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The grim inevitability of hacking: any fool can throw rocks

Friday, 3rd January 2014 11:14 GMT By Matt Martin

Steam is down. Origin is down. League of Legends is down. Battle.net is down. Happy New Year.

Hackers took down the biggest gaming services on the internet this morning. Valve’s Steam was hit, as was EA’s Origin, Blizzard’s Battle.net and Riot’s League of Legends. A small group, upset that a professional player was streaming gameplay and hoping to make some money from it, was apparently responsible, and even went so far as to cause him to be arrested by armed police.

Luckily, you don’t have to suffer getting a gun pointed at your head, but you still have to face the grim inevitability of your favourite gaming service being hacked, of hitting refresh and staring at you own pudgy reflection in the blank screen. It’s another depressing brick in the wall of online gaming. There’s not much you can do but wait it out. It might last an hour. It might last a month.

Gamers are at the mercy of hackers and they must surely love it. Whether the result of personal vendettas or clumsy politics, we all feel the pain of their bludgeoning attacks. They don’t speak for me and I doubt they speak for you. I just want to play my game, but some asshole has it in a stranglehold, has wrestled it to the floor and is repeatedly DDoSing it in the face. It’s as frustrating for the game-makers as it is for the players, but it’s easy to lose sight of that and just shout at someone, anyone, to fix the fucking thing.

It’s not true anarchy or revolution or politics. It’s throwing rocks for the sake of fucking shit up.

According to today’s reports, all of this morning’s attacks could be thanks to a hacker group, these self-righteous internet vigilantes, being upset with just one person. In truth, it doesn’t matter. They may be annoyed with one corporation, or one game, or the whole world and everyone in it. There is no real justification for hacking a video game, sending a SWAT team to someone’s house, or prank calling a person because they tried to make some money off game streaming. Pranks? What are you, Dennis the Menace?

These gamers who are trying to turn their hobby into a living are entrepreneurial, thinking creatively and doing what we’re all trying to do: turn a job into a fun way of living. They’re not any of the real villains. They’re not the NSA or MI5 or News Corp. They’re not running for president. They didn’t shoot a Kennedy.

These kids attacking games with their mad script skillz are throwing stones. I doubt they fully understand what they’re doing. They may scratch a car or put a window through. They may crack a skull. They may miss completely. Does it take skill and knowledge to bring down a service like Steam? It does, but we don’t have to admire it. It’s not true anarchy or revolution or politics. It’s throwing rocks for the sake of fucking shit up, and damn the consequences. It’s Early Man thumping a car engine because he’s mad at the weather. It makes no sense.

That we just have to accept it is depressing. We can’t ignore it because it’s in our faces, everyone’s fun spoilt. It’s an insult. But what’s the solution? There isn’t one. Security gets beefed up but new attacks will come. It’s a never-ending battle, Sysphus pushing the boulder up the hill. It’s just a shame these latest pests aren’t in the path as it rolls back down to crush them like the cockroaches they are.

I’d like to pitch a solution but I can’t. It doesn’t matter if you think Steam is a monopoly, or Origin is heavy with the ban hammer, or Battle.net’s customisation options suck, or League of Legends is full of player abuse. These are problems that can be solved over time. It doesn’t look like hacking and DDoSing in games (or cracking, or whatever you want to call it this week) will ever disappear. But we have to stand up to the bullies for the mess and mockery they make. We have to soldier on, condemning the idiots and banding together to support the services we use and love.

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73 Comments

  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    “staring at you own pudgy reflection in the blank screen”

    Newsflash ! New editor calls all readers fat ! :)

    #1 11 months ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    :D

    #2 11 months ago
  3. absolutezero

    Lets be honest here DDoS is hardly hacking, its stupidly easy to do and sites need a better defense against it. Whether thats something like a third party site like Skyfire or increased host communication.

    Script kiddies are stupid, drunk off of their own sense of importance and power over things that most people use as entertainment or time wasting. They seem to think that shutting down youtube for a couple of hours is a worthwhile endeavor. Its bizarre.

    I also play Tearaway in the dark so I don’t have to see my hideous mush peering into the World like some satanic Teletubbies Sun Baby.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Faceless

    I think articles like these are giving the attackers what they want, or at the very least providing them with rife amusement. Not to mention it’s essentially advertising them, i.e. those who want to see more of this happening can call out to them.

    It is rather depressing that there is no solution, yes, but such articles are not it either. “Standing up” to bullies will at most resulting in attracting their attention and have them DDoS your website, too. Neither is publicly cursing at them “standing up”. It’s like waving your fist at their back.

    The best way to battle them is to raise awareness, in the hopes that one day their “fame” will attract authorities.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    “I think articles like these are giving the attackers what they want”

    “The best way to battle them is to raise awareness”

    Sorry? Anyway, I think this is a very good type of article. A bit of perspective most welcome.

    #5 11 months ago
  6. Faceless

    @5 Giving them prolonged spotlight and covering contemporary events are two vastly different things, I figured. Especially when this article is seething with passive aggression, rather than constructive thought.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. tenthousandgothsonacid

    @3 The Satanic Sun Babies is quite a good band name

    #7 11 months ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    @6 Articles are written to an audience. Nothing in the article suggests the author is addressing the instigators.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. wickedcricket

    ummm who is this guy?

    @4 I totally agree!

    “..but you still have to face the grim inevitability of your favourite gaming service being hacked” – oh great another idiot who can’t tell a difference between a hacker and a cracker…

    “I’d like to pitch a solution but I can’t.” – then shout your filthy mouth ffs and leave it to professionals that are trying to fix the issue, glorifying criminals won’t make any difference here.

    I hate journalists that are trying to force through awareness to people that are already aware, so “shut your face Matt”.

    What do you think it is? IGN.com?

    #9 11 months ago
  10. Faceless

    @8 “They may be annoyed with one corporation, or one game, or the whole world and everyone in it. There is no real justification for hacking a video game, sending a SWAT team to someone’s house, or prank calling a person because they tried to make some money off game streaming. Pranks? What are you, Dennis the Menace?

    That aside, I wasn’t making the claim regarding who his addressees were. I was saying it’s giving them undeserved exposure while amusing them with impotent rage.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. Talkar

    @9
    Chill dude, if you disagree simply say so, no need to be a dick about it.
    Also, there is no rule defining that black hatters have to be called crackers. Only, the white hatters as a group takes distance from the term, while black hatters don’t, which mean black hatters can be called both hackers and crackers. They mean the same thing in that case.

    #11 11 months ago
  12. Dragon

    Just to clarify to any uninitiated, its just DDoS, no loss of any personal data these corporations had.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. Gekidami

    So this time the hackers arent heroes? Sorry, the goal posts move a bit to fast for me.

    #13 11 months ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @9 you mad bro?

    #14 11 months ago
  15. OlderGamer

    “But we have to stand up to the bullies for the mess and mockery they make.”

    Would that be the hackers or the corp. suits that force unfair, one sided forms of DRM down our throats with aim of maintaining control over our gaming? Because to be honest every time one of these mega million dollar “services” go down for a bit, part of me deep down smiles. Sure it can be a bit inconvenient, but hitting these goons in their wallets is the only thing they understand.

    If you look at the gaming industry with any level scope, it can be tough to separate the good guys from the bad.

    #15 11 months ago
  16. Dragon

    ^ Then dont buy their games. No one is forcing you too. Or do you enjoy people losing jobs?

    This internet company hate mentality is exactly what breeds these crackers.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. YoungZer0

    The kids are douchebags, no question about that, but I still find it incredibly pathetic that such huge corporations can be attacked this easily. It’s our games and money on the line here.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. OlderGamer

    I don’t think so Dragon. I think instances like this just point out the folly of always online structures. It highlights the fact that increasingly we don’t have any type of ownership over our game library. While the liscencing laws have always maintained that we never “Owned” a game, the fact remains that I can still(anytime I want) play my Retro systems. From Atari2600 to Stuff I own on Disc today. But I think as corp. control tightens going forward we will lose that ability. Even in the console space. We lost digital purchases made on Xbox(Orig), and we all stand to lose a lot more content once MS/Sony retire xb360/PS3.

    That is the crux of it for me.

    That being said, I am mainly a Steam gamer. And I play on PC more then anything else. I am not cutting my nose off to spite my face so to speak. Steam is back up and working fine at my end, btw. It just is what it is.

    Some things in life have checks and balances. The fact that online services can be taken down(seemingly at will) is one of those checks. It kept the X1 from being totally digital/online(public reaction/pressure). And in some small way I think that is a good thing.

    #18 11 months ago
  19. Joe Musashi

    suits that force unfair, one sided forms of DRM down our throats with aim of maintaining control over our gaming

    Nobody is forcing anything down anyone’s throat.

    It’s their platform, they created it, they spent the billions of dollars on R&D, manufacture and so on. As its theirs and belongs to them, they get to say under which terms its accessed.

    Nothing is being forced, you can simply walk away. Take it or leave it. Nobody is a villain.

    Gaming isn’t ‘ours’. And as commerce moves to service-based from box-based models, the myth of ownership is going to be increasingly removed from reality.

    Its pure melodrama to talk about this in reference to ‘bullies’ ‘villains’ and things ‘being forced down our throats’.

    As for hackers, the only way they act is to hack. That’s what defines them. It’s a destructive rather than constructive act. When hackers learn to engage in a constructive manner then they will make some progress. As it stands, they are just protesters throwing digital eggs at something.

    JM

    #19 11 months ago
  20. OlderGamer

    Look at it another way: who should you get mad at? The hackers or the company for being vulnerable? YoungZer0 has a point. I tend to blame the companies more. It is their responsibility. It is their show. And in most cases they are the ones pushing for connected services. If they can’ keep them safe….?

    #20 11 months ago
  21. Joe Musashi

    …that increasingly we don’t have any type of ownership over our game library…

    You never have. Get over it.

    JM

    #21 11 months ago
  22. OlderGamer

    Watch your steps fellas, would hate to see one of you falling from atop your high horses. That can happen sometimes when you drink too much coolaid.

    #22 11 months ago
  23. Gekidami

    Oh the irony. OG talking about high horses.

    #23 11 months ago
  24. Joe Musashi

    There’s nothing about being on a high-horse simply because some here understand the difference between ownership and assumed ownership and then performing melodramatic bleating when reality doesn’t fall in line with assumption.

    A snide remark doesn’t alter any of that.

    JM

    #24 11 months ago
  25. OlderGamer

    “While the liscencing laws have always maintained that we never “Owned” a game, the fact remains that I can still(anytime I want) play my Retro systems. From Atari2600 to Stuff I own on Disc today.”

    Miss that part Joe?

    And of course:

    “Its pure melodrama to talk about this in reference to ‘bullies’ ‘villains’ and things ‘being forced down our throats’.”

    And:

    “You never have. Get over it.”

    Aren’t snide at all.

    Joe, I liked you better as Kerplunk and Shatner. More transparent then.

    #25 11 months ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @23 Having an opinion is a high horse now?

    Is there a single person on here anymore that can have a discussion without resorting to personal insults?

    ——-

    As for the topic, nobody is glorifying criminals. The point he’s making is that getting upset over things that happen on the internet is pointless.

    Companies do what they can to fix the problems, as quickly as they can. What the point in going nuts aboutit? There are people who completely lose their shit over this sort of stuff. It’s mindblowing. I mean seriously lose their shit. They go crazy online and scream and shot and spaz out for hours on end, because a game service goes down.

    It happens.

    If it happens when I want to enjoy that particular product… I just go something else until it’s fixed.

    Crazy idea, I know.

    #26 11 months ago
  27. Joe Musashi

    High horses don’t work when the horse is facing the wrong way.

    JM

    #27 11 months ago
  28. Legendaryboss

    First opinion piece within 24hrs of announced position, someone doesn’t mess about with time. This one is looking like it is gaining traction with the community as well.

    Hacking is a tricky business depending on whom your dealing with but the blame i think goes to both groups involved: The hackers and the organisation. Simply put an attack needs a group of hackers (the cause) and the ease of various attacks as it seems shows an organisation lack of security in terms of management of network (the victim).

    Should we acknowledge it? Yes we can’t brush it under the carpet as if nothing exists. Should we confront it? Well that ain’t our job rather the organisation under the spell.

    #28 11 months ago
  29. Cobra951

    While these self-righteous script morons bother me (who wouldn’t be bothered?) what really concerns me is the fact that they can achieve their goals at all. Is the infrastructure or security tech so poor that any idiot can go read some instructions or download a script, and wreak havoc on widespread services? There’s the real story. This is what needs to be brought out in the open, and shamed into improvement. Kids with rocks will never go away. So stop building structures out of thin glass.

    #29 11 months ago
  30. Ireland Michael

    @29 The tech and security isn’t poor at all. How do you protect an exploit you didn’t even know existed until someone exploited it?

    Technology and coding is obscenely complicated. A lot of these times these hackers are employed by companies themselves to brute force their programmes and code, in order to find those exploits in the first place. These people are experts at what they do.

    While yes, situations certainly do occur where someone simply “reads some instructions and wreck havoc”, it’s naive to suggest that this is case in most situations.

    Stuff like DDoS attacks are difficult to stop, as all they’re essentially doing is sending lots of requests to your site, to a degree the server simply can’t handle. Situations like stealing personal indentification isn’t really hacking most of the time, it’s phishing, which is simply convincing people through deception to provide their details.

    #30 11 months ago
  31. thegrimmling

    Anyone else find it funny how the conversation here is turning into who is the most correct?

    You are starting to sound like the kids you hate.

    #31 11 months ago
  32. noobman

    @32 Hows brother Dexter?

    #32 11 months ago
  33. salarta

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that the guys responsible for these things are nothing more than stupid, immature kids. Even if they’re physically adults, their actions speak to their mentality. The matter of their idiocy doesn’t change no matter what they do. Even by the simplest metric, they’re using tools other people made to carry out their antics, revealing they can’t do much of anything all by themselves.

    #33 11 months ago
  34. JB

    @21 so the whole reversal about Xbox One´s DRM policies had nothing to do with ownership issues…

    The whole reselling of licenses issue in Germany didn`t happen either…

    Yeah right…

    #34 11 months ago
  35. Ireland Michael

    @34 He’s been beating that horse for a while now, even though its deader than dead.

    Any data stored on my device and legally obtained by me is my complete ownership, to do with entirely as I please. I can mod it, hack it, change it and alter it however I please, as long as I don’t profit from it. The law backs this up, and the courts back this up. At least here in Europe.

    Licenses agreement, ToAs and EULAs mean absolutely nothing if the courts and laws system otherwise. They’re irrelevant documents made to coerce people away from even considering a reaction, nothing more, and they exist solely to try and protect the companies. I can’t speak for America, but our courts are actually invested in protecting people’s rights.

    #35 11 months ago
  36. Joe Musashi

    DRM isn’t about ownership, it’s about enforcement of control by the owners.

    A software licence is not software. Owning the former does not equate to ownership of the latter.

    Software/data isn’t physical. The notion that you own data it because you posess the physical medium it’s delivered on is a fallacy.

    JM

    #36 11 months ago
  37. Cobra951

    @35: Here in America, the fair-use doctrine is supposed to offer us similar consumer protection. Corporations have been trying to chip away at it, however, and we never know which way judicial decisions are going to go. My attitude is exactly the same as yours, regardless. I will continue to stake my complete ownership-and-control claim on anything that I buy, and I will reject outright any DRM systems which take any part of it away.

    #37 11 months ago
  38. Joe Musashi

    “My attitude is exactly the same as yours, regardless. I will continue to stake my complete ownership-and-control claim on anything that I buy, and I will reject outright any DRM systems which take any part of it away.”

    The bolded part is key. Do you know what you have bought? Because, in the context of videogames, if you think you have bought the software then you are mistaken.

    When I get the “I bought it so it’s mine!” argument presented, I picture someone standing up, folding their arms and sticking their chin out defiantly. Which is all well and good, but that doesn’t necessary make the statement true, regardless of the conviction it’s delivered with.

    As a consumer, your choices are to take it or leave it. Because ownership is never transferred to the consumer, the consumer is not granted the right to dictate the terms of usage.

    People have got used to assuming the opposite, however. When the genuine owners try to enforce their control you get the sort of reception the original XBox One’s DRM policy got. Outrage and outcry. That doesn’t mean Microsoft weren’t within their rights, just that people didn’t like the methods they were proposing.

    Microsoft should have left that for one more generation. Ultimately everything will go digital and the decades of self-indulgent misinterpretation of ownership will evaporate.

    To all and any that would argue otherwise I encourage you to read the software licence in your videogame manual(s).

    JM

    #38 11 months ago
  39. Ireland Michael

    @36 The law says otherwise.

    I own what’s on the disc. Completely and absolutely. Just as I own a book. I can do whatever I want with it. I can even resell it’s altered form (exchange of goods) as long as I don’t make copies. (piracy)

    In fact, the laws here are moving even more in defence of that. Digital services are required to permanently provide me with access to download anything that I purchased from them, as long as they remain in business. Even if they lose the rights to continue selling a particular title, they have to continue to provide access to it to anyone who previously bought it. Publishers are required to abide by this as well.

    “To all and any that would argue otherwise I encourage you to read the software licence in your videogame manual(s).”

    I encourage you to understand the fact that any time this argument has been made in a court of law in the EU it has been thrown out the windows.

    It has about as much wait as the “viewing licence” of a DVD. Those laws were devised for the purpose of combating piracy so they could use them in court against people guilty of such. No company is stupid enough to actually enforce them on people (except the RIAA, but hey… ‘Murica), and no high court would let them.

    You can claim “software license” as much as you please Joe, but the courts say you’re full of shit. Its a meaningless buzzword. In fact, laws are currently being put together in the EU *specifically* to declare that people do, in fact, possess ownership of data.

    Any company that claims otherwise with have a hundred interests groups with vast pockets of money breathing down their throats if they don’t comply.

    #39 11 months ago
  40. Joe Musashi

    @39 The law doesn’t say otherwise. You don’t own what’s on the disc. There are literally tens of millions of examples of this sitting on consumers shelves at the moment.

    There are some very significant lines being blurred here: ownership is absolutely central to the argument and it’s why ownership of the software is absolutely not transferred to you. It never will be. Not for 50 bucks. If you want to genuinely become the owner of the software it’s more likely to set you back six figures (and that’s not including the legal fees).

    Things like ‘access’ and ‘usage’ and ‘licence’ and even ‘reselling’ (which has a handful of exceptions and certainly does not nullify the millions of cases that make up the norm) are not the same as ‘ownership’.

    You are not the owner. You absolutely do not own the data, you merely have access to it under certain terms. (And you’ll typically find that those terms state that your usage of the data declares agreement of those terms. So proceeding to use the data and then arguing that you don’t care for the terms puts you on the wrong side of the argument by default)

    Digital distribution doesn’t make any difference to this argument. No changes in ownership (and the lack of transfer of ownership) will be being made.

    And I’ll tell you why: because it doesn’t need to be. Because those billions of apps on those billions of smartphones and tablets already outnumber physical game sales from past decades. The digital precedent has already been set. It’s been set years ago. But because there was no assumptions being made about ownership in the first place because people were getting latched on to “It’s physical, therefore I own it!” nobody has batted an eyelid.

    People are only getting bent out of shape because they believe the rules are changing. They’re not. People just have chosen to overlook the rules that didn’t suit their interests. What’s changing is the enforcement of the same rules. Now people are having to adhere to those rules. The change is that people can’t get away with their assumed ownership as much. And, naturally, they get upset about that and rattle out stock victim-pleas like “anti-consumer” at the drop of a hat.

    Extending the argument to digital is really showing how late to the party you are and how poor your comprehension is of this topic. The digital argument is already done. It was done before people were downloading Crazy Frog ringtones. That nobody was (back then) crying about owning something that was delivered purely digitally – like a ringtone – shows, very starkly, that this isn’t about rules changing.

    Ownership is key. And there is nothing that says you own the software and everything that says the publisher does.

    When you purchase a copy of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, you do not own the music The Beatles wrote. The publisher still owns that music. When you buy a DVD of StarWars, George Lucas has not transferred complete control of his seminal property over to you for ten bucks (he transferred ownership of Star Wars etc to Disney – and for a LOT more money, they own it now). And when you spend money on a videogame, the ownership of that software is not transferred to you.

    There are billions of examples of what I’m talking about. There have been one or two, very laboured, very long-toothed, very specific exceptions made for one or two specific pieces of software in very specific reselling scenarios that support your view.

    Those laws were devised for the purpose of combating piracy so they could use them in court against people guilty of such. No company is stupid enough to actually enforce them on people, and no decent court would ever do so.

    That’s a very convenient way to look at laws. If you are arguing that laws and rights should be acknowledged then you make a huge contradiction by dismissing the laws and rights that serve people other than the consumer assuming ownership. You don’t get to cherry-pick which laws matter and which don’t on a whim.

    Here’s the rub. Let this one sink in:

    When you pay for something, why do you think the term is “consumer” and not “owner” ?

    JM

    #40 11 months ago
  41. monkeygourmet

    @Shatner

    Now you are pretty much copying and pasting from your blog.

    #41 11 months ago
  42. Ireland Michael

    @41 He’s muddying (deliberately or unintentionally, I’m not sure) intellectual property and copyright laws with ownership laws.

    Nobody is claiming people own the music, or the characters, or the stories. They’re claiming you own the right to keep it as your possession and do with it as you wish as long as you absolve all ownership of it when you sell it.

    It’s hilariously pedantic.

    …he has a blog?

    #42 11 months ago
  43. noobman

    TEA changed his name too robot JM lol

    #43 11 months ago
  44. monkeygourmet

    @42

    Yes, it was mentioned here, way back…

    #44 11 months ago
  45. JB

    @40 You`re simply wrong and your arguments are pure misinformation.

    It doesn`t matter how many times you repeat it. The European courts thinks otherwise.

    Your example of Sergeant Pepper`s Lonely hearts Club Band illustrate that perfectly. You own that particular copy of it when you buy it. When you purchased it the righst of that particular copy is yours. It doesn`t give you the right of distributing Beatles music or make more copies of Sergeant Pepper, but that copy is yours now and you can resell it if you want.It`s been that way for years and years.

    It doesn`t matter if you call it a license. If you buy a license it`s yours.

    There`s a legal term called the first sale doctrine, and that too has been the case for years and years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

    Phil Harrison tried to sell the “game ownership must change in the future” and failed. Microsoft made a 180 and Don Mattrick even said:

    “You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you,” he wrote. “Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”

    Yet you still try and pretend that didn`t happen.

    >_<

    #45 11 months ago
  46. monkeygourmet

    @45

    Yes we know he’s talking shit. Just a bitter viewpoint that won’t hold up to scrutiny.

    Much like most of his output, I wouldn’t worry about trying to argue with him.

    #46 11 months ago
  47. JB

    @46 :)

    #47 11 months ago
  48. Joe Musashi

    JB owning a licence is not owning the material.

    Owning a software licence is not the same as owning the software.

    Thank you for clarifying that key point.

    All my other points still stand. They are all based on the understanding of ownership of software/data.

    All counter-arguments are based on assumptions or mixing up specifics.

    PR Speak doesn’t really mean a great deal. It’s designed to get people on side without actually having to do anything meaningful for it. Quoting PR speak chapter-and-verse back at me shows how effective that hollow tactic is.

    And the only reason you got that PR speech was because Microsoft proposed policy (whilst perfectly legal and in their right to enforce) was not popular. Not popular at all. So they backtracked and they said things that people wanted to hear instead of what they didn’t want to hear. Microsoft’s motivation was to make a change in order to secure sales. It was not an act of pro-consumer benevolence.

    And first sale doctrine – which is not a global outright policy anyway will be utterly nullified via digital delivery. Again: see how much it impacts the billions of ipad, iphone and smartphone app purchases. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Get ready to suck it up folks. Your mistaken belief that you own something you do not own is going to evaporate over the next generation. You will have no choice but to accept your assumed rights don’t mean much when you don’t actually own the thing in the first place.

    Every single day that passes, thousands of transactions take place that cement and add further weight to the point that I’m discussing. And if you think “It’ll never happen” look at what has already happened to the bricks-and-mortar music stores and chains that used to sell boxed music product. iTunes and digital, drm-laden delivery has decimated them. Same with places like Blockbuster vs Netflix. People are lapping this up.

    Cry, lie, stamp your feet, pull faces, make internet petitions, make desperately childish dismissive remarks, pretend decades of precedent don’t already exist, pretend billions of examples don’t already exist, pretend that a licence is software is data is a cd is digital and blur any specifics you like, pretend to ignore the change in the way content is being sold as it happens right around you :-

    It won’t make any difference. You are consumers, you are not owners.

    JM

    #48 11 months ago
  49. Ireland Michael

    “Again: see how much it impacts the billions of ipad, iphone and smartphone app purchases.”

    As long as Apple exists as a company, they are legally obliged to provide me means to access and download any content I bought from them, and any music I bought from them is my property for life – if I lose or damage it after their company goes under though, that is entirely on me.

    “And first sale doctrine – which is not a global outright policy anyway will be utterly nullified via digital delivery.”

    Digital delivery is a choice. You own your digital content anyway, so they doesn’t really matter.

    “Same with places like Blockbuster vs Netflix”

    Netflix is a service. Goods and services are entirely different things. People know that a Netfix is a rental service. They’re not stupid.

    “Get ready to suck it up folks. Your mistaken belief that you own something you do not own is going to evaporate over the next generation. You will have no choice but to accept your assumed rights don’t mean much when you don’t actually own the thing in the first place.”

    How? I will still own the right to keep and use the copy I bought however I see fit.

    “Cry, lie, stamp your feet, pull faces,”

    Nobody is doing anything of the sort, you pompous whiner.

    #49 11 months ago
  50. Joe Musashi

    “As long as Apple exists as a company, they are legally obliged to provide me means to access and download any content I bought from them, and any music I bought from them is my property for life – if I lose or damage it after their company goes under though, that is entirely on me.”

    Note the word in bold. The word you wrote.

    That has absolutely no bearing on the topic of ownership. How does your argument about reselling and doing what you like with it apply here? It doesn’t. You’re missing the point and arguing another that was never raised.

    “You own your digital content anyway, so they doesn’t really matter.”

    Not at all. You own it in as much as you own any other piece of software you have paid to access: which is to say you don’t own the software. Ownership has never been transferred to you. Access and ownership are two completely separate things. You’re (twice) referring to one and calling it the other.

    “Netflix is a service. Goods and services are entirely different things”

    Point missed about digital delivery. Well done. Also you will see more and more and more content being shifted to a service model of delivery – distancing you further from the mistaken sense of ownership you currently exhibit.

    “How? I will still own the right to keep and use the copy I bought however I see fit.”

    No you don’t. You never have. You don’t have the right of ownership. Because you don’t own it. Ownership has never been transferred to you.

    The same errors made again: blurring the lines of the details. Now your pushing access as ownership. Earlier you’re saying laws that don’t serve your interests don’t matter.

    In every single counterpoint I’ve ever read it’s abundantly clear to see it’s driven by a sense of entitlement. And the only rights people care about are the ones that serve their personal gain. Rights belonging to other parties can just be arbitrarily ignored or overrulled on a whim.

    That’s a ridiculous platform to argue from and one that no objective person can respect.

    Petty insults by way of response don’t negate any of those points.

    JM

    #50 11 months ago
  51. Ireland Michael

    You’re the sort of person Shatner, who would constantly asked to be punched in the face, and still try to claim that you are, in fact, not getting punched in the face.

    #51 11 months ago
  52. JB

    @48 ” It won’t make any difference. You are consumers, you are not owners.”

    That´s the very thing you don`t seem to grasp. Consumers have rights and owners have rights. That`s been the principle for decades. You seem to base your entire argument on the falsehood that only the owners have (or should have) rights. Buying a digital copy gives (or should give) the consumer the rights to that particular copy, they own it because they bought it, the previous owner exhausted their ownership during the sale. It doesn`t give the new owner rights to make more copies or alter the copy and it doesn`t give them the rights to ownership over the source material. That`s the way it`s been for decades for physical goods.

    The digital industry are arguing that digital goods are different from physical ones, so the spirit and principles of the first sale doctrine shouldn`t apply to their products. They`ve been trying all sorts of loopholes to get around the first sale doctrine, but it`s not fair to rent products to consumers at full price. It`s not fair that consumers should lose fundamental rights because of the form the content is delivered in. The EU ruling does not distinguish between digital or physical products. The principle is the same – if people buy a license or a product it`s theirs – they own it. If they want to resell it, it`s their right to do so.

    #52 11 months ago
  53. Joe Musashi

    “Consumers have rights and owners have rights.”

    The point is that consumers (who are not owners) do not get to overrule the endorsed rights of the owners because they happen to feel like it.

    The falsehood here is that the consumers are assuming their whims take precedence. There is plenty of evidence in this discussion that the rights/whims of anyone other than the consumer don’t even exist. Fair play to you JB that you actually acknowledge more than one party in this topic.

    Consumers do this because they are used to getting their own way because the genuine owners rarely persue consumers who carry out this inappropriate action. It’s not worth the time and effort usually – and the few times it has been persued it has made the owner appear villainous for enforcing their rights.

    I am not saying one party has rights and the other does not. It is not me that has argued that laws I don’t personally agree with simply do not matter, for example.

    But a consumer does NOT have the same rights that the owner does. And the owner’s rights – specifically in control on their material are for them to dictate, not the consumer.

    Like I say, you want to own the software, you’ll be writing a 6 figure sum for it.

    The EU ruling is absolutely worthless in respect of digital content. Because their is no enforcement to enable things like reselling content you are not the owner of. How are you going to legitimately resell that iPad app you just paid two bucks for?

    JM

    #53 11 months ago
  54. Ireland Michael

    Which is exactly why laws regarding digital ownership to expand that sort of thing are currently being discussed in the EU courts as we speak.

    Game, set and match.

    #54 11 months ago
  55. Joe Musashi

    So something that is being ‘discussed’ is conclusive proof of an outcome you’ve been arguing already exists? How does your time machine work, precisely?

    Firstly, if it’s being discussed, it isn’t decided. Your puerile and presumptuous “game, set and match” is hugely premature.

    Secondly, it will have ZERO effect on the argument of ownership. The transfer of ownership still will not occur in precisely the same way that it doesn’t occur right now. I guarantee it. If you want to genuinely become the owner of the content you are currently paying a few bucks for you can expect the fee for it to multiply by a factor of tens of thousands.

    At no time have you ever given any indiciation that you understand what it means to own software as opposed to posess a copy of someone else’s software or access someone else software. You have consistently mixed and matched and swapped these definitions around whenever it suits you.

    Remember: a licence is not software. Access is not ownership. Possessing a copy is not ownership of the software.

    The entire crux of all of this is driven by ownership. It’s something you still refuse to grasp and in your eagerness to prematurely claim you have ‘won’ a discussion you’ve exposed why your argument has been so patchy and inconsistent in the first place.

    And thirdly: content will continue to move towards a service driven model. Anything concerning ownership won’t fall into that model, it shifts purely to access. Evidence of that model already exists (look at PS+ and the way the content offered through it is yours whilst you remain a subscriber to the service for example).

    Have you any idea how simple it would be to move everything over to a subscription model for consoles? “Lifetime subscription to our game content service with the purchase of the hardware!”. The console then becomes a dongle to perform a one-time legitimacy check of the content with the user’s subscription. Bam. Done. Service model in place.

    iTunes will the one to watch as a result of any ongoing discussions. They’ve already set the precedent in this field and they’ll continue to do so.

    In the same manner of the currently ineffectual ruling, I don’t expect to see anything meaningful come of the ongoing discussions.

    This is not about giving entitled presumptuous consumers a legitimacy for their greed. It concerns many more parties than them. Assuming the outcome of anything as being purely beneficial to the consumer shows remarkable naivity.

    But it’s remarkable, isn’t it?

    Ignore decades of precedence and billions of examples (heck, don’t even acknowledge them).

    But the merest whiff of a hypothetical change that (you assume) will suit your personal gain is rock-solid conclusive evidence that you were right all along!

    (logically, it proves the exact opposite because of the chronology)

    Like I said before, this is not the first time such selectiveness has been exhibited in this discussion.

    JM

    #55 11 months ago
  56. Dragon

    @18,
    Quite ironic that “game ownership” agrument is coming you.
    Can you resell your steam PC games?

    #56 11 months ago
  57. lolatfanboys

    Let´s implement a huge amount of restrictive laws because we could´t log into steam for one day… lulz…But go on with the outrage and validate such people that do the “hacking”

    #57 11 months ago
  58. Ireland Michael

    @56 The law technically does allow you to sell digitally owned content, and it’s completely legal to do so, but they currently haven’t made it mandatory for companies to implement such a system. Lots of groups here believe it should he allowable, so don’t be surprised if it happens.

    #58 11 months ago
  59. Dragon

    ^Does it happen? Nope.

    #59 11 months ago
  60. Ireland Michael

    @59 If I wanted to, I could technically sell my Steam account to someone, as long as I gave up access to it, and no manner of words in the ToS would change the fact that the action would be supported in the high court.

    Obviously certain laws need to be updated to better reflect the digital landscape. Some of them are decades old. Buts that’s already happening and continues to improve. I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next half a decade or so a transfer system exists in most digital services, where you can, say, transfer your game to another person’s account and receive credit / payment in return.

    The companies obviously won’t want it. That’s irrelevant. The courts here are far more interested in maintaining people’s rights than making businesses happy, since they’re not dictated by dozens of millionaire lobby groups pushing schemes to line their wallets with more good.

    #60 11 months ago
  61. JB

    @59 Interestingly enough last year Apple and Amazon both patented systems for the resale and transfer of “used digital goods”:

    http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/07/apple-patents-a-system-for-the-resale-and-transfer-of-used-digital-goods/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/amazon-patents-resale-marketplace-for-used-e-books-songs-and-other-digital-goods/2013/02/06/22f7d12e-70a0-11e2-a050-b83a7b35c4b5_story.html

    As expected the digital industry will try and fight this as long as possible, but it`s a fight they will lose sooner or later. The EU Highcourt ruling is very clear though. There`s no difference between a sale of a physical product, a digital copy or a license.

    The industry will argue in vain that digital copies don`t degrade over time and whatever loopholes they can think of…

    #61 11 months ago
  62. Dragon

    @60,61,
    Call me again when it happens.
    Present is the reality, and in reality it doesnt happen.

    @61,
    Sony patented a “smartwig” for people to wear. Will they launch it? No.

    #62 11 months ago
  63. cluggy89

    @60 Although correct in most cases you are wrong about being able to sell your steam account the subscriber agreement states

    “You may not reveal, share or otherwise allow others to use your password or Account. You agree that you are personally responsible for the use of your password and Account and for all of the communication and activity on Steam that results from use of your login name and password. You may not sell or charge others for the right to use your Account, or otherwise transfer your Account, nor may you sell, charge others for the right to use, or transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use”
    source http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/

    #63 11 months ago
  64. JB

    @63 Valve is facing another court battle in Germany due to their stance on game ownership and account selling. Valve won the first case in 2010, but it will be interesting to see how long they can keep it that way:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130131/10292021839/valve-sued-germany-over-right-to-resell-games.shtml

    If you read the first page of the subscriber agreement you´ll notice that even today some of the conditions are useless in The European Union.

    It`s the same with EULA`s in The EU.

    #64 11 months ago
  65. Ireland Michael

    @62 Progress takes time.

    @63 The words in those documents are utterly meaningless if the high courts say the law states otherwise.

    It’s the whole reason EULA’s are called Agreements, not contracts. They’re just trying to use pressure to convince people that they *have* to do something, because they know a single individual wouldn’t really be able to take them to court. That’s why we have this awesome thing called class action lawsuits.

    The worst trend lately is businesses including conditions that you must waiver all right to sue a company. A condition that wouldn’t last a second if it was actually taken to court. People have far more rights than businesses constantly want to bully you into thinking you don’t.

    Just because it’s written down does not, in fact, make it law, and the perfect example of this is the license agreements on movies releases. They still to this day claim that you can’t resell (flat out bollocks) or lend them, and that they are for private viewing by you and you alone, but the reality is far different.

    Those “licenses” are utterly meaningless when actually applies to the real world and the average consumer, and carry little weight on an individual basis.

    #65 11 months ago
  66. Joe Musashi

    It’s a very convenient life to live where you arbitrarily decide that the rights of other parties simply don’t matter – in spite of the fact you have agreed to them – whenever it interferes with your personal gain.

    This self-indulgent whimsical approach to rights and, in particular, ownership of goods owned by another flies in the face of reality, of decades of reality and of billions of transactions. Rarely has there been such a staunch display of head-in-the-sand self service.

    Technology and commerce moves much faster than law.

    JM

    #66 11 months ago
  67. JB

    @66 We know you think consumer rights are a form of entitlement disorder that should be abolished.

    You still haven`t grasped the concept of ownership under copyright and IP laws which are based on centuries of transactions. As long as you don`t get the basics on that, your rants will remain pure misinformation.

    #67 11 months ago
  68. Joe Musashi

    I don’t think that at all.

    But I’m not the one lording around insisting laws that don’t serve my personal gain ‘don’t matter’ and that the rights and interests of people other than myself are ‘irrelevant’. That sort of attitude is the one that shows entitlement – and it has been exhibited with relish in this discussion.

    I understand the basics entirely. And, as you’re and others are so persistently and eagerly ignoring, I have decades of real-world evidence and billions (and millions more every day) of instances which perfectly demonstrate the central point that this topic revolves around: ownership.

    The rights of all need to be considered – especially those that genuinely have ownership – not just the greedy few that assume ownership and then attempt to dismiss anything that doesn’t further their personal gain. At best, those presenting counter arguments have been using hypothesis and assumption (twisted to suit their goals) rather than the actual day-to-day reality that I use as my substance.

    I am a consumer as much as anyone. I’m just not selfish enough to think mine are the only rights that matter.

    JM

    #68 11 months ago
  69. Ireland Michael

    “But I’m not the one lording around insisting laws that don’t serve my personal gain ‘don’t matter’ and that the rights and interests of people other than myself are ‘irrelevant’.”

    It’s not about my personal gain. I don’t care about ownership. I’m not concerned with owning things beyond what I need to survive. It’s about what has actually stood up in a court of law and written down in law itself versus what businesses claim.

    Just because a million people *want* to get metaphorically fucked in the ass doesn’t actually make it legal to do so.

    #69 11 months ago
  70. Joe Musashi

    For someone who has stated that selective laws don’t matter and that the interests of other parties that don’t further your personal gain are irrelevant, it’s odd that you’d now dispute that notion.

    But then, the twisting turning nature of your argument has been wildly inconsistent from the outset. It’s just makes even less sense to argue a point one minute and then claim you never did in the next.

    None of that matters. Because reality is what matters. And in the real world, today, you are still not (and have never been) the owners. So, in the real world, today, you don’t get to dictate which laws and rights matter and you don’t get to dictate the control of something you don’t own.

    Insisting that your self-indulgent theories are, in fact, reality and have come to pass and represent some sort of victory for your inconsistent and ill-considered argument are just a fallacy.

    The thing is there’s three things that people need to factor:

    a) the consumer’s desire for the content
    b) the rights of all parties
    c) the owner of the content (that’d be not you)

    Let’s assume that, the magical legal rainbow unicorn declares full control of the content to the consumer.

    This won’t suit the interests of the folks in c) but they are beholden to the magical legal rainbow unicorn’s decree as per b).

    So the folks in c) will change their model so that their interests will not be curtailed by b).

    And this is where a) comes into play.

    Because the consumers will follow based on their desire for the content offered. And so they will pro-actively move away from those rights granted by the magical legal rainbow unicorn.

    This is not theoretical. This has already happened countless times over.

    And when the same wheels turn and another transition occurs (this time from a content model to a subscription model – as we’re already seeing in a number of places) the consumers will transition with it.

    This is what the benefits of being the genuine owner are. You get to control the consumption and acquisition of your content. The owner leads, the consumer follows.

    JM

    #70 11 months ago
  71. Ireland Michael

    Derpa derpa. Derpity derp. Deeeeeeeeerp!

    #71 11 months ago
  72. Legendaryboss

    Opinion piece = hacking themed = network takedown = Games/Services attacked = comments section mainly consists about game ownership debate.

    I see a missing puzzle.

    #72 11 months ago
  73. Christopher Jack

    Outside of digital video games there are countless situations where you can transfer licenses, not qualifications like a drivers license obviously but like service contracts for example. I switched a phone contract into my name mere months ago for example.

    You never own the game but you do own the license to use the game(like a service) & despite the rocky road of the terms of service you may find yourself legally able to switch ownership of the license & access to the service depending on your territory

    #73 11 months ago

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