Edited 1 year, 6 months ago

Poll: Used games: Do you believe that you own a physical copy of a game? (208 votes)

When I buy something it belongs to me and I have the right to with it whatever I please 81%
I do not own the game. The disc allows me access to a service that belongs to the developers and they should decide how it is used 11%
No Opinion 9%

I was curious and wanted to take the temperature of the Giant Bomb community and what side it's on in the used game debate. I know this is the internet but lets try to keep the discussion civilized. There are plenty of excellent arguments on both sides which are more interesting when not turned into personal attacks.

#1 Edited by BigJeffrey (5112 posts) -

yes

The Dev has a right to lock me out of content.

Shutting down multiplayer servers for example cause of all the used games.

#2 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7003 posts) -

I paid my money to own the game. It is mine.

However, if I pay for a service (i.e. XBL, PS+, Steam) and they grant me access to a free game, it is not mine. At that point, and that point alone, is where I except that the game is part of a service and the company can do what they want with it.

#3 Edited by Kerned (1169 posts) -

I know what the EULA says, but I also know that it's bullshit. Of course I own it.

Also, I'd like to thank you for not including a stupid joke answer.

#4 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1702 posts) -

I paid my money to own the game. It is mine.

However, if I pay for a service (i.e. XBL, PS+, Steam) and they grant me access to a free game, it is not mine. At that point, and that point alone, is where I except that the game is part of a service and the company can do what they want with it.

#5 Posted by DarthOrange (3909 posts) -

When I buy something it belongs to me and I have the right to with it whatever I please.

#6 Posted by ConfusedOwl (972 posts) -

I own what I buy. All the PS2, gamecube, 360, Wii and 3DS games on my shelf are mine. They can't shut me out of those games unless they have multiplayer components (In which case the SP is still playable). this is why I like to stay away from digital. I'm not ready for it because I like having ownership and my internet is capped.

#7 Posted by briangodsoe (484 posts) -

@kerned: I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little tempted to put in a shitty joke answer but I thought that would fuck up my chances to get some intelligent discussion going. With the industry still in the slow transition to digital and seeing both sides get either disappointed or elated by Microsoft's decision the other day, this is the crux of this whole thing. So I didn't want to sour it with bullshit.

#8 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (719 posts) -

Depends on the restrictions imposed if viewed as a "service." I think to some extent it is both of the first two answers.

#9 Posted by Illuminosopher (336 posts) -

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

That's why you cant really own digital content, at least it's that way until I can plug my brain into the internet.

#10 Posted by briangodsoe (484 posts) -

@hurricaneivan29: You mean something like online multiplayer where the devs are keeping the servers going out of what they make in sales right? I agree with this and it's why I never had issues with online passes. I may be a layman in this field but I'm pretty sure servers cost money to keep going.

#11 Edited by falserelic (5407 posts) -

When I give my money to buy something. I would expect to do anything I want with it, and I mean anything.

#12 Edited by Jensonb (1769 posts) -

If it's on a disc, I should be able to do what hell I want with the disc. If it's a download I paid for upfront, I should be able to access it in (practical) perpetuity. Those are my rules. They can be bent for software-as-a-service somewhat, but frankly I think all software-as-a-service games should either be F2P or if there is an upfront fee, should feature an offline component of some kind to justify it and ensure the investment doesn't die with the service. I won't pay a subscription fee for a game.

I'm more flexible if the games are supplied via a subscription model a la Netflix.

#13 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (719 posts) -

@hurricaneivan29: You mean something like online multiplayer where the devs are keeping the servers going out of what they make in sales right? I agree with this and it's why I never had issues with online passes. I may be a layman in this field but I'm pretty sure servers cost money to keep going.

Sort of. I think the digital media would have been great with all of its features, but with a tweak to the way DRM was handled. For instance, maybe sell some sort of physical license that guarantee's you ownership of a copy of the game that you use to download the game. This while still being able to "share with 10 members" feature with the online library that grows with your purchases. And if you ever want to share with someone that's not in that 10 member group, you just give them the physical license and they download a copy. Restrictions would still apply that only one person can ever play your copy (one of those 10members or whoever has the physical license).

Basically the physical license could be a disc, but costs could be cut by simply selling license cards that allow you to download/play the game while having possession of the license (i.e. the license contains a code that is scanned/read by inserting and connects to online to allow that specific console to play while deactivating previous consoles ability to play, keeping consistency with one copy.)

This would be an all digital world, while still keeping the benefits of physical ownership. And online activation would only be required upon initial activation of your license (unless it was activated on another console, cause then you'd have to reactivate on yours again). Just imagine the license being a disc, and online digital versions being a copy of that exact disc, except only one person plays at a time. Boom.

#14 Edited by tourgen (4542 posts) -

It's not up for debate. It's been decided by the courts. Shrink wrapped EULAs were tested in the Autodesk case and in that case it was thrown out.

If they want to have me sign a licensing agreement at the time of purchase then yes, that's a different situation. But you can't make someone agree to a contract AFTER the transaction is over. Especially when there is no means to back out of the transaction (return the opened game after you have read the packed in EULA).

#15 Posted by SlashDance (1843 posts) -

I do believe I own the games I buy on disc, but more importantly, I do not believe publishers have the right to make money multiple times on one copy.

#16 Posted by BigJeffrey (5112 posts) -

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

That's why you cant really own digital content, at least it's that way until I can plug my brain into the internet.

This is what i do with every used physical game i buy. I also urinate on the disk.

#17 Posted by golguin (4064 posts) -

Of course I own the game. I can do whatever I want with anything that I buy and own. It's the first sale doctrine. Even when companies try to loop hole their way around the laws with "licenses" there are regions out there like Europe that apply the first sale doctrine to those same software "licenses."

#18 Posted by slyspider (1376 posts) -

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

Oh fuck, I own so many ex girl friends over the years I never know about! Well... some...a couple...

#19 Posted by ConfusedOwl (972 posts) -

@illuminosopher said:

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

Oh fuck, I own so many ex girl friends over the years I never know about! Well... some...a couple...

It's good to know that I own my anime body pillows...

I'm just kidding guys...I swear.

#20 Posted by eskimo (482 posts) -

Stupid Poll, of course you can't do whatever you want with it. You can't copy and distribute it, you can't broadcast it. That was never the case.

#21 Posted by Reisz (1527 posts) -

I own the disc yes. I expect to be able to access the content on it, the circumstances under which I access that content change when I am using a device connected to the internet. But I always expect that without an Internet connection, I still have access to the information on that media by whichever drive I use to read it.

#22 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2296 posts) -

I believe I should have the right to sell or trade in physical games but there is an extent to what I am allowed to do with my copy so obviously nothing illegal like piracy.

#23 Posted by briangodsoe (484 posts) -

@eskimo: I'm sure you're trying to be helpful with your "constructive criticism" but I disagree. When the Xbox One thing blew up yesterday and a fraction of the community started blaming the internet "whiners" for fucking up a good thing by protecting their consumer rights I thought that maybe there was a debate here.

#24 Posted by Ares42 (2800 posts) -

How many examples can you think of where you buy access to a service with a one-time fee and can use it forever, without paying any form of subscription.

Also, there has yet to be a (major) console out there that doesn't function on the simple principal of purchasing a piece of software, putting it into your hardware and it works. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop me from playing my game as long as I possess the hardware and the software. I might not be able to access the online portion, but the online portion is a service (that you do in some cases pay for). The software itself however is not.

#25 Posted by egg (1469 posts) -

I own a disc. The "game" part is ambiguous.

If the game is patched, then technically I don't own the game anymore, the game is partly on the disc and partly on the system memory.

If I play online mode, then I'm accessing the online play/matchmaking servers, and the game disc is merely the way to access it. If the game is online-only, then the disc becomes a paperweight once the servers are pulled.

#26 Posted by Jimbo (10008 posts) -

Yep, unless you pinky swear to give up some of your rights at the time of purchase.

#27 Posted by FlipperDesert (2106 posts) -

@illuminosopher said:

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

That's why you cant really own digital content, at least it's that way until I can plug my brain into the internet.

This is what i do with every used physical game i buy. I also urinate on the disk.

Well of course, how else are you meant to let cats know it's yours?

#28 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (6012 posts) -

It's here in my hand, so.......

#29 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

The physical part of it, sure. Everything else, no, of course not.

Online
#30 Posted by TopSteer (677 posts) -

@bigjeffrey said:

@illuminosopher said:

If I can rub it up against my naked body without legal recourse it's mine.

That's why you cant really own digital content, at least it's that way until I can plug my brain into the internet.

This is what i do with every used physical game i buy. I also urinate on the disk.

Well of course, how else are you meant to let cats know it's yours?

I use deer urine just to confuse them.

#31 Posted by AlexW00d (6449 posts) -

@illuminosopher: a dvd is merely a storage device just like the hdd with all my games on.

#32 Edited by THRICE_604 (210 posts) -

If I own the hardware and the disc it should be mine. This defense force of "but its a license" is getting really annoying because why are you defending that? Why would you actively agree with something that is not in your best interest? You're not a corporation trying to shuck a product you're the consumer the person who is supposed to benefit from owning it. It just doesn't make sense. The game, the hardware, its all more tangible. Buying a video game and licensing Microsoft Office should not be put on equal ground together.

And once we get into all digital territory in the future these companies need to rethink what ownership means to both sides of the argument. If we go all digital 5-10 years in the future and things remain the same as they are we have lost pure and simple. Video games need to look at the music industry they tried too hard for control over digital music and it nearly killed them. Now even Apple sells you DRM free files. You pay for it, you own it, do whatever you want with it. Now the music industry is back to doing just fine. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that the convenience of what they and other services like Amazon provide is worth the price. The cost of an album is down significantly and my ownership of it is neither in question nor restricted. In fact its more open than with physical media just prior to the move to digital. Why cannot video games evolve in the same exact way?

#33 Posted by HerbieBug (4208 posts) -

I voted the first option, although I would not word my opinion in that way. I respect copyright. But beyond that, the disc and the information on that disc is mine. \

As to digital copies of games, I prefer to purchase games through non-DRM services, such as GOG and Humble Bundle. For Steam and current console online stores, should a time come when I cannot access games that I paid for and own a copy on my drive for on account of those services no longer existing, I will break the DRM to continue fair use of those games.

#34 Posted by HolyHackZack (105 posts) -

Terms and conditions, user agreements, contracts etc do NOT override existing laws. This shit is mine.8

#35 Posted by Aetheldod (3737 posts) -

I cant make copies out of the game but I own that shit.

#36 Posted by TooWalrus (13258 posts) -

If I own the hardware and the disc it should be mine. This defense force of "but its a license" is getting really annoying because why are you defending that? Why would you actively agree with something that is not in your best interest?

I'd argue the opposite- that taking a position based on what's in your best interest is a very poor form of logic. It would be in the best interest for atheists if there was a god out there protecting them and giving them an eternity in paradise, but surely they're not going to argue this, right? What is "owning the game", anyway? Does that just mean it's mine to resell? If I OWN the game, why can't I make 100 copies and pass them around for free? It's my fuckin' data, right? This whole debate is too vague, we need to defining what we're even talking about before bickering back and forth.

#37 Posted by Patman99 (1620 posts) -

Absolutely. I think I also own the digital version as well. While I am not allowed to do whatever I want (i.e. mod it, make copies, or break copy right) I should be able to trade it to my friends.

Think of it like owning a ticket to a sporting event. That allows me to go view the game and enjoy the many features of the stadium but it does not allow me to run around naked in the stadium or bring in a mattress and lay down in the aisle. Furthermore, I can trade, sell, or give away my ticket to anyone I want.

Games should be the same way. I should be able to trade, sell, or give away any of my games, digital or physical. In case of digital games, the infrastructure does not have to be there for me to sell it but it should be there to either trade or give it away.

Also, people should probably stop pirating games. That probably does more damage to the industry than trading/buying used games will ever do.

#38 Edited by Jams (2966 posts) -

I like to imagine that I agree that I don't actually own any of my games. That I own a license that grants me the ability to play the game. I just don't want to lie to myself or make up my own rules because I don't agree with what the person selling me the game says. I don't believe it's ever a good idea to make up your own rules when transacting. If I buy something, I'm agreeing to the other persons rules. If I don't like the rules then I won't buy it (or if it's too late, I won't buy another of their products).

That being said, my local laws should probably override whatever agreement comes with a product I buy. So if the seller tells me they're only selling me a license and I can't trade it, but my local law says I can, then I can. But I also do things out of respect so I may honor the sellers request anyways.

#39 Posted by Budwyzer (635 posts) -

What I like is what HUMBLE BUNDLE does for me, with most of everything. Give me a DRM-FREE version as well as a Steam key.

Honestly, I have been buying nearly every bundle that pops up on there, I have pages and pages of DRM-free games and haven't shared a one of them. I still just tell people about it and encourage the sale of it.

The DRM-free version is just a kicker because if I feel like it and am going somewhere with no internet or plan on just being off-line, I can just load that one up and play.

#40 Posted by THRICE_604 (210 posts) -

@thrice_604 said:

If I own the hardware and the disc it should be mine. This defense force of "but its a license" is getting really annoying because why are you defending that? Why would you actively agree with something that is not in your best interest?

I'd argue the opposite- that taking a position based on what's in your best interest is a very poor form of logic. It would be in the best interest for atheists if there was a god out there protecting them and giving them an eternity in paradise, but surely they're not going to argue this, right? What is "owning the game", anyway? Does that just mean it's mine to resell? If I OWN the game, why can't I make 100 copies and pass them around for free? It's my fuckin' data, right? This whole debate is too vague, we need to defining what we're even talking about before bickering back and forth.

You disregarded the entire rest of my post, and comparing this to religion is a really poor form of logic. I clearly defined what I mean when I compare this to digital music sales.

And yes legally you are able to make copies of data you have purchased. This there is legal precedent for. You purchased it you own it. Trying to make a profit is another story but you can make back ups of your fuckin' data. Johnny Law doesn't have a problem with it your not stealing it nor are you providing quantities of the data online that actually matters. Back to the music analogy. The music industry was so worried about piracy they instituted all sorts of DRM. After a decade of everything shaking out here we our. I can buy DRM free music everywhere. I can copy it onto as many CDs as I want and give it too all of my friends. I OWN it. I can do what I want with it.

If I buy a game there needs to be no control on what happens afterword. I paid my entry fee, I am the legitimate consumer in this transaction. If I want to put it on multiple consoles or transfer it around let me. Especially when there is no longer a physical way to back something up or give it as a gift or whatever. Everything in a digital world only exists as long as the content creator does. If I want to create a back up give me the tools to do so because we both know your download service won't be around forever. My key issue with digital delivery is permanence. If all control of that product lies with who sold it to me that product only exists as long as they or as long as they exist in their current form.

DRM has never stopped a single thing in regards to illegitimate uses whatever they may be. DRM only punishes the legitimate consumer and no one else. I don't know what I want to do with it but let me. Because the guys modding files and hardware and everything else will eventually crack it and get around it. Always have always will. Do the necessary amount to secure it so its not childs play.

Without physical media there will be nothing to resale so used games will go away. Then just be aggressive against the people who are doing illegal stuff with your content. And leave regular customers out of it.