Dum_Gen

TLD is removed from GeForce Now

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4 minutes ago, kristaok said:

I think they were just being sarcastic.

Well, my snark meter might need recalibrating, but I'm not sure that's true.

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10 minutes ago, Wade said:

So Nvidia didn't ask for permission.  This was a very poor way of responding to that.  Denying customers access to a game they already paid for was not a very good look for the studio.  Sure, Hinterland has every right to ask to have it removed, but why?  It was free exposure.  Its not like people were playing the game for free.  They had already bought it through steam.  I own an Nvidia Shield so I had played it through there before back when GFN was in Beta.  Its fantastic that I can play a game I already paid for on my tv late at night in bed instead of sitting at my PC.  I guess Hinterland doesn't feel that way.  Very disappointing and poorly handled IMHO.

While I can understand the reasonable gut feel regarding ownership of content I think you're kind of missing the quite good point/s that @stratvox and  @jeffpeng raised regarding IP and the enforcement of that. Basically this is whole new ground regarding  how content is able to be streamed to you and Nvidia is making money from it. What we have as a setup at the outset may seen reasonable (your licence playing in the cloud that hinterland already got paid for) but that might not always be the case or nuance of difference might come up. If studios dont enforce their rights at ground zero on this they may have effectively waived their right by not enforcing them and in future lose out as the playing field changes.

Also keep in mind that people will still lean on Hinterland for tech support for issues that may arise from playing the game on a VM or for percieved bugs arising from latency of streaming, internet issues, GFN glithces or downtime. It's not unreasonable to assume that Hinterland and others should receive some royalty from this to cover additional costs and for quite frankly being the core part of a product GFN are offering. Much like songs played on the radio generate revenue (via advertising)  and have to pay royalties or licences for the songs they play regardless of whether ppl own the song at home. 

In short if someone was making $ off something you made and you weren't receiving any share of that revenue you'd probably feel a bit ripped off especially if you get all of the problems from it and none (or minimal) of the benefits. 

 

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12 minutes ago, kristaok said:

I think they were just being sarcastic.

Thank you for understanding sarcasm.

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Maybe let me try to put it this way:

Imagine you run a fitness studio. Your members pay a one-time fee so they can use your studio for all their lives. While they do not own the training appliances in your studio, they have a contract in hand that guarantees them they can use them, so they technically "own" the right to use them. Now imagine a group of burglars breaks into your fitness studio, removes all of its inventory, and makes it available in another fitness studio. These crafty burglars still allow your customers to use their appliances, and they even make sure that you get the full membership fee for every new customer hoping you won't call the police because.... no harm done to you, right? Well, except your established studio now runs under a different name, and there is an additional membership fee your customers have to pay in addition for which they get some other "great" services.

So what happened here? Someone stole your business, your concept, your customers and put you under "their" set of rules, all for the benifit of not losing what you already had? Now that I put it like that ..... this sounds a lot like the Mafia. And since you didn't call the police then, now two weeks later, when you realize you've been ripped off, you basically voided your chance to report a crime.

No honestly, the more I think about it, the more I do agree with taking down games from GFN.

I'm really flabbergasted how two billion dollar companies both fudge up game streaming in two totally different ways in a matter of months, btw :D

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, DaveMcD said:

While I can understand the reasonable gut feel regarding ownership of content I think you're kind of missing the quite good point/s that @stratvox and  @jeffpeng raised regarding IP and the enforcement of that. Basically this is whole new ground regarding  how content is able to be streamed to you and Nvidia is making money from it. What we have as a setup at the outset may seen reasonable (your licence playing in the cloud that hinterland already got paid for) but that might not always be the case or nuance of difference might come up. If studios dont enforce their rights at ground zero on this they may have effectively waived their right by not enforcing them and in future lose out as the playing field changes.

Also keep in mind that people will still lean on Hinterland for tech support for issues that may arise from playing the game on a VM or for percieved bugs arising from latency of streaming, internet issues, GFN glithces or downtime. It's not unreasonable to assume that Hinterland and others should receive some royalty from this to cover additional costs and for quite frankly being the core part of a product GFN are offering. Much like songs played on the radio generate revenue (via advertising)  and have to pay royalties or licences for the songs they play regardless of whether ppl own the song at home. 

In short if someone was making $ off something you made and you weren't receiving any share of that revenue you'd probably feel a bit ripped off especially if you get all of the problems from it and none (or minimal) of the benefits. 

 

Hinterland has not said anything regarding seeking compensation of any kind for any reason.  Only that "Devs should control where their game exists".

Now, should they use compensation as a reason for removing it from GFN it will only look worse.  Customers will see this as a way that a company is trying to charge them twice for the same product. They have every right to feel that way, but I am saying that it is a very poor PR move in my opinion.

A lot of these arguments are being made based on monetary compensation when no such indication has been made as to that being the reason as to why it was removed.

Edited by Wade
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Posted (edited)

Adding to that: I guess if into anyone I would put my confidence into Valve getting this right. There are hints that they are working on something like that. I could imagine a steam-based streaming service work if the game publishers could opt into making their games available for streaming. Because if the GFN debacle has proven anything, then that you can't do it without the good will of those people actually owning the rights to those games.

The only other solution I'd see working if someone like Microsoft would offer fully fledged "Virtual PC" VMs with decent GPUs you can do anything on you can do on a normal PC. This would come as close as possible to actually "just another PC, only on the Internet". Since, technically, you would install the games and not Microsoft, there wouldn't be any kind of rights violation involved. But I guess Microsoft has other plans with xCloud. And I actually cannot think of anyone else that has what it takes to pull this off at a larger scale and at same time actually has any interest in pulling it off.

Edited by jeffpeng

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, jeffpeng said:

The only other solution I'd see working if someone like Microsoft would offer fully fledged "Virtual PC" VMs with decent GPUs you can do anything on you can do on a normal PC.

As a system administrator with over a dozen years running large internet sites (at least, large within the Canadian context), this would be nightmarish. Powerful PCs with data centre sized pipes, and all the system administration is done by the general population. Malware on a monster games computer running Windows that's connected in a data centre. What could possibly go wrong?

That said, I think you're right; this would be fine by the terms of the license with Steam and Hinterland. I do see some ... issues ... with how one could run that in the real world that would mean MSFT would never ever ever do this.

Edited by stratvox
clarity

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jeffpeng said:

Maybe let me try to put it this way:

Imagine you run a fitness studio. Your members pay a one-time fee so they can use your studio for all their lives. While they do not own the training appliances in your studio, they have a contract in hand that guarantees them they can use them, so they technically "own" the right to use them. Now imagine a group of burglars breaks into your fitness studio, removes all of its inventory, and makes it available in another fitness studio. These crafty burglars still allow your customers to use their appliances, and they even make sure that you get the full membership fee for every new customer hoping you won't call the police because.... no harm done to you, right? Well, except your established studio now runs under a different name, and there is an additional membership fee your customers have to pay in addition for which they get some other "great" services.

So what happened here? Someone stole your business, your concept, your customers and put you under "their" set of rules, all for the benifit of not losing what you already had? Now that I put it like that ..... this sounds a lot like the Mafia. And since you didn't call the police then, now two weeks later, when you realize you've been ripped off, you basically voided your chance to report a crime.

No honestly, the more I think about it, the more I do agree with taking down games from GFN.

I'm really flabbergasted how two billion dollar companies both fudge up game streaming in two totally different ways in a matter of months, btw :D

I'm sorry but I'm not following you because this whole Geforce thing isn't the same as burglars stealing fitness equipment... From what I gather it's just a streaming service where individuals can use Nvidias virtual machines to play their games that they already bought. Nvidia never  claimed to own TLD... so I don't see how they stole anything??? It's not like Nvidia bought 1 copy of TLD to stream that 1 copy to all Geforce users, the individuals would have had to have already owned TLD on Steam to use it through Geforce. Again removing TLD from Geforce will do more harm than good. 

Nvidia is HUGE, I can't imagine not wanting to be partnered with them... :/ Nvidia would only draw in more customers for a indie game like this! 

Edited by kristaok
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2 minutes ago, stratvox said:

As a system administrator with over a dozen years running large internet sites (at least, large within the Canadian context), this would be nightmarish. Powerful PCs with data centre sized pipes, and all the system administration is done by the general population. Malware on a monster games computer running Windows that's connected in a data centre. What could possibly go wrong?

I didn't say that wouldn't be full of caveats. All the different layers of isolation you'd have to make work, not even tackling side channel mumbo jumbo that has cropped up over the last few years basically killing the until then adamant assumption that a hypervisor is safe from its guests .... Yeah. I mean I sadly have first hand experience with that kind of thing. Plus all the liabilities for potential wrongdoing being done via those machines ..... Dunno. I guess it's doable. I'm not convinced it would be financially feasible, however.

5 minutes ago, kristaok said:

I'm sorry but I'm not following you because this whole Geforce thing isn't the same as burglars stealing fitness equipment... From what I gather it's just a streaming service where individuals can use Nvidias virtual machines to play their games that they already bought. Nvidia never  claimed to own TLD... so I don't see how they stole anything??? It's not like Nvidia bought 1 copy of TLD to stream that 1 copy to all Geforce users, the individuals would have had to have already owned TLD on Steam to use it through Geforce. Again removing TLD from Geforce will do more harm than good. 

Nvidia is HUGE, I can't imagine not wanting to be partnered with them... :/ Nvidia would only draw in more customers for a indie game like this! 

I know the analogy isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can think of it. Maybe someone has a better one. But, on topic: Nvidia just installed it on their service. Without asking first, probably without even notifying them before or after the fact. Simply installing a copy of TLD in some container is technically a copyright violation since they didn't install it in their container so they can play it, but so you can play it. But the big point here is: they just did it. Whether HL wanted it or not. The point isn't really if HL would benefit from that or not. The point is: Nvidia did it because it would benefit them.

Maybe another, much simpler example: let's say you're a painter. And someone just took your pictures for a day, put them on display, and gave you the money the exhibition earned upon returning your pictures. Without asking. You could argue.... well, no harm done. Got my money. Also got some exposure, yaaay. But you could also argue that you might have wanted to decide how your paintings are presented to the public, and that getting your permission first would have been the least bit of courtesy. 

And yeah, Nvidia is HUGE, but I could give you a lot of good reasons why the list of people specifically not wanting to partner with them is growing constantly, the most important being: they think that rules and standards are something for people other than them. Like this kind of stunt proves.

But again, I want to reiterate how the player/customer in me isn't basically on the same page as you are. I/you/we shouldn't have to deal with this kind of problems, and that we do have to is part of a terribly flawed system that is much better at protecting big people than protecting small people. But please don't mistake who instigated this mess.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, kristaok said:

I'm sorry but I'm not following you because this whole Geforce thing isn't the same as burglars stealing fitness equipment... From what I gather it's just a streaming service where individuals can use Nvidias virtual machines to play their games that they already bought. Nvidia never  claimed to own TLD... so I don't see how they stole anything??? It's not like Nvidia bought 1 copy of TLD to stream that 1 copy to all Geforce users, the individuals would have had to have already owned TLD on Steam to use it through Geforce. Again removing TLD from Geforce will do more harm than good. 

Nvidia is HUGE, I can't imagine not wanting to be partnered with them... :/ Nvidia would only draw in more customers for a indie game like this! 

Yep, doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I guess if you want customer backlash and less exposure to the gaming market it does.  While I didn't play it much through Nvidia, I can totally understand why customers are upset.  If my friend has a better PC than me and I want to give him $5 to play on his, should I need Hinterlands permission to log into steam and play? I still have to own the game on steam, so what is the problem?  Hmm, strange decision by Hinterland.  I get that Hinterland wanted them to ask permission, but this all seems like a bad way of handling it.

Edited by Wade
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, jeffpeng said:

Maybe another, much simpler example: let's say you're a painter. And someone just took your pictures for a day, put them on display, and gave you the money the exhibition earned upon returning your pictures. Without asking. You could argue.... well, no harm done. Got my money. Also got some exposure, yaaay. But you could also argue that you might have wanted to decide how your paintings are presented to the public, and that getting your permission first would have been the least bit of courtesy. 

To be honest... I definitely would say no harm done, got my money, and some exposure! XD - Truth be told I would feel honored in that situation, but hey that's just me.

10 minutes ago, Wade said:

Yep, doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I guess if you want customer backlash and less exposure to the gaming market it does.  While I didn't play it much through Nvidia, I can totally understand why customers are upset.  If my friend has a better PC than me and I want to give him $5 to play on his, should I need Hinterlands permission to log into steam and play? I still have to own the game on steam, so what is the problem?  Hmm, strange decision by Hinterland.  I get that Hinterland wanted them to ask permission, but this all seems like a bad way of handling it.

I could sort of understand Hinterland wanting them to ask permission, but at the same time I think pulling TLD from Geforce was a HUGE mistake on HL's part... I definitely think there will be some repurcussions along the line for that decision.

Edited by kristaok
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1 minute ago, kristaok said:

I could sort of understand Hinterland wanting them to ask permission, but at the same time I think pulling it was a HUGE mistake on HL's part... I definitely think there will be some repurcussions along the line for that decision.

Yep, I totally agree.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, kristaok said:

To be honest... I definitely would say no harm done, got my money, and some exposure! XD - Truth be told I would feel honored in that situation, but hey that's just me.

No offence .... really, please don't take this as some kind of affront... but .... you can't really complain about not owning anything anymore and at the same time be fine with people doing whatever they want with the few things you actually do own.

But I guess that was probably Nvidias strategy: just go ahead, and if game devs pull their titles, they have to take the blame. What a nifty, smart setup. But that's really all it is: a setup. Anyways ... thanks everyone for another rather interesting thread :) but I guess I made all the points I can make. And may it be worth whatever it may be: @Raphael van Lierop & Hinterland: I support your decision.

Edited by jeffpeng
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14 hours ago, Wade said:

So Nvidia didn't ask for permission.  This was a very poor way of responding to that.

Responding in any other way would have been an acknowledgment of Nvidia's methods, which are illegal. This is the usual marketing thing, first it seems free exposure, tomorrow Nvidia is dominant and make you pay to have your game on their platform cause they have XXX million players available.

Also, people who criticize without proposing an alternative are less likely to be heard. Believe me I'm French, we're the best on criticizing every time on everything without proposing anything as an alternative.

Yes it's a PITA for the players, but no HL was not wrong doing so. Maybe Nvidia could offer a console for every customer they mislead into thinking they had the right to offer this service?

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7 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

And yeah, Nvidia is HUGE, but I could give you a lot of good reasons why the list of people specifically not wanting to partner with them is growing constantly, the most important being: they think that rules and standards are something for people other than them. Like this kind of stunt proves.

That's a big bingo right there.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

I know the analogy isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can think of it. Maybe someone has a better one.

The best analogy, IMO - internet cafe, that downloaded data for TLD, but only customers, who own a copy on Steam can access the game.

Another one - I install my copy of TLD from my Steam library on my friend's computer but do not allow him to play it. He will not be able to use it, but the game data will be on his computer. Noone really stole smth.

I can understand that there is some vague IP reasoning that can damage Hinterland's IP rights. However, they could negotiate with Nvidia to help GFN users, who want to play TLD.

Present desicion looks like it is done out of spite, it is anti-consumer and it actually harms people. Those, who do not own a PC and wanted to play via GFN cannot refund the game that they bought recently. Steam's 2 hour refund window rule doesn't help. With such developers' decisions, GOG's 30 day window looks very reasonable.

Edited by Dum_Gen
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1 hour ago, Dum_Gen said:

I can understand that there is some vague IP reasoning that can damage Hinterland's IP rights. However, they could negotiate with Nvidia to help GFN users, who want to play TLD.

Well if what @stratvoxhas brought forth here doesn't convince you that those reasons are anything but vague .... I don't know what will.

2 hours ago, BareSkin said:

Responding in any other way would have been an acknowledgment of Nvidia's methods, which are illegal. This is the usual marketing thing, first it seems free exposure, tomorrow Nvidia is dominant and make you pay to have your game on their platform cause they have XXX million players available.

Exactly that. Also about free exposure: https://theoatmeal.com/comics/exposure

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dum_Gen said:

The best analogy, IMO - internet cafe, that downloaded data for TLD, but only customers, who own a copy on Steam can access the game.

Yeah, that's a really great analogy, because there is a program in place for that from Steam: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3303-QWRC-3436 

Among other things, I would expect that there's a rev share agreement in place for this between Steam and developers.

In other words, this was done properly, with legal agreements and concomitant payments.

It's not a case of a Fortune 500 company figuring they can just roll over small firm's IP rights.

Go read that page and find out how this stuff actually works in this business.

Edited by stratvox

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, jeffpeng said:

Well if what @stratvoxhas brought forth here doesn't convince you that those reasons are anything but vague .... I don't know what will.

Exactly that. Also about free exposure: https://theoatmeal.com/comics/exposure

Yeah. In my other life I'm a professional musician... in Canada. In Canada, you can die from exposure. Strangely, I can't give my landlord exposure to pay my rent.

It's almost like "exposure" is not really worth very much! Weird. 

ETA: oh, and thanks @jeffpeng for reminding of that cartoon. A classic of the genre.

Edited by stratvox

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, stratvox said:

Yeah. In my other life I'm a professional musician... in Canada. In Canada, you can die from exposure. Strangely, I can't give my landlord exposure to pay my rent.

It's almost like "exposure" is not really worth very much! Weird. 

Yeah if I could raise my kid on exposure alone I'd probably still be playing guitar 8 hours a day. 🍻

Edited by jeffpeng

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@Dum_Gen Hopefully Steam follows GoG and allows refunds after 30 days as well. 

Gotta love GoG!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, stratvox said:

Yeah, that's a really great analogy, because there is a program in place for that from Steam:

And I did not find that cafe owners have to ask permission from each individual developer. Cafe owners work with Steam, Steam has agreements with devs, user can access the content that they paid for. If there is additional revenue share, users are not affected, like they were in case with GFN.

Plus your link describes that cafe owners will offer games that people do not own. The games provided by Steam according to this program. It is not the case with GFN - you can only play games that you have in your library, that you paid for. Nvidia did not offer TLD for free to anyone.

2 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Yeah if I could raise my kid on exposure alone I'd probably still be playing guitar 8 hours a day. 🍻

Noone said anything about exposure. People officially bought the game on steam and tried to play on rented computer powers. They were denied in service by the devs and cannot refund the purchase. Nvidia offered negotiate further, the devs rejected. In the end people suffer. And this is anti-consumer.

Edited by Dum_Gen

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Although they might be more famous for their magnificent PC build videos nowadays (Don't forget them tweezers! And be sure you properly insulate the power supply.) a paragraph in an article of The Verge (https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/2/21161469/nvidia-geforce-now-cloud-gaming-service-developers-controversy-licensing) sum's it up quite nicely what's wrong with this:

Quote

A license to play a game does not mean another company can redistribute it, even if you personally bought the license. That’s what happening with GeForce Now, and it’s important to understand that. Nvidia isn’t just renting you a virtual machine. It’s renting you a virtual machine and then redistributing a video game sold by Steam under agreements that do not include Nvidia, at least not yet. It is not just a hardware rental service, and pretending it is one is disingenuous.

Nvidia is effectively injecting itself into the sale and distribution of a piece of software. We’ve seen this time and again with companies that have hoped to similarly disrupt distribution, from failed over-the-air broadcast TV streamer Aereo to theater subscription plan MoviePass. It rarely works, because the companies either face steep fees out of fear of getting sued, their business plan is unsustainable, or because they go ahead without permission and get litigated into the ground. Strong-arming a new distribution model into reality is expensive and adversarial, and only a few companies, like Apple with iTunes, can successfully say they pulled it off.

Also 

18 minutes ago, Dum_Gen said:

And I did not find that cafe owners have to ask permission from each individual developer. Cafe owners work with Steam, Steam has agreements with devs, user can access the content that they paid for. If there is additional revenue share, users are not affected, like they were in case with GFN.

They do not, because Valve has provided a framework that all participants have legally agreed to. If this was not in place, the way gaming (most) cafés work today would be illegal or they would at least tread very shaky legal ground. And this here really is the important part: all participants have legally agreed. 

In general the article makes a good point that more work, more rules, more ... legal banter is required before this will really work, like I mentioned initially. Until then, and I also said that already, stick to things proven to work. Like buying a game on steam and run it on your PC.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe let me give you a first hand example of why it is important for the creator of IP (intellectual Property) to control the ways said IP is distributed.

I am Chief Platform Architect with a small German software company for a proprietary application server framwork that incorporates a number of different applications, among others Content Management but it goes much farther than that because we also realize tools and applications with it to organise large business fares, conventions, workforce distribution and resource allocation - and all sorts of jazz you can't just buy off the shelves, and we integrate and interconnect literally everything that talks binary. We initially developed this platform as a joint venture with a big German corporation I am legally bound not to disclose, but let's just say you've heard of them even if you are not living in Germany or even Europe.

This software and the services tied to it are the only products my company has to offer. It literally is the only thing we do, the only thing we work on, and our only stream of revenue. Agreements with our partner prevent us from offering this product to their direct competitors to protect their investment, but the same agreements allow us to offer this product to much everyone else to protect our investment. We kick back improvents we make for other customers to our partner and all other customers that sign a service contract with us, and today over a thousand people actively work with our software on a regular basis, and we serve in excess of 20 million web pages per month across several deployments.

Back in 2012 my company took a huge financial gamble on this software, hiring new personell (me included), buying hardware and renting office space, and it took more than half a decade to break even. Not only require us agreements with our partner to control the distribution of our software so that their competitors do not gain access to it, we also need to control distribution so we continue to earn money in a harshly fought over niche in highly specialized, custom software built for a a small amount of customers in order to continue to offer and improve this product and all services involved.

If now someone injected themselves into our distribution model by, let's say, hosting our software on their servers to our customers I know I'd be parking in front of the nearest courthouse tomorrow morning. We in fact work with a company that does host our software for some of their clients, but we control who these clients are, and what parts of the software they have access to according to written agreements we made with said company. We even allow some of our customers to modify and expand upon our software, but again we control who and what as guidelined by agreements we made in advance. The moment we lose control over that, our entire business model, 8 years of work, the income of a dozen people and all potential value the company holds is null and void. For me personally this literally means losing my job, almost a decade of my life of work, and potentially my family's home. (Although .... well, I'll find another job, but that's not the point ...)

In fact we had to deal with a customer (we no longer service) that took it into their own hand to use "the software they paid for" to run several other services for other companies they owned. It is something explicitly excluded in our license agreements, and the subsequent lawsuit was settled with a six figure sum - and we still made a loss on that if you factor in potential business lost and work spent dealing with the causa.

So ... while a lot of people think it's fair and square because software is just something you can copy from one pen drive to another for basically free .... no it's not. Software as much as any other work is work done by real people with real families and real lives, and while it is not hard work as in working in a coal mine in the 19th century, it is hard work just as any other creative work. It requires education, it requires commitment, it requires time and effort you don't get back, and as such a software developer has as much right to defend ownership of their work as you have the right to defend ownership of a song you wrote, a picture you painted, an invention you made or the money you earned.

In consquence: if Hinterland believes that Nvidia redistributing their game on GFN isn't in their best interest, and the more I think about it the more I agree with that conclusion, then it's not only their right, but also their obligation towards their own employees.

Edited by jeffpeng
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, stratvox said:

...

Once again, in order to continue to retain copyright, one must enforce copyright.

...

This is wrong: https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/stopping-internet-plagiarism/your-copyrights-online/3-copyright-myths/

Quote

If You Don’t Protect Your Copyright, You Lose It

Copyright is not like trademark. Copyright has a set period of time for which it is valid and, unless you take some kind of action, you do not give up those rights.

You seem to be conflating some terms here.
Might be best to brush up your knowledge, there's already enough disinformation as it is.

Edited by Spottdrossel

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