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Thread: Pre-owned market could be outlawed in US

  1. #1
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    Pre-owned market could be outlawed in US

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the right of software companies to deny consumers the right to resell their products.

    The ruling came as the result of a long-standing case involving used computer software sales on eBay, but its wide-ranging implications could threaten the resale of all digital content, including video games.

    The case involved the sale of copies of AutoCAD, software that defendant Timothy Vernor had picked up in an architect's office sale. Vernor then put the software up for sale on auction site eBay, complete with serial numbers and a reassurance that no versions were currently installed on any other machine.

    However, AutoCAD's developer, Autodesk, claimed the End User License Agreement (EULA) that users agreed to before using the software stated that the program was merely licensed, not sold, and that the user's license was non-transferable.

    Furthermore, the agreement specified that, if the user upgraded to a new version of the software, the old version had to be destroyed.

    Autodesk claimed that the copies Vernor had obtained should have been destroyed. Vernor counter-argued that, as he had not agreed to any license, he was free to sell the copies on and, on the verge of being banned from eBay, sued Autodesk to protect his business.

    The court affirmed Vernor's right to sell the used software in 2008, but Autodesk appealed and last week the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the earlier decision.

    The ruling aims to distinguish between when a piece of software is sold and when it is merely licensed, with the user potentially unable to resell if it's the latter. The judge presiding over the case said: "We hold today that a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the userís ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions."

    The ruling could have severe implications for other forms of digital media that are subject to license agreements, potentially preventing users from selling on their used video games. Indeed, Electronic Arts' standard EULA, while not mentioning resale policy, explicitly states: 'This Software is licensed to you, not sold.'

    Libraries that loan digital media could also be subject to restrictions following the decision. The American Library Association, fearing that publishers could now forbid rental or lending unless libraries agree to more expensive licenses, filed an amicus brief in the case, which the judges reportedly showed some sympathy for, before concluding that they were forced to follow precedent.

    The Court did, however, state that: "congress is free... to modify the first sale doctrine and the essential step defense if it deems these or other policy considerations to require a different approach."
    source - Gamasutra - News - Court Of Appeals Ruling Threatens Sale Of Used Games?


    I highly doubt this will happen with the sale of console games. There are a lot of businesses in the USA that sell used games, this would put them out of business.
    Last edited by Stomp_442; 09-14-2010 at 06:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Retired WiiHacks Staff Krafter's Avatar
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    This is crazy. Autocad my cost you in the upper brackets of 2k and the licenses is technically only good for one computer. And Autodesk has many other usefull product that is good for the business district. So if you have several users in you company you need several copies. I agree that the company should buy a license for each user. But what happens to the software when a business shuts it's doors? All that money can add up to several 10 of thousands of dollars if not more. You can't reclaim just because of some guy on eBay? The same goes for video stores, game stores and others. You just have to sit on or destroy your product that you payed good money for? It's not going to do anything but increase piracy even more if this sticks and trickles down to everyday media.

    Just another good example of our flawed court system.

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    These stores are a rip off. They sell used games for $5 less then the new one. The only good thing you might get is a controller or other hardware for a good price. And they rip you off on that too. I bought GOW2 brand new. Beat it in a week. They bought it back for $10 and sell it today for $45. The biggest thing had to be Mario Party 5 for the gamecube. I bought it for my little girl and it had 1 little spot on it but it must have been in the right place. The would not start after the menu. But it was from Santa. That was an awful morning. Thank god I had Mario party 6 to go with it.
    Leason learned never buy used for Christmas.
    When these store started to pop up it was cool. Every thing used was cheap. Its used ait should be cheap. But as with any thing greed takes over.
    Good bye and good riddance.

    I hate to see the ma and pa stores go, but the bigger ones like gamestop can go to hell.Or if they are charging full price for games at least give the companies a cut of it.

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    Senior Member Krank's Avatar
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    I agree completley with Krafter, especially regarding the piracy issue.

    In regards to NightX's comment on the stores being rip-off's. I highly disagree. I find many Used games in stores like that for good prices (not to mention games you can't get new). Find the right store, negotiate, ask to see the game/controller/console/anything you buy, working before you buy it...if the store won't do these things then leave. Also, they have to charge you more for the games then they would pay you for them, its called a business.
    Last edited by Krank; 09-15-2010 at 12:08 AM.
    Damn I suck!!!!

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    F the BSA! All software manufacturers should live by Richard Stallman's example. lol I hate most EULAs. I always read them fully just to see what the proprietary owner is trying to force me into but I'm pretty sure most people just click "I agree" without realizing the ramifications of what they are agreeing to. Otherwise I probably wouldn't see that many copyright questions on the internet. If the court rules in Autodesk's favor I doubt the ruling will filter down to game rentals and resales though, even though it has the potential to. It seems like something like this comes up every couple of years but doesn't end up changing anything in terms of video game rental and resales. Software manufacturers need to wise up and stop being so Draconian with their EULAs and protections. They force people into piracy just to avoid parts of their EULA that the end-user might not fundamentally or morally agree with and/or to avoid whatever means of software protection they force on you. F copyright, copyleft all the way. lol

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    That is exactly why piracy is a problem. Take Adobe Creative Suite, its the same as auto-cad. They sell you a liscence, not the software. So you are acctually only 'renting' the software until a newer version comes out. with programs that cost over $2000 bucks, that is straight BS. The end user should be able to use the expense as an assett, and re-sell it when done. And they all wonder why bit-torrents and newservers have there software cracked and available for download within hours after release. try selling it for a fair price.


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