This actually makes sense if you accept the basic premise of the NSA's argument re privacy -- there is nothing wrong with collecting information so long as we don't act on it in an inappropriate manner. By way of analogy, Google's collection of Wi-Fi data via StreetView was incorrect, but ultimately harmless since it deleted the data collected without sharing or doing anything with it. The fact that it's happening 1000s of times is meaningless if you consider each violation unimportant (1000 times nothing is still nothing).
The more damning argument, IMHO, is the revelation that the NSA data is, in fact, not merely being improperly collected but improperly used against U.S. citizens. Specifically, there is no reason for NSA data to be shared with the IRS or the DEA, no matter how broad a definition of national security you throw out there. Full stop. But it is. And that's wrong even under the NSA's rules.
This reminds me of early Chinese filters where they would ban references to dates (June 4 -- the date of the Tiananmen Square protests), which only served to make otherwise non-subversive Chinese citizens curious why the censors were flagging invitations to get coffee on June 4.
The analogy to computer security isn't applicable here. Transparency works well for "defensive" security because everyone with an interest in maintaining that security can find and fix exploits.
The NSA's job is not (purely) defense. It is offense. Its objective is to exploit holes in the security of its targets to collect signal intelligence. Revealing those exploits ahead of time would be counter-productive.
That said, where the NSA is involved in less offensively oriented activities, it has been surprisingly open. See, e.g., the open source Accumulo database.
I'm not Mike -- but I'd hazard a guess that he'd be okay with trademark law if it got rid of dilution and returned to its likelihood of confusion origins, although it becomes more of a consumer protection law than an IP law at that point.
Vernor v Autodesk. The theory is that the game manufacturer is "licensing" the game to you and not selling it. The metaphor is like this: If I sell my house to you, I can't stop you from reselling to someone else. But if I lease my house to you, I can stop you from subleasing.
That said, the obvious argument is that software licensing is nothing like renting physical property. The point of renting something is that you eventually give it back. For the most part, a lot of software developers who are "licensing" the software don't realistically expect you to return the software when you're done playing with it.
Amazon offers a fulfillment platform Kickstarter could build off of. Given that they already use Amazon to handle payments, it wouldn't surprise me if they made some sort of deal to streamline the fulfillment process.
A sale is just a temporary decrease though. You can't increase the price past its original position after a sale. That's why there's an incentive to start high. You can capture more of the surplus.
The risk, of course, is that if you wait too long to drop the price, gamers will just spend their money elsewhere and forget about your game. But all publishers follow this strategy to some degree. It's why you can buy the 2008 game of the year for $20.
I'm not sure what the first-sale doctrine issue is here. The first sale doctrine is a limit to the scope if copyright. DRM and making it technologically difficult to sell used games is not the same thing as suing someone for copyright.
The more interesting issue would be if someone cracked the Xbox's DRM and was sued under the DMCA's anti-circumvention laws. But that's less about first sale and more about DMCA reform in general.
What's interesting about the uproar is what people are using for their point of reference.
Microsoft's long game here is to set up an entire digital distribution system akin to Steam -- e.g. one of the interesting announcements was that if you went over to a friend's house and forgot the disc, you could easily download the entire game from the Internet.
Yet Steam doesn't allow resale of used games. As far as I know, no digital distribution does, yet for the most part, they charge the same price as the boxed goods and do quite well.
From that perspective, the fact that Microsoft is considering a a used games system at all is incredibly consumer-friendly.
Interestingly, Microsoft might lower the price of a used game and increase the amount you can get for selling it -- i.e. some of the value you get by cutting out the middleman (Gamestop) could go to the gamers. Or maybe it'll just go to Microsoft and software publishers. Probably mostly the latter but maybe a bit of the former.
The other thing to consider is how a mostly digital used games market would affect pricing. The obvious end game for Microsoft here is a global "instant" used-games market. From what I've read, selling a "used" game on Microsoft's system doesn't require transferring a disc. It's simply a matter of unregistering the game from your account and downloading the game to another person's account. That eliminates a lot of arbitrage opportunities -- I'm curious whether people as a whole perceive that as raising or lowering prices though.
When the automobile was invented, it isn't as though the buggy whip makers simply died off in unemployed starvation.
Can machines make rugs? Yup, yet there's a huge market in hand-woven rugs out there.
And some people enjoy riding horses -- that doesn't mean demand for horses is anywhere close to what it was in 1910.
People aren't horses of course. As the economy changes, people can adapt to provide labor in a way horses can't. But people adapt slowly -- certainly not as quickly as automation replaces jobs. There's no Moore's Law for labor.
And service jobs aren't really an answer. Wages for service jobs are low because there's excess supply in the labor market there -- that excess supply is coming from all of the manufacturing workers that have, essentially, been replaced.
I don't think it's the end of the world, but it definitely deserves more of a response than simply dismissing the people raising those concerns as luddites.