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If a user asks a question involving accessing content not usually available to the demo but rather the full game, does this break the site guideline on piracy listed below?

Please note, however, that site policies prohibit questions of the following types:

  • Piracy, and support with pirated games

This begs the broader question, does accessing paid content through a demo using exploits even fall into the category of piracy?

The definition of video game piracy is "the unauthorized copying and distributing of video game software, and is a form of copyright infringement."source This seems to imply that in order for a person to commit piracy, they need to copy content from a full version of the game without paying for it, or by downloading or attaining a copy of the game without exchanging money with a reputable distributor.

Technically, an exploit to access more content does not constitute piracy according to this definition, but it is apparent that a company would not permit this if they were aware of the exploit.

Does accessing paid content through a demo using exploits fall into the category of piracy? Regardless if it does, should Arqade restrict questions involving this type of content?

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In general: This is a bit of a gray area. It's not always obvious whether a developer strictly intended for a demo to allow something, and developers (usually) do intend for players to download and play demos without paying for them. There is nothing wrong with asking questions about a demo rather than the full version of a game. On the other hand, if a demo can be "cracked" to turn it into a full copy of the game, we certainly should not help a user do that. In summary, we should not blindly VTC everything that has the word "demo" in it, but instead we should carefully consider the available evidence and what the question is asking.

In this particular case: Minecraft's demo does not support multiplayer, and this lack of support is very obviously intentional. The only "correct" answer would be "Buy the full game," as any other answer would be tantamount to a crack of the demo. Therefore, I think it should either be closed, or get a one-line "go buy the game" answer. I'm indifferent as to which of those two outcomes is preferred, but we should not help this user crack their demo.

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Does accessing paid content through a demo using exploits fall into the category of piracy?

Yes. You are bypassing a restriction in order to access paid content or features for free. Getting paid content or features for free is the definition of piracy, and we have a zero-tolerance stance on providing support for piracy. The definition you cited is not an expansive definition, and really only touches on one aspect of video game piracy, which is sharing games in an unauthorized manner. Cracking a game in order to access portions of the game that you have not paid for (in order to get past a demo timer, exceed a free tier level cap, or, in this case, access online play that requires an additional purchase) is also piracy.

Regardless if it does, should Arqade restrict questions involving this type of content?

Asking questions about a demo is not off-topic in and of itself. Asking questions about how to access content or features that are available to paying customers but aren't available to demo users is off-topic if the asker is specifically trying to access the content or features from a demo version of the game.

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