"Oracle cannot block the resale of its software, top EU court rules."

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  • khaz 3 Jul 2012 14:14:27 2,826 posts
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    http://www.zdnet.com/oracle-cannot-block-the-resale-of-its-software-top-eu-court-rules-7000000189/

    Surely this means that Valve, Origin, Impulse and all the other digital sellers are now subject to this as well? There is an important catch though: "Furthermore, the Court states that an original acquirer of a tangible or intangible copy of a computer program for which the copyright holder's right of distribution is exhausted must make the copy downloaded onto his own computer unusable at the time of resale," the CJEU added."

    But still a seriously important decision. How long before digital gaming services are subject to this?

    FUCKING DONT HAVE ACCESS TO CREATE ON THIS SERVER BUG "%)(*("%(&"(%*&%

    Edit: oh it worked this time. Only took countless refreshes across two seperate browsers and various other permutations before it did. *grumble*

    Edited by khaz at 14:15:21 03-07-2012

    Edited by khaz at 14:16:30 03-07-2012
  • DFawkes 3 Jul 2012 17:22:41 23,819 posts
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    One thing I'm not sure about here - publishers can't block the resale of software as I understand it, but can they still block the sale of accounts that give access to that software?

    I'm mainly thinking about Xbox Live. People that sell their accounts can get banned, because it's currently against their Terms of Service to sell accounts. Now I assume that will be unaffected, as that's just blocking sale of the account itself rather than the software downloaded on the account.

    So basically, as long as it's associated with an account used to sign in to a service, can't they still block it that way should you go down the route of selling the whole account? It seems that'd make selling Xbox Live accounts still subject to bans, wouldn't it?

    I'm really not sure, that's why I'm asking :)

    Oh for goodness sake, I've caught my scrotum in my zip again - Margaret Thatcher, 1986

  • mal 3 Jul 2012 18:40:04 22,793 posts
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    Not sure if this supercedes the EUCD which, as I understand it makes working around encryption and key based systems illegal. I don't know what sort of copyright protections Oracle apply to their databases.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Whizzo 3 Jul 2012 18:45:51 43,275 posts
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    DFawkes wrote:
    One thing I'm not sure about here - publishers can't block the resale of software as I understand it, but can they still block the sale of accounts that give access to that software?
    Software titles have individual licenses which would suggest this ruling would allow the transfer of this license to another party as long as the original install was destroyed as part of that transfer.

    It's going to be interesting as all the digital download stores ponder how they're going to abide by this ruling, they can't ignore it or it's massive fine time.

    I'd expect there to be a lot of foot dragging.

    Edited by Whizzo at 18:46:05 03-07-2012

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  • Razz 3 Jul 2012 18:57:00 61,615 posts
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    It's a toughie I think it might lead to a subscription based future. I have no idea how reselling digital content would work.

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  • Razz 3 Jul 2012 19:19:16 61,615 posts
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    So an online only model? Otherwise how can you be sure the right person is using the license and not both/all of them?

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  • neilka 3 Jul 2012 19:30:57 16,470 posts
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    Shikasama wrote:
    Razz wrote:
    It's a toughie I think it might lead to a subscription based future. I have no idea how reselling digital content would work.
    I don't get how people think this is hard.

    You revoke access from User A for License 1

    You allow access from User B for License 1.
    Both User A and User B "shake it all about".

    BAAANG!!!!! EXPLOTION!!!!!

  • darrenb 3 Jul 2012 19:37:27 696 posts
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    From reading a bit on this topic I cant see how any transfer could work. The distributer may have lost the right to stop you selling the software but nowhere does it say that they have to provide the means for you to be able to do so.

    Once the software is sold and downloaded to your machine that is where the distributers responsibilities end (unless you need to download onother copy yourself). Almost all downloaded content is stored on your machine in an encrypted form, how do you get that off your machine to give to a 3rd party.

    I cant see any publisher making any of this easy.
  • Razz 3 Jul 2012 19:41:56 61,615 posts
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    Shikasama wrote:
    Razz wrote:
    So an online only model? Otherwise how can you be sure the right person is using the license and not both/all of them?
    Sorry but do you use Steam at all? Licenses are tied to master accounts. User A uses the Steam Market Place to sell game to User B, User A now can't play the game because their license has been revoked, User B is awarded the license.

    I think I'm missing something because I don't see how it's difficult to imagine. Who has access to game son digital platforms is 100% controlled by said platform, it is just a permission.

    It's more or less the sam,e as gifting a game on Steam except with Money going the other way. If you trya nd leave the game installed when you seel the license you still won't be able to play because you'll fail the steam check done when you load up.
    You see, you're talking about online market places like steam, were something like this could work. But I'm thinking about all the other non marketplace content you can buy on the internet, from the likes of GoG and directly from independent developers etc. For instance if I buy say, World of Goo, directly from the dev. Then decide to sell it later, how would that work?

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  • MrTomFTW Moderator 3 Jul 2012 19:53:26 39,382 posts
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    Without DRM it would have to be an honour system.

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  • sam_spade 3 Jul 2012 19:54:25 15,745 posts
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    I bet MS could develop something, maybe some kind of key the software could check to see if it is running on the right computer.
  • RobTheBuilder 3 Jul 2012 20:25:37 6,521 posts
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    Finally a ruling that goes against the tide of publishers trying to destroy used game sales. A fantastic ruling.

    Question is though, what if this affects music sales. Apple is going to suddenly have one almighty battle on their hands.
  • chopsen 3 Jul 2012 20:31:37 16,209 posts
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    Actually, couldn't steam/valve create an ebay-type market within steam where they take a cut from each second hand sale? If they *have* to allow second hand sales of games, they might as well make some money out of it.

    FWIW, I don't think this is going to change anything imminently. IANAL, but this is case law, basically, isn't it? Does that mean that there's a statutory requirement to meet these standards, or that if someone did sue they'd have no defence? I think I'd be the latter. This case in the OP was as a result of a company large enough to take on Oracle taking their case to court. Steam etc are exclusively used by individuals. Don't see them taking on steam.

    Also, how does this ruling affect "DLC" that gets included with boxed games at first purchase? (a la EA).

    Edited by Chopsen at 20:32:05 03-07-2012
  • mal 3 Jul 2012 20:45:20 22,793 posts
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    @Shiksama Both parties would need to be online to validate the new user/key and invalidate the old one. The technical difficulties are making the operation atomic - that is to say there's no way both users can end up with access or neither can if one user e.g. drops offline in the middle or somehow refuses to acknowledge a command (e.g. because it's a hacker).

    The problems all go away if you require both parties to always go online to authenticate before playing.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Khanivor 3 Jul 2012 20:45:21 41,123 posts
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    Change all digital software shops to US-based only.

    Carry on as normal.
  • chopsen 3 Jul 2012 20:50:22 16,209 posts
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    @mal
    None of that would not be an issue if the sale went through the DRM manager server, and withheld the activation of the new right holder until the seller logged in to deactivate their rights.

    @khani
    Europe is a large market. I don't see any publisher giving up that easily.
  • spamdangled 3 Jul 2012 20:55:25 27,426 posts
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    The only way I can see this actually being enforced is through online-only DRM and preventing you from having a product registered on more than one system - otherwise they have no way of preventing you from continuing to use the license key you sold, as thats the only way they could reliably ensure that the original user no longer had access to the copy.

    So on the face of it, it might be seen as a victory for consumers, but in practicality, enforcing it would actually lead to even more daconian drm measures.

    So its a bit of an own goal really.

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  • Whizzo 3 Jul 2012 21:00:44 43,275 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    Change all digital software shops to US-based only.

    Carry on as normal.
    As long as they don't want to trade with the countries this judgement affects that would work, obviously they would lose shit loads of money.

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  • Khanivor 3 Jul 2012 21:02:52 41,123 posts
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    @Chopsen - I meant have all sales take place under US laws. Seeing as a digital sale does not involve shipping, excise or even a physical product this might be a way to get round the EU ruling while still selling to the entire market.

    I have no clue about the laws concerning international trade as it pertains to digital products, so am probably talking complete mince.
  • chopsen 3 Jul 2012 21:06:20 16,209 posts
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    Oh I *see*. Yeah, that does sound like something they'd try. Sort of say "this is for sale to US people only!" but make no attempt at all to enforce it. Bit like the UK/US Netflix thing.
  • dsmx 3 Jul 2012 21:09:31 7,692 posts
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    Doesn't this ruling also mean that EULA's aren't legally binding?

    "If we hit that bullseye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a a house of cards, checkmate." Zapp Brannigan

  • Khanivor 3 Jul 2012 21:10:52 41,123 posts
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    I don't know if they'd even have to be deceptive about it. If I knew the reasons why companies sold things from country-specific websites, (other than taxes and media liscencing) then perhaps I could make a more informed post.

    I can't see a big business wanting to have to rely on shenanigans to keep open the entire EU market.
  • chopsen 3 Jul 2012 21:13:10 16,209 posts
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    EULA were never legally binding. They were only ever something to use to argue over in court. A contact means nothing if it is found to contravene the law. (If I get you to sign a contract that means I'm allowed to kill you if you don't do the dishes, doesn't mean I can kill you with impunity if you leave a dirty saucepan).
  • dsmx 3 Jul 2012 21:18:44 7,692 posts
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    I know that but EULA's have never had their day in court to determine if they were legally binding, this is the first ruling I've seen that's mentioned them.

    "If we hit that bullseye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a a house of cards, checkmate." Zapp Brannigan

  • chopsen 3 Jul 2012 21:29:34 16,209 posts
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    Nah, I'm fairly sure that EULA's have come up in court before.

    Lazy google example: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/11/28/us_court_ruling_nixes_software/

    Few others came up.

    This recent one is the most damning though.
  • mal 3 Jul 2012 21:32:38 22,793 posts
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    All EULAs have a clause to say that just because they aren't allowed to kill you for not doing the dishes, the rest of the license text is still valid.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • dominalien 3 Jul 2012 21:36:00 7,030 posts
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    I had posted this before on EG, but this is DRM done more-or-less right, including reselling the licenses:

    http://keyserver.linuxgamepublishing.com/about.php

    I don't see this ever getting adopted on a wider scale.

    Edit: These are the bits relevant to the topic at hand:

    8: What if I want to sell my game?
    Selling your license is your right. But it is also the right of anyone to be sure they are buying a genuine game. You are able to allow others to see if your key is a genuine valid key. Simply select the 'Authorise Validity Check' from the front page, and follow the instructions. You will then be able to allow other potential buyers to see that your key is genuine. You will be able to place your key as part of your sales ad in safety, as obviously, you canot access the game without your password, and a potential buyer can come here to verify your game is genuine.

    9: What if I want to buy a protected game?
    You can use the 'Check Validity' button to check whether a key is genuine. If it is, you will know that the game you have is not locked out. Be warned, if you buy a second hand game with a locked out key, you are the victim of fraud and you should obtain a refund from the seller. LGP is not responsible for your buying a game with a locked out key. You may also use the 'key transfer' system to ensure the smooth transition of the license from the seller to the buyer. This means you will always be assured that when your game arrives in the post, it is yours to play.

    Edited by dominalien at 21:37:18 03-07-2012

    PSN: DonOsito

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