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DRM Patents Sony Games Your Rights Online

New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games 344

silentbrad writes in with a story about a Sony patent that would block the playing of second-hand games. "... the patent application was filed on 9 December 2012 by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and will work by linking individual game discs to a user's account without requiring a network connection meaning any future attempt to use this disc on another user's console won't work. The patent explains that games will come with contactless tags that will be read by your console in much the same way as modern bank cards. When a disc is first used, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag. Every time the disc is used in future, the tag will check if the two ID's match up and, if not, then the disc won't work. The document goes on to explain that such a device is part of Sony's ongoing efforts to deter second-hand games sales, and is a far simpler solution than always-on DRM or passwords. It's worth noting that Sony has not confirmed the existence of the device, and the patent doesn't state what machine it will be used in, with later paragraphs also mentioning accessories and peripherals. ... There's also the issue of what happens should your console break and need replacing, or if you have more than one console. Will the games be linked to your PSN account, meaning they can still be used, or the console, meaning an entire new library of titles would need to be purchased?"
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New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games

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  • Remember Steam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dot.Com.CEO ( 624226 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:19AM (#42474179)
    So basically Sony want to do pretty much what Steam already does on the PC and people are saying "it doesn't work". Well guess what. It *does* work and chances are you're already using a service where you simply cannot resell games. As for the rest of the arguments, I heard them before. In 2003, when Steam went online. The world, amazingly did not end.
  • Re:Remember Steam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:31AM (#42474285)

    Though it was a recent legal battle, in at least in one European country Steam has to allow resale of purchases. Don't know when it is coming into effect or if it will proliferate to other regions, but it is a battle fought and lost by them.

  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:48AM (#42474405) Homepage

    The worst of all is that once you've blown your console to bits and you buy another one, you have to buy all your games all over again. As always, this will hurt regular users and encourage piracy for people in this situation will feel entitled (rightly so IMO) to crack their console in order to play their already purchased games. And from that point on they will download torrentz instead of buying because they will hold a (legitimate IMO) grudge against SONY and their console is already cracked.

    Apparently, shooting themselves in the foot feels good for them since they do it over and over again.

  • Re:As usual... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:53AM (#42474441)

    Or you wind up like this guy:

  • by Argerich ( 2804589 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:13AM (#42474657)

    The PS3 has been the top selling console in the world for over two years since the Wii started to rapidly fade in popularity.

    Console gamers obviously are doing the exact opposite of what you are suggesting.

  • IANAL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#42474729)

    IANAL, but I wonder if such a patent, assuming valid, would be legal to use in the US and other jurisdicitons. There is a lot of case law describing consumer sales and what one is allowed to do with what one purchases, including resale of said goods. While Sony might have a legal patent, it might not be legal to impliment it.

    As I said, IANAL, but maybe somebody who is could chime in.

  • Re:Remember Steam (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:39AM (#42474943)
    I've been around long enough to know:
    #1 - when it boils down to making money it has been repeatedly observed Sony will lie, cheat, steal. The conclusion it will be tied to a machine is a more likely scenario IMHO. If we do nothing now, then we really can't complain later if the worst case does happen and if nothing comes of it then no harm was done by collectively saying "We don't want this"
    #2 - being complacent and saying nothing usually results in the worst situation. If Sony does it and gets away with it, others will too. The most resent situation I can think of is the no class actions in a TOS agreement. We're all sure if challenged it won't stand up, but it didn't stop Microsoft and then many others from following suite.
    #3 - The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Voicing disperser over potential situations may result in a company rethinking a particularly smiley decision. I can't count how many times where the public response to a companies "we're going to" situation turned it into a "We'd never think of" situation.
    #4 - waiting until a situation occurs to complain results in very little if anything being done. Often companies will at that point will take an even stronger stance to try and convince their shareholders they made the right decision, backtracking on a decision after action has been taken makes them look weak and loses money.
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Friday January 04, 2013 @12:28PM (#42476199) Homepage Journal

    How did stuff like SimCity and Civilization get made in the good old days? I'm guessing they didn't need such an enormous budget. RollerCoaster Tycoon was almost completely programmed by Chris Sawyer. I'd put up with less of their shiny 3d graphics for games that are just fun to play.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. -- Thomas Alva Edison