- This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
January 18, 2010 at 1:51 am #7573AnonymousInactive
Well, this should certainly kick-off a fair amount of litigation.
An eBay auction has completed the sale of a user’s STEAM account. The user auctioned off his username/password (139 games) for $1,000.
I’d imagine this amounts to a "transfer" of license(s) which likely voids any EULA, but I suppose it may well boil down to a test case. Or Valve could just say "account closed."
Still, if the seller got enough support, I’m sure this would be a pretty big test case in the U.S.
January 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm #45163AnonymousInactive
IANAL, but where it make sense the laws perfer to side with the consumer and give them the right of re-sale (regardless of what contractual EUALAALAS are in place). In this case I don’t see why the customer couldn’t do this. In future companies might be required to allow a mechanism for people to sell their individual digital games on as well.
January 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm #45180AnonymousInactive
Not sure what consumer protection law you think would kick in and allow this Greenbean? None that I know of. EULAs are enforceable unless unfair (there are lots of laws teasing out unfairness and what must be in the EULA) but none of them say you can disregard a legitimate restriction of a copyright owner to require that it grants the licence… or at least none in Ireland at any rate. Would be interested to get your response…
January 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm #45183AnonymousInactive
January 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm #45184AnonymousInactive
Crap. I knew not being a lawyer was going to be a problem here….
But the idea is that the first-sale doctrine will kick in when the laws catch up with the idea that it should apply to digital goods too. Since there’s nothing special about a downloaded game other the lack of a physical medium so the same rights on reselling a legal obtained copy of the work should apply too; but EULA suggest they dont – immovable object versus the unstoppable one.
I’m not sure if the doctrine actually applies in the UK & Ireland other than that reselling physical copies of books, cd’s and games are currently not an issue, hence IANAL, but the expectation is those same rights will start to apply when enough consumers point out the problem.
http://www.mcvuk.com/news/37245/Green-Man-Gaming-offers-trade-ins-on-digital-games is an example proving that transfering the copyright should not be a technical problem.
January 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm #45185AnonymousInactive
Nice find on that article. I read it (Green Men Gaming) and thought "Wow, this guy read my forum post, raced out, and started a business based around it."
Or maybe not.
Anyway, some of the comments on the bottom of that article are people suggesting that a "digital" product does not depreciate when it used, and therefore the digital download is the same product the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, time etc, and therefore, why would a person EVER pay the FULL price, when you can pick it up at a discounted pre-owned price.
1. On release day, there will only be FULL price versions – consumers will have to way a day, a week, a month before "pre-owned" versions come online.
2. Or the vendor stipulates an amount of time before MW2 can be re-sold / traded-in.
3. My super-cool idea (IMO – of course), where the first primary consumer’s version comes with a shiny +3 Vorpal Sword. The second, third and subsequent buyers don’t get this (or don’t get an item as powerful as this – Agreed this is game-specific).
Just some thoughts.
EDIT: Relevant Irish consumer reading: http://www.consumerassociation.ie/rights_knowrights.html
January 22, 2010 at 10:04 am #45189AnonymousInactive
Its not to say that these resale idea would not be capable of being implemented by the owners of the games but it begs the question, why would they do this when they can legitimately charge the full amount and impose a ban on resale? The answer, I suppose, is to counter the grey/black market for the resale of the games.
What I was trying to understand is what mandatory law posters speaking of "consumer rights" in general terms actually compels licensors to introduce these models? Nothing specific, that I know of. I think that where it does come into play in Ireland potentially is under the unfair contract terms principles in the Consumer Protection Act 2007.
January 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #45190AnonymousInactive
Its not to say that these resale idea would not be capable of being implemented by the owners of the games but it begs the question, why would they do this when they can legitimately charge the full amount and impose a ban on resale?[/quote:1a1224d2df]
Oh I’m fairly certain most companies don’t want resale on digital goods, they want new purchases instead (although the equation may be flawed). Having said that consumers haven’t really complained too much yet. I wasn’t referring to a specific law, but more that a judge when a proper case comes up is more likely to side with the consumer. But it’s just an opinion based on how it works currently for physical copies of entertainment.
January 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm #45191AnonymousInactive
I think a lot of this is also "luck" for the sellers. The end-user has been "cultured" into accepting patching, crashes, and freezes/restarts.
If this were any other domain, where someone paid for entertainment (theatre production) and 1/2 way through the cast members jerked, stammered, and froze, then the curtain came down and they started all over again from the start the entire "audience" would be up in arms, looking for their money back. Rightly so.
Where as gamers tend to be pretty forgiving. At least up to this point. However, where I see this changing is all the casual gamers that are coming in from the cold. I imagine the first time a Wii game freezes for a legal professional, there will be test-cases ahoy.
I don’t know if this goes in the direction you were asking, Deek, or whether you wanted to more focus on the legitimacy of EULA’s vs. Consumer legislation.
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