Short of being able to resell games it's the same.
That is a huge
difference. Being able to sell, lend, or otherwise tranfer a game is a major benefit to many people like me who resell their games or simply want to pass it along to a friend or family member when they are done playing it.
it is the licence to use the software that is important
No, it isn't. The license itself means absolutely nothing especially since U.S. courts haven't and don't always recognize it as a valid contract. What ultimately matters is the physical media because that is what determines if the game is playable or not. With the overwhelming majority of PC games, the physical media is still the only key to their play even with DRM so possessing valid media means being able to play the game. Only with Steam and other services which rely on online authentication, does the physical media mean nothing.
I lost my internet connection for a few days recently while engineers were working on the main connection - Steam loaded up in offline mode and I was able to play all of my games. I don't foresee Steam shutting down but even if it does I'll still be able to play my games.
You won't be able to do that if you reinstall your Windows installation or change your PC. Steam's offline mode uses a generated GUID for offline mode which is unique to your hardware and Windows installation. Offline mode also requires a stored login which can be easily lost/reset especially accidently. Don't count on the permanence of offline mode or you will be unpleasantly surprised.
You'll find that software licences actually operate outside of that...software developers can produce software that you can't legally resell.
That's not true in the U.S. and has been proved repeatedly in the courts, but I don't feel like wasting time looking them up and writing them necause you would still be too stupid or stubborn to admit it. Your instrumental samples example isn't applicable because that is a derivative works issue. The bottom line is that software is legally resold everyday in the U.S. and has been for decades despite EULA's.
Well, the same can be said about renting a car but that doesn't mean renting a car is better than owning a car
What a bullshit comparison! Almost no one would buy a car and then drive it once and discard it. However, many people buy games which they only play through once if that. Renting these games is
better than owning them from an economical standpoint, and that is exactly the point I made about Gametap below. Next time read the entire
paragraph before you foolishly reply to it.
Fortunately the other features provided by Steam far outweigh the limitations.
Not if you sell, lend, or share games, and certainly not if you lose access to your Steam account (and all of your games) especially permanently. If you are stupid or lazy, yes, Steam has some advantages, but anyone who has some computer skills and upstream bandwidth can negate those by making his own game backups online without DRM or Steam's other restrictions.This comment was edited on Jan 19, 2009, 20:48.