Posted on June 5, 2013, in Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/24/ebook-publishing-amazon

    If Amazon can sell secondhand ebooks, I’m sure somebody can figure out something similar for games.

    • Yeah, Amazon has the patent, but the article notes it might be more “defensive” in nature. Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if they tried to create that market. The only issue is if it would be legal in practice. Right now, in the US? Probably not… at least based on the ReDigi case. Perhaps Amazon could force some concessions from publishers based on their market power though.

  2. I think when it comes to things like accounts, it’s actually quite reasonable for companies not to allow sharing, because whenever there is any kind of social interaction involved, property gets mixed up with identity. Sure, allow transfer of game licenses between accounts… but I can understand why they wouldn’t want to be held responsible for, say, you letting your five-year-old sibling pretend to be you on the internet while they are playing on your account.

    • I have no problem with companies saying “You are responsible for what happens on your account.” It is perfectly reasonable for them to hold me responsible if someone I let use my account suddenly goes on a swearing spree and gets the account banned as a result. After all, that would be the first defense anyone mounts against such a punishment: “It wasn’t me! Someone logged on/stole my password/etc!” The buck has to stop with somebody, and the account-owner is as good as anyone. In fact, there are scenarios in which you can be held liable for someone else crashing your car. That’s all fine.

      I consider it a fundamental reach too far for companies then to specifically say that nobody else can use the account. I understand why they do it (more money), but not why its legal or how they presume to enforce it on a practical level. It’s really none of their business who resides in my home, or could possibly sit at my computer chair. If my account suddenly starts trying to hack their servers, yes, they are fully within their rights to shut the account down. But who is sitting in the chair is not their business and hopefully never will be.

  3. In France, for movies and music, you have the legal right to display IP to “cercle familiale” (= real friends and family). I believe this is still relevant for games. So you have the legal right to let your friend play a game on your computer/console.
    Contrary to USA, we have no copyright here; the legal right is Intelectual property and is defined by law and not EULA – most of this EULA is not valid for us.

  4. Just when I thought i’d get to read a post on blizzards new offer of 50% off server transfers :)

  5. I think you’re on the money with balance between consumer convenience/interest with DRM and protection to publishers. And I think not enough of these articles look at the context of microsoft vs steam as companies and ecosystem surrounding that. It’s just flat out dumb to say “well this works like x on steam” when talking about the xbox and microsoft in the same sentence.

    “If companies could go this far, they would.” Microsoft now will have this option. The kinnect will always be on or your xbox one will not work. The kinnect can recognize the player. You will need to login to your account (within 24 hours I guess). So now forcing a fee for family members to play a game is enforceable if the TOS requires it. They will not go that route at least at launch, but this thing is all setup to create a complete platform lockin with options to flip many switches to nickel and dime the consumer to the poorhouse.

    This is the thing that everyone seems to have out of context. We don’t need used games with a proper company giving great deals like steam does. Their sales are cheaper than going to gamespot and buying used AND a good chunk of the the revenue goes back to the developer with steam sales. In addition they are 1 of many stores being run on multiple open platforms. Microsoft on the other hand is offering 1 platform with 1 store where developers cannot self publish. All we have to do is look at their current xbox market to see the perks that lie there:

    – If you want to watch netflix, play games online or do really anything beyond see your friends and make puchases you have to cough up 9.99 a month for the privilege of doing so.
    – Xbox live games pricing uses a currency called “points” which obfuscates the actual cost and forces you (in many cases) to pay more than you need for the purchase.
    – Any regular digital download game that is more than a year old will cost a good deal more than it will if you go to a store, or amazon and buy it brand spanking new.
    – If we really want to look at how well they handle consumer interests with DRM all we need to do is look at GFWL.

    To me this just looks like Microsoft trying desperately to help out their biggest publishers and “protect” them, and as usual forgetting to think about the consumer first. What does bode well is it makes a nice little opening for steam to come out with their “console”.

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