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Trilarion: Yes, that's quite common although not very friendly but at least they can never take away your games... which aren't your games anyway. Hmmm.
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amok: GoG can remove games from your shelf, if they are forced to by producer/distributor. So far they have not needed to do so (neither have steam, I think, I got a couple on my list no longer being sold, same as here) as the distributors have all agreed that they can host games sold even though it is removed from the catalogue. However - it do not change that fact that the option is there. If you have not backed up your game, then yes, Gog can take away your games also.

Steam can just enforce it much stronger then gOg
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amok: GoG can remove games from your shelf, if they are forced to by producer/distributor. So far they have not needed to do so (neither have steam, I think, I got a couple on my list no longer being sold, same as here) as the distributors have all agreed that they can host games sold even though it is removed from the catalogue. However - it do not change that fact that the option is there. If you have not backed up your game, then yes, Gog can take away your games also.

Steam can just enforce it much stronger then gOg
They can withdraw the download service for that game, which is not quite the same thing. Neither GOG nor the publisher have the right to unilaterally revoke a licence. Being able to repeatedly download a game is actually not a contractually granted right in many cases.

This is where the fundamental difference in Steam and GOG's licensing comes to light. Legally speaking, GOG can pull their service because they are not revoking the licence in doing so. If Steam pulls their service without providing a DRM-free alternative, it would make the underlying licence unusable and put Valve in breach of contract.
Post edited February 05, 2013 by jamyskis
I think licenses should only come in two flavors: either you are renting something, than the usage time must be limited by at most two years and they cannot be resold, or you have something forever, than it should be resellable after two years. Having something forever means you can do whatever you want with it. That would be in my eyes a great compromise.

To back up the idea that this development is not really the idea of the consumers we should just ask how they prefer their games: rented for a limited period, personalized but unlimited in time or resellable and unlimited in time. I would be curious what people really would wish for.

Anyway the industry will probably change soon to the renting model with monthly fees, I guess. So reselling doesn't make sense in that context anymore. And again it will be because they can. And GOG might be the loser in the end if they don't change too.
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amok: GoG can remove games from your shelf, if they are forced to by producer/distributor. So far they have not needed to do so (neither have steam, I think, I got a couple on my list no longer being sold, same as here) as the distributors have all agreed that they can host games sold even though it is removed from the catalogue. However - it do not change that fact that the option is there. If you have not backed up your game, then yes, Gog can take away your games also.

Steam can just enforce it much stronger then gOg
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jamyskis: They can withdraw the download service for that game, which is not quite the same thing. Neither GOG nor the publisher have the right to unilaterally revoke a licence. Being able to repeatedly download a game is actually not a contractually granted right in many cases.

This is where the fundamental difference in Steam and GOG's licensing comes to light. Legally speaking, GOG can pull their service because they are not revoking the licence in doing so. If Steam pulls their service without providing a DRM-free alternative, it would make the underlying licence unusable and put Valve in breach of contract.
*shrug* end-result is the same - I lost my game. The onuse is on the user to make sure the game is backed-up on gog, if it is not then effectively "gog removes the game"... so it is wrong saying "they can not remove my game".


(Also, a little side note - AFAIK, there is no clause saying that steam need to provide DRM-free alternatives? Is there not something there that they can provide the games as is, even if the DRM makes them unplayable? as long as it is provided as is at the point of sale - or something like this, I may have dreamt it up. But it is a get-out-of-free clause for for example games needing authentication servers which may or may not be up in 5 years time. Bottom line - as long as the game is delivered as it was at the point of purchase, then they do not need to do anything with it - the game may not work, but it is provided according to the license... god I wish I was concise and eloquent)
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amok: ...If you have not backed up your game, then yes, Gog can take away your games also. Steam can just enforce it much stronger then gOg
Not backing up is like leaving the car open with a computer inside... The license with GOG is about playing a game. Once you buy the license there is no way for GOG to undo that action because they haven't DRM. But you must take care of your property (the digital game content) for yourself. The additional ability to download it again and again is part of the service and can be stopped at any time but I see it more as an additional convenience. GOG can never take away my ability to play a game while Steam can. I think this is the one important difference between Steam and GOG.

That's also what GOG is advertising on every possible occasion.

One side note: since you always have a valid license and the installer comes without DRM you could probably also not back it up but just download it from pirate bay and legally use it, since the binary is exactly the same... Or several people with the same games on GOG could probably share the duty of backing up the games installers.
Post edited February 05, 2013 by Trilarion
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amok: ...If you have not backed up your game, then yes, Gog can take away your games also. Steam can just enforce it much stronger then gOg
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Trilarion: Not backing up is like leaving the car open with a computer inside... The license with GOG is about playing a game. Once you buy the license there is no way for GOG to undo that action. But you must take care of your property (the digital game content) for yourself. The additional ability to download it again and again is part of the service and can be stopped at any time but I see it more as an additional convenience. GOG can never take away my ability to play a game while Steam can. I think this is the one important difference between Steam and GOG.

That's also what GOG is advertising on every possible occasion.

One side note: since you always have a valid license and the installer comes without DRM you could probably also not back it up but just download it from pirate bay and legally use it, since the binary is exactly the same... Or several people with the same games on GOG could probably share the duty of backing up the games installers.
but the principle is the same - implementation is different. I have not the time, nor disc space, to download and backup all my gog's, so if they remove one of them - then, yes, I will say gog took a way a game from me.

(and you can also say it depends on the game on Steam, as some is DRM free and you can back them up... there are also other less, shall we say, legitimate ways to back up steam games - the onus then is still on the end-user)
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amok: *shrug* end-result is the same - I lost my game. The onuse is on the user to make sure the game is backed-up on gog, if it is not then effectively "gog removes the game"... so it is wrong saying "they can not remove my game".
The onus is ALWAYS on the user to make sure the game is backed-up, regardless of the situation. As I said, the download service is just that - a complementary service - and is independent of the product.

An example of something that Valve could do with Steam wouid be to be pull the download of a game but allow the installation and activation of locally backed-up copies. This is more a theoretical construct than anything as Steam backups usually do not include the executable - these are downloaded afterwards.

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amok: (Also, a little side note - AFAIK, there is no clause saying that steam need to provide DRM-free alternatives? Is there not something there that they can provide the games as is, even if the DRM makes them unplayable? as long as it is provided as is at the point of sale - or something like this, I may have dreamt it up. But it is a get-out-of-free clause for for example games needing authentication servers which may or may not be up in 5 years time. Bottom line - as long as the game is delivered as it was at the point of purchase, then they do not need to do anything with it - the game may not work, but it is provided according to the license... god I wish I was concise and eloquent)
Ignoring the fact that large swathes of the SSA wouldn't hold up in court anyway, especially in Europe.

The service and the product are two different things. The game is sold as a product, and the publisher is not at liberty to withhold access to this. If the publisher does withhold access by shutting down authentication servers, then that is a breach of contract. Simple as.

Your claims about being the same as delivered at the time of purchase don't hold water. I think you're talking about transfer of risk, which is not the same thing. The user bears all risk relating to the rightful use of the software, but deactivation of activation servers is not related to risk, it is an intervention on the part of the publisher.

The product should continue operating on the supported hardware for an indefinite period and, unless specifically governed as a rental agreement, the publisher is not at liberty to interfere with that.
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amok: ...
but the principle is the same - implementation is different. I have not the time, nor disc space, to download and backup all my gog's, so if they remove one of them - then, yes, I will say gog took a way a game from me.

(and you can also say it depends on the game on Steam, as some is DRM free and you can back them up... there are also other less, shall we say, legitimate ways to back up steam games - the onus then is still on the end-user)
I think the principle is not the same. If you don't backup GOG games you're careless with your property. Then everything that follows is your own fault. If you're not careless then GOG can never take away anything unlike Steam. Stream can. I think that is the purpose of DRM - to be able to take something away if needed. There backing up games with Steam mostly doesn't help. And even if you are careless with GOG games chances are high, somebody still has the installer. Together with the license you will in all practical cases probably still be lucky.

Some games on Steam are DRM free, but most are not, especially no AAA game afaik. If we add a mostly after each Steam statement that would be better.
Post edited February 05, 2013 by Trilarion
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jamyskis: The onus is ALWAYS on the user to make sure the game is backed-up, regardless of the situation. As I said, the download service is just that - a complementary service - and is independent of the product.

An example of something that Valve could do with Steam wouid be to be pull the download of a game but allow the installation and activation of locally backed-up copies. This is more a theoretical construct than anything as Steam backups usually do not include the executable - these are downloaded afterwards.
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Trilarion: snip
Still does not change the fact it is wrong to say "steam can remove my games, gog can not" :p, which is all I wanted to say, really. Principle is the same - implementation is different.

for the rest - it was just something I heard somewhere, so it may be wrong.
Post edited February 05, 2013 by amok
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amok: Still does not change the fact it is wrong to say "steam can remove my games, gog can not" :p, which is all I wanted to say, really. Principle is the same - implementation is different.
GOG : that's because you, personally, don't want to do download/burn/store what you buy.

Steam : no matter what you'd want or try to do, you can't, because steam doesn't offer the possibility.

GOG can't remove my games.
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amok: Still does not change the fact it is wrong to say "steam can remove my games, gog can not" :p, which is all I wanted to say, really. Principle is the same - implementation is different.
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Telika: GOG : that's because you, personally, don't want to do download/burn/store what you buy.

Steam : no matter what you'd want or try to do, you can't, because steam doesn't offer the possibility.

GOG can't remove my games.
As I said - same principle, different implementation. They both still can remove the game from my digital shelf. You can back up steam games (many are DRM free, others you can, not so legally perhaps, remove the DRM yourself - it is up to you personally).

The only difference is that this is the only aspect where gog makes it more convenient then steam.
My argument is that at *some* point, most digital content consumers will realize, either through frustration with a store/checkout process, digital pricing dissatisfaction, etc, that they could just as easily get the content they desire for free, almost as fast, almost as conveniently. The key here is almost, but the reciprocal is "free".

I think if you ask most 18-35 year olds who buy digital content, that they do so out of a sense of pride and honor, not ignorance to alternatives.

The key point here is that digital commerce DOES NOT work with DRM. Even apple, one of the curmugeonist of all curmugeons, realized this and stripped their music store of the ever-annoying and sales-killing DRM.

Consumers buy digital content as opposed to torrenting for the same reason that conventional shoppers carry a book up to the cash register and pay for it as opposed to walking out with. I was shopping at a book store the other day, and noticed that the RFID security tag was just laid inside between two pages in a book I really wanted. I made another purchase, and made a point to hide the RFID tag, which had fallen out, back as intended. Why did I do this? Why didn't I just walk out with the book?

The reasons could be varied, but they must be drawn from the pool of: conscience, honor, fear of punishment or social condemnation, guilt.

In our digital realm, conscience is not a big factor, as easy access to digital content is common now, and is even championed as a right by many. Fear of punishment is not an issue with most media, as viable alternatives to get music, books, and videos, that are more secure than bit torrent, and easily navigated by even the most basic computer user. Social condemnation is not a factor, as I see boyfriends/parents/spouses scoff at a partner/child for wanting to buy a dvd/book/cd, commenting that they "can just get all that for free".

So all that is left is the honor system, or the aforementioned convenience factor. Enter netflix. Netflix represents the ideal of how media companies, who in the past relied on retail sales can completely co-opt the internet piracy "problem" to actually increase their market share. I know of very few people who downloaded movies pre-netflix who still do. Convenience was the issue. Those that buy comics, books, and especially cds often cite the need to show financial and personal support with the creator.

In all these cases, easy alternatives to a digital purchase exists, but people, when given an alternative that is about as convenient, will choose to pay. This is the honor system defined, and this is why a DRM-free used CD key market will prosper even better than the current digital video game market.
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anjohl: My argument is that at *some* point, most digital content consumers will realize, either through frustration with a store/checkout process, digital pricing dissatisfaction, etc, that they could just as easily get the content they desire for free, almost as fast, almost as conveniently. The key here is almost, but the reciprocal is "free".

I think if you ask most 18-35 year olds who buy digital content, that they do so out of a sense of pride and honor, not ignorance to alternatives.
Anecdotes don't make it true; as my own anecdote, all the people I've spoken to who buy digital content as opposed to pirating it (be it games, music, books, movies) do it because it's easier and wastes less time than having to pirate it. There's no sense of pride and honor or other stuff like that.

Take Amazon for books: hit the quick checkout button and bam, you have your book on your Kindle and in the Kindle app on your PC. Steam is almost the same. iTunes is almost the same. Google Music is almost the same.
Post edited February 06, 2013 by AndrewC
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AndrewC: Take Amazon for books: hit the quick checkout button and bam, you have your book on your Kindle...
Funny you should mention them. FYI, never try to make a purchase outside of the set region. You do that, they will start demanding copies of your passport or similar.
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AndrewC: Take Amazon for books: hit the quick checkout button and bam, you have your book on your Kindle...
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bansama: Funny you should mention them. FYI, never try to make a purchase outside of the set region. You do that, they will start demanding copies of your passport or similar.
Japan is weird and treated unfair by 99% of the digital distributors out there, I know. But for the rest of the world it just works.

Also, I have purchases made on both the US and UK account for books and never had any issues with that. I don't buy games or other DD stuff from it though.