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#123229 - 06/22/03 06:55 PM "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
BillyBob Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 7858
Loc: North Florida
I'm sure that most of us, if we look at the licensing agreement at all, seldom read it in much, if any, detail. I finally installed "Harvest" today and learned that one of the requirements for "using" this game (we don't own it, only the disk it's on) is that we cannot loan it out.

This requirement may be present in other licensing agreements but it's the first time I recall seeing it. If some of these games, and eventually all, I imagine, are going to put this into their licensing requirements maybe the disc should cost less since that's all we're buying. laugh
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#123230 - 06/23/03 04:21 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Kickaha Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 2413
Loc: Cambridge, England
Seems odd doesn't it? Buying something only to find a licence which says you don't own it in the normal sense of own.

Coins have two sides. Trading swapping loaning copying for friends all mean people playing the game but the developer getting nothing. It's a little contradictory to expect new commercial games and expect technical support for them yet not worry about the developer's income.
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#123231 - 06/23/03 07:59 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
mbc841 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 368
Loc: Alexandria, VA USA
Billybob, the License Agreement that is included with "Harvest" is a "generic" - you know the deal - one of these fill-in-the-blank jobs, sort of like those fill-in-the-blank wills you can buy. I went through and inserted my name and the games name in all appropriate spots. I really don't remember seeing the part about not letting anyone loan the game out, but I'm not surprised it's in there. These license things are so long and so detailed. I personally have absolutely no problem with anyone loaning the game out - or trading - or re-selling - or pretty much anything. I'm not a legal person, and generally, don't really understand half of what's in these types of agreements - but I did have to put a license agreement in the game to protect the game. So anyone reading this, please, FEEL FREE to loan the game out to anyone you want. smile smile smile
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#123232 - 06/23/03 09:11 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
Most, if not all, license agreements will have something about loaning - I think what it really refers is the act of "public lending", rather then trying to stop you loaning it out to a friend or relative - if you were offering to loan it to anyone who happened by, you would, to all intents and purposes, be loaning it to the public - video/game rental stores are allowed to do this through purchasing special copies of games and movies or however they do it because that's the business they are in and the developers make money from these "legitimate" loans.

A lot of things now, especially DVDs are marked "Rental Copy" or " Retail Copy - NOT for rental", so you know exactly whch version you have - so, a rental store found renting "Retail" copies would be in trouble as they wouldn't have paid the same (as they would for rental copies) for them and therefore the developers would be out of pocket.

I'm sure this is the reason why the "floating game" thing was stopped on this site - since Game Boomers is a public forum where anybody can join, lending out games to people who simply add their name to a list, amounts to public lending.

And you never own what's on the disc - that belongs to the copyright holders.

Feel free anyone, to correct me if I am wrong.

Dan.
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Derman

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#123233 - 06/23/03 05:16 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
BillyBob Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 7858
Loc: North Florida
This is an excerpt from the Harvest agreement:

"You have no right to sublicense, resell, lease, rent or [b]loan "Harvest" without the express written permission of Michael B. Clark."[/b]

As a kid I was among the neighborhood borrowers and loaners/traders and sellers of comic books. At five cents they were still a problem to buy. After all, being a kid with no income, a nickle was a lot. Eventually they rose to ten cents a copy. Was this caused by the loaning/trading/selling of comics? Doesn't matter, really, because I have to assume the price increase took care of the problem to the satisfaction of all those who had a hand in the comic before I bought it. The difference between then and now is that no one thought of stopping all this by making it illegal. Once we have lost the right to own what we have bought then we will find this practice used in everything.......everything! Already, prices rise because not enough people are buying to keep the "profit margin" up or they are rising because everyone is buying and the profit can be greater. laugh

Of course, it is not important (in the long run) to me personally. I won't be around to see what all this brings about. So, if you accept without question all the changes that are occurring from day to day you will one day find yourself with little to call your own. Actually, it is already that way to a large degree but few people seem able to comprehend it. If you live long enough, you will.

Long ago, only the poor lived on waterfront property. Then the more well-to-do folks began wanting to live on the water. Waterfront property was either bought at a price higher than it's worth at the time or politicians taxed the poor folks out and the rich got it anyway. Now all waterfront property is valued and high priced and only the rich can afford it. The analogy to the above is a little hard to see untill you realize that those in power are going to squeeze the rest of the people as hard and as long as they are permitted to do so. Aren't the "people" supposed to be the ones in power?

I am well aware that many will think all this foolish but that's O.K., I understand. laugh
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#123234 - 06/23/03 05:45 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
randwill Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 235
Loc: Greensboro,N.C.,USA
If I buy a book and loan it to my friend after I read it, have I stolen from the author/publisher? Do I own the book, or have I just purchased a license to read it?
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#123235 - 06/23/03 06:23 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
Like I said, it's highly unlikely you will be sued and forced into a court battle for loaning a game to your friend, because a: who's going to know about it, and b: would it really be worth the expense to the developer/publisher?

However if you stood outside your house and proclaimed to everyone around that they could come and rent/borrow games off you, and they could tell everyone they knew about this, and they could also come, and people could also log onto your website to put in an order, then that's going to be a different matter - I really don't see that as a problem or as anything new - people who create things, whatever they may be, have the right to do with them as they please, and also to govern how they are used and distributed.

Books are a different matter - there isn't anywhere that rents books as far as I know - there are libraries of course, but they are allowed to loan out books, and if I'm not mistaken are entitled to a free copy of every book published, on the proviso it is loaned out for free.

Also, prices of things like games and movies rise because of the ever increasing mass illegal market that sees millions of illegal copies changing hands every year, making the "pirates" lots of cash, and the developers and publishers nothing! This has been made even worse in recent years thanks to the internet and the ability to download anything you like for nothing, resulting in even less legitimate copies being sold - many more millioons are lost to the game industry as a whole every year due to these problems, than are made through the sale of legitimate copies.

I guess though that that's alright - game developers are rich, they can afford it right? They sell zillions of copies and make zillions of dollars - while this may be true for some games such as GTA3, which admittedly did sell a heck of a lot copies (money also made to Take 2 through an exclusive PS2 deal), it is simply not true for smaller developers, who struggle sometimes to even sell 100,000 copies of a game - imagine if those 100,000 legitimate copies sold were only 100,000 of 400,000 actually "bought" by people through all available channels, and you can see the problem.

Let's not forget where a lot of this "pirate" money goes - drugs, arms, terrorism - and more - organsied criminal gangs will make money any way they can, and usually through the fastest, easiest, and most effective ways possible, such as ripped of software, games, and movies - we're getting slightly off topic here but still worth mentioning.

I've also seen teenage kids on message boards telling of how, now they have cable internet, they're going to download games, copy them and sell them to their friends - while this is not in the same league as mass produced illegal product, it still amounts to a problem, and just adds to the amount lost overall.

Don't forget also, games are getting more and more complicated and take longer and longer to make - games can be in development for up to 4 years and have a whole army of staff behind them, and costs millions more each year to make - some increase in price is a natural bi-product of those changing technological innovations.

Things just aren't as simple and laid back today as they might have been years ago - business has grown and grown - raising money for projects is becoming harder and harder, resulting in more and more people being involved in any one project, all of whom want a piece of the pie - financiers and investors want a return on their investment, sponsors want exclusive deals for this and that, and they want this in return for that - there are so many things going on, you NEED a license agreement that governs everything and its dog, just to cover yourself in case someone tries to rip you, as the developers/publisher, off - it's not about trying to stop you personally lending out a copy of something to a friend, it's about stopping mass groups of organsied career criminals from making money through unlicensed means - how can you be against that?

Phewwwww, that was a long one eh? laugh wink
Anyone else have any thoughts? I'm off back to my Harry Potter, which I CERTAINLY WILL NOT be lending out to anyone lol

Dan.
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Derman

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#123236 - 06/23/03 10:07 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Jenny Offline
Grande Olde Dame
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 31223
Loc: Northwestern New Mexico, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by BillyBob:
This is an excerpt from the Harvest agreement: [b]"You have no right to sublicense, resell, lease, rent or [b]loan "Harvest" without the express written permission of Michael B. Clark."[/b][/b]
And Michael just said in his post "I personally have absolutely no problem with anyone loaning the game out - or trading - or re-selling - or pretty much anything."--so I guess we're off the hook... laugh
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#123237 - 06/23/03 10:42 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Originally posted by TheDerman:
Books are a different matter - there isn't anywhere that rents books as far as I know - there are libraries of course, but they are allowed to loan out books, and if I'm not mistaken are entitled to a free copy of every book published, on the proviso it is loaned out for free.
Oh - I wish that's the case here... libraries (at least here in Australia) are definitely not entitled to a free copy of every book published... and libraries here get such a measly amount of funding from councils that they're often forced to sell older copies of their books that nobody reads anymore just to scrap in (barely) enough money to buy 1 copy of a new release.

Oh BTW - there are stores that lease out comic books and stuff... smile Usually those anime comics I admit, so not the usual types of books you'd see in the libraries...

...as for that particular line in license agreements about not lending games out to friends, it only exists for some license agreements I believe (alas, I am one of those bored people that have nothing better to do than read through the software contracts out of curiosity). Anyhow - out of all the games contract I've read so far I've only seen 1 other games where lending of game was mentioned - and it only refers to the lending of games under a commercial environment (which was not permitted). Any other form of lending is apparently ok. I guess there's quite a few "standard" software contracts out there...

Now, as for how effective the licensing agreement is in the battle against piracy, I am not sure I've heard from anywhere where its effectiveness has won for its company a great deal of lost profits etc... except for Microsoft that is wink People seem to be pirating as much as ever (if not more than the past)... I do my bit to help companies survive by purchasing legal softwares, but given my limited abilities, that's all I can do.

Personally though, I still don't see why there's anything wrong with lending games (or books or audio CDs etc) out especially to friends without the intention of making money or making a copy...

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#123238 - 06/23/03 11:11 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
mszv Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 1565
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA (left my bel...
Here's a brief aside on libraries and books - in the US, libraries have to buy them. You know, I bet that's how it is in the UK too. As for getting rid of books, all libraries do that, even well funded libraries - it's called "weeding". You can't keep everything forever, so you make judgements as to what to keep in your collection. Also, it doesn't make sense to keep all books - examples are "how to books" for computers, which date rather quickly. (Aside, there is a librarian in my family, so I learned this stuff). You also throw out books in bad condition. We aren't talking about the rare 1st edition novel here, depending on the library those are books a library will keep, and if it's really valuable, it won't circulate - you only get to look at in the library.

As for software - you don't own ANY commercial software you buy - you never did. As far as I know, you have a license to use the software, and that's it. This is not new. The exception is open source software such as Linux. The Linux operating system software is free (it's "open source") and you can even modify the source code. Different companies can charge you for Linux (the packaging, extra services, etc.) but the software is open source and it's free.

I think Michael was very smart to include a license agreement. We know he's a good guy, but he has to protect himself and his work.
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#123239 - 06/23/03 11:24 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Magician Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 735
Loc: Sydney, Australia
oh - weeding out books are to be expected naturally wink But libraries in Sydney seem to be doing an extraordinary amount of weeding... they're definitely getting a lot less books than a library normally sells... and books are still expensive even though libraries here don't have to pay taxes on them.

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#123240 - 06/23/03 11:36 PM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10308
Well this is why I hate generic contracts and forms. I know there's little choice for people who have to watch their money - but want to give themselves protection. The problem with them is that they are overbroad, have everything known to man in them - whether it's relevant, helpful or even correct given the ever changing sea of laws. Every time a court rules - the law is altered. Of course I am very biased on this as I write contracts/ legal forms for a living. With a clear preference and goal to have them written in lucid and plain english . Granted there are always a couple of "terms of the art" type phrases that have to be present for "legal" reasons - all would be much better with contracts, documents and user manuals that people can understand, easily and without a legal dictionary at their side. smile

But the main thing is "common sense should rule" No one is going to know, care or prove you loaned a game and technically there's nothing wrong with lending your game. You can re-sell it so lending certainly wouldn't be a problem. Trust me - if selling used games wasn't permitted - oportunistic attorneys all over the place would be raking in the bucks going after EBay. laugh

Laura
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#123241 - 06/24/03 04:02 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Kickaha Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 2413
Loc: Cambridge, England
Laura you're speaking about countries like the US and UK when you say when a court makes a ruling the law is changed. That's case law (IIRC) but that isn't the way law works in say France. (They have statute law is it?) That's by the by.

What can we do to ensure new games keep arriving on a website near us? Some people will do games out of love as a hobby (and good for them.) But if you want more Syberias then somehow a team of people needs to be funded to produce them.

Buskers carry on a long tradition of passing round the hat to collect money after a performance. Perhaps shareware is a good model - if there was a culture of "I really liked that game so I'll reward the creator" that'll avoid a lot of worries about piracy and copying and licences.

But in the Internet age there's an expectation of everything is free. Wonder with shareware what fraction of people actually give?

Regards, Peter.
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Used to answer to "Peter Smith", now answers to "Peter Rootham-Smith"

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#123242 - 06/24/03 06:13 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
TheDerman Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1254
Loc: England
You may be right about libraries - that was just off the top of my head.

My comments about piracy were in relation to increasing retail prices rather than license agreements. "Pirates" care nothing of licenses or copyright laws - piracy, especially with games will always be around until we get rid of the attitude that games cost the earth just because developers are greedy and want to rip us off, or the absurd notion that piracy is not a problem.

I do remember actually a certain video rental store in a town near me, that used to buy one rental copy, and then run off around 10 extra copies of it to rent out - they used the video sleeves marked "sample" in each copied version - of course these video sleeves were marked "sample" to prevent that very thing - needless to say, they are no longer in business.

Generic contracts can, I guess, be bad things - but what first tine indie developer can afford to pay huge lawyer fees? Without a lawyer it's difficult to know exactly what the law is, and what you need to do specifically to cover yourselves, so you have to revert to a generic pre-written statement.

One things though - if a license agreements says you can't sell/trade/loan a game, then by law I guess you can't, not once you've agreed - I wonder though since these agreements are usually on the condition that you install and play a game, whether if you didn't install or play it, you could in effect rent them out???

These kinds of things are minefields, and that's anothe reason you have to cover everything - because if you do ever need to go to court, the opposition will be doing everythign they can to find loopholes in your agreements and the law to get out of it - and if you've covered everything from loaning the game to using the disc as a coaster once you're done, then you've a better chance of coming out of it on top.
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#123243 - 06/24/03 06:38 AM Re: "Harvest" - interesting license agreement!
Clare Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/12/00
Posts: 691
Loc: London, UK
The thing about libraries - here in the UK, as well as the other countries mentioned, libraries have to pay for books. frown However, there are a few libraries, known as copyright libraries, which do get a copy of every book or journal published in the UK for free. The two I know of are the British Library in London, and Oxford University's Bodleian Library. They often have books published outside of the UK as well, but have to pay for these I think. Neither of these libraries lend books - you can only read them in the library itself. Membership is also restricted, to scholars or people who can show a need to use the books.

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