For some reason, this reminds me very much of the stuff Krugrman writes about downward wage rigidity (sometimes called "sticky wages").
There are just some sorts of things that pure abstract theoretical free-market economic modeling says should be easy, but which turn out to be very, very hard due to human psychology. I guess they are both just examples of that, maybe?
What I'd suggest to Microsoft is, instead of "one free patch, period, game over, the end", how about "one free patch with no restrictions on scheduling it, plus, a new free patch is permitted after certain precipitating events".
The main events I'm thinking of are things like: new revs of the hardware and new dashboard updates. Because, those things can introduce changes to the platform that impact older games.
Heck, just look at "Uno" for one example. A long time ago, they updated it to add support for the old pre-Kinect video camera -- you can have a video chat with the people you're playing Uno with. But that feature doesn't work if your camera is a Kinect. Shouldn't "update video-using games so they can support the Kinect camera" something it'd be in Microsoft's interest to do?
If devs know they'll get a free patch once every year or so, very expensive otherwise, this still has the advantage of encouraging them to be prudent and not just assume they can patch like crazy to fix things after release, but with a "safety valve" of sorts. Or so it seems to me.
This reminds me of the oldest album (vinyl LP) I have that includes assembly language source code.
Larry Fast's "Synergy" project is an old (as far back as 1970s era) effort in computer/electronic music. Most of the stuff, he composed the music and programmed old computers (eg. Apple ][ with tons of custom MIDI hardware) to perform it.
But at least once, he instead programmed the computer to compose the music.
Maybe Oracle is counting on the verdict being stored in an Oracle database somewhere -- their software can then corrupt the data in the AMOUNT column more easily if the rest of the row has the right structure.
All that's left is to decide the issue of whether APIs are subject to copyright, and if so, what the damages based on just that would be, yes?
And Europe answered the question, with a "no, they're not".
If the US decides this the other way... am I the only person predicting a mass exodus of cloud/SaaS providers from the US to Europe? Hey, this might just be the thing to jump-start the European economy!
No, I believe the Righthaven case determined that you can't assign just a right to sue. Remember, Righthaven didn't have the right to distribute (or even license?) the stuff they were suing over. If these folks do have the right to distribute, that seems very different.
Ripping out the DRM would be a lot more work that, at this point, probably wouldn't make them any more money.
A lot of work, except, someone's already done it! Aren't cracked copies already out there?
If they were to infringe on the intellectual property of the "pirates" who cracked their game, who exactly would take whom to court over that? Would the crackers identify themselves in order to sue for infringement? What would the consequences be?
If it's a game I might want to play, I can wait for the GoG version. It's okay if it takes ten or fifteen years. If it's a good enough game, it'll still be worth playing (and the required hardware will be cheaper). I still play "Master of Magic" and "Master of Orion 2"... heck, I still play Zork sometimes.
If you think what happens on XBox Live is comparable to what happens in day-to-day life, either you've never been on XBox Live or your day-to-day life is very different from mine (and I grew up in NYC).
And I'm not reasoning from a false premise, I'm making an observation. There are plenty of people who refuse to play online on XBox Live because of what the social environment is like.
I understand that you believe that in theory nobody but the platform can exclude people. But it happens.
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there often is.
Speaking for myself: the only reason I've been willing to pay the prices I do for new games is because of my ability to re-sell them and get some of the money back.
Now, that doesn't mean that eliminating the capability to resell would completely prevent me from ever buying games again. But, it'll dramatically reduce the amount I spend. A game that I'd have paid $60 for new under today's rules, well, publishers will be lucky to get $15 from me if it's DRMed and can't be transferred.
Of course, they don't see this coming, and have convinced themselves that this won't happen. I suppose I must admit that it's possible I'm an outlier here, and the number of people like me are few enough to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
We'll see. And while we're waiting to see, I think I'll go amuse myself with another 99¢ iPhone game.
...yet many gamers engage in behavior that excludes many.
Ever play on XBox Live? Ever use voice chat? The toxic bile that spills out from your headset if you do so... the levels of overt sexism and racism and the profanity will drive many pleasant people off of the service. It happens.
Given that someone is going to be excluded, that you can't avoid that given the current environment, why put the power over who will be excluded entirely in the hands of vile adolescent asshats?
Interestingly, Slashdot sort-of does this. When you're logged in as a person who they think has contributed to the community sufficiently, you're given a checkbox to turn off all advertisements. Since advertisements are how they get their revenue, in the end it's similar.
Star Trek Online has something vaguely related to this as well. It's a free-to-play game with paid services. It has a scenario editor that lets players create content for other players. There's a reviewing mechanism for the player-created content... including a "tip jar". You can tip a creator with "dilithium", an in-game currency that can be exchanged for "cryptic points", which normally you obtain by purchasing with real-world money. The result is that players who create content that enough other players like can end up with a constant stream of the currency used for the game's microtransactions.
I'm a current subscriber, and I cannot recall seeing a single commercial during a show. In between shows they do advertise their other content, but I haven't seen other kinds of advertisement at any time.
(As an aside: if it were my decision alone, this change would probably get me to cancel HBO. But I can't make that decision for my family unilaterally.)
I really like buying ebooks from O'Reilly (nonfiction) or Baen (fiction) -- both publishers make ebooks available in multiple formats, without DRM, supporting re-download of your existing library. There are some Baen books that I've paid for that I originally read via the MOBI format on a Handspring Visor that I've now got loaded in EPUB format in both iBooks and a Nook.
Baen in particular has a free library where you can get for example the first books of a series completely DRM-free and money-free -- they recognize that it's a way to drum up additional business.