At John The Green's suggestion, I'm going to try to reword what I'm asking (again) to make it clearer to people. However, I'm going to keep the original below in case I somehow manage to make it worse.

When people are looking for guidelines for how to address a question related to piracy, they usually turn to this question. The most popular answer to this question says that questions should only be marked as piracy-related questions if they are asking for help with pirating a game, or if the question is only useful for other piraters. If the question, on the other hand, is about a bug that applies to all users of the game, not just pirates, it should just be modified to remove references to pirating.

However, I am now suggesting that this policy towards questions opens up a new issue with comments/answers. This issue is: If question is asked by a pirater of a game about some bug they are experiencing, we don't know if the bug is related to the fact that they pirated the game. This has led to comments/answers that are only useful to those who have pirated the game, such as:

Have you considered that the torrent is incomplete? Also, there appears to be nothing wrong with the start screen... Not that I can see - Could you maybe put a red circle around where the visual defect is?

If we are to allow questions by piraters of a game to be answered on this site, we should at least ignore and remove the piracy aspect of the question, and treat it as if it were asked by legitimate owner of the game. If the issue the asker of the question is having really is related to the fact that they pirated the game, then eventually we will deem the issue unsolvable, and give up on the question. That is how it should be, because we should not be giving help that is solely useful to illegitimate users of the game.

Original Version

The help page makes it clear that this site doesn't tolerate question about pirated games. I myself think this is great; I've always found it annoying when piraters raise the price of a game for the rest of us (sure, maybe companies can, as the argument goes, take the loss, but can your fellow gamers?). Anyways, what should be done about answer/comments helping questions involving piracy. In particular, this question which, while now closed, has now been re-asked in this question) brought this to my attention. I would like to note that the re-asked version of the question doesn't contain the problem I'm talking about, I'm including it because someone would invariable point out that it has been asked again, and then say that the question seems fine to them.

Edit: As I mentioned in a comment below, I think that I should add that by helping, I mean specifically addressing piracy in their answers and comments. As this question seemed to suggest, it's one thing if the question applies to, and thus helps, all users of the game, not just piraters. However, if the question is really centered around the piracy aspect of it, that's when the anti-piracy rule applies. It only makes sense that a similar logic be applied to comments/answers that discuss how to fix things that are only broken due to piracy.

  • @galacticninja No, not really. This isn't about the questions, it's about the answers. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:15
  • Clearly a large amount of people reading this are having trouble understanding what exactly you're getting at. Perhaps try to reword it again with exact examples of answers/comments that you're referring to? You linked to a question then proceeded to tell everyone over and over that it wasn't about questions... Apr 12, 2015 at 19:37
  • I don't understand why you guys consider this question to be a duplicate of this question. Though related, they are not the same. The only time the other question mentions comments is when the person admits to piracy, this is not the same as a user giving advice in a comment that is only helpful for users of the pirated version of the game. Apr 13, 2015 at 3:32
  • 1
    Upon reading closer, the answer to your question is a) Downvote answers b) address the users in the comments and tell them we don't support piracy and c) flag the question for mod attention if the commenters continue to discuss and support piracy. A closed question will be deleted eventually, if it's a lone comment just leave it.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Apr 13, 2015 at 5:09

3 Answers 3


I feel like that particular question is different because it's not about piracy.

It's a problem that could be faced by non-pirates, as far as I can tell, and his question really has nothing to do with piracy, that's just how he happened to have got the game (not that I'm condoning that).

On the other hand, if he had asked for help pirating it, or for getting around this problem if it were an anti-pirate measure, that would be different.

In the words of Raven Dreamer♦:

As I see it, closing a question strictly because the asker admits (or implies) the use of an illegal copy, is a misuse of close votes.

Granted, the way the question stands, it's a poor one, but not imo an off-topic one.

  • 2
    My only issue is that it is getting hard to tell what is and is not copy protection these days. Some devs are getting crafty, and I would not put it past a particularly clever group to somehow add protection in such a way that progressively causes more frequent and larger graphical errors the longer a pirated game is played. Apr 11, 2015 at 22:47
  • @TrentHawkins I'm fairly sure that's already been done, actually. Correctly identifying what happens on a legit copy or not might be a problem, but I don't think it will usually be a terribly difficult one. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:02
  • 1
    What I'm asking here is about comments/answers that are only of use to piraters. The question may be of use to other, legitimate owners of the game, however, some of these comments are not. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:13
  • @lorentzfactor I'm having trouble thinking of a scenario when piracy is a viable answer for a legitimate question. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:46
  • @JohntheGreen I think you're slightly misunderstanding what I'm saying. It's not that the answer (I'm using "answer" to refer to comments as well) recommends piracy as the solution, it's when it responds to a question that involves piracy and specifically addresses the piracy aspect of that question. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:54
  • @lorentzfactor Are you referring on your deleted answer on the question you linked? In that specific case, since I think there's an actual question there, I would flag any answers that didn't answer it (like yours doesn't) as not an answer. Apr 12, 2015 at 2:06
  • @JohntheGreen That's not what I was referring to. But now that we're on that topic, yeah, I realized about 5 seconds after posting it that it was a really stupid way to address the issue of piracy in that question, so I deleted it and flagged the question instead. Okay, so now back to the discussion. I think I need to clarify what I'm saying a second time. When I said address, I meant an answer/comment (really comment, in the question I've used as an example) that gives information or help that is only useful to those that have pirated the game. Apr 12, 2015 at 2:26
  • @lorentzfactor That visual defect can appear in any game; pirated or not. It's a simple case of outdated/malfunctioning GPU/drivers causing broken textures and models. I've had this problem with League of Legends. So does it mean I pirated it? Even though League is a F2P game?
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:16
  • @aytimothy Yes, that's why this question is about the answer/comments, not the question itself. Your comment-which suggested a torrenting-related issue-was only of use to those who had pirated the game. Apr 12, 2015 at 5:45
  • I at first thought it was the torrent (which would then mean "update or buy the game") but now it's graphical issues - Nothing to do with piracy, since it's not programmed in. (Saints Row IV on the other hand was purposely programmed and is part of the storyline, but that's off the topic here), and yes - This problem can apply to anyone, regardless of they pirated it or not.
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:46
  • @lorentzfactor Also, closing a question is for the downvoting is for bad answers and questions; not bad comments - Simply closing it and downvoting is just a misuse of the powers. It's like "You're a pirate. SCRAM!". It's as what Raven Dreamer♦ said above; closing a question based on it's comments is not allowed as it's the same as saying "No, we don't want to answer your question because you pirated it."
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:50
  • So, if I was to complain on two questions about graphical issues; models tearing; Both about League of Legends and the only difference was that one was torrented and the other was from the actual source; pvp.net - Does it mean that they should be closed?
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:53
  • Look: I'm not saying anything about comments or answer that have to do with non-piracy related issues. Those may help other users who didn't pirate the game. That's great, and the point of this site. Your comments, on the other hand, are, as I have stated before, only useful to those who have pirated the game. And that is beyond the scope/tolerance of this site. Apr 12, 2015 at 5:54
  • @aytimothy Oh, and in an attempt to avoid any more confusing, it's not all of your comments that I have a problem with, just the ones that contain piracy-related solutions. Apr 12, 2015 at 6:28
  • It's been deleted. So why are we arguing? I'm not going to take this any further. (Grr.. Stop pressing enter after every word!)
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 6:51

Okay, so now that I've discussed this thoroughly and I feel that I understand the community policy for questions relating to piracy better, here's my answer.

It seems that, as per the meta question about piracy-related questions the community agrees that, at a bare minimum, the anti-piracy policy of Arqade means that a question is off topic due to piracy, and thus should be flagged and removed, if it is asking about something that is only going to be pertaining to users of the pirated version of the game.

Now, what I propose is that we apply a similar vein of reasoning to determine the bare-minimum anti-piracy policy for those who help people who ask piracy-related questions. This means that we should flag and remove answers/comments that give advice that could only be of use piraters as off topic due to the answer/comment being about piracy.

The example I've been using of a comment/answer that is definitely only of use to pirates, even if the question itself may still be of use to the community as a whole, is this one:

Have you considered that the torrent is incomplete? Also, there appears to be nothing wrong with the start screen... Not that I can see - Could you maybe put a red circle around where the visual defect is?

(and I'm sorry that I keep on using your comment aytimothy, it's just the one that I happened to run into)

The question this comment was in response to, though asked by someone who had a pirated version of the game, was about a problem that, in the end, had a non-piracy related solution. However, before the solution had been found, commenters, like in the case above, had suggested a piracy-related cause to the problem. If we are to allow questions by piraters, we should at least ban answer that involve their piracy.

On a side note, the question I'm referring to has since been deleted. It would be great if it could be made publicly accessible (but un-editable) again somehow so that people can see the scenario I'm talking about.


The correct response is to flag it for closure, down-vote and move on.

  • I mean, while I understand that that will eventually close the question (I don't have the rep to downvote yet, but I did flag it), in the meantime the person is getting a quality Arqade bug solving session. It seems like the anti-piracy policy is really undermined by this. Apr 11, 2015 at 9:45
  • At quiet times of day, things take longer to get closed / dealt with. I don't see any quality interactions happenning on that post. And, even if it weren't a piracy issue it's really not clear what the person is asking.
    – TZHX
    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:30
  • Okay, admittedly that may have been a bit of an overstatement. Looking back on it, I think the point I was trying to get at is that some of these comments openly acknowledge and tailor their answers to piracy related bugs. E.g. "Have you considered that the torrent is incomplete? Also, there appears to be nothing wrong with the start screen... Not that I can see - Could you maybe put a red circle around where the visual defect is?" If the answers/comments are directed solely towards those who pirated the game, isn't this no better than asking the question itself? Apr 11, 2015 at 10:47
  • Well, you've already deleted your answer, and there's not much that can be done about comments (I don't think it's worth the mods time to flag them). Just move on, trust that it will soon be closed (was awaiting one more vote last I saw) and promptly deleted.
    – TZHX
    Apr 11, 2015 at 11:28
  • @lorentzfactor an incomplete torrent is the same as a half-downloaded game on Steam (meaning the Steam/the torrent manager says it's complete, even though it's not running properly), resulting in an answer of "Try verifying your game cache. (Or wait for a bugfix)" (if reworded in terms of Steam).
    – aytimothy
    Apr 11, 2015 at 13:57
  • @aytimothy But the point is, it doesn't say "Try verifying your game cache. (Or wait for a bugfix)", because it was not downloaded from Steam. Just because there is an equivalent problem for non-pirated games doesn't mean that it is the same thing. "Have you considered that the torrent is incomplete? Also, there appears to be nothing wrong with the start screen... Not that I can see - Could you maybe put a red circle around where the visual defect is?" is of no use to non-piraters. Apr 11, 2015 at 23:05
  • @lorentzfactor Actually. We already deduced that the question was about graphical issues, which is caused by broken/outdated drivers. So, this question is therefore not about piracy. It's like: If my League of Legends characters have all their models distorted, does it mean I pirated it? | Oh. Hangon. League of Legends is free in the first place!
    – aytimothy
    Apr 12, 2015 at 5:13
  • @aytimothy This is pretty much the same thing you said in the comment above. I'll just copy paste my previous response: "Yes, that's why this question is about the answer/comments, not the question itself. However, your comment-which suggested a torrenting-related issue-was only of use to those who had pirated the game." Apr 12, 2015 at 5:46

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