Friday, February 1, 2013

Owning vs. renting

A consumer organization in Germany is suing Valve software over the right of resell of digital products.  The issue is that customers who "buy" games via Valve's Steam online service do not have the capability to resell the games they own.

On the one hand, my own argument is that digits are not real and it generally makes little sense to consider them property, per se.  On the other hand, people paid good money to "own" the games according to Valve's own fiction, but then the are denied commonly agreed-on rights of resell.

What to do, what to do.  I did like one Slashdot commenter's (sjones) barb:

"In the west, Communism is decried in part because it doesn't respect the concept of personal property. None of 'your' stuff is owned by you. So why, given that, should we accept for even one second a culture where we only rent and license things from corporate owners? We can't even be said to own the license since there are so many ways a 'permanent' license can just evaporate."

Hahaha.  Love it.  We're going to have to work with that concept some more.

Corporate Communism forever!

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