Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 21 Apr 2020.
Geforce Now has always struck me as being a little bit skeevy. It's a paid for remote access system that connects to somebody else's services and licenses, then Nvidia's attitude seems to be no need to thank us guys. Nvidia don't seem to have any plans for actually sharing out those subscription fees.
I can see the basic idea of game streaming from your Steam Library having a ton of merit. But I am not surprised publishers and developers are telling Nvidia to do one over money.
Why would they? You already own the game. You could stream the game you own from your own PC to your own device, and you could rent a server in a server farm somewhere to install your game that you own to stream to your own device, so GeForce Now basically takes that second scenario and automates it.
Or in other words: the publishers already got their cut. It's sour grapes to complain about not being paid twice.
Morally I agree.
Legally it isn't that simple.
Legally if you buy a game then you a granted a license to install and play it, however since Nvidia isn't part of that license they have no legal right to install the game on their server without obtaining explicit consent from the publishers (which will likely involve giving the publishers money).
You wrote and published a book, you sold a copy of the book, later on you find out that someone else is charging a subscription to the person who you sold the book to so they can read your book on their phone. They're making a revenue stream out of your work, they advertise access to your work as a selling point, they use your face and name, pay you nothing, but it's okay because you got your one time payment.
It's not sour grapes to question why someone else is charging money for access to your product. I imagine if Nvidia tried this for music, movies, comics or books they would have been buried under an avalanche of lawyers by now.
I agree that buyers shouldn't have to pay for the same game twice (although I bought Battlefield 2 three times in the end), but at the same time Nvidia is trying to set up what amounts to a parasitic business model. To use Geforce Now the user is still paying twice for their product, but that second payment is being syphoned off entirely by Nvidia, who are just as reliant on the game's upkeep as the user but contributed nothing to it. I can't see why any publisher or developer would agree to be part of it.
I could see the argument being made that Geforce Now amounts to public performance or re-distribution too, since it's allowing games to appear in locations and devices they otherwise wouldn't. Which would be fine except Nvidia's charging money for it, which is skirting copyright law awfully close.
That's not the same - the book is a stand alone thing. A game is data that requires a machine to use it, you buy the game and it gives you one licence to play it say using steam. In this case you have been using your home machine, you decide instead to use a remote machine provided by Nvidia. Both use your steam account to allow you to access your one copy of the game.
If you think that Nvidia is wrong to rent you time on one of their machines, would you think it's wrong to just rent a pc instead of buying one to play a game on, or perhaps on your pc you feel the developer is right to enforce only playing the game if your machine doesn't have an nvidia card in?
In my opinion you bought the right to play the game using the steam content delivery system which gives fair usage by only allowing you to play it on one machine at a time. It shouldn't matter which machine you decide to play on - it could be a local one you bought or a remote one you rented. If you are using steam content delivery then you are fairly using the game that you paid for.
I don't see why a game dev should get a cut of what Nvidia gets paid for renting you a machine. Should you also pay them a cut when you buy a PC because that's basically the same thing - purchase of hardware to enable you to play games?
On the contrary: Nvidia are the only ones doing any additional labour (hosting of managed servers), the original publishers are doing nothing.
To make it clearer: imagine you were renting a physical box for local network streaming. You don't own the box, the company renting it to you does. You own the game, and you can stream it from that box to your own device just as you can stream it from a box you own outright to your own device. The publisher does not get a cut from the renter just because the box hosting is rented rather than owned.
Yes, you have the right to install it on whatever machine you want, however that doesn't mean nvidia have the right to obtain or use the game data in any shape or form (without obtaining permission for it).
Basically if you rented a blank server from nvidia, uploaded the game yourself and then streamed it from that setup it would be all covered, but nvidia doing it on your behalf isn't.
Nvidia don't have the game data anymore then MS have the game data because you were running windows when you started steam and played the game. Any game saves are stored in steam as they would be on your home pc.
If you go to uplay, buy a copy of whatever the latest Assasins Creed is, then order a PC from Dell you can install it on that PC.
Dell however can't preinstall it for you (without Dell obtaining permission from Ubicrap).
The exact same principle applies when one rents a PC (as is the case with Geforce Now).
That's even worse! They're installing the games and distributing them for a fee based on an unconnected service's licenses, that most definitely falls afoul of copyright law. It's a matter of time before they get sued.
Not true for steam - you can copy the app data around to lots of machines, you just can't play it without a valid steam account and geforce now is just using steam - if you pick some beta of some lesser game you'll see it has to download it like you would on your local machine.
For the 53rd time...
You != Nvidia
Your rights != The rights of Nvidia
You are not renting a blank server from nvidia and then installing the game there yourself, nvidia is doing it for you, which is why the publishers complaining are on the right side of the law (and why nvidia should have asked for permission rather than forgiveness).
Nvidia is renting me a PC running steam. Steam is downloading and installing the game just like it does on your PC not Nvidia - which you can see if you pick a game that hadn't been previously downloaded.
Separate names with a comma.