Is it time for a protected legal definition of "buy" which excludes this nonsense? Does the EU already do this?
And to be clear, there's a massive swath of digital content that needs regulation like this. Amazon movies, Kindle books, Steam/Xbox/PSN digital games, iTunes music purchases (though in situations like this, I think the word "Buy" is valid given that you're allowed a DRM-free download, but I think the popup should still be required with the language changed to read "...may revoke your access to re-download this content...").
the situation with blurays and dvds is not much better. "own" is not quite the right word for what's going on here; it's more like a permanent transferable license. you can freely buy/sell them second-hand, but AFAIK it is technically still illegal to make backups, even for personal use (since it involves circumventing DRM).
as both a long-time torrenter and someone who works on proprietary software project, I'm somewhat conflicted on this topic. for the consumer, it's best to just get the product unencumbered by DRM and do what you want with it. on the flip side, I really need people to actually pay for the thing that I work on so I can get an income. not all pirated copies are "lost sales", but some are. I've certainly pirated stuff that I would have paid for and paid for stuff only because it wasn't cracked yet. not sure what the middle ground is here.
sadly, I'm not sure the average person even cares that much. I follow a couple specific TV shows where I'm invested in what happens next. with the current balkanization, it would probably cost me $50+ a month to have access to the handful of things I actually want to watch. but most people I know just want something to watch, often just to have it playing in the background. they don't particularly care what it is or if it was well-made.
I've never made backups of my books.
I've never made backups of my vinyl records or my cassette tapes.
I have made backups of all my CDs.
If the backup is to protect against loss of or damage to the media, I should be backing up books and records and tapes, and not backing up CDs. CDs live in a protective case, only coming out for short trips to a CD player, where they are played entirely enclosed, and playback does not cause any wear on the play surface.
Records and tapes are degrade slightly each time you play them. Books also suffer wear each time they are read, and are usually read in environments where they can suffer accidents.
Wile writable CDs will decay relatively quickly, professionally mastered CD-ROMS will typically last longer.
On the other hand, a scratch in the wrong place can render a CD useless while a book with a torn out page will still be usable.
The time it takes to use them for that purpose though... ugh.
I ripped them to my computer to play there and to download from there to my Archos Jukebox and later iPod.
But I also burned copies onto archival quality DVD-Rs, which are stored in my fireproof safe, and I think this definitely counts as a backup.
I would like to see a law which states that businesses cannot revoke your access to any discrete good you've purchased. Arguably, media companies wouldn't be the primary aggrieved party of a law like that; it really hurts Amazon (et al) more than anyone, being legally forced to continue serving video files you've purchased even in the face of Terms of Service breaches and such.
Which is perfect. That's exactly what we want. If Amazon has to guarantee access to content, the easiest way to fulfill that requirement is to offer downloads for customers (which I think should be a fulfillment of that requirement, and its alright if they terminate an account so long as a download was offered for all content). Of course, the Media companies Definitely don't want that, so now we have the media companies and tech companies fighting each other. Laws which disrupt the alignment of incentives between companies are the best kind of laws.
This is a similar misconception to the word "infinite", which many people believe means "an unending amount" but actually just means "not finite"; an amount large enough that it can't be quantified, but still an amount nonetheless. This comes into play in mathematics when talking about some infinities being larger than others.
If you take a nihilistic view of the universe, then everything is temporary, and thus even the DVDs you've purchased should have been advertised as a temporary rental. That's not very useful, though.
Essentially, require that Buy be Buy, and that the rights licensee can’t screw over the third party (consumers)
Not sure how to handle it I’d say VEVO declared bankruptcy tho
I assume that the geo-blocking is still somewhat relevant in regards to protectionism for the dubbing industry in some member states.
It would be absolutely preposterous to not be able to use your Berlin Netflix account when you are on a business trip in Bonn, but somehow it is acceptable when you go to Brussels. What do EU member states gain from this? Sure you can allege regulatory capture and subservience to the producer's desires, but I assume it is more benign than that and merely market protectionism.
Making people acutely aware they're not buying content, but only renting it temporarily, would already help change the conversation.
So how would this law work? The reality is that compound works are always, always made up of third party bits of copyright. So are films required to clear any music in perpetuity, no matter what? Goodbye to musicals. What happens if rights are in dispute and a supplier loses the rights to the title, or parts of a title (this happens a lot)? What happens if an estate of a creator files to have the IP in a character revert to them after fifty years?
How are you going to have this regulation pass in every country in the world at the same time?
Or is this one of these things that's easy to glibly say but basically impossible to do?
Once I buy media, nobody is coming to my house to prevent me from watching it just because there was some legal issues between unrelated parties. That's up to them to solve on their own, in courts.
Just because we have ways to revoke users' access to legally bought media doesn't mean it's ok to do.
It should be the other way round. If it said "Buy", the buyer is deemed to have been sold it and owns it. If it turns out the buyer did now own it to sell it in the first place (eg. someone else held the rights, not the purported "seller"), then the seller now owes the buyer a refund.
The situation should be dealt with just like any other fraudulent misrepresentation/misleading labelling, whether driven by a corporate marketing department or not.
I'd go much further than that, "buy" is just one of the completely business washed words which now have no meaning: luxury, unlimited, complete, total, advanced, ... the list goes on.
If you have an army of lawyers and clever marketing team, you can pretty much use intentional ambiguity in English (I suspect any language) to get away with false advertising on a regular basis.
No one is going to read all the legal gobbledygook.
When I buy something, I assumed it cannot be taken away. If it can be taken away, then I did not buy it. Ileased it or rented it, but I did not buy it.
The world is already too complicated for many people. If we are going to give people any hope of understanding what they are agreeing to, then we need to make sure that words mean something.
For starters there's inflation, so if I spend $10 today and 20 years from now they revoke the license or whatever and give me 10 2040-dollars, that's not going to be the same buying power as the $10 in 2020 dollars.
Second, the media landscape may have shifted by then. If the only company in 2040 that can give me another, comparable "indefinite rental license" or whatever is charging $100, I want Amazon to pay _that_.
Are customers solely responsible for only buying from monopolists so that the store they purchased from can provide refunds when the content later (inevitably) becomes unavailable?
Which is long form for ”rent” :-)
I don't know with Amazon, but with Google streaming "purchases" are linked to one email. You lose that email, and you've lost access. Transfers are not possible.
On the implementation front, i believe they run a headless chrome instance and record the media as it streams in real time. So they aren't downloading the source files, just recording. This has the unfortunate side effect of baking in subtitles or if the chrome instance is asking for you to accept cookies it shows up over the top of the recording.
Apologies if this is a bit incoherant, whenever the owning of media comes up, it always reminds me i have the software installed
Considering how unpopular tech companies are in politics right now, an advocacy group pushing for this could possibly be successful.
It would required petitions, landing pages with catchy phrases, etc...
No, no country in the world does this, because it's basically impossible to do if a work contains other licensed bits of copyright.
I won't be migrating my subscription to YT Music. I won't be purchasing any more music, movies, or TV shows that I can't store locally and backup via simple scripts with tools like rsync and robocopy.
Purchasing a license to stream a specific item via a specific service is, literally, buying nothing.
The Internet remembers everything. Except your digital copyright licenses. It's anti-consumer turtles all the way down.
It is very logical, and this is the point that many of us, advocates of owning over renting, try to explain to people, unsuccessfully. You didn't purchase a license to content. You purchased a temporary license to listen to a piece of content on a particular service - a license that's valid only as long as the service wants it to, and definitely won't outlive the service itself. Basically: you're renting, not owning. It's all there in the terms you agreed to. Except, of course, services design the UX to make it seem like you're buying, and not borrowing.
(EDIT: this applies to most services people use for music, videos and other digital goods, even when they offer you to "purchase" copies instead of paying subscription fees - like Amazon here, or Steam games. That said, I see there is an option to download MP3s from Google Music, so perhaps the licensing terms there technically give you permanent license for the content itself. iTunes would be similar, IIRC.)
> Do not the rights holders keep track of who owns licenses to listen to what? Shouldn't they be tracking this information on the other side of their business
They do not, because they don't want to. It's against their interests. With the way things are, they get to charge you multiple times for the same piece of content.
Let's be happy that books predate modern IP laws, because otherwise bookshelves and libraries wouldn't be a thing now.
> Purchasing a license to stream a specific item via a specific service is, literally, buying nothing.
Exactly. That's the big "secret".
That is not true for music. DRM-free downloads of purchased music have been the industry standard for pretty much all digital music stores for over a decade now - from iTunes to Bandcamp.
In that regard music differs from video and gaming since the fact that it's sold DRM-free enables you to truly own your digital music collection. Obviously this doesn't apply to streaming options which are much closer to renting, but that's self-explanatory I think.
It's not your lifetime, it's the lifetime of the service and company behind it.
Thanks for pointing this out, that takes most of the sting out of my eternal September-style ranting.
However, I've noticed that the one album I've ever purchased through GPM is not available on YTM and even though I purchased it, it is still greyed out in my transferred playlists.
Lesson learned -- I'm just glad I only ever made that mistake once and didn't lose a library (or would have to painstakingly download each album manually and reupload)
To be clear, not only did the "ownership" of the music not transfer, but (presumably) because of a change in licensing agreements the music has become entirely unavailable in any form. At least, it will once GPM goes offline.
However, I wouldn't compare this to a movie store, or a music store. At least while I used it, GPM wasn't positioned as a store where you buy music and take it home, it's an app/ecosystem where you listen to music.
So I'd argue a more apt comparison is it's like buying a movie at a store with sofas and televisions for watching the movies, where you can purchase content and ask for it to be displayed, and can optionally take the disk home.
Stretching the analogy too far probably, but GPM didn't exactly encourage downloading FWIW -- can only download a song twice ever through the web interface, or all at once through takeout, or through a chrome extension/app, otherwise it's all on the GPM app, where you're "supposed" to listen to it.
You do have the right to download DRM-free music though, so at least GPM had that.
... youtube music on the other hand ...
Admittedly I haven't done this for a year or two, but last time I bought an album on amazon it came with a digital download which was just DRM-free MP3 files. Maybe that's not the case anymore, I don't know.
You do have the ability to download films on Amazon.
(They're DRMed, and you can't transfer them to another device, but they don't expire).
they might've given you that service, but thats a very different complaint then what this article is about - which is that people that bought it cannot download it and its amazon's choice to revoke their access at their will.
I never used Google Play Music, but don't they sell DRM-free music like every other digital music outlet from iTunes to Bandcamp? If so, the files are yours to keep, aren't they?
Obviously Google (or iTunes, Bandcamp and others) aren't responsible for hosting and backing up your media indefinitely. That's the buyer's duty in my opinion.
Assuming this is a typo, it's a funny one. It's starting to seem like privacy is illegal, or will be soon.
We're moving to a model where we spend the same, but their value is zero when considering the value of our assets.
1. An eBook distributor
2. A "PayPal replacement" that let's you send $$$ to authors.
They theoretically have a monopoly on #1, but in practice piracy exists and potentially does it better.
They don't and can't stop people from setting up a platform for sending $$$ to authors - in fact, you could even have a database of authors, their books and the RRP of those books, and an embeddable button to pay the author an RRP's worth. That could then be embedded on arbitrary piracy sites.
The piracy sites could be shut down, but realistically the pirate sites are too portable to be shut down for long, and private trackers make some sites impractical to shut down at all.
Was this a permanent unlock, or do you need a subscription to unlock the rear heated seats?
What is worrying is that these aren't clearly explained when you make the purchase. And it's really down to the company's policy, which if all companies do the same, the consumer ends up having no choice.
Do you think your kids will want to read their ancestors’ books? I have watched even ardent bibliophiles among my friends gradually lose interest in books, because they grow accustomed to consuming snackable content on the internet, and I have little confidence that books will be a mainstream pastime for following generations.
To your point, however, I do agree. I think one of the major benefits of physical media (or even digital media as long as it's entirely self-hosted) is that you can enjoy it entirely without surveillance, and that it's much more resistant to censorship. Being able to read about and understand how people lived, thought, and created in the past is incredibly important, and it's something we should preserve for the benefit of future generations, even if they might sometimes contain things that one might not necessarily agree with today.
Where did I say that? Obviously it is nice to be able to hand things down to one's children. But what I am questioning is whether the envisioned scenario (children of the future being enamored by dad or granddad's old books) is really likely to happen.
Maybe they will and maybe they won't, but how are we to know that with certainty today? The whole point is that if the opportunity is taken away now, then that guarantees that they won't be able to in the future. Beyond that, they would also lose the possibility of otherwise sharing them with someone else who might be interested in reading them, and I think that would be a loss as well.
At the same time, most every decent library should own a few copies of them. They're all well known, at least in their industries niche.
I don't have a specific example in mind, but I'm sure the same applies to books people have inherited from friends and family. People write all sorts of interesting notes in books, tuck photos in between the pages, etc. These items offer a connection that a library book or its digital equivalent (often) cannot.
I'll just quote what I wrote the other day on the topic of "throwing money at things" instead of doing or owning things yourself:
"Why would you own things and accept responsibility for maintaining them, if you could just throw money at the service provider and have the thing be present when it's needed? Of course the thing will be extremely limited in what you can do with it, subject to Terms&Conditions, but why would you want to do anything non-standard with stuff? There's always another service you can throw money at to solve the same problem.
What's the end-game here? That we specialize into sub-species of humans, forever stuck in one role, with zero autonomy? No longer building wealth, we'll only be allocating the flow of money - from what Society gives us in reward for our work, straight to Services of said Society? Will we become specialized cells of the meta-multicellular organism Society becomes?
I can see how we're on the path towards that reality, and I absolutely hate it."
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24787804
And the main problem is (imho) that people just seem to hate responsibility. It all stems from that, at the core it's all just shifting responsibility onto something or someone who will take it.
The government taxes pay for services which can directly and indirectly benefit you. For example, they pay for providing a force which will help against unlawful intruders, pay for the manpower who will help you should your house catch on fire, pay for the maintenance of roads, and so forth.
Amazon's revenue... lines the pockets of Amazon's investors.
But I agree also with your statement.
have a look at leaseholds in UK.
They shouldn't be allowed to call it "buy" if it doesn't mean I own the content I "bought".
Yet you 'own' none. All you 'buy' is a licence which can be revoked at any time should Steam, the Publisher or some other entity decide to do so.
I would imagine that if Amazon and Steam changed 'buy' to 'licence' their income would fall off a cliff.
I hope consumer right groups and maybe the EU can crack down on this clear abuse of "wording".
If we would apply the First Sale doctrine in the fullest to digital content, secondary marketplaces would pop-up where people just rented games by the hour instead of purchasing them. With the transaction costs being really low, and the utilisation rate for many games being fairly low, this seems like a no brainer.
There are important differences between physical content and digital content that need to be considered.
17 USC 109(a) is what most people think of when they talk of the first sale doctrine in the US. That's the part that says that owner of a particular lawfully made copy "is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord".
Renting is included under "otherwise dispose of the possession".
What is less well known is 17 USC 109(b)(1)(A). That carves out an exception for copies of sound recordings of musical works and copies of computer programs ("including any tape, disk, or other medium embodying such program"). The exception prohibits "for the purposes of direct or indirect commercial advantage" disposing of or authorizing disposal of possession of that copy by "ental, lease, or lending, or by any other act or practice in the nature of rental, lease, or lending", unless authorized by the copyright owner.
So for programs, first sale allows selling copies but not renting them (same for musical recording). Hence, the reason you saw back in the CD days many places selling used music CDs and used software CDs, but not many selling rentals of those. (There were software rental stores, but they were not operating legally).
There is also exception to the exception. 17 USC 109(1)(B) says that 109(1)(A) does not apply to:
(1) a computer program which is embodied in a machine or product and which cannot be copied during the ordinary operation or use of the machine or product; or
(2) a computer program embodied in or used in conjunction with a limited purpose computer that is designed for playing video games and may be designed for other purposes.
That's why it is legal to rent console games, such as GameFly does. It's also why rental car companies don't have to get permission from whoever owns the copyright on the engine control unit software or the entertainment system software.
There are other exceptions in 17 USC 109 for things like nonprofit educational institutions and libraries which are not relevant to this discussion. If anyone wants to read the whole thing, here it is: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/109
You cannot copy that disk, you can't play it in front of large audiences, you can't modify it and redistribute it etc. You don't own it, and the license can be revoked and changed at any point. It's not practical to always enforce this, but you agreed to the license when you purchased it, it's the same with online media, it's just easier to enforce, hence you see more application of licenses with online mediums.
That part specifically isn't true in all of EU. There is no such thing as implicit licences at purchase time - that's why EULA and the likes of it are worth as much as toilet paper here. And in a lot of countries you can absolutely make copies of the discs you own, no legal issue at all. You usually can't show it to large audiences, but that's not because of the licence terms, but because the laws of the country prohibit it without paying a fee to the national association of artists. If I want to show a Blu-Ray I bought to a large group of people I need to pay a nominal fee to my country's national artist's association and then it's completely legal - but I don't even need to tell the distributor of the movie, or the owner of the copyright at all, that's not my problem. Same with playing music at events and such - a fee is paid to a national organisation governing this, the distributor can say whatever they want on the box but it's just irrelevant.
>>, you can't modify it and redistribute it etc
Of course you can in certain ways and formats, "fair use" is even allowed in such restrictive countries as US.
You can do whatever you want with the bolt. Measuring the treads and making 3D printed copies, taking photos off it and selling those. It's yours to the fullest extent.
You can't create and sell copies of the sculpture, in some jurisdictions you can't even sell photos of the sculpture. You can't freely make a derivative work of the sculpture.
Ownership of a copy of IP is different than ownership of other things. And ownership of digital copies of IP is so very different that it's almost not a thing.
But EULAs are not implicit, usually you have to explicitly agree to them before you can use the product?
The fair use doctrine doesn't even exist in most of Europe, so I wouldn't consider the US especially restrictive.
You do have rights to copy the disc, depending on the content and the country. This is described as a backup. Things get very murky here though because in some countries backing up software discs is seen as different to backing up CD content. And then DVD has a whole other set of problems because circumventing DRM is another legal issue aside from copying the video content (and different countries have different laws for DRM and some even have exemptions specifically for DRM in DVDs).
With regards to redistribution, you're allowed to sell second hand optical media -- irrespective of the content on them. In fact there are entire businesses based around reselling second hand DVDs and CDs (eg Music Magpie in the UK).
As for performance, this is where things get a bit murky again. Audio performances are allowed if you are registered with the PRS (or similar organisation) as they redistribute members license fees with the content owners. The PRS are woefully bad at what they do and in effect they're just a legal payment protection racket, but that's a whole other topic. Performing data content would be subject to copyright too but it would depend on what was played as to which clause of copyright was in effect -- and in fact it could span multiple different clauses (much like music would have a copyright for songs writer as well as the recording artist, games would have copyrights on the music, artwork, etc and that IP might not be owned by the same publisher). I don't know the law (any international laws) regarding performing DVDs aside that some countries have exemptions for schools perform.
Then you have something called "fair use" which grants permissions to use, redistribute and even modify copyrighted content -- albeit with a strict set of caveats.
Needless to say, things were complicated enough even before internet distribution changed the way content was "licensed".
The DRM coupled with the DMCA's anticircumvention provisions combine to make it illegal to do things that would otherwise be fair use, but this isn't because of a license.
One very important right you get by owning a copy is "first sale," that the copyright owner can't restrict you from transferring or selling the copy, and this is unaffected by the DRM. The store down the street that buys and sells CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays is evidence of that.
Even with the limitations of DRM, there's a very real difference between the kind of ownership you have with a disc and the lack of it that you have with pure-digital "buying" from most sources. (Though I believe there's some movement toward increasing consumers' rights to these kinds of digital "copies," in Europe at least.)
See also, "What Colour are your bits?": https://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/entry/23.
AFAIK most game platforms resort to just delisting and respecting purchases, with the notable exception of P.T. becoming unavailable for redownload even if you already claimed it. (Except it was a free mini-game and not a purchase) The system isn't even meant to remove owned content to the point that P.T. is still in people's redownload lists, but the download itself results in HTTP 404.
And with Steam, there's always the "option" of downloading your entire library and archiving that. IIRC Steam's DRM is notoriously easy to crack (simple DLL replacement) and things like first-time-setup (additional registry keys, redistributables, etc.) are stored per-game in simple JSON-like files. That wouldn't cover game-specific DRM but it at least covers Steam itself.
By "fraud" I meant: buying a game with a stolen payment method, that's it. If someone does that, the specific game gets removed from their account and this message is shown. The rest of their account remains untouched.
About the rest of your scenarios: They don't look at how many times you launch a game (I launched 2+ copies of a game many, many times). If a game bans you for whatever reason -- like anti-cheat misdetections -- the multiplayer-only ban is only for that game and done by the publisher (not Steam). You're confusing Valve/Steam with EasyAntiCheat, BattlEye, etc.
Steam doesn't even phone home if DRM fails, the game just doesn't launch; DRM meddling doesn't get you banned or anything.
This hinges on the fact that the license is indefinite. So presumably, this would also hold over Amazon and is probably what most consumers assume is the case. The fact that Amazon also chooses to use the word buy probably makes the applicability even stronger.
Edit: where I say "You can resell" it should be understood "You ought to be able to resell" since it is still in appeal.
Corporations clearly are taking this lesson to heart. It's only fair that we do too. If you buy content, make sure you have an unencumbered digital copy of it.
This is what happens with pretty much any digital good you buy. It's what happens with Kindle books. I remember having this very same conversation and debate on the Magic: The Gathering forums 18 years ago when Magic: The Gathering Online came out.
If you're buying a digital good and don't get a copy that you can download onto your drive and interact offline, go ahead and assume you rented it. Should be that way? I would argue no. But it's the world we live in.
No one refunded me the $2,000 I spent on Marvel Heroes when Gazillion abruptly shut the game down. I 'bought' all those digital goods, so why can't I play the game offline? Because I really just purchased a limited license (i.e. rented) to in-game items.
That's the whole issue with online consumption. The physical medium has disappeared and so only the license remains. The legal framework has not caught up yet.
Amazon T&Cs' wording is wishy-washy ("on-demand viewing over an indefinite period of time") and that wording may cause them problems especially where consumers protection is extensive. My limited knowledge on contract law is that this sort of unspecified duration may not be permitted because the parties (especially the consumer) cannot know what he is signing up to when entering into the contract.
This is not the same with a CD for a video-game, for example. I still remember that my copy of Starcraft had a note that I should notify Blizzard if I indended to lend the CD to any of my friends!
This has been one of those instances where if enough organisations tell enough consumers something is true and for long enough then people start to believe it, even when it technically isn't true.
Now, each of these could be considered to fall under fair use, but they are definitely complicating the legal case to a great extent.
Also, given that Windows is sold with a limited number of installations (license activations) allowed, even in the EU, I'm not sure that the copyright case is as simple as you claim.
I cover some of those points in a more detailed post here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24929034
As for your point about copying to RAM, you have to bare in mind that the law talks about intent and human impact rather rather than scientific specifics (be that physics, computer science, etc). This is a trap many techies make on here (since we're trained to think technically) and a point I've touched on before with regards to comments some made about youtube-dl. With regards to your specific point: if your playback software copies the file into RAM then that is considered playback (because that is the intent) not copying. The fact the playback requires copying is irreverent so long as the playback isn't used with the intent to copy. However the fact that RAM is volatile reinforces that intent (otherwise we'd have an issue with almost all tech, old and new. eg LCD panels buffer image data to be displayed).
> Also, given that Windows is sold with a limited number of installations (license activations) allowed, even in the EU, I'm not sure that the copyright case is as simple as you claim.
That's a little different there because the license activations grant additional permissions rather than adding limitations (generally speaking, of course). eg if you're licensed to install on two machines then that's more copies than copyright law normally allows. It's a bit like how GPL et al grant additional privileges that normally wouldn't be allowed under the default copyright laws. The thing to remember is that companies can grant you additional rights but they can't remove any rights you already have. So a company can say "this license allows you to install on 3 computers" but they can't say "this license doesn't allow you to install on any yellow computers".
Sure you own the CD and can actually lend it but the person you lent it to has no right to effectively use that CD since only you were granted the right (license) to copy it on a limited number (which can be 1) of your own computers.
Same if you buy a copy of MS Word. You do own the CD but you only get the license to install it on a couple of computers.
Any term that purports to prevent you from lending your property has no value. The key point is that the license prevents others from installing the software/video game.
> Sure you own the CD and can actually lend it but the person you lent it to has no right to effectively use that CD since only you were granted the right (license) to copy it on a limited number (which can be 1) of your own computers.
The second-hand gaming market is obvious proof that you are it is indeed legal for multiple people to copy the game to their own computers from the same CD. The only limitation is the same one that applies to books: copying a book that you own for personal purposes falls under fair use, but selling/lending the book without also passing on / destroying the copy invalidates the fair use exception.
This can also be seen from the existence of game rental services, and there are even libraries that lend video games.
Not legal in any country of the world I can think of.
Whether the license is fair or not is up to the consumer to decide. The Buy vs Rent labelling is misleading - but as always, buyer beware.
A lawyer representing the now-defunct Virgin Megastores is obliged by Warner Bros to contact you and insist you download a firmware update for your DVD player to disable playback of the Lord of the Rings disc you purchased 5 years ago.
The issue is that they are selling you something to "buy", when really you are renting. They are lying and deceiving.
No one's going to hold them accountable.
That said, as someone that has purchased a number of many-view licenses (clicked "buy") I feel that this distinction has always been clear. I didn't expect the money I spent to view something streamed from a server to afford the same kind of usage as a book that I bought in hard-copy 20 years ago. You're either renting for a [period of time] or purchasing unlimited views. I guess my cynicism in this regard paid off.
Changing options language to "Rent" vs. "Buy Unlimited Views" might make that more clear.
At least with iTunes, you can keep a copy in cold storage. Although Amazon lets you download content, I believe you can’t store it long term without constantly being connected to the internet.
Unless it's free of DRM and easily copied, backed up, moved, etc, you don't own it, regardless of whatever language the vendor wraps it in.
That doesn't stop me from occasionally "buying" movies or TV from Apple (for example) -- for reasons of convenience, say -- but I don't go into it blindly, and neither should anyone else.
Even in most of these cases you don't legally own it, either. Even when you buy a DVD, you are just buying a license to use that DVD to consume the content on it. You don't own the content, and it's a violation of that license to copy a movie off of a DVD and onto your hard drive, for example, even if it doesn't have DRM. It's just that the legal content owner typically doesn't come after that type of violation.
There's the DRM case, where it's represented as a purchase but only persists as long as the seller allows it to (e.g., movies or TV digitally "purchased" from almost any vendor -- Apple, Amazon, etc).
Then there's the DVD case, where they insist it's a license, but the buyer has physical control of the media and access to tech that ensures they can continue to enjoy it in perpetuity, even if the seller tries to revoke the license.
...BUT it should be illegal for a digital content provider to revoke purchased licenses without compensation, regardless of ToS.
The same way credit cards aren't allowed to set their own terms arbitrarily , neither should vendors of digital media.
If a company decides to remove individual purchased titles, they should be forced by law to refund the purchase price to everyone involved. We need legislation for this. End of story.
(If a company goes bankrupt or decides to end a service entirely it's a bit more complicated... but perhaps part of bankruptcy proceedings should be to give priority to pay a competing service a reasonable "maintenance fee" to provide continued digital access to the same titles wherever possible.)
All these businesses will continue to raise their membership fees and you still will own bupkis.
Guess I have the answer to my question now. I don't.
Will most likely purchase physical media for things that are important enough to me now.
It's not even just that, they have licensing to worry about. Do any content providers even allow a cross platform license, if the Amazon/Google/ect even wanted to do this? The content creators have always wanted to charge by the view, they never wanted it to make it easy to "own" the content.
Amazon argues it doesn't matter whether Caudel actually bothered to read the fine print.
"An individual does not need to read an agreement in order to be bound by it," writes Biderman. "A merchant term of service agreement in an online consumer transaction is valid and enforceable when the consumer had reasonable notice of the terms of service."
I've just accepted that I'll only be able to watch things once and that's fine, I have much better things to do with my life than watch movies (like starting arguments on HN.)
You end up tricking them in the short term, but they learn to avoid relying on you in the future.
If they can't actually sell you a copy of something they should stop presenting a "buy" button and stick with "rent".
It's the best of both worlds, best possible picture and sound for the big tv and I can I watch it on my phone if I want.
Guess I’ll just start scraping the media for free via tunnels and VPNs.
It's interesting how much this admission from Amazon says about the particular user. A few members of my family - and several friends - have all purchased Prime Video content that later became censored, subject to PR-fueled cancellations, or simply later had access restricted due to changing avails.
We have laws against revealing medical information about individuals, but to me it seems just as likely that content viewing history is also a strongly private thing which ought to be protected, too. Is there anything protecting people against this kind of stuff being revealed when a lawsuit is being litigated?
Go watch that text that flashed up on your old VHS tapes. You didn’t own it, you merely had a license to use it in a certain way. Invite too many people over to your house to watch a movie, you broke the license as now you’re staging a “public showing” and you don’t have a license for that. Schools used to get in trouble for this sort of thing when some kid brings in a home VHS tape and plays it at “school movie night.”
Yeah...that's the entire point of the discussion being held.
When did it become a thing to call everything "clickbait"? The headline is literally a description of their argument, which is the point being discussed. Do you know what "clickbait" is?
How does this qualify?