This week, a patent was published by Apple containing ideas for how they could create a sort of secondhand market for digital items like games, movies, books, etc. by allowing users to loan out or even sell content they’ve purchased to other people.
It’s not a completely unprecedented concept. Green Man Gaming allows users to “trade in” some of the PC games they’ve bought from the site for game credit, for one, and Steam allows users to trade some in-game items. But this is Apple we’re talking about here. You know, a mega-corporation.
Use of such a system could be more dynamic than simply loaning and selling, as Apple Insider notes: “This may be useful in games that can only be played with or nearby the original owner or in an educational setting where students can only, for example, watch a movie in the presence of a school teacher (who may be the original owner).”
One concern I’d have about a thing like this is that it would drive up the cost of items in the App Store that come with this functionality. What do you guys think about the possibilities here?