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Is Selling Pre-Owned Games Considered Piracy?

Written By Pinoy Tekkie on Huwebes, Setyembre 13, 2012 | 12:04 AM

Piracy is unauthorized duplication of patented merchandise, but buying second hand legit games is not Piracy.

Buying and selling second hand games is legal. Check online and you'll see similar items for sale, there are per-owned games. I've bought and sold games for a bargain. Game developers just don't like it because they won't earn from it. The only thing they can do is tie the hard copy game to your account. 
1 disk 1 console policy?

If this stupidity will come true, expect another video game crash for people will stop buying video games and they will shift to a more feasible hobby...I hope that will not happen.

I dare the next gen console to implement this, they'll dig their own graves.

Second hand = piracy on game, I still think that the intention of game developers is to sell their games per individual player. You can stretch that to, probably your family member, girlfriend, etc. But if you sell the game to others, the second hand buyer of the game committed an offense equal to piracy to the eyes of the developer. Think about it, if you pass around a single copy of a game, sell it as second hand after installation to a million player, you think that would be OK to the game dev?

But since there's no law about it, that is why lately multiplayer games are becoming popular, or similar online gaming. That way, they can tie the game to our accounts, increasing the number of individual sales.

One of the rights of an owner is the right to dispose his property whenever he wants to. If you cannot dispose your property, then chances are it is not your property. For me it is not piracy to sell second hand games because you are just exercising your right as an owner of the game to dispose it when you please. To limit such disposition of the game is equal to frustrating one's right to own that physical copy of the game.

But you may argue that we are talking about software here. Exactly my point because, as far as I am concerned, software are like houses too or cars or toys for that matter since these all belong to the same classification: personal properties. To create an exception in favor of software will be absurd since how do we classify it now if obviously it can be appropriated as well, and be subjected of our dominion, like the rest of the properties that we know of. For a software not to be a property, it must be outside the commerce of man which is obviously not the case.

I may understand your argument if you say that the effect of selling a second hand game, in the eyes of the developer, is similar to that of piracy. But to equate the act of selling a second hand game to piracy is too premature a conclusion and is very damaging especially to those who just can't afford to buy a full priced game but nevertheless still want to convey a message to the developers that they appreciate their work.

I think there's a difference on our treatment of the word "piracy". I may be wrong in that I am stretching it too far. But I think, we really have to treat software differently from tangible properties. Exactly why we have licenses that's open source software, which you are free to share and modify, and some that are not.

When you buy software, you're not buying it as a property, you are paying for the rights to use the software. Its not like "I'm fed up with Windows 7, here's my disc at half the prize, and I'll just install Ubuntu from now on", it doesn't work like that. In essence, you are buying a legitimate copy by purchasing from legitimate sources, but the "legal aspect" of the game ends with you. The next person buying the second hand game may own your legitimate copy, but doesn't own it legally, as he did not pay for its rights from the game developer.

Also, lets think about it like this. There's DRM free games, with no activation. Example is Torchlight II (to be released on the 20th, yay!). You pay $20 and you may download the game from the developers site. Question, if you've had enough of the game, can you sell that as second hand? I can burn it to a disc and sell it, its a legit copy anyway. The guy who buys it can sell it afterwards, and again and again. How does this differ from someone who downloaded a torrent copy?

Why do you call downloading a game that you did not pay for as piracy? Those games that you bought from Quiapo, or downloaded from a torrent site, but if you paid for the second hand copy,  should you call that legit?

For me, if you reproduce it that's piracy but if you sell your copy while losing all of your rights to use or destroy it, it's still legit. Let me finish my point by saying that it's better if we just agree to disagree instead since both sides have really valid points.These views can make for a good thesis topic, and we could probe about it deeper on both valid points.
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