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Author Topic: Copyright Laws Getting Ridiculous  (Read 1899 times)
Galaxia
Vasto Lorde
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« on: February 09, 2011, 04:32:13 am »

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Japan is going a bit copyright crazy of late. It’s not cool to sell customised figures online, it’s not cool to rent video games in love hotels, and now, it’s apparently not cool to sell Pokémon save data.

 

On Japan’s Yahoo! Auctions, there is a cottage industry in which saved in-game Pokémon are bought and sold. Instead of players collecting their own Pokémon, they can just buy 500 or so from a Pokémon for a price.

Pokémon (and in turn Nintendo) are not pleased. This is currently unregulated as games are not being sold, but rather, game data. Thus, it falls into a grey zone. Complicating issues is that players would technically need a ROM to save on, which brings the specter of piracy into the picture.

What’s more, the point of the game is to collect new Pokémon (Gotta catch ‘em all!), so the buying and selling of them online largely seems to defeat that purpose – or at least, simplifies it. Some Pocket Monsters, however, are given away at special events. And if they can be bought and sold, that certainly makes them less special.

According to sources close to the Pokémon, the act of copying saved game data is in violate of Japanese copyright law, because players are ultimately copying original game assets without permission.

Defenders say this is not breaking the law, because they are selling “used” items. What’s more, who owns the copyright to a particular game save? Defenders would argue that the data is the property of the player, while the The Pokémon Company is apparently saying it owns the game assets

However, The Pokémon Company also owns the copyright on, say, Pokémon cards or toys (pictured above), yet rare ones continue to fetch higher prices via online auctions with collectors.



http://community.livejournal.com/aramatheydidnt/1848983.html

No company likes the second hand market since they see no profit from it, but that's just stupid. Maybe it has something to do with online play? Can you play Pokemon online?
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Webmaster_Kami
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 10:20:50 am »

Something called the C-Gear does allow online functions in the newest one on DS, according to this.

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The C-Gear (Cギア, Shī Gia?)  is a new mechanic that replaces the Pokétch on the Nintendo DS's second screen. It allows the player to control the various wireless capabilities of Black and White. These include connecting to other players through infrared communication (battling, trading, friend codes, and the "Feeling Check" function), wireless communications with friends in the Xtranciever (Live Caster (ライブキャスター, Raibu Kyasutā?) in Japan) video chat[19] or access to the High Link to transfer content from the Pokémon Dream World, connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection  to sync with the Pokémon Global Link servers, and the new Pass By mode which allows the game to communicate with other games through IR when not being played.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_Black_and_White

I can see how they'd be concerned about piracy, since the game saves can't be transferred through legitimate means.  This also reminds me of selling money and characters in MMOs, which the developers generally frown upon, unless it's intended.  They'd also say you don't own the in-game stuff and thus have no right to sell it, even if you do pay $14.99 every month.

The online play in the newer games could be the reason Nintendo is making a big deal out of it.  Players trading and battling with Pokemon they didn't work to get.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 10:24:24 am by Webmaster_Kami » Logged
Maki-chan
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 07:54:02 am »

The mmo example is a good comparison because if you go an read down all of the stuff in their EULA and TOU, essentially all that you get for your money is access - legal right to only use/operate the software. You get ownership of absolutely nothing ... which is pretty sobering considering the amount of money people pour into games every year and it's not just games. The entire software industry across the board is of this mentality - that their tools are not for sale, however you can give them money to use these tools that they are providing "for lease" or whatever you want to call it.
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Webmaster_Kami
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 09:57:41 pm »

It's a bit like going into a Build-A-Bear Workshop, getting your bear made, then paying a monthly fee to rent the bear.  ^^;  Customers wouldn't stand for that, but it's basically what we do in most MMOs, and that bear (character) exists only as long as the servers do.  Games are fun, but I also like building something I can keep, like a site or a piece of artwork.  I've been trying Little Big Planet lately, and since it combines gaming with creating, I think I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  It's not the first game about creating things (in this case side-scrolling levels), but it makes the process easy to learn.  Little Big Planet 2 is supposed to let you create games of different types, so I'll have to look into that one too.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 12:07:21 am by Webmaster_Kami » Logged
Maki-chan
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2011, 09:28:06 am »

Little Big Planet is interesting too. If you go through all of their TOU with a fine tooth comb, it is certain that you will find that any creation you happen to make with it would be stripped of any ownership rights by yourself and everything would be owned by the software company. Software that does allow you to create your own "property" does exist - Photoshop and AutoCAD are examples - however if you look at prices for those packages you will see that they make their profits directly by charging a hundred times what a typical game software would cost.
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 10:39:38 am »

Yeah, I figured that Little Big Planet had conditions like those.  They wouldn't want people selling their levels (if it's possible to get them off the PS3 hard drive).  I like the lack of a monthly fee, they could have easily charged you for access to their tools after the initial game purchase.  They do make money off of costume and level material packs, but those are entirely optional.  I've noticed that things like Photoshop run really high.  For Midnight Lagoon I've been using Photoshop Elements, which is cheaper, stripped down but still very useful.
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