Scratch Civ V off my buy list.

By on May 6, 2010 8:30:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Alstein

Join Date 07/2004
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http://store.steampowered.com/news/3792/

I wonder if this means Brad Wardell will stop working with Civ V.

I just can't support DRM, that while not TOO bad, helps enforce a near-monopoly.  This may be a blow to the other DD providers- as this is the biggest game to do this so far.

 

Hopefully EWOM is everything I want, because now I'm relying on it.

 

(Note: I do use Steam, I just won't support being forced to use it on non-Valve products)

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May 9, 2010 1:47:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My opinion on steamworks drm:

Well, the news about CIV5 using Steamworks wasn't on DRM but on features for Multiplayer, meaning that Firaxis could use a strong SDK for multiplayer.  If Steamworks didn't require installing the steam client, I don't think that Brad would have developped Impulse::reactor.

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May 9, 2010 2:24:06 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting tscolin,
I will venture a guess that many of the people who claim they won't buy civ 5 because of steam... will buy civ 5 anyway.  How do i know this? Because its the internet, and 9 times out of 10 most forum comments are entry to a bandwagon, which in this case seems like some seeded commercial rebellion. 

 

To those who claim this is anti competitive, i can assure you its not.  2k games had many options (impulse for one), but they volunteered to use steamworks knowing full well what that entailed .  However, what this will do is allow the price to remain at the sellers discretion because there wont be competition trying to drive down prices, which is a bummer.

 .
'

 

I'd say a Civ 5 boycott would work better then a MW2 boycott.  The target audiences are different, and the Civ 5 audience is made up of grumpy old man who have more impulse control and less bladder control .

 

Also, most are saying not outright boycott, but wait until it's really cheap.

 

The idea of a price war- lowering prices- publishers wouldn't allow that due to retail.  What Impulse could do, is the Amazon thing, and offer a credit on the next purchase (Gamersgate does this also)  You lose some profitability, but gain some repeat business.

 

The important thing will be building market share.

 

 

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May 9, 2010 3:59:40 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting arstal,
I'd say a Civ 5 boycott would work better then a MW2 boycott.  The target audiences are different, and the Civ 5 audience is made up of grumpy old man who have more impulse control and less bladder control .
 

 

Such a perfect game for such a persistent problem!

 

I don't mean to sound like a valve fanboy i really don't, if a superior product comes ill use it...  I also respect you stardock fella's resolve in such things.  i however, don't take such a hard line to drm, and consider steamworks to be preferable to ubisofts' and ea games drm implementations.  Since 2k games has had its awful history of drm implementation,  i'm thankful they chose steamworks over the alternatives.  Perhaps i don't care too much about running steam because i run steam 24/7.  I can understand if you have your reasons to not use it, and perhaps will not be wooed to start.

 

I'm hopeful civ 5 will be a fantastic game that i will lose hundreds of hours in the sunlight while playing.  Perhaps ill see some of you there, you have months to ponder.

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May 9, 2010 4:35:33 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I've never bought anything off of Steam at original, full price. It's not going to change with Civ V. I have more games on Steam than I do Impulse, but I've given Impulse more money. Now for Civ IV, I purchased the original game, and each expansion at release week. I won't be doing that with Civ V. You can claim all you want that people on internet forums never do what they say they are going do to. I certainly do. I have yet o buy any game with activation limits (like I said I wouldn't). I didn't purchase EA RPGs at full price because of their release day DLC garbage (actuallypaid less than 20 for each), and there isnt' a single new Ubisoft title in my house, and they're won't be until they reach rental prices since that is what they are doing, renting me games dependent on not only my connection but their servers. So when I say I will not be giving Steam the full price of that game (nor five or ten off the suggested price either), I mean it. I was a fan of the Settlers since Serf City, won't be purchasing Settlers 7. I've been a fan of civ since the first blocky ridiculous hard and fun game, and I won't get V anytime soon after release.

I'll use Steam, but having Steam is not an increase value for me. It decreases the value of the game, so I won't pay as much and since there are dozens of other games on the horizon, I may not pick it up for couple of years if not longer because of steam. but hey if they sell it for $5.64, I might cave. I thought I would just put that out there so you can't claim that this internet forum users didn't do what she said she was going to do.

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May 9, 2010 4:51:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tscolin,
I don't mean to sound like a valve fanboy i really don't, if a superior product comes ill use it...  I also respect you stardock fella's resolve in such things.  i however, don't take such a hard line to drm, and consider steamworks to be preferable to ubisofts' and ea games drm implementations.  Since 2k games has had its awful history of drm implementation,  i'm thankful they chose steamworks over the alternatives.  Perhaps i don't care too much about running steam because i run steam 24/7.  I can understand if you have your reasons to not use it, and perhaps will not be wooed to start.

I guess the relevant point here is that this was likely not a DRM decision. Civ 4 uses Gamespy's multiplay functionality, and to be charitable I'm not much of a fan of that. (my account name is now Tridus-tk-tk2, WTF is that?)

They're replacing the Gamespy stuff with Steamworks. You don't need Steamworks to provide DRM, you use it to provide matchmaking, achievements, and that sort of thing. For the Firaxis guys, it's probably a straightforward decision. Using it gives them an established platform for those functions and lets them spend less time on it (and thus more time on gameplay).

I haven't seen a real successful alternative to what Steamworks offers in those areas. Everybody hates GFWL*, and Impulse Reactor AFAIK is still in development. Once it's done you'll likely see people take a look, but it won't take off until Stardock uses it in a game. Nobody wants to be first on a new platform when Steamworks is already proven. Once Reactor is proven too, it's got some compelling things going for it (namely that it doesn't force installation of a particular platform).

 

 

* My only experience with GFWL was in Fallout 3, where it required this weird update go GFWL on Vista to work properly. Wasn't really a smooth experience at all.

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May 9, 2010 5:48:52 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Tridus,


I guess the relevant point here is that this was likely not a DRM decision. Civ 4 uses Gamespy's multiplay functionality, and to be charitable I'm not much of a fan of that. (my account name is now Tridus-tk-tk2, WTF is that?)

They're replacing the Gamespy stuff with Steamworks. You don't need Steamworks to provide DRM, you use it to provide matchmaking, achievements, and that sort of thing. For the Firaxis guys, it's probably a straightforward decision. Using it gives them an established platform for those functions and lets them spend less time on it (and thus more time on gameplay).

I haven't seen a real successful alternative to what Steamworks offers in those areas. Everybody hates GFWL*, and Impulse Reactor AFAIK is still in development. Once it's done you'll likely see people take a look, but it won't take off until Stardock uses it in a game. Nobody wants to be first on a new platform when Steamworks is already proven. Once Reactor is proven too, it's got some compelling things going for it (namely that it doesn't force installation of a particular platform).

 

 

* My only experience with GFWL was in Fallout 3, where it required this weird update go GFWL on Vista to work properly. Wasn't really a smooth experience at all.

Civ IV has direct ip. If you know who you want to play with, you don't have use anyones anything. Once Steam is in the picture, they'll remove that I am sure. You will be forced to use Steam if you want to play Civ V. No one is forcing us to buy Civ V which is why a number of us won't, at least not until it hits the bargain bin.

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May 9, 2010 5:54:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting bonscott,


I have no problem with needing Steam to get patches for a game.  Same as Impulse.

I have no problem with needing Steam to play multiplayer.  Same as Impulse.
I guess I'm old-fashioned -- I have a problem with needing to use any 'third party' to play a game I paid for, with my friends who also bought the game.

I want the old days where I'd start up a game, consult with my friends (voice program, IM, forum, etc.), one hosts and the others connect, and voila! -- we're playing.  No third party.  And updating being as simple as clicking on 'update' when firing up the game and it checks automatically, or perhaps I visit the game's site or similar repository and DL the patch and apply it myself.

This achievement crap (meaningless to me), the 'convenience' of centralized hosting (unnecessary for my friends and I), etc. is just a cover for DRM and for being able to control gamers.  I understand the DRM problem, but that doesn't mean I have to like/accept this response to it.  I share Frogboy's concerns about 'One Distributor to rule them all, One Distributor to find them, One Distributor to bring them all and in the darkness bind them' -- but think it can be applied to the whole idea of 'third parties' getting between my friends and I, or my SP game and me.

The goalposts have shifted significantly, that being required to have a third party interjected between me and my friends is taken for granted -- and not just in MP but now creeping into SP too.

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May 9, 2010 6:19:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,
Civ IV has direct ip. If you know who you want to play with, you don't have use anyones anything. Once Steam is in the picture, they'll remove that I am sure. You will be forced to use Steam if you want to play Civ V. No one is forcing us to buy Civ V which is why a number of us won't, at least not until it hits the bargain bin.

I'd be pretty shocked if most people playing multiplayer Civ are doing with direct IP. The gamespy stuff gives you a lobby and friends list, although it's pretty rudimentary compared to the more advanced platforms out there now.

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May 9, 2010 7:07:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

'One Distributor to rule them all, One Distributor to find them, One Distributor to bring them all and in the darkness bind them'

Demolition Man - "All restaurants are Taco Bell."

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May 9, 2010 8:39:34 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

An interesting article from The Escapist about Valve's Gabe Newell's stance on DRM.

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May 9, 2010 9:03:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ZehDon,
An interesting article from The Escapist about Valve's Gabe Newell's stance on DRM.

I'll keep that in mind next time I want to play Dawn of War II but can't because the Steam servers are down and I just want to play single player.

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May 9, 2010 10:08:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,


I want the old days where I'd start up a game, consult with my friends (voice program, IM, forum, etc.), one hosts and the others connect, and voila! -- we're playing.  No third party.  And updating being as simple as clicking on 'update' when firing up the game and it checks automatically, or perhaps I visit the game's site or similar repository and DL the patch and apply it myself.

This achievement crap (meaningless to me), the 'convenience' of centralized hosting (unnecessary for my friends and I), etc. is just a cover for DRM and for being able to control gamers.  I understand the DRM problem, but that doesn't mean I have to like/accept this response to it.  I share Frogboy's concerns about 'One Distributor to rule them all, One Distributor to find them, One Distributor to bring them all and in the darkness bind them' -- but think it can be applied to the whole idea of 'third parties' getting between my friends and I, or my SP game and me.


The goalposts have shifted significantly, that being required to have a third party interjected between me and my friends is taken for granted -- and not just in MP but now creeping into SP too.

 

Not to be triggish about it, but on the occasions I've gotten a reply from Frogboy about whether we will require an internet connection to Stardock in order to play on a local WAN, it has sounded that we will, in fact, need to authenticate against Stardocks's servers to play the upcomming Elemental: War of Magic game online.

So it's not just the big players like EA doing it, even Stardock seems to be considering it for MP.

Mind that this information is not necessarily accurate. It's difficult to ask a straight question and get a straight answer amongst so many thousands of posts.

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May 9, 2010 10:36:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting TCores,

Quoting Nick-Danger, reply 232

I want the old days where I'd start up a game, consult with my friends (voice program, IM, forum, etc.), one hosts and the others connect, and voila! -- we're playing.  No third party.  And updating being as simple as clicking on 'update' when firing up the game and it checks automatically, or perhaps I visit the game's site or similar repository and DL the patch and apply it myself.

This achievement crap (meaningless to me), the 'convenience' of centralized hosting (unnecessary for my friends and I), etc. is just a cover for DRM and for being able to control gamers.  I understand the DRM problem, but that doesn't mean I have to like/accept this response to it.  I share Frogboy's concerns about 'One Distributor to rule them all, One Distributor to find them, One Distributor to bring them all and in the darkness bind them' -- but think it can be applied to the whole idea of 'third parties' getting between my friends and I, or my SP game and me.


The goalposts have shifted significantly, that being required to have a third party interjected between me and my friends is taken for granted -- and not just in MP but now creeping into SP too.

 

Not to be triggish about it, but on the occasions I've gotten a reply from Frogboy about whether we will require an internet connection to Stardock in order to play on a local WAN, it has sounded that we will, in fact, need to authenticate against Stardocks's servers to play the upcomming Elemental: War of Magic game online.

So it's not just the big players like EA doing it, even Stardock seems to be considering it for MP.

Mind that this information is not necessarily accurate. It's difficult to ask a straight question and get a straight answer amongst so many thousands of posts.

 

I believe that is only for the beta, I am pretty sure he has stated categorically that you will be able to host your own MP games with the release version.

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May 9, 2010 10:58:29 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Stardock will provide servers for players to play online multiplayer on, and will provide dedicated server software for players to host their own servers with custom content, such as mods or maps.  Authenticating your copy to Stardock when playing online multiplayer is acceptable because you're online, and there is really no valid argument against it.  If you had to authenticate to Stardock's servers for offline play, which you don't have to do, then there would be a problem.

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May 9, 2010 11:26:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="TCores" reply

="237" id="2615624"]
Quoting Nick-Danger, reply 232

I want the old days where I'd start up a game, consult with my friends (voice program, IM, forum, etc.), one hosts and the others connect, and voila! -- we're playing.  No third party.  And updating being as simple as clicking on 'update' when firing up the game and it checks automatically, or perhaps I visit the game's site or similar repository and DL the patch and apply it myself.

This achievement crap (meaningless to me), the 'convenience' of centralized hosting (unnecessary for my friends and I), etc. is just a cover for DRM and for being able to control gamers.  I understand the DRM problem, but that doesn't mean I have to like/accept this response to it.  I share Frogboy's concerns about 'One Distributor to rule them all, One Distributor to find them, One Distributor to bring them all and in the darkness bind them' -- but think it can be applied to the whole idea of 'third parties' getting between my friends and I, or my SP game and me.


The goalposts have shifted significantly, that being required to have a third party interjected between me and my friends is taken for granted -- and not just in MP but now creeping into SP too.

 

Not to be triggish about it, but on the occasions I've gotten a reply from Frogboy about whether we will require an internet connection to Stardock in order to play on a local WAN, it has sounded that we will, in fact, need to authenticate against Stardocks's servers to play the upcomming Elemental: War of Magic game online.

So it's not just the big players like EA doing it, even Stardock seems to be considering it for MP.

Mind that this information is not necessarily accurate. It's difficult to ask a straight question and get a straight answer amongst so many thousands of posts.[/quote]

 

I'm ok with authentication for online MP.  You obviously have to be online for online MP after all.

I'm not ok with it for offline games.

 

I mean, Steam's DRM is fine- for TF2.  Civ V is not TF2.

 

 

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May 9, 2010 11:52:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting arstal,
I'm ok with authentication for online MP.  You obviously have to be online for online MP after all.
I understand the DRM problem, and agree that something needs to be done -- a craftsperson must be adequately compensated for their work.  That doesn't mean I won't point out problems with some aspects of DRM implementation 

In your example, what if the authentication servers are down?

How about someday in the future when the game is no longer considered worth supporting?  Will the company offer a patch to remove online authorization -- I'd bet SD would, but others?

This isn't just a hypothetical situation -- hasn't it already happened with some game/music services, leaving the customers out-of-luck?

How about an old-fashioned LAN party?  Will LAN MP be assumed to be internet and so require online authentication?

Can't online authentication be hacked as easily as other DRM?

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May 10, 2010 12:20:31 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,
In your example, what if the authentication servers are down?

I understand this concern, and I agree in part.  A single player portion of a game should be able to be completed offline, and there is no valid arugment that can be presented against this fact.  Ubisoft's attempt to change an industry wide accepted fact are futile due to the efforts of talented pirates.
Online Authentication for Online Multiplayer is entirely acceptable.  What happens if the authentication servers are down for some reason?  Then you can't play multiplayer until they come back up.  This is the same as if there is a problem with your phone line, or computer.  It's unavoidable, and to think that a 100% full-proof server exists somewhere is entirely unrealistic.  If you're paying to play, such as with the World of Warcraft, then you can expect a higher level of service - such as decreased downtime or backup servers to keep you playing. 

Quoting Nick-Danger,
How about someday in the future when the game is no longer considered worth supporting?  Will the company offer a patch to remove online authorization -- I'd bet SD would, but others?

The bandwidth required to authenticate a game's CD-Key is incredibly small, and most servers are third party meaning the company doesn't really have an on-going expense.  Authentication servers are fairly unlikely to be shut down, unless it requires a constant stream of data and thus higher bandwidth.  Assassin's Creed II's servers are certain to be closed down at a point in the future when the cost of the bandwidth exceeds the amount of revenue generated by the game.  If the game is entirely first party hosted and then discontinued entirely, then the game should be unlocked.

Quoting Nick-Danger,
This isn't just a hypothetical situation -- hasn't it already happened with some game/music services, leaving the customers out-of-luck?

What you're talking about isn't the game rendered useless - the first party multiplayer servers for several EA titles were closed down, leaving the entire community with third party servers.  The games still function.
The music service you're talking about was Microsoft's music service, and it does present an issue because the songs that are downloaded are locked to a computer and with the service closed you're unable to 'unlock' or 'migrate' them to another computer, thus requiring the user to keep that computer exactly as it is; no upgrading, no changing components, etc.  The music files were not unlocked.

Quoting Nick-Danger,
How about an old-fashioned LAN party?  Will LAN MP be assumed to be internet and so require online authentication?

Unfortunately this seems to be the way of the future.  Starcraft II famousless ditched LAN, prompting fans to collect signatures for a petition.  I believe Blizzard confired that Starcraft II would indeed feature LAN-like features, however they would require a constant internet connection as it's routed through Battle.net.

Quoting Nick-Danger,
Can't online authentication be hacked as easily as other DRM?

Sure can, however DRM isn't about stopping piracy, it's about stopping re-selling games.  Piracy is the all-purpose excuse of this generation's businesses.  Game didn't sell enough?  Pirates.  Multiplayer severs messed up?  Pirates did it.  Game shipping with restrictive DRM?  Response to pirates.  Nine sequels to a single game?  The effects of Piracy.  Global Warming?  Pirates downloading too much.  Wife left you?  Pirates caused it by breaking DRM.

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May 10, 2010 12:23:20 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Tridus,


I'd be pretty shocked if most people playing multiplayer Civ are doing with direct IP. The gamespy stuff gives you a lobby and friends list, although it's pretty rudimentary compared to the more advanced platforms out there now.

Who said anything about the most people doing anything. The point is direct IP is available alongside gamespy. Steamworks, once it is involved, takes over everything, all options, all choice. Comparing Steam DRM and client to Gamespy just isn't the same thing.

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May 10, 2010 1:11:22 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@ZehDon  First, thanks for the comprehensive, polite, and well-thought-out reply 

Second...

Quoting ZehDon,

...Piracy is the all-purpose excuse of this generation's businesses.  Game didn't sell enough?  Pirates.  Multiplayer severs messed up?  Pirates did it.  Game shipping with restrictive DRM?  Response to pirates.  Nine sequels to a single game?  The effects of Piracy.  Global Warming?  Pirates downloading too much.  Wife left you?  Pirates caused it by breaking DRM.

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May 10, 2010 2:09:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ZehDon,
Sure can, however DRM isn't about stopping piracy, it's about stopping re-selling games.  Piracy is the all-purpose excuse of this generation's businesses.  Game didn't sell enough?  Pirates.  Multiplayer severs messed up?  Pirates did it.  Game shipping with restrictive DRM?  Response to pirates.  Nine sequels to a single game?  The effects of Piracy.  Global Warming?  Pirates downloading too much.  Wife left you?  Pirates caused it by breaking DRM.

Actually, DRM is about control of copyright and intellectual property.  So both piracy of software AND reselling games fit into the sphere of DRM.  In that respect DRM is a good method to protect a company's copyrights and intellectual property.

However, the types of DRM implemented have little to desire in most cases.  It's unfortunate that most companies take the "restrict" approach rather than the "value-add" approach to DRM implementation.  If all companies took the "value-add" approach and gave positive incentives to legally obtain the software, then I think we would be on the right path.  

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May 10, 2010 4:18:43 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

People might be interested in reading Elizabeth's (from 2k games) comments regarding Steam (in a post complied by AVS, post number 278).  Here are some tidbits:

 


You will be able to play Civ offline using Steam. You will be able to install it on multiple computers (and play your saved games on those multiple computers!)

Steam is integral to our game and the hub for the community, which is why it's going to be on all copies (digital and retail.) Even if you play a single player game, you'll still benefit from being tied into the community - this isn't just about multiplayer!

 

Steam is pretty versatile (in my opinion) in how you can install the game on multiple computers and transfer your saves easily - which I think for a single player gamer would be awesome. It also makes getting updates and mods and new content much more streamlined - so even if you just want the best single player experience and don't want to talk to or play with other gamers, you'll have a much more centralized system for keeping your game up to date and for playing on any machine you want.

 

You don't have to use any feature you don't want to, of course. I'm sure you'll still likely want the updates at the very least.

I think the ideal situation is to make a game that has the features as many people as possible want with the easiest platform so that those who don't want to use those features don't have to. You definitely won't have to be part of the community if you don't want to - although you'll be missed.

 

You can definitely play Steam offline, and register it via a dialup connection. I don't know if you can get the updates offline and transfer them via a thumbdrive - let me check in on that one.

Steamworks, for us, is about much more than just piracy. It's a method of delivering the game, keeping the community together, and updating along the way.

 

Here's the link:  http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=363634&page=14

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May 10, 2010 5:26:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@KickACrip - Thanks for the post. Could be usefulfor some.

It doesnt really address the problem that many have with the forced connection between the game and Steam. Why can I not choose if I want to be part of a community when I buy a game? I am single player only and dont care about anything that Steam has to offer. All I need is a patch or two which doesnt really call for a consistent client on my PC.

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May 10, 2010 5:32:57 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Dale_,


Actually, DRM is about control of copyright and intellectual property.  So both piracy of software AND reselling games fit into the sphere of DRM.  In that respect DRM is a good method to protect a company's copyrights and intellectual property.

However, the types of DRM implemented have little to desire in most cases.  It's unfortunate that most companies take the "restrict" approach rather than the "value-add" approach to DRM implementation.  If all companies took the "value-add" approach and gave positive incentives to legally obtain the software, then I think we would be on the right path.  

Copyright holders are not supposed to have control over individual copies, via DRM or otherwise. They're supposed to maintain the right to make those copies, to profit from those copies, to give third parties the rights to do those things. They should not have any decision what happens after a legal copy is "let go" save from keeping that person from trying to do those things already mentioned (making copies, giving rights to third parties). Reselling of games shouldn't be up to the copyright holders at all, and they shouldn't be allowed to do anything to stop it. Used copies should be a part of any healthy media market, hell new books and dvds are still purchased and they have used markets.

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May 10, 2010 7:12:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nesrie,

Quoting Dale_, reply 245

Actually, DRM is about control of copyright and intellectual property.  So both piracy of software AND reselling games fit into the sphere of DRM.  In that respect DRM is a good method to protect a company's copyrights and intellectual property.

However, the types of DRM implemented have little to desire in most cases.  It's unfortunate that most companies take the "restrict" approach rather than the "value-add" approach to DRM implementation.  If all companies took the "value-add" approach and gave positive incentives to legally obtain the software, then I think we would be on the right path.  


Copyright holders are not supposed to have control over individual copies, via DRM or otherwise. They're supposed to maintain the right to make those copies, to profit from those copies, to give third parties the rights to do those things. They should not have any decision what happens after a legal copy is "let go" save from keeping that person from trying to do those things already mentioned (making copies, giving rights to third parties). Reselling of games shouldn't be up to the copyright holders at all, and they shouldn't be allowed to do anything to stop it. Used copies should be a part of any healthy media market, hell new books and dvds are still purchased and they have used markets.

Actually, copyright holders do have control over individual copies by law.  This is the full purpose of Copyright Laws.  If you carefully read the EULA of software, you will also notice that you are only granted a license to use the software, that it is in fact not regarded as a "copy" of the copyrighted material (since mastering produces "originals" not "copies").  You don't actually own the software, just the right to use it.  Thus, you do not have the right to transfer that ownership of the license (or First Sale Doctrine under US law).

Second hand sales of software has been tested in US Courts a couple of times, with no clear conclusion as cases have gone both ways.  Some cases dictate the a EULA is binding (and thus the terms of use clearly state the user has a license to use the software) and other cases have dictated the EULA was not binding.  It's a very grey area of copyright law TBH, and one that causes a LOT of confusion.  However you must note a LOT of countries in the World do not have legislation allowing reselling of copyright material without permission (like the US First Sale Doctrine).

Copyright law surrounding software is a very tricky thing to understand.  If anything, the waters are muddied a lot by publishers who push the boundaries of the laws because they know if they lose in one Court they can appeal to another Court and possibly win.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_copyright

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May 10, 2010 12:30:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, copyright holders do have control over individual copies by law. This is the full purpose of Copyright Laws. If you carefully read the EULA of software, you will also notice that you are only granted a license to use the software, that it is in fact not regarded as a "copy" of the copyrighted material (since mastering produces "originals" not "copies"). You don't actually own the software, just the right to use it. Thus, you do not have the right to transfer that ownership of the license (or First Sale Doctrine under US law).

 

I'm glad you later make note of the subsequent court cases over this, but I do not believe it is correct to say there are "no clear conclusions." In fact the US has been rather decisive about this:

http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/550/550.F2d.1180.76-1141.html

If you are sold a something, and you pay completely for it in a one off transaction, and you own the item in perpetuity (as I have with all my games) then it is a sale of an item. You may resell it.

The dissenting opinions (MAI and Wall Data cases) were in different cases under different issues.

 

More contentious would be the statement that this kind of "you are only licenced the software" is the "full purpose of the copyright laws." Actually, the judge threw down Autodesk's claim that Veror only "licenced" the software on the grounds that it precisely contradicted the intent of US copyright laws! Moreover, he made a great deal about the utter absurdity of AutoDesk's claims that Vernor had only "licecned" the software. Because Vernor had never even installed the software or clicked "agree" to any licence, he could not possibly be bound to the licence of a product just because he had it in his possession!*

It would take the supreme court to overturn this, or the earliest precedent of United States vs Wise.

 

*This kind of argument would suggest I could make up my own "licence conditions," put it on my T-shirt, and have it say "By selling me a product today, you implictly agree that I own the product you have sold me, and you will also owe me one beer." And it would be reasonable to expect that everyone who sold stuff to me would be bound by the licence conditions of my t-shirt. No!

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