WTH: Not Just a Clever Acronym!

Since I am “The Organized Mom“, I generally plan my editorial calendar about a month in advance.  A month in tech terms could mean an eternity!  I keep feeling like I want to talk about something that happened in technology news during the week, but already have the next few weeks planned out, and by the time I get around to talking about it, the topic is obsolete.  So I’ve decided to start blogging on Saturday and discuss all of the things that interested me in the world of technology during the week.  So “WTH” is my Weekly Tech Happenings (or… you know… the other phrase it could mean).  I love that it has 2 meanings cause WTH could go both ways (excited exclamation, confused exclamation, or LAME!)  So here is this weeks WTH…

The first thing I wanted to talk about that happend is a court ruling that could very well have major impacts on the gaming industry.  The court ruling really had nothing to do with gaming, but the impacts of this case could be very broad.  Essentially what happened is this.  A company sold their used copies of AutoCAD, a very expensive piece of software.  One person bought the copies of AutoCAD from the company, and then turned around and sold them on ebay.  He never installed the software for his own use.  Autodesk (the company that makes AutoCAD) filed a complaint with ebay and asked him to take down the auction.  Long story short he was forbidden to sell the software on ebay, and got his account suspended for a period of time.  So brought action against Autodesk stating that he was allowed to sell the software.

The ruling ended up being that software is never sold from the software maker, it is only licensing a right to use the software.  This means that you aren’t allowed to re-sell the software, because technically you do not own it.  How does this relate to gaming?  If you aren’t allowed to resell software because it’s only licensed to you, then in effect you cannot resell games for the same reason.  If the game developers decide that they want to stop the reselling of games, they can reference this case as past precedent, and force places like GameStop to stop selling and buying games from consumers!

My husband and I have been talking about this case all week.  He was saying that people would stop buying games all together in protest.  He said that there are some of his friends who ONLY buy used games.  I replied with, well if those people aren’t buying from the game developers to begin with, then if they stop buying games, the developers wouldn’t even notice since they never saw any profits from his purchases anyway.

It’s definitely and interesting case.  A case that perhaps game developers have been waiting for to finally stop losing sales to game reselling.  I’m very interested in seeing how it’s going to play out over the next few months/years.  Be sure that I will keep you up to date!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com


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  • I’m wondering if the guy who was selling the AutoCAD on Ebay should have argued that he wasn’t reselling the software but was reselling the licences. I think the court really got this one wrong. Even if a person doesn’t own the intellectual property (the software itself) meaning they can’t copy, alter, or sell copies of it, they should still be able to sell the merchandise which they paid for (the software licence and the physical medium). It will defiantly be interesting to see how this plays out in the future seeing as how many businesses have been reselling games for decades. I wonder if this will set a precedent for other industries as well. Are we merely licensing out clothes if they have a brand name on them? lol

    • LOL! I do wonder if the guy realized the implications of his lawsuit. I really believe the game developers were just waiting for something like this to come along for them. Definitely will be interesting to watch.