Rocket Internet is regarded by many as the largest e-commerce venture capital firm. They have presence in dozens of countries all over the world, but what would happen if such a big name was advocating, or at least allowing piracy on their businesses.
I was going through my work on our website when I saw the ad that was being run on the page. The ad was by an online e-commerce website that goes by the name of Kaymu.
It was for Ubisoft’s latest action adventure title Watch Dogs which was being sold for around $1.2 (Well actually it was PKR129 but that is approximately equal to $1.2 in Pakistan). Yes, it was a pirated video game.
I went to the website, only to find that they had dozens of titles, old and new, on sale for exactly the same price. After investigating further, I found out that the website was actually a property of Rocket Internet and it had a presence in a total of 31 countries all over the globe!
If they are letting pirated games to be sold on their website’s Pakistani version, what’s stopping them from doing so in the other 30 countries? Even more than that, what’s going on with the other projects then?
Now Kaymu doesn’t sell the products themselves, but it is a place that allows sellers to meet buyers. The thing that makes all this wrong is, that a property of Rocket Internet is allowing the sale of something that is illegal!
This is ludicrous!
This makes me wonder what happened to the corporate associations and the law enforcement agencies as well as governments that have been standing up against copyright infringement and in favor of anti-piracy.
Not to forget the extensive moral and ethical responsibilities that all the good names in the commerce and e-commerce business vow to uphold.
Here in Pakistan, piracy is rampant but when it comes to video games, the dedicated community has always preferred to buy retail discs even at a premium price of $75.
If companies like Rocket Internet keep making things hard for those among the community who wish to get rid of piracy and unethical practices, how can we expect the consumers to come out clean in Pakistan?
Rocket Internet’s blatant advertising of pirated video games will definitely hurt Publisher confidence when it comes to launching video games in Pakistan.
Considering every Publisher launches video games in India, and Pakistan is a similar market, if we discourage these practices, we have a chance to convince video games publishers to launch their games in a similar fashion.
What’s your take on it?