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Windows Valve being sued by EU

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Harlequin, 22 Jul 2013.

  1. Jedra

    Jedra Supermodel

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    In the old days I used to give my Nephew a box of my old PC games every now and again when I had finished with them. It would be cool to do the same with Steam games.

    I have already confirmed with Steam that I am allowed to transfer my library to a named individual after my death - in fact it is now part of my will in a long list of accounts from other vendors who have confirmed that this is now possible.

    It is a short step from here to allow gifting of used games and the European Ruling seems to underline that this should now be possible.

    The EULA has never been properly tested in a court of law - there have been a number of challenges but nothing specific to gaming. It will be good if this is sorted out as currently consumers are not getting the same deal as they would with every other type of purchase they make.
     
  2. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    An interesting discussion of the used games problem/s:



    A lot of YMMV concepts in play here - so much depends on your definitions and expectations. One thing that's certain is the fact that used game sales don't pay or incentivize the developers or publishers, and I'm surprised that this bothers gamers so little. Personally I'd want to see as much of the money go to the devs as possible; brick-and-mortar retailers are a fifth wheel in the entire system now that online services and online distribution are here, and I don't like the idea of so much money going to them for somebody else's intellectual property.

    But, as people are saying more and more, Steam are in a position (with pure 100% digital distribution) to make used sales pay the right people. They could have a cut of used sales going back to themselves and the devs, just as with first-time sales. I think that would be a good idea, even if normal physical-copy used sales aren't. I know I've got a couple of titles on Steam that I wouldn't mind passing on.

    The ethics of digital license ownership are murky, though. I don't really own copies of these games, just licenses to play them; it's not as intuitively obvious that I should be able to pass a license on to somebody else. You can't resell a magazine subscription, insurance policy or club membership; like those things, content licenses are uniquely attached to the person who pays for them the first time.
     
  3. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    @boiled_elephant: And i will point you back to the Oracle/UsedSoft ruling, which declared exactly this "digital licence is not transferable" part as not compliant with the EU law.

    http://curia.europa.eu/juris/docume...EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=5213884

    And about Valve - they could do it as they do it with the marketplace and TF2/DOTA fee for TF2/DOTA items (that is 5% standard fee for all marketplace sales and 5% extra fee for TF2/DOTA items - it could be 5% extra fee to the publisher in case of used game sale).
     
  4. Jedra

    Jedra Supermodel

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    @Boiled_elephant - the entertainment industry is the only one where the developers of a product expect to get paid for not only the first sale, but the second, third, fourth (etc) sales as well.

    Every other sector in commerce has factored in the fact that they make nothing from second hand sales. In the motor industry (as well as others) they actually promote used sales as it helps to create and retain brand loyalty.
     
  5. Measter

    Measter New Member

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    As far as I know, that's not actually true for a licence with no time limit under EU law. That's partly where this lawsuit is coming from. As I recall, in the Oracle case it was decided that a licence with no time limit was the same as owning the software, and therefore the owner can re-sell it.
     
  6. CrazyJoe

    CrazyJoe Well-Known Member

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    So Valve and the publishers will get together and say the license is for 100 years. Job done.
     
  7. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    Anything more than few years will count as lifetime to the courts, and courts don't like if you are making joke of them.
     
  8. miller

    miller New Member

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    I just don't get that attitude, why are game devs so different or should be treated so different from any other manufacturer, I hope with that attitude you only ever buy a new car, bike, PC, house, etc, because otherwise those manufacturers don't get a penny if you buy second hand as it all goes to the seller.

    I guess it doesn't matter if a shop that sells used games as part of it's trade closes because of used game sale restrictions but what if the same restrictions applied to other goods, there would be a hell of a lot of people out of work if garages, second hand shops, charity shops, cash generator type shops let alone all the boot sales were not allowed to sell used goods, I just don't understand why game devs should expect a cut of used game sales when manufacturers of most other goods don't get anything.

    This is nothing to do with piracy, it's purely about after sales profit.
     
  9. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    If you watch the video discussion, he does describe why analogies to other industries and products don't hold up. Other products like cars and books degrade over time; games are essentially immortal. One game is good forever. If cars literally lasted forever, the prices would be much higher - and even then, used sales upon used sales would eventually make them prohibitively expensive.

    I'm not sure why collars are getting hot all of a sudden, though. Is the resale of used video games really such a sensitive issue? I haven't been keeping up. All of the pundits and video loggers discussing it speak in really hushed tones, like they're treading on sacred ground by discussing it at all, but I'm not sure why. All that's at stake here is our ability to recoup a few £s a year. Now that Steam's doing its thang, it isn't even about getting games cheaper - we don't need used sales for that any more.

    I'm sensitive about most of my civil and statutory rights, but this? If somebody told me tomorrow that I was never allowed to resell a video game ever again, I'd struggle to muster a shrug. Steam has made it financially irrelevant.
     
  10. Jedra

    Jedra Supermodel

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    I would argue that games do degrade over time - a game from ten years ago is definitely technologically inferior to games today. Once you take off the rose tinted glasses, very few games are as good now as they were. Also, many consumer electronic devices these days can last for years - putting games outside of normal analogies is stretching credibility somewhat I think.

    My collar isn't getting particularly hot, but I think it is bad for consumers in general if companies are allowed to invent their own de-facto laws (i.e. the EULA).
     
  11. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    Games are essentially immortal? Hmm... while it's true that the bits that make a piece of software (hopefully) never change, you're not really guaranteed to be able to use said piece of software for ever. There's a lot of old software that won't run on current OSes. Or take digital music as another example. Who says I'll be able to listen to music in a certain format in 10 years? For instance, a lot of people have been burned buying music with Microsoft's PlaysForSure DRM. All in all I don't believe there's anything more transient than digital content.

    And while I personally do not believe I'd ever want to sell some of my digital goods I've often been in a situation where I'd loved to give away some of my games to a friend.
     
  12. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    You can see degradation right now, and not even for a very old software. Games using GameSpy ?
    "GameSpy shut down operations in February 2013.".

    Crysis 2 ? Borderlands 1 ? Want to play multiplayer without the need for LAN mode ? Good luck.
     
  13. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Given how many modern games are completely dependant upon external system or servers the possibility of timed subscriptions such as DragunovHUN brought up earlier seems more and more likely. Buy a three year license, if it's still running and supported you can opt to renew it at the end. Potentially gets around the need to allow resale of licenses as well.
     
  14. Measter

    Measter New Member

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    But to enforce that they would need some sort of DRM, and we all know how well those work.
     
  15. SimonStern

    SimonStern Registered Lurker

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    This. I was trying to get some multiplayer UT3 going on with my friends recently and after jumping through a myriad of flaming hoops I still couldn't "log in" to my game. I had to create a new account and whatnot and after all that still couldn't get multi going with my friends.

    And azrael has a point about old software and newer OS, I have a game I bought 5 years ago that ran fine on vista and is just a green mess trying to run it on win 7... Although I do have SimCity 3000 Ultimate running just fine on my 64 bit install of 7 so I guess there are some games looking to be immortal :D

    I'm not one to sell games either but if I pay for a game it should be mine for as long as I want, to do with as I want, like I can with anything else I buy. After all when you pay for it they do charge "sales" tax (in the US at least) and the button to check out does say "purchase" it doesn't say "lease".
     
  16. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    ...touché.

    I guess it's a bit like the Fair Usage Policies of ISPs and mobile network providers a while ago. They kept saying "unlimited" when they in fact meant "limited". That eventually went to court and I think was stomped on. Now they have to say exactly what they mean, and a 40GB cap is called a 40GB cap.

    Would a change in terminology to a more honest description of steam purchases as digital leasing be enough? I can't help feeling that conventional concepts of ownership and the games industry are incompatible. They don't want games treated the way we treat other purchased objects. A terminology switch seems more likely than an industry-wide change of heart.
     
  17. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Should be fairly simple for a system like Steam to implement, temporary game acccess is already possible for betas and gift passes. I'm not aware of any way to exploiting those to gain permanent access.
     
  18. LordPyrinc

    LordPyrinc Legomaniac

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    Other than your soul, you can pretty much resell or transfer just about anything to another party. I don't see why digital distribution should be treated any differently. As for the original developer getting a cut, I totally disagree. If you sell someone your car, you don't have to pay the original manufacturer a percentage of that sale. I think games should be the same way. There shouldn't be an expectation of the developer to get a cut of the resale transaction.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2013
  19. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    agreed about time too. i don't see why they should have you by the short ones if you buy a game from them.
     
  20. notmeagain

    notmeagain Member

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    A car is actual, physical, and tangible.

    Games are a bunch of 1's and 0's streamed onto a disk - they can be replicated as many times as there are atoms in the universe.

    I do agree with you, but there is no precedent for this behaviour, it's an open market free to be exploited.

    They'll reach a tipping point and realise they are either hurting or perpetuating the industry.

    I'm waiting for that :)
     

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