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AndrewC: 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.
Not talking about Japan. Both Amazon UK and US will demand this, when purchases are made outside of their region. Doesn't matter what country the purchaser is in. This will affect even you in the UK if you then attempt to purchase from the wrong region. Do note that purchasing so-called "international" books won't flag your account.
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AndrewC: 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.
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bansama: Not talking about Japan. Both Amazon UK and US will demand this, when purchases are made outside of their region. Doesn't matter what country the purchaser is in. This will affect even you in the UK if you then attempt to purchase from the wrong region. Do note that purchasing so-called "international" books won't flag your account.
Not international books; I have different shipping addresses set for UK and US and one common billing address (UK) and haven't had any issues with buying books which were unavailable on the UK store from Amazon US (just need to select the US address as the shipping one). I even bought one game from there (Awesomenauts DD) and it went through without any problems.

Maybe I haven't bought that many, just around 50-60 books from the US store.
Post edited February 06, 2013 by AndrewC
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AndrewC: Not international books; I have different shipping addresses set for UK and US and one common billing address (UK) and haven't had any issues with buying books which were unavailable on the UK store from Amazon US (just need to select the US address as the shipping one). I even bought one game from there (Awesomenauts DD) and it went through without any problems.

Maybe I haven't bought that many, just around 50-60 books from the US store.
I don't think availability on the UK/US store has anything to do with it. If the book isn't meant for "international" use (FYI, they don't appear to mention this on store pages), it will ping them to send the email asking for that information. Games don't cause the same thing. It is only e-books that this happens with.

I purchased one book in a £1 sale, using my UK billing address. Within hours, they emailed me asking for my passport (seeing as I don't have Military ID or a Valid UK driver's license).

The email, for the record, reads as follows:

Hello,

I see that you attempted to purchase "BOOK TITLE" while in a different country than United Kingdom listed on your Amazon account. Certain Kindle titles are not available everywhere. We are reaching out to you to ensure the best possible service for your account.

If you have moved to a different country, you can easily update your country for your Amazon account at
www.amazon.co.uk/manageyourkindle

If this is not the case, and you would like to share information that you live in United Kingdom, we can be reached by fax at NUMBER from outside the UK, or NUMBER from within the UK. Helpful information includes:

– Passport
– Military ID
– Driving Licence

We want to assure you that we handle this information in a secure manner: these are dedicated fax lines, staffed in an area with limited employee access. The fax is never printed, just converted to an electronic image that is used to check the country, then the image is deleted.

Best regards,
Account Specialist
Amazon.co.uk

EDIT:

To clarify. Some books sold on Amazon are specified (internally) as being for "international" use. That means it doesn't matter where you are, you can buy it from any Amazon site, even if your local Amazon site doesn't sell it. However, some books are specified (internally) as being for that region only. Attempting to purchase one of those, will allow the purchase to go through, but also results in the above email being sent out several hours later.
Post edited February 06, 2013 by bansama
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AndrewC: ... 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....
So what we need is a single click "resell and automatically uninstall from my hard disc" functionality and reselling will not be abused. But I also have to say that I am proud not to be a pirate.
Amazon just got a patent through how to sell used digital goods in a way that DRM automatically deletes the goods from your computer. I think it could be done a lot easier and without patents. It's a bit like a patent on paying things in cash: moving green bills from one to another. For those who are interested in Amazon's ideas:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8,364,595.PN.&OS=PN/8,364,595&RS=PN/8,364,595
Post edited February 06, 2013 by Trilarion
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Trilarion: Amazon just got a patent through how to sell used digital goods in a way that DRM automatically deletes the goods from your computer. I think it could be done a lot easier and without patents. It's a bit like a patent on paying things in cash: moving green bills from one to another. For those who are interested in Amazon's ideas:
It is interesting they have that. However I still feel in the long run, digital reselling will harm distributors that don't restrict usage like GOG, Desura, and DotEMU far more than it will hurt Steam. With mass trading and reselling DRM free games, people will pass them around and there is no mechanism to stop the previous purchasers from playing the games anymore. For Valve, even if they are forced to allow game resells and that leads to some large publishers leaving the PC market, they will still make more than enough money to stay in business. Last year they made 1.5 million dollars just from clicking some buttons to let a user sell hats they made in TF2. Other companies don't have revenue streams of that sort to fall back on should their sales drop.
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Fictionvision: ...With mass trading and reselling DRM free games, people will pass them around and there is no mechanism to stop the previous purchasers from playing the games anymore....
Sure. But also now there is no mechanism of stopping people from playing passed around copies of GOG games. Both is illegal and both is comparably easy. So I would then demand DRM for both cases or for none.

I guess if Valve or Amazon will ever introduce a reselling platform of any kind with or without limit/percentage cuts... whatever, it will mean a big competitive advantage over services like GOG and then either GOG has to match this service or go out of business.
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Fictionvision: ...With mass trading and reselling DRM free games, people will pass them around and there is no mechanism to stop the previous purchasers from playing the games anymore....
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Trilarion: Sure. But also now there is no mechanism of stopping people from playing passed around copies of GOG games. Both is illegal and both is comparably easy. So I would then demand DRM for both cases or for none.
They are, you find gog games on many torrent sites...

The point is as said before, the people torrenting them would not have paid gog anyway, so no difference - they are not selling the illegal gog copies. Selling illegal re-sale games is a different matter. That's why it is not quite comparable.

The main difference is - in the former the end-user know they are pirating, in the latter they think they are not. In the former, no sales are lost, in the later each copy is a lost sale.
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amok: ...The main difference is - in the former the end-user know they are pirating, in the latter they think they are not. In the former, no sales are lost, in the later each copy is a lost sale.
Now I understand, you mean somebody pretending to sell a GOG game legally while the guy has in truth no license but just pretends he has one. In this case the buyer thinks he bought a legal license while the fake seller just collects the money. Well the workaround is simple. You just consult GOG and ask if the seller owns indeed game X and only if GOG confirms you buy.

If the seller indeed owns a game and resells it, he then no longer owns it. If he keeps it, he again knows he's pirating. Probably he wanted it like this and wouldn't have paid in the first place otherwise. No sale lost.
Post edited February 07, 2013 by Trilarion
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amok: ...The main difference is - in the former the end-user know they are pirating, in the latter they think they are not. In the former, no sales are lost, in the later each copy is a lost sale.
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Trilarion: Now I understand, you mean somebody pretending to sell a GOG game legally while the guy has in truth no license but just pretends he has one. In this case the buyer thinks he bought a legal license while the fake seller just collects the money. Well the workaround is simple. You just consult GOG and ask if the seller owns indeed game X and only if GOG confirms you buy.
The guy have legal license, but he re-sells the same license to three different people, while still keeping his own (drm free) copy. How can gog confirm if the seller no longer using the license? Or in deed if he is selling the same license on three times?
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amok: ...
The guy have legal license, but he re-sells the same license to three different people, while still keeping his own (drm free) copy. How can gog confirm if the seller no longer using the license? Or in deed if he is selling the same license on three times?
Then everything has to go through GOG. You tell GOG that a license has to be transferred, they lock the license for the seller, then they collect the money from the buyer, then they transfer the license and the money at the same time and release the lock. (A bit as in multithreaded programming.) A service that is probably worth a dollar or less. Another potential buyer shouldn't buy if GOG tells him the license is locked or not existing.

In principle the question is how you as a buyer make sure the seller really owns it's property. There are equivalents in retail business like selling of stolen cars or black market cigarettes but still it's easier - the physical existence alone already tells you that the seller must have some kind of rights. For licenses obviously it's much harder to assert the originality unless you go through one centralized service.

It would be comparable a bit to false money. Fighting counterfeiting is often a governmental task together with heavy penalties. So a centralized service for transferring licenses makes sense to me. It would be comparably cheap and therefore highly efficient. However it's not there yet.
Post edited February 07, 2013 by Trilarion
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amok: ...
The guy have legal license, but he re-sells the same license to three different people, while still keeping his own (drm free) copy. How can gog confirm if the seller no longer using the license? Or in deed if he is selling the same license on three times?
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Trilarion: Then everything has to go through GOG. You tell GOG that a license has to be transferred, they lock the license for the seller [...]
how will you lock it without DRM?

also - what is in it for gog - they would need to take a cut from each re-sale, or they will end up loosing money over each re-sale. Would you demand that all games must be resold through the store where it was bought? Does it need to be regulated? What about monopolies and open marked?
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amok: ...
how will you lock it without DRM?

also - what is in it for gog - they would need to take a cut from each re-sale, or they will end up loosing money over each re-sale. Would you demand that all games must be resold through the store where it was bought? Does it need to be regulated? What about monopolies and open marked?
It's only a lock on the game shelf level where no additional DRM is needed because the shelf resides within GOG.

GOG can surely take a service fee covering their expenses but not more, after all it's just a problem of identifying the ownership - if GOG doesn't help somebody else might also do it. A solicitor for example. A federal agency for locking and save transactions of licenses at very small fees would be my preferred way. Save transactions might be important for the business in the future and I don't trust single corporations in that case much.

However, until we are there, the most practical approach is probably to demand all games are resold through the store at a cut that the store decides. Competition between the stores might then drive the cut down. My guess is that just somebody (Google, Amazon, Valve, ...) has to start and all the others will have to join.
Post edited February 07, 2013 by Trilarion
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amok: ...
how will you lock it without DRM?

also - what is in it for gog - they would need to take a cut from each re-sale, or they will end up loosing money over each re-sale. Would you demand that all games must be resold through the store where it was bought? Does it need to be regulated? What about monopolies and open marked?
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Trilarion: It's only a lock on the game shelf level where no additional DRM is needed because the shelf resides within GOG.

GOG can surely take a service fee covering their expenses but not more, after all it's just a problem of identifying the ownership - if GOG doesn't help somebody else might also do it. A federal agency for locking and save transactions of licenses at very small fees would be my preferred way. Save transactions might be important for the business in the future and I don't trust single corporations in that case much.

However, until we are there, the most practical approach is probably to demand all games are resold through the store at a cut that the store decides. Competition between the stores might then drive the cut down. My guess is that just somebody (Google, Amazon, Valve, ...) has to start and all the others will have to join.
hm - will that work though? If I buy a license of... lets say... Baldur's Gate (sold on many DD's) you then do not in fact buy a license of Baldur's Gate, but GOG Baldur's Gate - and it is not transferable across other DD's... well.... it is a way to make sure region restrictions will still apply, I guess ;) . Open marked, it is not. I would almost compare it with leasing the game for indefinite time for a fixed sum, in that case.

re. federal agency - this will require the federal agency to have access to your gog shelf / steam account / what-ever. I am not sure about you, but I am not so comfortable with that.

DRM-free, it still leaves this problem - I buy a game from gog and download it. I play a little, and after a day or two I sell my license. Gog removes it from my shelf, I get the money from the resale.... Upps, I accidentally forgot to delete my game... I might as well play a little more... completely risk free... as it is DRM free, this is untraceable. Do you really think this will not be abused?
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Trilarion: It's only a lock on the game shelf level where no additional DRM is needed because the shelf resides within GOG.

GOG can surely take a service fee covering their expenses but not more, after all it's just a problem of identifying the ownership - if GOG doesn't help somebody else might also do it. A federal agency for locking and save transactions of licenses at very small fees would be my preferred way. Save transactions might be important for the business in the future and I don't trust single corporations in that case much.

However, until we are there, the most practical approach is probably to demand all games are resold through the store at a cut that the store decides. Competition between the stores might then drive the cut down. My guess is that just somebody (Google, Amazon, Valve, ...) has to start and all the others will have to join.
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amok: hm - will that work though? If I buy a license of... lets say... Baldur's Gate (sold on many DD's) you then do not in fact buy a license of Baldur's Gate, but GOG Baldur's Gate - and it is not transferable across other DD's... well.... it is a way to make sure region restrictions will still apply, I guess ;) . Open marked, it is not. I would almost compare it with leasing the game for indefinite time for a fixed sum, in that case.

re. federal agency - this will require the federal agency to have access to your gog shelf / steam account / what-ever. I am not sure about you, but I am not so comfortable with that.

DRM-free, it still leaves this problem - I buy a game from gog and download it. I play a little, and after a day or two I sell my license. Gog removes it from my shelf, I get the money from the resale.... Upps, I accidentally forgot to delete my game... I might as well play a little more... completely risk free... as it is DRM free, this is untraceable. Do you really think this will not be abused?
I wish i could get my money back from Assassin's Creed : Director's Cut, since the game wasn't truly DRM-Free :(