Bioshock 2: DLC Hullabaloo

By Alec Meer on March 15th, 2010 at 11:53 pm.

I bet it's just a notepad file that says 'unlock dlc plz'

Fashionably late again… We managed to miss posting about this when the scandal hit last week, in one of those “oh, one of the others will surely cover it. Today I want to write about a happy thing!” confusions that sometimes afflicts the oft-scattered hivemind. It’s a major talking point, however, so you really should talk about it here. Y’know that Bioshock 2 DLC, the one with the new maps and characters and whatnot in? Apparently it was a whopping great 24 kilobyes big. Goodness, aren’t level designers economical these days?

Edit – I’m informed I’m wrong in believing the DLC in question contains maps. The 24k file unlocks character models, masks and achievements/trials to reflect the raised level cap you can pay for. The idea being that the people without the DLC can see the visual stuff that people who have bought the DLC have unlocked, without having to install a patch. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s any better.

The implication being, of course, that the so-called downloadable content was already in the game, and the publishers thought it was all fair and square to charge people extra to access it. It’s not even an implication, sadly – it’s the stone-cold truth.

2K have attempted to defend it by claiming it’s a matter of compatibility. Says their community manager/eternal problems-with-Bioshock-games apologist Elizabeth, “The way our engine and game structure works is that people need to have the exact same content for people to play together. One of the challenges with post launch content for MP is that it can split the player base, and we want to avoid that whenever possible. For this content, creating the DLC package the way we did allowed for us to not split the player base – so whether you purchase the new content or not, you can still play with your friends.”

Um. But… Right. Er. No. How does that mean it was impossible to release everything required as a downloadable package? And what happens if, heaven forfend, they decide to release some DLC that isn’t already on the disc? [Again, I said that in the erroneous belief the DLC contain maps rather than character model graphics - the statement makes more sense in light of this, but the debate about ownership rights remains valid.]

One thing’s for sure – whether or not Bioshock 2 DLC 2 (whatever it turns out to be) is already hidden on the disc somewhere, we’re bound to see a whacking great download for it to try and head a repeat of this furore off at the pass. Obviously we don’t know all the technical ins and outs of what’s gone on here, but it’s scarcely helping the DLC cause. It’s already a trend that’s seen by many as fleecing customers and artificially withholding finished content from games, and it’s hard, if potentially inaccurate, to see this little balls-up as anything other than a mercenary decision. Let’s hope it’s genuinely just a technical issue, and whatever their next DLC move is proves their noble intent in this regard.

24 kilobytes! Oh, come on. That’s not even enough for a replacement icon.

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230 Comments »

  1. Mario Figueiredo says:

    … Oh and pirates love it. They get to play for free and us suckers get to pay for their 24kb

    • Wulf says:

      It sounds to me like instead of buying DLC, the player is actually paying for a license to play maps they already own online, doesn’t it? I mean, consider, the content is already there on the disc, what legal precedent would they have to tell you not to use it? Unless of course they tried to pull some nonsense with a silly clause where the licensed service is on a per-map basis, and what the player is actually paying for is the legal right to use those maps online. Fun!

      Am I ever glad I didn’t buy BioShock 2 (no, I didn’t pirate it either, as it always looked particularly shit to me, the Big Bomberdaddy being the least of its problems).

    • Boldoran says:

      They have every right to deny you access to certain parts of the program even if its already on your disk. The whole Shareware System is even based on that. Of course it makes it easier for crackers to unlock said content.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yup. Make no mistake. 24kb of activation code is not even challenging to crack.

      And they say publishers are worried with piracy. Bullocks!

    • Wulf says:

      @Boldoran

      I’m sorry, but you’re incorrect on every count! Even the metaphor is incorrect. You’ll want to know why, of course, and that’s perfectly reasonable, so I’ll explain…

      Now, think about this for a moment, please do: What makes shareware different from a game you’ve just bought at a store? There’s a hint there. Shareware one hasn’t paid for, but when one buys a game then they legally own the disc and all the contents on the disc. UK trade laws would back that up, too. Whereas with shareware, you’re downloading software you haven’t bought.

      If you go into a store and buy a game, there cannot be anything in that box that you don’t own, because that wouldn’t stand up to legal scrutiny. That’d be like slipping something into a game’s box that you’ve just bought, and then suing you for something that they put in the box, claiming that you don’t own it. Law just doesn’t work that way, it’s not that wishy-washy, not in the UK at least. I’m sure the EEC probably have similar views as well, so this probably counts for most of Europe.

      Now, if I buy a game, I own it. There is cannot be any legal grounds for saying otherwise. If I alter the content of a disc I’ve bought, then I have every legal right to do so, because the disc and the contents on it are now my property.

      Do you see now why you were wrong? I hope so. Comparing downloaded shareware with a purchased game is luldicrous. Funny, too. So thanks for the laugh.

    • jalf says:

      Er, no? Of course shareware and DLC is different, but you don’t own the game, you own 1) the physical media, and 2) a license to do with exactly what the developers/publishers said you could do. If they say “you’re not allowed to use this data even though it’s on the disk”, that’s their right.

      If you want a different analogy, Vista comes on the same DVD regardless of what version you buy. Does that mean you’re allowed to use Vista Ultimate if you buy Home Basic? The content is right there on the disc, after all!

      Odd that none of Microsoft’s army of lawyers discovered your loophole, don’t you think? Unless perhaps you’re wrong, and the loophole doesn’t exist.

      You never “buy a game”. The publisher still holds all the rights. All you’ve bought is the license to play the game from the disc that’s in your box. No more, no less.

    • Clovis says:

      @jalf: No, that is not correct. They cannot dictate what you do with a copy of something. Copyright law has to do with copying, distributing, or performing the material. You can’t sell me a picture you made and tell me I can’t burn it. I can do whatever I want to with that copy.

      The only way to get these restrictions is through a contract. Software companies have tried to do this through EULAs, but these haven’t been fully tested legally. I don’t know how they can apply at all if you actually buy the physical media. The idea that you can only access a part of something you own is simply ludicrous. It defies the basic concept of property. And rules of property should trump rules of copyright.

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      drewski says:

      @ Clovis – but they don’t.

      You have the right to do anything you like to the disc, of course – (literally) burn in, microwave it, use it as a flying disc, a coaster, a pretty ornament, decorate your hubcaps etc. but the software containined on the disc is governed by IP laws, and those restrict your permitted use to exactly the sort of thing we’re talking about here.

      You buy a license to use the software, and the media that software comes on. Without the license to use other items that may or may not be on the media, you are violating your license. Whether or not EULA’s actually form effective licenses and the niceties of contractual law with regard to software has, as you say, never been tested, but there’s no evidence – and indeed it seems unlikely – that a court would allow a user free access to anything included on a disc regardless of what they paid for.

      I guarantee if Shell buys one disc with one basic, cheap license of Windows 7, hacks it, and installs the Professional or Ultimate version across their company, there’s going to be a lawsuit.

    • boldoran says:

      @Wulf
      But the thing is that even if you own the disk that has the content already on it you still need tha activation key. To get this key you must either buy the DLC or you pirate the key.

      Also I still don’t think my Shareware example is totaly out of place. Imagine a program with a trial, normal and premium version. You could have downloaded the trial version upgraded it to a normal version by buying a key and for me at least it would still feel morally wrong to use a crack to upgrade to the premium version.

      Also the edit above explains that the content is on the disk so that users that don’t have the DLC can still see the assets on other players.

      With software property is always a bit tricky since the actual data has almost no value (just some CD). So the software companies wan’t you to pay for a licence. I think thats ok. It stops being ok when they start to prevent me from reselling that licence or when they force me to repay for the licence every couple of months without obvious reasons (mmos).

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: Yeah, Shell would be screwed. I know there’s a Business Software group that goes around making sure businesses own licenses for all of their software.

      Hey, wait, your example actually involves copying. Of course they can’t use that one copy on multiple machines. Now, if they do “hack” their standard Windows up to Professional and only install it once, they will still get sued. No business wants to go head to head against MS in Court so they would buy the licenses, but if they did I don’t think it is guaranteed that they would lose.

      @Boldoran: Yeah, the big problem here is that 2K owns the copyright on those 24KB. You can’t just copy those. However, if someone created their own process to access the information on the disk and install it, without using a copy of the 24KB, then I don’t see a problem.

      Here’s the big reason I’m wrong though: The DMCA. If that hidden stuff on the disk is protected by the simplest of encryption methods (even an open source one) it would be illegal to disseminate a program to remove that encryption.

      Also, I guess if you don’t pay the $5, you are not “authorized” to use that bit of code. No problem as long as you don’t make a copy. However, that Blizzard v Glider case shows that you have to copy the program into memory to use it. If you aren’t authorized to do so, then it is illegal.

      Still, I’d love to see someone actually go to court over this.

      Oh, and what about modding when the company doesn’t specifically allow it? I guess that is illegal too, right? When the modding community works on games without an SDK they often find little bits of unused code and artwork. Is it illegal to use that? Nonsense …

  2. Serenegoose says:

    Further evidence that games journalists are taking underhanded bribes from the gamer community to give unfavourable coverage to developers in order to make them seem like the bad guys. For shame, RPS.

    • Wulf says:

      I had nothing to do with this!

      You have no proof! NO PROOF, DAMN IT!

  3. Vinraith says:

    Well, that should definitely help the image of DLC, and will certainly improve sales of future digital products. Well done, all.

  4. Starky says:

    This is hardly anything new – and honestly it’s not really that dishonest.

    No more dishonest than car companies selling the basic model and then making you pay more for optional extras.
    Or no more dishonest than companies recycling their existing assets with minor tweaks and then selling them as multiplayer maps (e.g. CoD 4)

    It’s not like they’re taking content from the game to include in the DLC either, as I’d bet that the DLC team is a separate group from the single player, and multiplayer devs.

    It’s also a standard move now to earn some money from secondary sales – Include a couple of DLC out the box, just like almost every game with DLC has done in the past few months (usually gaining them in a premium edition), then if anyone does buy it second hand, they still need to fork over cash-money for the DLC.

    • SpinalJack says:

      Yes, if the car company produced all car with air conditioning but only let you turn it on after you’ve given them more money. They should take a leaf out of Dawn of War’s book and give a free patch to all the regular non-expansion/DLC owners to keep the community from getting split. This is just a lame excuse over poor ethics and poor execution.

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      DarkNoghri says:

      The car example I would liken more to a Game-of-the-Year Edition. You can pay a bit more and get all the extras, or you can be cheap and get the basic model without the DLC.

      What they’re doing is giving you a stereo and power windows with the car, except you need to pay more to access it, with no extra cost to them.

    • SpinalJack says:

      Also:

      “It’s not like they’re taking content from the game to include in the DLC either”

      Yes they are, that’s the whole story, they hid finished content on the disc that needs to be unlocked. It’s not added content they made later.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well certainly its not uncommon for a product to come with a feature built in which you then need to pay to unlock.

      Underhanded? Yes. Bit gittish? Yes. Uncommon? Not really.

      Now developers deliberately preventing modders so the developer can then create paid for DLC? That does toast my buns. Especially when Bethesda show the two can coexist perfectly happily. Happy in a land of sunshine and bunnies and nude Amatas and dead children, Hmm, maybe the end of amateur modding isn’t all bad.

    • Wulf says:

      I find it more amusing than anything.

      I would personally love to see what kind of legal battle would occur if people actually started unlocking this stuff with nothing more than the equivalent of an Action Replay-like application; just dump in a bunch of changes to memory addresses to do the same thing as that 24kb of code does and get the unlocks!

      Would it be illegal to access things on something you technically own?

      Gods, I would love to pose that question to 2K, and that’s where the problem arises, really. If a person makes full use of a product they’ve purchased and is legally theirs, would 2K then try to insist that they’re actually doing something illegal due to how they’ve implemented the DRM?

      See, that’s why I find this funny.

    • ScrapmetaL says:

      Actually car companies do exactly this, maybe not with aircos, but things like seat heating and the wiring and little motors for electric windows are often there in cheaper models, only needing to be hooked up to the battery and a control button.

    • Starky says:

      Yup and as I mention below in reply to another post, Car companies also plan to make money after the sale of a car by designing in component failure from the start, based on the warranty periods on offer.

      Design the system so that it will fail at such a frequency/time that the peak failure rate occurs a reasonable period after warranty ends (so that only about 20% of components fail inside warranty) – then reap in the replacement part sales.

      I remember once case (told to me by a friend that worked there) where a certain company (earth-dogs name) manufactured a gearbox for the SUV soccer mom version of their 4×4 using softer, weaker steel, so that it would fail sooner – the softer steel was actually more expensive, and increased the unit price by a fair percentage – but the estimated profit of replacement greatly exceeded the increased cost.
      Just to be clear though, the original, stronger longer lasting component designed for the much heavier workload of the proper offroad 4×4 was cheaper to manufacture.

      I can’t remember the exact amount he told me they expected to make in profit due to this decision, but it was to the tune of millions (obviously depending on how well the model sold).

  5. Bowlby says:

    Yet another bit of PR bungling. Yay. And as Vinraith mentioned, cheers for doing the industry a favour in tarnishing DLC with another coat of controversy, because that’s just what’s needed at this point.

    • Wulf says:

      Indeed.

      The grand thing is that Valve got it years ago, didn’t they? The best way to handle a game is to release free content for a little while, allow modifications of all sorts, and only provide premium DLC when the DLC is actually worth the money enough to be premium.

      Other developers are twigging onto this, too. Bioware/EA with Mass Effect 2 is a fine example, there’s quite a lot of free DLC on the way for Mass Effect 2, and I don’t think they’re done yet, either. There is a bit of premium DLC in the works but it actually looks like they’re putting the effort into making it worth the money.

      Soon enough, this is going to turn into a shitstorm and I’ll be ready with the popcorn when that happens, and it’ll be funny due to how blinded by their greed some companies are, they just won’t see it coming. Valve are being well behaved and showing good business acumen, and EA has caught on too, I wonder who’ll be next to slip out just before the faecal matter hits the fan? Whomever it is, I think that companies like Activision and 2K will be the last ones to realise the damage they’re doing to themselves.

      I need to stack up on popcorn, this is going to be entertaining!

    • Wulf says:

      Addendum: I forgot to mention that another catalyst has been put in place, a MW2 map pack for £11~ that only has two maps (and two recycled maps from Call of Duty 4).

      How long will the gaming community take being kicked in the crotch before actually punching back? We could start a betting pool!

    • Bonedwarf says:

      One reason I’ve held off on ordering Just Cause 2 is the pre-order DLC issues. America is getting screwed. Basically if you want all the DLC the folks in Europe are getting for shelling out early, you have to buy the game 5-6 times from different retailers.

      Now I’m in Canada. I haven’t seen ANY pre-order details anywhere. I’ve no idea if this means we’re getting it all or, most likely, getting fuck all.

      This whole DLC concept needs to die, or at least be fundamentally rethought as the industries greed is completely out of control.

  6. MD says:

    Putting it on the disk but locking it until you pay, not putting it on the disk at all, there’s no meaningful difference is there? Except that the former saves everyone a download. I understand the emotional side of this, in that it’s ramming home the truth of their DLC strategy, but making a fuss about withheld-content-as-DLC won’t make them stop doing it — it might just make them do it in a less obvious (and also less convenient) way by holding back the actual data rather than just encrypting it.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      I, for one, do not like the idea of storing something I can’t use… It’s not like games aren’t already huge enough without God-knows-how-many DLCs hidden somewhere…

    • MD says:

      Fair point. I don’t think that’s the (main) reason behind most of the complaints, though.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      @MD

      “Putting it on the disk but locking it until you pay, not putting it on the disk at all, there’s no meaningful difference is there? Except that the former saves everyone a download. I understand the emotional side of this, in that it’s ramming home the truth of their DLC strategy, but making a fuss about withheld-content-as-DLC won’t make them stop doing it — it might just make them do it in a less obvious (and also less convenient) way by holding back the actual data rather than just encrypting it.”

      Well, that’s the primary reason I don’t trust immediate DLC. It really reeks of withheld content. And is certainly money grabbing. But as long as people pay out for it, it will continue to happen.

      Just to clarify, I don’t mind paying for DLC when it’s worth it, when it’s sensitively handled and (the only thing they got right here) when it doesn’t split the player base for no good reason. But this ain’t ticking all those boxes.

    • Damien Stark says:

      I’ll second this. Vinraith is correct above when he says that this move does no favors for the image of DLC and the company’s PR – but this “hullabaloo” does no favors for the PC gaming community image either.

      We seem to be trying really hard to get offended by things. Let me get this straight… they sold you a game with X level cap and Y characters for Z dollars. You said “yes! I’ll buy that!”. (Or worse, you neither bought nor played the game, but you’re still here arguing about it) Now they’ve raised the level cap and added characters as part of for-purchase DLC. Having happily bought the game, you now have two choices:

      1. Don’t buy the DLC. Good news! You can still play MP with anyone even if they have the DLC.
      2. Buy the DLC. Good news! It’ll be activated instantly, no need to sit there downloading the content for a while.

      If this happened on console, the Xbox and PS3 fanbois would be fighting over who was happier and more excited about it. Who can’t wait to buy it because their version is clearly the best. But the PC gaming community has to interpret this as some violation of their rights?

  7. Lewis says:

    Am I alone in not really caring about this? So it was already on the disc. So what? It wasn’t marketed as being part of the game. It was marketed as extra content. No one’s forcing you to pay for it. It’s not part of the original game. It’s a bit of a non-issue in my head.

    • Lewis says:

      Oh, not alone apparently, as Starky already did that one. :-)

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      DarkNoghri says:

      Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I like to think that when I’ve paid for a disc, I get all the content on that disc. Not pay for the disc, and then pay more to unlock the rest of what’s on the disc.

    • Serenegoose says:

      @DarkNoghri

      That is the kind of thinking that could spark revolutions, sir. I recommend you store it in paraffin and keep it away from water.

    • gulag says:

      None of that really stands up to scrutiny.

      If the developers took the time to make the content, why do so if they didn’t think it belonged in the game from the get-go? If they didn’t think it belonged in the game, why didn’t they spend the time on content that would appear in the game?

      Incidentally, that time was part of the development cycle of the game, which you pay them for when you buy it. I’d rather they worked on the game I get to play for my money, rather than pay them to make content they then decide to withhold.

      So it turns out someone *is* forcing me to pay for it. They just don’t think I’ve payed enough to actually play it.

    • Clovis says:

      It is not illegal to alter the contents of your own copy of a game. So, if someone makes a free “patch” to access it, I don’t see how that would be a problem. Especially if they wrote that patch themselves, instead of using the 24Kb of data from the company. This is only illegal if EULAs are legally binding contracts, and, at least in the US, that is not clear.

      Like with the car analogy above. If my AC is locked out, but I use a monkey wrench to activate it, am I an evil car pirate?

      It’s also a dick move to announce that your “DLC” was created way before the game was released …

    • Wulf says:

      @gulag

      A very eloquently made point as to how they’re using mildly underhanded tactics to tack extra pounds onto the price of their game, it takes a particularly perspicacious mind to see things from that perspective.

      @Clovis

      Indeed, I made a similar point earlier.

      However, I think it’s a safe point that should such a patch be released, either on that day or shortly after their lawyer dogs will be sending cease and desist mails to every host that carries it. What I relish is reading these mails so that I may get a good laugh out of them, since really they’d have no legal grounds to make such a demand. But that’s never stopped a publisher’s legal teams before, has it?

      Yay, more hilarious publisher-borne drama to watch!

    • MarkN says:

      @gulag: DLC is often funded separately from main game development. There’s no way of being sure that all the budget for the game wasn’t spent on the game, and extra funds were made available to make DLC. Additionally, staffing during game development tends to follow a curve peaking before a game is released, with (in previous generations) staff moving on to completely different projects towards the end when only a skeleton crew would be needed to squash the last few bugs. It’s easily possible for small bits of DLC like this to be started and finished within the last couple of months of bug-fixing by members of the original team who were no longer part of the budget for the main game.

      I’m not supporting the way this has been handled, btw, but there’s no proof that this was content cut to be repackaged as DLC.

  8. Serenegoose says:

    The point is that if it was on the disk already, then you’re dangerously crossing the line between post-release development which can be legitimately charged for, and stuff that they’ve already done, which up til now was typically included in the asking price of the game. Now they’re trying to charge twice for work they’ve already done. That’s the difference.

  9. Bowlby says:

    I think that a significant number of gamers have it in their heads that DLC is something that should only be planned and worked on after a game’s released, and that anything completed beforehand should be included gratis.

    In my experience, what actually happens is the opposite, and only now is it finally being picked up on.

    • Zerai says:

      Pretty much i see this, people saw DLC the same way as expansions in the past (are there still expansion disks?) “this game is so popular we’re making more of it” instead this shows “where making this game, and you pay two times” which would explain all the rage

  10. jti says:

    Money. If all the gaming is about that I should stop playing… Or, as many before me have done, paying.

    Don’t care about consoles, don’t care about toys or sofas or all that crap. I just want to play games that respect my intellect. Why do I bother? In the end it’s all in the hands of money makers and stupid teens that don’t know better. In fact, I don’t care. The people who should’ve made PC gaming something brilliant have sold it for couple of dollars/euros and the like. I don’t CARE anymore. DLC or not. It’s all the same to me.

    • Bhazor says:

      So you want publishers to spend millions on a game and then not make money?

      That isn’t how it works…

    • jti says:

      Greed. To make money any way possible and not to care about the people who play the game. You know this, I know this, but still I have to say it again. Sad state of things indeed.

    • Damien Stark says:

      If that’s really how you feel, stick to freeware and Open Source games. Pirating games which required large expenditures to make doesn’t make you a champion against greed, it just means you value your own greed above theirs.

      Personally, I respect those guys who make large and complex games for a living. I like getting paid my salary, and I imagine they do too. I’m willing to contribute part of mine to theirs. If they offer me a chance to spend a little more money and get a little more of that game, I might take them up on it. But if that constitutes soul draining greed to you, you are totally free to abstain from such exchanges.

  11. Senethro says:

    Games are not apples. You are not purchasing an object to do with as you like. You’re purchasing a license to information, media in the form of entertainment software. Its service, not merchandise.

    • gulag says:

      You appear to have gotten an EULA stuck in your rhetoric.

    • jti says:

      MMO is a service. The game is a product. It’s like you’d be paying for the house you’ve bought to people that owned it before to keep it together… And the people who owned it don’t have any interest in it, as you’ve already paid for it.

      Capitalist idiot.

    • Thants says:

      Says you. I say it’s merchandise, not service. I buy a game I own that copy of the game, just like with a book. And that’s what games have been. Game companies are certainly having a lot of success turning games into a service, because it’s better for them. But since us customers are the ones losing out, we shouldn’t just accept that games becoming a service is inevitable.

    • jti says:

      Thants = Thank you ants.

      Priceless.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Senethro

      Its service, not merchandise.

      Fuck. That.

      That’s certainly what they want us to believe. It’s certainly the model they’re pushing towards, from Steam to Ubi to Gametap to OnLive. The problem is, when I pay $50 for a game, I expect to be able to play that game. I expect it to include everything physically present in the package. I expect ownership, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let this creeping doomsday corporate bullshit put me off of that. The same goes for music, movies, and any other form of media. If it’s a rental, you’d better be charging rental prices.

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      Lambchops says:

      Hooray for Look Around You.

      That is all.

    • Thants says:

      Look Around You is pretty great.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Senethro: I’d say you’re suffering from a severe case of “Tosser syndrome”.

    • Hattered says:

      @Senethro:
      I see where you’re coming from: software is often sold as a licensed service, games are software, ergo. However, I think the cultural legacy that fueled the early drive for games software has caused them to be seen as those older games formats are seen. If a board game is a product, and computer games are akin to board games, then it’s easy to think computer games should also be considered a product. Because games are not thought of as tools, the attitude towards software tools isn’t thought acceptable for games software. Culturally, computer games are games first and software some other number.

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      drewski says:

      You’re all getting confused between what software (regardless of purpose) IS and what it SHOULD BE.

      You can make the argument that games are commodities, like books or Twinkies or CDs but the reality is that’s just not accurate from a legal perspective. EULAs might not be valid from a contractual standpoint (and probably aren’t), but they’re not the only legal framework in which software operates. The concept of licensing software, rather than selling it, is as old as the software industry itself and there’s almost no chance of it being overturned. Especially not for video games.

      Now, I don’t particularly agree with the way IP law treats software, to varying degrees depending on exactly what the law relates to, but that doesn’t make my opinion fact.

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: I’ve never looked too much into the concept of games as “licenses software” so I did a bit of research. For US Law, I think Vernor v Autodesk is applicable. IANAL, but if you buy a game at the store and it resembles a sale (ie, you keep it forever, not just a month or something), then it is a sale, and not a license. The “shrinkwrap” or EULA doesn’t matter. Businesses have gone along with the license idea mainly because they want to play nice with the software creators and not have constant legal wranglings.

      The point here is that when you buy a video game you OWN it. You are NOT buying a license. I know as a kid I did not buy a “license” of King’s Quest I, but about 10\15 years ago the term started popping up (in regards to games). I wondered if some law was passed around that time to change the status of software. Apparently not. The companies themselves just started inventing the concept.

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      drewski says:

      @ Clovis – it’s pretty hard to rely on a decision that the judges involved with themselves admit is conflicting, and is being appealed, and was decided on the basis of a completely different issue and relates to a completely different issue.

      As noted in the Wiki article, three of the four prior cases were decided the other way, and the only reason the judges found in favour of the first is because of legal doctrine, not legal argument. I’m not saying they were wrong to do so, but it does make you wonder how the three cases after the first came to their conclusions.

      As the case is about the use of “shrinkwrap” licensing (ie, EULAs that attempt to come into effect the moment you break the shrinkwrap) which attempt to exclude the users fair use copyright law rights, such as the right of first sale. Trying to extend that to copyrighted material for which the user obtained no license whatsoever is, at best, a very difficult legal argument to make. It is hard to see how this situation – getting something you have not paid for – would be considered to be “fair use”, which of course first sale is.

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: Don’t all these cases indicate that is possible to either buy or license software? How do I know which I’m doing? Is it just the EULA? Is all software licensed now? When did that happen? I found the best explanation I could. Do you know of something I can read that explains how buying a computer game at a store is just aquiring a license?

      And seriously, is modding illegal?? If a mod accesses parts of a game’s DVD that you can’t normally get to, is that illegal? How would I know? Was “hot coffee” actually illegal? Wha? Is is illegal for me to simply stare at a hex-dump of the data on the DVD?? This all just sounds like nonsense to me. I fully admit that I could be wrong here, but it just seems crazy. Do you have to encrypt the bits to make it illegal? But aren’t compressed image files basically encryptions anyway? If I stick my game CD in my CD Player and it plays the bits that I don’t have a license for, will the Black Marias come and take me away? Halp!

    • MarkN says:

      If you buy a game you do not own it. If you owned it you’d be able to reproduce it and sell your own copies. You buy the right (a licence) to experience it. You NEVER own it. That’s what copyright is. It’s how all media works – games, films, music, books etc. As it’s become easier and easier to reproduce content this difference has become more and more noticeable, but it’s always been the case.

      You don’t own the stories in the books you bought – you just own the books. In the case of games, you just own the disc. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the content on it needs to be passed through a PC to be legible that means the owner (not you) controls whether you can access all of it or not.

      Again, not saying this is right, just pointing out what (I understand) the situation is.

  12. jti says:

    Apples are not games.

  13. Sam says:

    I don’t understand how you guys can be ok with this. It’s already on the disc you own. You have it. It would be another thing if it was a day one unlock for a small fee or with a code as an incentive for first hand purchases (ala dragon age and bad company) but leaving it a couple months and then demanding consumers pony up some extra cash for something YOU ACTUALLY HAVE ALREADY is undefendable.

    The fact that it’s already there means it’s not something they’ve been working on since launch, but rather a calculated money grab. As consumers you should be appalled, not indifferent.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I long lost any hope of my fellow consumers actually doing anything for their and mine well being. It’s all about consumer greed and the fad of the day.
      It’s money hungry scum on one side doing lousy games and exploring every opportunity to milk the teen cow, and game hungry hypocrites on the other, finding all sorts of excuses to hide the fact they know very well they are being boned hard on their behinds.
      I find solace in the fact I do not find games so entertaining as before and as such can afford to go by a full year without acquiring a title. And also on the fact, I can only draw real pleasure from straight sex.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      But you DON’T have it. You have software that doesn’t have this chunk activated, and therefore you can’t use it. What difference does it make whether the relevant assets are stored on a disc two feet away from you or on a 2K server halfway across the country? Would it really make it a better deal if the DLC was kept off the disc? Would fixing this technicality of distribution improve anything for you as a consumer?

      This whole fuss seems entirely misdirected to me. The lesson publishers are going to learn is “make sure the crap we nickel-and-dime them for comes through a download (or at least looks like it)”, when it should be “hey, let’s not nickel-and-dime our customer base, period.”

    • Sam says:

      Well it’s obvious that they would have completed this content either way before the game’s launch and staggered it as dlc content regardless. They clearly felt that leaving it on the disc allowed them to distribute it better as they say in their press release.

      Whilst I don’t object to dlc being planned in advance of launch as a means of prolonging a game’s lifespan. I object to being sold it twice, and for those of you arguing ‘why does it matter whether or not you download a decrypter versus content?’ I’d say it matters a great fucking deal. It’s a straight up fucking ransom. It’s like me selling you my house but I stay in one of the bedrooms for a month and then later charge you extra for that room. It’s not very transparent, in fact it’s so calculated and manipulative it should make you fucking outraged.

      Looking at another instance of non-dlc, the map pack for Bad Company coming up soon is actually on your disc. It frustrates me, but they’ve been very transparent about the whole affair, and they won’t be charging me for the privelege.

      And for the handful of people saying that this method saves them from having to deal with the trouble of ‘gosh shock’, downloading DownLoadable Content, get a grip. It’s not like you’re on dial up still.

    • Sam says:

      Actually to modify the house analogy, it’s a little more like I locked one of the rooms, and you have to pay me extra for the key.

    • Stephen says:

      Yeah, I’m with the post in suspecting the next DLC will be another 24k activation code and about 2 gigabytes of zereos to pad it out.

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      drewski says:

      I understand the rage at the idea that someone is making you pay money for something they’ve created, but why, exactly, should I be outraged?

      I’m not outraged when my neighbours house with twice as many rooms as mine costs twice as much. I’m not outraged when I don’t pay for option extras, despite them already being designed and manufactured, for my new car, and I then don’t get them.

      Publishers have the right to decide what content to include in any game they release. They have the right to then charge an additional fee to allow access to other content. Whether they’ve made the content already, whether they’ve included it on the disc already is irrelevant – they OWN THE PROPERTY, they have the right to ask whatever the hell they damn please for it.

      If I don’t like it, I don’t buy it. Whether that be the original game, or the DLC. Just as my right when walking into a dealership or looking at homes is to pay the extra to get access to a better product, or pay less, and get an inferior product, or shop elsewhere.

      Again…why the sense of entitlement? Why the idea that we, as consumers, should ge everything we damn please and not have to pay a cent for it?

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Drewski: That’s all fine, but I bet you’d be pissed if you bought a house and only after you bought the house the real estate person told him you had to pay an extra $10k to access the bathroom.

    • boldoran says:

      @Bonedwarf

      If I was never brought to belive that the house would have a bathroom I could use then that would be fine. Now if they told me beforehand that a bathroom would be included in the price and I bought the house then I would expect to have one.

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: Ignoring the “DLC in on the disk” problem, I don’t think the anger is that the companies should not be allowed to do this. It is just that they shouldn’t. They are ripping off their customers, so we like to complain about it. It is a bad thing for them to do. I don’t think many are arguing that it is not something that they have a right to do. Ubisoft has the right to create a completely idiotic DRM system. That doesn’t mean we can’t complain about it and petition them to change it.

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      drewski says:

      @ Clovis – I’m not really objecting to the attitude that it’s poor business practice, though I personally disagree – it’s the “It’s on the disc, the disc is mine, therefore the content is mine and I don’t have to pay for it and it’s all perfectly legal and moral” argument that I have an issue with.

    • Damien Stark says:

      @Sam

      So all the swearing aside, your ultimate point is that they should have removed the content from the disc and forced everyone (even those not purchasing the DLC) to download a patch on the day of DLC release, in order to avoid breaking Multiplayer compatibility?

      You’re not asking them to give you more content than you believed you were purchasing (based on the reviews, back of box, etc) ? You’re just asking them to delete it from your disc? And this is a position you feel so strongly about as to warrant moral outrage and swearing?

  14. Dain says:

    *shrugs* This isn’t any different from the devs who develop DLC at the same time as the main game and then deliberately withhold it to sell when they could easily have it as part of the main game.

    We’re fast approaching the point where devs will have a definite measure of EXACTLY how much content is required for the standard price of a game. The rest of the game will be delivered via microtransactions. Welcome to the future.

    • cjlr says:

      @Dain

      The difference between this, and say, what EA’s been trying to do, is the difference between Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. It’s one thing to be a malevolent and self-aggrandizing communist dictator, but it’s another to be batshit insane and dealing with the aftermath of a messy divorce with reality.

      Take Dragon Age: stuff like the in-game shilling of Warden’s Keep reeked of contemptous and unbridled avarice, but throwing in Stone Prisoner free for new purchases was acceptable in much the same way prostate exams are – unpleasant, but I can see the reasoning behind it.

      This, meanwhile, is nothing but a pack of squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinners doing just what they do best.

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      drewski says:

      @ cjlr – so don’t support them. Don’t buy the game, don’t buy the DLC, don’t give them your dollars.

      You have that right. You don’t have the right to get things for free just because they’re already finished.

  15. Idle Threats & Bad Poetry says:

    The extra maps and characters aren’t an issue for me. My issue is with the gameplay mechanics.

    I read the details about the DLC. It lets you level up your weapons even more, and level up your character. I played Bioshock 1, and I’m not sure about the leveling up character stuff. However, if the levels improve single player, it seems to me like they all planned all along to include three weapons levels but locked up the last one just to get more money from consumers. That seems sleazy to me. In the same way that Borderlands DLC includes big improvements that compensated for poor design (especially the small inventory).

    This is not the way to build goodwill with consumers. It seems like these companies intentionally hinder the user experience so they can get more money with DLC. My perception of Valve, on the other hand, is that they are trying to give consumers the best possible product within their limitations. If one things is really bothering their consumers about gameplay, they will just patch it out or make it free for everyone, not charge users for a better experience.

  16. The Dark One says:

    I can understand (and hell, even agree with) people who buy the game and get angry when they find that they’re locked out of part of the product they already have.

    That doesn’t mean on-disk upgrades are always a bad thing, though. Microsoft is doing it with Windows 7, and I think it’s a great idea. If you buy the Home version and feel that you’re incomplete without BitLocker, you can spend the extra cash to modify your license. The big difference is that MS makes this clear from the start.

  17. Shadowmancer says:

    So my copy of Bioshock has the dlc on it but is locked out till I buy it, so if I buy a car and find the bonet is locked and to open it I need another key which I have to buy off the carsalesman. I hope this mentallity of charging for small content that makes multiplayer or gameplay unbalanced in anyway unaceptable. Some companies are thankfully doing it the other way (like Valve) like Relic and dawn of war 2, mass effect 2 and others, it will be a long time till other companies start doing this and actually provide a service and not a broken product that is unballanced.

    • Starky says:

      Here’s a fun fact for you, car makers have been doing this forever (that is building systems into a car that force you to pay more for what you purchased in the long run), in another way.

      Component lifespan – Lets say an engineer is designing a component for a car – you purposely design those components so that they will only just survive longer than warranty period.
      Not just car companies do this, but many industries, failure of components is designed into the system. When those same components could easily (and often for no extra cost) be designed in such a way as to extend lifespan exceptionally.

      It’s simple really, if the profit from the sale of replacement parts failing outside of warranty is greater than the overall cost of replacement of those same parts under warranty you’ve done your job as an Engineer.

      This is the reason almost all car companies warranty on the basis of years/miles – the expected lifespan of components is carefully measured, tested and then balanced to maximise profitability of the sale of those components due to failure.
      Cars, Lawnmowers, TVs, Toasters, Microwaves, you name it component failure is a planned and measured aspect of design.

  18. Bowlby says:

    “The big difference is that MS makes this clear from the start.”

    Being honest and upfront with your customers? Get outta here, you crazy, lovable kook, you!

    • Damien Stark says:

      and speaking of honest and upfront, when they sold you Bioshock 2, how many multiplayer characters did they say were playable? What did they say the level cap was?

  19. cjlr says:

    Let’s assume for a minute I owned Bioshock 2 (which – ha! – managed to underwhelm even my mediocre expectations)…

    They already gave me the relevent content. I have the necessary data on the disk which I already bought. Unless it were specifically mentioned in the EULA that, by installing and running the game, I implicitly agreed not to investigate any unused assets, then there’s quite literally nothing to stop me from getting at in any way I please. And even then, the EULA is of rather nebulous legal heft.

    On a related note, Activision apparently thinks that a map pack (of five, with two maps re-used from the previous game) is worth $18. Ha.
    Fuck this noise. Whatever happened to offering value to customers?

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Wait, this thing is eighteen dollars? Good lord, this is what should be earning consumer ridicule, not some irrelevant is-it-a-download-or-is-it-on-the-disc issue.

    • cjlr says:

      @Shih Tzu

      It’s 1200 MS points. Ahh, MS points… another delightfully transparent scam.

      But it works out to $18 Canadian. I don’t recall their horse-shit quote-unquote so-called “exchange rates” off the top of my head, but I remember reading it’s around 15 USD, 12 GBP, 20 AUS, and I think most hilariously, 15 euros.

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      drewski says:

      @ cjlr – no, you bought two things. Firstly, you purchased a physical disc containing data. However, without a license to access that data, you have, essentially, a pretty coaster. So you also buy a license to use that data in a specfic way. In this example, you would have bought the license to access the standard game.

      The publisher then says look, there is additional data on your disc that you are currently not licensed to access – if you would like access to that, it will cost you additional X dollars.

      Legally, software is not the physical media. It is the license to use what is on the physical media in specific ways. You may not agree with software being governed that way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.

    • Grunt says:

      $18?? That’s extortionate! For that price you’d expect one third again the content that was present in the game, not a few multiplayer maps that modders could throw together.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Drewski: Nobody is buying what you’re selling buddy.

      As I said, you can make all the BS claims you want, and make your ridiculous house analogies, but if you buy a house then find you have to pay extra to access the bathroom… Well clearly you’d be okay with it apparently.

      I hope I sell you a house one day!

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: Where does it say that software is legally handled this way? I can’t find it anywhere.

      Is it also illegal to show the logo of another company in a film you made? Hollywood acts like it is, but it really isn’t, because it is a clear case of fair use. They just don’t want to get sued, so they blur a bunch of stuff. I think this whole software license thing is the same. Of course businesses go along with it, but is there an actual LAW stating that it works this way?

    • invisiblejesus says:

      Sorry guys, drewski’s right. It’s been that way for a while. Right or wrong, that’s how software is handled legally and how it has been handled for a while now.

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      drewski says:

      @ Clovis – in the various Copyright Acts around the world. I’ve referenced the UK one elsewhere on this page, for example. As you say, there are exemptions for fair use (and some legislation make specific exceptions for things like backup copies, educational copies and other various things) but it’s hard to see that giving yourself access to copyrighted content for free that the copyright holder has specifically denied you access to without payment could be considered “fair use”.

    • Clovis says:

      I guess I’ll actually have to read through the US Copyright Act. Bleh. In the end it probably comes down to what is in the EULA. The EULA can’t trump “fair use” or “first sale” doctrines but maybe those don’t apply here. I think some country’s versions of fair use, or personal use, would work (like maybe Canada’s).

      My main problem is that this is way too complicated to figure out. How am I supposed to know if I’m doing something illegal? I guess I just have to do what the nice man from the big corporation tells me to do.

      It seems odd that IP laws would allow more control over a sale than actual property laws. That’s exactly the opposite of how it is supposed to work …

  20. boldoran says:

    Just wanted to add something:
    I don’t want to defend the practice of charging for already completed content that is artificially hold back for DLC. It gives the impression that the user is not really getting the complete game and might have to pay an additional fee every 10 minutes to get the most basic content. Kinda like pay to play but in an offline game.
    I hope that publishers will learn that this leads to their customers feeling cheated and not buying anyomre DLC.

    But I don’t think its a good argument to say that you already have the content on the disc. You got what you paid for.

  21. Shalrath says:

    Ok, I just checked and I believe I know what that is. It’s a tweak file (I’m sure 99% of you have changed one of those before, it’s like a ‘user.ini’ file.

    If it is a tweak file being downloaded, this could, literally, be them replacing lines with ‘allow_new_maps=1′.

    I can’t believe it, but that scenario fits the file size, what is being added, etc, perfectly.

  22. Ybfelix says:

    I hate such sneaky tactics. Grow a pair and go raise price of your games if more money’s what you want.

    • Ybfelix says:

      Also similiar to Battlefield BC2 is going to open up two maps for other playing modes March 30 (for free). I don’t like this, it’s withholding content to make an impression that EA are actively supporting the game and “offer value” to first hand buyer. I mean, if it’s finished on shipping, why should I wait a month to play it? How is that rewarding me for buying it day one?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Battlefield : BC2 is just getting around MS’s DLC policies, I believe. DLC needs to be there shortly after release to combat used game sales, but DLC of a significant size needs to carry a price tag. So they just give you a tiny unlock key for free content instead.

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      HermitUK says:

      It’s also a savvy bit of planning on their part. Given the release technical issues (now well on their way to being sorted and with a patch due out today), it’s not inconcievable some people will have put it down for now. Offering some new free content is a decent means of tempting them back.

      Course, the real reasoning is that it’s all part of EA’s $10 plan. Where you basically give new customers a bunch of free DLC after launch, but that second hand owners need to buy into for $10. It’s basically ensuring that EA make a bit of money from second hand copies, and that it kills off the second hand market soon after release (Where someone brings a game in 2 days after launch and someone like GAME sells it for £5 less than the retail of new).

  23. Stu says:

    To play Devil’s Advocaat for a moment: what if the DLC was budgeted separately from the main game? Say, for example, a small hypothetical team of mappers and modellers worked on the DLC in parallel to the main game, their wages being paid from a theoretical pot of quixotic bonus DLC cash. The extra content was finished in time to be put on the disc but because it was funded separately, the publisher wants a little extra from you before you can play it. Should 2K have:

    a) Charged more for the game and unlocked it from the get-go?
    b) Absorbed the additional cost?
    c) Required the DLC to be created as part of the main game, without providing additional funding, staff etc?
    d) Not bothered at all?
    e) Something else?

  24. Urthman says:

    The real issue here is that we really, really don’t want developers to get in the habit of making a full game, then ripping a chunk out of it and saying, “we’ll sell this to them later as DLC.” Because that kind of development process is almost certainly going to result in more bad, poorly-designed games.

    Because if you rip a chunk out of the game, either

    1. You have a game that feels broken or incomplete (see Assassin’s Creed 2) or
    2. That chunk was unnecessary fat (see World of Goo), which is not worth buying as DLC.

    Paying your dev team to work for a few months to develop some great new content for a hit game is one thing. Trying to charge people for the crap that wasn’t good enough to include with the original game is another.

    • Wulf says:

      I agree wholeheartedly, and this is why I push the point that anything that’s on that disc you buy is yours, because that’s what the development cycle should be about, after all. I love Valve’s approach, and I love the new approach EA have taken: If you think your customers are going to turn their noses up at it with a price-tag on it, just give it to them for free, because that’s great PR, maybe give them a bit of stuff here and there that could have had a pricetag too, because that proves support post-release for a game, and then, a reasonable time after release, offer some premium DLC that looks worth the money.

      That way you get high DLC sales, great PR, everyone loves you, and the world is a slightly better place for it. Or you could do what these guys have done: section off a part of the game that was developed as content for the full game, lock it away somewhere but keep it on the disc, and then sell a permission slip for access to this sectioned off content. No one is going to like that because whilst they’re honest about their methods, it’s still an intellectually dishonest process. Any person with any amount of intelligence is going to turn their nose up at it, and they’re not going to like it, and they’re going to feel mildly indignant because the publisher is treating them with the respect of a drunken fool.

      2K are shooting themselves in the foot with this, but if time has proved anything it’s proved that most gamers are total tools and willing to simply hand over the contents of their wallets to publishers, almost as if they were brainwashed to do so. I can see them all in my head, lining up in a neat little line, plopping their wallet into a slot, and then slowly coming to, wondering where they are and why they’re there before shrugging and wandering off. In other words, whilst this is intellectually dishonest and a person of average intelligence would feel insulted by it, the average gamer has below average intelligence.

      Sigh.

    • boldoran says:

      Exactly THIS is what we should be angry about. Not wether the content was already on the disk or not.

    • Wulf says:

      @Boldaran

      We shouldn’t be angry at the intellectual dishonesty surrounding hiding DLC content on a disc we bought?

      I respectfully disagree, I feel that 2K are insinuating that all of their consumers are total idiots, so of course I’m going to be angry about that. I feel we should be angry about both.

  25. TonyB says:

    Just to make clear why 2K are using the compatibility defense for this: if this data wasn’t on the disc and, before you’ve bought it, you come up against someone with the content using a DLC multiplayer character, as you hadn’t downloaded that character you wouldn’t be able to load the skin they’re using so you wouldn’t be able to see them in the way they’ve chosen to appear. As it’s on the disc already it doesn’t matter since the data’s there for you to load whether you can pick it from a menu or not.

    Unfortunately, even in this light the defense falls down in several ways:
    1) This only affects the characters, the game isn’t going to let you play the maps without paying regardless. If 2K had been smarter they could have left the maps off the disc and just kept the characters on there – still slightly underhand, but few people would have questioned that they can see the DLC skins properly if there’s a hefty download to get the maps anyway.
    2) As alluded to with the DoW2 comments, the skins could be patched in independently of unlocking them and downloading the maps. I’d put money on the reason for this not happening being the multiplatform development of the game – Xbox 360 games have a very small limit on patch sizes which would make this idea impossible on that platform. Obviously that only affects the one platform though, so the only reason to do the same thing on PC is to save development time.
    3) If nothing else there is the old-school fallback of loading a default skin if you don’t have the one someone is using, like in the old Quake 2 custom skins days. Slightly crap for people who do buy the content, but maintains compatibility if that’s the worry.

    Personally, I don’t really like the approach – it’s unavoidable that people will feel cheated if they had the content all along. However, I do understand why they’ve done it – point 2 is the important one above really, and making modern multiplatform games takes long enough as it is so I can understand treating all platforms the same whenever possible. Even going down the route suggested in point 3 may leave people who do buy it feeling cheated as they can’t show off in the same way, so there’s no simple method for avoiding the problem.

  26. GT3000 says:

    E!

    Kidding aside. The solution to this problem is simply to make the DL huge but meaningless. The illusion that gamer bought something, 2K can continue the practice of selling content already on the disc. How would you feel if someone just put a big piece of filler download in place of the DLC lacking your awareness that it was on the disc, of course.

    • Wulf says:

      You underestimate the intelligence of the nosey white hat community, they’d find out and then they’d tell people, because it would be unethical to keep that information private.

      And then… THEN that would blow up in 2K’s face even bigger than this. Basically, it would prove that they’re trying to fool people, at least here they’re being honest. By being dishonest, they’d open themselves up to questions that they wouldn’t be ready to answer.

  27. karthik says:

    24K? Outrageous!

    Any DLC they release should fit in 2K.

  28. HotSake says:

    Ugh. Ugghhhhhhh. Some of these arguments are retarded and wrong – so retarded and wrong, we should give them a new name like “wrongtarded”. Storing DLC on the disk and charging for its use is NOT like selling you a car and charging to unlock the boot. When you buy a car, a usable boot is part of your expectations. It’s one of the reasons you buy the car, and it’s sold as a feature so common it’s not even mentioned. You just assume all cars have boots.
    Nobody bought Bioshock 2 expecting to be able to use these art assets, these maps, or these weapon unlocks as part of the purchase price. You’re not being DENIED anything. The argument that the data resides on the disk so you own it is built on false premises. Whether you like it or not, whether you knew it or not, you did not pay for the right to do anything you like with the bits stored on the disk. Imagine if there were no bandwidth or storage limits, and Steam stored encrypted versions of its entire games library on your home PC, ready to unlock the instant you pay for them. You don’t have any moral right to access that content, and the DMCA makes it illegal in the US at least to circumvent that encryption for any reason, right or wrong.
    The fact that it’s stored on disk instead of server harms no one and is purely a benefit to the consumer. You don’t need a patch to see the art, you can unlock it with no download times, etc. Do you think the game would have been cheaper if they stored this crap on a server? They don’t charge per byte on disk – they charge the accepted maximum possible for the experience contained within. The argument that because the DLC was created during the game’s development, you kinda sorta paid for it already so they should just let you use it – also shit. The three extra hours someone worked to enable those NPC masks on player avatars, and to drop in the necessary spawn points to turn existing levels into mp_ arenas did not factor into the price of the game. No malicious bean counter tallied up the development costs, looked at the effort that went into the creation of all the content and raised the price of the game 1p to compensate. You did not subsidize the creation of this DLC with your retail purchase, and to suggest that you somehow deserve to have it is another example of the disgusting degree of entitlement found among gamers today, especially pirates.
    “Wah, wah, they worked on DLC during development! Surely if they’d focused that extra bit of effort on the retail game, I’d be playing some mythical perfect version right now. They owe me this!”
    Fuck right off.

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      drewski says:

      Completely agree.

    • Wulf says:

      Because everywhere is the US and has an equivalent of the DMCA! The problem with that is that it isn’t true. I’ve seen a lot of arguments which hinge on that and it’s getting a bit tired, truth be told.

      I think the only point worth consideration here is: If someone releases a free patch to unlock this DLC — aside from the US, which is a given — which nations would actually even consider allowing 2K to sue for damages in regards to that patch? I think that any lawyer could argue that if 2K didn’t want people doing this, they should’ve made the DLC a separate download, instead of putting it on the disc people legally bought.

      Like I said, this is going to get pretty interesting (and probably funny). We might get the expected results in the US because the US is the IP capitol of the world (no insult intended, that’s just a fact as most entertainment is developed there), but regarding nations which aren’t so IP heavy… hmm! As I said, this’ll be interesting.

    • Britpunk says:

      Additionally, PCG often provide shareware on their discs. Unlocking the full game is often a case of just purchasing a code from the developer. What you seem to be suggesting is that I have purchased the disc with this software on, therefore I am free to alter the contents of the disc however I see fit, therefore there would be nothing to legally prevent me from cracking the software in question.

      Surely that cannot be right?

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      It isn’t.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      In some cases, Steam does, in fact, store (almost) full games on your HDD, unlockable as soon as you pay for them. Buy TF2, and you’ll need to download HL2 as well. I’m not even sure if it’s encrypted.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Yep – I downloaded the Audiosurf demo back in the day and it “pre=loaded” the full version, just in case I subsequently wanted to buy it…

      (Which I did.)

      But I wasn’t entitled to it for free just because the virtual ones and zeros were on my property – I didn’t have the correct license to legally copy the software for that purpose. It wasn’t until I legally acquired a license to copy Audiosurf for personal use that the data on my drive became legally useable for non-demonstration purposes.

    • Clovis says:

      @drewski: I think Steam is a bit different. I think Vinraith would agree that you are only ever buying a license for Steam games. Steam states that they can take the games away from you at any point. You clearly don’t own the games. You are buying the right to play the games through the Steam network.

      The PCG disk. This is a little similar to “promo CDs” being sold. The companies put a little stamp saying you can’t resell them. They claimed that they did not license the songs for sale or something. Well, too bad. You gave away the CD with no expectation to get it back. First sale applies. So, yeah, I doubt if someone sued you for cracking those PCG Demos that they would actually win in Court. You own the CD and the copy of the data on it. Just that one copy though.

      The DMCA only applies to the distribution of a decryption method, not the actual decryption. So if you do it all on your own and don’t distribute the method for doing it, then it doesn’t apply. I swear it actuallyw works that way. You can’t sell DVD ripping software, but it is not illegal to make your own.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      @ Clovis – I’m afraid you have a fundamental misunderstanding of copyright law. All copyrightable material is subject to license – whether downloaded or physically purchased. The license you purchase when you buy a disc with data on it is absolutely no different from the license you purchase when you agree to access software via Steam – the only difference is the delivery media.

      Steam, of course, restricts the licenses it sells in ways that physical media cannot – as discussed above, the first sale doctrine applies to physical media, whereas Valve have thus fair successfully excluded it from Steam sales, and other digital media outlets tend to apply the same rules…whether this would hold up in court is something yet to be tested. And, as you say, the difference lies in whether or not this is made clear to you BEFORE you make your purchase…on Steam, I presume, it is. I’ve never bothered reading the terms of sale because I presume it includes such a restriction and factor that into the purchase price I am prepared to pay.

      But all software remains governed by license, even if that is not made clear before purchase – for example, when you purchase a music CD or movie DVD, you are purchasing both the media that it is on, and a license to use that media (and the copyrighted material it holds) for purposes considered legal under copyright statutes. You are not, as we all know, licensed to reproduce and distribute the reproductions of that copyrighted material. It is, once again, difficult to forsee a court deciding that accessing data on a piece of media that the copyright holder objects to you accessing, without a statutory defense, is otherwise “fair use”. That would go against decades of courts protecting the rights of copyright holders to control access to their copyrighted work.

    • LintMan says:

      I think most people have no problem with paying for DLC as something extra the developers have added to the game. The issue here is that this DLC quite apparently appears to be content that was part of the original game but was stripped out so they can sell it back to you.

      Are they within their rights to do that? Yes, certainly. And car companies could sell cars that can only go 55 mph unless you buy the optional “engine unlock code” that unlocks the engine controller software to let you go faster. (That’s essentially what a level-cap increasing DLC is equivalent to – an artificial restriction you have to pay to remove.) They could do it, but they won’t win many customers that way.

      People don’t want to be nickel-and-dimed for stuff that should be part of the “base package”, and given this was an artificial level cap and stuff already included on the distribution disks, that’s quite arguably the case here.

    • Tei says:

      I think the DMCA is morally wrong:
      So I buy a 40W bulb, that is limited to 2000 hours. But I run the bulb 14.000 hours, using different voltage. And sudenlly, I am doing something wrong, and unlawnfull, because I am not using what I have buy how the factory intented? I buy a mouse, and this mouse die in 90 hours… I buy that type of mouse again, open it, and replace one of the chips. I buy a CD-ROM game, but my CD player break, so I copy the content of the game from the CD to a DVD, to continue using the CD. Is that wrong? why?.
      DMCA remove the user of any rights, and give it to the factory, and make breaking the eula a criminal offense. I don’t know on other countrys, but here in spain, criminal offenses are limited to these that damage people, blood crimes. Not only the DMCA break the balance buyer/seller, but It make the buyer a criminal for using the product in a different way of what the factory intented.
      It also getting criminal really easy. You probably know a popular way to break any DRM protection is “glitching”. Your console or computer “crash”, but drop you to a state where you can do things you are not supposed to do. My files corrupt, and this map I am not supposed to own is loaded in memory… oh.. I am a criminal. How can I even know that I don’t have to use that map? Maybe I am a modder, and I am unpacking all the files, to learn how maps are created on this game. Or maybe I activate the console and type “map dlc_2.bsp” in that console.

    • Premium User Badge

      Christian says:

      @HotSake:

      Thank you, good sir. Finally some sense. I don’t get why people always start with their stupid car-analogies. Those *never* fit anything except..well..cars.

      Also, I don’t really see the big deal either. Well, except the one thing that should bother people but doesn’t get mentioned because you people are mostly thinking about stupid cars:

      Isn’t the fact that this could be the beginning of microtransactions to buy stuff to have an actual advantage in MP-games more alarming than some pathetic discussion about the contents of DVDs?

      That’s like if Valve suddenly announced that you could now buy a new Kill-O-Zapp 5000-dispenser-bomb for usage in TF2 for 10,- (AND YES, IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DOWNLOADED. OMG!!) that instakills everyone (over-dramatic, but all things start small..).
      That’s the sort of thing that worries me here. If it’s a free game and finances itself with micro-transactions, well fine. But adding this kind of thing afterwards? That’s just wrong..

  29. Vinraith says:

    I sincerely want to see the publisher try to take someone to court for using a crack to access data on a disc they legally own.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Even if they won, it’d be terrible PR for absolutely no benefit to them

      But if the idea of software licensing wasn’t enforceable, we’d have seen it go to court already in the business sector. The giants of industry and commerce aren’t going to muck about paying Microsoft huge licensing fees if there’s a hole in the legal framework supporting the concept.

    • Wulf says:

      @drewski

      Microsoft are probably smart enough to put the proper safeguards in place. For example: Upgrading from Home Premium to Ultimate? I expect the extra components will be downloaded from Windows Update, as it would be tantamount to stupidity to put them on the disc. And I believe Microsoft knows that. I don’t think Microsoft is stupid enough to try to prevent people from doing what they like with the disc they’ve bought, and therefore what’s actually on the disc is probably just what needs to be there.

      That’s the difference, really, that 2K actually put this stuff on the disc. And that’s pretty stupid in and of itself. Unlocking these maps would be no different than swapping some files in an old 3D fighting game in order to play as a boss, a feature that might already have been advertised as a feature for an upcoming update of that fighter. PC gamers have always been doing that sort of thing. Telling us that we can’t modify our own data is the road to trusted computing, and the Windows Home Console System.

    • Vinraith says:

      @drewski

      I’m not suggesting they wouldn’t win, I’m suggesting that it would do wonders for public awareness of the overt stupidity surrounding software licensing.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Whether it’s intelligent really isn’t the argument, though. It’s clearly not, and they were stupid to think it wouldn’t cause an issue.

      That doesn’t make cracking it legal, though.

    • Wulf says:

      @drewski

      Why? The disc is paid for, therefore it belongs to the buyer. This is a simple rule of trade. If you don’t want the buyer to have access to something, then you don’t give it to them and tell them not to use it. That’s never worked for anyone, not even for Microsoft. The home computer is an open platform, and if you sell someone something, then you sell it to them with the understanding that they’re going to take it home and fiddle with it.

      Telling people they can’t tamper with stuff they’ve bought is — to point it out again — a very worrying way of thinking, because then we might as well just be running a console. The whole bonus of the PC is that we CAN access the data, and tamper with it, and that’s pretty much a given with a computer. If I buy a disc, then I get to use the disc as I like with my computer. I don’t think that any British court would disagree with that. And they’d ask the same question I am: If you don’t want the consumer to use it, why put it on the disc that they legally purchased?

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      @ Wulf – outside of fair use principles, has there ever been a legal principle which supports you view upheld anywhere in the Western world? I don’t know of any. I’m afraid that, outside of things like fair use and open source software, the PC already isn’t anywhere near as open platform as you think it is, from a legal perspective.

      From a practical perspective…well, that’s a different story.

    • Wulf says:

      @drewski

      Believe it or not, I’ve had to dip my toes in the legal pool a few times in the past thanks to issues much like this, and I worry you’re basing your knowledge on foreign (at least to me) trade laws. It would be illegal here to sell people a disc, and then to try to sell them the same disc again, if anyone even tried to sue someone for creating and using an unlock patch in the UK they’d be — at the very least — opening themselves up for a counter-suit.

      The thing is, when you buy a product in the UK — according to our trade laws — you own what you buy. And if there’s anything in there that shouldn’t have been sold that the consumer has access to then that’s not the responsibility of the consumer, and no amount of EULAs are going to change that. I’ve pointed out in teh past that any lawyer worth their salt pretty much will laugh until their sides burst at any given EULA.

      A British judge would have a great deal of trouble trying to understand how people could have bought a product and not bought a product at the same time, and we have many statuary rights that protect us from this sort of tomfoolery, they’re not related to digital products but they are there. What 2K are doing is basically a double-sale of the same product, and suing someone for refusing to pay for their product the second time.

      The only area that 2K could have them up on is anti-circumvention laws, but in regards to personal property I don’t know if that would hold water in a UK court, because they wouldn’t be touching 2K servers or any outside source in order to create and utilise such an unlock patch. They would just be exercising their right to do as they will with a product they legally own.

      So to me, it doesn’t seem like such an open and closed book, it would be a very interesting case.

    • Britpunk says:

      Aren’t there examples where ranges of sound cards and graphics cards have been released with exactly the same architecture/technology, but the basic version has bits locked out by software that the premium version doesn’t? In effect they’re placing an artificial restriction on what you can use. This is a widespread practice as I understand, and I doubt it would be so widespread if it didn’t have some kind of protection. 2K just muffed it by making it so obvious…

      Sorry Wulf; I normally nod earnestly when reading your posts, but I really think that, although morally correct, you’re mistaken on this one.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      @ Wulf – I think you’re misapplying trade laws to an area they have limited use in – intellectual property. Yes, with trade laws you’re permitted to do anything with the physical media, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t extend to the intellectual property contained ON the media.

      IP is inter-related with trade law, but they govern fundamentally different areas of the customer/producer relationship and whilst they overlap, I don’t think even the UK’s laws do in this area.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Oh, and can I just say – and I don’t mean to overload the discussion with legalese, but sometimes it’s necessary – that the UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 specifically grants creators of copyrightable works the right to grant specific, limited use licenses of their copyrighted work.

      It seems unlikely, in this case, that the provision of data on a disc would override the author’s right to license specific uses of that data – especially if that data was intended to be licensed in a specific way all along.

  30. malkav11 says:

    I don’t understand getting fussed about DLC. When I consider buying a game, I look at what’s included in the purchase price, and if I’m not getting enough for that price, then I don’t pay it – I wait for a sale or a price drop or whatever until it’s right. If you own Bioshock 2, presumably you thought that the pre-DLC game was worth your money. Now there’s a DLC: is the content you’re getting worth the price they’re asking to you? if not, don’t buy it. If so, do.

    • Melf_Himself says:

      Malkav, Day 0 DLC is like going to a movie, seeing the ending and then they send in some ushers and tell you, hey would you like to see the epilogue? $5.

      The subsequent DLC is like the usher’s ringing you up at unexpected times in the coming months and years, telling you that something may or may not have happened to one of the main characters, and it’ll cost you another $5 to find out.

      What happened to the days when I could just buy a game and know that I owned the whole fricking thing? The traditional game + expansion model always felt so much better because you were never getting just a couple of new levels, they would pack loads of stuff in there, including re-working game mechanics, new classes/units/abilities etc.

      Surely there must be some law in a marketing textbook somewhere saying that if you’re going to make a customer pay, the hardest part is convincing them to get out their wallet. Don’t do it twice.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Melf – the whole concept of DLC is that once you’ve convinced the customer to get his wallet out once, it remains out, on the table, and all you have to do is distract him every couple of minutes and you can help yourself to another tenner.

  31. Melf_Himself says:

    I hereby proclaim that this sort of shenanigan should be given the new catchphrase of:

    DLP

    DownLoadable Permission. Because that’s all that we’re downloading with this B.S.

    • Wulf says:

      Heartily agreed. I can’t help but wonder if 2K are walking the path of Activision, and I’m going to be watching them very carefully for a while, for I’m of the practise of showing the same level of respect to a publisher as they would show to their consumer.

      Putting DLC on the disc and then giving us a permission slip to use data on the disc we bought is… well, douchebaggery, frankly. This is going to help to reinforce the idea in the heads of the less educated that the PC isn’t an open platform, and that we’re not supposed to be able to do what we want with what happens to be on our computer. That kind of thinking is very worrying.

  32. DJ Phantoon says:

    I’m not angry about this because I’m all out of angry.

    It is still pretty dumb.

  33. JKjoker says:

    im not angry, im just sad.
    the game industry is dead to me, im just waiting for the inevitable second videogame crash the second someone comes up with something new and fun to do

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Really? The games industry is dead because someone pre-loaded a disc with DLC?

      Seems hyperbolic.

    • Wulf says:

      Actually I think he implied the building issues with duplicitous DLC (and potentially DRM) implementation, which is eventually going to crash and burn.

      But hey, whatever.

    • JKjoker says:

      if you think that only “that” one thing happened these past weeks you need to catch up with your reading
      lets see, DRM, devs sacked and replaced with corporate zombies, more DRM, corporate zombies talking about how sucking the fun out of making games is good business, even more DRM, more corporate zombies explaining how turning everything into grind based mmo likes is the way of the future and thats just a bit of it

    • JKjoker says:

      oh and lets not forget that the only new idea coming out the main hardware and software shapers’s committees-driven-brains is rehashing something Nintendo did 4 years ago, im so thrilled…

      i think the only positive thing was Unlimited Detail but everyone is a skeptic about that one and good graphics still dont make good games

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Well, sure guys, but on other hand, we’ve just seen a series of articles about how great the indie games scene is at the moment, and we know Dragon Age did great business on PC, and Valve are bringing out Portal 2 (AND IT’S FREAKING CO-OP WOOP!), the diaries from SI and, erm, the space game were really interesting na ddemonstrate an area PCs have a huge advantage so, y’know, I don’t think PC gaming is quite dead yet.

      Maybe if your definition of “PC gaming” is slavishly devouring everything out of Activision and Ubisoft, then yeah, PC gaming is dying.

  34. Psychopompy says:

    Sure is Tosser in here.

  35. D says:

    I’m gonna start referring to them as 24K Games from now off. Seems like a clever way to go about spreading this information.

  36. Peter Lyons says:

    Not sure I can see what the fuss is about, this strikes me as a perfectly reasonable way to release DLC, Company of heroes has done this for ages, means one can play against someone playing as, say, the British without actually owning the corresponding expandalone

  37. Dan Puzey says:

    I agree totally with Peter Lyons here. The benefit: you have a tiny piffling 24k download for your DLC instead of hours to wait. The downside: absolutely nothing.

    Complaining that you have some right to this content as part of the original cost of the game -just because they were planning ahead far enough to include extra content on the original disk – is plain silly. 24k is irrelevant: what is the extra content worth?

    Get on and enjoy it.

  38. mbp says:

    I don’t really understand all this furore to be honest. Surely we have gotten past the stage where we believe that the actual bytes stored on our DVD or our hard drive have any real value. We are not paying for a collection of bytes we are paying for a license to play the game. Selling different licences that offer different levels of access and different prices to match is classic market segmentation and is a a well established business principle.

    A much more important point is whether or not the price being charged for the game in any of its forms is too high. That is a battle worth fighting in my opinion but sadly there is a large audience of apparently wealthy customers out there who are not prepared to vote with their wallets and will happily hand over €60 for a PC game.

  39. armlesscorps says:

    The main issue with this is that the DLC was content that was made during the main development of the game, and could have been included as part of the main game, or they could have not produced this “DLC” and instead focussed on the content in the main game. The fact that the content is on the disk just proves this. There was a similar suspicion with Resident Evil 5 DLC i seem to remember, although I dont know if it was as clear cut as this. Dragon Age also had day 1 DLC which was a similar issue but seemed to be forgiven by the fact that that game was a very long game out of the box and a lot of the Day 1 DLC was available as part of limited editions.
    People are pissed that they are having to pay for things that in the days of old would have been on the retail disk as part of the initial game, and it is kind of sickening. Were they not making enough money before? All this does is bump up the price of a game or give gamers less content in a game than they would have expected years ago. The fact the DLC is on the disk for BS2 just makes this seem even more ludicrous and blatant than before. Companies have often charged people more for less as time goes on, but the fact they actually give you the data and then ask for more money to unlock it is like you buying a can of coke and expecting your usual 330ml’s then finding out the bottom half is sealed and padlocked and the person who sold you the coke then charges you an extra 10p for the key.

    • archonsod says:

      Then people are idiots. If you’re buying a game, I’d hope you were paying for it on the basis that what was on offer was worth what you were handing over at the time. If the developers have locked content I fail to see what difference that should make, unless you’re a shareholder in that particular company why does it matter to you how it’s employees spend their time?

      The coke example fails, since at no point did the developer state the content was included. It’s more like buying a 165ml can of coke that just happens to have a can sized to 330ml which you can unlock if you hand over additional money. Presumably, you thought 165ml was good enough when you opted to buy the can in the first place, else you wouldn’t have bought it.
      It’s more like McDonalds or Burger King. You buy a meal (Bioshock 2) for a couple of quid, they offer to supersize it (additional content) for a little more money. At no point was it stated you got the supersized meal for the same price as the regular sized, and I’d love to know how many people who are claiming that entitlement would have the balls to march up to the counter and demand the supersized meal for the price of the regular meal.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      For whatever it’s worth, 2K Games lost nearly $140m last financial year, so clearly they aren’t making enough money on their games.

  40. cliffski says:

    when company of heroes released expansions and it required huge patches for anyone without the expansions to play against them, the interwebs was packed with huge hoards of people shouting and whining and hurling absue at the stupid-ass developer scum.
    Now when a dev finds a way to solve that problem so that the download is trivially small, they get a load of abuse and grief and shouting at the stupid ass greedy developer scum.
    Is it any wonder that 99% of develoeprs and publishers just tune out this sort of outrage?

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. You didn’t even know the content existed yesterday, but now you are outraged about it…

    • Serenegoose says:

      My perception of anybody annoyed with the company of heroes patching system was that it wasn’t voluntary. If you booted up the game and it detected a new patch, it -would- download and install it before allowing you access to the game again, regardless if whether you wanted to play online or not. These patches were huge, at least 1gb in size, and downloaded painfully slowly. So yes, people were angry, because they were doing it wrong. They’re still doing it wrong now, just in a new way.

  41. RogB says:

    if 2k had padded that 24k patch out with a hidden and encrypted 400 meg video of someone playing with his testicles, this shit storm would never have happened.

    • dingo says:

      If that video would show someone lubing up and bending over ready to shell out 15 EUR for the upcoming CoD MW2 map DLC I would buy it.

  42. Mac says:

    It’s just a shitty way to do business if you ask me …

    Another bad example of DLC was Assassins creed which actually cut levels from the game which you had to buy later.

    When I buy a game, i want the full game – not just a teaser – if you are not going to provide me with teh full game I just won’t buy it. Shame that more people don’t do this.

    Add to this, that games on the PC used to cost £18 on release now cost £25-£30 … either there has been a big drop in sales so the total revenue is less (in which case reduce prices to increase turnover as Valve demonstrated) or they are just taking the piss and trying to bleed legit customers dry.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I suspect inflation and the collapse of the value of the pound recently has a fair bit to do with that. Which isn’t to say publishers aren’t scamming you, but at least you don’t have to pay £45-50 for a new PC game like we do in Australia.

  43. Pod says:

    I’m going to unsubscribe from RPS about this. This is a complete non-issue.

    • dingo says:

      It’s a huge issue for a collector like me!
      I skipped buying ME2 to wait for the inevitable “Game of the Year Edition” in 1-2 years with all DLC included.
      I want COMPLETE versions of games I collect.
      After I had to buy Fallout 3 again (GoTY Edition) last year I decided to not buy those games with the DLCs anymore unless they are complete in some years.

    • Richeh says:

      Fair enough, Dingo. They are massively cashing in on obsessive-compulsives. I did not think of that.

    • armlesscorps says:

      Yeah its a complete non issue that was mentioned on most other gaming sites and got 140 comments on this site alone. For crying out loud RPS cater specifically to what Pod cares about more.
      (if you were being sarcastic make it more obvious)

    • Pod says:

      >Yeah its a complete non issue that was mentioned on most other gaming sites and got 140 comments on this site alone.

      Doesn’t make it a non-issue. Look at the newspapers. They report shit every single day, and people comsume it. Doesn’t mean it’s real news

      >For crying out loud RPS cater specifically to what Pod cares about more.
      (if you were being sarcastic make it more obvious)

      Whilst I wasn’t being serious about unsubscribing from RPS (I just like to pretend to be enraged), I still think it’s a complete non-issue. Or rather, more of a “So what?” issue. FURTHERMORE, I refuse to make anything more or less obvious.

  44. Richeh says:

    Okay, well, yeah, mega PR fail. But it’s in no way morally wrong. You know what you’re getting in the vanilla version, and you decide whether it’s worth your money. It’s not like they’ve crippled it and twisted your arm to buy the (what seems to me like shitty) DLC. You’re not morally entitled to every idea they’ve come up with to date for your forty quid or whatever it is now.

    The only moral objection would I have is if they released the game and DLC at a bargain-bucket price too early, in accordance with the law that early adopters get effed in the A.

  45. Ginger Yellow says:

    “The way our engine and game structure works is that people need to have the exact same content for people to play together. One of the challenges with post launch content for MP is that it can split the player base, and we want to avoid that whenever possible

    If only there were some way to ensure that content was pushed automatically to all online players. Oh wait there is. It’s called Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Games for Windows Live and Steam.

    Seriously? That’s the best excuse they can come up with? On a game that requires you to be connected to a push-update system no matter what platform you buy it for?

  46. Jamesworkshop says:

    If content is on the disc but needs unlocking it needs to be clearly stated in the EULA because that governs how the software maybe used.
    Content being on the disc is not the problem the problem is that data was clearly hidden
    the car boot analogy doesn’t work because that was stated at time of purchase now imagine discovering a week later that the car boot had been locked the entire time and was only available at additional cost with no metion from the Car seller because they were going to wait two weeks before offering the keys for sale.

    Now windows uses the same system however they have multipul licences that tell me excatly what feature in the licence I am paying for home, basic, ultimate etc Bioshock 2 does not have two different versions with seprate license aggrements that just like windows each disc contains the same content but with a different agreement.

  47. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    What everyone seems to have forgotten is that this is Multiplayer DLC. And Bioshock 2′s multiplayer was a bit of a mess. So now it’s a bit of a mess with a couple more characters and some more guns.

    I’ll be in Bad Company 2.

  48. rocketman71 says:

    Bull shit

  49. Jannakar says:

    If think that there is a problem here and it’s nothing to do with the technical implementation or the business model: 2K messed up here by referring to this as DLC, they’re muddying the waters around an idea that is still in flux.

  50. the wiseass says:

    EULAs are adhesion contracts and therefore do not hold any ground before a court. Copyright dictates who can legally copy and distribute stuff. Applying a DLC-Patch might violate the EULA but it sure won’t violate copyright law since the original work is neither copied nor distributed.

    There have been precedents with patches/drivers for sound-cards that unlocked different functions from higher versions. These patches/drivers were legal to distribute and apply.

    Now if I buy a car I can modify it too. I can change the rims, change the seats, tune the motor, add a new sound system, etc… The same goes for most other products, I own what I buy. Now why anybody would argue otherwise with software is simply beyond me understanding. If you take a look at the numerous mods out there, it’s pretty clear that modding the software you bought is not illegal.

    I can even copy the mona lisa and draw a moustache on it… oh wait that has already been done.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      The Mona Lisa is well and truly outside of copyright by now.

      It will violate copyright law, because caopyright law dictates that copyright holders may issue licenses to others to copy their material under specific circumstances. You’ve never obtained a license to play the extra content on the disc, therefore it seems likely that a court would agree that you have a legal right to copy it for that purpose. Copyright law is not just about copying for distribution purposes – it is also about copying for different uses.

      Do you have any links to cases that have been decided on the drivers issue? As far as I’m aware, they have never been brought to court and attempted to make a copyright argument to stop drivers being freely distributed (ie not for profit). In any case, I find the analogy flawed and probably inapplicable given the difference in circumstances between software and hardware.

    • Bhazor says:

      I do so love bizarre analogies as argument.

      The best is the one about finding a fridge in the middle of a forest and this somehow proving god exists.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Drewsky: Who ever said buying a game was akin to acquiring a license of use? Where is that written down? I’d really like you to enlighten me on that.

      Besides, you bought the software with all of its content so you are free to use it however you want. Editing config. files, cheating, modding the game, applying a no-cd crack is all legal if you acquired the game legally. Where is it written that changing a small entry in a config. file to enable hidden content that you purchaed IN THE FIRST PLACE is illegal?

      By the way, the sound-card analogy was perfectly fine because the hidden features were enabled on the software side of things. You did not change the hardware. Also, considering the these drivers were freely available and nobody issued a complaint or a lawsuit pretty much indicates that there was no case to be won here.

      To give you another example, there are tons and tons of tutorials, patches and tweaks in order to enable hidden features in Windows. Some of these even enabled features that were only available on ultimate editions (like for example dreamscene). Doing this is NOT illegal, nobody was ever sued because of it and all of these tutorials, patches and files are FREELY available on the net.

      The Mona Lisa thing was more of a joke of course. But I will never let anybody dictate how I have to use a certain product I purchased legally. When I buy a product, I buy the whole package to use at my own will.

    • Britpunk says:

      Uhh, its written here:
      Software, that is computer programs, and games for games consoles are protected on the same basis as literary works. Conversion of a program into or between computer languages and codes corresponds to adapting a work. Storing any work in a computer amounts to copying the work. In addition, running a computer program or displaying work on a video display unit (VDU) will usually involve copying and thus require the consent of the copyright owner.

      A few key points:
      Basically you can only install it in the first place because the copyright holder is licensing you to do so.
      Computer programs are treated as literary works for the purpose of UK copyright law.
      Reverse engineering and cracking is considered adapting the software, which is only legal if authorised by the copyright holder (lets face it, that aint gonna happen here).
      “Fair use” doesn’t even exist in the UK. Even copying a CD to itunes is technically illegal in this country.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Britpunk:

      Well yes, if I buy a game, I’m legally allowed to “store it on my computer”. It does not say that I cannot edit files or modify the program for my own use, which clearly is not illegal. Otherwise all the numerous mods and patches and whatnot wouldn’t be allowed to exist.

      To take the literary work analogy, I’m allowed to scribble in the book I purchased, take notes on the edge and even rip pages out or add my own pages. Nothing wrong with that.

      What I wanted to see is a law that forbids you to modify any files stored legally on your computer…

    • Britpunk says:

      goshdarn reply mechanism getting the better of me… see next page for my response, comment timed at 6.11pm

    • the wiseass says:

      Thanks for your reply Britpunk, but I honestly still fail to see where exactly it states in the link you mentioned that modifying files legally purchased and stored on your computer for your personal use is illegal. Since I’m not from the UK, I’d really like to see the legal passage on which your statement is based upon (since clearly you still did not provide such a source).

      And no, I do not accept EULAs since they are not to be considered binding contracts and do not stand their own ground before court (at least not where I come from).

    • Wulf says:

      @wiseass-1

      Oh my, you get it! Well done you! *claps.*

      Exactly. That’s why it would get laughed out of a British court, as I’ve said until I’m blue in the face, because the laws don’t support suppressing the modifications of one’s own properties, and more importantly there isn’t one, single precedent of that ever happening in the UK. I don’t care about other countries, or the IP capitol of the world, because I don’t live there and they sure as hell couldn’t extradite me over something like that (there are no treaties to cover extraditions over IP infringement, with the ACTA maybe but that’s been shot down).

      If a person buys a product then that belongs to them, and by UK laws they have every legal right to be nosey about things they own, we’re not quite as insane as some other places of the world… yet. So we can nose at our own stuff, we can legally modify it, and we can so what we bloody well like with it. If there’s content on there that the seller didn’t want us to access then too bad, it’s as simple as that because the responsibility lies with the seller not to leave anything they don’t want you to use on the disc. If the buyer finds something on that disc they’ve bought, no matter what it is, it’s theirs.

      If you have a product, and you can show a receipt of purchase, and you can prove that…

      1.) You’re not tampering with outside sources (such as servers) in order to achieve this.
      2.) You didn’t have to download extra materials (potentially pirated) in order to achieve this.

      …then anyone challenging you has no leg to stand on. Since an unlock patch wouldn’t need to access 2K’s servers, and since it wouldn’t need to use any of Ubisoft’s property, it wouldn’t actually be even legally questionable, it would be perfectly legal because it’s just a modification of one’s property. Otherwise all game mods would be borderline illegal.

      I can’t believe that some people would argue against this, it seems silly, but then again in some countries I’m sure that this would see a person landed with a fine or jail time, but with my knowledge of UK trade law I can say that the UK isn’t one of them, and I honestly believe that counts for almost all (if not all) European countries too. All EU nations, at least. In fact, the EU would probably not have a high opinion of 2k for hiding content on a disc that a player can’t access without buying the disc twice. (They really don’t like that sort of thing, bless ‘em.)

      @Britpunk

      Again, to break those laws one would need to copy data. However, with an unlock patch all the code could be created by the patcher, and therefore it wouldn’t need to copy anything of 2K’s. If 2K has already given you consent to copy that disc, then a patcher to fiddle with the content of that disc isn’t illegal. And a sale is the consent to do so.

      Why do you think emulators are legal here, but rom files are not? It’s the same kind of thing. The patch would be perfectly legal, the use of the patch would be legal, and since 2K sold them the disc and gave them that consent, accessing the data on the disc one bought would also be legal.

      “Basically you can only install it in the first place because the copyright holder is licensing you to do so.
      Computer programs are treated as literary works for the purpose of UK copyright law.”

      Yes, but this is also controlled by trade laws. It’s the sale that gives consent of use, not the EULA. This is a point that seems to be flying over your head. Basically, in order to engage in trade, the seller must agree that the buyer has all rights to do what they want with what they’re sold. Once again: With a sale, the seller has given this consent, and if there’s data on the disc that they don’t want copied then there’s not much they can do about it because it was their responsibility not to leave it on the disc in the first place. A EULA won’t change that because they’ve already given the buyer (through sale) permission to access that data.

      I’ve tackled things like this before so I understand how these laws work, and I think that people have US IP law nonsense flooding their brains and aren’t too familiar with British trade laws. In other words, even if 2K did try to challenge a free unlock patch, they would — in the process — have to prove that they themselves are doing something illegal under UK trade laws. How is that so difficult to understand?

      “Reverse engineering and cracking is considered adapting the software, which is only legal if authorised by the copyright holder (lets face it, that aint gonna happen here).”

      That’s not exactly true.

      You only lose your right to reverse engineer if you’re making illegal copies (you wouldn’t need to be) or if you actually had a signature on a contract that waived your rights to do so. A EULA isn’t at all a legal or fair license, and would be laughed out of most courts, whether a EULA says you can reverse engineer or not is irrelevant.

      By right under UK law you’re allowed to reverse engineer your own purposes for educational, entertainment, and interoperability purposes, and you can ask your nearest friendly lawyer this, he’ll tell you the same thing. So making and using a patch to unlock this DLC wouldn’t be illegal because you’re not making any illegal copies or waiving your legal right to reverse engineer.

      The patch would be created purely as an original work by someone which would have nothing to do with 2K, the patch wouldn’t need to make illegal copies, and the patch wouldn’t need to access 2K’s servers. In other words, the patch would be completely legal, and the reverse engineering to create the patch would be completely legal.

      Again, ask a lawyer, they’ll tell you the same thing.

      “Fair use” doesn’t even exist in the UK. Even copying a CD to itunes is technically illegal in this country.”

      This is true, but we do have fair dealing and a mountain-load of statuary rights laws which protect us from IP insanity, there are also precedents which support this but I’m not doing anyone’s research for them. Suffice it to say, UK and EU courts have not looked kindly on airy-fairy IP nonsense in the past, where a copyright holder has tried to punish someone for exercising their rights to use their own property as they like. Whether you believe me or not is up to you. The thing is, I already realise that I’m more clued in on this than most people in this argument.

      @wiseass-3

      Do you feel like you’re arguing with a bunch of US Republicans here, regardless of where they’re from? I do. >.< I really, really get that impression. It's like arguing with a clone army of Rush Limbaugh, and it's turning my stomach.

      Suffice it to say though, the reason we have the insanity of ACTA and Mandelson floating around is because we're not as IP mad as some other nations, they're trying to make us so but not succeeding. The EU parliament finds the ACTA as shady as all buggery and the UK in general are starting to wake up to the fact that Mandy has the insanity of a manatee.

      This is what I find especially grating, that people think that we're already as bad as certain other nations in regards to prohibitive laws on software ownership, we're not. You're right, if you buy a product, software or anything else, you can do what you like with it and the laws — as they are now — will support that.

    • Britpunk says:

      The link I provided is from the Intellectual Property Office in the UK (note the .gov.uk url). You appear to be wilfully ignoring the text:
      “Conversion of a program into or between computer languages and codes corresponds to adapting a work. Storing any work in a computer amounts to copying the work.”
      What conversion basically means is that you are not entitled to change the code..I don’t see how that could be more clear.

      If you want the actual laws:
      Copyright, designs & patents act 1988 . you’ll want sections 17 through 21
      Copyright (Computer Programs) Regulations 1992 Basically just some amendments clarifying certain aspects of the law.

      Now, by necessity I am referring to UK copyright law; that’s where I live. You asked Drewski to provide you with details of where it is written that you are purchasing software licensing, so this is what I’ve provided you with.
      Most of the world’s intellectual property/copyright laws are based upon The Berne Convention (wiki it), so you will find most countries copyright/IP law to be broadly similar with the UKs.

      Finally, whether you personally accept EULAs to be legally binding isnt the issue. As has been mentioned, most countries haven’t even tested EULAs as to whether they can be considered legally binding contracts yet. What is likely to be more important if 2k for example was to make a challenge against somebody who had unlocked the dlc through cracking, would be the intellectual property laws of the country concerned. If your country has lax IP laws, more power to you…

      In a practical sense, if you were to crack the software for personal use, 2K could only likely persue you for the ‘lost’ sale (plus legal costs, obviously), so it wouldnt be worth their while. If you wrote a crack and distributed it, they could get an awful lot more out of you (just see the recent cases involving the music industry, or Nintendo and the Mario piracy case)

      For the record I have never bought DLC; I don’t consider it to be value for money, in the way that expansion packs used to be. I think 2K in this case have basically mucked up any notion that their DLC should be considered as worthwhile additional content and have blown it from a PR point of view. I do think that wearing an angry hat due to personally held misconceptions about IP/Copyright law (but i bought a disc!) that many RPSers seem to have isn’t really helpful. Wear an angry hat because they’re attempting to rip you off. If it bothers you, just don’t buy it. If it bothers you a lot, make people aware that they are getting ripped out and urge them not to buy it.

    • Britpunk says:

      @Wulf
      Republican? Ouch…I’m a social libertarian I’ll have you know…

      Anyway, re. modifying for educational purposes…I think 2K could sucessfully argue that such modifying in this case would be engineered to circumnavigate their ability to charge you for the licensing of the content; from the same website:
      “The purpose of this exception is to provide students and non-commercial researchers more access to copyright works. In assessing whether your use of the work is permitted or not you must assess if there is any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use. Where the impact is not significant, the use may be acceptable.”
      2K could argue financial loss. It would be down to the courts to decide if that had a ‘significant impact’

      re. emulators: who said they were legal? they’re not and they contravene patent and copyright law. What is significant is the lack of companies prepared to pursue lengthy and potentially expensive legal challenges for the sake of protecting an IP or patent that has very little potential to make financial gain.

      You seem to be clinging to an assertion that, if it aint screwing with a server, its fine…for an ‘expert’ I don’t know where you got this idea from, nor the idea that reverse engineering is legally okay. I refer you (again) to the laws, specifically 17 (4) of the CDP ’88.

      Anyway, this is getting quite stupid, especially given that i don’t think 2k’s actions here are in any way acceptable.

    • Wulf says:

      Sigh.

      @BritPunk

      “Conversion of a program into or between computer languages and codes corresponds to adapting a work. Storing any work in a computer amounts to copying the work.”

      The publisher gave the consumer permission to do this at the point of purchase.

      So basically this is a case of pot, kettle black. You see, I already took note of that and replied to it, but then you wilfully ignored that reply and just spammed me with the same thing saying I’d ignored it. x.x Guhhh.

      “What conversion basically means is that you are not entitled to change the code..I don’t see how that could be more clear.”

      It doesn’t mean that at all, it means you’re not entitled to make illegal copies of the code, which is perfectly reasonable. And as I’ve already pointed out, a content-release patch would not need to illegally copy any data.

      “Now, by necessity I am referring to UK copyright law; that’s where I live. You asked Drewski to provide you with details of where it is written that you are purchasing software licensing, so this is what I’ve provided you with.”

      Yes, but you keep dodging the fact that the publisher has given the consumer consent at point of purchase, you keep insinuating that that consent hasn’t been given. Either you’re being intellectually dishonest and trying to mislead the reader, or you’re just being stupid. The thing is is that these laws you keep spamming only apply to illegal content, content that was not purchased.

      “Finally, whether you personally accept EULAs to be legally binding isnt the issue.”

      Of course it isn’t, and I never said it was, nice straw-man though.

      What I did say is that there are precedents for courts tossing out EULAs like yesterday’s garbage.

      “As has been mentioned, most countries haven’t even tested EULAs as to whether they can be considered legally binding contracts yet.”

      This is a bald-faced lie. I’m leaning more toward intellectual dishonesty rather than stupidity, now.

      “What is likely to be more important if 2k for example was to make a challenge against somebody who had unlocked the dlc through cracking, [...]”

      This is misleading, and therefore a fallacy. The content isn’t ‘downloadable content’ because it’s already on the disc. Therefore it isn’t cracking DLC, what’s actually happening is that a person is modifying content that they’ve already been given legal consent to modify.

      You’re very dishonest with your arguments, but that’s commonplace on the Internet, you can’t be humiliated by being so incredibly dishonest.

      “In a practical sense, if you were to crack the software for personal use, 2K could only likely persue you for the ‘lost’ sale (plus legal costs, obviously), [...]”

      Again you’re misleading, and you’re being purposefully dishonest.

      It could only be a lost sale if I’d done something with 2K’s magical 24kb, if I’d pirated that content then it would be a lost sale, yes. If I’d unlocked the content with a patch created through original work, by reverse engineering that I’m legally entitled to do, then it wouldn’t be considered a lost sale.

      You’d better guard yourself more with your next argument, because you’re being openly dishonest here.

      “If you wrote a crack and distributed it, they could get an awful lot more out of you (just see the recent cases involving the music industry, or Nintendo and the Mario piracy case)”

      So turn the ‘crack’ into a content-unlocking patch creation guide, then distribute the guide.

      Problem solved!

      “For the record I have never bought DLC; I don’t consider it to be value for money, [...]”

      This isn’t relevant, and you’re just saying this to try and play to my side of the gallery. Considering how dishonest you’ve been thus far, I don’t believe it anyway.

      “I think 2K in this case have basically mucked up any notion that their DLC should be considered as worthwhile additional content and have blown it from a PR point of view.”

      This we agree on, but again it’s irrelevant.

      “I do think that wearing an angry hat due to personally held misconceptions about IP/Copyright law (but i bought a disc!) that many RPSers seem to have isn’t really helpful.”

      Neither is being intellectually dishonest about laws and trying to mislead and trick people into believing your position, either, which is what you’ve been trying to do from the outset. You’re being just as bad as 2K. And were I a crazy person, I’d even bother to ask if you worked for 2K or something in relation to them.

      And in regards to being angry by its own merits, being angry is a perfectly reasonable response to intellectual dishonesty, just as I’m particularly angry at you right now. But then, maybe that’s part of the game, trying to wind me up with all this dishonesty so that I’ll slip and make a mistake.

      “Wear an angry hat because they’re attempting to rip you off. If it bothers you, just don’t buy it. If it bothers you a lot, make people aware that they are getting ripped out and urge them not to buy it.”

      This argument does not work and could never work, because myself — as one entity — I could never make any kind of a difference, unless I open the eyes of the average person to this nonsense and they stop buying too, it’s not going to make a bit of difference. What needs to happen is for a large sample of people to stop buying, large enough to be noticed by 2K’s accounting people.

      So no, that argument doesn’t work at all. You’re trying to make it look like you’re being reasonable, but you know you’re not being reasonable at all. What’s that known as? Intellectual dishonesty, which both 2K and you seem to be particularly good at.

      @Britpunk-2

      “Republican? Ouch…I’m a social libertarian I’ll have you know…”

      Given the dishonesty thus far, the dishonesty I’ve come to expect from the right, I laugh at that. Sorry.

      “Anyway, re. modifying for educational purposes…I think 2K could sucessfully argue that such modifying in this case would be engineered to circumnavigate their ability to charge you for the licensing of the content; from the same website:”

      You already covered this in your above post, didn’t you? Did you just post twice to repeat yourself? Let me check…

      *reads back.*

      Yes, yes you did! Oh well. Let’s continue regardless of that.

      “The purpose of this exception is to provide students and non-commercial researchers more access to copyright works.”

      …do I need to point out ‘non-commercial researchers’? Do I? Really?

      “[...] In assessing whether your use of the work is permitted or not you must assess if there is any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use.”

      To point it out gain, because I’m not pirating the 24kb, this law has no relevance.

      “2K could argue financial loss. It would be down to the courts to decide if that had a ’significant impact’”

      Yep, and we each have our own opinions as to which way that would go.

      “re. emulators: who said they were legal?”

      They’re very legal, they’re just grey line. Please don’t try to say that emulators are illegal… oh lordy, not that can of worms. Well, at least I have material for that from past arguments! :D

      “[...] they’re not and they contravene patent and copyright law.”

      How? They simulate hardware in order to run software, that’s not illegal. The roms are illegal but I already pointed out the illegality of roms… weren’t you talking about wilfully ignoring things? Yeaahh. But anyway, the point of the matter here is that the emulator itself is not illegal, questionable, but not ilelgal.

      “What is significant is the lack of companies prepared to pursue lengthy and potentially expensive legal challenges for the sake of protecting an IP or patent that has very little potential to make financial gain.”

      Tell that to the RIAA.

      “You seem to be clinging to an assertion that, if it aint screwing with a server, its fine…for an ‘expert’ I ”

      No I don’t, that’s a straw-man, because I never said that. Nice straw-man, though.

      What I said is that I can legally reverse engineer something if:

      - I own the product, by owning the product I’ve been given the consent to do so.
      - The reverse engineering is an original work that involves no code from 2K.
      - The reverse engineering doesn’t tamper with outside sources (because that would be illegal).

      You seem to have taken the latter part and ignored the others, but every time I speak of this I mention these things all as one. So you’re creating a straw-man, you’re taking one part of my argument, lying about it, and arguing against that instead of my argument to try and prove that I’ve got a weaker argument than I actually do. That’s… dishonest! I’m not surprised.

      “don’t know where you got this idea from, nor the idea that reverse engineering is legally okay. I refer you (again) to the laws, specifically 17 (4) of the CDP ‘88.”

      I refer you again to the realisation that this doesn’t matter since those apply to illegal content, not a consumer purchased game.

      “Anyway, this is getting quite stupid, especially given that i don’t think 2k’s actions here are in any way acceptable.”

      I don’t believe that, you wouldn’t put so much effort into arguing this if that were true. Again, this is just to appeal to my side of the gallery. I think that you find 2K’s actions very acceptable, and that you support them fully, but a dishonest person of political leanings always tries to make appeals to the other side in order to make themselves look more reasonable, even if they know they’re being intellectually dishonest by doing so.

      The difference is that I’m more of an engineer than a politician, I’d prefer to hear the truth, and you come across as a politician to me, and therefore I can’t believe a word that comes out of your mouth. Sorry.

    • the wiseass says:

      “Conversion of a program into or between computer languages and codes corresponds to adapting a work. Storing any work in a computer amounts to copying the work.”
      What conversion basically means is that you are not entitled to change the code..I don’t see how that could be more clear.

      I’m sorry but this is simply wrong. Conversion here means porting from one platform (PC, console, Mac, etc…) to another or, as the text says, from one coding language into another. The second phrase simply refers to duplication and distribution.

      In absolutely NO way, does this forbid you to modify any files stored legally on your computer for personal purposes. I’m not a native English speaker so I can’t explain it more clearly, but I think Wulf already explained the difference pretty well.


      In a practical sense, if you were to crack the software for personal use, 2K could only likely persue you for the ‘lost’ sale (plus legal costs, obviously), so it wouldnt be worth their while.

      No they can’t, not if you legally purchased the product.

      By the way, ever heard about “Hackerspaces”? Now these are publicly funded places where tech-geeks can meet up an goof around with soft- and hardware for learning and educational purposes. These places are nothing illegal, they don’t pirate stuff or hack your computer. But you can learn how to run linux on a toaster, jailbreak your iphone, exploit vulnerabilities on test systems and stuff like that. Usually these places are supervised by teachers too. It’s kinda hard to explain. I’m not sure if these places exist in the UK, but they are clearly proof that modifying your own stuff for your own purposes, be it soft- or hardware is not illegal.

      @Wulf:

      With Obama now backing ACTA and taking sides with RIAA, MPAA, I’m not really sure if this is a leftist/rightist kind of thing. But honestly, what irks me the most is how people are willing to put up with all this shit and how much they are even willing to defend this.

      If most gamers would show even a hint of critical consumerism, we would not have to deal with these kind of problems all the time. We would not have to suffer from draconian DRM and we would not be forced to fight for rights that should be frikkin’ self-evident.

      Please Britpunk, do not consider this as a personal attack as I was merely making a general statement.

    • Britpunk says:

      Well your commitment to banging your head against a brick wall is admirable, if nothing else…

      firstly, I did not spam any comments. My 8:00pm reply is to Wiseassess 6:57. my 8:21 is in response to your 7:35.
      Your arguments are confused. on the one hand you are accepting that the EULA grants license to copy the product, and that somehow modifying the content is what…implied in this? On the other hand you are refuting the EULA’s validity to do anything…As Drewski has pointed out, you seem to be misinterpreting trade law and intellectual copyright law. Either misinterpreting or wilfully ignoring the bits you don’t like, which isn’t quite how ‘the law’ works…
      You are accusing me of intellectual dishonesty. I would like you to provide citation here. I don’t appreciate being called a liar, even if its only an anonymous internet type doing the accusing.

      so on to dissecting your rant in a broadly chronological order…

      The law is quite clear: conversion refers to adapting software (adapting means ‘changing’, in case you’re unsure), storing on a computer refers to copying.

      re. EULAs/straw grasping…my comments directed at wiseass, not you.

      re EULAs not being widely tested, as legally binding being a ‘bald faced lie’ well I look forward to your detailed examples. Fact is, if EULAs had been extensively tested and a) established as a solid legal tool or b) demonstrated as consistently unenforceable, then we wouldn’t be having this ‘conversation’ as the strength of EULAs simply wouldnt be in question.

      re. dlc semantics…2k called it dlc, it has been referred to as dlc throughout reports, therefore i am perfectly happy using the term dlc, even if the term isn’t literally correct. still doesn’t give you the right to crack it. see above.

      re. ‘lost sales’ I was providing an example of what 2k could, legally argue, not saying that they definitely would or should or would in any way be morally correct to argue.. read more carefully.

      re ‘content-unlocking patch creation guide’. i actually like this. bravo.

      re never having bought dlc…again, a clarification for wiseass, nought to do with ‘your side of the gallery’

      re. a peculiar and unusual obsession with ‘intellectual dishonesty’. please for the love of god provide an example where i have been dishonest. pointing out the law doesn’t make me a liar in any way…neither does holding an opinion contrary to your own.

      re. one person alone makes no difference: broadly agree with you, but if nobody does anything nothing will change. baby steps and all that… see also: climate change

      Social Libertarianism (as I define it): believing in personal freedoms coupled with social responsibility. actually closer to the centre-left, but thanks for caring…

      re. modifying. again, my 8:00 post wasn’t to you, this is from my 8:21 post, which was to you…

      re. non commercial purposes: pointing out (again) what they could argue, not suggesting they’d be reasonable in doing so….

      re. emulators. to quote you: “They’re very legal, they’re just grey line.” self-contradiction here, but you’re right about one thing: this aint the time nor place to argue about emulators. just a quiet suggestion to look into patent law…illegal, yes, enforceable through law…doubtful, unless the emulated console is current gen (i.e. profitable). You could point to american law here and the fair use precedent, but as you keep saying thats US law…things are different round these parts..

      re. screwing with servers. “The patch would be created purely as an original work by someone which would have nothing to do with 2K, the patch wouldn’t need to make illegal copies, and the patch wouldn’t need to access 2K’s servers. In other words, the patch would be completely legal, and the reverse engineering to create the patch would be completely legal.” oh look, you’re referring to (not) screwing with servers to form the basis of an argument that an activity is legal so the statement “I never said that” could be considered….intellectually dishonest?

      re. reverse engineering, again…look we’re gonna have to agree to disagree here, since the basis of your argument is that reverse engineering is fine, and the basis of mine is that it isn’t. Of course i’m referring to actual laws and you’re relying on insistent repetition, but there ya go…

      re. “i refer you”…actually applies to copyrighted works, not “illegal content”

      re. 2k…again couldn’t be further from the truth…last 2k game i bought: Bioshock (1). next 2K game i’m likely to buy: X-com..(if it actually ever happens). Engaging in discussion is not the same as rampant fanboyism.

      finally (at last) where did you get the idea that i’m some kind of politician? and how does being ‘more of an engineer’ excuse you from the very methodical and logical steps of reading and understanding legal documentation. As it happens I’m a recently redundant IT tech support guy…

      Really finally, I’m sorry that this has evidently got personal. that was never my intention until you called me “republican” and “stupid”. As I said on an earlier comment, i tend to agree with your comments, but on this occasion i don’t. this doesn’t make me either bad nor incorrect and especially not ‘intellectually dishonest’

    • Britpunk says:

      @wiseasses:
      I don’t disagree with you morally, or take your points personally..

      ‘Conversion of a program into or between computer languages and codes’ i still assert that conversion in this case means in effect decrypting the information for the purposes of altering it (i.e. reverse engineering from its ‘packaged’ state to its editable state – remove the words ‘or between’ as i think this causes ambiguity), however if you don’t agree with that assertion, i’m not going to press the point any longer…

      re. hackerspaces: heard of the practice, but not aware of it in the UK, but then im hardly part of any scene…sounds interesting and fun.
      The bulk of my argument revolves around the current state of UK law. what is frustrating is that somebody is willing to take my stating of UK law and suggest that this is in some way a defence on my part of UK law or more specifically 2Ks actions…

      Anyway thats enough on this now. 2k suck and all the rest of it :)