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Real Name John   
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Nickname JohnnyRotten
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Signed On Mar 17, 2008, 21:55
Total Comments 394 (Amateur)
User ID 46743
 
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News Comments > Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse
12. Re: Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse Nov 20, 2009, 01:49 JohnnyRotten
 
At least he got a refund.

At least on this one issue gets you +1 in my book. All the other things that are going on with this particular issue (how the customer had to get the refund, the length of the problem with the product, the conflicting statements about working/not working, how Impulse is the victim here, etc) gets them about a -10.

The fact that this is happening with Wardell's (of the "Gamer's Bill of Rights" fame) company earns them about another -100.

For me, "At least" isn't placing real high for this one.

And I feel for you - I've got several Steam games that just simply will not run and I, like you am SOL. Wish there was a company out there that followed at least the first couple of articles of the "Gamer's Bill of Rights". They'd be the first place I'd shop at for new games.

Can't wait to find a company like that.

This comment was edited on Nov 20, 2009, 01:57.
 
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News Comments > Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse
11. Re: Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse Nov 20, 2009, 01:35 JohnnyRotten
 
I broke this up to avoid the wall of text, but I guess the wall of posts doesn’t really change this. I have way to much free time on my hands, and I’m wasting it conversing with the intertubes. Note to self, get a hobby/life.

My opinion here is that they are knowingly selling a game that does not work for over a year, and will continue to do so. They leave it up to the customers to determine why it doesn’t work and locate and implement a potentially risky third party solution without official support.

It also doesn’t help that they say on the one hand “it works” while on the other saying “it doesn’t and we have a wink wink solution”. It’s the internet. You can’t say different thing to different people to appease them, and not have someone connect the dots and call you out on it.

On the subject of the “it doesn’t work and we have a wink wink solution” - semi-official nods and winks at other posters threads aren’t a particularly good solution for either the distributor or developer. The attitude from Impulse is: here, check out this post by someone who doesn’t work for us (wink wink), who recommends you go to this third party site that we don’t control (wink wink), hope that the owner of that site isn’t loading it up with malware, and download (wink wink) this unofficial patch (wink wink), which we also hope doesn’t contain any malware. Of course, since we’re doing the wink wink thing, we assume no liability for our non support. By the way, thanks for your cash. And if your friends want to buy our broken product, well, we’re leaving it up for sale (wink wink).

If they (or anyone here) want to argue that they are contractually obligated to sell the game in the state it is in, the solution is simple: don't sell the faulty product.

They also make statements about 100% refunds but don't mention that they made the customer do the leg work for it (for something they know is a known issue).

Wardell can talk about his "Gamers' Bill of Rights" all he wants to, but when his own company doesn’t follow through on it, or at best uses a lot of sophistry to pretend they are, well, what chance does it really have? What credibility does that give Wardell? To use the tired cliché one more time: to talk to the talk, you have to walk the walk.

Wardell, you and Impulse have dropped the ball on this one. Stop pretending your hands are tied and you have no options here. Stop pretending you are offering top of the line customer service. Stop pretending that your company is a victim of some sort of conspiracy. Instead of presenting sophistry and obfuscation, present a solution that walks the walk.

Time to eat some crow and make this right, not just with the one gamer you made jump through hoops for his refund, but for everyone who has purchased the game and has the DRM issues with the product. No PM’s to you, no contacting the developer for permission, just a simple rule for this product for your service staff: When a customer asks for a refund for the ring of greed issue, and you don’t have an official solution, then you issue one, no questions asked.

Easy peasy (wink wink).

 
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News Comments > Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse
10. Re: Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse Nov 20, 2009, 01:22 JohnnyRotten
 
The following quote is taken from the quarter to 3 forum and explains nicely why the game is still for sale in a non-working state.

Actually it doesn't explain it at all - the product they are selling doesn't work, and they know it. They could simply pull it from the store until the developer decided to fix it, but they have not. They could put a disclaimer in the product description to let purchasers know that there could be a potential problem. They have these and probably more solutions that would benefit the consumer.

I talked to Brian Clair, he says no, you don't get the elven ring of greed every time and has not seen a problem with the spells.

We have sent QA reports to Trevor Chan and he says that the game is working as intended. There's no DRM. And this is the latest version -- the one everyone has.

I'm not sure what people want us to do here. The game runs. The publisher says it is working as intended. And if someone doesn't like some part of the game they can update to a fan made game.

Impulse is a retailer. I can't help but wonder why Impulse is somehow being singled out here -- especially since it gives refunds.

If someone there wants to buy the game, try it out, and see if there's some merit to this, do so. If there's a problem, PM me and I'll make sure you get refunded. But QA and support say they didn't get this problem.
Let’s see here:

[1] “I talked to Brian Clair, he says no, you don't get the elven ring of greed every time and has not seen a problem with the spells”. Are your customers lying? Are the forum posts and the results from a simple google search on “ring of greed” completely false? Even though some of the ring of greed posts on the intertubes precedes Impulses offering the product?

[2] “I'm not sure what people want us to do here. The game runs.” Refund the money without having the purchaser have to beg both the distributor AND the developer for a refund. Actually troubleshoot the issue past calling Trevor and asking him is there an issue. Your customers and other people who have purchased the game from other companies then Impulse are reporting a problem. More then one person. There actually might be something to these reports. You’ve already alluded several times to ways to unofficially fix the problem. It seems like you want it both ways: There is no problem, and although there is no problem, here is a (wink wink) fix for the non problem.

[3] “I can't help but wonder why Impulse is somehow being singled out here -- especially since it gives refunds.” Yes, the victim card. There isn’t a problem, people are picking on us because of who we are. Sophistry instead of customer service. I read a post today from Craig Newmark (craigslist) who gets what your company does not in regards to customer service: 1. Customer service done in good faith is public service. 2. Customer service anchors you to reality. You’re failing on both points. I think I can safely state that no, you aren’t being singled out because of your corporate identity. There just might something else here – maybe angry customers who have a product that hasn’t work for over a year. Just maybe. It’s a thought.

[4] “If someone there wants to buy the game, try it out, and see if there's some merit to this, do so. If there's a problem, PM me and I'll make sure you get refunded. But QA and support say they didn't get this problem.]”. How much do you pay per hour for QA work on products that you are selling? Nothing? Well, maybe you shouldn’t expect us to work for you for free. However, you do have EXISTING customers with problems with the product who just might be willing to work with you (if they haven’t written you off after a year of new-speak responses) to help you troubleshoot the issue. Maybe you should start there instead.

 
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News Comments > Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse
8. Re: Warlords Battlecry III and Impulse Nov 20, 2009, 01:16 JohnnyRotten
 
Update: We are also informed by Stardock that the author of that complaint received a 100% refund days ago, and that "Impulse is the only digital retailer that provides refunds for people who do have technical issues for whatever reason."

See – we’re great at customer service, and we gave him a 100% refund, easy peasy right? Here's what the author of the complaint had to do to get his 100% refund:

From Forum Post

1. I opened a trouble ticket at http://www.stardock.com/support/ asking for a refund, referencing this thread and saying that the copy-protection had crippled the game.

2. The support technician told me that I could only get a 75% refund unless I got written authorization from Enlight Games. (Based on their website, the name "Relic Games" might better apply to them).

3. I asked the support technician for a contact address at Enlight, which she was kind enough to give me: info@enlight.com.

4. I sent an email to info@enlight.com asking for them to email support@stardock.com with authorization for a refund, keeping my ticket number in the subject line.

5. The folks at Enlight did so; Stardock told me they would process the refund and WBC has disappeared from my Impulse list.

So, this wasn't hey, this game doesn't work, you know it doesn't work, give me back my money, no problem; instead it was we know the game doesn't work, but we're not just going to give you back our money for screwing you over, nope we’re going to make you jump through hoops to get your money back.
 
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News Comments > Star Trek Online Open Beta Signups
6. Re: Star Trek Online Open Beta Signups Nov 20, 2009, 00:09 JohnnyRotten
 
Is it just me, or a captcha's getting beyond the ability of humans to do reliability in the first try? It took me three times with this one.

Or am I just getting old, and need to start whining about kids these days?
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
38. Re: Op Ed Nov 14, 2009, 15:35 JohnnyRotten
 
This has been an A+ thread. Hopefully my comments don’t put it on the wrong side of the curve.

From the article:
Let me put it this way, if having Day-one DLC in a game like Dragon Age means that Bioware gets to make the sequel, and not having it means they don’t, I will happily take the opportunity to make my informed purchasing choice…

The classic false dilemma – either this or that, but nothing else; which I think many people have pointed out here.

DG - This guy believes that the suppliers tell the customers what they will have and the customers should take it and be thankful. That's the reverse of how the free market operates: developers and publishers exist to serve the wants of their market and only if they do it well do they get a profit in return.

Agree completely.

Creston - But yeah, DLC is the new shit. They know people don't want to pay 60 bucks for a game, so they'll just cut content out and charge you ten bucks for it, getting your 60 bucks that way.

Yahztee!

Creston - The publishers can go fuck themselves. I'm buying fewer and fewer new games because of their bullshit. I used to buy 2 or 3 games a month, now I buy MAYBE four or five games a year (full price.)

Same with me. Even DA, which looks phenomenal, isn’t worth, for me, the price they are asking for it (in all its various flavors). I’ll simply wait a year or two and purchase the gold version for a more reasonable price.

TurdFergasun - some ppl just don't realize that art for profit is generally no longer art.

You’ve just pretty much emptied out every art museum on the planet with that statement. BTW, great name.

Cutter - The author makes it sound like that if we don't take it sans lube as well that gaming will disappear. No, it'll just change for the better.

Another hole in one – people will simply take their money elsewhere. This would be the “something else” that the author of article didn’t think of (or ignored) when creating his false dilemma. People vote with their wallet.
 
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News Comments > Modern Warfare 2 Digital Distribution Backlash
59. Re: MW2 Distro Backlash Nov 12, 2009, 21:12 JohnnyRotten
 
Eve Online is the only game that requires Excel to play.

Eve Online is playing Excel!
 
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Modern Warfare 2 (Except for Steam)
39. Re: Ships Ahoy - Modern Warfare 2 (Except for Steam) Nov 10, 2009, 13:51 JohnnyRotten
 
<hijack>
Verno/Wowbagger - I'm still on the fence with DA. Should I wait for the 1/2 price + all dlc package in a year, or is it good enough to lay down the hard earned cash on now?
</hijack>
 
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News Comments > Torchlight and Torchlight Demo Released
121. Re: Torchlight & Demo Nov 2, 2009, 11:01 JohnnyRotten
 
First off: Fuck spammers.

Second off: This game is just fate II, and that for me, is awesome. Bought it.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
171. Re: Borderlands Dates Oct 27, 2009, 22:30 JohnnyRotten
 
http://www.tweakguides.com/Graphics_11.html
There's a great example of AF there if you page down. It also shows AA

Cool, thanks for the link. Good info.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
169. Re: That argument doesn't hold. Oct 27, 2009, 14:46 JohnnyRotten
 
here is no AA, there is only AF

Thought that was the same thing. Not a graphics wonk. Sorry for the bad advice.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
166. Re: That argument doesn't hold. Oct 27, 2009, 13:15 JohnnyRotten
 
My 2 main issues are that there is no AA...

This fooled me at first too - There is a down arrow on the audio/video options screen that has AA and a bunch of other options.

- J
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
143. Re: Borderlands Dates Oct 26, 2009, 10:51 JohnnyRotten
 
Banning people for pointing out that a torrent is available for the purpose of illustrating the irony (that pirates are free from all the inconveniences that honest people have to deal with) is lame, not to mention detrimental to their own cause, as it makes for really bad PR.

Good point.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
130. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 23:43 JohnnyRotten
 
Unconscionable contracts, by law, are completely void.

Der. But what about this situation is unconscionable?

Everything. No matter what point of the license the customer may disagree with, the fact remains that he or she is stuck with a product they cannot return because they had to open the package and initiate the install procedure in order to view the EULA, making it impossible, in most places, to obtain a refund. Period.

This is where I think electronic distribution has an opportunity to change the paradigm by moving the EULA from inside the product to the outside. Having to explicitly accept the EULA before purchase would change the legal landscape of this issue considerably.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
129. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 23:37 JohnnyRotten
 
No, but it does have something to do with whether there are damages or not.
No, a summary judgment is simply a judgment by the court without a full trial. It could be for against the defendant, with or without damages, etc., in any combination that a full trial would have. The summary judgment, in and of itself, does not prejudice the punitive damages phase of a case.

Damages have nothing to do with deliberate or not.
No, damages are almost always determined by the intent of the defendant. In fact, most (but not all)* civil and criminal law revolves around the concept of intent. That is why on the criminal side, different charges exist for the same result (manslaughter vs. first degree murder), and on the civil side, the punitive damages are awarded or withheld. It’s one of those 101 law concepts.

* There are laws in which intent plays no part. In these cases, you can be prosecuted for violating the statute, regardless of intent. A good example of this is some states have laws about how much cold medicine you can buy over a certain time period. Go over this, regardless of reason, and a warrant will be issued.

And, again, I'd remind you that this isn't all customers but a small handful from a certain date
I have never advanced the theory that all customers purchasing this product would stand to gain by a class action. This is almost always the case in class actions btw.

By the time anything is filed that time would have been long since passed and the gamers "injured" would have long since stopped playing
Again, another 101 law concept is the concept that an injured party may seek remedy at any time within the limits of the statute of limitations for a particular offense. Simply because the offense has passed does not forgive the offense (Gee officer – now that I’m pulled over, I’m no longer speeding, so you can’t give me that ticket).

And they'd have gotten their full money's worth. Nothing was hinged on it.
What if the customer purchased the product from a retailer that had a limited time return policy? Is there harm if that time runs out before the customer can use the product? Harm is in the eye of the beholder here, and I’m sure there are many scenarios’ that could play out before the court system.

Now, if someone had organized some kind of gaming tournament for yesterday and Take 2 sent them the game, yet it couldn't be played, suddenly we'd have damages.
If 2K deliberately mislead the customers for the tournament about the performance of their product? The plaintiff could absolutely bring them to court. Law 101 again. I’ll use your example in my summary to show how this could be construed as harm.

Over six days on a goof that affected maybe a few thousand people?
Oh man, the government is jumping on that one.
Here’s a point we both agree on: it’s highly unlikely any government entity will jump on this today. However, in a hypothetical future action for other alleged misdeeds, the government could dredge this up to show a pattern of behavior. Because when the government jumps, it tends to do so from a large height and uses an 800 pound gorilla to do so. Just ask Microsoft.

Oh man that's so insanely untrue. Courts limit their rulings to the current circumstances fairly regularly. And it happens with EULAs. They limit it to provisions in the specific EULA they're analyzing. They limit it to the specific words.
This is a straw man argument. My argument wasn’t that rulings exist independent of the case or the case material. My argument is that the ruling, as a whole, generally establishes OR reinforces legal precedent for the type of case, and the situation. Because of this rulings do not exist in a vacuum, and almost all of them will cite the precedents used from PREVIOUS rulings to establish the ruling for the case at hand*. Those law clerks assigned to judges aren’t just getting them coffee. They’re hitting the books to help the judge come to his ruling, and support it. If this wasn’t true, we would here the cry “activist judge” (as silly as it is) for every case, as every case would be decided without the foundation of other rulings. I’m also not saying that a judge, or a panel of judges cannot break with precedent. This happens quite a bit as well.

* This is why Lexis-Nexis exists: To help lawyers find other cases with precedents that support their arguments. It would have no value otherwise.

I’m also not aware of any civil cases dealing with applicability, in part, or whole of the EULA in which a judge said or inferred this ruling is for this case and may never be used or cited in any other case. Again, the application of law does not exist in a vacuum.

Just because part of a contract is void doesn't mean the whole thing is.
Not what was said. What I said was “contracts which are void in part, can be declared void ab initio ie.” The word “can” being the operative word here.

Hey, I'm licensed to practice.
In a previous post you made on September 25, 2009 (http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&boardid=1&threadid=102408&id=542071&view=threads), you stated “I'm not a developer myself. I do work in the industry, though. I do market research. I do competitive analysis. I do growth path definition. I do supply chain and pricing strategy. I've long since given up C++ for modeling. It's my job to know who the consumer is, what the consumer wants, and how to get the consumer what they want while keeping a company in business.”.

It sounds like you are a former software developer who has moved into a software market research position. The description you gave doesn’t mention anything in the legal profession. Did I make an improper assumption that by your statement you meant that you’re licensed to practice law? If so, what state bar association are you with? Would you perhaps have an ABA membership ID? Can I find you on Martindale? Forgive me, but I’ll need to have definitive proof before I accept this statement as fact. Without proof, I’ll just consider your claim as an “argument job*”.

* My term for a job claimed by someone who states that they are a member of a profession that also just happens to make them authoritative on the subject being discussed. I.e., I’m a developer, I’m a market research expert, I’m a lawyer, I’m a spaceman. Also, if you’re not willing to provide evidence supporting your claim, you can skip the hyperbole and just state that I cannot or will not prove my claim. Because, regardless of the amount of hyperbole, that’s how I’ll be translating it.

And the bottom line is arguing that ANY legal action will come from this is moronic because no one was hurt in any meaningful way. No one.
Using your previous example – I bought several hundred copies for a conventions lan party, and sold tickets with stating this as an attraction, but couldn’t use the software. Here’s another: I’m a retailer who was told to sell copies, and now have a damaged reputation due to the non performance of the product.

Is ANY legal action under ANY legal conditions still, in your opinion as someone who is “licensed to practice” law, still “moronic” ? There is no possible standing in any situation?

It’s interesting to see people jumping and down saying that no one has standing to bring a suit without hearing what that standing is, or simply stating that “There. Can. Be. No. Standing. “ I keep picturing Kruschev and his shoe – Wham! Wham! Wham!

Ultimately, I believe this is a theoretical exercise in the difference between “can” and “will”, as it is highly unlikely anyone is going to get so wound up about this as to actually file. Can it happen? Sure, there seems to be scenarios where harm could occur. Will they happen? Will someone sue because of it? I think the chances are about as likely as the Raiders going to the Super Bowl (or even the playoff’s).

This comment was edited on Oct 26, 2009, 15:36.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
118. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 17:44 JohnnyRotten
 
Btw, it is out now for download thanks to Reloaded. So the DRM sure worked then... ahem

Seriously? I'm always amazed at the almost sci-fi skills of the crackers to do this kind of thing. It's like all those cheesy movies and tv shows where a guy sits down at a workstation and 2 minutes later "I'm in". Except they really can do it.

Crazy.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
116. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 17:42 JohnnyRotten
 
Alright, what are the damages?
Quick, c'mon, what are the damages?
What, there are none? Alright, most likely summary judgment

A summary judgment has nothing to do with the amount awarded.

As for the damages, those could be considerable if 2k was shown to have deliberately misled their customers about the product they were selling. I’d like to point out that you appear to have missed the words “if” and “knowingly” in the original post. Please note the words “could be” and “known” as laid out in this paragraph. This is the concept of intent, which would be either an aggravating or mitigating fact in our hypothetical lawsuit.

Also, keep in mind that our hypothetical lawsuits could be brought by the private citizens, governments, or both. In this case of the government, consumer protection laws and their penalties can be pretty severe against violators. While I agree with others on this thread that any type of lawsuit are slim possibilities, it could happen, and in the context of aggravating intent, could be financial painful for 2k.

You can't generalize about EULAs. Some US courts are cool with them. Some US courts aren't cool with them. They all have shot some down and upheld some. They've also all avoided precedent by claiming that their rulings are specific to the EULA at hand.

Leaving aside the fact that your first sentence is immediately contracted by your next set of statements (i.e., broad generalizations), I would disagree that “They've also all avoided precedent by claiming that their rulings are specific to the EULA at hand.” I am unaware of any ruling to do with EULA’s in which the judge qualified his judgment with such a statement, or inference of such a concept. In contract cases, it is extremely rare for a judge to do this. Law is not made for individuals, but for society as a whole, and rulings tend to follow this fundamental concept.

But you'd better believe just about any EULA can be upheld in part so long as its reasonable. Just about any EULA can be shot down in part if it is not reasonable.
Contracts which are void in part, can be declared void ab initio ie. Which, if you are involved in the “law” (as you put it), you should know, as has been contract law 101 for well over a hundred years.

There is also (legal) school of thought that has argued the EULA is an unconscionable contract as a whole as you are not presented with the contract until after the purchase and in such a manner as to make it impossible to recover your investment. Unconscionable contracts, by law, are completely void. This argument is still working its way through the court system.

Armchair attorneys need to cool it in this thread
J'accuse!


 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
110. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 17:05 JohnnyRotten
 
JohnnyRotten, your entire argument was wasted breath because it's all based on 2K selling a defective product which they did not. The retailer broke the release date. Why can't people get that through their heads?

I'll just quote Dev's post to refute the "it was just the retailers argument":

According to this TV ad thats on TV right now, the game is "AVAILABLE NOW" on PC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1omVnfGVYw

Note the source of the ad, its from the OFFICIAL 2k Games youtube channel uploaded on the 20th. There is NO separate date advertised for PC version. All versions (xbox 360, PS3, PC) are shown and advertised "AVAILABLE NOW" (the caps are even in the ad)
Screenshot

official borderlands facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Borderlands-Page/104080139080
On the left it says:
"Coming Oct. 20 to PS3, 360, and PC platforms!"
Screenshot

http://www.borderlandsthegame.com/
Official game page, says at top "IN STORES NOW" and if you click "buy now" at menu on left, it says "AVAILABLE NOW" showing the PC version.
Screenshot
 
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News Comments > Borderlands' Firm Street Dates
102. Re: Oct 25, 2009, 14:20 JohnnyRotten
 
Aspects of EULA's have been held up in court many times now. You'd be laughed at for taking something to court as trivial as this, especially when it's not beyond the rights of the companies to protect their products and the release date. Only people at fault here are the retailers.

Trivial is a subjective term. It is also not a legal term. Trivial for one can be shown not to be trivial when in the context of thousands. If 2k could be shown through public statements and internal documents to have knowingly sold and promoted a defective product (albeit temporarily), then I believe the possibility exists for a class action. The courts frown on theft, regardless of the amount stolen.

The EULA as a whole or aspects of it has certainly not “been held up in court many times”. I would think the best one could say about the legal enforceability of the EULA is that is completely up in the air. Different courts have ruled differently about the EULA, and no legal precedent yet exists for the enforcement or applicability of the EULA, in whole, or in part at this time. The most interesting case currently before the courts (IMHO) is AutoCAD vs. Vernor, which may finally set the bar.

I also am unaware of any legal precedent of software corporations to “to protect their products and the release date” per se. There are, however, significant amounts of consumer law to protect against the misrepresentation of product performance.

IMHO, there seems to be a constant misperception on these forums that software companies, publishers, and distributers get to have a different (and self defined) rule set with their products at first sale, second sale, etc. This is a place where there IS a large amount of legal precedent, which if I may boil down to a pithy phrase: They don’t.

This comment was edited on Oct 25, 2009, 14:24.
 
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News Comments > Dragon Age Pre-Purchase [Updated]
99. Re: Dragon Age Pre-Purchase Oct 17, 2009, 14:55 JohnnyRotten
 
I'm just going to wait for the "Not confusing as hell" edition that comes with everything so I don't need a chart to keep track of the various things each one includes.

Yahtzee!
 
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394 Comments. 20 pages. Viewing page 14.
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