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EU Agrees, You should be Able to Sell your Digital Games

This is a discussion on EU Agrees, You should be Able to Sell your Digital Games within the General PS3 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; European Court Says You Should Be Able To Re-Sell Your Digital Games If you pay to download a video game, ...

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    EU Agrees, You should be Able to Sell your Digital Games

    European Court Says You Should Be Able To Re-Sell Your Digital Games


    If you pay to download a video game, does it then become a product you own? And should you then be allowed to sell or give it away like you can with physical products?

    The European Union's Court of Justice has its own opinions on this longrunning debate, noting as part of a filing today that customers should indeed own the rights to digital software.

    "Moreover, as stated in paragraph 46 above, in a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, the copyright holder transfers the right of ownership of the copy of the computer program to his customer," the court said.

    The Court also ruled that customers should be able to re-sell their digital software:

    Since the copyright holder cannot object to the resale of a copy of a computer program for which that rightholder's distribution right is exhausted under Article 4(2) of Directive 2009/24, it must be concluded that a second acquirer of that copy and any subsequent acquirer are ‘lawful acquirers' of it within the meaning of Article 5(1) of Directive 2009/24.

    Consequently, in the event of a resale of the copy of the computer program by the first acquirer, the new acquirer will be able, in accordance with Article 5(1) of Directive 2009/24, to download onto his computer the copy sold to him by the first acquirer. Such a download must be regarded as a reproduction of a computer program that is necessary to enable the new acquirer to use the program in accordance with its intended purpose.
    So what does this mean for gamers? Well, nothing—for now. But a ruling like this could set a precedent for future digital-rights cases in Europe, particularly surrounding distribution services like Steam and Origin. Do you have the rights to the games you buy and download? Should you be allowed to resell them? Be prepared for many, many legal battles and quagmires both in Europe and the U.S. over the coming years as the industry attempts to answer those questions.

    europe is god at customer rights.

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    Very intresting but at the same time head scratching.... how would it even work?

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    Yes, yes this needs to happen.

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    The chance of this happening is not high enough for me to go apeshitingly happy, but it is enough to get my hopes up. Resells would make the digital market grow, and make more customers happy.




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    Now to wait a few months (maybe a year or two) for Steam to implement this somehow and set the standard for how to re-sell digital games, and in the rare case that they screw up or make a mistake, those who follow suit (Origin) can learn from it and improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Now to wait a few months (maybe a year or two) for Steam to implement this somehow and set the standard for how to re-sell digital games, and in the rare case that they screw up or make a mistake, those who follow suit (Origin) can learn from it and improve.
    In the meantime, if this jurisdiction get's enforced, I'd expect the "hot fix" to be just charging more for all digital downloads. People who think that this is going to automatically equate into them saving money are going to be in for a hard realization when a (and I'd guess large) portion of the resale cost gets tacked onto the initial cost - and in the end everybody get's screwed so that those who now "own" their digital copy can make pennies on the dollar on the resale.

    If anybody believes that this is going to lead to more good than bad, are going to be sadly mistaken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Now to wait a few months (maybe a year or two) for Steam to implement this somehow and set the standard for how to re-sell digital games, and in the rare case that they screw up or make a mistake, those who follow suit (Origin) can learn from it and improve.
    all stuff you sell only goes into steam wallet/store credit

    bam, hire me valve.


    (also i would be rich as fuck, all those steam sales were worth it)

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    totally awesome if that happens, always been wary of buying online since i resell most of my stuff when im done with it

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    I would like to see this lead to one of two things.
    1) You can in effect return what you digitally download and get like 1/3 to 1/2 of the items current new value back in the store's credit (or some lower alternative for cash value, of course this would probably work in a similar to online purchases but backwards)
    2) Digital retailers implement a form of Ebay within them where you can ask for a certain amount or offer a certain amount for a copy of a DLC, online pass or Game (with all the rights being transferred to who brought it)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomlor0 View Post
    2) Digital retailers implement a form of Ebay within them where you can ask for a certain amount or offer a certain amount for a copy of a DLC, online pass or Game (with all the rights being transferred to who brought it)
    valve already does this kind of thing

    wouldn't be hard to implement used games.

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    If next generation, or even the generation after that, goes all digital then we need SOME way to refund or sell games.

    Here's my idea, you buy the game and if you don't like it you can refund it for half price. Half price is optimal because the devs and pubs won't lose money on people abusing the system. It WOULD be nice to get a full refund but like I said too many people would abuse the system. Also no HDDs like in the PS3 but HDDs like in the Xbox360. The Xbox360 uses, in a sense, hard drives that act as memory cards. The key is they have to be affordable because lets face it the games are going to get bigger and more advanced. Now you will say "but ATHF89, some devs and pubs don't deserve our money like Capcom, EA, and Activision.". While true I will say these companies STILL publish/develop that rare game that is awesome to play. I also suggest EVERY title that is up for sale MUST have at least an hour long demo of the FULL game. This will definitely persuade gamers to consider purchasing a game.

    Another idea is an interface similar to Steam, everything is saved to your account and to the Cloud and you just download a game. This idea would be tricky though and would require an internet connection to play even single player games. I would love to see big sales similar to Steam. Currently PSN, not sure about XBox Live, does has a small summer sale but I would love to have a HUGE sale during the summer, and winter. Multitudes of games and bundles, game+DLC, on sale.

    Finally my desires, my wishes developers do next generation are the following:

    • Stop making a crappy single player experience but a great multiplayer experience, either give us a good single player mode as well OR just make it a multiplayer only game. First Person Shooters are mainly guilty of this, we get 3-5 hours of an either ok or crappy campaign but all focus is on multiplayer, stop that.
    • Stop destroying franchises. Resident Evil, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty for example were great franchises until this generation for some bizarre reason. Please stop and come up with new IPs or hire better developers to make these franchises. Also stop charging us like $15 for fucking map packs, those should be $5 not $15!
    • Stop ripping the customer off. Capcom for example has a bad habit of putting DLC on the disc but making us pay for an unlock code. Also NO MORE ONLINE PASSES. While only $10 it's still ridiculous. If I want to rent Battlefield 3 from Gamefly before I buy it I can't try the multiplayer. Sometimes they offer free 30 day trials but it still sucks.
    • Stop charging more or the same price for a digital copy, in case hard copies still exist. Go to the PSN store and tell me how much a game like Mass Effect 2 costs. That's right, $20. Firstly that's the normal price for a NEW hard copy at a retail store. It should be WAY cheaper, like $10 because one there are no expenses for manufacturing the discs, manuals, cases, and case artwork and two there is no middle man, Sony and the developer get all the money so no fees to pay a retailer and/or wholesaler.
    • Improve Gameplay, graphics, audio, hardware, etc. It is inevitable that shovelware, A.K.A. shitty games, will be made but not as many as I have seen for this generation. This generation of gaming has WAY too many shitty games so fix that dammit.
    • Finally DO NOT RELEASE A GAME UNFINISHED!!! Many a developer has released a game when it still feels like it is in the beta stages. I give PS3 exclusives a pass since it IS very difficult to develop on the PS3 as it is too complex. The reality is the PS3 has the potential to destroy the Xbox360 and easily compete with the PC market but the development kits for the PS3 barely exist so it makes it hard to make games. My point is some third party devs release a game that we all know is not finished. We find a bug or glitch and bitch about it to the company that makes it and then it may get fixed. My point is WE ARE GAMERS NOT FUCKING BETA TESTERS!!!! An update should do just that, update the game and add content not simply fix a game crippling bug that SHOULD have been fixed by the debugging team at the damn company!!!

    Listen to the gamers, we are your customers and without us YOU WILL COLLAPSE AND DISAPPEAR!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATHF89 View Post
    If next generation, or even the generation after that, goes all digital then we need SOME way to refund or sell games.

    Here's my idea, you buy the game and if you don't like it you can refund it for half price. Half price is optimal because the devs and pubs won't lose money on people abusing the system. It WOULD be nice to get a full refund but like I said too many people would abuse the system. Also no HDDs like in the PS3 but HDDs like in the Xbox360. The Xbox360 uses, in a sense, hard drives that act as memory cards. The key is they have to be affordable because lets face it the games are going to get bigger and more advanced. Now you will say "but ATHF89, some devs and pubs don't deserve our money like Capcom, EA, and Activision.". While true I will say these companies STILL publish/develop that rare game that is awesome to play. I also suggest EVERY title that is up for sale MUST have at least an hour long demo of the FULL game. This will definitely persuade gamers to consider purchasing a game.

    Another idea is an interface similar to Steam, everything is saved to your account and to the Cloud and you just download a game. This idea would be tricky though and would require an internet connection to play even single player games. I would love to see big sales similar to Steam. Currently PSN, not sure about XBox Live, does has a small summer sale but I would love to have a HUGE sale during the summer, and winter. Multitudes of games and bundles, game+DLC, on sale.

    Finally my desires, my wishes developers do next generation are the following:

    • Stop making a crappy single player experience but a great multiplayer experience, either give us a good single player mode as well OR just make it a multiplayer only game. First Person Shooters are mainly guilty of this, we get 3-5 hours of an either ok or crappy campaign but all focus is on multiplayer, stop that.
    • Stop destroying franchises. Resident Evil, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty for example were great franchises until this generation for some bizarre reason. Please stop and come up with new IPs or hire better developers to make these franchises. Also stop charging us like $15 for fucking map packs, those should be $5 not $15!
    • Stop ripping the customer off. Capcom for example has a bad habit of putting DLC on the disc but making us pay for an unlock code. Also NO MORE ONLINE PASSES. While only $10 it's still ridiculous. If I want to rent Battlefield 3 from Gamefly before I buy it I can't try the multiplayer. Sometimes they offer free 30 day trials but it still sucks.
    • Stop charging more or the same price for a digital copy, in case hard copies still exist. Go to the PSN store and tell me how much a game like Mass Effect 2 costs. That's right, $20. Firstly that's the normal price for a NEW hard copy at a retail store. It should be WAY cheaper, like $10 because one there are no expenses for manufacturing the discs, manuals, cases, and case artwork and two there is no middle man, Sony and the developer get all the money so no fees to pay a retailer and/or wholesaler.
    • Improve Gameplay, graphics, audio, hardware, etc. It is inevitable that shovelware, A.K.A. shitty games, will be made but not as many as I have seen for this generation. This generation of gaming has WAY too many shitty games so fix that dammit.
    • Finally DO NOT RELEASE A GAME UNFINISHED!!! Many a developer has released a game when it still feels like it is in the beta stages. I give PS3 exclusives a pass since it IS very difficult to develop on the PS3 as it is too complex. The reality is the PS3 has the potential to destroy the Xbox360 and easily compete with the PC market but the development kits for the PS3 barely exist so it makes it hard to make games. My point is some third party devs release a game that we all know is not finished. We find a bug or glitch and bitch about it to the company that makes it and then it may get fixed. My point is WE ARE GAMERS NOT FUCKING BETA TESTERS!!!! An update should do just that, update the game and add content not simply fix a game crippling bug that SHOULD have been fixed by the debugging team at the damn company!!!

    Listen to the gamers, we are your customers and without us YOU WILL COLLAPSE AND DISAPPEAR!!!


    tl;dr

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    Not going to quote the long post but that pretty much sums up everthing I think about digital downloads ATHF89.

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    That'd be sweet. That could get me back into digital downloading.


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    The solution to this from a publisher perspective is to move to a subscription-only access model for all games. You own the account and can re-sell it, but you don't ever get your hands on a copy of the game either physically or digitally with the entire experience being streamed online.

    And quite possibly (i'm just spitballing here), the characters / achievements / gear on the account are retained by the original account creator even though they no longer have access, meaning the new owner needs to start afresh to discourage profiteering from on-selling.

    The big industry publishers and console producers have their finger on the pulse. This sort of crap may be why Sony's interested in cloud-based gaming. What you'll pay for is the gaming "experience" and not the game itself. This is no different to listening to music at a concert or seeing a movie at the cinemas or borrowing a book from the library.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATHF89 View Post
    Listen to the gamers, we are your customers and without us YOU WILL COLLAPSE AND DISAPPEAR!!!
    You poor deluded fool. Without publishers selling first-hand copies, gaming as we know it is dead and you'll have no AAA titles to play.

    The industry tells us how we're going to play our games based on how and where they make their money, not the other way around. Casual, free-to-play gaming is the direction it's heading because we're too tight to fork over the big bucks for a new copy and it's much more profitable to produce shovelware than a AAA game.

    For example, Infinity Blade II cost maybe $1-2 million to make, compared to $50 million for Mass Effect 3. Both are AAA games for their respective platforms, yet Infinity Blade II is twice as profitable, generating $60 million in sales to date compared to $80 million for ME3. For those who can't count, that's $58 million profit vs $30 million, and that gap is growing by the day.

    Infinity Blade isn't the biggest money-spinner on the App Store. Angry Birds made roughly $100 million profit (possibly more, the 2012 figures aren't out yet) from over 1 billion downloads and cost only $150K to produce. In comparison, Mass Effect 3 was EA's most profitable title this year at only $30 million profit from 3.5 million units and cost $50 million to make.

    To put things in perspective - in 2011 Rovio made $68 million profit from $100 million revenue. EA made about $70 million profit on $1 billion revenue. That's after EA lost $275 million the previous year and $677 million the year before that.

    See the disparity? See where the industry is heading? You're not their future customer, casual mobile gamers are.

    Granted, not every mobile game is a success, most aren't. But big publishers are cottoning on that it's easier to risk $1-2 million on a AAA game for iOS/Android than $20-50 million on PC & consoles. The injection of capital, talent and marketing know-how from big publishers into mobile gaming is set to explode, wiping out resources that may have been dedicated to AAA core console/PC games instead.

    Your goals as a gamer (buy games cheaply, on-sell) are diametrically opposed to a publisher's goals (sell first-hand, make enough profit to produce next game). What you're asking is for publishers to spend more time and money to create better AAA experiences, yet you want to pay less and resell it when you're done.

    Not happening Comrade, the rules of the free-market economy prevent it. Read Rubicant's post, that's what will happen in the short-term with cloud-based rental services proliferating in the longer-term.
    Last edited by ant1th3s1s; 07-03-2012 at 10:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ant1th3s1s View Post
    The solution to this from a publisher perspective is to move to a subscription-only access model for all games. You own the account and can re-sell it, but you don't ever get your hands on a copy of the game either physically or digitally with the entire experience being streamed online.And quite possibly (i'm just spitballing here), the characters / achievements / gear on the account are retained by the original account creator even though they no longer have access, meaning the new owner needs to start afresh to discourage profiteering from on-selling.The big industry publishers and console producers have their finger on the pulse. This sort of crap may be why Sony's interested in cloud-based gaming. What you'll pay for is the gaming "experience" and not the game itself. This is no different to listening to music at a concert or seeing a movie at the cinemas or borrowing a book from the library.You poor deluded fool. Without publishers selling first-hand copies, gaming as we know it is dead and you'll have no AAA titles to play. The industry tells us how we're going to play our games based on how and where they make their money, not the other way around. Casual, free-to-play gaming is the direction it's heading because we're too tight to fork over the big bucks for a new copy and it's much more profitable to produce shovelware than a AAA game. For example, Infinity Blade II cost maybe $1-2 million to make, compared to $50 million for Mass Effect 3. Both are AAA games for their respective platforms, yet Infinity Blade II is twice as profitable, generating $60 million in sales to date compared to $80 million for ME3. For those who can't count, that's $58 million profit vs $30 million, and that gap is growing by the day. Infinity Blade isn't the biggest money-spinner on the App Store. Angry Birds made roughly $100 million profit (possibly more, the 2012 figures aren't out yet) from over 1 billion downloads and cost only $150K to produce. In comparison, Mass Effect 3 was EA's most profitable title this year at only $30 million profit from 3.5 million units and cost $50 million to make. To put things in perspective - in 2011 Rovio made $68 million profit from $100 million revenue. EA made about $70 million profit on $1 billion revenue. That's after EA lost $275 million the previous year and $677 million the year before that. See the disparity? See where the industry is heading? You're not their future customer, casual mobile gamers are. Granted, not every mobile game is a success, most aren't. But big publishers are cottoning on that it's easier to risk $1-2 million on a AAA game for iOS/Android than $20-50 million on PC & consoles. The injection of capital, talent and marketing know-how from big publishers into mobile gaming is set to explode, wiping out resources that may have been dedicated to AAA core console/PC games instead. Your goals as a gamer (buy games cheaply, on-sell) are diametrically opposed to a publisher's goals (sell first-hand, make enough profit to produce next game). What you're asking is for publishers to spend more time and money to create better AAA experiences, yet you want to pay less and resell it when you're done. Not happening Comrade, the rules of the free-market economy prevent it. Read Rubicant's post, that's what will happen in the short-term with cloud-based rental services proliferating in the longer-term.
    Oh jeez,I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I gladly pay full price for games. What I meant was that if I were to buy a terrible game I want to get rid of it and at least get a small portion back so I can get a better game. That is my main concern about all digital, if I have no way to know if the game is good or bad or no guarantee I won't be stuck with it then I will be hesitant to buy said game. I buy new games, I support developers because they need that income to pay for new games and their employees. My final comment was foolish but I was in the moment so I retract that statement. Again I would gladly pay full price for games to be of higher quality.

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    Ever read a review ATHF89? I am sure any of the nearly one hundred media outlets will tell you what to expect from a game. You can even rent it. from some places!

    I came here to post something like this... (Think of it like selling an mmorpg account.)
    The solution to this from a publisher perspective is to move to a subscription-only access model for all games. You own the account and can re-sell it, but you don't ever get your hands on a copy of the game either physically or digitally with the entire experience being streamed online.
    Any idea that you should get credit for selling a copy of a digital game is hilarious to hear. You did nothing to earn money for the sale of the game. The game is not used, its value has not been diminished in any way from your use because as a copy of a digital file, it is still 100% exactly the same as what you got.

    But of course, we are arguing physical media rights ownership versus digital media rights ownership, and it is hard to see the line of how one is completely different than the other.

    Imagine if you couldn't share your games with a friend, that only your unique account could access them and you could never resell them for a recoup of monetary value. Example: Could someone explain how someone can give me their copy of Angrybirds? This is the future of digital gaming, more stringent rules.
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