Naughty swashbuckling rogues with a friendly gleam in their eye who are just doing their best to combat the injustices of a harsh and greedy software business? After all, who hasn't done a little bit of "try before you buy" once in a while - and maybe even occasionally forgotten the "buy" part?
Well, that's as maybe... but pirates aren't romantic heroes at all... they are, not to put too fine a point on it, cunts. Complete and total ones, down to the last pube and beef curtain.
Imagine a nice sunny day, and a green field, and in that field, a pretty sheepie. Imagine that fluffy sheepie being offered a nice Digestive biscuit. Imagine the happy gleam in the sheepie's eyes, the little furry mouth opening in expectation as the biccie is proffered... then imagine that the biscuit is cruelly snatched away at the last moment. Poor sheepie. But that's what pirates do - they steal the biccies from the very mouths of pretty sheepies. And that, I am sure you will agree, is the act of a cunt. A complete and total one.
Awww! Fluffy Sheepie. How could you?
You may think it's OK - after all, we all borrow books off our mates? Most of us, in this internet age, copy music, don't we, if we are honest about it? People visit and shiny circular objects find their way into drives and get ripped to the server. The God of Bandwidth smiles on you at night and servers get leeched. And yet we don't feel the sprouting of labia, do we? In fact we justify the act by saying how sharing music makes us more inclined to buy new music, since we get exposed to new bands that we otherwise might not have heard - and indeed that is true; one isn't a complete cunt for doing that. Perhaps one is only a quarter-clitoris and a couple of damp pubes.
It's not the same for us in the software biz though. When you discover a band, typically you will go and buy all their albums, and keep an eye out for any new ones too. But in the software biz it's not like that. Nobody's going to discover your latest game and then go out and buy the back catalogue, are they? For one thing, most of the time that isn’t even possible. The commercial life of a game is a fleeting thing... you grunt and stink and sweat for a couple of years to create the thing, then it has its few moments in the sun (or on the shelves of Game, at least) and then just a few short months later it's pretty much all over. You might get a few residual sales trickling in but soon enough hardware change rolls around and obliterates the revenue source forever. And buying originals off Ebay is just as bad, you’re lining the pockets of the Power Sellers while we, who create the games, get nothing.
Yes, there is too much software out there, and yes, a lot of it is shit, so it is inevitable that one sometimes seeks to try before one buys. But it's oh so easy to forget to buy. And it's also easy to be so enthused about the game that you spread the love to your mates so they get to share the booty as well, but...
You’re supposed to eat the pig’s ear you muppet!
Imagine a cute fluffy puppy, frolicking happily and wagging its silly puppy tail. Imagine someone offering that puppy a lovely pig's ear. Think of the bright eyes and lolling tongue of the cute little puppy as the treat is offered, imagine the little nosie twitching in anticipation. then imagine that just as the puppy goes to take it, the pig's ear is harshly snatched away, and the bearer gives the poor little puppy a hefty kick in the nuts.
That is what pirates do - they snatch away pig's ears from the mouths of cute fluffy puppies and then kick them in the nuts, and it is, I am sure you will agree, the act of a cunt. An entirely complete one, perhaps covered in horse spoo stains, gaping and shiny with lube.
The very worst kind of pirate though is the kind that not only seek to rob you of your rightful income, but that seek to profit from your work as well. I have encountered these types many times in my career - people who hack your code and insert their own name and then sell the game as their own, spotty herberts in the schoolyard duplicating tapes and disks and banging them out to their peer spawn for money for sweeties, fat used-car-salesmen running dodgy software houses and selling illicit copies behind your back with the aid of their skanky cousin Kevin - these people… well…
Here kitty kitty.
Imagine a fluffy kitten, the epitome of cuteness, bright-eyed and frolicking in the sunlight, chasing its own tail and scampering around, meowing and purring in a mode of the utmost cuteness. Imagine someone comes along and offers the kitten a lovely dead rat. Imagine the happy purring of the kitten as it smells the oozing ichor, the happiness in the little predator eyes, shining in the sunlight, reflecting the dangling entrails. Then imagine that, just as the cute little pink tongue emerges to begin lapping at the gore, the rat is cruelly thrown behind the television, and the bearer bends down, rips off the kitten's fluffy tail, minces it up in the blender and then drinks the puree of fur and flesh, shouting "Take that, you furry little bastard!"
Because that's what pirates do - offer cute kittens half a dead rat and then throw it behind the television, rip their tails off and shove them in the blender. Which is, I am sure you will agree, the act of a cunt. A whole cunt, perfectly entire, perhaps gaping on the page of some tawdry magazine, proxy spattered with the ejected seed of a million seedy old men masturbating furiously in bus station toilets all over the world.
We who make the software - we are not out to rip you off; we are lovely people who just want to make an honest crust, and we smell nice. We are pretty sheepies, we are happy puppies and we are the fluffy kittens. And all we ask is that if you should happen to find yourself in a situation where you can try before you buy - then do so, but if you like what we do, then please make a point of offering us the Digestive biscuit of your approval, the pig's ear of your support, and the half a dead rat of a little financial cooperation.
Or else we'll all be forced to go off and write financial software like Andy Braybrook, and that really would be a cunt.