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  1. #41
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    Yeah, digital distribution itself isn't any different from physical media; In Steam's case, you oftentimes get product keys when you download games, and that safeguards you against Steam somehow imploding on itself tomorrow.

    Subscription models I also don't mind so much, though I do wish Adobe would continue with their stand-alone products. I see subscription models as a nice alternative for people who don't want to or can't pay for the full suite up front or might not need it for more than a short amount of time, but removing the ability to get the full suite altogether is a little worrisome. Still, considering the astronomical cost of Adobe's suite and the amount of piracy they experience, it's no big surprise.

  2. #42
    Regular irick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Yeah, digital distribution itself isn't any different from physical media; In Steam's case, you oftentimes get product keys when you download games, and that safeguards you against Steam somehow imploding on itself tomorrow.

    Subscription models I also don't mind so much, though I do wish Adobe would continue with their stand-alone products. I see subscription models as a nice alternative for people who don't want to or can't pay for the full suite up front or might not need it for more than a short amount of time, but removing the ability to get the full suite altogether is a little worrisome. Still, considering the astronomical cost of Adobe's suite and the amount of piracy they experience, it's no big surprise.
    Except that it is very different from physical media. When buying a physical copy of a media, you still have first sale rights. You can still transfer the right to that copy to someone else. This is not the case with a licensed service. I can not resell a subscription, nor can I will say, my iTunes collection to my kids. In the long term this trend only erodes consumer rights by acclimatizing us to the idea that access is functionally equivalent to ownership.
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  3. #43
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by irick View Post
    Except that it is very different from physical media. When buying a physical copy of a media, you still have first sale rights. You can still transfer the right to that copy to someone else. This is not the case with a licensed service.
    No, but a licensed service can be started and stopped at any time. You don't purchase it to begin with; You're not spending $2500 for Adobe Master Collection, you're spending $50/month.

    I can not resell a subscription, nor can I will say, my iTunes collection to my kids. In the long term this trend only erodes consumer rights by acclimatizing us to the idea that access is functionally equivalent to ownership.
    Ehhhhhhh, you kind of can. iTunes libraries aren't protected by DRM for one, and similarly with Steam, Steam DRM can be disabled if something terrible were to happen to it. It's identical to the content that would exist on a physical disc, except it's transferred via the internet. Though Steam and iTunes aren't subscription services, they're digital delivery services. You may not be able to directly transfer your library, but for many titles you can get the product keys from it to use them outside of Steam and thus outside of your user account.

    Software in general is considered to be unresalable anyway; It's understood that once a product key has been used, it's been used. There's a good reason why you don't see used software in shops.

  4. #44
    Regular irick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    No, but a licensed service can be started and stopped at any time. You don't purchase it to begin with; You're not spending $2500 for Adobe Master Collection, you're spending $50/month.
    This is the short sightedness that I'm bemoaning. It's convenient, but it establishes a dangerous association of licensing as ownership, or at least as functional equivalence. Especially considering the ridiculous disparency between the subscription cost and the indefinite license term cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Ehhhhhhh, you kind of can. iTunes libraries aren't protected by DRM for one, and similarly with Steam, Steam DRM can be disabled if something terrible were to happen to it. It's identical to the content that would exist on a physical disc, except it's transferred via the internet. Though Steam and iTunes aren't subscription services, they're digital delivery services. You may not be able to directly transfer your library, but for many titles you can get the product keys from it to use them outside of Steam and thus outside of your user account.
    It is not legal to transfer ownership of your iTunes library or your Amazon digital library, regardless of their DRM status. Doing so is actively breaking the terms of the license you have been granted, which is a violation of copyright. given that the copyright of your music will almost certainly outlive you this makes it infeasible to legally will your digital music collection or ebook collection when obtained through the currently most popular methods.

    I personally plan on doing it anyway as an act of civil disobedience against laws that clearly cause dammage to the public good, but this is an act of civil disobedience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Software in general is considered to be unresalable anyway; It's understood that once a product key has been used, it's been used. There's a good reason why you don't see used software in shops.
    This was not the case even fifteen years ago. This is a very modern idea, and again, the kind of short sightedness i'm bemoaning. You see used software in shops all of the time: stop by a gamestop or EB games or a much better local used games store. The reason why these establishments can operate is because of first sale doctrine. The reason you don't see _PC_ sofware is because PC gamers accepted the complexity of vender-specific DRM and there exists no standard way to ensure that a licence is transferable between those companies. I had a copy of Crysis, it used a product key (this was before everything and everything was handled through steamworks) and i could go to the publisher's site, deregister the key from my account and give it to a friend.

    The problem is that this process is time consuming, non-standard and subject to random change. Retail outlets have to weigh the time it would take to process these sorts of deregistrations and transfers of licenses with the possible profit. It's simply not sustainable for them to have someone do all of that work. However, it's entirely feasible for a privet individual to do so. This had been the standard assumption for decades, only recently have people decided to settle for the far more restrictive licenses afforded by digital distribution. These days most retail games are just shims for digital distribution channels, however if the data to play the game is actually on the disk transfering that data and licence is still possible, it just requires a shit ton of effort and breaking all of the drm.
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  5. #45
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    15 years ago many couldn't afford the software new or used to begin with.
    15 years ago people had less entertainment to consume.

    Now its all building up and why publishers are taking different models to sell it. Smaller amounts of payments are easier for consumers to take along with the other benefits. People want to constantly upgrade. The people who stick with versions of photoshop for years are people who bought it legit, the pirates were on the upgrade frenzy (or major companies). The average end consumer weren't really buying photoshop and kids were pirating it for their art.

    So in the end worrying about ownership was silly since most people didn't legally own it in the first place.

    Even now there's an offer for 9.99 a month for you to use Photoshop CC and Lightroom - http://www.adobe.com/products/creati...ing-guide.html (but they do want an annual commitment that is billed monthly)
    Last edited by QT Melon; 02-26-2014 at 11:52 PM.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    15 years ago many couldn't afford the software new or used to begin with.
    15 years ago people had less entertainment to consume.

    Now its all building up and why publishers are taking different models to sell it. Smaller amounts of payments are easier for consumers to take along with the other benefits. People want to constantly upgrade. The people who stick with versions of photoshop for years are people who bought it legit, the pirates were on the upgrade frenzy (or major companies). The average end consumer weren't really buying photoshop and kids were pirating it for their art.

    So in the end worrying about ownership was silly since most people didn't legally own it in the first place.

    Even now there's an offer for 9.99 a month for you to use Photoshop CC and Lightroom - http://www.adobe.com/products/creati...ing-guide.html (but they do want an annual commitment that is billed monthly)
    And that's a horrible regression in consumer rights.
    Which is my point

    Working around the simple and straight forward fundamental protections that we have codified in law by repackaging software as a service is not an acceptable practice. Doubly so when that becomes the only way to obtain software.

    As for your arguments about price: the market could not support their asking price. That's a supply and demand issue. While 'cheaper' subscription services are one solution, my argument is that they are not a solution we should accept because they do fundamental damage to our consumer rights and encourage acceptance of that erosion of the few protections we have. Going forward, adobe will not have to compete with previous editions of its product for price. This will of course simplify things for the end user and for adobe, but it also means you are giving up a large swath of your rights. Adobe will be able to leverage it's near monopolistic position in the industry and the inability for people to legally use older versions of their software without a subscription to set any arbitrary price.

    As for ownership, no one who bought Adobe CS legit owns it as copyright law is concerned (you have not bought the rights to redistribute adobe's suite), but i get what you are trying to say. However, you have to remember there is a fundamental difference in what you can legally do and prevent being done between digital distribution and physical. You have more protected freedoms with something that arrives on physical medium: for instance you can't enforce the prevention of the resale of physical goods or the transfer of a license for them. It is not silly to worry about 'ownership'.

    As more companies switch to offering these sort of all you can eat subscription services the murky lines of copyright are going to become even more murky. Software will evade the public domain for even longer, and we will slowly lose our protections under the law. This is a negative trend to me, and the convenience value is not worth giving up these protections.

    It is, of course, up to individuals to decide how they feel about the issue: but I find it unacceptable due to the reasons outlined.
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  7. #47
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    It isn't a horrible regressing in consumer rights. People are not "consuming" things the same way or more specifically purchasing things the same way. That's a problem.

    This is not a regression if people didn't buy the software in the first place and now are finding legal means to use it.

    You can still buy older versions of the software.
    Last edited by QT Melon; 02-27-2014 at 12:31 AM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    It isn't a horrible regressing in consumer rights. People are not "consuming" things the same way or more specifically purchasing things the same way. That's a problem.

    This is not a regression if people didn't buy the software in the first place and now are finding legal means to use it.
    Consumer rights are not the rights to consume.
    Consumer rights are the protections codified under law that prevent the abuse of the public for privet gain.
    As this represents a way circumvent those protections that is being legally accepted, it is by definition a regression of consumer rights.

    Your argument is that the company has to do (x) because of (y) to be competitive/profitable. Consumer rights have nothing to do with the competitiveness or profitability of a company, and in fact are often detriments. That's by design. What is good for business is not necessarily good for the general populous.

    Why should digital goods be treated differently under the law than physical goods? What purpose does it serve? The product that I receive on a CD and the one I receive from steam are functionally identical, why should I have less rights over the copy from steam?

    The plain answer that I've found is because this benefits the rights holders. However, it is clear that it is to the detriment of the consumer. This is not a good practice, and as such I am opposed to it.
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  9. #49
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar


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    I am fully aware of what Consumer rights are, but you keep repeating the same argument about 1st sale doctrine and times have changed. You need to move on or just stay stuck in the past, I suppose...if that's what you want.

    It isn't circumvention since it's a new model. No one's rights are being violated in this case. Software has always been about leasing, as I said the problem was that there were only certain ways to distribute software in the beginning and now that's that's changed. You could own the disc and resell it but companies always had the right to terminate "the lease". It's been in the EULA for years.

    Most weren't purchasing the software to begin with. Adobe has opened a model that allows people to use the software legitimately instead of "well can't afford it so I'll pirate it".

    There's many reasons why software is more of a lease. One of which is servers and hosting upgrades. People have the notion that the company should allow access to servers forever. This becomes problematic and costly. Like people thinking 10 year old video games should still have servers open.

    Software used to be delivered on floppy drives - how many still own floppies, ZIP drives? Yeah you get to resell that, a book...that too. But that doesn't mean you get to resell it on CD/DVD if that's not how it was originally owned in that form. You don't get to resell an ebook version of the physical book you own.

    Adobe has finally made more money from more consumers because people are buying their products because it's now at a much more affordable price point, instead of people making excuses that "Well I can't afford it but Adobe is not hurting for money because companies buy their products" now end users can use those products legitimately. As stated one of the drawbacks is that you don't get to keep it once your subscription runs out but you can get the older versions that are still out there and use them. Many users who pirated were more obsessed with updating than those that actually purchased it legitimately. So it doesn't exactly affect the person who bought an older working version of Photoshop - until they need to replace their PCs, but now they have a model that still costs them less.

    The actual real concern, instead of the first sale doctrine? Your personal information on Adobe's site. It's already been hacked and I believe that to be a much bigger problem because that's really affecting the consumer.

  10. #50
    Regular irick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    I am fully aware of what Consumer rights are, but you keep repeating the same argument about 1st sale doctrine and times have changed. You need to move on or just stay stuck in the past, I suppose...if that's what you want.

    It isn't circumvention since it's a new model. No one's rights are being violated in this case. Software has always been about leasing, as I said the problem was that there were only certain ways to distribute software in the beginning and now that's that's changed. You could own the disc and resell it but companies always had the right to terminate "the lease". It's been in the EULA for years.
    A EULA can not over-ride your rights, so, no actually. Lease != License.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Case
    In response to Adobe's claim, SoftMan argues that first sale doctrine allows SoftMan to unbundle and sell the Adobe software without Adobe's restrictions. Adobe asserts that it does not sell any software, rather it licenses its end users the software. Furthermore, the EULA attached to each copy of the software prohibits the "licensee" to unbundle the software.

    The court disagrees with Adobe's assertion. Since the purchaser pays a fixed fee to obtain the rights to use the software for an indefinite period of time and also accepts the risk commonly associated with a sale, the court determines the transactions between Adobe and SoftMan are sales. Thus, first sale doctrine applies and Adobe's copyright claims are rejected.

    In response to Adobe's claim that SoftMan violated terms of service described in the EULA, the court decides that SoftMan is not bound by the EULA because there was no assent. However, the court declines to comment on the general issue of shrinkwrap licenses.
    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    Most weren't purchasing the software to begin with. Adobe has opened a model that allows people to use the software legitimately instead of "well can't afford it so I'll pirate it".

    There's many reasons why software is more of a lease. One of which is servers and hosting upgrades. People have the notion that the company should allow access to servers forever. This becomes problematic and costly. Like people thinking 10 year old video games should still have servers open.
    Why would this mater in the least?

    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    Software used to be delivered on floppy drives - how many still own floppies, ZIP drives? Yeah you get to resell that, a book...that too. But that doesn't mean you get to resell it on CD/DVD if that's not how it was originally owned in that form. You don't get to resell an ebook version of the physical book you own.
    Yes I can. Public domain books are a thing. I can also give someone my archival copy of software if the original had been damaged or even just as a bonus in the transaction. There is no legal restriction on the actions you have proposed.


    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    Adobe has finally made more money from more consumers because people are buying their products because it's now at a much more affordable price point, instead of people making excuses that "Well I can't afford it but Adobe is not hurting for money because companies buy their products" now end users can use those products legitimately. As stated one of the drawbacks is that you don't get to keep it once your subscription runs out but you can get the older versions that are still out there and use them. Many users who pirated were more obsessed with updating than those that actually purchased it legitimately. So it doesn't exactly affect the person who bought an older working version of Photoshop - until they need to replace their PCs, but now they have a model that still costs them less.
    I still don't care if Adobe makes more money off of unethical practices. I still think they are unethical practices.

    Quote Originally Posted by QT Melon View Post
    The actual real concern, instead of the first sale doctrine? Your personal information on Adobe's site. It's already been hacked and I believe that to be a much bigger problem because that's really affecting the consumer.
    It's a problem as well, bigger or smaller doesn't mater.
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