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Opinion: Amazon's customer abuse reminds us of the perils of DRM

Why you no longer get what you pay for

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Sep 2012
Post count:
@Sasha_Je | 21:29 - 3 November 2012
Indeed Amazon is not the only retailer that practice this "service"!
This article should have been about everybody, Steam, Origin, PSN, XBLA and the rest of the squad. In the past months every major game site advertised the "Digital Era" and all the good things and few people actually pointed out the downsides. I do believe this generation of gamers are a bit ignorant and blind because they trust gaming sites too much, therefor whatever this so called journalists vomit they eat. No one realized that by "buying" anything digital you don't own it but you rent it and on top of that every gang has a little policy between all that maze of letters that they reserve the right to do whatever they see "fit" of doing with the content and your account. Despite this people still use them, instead of taking action and vote with their wallets until the way of doing business is changed. But then I say again the media isn't helping because they support this practice and of course they do because they are getting paid by these companies. Based of these I don't support buying a game based on a review and many other things. Don't get me started on the DLC trend and those passes, every practice is made to milk money out of us, it's not about supporting x company over y it's all about us users that work hard for those money that we spend on this addiction/hobby. A few years back the media told us that if we accept this digital change game prices will go down significantly yet we ended up pay the same price as a retail shop no matter what platform we buy. Steam is "good" because the retailers pretty much stopped selling Pc games but from what I've seen the price tag is kinda the same...indeed those sales are cool but then again we put out of business all this major retailers so how do we expect sales from them. I may be living in the past but damn it was nice and secure.
Bottom line is when I will buy a PS Vita "triple A" title for 25
Oct 2012
Post count:
@SyFyTy | 20:05 - 26 October 2012
"corporate theft" is the operative word. One might even say.. Piracy. First they have passed the cost of the cartidge onto us by offering games DLC. Onces it becomes all games DLC, were in trouble. it will happen believe it. Essentially, by paying same price (or more) for the (full retail) games, we're being robbed of the cartidge cost, on each sale, they the data upon access change. Look up the definition of Piracy in a dicitonary and consider this situation again.
Oct 2012
Post count:
@SyFyTy | 19:59 - 26 October 2012
This is what I've been saying about Nintendo Down Loads.. what happens when they decide to change the sites content finallly, no longer host older content.. or the 360, if you no longer want a 'paid'account for online; you're screwed.

We're out of the games we bought. And it WILL happen sooner or later. They're not fond of making last generations products available once the new console is out. Just try getting a damaged GBA cartrige replaced once. DS-3ds does not count here.
Oct 2012
Post count:
Lia1112 | 04:10 - 25 October 2012
I think you need a tool to resolve this problem,
and then you can backup your kindle books.
just search "Epubsoft" on Google, and you'll find a good tool.

Aug 2012
Post count:
RockinIt | 18:52 - 23 October 2012
It''s a bit unfair just to stick Amazon in the headline, as you point out in the article, it's every online media service

These days we're basically paying a licensing fee to use a piece of media, be it music, games or a movie, it's not yours, when you die you can't pass on this collection to someone else, or do anything with it during a divorce settlement etc, it's tied to a person, and that's it.

I personally don't pay for movies on iTunes or any other services, even though videos are in HD there is still compression involved (watch a dark movie from iTunes, definite graining effects show up) and I personally think there is a difference when compared to a Blu-ray where you get uncompressed HD video with loads of extras as well as better DTS audio. It's a no contest for me, Blu-ray wins in every single aspect, plus you get some pretty good discounts on Blu ray when you shop around.

Digital games though aren't a big deal for me, I use Steam, I use iTunes for iPhone games. Even if I had a physical retail PC game from 6-8 years ago, chances are it won't run that great on new machines, same with iPhone games, there's loads of stuff that I bought back in 2008-2009 which won't run on iOS6 or iPhone 4S/iPhone 5, and even if they did they would look like crap on retina displays. Gaming technology changes, we're going to get new consoles from from Sony and Microsoft next year, making a whole generation of PS3/360 games obsolete, the only way to play existing games would be to keep your old console, as soon as that goes kaput, so do your games. The only real benefit in this area is potential resale value of games in the 2nd hand market.

I still buy CDs too, sound quality is better, it's especially notiecable on a decent hi fi system, I dug out a CD of The Strokes' Is This It the other day and there was a marked increase in quality when compared to the amazon MP3 version on my iPhone

Books - I always buy paperbacks, reading on an iPad stinks and I really don't want my books to be crippled by Amazon or Apple drm.
Apr 2011
Post count:
NotSpam | 10:41 - 23 October 2012
Take some time to spread your "eggs" around seems to apply. ;)
Aug 2011
Post count:
Zephram | 06:22 - 23 October 2012
Legislation hasn't kept up with technology in part because the lawmakers consist of mostly older generations who don't necessarily understand the issues.

Consumers need specific rights and protection against corporate abuse, and until that happens we will continue to tread the muddy waters of digital distibution.
Oct 2012
Post count:
@Facelord | 21:24 - 22 October 2012
An abusive Steam Support employee closed my 268-game account for reporting a person who was harassing me. I asked him to have one of his co-workers examine the situation to make sure he was doing things right(he was not) and he threatened to close my support account as well. I emailed Valve employees about it, didn't get any responses. I want to kill myself over it.
Jan 2012
Post count:
jonmorris | 17:48 - 22 October 2012
I had a similar experience a few years ago when I set up a silly group on Facebook and people started to talk to each other. Sadly, some people were quite rude to others and began to argue with each other - which snowballed without me having any way to monitor effectively.

Facebook subsequently deleted my account before I even knew there was a problem, as I'd breached one of their rules (one of the many FB rules they don't make public and won't even tell you about when you broke it). It took weeks to convince them I had nothing to do with people commenting who I didn't know and weren't friends and I was given a second chance.

Now that I use Facebook far less, I'd not be as devastated as I was at the time, but it certainly was a wake up call to the fact that you better make damn sure you comply with the rules as they were when you signed up, and as they change as time goes on.

If you've put your life on Facebook, all your photos on Flickr, all your music on iTunes and every book on Kindle - you could well stand to lose everything in the blink of an eye and despite the size of these firms, they often have no recognised way to appeal or any independent panel that can help.

And how do you protest against changes to T&Cs anyway? The obvious answer is you take your business elsewhere, but few of these companies are going to let you export all your content so you end up screwing yourself to make a stand. Naturally, you just click 'Accept' when you get that pop-up window or email.
Sep 2009
Post count:
gave29 | 17:34 - 22 October 2012
Interesting article, Kristan. The companies are risking their own futures when they behave like this. Many people believe paying for their digital media is safer and more secure than downloading from BitTorrent and so on. But if it becomes more common that people lose their accounts for apparent 'abuse of policies' (did Amazon even provide additional information rather than just three words?) and therefore the content they've spent real