I find this idea the funniest of all - that if I spend a million dollars that I'm entitled to get that back somehow no matter what the item I actually spent $1,000,000.00 on was actually worth.
I say this because recently my mother lost her wedding ring and engagement ring. She's been married 36 years, and those two items are arguably worth more than one million dollars to her. Yet, her last recourse was to submit a claim to the insurance company for the appraised value of the gold and diamond rings (way less than one million dollars). Why can't she claim her rings were worth at least that much? Because that's reality. You can only get back what an item is actually valued to be worth, and that's paid back from an insurance company which you pay monthly or yearly in case of damage or loss. Movie makers and artists don't insure their works when they make them because they have no idea how much it's worth, and neither does everyone else. You can’t put a price tag on something until someone else appraises how valuable something is.
Avatar is worth hundreds of millions because enough people said “this is a great movie, and I’ll pay X amount of dollars to see it”, and they did. We couldn’t say it was worth hundreds of millions of dollars before anyone saw it because we’d have no idea what to base that valuation on. Without people to judge, nothing holds ANY value, so an artist creates something they value themselves, and share it with the world in hopes that someone else will value it highly too.
As someone who is based in reality, if a movie is made, and you spend 6 million to make it, and you distribute it however you want, why don't you charge 6 million people $1 to see it? An MPAA goon might say “Because you want to make a profit... duh” so you charge $10. But you can only get 1,000 people to pay you to watch it, so you cry that piracy is to blame. Only your movie sucked, no one else watched it because it wasn’t worth the price of admission, so they told their friends not to bother, and that was it. The movie wasn't worth the $10,000 you actually got back for it, so you as a film maker or producer shouldn't be able to go cry to the government to get your other 5.99 million back... that's how reality works. People will only pay for what they value – not the other way around.
You can’t claim something is worth anything without other people to provide evidence that a thing, piece of art, movie, whatever – is worth something, be it money or anything else. Just because you made something doesn’t mean you’re owed $$ because I saw it or touched it. If I think your product/service/art is worth the price tag you put on it, I’ll pay. If not, you didn’t lose a sale, you lost nothing because I wouldn’t have paid it to begin with.
How about the fact that EA already got the full value of the game - $60 for the console version - when the first sucker bought it. I'm absolutely positive they factored that money into their support/online play/server cost structure model and will have plenty of leftover cash from that overblown $60 price for advertising and endorsements to the millionaire sports heroes they plaster all over the front covers of their games.
Any money they gouge (yes, this is price gouging) from the resale market is pure gravy in the shareholders' pockets. Think warranty from Best Buy without the extra work on EA's part.
A resale of a console video game disc requires no extra servers, no extra support, and no extra legal costs than it did for the original first sale. This needs to be brought to the attention of the FTC and the Supreme Court and shown for exactly what it is - a blatant attempt to circumvent the first-sale doctrine. In the end, EA can do what they like... but I can guarantee that EA will eventually lose its shirt in doing this. Either from the backlash of the gamers, or the class action suits, or backlash of resellers that can't unload their shelves of inferior products because no one wants to buy a half-crippled product used.
Perfect Example: Mass Effect 2. Gamestop already has had to lower their price by $10 ($45 used) for the used version of this game to match the normal resell value of $55 because they know people won't buy this game for more than it would be worth brand new.
$60 - new (includes code for $10 of crippled content)
$55 - normal used price at Gamestop(no $10 code)
$45 - now used price at Gamestop (no $10 code)
It would cost a gamer $65 to buy the game used if Gamestop didn't eat $10 of their normal resale profits. It won't be long before Gamestop realizes this takes a dump all over their profit model, and they stop or severely limit sale of EA products in favor of other development organizations that don't screw them or their customers.
Talk about devaluing a product in the long run for a short-term gain. EA, watch out. Give yourselves a few months or a year... but you're about to reap what you've sown.
I find it hilarious that book makers and publishers think that they need to stand up and fight their customers... like people who purchase their products want the prices so low that they can't possibly stay in business if they *gasp* cater to the needs of their customers.
What if I wanted to buy a $0.99 cheeseburger from McDonald's and they tried to convince me that $0.99 was too little because of the beef ranchers, and dairy farmers? If they tried to convince me that $2.00 is a reasonable price because they think it is, I'd walk out and go buy one at Wendys or Burger King.
What publishers and music producers, and all those middle men don't realize is that competition will bury them. I would gladly pay a price I think is reasonable... but if I can't find it for a price I am willing to pay, I'll look elsewhere or go without it. If I can get something for free with a coupon or a promotion - even better... but I absolutely refuse to pay the same price for an infinitely available product as its scarcely available counterpart (ebook vs. hardcover).
Publishers don't realize it - markets set those prices... not the retailers or producers. They want some sort of control, but they can't get it through their heads the basic tenet of sales "the customer is always right".
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by open2discussion.