can deal with piracy. Step number 5 was “clean house”: as with movies, most of the widely-traded pirated copies of games come from insiders, not retail customers who’ve disabled DRM on their copy and uploaded it.

Supporting evidence for this claim? I just saw the official honest-to-prepress PDF file for the just-released 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook. I’m sure WotC will sell plenty of copies of the book, but I’m also sure a lot of people will be downloading this PDF version for free.

[Update: heh; some downloaders have outed themselves by posting rules complaints and questions based on the PDFs, which apparently are not identical to the printed books. The files that leaked out were not the “gold masters”, as it were.]