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Old 09-16-2013, 05:05 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Darkest Salop
Default Re: Nanofabricators, DRM and Forced Scarcity

Originally Posted by Seneschal View Post
I told them that, if we didn't change technological assumptions, their space piracy operation would look more like "bank robbers/art thieves/kidnappers that also happen to have a ship," and they seemed fine with it. But now that the setting is getting a full rewrite, I asked them how we could build it from the ground-up with space piracy in mind (without slipping into retro-space-opera)...

So space pirates would be of the copyright-infringing variety this time. They'd use ships to intercept tight-beam data transfers, copy blueprints, programs, music, invids, slinks or whatever, get the data to a kind of Port Royal for cracking, and resell it as "hassle-free" data (or give it away for free if they get their funding from some kind of infosocialist government).

So, how many holes can you people poke through this?
My big concern would be if you could really build a sustained campaign on this premise when at the end of the day it is going to boil down, depending upon the precise setup, to sitting dead in space waiting for either a randomly timed signal or getting shot out of the sky by whatever passes for IP enforcement.

To complicate matters I would also expect that on an interplanetary/ interstellar scale these plans will be distributed through local servers with the long range data transfers being carefully orchestrated one off affairs using multiple separate channels with product data being in place before the product is formally announced. If this is the case then your pirates would be better placed trying to raid local transfers which is probably a dead end as far as your campaign is concerned.

On the other hand a one off interception of a specific transfer might be an interesting change of pace in something resembling you original campaign premise of 'ship borne art thieves'.
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