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The Courts Games Your Rights Online

GameStop Sued Over Lack of DLC For Used Games 345

Absolut187 writes "According to IGN, 'A lawsuit filed earlier this week against retailer GameStop says the company is "deceptively misleading" its customers into believing a used game purchased from the store comes with all packaged downloadable content advertised on the box. This content, however, is only made available for free to those who purchase the game new, as the code to access the content can be only used one time.' I personally don't have a problem with publishers charging for DLC. IMHO, you put in the effort to make it, you have the right to (try) to charge whatever you want. I have the right to take it or leave it if I don't find your price fair (same goes for the main game). But what about the used game market? Should publishers be allowed to destroy the used market for their games by including 'free' DLC with a one-time use code? Should the copyright doctrine of 'first-sale' have any effect here? Or is it up to the consumer (frequently children) to realize that the product will have a reduced resale value due to the one-time nature of the DLC code? Is this any different from the use of unique 'CD-Keys' that are required for online play (e.g. for Blizzard games since 1997 or earlier)?"
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GameStop Sued Over Lack of DLC For Used Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:10PM (#31628682)

    Why look into your Crystal ball? Modern Warfare 2 has the same limitation. If I sell the disks, manual with the CD key the other person will be unable to install the game and link it in with Steam.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:17PM (#31628812) Journal

    If there's some kind of bold feature list that says "free downloadable content" on the game's cover, then GameSpot and other sellers need to take a marker or sticker and block it out, because otherwise it's false advertising.

    It's just like when I bought a Used Xbox 360. The description said "turn on the wireless controller and start playing immediately" but when I receive the X360 no controller was included. I contacted the seller and he tried to deny responsibility because "that was just a generic description from Microsoft and only applies to new consoles not used." However when I complained to Paypal they sided with me and gave me a $20 refund (which I then used to buy the missing controller).

    Used or new, sellers are responsible for what they advertise. If it's on the cover's description it either must be included, or if excluded, blacked-out of the cover.

  • Good for Consumers. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pwileyii ( 106242 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @01:36PM (#31629184)

    I've got two game that use this types of system, Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. I honestly think this system is good for consumers in the end because it should decrease the cost of used games. We all know the Gamestop, as well as the other used game sellers, make a killing on buying and selling used games and this may get them thinking about reduced the price on these titles. I find buying a used copy for $5 less then the new copy and bit ridiculous in the first place and I'm hoping this will have the effect of reducing costs. As for the DLC itself, it is never a fundamental part of the game, it is simply a bonus you are getting for supporting the game developer. It is like getting something free for buying new and I like free stuff.

  • by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:44PM (#31630366)

    If we're going to go with this crap about "intellectual property" the consumers better get the benefits as well as the disadvantages.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @02:59PM (#31630592)
    If you're paying more than $0.10 per ramen package then you're getting completely ripped off or you're an idiot. Don't buy "top ramen". That's another brand of ramen that's exactly the same as the cheap stuff but just more expensive.

    And yes, I'm currently attending college.
  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @03:58PM (#31631450) Homepage Journal

    This means content creators first off have something more to worry about theft and counterfeiting: there's no way to lock up your shit, and there's no barrier to entry for huge-scale counterfeiting. Sure, someone could produce a CISCO switch copy; but manufacturing a million of them and displacing CISCO? How about making 100,000,000 cracked copies of Windows XP available for digital download?

    I've read stories about Chinese fake iPod models coming out within a few weeks of the original products. The barrier to large-scale counterfeiting is largely the fear of getting caught even with physical products. Most OEM makers aren't going to take the risk of installing fake stuff, the statistical majority of people don't download copies of software instead of buying it due to the prevalence of trojans, etc. In short, counterfeiting concerns are not really unique to software.

    Since you mentioned Cisco, there was a huge Cisco counterfeiting ring that was recently busted and some $78 million [pcworld.com] worth of fake equipment was recovered (about .2% of Cisco's annual revenue). Could it displace the real thing? Probably not, but neither could counterfeit copies of WIndow, for the reasons stated previously.

  • by judeancodersfront ( 1760122 ) on Friday March 26, 2010 @05:15PM (#31632622)
    Digital content is special, just about everyone has a fond memory with a movie or game. The real delusion is on the part of people like you that assume digital content production will exist at nominal levels without intellectual property laws. We've seen this is not true in Asian markets where piracy has restricted the growth of software markets that depends on such laws. Piracy disrupts working economic models and leaves digital producers with fewer options. Or perhaps you think open source developers will just pick up the slack. Sorry but Tux Racer and Quake III mods can't compete with games like Alan Wake.
  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @03:55AM (#31637606)

    A used copy only appears if the owner of a new copy decides that holding on to the game is less valuable than what he could do with the money he can resell it for. Considering that Game Stop doesn't pay a lot for trade-ins that would mean the game has lost a LOT of value for the original owner. The way to prevent used sales is to make sure the game doesn't become worthless to a customer that fast, not to force some artificial limitations on trade. Making a game that lasts ten hours and is then practically worthless will obviously result in used sales but it's not because Game Stop is evil. Failing to give your product long term value will result in used sales.

BLISS is ignorance.