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Ultraboy94

Buying Second-hand games could now be illegal

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Well thats just shit news... =/

How else am I supposed to get all the games I lost in a fire few years back? Huh? To hell with me working an emulator, I only use SNES one cause I have the games... But PSX and PS2?

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Mithral_Demon said:

How else am I supposed to get all the games I lost in a fire few years back?

Renter's insurance is supposed to cover the replacement cost of your belongings, though retroactive insurance can be hard to find.

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That reminds me of this thread.

I doubt that this judgement will go unchallenged though to be on the safe side it'd be a good idea to read software licence agreements before installing - preferably before purchasing. Often enough licences are transferable, provided the seller doesn't retain a copy of the software. As for my mountain of second-hand C64 and Amiga software - I'm not worried - most of the publishers are defunct and many Amiga titles were re-licensed as freeware after copyright control reverted from publisher to author.

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.. and soon you have to pay for every megabyte you install into your computer -.-


what the hell is wrong with all these companies?!?
it would be like if ID Software suddenly had ideas about closing CD keys which is not being registerd within 1 week after being installed on a PC ( and dont give a shit if its installed on a mac ) which gets even more stupid beacuse they dont know which copies it is who are being installed so after releasing their game they wait 2 months then they disable all copies and shuts down the entire multiplayer ( via internet ) server cluster ...

if I see scenarios like that Im gonna eat someones parents!

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The article actually specified:
... the court case revolved around AutoCAD ...


...aka a software package that costs thousands of dollars and is meant for a specific market niche.

Da judge sed:
"A software user is a licensee rather than an owner."


Not only that, but in the case of a software that's

  • Niche-specific
  • Expensive
  • Its licensees are controlled and it's relatively easy to check on who's using it (how was Autodesk aware of the sale, to begin with? I doubt this was an auto-filed case)
it's only natural that the user license will be much more draconian and explicit about reselling.

Video games are much more capillary, widespread, and hard to check upon, and individual users are generally not worthwhile persecuting to this extent -they can't be milked for multi-million $$$ lawsuitslike a big-time AutoCAD user can, after all. IMHO, the only reason for game companies to insist upon locked content and non-tranferable licenses is because they have so marginal profits that they're scrounging for pennies at the bottom of the barrel, but for the most part all that "ZOMG GAME COMPANIEZ 'R GONNA LOCK YOUR ASS OUT OF YOUR GAME!!!" talk is about things to come. Maybe. With no retroactive effect.

On the other hand, a company like AutoDesk or Beta S.A. that make specialty software with specific niches, will usually pay big bucks to the BSA and go through lengths to work closely with the IRS in each country to make sure that nobody is using even AutoCAD v1.0 from 1980 without a license.

A very common "dirty trick" in the business world is to "snitch" upon a competitor and have him receive an audit by the BSA and the IRS on their software licenses -IT departments with "kill switches" in case of a surprise inspection/audit are not unheard of.

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All part of the plan for the big companies to control every bit of music, games, software etc. we consume. (although they won't catch everybody with this until computers themselves become locked down)

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Let's not forget one thing: This is only in the US! And considering the specific case, as Maes stated it's very doubtful that this ruling could be upheld for games, if at all. It may well be overturned.

In several European countries it'd not be possible anyway to apply these rules to anything that's sold. I have seen several licenses containing such clauses and they are null and void under most current copyright laws.

Now, before everyone starts to panic, would this really be worse than what we already got? Most games are either infested with DRM or being sold as internet downloads and both schemes already take care of the resale issue (meaning the companies won't sell anything to people like me.)

So, people: Continue to use Steam and we'll get there faster than you might think.

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Graf Zahl said:

So, people: Continue to use Steam and we'll get there faster than you might think.


People like me.

Reminded of this quote: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

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Graf Zahl said:

And considering the specific case, as Maes stated it's very doubtful that this ruling could be upheld for games, if at all. It may well be overturned.


I doubt that this particular ruling will be overturned: in order to even detect such a transaction and bring it to court, private investigation/business snitching/BSA crotch-sniffing/IRS involvement must have occurred, with all the legal and economic shitstorm that would ensue.

Especially in the case of commercial/industrial software like AutoCAD, it's very easy for the accuser to claim that copying makes them lose a significant part of their revenue. It would be as is industrial equipment was subleased or copied and then sold again, with enormous losses for the original manufacturer/seller (and laws regulating industry practices are upheld, at least in the USA).

If anything, this might terminate with an ad-hoc settlement between the involved parties.

Graf Zahl said:

So, people: Continue to use Steam and we'll get there faster than you might think.


The game industry is miles away from industrial production and design, but yeah, using Steam has already introduced an unprecedented degree of control (for the distributor) over the ephemerality of the content, and allows actually enforcing a "user license" mentality.

I think it's not even possible to "transfer" a Steam game you bought to someone else, right? Like, you can't buy just one use license and then transfer it to your buddies in a round-robin fashion so that everybody gets a shot, even without paying you, and I guess there would be a lot of legal paperwork if you wanted to change account ownership.

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If video games only costed $5 each like their actual value they wouldn't need to make all these laws to protect video game developer's potential profit.

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Maes said:

I think it's not even possible to "transfer" a Steam game you bought to someone else, right? Like, you can't buy just one use license and then transfer it to your buddies in a round-robin fashion so that everybody gets a shot, even without paying you, and I guess there would be a lot of legal paperwork if you wanted to change account ownership.

it is sort of possible. mostly with the dos based games such as Doom or commander keen.

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40oz said:

If video games only costed $5 each like their actual value they wouldn't need to make all these laws to protect video game developer's potential profit.


I don't know how much control the authors have over final price, at least those that don't do their own distribution: if you noticed, there's a minimum, standard price at which new CD Albums, DVD movies, books etc. are sold. EVERY new product will have that price, whether it's a masterpiece like Crysis 2 or a piece of crap like Big Rigs. No exceptions.

Of course, we all know that most stuff in the Big Rigs league will end pretty quickly into the bargain bin, while more quality stuff will maintain a high, full, or even PREMIUM price for much longer, similar to how e.g. rehashes of Beatles or Rolling Stones albums with their same old songs cost the same, if not more as new albums.

My point is: only those game companies that make their own distribution can decide for something like that (and then again, there would be "fair trade" clauses preventing them from selling games too low compared to the market average, at least in shops).

Those that ride on larger publishers have virtually no control over their price: as I said, whether that publisher happens to be distributing Crysis or Big Rigs, the pointy-haireds in Management will recite the following mantra: "The MSRP for a new game in the current market is $X. We will release game Y at a price $X. Full stop."

On the other hand, selling for $5 a game when the market MSRP is $50-$60 is not an insignificant risk...so then again, only large companies can try something like that, but there are clues that their profits are already marginal, so who would take that risk? Unless that move results in 12x more sales, it will cause a financial loss.

I'm sure that they already factored in market elasticity and demand much better than we did, in setting their current price policy: yeah, some groups of grumpy, bitter misers like us may complain about "games should be costing $5" but it seems the average Joe Consumer buys enough of the $50-$60 ones to allow them to survive in the market, and some Ph.D in economy must have asserted that decreasing price won't result in profit through proportionately increased sales, else they'd have already done it. End of story.

glaber said:

it is sort of possible. mostly with the dos based games such as Doom or commander keen.


I don't mean copying the game files around to your buddies, I mean legally saying through Steam's interface "transfer my game license for game Y to my buddy X, who can now download it and play it as if it was his own all along".

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24 hours and this is already a FUD fest. All the court said is that you must abide by the license terms of the software you purchase, including terms that state that you cannot re-sell the software, should they exist. EULAs are a contract. You agree to each and every part of them when you use the software covered by the EULA. If this is a problem with you contact the FSF and let them help you transition to a EULA free life. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and quit playing chicken little and pretending the sky is falling. You aren't doing anything but sounding like mongs by just whining about it on an internet forum.

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You must have missed the part where I took the time to explain to people why their fearmongering is irrational. Or you chose to ignore it. Either way, you're just all kinds of clever broad aren't you?

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John Smith said:

You must have missed the part where I took the time to explain to people why their fearmongering is irrational. Or you chose to ignore it. Either way, you're just all kinds of clever broad aren't you?


Evil money grubbing corporations are involved here so everything you said was clearly irrelevant.

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The US courts already decided before that AutoCAD software could be resold by the end user, in this court case : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernor_v._Autodesk,_Inc.

They changed their mind, for some reason.

The moral of this story? US courts are completely pants on head retarded when it comes to copyright law and computer software.

Also, as videogames do not (usually) cost thousands up-front, there's not much chance EULAs from hell are going to be enforced when you sell your copy of Crysis to Gamestop. :P

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D_GARG said:

games should be made with pride, money is just something that comes along, in my opinion.


Wow, I am sure your (future) employer (will) like you then. Instead of expecting a paycheck, you work in pride instead and hoping you will get money sometime.

I hope you do realize thats people working for a living in the game studioes.

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D_GARG said:

games should be made with pride, money is just something that comes along, in my opinion.

I suppose freelance artists should do the same thing?

At any rate its usually not the studios that are the problem, its the marketers.

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Torn said:

Wow, I am sure your (future) employer (will) like you then. Instead of expecting a paycheck, you work in pride instead and hoping you will get money sometime.

I hope you do realize thats people working for a living in the game studioes.

I think you're misunderstanding D_GARG. Employees get paid no matter what. They're not the ones whose pay depends on the success of the project. The people funding the project are the ones taking on the risk and therefore the ones who stand to reap the rewards.

What D_GARG said has some merit. Should games be thought of as products created by employees to make a predictable profit? Or should they be thought of along the same lines as music and film? i.e. high-risk, high-reward ventures. Some of the greatest movies are made "with pride" and they owe their monetary success to those high standards. Still, most movies are made on fairly tight budgets. Do the employees on the set depend on their paychecks any less than the game developers? I see no reason to believe that. What's the difference here?

I think it would be great if games were in the latter category (high-risk, high-reward), but clearly they're diverging from this. Game publishers are doing everything they can to reduce the risk of their projects and mimic the successes of the industry.

In pretty much any other creative industry, whether it's music, film, or literature, the key to success is often to take a big risk and do something that hasn't been done before. In the gaming industry, the key is to do exactly what's been successful before while adding a new coat of paint. Just look at Halo, Guitar Hero, COD, Super Mario, Madden, etc. What needs to happen for this to change?

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John Smith said:

You must have missed the part where I took the time to explain to people why their fearmongering is irrational. Or you chose to ignore it. Either way, you're just all kinds of clever broad aren't you?


Yes, that's right. I have now become a woman and that has made me more clever. :D

What I should have said before is they're not doing any fearmongering anyway. Most of the posts are talking about the limitations of that judgement. You just popped up and said the equivalent of "you can't complain because IT'S THE LAW!" You can always complain about the law -- any law. It's healthy and good. Sadly, it was easier to agree us all being whiners and you being one too and thus my post was short, lazy and pretty stupid.

@AndrewB: What needs to change would be that games are produced by an industry. As long as there are companies (especially public ones) the business-minded way of doing things will always be practiced by many. It sucks, but it's not really worse in games than it is for anything else. What helps is when we play indie games, which do tend to have nicer licensing terms anyway. It doesn't kill the big-business types, but it keeps the other guys around in many cases.

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A question I've seen before:
What needs to happen for this to change?

Stop...buying...it.

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AndrewB said:

Employees get paid no matter what. They're not the ones whose pay depends on the success of the project.


Someone's never worked for a relatively small company before.

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Needless to say, none of this affects t3h w4r3z d00dz.

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Aliotroph? said:

And you aren't doing anything different by whining about people's whining.

Methinks the Americans need a pirate party.

We have one already actually. Of course third parties have no power in America so it doesn't matter.

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udderdude said:

Someone's never worked for a relatively small company before.

Actually, I have. I worked for a year at a company with 2 people (including me) and after that a company with 4 people for 6 months. They were indescribably crappy companies but I always got a paycheck. If I didn't I would undoubtedly quit.

You're missing the point though. D_GARG said "games should be made with pride, money is just something that comes along". In no way did he say that employees should be the ones bearing the risk and waiting for the profit. It makes no sense to assume that he meant this. IMO people are disagreeing with an incorrect and illogical interpretation of what he said.

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D_GARG said:

games should be made with pride, money is just something that comes along, in my opinion.


Didn't that -undoubtedly noble- attitude die somewhere in the late 80s/early 90s, when videogame production budgets first started being comparable to a movie's?

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