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GameStop Used Game Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of California against GameStop, citing deceptive practices relating to used game sales. IGN has details on the suit, which stems from a customer buying a used copy of Dragon Age: Origins with the belief that additional DLC was available for free based on the cover blurb. Of course this DLC is part of the new trend intended to impede used-game sales, which the customer learned when they tried to get the DLC, which set them back an additional $15.00, making their final purchase price for the used game $10.00 more than the cost of a brand-new copy (that sound you hear is EA execs exchanging high-fives). IGN has a copy of the complaint in Adobe Acrobat-format, and an article on this on Gamasutra offers thoughts from an analyst saying that GameStop will probably be able to remedy this problem by affixing stickers to used games clarifying DLC availability.

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117 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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57. Re: There's still room left for Godwin's law. Mar 26, 2010, 16:34 Andrew X
 
So what, anyone that bought a used jigsaw puzzle from Goodwill that ended up having missing pieces can sue them for failing to put stickers on the boxes that say "May contain missing pieces"?  
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56. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 16:18 Fang
 
Okay, I have more time. I'll try to be more explicit.

it was intended to show the applicability of first sale doctrine to "other industries"

Did you mean "other territories"? Not really what I was talking about in the first place. That case seems primarily concerned with resale rights related to importation.

Yes, also known as the import industry. You know, it's a little thing, but this global trade thing I hear is going to really take off. But yes, Import/Export is regarded as a separate industry.

But to be more explicit, here is an example of how a unanimous Supreme Court applied the first sale doctrine to the import industry. You stated that different industries should be treated differently, but when a "different" industry came up before the Court, they unanimously said no.

Until Congress makes an exception for an industry (like they did with the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act, which has to do with rentals, not sales) then I doubt the Supreme Court will change its mind. Though it's happened before.
 
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55. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 16:18 FloorPie
 
Bludd wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:25:
I think selling and buying used games is worse than piracy where no money changes hands. When you buy and sell used games, the makers and publishers of the games don't get a dime, but someone else does thus profiting on someone else's labor. When you pirate a game without any money change, nobody gets any money.

Yeah! So like when I buy my Ford truckster, BMW FancyPants or Honda EconoGreenBox I don't own it totally. In fact, the auto maker should get a cut of the proceeds when I go to sell my car years later. How dare I profit on selling my classic car that I've had for years and is now rare! I should cut a check to Ford if I buy a used car as well as the "owner". But cars arent the same you say! Why, because they can't be made as fast as software can be copied? So what? We're talking buying a used version of software sold legally. EA etc. made their profit.

I don't see books not being sold due to used book stores. So used books are evil too? Burn down all libraries then.
 
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54. There's still room left for Godwin's law. Mar 26, 2010, 16:17 I've Got The News Blues
 
Stolk wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 15:54:
Careful. This thread is reaching the analogy limit.
Oh there's plenty of room left for analogies in this thread. Godwin's law hasn't even been evoked yet.

Also we can't stop now. Think of the children!

This comment was edited on Mar 26, 2010, 16:26.
 
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53. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 15:54 Stolk
 
Careful. This thread is reaching the analogy limit.
 
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52. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 15:41 Andrew X
 
Yeah, this lawsuit will go nowhere. From the back of the game box in question:

"Includes Downloadable character and quest.
A $15 Value.
One-time use code available with full retail purchase.
Expires April 31, 2010."

It's explicitly stated on the box that it's a one-time use code, and something in "used" condition has been used at least once by definition, so one can't reasonably assume it would still be valid.

It also explicitly states that it's only available with the full retail purchase, which "used" copies also are not, by definition.

This comment was edited on Mar 26, 2010, 16:08.
 
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51. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 15:33 everyone
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 15:22:
Then in five years a customer will disappear. I won't have companies unreasonably dictating to me terms of usage of products, not services, I pay for.

You act as if they haven't been, anyway.

Can you reverse engineer them? You can do it if you buy a Ford, can't you?
Can you alter them and resell them? I can buy a Ford, put a new body on it and sell it but I can't buy Half Life 2, mod it and sell it...

The problem with your arguments is that what people can and can't do with copyrighted material is already established law. Game developers seem to think they deserve special protection in addition to what is already in-place.
You may be correct in that this will all become moot in the future due to the move to digital distribution, but until then consumers still have the right of first sale, despite protests that games are somehow different.
 
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50. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 15:22 Beamer
 
Then in five years a customer will disappear. I won't have companies unreasonably dictating to me terms of usage of products, not services, I pay for.

You act as if they haven't been, anyway.

Can you reverse engineer them? You can do it if you buy a Ford, can't you?
Can you alter them and resell them? I can buy a Ford, put a new body on it and sell it but I can't buy Half Life 2, mod it and sell it...
 
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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49. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 14:56 PHJF
 
This will all be moot in five years, anyway, when the physical medium disappears.

Then in five years a customer will disappear. I won't have companies unreasonably dictating to me terms of usage of products, not services, I pay for.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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48. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 14:49 Beamer
 
I love when people say "it's existed for hundreds of years."

C'mon. Clearly things have changed in that time. Again, the problem with video games is that they're digital and there's no degredation.

People keep pointing out "physical media" but that's just the CD, not what's actually on the CD. What's on the CD is copyrighted work that, as someone pointed out with mp3s, you're simply buying a license to. It's also not really physical media. It's a physical medium. The media itself is just bits. Again, physical media can't easily be duplicated. Games can. Physical media degrades. Games don't.




This will all be moot in five years, anyway, when the physical medium disappears.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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47. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 14:16 Verno
 
I'm pretty sure EA has said publicly several times that day-one DLC is targeting the used games market. As Blackhawk mentioned it doesn't affect piracy at all. In fact piracy in general largely exists outside of the "system" as it's relatively unaffected by changes inside of it.  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Walking Dead, The Fall, As Above So Below
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46. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:57 Blackhawk
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:47:
I see "day one DLC" more as a piracy deterrent than a perk--it gives additional value to those that buy the game

I'm afraid that doesn't work. The pirates get all the DLC regardless. The first pirate buys a copy and gets the DLC. He cracks it, sticks it up on a torrent site, and all the other pirates have it in a matter of minutes.
 
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45. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:52 PHJF
 
Do you think you should be able to for any of these?

uummmmm.... YES. Which is why I don't "buy" ANY of that horse shit. The only time I give in is with stupid fucking Valve games. I'm still waiting for somebody to explain to me exactly how Just Cause 2's DRM works because if the cdkey used is tied irrevocably to the Steam account it's registered to I'm not buying that, either, just like I didn't "buy" Bad Company 2, which I quite readily would have otherwise.

When I was young and my family got its first 486 my uncle gave us a big box of games including F15 Strike Eagle, Sam and Max, Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle and dozens of other fantastic games that launched my rather avid foray into the mystical world of PC games. He didn't have to worry which of them would work or not because he fucking bought them all.
 
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44. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:51 Verno
 
The bad experience people have had with AC2 and SH5, as well as C&C4, will have an effect on the next games to be released with it, and it spreads from there, until the publisher loses too many sales because of its DRM, at which point they'll drop it and come up with something else.

In some cases, like EA and SecuROM, it goes pretty fast. Other times it takes awhile.

Yeah but unlike those things, there is no downside for the consumer here beyond resale. Those examples had product protection that actively interfered with the consumer experience. I'd posit that most people like the idea of being "rewarded" for purchasing a product new and getting post-release content for free.

it was intended to show the applicability of first sale doctrine to "other industries"

Did you mean "other territories"? Not really what I was talking about in the first place. That case seems primarily concerned with resale rights related to importation.

This comment was edited on Mar 26, 2010, 14:04.
 
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43. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:50 Fang
 
My example might be terrible but not because of anything you posted.

No, and my post wasn't intended to make your example terrible. If you don't see the difference with physical media and access to a performance... But you clearly do now.

And if you don't see the relevance of my post, here's an excerpt to help you out:
The Supreme Court first adopted the first sale doctrine in the case of Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus, 210 U.S. 339 (1908). In that case, the Supreme Court held that the exclusive right to sell copyrighted works only applied to the first sale of a copyrighted work. 210 U.S. 339, 349-350. While the copyright owner retained the underlying copyright to the expression fixed in the work, the copyright owner gave up his ability to control the fate of the work once it had been sold.

Sorry, I don't have time to spell things out for you, but it was intended to show the applicability of first sale doctrine to "other industries".
 
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42. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:49 Creston
 
Verno wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:43:
Creston wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:33:
If the publishers come up with something that a significant percentage of the market will not bear, then they will lose too many sales, and they will CHANGE their methods. This has happened time and time again, and it will keep happening, not just in the game market, but in pretty much every market. If you annoy the customer too much, he will go away. Then you as an entrepeneur will have to change your way of doing business if you want to stay IN business.

If game sales of recent titles using launch-DLC and first use unlocks is any indication, the market will absolutely bear this.

It's a slow process. Of course it's not going to be boycotted to the extreme on the very first sale. Starforce was around for several years until people got too fed up with it.

The bad experience people have had with AC2 and SH5, as well as C&C4, will have an effect on the next games to be released with it, and it spreads from there, until the publisher loses too many sales because of its DRM, at which point they'll drop it and come up with something else.

In some cases, like EA and SecuROM, it goes pretty fast. Other times it takes awhile.

You cannot take a sample size of three and say that it means anything.

(edit : I sort of misread your statement, I thought you were talking about the always-online-SP DRM. The first launch DLC, eh, other than irritating Bioware distribution bullshit, how is that bad for the consumer? You get it if you buy new. The publishers don't care about the used market to the extent that they'll let used market buyers dictate their policies in that way.)


Creston
 
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41. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:47 ^Drag0n^
 
Let's not unneccessarily broaden this here. MP3s are totally different in that no physical media are involved whatsoever.

Used console games and DVDs are tied to physical media (disc or cartrige), which they cannot run without. When you transfer it from person A to person B, person A has no means by which to access the game or movie anymore (under reasonable circumstances). The only difference between this and gifting the product is that you're getting some of your investment back when you pass the single-use-rights on.

I see "day one DLC" more as a piracy deterrent than a perk--it gives additional value to those that buy the game, while not hindering the people buying used games from getting a 'budget' experience that doesn't detract from the core game.

My *opinion* here is that this person knew full well that they wouldn't get the DLC, and this suit is just another piece of frivilous garbage, which, most likely, has alterior motives.

As I said before, I'm of the opinion that if you don't buy it new, don't be surprised that you're not getting the same level of support, as the publisher sees no money from that transaction.

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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40. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:44 s3ntient
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:42:
And here come the douchebags in droves claiming oh no, just because you buy something doesn't mean you own it.

Can you resell mp3s you buy from itunes?
Can you resell stock photos you buy from companies?
Can you resell movies you buy over xbox live?


Do you think you should be able to for any of these?

That's just silly, you don't buy MP3s from iTunes you license them. You don't buy stock photos from companies you license the use of those stock photos. etc.

However, you do buy a game when you buy it physically at a store and thus can resell it, it is a basic consumer right.
 
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39. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:43 Verno
 
Creston wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:33:
If the publishers come up with something that a significant percentage of the market will not bear, then they will lose too many sales, and they will CHANGE their methods. This has happened time and time again, and it will keep happening, not just in the game market, but in pretty much every market. If you annoy the customer too much, he will go away. Then you as an entrepeneur will have to change your way of doing business if you want to stay IN business.

If game sales of recent titles using launch-DLC and first use unlocks is any indication, the market will absolutely bear this.
 
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38. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:35 Verno
 
Fang wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:26:

Sorry, Verno, but a unanimous Supreme Court disagrees with you:
http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/st_org/iptf/headlines/content/1998040801.html

And that theater example is just terrible. If you can't see why, well, I don't have the time to help.

My example might be terrible but not because of anything you posted. Unlike the other guy, your post was unrelated(you didn't even read your own example) and uninformative.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The ticket is a contract to provide access to a performance of a copyrighted work or which is a copyrighted work if it is a live performance. A video game disc is the physical media onto which a copyrighted work (game) is affixed. It is no different from the pages of a book or recording medium such as a film reel or a music record.

Fair enough, I can't argue with that.
 
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117 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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