Is piracy a prerequisite for a striving homebrew scene?

wololo

We are constantly looking for guest bloggers at wololo.net. If you like to write, and have a strong interest in the console hacking scene, contact me either with a comment here, or in a PM on /talk!

125 Responses

  1. meysam25

    good point

  2. Lucif3r

    Uh… where did all the comments go?

  3. Duartelittle

    try to live in brasil….where a little game cost R$270…so piracy its too attractive for me!!
    sorry my bad english!!

    • Ricky D

      FFS, move if you’re not happy with it, but don’t use it as an excuse to steal. I don’t care if you want to pirate, but don’t try to justify it

      • RandQalan

        Yea good Idea move

        All this about piracy is so funny some times
        do you know the Sony did the same with it PS3 a chip in it was not theirs and did not pay for it until caught red handed
        Then MS uhh look some history up what the owner did to the owner of Apple some time talk about a major pirate
        Then lets see is Nintendo innocent I say not when they stuck it to Sony for the CD rom drive they order then did not pay for (Well that worked out well for Sony the PS was born)

        O what about the tracking of personal info that all these company’s do :LOL:

        • anon

          What about building codes – so many people and companies violate those blatantly.
          There are many instances where people make mistakes or break laws intentionally – this doesn’t really have any bearing on piracy.

          • RandQalan

            Really
            If I take your hardware and sell it for billions giving you none until found out is not piracy

            If I take your code for software copy right it and give you none back is not piracy

            Ok good to know you are easy target joke
            But saying it is not piracy but it is but Big business Piracy on each other 🙂

      • Meh

        You may find that moving esp. into a _first_ world country not that easy. We often think it is, but in actuality its very hard even with a university degree. Most countries (including the US) or those who may actually need some of them (JP, EU) don’t actually want migrants.

        Additionally, if you would live in central America and would want to play games, I would argue that you would say the same thing, when you see the prices and monthly payments. I think it’s a solid argument to steal from richer “constructs” (corporations – not even people). What’s wrong with that? Why should he move? Instead his government should just look away and all is good ^^

      • Jesse

        I’ll justify piracy. For one, piracy is not the same as owning the original, it is simply making a copy, not theft of the original.

        I haven’t bought a new game in years, used only. If I only buy used games, then the developers are seeing the same amount of money from me if I pirate it – $0.

        Also, assuming I do or did buy new games, how many times do I have to repurchase a game if I want to play it on a newer platform? If I own it on PS1, am I really doing that bad of a thing if I rip it to my PS3 with custom firmware? Same goes for movie piracy. If I own a movie on VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, Blu-ray etc, am I doing that bad of a thing to download the digital copy? Am I doing something so bad that I deserve to go to prison or have a huge fine?

        Think of libraries, are the publishers and writer making any money on their hard work being checked out for free by anyone in a given town?

      • John T

        Wat.

        You’re right. There’s no reason to justify piracy, but you just can’t say that the solution is moving to another country, that’s just stupid.

      • seth

        piracy isn’t really stealing because to steal would mean to deprive someone of whatever you’re getting making a copy isn’t stealing

    • MBA

      Asa fellow Brazilian, I understand what you say, and well, that’s why I moved to Steam, where everything is cheaper. I have both a PS4 and a Vita, but only for the few exclusives that I really want to play, though some of these Vita exclusive games have been getting some great ports on Steam, or buying FF Type-0 on the PS4 for a week later for the Steam version to be announced, and cost 3x less…

      I did end up investing in a gamer notebook for the sake of playing these games on TV with my Dual Shock 3 and 4 controllers, not the cheapest option, but the best for sure.

  4. Jiro

    As someone else pointed out, people who use a hacked system for emulators are actually still committing piracy. It’s astonishing how many hackers who “don’t want to support piracy” are fine with emulators.

    And with respect to piracy, piracy can actually be beneficial once the system reaches the end of its lifespan. Games no longer are sold by the manufacturers and some cost $100 on Ebay (and others cannot be bought at all), the eshop is dead, the patches and DLC are gone, but you will still be able to play any game for the system forever if the hackers did a good enough job enabling piracy on it when it was still around.

    There’s also fan translations and hacks (and remember they are not actually legal, either, even if you try to DRM your CFW so that people can only use it for translations and not for piracy.)

    • Zeke

      I suppose you could consider emulators a grey area. For me because I’ve owned/still own a lot of the SNES games I play via emulators and you’re legally allowed to make a copy (granted someone else with a ROM dumper did, hence the grey area) for your own personal use I wouldn’t quite consider that piracy, personally.

      Totally agree with piracy when a system is at the end of it’s lifespan though – with the move towards DLC last thing we need is games dying because eventually they won’t be legally hosted and you won’t be able to get em.

  5. Xenomorph

    In theory; the PS4 with this exploit running Linux should be able to run windows programs threw WINE. Therefor, I’m going to run Halo 1 and 2 on my PS4 and send it to Microsoft…

  6. levi

    I feel like you missed a critical point here. There has been one uniquely exceptional piece of homebrew in the past that was enough to get people interested who weren’t in it for piracy, and that was XMBC. Back before chrome books and android tablets and other cheap media center solutions, you could use XMBC to move all your media onto an old xbox360– maybe you’d gotten one of the new un-ringable versions, .maybe this one had red-ringed and you didn’t wanna risk it again, maybe you just gotten the new price-dropped ps3– but you didn’t have a use for your xbox and its wireless controller anymore. In this particular instance, piracy wasn’t a motivating factor behind people gaining interest in the homebrew scene. XMBC did what I still believe no other non-piracy homebrew has done in that it filled a very large niche for a lot of people rather than just being some mostly-finished indie game, or a port of something you could play with better compatibility on your smartphone or PC.

    • gjka;lsnv;

      i think i see what ur saying, how most homebrew looks like it was just someone noodling around or an emulator with low compatibility… but… we get things like xmbc bc people were intereted in homebrew scene already bc of piracy on x360 so there was more support.

    • Frank

      It’s called XBMC, and it’s for the original Xbox, not 360.

      • Zeke

        Small errors aside he made an excellent point though. XBMC (now Kodi) made the original Xbox useful. Several years ago it’s what got me into doing modding at all. Still using it now on my Fire TV and MacBook Air because some problems aside it is as close to a perfect/complete media centre solution as you can get, and remarkably it’s still free for the time being. Tens of thousands of skilled hours or more and it’s so customisable and versatile.

    • cracker

      Bwahahahaha! Yeah because piracy only matters when it is software. You do know that most people would use XBMC to stream unauthorized ripped video and audio from their networks or online right? That’s one of the reasons it was so popular. Not only that — it was a frontend for running game rips and emulators from the hard drive or other the network. It was/is a pirate’s dream.

      • Jesse

        So what? Running game rips of games no longer in production meaning the developers wouldn’t be making any money off of it anyway. Streaming video isn’t even illegal to those that do it. The hoster is the one responsible for their users uploading copyrighted work.

        By that logic, youtube is the biggest purveyor of pirated music in the world. A pirate’s dream.

  7. Paul

    Hacking a console involves all kinds of un-intended results…up to, and including, piracy unfortunately. That includes legit backup uses, and bootlegs in realistic cases. My take on it? Oh well…The hackers should release the hacks and not worry about what it’s used for in my opinion. They shouldn’t directly help the piracy advocates if they are concerned about it…but let’s not hinder native apps (homebrew or otherwise) based on any bias.

    Piracy is NOT everyone’s prime objective (believe it or not). Just do it, and enjoy the recognition that you get from it.

  8. Johnz

    Almost no one reads licensing agreements nowadays, and i’m pretty sure that it’s stated PS4 systems can’t be modified in anyway excepted by Sony, and allowed parts and parties. So yes, hacking groups are all respectable but hijacking today systems is considered as bad as theft or piracy. For reasoning/lecturing people, they are way too beyond that.
    Also pushing some paying platform into heads meanwhile isn’t too ethical for hackers in my opinion. I would rather see Linux fully usable on PS4 which would make it worth for homebrews and off course piracy since userbase wouldn’t worth it for developpers (350$ a very limited “buy-to-hack-to-linux box”?).

    As Levi incorrectly introduced (but Franck corrected), XBMC on original Xbox made its way through time and users thanks to Xbox piracy back in that time. I recognize i bought the console for trying the exclusive games when i could afford it pre-hacked then i met XBMC and i kept using it as my media center since then every day (off course, i had to switch back to pc after a while due to the console’s aging hardware).
    With Linux on PS4, i can’t wait for getting Kodi on it (new name of XBMC), and maybe some 4K resolution support if Overfl0w really works their way in the drivers.

    • ClearMirror

      One important difference between modifying a console and theft is that one of those things is a crime and the other is not. Theft is an offense punishable by the law, but modifying your console is a breach of a (legally questionable) agreement between you and the console maker — not a crime.

      • MageMasher

        Umm, no. Modifying a console to write and use it for code that would have to be licensed otherwise IS STEALING!

        You need permission or licensing to code for Nintendo systems. Circumventing that IS STEALING.

        Not that is matters but piracy and homebrew are NOT mutually exclusive. One could argue you could physically modify things so long as they don’t circumvent certain areas. Homebrew does. PERIOD.

        Homebrewing is just as illegal as “piracy” when licensing is required and it’s just as bad as stealing. There is no gray area here.

        Does it ultimately matter? Much like piracy, no. And one could argue that having more people passionate about a platform through piracy and homebrew, in the long run, does foster a better customer base so long as though doing both activities DO contribute money when they can.

        • Luigi003

          Not.
          First, Piracy and Stealing are not the same. Stop using them in the same way.

          When you steal a bike, the owner no longer has a bike. When you copy a game the owner still has its copy.

          And not, I’m not the only one who thinks like this. The USA laws also thinks like me(We are talking of USA, the copyright paradise)

          Secondly, Break an EULA will, In most of the cases just break the EULA, No courts at all. In fact, I’m sure they can only ban you from the online network without damaging your console in any way.

          There are EULAs that can have monetary punishments but this is not the case.

        • Luigi003

          Not.
          First, Piracy and Stealing are not the same. Stop using them in the same way.

          When you steal a bike, the owner no longer has a bike. When you copy a game the owner still has its copy.

          And not, I’m not the only one who thinks like this. The USA laws also thinks like me(We are talking of USA, the copyright paradise)

          Secondly, Break an EULA will, In most of the cases just break the EULA, No courts at all. In fact, I’m sure they can only ban you from the online network without damaging your console in any way.

          There are EULAs that can have monetary punishments but this is not the case.

          Regards~

          • Luigi003

            Sry for double-posting, wololo is doing strange things with comments right now

          • Meh

            True BUT side-note to you 😀

            Stop using the word “piracy” (a robbery crime) for copyright violations (the breaking of an artificial law to restrict your natural ability to copy) 😉

      • cracker

        You must not live in the US or EU. In these nations the copyright laws extend past civil liabilities into criminal law — if it is shown that copywritten material such as encryption keys, official firmware files, etc. must be used to hack the system (which usually is the case). Even the vague “circumvention” clauses of the DMCA can mean jail time if the copyright holders push for it. In many cases the EULAs state that you don’t own the hardware and are just licensing the use of it and breaking that agreement means you forfeit the right to have the device, though I’ve never seen a company enforce this and it is questionable as to whether they could legally take it from you. Anyways, the DMCA and the EU counterpart are far-(over)reaching laws that can open a world of trouble for people even if their intentions are just to run Linux on a system.

        • Luigi003

          I’m living in Spain(EU) and to mod your console it’s completely legal. However, mod another people’s console(in a commercial way) It’s not.

          I don’t know about the USA, but in EU(at least in some regions) it’s legal to mod/hack your console.

          Regards~

    • Anon

      Nobody reads EULAs because they’re literally worthless. No EULA can infringe on your rights given to you by your country’s laws no matter what. Not even if you agreed to sell them your soul by clicking “I Accept” or something.

      By the way, TL;DR of Sony’s: “we give ourselves the right to ban your PSN account and all y- our consoles for no reason at all”. Breach of EULA is exactly that, breach of worthless EULA. No more and no less. Law is the only thing that matters, which EULA is NOT.
      Sorry for the off-topic, I’m allergic to EULAs.

    • Meh

      You must surely smoke some good stuff, or have zero of an Idea what indoctrinated nonsense you are blabbering.

      First off, licenses are rarely fully lawful and thus binding. Go into a video rental shop and look at the back of the box. It will state ‘not for resale or rent’ or something like it. Why do they not care? Because that statement is invalid and superseded by law. The same is true for your property and reversing, and rightfully so.

      Secondly, you may thus agree to any such license without sony limiting or infringing on your rights. It’s people like you who buy into this *** and belive it to be right who are the most dangerous. Indoctinated fools.

  9. El Cagon

    Gotta agree here XBMC was the *** back in the original xbox days i modded my system just for this i didn’t care about no backups

  10. Rain

    How many more devices do we need to play SNES on? I care only a little about emulators, as most of my devices play them at great speeds, and care literally none about homemade *** 2d games. People want piracy, plain and simple.

    • Catmato

      I’m going to agree with this. Not to mention that just because games are on old consoles doesn’t mean they’re free to download and play. Emulators = Piracy.

  11. WTF

    Dude I have no idea what system you are running but I would bet that you are running mirrors which are deeply unsynchronized Oo! Maybe some nosql databases? This is terribly annoying. Comments keep appearing and disappearing.

  12. Akul

    How does one call hackers who find exploit,crack the console open,but dont publish exploid cuz they want steer the scene from piracy?

    *Scared-of-lawsut lil bitc*es
    Peace

  13. Fimo

    The comments ! … F0F hacked the blog ! 🙂

  14. Jack Attack

    “Piracy” is as important as it ever has been with a digital future. All the IDIOTS, yeah that’s right, IDIOTS, claiming piracy does more harm than good are clueless. Piracy HAS affected companies and people at times. It has, but it DOESN’T anymore. Ever. For when you can say it has hurt a small developer you can see other reasons besides piracy as to why their product didn’t catch on. A pirated game is not a loss sale. It’s not a 1:1 ratio. Yes there are jerks out there that will steal for the sake of stealing because it makes them feel self-important but for the rest of us, piracy exists in VERY gray areas.

    DRM free games wouldn’t sell if piracy were as simple as being black and white. But yet, they do sell and sometimes thrive.

    My concerns with “piracy” is more about fair use than stealing. We lost too many good games in the arcade scene due to self-righteous idiots lamenting about “piracy”. Some boards are now lost forever and incapable of being recovered as such. Does that seem right?

    Entertainment is just as much of a part of our culture as classical art and music, yet people will insist it’s worth preserving that and not our modern equivalents. It’s stupid.

    Piracy is a form of preservation. To deny it to exist is simply fool-hardy and myopic. Yes, there are casualties when idiots take it too far like they did, briefly, when it was “cool” to pirate music and movies. There was a legitimate dip, BRIEFLY, during that time. But the dip lasted far longer than necessary due to abusive DRM policies and sales and “ownership” policies. Once they stopped being truly ridiculous and abusive, imagine that, “piracy” waned for them.

    It’s disingenuous to argue against piracy and for homebrew. I’m sorry but they are not, and have never been, mutually exclusive. You’re still technically stealing with homebrew. You.Are.Period!

    You are bypassing permission and licensing fees to develop on a platform you are not normally allowed to or could afford to. But somehow, magically, since you own the hardware that entitles you to do it? It’s somehow less black or gray? No, sorry, it’s nearly the same. You’re still stealing. You’re still technically depriving a company of money they’d normally see and you’re not getting their permission to share the privilege.

    Stealing is wrong, absolutely. Stealing through piracy is wrong. But piracy is not always stealing. Homebrew, however, is stealing/breaking laws on a platform that requires licensing, fees or expressed permission. Always. There’s just a sense of fandom that somehow makes it ok in the eyes of the self-righteous.

    • cracker

      I tend to agree with most of what you said with the exception of all homebrew == piracy. There are some games/apps/tools that aren’t. But the majority of the popular titles are all about it — emulators.

      Somewhat on topic: I had the IT Crowd anti-piracy ad going through my head whilst reading your post. ;D

  15. CFW

    Come on CFW1.76. Have a 1.6 still sitting in the box for 12 months

  16. Sili

    “Is piracy a prerequisite for a striving homebrew scene?”

    Sadly, yes, I feel like you have a point. I can’t think of a more robust homebrew scene than on the original xbox (I still want to call the damn thing the xbox1, hah) and that was as unlocked as consoles get.

    Will never forget loading diablo2 through wine+XDSL with a wireless keyboard and mouse, all the great emulators and dashboards, etc

  17. Viliasas

    I believe that this topic is pretty correct in its assumptions. There is very little reason to hack you console and stay on a lower firmare, if there’s no possibility of piracy. Maybe it’s interesting as a challenge, but without an audience you will get very little recognition.

    Furthermore, It’s weird how no one mentioned this – If people want to run emulators and few homebrews, they could get something way cheaper like Raspberry Pi, instead of cripling their PS 4s or PS Vitas. Current hacks require users to stay on lower firmwares, effectively limiting their ability to play newer (legit) games. What’s the point in wasting hackers time on hacking something closed, when they could code homebrew for something that is open (for e.g. Android or Linux). I believe that there similiar pieces of electronics that could act as media centers, emulator and homebrew boxes. Heck, they could even start a kickstarter for an open source console… But would that get a lot of momentum if they would only offer emulators and few homebrews?

  18. Firion

    As far as consoles/handhelds are concerned, yes. And it’d be real nice if people would stop using the hacking scene as their moral high horse to preach from.

  19. DrinkOrDie

    1337

  20. Aces

    80 comments
    Goto page 1
    8 comments
    ????
    Hmmmm

    • Anon

      The thing is, you have to manually navigate to page 0 (zero) to be on the first page.
      Just go to “Older Comments” page and then change the URL to …comment-page-0, all previous posts will show up.

      The True Hacker Wololo counts from 0.

  21. Ashton

    Well console games are expensive, there’s also banning console after modding. So it discourages people. Piracy brings in crowds of people.

    Consoles are mainly for gaming, however by modding it for homebrew you sacrifice a lot of functionality related to it’s original purpose. Piracy brings a lot of that back.

    In a way it’s quite funny. Since i know tons of pirates who would never buy a console game but have hundreds of legit games on steam etc.

    Main reasons? Price of games, and fact they treat pirates as demo versions and buy game only when they feel it’s worth their money.

  22. OK

    Any console scene is pretty much dead, times have changed.

  23. StriiX

    I would love to see something like Multiman on the PS4, or just an BIOS flash like in Brazil.
    So i could share games much easier with my friends. Bios Flashing on Linux is not a hard work.
    U just need the basic Linux that works fine. If we have have 4 guys who have diffrent PSn game or we buy Games together on 1 Account, blocking piracy would be useless.

    I would be happy if the PS4 can get XBMC userfriendly.
    That is the only thing i want.

  24. matthew

    I hate piracy in first place too, i buy my games and use multiman to get them on my hdd. Yes, iam to lazy to stand up and change the discs. this is what iam hoping for the ps4…yes and dont tell me, i could buy them over psn…i could, but the psn games are not phyisical and could stand in my shelf 😉 That are problems, eh…
    And the console games are way too expensive, eg. in which country. I dont know, what all of you earn in your job…but if you have one or two children, a house, and you are alone (ex. lost your wife)… then you cant buy every new game (at least, later when they get cheaper of course). And i can image how hard it must be i a “third world” country to buy expensive games. Piracy isn’t that bad, i hate it…but its sometime needed. I would prefer if a man buys food for his children, and copys a game, instead of letting his children hungry and buying a too expensive game (i know people, that are just working to survive, they dont really life, thats bad enough). Sorry, but we are ALL responsible about what goes wrong in this world, and piracy is useful in some ways…
    And now flood this thing with…yes online cheaters… be happy, that you can GO ONLINE…and you got an internet connection and piracy is bad…developers dont earn money…they DO earn money, because of people like me, which buy the games, and is using MMan to get it on hdd…and of course i will still buy, also when piracy is available, cause i still know, how to save some money, if i want something.

  25. Terricule

    I imagine it also helps when the devs within the community aren’t trying to sabotage each other, driving everyone away.

  26. Ouma

    I agree based on a personal experience, I never knew what homebrew is until I decided to hack my psp for free games, then I discovered this whole world of hacking and homebrew, which opens far more interesting things than just a hardware you buy that allows you to play pirated games.
    So “piracy” led me to homebrew and I even started contributing to it with what I can so far.

    Here is a conclusion I have for the whole matter : being able to play pirated games attracts ALOTTT of people, and very quickly, but human nature kicks in, and people just get bored of it and realize they can only play a handful of games and enjoy them really, then they start trying different things on their console, and that’s homebrew, and suddenly you get more active people in the homebrew community.

  27. Ouma

    PSP and wii have been the most appealing consoles hack-wise. 3Ds is becoming one of them too. Wii U needs more developpers but I think they are increasing so far. Even an announcement of an IOSU exploit made a lot of people buy a new wii U. Let alone if tools were developped later.
    Also for consoles I’m generally a nintendo fan, but I did consider buying a PS4 when the kernel exploit appeared. Linux seems to be appealing too, but I will not pay that much money for PS4 just for linux since I’m not that much interested in it versus PC gaming-wise.

    • Ouma

      And yeh I’m not afraid to say that if backup loading is enabled on ps vita, I’ll rush to buy one ! I don’t play much these days, but for the sake of curiusity I would like to try ps vita games without having to pay for each cartridge, I also like to buy consoles for my nephew and nieces with good amount of games without having to pay a fortune, for example when CFW appeared I bought 3 3Ds consoles for my nieces with CFW and games installed in SD card.

  28. allim

    everybody runing there mouth the world could end tomorrow and what will happend with all this. gone so let the people do what they like just saying

  29. bob

    majority of home-brew are emulators, which in theyre own way are complete piracy tools, so yes piracy is a huge part of homebrew, though most people dont much care about out of production old consoles or games.