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  • Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Irreparable damage to their own reputation for a sale

    I was a big fan of the SC games. I bought the first one, then SC:CT. Started having issues with the PC, they got worse and worse - couldn't burn disks (coasters, crashes), couldn't watch DVDs or listen to music CDs. It started crashing more often, the IDE interface was getting slower and slower till the CD would only connect in PIO... went on for months and cost me heaps in lost data, time, stress (also blank media) even though I only played the game a few times and uninstalled it trying to find a solution for the problem. That didn't work so I thought they were off the hook - until eventually found a fix which was to remove the 'hidden' starforce drivers that had been installed by the game. Heaps of people who bought the game may not have found out that it caused their PC crashes and inability to burn discs or watch DVDs, but plenty enough did find out that now the once glorified Splinter Cell name is mud. Evil mud.

    Point is, they may have sold copies - but every one of them has messed with the PCs of the people that bought them, long after the game is forgotten and probably represents the last sale they will get from that person once they find out who is responsible for their PCs woes.

    Splinter Cell is a forgotten franchise now - they aren't getting repeat customers, either because their computers are stuffed or they know SC caused their computer problems.

    If you bought a car radio that stopped your car from working you would avoid that brand as much as possible.

    I also used to love International Cricket Captain 2005 - I got the trial with every intention of buying it, but when I went to run it under WINE in Ubuntu it gave a message that it had detected a decompiler on the system and therefore was not going to run. Technically it could have run, but they chose to make it not run - this annoyed me greatly. I didn't buy the game.

    Can anyone think of an instance when the presence of DRM made them decide to buy the game? 'Cos I've only experienced being burned by DRM, or choosing not to buy because of DRM.

    Where is the reason to buy DRM?

  • Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:23am

    (untitled comment)

    @R.Hammond: I believe the correct term is 'bastards' not 'bitches', as this is Australia we're talking about ;)

    Its really no surprise at all, that so many people (even commenters) could be confused about needing to protect and defend their intellectual property in this day and age of moral panics and the copyright wars.

    (But it was the copyright owner, not the 11yo girl who stopped the showing. The piece is lovely and well designed, it could still be a hand drawn composite, and I'm not saying it is or isn't, but the figures do look clip-art-ish enough that it strikes me as an example of a kind of artwork that touches the issues and launches interesting debates and discussions akin to the Obama Hope poster - but, in this case they were able to go ahead with a like image sans the disputed part.)

    The flag has become our symbol, and it represents all the indigenous nations and tribes of the islands of Australia. It is ubiquitous in Australia now, but it certainly has not always been the case (props @monkeytypist).

    IMHO it does seem an opportunity was lost, but there is always a story behind the story, (@Don: and in that regard I'd guess you're right. Its could be a case of Google stepping into a sort of feud, methinks). Maybe if copyright holder read more of Mike's articles on economics they can work out for themselves that the exposure due to Google's use could have been a useful non-scarce good to add value to the scarce goods (whatever they might be, e.g. endorsements/ marketing/ advertising deals, speaking engagements, educational flag kits for schools, who knows?) at their disposal. Maybe they could make up the money they 'lost' from this copyright deal in other ways by saying yes to Google?, there's always next year!

    But seriously, thats totally the decision of the copyright owner, and it represents struggle. It became the symbol of indiginous rights and was made the "official" Aboriginal flag by the government, so there has been struggle as well in the story of the flag. Recently in Tasmania, after long struggle trying to get the flag accepted in the Parliament, they finally displayed the flag in Parliament. The way it was done was the way it was always done in White Australia, regarding 'the blacks' - to them, not with them.


  • Nov 20th, 2009 @ 4:58pm

    to the judge(s)

    just think of p2p as the modern equivalent of the public library

  • Nov 17th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: your factually incorrect on this one, Mike

    Lots to mull over here:
    And good discussion of the issue here:
    "A first sale does not, however, exhaust other rights, such as the copyright holder’s right to prohibit copying of the copy he sells.... For example, the first sale doctrine permits a consumer who buys a lawfully made DVD copy of “Gone With the Wind” to resell the copy, but not to duplicate the copy."

  • Nov 16th, 2009 @ 11:48pm

    take a step back and consider the ol' mixtape

    or photocopier... whatever - if you ever made a mix tape/recorded songs off the radio and gave it to a friend, that's the equivalent crime that today the Govt says should get you kicked off the internet!? How can they take such a non-crime that actually helps the artists and labels make money, and make it seem like the most dispicable crime ever committed? How does anyone take them seriously? Take as an example ACDC - fairly well known now but when I was young they played to empty pubs often enough. It was people like us, getting the word out that created and extended the fan base. Those people are now to be classed as pirates and to be despised and shunned by society - kick them off the net, they're spreading culture!!!!

  • Nov 16th, 2009 @ 10:18pm

    your factually incorrect on this one, Mike

    "The company is selling something it legally purchased" is not factually correct. They purchase a copy of MacOS, then use it to create a virtual machine which they then clone (5 clones per copy of OSX bought according to Psytar's defense), they don't sell the original OSX they bought either. So they are not selling what they bought so first sale is just too big a stretch. They are not abiding by the MacOS license so they lose on that front as well. Fair use maybe but they wouldn't get very far along the four-factor test, would they? So scrap that. Anyway this is good news that the court takes the license so seriously - its the same foundation the GPL is built on.

  • Oct 27th, 2009 @ 11:20pm

    APRA/AMCOS/PPCA doing the same down under

  • Oct 27th, 2009 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Sorry Mike, you seem to have missed the point on this one

    Thankyou for that information, Nick. I still think that there's a bit of red-herring involved, in that contributors to code have no restrictions because of the license, contribute away - its only "restrictive" to the ones who want to use those contributions - and even there the "restriction" is just that you can't restrict it! And as others have pointed out much more succinctly and accurately than I could (including you), there are other licenses available if thats too restrictive.

  • Oct 26th, 2009 @ 4:04pm

    Sorry Mike, you seem to have missed the point on this one (as Daz)

    What if you contributed code to a project, then a company took it, used it to create a product and make money out of it (ok so far, and permitted under the license mentioned), and then sued anyone using the original project and/or any other derivatives? (not ok) You compare it to the music industry - well, its like someone covering someone else's song and claiming exclusive rights over the song. The freeloader argument is just a red herring designed to throw you off the really important issue - how to protect what the community has built from the interests of big, litigious, anti-competitive business. (Disclosure: I am both a musician/songwriter and code developer). If patents were not allowed on just software (as they shouldn't be because they are mathematical algorithms which are non-patentable) a lot of this problem goes away, but unfortunately that is not the case.
    I can agree that you can probably ignore the freeloaders the way they are characterised in the example - but there are some massive companies out there with big legal teams that unfortunately you can't ignore and can't trust to do the right thing, and would love to get rid of the GPL because it protects their main competition.