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View Full Version : Major electronic retailers in Germany to put up warning signs vs Origin



Vexing Vision
01-11-2011, 03:17 PM
Source:
http://www.onlinewelten.com/games/battlefield-3/news/media-markt-saturn-stellen-origin-warnschilder-108189/

Media Markt and Saturn (two major retailers of all things electronical - yeah, we still have PC games in our stores) are putting up warning signs saying:

Dear customer!!! Due to current circumstances, we have to notify you that installation of the PC game Battlefield 3 requires you to accept an extensive and legally unresolved EULA. As the company EA is not providing any information on the further proceedings, we want to inform you that we can only accept ware that is still unopened.

It's a pretty big move by two of the major retailers here in Germany. Not that I seriously believe this will change anything, but any crack in EA's attempt to centralize all their games and data is a good thing.

Dear Industry: If I buy a boxed retail copy, I really, really do not want to sign up anywhere. Thank you. (Unless it's a multiplayer game. Which, admittedly, BF3 is. Oh well... hoping they'll take the lesson to heart at ME3!)

Wolfenswan
01-11-2011, 03:45 PM
Just to clarify: those retailers aren't independent from each other and belong to the same corp.

SeanybabeS
01-11-2011, 04:07 PM
I'm guessing you've taken a moral stance and never used Steam then?

Vexing Vision
01-11-2011, 04:18 PM
Well, I never use a UbiSoft title.

I take a moral stance by selecting my platform of choice - which is retail, by the way - but accepted Steam as the lesser evil.

With EA or UbiPlay, I don't have a choice - if I want to play their game, they need to register me in their databases. All the games I have on Steam (with two exceptions) would have also been available without Steam-integration.

To me, and apparently to major retailers (which recently merged, you're right), that's quite a significant difference.

Christian
01-11-2011, 04:40 PM
Just to clarify: those retailers aren't independent from each other and belong to the same corp.

But still very different when it comes to certain policies. And to put it into context: it wasn't in every market, only in a few single stores (as the stores are more like franchises).

But I've got a question regarding this whole shitstorm right now:

Ok, so a lot of people didn't read the EULA and are now mad because there's something in there that's a bit shady. (Just a quick note: ever since the human centipede-Southpark episode I read EULAs. To the end). They should have read it as well and just not bought the damn thing...since this story is the hype of last week and has been floating around for quite a while now).

While there's no argument that EA might have overdone it here regarding data-collection and really should do something about this:

What kind of data are they collecting? Every article I've read just quotes some shady post somewhere where someone thinks to have found Origin snooping around in his tax-data and in a backup of his mobile phone. Apart from that, there's no real hard evidence that they're really collecting your mom's recipe for apple-pie, patenting it and suing her afterwards. Or scanning for 'borrowed' copies of EA-games.

I mean right now it's a nice distraction from other things (like politics) and I hope it wakes some people up and makes them more sensitive regarding their data..but:

Does anybody have a link to a reliable source where someone actually and believably has tracked what Origin is actually doing?

(disclaimer: not trying to protect EA or something like that..I'm just curious if this is blown out of proportion or if Origin really is more evil than broccoli and dolphins).

Althea
01-11-2011, 04:47 PM
Well, I never use a UbiSoft title.

I take a moral stance by selecting my platform of choice - which is retail, by the way - but accepted Steam as the lesser evil.

With EA or UbiPlay, I don't have a choice - if I want to play their game, they need to register me in their databases. All the games I have on Steam (with two exceptions) would have also been available without Steam-integration.

To me, and apparently to major retailers (which recently merged, you're right), that's quite a significant difference.
Alright, as you bring your Steam account into this, let's have a look. I count at least 7 Steam-only/Steamworks titles in there, two that use GfWL, and a UPlay title. You do realise R.U.S.E. is a Ubisoft title, right? You've clocked 20 hours in it already.

When you buy a game from a majority of publishers, you don't have a choice. GfWL titles require an account, Steamworks titles require you to have a Steam account, some Ubisoft titles (Not all!) require an Ubi account, EA titles require an EA account. I've got a bunch of accounts, but many go across a number of games. I use my Ubi account for The Settlers 7, R.U.S.E., Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and some others. My EA account works even for Mass Effect Galaxy on iOS. Ubi and EA also tie their stores to the same account, so the account you register Mass Effect 2 on is also the same one you buy The Sims 3 from on Origin.

vinraith
01-11-2011, 05:05 PM
It seems to me a warning like that applies to every major PC title they're selling, especially the Ubi games and anything with Steamworks. Origin sucks, but doesn't uniquely suck.

wssw4000
01-11-2011, 05:30 PM
It's not just those stores, the german media has reported about the dubious legality of how origin operates. There is more in this Battlefield 3 forum thread http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-3/1447843-origin-breaks-german-laws-alteration-possible.html

Megagun
01-11-2011, 06:06 PM
Regarding the tax records screenshots (http://imgur.com/a/AtXJH): they're made by someone who doesn't really seem to know what he's looking at.

Origin is making a call to CreateFile to create what I presume is a file handle. A call to readFile (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365467(v=vs.85).aspx) has to be made to actually read file contents. Thus, we can conclude that Origin is not actually reading your files.

More info in this comment on Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/lsoj6/still_thinking_eas_origin_is_harmless/c2vbjty) and the comments on the parent posting on Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/lsoj6/still_thinking_eas_origin_is_harmless/).

As far as proof of Origin's nefarious dealings go: I've asked various people who claimed to have proof to show it to me (both on the RPS comments and on Reddit), yet none have managed to supply any. I've had Process Monitor running myself, and apart from scanning %ProgramData% and doing various stuff with the Origin Games folder in my Program Files folder, it didn't really do anything of interest. Other people have seen the same things (http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/960869-battlefield-3/60145714) happen.

Vexing Vision
01-11-2011, 06:21 PM
Minor nitpick: RUSE is not a Uplay title, which is why I purchased it. It is a brilliant game.

Also, I'm only seeing two Steamworks titles (DoW and Speedball). Ah, right, Portal 2 too, of course. I'm pretty sure none of the other titles was a Steam-exclusive, but the point is moot as I already submitted myself to Steam. All for Bloodbowl! ;)

Drake Sigar
01-11-2011, 06:35 PM
Ok, so a lot of people didn't read the EULA and are now mad because there's something in there that's a bit shady. (Just a quick note: ever since the human centipede-Southpark episode I read EULAs. To the end). They should have read it as well and just not bought the damn thing...since this story is the hype of last week and has been floating around for quite a while now).
I have faith that UK consumer laws will protect me from the absolute hogwash these big gaming corporations stick in their EULAs. Most of it is neither enforceable, nor legally binding.

Christian
01-11-2011, 08:47 PM
I have faith that UK consumer laws will protect me from the absolute hogwash these big gaming corporations stick in their EULAs. Most of it is neither enforceable, nor legally binding.

Me too (well, not the British laws..they know anyway what you're doing all of the time, with all the cameras around and thus don't need Origin ;) ), and that's what's happening here in Germany right now.
The problem is: now it's big in the media..EA and Facebook (is also having some trouble here right now) change a little bit in their EULAs and nothing really changes. Once the media stops reporting, people stop to care.
Anyway, I'll continue to not being paranoid for a change because..


[...]
Origin is making a call to CreateFile to create what I presume is a file handle. A call to readFile (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365467%28v=vs.85%29.aspx) has to be made to actually read file contents. Thus, we can conclude that Origin is not actually reading your files.
[...]and apart from scanning %ProgramData% and doing various stuff with the Origin Games folder in my Program Files folder, it didn't really do anything of interest. Other people have seen the same things (http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/960869-battlefield-3/60145714) happen.

..until someone actually proves it's really doing something horrible, I'll just count the panic right now as another case of bad journalism. Those people are beginning to be like politics..lots of big words, nothing to back them up.

But thanks...I hadn't thought of running a process monitor myself until now..I'll just have a look.

Althea
01-11-2011, 09:31 PM
Minor nitpick: RUSE is not a Uplay title, which is why I purchased it. It is a brilliant game.
Minor nitpick: R.U.S.E. is a UPlay title. It is has an optional UPlay registration, but it is a UPlay title.


Also, I'm only seeing two Steamworks titles (DoW and Speedball). Ah, right, Portal 2 too, of course. I'm pretty sure none of the other titles was a Steam-exclusive, but the point is moot as I already submitted myself to Steam. All for Bloodbowl! ;)
Civ V, Magicka, Portal, Sanctum, DoW II x 3.

Vexing Vision
02-11-2011, 09:47 AM
But if Origin was Optional, it wouldn't be an issue for anyone. Pushing it as a requirement, complete with a game-independent EULA of questionable nature, is the issue here.

Of course the comparison with Steam (none of the games you listed would've been bought if I hadn't had a Steam account anyway) lies near, and there's plenty of things I dislike about Steam (like STILL not being able to bloody select an install path of my choice. It's a bloody PC not a Mac!).

Personally, I trust Valve a lot more than EA. EA has quite the track-record of doing some odd and - to me - unethical things to their customers, their staff and their user data. And just because I give my lunch money to one bully in the schoolyard doesn't mean I have to give it to a second one, too.

Althea
02-11-2011, 10:29 AM
and there's plenty of things I dislike about Steam (like STILL not being able to bloody select an install path of my choice. It's a bloody PC not a Mac!).
Steam installs games to its own directory. If you put Steam somewhere else, the games would go with it.

I don't think Origin being pushed is the issue, I think it'd be the EULA. Software has been pushed with requirements for years, whether it's Gamespy, Steam, Games for Windows Live, Impulse, UPlay or something else. It's nothing new, and I can't see it being illegal otherwise the chances are it would have stopped years ago. Either way Origin itself is nothing new, it's an updated and rebranded EA Download Manager, a piece of software that's been around a good while.

Heliocentric
02-11-2011, 10:29 AM
And just because I give my lunch money to one bully in the schoolyard doesn't mean I have to give it to a second one, too. market precedent, you only need to check in your freedom for a free t-shirt once before everyone gets to tell you to shut up about being oppressed..

squirrel
02-11-2011, 11:22 AM
Frankly speaking, EA's "announced" reasons for collecting "unidentifiable" system information are quite reasonable. Those information would be very critical for game patching and future game development. I really dont want to see any crazy bugs in which games will not work on certain series of popular GPUs. Since "they cannot identify you by the information collected", I guess that it's time for gamers to compromise.

But let's not play naive, please. Do you really trust corporation like EA?

Keep up the good work, Germany, we are proud of you!!

deano2099
02-11-2011, 12:58 PM
I don't think Origin being pushed is the issue, I think it'd be the EULA. Software has been pushed with requirements for years, whether it's Gamespy, Steam, Games for Windows Live, Impulse, UPlay or something else. It's nothing new, and I can't see it being illegal otherwise the chances are it would have stopped years ago.

Not really. It needs to be tested first. And it hasn't, because the vast majority of companies don't abuse those terms. Steam *can* disable all your games at a whim. They *don't* not because they can't, but because doing so would be bad business.

In fact, for most legit businesses, abusing the EULA would be bad business (no actually, I'm not that bothered if EA find out what's on my PC, it's not that I trust them, I just know abusing that data wouldn't be good for them). But we will see legislation bought in because it's only a matter of time before someone sets up a digital distribution service that is a scam, and uses those sort of EULA terms to hide behind.

In the same way it'd be commercial, suicide for any online mail-order company to take payment and never send the goods, that doesn't mean we don't have laws to regulate it.


market precedent, you only need to check in your freedom for a free t-shirt once before everyone gets to tell you to shut up about being oppressed..

Not really. This whole thing always gets talked about in vastly moral terms of rights to ownership and privacy and all that. But the truth is for 95% of us this isn't a moral choice. It's a cost/benefits thing. Am I okay with Steam getting my details and controlling my games access? Not really. Am I willing to put up with that in exchange for getting Bioshock 2 for 3.50? Actually yes.