Sony Patent Application Takes On Used Game Sales, Piracy With Embedded RFID Chips In Game Discs

from the Sony-obviously-feels-it's-not-hated-enough-already dept

As has been covered here before, many game developers and publishers are actively searching for ways to scuttle the used game market. Efforts to date have usually included some sort of online requirement (which doubles as DRM) or withholding additional content from secondhand purchasers through the use of one-time download codes.

The argument that used game sales are adversely affecting the profitability of games would seem to be debunked with each year of record-breaking sales, but somehow major publishers are still able to convince themselves that no one should be allowed to purchase games for anything less than the full retail price. Also ignored is the fact that money made from trade-ins is often put toward the purchase of new games -- and that the secondary market gives new purchases additional value, as they can be traded in down the road.

Ars Technica reports that Sony seems to have found a way to prevent secondhand sales without having to rely on one-time codes or any sort of online component that could potentially be circumvented. Sony's patent application details the deployment of embedded RFID chips as a weapon against secondhand sales.
A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an "electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus" describes a system "that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets."

The used-game blocking method described in the patent involves a "radiofrequency tag" and a type of programmable ROM chip that are paired with each game disc and can communicate wirelessly with the game system. The tag and chip can be used to store "unique information" about each console the game has been played on. Thus, when the game is used on a second system, the unique information stored on the disc can be compared to the information stored inside the new hardware, and in turn checked against "use permission" data stored on the EEPROM chip itself. As described in the patent, this "unique information" could be a system identifier or some sort of unique user ID that is somewhat portable between systems.
As Ars Technica points out, this could double as an anti-piracy device, ruling out off-the-shelf media for copying. In addition, the patent mentions using the RFID tag to "decrypt content" on the disc, which could be used to lock up certain content until its paid for. In theory, this would allow secondhand sales, but allow the publisher to charge purchasers a fee to unlock the full game.

Two concerns pop up immediately. There's a possibility that the still-theoretical RFID system would make games unplayable if lent to others or taken to a friend's house and played on their system. This seems a bit extreme, but publishers, who are actively seeking to destroy the secondhand market, very likely wouldn't mind if these two options were taken off the table. This leads to the second concern: creating discs that are "locked" to a certain system would seem to violate the right of first sale. This means reselling or lending the game would no longer be an option, both of which are currently permitted by law. (Although under debate at the moment...) As Ars Technica points out, though, there are ways publishers and developers can skirt this issue:
While this kind of resale-blocking technology would seemingly run afoul of the first sale doctrine codified into US law, legal experts seem unsure about whether that doctrine would be enough to overcome the end-user license agreements common to video game sales. After all, the practice of restricting game resale is already taking root through the wide adoption of digital distribution, which prevents players from reselling downloadable games in almost all cases.
If this patent is granted and results in any of the above scenarios, we'll have finally reached the point where physical items are just as ethereal (in terms of rights granted to the purchaser) as the "licenses" currently being sold under the name "ebook," "digital download" and "mp3." This would be great news for overreaching copyright holders, not so much for the rest of the public which is being asked to shell out larger amounts for AAA titles with each console generation.

It seems unlikely that Sony would pursue this hardline against used sales, but it's not like it hasn't run up a string of bad decisions in the recent past. Not only that, but the additional "anti-piracy" features of the system, combined with curbing secondhand sales it receives nothing from, may be just too irresistible to turn down.


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    Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Magnet, RFID chip. RFID chip, magnet. Oh, it's shielded?

    The Pirate Bay, Sony. Sony, The Pirate Bay. Get along now!

    Magically extinguished piracy?

    Wallet, Sony. Sony, Wallet. You shall not meet ever again =)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      EEPROM has to be programmamble, and if its programmable once, they it can be reset (especially if they are going to sell a way to unlock it to the next person).

      Hell I will figure out a backdoor just because its Sony...

       

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        drhead (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:50am

        Re: Re:

        Step 1: read the initial state
        Step 2: use the disc on a console
        Step 3: when you want to resell it, revert it to its original state. It'll be as good as new.

        It took me all of 5 minutes to think of a way around that. The only way to permanently do this is to fill half of the disc only, on first run make the console make an encrypted copy of the disc on the empty half, and completely write the initial half with 1s after making sure you can decrypt the other half.

        Should I file a patent so nobody can ever do anything with this evil, evil idea of mine?

         

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:17am

        Re: Re:

        EEPROM has to be programmamble, and if its programmable once, they it can be reset


        Not necessarily. I haven't read the patent, but in general there are write-once memories that would be appropriate for this type of application.

         

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:37am

    Seriously, do we even need another reason not to buy Sony products?

     

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      anonymous asshole, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:59am

      Re:

      Apparently Sony™ seems to think so.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      They just wanted to find a way to make you purchase the same game for each room of your house with a console in it. Think of the living room as Region 1 and the kids room as Region 2 and the family room as Region 3!

      /s

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    you can be quite safe in saying that any measures taken by industries to curtail file sharing and piracy is due only to the real issues of piracy and file sharing, in other words "congratulations, you brought this on yourself, you are the only ones to blame".

    I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.

    but if piracy was not a big problem this much effort would not have been put into reducing it. i.e. you put this on yourself..

    Good luck in trying to get around this one :)

    I am sure someone will go to the great effort of trying to hack it, but at the end of the day, it's going to be much simpler and easier just to buy your own legit copy, and right reward to manufacturer of the product with him rightly deserved profit.. Profit I might add is required to improve the product and develop new products, both are good things..

    so the pirates will miss out of their freebee's but in the end everyone wins.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:50am

      Re:

      am sure someone will go to the great effort of trying to hack it, but at the end of the day, it's going to be much simpler and easier just to buy your own legit copy, and right reward to manufacturer of the product with him rightly deserved profit.. Profit I might add is required to improve the product and develop new products, both are good things..

      Every single damn piece of DVD/Game I've ever bought is inferior to its pirated version. DRMed, region blocked etc. So you are telling me that an additional annoyance will make it simpler and easier? Sorry, before going through the hack I'll just download the pirate version, burn and run it free of hassle. And if they REALLY used that profit to provide both availability to their games and new products that are actually BETTER and less crippled with DRM nonsense then I'd agree with you.

      so the pirates will miss out of their freebee's but in the end everyone wins

      Oh no, we never lose our freebies. If we can't really get our hands in some material there are shitloads of other content to go after. I'd LOVE to play many Playstation 3 games, however I never bought one. Why? DRM. Meanwhile I have an unlocked Xbox360 that has seen more original games in its tray than I would ever imagine.

      I do agree that while it may not be illegal to prevent lending and selling it's not ethical. As much as I agree that file sharing may be illegal but it's ethic as long as you support your favorites in some way or don't give your money to the likes of Sony =)

       

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      martyburns (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:58am

      Re:

      I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.

      WTF? Quotes or not, do you really think its unethical to lend your stuff to a friend?

      Your idiocy blows my mind more than your inability to form a sentence.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:57am

        Re: Re:

        I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.

        You really think it's a good idea to trash the social aspect of game playing completely?

        It isn't the "getting stuff for free" aspect that drives people it's the "doing stuff with your friends" aspect.

        Big ticket game playing is already being driven into the ghetto by the sheer complexity of the games - remove the social aspect and you will kill it completely.

        This is great news for the manufacturers of the new generation of board games - which are enjoying a surge of popularity right now.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:59am

      Re:

      but if piracy was not a big problem this much effort would not have been put into reducing it.

      If giants were not a big problem, Don Quixote would not have put that much effort into fighting them.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:01am

      Re:

      In tthe end, everybody loses as the fascists take over society. This includes the fascists when society revolts against their rule.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      "I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical."

      No it won't. it will fail just like all DRM.

      Although I like the way you openly admit you're a liar living in a black and white fantasy world again. You assume that everyone who says they lend or swap copies with friends must be lying. That's all I need to know not to take your comments seriously.

      "Good luck in trying to get around this one :)"

      Good luck stopping people. You haven't managed to yet, even when you weren't trying to block legal, legitimate usage of legally purchased products. Now that you are, you will fail harder.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:39am

      Re:

      Then please tell me why young children are told to "share and share alike" constantly? Moreover, why, as sharing technologies have gotten better, are people still demanding to lock up their "content" on-the-media, so that you can't really do whatever it is.

      I sold my PS3 the last major time they tried to lock up the system in the name of "fighting piracy". That term means that you're spending a crapton of money that could literally be better spent elsewhere, rather than incinerating it on near-useless efforts to demonise gamers.

      The answer is simple: we know that Sony are struggling. Make the next console a huge financial flop. They aren't interested in gaming anymore, they're interested in stealing from consumers and ignoring economics completely.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:40am

      Re:

      you can be quite safe in saying that any measures taken by industries to curtail file sharing and piracy is due only to the real issues of piracy and file sharing


      Why? There are so many other possible motives at work why is it safe to say 'because piracy' and leave it at that? Because discussion the other motives is devastating to your case?

      I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.


      You've a very twisted view of ethics if you honestly believe allowing a friend temporary use of my own property is unethical. It's a strange sort of 'ethics' where natural rights are so thoroughly superseded by statutory ones. Backwards is the only way to describe it.

      but if piracy was not a big problem this much effort would not have been put into reducing it. i.e. you put this on yourself..


      Setting aside the question of how anyone can be sure this is just about copyright violation there's an assumption here that the only people affected by this are copyright violators which is demonstrably false.

      Good luck in trying to get around this one :)


      If Sony overplays their hand and uses this to lock users out of first sale rights European courts are going to smack them down pretty hard just like they did digital distribution.

      I am sure someone will go to the great effort of trying to hack it, but at the end of the day, it's going to be much simpler and easier just to buy your own legit copy, and right reward to manufacturer of the product with him rightly deserved profit.. Profit I might add is required to improve the product and develop new products, both are good things..

      so the pirates will miss out of their freebee's but in the end everyone wins.


      Everyone except the people buying the now crippled products that you mean? If Sony needs to strip their own customers of their rights to turn a profit they don't deserve to turn a profit.

       

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      jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:45am

      Re:

      " I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical. "

      Okay. I think it is safe to say that you have just given the game away for everybody in your position.

      Take a well-deserved this:

      ....................../´¯/)
      ....................,/¯../
      .................../..../
      ............./´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
      ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
      ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
      .........\.................'...../
      ..........''...\.......... _.·´
      ............\..............(
      ..............\.............\...

      Contemptible remark. A fucking contemptible disregard for basic property rights.

      I need to ask people like you, is there anything that is NOT justified in your endless pursuit of stupidity?

      I mean, I find it hard to see how you could not support Microsoft's admission patent on Kinect - you know, the one that scans how many people are watching the T.V.

      Or maybe perhaps hire secret police to stop the second-hand trading of books with one another.

      What a pathetic disgrace.

       

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      Colin, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:12am

      Re:

      I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.

      I hope you feel that way about pens, hammers, ladders, flashlights, pots and pans, etc. Otherwise you'd be some sort of hypocrite, but that can't possibly be true, can it?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re:

        idiots !!! ..

        in the context of this article, I was referring to the intension of the person lending and the person borrowing the media, of course I have no objection to lending a game or music CD or movie to friends, to watch, but I am sure, and you know that it is different to lending a CD to someone so they can burn their own copy..

        Yes, I lend things to people all the time, but I will not lend a music CD or movie to someone who wants to borrow it to illegally make their own copy.

        I'm sure even you dullards would be able to work that out, but no.. I was wrong, it must be fun in your own little world.

        oh btw: this type of technology will not stop you from lending it to someone else, it will only stop them making their own copy of it, that is what I was saying, and my point being that if people did not copy stuff they were lent, and instead just used it then gave it back, (instead of stealing a copy for yourself).

        This technology will allow you to lend it, (as per the law) but it will stop the person you lend it too from making his own copy.

        Just like I do now, but it will also stop the more dishonest of you who borrow stuff to make your own copy.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This won't stop anyone. Exhibit A: Reality, history, etc.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Awesome. Post the hack. Post it right here:



















            Well?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 8:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're asking someone to post something they never mentioned nor exists, yet? Even the DRM being discussed doesn't yet actually exist on the market. Grow up.

               

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          Colin, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You're the one who said it will stop people from making copies OR lending it. Not our fault you actually meant stop lending it TO make copies. Make sense next time (as much as you can, I know it might be hard) and maybe you won't be misunderstood.

           

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          Nick, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, it WILL prevent your "friend" from borrowing this game to play on his own. Console games have already, for many years, been able to prevent people from just easily "copying" a game to another disc and having a perfectly working copy of their own. They use data imprinted on a part of the disc that is not recordable on normal discs to verify that the game is a legitimately printed copy from an approved factory.

          Not to mention, they have been going to this equally idiotic plan of locking content on the disc behind a one-time use code that acts like DLC for your game. If you lend that disc to a friend, he cannot make full use of it without either lending him your own entire console, or letting him use your online account you use on the device (which is considered against the TOS to let someone else log on your account).

          So, where in this technology does it allow lending of a game for a non-copying purpose? It had nothing to do with copy-protection, and entirely up to preventing the second-sale doctrine. Companies have been getting away with this for years by slapping a "license" label on the sale and loudly claiming that it authorizes them to strip a right we've relied on for decades.

          PC gamers have already been at the point where nothing we purchase can ever be sold to another person for 5+ years. Online activation, in the name of "registration for freebies" and "community creation" has forever locked a CD-key provided to a user account that can never be re-used. Most games nowadays purchased in retail register on fully DRM-locked content platforms (Steam, Origin, etc) rather than running straight from disc.

          But by all means. Keep trying to stop your average "cd-copier" friend from stealing these games. Don't pay any attention that casual copying has been completely stopped years ago, and that once cracked copies of the entire game are just available online to download and run.

          Before all this crap, every single person that stole it had to have a CD burner and physically insert the disc to play. Now, the DRM no matter how strong just has to be cracked once, and the entire internet has it.

           

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          techflaws (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          idiots !!! ..

          Look who's talking.

           

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          techflaws (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This technology will allow you to lend it, (as per the law) but it will stop the person you lend it too from making his own copy.

          You're not only an idiot (see above) but also an utter clueless moron if you actually believe that this scheme will work.

           

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          jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What makes you think an illegal copy has to be made in order for 2 people to get the benefits from 1 disc?

          I play a game. I finish it. Friend borrows it. He finishes it. We pass it between us whenever one of us wants to play. Not a single copyright law broken whatsoever. The only factor is that they both could not play at the same time (I wonder if I see an impending destruction of 2/3/4 player games in the future on this basis?), but that is a small sacrifice in order to have multiple people experiencing the content on one disc while only one person has paid. And no, we are not in the wrong for doing this. It also means that anyone who follows the copyright law can commit the same supposed level of "theft" as a pirate. Cool, huh? I guess you don't have to break the copyright laws in order to "steal" from artists.

          But of course, this ugly practice needs to be stamped out, doesn't it? It's not the copyright law that is the problem, heaven forbid! It is the practice of free trade! THAT is what needs stamping out! Gonna paraphrase Tim Minchin here: you can't help but wonder when companies doing this sort of thing finally die, they can ask the immortal question "...who's the world going to revolve around now?"

          If I were a megalomaniacal control-freak of a corporation head, and I saw that my profits could be reduced by 50% as a result of 2 people sharing a disc, or even 80% by 5 people sharing a disc, I would rationalise that as really being free-trade's problem, instead of a problem with depending too much on copyright law. Behaviours like this are not just inevitable, but predictable.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      "you can be quite safe in saying that any measures taken by industries to curtail file sharing and piracy is due only to the real issues of piracy and file sharing, in other words "congratulations, you brought this on yourself, you are the only ones to blame"."

      This has NOTHING to do with piracy and a great deal more to do with the secondhand (used) market.

      By tying down games to a single system they are by default forcing all users to buy new games, rather than giving away or selling old ones, or being able to purchase previously used games.

      "I think it is a great idea, it will stop making copies or "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical."

      You sir are an idiot. It is perfectly ethical to lend a game to a friend, also perfectly legal. Besides, making copies of games, in the manner of piracy, is rather tedious and time consuming. Not to mention the fact that it requires modifying the consoles in ways that the majority of people would be uncomfortable with. By this I mean there are several risks involved, most of which if done incorrectly can lead a person to having a nice multi hundred dollar paperweight of a system. So yeah, video game piracy isn't as large as people like you would make it out to be.

      "but if piracy was not a big problem this much effort would not have been put into reducing it. i.e. you put this on yourself.."

      Again, this is aimed more at the used games market than piracy. Besides, piracy is by and large unaffected by this. Workarounds will be found and released, like always. The only ones hurt by this type of thing are legitimate customers.

      "Good luck in trying to get around this one :)"

      I believe Sony said the same thing about the firmware on the PS3. How'd that turn out? Oh yeah, we've got the latest custom firmware at 4.XX something already. Which hardly matters as CFW 3.55 is by and large the de facto standard and capable of playing even the newest games (many of which are unplayable without having the latest firmware from Sony). Not that that matters, as workarounds are released regularly.

      I should know. My PS3 is running CFW. Mostly to enable the playback of any and all video files, as I prefer to transfer my movies to digital versions and watch on my PS3 with a USB hard drive for convenience. But because I'm running said CFW I cannot play any new games I purchase. Or better said I'm not supposed to be able to. But COD Black Ops 2 and Twisted Metal Black (the latest games I've purchased) are both played regularly on my PS3. Cause I got "around this one" when Sony said the same thing.

      DRM of any kind will always be beat. It's sad that you darryl think otherwise when the facts and history prove you wrong.

      "I am sure someone will go to the great effort of trying to hack it, but at the end of the day, it's going to be much simpler and easier just to buy your own legit copy, and right reward to manufacturer of the product with him rightly deserved profit.. Profit I might add is required to improve the product and develop new products, both are good things.."

      Yeah, can't wait to play Guitar Hero 20 or COD Black Ops 5 Zombies at War. Real improvements there. Definitely using all that money to develop new products. /s

      Sorry, but like I said, DRM of any type can be beat. A few minutes research and it's not actually that hard (assuming you bother to do the research, otherwise you will fuck up your systems in almost no time).

      But again, this isn't about stopping piracy and more about stopping the sales of used games. Thereby forcing people to purchase everything new, repeatedly. It's another attempt to save a faltering industry. Games used to be amazing and innovative, but they've stagnated the past few years. For every one or two great games you've got a plethora of sequels for something that was once good but has since become an easy cash cow.

      "so the pirates will miss out of their freebee's but in the end everyone wins."

      In the end no one wins. Legitimate customers will not like this and they drive sales of consoles and game development. If they can't sell their used games or purchase used ones they'll have a much harder time wanting to part with their money, which in the end leads to less revenue streams for the console makers and game developers. At the end of the day everyone loses.

      And all because of greed and stupidity. You'd know all about the latter.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:25am

        Re: Re:

        This has NOTHING to do with piracy and a great deal more to do with the secondhand (used) market.

        it has nothing to do with the second hand market, you and Masnick are completely wrong on this issue.

        If you have the original disk with the RFID chip in it, you will be able to sell that without a problem, if you have a pirated copy you do not have the RFID chip and you cannot run the software (play the game, watch the movie).

        So it has no effect of the second hand market.

        Oh BTW: you might want to read the actual patent, that Masnick has kindly provided for you, and you can start by reading the TITLE of the patent.

        It's about copy protection, not about second hand, or lending to your friends, you can still do that with this system. But you cannot easily make a usable pirated copy of the media (while your lending to a friend).

        You can still lend it, RFID and all, and he can use it, when he gives it back you can use it, when you are sick of it, you can sell it.

        all you cannot easily do is copy it.. read the freaking patent..

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What about the bit where it stores information about the console, this is a prevent sale or play on any console other than the first one it was played on.

           

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      Monkey with Attitude, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      Well at least you have proven neither you nor Sony actually understand the technology, EEPROM's are not some magical one usage piece of equipement, and just calling it ROM (but programmable) is laughable (if its programmable it can be cleared, if it can be cleared figuring out a way to trip the reset will be easy, therefore defeatable)

      Figured out in less than 1 minute.. Yawn do you have a hard problem for us to solve?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re:

        There are one shot PROM technologies, in essence a set of fuses. This can also be used to disable reprogramming of other forms of PROM.

         

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      nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:56am

      Re:

      Good luck in trying to get around this one :)

      I'm not even interested in getting around it. I'll just go right past it to something else.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      in other words "congratulations, you brought this on yourself

      Brought on what? Pirates won't notice it so what was your point again?

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:20am

      Re:

      you can be quite safe in saying that any measures taken by industries to curtail file sharing and piracy is due only to the real issues of piracy and file sharing


      Really? You sound as if you know. Can you support this assertion?

      "congratulations, you brought this on yourself, you are the only ones to blame".


      How so? I don't pirate or support piracy, so you'll have to explain the connection to me.

       

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      Jericho, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:25am

      Anonymous Coward #3

      Shut up shill.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:52am

      Re:

      ""lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical."

      Seriously??? Sharing is 'not really ethical'?

      Obviously you didn't learn your lessons in Kindergarten... I can only assume this is because you are ignorant and didn't have anyone who was willing to share their toys with you when you were growing up...

      NO SOUP FOR YOU...

       

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      Wachinagi, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      Piracy isn't the problem here, though it is A problem. The issue is the attack on the used game market. Actual games that were manufactured by sony, already bought and paid for, played and traded in. Sony made their money on the game. Maybe they even made more since the trade in credit might have gone along with more cash to purchase another sony game. Now along comes a customer with less money. Maybe he can't afford to pay full price, or maybe the game he wants isn't being produced anymore. But there it is in the used bin! He buys it, goes home, loves it. Hey look! There are DLC levels for the game! He buys those, and who makes more money? Sony.

      All Sony is doing is hte same BS that other companies have tried. Like Apple. If it wasn't for Apple, I wouldn't have the foggiest clue how to pirate anything. As it stands, I have to take my PURCHASED Blue-rays with Digital copies and rip them to my PC, then re-rip them to a format my android tablet can read. Hey what do you know? Any movie I rent can be ripped in this manner! And I NEVER would have known that if they didn't try to prevent me from playing my own movie on my own tablet. They taught me to be a pirate. Lucky for the movie industry, I'd rather own the official disc. I'm probably an anomoly in that regard. I know HOW to pirate now, but don't.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      Pirates will not suffer. People with more than one console in the house, people whose console breaks and has to be replaced, people who want to buy a "slim" version, roommates who move out and buy their own console but owned half the games for their old roommate's console, kids who go to college and get a new system so their little siblings can keep the family one at home, anyone who shops at gamestop for old games so they can save 30-40$ and all kinds of other legitimate customers will suffer.

      Pirates will find away around this in about a week, as always.

       

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      Knowledge, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

      Re:

      You do know that so far most Anti-piracy actions on the side of game developers have only hurt those that bought legal copies right? Want to solve the piracy issue? Make the game actually be worth the 1/4 of a paycheck I am spending to get it. And actually, these new chips will drive game prices up more, because now the disc has to have a chip that costs money to make, then money to add into the disc making process, so in the end, have fun with your 100 dollar somewhat interactive movie you just payed for.

       

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      CN, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:51am

      not really ethical.

      "lending to your friend", legal or not it's not really ethical.

      What's unethical about it?

      I can lend a friend a ball.

      I can't lend a ball that's "on a computer"?

       

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      Lord of the Files, Jan 6th, 2013 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      Hmm, I guess there is no point in anyone buying more than one console anymore (like the two Xbox 360's here, one being mine and the other my wifes).

      I honestly believe this will just promote piracy rather than stop it. After all nothing is uncrackable/unhackable and there are plenty of people out there smarter than the folks who came up with this silly scheme.

      If it can be seen or heard, it can be copied as the saying goes. The data needs to be decrypted you say? So did bluray and we all know how well that worked out for the studios.

       

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      lol, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

      Re:

      You could not be more wrong. How does a used game market = piracy?

      I give it 30 days from releease, it'll be hacked and it'll be YET ANOTHER FAILURE in Sony's fight against 'piracy', which is really nothing more than Sony's fight to no go completely broke in the next 3 years.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:42am

    if a manufacturer can screw the people by preventing a second hand market, it will do so. the fact that there would be no increase in the purchase of new games and the almost guaranteed complete fuck up for legitimate customers, as is often the case now caused by those manufacturers stupid 'we must stop piracy (which really only exists because the games then work properly with the DRM or whatever removed!) at all costs, even if it messes up the game experience for legitimate customers at the same time' is irrelevant. Sony are one of the worst offenders for this 'stuff you' attitude towards customers. i always think it's a shame that there isn't something the person who makes these decisions wants and is then affected by because of similar actions of other companies, just to see how they like it and then react.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:48am

    "Sony seems to have found a way to prevent secondhand sales without having to" ... resort to things like adding value to their product(s).

     

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    vegetaman (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Go ahead and do it Sony, and I'll never buy/play another one of your products again.

    Oh wait, I already don't, thanks to other various stupid crap from the past (rootkit scandal, anyone?).

     

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    nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    Tim, Tim, Tim...

    You've got it all wrong! Sony is the good guy here.

    By attempting to file a patent on this technology, they're trying to prevent anyone from actually inventing and implementing it. That's the whole purpose of patents, is it not?

    Here's to more patents on DRM technologies - please keep filing them!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:10am

      Re: Tim, Tim, Tim...

      TechDirt should have a forum on new DRM ideas and patent the hell out of every single one of them then troll the content industry with every single one of them they use.

       

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re: Tim, Tim, Tim...

        yes, that would be a good idea, it would give Masnick and his cronies some insights into the patent system they clearly they do not have now.

         

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      Yakko Warner (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:05am

      Re: Tim, Tim, Tim...

      It's actually my hope that they will actively go after anyone else who tries this. Rumor has it Microsoft is planning on doing something similar in the next Xbox (although I haven't seen anything describing *how* it might happen yet).

      If they do happen to implement it in the next PlayStation, hopefully word will get out and sales will dry up in response. Although they'll probably just attribute the lack of sales to piracy again....

       

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    CK20XX, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    Sheesh, Sony really is the new Sega. They were the cool kid on the block when their first console came out, but now they've fallen from grace thanks to a slew of stupid hardware decisions, among other things. Ironic that they defeated the creators of the Dreamcast, only to become just like them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:57am

    Broken System

    A real problem with this system is that replacing a broken system, or buying a new system can also invalidate all purchased games.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:06am

      Re: Broken System

      Have my insightful vote sir.

      Just like it happens when you buy digital content for your Wii, right?(which is the main reason I avoid buying digital stuff)

       

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        Planespotter (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re: Broken System

        You could always download a pirate version as an errr... umm.. ahhh... backup of the original?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Broken System

          With third party liability, Sony could charge you with inciting infringement.

           

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          Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Broken System

          I have yet to find how to get digital content available via online connection only for the Wii. I do admit I'm not looking hard enough because honestly.. I don't care ;)

           

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      Call me Al, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:25am

      Re: Broken System

      I was thinking the same thing.

      A hardware error for consoles will result in a new system. Would you need to call and beg Sony to allow you access to all your purchased content because you had to get a new console?

      It will end up being that if your console breaks after the warranty has expired you'll still need to send it to Sony so they can validate that it is broken. If you simply pop out and buy a replacement then you'll end up with unusable content. They are just adding layers of hassle to something which is supposed to be fun.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:32am

        Re: Re: Broken System

        The breakdown could happen at a convenient time, like the Thursday before Easter, what a choice no games over Easter or buy everything new.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:43am

      Re: Broken System

      Well they are trying to be more like Nintendo...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:45am

        Re: Re: Broken System

        ...who (like the video game industry in general these days) is trying to be like Hollywood (DRM, endless sequels, staunchly anti-pirate, etc.).

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:55am

      Re: Broken System

      or even just a new video card or hard drive

       

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      CK20XX, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:02am

      Re: Broken System

      This reminds me of how upgrading from a PSP to a PSP Go required the sacrifice of pretty much your entire game library. Sony still seems stupid enough to try something like that again.

       

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        silverscarcat (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:55am

        PSP Go

        It was SUPPOSED to end GameStop's used market sales...

        GameStop laughed and sold it in store anyway.

        We all know how THAT turned out.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:12am

      Re: Broken System

      I'm having this problem with some of my itunes content already due to new DRM that doesn't allow HD content on older versions of windows. Yet, I've already purchased it. Apple gets an email from me every time I want to watch something and can't. :/

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:29am

      Re: Broken System

      what are they going to come to your home and install RFID chips into all the games you already own ?

       

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    Aria Company (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:06am

    Question for some of you: do you game anymore?

    What Sony is doing here is what console makers already do with downloadable titles: binding it to a system.

    As an Xbox 360 owner, every single one of my titles I downloaded is worthless in resale. I won't get a cent for them by "trading in" my old stuff (which will happen within the next two years, when the 720 is released).

    This is why I hate "app tech". It limits our ability to own, yet people blindly pay "99 cents" for the privilege of owning nothing.

    As long as it works "in the moment", people won't care.

    I don't doubt current console licenses will transfer to the new console, but it's still a hit against the secondary market.

    You can never sell digital content.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:10am

      Re:

      That. I've bought digital content for my Android devices. While you can install in any of them you get limited if you want to let your mother use or anyone else since it's bound to your account. What if I want to move from Google to Microsoft?

      I'll admit I bought 3 of them and only because they were dirty cheap. But it still concerns me. As stuff evolve you can't really play your new content anymore.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      "Question for some of you: do you game anymore?"

      Yes, though I've given up on PC gaming for various reasons.

      "What Sony is doing here is what console makers already do with downloadable titles"

      Downloadable titles are usually far cheaper and have different expectations than a physical purchase.

      "This is why I hate "app tech". It limits our ability to own, yet people blindly pay "99 cents" for the privilege of owning nothing."

      They always have. Nobody owned the games or movies they rented from Blockbuster, but they get far more life out of iPhone apps than they ever did with those rentals - and those rentals cost more.

      Ultimately, it's down to what you personally accept. 99c for an app that you use for a few hours and stop playing? Who cares, it was only 99c? $60 for the same thing on a disc that you're not allowed to offload when you're done? That could be far more problematic...

      Oh, and there's a lot of rumours about the 720, including requiring a constant internet connection to play games, locked content and digital-only games on first release. We don't know if that's true yet, but if this sort of thing annoys you I'd wait till the facts are out before you commit to buying one... If you hate "app tech" wait till you see how much they want to charge you for the same thing.

       

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        Yakko Warner (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re:

        Downloadable titles are usually far cheaper and have different expectations than a physical purchase.


        For the XBLA titles, typically yes. For the "Games on Demand", though, they tend to have similar prices as the physical counterparts, and their prices don't degrade with time like the physical products in the free market. Even though I tend to buy my games new, I still will buy the physical disc over the digital download.

         

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      silverscarcat (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:56am

      Re:

      I still game. Still have my old systems and everything.

      Except the ones that broke. *Sad face*

       

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        The Real Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:52am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, the older consoles are still the best. Zero restrictions (except for some region-locking which is easily routed), a ton of variety, much better soundtracks (surprisingly), etc. No need for DRM, patches or other restrictive nonsense.

        Look at the current gen. Seriously, how many of today's games are people going to keep going back to in the decades to come? They're thoroughly unmemorable. I hope the industry crashes again and all of these arrogant developers fold and crumble.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I agree with your sentiment (the SNES remains my most active console), but there were some games that sorely needed patches ;) The realities of the early nineties made them impossible, though, except through second printings.

           

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            The Real Michael, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Some games, sure, but the vast majority were fully playable. Heck, there are groups of gamers which specialize in finding exploits and glitches, most of which you'd probably never find on your own.

            The older-gen was a renaissance period for gaming. That includes portables, arcade, computers and miscellaneous stuff like those game watches (loved those). Of course we didn't realize just how good we had it back then. The pixel and vector-based stuff has a unique charm all its own, something which current-gen gaming, what with all its fancy CG and cinema-quality effects, can never replace.

            Nowadays everything is attempting to be a pseudo-Hollywood movie ...with ever-increasing restrictions. It's as if you need someone else's permission just to use the stuff you've already purchased, let alone to make a transaction, lend or borrow, etc. etc. Once big money corporations like Sony got in on the action, suddenly everyone else wanted in on the action, hence the current state of the industry. It's pathetic.

            I would take the old-school Sega, Nintendo and NEC-dominated VG industry over the current one any day, any time. That old saying rings true: You don't know what you've got until you've lost it.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      "Question for some of you: do you game anymore?"

      PC gaming addict here. Yes I do.

      But I've been terribly disappointed with the, so called. AAA games that have come out in the past 5 years or so.

      Games have been stripped of all depth and innovation. Now they're all mostly rehashes of the same beaten old formula. Their insistence in using crippling DRM doesn't help either.

      So I've turned to the Indies for my source of gaming entertainment. I like the Humble Indie Bundle in particular because the games run natively on Linux (I'm coming closer to breaking my dependency on Windows :) ).

      I've also been looking back into the past, to see what I've missed. I've been finding quite a few fun Dos games that I hadn't even heard of.

      If you want to have fun gaming again, I suggest that you steer off from the mainstream and start looking around. Unless you absolutely need to have eye-gouging graphics, you'll find exactly what you need to have fun gaming again.

       

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      kitsune361, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      For me, it's a matter of the utility vs the price: At 99 cents [or less], I don't care too much if I can only use something on my phone. Much more than that, and it needs to be portable.

      I noticed recently that Castle Crashers was released on Steam; it's a fun game but I refuse to buy and play it because of my experience with it on the XBox 360. A friend of mine bought it for his 360 and we'd throw down 4-player on the weekends. His XBox died from the red ring of death and he moved his HDD to his new XBox. We couldn't play multiplayer anymore. Each XBox Live account needed to own the game, or it had to be the original system it was bought for.

      Fuck. That. Shit.

      At 99 cents it would be trivial to replace the app. At 1200 XB Live points (about $12)... see my above statement. The whole experience soured me to the point where I skipped over the XBox360... until someone actually gave me one. It still sits in my AV rack, mostly unused.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        "I noticed recently that Castle Crashers was released on Steam; it's a fun game but I refuse to buy and play it because of my experience with it on the XBox 360."

        The DRM issues your friend experienced were almost certainly down to Microsoft's choices, not the developers' decisions. That is, it's the platform, not the game, that caused the issues. They would have needed to abide by Microsoft's decisions to get their 360 release, and Valve's requirements are almost certainly different. I'd understand that experience making you wary of buying 360 digital content, but the same game on a different platform? That seems a little backward to me.

        I'd say give it another chance. It's a hugely popular game, so a quick Google or forum search should tell you if there's any DRM or problems other than the basics of Steam's setup. Given that Steam is specifically set up to allow people to share content between different computers and OSes that they own, I don't think you'll have the same problem.

        I agree with your boycott on principle, but you probably should target it toward the legacy platform owners who insist on these things rather than the indie developers who likely had no other choices when they first released the game (the Steam release came 4 years later than the 360 version).

         

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        Yakko Warner (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:39am

        Re: Re:

        I noticed recently that Castle Crashers was released on Steam; it's a fun game but I refuse to buy and play it because of my experience with it on the XBox 360. A friend of mine bought it for his 360 and we'd throw down 4-player on the weekends. His XBox died from the red ring of death and he moved his HDD to his new XBox. We couldn't play multiplayer anymore. Each XBox Live account needed to own the game, or it had to be the original system it was bought for.


        Microsoft provides a "license transfer tool" so that you can change the "original system it was bought for" to the new system, and everyone can play again.

        While I agree that this is an annoying step that only exists because of the DRM, and it would never happen with a game on a disc, at least there is a way to correct the problem yourself.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 8:57pm

      Re:

      Mechwarrior Online. Hawken. Allods. Yeah, I still game. A lot. For FREE.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Thanks for the heads up, Sony scum.

    If I ever start making games, I'll know what system not to release it on. If I'm going to piss away my time and money just for it to be locked up in such a fashion that makes it difficult for future generations to enjoy, then it would be far more productive and profitable to literally piss on dollars and clocks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:19am

    seems reasonable to try and prevent second hand sales

    when your game titles don't offer more than a week's worth of playing time ...

     

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    FreeCultureForFreePeople, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    Fix needed

    ...describes a system "that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets."


    Lemme fix this for you:

    ...describes a system "that reliably restricts their access to my wallet till the cows come home."

    There, fixed.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

    Thank you Sony for once more providing all the evidence a person could ever need to stay as far away as possible from your products, thereby allowing them to spend their money on things that are actually worth buying.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:41am

      Re: I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

      Yup. Sony are the hardware equivalent of Ubisoft. Fantastic games, shitty business decisions.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Innovating new ways to piss off consuumers

    See patents work, what more proof do you need? It takes a true visionary to combine an RFID tag with a disc to come up with a wonderful new product to irratate the piss out of your fanbase. Its a win-win, you get to add costs of embedding coded tags in a disc and ensure they're kept up to date along with all the PR spin that goes along with it trying to keep your present and future customers from leaving in droves. What can go wrong?

     

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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:29am

    I get the feeling that Sony and Microsoft are waiting for the retail gaming sector to die due to digital downloads before they release their next generation consoles that will be digital only. That way they can destroy second hand gaming forever.

     

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      jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      I mean this is the only reason why they haven't moved forward - they are long overdue new consoles now.

      I wonder how long it will be before it is a legal requirement to bolt your consoles to the floor so you cannot swap consoles to play games. Oh wait, never mind. IP binding solves that problem already.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:25am

      Re:

      I honestly don't see the problem with that.

      The only problem I see is publishers (not developers) overpricing their wares. In the digital only market, you have to actually provide value to make each and every sale. In consumer retail market, this is decidedly not the case.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re:

        In the digital only market, you have to actually provide value to make each and every sale.


        How is the digital market and the physical media market different in this regard?

         

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          Colin, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not to be presumptuous and put words in his mouth, but it may have exactly to do with what we're discussing: the secondary market. People might not think a game is worth $60, but hey, maybe it's worth $30-40 and they're willing to pay the $60 knowing they can sell it back later. For digital goods, you don't have this ability, and you might not want to put down more than $20-30 for a game knowing you won't recoup any of the costs.

          Again, just a theory.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well, I wouldn't pay more than $20 or so for a digital-only game, but not because of resale value. I'm far too lazy to bother reselling old games, I just give them to the goodwill.

            Rather, it's because if I don't have complete control over being able to install or play the game, the game's value is drastically reduced regardless of how great the game may be. In fact, if the game isn't outstanding, it reduces the games value to around $1. Same for other entertainment as well.

            It's hard to see how a company could possibly provide enough value to compensate for the value lost.

             

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            JMT (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 4:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's not a theory, it's a fact. It's exactly the thought process that goes into every digital purchase I make, and the same thought process that would apply to any physical media purchase I made that couldn't be resold.

            If next-gen consoles devalue games by negatively affecting the used market but not reducing prices accordingly, I most likely just won't but one, ending 15+ years of console ownership and game purchasing. As much as I love gaming, it's not like I haven't got anything else to spend my time and money on.

             

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 6:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "How is the digital market and the physical media market different in this regard?"

          In the digital market, the value has to be provided by the initial seller - quality of game, appropriate price, etc. In the physical market it can also be provided by the resale value as well as lower prices, bundles, etc. that can't be provided on the first sale.

          So not necessarily different in concept, but the physical market definitely has more competition to benefit the consumer, and thus increase the value.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    I have already given up on console and PC gaming. My smartphone is all I really need to get my fix now. Getting a tablet next. You can get triple A titles on smartphones and tablets for a fraction of the price you would pay on a console.

     

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    anonymouse, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Stupid

    Perfect experiment to prove to all games consoles developers that second hand sales is very important for there bottom line. Especially when Sony tanks because of this.
    And anyone who say's they wont tank is not thinking about how far reaching this attempt will go to stop people ever buying a Sony Console. I would never buy a console if i knew that the huge outlay i make for games could be lost if the console becomes faulty, i could not even have a standby console in case one goes in for repair.

    What about people who have a console in their bedroom and the games room, what about people who want to upgrade there consoles to the latest release in a year. Seriously this is a no go patent, i doubt Sony is stupid enough to implement this, but then again they have been seriously stupid before, so much so that the ps3 sales dropped dramatically after they removed functionality.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:13am

      Re: Stupid

      The funny thing about history is how often people try to convince themselves that it didn't happen or it won't happen to them.
      Should a lesson occur here from this, you can rest assured that every other company will go out of their way to ignore it.

       

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      ChrisB (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:47am

      Re: Stupid

      There is no way I'd shell out $60 for a game if I knew I couldn't sell it. Maybe $20 - $30. Right now, I buy dozens of $1 games for my android phone, and each of them gives me many hours of entertainment. Many people are in the same position. We realize that games can be fun and $1, and movies and games can be rented at Redbox for a few dollars. Sony and Microsoft are going to be in for a rude awakening when they release their new console, sales are crap, and consoles like the OUYA take a big chunk of the casual gaming market.

      One final note: Sony is going to have a huge lawsuit on its hands because in their online store, they say you can "Buy" movies. They don't say "License". "Buy" is a specific term that means the first sale doctrine applies.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: Stupid

        Hear hear!

        It's reached a point where I very rarely am willing to spend $60 for a new unproven game, but I'll gladly spend $0.99 - $5.99 for a game on my Android devices. (Since I use the same account on all my devices I can just buy a game once and enjoy it across them.)

        I've had more fun playing $1 games than I've had recently playing the more popular titles from various console game developers. And to that end I'm looking forward to where OUYA is going. Hopefully it ends up being a hit and attracting game developers. My Nexus 7 is an amazing device and considering the hardware inside it in no way compares to the hardware inside current game consoles (like the XBOX 360 or PS3) I've been blow away by the quality of some of the games I've played on it. Dead Trigger, Shadowgun, Need For Speed Most Wanted, etc. All hands down great games, the most expensive of which was $6 (and which could be had at least twice in the past 3 months for less than a buck).

        Meanwhile my PS3 largely sits ignored and collecting dust.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Stupid

          See, the last game I paid full-price for was Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 on the PC. It cost me £10.

          I simply refuse to buy a game over the cost of £10. For that price, I've had 30 games through the Humble Bundles.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:25am

      Re: Stupid

      Problem is most consumers probably won't know what's going on until after they buy the system. I know it's their fault for make uninformed decisions but I'm sure plenty of ps4 owners will be surprised the first time they try going to gamestop or after their system breaks or they buy a slim version.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Sony Products

    Since the rootkit debacle, I have not purchased or even accepted free sony products of any kind. All the gifts get thrown away, I prefer to buy Quality products from Quality companies.

    sony is just like a spoiled brat, thinking they are entitled to my business. I tell everyone I know how overpriced and pure junk their products are on a daily basis.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    No thanks

    I'll be forever happy with my PS2. It never disappoints:)

     

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    Spike (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:08am

    Valve can't bring out their PC based Steam console soon enough, I am tired of the traditional game console penny pinching business model, hence why I stuck to Steam on the PC. Sure its not perfect, but its a hell of a lot less restrictive and you can buy entire series of games for one low price. Nevermind the huge sales they regularly have.

     

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      jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:30am

      Re:

      I am still uneasy about Steam. They refuse second hand trading of PC games and have recently announced trying a console that will no doubt also be digital only and restrict second hand trading.

      What this really is now is a war between open platforms and closed platforms. Public domain destruction... Open Source software destruction... now second-hand media destruction... ALL of it is actively encouraged by the existence of copyright law.

      This is why I keep emphasising the seriousness of crowdfunding websites: powerful incentives with no need for closed systems. Kickstarter... IndieGoGo... They are the people that are the true heroes in all of this: providing blatant, fuck-you-in-your-face disproof of copyright as a means of obtaining incentives. And when the discussion about copyright gets even bigger, many more people will cite them as what people can turn to for profit.

       

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        Wally (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re:

        "I am still uneasy about Steam. They refuse second hand trading of PC games and have recently announced trying a console that will no doubt also be digital only and restrict second hand trading. "

        But at least if you get a new console, you can still download games to it from your Steam account. The main reason Steam doesn't and cannot handle second hand trading of PC games is that the game is tied to your account...not your PC. Albeit it's one at a time, but you can still do it.

         

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          Ninja (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, why couldn't I sell my license to whoever wants it while steam gets, let's say, 10% of the sale. They could make some sort of "auction house" for those titles. That would be some epic win. If they did that and GUARANTEED that you'd be able to download, install and play wherever (regardless of connection) and it would still be available to you even if the game maker decides to take the offering from Steam THEN I'd gladly go for Steam. Might even be good to keep old games compatible with new operating systems. On a completely utopic scenario Steam would have all that and would be available for Linux.

          Ahem.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And I'm sure that it is totally IMPOSSIBLE for Steam to be able to transfer the 'license' you purchased to use the game from them to someone else, right?

          I mean nobody has ever figured out a way to transfer ownership of digital objects, right?

          Oh, That's all a load of crap you say? You say it would be trivial to allow someone to transfer an electronic game license from one account (removing access to the game) to someone else's account (granting access to the game), and the only reason this isn't allowed is to eliminate the second hand market for used 'digital' games (since a used digital game is just as good as a 'new' digital game).

          This could easily be done by Steam, the fact that they don't allow it has nothing to do with the game being 'tied' to your account, it has to do with Steam being 'tied' to your wallet in a one way relationship... they take from you and give you games, they won't allow you to give games and get money because they feel that THEY should be the only ones making money in their system....

          This sounds a lot like many of the **AA industries... If we can't be the only ones making money off of the artists, we will prevent anyone from making money...

          Carpet bombing is only effective from space when you have a safe place to go after you wipe everything out...

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re:

        " They refuse second hand trading of PC games"

        It's a publisher issue. They are just the store front the publishers would never allow this.

         

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm with you. I dislike Steam, and stopped using it a few years ago. That it's the least intrusive and most usable DRM going doesn't eliminate the fact that it's DRM and comes with a lot of the hassle that DRM implies.

         

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      Shadow Dragon (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      Don't forget Ouya.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    They all just want to get rid of the First Sale law. I am just befuddled as to why they are doing this. Second hand purchases is in our nature and it increases popularity of said purchase and increases future revenue. All these companies and patent trolls live in a bubble of self-serving their own greedy nature.

     

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    avideogameplayer, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    How long will it be before Sony goes crying to the gov't to protect the sales they should be getting if they didn't decide to shoot themselves in the foot over this?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:27am

    Yet another reason why not to buy from Sony.

    And another reason why I'm sticking with PC games, where this kind of crap is harder to pull so far.

    If companies like Sony keep this up I just might stop playing games altogether, and I've been playing it for as long as I can remember. And seriously, well over half the games I play these days are over 5 years old. Maybe if companies like Sony focused on quality games instead of quality restrictions I'd actually be able to say over 75% of the games I play are from the last 3 to 5 years.

     

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    Anonymous, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:31am

    The best result would be that people don't buy products crippled in this way and it'll wither on the vine. A big ask I suspect!!! People can vote with their feet but rarely do which falls into the hands of these unfair business models.. We only have ourselves to blame!!!

     

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    quawonk, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    As long as people keep buying the games, this shit will continue to get worse.

     

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    Doug Robb, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:00am

    More fool sony

    Don't worry everone its either prior art or already covered by existing patents. e.g the idea of 'finger printing' hardware is well and truly covered by the Uniloc patent 5,490,216 (and variations) as Microsoft and others will attest. The fact they use an RFID tag and not on-line is not material from infringing the basic idea of finger printing hardware - if it was Microsoft could have saved themselves a lot of money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:03am

    What about households with two gaming consoles, say one upstairs and one downstairs? What happens when your old console breaks and you replace it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    One word: ouya

     

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    Atkray (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    Wal Mart is going to love this

    All this will do is drive RFID hacking/spoofing.

    It will probably only take a couple years until people can manipulate RFID chips with their cell phones and merchandise starts walking out of store unnoticed.

    Sony still doesn't understand unintended consequences.

     

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    vishnu kumar, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    What A stupid, Does Sony Corporation become mad, what was their plan , my old games are not having rfid chips in dvd but it was original game dvds

     

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    Wally (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:03am

    Consoles

    I own an XBox 360, a zero level hacked PS3 (pain in the arse to set up), and a Wii. I plan on getting a WiiU (when Aliens: Colonial Marines releases) and an XBOX 720. I refuse to buy the PS4 now as it seems this RFID chip applies to the system.

    Fanboys of Sony Playstation will say what they will say...but I think because of this RFID system, there is absolutely no reason to get a PS4. Sony just signed their coroner's certificate in the console with the PS4 having that feature.

    Before anyone bawks at Nintendo's DRM on the WiiU, let me remind you that they don't tie WiiU game discs to an individual's console...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    Yes Sony please push more people to the Xbox because I'll never buy your consoles :)

     

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    Fickelbra (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Nintendo

    If any of the big consoles implement this sort of protection system I will simply abstain from them. I rarely buy AAA titles anymore because they are not worth $60 to me. Period. I make a rare exception to this rule maybe once or twice a year, but it is for titles that I know the money I'm spending is worth it.

    I like how Nintendo seems to be handling the second hand sale situation. Rather than making it impossible, they give you incentive to buy new. They have a Club Nintendo site where you register games you buy for points. You can redeem those points for prizes or downloadable games. You also get points for taking surveys on the games you purchased. Would this system work on everyone? Not really, but I find it rather cool to be able to give my input on games directly to Nintendo and for them to reward me when I buy their games new. Personally with the way Gamestop prices used games, I would opt to pay the extra $5 for the new copy that I can register.

    I understand where game creators are coming from in this whole situation, but they need to wake up and realize you can persuade your audience to do the things you want by ADDING VALUE for the consumer to do so.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Well, it looks like nobody in my house will be affording PS3 games anymore. We always collaborated to be able to afford them. When three or four people chip in, 60-80 dollars on a game became doable. We have two systems in the house (One we bought early on that we were lied to about backwards compatibility, and one bought second hand by my other roommate so we could still play games even when somebody wanted to watch TV netflix) but that seems pretty pointless now. Especially if they are going to expect us to pay for the 'privilege' of playing a game on both systems. It was already a stupid pain in the ass trying to manage save games and DLC between 2 systems. Hell half our games don't seem to want us to be able to move our saves over! Now they want to lock us into a one game per system rule? Screw it! I've been going with steam for years, and if something is PS3 only, I really don't care anymore! They want to work so hard to bring themselves out of our price range and make things as inconvenient as possible, they really do leave us no choice but to move on.

     

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    kenichi tanaka, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:13am

    Sony didn't think this through. What about those gamers who get a replacement gaming console from Sony. When they go to play those games on the new replacement console, the game simply will not play.

    Nice going Sony, do you plan to replace those videogames as well?

     

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    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    If this patent is issued and upheld and licensed - this will be good

    Techdirt is about finding new ways to do business by looking after your customers. A patent like this will be very good for the industry, particularly if it gets licensed by all the big players and here is why:

    Small manufacturers who develop systems that do not have DRM and do not license such a patent will now be become more valuable as people will have options for playing more non-DRM and/or unlocked games. Opens up the field for new tech to come along, similarly to what we see with Arduino and Raspberry Pi systems.

    Small time developers who do not implement DRM or use such licensed patents will have an opportunity to market themselves in a way that makes their products more valuable to the buyers of games and used games.

    So much potential and if the bigger fellows want to use such patents and restrict their tech in these kinds of ways, their products become less valuable. Apple made itself a name of having tech people wanted but they are starting to annoy their purchasers because their tech is becoming more difficult to fix in even little things like changing batteries without becoming more costly. I am seeing people changing to other suppliers because of some of these simple user issues.

    Make what people want at a price people consider reasonable and they will buy your product if they find it competitive, useful or fashionable. If you know your market then you will know if you can compete in that market.

    So many opportunities, go get them boys and girls.

    regards to all from the burning country (bushfires are in season now)

     

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      nasch (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

      Re: If this patent is issued and upheld and licensed - this will be good

      Make what people want at a price people consider reasonable and they will buy your product if they find it competitive, useful or fashionable.

      Yeah... but how does this patent aid in any of that?

       

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    jameshogg (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 4:45pm

    Services Are Not Goods. There Is No Point In Pretending.

    Here’s an afterthought on this issue:

    If copyright law supposedly follows the laws of economics like everything else, explain the following. I buy a DVD, and get the movie experience. What I paid for, right? Now, imagine I bought 500 copies of the same DVD. If it really did follow "property" logic, I would get 500 times the movie experience... right? No. I can only really watch one DVD at a time 500 times in order to get what I paid for... and I can do that just as easily with the one copy.

    Never mind the price fluctuations with second hand reselling - I would definitely wait until a DVD dipped down to £5 on ebay instead of £15. Does that mean I have stolen £10 from the artist? Not even! Apparently I steal the full £15 since not even the £5 touches the wallets of the artists. I pay and somehow still steal. Does that mean I am somehow still in the wrong?

    All of this is what happens when you pretend that services are goods ala intellectual property - you end up having to rationalise a lot of this stuff. There is actually a term for it in linguistics: "nominalisation". The word means describing a process or action as if it were a tangible object (words like love, hate, success, fear, race, sprint etc) and is a very natural human thing to do. Another way of putting it is treating a verb like a noun. This is why copyright law transcends a lot of economic principles - services (verbs) behave as goods (nouns). We need to start treating the economics of creativity as services again, which is why I keep on pointing to crowdfunding websites because what they give people the chance to pay for is the process of creativity.

    And here is another philosophical point. Imagine I buy a DVD and make a backup copy (for backup only, no reselling of the DVD after, genuine legitimate backup). Now, imagine a burglar were to break into my house and steal the genuine DVD and run off with it... but the computer containing my backup copy is too heavy for him to steal. According to the rules of intellectual property, I would have to delete that backup copy! Otherwise I'd be the one stealing. Let me repeat that, because of its insanity: I am the one being robbed yet I am the one who is the thief. And in theory, the same logic would apply if I broke the original DVD in half by accident, or lost it. You can end up paying for the service of creativity, but have no equity protection because the economics operate around treating the service as goods. Someone, person A, can pay £5 to watch a pre-owned DVD 500 times and another person, B, can pay £15 for a new DVD but may never get what he arguably truly paid for if he loses the DVD immediately after viewing it once due to theft. Person A would be paying for £ (5/500) a viewing: a penny per view to someone other than the artist. While person B has literally paid £15 to the artist for a single viewing.

    This is insanity. It can only really make sense if you stop treating it like goods and start treating it like services as it should be, and have people pay for refundable crowdfunding tickets. That way they will definitely get what they pay for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    LOL at all the whiny pirates here. "waa, I'm never playing _____ again". Whatever. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, douche.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 11:48pm

      Re:

      I purchased my Playstation 2 second hand, and borrowed all the games that I played on it. There's nothing that's convincing me to invest in the Playstation 3 since there isn't a game there that interests me, and there's already word that support for the PS3 is going to be phased out for the next console that Kingdom Hearts 3 is likely going to be for. Still not interested in shelling out for a single console for a single game, especially with Sony's abysmal track record for customer support, respect and handling security.

      Sony hasn't seen a single cent from me. Someone's clearly a little unhappy because I made Sony's dick sad.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      Why are you people incapable of making a statement without lying about the very people you're addressing? I'm a paying customer, asshole, and pulling crap like this ensures that your competitors get my money, not a damn cent to you. Deal with it.

       

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    SolEiji, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 12:39am

    Sony, I am dissapoint.

    Well this blows.

    While reading this however, I had a curious idea which I figure I'd throw out there just to see what others thought about it. Though I don't actually think secondhand sales are a problem, they could handle it this way:

    It's time to sell your copy of Super Fun Guy. You can sell it to your friend or on Ebay or the like as normal. Or you can sell it back to the company who made it, Nontondo. And as a bonus, besides getting money for it, you get some additional benefit to go along with it (say points to buy other Nontondo products at lower prices). Basically, they enter the secondhand market themselves and use some manner of benefit to out-do their competition.

    The other benefit is that they can also sell cheap used copies of their games back to other customers, thus continuing to make money off an old product while giving people a reason to buy the new products (the points).

    Would it work?

     

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    noneone, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 1:02am

    Gaming News From The Future

    Sony's new PS4 came out and failed to sell, due to the Sony's new antipiracy component bricking the new system making games unplayable.

     

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      SolEiji, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 2:15am

      Re: Gaming News From The Future

      That may be quite a real thing, I'm already shaky on the WiiU's system, and bad DRM has kept me from buying games before (Spore, Diablo, etc).

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:35am

      Re: Gaming News From The Future

      ...and in response to this they blamed piracy and whined to congress for new laws and implemented even more DRM on the PS5...

       

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    smuel-12, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    revolution!

    sony and microsoft are asking for it... Wait nintendo doing it too.

    Ah crap.

    Who is with me for igniting a 1983 all over again for the Gaming industry?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Laroquod (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 10:46am

    "Ars Technica reports that Sony seems to have found a way to prevent secondhand sales without..."

    Um... no. They have not found that way. Need I say more? Obviously false statement is obvious?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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