Data is Data… (Gaming)

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Monday, May 18, 2020, 11:31 (770 days ago) @ MacAddictXIV

Maybe I got this wrong somewhere down the line, but isn't it still true with physical media that if the publisher/developer stops selling or pulling a game from distribution that, according to the EOL that everyone agrees to when buying software, that you aren't allowed to use it? Because it's technically still their intellectual property and you are actually essentially just renting the game. I could be way off, but this was true sometime in the past. If this is still true, then what you are talking about, saving away a disk to play whenever you want after the developer takes it from play that you are actually committing a crime :D

I could be wrong, but that is what I remember.

You do indeed have it wrong. It is true that most software, and even a fair amount of media is self-identified as a license to use something, not ownership, but the conclusions you list are not real. Removing something from sale does not end personal consumption in any physical media license I have ever seen.

Mostly these clauses are about preventing re-sale and sidestepping the first-sale doctrine. but creating the copyright law they want through individual "contracts". Now, the reality is that most of this gets ignored, Courts are split AT BEST on how enforceable a contract is when the party who did not write the contract is very likely to have never read it and "consented" by opening an envelope or clicking through. The Owners have been very reluctant to test the enforcability — likely because a loss would destroy the whole scheme, because widespread public knowledge of the scheme might destroy the whole scheme, because individually enforcing contracts with each purchaser is expensive as all hell, and because the copyright law keeps getting re-written in ways that Ley them get everything they need without resorting to EULA stuff anyway.

But — maybe most importantly — even if all of it was true, breaking a contract is not committing a crime. Civil and Criminal law is separate and that's for very good reasons.

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