Publishers cannot oppose resale of digital products, says EU court

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07 July 2012   #31
Originally Posted by Samo: why, you would have the exact same number of licensees, right? maybe you would have to track new users but I don't see how it can be a big issue.

Do you actually have any idea what's involved in running a small business or what's involved in customer service and support for software? This isn't a one time short term deal while a customer is "in the building", nor some large scale well oiled machine, it's a single person working on their own looking after customers for many years and offering free support and upgrades as well as developing new software and due to the low income of such an endeavor also working elsewhere professionally to cover the cost of living. You want me to start charging my customers for support and for every update instead? Where's the money for that infrastructure going to come from? How is that going to benefit anyone but those who wish to sell on my software?
In fact I can see some benefits when a license is used by someone actually interested in using the software.

How does that work exactly? Everyone that buys my plugins is actually interested in using them, if they then at a later date cease to be interested in using that plugin then how does them selling it on to someone else as opposed to me selling the same thing on to the other person offer any benefit at all to me? Just how many sales do you imagine I make or can make with plugins?

Quite enough sales are lost through piracy to "interested" users and I see nothing but total drop-off in my sales as a result just as soon as the cracked version gets uploaded (of course I pay attention). Larger companies may well be able to absorb the costs in exchange for marketing and hooking users before they enter the workplace, that doesn't scale down though to small developers. So in real practical terms in the real world from personal experience of actually being the person selling the plugin rather than "What my mate said..." or "I know people who..." I really don't see where your supposed benefit lays.
But I love how in this forum you always side with the big guys.

Wait, so now small dev's are "the big guys"? Woah there Eugene Debs, put down that placard a moment and stop dehumanizing other people to rationalize your own personal acts and desires. (and seriously anyway what other forum do I act any differently?).
__________________
The Third Party | Homepage | My Reel
"You need to know what you're doing before you start, and to start because you need what you're doing."
 
Old 07 July 2012   #32
Do you actually have any idea what's involved in running a small business or what's involved in customer service and support for software? This isn't a one time short term deal while a customer is "in the building", nor some large scale well oiled machine, it's a single person working on their own looking after customers for many years and offering free support and upgrades as well as developing new software and due to the low income of such an endeavor also working elsewhere professionally to cover the cost of living. You want me to start charging my customers for support and for every update instead? Where's the money for that infrastructure going to come from? How is that going to benefit anyone but those who wish to sell on my software?


Yes I have been running my small business for years. You offer support not to a client but to a license seat, whoever occupies that seat is pretty much irrelevant.


How does that work exactly? Everyone that buys my plugins is actually interested in using them, if they then at a later date cease to be interested in using that plugin then how does them selling it on to someone else as opposed to me selling the same thing on to the other person offer any benefit at all to me?


Yes, not only you will lose a potential sale, it is also possible that with the money collected from that resale, ex-user could buy a piece of software from the competition. It is called free market.
__________________
www.yafaray.org
Free rays for the masses
 
Old 07 July 2012   #33
Originally Posted by Samo: Yes I have been running my small business for years. You offer support not to a client but to a license seat, whoever occupies that seat is pretty much irrelevant.




Yes, not only you will lose a potential sale, it is also possible that with the money collected from that resale, ex-user could buy a piece of software from the competition. It is called free market.

So now who's the "fat cat"?
__________________
The Third Party | Homepage | My Reel
"You need to know what you're doing before you start, and to start because you need what you're doing."
 
Old 07 July 2012   #34
Originally Posted by Per-Anders: Woah there Eugene Debs, put down that placard a moment and stop dehumanizing other people to rationalize your own personal acts and desires. (and seriously anyway what other forum do I act any differently?).


I'd like to point out that there are people on both sides of this issue and that it doesn't matter what their political persuasion is. It's down to moral preferences and expectations at this level, and the issue really isn't that important.

I can say this though - a company can survive selling a mediocre product if it has the government to back them up. The government can force an individual to buy a product. It can force competitors out of the market. It can carve the market up into little fiefdoms for each provider. It can fund the company directly. It can offer tax breaks, so on and so forth.

I have higher respect for the provider that is successful without needing the government to create artificial situations for them to succeed.

That said, which side is the artificial situation? Contracts are artificial to begin with, and contracts that are available only after purchase have little to no respect from the courts or from me. At the same time, contracts are necessary to conduct business and civil function.

If you're forthcoming, and you point out in plain text to me when I buy your product that your product cannot be resold, then as a matter of courtesy I'm obliged to comply. If you hid it in an after-purchase EULA then I have little to no respect for it. If you do that, you weren't completely honest with me as a customer.

At the same time, someone like Samo or myself who want to create products and don't care about what happens to it (unless it is counterfeited), are free to let consumers resell their product.

Therefore, it is my judgement as a person who is Not A Lawyer, that there shouldn't be a law dealing with this in this way. The issue has to do with what consumers are expected to know, and what was hidden from them until the last moment. It's probably best to determine the potential loses on a case by case basis.

Coming out of the disk-based gaming era, we were used to being able to sell our games when we finished them. Whole markets and businesses were created to facilitate this desire.

And yet we are entering another era, where games really aren't solid products anymore. They aren't purchased only on a store shelf, and won't be for much longer. A game or program is nothing more than information that produces a result when it is ran in a virtual machine, interpreter, or on top of a kernel.

Yet with software, we have become progressively used to the licensing model, and most people deal with it without trouble. Gamers were slow to the party, because of all the things they used to do when it only involved a piece of hardware. A cartrige can be resold, but a recent copy of 3DSMax? Certainly not. And when it's all in the cloud and ran on a remote machine that you rent, what exactly are you going to sell?

It's like the progressive cyborg mental exercise where you're asked at what point is an individual no-longer a living human being. When you're born, you're living for sure. Similarly, when games first game out, it was all just hardware - they were nothing more than discrete components, rather than software running on top of hardware... or lately, software running in virtual machines running on the internet.

Likewise, you can replace each part of your body with a machine that serves the same function, but you don't know for sure when the rules change and you're no longer a living being. You don't know when other people should treat you as a robot - as expectations demand of other robots. You don't know when people should treat games as a licensed software - as expectations demand of other licensed software.

The only way to know, is for it to be told to the customer, in plain language and before the purchase, and for the courts to agree that the rules are lawful. If they don't, that's a judgement call they made - which is what they are there to do.

Last edited by trancerobot : 07 July 2012 at 12:14 AM.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #35
At the same time, someone like Samo or myself who want to create products and
don't care about what happens to it (unless it is counterfeited), are free to
let consumers resell their product.


tracerobot, when you say counterfeit are you refering to software piracy? If so, what, other than morally, differentiates between piracy and re-selling of the software, if in both scenarios you don't get any compensation other than the initial commercial sale? Forget about the "potential" future sales that are possible as a result of a resell and only deal with the known. I don't see the difference within that scope.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #36
Originally Posted by eworc: tracerobot, when you say counterfeit are you refering to software piracy? If so, what, other than morally, differentiates between piracy and re-selling of the software, if in both scenarios you don't get any compensation other than the initial commercial sale? Forget about the "potential" future sales that are possible as a result of a resell and only deal with the known. I don't see the difference within that scope.


Right as you posted this, I was about to edit my post to say: "Books are next."

When you buy a book, you're buying information. When you read a book, you're interpreting that information on wetware. The result of what you read is an experience that is as good, if not better than a video game.

And yet, from then on it's legal for you to resell the book, or even to open a used book store.

Soon, it will be completely normal and common for people to buy their books digitally. You can't trade these books for other books. Your lending ability is severely limited or completely limited. Yet if you do it anyway, the only difference from doing it with a physical book is the fact that's all digital, and therefore easier to make that moral argument and thrumb the copyright drum.

All I talked about is that this is really about, what we expect, what we're told, and what used to be. I am against the idea that lending and reselling should be automatically illegal, and I'm against the idea that it should be legal in every single case. It is my preference that it should be legal to do, usually... but I admit if it's plain as day that something shouldn't be resold, then I'd agree that it shouldn't be.

The ruling had to do with games, and with games, I don't believe the company lost a sale if their game is resold later. A game is more like a book than a DCC package, so it's probably wise to treat it like a book, and to treat DCC packages like DCC packages. That said, it's all just my opinion.

Edit: I didn't answer your question.

No, no that is not piracy. The only similarity is that you broke the license. After that, the difference is vast, not just in the revenue lost for the company, but in how the case goes too. If your pirate anything and resell it, it's pretty much a slam dunk criminal case. But if you bought it and sold your copy to another individual, that is not a criminal act. You can setup a civil suit against another person for many things. If it's something that is *actually illegal* it's a criminal case. That said, I'm venturing into areas that I'm not sure about, because I'm not a lawyer.

A while back, there was some hubbub here in the States over something like this. The government wanted to pass a bill that would enable it to directly defend, (rather than arbitrate) copyright. It would have made all copyright infringement a criminal issue, alleged or otherwise, and it would empower the state to directly act as a defender for the accuser. That was a problem, because here, and pretty much everywhere, the burden is on you to prove that someone else broke your copyright (or any contract really). There are big situations where the infraction is so huge that it's criminal, and that's when the SWAT teams get involved.

Piracy is a crime, and usually involves the selling of pirated/counterfeit goods. Selling a used copy of something is not a crime, nor should it be under any circumstances. In my previous posts, I said that it should probably be handled on a case by case basis, and I admit my strong bias toward it being a non-issue. But the fact is, if you write something, and I buy it, you've made your rightful earnings. If I sell it later, you have to prove to a judge that you deserve damages from me, but I am not a criminal by default. What the EU did, was they just decided that all software can be resold. They didn't differentiate between games and DCC apps, but then maybe that's alright. It wasn't a crime to begin with, and perhaps this was the judges' way of saying, "We've had enough of this frivolous stuff tying up our courts. There, now the issue is settled."

Last edited by trancerobot : 07 July 2012 at 01:22 AM.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #37
I think people standing up for companies not allowing resale of non perishable goods is ridiculous.

Calling it a lost sale also does not hold water not due only to people with less then full amount available argument but the real answer... There are only so many current license holders... the sale does not create a new license. The free market has just decided if that product is worth the original amount paid.

That is what really scares the begisus out of these people.

As proof I offer this. When the "Cloud" comes to stop the "evil" pirates, if you can freely loan your copy to anyone in the world while you are not using it then I was wrong. I mean hey it's online so no one could really argue that more then one person was using it and there is no additional cost in someone else using it from the cloud.

If there is a free service that I could start as a program lending club then all you corporate stooges were right and I am the stooge.


*not standing up for pirates but hating how much of a scape goat they are for the fat cats.

Last edited by BlackFiSH : 07 July 2012 at 01:14 AM.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #38
We've been legally buying and selling goods for years so in my opinion it's about time this was introduced.

Throughout time someone with a lot of money would buy something expensive, then a better product would come along and they'd sell the one they had for a reduced price to someone who originally couldn't afford it and then use the money from that sale to help purchase the latest product.

Books, clothes, gadgets, livestock, etc etc, it was all sold to those who couldn't afford them originally.

This cultivated an attitude of continual innovation and production of goods in order to maintain an income. Now days everyone thinks they can just come up with a product and then dictate to the world when, how, who can use it, for how long and what restrictions the buyer has for the resale of that product. The world has never worked like this and the constant amount of counterfeit goods and 'pirate' material available on the internet are proof of that. If software vendors were willing to sell old versions of software and dramatically reduced prices then there would be less piracy. But the aren't willing so it's their own fault.

Yes in the digital age it's easier to just copy something but that's always been the moral obligation of copyable material, but to think anyone in the digital market who decides they don't want a piece of software anymore and decides to sell it on as second hand at a reduced price, the digital market would then be exactly like every other market before it. Where software developers think that they should get every single sale every time someone wants to use their product is beyond me, what makes them so special that we throw out a system of buying and selling goods that has gone on since people started buying and selling goods?

It all stems from a feeling of entitlement; "I made this so now everyone should pay me for every copy that's used". This has never been the case, and all the DRM, online verification, security checks in the world doesn't make it right or, now in the EU and hopefully everywhere else, lawful. The sooner software is recognised as 'goods', rather than the bs 'license' EULA crap we've had to put up with for so many years, the better.
__________________
TheJoshBlog - Flickr - Twitter - Tumblr

Last edited by JoshBowman : 07 July 2012 at 01:30 AM.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #39
Luxology already does this with Modo and it hasn't hurt their business, their theory is if you can't resell a license your using it's a dead license when you stop using it at least if you can resell it someone who couldn't afford a new license becomes a customer who potentially in the future will buy upgrades and other material... In the software business the more customers you have legal or not the better as your tool becomes more prolific..

__________________
Vizual-Element | Automotive Superstore
 
Old 07 July 2012   #40
Originally Posted by BlackFiSH: I think people standing up for companies not allowing resale of non perishable goods is ridiculous.



Software is perishable. Especially so the less free (as in freedom) it is, for instance closed source, DRM encrusted, cloud based software survives entirely with the company that owns and controls it, not you. If they go out of business/get hacked/decide you violated some part of the EULA/etc. It's gone. Unless they keep updating it, it degrades: It becomes less compatible with software and less useful compared to other products.
__________________
www.puppetstring.com
 
Old 07 July 2012   #41


No, no that is not piracy. The only similarity is that you broke the
license. After that, the difference is vast, not just in the revenue lost for
the company, but in how the case goes too. If your pirate anything and resell
it, it's pretty much a slam dunk criminal case. But if you bought it and sold
your copy to another individual, that is not a criminal act.



tracerobot, let me clarify. I am not saying that reselling of a license is piracy. I am saying that the end result from the software developers bottom line, whether a resale or piracy, i.e. somebody purchases a commerical license and the software is reverse engineered to a point where the activation of the software is circumvented and then said software is made available to others, is a loss of a commercial sale. I am also exluding the potential future commerical sales that could be realized by either scenario (if there was such realized sales that could be attributed, then software developers would not bother with resale restrictions or copy protection). As far as reality, the here and now and not, what if scenarios, the software developer lost sales as a direct result of both scenarios taking place. In the case of a license agreement, it can at least be written to legally prevent a buyer of a license from reselling that license, which negates a new commercial sale for the developer.

Your book scenario is interesting. I do see a difference between computer software and other products sold, whether it's a physical product or one based more on information. I can't put it to words yet but when I have the time I will try to explain.

That being said, I am all for the consumer getting the best product at the best price while being fair to the originator of the product, so as to ensure future products that are better.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #42
... then all you corporate stooges were right and I am the
stooge.


BlackFISH, I am arguing a concept of fairness, right or wrong, not being a stooge for corporations. I don't think anyone else with the counter opinion is either. I am trying to look at the bigger picture and the law of unintended consequences is truly in effect here.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #43
It is right to be able to sell your software and to be able to buy older software.

If you pay 5k for something then it is yours, plain and simple. I can sell it just like I sell a car, house, clothes, furniture, etc.

If downloading it illegally is wrong and considered stealing, then the opposite is true of me buying it. It is mine, I paid for it and I should be able to sell it.

Will it hurt software companies? A little bit but not as much as you think. There are many things like games, movies and music that are sold on the secondary market and it hasn't killed those industries either.

Also software companies need to move up with the times. A reason alot of businesses like the movie and music industry have recently started struggling is because they don't play the game correctly. They are sticking to old models.

It is time to move forward and work the system if you are a software company.

Things like subscriptions vs selling the software (it is selling the software period) Liscensing would be more akin to leasing or renting. If you want to liscense it then it should be a monthly cost, not a one time big chunck. That would be proper liscensing.

Adobe is doing a cool thing with the monthly fee. I could dig that. It should also be a rent to own type feature on there.

So software companies it is time for you to get with the times and work the system.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #44
Originally Posted by eworc: I am trying to look at the bigger picture and the law of unintended consequences is truly in effect here.


This whole court ruling is itself an unintended consequence of restrictive (and now illegal) licensing practices. The fact that potential unintended consequences of the unintended consequences could causes licenses to cost more, when the whole point was that we need more, flexible routes to cheaper-tiered licenses, then that's hilarious

There are so many people willing to pay for things that they just need and not "the whole thing", may that be "most modern awesome version" or "all the features", this is the flexibility that people are clearly asking for. Lots of times this is offered, for instance: license renting, tiered support, package modules, and also the whole concept of plugins. This is good for both customers and sellers, as everyone has an option.

It always amazes me when Software developers remove purchasing options from customers as it basically draws a line in the sand that a lot of people can't cross. Their other options are to seek cheaper software from other companies (a lost sale?), or buy 2nd hand older versions (what you're also calling a lost sale). Both were sales that never existed because the Software developer never offered them.

Obviously companies analyze whether removing software options will be a good thing for them, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It's their call, and their bottom lines are on the… line.. Like, for instance now, as you are arguing that they are losing sales. My point is that they caused that sale to never exist, so they didn't lose anything, they just never offered it.
__________________
www.puppetstring.com

Last edited by tuna : 07 July 2012 at 04:49 AM.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #45
One point that i don't see mentioned here but i think is of interest to all but the very small developers is upgrades.
If someone sells his license of a software the manufacturer looses a customer that does not want to use the software and gains one that wants to. At this point the manufacturer does not earn any money, but the new customer is a potential buyer of upgrades and service contracts. You could see the used sale as an introductory offer.
I agree with Per though that for small developers the increasing amount of work you have to put in non sales related stuff is crippeling.
I think it would be fair to all if the manufacturer is allowed to bill a transfer charge for each license that is related to the amount of work this creates (not the value of the software).

Cheers
Björn
__________________
- www.bonkers.de -
The views expressed on this post are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of my employer.
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 12:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.