Tag Archives: Legal

Landmark EU ruling permits resale of digital downloads/licenses [updated]

A political map of Europe, overlaid with the stars of the flag of the European Union and a pair of golden scales in the middle

So, here’s an interesting divide between USA law and EU law. In the USA, you almost never buy software or video games. No, the license says you’re only buying a license to use the software (which is conveniently being loaned to you free-of-charge on a disk or as a digital download or whatever) under limited circumstances as laid out by the license. Did you buy a copy of Windows or Call of Duty or whatever? No. The paperwork says you bought a right to use that software until the publisher says otherwise, and that the software remains the property of the publisher.

This arrangement has been upheld by US courts on a number of occasions, so no, you’re not buying those games. They’re just loaned to you under a limited set of circumstances. This holds doubly true for digital downloads, in the main.

What makes this a bit weird is that the USA’s Uniform Commercial Code (variations of which exist in most countries) has always maintained that once a purchase has been made, no further conditions can be imposed. That is, any license agreements and the like have to be agreed to before the purchase takes place and not (for example) once you open the box or start installing. US Court rulings on End-User-License-Agreements (EULAs) and shrink-wrap/click-through agreements say much the opposite, however, and it is what is ruled in court that matters.

And that brings us to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which has basically ruled that all those EULAs, and click-through license agreements are basically bunk as far as this is concerned and that you actually did buy the software itself.

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DayZ network compromised

Many, many zombies crest a hill, moving slowly towards a building

It seems a rather unpleasant person has gained access to a key email account, which in turn has allowed them to compromise the DayZ server network. Anyone who provided login credentials to the DayZ team should consider those credentials compromised. Likewise, a trojan was placed on the US mirror as dayz_auto_updater.exe, and this will have installed back-doors on systems that executed it.

Server admins, get someone to make coffee, because you’ve got a fair bit of work to do to see if you’re safe, or to fix things if you’re not. DayZ forum users, your forum passwords have been leaked. Change them.

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Will Wright’s HiveMind tied up in “atrocity” and “genocide” legal battle

Jawad Ansari (left) and Will Wright holding a hammer (right)

Just to be clear, before we move on, there are two Hive Minds. There’s “HiveMind”, which is the idea of developers harvesting your mobile and social data extensively to create a game that is specifically targeted at an individual user, and there’s “Hive Mind”, the actual company formed to exploit that idea commercially.

Now the former HiveMind (the idea) seems to be now tied up indefinitely with litigation involving the ex-CEO of the latter Hive Mind (the company).

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