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I have a EULA question.

shmuckshmuck Registered User regular
edited May 2008 in Penny Arcade Games
I'm looking specifically at item #6 in the EULA, the bit where it says that I can't resell or give away this thing that I've purchased. I've been trying to figure out why that would be there.

Is this another concession to DRM? The only reason that I can think of for forcing me to give up my right of ownership in this way is to facilitate DRM - transfer of authorized use is too complicated, so the option is removed entirely. Is there another explanation here?

shmuck on

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    GrathGrath I'm a much happier person these days Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    your name fits you.

    Grath on
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    shmuckshmuck Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Hm. Maybe that came across as more combative than intended. I'll try to be a little more careful describing exactly what I'm asking:

    What I'm looking for is an explanation for the necessity of a waiver of rights. People sign these things away for the sake of convenience, without questioning the purpose or the value of what they've lost. I'm seeing this happen more and more, tucked away in agreements like this one, and I find it deeply unsettling. Especially in this case, where attention was obviously paid to the EULA (it's not just boilerplate) and the clause was purposefully included.

    I've speculated as to the reason, but I welcome alternative explanations.

    shmuck on
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    halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Outside GPL, I have never seen software that licenses the rights to sell the game to anyone else. The problem is that it can be construed to be selling the rights, which you do not have permission to do. You have a right to play it, but the copyright stays with Hothead. You are not buying something in physical form, so you can not apply any first-sale doctrine.

    That being said, there is a court case where Autodesk got an E-bay seller banned for selling unopened boxes of Autocad 14 that he purchased from a warehouse. The guy turned around an sued Autodesk.

    Nothing has gone to trial, but Autodesk wanted a "summery judgment" (judgment without trial, based on common sense) saying the guy was in the wrong. Not only did the judgment get denied, but the case is going forward based on "first sale".

    The article on the judgment is here.

    Now keep in mind, this is different. In the case of this E-bay seller, he is selling unopened boxes of Autocad 14. In the case of The PA game, you are only buying a non-transferralabe license to play the game past the demo.

    One is a physical object (Autocad) and the other is a simple agreement (PA game) with the stipulation that if you agree, you are bound to the terms of the agreement.

    If you don't like the terms of the agreement, then don't buy the game. It's called voting with your wallet.

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    NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Yeah, I mean, you are just selling code. There is nothing physical involved in this at all, it's 1's and 0's. That code is owned by HotHead.

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    NoelVeigaNoelVeiga Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Trust me, half of what's written on any EULA just doesn't apply or is outright illegal. If you went on to devise a way to transfer your game to somebody else you'd be fine in most places.

    The thing is, with downloadable content you don't have a physical copy, and you're dealing wth authorised hardware that normally is bound to an account, etc. Since you can't transfer the content without tampering with the security systems in place you're pretty much stuck with not re-selling the game. The game becomes a service, not a product. Different set of rights and obligations altogether.

    I don't like that,by the way. Give me a boxed copy of anything anytime, and let me decide if I give it away, resell it or buy half a dozen. I'm really glad that downloadable content has allowed smaller developers like Teltale and others to distribute indie and episodic games through mainstream channels, but if next gen gives up optical media and sticks with downloadable, DRM'd content I'll be really pissed off.

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    devoirdevoir Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    This is the transition phase, it's going to happen. There's no reason to fight it or get upset; that effort is better spent making sure that the systems are fair and accessible.

    devoir on
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    talonthehandtalonthehand Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    halkun wrote: »
    If you don't like the terms of the agreement, then don't buy the game. It's called voting with your wallet.

    While I agree with most of your post, this part irks me. I can't think of a game that had the EULA on the box, and I just checked Greenhouse and couldn't easily find it on the website. It seems too often that you have to purchase the game before you even see the EULA, making it tough to vote with your wallet.

    talonthehand on
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    shmuckshmuck Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    While I agree with most of your post, this part irks me. I can't think of a game that had the EULA on the box, and I just checked Greenhouse and couldn't easily find it on the website. It seems too often that you have to purchase the game before you even see the EULA, making it tough to vote with your wallet.
    This is true in general, but in this case the EULA is packaged with the demo. So you can read the EULA before you buy, provided that you click the "download demo" link before the "buy game" link. This is not obvious however, so maybe that's something that needs to be improved on the website.

    I'm not liking the confusion argument, saying that a license can't be sold because it might be construed as selling the rights seems very weak, but I can see how buying a license can be different from buying a physical product.

    That said, put me in the doesn't-like-digital-distribution camp with NoelVeiga. This whole business seems pretty bunk to me.

    edit: One more thing. This:
    If you don't like the terms of the agreement, then don't buy the game. It's called voting with your wallet.
    Doesn't work. Not buying something isn't a "no" vote - it's an abstention, and it doesn't count for squat unless it's made very clear why you are not buying the product and that you would be buying the product if condition X was otherwise.

    So you wind up with forums like this one filled with shrill people announcing that their money is the most precious thing that you could ever hope to see, but that they aren't going to buy your product unless their condition is met. And you have the inevitable response from the people who are tired of all the screaming: "Go vote with your wallet." But this isn't a suggestion of a real course of action, this isn't a way of affecting change - it's a brush-off.

    shmuck on
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