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EU to Allow Digital Software Resales?

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) outlines a legal ruing in the EU that seems to open the door for resale of digitally distributed software (thanks Joao). Here's a bit:

Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy tangible or intangible and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.

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78. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 22:33 Slashman
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:30:
Slashman wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:15:
You think a small indie could put out a Just Cause 2 or Skyrim? I'd like to see the 15-man team that could manage that.
Hehe, perfect examples ... i dont like the Just Cause games and Bethesda RPGs i find boring since "Arena"

But when i look at a RPG like "The Witcher", with very high production values, but made for a considerably small budget ... i dont need the majors to get games, which play AND look well. Really, Ubi and EA and ActiBlizz can go to hell. Video gaming will not only survive, but profit from this change in the long run.

CD Projekt is subsidized by GOG. You think any other 'small' developer could put out a game like The Witcher 2 and happily ignore the backing of a publisher? Keep dreaming. Why do you think you haven't seen anything close to TW2 from any other indy studios???

And lest you forget, CD Projekt STILL went to a publisher for distribution. So regardless of you not liking Skyrim or Just Cause 2, you'd get nothing but small indie games without publishers.

Also, since you don't represent the majority of the gaming population, you might take note that some of us like huge open-world games. Not because they are great RPGs, but because they are fun to explore and mess around in as you see fit.

I wouldn't substitute The Witcher 2 for Skyrim and vice versa. They are completely different gaming experiences. Just like I wouldn't substitute Deus Ex:HR for Just Cause 2.
 
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77. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 22:26 SimplyMonk
 
The used video game market, in my opinion, only really hinders games that have very low replay-ability. If a game is amazing and you just want to play it again and again, the used game market for the game is non-existent or will only start to grow so late into the product's life cycle that it won't event matter. If a game only takes you two hours to beat and there is really no reason to keep it after that, the use game market will decimate that title.

Games with high replay-ability and extensive, rewarding content will barely even notice that a used game market exists. Short games with low replay-ability will have a very steep decline in sales after the initial release.

Now, of course, there are always exceptions to everything. If a game is very niche and a lot of people pick it up at release, but don't care for it, the title will have a spike in used sales. If a title has a low print run and the main audience happens to be hoarders (like myself), then it will have a small used market.

What this means is that a healthy used market will tend to push publishers into developing either game's with episodic content or games with very high replay-ability, multiplayer or long, rewarding campaigns that the buyer wants to hold onto. Short games, even good ones, would suffer greatly.

Who really knows though. The market is a fickle place that sometimes surprises you. All publishers understand, I believe, is that in no scenario does the used game market benefit them or their bottom line. You might be able to argue that the existence of the market makes it easier for user's to cough up $60 for a title, but that is a delicate balancing act and can go either way in the long run.
 
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76. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 22:19 Mr. Tact
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 22:09:
Ugh. I didn't. I was just trying to say that you can't compare the two industries. Sorry. I choose bad examples to get my point across.

So, you do or don't agree with this?:

Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 20:15:
So, I am not advocating that if I buy Assassin's Creed that I be allowed to "hand out" copies to my friends, or sell copies on the Internet. The only thing I am advocating, is that I be able to sell my copy of the game once. If/when I do that, I should no longer have access to the game.
 
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75. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 22:09 SimplyMonk
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:46:
That is actually a horribly flawed argument.

Perhaps I attacked the problem in the wrong way and used too confusing of examples. I was merely trying to point out that just because you can sell bookends in the used market and the bookend industry doesn't suffer for it does not mean the same holds true for all industries, especially media which has a completely different set of design and manufacturing costs/processes.

That was my entire point. I was not trying to say one way or the other that the media used market was good or bad. Just that bookends aren't video games so comparing the two is, at the very root, is flawed logic.

Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 20:15:
Ok, thank you. Now I understand where the confusion is. Apparently you missed it earlier when I said.

Ugh. I didn't. I was just trying to say that you can't compare the two industries. Sorry. I choose bad examples to get my point across.
 
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74. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:32 Mr. Tact
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:46:
When you buy a game, you are buying a license to view/use it; no different than what you pay for a DVD or a book.

Being able to sell your right to use should not only be legal, but it is certainly morally acceptable.
Yes, exactly right.
 
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73. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:24 Devinoch
 
ventry wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 20:16:
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:54:
Game crashes happen. If they happen a lot, then yes, by all means, yell at the developer, that's a game-breaker.

Ah yes. However the problem is they already have your money.
Money up front business model carrys with them an expectation of receiving a product that is not faulty. How many will refund that money?

You sir need to stop bending over and taking it up the arse from big corporations so often.
The more you bend over and say "more please" the more they will do it.

It's not a question of bending over for big corporations. I've been in the sausage factory. I've made games. I know what it costs.

Your point about money up front business model carries an expectation that a products not faulty. Define "faulty." Bug free? Then stop buying software. "Manageable bugs?" That's a fair expectation. Did you ever see a movie you didn't like? Is that "faulty" entertainment? Can you get your money back? No, you can't.

You, sir, need to have realistic expectations, or expect to see gaming go away.
 
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72. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:20 Devinoch
 
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:53:
Let's go back to your mcdonalds argument: Why are you asking the customer who placed his order to solve your issues in the back of the restaurant?

I'm not. I'm asking the customer whether or not one hamburger with pickles (when he asked for them without) is enough to make him boycott the entire franchise. Also, and here's where the analogy falls down, a customer who gets something at McDonalds is getting something that is 1) disposable, 2) marginal in price, 3) marginal in effort to create.

You want to boycott people with game breakers? I say, go right ahead. But if you're asking me why, from a business point of view, most minor bugs don't get fixed in game post ship, it's because it isn't the smart application of resources. You've already paid for the game. Now if you're unhappy with the game, you won't buy another one from that particular studio, and that's fine. It might not be fair, but it's fine. But you're asking me why game developers ship games with bugs, and I'm giving you an answer - because sometimes it's ship it buggy or don't ship it at all, and if you know the studio's closing up, getting some money for your months or, more likely, years of effort is better than nothing.

The games industry's a bitch.
 
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71. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:16 ventry
 
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:54:
Game crashes happen. If they happen a lot, then yes, by all means, yell at the developer, that's a game-breaker.

Ah yes. However the problem is they already have your money.
Money up front business model carrys with them an expectation of receiving a product that is not faulty. How many will refund that money?

You sir need to stop bending over and taking it up the arse from big corporations so often.
The more you bend over and say "more please" the more they will do it.
 
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70. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:15 Mr. Tact
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:31:
When you buy Assassin's Creed, the publisher does not make a profit. It cost them $30,000,000 to make, you bought it for $60. They need another 500,000 of you just to break even. If at this point, before they his that break even point you start handing out your copy to friends, than that makes it that much harder for them to hit the break even point.
Ok, thank you. Now I understand where the confusion is. Apparently you missed it earlier when I said
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:22:
I totally support laws saying I can't duplicate software and distribute it without permission.
So, I am not advocating that if I buy Assassin's Creed that I be allowed to "hand out" copies to my friends, or sell copies on the Internet. The only thing I am advocating, is that I be able to sell my copy of the game once. If/when I do that, I should no longer have access to the game.

I'll grant you the logistics of making that work well from a publishers point of view in the context of a digital download is somewhere between difficult and impossible. However, I think it's clear I have purchased one copy of the game. I should be able to do whatever I want with that one copy, including selling it to someone else.
 
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69. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 20:01 Devinoch
 
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:53:

But you still haven't answered my question - how do you fix this problem? Do work for free? How is that fair to anyone working on games?

I did answer it. I said if I paid full price on launch day, it's not my problem. It's yours.


Smart-ass business response: "You bought the game. It's your problem, not mine."

Game developer response: "Great, I'd love to fix the bug, except that my producer has us working on the next product, so that we can try and eat next week. Sorry."

I agree, games ship with bugs, and that's bad. But there's also a reasonable amount of bugs that can get fixed in a schedule. Generally, game-breaker bugs are fixed before ship. Studios that ship with game breakers, well, either they're under a lot of pressure and are about to fold, or they don't just care. But you know how the bean counters see people complaining about bugs? They don't, unless it's impacting sales.

Games that are truly, truly buggy, well, they don't sell. It's like bad movies - someone has to go see the crappy movie to tell everyone it's crappy. That guy doesn't get to demand his money back because he didn't like the movie. And he can blame the key management people who worked on the movie - the director, the producer, the writer, the actors. But if you're gonna tell me you want to blacklist the dolly grip guy because he worked on Gigli, well, I'd say you're being a little overly harsh. Going up to that guy and demanding your money back will work just about as well, i.e. it won't.
 
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68. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:54 Devinoch
 
ventry wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:44:
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are expensive to make. You know why you don't get patches? Because people didn't buy the game. If people don't buy the game, there's no money incoming to improve the game. It was easy to QA games in the Atari 2600 days. Now there's so much content in games, it's nearly impossible for anyone to have seen it all once, much less the 50-100 times it takes to properly QA it.

So what your saying is games publishers are selling FAULTY products and whether you get that product fixed or not depends on people buying that product?

If you can't see how wrong this business model is then you are lacking in active brain cells sir.

If you can't actually see the argument I'm making, you're being deliberately dense.

There has not been a "bug free" piece of software shipped in the last twenty years. With the amount of complexity software has gotten to, there comes a point where you just have to ship it, regardless of the state it's in. If you're a very talented team, who's had plenty of time to work on the project and to polish it to a fine shine, you're probably 95-98% bug free. If you're running out of money and need to get it onto shelves so that you can afford to GET it onto shelves, well, you're probably shipping a game that's 70-80% bug free. If you're a developer who just doesn't care, you're shipping a game that's 50% bug free. That last group isn't any major game studio I've ever seen. That first group is almost no major game studio I've ever seen. Most game studios fall into the mid range.

I love how you're bandying the word "faulty" around, as though every game you've ever bought shipped with a game-breaker bug, and you've been painfully wronged by the games industry on the whole. Games ship with bugs. If you think you can ship a game without any bugs at all, I sincerely welcome you to try.

I bet it's Tic-Tac-Toe.

Game companies that ship with game-breakers, I'm absolutely with you that they should be chastised. But let's be honest, how many truly horrible bugs are out there? Game crashes happen. If they happen a lot, then yes, by all means, yell at the developer, that's a game-breaker. Except realize that your other choice might have been to not get the game at all. The occasional crash, I'm willing to live with. If you aren't, well, I invite you to stop playing games, and stop talking to people who make games.
 
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67. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:53 nin
 

But you still haven't answered my question - how do you fix this problem? Do work for free? How is that fair to anyone working on games?

I did answer it. I said if I paid full price on launch day, it's not my problem. It's yours.

Let's go back to your mcdonalds argument: Why are you asking the customer who placed his order to solve your issues in the back of the restaurant?

 
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66. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:46 Devinoch
 
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:40:

It's not a question of not wanting to support the game post release - it's a question of not being paid to do so.

That's fine. But that's not the problem of the people that bought the game on launch day. They paid their money.

When Grim Dawn was featured as a kickstarter here, people specifically mentioned their lack of support for Titan Quest. Your history (and baggage) stays with you.


They did, and they got the best product that the team could put out in that period of time. Sometimes the people making games aren't great. Sometimes they're bad game designers, bad artists, bad coders. Not all game teams are created equally.

But you still haven't answered my question - how do you fix this problem? Do work for free? How is that fair to anyone working on games?
 
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65. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:46 ^Drag0n^
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:31:
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:47:
Are you saying if I am able/allowed to resell my software it makes the software business no longer viable?

I was merely trying to bring to light that you can't compare manufactured goods and the economics that surround them to software and their economics because that are simply two different types of products. A Rolls-Royce has far different regulations and manufacturing costs/concerns than making toothpicks.

Just because Product A is composed of Atoms and Product B is composed of Atoms, doesn't mean that the policies and economics surrounding the two products are interchangeable.

Let me try a simple example. When you buy a Bookend, the manufacturer makes a profit on your purchase. It cost them $1 to make, you bought it for $5. You are free to do whatever the fuck you want with it now because the maker of the bookend got the profit her deserved.

When you buy Assassin's Creed, the publisher does not make a profit. It cost them $30,000,000 to make, you bought it for $60. They need another 500,000 of you just to break even. If at this point, before they his that break even point you start handing out your copy to friends, than that makes it that much harder for them to hit the break even point.

Sure, they can make more copies for less than a penny, but eventually the market will reach saturation and no one will need Assassin's Creed and they can't sell anymore to be able to break even.

Can you see the difference now?
That is actually a horribly flawed argument.

The bookend manufacturer has capital costs, overhead, material cost, G&A, etc. that all must be recouped, and no manufacturer worth their salt only makes one of an item, even in the best JIT lines.

These are more than comparable models. The argument for resale of "right to use" (when transfer is total and irrevocable) is the same as the argument for resale of console games, or books, or DVDs, or any other wares.

What is really the question here is will enough of the market withhold from buying a digital copy in order to wait for resale of a "used" version, and thus make the software companies wither out and die? I doubt it. History has yet to show that happening with DVDs, console games, or VHS tapes.

When you buy a game, you are buying a license to view/use it; no different than what you pay for a DVD or a book.

Being able to sell your right to use should not only be legal, but it is certainly morally acceptable.

IMHO.

^D^
 
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"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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64. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:44 ventry
 
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are expensive to make. You know why you don't get patches? Because people didn't buy the game. If people don't buy the game, there's no money incoming to improve the game. It was easy to QA games in the Atari 2600 days. Now there's so much content in games, it's nearly impossible for anyone to have seen it all once, much less the 50-100 times it takes to properly QA it.

So what your saying is games publishers are selling FAULTY products and whether you get that product fixed or not depends on people buying that product?

If you can't see how wrong this business model is then you are lacking in active brain cells sir.
 
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63. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:42 Devinoch
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:30:
Slashman wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:15:
You think a small indie could put out a Just Cause 2 or Skyrim? I'd like to see the 15-man team that could manage that.
Hehe, perfect examples ... i dont like the Just Cause games and Bethesda RPGs i find boring since "Arena"

But when i look at a RPG like "The Witcher", with very high production values, but made for a considerably small budget ... i dont need the majors to get games, which play AND look well. Really, Ubi and EA and ActiBlizz can go to hell. Video gaming will not only survive, but profit from this change in the long run.

"Considerably small budget"? You're kidding, right? One of the reasons the game cost a lot less to make is that it was that the studio is in Poland, so the cost-of-living is a lot less. But beyond that, it wasn't "considerably small." Seriously. It really wasn't. CD Projeckt Red is a big studio in Poland, with lots of people on staff.
 
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62. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:40 nin
 

It's not a question of not wanting to support the game post release - it's a question of not being paid to do so.

That's fine. But that's not the problem of the people that bought the game on launch day. They paid their money.

When Grim Dawn was featured as a kickstarter here, people specifically mentioned their lack of support for Titan Quest. Your history (and baggage) stays with you.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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61. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:39 Devinoch
 
Julio wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 19:28:
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are more complicated now than they've ever been. Team sizes have increased.

Gaming was better in the past than it is today, so I'm more than happy to move to less complicated games that have much stronger design and more interesting concepts. Bigger teams, spending money on useless frills like high priced voice acting doesn't make better games.

There's countless expensive terrible games being made, and if a shakeup is needed to see better decision making by EA, Actiblizzard etc then so be it. Smart business will make money, poorly run dinosaurs like the big gaming companies can die out.

Actually, most studios aren't spending money on high priced voice acting these days - it didn't add a lot to games, and frankly, I as a developer could spend $150k getting Samuel L. Jackson to do three hours worth of voice, or I could pay a mid-to-senior level engineer for a year. Guess what the smart money's on? You are corRECT, sah!

Like it or not, the games industry is a business, and if you can develop a great game for cheap, get in front of an audience, connect, and get them to spread the word, then great, you have a hit on your hands, and you may be raking in the money. But for every Minecraft, there's a dozen, if not hundreds, of other attempts for indie games that just never hit it out of the park, and I'm sure you'd find some amazing gameplay ideas in those games.

I want to see more interesting game concepts myself, but there's also a large number of people out there who just want the shiniest new thing. And right now, most industry execs are talking about the "free-to-play revolution," as if it's going to be the only thing left standing in a few years time, even though the indicators are that Zynga's on the decline.

Look, I don't claim to know the future of games, but I do have an insider's knowledge into the industry, having been working in it for 12 years now, and sadly, the best game does not always win. I've thrown a bunch of money at Kickstarter programs, and I think that space has a lot of interesting potential, but it's also not a guaranteed business model.

But "gaming was better in the past than it is today"? Really? Going to be yelling at kids to get off your lawn next? The grass is always greener on the other side. There's games in the past that I truly and dearly love, but there's also stuff in the future I'm looking forward to, and there's tons of innovation left to come. Please, though, don't assume that "smart business will make money." It's a numbers game, and whether you like it or not, there's a LOT of luck involved in making games....
 
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60. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:39 StingingVelvet
 
necrosis wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 17:34:
How is it "woosh"? They are charging more for games and doing LESS to make them work properly. If they are charging more and the games actually WORKED and they kept in features that were once there I would have no problems with it and accept the fact it costs more to do things.

But once again, we have to pay more for games and are getting a total piece of crap product. Features ripped out, content stripped from the game to sell as DLC, game breaking bugs at launch (not to mention sometimes zero patches to fix said issues), games that are a shadow of their predictors.

Paying more and getting the same is one thing. Paying more and getting less is just bullshit.

Glad I'm not you, 'cause I never seem to have all these problems you complain about. Other than Deus Ex Human Revolution stuttering at loading points I can't think of an annoying bug or technical issue from all of last year, maybe even the year before that too.
 
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59. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:31 SimplyMonk
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:47:
Are you saying if I am able/allowed to resell my software it makes the software business no longer viable?

I was merely trying to bring to light that you can't compare manufactured goods and the economics that surround them to software and their economics because that are simply two different types of products. A Rolls-Royce has far different regulations and manufacturing costs/concerns than making toothpicks.

Just because Product A is composed of Atoms and Product B is composed of Atoms, doesn't mean that the policies and economics surrounding the two products are interchangeable.

Let me try a simple example. When you buy a Bookend, the manufacturer makes a profit on your purchase. It cost them $1 to make, you bought it for $5. You are free to do whatever the fuck you want with it now because the maker of the bookend got the profit her deserved.

When you buy Assassin's Creed, the publisher does not make a profit. It cost them $30,000,000 to make, you bought it for $60. They need another 500,000 of you just to break even. If at this point, before they his that break even point you start handing out your copy to friends, than that makes it that much harder for them to hit the break even point.

Sure, they can make more copies for less than a penny, but eventually the market will reach saturation and no one will need Assassin's Creed and they can't sell anymore to be able to break even.

Can you see the difference now?
 
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