Sunday, December 5, 2010

Video Games Companies Look for a Bigger Piece of the Pie

    Gamespot reported back in September that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a decisions that could hurt many video game owner and retailers. 
    The article stated:
    The court overturned a May 2008 decision by the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in the case of Vernor v. Autodesk. The original decision stated that Washington resident Timothy Vernor was within his rights to sell a sealed copy of Autodesk's AutoCAD design software he got at a garage sale on eBay.
    Though the copy of the software was sealed, Autodesk's EULA--which was not visible externally on the retail box--said that the software is only licensed to purchasers, not actually sold. It also said that the license cannot be transferred, so after purchase, the software had to be destroyed if not used.
   The article goes on to say:
    Tech blog Ars Technica pointed out that the EULAs used by Electronic Arts and many other publishers have similar language in their games. "This software is licensed to you, not sold," reads EA's EULA. "Access to the software requires software registration with the serial code enclosed with the software. Software registration is limited to one EA Account per serial code and is non-transferable."
   The EA EULA is for a PC game, which typically requires acceptance of such terms to play. However, comparable wording can also be found in console game manuals, such as that of Take-Two Interactive's recent hit Red Dead Redemption.
    "THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED, NOT SOLD," reads the license agreement on Red Dead Redemption. (Capital letters in original.) "You agree not to: (a) Commercially exploit the software; (b) Distribute, lease, sell, rent or otherwise transfer the software, or any copies of the software, without the express consent of the licensor." (Emphasis added.)
Fourth Circle of Hell - Greed from Dante's Inferno
    This decision will put a big crimp in the used video game business.  Selling used video games is a several billion dollar a year industry.  The video game companies have always been unhappy about this loss in revenue.  After all why pay $50 for a new game when you can wait and buy the same game for $20 used?  This is just a move for video games companies who are making money hand over fist as it is.  (For example, the latest installment of the Halo series, Halo: Reach, made $200 million on launch day.)  These people don’t need the money.  They are basically squeezing out retailers that sell used games, like GameStop.  Even Best Buy and Target jumped on the used game bandwagon by giving in-store credit for bringing in used games.  I won't be buying video games anytime soon.  I want the freedom to sell my property.  After all, there are many free games and flash games to fulfill my gaming needs.