EU's Court of Justice: Customers can sell their software (licences)

Discussion in 'Politics & Ethics of Technology' started by Richard, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Sorry, whilst you can find bargains from people self publishing, you can also find e-titles that are more expensive than their physical counterparts. I rarely buy from Steam, because it's cheaper to buy from a discounted e-tailer and get a DVD and case in the post than it is to get a direct download. Same for music. There are also many popular e-books that cost the same as the paper version. And it's all because of licensing restrictions from the retailers that the publishers still pander to.

    If a company is going to rent out their goods, then rent them and let everyone know what is going on. Don't con customes into thinking they "bought" something, when in fact it disappears when the seller decides they don't want to maintain their DRM servers any more.
     
  2. Davros

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    A lot products dont eg: postcards

    Exactly just like software. Postcards survive with out an eula or restrictions. no one tries to prevent second hand postcard sales why restrict them for software.

    You have a good point here but, i see no reason that the loading of a program into memory ect could not be integrated into existing fair use laws.
    I still dont beleive they are needed and the world would be a better place without them.
    And at the very very least some legislative body should look closely at them and decide what can and cannot be put in them at the moment they are being abused terribly.
     
  3. aaronspink

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    Once again, we are in the domain of slow transfer of physical media vs worldwide instantaneous transfer. There IS a difference.
     
  4. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    Postcards rely on copyright to protect their designs from duplication. You are still completely ignoring the fact that postcards, unlike software, are effectively single use. Even if you are talking about a collector's market, a postcard's value is dictated by condition and scarcity, neither of which applies to software.
     
  5. Davros

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    And an eula somehow negates that difference? software is protected from copying under they law. A clause in an eula offers no additional protection, no additional deterrent.
    These arguments, software is easily transfered/copied, Software is not single use, software doesnt degrade therefore the industry needs eula's. I dont buy it

    ps: not sure where your getting this instantaneous transfer from If I was to sell you any recent game it would take me over a day to upload it to you (0.440mb/ sec) 43:24:10 for a 10gb game
     
  6. Ethatron

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    I think he's talking about the easy replicability of postcards, as an analogue physical case to easy software replication. You can scan or copy the motive off and print it on another carton. Though it may have no big monetary re-sell value or promise.
    A T-shirt replication may be a better example, motives (copyrighted band-designes whatever) are scanned, ripped and printed on cheap T-shirts, infringing lot's of copyright laws, and still, music band and shops continue selling the real stuff to fans just fine.
    I don't want to take any sides on this physical vs. digital debatte, just pointing out that neither side is entirely right or wrong.

    My opinion about the case is, that is just forces developers to put the right label on their "contract" with users, that's all. It won't have any immediate and apocalyptic consequences. If they care about what's happening after first-sale is pretty much unanswerable. The creation of complex secure key re-selling structures will only be considered for softwares which cost into the thousand(s) dollars I think. And you can always take a little fee for the processing, there is nothing wrong with that.

    I don't know if dongles are going to be revived. There are key-mechanisms which are based on the MAC, every time you change the network card you have to get in contact with the software-company and get a new key. So what? I don't see the big deal with the creation of such an infrastructure as required for key-reselling. And online-DRM is just a an Internet-Dongle.

    And I wouldn't be so sure the judges consider shareware included in the ruling, as shareware by default is a fairness model. I don't consider trialware to be shareware btw.
     
  7. Davros

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    Yes exactly, thank you. Would you like a job as official Davros to English translator :D
     
  8. Richard

    Richard Mord's imaginary friend
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    aaron: from your various posts it seems you are basing your argument on the instantaneous transfer of ownership where there is no indication this could be so. Corporations being what they are, they'd never allow it.

    I'll give you one example: over here ISPs had the bad habit of making life miserable for customers who, after the contract was over, didn't want to renew it and instead opted to switch to a different ISP. They did everything:

    Firstly they didn't have the rules to cancel a renewal anywhere on their websites, etc. If you called them asking how to do it, they'd say an email would suffice then you wouldn't hear from them again. Next month when the bill came you would call them and they'd say you'd need to fax them (!!!!) a letter formally asking to cancel. Guess what? Next month another bill, another call to them and they'd finally tell you only a snail mail letter would do. You'd also have to send some other bill (electrical bill, water, etc.) that proved you were the real owner of the property (and phone line, whatever) even though they only required a username and password to manage your account on their website.

    When you did all that, you know what they did? They'd call you and offer a discount or some other petty deal to change your mind. If you did not accept they'd redirect you to another agent where another (better but still overall shitty) deal was offered. If you stuck to your guns you'd have to wait for your other ISP to connect your new line. Sometimes weeks would go by. When you called your new ISP they'd often tell you the current ISP was withholding access to the distribution node, it had lost the cancel letter, whatever. I also know of cases where if you didn't take those bribes they offered to make you stay the ISP would cut your internet weeks before the new ISP could connect your line to their distribution nodes. And when you finally transfered over to the new ISP, sometimes (it happened to me) you would get 2 bills for months with the old ISP threatening legal action even though you had cancelled in writing and they had cut your internet access before you stopped paying.

    So... finally the legislator passed laws to stop these and other practices and regulate an industry out of control. It helped but even now, almost 5 years after the first law came into being if you want to switch ISPs you better be prepared to wait at least one, often two months before you'll be able to enjoy the better speeds/lower prices of your ISP of choice.

    So... Steam, et al will never make it this easy to "transfer" your licence. They'll never implement paying for it in their networks so you'll always be exposed to scams and whatnot. I'll be surprised if takes less than a fortnight between your desire to transfer and actually being able to do so.
     
  9. Silent_Buddha

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    Sounds like a nightmare over where you live Richard. It was never (that I can recall) that bad here in the US with regards to ISPs and cancellation of service. Now if we talk about porting phone numbers between different cell phone companies, that was certainly a mess for a relatively short period here.

    With Steam being a US based service, I have no doubt they would probably facilitate that. But hopefully with some sort of transaction fee where the developers/publishers can get some money for their work. And that you don't have people instantaneously transfering the license for no fee. Hence potentially allowing say 6 or 7 friends around the globe to play the same game in the same day by just transfering the license before they went to bed, and having it ready to play when the license is transferred back to them when they got off work the next day. Rinse and repeat. Then just transfering it instantly to another person or group of persons when they've finished.

    And that is like nothing that has ever existed or is doable with any other sold product. If you want to share a physical copy of the game, it's unlikely you'll be instantaneously giving it to someone halfway around the world to play while you sleep and then getting it right back again. A person is unlikely to be able to sell a DVD, CD, movie, car, chair, table, whatever the instant they are tired of it and then instantaneously finish the transaction. There's a period of advertising (craigslist, forums, ebay, pawn shop, whatever) and sales which slows the transfer of goods and potentially allows for "some" ongoing sales.

    I'm with others here in viewing this as a trainwreck of a decision with very little thought put into it.

    I'm all for the sale of digitally distributed goods. Just look at all the posts made in the console forum discussing a world where console games are only digitally distributed with no physical copies. But it should be reasonable and with at least some protection/compensation for the content creators. Because if those don't exist, then content will start to die or developers cease to make product as it gets harder and harder to recoup the investment in production and developement.

    Either that, or they'll go to a leasing/rental agreement type of deal for all digitally distributed items. I know various companies have talked about it in the past. Many anti-virus firms are doing this now with yearly lease type agreements of service for example.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  10. Davros

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  11. Frank

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    You are forgetting a very important point.

    This ruling has seen a lot of global air time, so people know about it. The next time they are confronted with the issue (while having to check off an EULA that forcefully disposes their rights, or wanting to sell some old games), they will remember it. It will change their perception of what is right and wrong on this issue.

    So, if the software industry is jumping on the "reduce their rights as much as possible and have them subscribe for ridiculous amounts of money through lease contract with non-negotiable auto-renewal", they'll think twice, discuss it with their friends and tell others how that company is fucking with you and that you shouldn't buy any of their stuff.

    That's the win.
     
  12. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    How's that a win if all software developers are forced to adopt a much more consumer-unfriendly term?
     
  13. Davros

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    They arnt forced to adopt anything. they could be fair with the consumer - hows that for an idea
     
  14. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    You seem to be missing the point that this is not a good way to make them to be fair with the consumers.
     
  15. Davros

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    then how do you suggest, leaving it up to them has produced nothing, if anything the situation has got worse. Legislation is about the only option left
     
  16. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Has the situation really got worse? Do you know that some of the earliest digital distributed software only allows a limited number of installations? I believe most digital distributed software don't do that anymore. That didn't take a legislation to accomplish.

    The problem with legislation on business matter is, in most case, the legislators don't really understand the underlying problem. They don't have to implement the system, nor they know what problems may occur when implementing such system. So, there bounds to be some very bad laws, which, when you look at it, may seem to be very good, but actually completely unworkable. Unfortunately, once something is written into the law, it can be very difficult to get rid of it.

    I believe most people are satisfied with current digital distribution systems (well, at least some systems). Steam, for example, seems to be very popular (the Witcher 2 sold much more copies on Steam than on GOG, which is DRM-free). People don't seem to be very concerned about the fact that they can't sell those games they bought on Steam. If enough people started to demand for the ability to transfer their licenses to other account, I believe there will be some business willing to take this market.
     
  17. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    Software publishers, not developers.

    And they aren't forced into a "kick those consumers as hard as possible and steal their wallets!" business model. Mostly, because those consumers now recognize that for what it is, and understand that they are blatantly ripped off.

    As with all mass-produced products, you earn more money not by raising your prices and blackmailing your customers, but by offering a fair product for a fair price. If you want to earn more money over the long term, you need to drop your price and be more consumer-friendly instead. Economics 101, really.

    Unless you're only in it to make a fast killing, of course.
     
  18. Frank

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    You mix things up. Digital distribution is first and foremost very convenient. You don't have to wait until you can go to the shop, and you don't need to find one that has it in stock and offers a good deal. Pay and play.

    But most of their sales volume isn't in first-day deliveries. They're in the (heavy) discounts, and the huge catalog offered. I spend far more money on deals for games I never play than on premium-priced games. And I'm not alone in that, far from it.

    While Blizzard still has a lot of credits, it won't last when the actual gaming experience is riddled with many annoyances. They're arrogant and think they can fuck over anyone, and have those abused users still buy their products at premium. That's exactly the mindset that would have me sell their stocks, if I had any.

    Economics 101, really.
     
  19. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Hardly any differences. More regulations only forces more independent developers to find a publisher to publish their software, because they won't be able to do (or it would be too expensive) by themselves.

    You mean consumers are all stupid and need the government to tell them what's what?

    Actually, Economy 101 tells us that we don't prefer the help from the government to achieve this, and this is the whole point of this discussion.

    If you are talking about Steam's sales being more than GOG's, then I can tell you that my data is after the first month of the release of the Witcher 2. That is, no discounts involved.
     
  20. Richard

    Richard Mord's imaginary friend
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    So has been argued, like it was argued GOG.com would never work.
     
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