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Key resellers & grey markets

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Check the tag on your underwear. Tell me if it's not coming from some heavily exploited third world country.

    It's called the free market.

    Not really a free market if regional restrictions are in place though. Likening a digital licence for a product developed most likely in a first world country to physical goods from Taiwan doesn't really work either.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    Not really a free market if regional restrictions are in place though. Likening a digital licence for a product developed most likely in a first world country to physical goods from Taiwan doesn't really work either.

    Regional restrictions though are just a bastardisation of digital copyright laws that publishers are using to be anti consumer. If you applied that to an physical product it would be illegal. They only get away with it due to archaic copyright legislation.

    Also you'd be surprised how much of a games development is carried out by contractors in China and India these days :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Regional restrictions though are just a bastardisation of digital copyright laws that publishers are using to be anti consumer. If you applied that to an physical product it would be illegal. They only get away with it due to archaic copyright legislation.

    Are they really that anti consumer? I'm not at all saying my view on it is correct and there's definitely a large piece of the picture I don't see, but my view on it so far is that it's fair enough to charge what you like in different regions.

    Are peoples problems with it that devs themselves are enforcing the pricing, instead instead of differing taxes in regions affecting it (among other things), similar to how PC parts are fairly cheap in the US and expensive as hell in Oz.
    Also you'd be surprised how much of a games development is carried out by contractors in China and India these days :)

    I'll take that fair enough, I have no backup to what I said but a general guess.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,430 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Check the tag on your underwear. Tell me if it's not coming from some heavily exploited third world country.

    It's called the free market.

    I'm not sure if comparisons to the exploitation of workers in the clothing industry is exactly the argument to win over those who are on the fence about key sellers :pac:

    No question digital copyright law needs a proper, thorough revision. But at the same time I don't see regional pricing differences as being particularly different from what happens 'IRL'. Identical products vary wildly in price from place to place - a can of Coke will be more expensive in Scandanvia than it is here, while it be cheaper in Eastern Europe. It's to reflect the economic conditions in the individual countries.

    While the 'borderless' (I use the term lightly, as there are obviously still tax concerns to take into account) digital marketplace is a theoretically different beast, it's also fair to say it can't exactly sustain a 'one size fits all' model. Can US or Japanese developers and publishers really be expected to sustain themselves at Russian prices globally? Can consumers in Eastern Europe be expected to pay Western European prices?

    None of this is to say some of the RRP of new games on Steam and the like aren't somewhat inflated here in Ireland to match retail prices. And honestly my primary issue with key sellers remains the lack of transparency with most of them (if it was more clear who I was giving money to, I'd be far more open to them). But even with the archaic nature of copyright law, I don't think some degree of regional disparities in pricing is an outrageous or unfair prospect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    Retr0gamer wrote: »
    Regional restrictions though are just a bastardisation of digital copyright laws that publishers are using to be anti consumer. If you applied that to an physical product it would be illegal.

    Because software is not a physical product, it's more like a service. You don't own a game as you own a pair of knickers, you only buy the right to use it.

    And how is it anti-consumer to discount the price in some regions? I would say that it is actually very much pro consumer, pro consumers in those regions. If this practice is banned it will mean same price for everybody, and what price will that be? The full one or the discounted one? Take a guess.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    Cordell wrote: »
    Because software is not a physical product, it's more like a service. You don't own a game as you own a pair of knickers, you only buy the right to use it.
    ...

    You should though. Its very anti-consumer to have it any other way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    Even with them knickers, you don't fully own them. You can wear them, soil them, but you cannot use them as a template to make some more. Their design is (very likely) copyrighted.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    Cordell wrote: »
    Even with them knickers, you don't fully own them. You can wear them, soil them, but you cannot use them as a template to make some more. Their design is (very likely) copyrighted.

    the only reason you don't own software but rather a license is to get around the fact that the software is copied to RAM when you use it. It was a stop gap legal measure that was never rectified and publishers are just taking the piss exploiting that now.

    If you wanted to go into EULA's even selling your PS3 games on ebay would be deemed copyright infringement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    It's an interesting story, but not true at all. Copying to RAM will not be a violation of copyright because it is an authorized copy so there is no need for stop gap legal measures.
    It's not just the software that you don't own. Books: you own the paper, the glue and the ink, but not the material written on them. Game CD/DVDs: you own the disc and the case but not the game recorded on those discs.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    Cordell wrote: »
    It's an interesting story, but not true at all. Copying to RAM will not be a violation of copyright because it is an authorized copy so there is no need for stop gap legal measures.

    Actually, no you'd be wrong there. Normally you can't create a copy of a copyrighted work unless you have a license to copy it. To run software though a copy has to be made to RAM. To get around that when this first came up you are granted a license to use that software and create that copy rather than own the that actual copy of the copyrighted work. It hasn't changed much since which is were all the issues and loop holes stem from.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    Not really, a temporary copy in RAM is not, by any means, a violation of copyright, there is no mentioning about this in the wiki link you posted and basically it is the first time I hear such a motive for having licence instead of ownership (and I'm fairly familiar with software licences). But this is way beyond the topic of this thread.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer




  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    Still doesn't say what you say it says :)
    Anyway this has nothing to do with the grey market keys. Lots of those keys are either stolen or purchased with stolen credit cards, and in this case corporate greed and copyright laws have nothing to do with it.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators Posts: 51,362 CMod ✭✭✭✭Retr0gamer


    It's right here:
    In the United States, Section 117 of the Copyright Act gives the owner of a particular copy of software the explicit right to use the software with a computer, even if use of the software with a computer requires the making of incidental copies or adaptations (acts which could otherwise potentially constitute copyright infringement). Therefore, the owner of a copy of computer software is legally entitled to use that copy of software. Hence, if the end-user of software is the owner of the respective copy, then the end-user may legally use the software without a license from the software publisher.

    Incidental copies or adaptations refers to software being copied to random access memory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    Well, yes, it says what I've said: incidental copy is not a violation. It doesn't say that we have licence in place of ownership because of incidental copies - and this was the point of our disagreement and what you claimed. Splitting the hair :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭JD1763


    Price differentials are anti-consumer. Any artificial distortion of market prices is interfering in the market plain and simple. What publishers have refused to acknowledge is that in the modern digital world enforcing regional differentials will only lead people to seek ways around it. Rational consumers will always seek to purchase from the lowest cost supplier that is only logical. This is how an efficient market operates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭Cordell


    I agree that the practice is not compatible with a global free market, but not that it is anti-consumer. They do it for the consumers with a lower purchasing power. Or maybe it can be considered anti-consumer because lower prices are actually subsidized by the ones paying the full amount...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,326 ✭✭✭dunworth1


    i always use cdkeys.com and g2a never had any problems.

    as long as the publishers/devs continue to screw us here for games i will continue to use the cheapest means to get them


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,248 ✭✭✭Sonics2k


    Over the years I've used Kinguin and Gamers Outlet, now I personally haven't had any problems and have been happy, but my best mate did have a Fallout 4 key revoked from Steam.

    We both understand there is a fair risk involved in buying the keys, and while most of them are legit, some of them are not. So there is a little bit of buyer beware involved in the whole thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    While the 'borderless' (I use the term lightly, as there are obviously still tax concerns to take into account) digital marketplace is a theoretically different beast, it's also fair to say it can't exactly sustain a 'one size fits all' model. Can US or Japanese developers and publishers really be expected to sustain themselves at Russian prices globally? Can consumers in Eastern Europe be expected to pay Western European prices?
    This appears to be what people are suggesting, regional pricing is anti-consumer. It's a point I find rather interesting really because if prices were to be standardised, taking into consideration development costs and the countries where most sales are made, the most logical result is that it would be done so to the level, or at least relatively close to it, of current Western prices. If that were to happen, you'd effectively be locking out consumers from developing nations from being able to purchase games. Wouldn't that still be anti-consumer or would people just not care because they no longer feel hard done by because someone else is getting the same product for less?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    gizmo wrote: »
    This appears to be what people are suggesting, regional pricing is anti-consumer. It's a point I find rather interesting really because if prices were to be standardised, taking into consideration development costs and the countries where most sales are made, the most logical result is that it would be done so to the level, or at least relatively close to it, of current Western prices. If that were to happen, you'd effectively be locking out consumers from developing nations from being able to purchase games. Wouldn't that still be anti-consumer or would people just not care because they no longer feel hard done by because someone else is getting the same product for less?

    No, what most people are suggesting is charging inflated prices for games in certain regions is anti-consumer.

    Few have an issue with paying a reasonable amount for games as long as they aren't taking the piss. Steam with their €70 titles is an absolute joke.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    No, what most people are suggesting is charging inflated prices for games in certain regions is anti-consumer.

    Few have an issue with paying a reasonable amount for games as long as they aren't taking the piss. Steam with their €70 titles is an absolute joke.
    What do you mean by inflated pricing though? With development costs rising across the board as the generations pass and some AAA titles going above and beyond that due to scale, I can't see how anyone would argue that prices may not also rise over time. I mean, we've seen the alternative to this being embraced by many publishers over the last while as they push special editions, retailer exclusives, season passes and DLC but in the absence of these revenue streams, there's going to have to be some give.

    That's not to say there aren't some horrid examples of bad pricing and/or value for money with certain releases of course but that's far from a systemic problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    gizmo wrote: »
    What do you mean by inflated pricing though? With development costs rising across the board as the generations pass and some AAA titles going above and beyond that due to scale, I can't see how anyone would argue that prices may not also rise over time. That's not to say there aren't some horrid examples of bad pricing and/or value for money with certain releases of course but that's far from a systemic problem.

    The pricing issues aren't at the development side. Its the sellers like Steam that are the issue.

    Resellers and Steam are just middlemen. The difference being Steam sell games at premium prices making a huge profit margin whereas resellers reduce their margins to sell at a really good competitive price usually competing against other resellers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,405 ✭✭✭gizmo


    The pricing issues aren't at the development side. Its the sellers like Steam that are the issue.

    Resellers and Steam are just middlemen. The difference being Steam sell games at premium prices making a huge profit margin whereas resellers reduce their margins to sell at a really good competitive price usually competing against other resellers.
    Valve don't set the pricing on the service though, the publishers/developers do. The prices set there are generally RRP which is what they would be at retail if the largest stores didn't apply discounts to them via whatever deal they have with their distributors.

    And I would strongly argue that the pricing issue is, at its core, at the development side. When you have established companies such as Epic changing their entire business model due to spiralling development costs, it's worth taking notice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭Digital Solitude


    No, what most people are suggesting is charging inflated prices for games in certain regions is anti-consumer.

    Few have an issue with paying a reasonable amount for games as long as they aren't taking the piss. Steam with their €70 titles is an absolute joke.

    I have never once seen a game on Steam for €70 unless it was a standard edition.

    I'd don't even buy off Steam, gamesplanet regularly releases AAA games for €40-45 which might be €3-4 higher than the grey market, despite being fully above board.

    The inflated pricing in certain regions is what was mentioned in the post above yours, its to subsidise for countries where people wouldn't be able to pay the same prices as the west.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    gizmo wrote: »
    Valve don't set the pricing on the service though, the publishers/developers do. The prices set there are generally RRP which is what they would be at retail if the largest stores didn't apply discounts to them via whatever deal they have with their distributors.

    And I would strongly argue that the pricing issue is, at its core, at the development side. When you have established companies such as Epic changing their entire business model due to spiralling development costs, it's worth taking notice.

    Steam advises developers on price per region based on their analysis. Bad advice though IMO. Way too much here.

    They need to find a sweet spot for game prices. €70 is taking the piss. I for one will never pay such crazy money for PC games.

    Game developers these days seem to be producing less content and charging more. They also frequently launch AAA titles with a load of issues.

    When it comes to really small indie studios I would definitely support them as long as they aren't charging crazy money.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,430 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Don't think describing something as 'anti-consumer' is the only factor that should be taken into account. A lot of the things in this capitalist system of ours that are 'pro-consumer' are in fact hugely exploitative towards a huge amount of non-consumers. If anything, it's considerably easier to make 'engaged' purchasing decisions with video games - even through official outlets - than it is with, say, clothing or food. And while one could certainly suggest game prices are inflated on Steam (since retail prices have somewhat skewed the price of downloads), but by the same logic a lot of game prices are deflated in other parts of the world. A happy medium would be nice - I think €50 for a new big name game is in many cases a reasonable, fair price for most of the people involved.

    I had a cursory Google of CD Keys on the basis of this thread, and could barely find out anything about the company beyond what is mentioned on their own website, and even there much of the information is vague (eg about their California office). I have to admit stuff like that sounds some alarm bells - and not because of any potential dodginess in terms of key sources. Ultimately I'd rather wait until DOOM is €30 on something like the Humble store in a few months than pay the same amount to a company I effectively know nothing about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    I have never once seen a game on Steam for €70 unless it was a standard edition.

    I'd don't even buy off Steam, gamesplanet regularly releases AAA games for €40-45 which might be €3-4 higher than the grey market, despite being fully above board.

    The inflated pricing in certain regions is what was mentioned in the post above yours, its to subsidise for countries where people wouldn't be able to pay the same prices as the west.
    Very few have been €70, better to say €60 upwards.

    For me €40-45 is the sweet spot. I buy usually between €35-45.

    The inflated pricing in certain regions is what was mentioned in the post above yours, its to subsidise for countries where people wouldn't be able to pay the same prices as the west.
    I'd find that difficult to believe. I don't think devs are Robin Hood charging the wealthy to give to the poor.

    Developers are just charging whatever they can in other regions. Steam gives them the data regarding the RRP for those specific regions and they charge accordingly.

    Until I see decent, fair prices here I wont be buying titles from Steam or other online retailers charging big money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭FAILSAFE 00


    I had a cursory Google of CD Keys on the basis of this thread, and could barely find out anything about the company beyond what is mentioned on their own website, and even there much of the information is vague (eg about their California office). I have to admit stuff like that sounds some alarm bells - and not because of any potential dodginess in terms of key sources. Ultimately I'd rather wait until DOOM is €30 on something like the Humble store in a few months than pay the same amount to a company I effectively know nothing about.

    CDkeys is an online retailer with a massive following. Countless boards users having been buying from them for years without any issues. That alone speaks for their credibility.

    Alarm bells going off for CDkeys is a little bit OTT.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,430 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    '€60 upwards' isn't really fair either, since 60 seems to be the standard, very rarely goes anywhere beyond that. Some titles do go for around €50-55, but yeah don't think I've seen anything beyond €60 for a standard edition.

    Not to say €60 isn't high, of course :)


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