If I buy a paperback book or a drm free ebook, that's a purchase.
If I pay for a drm movie or kindle book, that's a long-term rental.
The only risk in comparison to a physical copy is that Valve fundamentally changes or goes bankrupt. Both seem unlikely. This makes any purchase on Steam basically as safe as a physical purchase, resulting in Steam basically replacing physical game purchases on the PC.
I'm not sure about Steam, but there are plenty of horror stories on the internet about "bought X on Y platform and then Y revoked account". The majority of users may never experience this, but the fact is that when you use a service like this you're at the mercy of the service provider, even for basic things like maintaining access to your account.
What I'd like to see is some sort of movement towards "if it looks like a purchase, then it is a purchase". That is, if I pay a one-time up-front free for access to something (even with DRM), we should pass legislation to make it behave like a purchase and limit the shenanigans that providers can pull. (Granted this is a very ill-formed idea and there are lots of details to work out in order to implement it.)
For any other reasons most banks/credit card companies put limits between 30 days and a year I believe.
The worst part about this is that it often happens when consumers exercise their legitimate rights to e.g. chargebacks. And yes, Steam does it too: if you chargeback a Steam purchase, even a fraudulent one where the CC company sides with you after the investigation, usually this will result in your account getting locked and held hostage until you undo the chargeback and eat the cost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Mobility_LLC_v._Concepc... (binding arbitration overrides state law)
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/business/supreme-court-up... (binding arbitration overrides workers' rights)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/supreme-court-backs-... (binding aribtration applies even in cases of fraud and deceptive advertising)
Unfortunately they have been successfully tested often in many legal systems.
Actually no you can't (at least if you're in the US), because the Steam user agreement mandates binding arbitration: https://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/#11, where, for all practical purposes, the consumer always loses.
> Nothing gives me the right to just break my part of the contract and take my money back.
The whole point of chargebacks is that they're supposed to give you that right, if the CC company decides that the vendor wronged you. Valve's behavior here is an unethical and unilateral end-run around this process.
The real problem is that a Steam "purchase" are fundamentally an undefined-term rental. When you "buy" a gsame, you are buying nothing, and then Steam might let you access a game if they wants you to.
Admittedly, I don't know that much about the contracts between CC providers and merchants, but in the big picture of things, CC providers are the giants and Valve is the little guy, so I'm pretty sure Valve doesn't have a lot of leverage in those negotiations. Otherwise, presumably the CC provider would be unable to initiate the chargeback in the first place. The fact that the chargeback itself is successful (Valve's retaliation notwithstanding) is evidence that the contract between CC provider and Valve allows chargebacks.
In this particular case, what this probably means is that CC providers need to include a "no retaliation" clause in their contracts for customers who issue legitimate chargebacks. That's assuming CC providers care, and maybe they don't, but point is they have the power to fix this and if it becomes a problem for their customers presumably they will.
But I don't think any of this solves the broader issue though. In general I don't think you can depend on having a powerful authority like a CC provider side with you like this.
That kind of what they are doing. You can still play pretty much anything that doesn't run on VAC-secured servers. There are consequences on the steam community as well, though. The most significant are probably your profile being branded and restrictions on item trade/using the market.
It's kind of like saying "imagine being arrested for being naked in public omg I do that all the time ... at home". It's different degrees of freedom.
There is also GOG, which sells DRM-free games. I just keep backups of my games on my NAS.
Not entirely, since there's still some dependency on their client to put the game in 'offline mode', which requires phoning home to Valve.
A better example would be gog.com, which gives you the game binary/installer to download and no requirements for phoning home or any other shenanigans for being able to install/play it.
Nothing clarifies the difference between purchase and rental when you try booting Steam up on a laptop for a 12 hour bus ride across Mexico and you can't play a single game.
You just have this "meh, hasn't affected me" mindset.
I do agree with your point that this is a bad thing in the first place.
Or that somebody phishes your login data or that your account is banned for some reason or that the drm servers for a game you bought are now offline (you still have the installer, but can't use it anymore)... .
I also like steam, but it is still very much "all eggs in one basket" and while some of the games on there are drm-free many aren't. gog.com is better in that regard.
Which makes sense: For the involved businesses there are enormous upsides to this kind of deal: Instead of giving your product out of hand, you enter a long-term relationship with the consumer, you get the money and remain in full control over the product, you can define in unprecedented detail how your customers are permitted to use the product, you can use that control as leverage in contracts with other businesses, etc, etc.
Consumers usually don't mind because, indeed, it feels like you own the product. Until stuff like the OP happens and they realize it was a lie.
Sometimes games like this are removed from the Steam store, like World in Conflict, and can be made to work with some tweaking. But for a decent number of people that can be a problem, and there's no guarantee that will always be possible.
To be fair this is dependent on the specific DRM type, if the game receives any kind of fan/official updates to solve the issue, and there's not exactly an easy way out for Valve. Plus games that have to phone in to a central server to work are going to be more of an issue anyway so by comparison Steamworks DRM is doing pretty well.
Really? How? It still needs the steam client to run, yea?
Most of the friends I talk to that buy drm stuff buy it thinking it will be around forever. They just don't conceive of a world without iTunes or Amazon.
The battle for DRM-free video, however, is far from won. I’m not aware of any source for legal DRM-free video purchases (other than niches like stock video clips).
I only buy DRM free books on Kindle.
Many of them trade this for convenience and assume there will be an off-boarding process.
I fully believe artists deserve their share of the wealth created from their work. Unfortunately many artists' work impossible to financially support without also supporting DRM.
In all fairness, I don't know if the Foo Fighters still use DRM. It was irritating enough at the time that it became a lifelong grudge for me (same thing with Civ and any Tell Tale Games title).
The definition of owning a book doesn't include the right to read it out loud, for example. I may own a small piece of land in the city, but I'm told that I must build a single-family home or grassy field on it rather than a parking lot, skyscraper, or open sewer.
The problem is that property rights are defined by people with the most property in a way that expands their control over that property.
A few years ago you could get pretty much any DVD from Netflix mail service, you could also walk in a video rental store and find all the classic, as well as all the blockbusters from the past 10 years.
It's really sad that a technological advance lead to such a regression.
For the best games, I usually rebuy them anyway as digital downloads on gog.com or similar.
Note that this also comports with what "purchase" means as a legal matter. You can "purchase" land and get an interest short of a fee simple absolute. E.g. your interest might be preempted by the occurrence of some event. Such an interest is still an ownership interest, as opposed to a leasehold (rental) interest.
Especially since it's not like Apple is guaranteeing that you get to keep the product for a minimum amount of time. They could just as well delete your purchase a minute after you bought it.
There isn't a single human on planet earth who thinks of such a transaction that gets withdrawn after one minute as a regular legitimate "purchase" of a product. Even "rental" doesn't quite cut it, it's more in the land of "fraud".
There's a pretty wide variance of what people consider acceptable from purchased things, e.g. People generally accept the idea that a mattress will eventually need to get changed even if it comes with a lifetime warranty.
It's only now that the materials and the content can be explictly and easily separated that we see this logic actually apply in more meaningful ways. This is going to apply to more and more things in the future (e.g. cars, phones, etc.) so we better get used to it, unfortunately.
But you can share with others. You can even sell the book.
It is very convenient to have hundreds or even thousands of books in a tiny device, especially for someone who has very little space to keep physical books (and those who move a lot). While nothing can replace physical books, ebook readers are a fairly good compromise. Plus, it is possible to reduce the cost of books (and less dead trees). But we can't share, unless we share the ebook reader device itself :(
As with most things, humans will put commerce first, and I don't see this situation changing anytime soon. Amazon has won the ebook reader race and they are likely going to stay there for a while.
They didn't have a downloaded copy of it, and the ability to re-download (or stream) a new copy from iTunes no longer exists.
This is an understandable frustration since the workflows for iCloud, Apple Music, etc are pushing the cloud downloadability to be a first class feature and you would expect your purchases to stay there. That's sadly not always the case.
But I think this is an important distinction
There's no sense upgrading an OS without maintaining backwards compatibility?
iOS is only 10 years old...
In this case, the root cause is probably the CPUs changing from 32-bit to 64-bit. There are costs of having 2 versions of all of the system libraries - maintenance dev time, RAM usage, battery life, etc.
It was the perfect way to pass the time while standing in line, and with practice some people (like my wife) could get almost supernaturally fast at finding words (I could never beat her). Sadly, there is nothing quite like it on the current App Store.
To be fair, it was an inexpensive game and I got a lot of use out of it.
I recently bumped into it by accident!
(Sorry for the double comment, but I cannot edit my comments via the app I'm using on my mobile)
It does not allow you to obtain a copy from another entity, either by archiving theirs, downloading it from a torrent, or whatever other means. The copyright they had can't be transferred to your copy.
Even if the bits are completely identical between you backing up a copy yourself and you downloading it from the internet, only the former is legal.
Please don't claim something is legal when it is not.
And then Ill save my money for hardware and/or donations to the FSF.
(a)Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
(1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner, or
(2) that such new copy or adaptation is for archival purposes only and that all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.
(b)Lease, Sale, or Other Transfer of Additional Copy or Adaptation.—
Not quite, it says:
> only as part of the lease, sale, or other transfer of all rights in the program
Aka you can sell your copy, but only if you also sell your right to use it which means you must give them the original, or the original must not function any longer.
You cannot sell said copies unless you have either the permission of the copyright holder (aka you're the record label) or you're giving away all of your copies, and your ability to create more, and your ability to use the work in any way (which is effectively what means by 'transfer of all rights').
Since the torrent is not by an authorized reseller / copyright holder, they are in fact not transferring a license, which is what makes it illegal.
Furthermore, "owning a license" to the work does not give you permission to download additional copies. It only allows you to create archival copies from your existing copy you have the license to. Since you do not have the license to the source of the piece you're downloading, you cannot download it.
Again, just because the uploader has the same bits you do doesn't mean you have a license to their bits.
> Furthermore, "owning a license" to the work does not give you permission to download additional copies. It only allows you to create archival copies from your existing copy you have the license to. Since you do not have the license to the source of the piece you're downloading, you cannot download it.
You can only make a copy by way of the internet if the copy is of your exact physical thing. It's not, even if it's bit-for-bit identical, so you are not authorized to make a copy of that one.
If it’s bit for bit identical, and a copy is made over the internet, wouldn’t they have to explicitly forbid the act of copying over the internet?
They explicitly allow you to make a copy of the one you have a valid license to. You do not have a valid license to the copy over the internet.
You do have a valid license to the one you purchased.
If you purchase a game, put it in your cd drive at home, and then dd it over ssh to your laptop in a starbucks, that's fine. You made a copy over the internet of the disk you purchased and thus have a license to use.
If you do the exact same thing above with your friend's machine and their copy of the same game, you no longer are copying from a source you have a license to copy.
It is their copy, they can make an archive, but they can't share the archive with anyone else.
The important thing here is that this is about an item you have a license to. You do not have a license to the pattern of bits. You have a license to a single copy of the pattern of bits on a specific medium that you own by some means.
The law is not talking about a sequence of bits. It's talking about a license. That's why it doesn't need to forbid copying the things you're talking about, or talk about "exact physical thing"... It's talking about the license, which is even more specific than the exact physical thing in some ways.
...all archival copies are destroyed in the event that continued possession of the computer program should cease to be rightful.
Sequences of bits are fungible. If you have a license to possess the work, you have a license to possess the work.
(disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.)
While the bits may be fungible, their origin is not - and that is what matters.
"legal media that you already own" is not mentioned anywhere in that DMCA section.
This was a real bummer, and feels mostly borne (like many modern big tech company moves recently) not so much out of any sort of monetization strategy or whatever as a basic but irritating bubble: a bunch of tech workers who simply can't comprehend being on a "broadband" connection of the 5/1 ADSL sort (or worse) that much of the world, including America, is still stuck on. It's not a security or DRM issue, the old backup system still signed/encrypted everything and still required calls into the mothership and the like. It's mainly sucked just because it makes it enormously slower to restore a phone for people with poor connections. I wish Apple had seen a chance to differentiate themselves there with more local support (presumably which could be leverage into hardware product sales) since unlike Google they are not dependent on ad/cloud revenue, but perhaps it was inevitable as they lost track of all SoHo efforts with the Mac. As a startup org structure it's just hard for Apple to multi-task as well for better and for worse.
So, if you really want to own a movie or a song, buy a physical incarnation of it, or make a digital copy of it.
Consumers understand the distinction between buying a car and leasing a car. Nobody says in common conversation, "I bought Spotify," they say, "I subscribed to Spotify."
It's no accident that companies like Apple lean on terminology like "purchase" instead of "license." Apple knows that the iTunes buy button would be less attractive if it used language that was more transparent. So instead they are capitalizing on that confusion - they want the customer to feel like this is a permanent transaction. They want a movie license to feel the same as the experience of buying a DVD.
If most consumers don't understand the difference, then businesses should use less confusing language within marketing and store interfaces. If they're OK with consumer confusion or if that consumer confusion is actually the point, then they should also be OK with the blowback they get when customers eventually feel misled or betrayed. They have to take the bad with the good.
It should be off-putting. If they want something else they should let people actually purchase drm-free copies.
Reality often sounds off-putting.
That's why we've developed the ability to lie.
I think that a company ought to have to pay for storage of keys required to unlock encumbered media and upon failure to provide said media consumers ought to be able to get the key required to unlock said media emailed to them.
The concept is not new. If I buy perpetual rights to software on DVD, I don't have an unlimited period of time to obtain media. If my grandchildren are running a computer with Windows NT4 that I purchased in 1999 in 2100, my estate owns the right to use the software, but Microsoft or its successor has no obligation to provide me with media.
If you care, buy physical media with download codes.
In this context, they're "supposed" to be one in the same. What good is a right to view content if you can't actually get it?
Apple and others do that to simplify user experience, but rights holders ultimately dictate the terms. No movie studio will ever allow perpetual distribution.
In the case of Apple, they offer a simple solution: download it to your computer.
And to who's benefit is it that the terms of sale aren't transparent in the purchase process itself? If consumers broadly don't understand what they're buying, then it needs to be communicated better to them.
Companies are OK with consumers misunderstanding the terms of the license when it comes to migrating people off of physical mediums. Then suddenly it becomes a problem when consumers start complaining about those terms.
But there's an easy solution to stop consumers from complaining about this. Content gets removed off of Spotify and Netflix every day, but broadly consumers understand why. They may not be happy about it, but I don't see thinkpieces claiming that the company has done something wrong. This is because Spotify and Netflix are transparent about what they are selling.
The same isn't true for Apple, because Apple hasn't done a good job explaining to customers what its business model is. And I would guess that part of the reason for that is because if Apple was transparent about what their licenses and DRM actually meant, people would be a lot more wary about buying into that business model. It would be a lot easier to see the competitive advantages that physical mediums and DRM/license free purchases held over digital storefronts.
Consumer confusion here is Apple's fault -- not the consumer's.
"Buy" on a cloud service like this should mean a license to download the content for the duration of its copyright. The movie studios obviously want to double dip but there's no reason to capitulate on such an unfair arrangement.
The same issue would present itself if I scratched a DVD in my library, right?
The DVD seller isn't making the copy, but requesting them from the original manufacturer. The DVD seller telling the purchaser that this service is contingent on the manufacturer providing back up copies free of charge. However, the manufacturer can at any time refuse, if they no longer make them, or no longer wish to support it.
Its probably not Apple's decision to limit the download, it most likely the original rights holder.
I try to only BUY things I can back up for my own use later in an unencumbered format.
Yeah, that's a no-go, chief.
Even if it's somehow baked into the terms of service, I don't think it's reasonable for the average person to assume the content they are purchasing (not leasing, not renting, not subscribing to, but purchasing) might someday disappear, outside of the service shutting down forever.
As a technical person, I understand that may happen, but in this case, it's surprising. This is more evidence that we are not doing enough to police marketing and legalese.
Someone once told me that with bad contracts, two people can come away with different understandings as to what was greed upon. Good contracts can only be interpreted one way. The same should be true for almost every part of our economy - leases, sales contracts, mortgages, investments, employment agreements, terms of service, etc.
Personally, I believe we need to reign in the "unlimited" data claims, "adjustable" APRs, non-compete agreements, and privacy policies.
An apropos typo ….
And what if the publishers break into your home and are the ones to scratch the DVD? That reflects better what happened in the article.
Apple is not the publisher, they are the distributor. They are not "coming into your home and scratching your DVD", an actually analogous analogy would be they stop supporting the DVD format with new disc players they release.
I'm pretty sure you could design a SaaS offering in two parts: one that sells you a digital copy of a thing as a product (rather than a license), for delivery to a digital storage locker; and then, the other, a digital storage locker.
Oddly enough, Apple already has a digital storage locker, called iCloud Music Library. It's where your uploaded songs go when you use iTunes Match and the song doesn't actually match any entry in the Apple Music library.
If iCloud Music Library were properly designed (it's not), your purchased, matched, and uploaded songs would all be available permanently through iCloud Music Library in its capacity as a digital storage locker, whether or not they're still available through Apple Music. The licence-holders wouldn't be able to do anything about this: this isn't Apple broadcasting a song, this is Apple acting as the moral equivalent of bank, offering a safe-deposit box service, where you hold a box into which you've put a USB stick containing the song you bought from them.
Sadly, the synergy between Apple Music and iCloud Music Library is actually exactly the opposite of what anyone would want: when an artist's license agreement with Apple Music expires and their tracks are purged from the system, Apple will actually delete not just your purchased licenses from your iCloud Music Library; and not just the licenses of Apple Music tracks that fingerprint-matched local copies you had; but even your uploaded (!) copies of songs by a given artist that didn't match any Apple Music license, but just happened to have ID3 information corresponding to the artist whose rights were expiring. (In that case, the tracks still appear as entries in the iCloud Music Library list, but they're under a permanent "waiting" status, because their backing storage has been removed. There are many support threads about this issue, none with answers—well, that's what's going on.)
The cost of Storage is dropping, Network Bandwidth is cheap for the likes of Apple which has connection to every major ISP worldwide. ( As well as their iPhone agreement with Mobile Carriers )
It was only few months ago I started hating the "streaming" model. When few of my artists's album suddenly disappeared from the listing of Apple Music. I started thinking may be buying them would be better in the first place. Now you are telling me even buying music could also means they would somehow disappeared?
Am I suppose to buy CD Now?
It's difficult to understand this move from a customer service perspective. Does anyone know what's going on?
Now there's an arbitrary-file storage limit, and while Amazon Drive still offers unlimited photo storage, this proviso exists in the features page:
> If you are a Prime member, in addition to the list above, you can also store unlimited photos at no additional charge. However, the Amazon Photos unlimited photo benefit only applies to files recognized as photos. If a photo is encrypted, and Amazon Drive is unable to identify it as a photo, the file will count toward your storage limit. Videos also count toward your storage limit.
This is because, to get around the imposed limits, the data hoarders attempted to use a storage client that would chunk their large arbitrary files (probably pirated videos and game ISOs) into many smaller files that appeared to be collections of photos. The "photos" created by the chunking client were just arbitrary data with a .jpg extension, so scanning for "is this file of a valid image container format" was enough to thwart them. But, even if the data hoarders tried harder and made a new version of the chunking client which encoded their files as e.g. valid PNGs, 1. that's have really high bandwidth overhead, and 2. it'd still be pretty simple on Amazon's part to use more advanced ML to detect whether a given valid image is actually "a photo", or is just compressed binary data. So the data hoarders stopped while they were ahead.
I would guess that Amazon Music restricted their offering because of the data hoarders as well—unlike with photos, it's impossible to say whether arbitrary binary data constitutes "music" as long as it's stored as a stream in a valid media container file-format. It would have been fairly easy to create a new version of the data hoarders' chunking client that stored its arbitrary files as valid .flac containers. So Amazon just applied a policy solution instead.
Actually, I'd put this on Apple legal: the contracts should specify that customer purchases can continue be hosted, and served to those customers in perpetuity. It's possible that Apple didn't have the leverage or foresight to negotiate these terms, but the "fix" here is straightforward because it's an issue of contractual terms, not some notion of "legality".
Even if you have your own copy, Apple will still delete your stuff. E.g. iTunes no longer makes an actual backup of the contents of your phone when it tells you it has done so, so when you get a new phone you need to redownload all of your apps from the cloud. Assuming they are still there, which often they are not.
I can't count the number of times Apple has burned me. Going back over a decade, with the iTunes 4.01 "upgrade" that only removed the ability to stream my music collection over the internet.
And the countless shenanigans with the app store, like silently deleting old versions of apps. Several times I had regressions introduced and no way to go back. And that is really just the tip of the iceberg.
In particular, Apple completely ruined my iPad 4
I can no longer read it in bed because I can't change the light filter. My favorite apps no longer work. And I did NOT want it, but they did it to me anyway.
I really think that we should have a threat model for manufacturer updates. I now have to research exactly what an update does before I install it, because it could very well rob me of functionality that I enjoyed. And the theme of dishonesty by manufacturers is more than enough reason not to trust them.
So, even if you buy a physical incarnation of a copy, you might not actually own the content on the medium. Thanks a lot, Mickey Mouse /s
From what I've read Redbox is buying Disney "combo packs" that contain a physical DVD or Blu-Ray disc and a printed code that can be used for streaming the movie.
Redbox has been splitting those, renting the disc from its kiosks, and selling the piece of paper containing the printed code.
As far as I can see, it is the codes that are at issue, not the renting of the physical discs.
Buy it and rip it. Nothing they can do about that.
I would also like to point out that laws only work when they are enforceable. And a great way of getting rid of a law is for all of society to just break it, and encourage others to break it.
When everyone breaks a law, it becomes harder and harder to enforce, and is an effective measure of eliminating it. If not dejure, then at least by defacto.
It's illegal (breaking the encryption), so they could theoretically pursue legal remedies.
Even Steam isnt immune. With some games they will maintain two copies for past and future customers reflecting a change in license but Rockstar removed a significant portion of the soundtrack to GTA4 for all customers a few months ago.
If I buy a game on Steam, I can download it in perpetuity. Even if the game is later taken off Steam, I can still download my copy. Technically the contract only gives me a revocable license, but in practise it behaves in every way like a purchase of a physical copy. It reliably does what people expect, and in return everyone uses Steam instead of physical media.
If the media industry doesn't allow this model, I am not sure how they expect digital purchases and streaming to replace physical media and piracy.
And do so in a computer you control, not in one controlled by someone else. I'm not talking only about having physical possession of the hardware, but also controlling what instructions that hardware executes. i.e. run free software.
The Amazon 1984 case comes to mind, where not running free software meant losing your data.
Highly recommended. I buy disc copies of all my movies and rip them directly to my NAS with no additional transcoding, then serve them up via Plex. All the advantages of digital distribution, none of the drawbacks (the biggest one being "oops, we don't have the rights to that movie anymore").
> I would rather have the convenience of iTunes without the corporate overreach.
Do you know how to do that? Why would it matter if that's what you'd rather have? You don't have it now.
Everyone was saying to buy physical media if you want to keep it around for a long time, but almost all the CDs I owned in 2003 are lost or destroyed forever, while music I purchased on iTunes or eMusic remains available to download or stream anywhere in Earth for free, and eMusic has changed ownership multiple times since then. Credit to Amazon for providing downloads of physical CDs purchased from them too. It's so much more than I expected.
Over 20, the story is from 1997.
I know that doesn't address the main point, but ... quibbles.
Their response is to hold my entire library of “purchased” music and movies hostage until they get their $0.99. I can’t play or access anything.
Clearly, I own nothing in their eyes. This is the same as if Blockbuster would hold all your DVDs hostage you bought from them if you owed them any money. If you don’t own the unrestricted physical medium, you own nothing.
I guess there’s a reason Apple is dominant: aggression and brutality always win out in humanity. We are all just passive & submissive subordinates, Apple is our one true master and dark lord.
Have we reached peak melodrama on HN?
How does that follow? Google, Facebook, Microsoft... are all equally heavy handed so I don't see how that makes Apple any more "dominant" than the other players in the field.
I was absolutely pissed when trying to re-install a rather expensive game (The Secret of Monkey Island) only to discover that I can't, because Disney yanked it from the AppStore after purchasing LucasArts. I paid for the damn thing, I used it then and I need it now. Talking to Apple is like talking to a f#cking wall. Absolutely pointless. Apparently I should've been making versioned backups of my iThing in order to preserve the binary. That was their actual reply. Ain't it something?
Caveat emptor, basically.
That's why it was so disheartening to buy the x-com remake and find nothing but a steam activation code inside the box. I don't feel like I own that game because it's tied to an online account.
I know that you can just keep a local copy of it, but it's still tied to the platform and if you wanted to go to a different platform, you couldn't take it with you.
For example: I bought the Monkey Island remake for iOS when it came out. It's no longer playable, because a 64-bit binary was never produced, and 32-bit apps don't work on iOS 11.
Similar things happened with computer operating systems, but holding on to an older version is so much easier to do on computers. I guess a 7 year usable life is decent for how much I paid for the game, but still, annoying.
(And, for the purposes of my comment, I make no distinction between removing the ability to re-download, or reach into your hard drive and delete.)
It is probably more likely, looking at the history of a couple of different online movie/music services, that Apple simply decided to play ball with the media companies to get better deals, and earn more money. Simultaneosly getting a foot in the door to stop the "rebel" companies entering the scene, crashing the media industries party, and Apples too.
While Apple with their positioning obviously has a lot to win on being the #1 choice of the media giants, I believe they went there quite willingly.
Then, if the movie is still popular, the renewal rights for this movie will be bundled with 100s of other movies my users hate, all with different time periods and locations. If it isn't popular, it gets thrown into a bundle that will be forced upon content providers so net out a few extra $ on movies no one wants to see.
If you download the movie, and it's removed from Apple's library, and you try to play it, are you able? Or does it say, "Sorry, you are not authorized"?
This would make a big difference for me because I've downloaded every Apple purchase for years onto my Drobo. If Apple prevents playback in these cases, then I may as well delete them all and save terabytes of disk space.
are you sure you're not confusing that with the app store? it's trivial to get the .apk from a bought app after it's on your phone, but it's not trivial to strip the playfair DRM off an .ipa.
I'd argue that while it might be easy today, that's just an implementation detail. The play store does not advertise anywhere that you can backup APKs for installation later in case an app is pulled from the store. Tomorrow Google could invent a new kind of delivery mechanism that makes this stop working.
Other countries may have different exceptions about personal use.
This site (HN) is hosted in the United States so you can post any link you want to here.
Please don't propagate the mistaken notion that a URL can be illegal.
Please, further, don't malign HN by suggesting that they would moderate a post discussing a digital tool.
You can discuss the LOIC here. You can discuss DeCSS here. You can discuss Demuffin here. You can discuss ToneLOC here.
Is there a chance of coercion in regards to whether one of the parties entered the contract? Of course there is and if that's the case, it's not a contract.
I don't know what an "unfair negotiating" advantage is, at least not as it regards whether or not I enter a contract, so I can't really weigh in on that.
You can see this principle at work in Britain's short lease (as distinct from a long leases of say 99 years) residential property laws too. A bunch of potential terms for such leases are defined to be unfair. Some landlords - after this change - went to court and said "well, but my tenants signed to say they knew the terms were unfair and agreed anyway - see, it's right here on page sixty of the contact" and judges told them where they could stick their unfair contracts. So sure enough those terms went away.
As to how you tell, courts already know this. If party A wrote the contract and party B's options were to agree or GTFO then party A has an advantage. Its normal contract law - oh, McDonalds signed this lease, but Tiny Co wrote it, so Tiny Co were the ones at advantage and anything unclear must not be construed to their benefit.
If a large enough group of outsiders to the contract don't like the contract and can change the terms after the fact, wouldn't that undermine the confidence for people to enter in to them in the first place?
Anyway, people are free to be upset about terms and conditions even after they've "agreed" to them, particularly if those terms and conditions are widely recognized as onerous.
And, specifically to your point, courts have retroactively determined some conditions to be so flagrantly unfair that they've been stricken from contracts.
It is common sense that when an asset is leased/rented to another party, if that other party does not pay on time or is somehow using the asset outside of the terms of the agreement, that the owner would remove access to the asset. If laws are made to subvert the ability to exercise common sense, that's a different issue.
As a side note, I am a landlord myself, and I have a hard time understanding what motivation I would have to be "abusive" with access to my rented properties. I am interested in getting paid and having my property not damaged beyond normal wear and tear. "Abusing" my tenants would not seem to further either of those two interests. It would be interesting to understand what exactly is being considered abuse. Though I get it is probably off topic.
"The District of Columbia Court of Appeals returned the case to the lower court for trial to determine further facts, but held that the contract could be considered unconscionable and negated if it was procured due to a gross inequality of bargaining power."
Not sure that any of these definitions could be applied to this situation with a straight face, but even if they could, it's not really the point. I think the assumption is (or maybe it's only my assumption) that this is a contract that is enforceable. It sounds to me more like one of the parties didn't read all the terms and is now unhappy when they are being enforced.
Came home once our door was just sitting open, the landlord had come in while we were gone and just left our door sitting open. The landlord.had come in and went through our drawers and stuff. Didn't tell us until we asked why our door was open.
We had the cops called on us for apparently smoking weed in the suite, we never did this, we also used to watch the landlords wife hang out with her son and his friends while they smoked weed in the front yard. By the time the cops left they told the landlord and his wife to stop bothering us...this never happened.
Our rental agreement was for a year. Our only recourse would have been to go through a long complaint process where we had to have a bunch of proof of this being an ongoing thing, then we'd have to sit down with an arbitrator and our landlord and once again prove this was happening. Luckily our landlord decided to break our rental agreement by whiting out the part, of the one copy that existed, we never even got a copy of it, that said one year, writing in pen 3 months then kicked us out so his adult son could live there. We also never got our damage deposit back with no reason given despite not even living in the place long enough to really even unpack.
In the end it worked out for the best but despite our landlord's continued breaking of our agreement and the law, we ended up losing our deposit, being forced to find a new place and move just after going back to school and we had no real options or recourse to stop any of it. Everything was set up to make any kind of complaint about landlords go through a lengthy arbitration process with the tenancy board and police won't get inolved, if a tenant complains, until after that fails, we tried calling the cops, they said to call the tenancy board.. The whole process for that would have taken longer than the three months we actually lived there and would have cost us money we really couldn't have afforded to spend.
Put more contritely, there is a reason indentured servitude is not legal.
If this is already compatible with what you were saying, apologies.
To take that approach, the house I'm sitting in has a 1000 gallon propane tank buried in the side yard. It is typical in my area to finance (either lease or lease-to-own) tanks. So when I bought the property, I made sure to require that the seller provide evidence that he owned it free and clear. Had I not done that, and had the owner of the tank come over and removed it after I (or presumably the seller) stopped paying for it after the sale, I would accept that. I would kick myself for not thinking of it, but I'd accept it.
That being said, in reality, it appears (as many have pointed out) that digital product “sales” are actually closer to indefinite rentals. And as a result your original analogy is closer to reality, but is far from what people expect when they “buy” a movie from iTunes, since a reasonable expectation would be the house or propane tank purchase analogy.
I don't see how that can be argued with a straight face unless when you hit the "buy" button the license expiration date was clearly marked. Obviously "we can terminate rights at our discretion" was buried in a mountain of legalese but nobody should be expected to read or understand what that means.
Lockouts have been historically abusive, so the law here covers them specifically.
The solution to this seems simple to me, Apple should prompt the customer to download a local copy. Or upload it automatically to that person's iCloud account.
To me the problem is that we allowed corporations to invoke complex legal maneuvering such as redefining the legal definition of watching a movie, and requiring a legal agreement to do so, all for the purpose of further enriching apple and the movie industry.
Also I dispute whether it is an "agreement" after all. Did each consumer sit down and read a printed contract, forward it to their counsel for review, then sign on the dotted line before they watched The Incredibles 2 ? No, they didn't. There wasnt an "agreement" but rather a surrender of previously existing legal rights.
In fact, I think all these one-sided contracts should be called "rights surrenders" instead of "license agreements". By clicking "I surrender", you are now allowed to watch your digital copy of The Incredibles 2 some indeterminate non-zero number of times before it's randomly removed from your possession