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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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37. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:33 Creston
 
Watter wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:39:
Gamestop is a pretty good example of a working market. They sell used games for the highest price that he market allows, which is EXACTLY what they should be doing. Compare the price of last year's sports game to last years AAA epic RPG. the market says the sports game has lost a lot more value than that RPG and the pricing reflects it.

Even for relatively new-to-market games that are only discounted $5, I often purchased the used copy because of their return policy on used games: if I don't like it, I can return it for a full refund; no questions asked.

All of you Gamestop haters are just shooting yourselves in the foot. Gamestop is one of the few barriers left keeping publishers even slightly honest. You think the recent DRM and DLC abuses are bad? Just wait until all content, even on consoles, is only available for download and not at retail. Publishers will control the stream from end to end and there will be celebrations like you've never seen in the EA/Ubisoft boardrooms.

It's interesting that at one point you declare that the market self-corrects to the point where certain games retain their value far better than others, and then on the flipside, you seem to believe that the market cannot and will not correct for for overly idiotic DRM and methods of putting product into the retail channel.

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.

It's happened with code wheels, it's happened with Starforce, it's happened with Sony's bullshit rootkit, it's happened with EA and Securom, it will happen with Ubisoft's and EA's dumbass "Always online for a SP game" bullshit, and it will happen with anything they come up with in the future. You can only annoy a customer so much before he/she stops being a customer.

Creston
 
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36. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:28 Creston
 
mch wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:31:
Creston wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:30:
And I think the guy stands a good chance of winning.

'the guy' being the lawyers, of course

Guy/Lawyers/Plaintive. All the same. wasting taxpayer money over a bullshit lawsuit, but still, it'll be interesting to see what the result is of this.

I imagine the plaintive will win, after which every publisher will follow EA's pattern of going the "Free for new buyers" DLC route.

Seeing as how I never buy anything used unless I already own the game anyways (and want it for my PS3 also), I don't really care. But it's been a smart move on EA's side, even though it's come with plenty of fucking aggravation for the normal customer.

Creston
 
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35. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:26 Fang
 
Your argument seems to be that consumers expect to be able to resell any copyrighted good with a physical transport method so thats what they should be allowed to do. I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment behind that argument but I do believe that different industries based on copyrighted works need to be treated differently.

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.

 
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34. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:23 Stolk
 
You guys get so caught up in one-upping each other in silly discussion, you miss what's important. Finding creative ways to make fun of this uninformed idiot that makes a stink because of his ignorance and 10 dollars.  
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33. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:23 I've Got The News Blues
 
Verno wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:06:
It's access to a copyrighted work, much like a disc is. It is a transport method, nothing more.
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.

You do not buy Gears of War the copyrighted work, you buy a disc that allows you access to it.
NO! NO! NO! That is not how U.S. copyright law works. The consumer buys a disc which contains one copy of a copyrigted work. Access has nothing to do with it. The copyrighted work (game) is simply affixed to the disc like music to a record.
 
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32. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:18 Blackhawk
 
Of course, the big point here isn't that one guy is suing a company for five bucks. The big deal here is that the American legal system thrives on a steady diet of precedent. If he wins, it opens Gamestop and similar resellers up to all sorts of potential actions.  
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31. The plaintiff is a shill but who for? Mar 26, 2010, 13:16 I've Got The News Blues
 
BobBob wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 13:12:
I wonder if the person filing this lawsuit has any connection with the publishers.
There is a good chance he is a shill for a game publisher, but there is a greater chance that he is a shill for the lawyer or firm which filed this lawsuit since it seeks class action status.
 
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30. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:14 I've Got The News Blues
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:54:
Don't you think letting the common man sell mp3s is a dangerous, dangerous precedent?
No because the legal resale of a purchased copy of a copyrighted work has been the law in the U.S. for at least one hundred years.

What would stop me from putting an mp3 on my iPod then selling it to someone else without removing it?
existing copyright law and the threat of a lawsuit from the copyright holder
If that is not enough of a deterrent, then the problem is your disregard for the law not the lack of one.

Don't you think this is why PC game rentals never caught on?
They never caught on because the game publishing industry bribed congress to pass a law outlawing them. DRM/copy-protection makes PC game rentals technologically viable (just look at Gametap as a example), but the game industry doesn't want them to cannibalize new game sales, i.e. why would a consumer pay $50 for a game that they will only play through once and never touch again when they could rent it for $5 and do the same thing? That's why Gametap doesn't offer new releases. Piracy has nothing to do with it. It's about maximizing profit. The existence of rentals would severely hurt the selling price and the volume of sales for new game releases.

The problem is you're then taking rights away from the people actually doing the creating.
We're not taking anything away from creators at all. As I pointed out, the right of first sale has existed for at least 100 years. What copyright holders are trying to do is steal from the public by taking away this right and the right of the public to have works enter the public domain while they are still viable and useful properties. Copyright was designed as a limited monolopy for the creator of a work as an incentive to create such works before that work would enter the public domain and become the property of society for the benefit of all without limit. Copyright was NOT devised as an unlimited gravy train for creators and their descendents so that they could endlessly profit and control the works they created. Such perversion of copyright law actually creates the disincentive to create new works because old ones can be milked for profit virtually forever.

No one here seems to mind that GameStop doesn't really deal with PC games used. Where's the uproar over that?
I mind, but you're the first one to bring it up in this thread as that is not the subject of this news article.

This comment was edited on Mar 26, 2010, 14:22.
 
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29. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 13:13 Verno
 
No one here seems to mind that GameStop doesn't really deal with PC games used. Where's the uproar over that?

Great point.
 
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28. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:12 BobBob
 
I wonder if the person filing this lawsuit has any connection with the publishers.  
http://tinyurl.com/WeatherImmunity Whew
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27. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 13:06 Verno
 
First, that's not the flip side of anything much less my argument. Second, I already can resell theater tickets. They just won't fetch much of a price if the performance for which they are good has passed. Third, theater tickets aren't a copyrighted work (aside from the design of the ticket if it is on paper or a physical media) and they aren't analogous to a video game.

Sure it is. It's access to a copyrighted work, much like a disc is. It is a transport method, nothing more. You do not buy Gears of War the copyrighted work, you buy a disc that allows you access to it. I doubt you could legally resell theater tickets by the way, at least not in the way Gamestop does by setting up a retail presence to scalp tickets.

Your argument seems to be that consumers expect to be able to resell any copyrighted good with a physical transport method so thats what they should be allowed to do. I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment behind that argument but I do believe that different industries based on copyrighted works need to be treated differently.
 
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26. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 12:55 I've Got The News Blues
 
Verno wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:46:
On the flip side, do you expect that you should be allowed to resell your theater tickets?
First, that's not the flip side of anything much less my argument. Second, I already can resell theater tickets. They just won't fetch much of a price if the performance for which they are good has passed. Third, theater tickets aren't a copyrighted work (aside from the design of the ticket if it is on paper or a physical media) and they aren't analogous to a video game.

Different forms of copyrighted material need to be treated differently
A video game is no different from music, a book, or a movie in terms of basic consumption by a consumer. Yes, publishers of books, movies, and music could also attach free one-time use offers to their products for additional content, but that doesn't affect the fundamental right of the consumer to resell his purchased copy of such a book, movie, or music. Video games should be no different. The copyright holder of a video game should not be able to attach additional restrictions or prohibitions to such sale or transfer through EULA's or other means. Only copyright law should dictate such limits.
 
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25. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 12:54 Beamer
 
Yes. A consumer should be able to resell or transfer the single copy of the work they purchased just as they can with copyrighted works affixed to physical media.

Why?
Don't you think letting the common man sell mp3s is a dangerous, dangerous precedent? What would stop me from putting an mp3 on my iPod then selling it to someone else without removing it?

Do you honestly think that the common person is, well, honest enough for this?

Beyond that, don't you think it would utterly obliterate the primary market?
Don't you think this is why PC game rentals never caught on? Why PC games never hit the used market in any real force?



There's very much an us vs. them mentality here, and everyone wants as many rights as humanly possible. The problem is you're then taking rights away from the people actually doing the creating. Net result is creating is more frustrating and less profitable. Net result is less is being created.
I'd rather the creators get the rights here. We all benefit far more from incentivizing creativity than we benefit from being able to buy and sell used. We can put all the rights in the basket of the consumer but then there will be no real content providers.


No one here seems to mind that GameStop doesn't really deal with PC games used. Where's the uproar over that?
 
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24. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 12:46 I've Got The News Blues
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:42:
Do you think you should be able to for any of these?
Yes. A consumer should be able to resell or transfer the single copy of the work they purchased just as they can with copyrighted works affixed to physical media.
 
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23. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 12:46 Verno
 
I've Got The News Blues wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:41:
We need to burn down all the libraries too because that is the government spending taxpayer money to harm the publishing industry by sharing books, newspapers, and magazines, and letting people read them without buying them.

Remember whenever you play a video game without paying for it, the child of a game developer or publisher starves to death.

On the flip side, do you expect that you should be allowed to resell your theater tickets? Different forms of copyrighted material are treated differently, sometimes for very good reasons.

I doubt the person will win though.

Gamestop gave him something like 7-10 days to return the game and get his money back if he didn't like it. He could have returned it and gotten a new copy to get his DLC.

Doesn't matter, most consumer law in North America will dictate that Gamestop needs to label this copy appropriately. They already do this with display copies for example. It's Gamestop's oversight.
 
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22. Re: Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 12:45 Beamer
 
We need to burn down all the libraries too because that is the government spending taxpayer money to harm the publishing industry by sharing books, newspapers, and magazine, and letting people read them without buying them.

For one, there is a significant government interest there that made it legal: educating the population. Think there's a significant common interest similarly in games? Libraries also happen to be not-for-profit, unlike GameStop.

For another, it's nowhere near the same. You need to return library books. And they degrade. You never know if you'll find page 50 missing or a booger on page 140 or someone's crazy highlighting all throughout.

Not exactly the same with digital products, where Dragon's Age is 100% identical whether bought used or new.
 
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21. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 12:42 Beamer
 
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?
 
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20. Let's burn down the libraries too! Mar 26, 2010, 12:41 I've Got The News Blues
 
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.
We need to burn down all the libraries too because that is the government spending taxpayer money to harm the publishing industry by sharing books, newspapers, and magazines, and letting people read them without buying them.

Remember whenever you play a video game without paying for it, the child of a game developer or publisher starves to death.
 
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19. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 12:39 Flatline
 
Verno wrote on Mar 26, 2010, 12:26:
It's a legitimate beef, not everyone reads gaming websites and understands how the industry functions. Did you really expect someone buying the console version of Dragon Age to be well informed?

I doubt the person will win though.

Gamestop gave him something like 7-10 days to return the game and get his money back if he didn't like it. He could have returned it and gotten a new copy to get his DLC.

Gamestop is very, very clear on this policy whenever you buy a video game used. That he decided to purchase the DLC means he is an idiot a that point.

Also, if memory serves, the blurb on the box says that when you buy the game new you get DLC.
 
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18. Re: GameStop Used Game Lawsuit Mar 26, 2010, 12:39 Watter
 
Gamestop is a pretty good example of a working market. They sell used games for the highest price that he market allows, which is EXACTLY what they should be doing. Compare the price of last year's sports game to last years AAA epic RPG. the market says the sports game has lost a lot more value than that RPG and the pricing reflects it.

Even for relatively new-to-market games that are only discounted $5, I often purchased the used copy because of their return policy on used games: if I don't like it, I can return it for a full refund; no questions asked.

All of you Gamestop haters are just shooting yourselves in the foot. Gamestop is one of the few barriers left keeping publishers even slightly honest. You think the recent DRM and DLC abuses are bad? Just wait until all content, even on consoles, is only available for download and not at retail. Publishers will control the stream from end to end and there will be celebrations like you've never seen in the EA/Ubisoft boardrooms.
 
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