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The ruling aims to distinguish between when a piece of software is sold and when it is merely licensed, with the user potentially unable to resell if it's the latter. The judge presiding over the case said: "We hold today that a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions."
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30370/Court_Of_Appeals_Ruling_Threatens_Sale_Of_Used_Games.php


I wonder if this will put used game stores like EBGames out of business if they can't resell used games.
I can see piracy with xbox360 and Playstation 3 skyrocketing now.
 

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It not only threatens the resale of games but the resale of DVD's, books and CD's in the United States. (this is a U.S. ruling and has no effect on Canada)
 

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The ruling is consistent with the way software is licensed. It is important to actually read the case, not just the article, because there are some noteworthy aspects. First, the original acquisition of the software was the product of a settlement agreement between AutoCAD and the licensed user. Second, the software was upgraded by the user at discounted rates (as opposed to buying a new license).

From the decision:
Autodesk argues in favor of judicial enforcement of software license agreements that restrict transfers of copies of the work. Autodesk contends that this (1) allows for tiered pricing for different software markets, such
as reduced pricing for students or educational institutions; (2) increases software companies’ sales; (3) lowers prices for all consumers by spreading costs among a large number of purchasers; and (4) reduces the incidence of piracy by allowing copyright owners to bring infringement actions against unauthorized resellers.
I think the decision makes sense from the perspective of a commercial software package like AutoCAD. However, it will be interesting when the US courts test this case against the proposition of an average consumer reselling a game or movie that they haven't copied. There, the relationship (whether it's framed in terms of a license or note) is the same as that of a first sale. There is no ongoing relationship between Electronic Arts and the consumer (I get no discount on NCAA Football 2011 because I own NCAA Football 2010), there is no version 14 of Iron Man 2 to which the studio will allow me to ugrade, etc. The reality is that the transaction that takes place when I walk into Best Buy to buy NCAA Football 2011 resembles my purchase of the gaming console itself and it's entirely possible (if not likely) that the Courts will see licensing as an attempt by the content providers to get around the first sale doctrine as opposed to a legitimate use of a license arrangement.

All of which doesn't matter (yet) in Canada.
 

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What i always found absurd is that the EULA can only be read once you open the game box and insert the disk in your computer/console. If you want to play the game, you have to agree to the EULA. And if you don't want to, you can't even return the game because no retailers will take back an opened box.
 

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I always wondered if the EULA could really be legally binding. Who REALLY reads 10 pagers of lawyer talk just to play a game?
 

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There can be significant differences between the way software is licensed to businesses and a typical retail shrink wrap license. I suspect that retail sales are usually subject to copyright law while business licenses are often licensed under a signed contract. Shrink wrap laws are not recognized everywhere either. I suspect that they are enforceable in many jurisdictions due to the fact that a remedy (in the form of a refund) is offered if the license terms are not accepted.
 

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If I'm buying only a license, then why do I have to pay full price to buy a replacement when the original media is damaged?
 
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