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[Update: Sony confirms the PS4 won't have mandatory used game DRM, fees or internet activation]
If you've been keeping up with all the news surrounding the Xbox One you may have come across a couple of gaming media websites defending certain features and functions that – according to Microsoft's own Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb – have not been entirely finalized. One of the more challenging pieces to read through has been Penny Arcade's summary of Microsoft's used game intentions.
Remember when I stuck up for gaming media when Microsoft tried putting the blame on the boys and girls who actually did their job and drilled Microsoft for answers shortly after the May 21st reveal of the Xbox One last week? Yeah well, this is one of those times where that opening paragraph kind of fits the bill and sticking up for them now feels like subjugating oneself to a Cinnamon Challenge while getting a Cleveland Steamer (don't Google that, please).
PA Report's Ben Kuchera wrote a somewhat backwards stepping piece that would have been perfect during a pre-Bolshevik era Russia when debilitating rights was all the rage before Lenin came in and whooped arse. Anyway, Kuchera feels as if giving up your rights for used game fees and restrictions is a good thing, an honest thing, an industry-helping thing.
According to Kuchera...
This is good news for a few reasons. The first is that piracy will likely be reduced. If the system phones home every so often to check on your licenses, and there is no way to play a game without that title being authenticated and a license being active, piracy becomes harder. You'll never be able to stop pirates, not entirely, but if you can make the act of pirating games non-trivial the incidence of piracy will drop. This is a good thing for everyone except those who want to play games for free.
From there everything goes downhill and basically is a plea for big government to be operated by private corporations who would love to do nothing more than strip the Constitution out of place, rip it to shreds and then take a nice, big, hot dump on the Bill of Rights.
To supposedly be a gaming site made, I don't know, for the interest of gamers – though, perhaps I should note that if the PA Report is actually an individual thing and selfishly made to reflect interests only amicable to the site owners then I recede the following statements – they would have at least thought about taking into consideration gamers who aren't rich, upper-class Americans who were born eating apple pie, watching the NFL, dancing to Usher's music in front of Kinect and enjoys game consoles that allows you to watch TV on your TV.
Now, before addressing the whole piracy thing, I'll throw something the way of Pro-Corporate White Knights that they may not have been informed of: First Sale Doctrine. It completely destroys Microsoft's attempt to double-dip with their proposed used game fees.
As noted on the Criminal Justice website, it doesn't matter if Pro-Corporate White Knights don't want you buying used games, selling used games or trading games with your friends or family, as stated on the site...
The first sale doctrine, codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109, provides that an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted work from the copyright holder receives the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular copy, notwithstanding the interests of the copyright owner. The right to distribute ends, however, once the owner has sold that particular copy. See 17 U.S.C. § 109(a) & (c).
In simple terms, according to copyright laws you are legally granted the right to trade, sell, destroy, giveaway, burn, throwaway or do whatever you want with your specific product that you paid for containing copyrighted material. In even simpler terms, it is illegal for Microsoft, EA, Activision, Ubisoft or any other company or corporation to prevent or circumvent ways for you to transfer, sell, trade or give away the content and the means of which that content is contained to anyone else after you paid for it.
We're not even talking about opinions here folks, we're talking about a company who is purposefully trying to find ways to prevent you from exercising your rights to do whatever with the content that you legally paid for.
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