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Post by Eorl @ 03:19pm 04/01/13 | 25 Comments
A newly discovered patent by NeoGAF user gofreak has re-kindled rumours that Sony might be looking into suppressing second-hand video game sales, something retailers like EB Games or US equivalent GameStop rely so heavily on. The patent was originally filed on the 9th of December last year, and details a method that could possibly stop used games from being played without any form of Internet connection.
In order to resolve the above-described problems, an electronic content processing system according to one embodiment of the present invention includes: a use permission apparatus provided for use in a recording medium that stores electronic content for a user of the electronic content; a medium drive configured to read the electronic content from the recording medium; and a reproduction device configured to reproduce the electronic content read by the medium drive. The medium drive has a security management unit configured to read from the recording medium an article ID that is an ID of the electronic content or the recording medium. The reproduction device has a security management unit configured to convey a reproduction entity ID, which is a reproduction device ID or a user ID, together with the article ID read by the medium drive to the use permission apparatus when the electronic content is to be reproduced.

The use permission apparatus includes: a use condition storage for storing a use condition that defines an attribute of an entity accessible to the electronic content; and a determining unit for determining whether or not a combination of the article ID and the reproduction entity ID conveyed from the reproduction device fulfills the use condition. The security management unit of the reproduction device determines a reproduction mode of the electronic content based on a decision result as to whether or not the combination thereof fulfills the use condition.
While the above text may seem like gibberish to some, the patent outlines that the system will use RF tags to determine whether the game has been played previously, and if so, makes it impossible to play. This new system could see the second-hand gaming scene pretty much deplete, however so far it is purely rumoured as to whether Sony's next-gen console will actually use it. Previously Sony has patented ideas, however has never acted on them so time will tell. The next Sony and Microsoft consoles are expected to debut at this years E3, so stay tuned to AusGamers for more.

For those looking for more information, you can browse the full patent over here. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below on what this might mean for next-gen consoles, good or bad.












Latest Comments
paveway
Posted 03:31pm 04/1/13
I'm a bit torn on this as when you buy a game it is yours and you should be able to do what you want with it

Then on the other hand i see how hard these EB c**** jew everyone with their second hand market buying for nothing more or less and selling sometimes quite a lot and would like to see them burn for it
Deviouz
Posted 03:46pm 04/1/13
^^ hah yeah I want this just to screw EB, $80 for pre-owned Super Mario Galaxy 2!! - but over all it would suck
greazy
Posted 03:46pm 04/1/13
A simple solution to what youre talking about paveway is to somehow stop comerical reselling of used games but still allow private reselling.

Anyway in the end it is the consumer who opts to choose to buy used games from EB.
trog
Posted 03:53pm 04/1/13
^^ hah yeah I want this just to screw EB, $80 for pre-owned Super Mario Galaxy 2!! - but over all it would suck
Apparently GameStop shares in the US took a bit of a dive on this news
deadlyf
Posted 04:27pm 04/1/13
Wouldn't this be illegal in Australia under our consumer laws?
ravn0s
Posted 04:32pm 04/1/13
if steam can get away with it than surely sony can.
skythra
Posted 04:45pm 04/1/13
if steam can get away with it than surely sony can.

I think technically you could sell your account with steam which basically is that what you're asking for in bulk?
Eorl
Posted 05:17pm 04/1/13
I think technically you could sell your account with steam which basically is that what you're asking for in bulk?
According to their Subscriber Agreement you can't:
"you may not sell or charge others for the right to use your Account, or otherwise transfer your Account, nor may you sell, charge others for the right to use, or transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use)."
skythra
Posted 05:22pm 04/1/13
According to their Subscriber Agreement you can't:
Yeah but that doesn't over-ride law, which means in court it'd either be steam have to provide a mechanism for allowing you to individually sell your game, or like you currently can, sell your account.

It's not written in law that valve is an exception (in precedent or in some legal bs).
Saint
Posted 05:22pm 04/1/13
Would love to walk through a store with a console or rfid system and lock all the discs.
skythra
Posted 05:23pm 04/1/13
Would love to walk through a store with a console or rfid system and lock all the discs.

Much prefer to walk through public transport all day with NFC receiver accepting $1 payments from everyone with a NFC enabled swipe card/NFC phone with linked card.
WirlWind
Posted 06:13pm 04/1/13
Joy. Then your console RROD's weeks after you get it and now you can't play all your games, unless they tie it to your account.

Even then, it locks out multiple account house-holds...
Khel
Posted 07:06pm 04/1/13
Wouldn't this be illegal in Australia under our consumer laws?


When you buy software, you never actually own the software though do you? You just get a license to use it, so all you really 'own' is the physical medium, and this wouldn't stand in the way of you re-selling the physical medium, its just the license to use it that isn't transferrable, so I think it'd be a tricky thing to test under law.

If this went through, I can see there being something like if you pick up the game secondhand you can authenticate it and buy a license to play it from Sony for $xx, like the current system where they bundle those one time use codes with new games and if you buy it secondhand you can buy the code online for $10. That way they're still getting their cut and allowing games to be passed onto your friends or whatever, while still putting a damper on retail second hand game sales cos people aren't going to want to buy it from EB/Gamestop at a ridiculous price, then pay again when they get it home.
Hogfather
Posted 07:24pm 04/1/13
When you buy software, you never actually own the software though do you? You just get a license to use it, so all you really 'own' is the physical medium, and this wouldn't stand in the way of you re-selling the physical medium, its just the license to use it that isn't transferrable

You own the right to use the software. They recently (rightly imo) ruled in Germany that making this non-transferable was bulls***.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57465746-92/eu-court-sale-of-used-software-licenses-is-just-fine/

If you sell someone a software license its a non-tangible asset and should be transferable under right of first sale, the same way you can sell a book or a movie. This sort of bulls*** shenanigans gives software development a bad name.
kablekill
Posted 09:06pm 04/1/13
interesting
IVY_MiKe
Posted 10:47pm 04/1/13
I can only hope that the 'next generation' of consoles get rid of physical medium.

I WOULD like the capacity to 'on-sell' my software licences (esp in systems like steam)
S***, I'd be happy enough if they'd allow me to at least 'loan/transfer' them (y'know, like you used to as a kid, 'borrow your mates games'...)
IVY_MiKe
Posted 10:47pm 04/1/13
Should be 'physical media' (not physical medium)
3x0dus
Posted 11:45pm 04/1/13
Erm, isn't this going to fail anyway?

It's been proven time and again (DVD/Bluray/HdDVD), if the decryption mechanism is in the hardware you are just giving smart people the way to get around it.
Herron
Posted 08:08am 05/1/13
But the game market is struggling. How much did Halo and Call of Duty make off their last releases? Hardly anything!

tel
Posted 12:13pm 05/1/13
Here Sony goes again, shooting it self in the foot. And Sony wonders why their profits have dramatically declined.
greazy
Posted 12:25pm 05/1/13
But the game market is struggling. How much did Halo and Call of Duty make off their last releases? Hardly anything!

Halo 4 made $300 million in its opening week. The game market is not struggling.
Viper
Posted 01:48pm 05/1/13
MMM I wish I could make hardly anything :(
Mantorok
Posted 01:50pm 05/1/13
Halo 4 made $300 million in its opening week. The game market is not struggling.
I think your sarcasm meter is broken.
DaveU
Posted 09:13pm 05/1/13
If Sony want to fail, this is the way!
trog
Posted 11:52am 08/1/13
If you're interested in whether Sony will get away with this you should keep an eye on these two cases where the right of first sale is currently being fought in the US.

Right of first sale is:
....once you've acquired a lawfully-made CD or book or DVD, you can lend, sell, or give it away without having to get permission from the copyright owner. In simpler terms, "you bought it, you own it" (and because first sale also applies to gifts, "they gave it to you, you own it" is also true).
In a nutshell, the giant corporatroxes are trying their damndest to make it so that you definitely do not own stuff you buy; that it is merely licensed to you under conditions that they dictate.

It's not clear (yet) what effect this case will have here in Australia - not sure how, or if, the Free Trade Agreement will deal with this stuff - but it is a scary thing.
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