Idiomdrottning’s homepage

“Clearly pirated” vs counterfeit

Even though I wanna abolish copyright and am in favor of commons culture and shared-world story-telling and open games, I have an appreciation for when pirated things are “clearly pirated”, when they aren’t being presented as the official thing. Like a shoddily xeroxed version of a game text, or a clearly home-burnt CD or mixtape, or a scanlation/​fansub community clearly marking their stuff as “fan made”.

I think pirated stuff is good, but it still rubs me the wrong way when pirated DVDs are presented as if they were official released ones, or when people spread myths about “abandonware” or “No Copyright Intended”.

It’s wrong that Coca-Cola has a schtick of keeping their recipe secret, or even if it were public, keep a monopoly on production through some sorta patent or copyright or whatever (not that there could be a law that would cover beverages from the 19th century). Everyone should be able to brew and sell it. Also it’s kinda gross to drink something that is “secret”.


I conversely don’t think it would right if anyone could sell any brown liquid and call it “Official Coca-Cola™︎︎”.

It’s just like Debian. Everyone can sell Debian. But not everyone can rightfully claim they are speaking for SPI or take donations for SPI.

I really appreciate the scanlation community for (for the most part) keeping it really clear that their releases are not “official” ones.

This is such a weird nuance to have a hang up against, especially since one thing I appreciate even more are games where you don’t have to do that because they truly are a commons resource, like the 5e creative commons SRD or free software video games like Wesnoth, and how I wouldn’t mind it if it became legally recognized that the D&D name has gotten kleenexed. Same goes for Magic cards, how most people think obvious proxies are OK but not counterfeit cards.

It’s hard to put your finger on, but if you think about it this way it becomes obvious: It’s one thing to stand up to Hasbro and Warner and Disney, and quite another to scam your fellow peers.

If it’s such a nuance and such a specific small li’l point it’s weird that I care about it but I do. It’s not the biggest deal in the world, it’s just the smallest of pet peeves, and when I argue for it I can tend to get misread as making a mountain out of this li’l molehill.