Wait, what? Sony PS4 usage terms prevent game resale, rental


— 9:40 AM on November 11, 2013

Hmm. The hottest tech news item making the rounds this morning is this story over at Neowin that suggests Sony may be breaking its promise to allow PlayStation 4 owners to resell their used games.

You may recall that Sony scored basically infinity PR points over Microsoft and the Xbone during E3 by emphasizing the freedom PS4 owners will have to trade and share disc-based games. Microsoft eventually had to rejigger its plans in order to appease the public outcry over the limitations it intended to place on such activities.

Now, Neowin has dug into some sort of software terms-of-use statement from Sony's UK website and found some startling clauses. The terms appear to cover software used on any Sony console, from the PSP to the PS4. The problematic bits include these phrases:

6.3. You must not lease, rent, sublicense, publish, modify, adapt, or translate any portion of the Software.

7.1. You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorised by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher.

I've gotta admit, that's a very different message than I got from Sony's E3 presentation.

Of course, software licenses are notoriously horrible; users rarely have any rights of note granted to them by virtue of having paid to use a program. Sony could potentially choose not to enforce these limitations in practice while retaining the legal right to do so.

Still, these terms seem like a raw deal, given everything. If I were a console gamer, I'd be steamed.

   
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