consumer rights?

  madPentium 18:33 02 Sep 2003

I was always under the impression that if you purchase a piece of software, you are entitled to create a backup of it should anything happen to the original. With some software however, there seems to be copy protection preventing this. Not only with the PC, but now the XBOX too. These games are over £40 a time and when kids get hold of them, they have a much shorter life span. Are these companies under the impression that disks last forever or something?
If one gets damaged, am I expected to send it back for a replacement and pay the shipping charges? I think if copy protection is incorporated, they should have an address on the software packaging, a prepaid envelope and a small form to fill out to make replacements nice and easy.

  Forum Editor 18:51 02 Sep 2003

from the Helproom.

You don't have an automatic right to make a copy of any software you buy - the copyright law is clear about that - but it's true that many companies turn the proverbial blind eye when consumers do it.

The anti-copy protection is there for obvious reasons - to combat software piracy.

To be honest, when you buy a game that costs £40 it makes sense to look after it, and no software company can be expected to run a disk replacement service because some people damage their purchases. When you buy the software you are buying a licence to use it, and if you want another disk you'll need to buy another licence - any other system would result in all kinds of abuse.

  Wilham 19:59 02 Sep 2003

True, you buy a licence for s/w , often supplied on a CD. If this disk proves faulty within 12 months with no visible damage/misuse it is reasonable to expect a swap under warranty on par with any hardware. Copyright and licence don't come into it; particularly under the no backup copy restriction.

  madPentium 21:08 02 Sep 2003

But, when Sony and Microsoft and Nintendo make games consoles for all ages, and I personally have the PS1, PS2, XBOX and GAMECUBE for the kids to use, they should think the ideas through to the end of the line. The Nintendo was great as was the megadrive because they used solid state games. Throwing cds/dvds on the market for kids is asking for trouble. I'm not alone, many people I have visited have kids playing games and the disks are mishandled. I have caught mine eating sweets/cakes or crisps while changing games. I think the design teams need stringing up for such a bad idea. If they had to go dvd/cd why didnt they have the disks at least in a caddy? a caddy which you cant buy hence cant copy? I think simply stating 'look after them' is ok for the perfect house in a dust free environment and perfect kids, but we dont all have those. Maybe the design teams dont have kids and thats the problem. If microsoft gave the xbox to all their kids to test before releasing it, they would have been devastated at the condition of the disks.
There is a huge difference between what should be and reality.

  tenaka 11:08 03 Sep 2003

Their choice to use CD's/DVD's for the games wasn't based on their consumer base, it was based on cost. Solid state games require components with individual costs, then they need to be assembled. As games require more and more power, the solid state method becomes more like a mini PC itelf that in turn is plugged into the console.

Discs give more storage space at a cheaper rate per MB.

Secondly, I wouldn't describe the dominant user base of the PS2 or XBOX as kidz anymore.

I wonder if you have made the same observation about DVD movies, perhaps sent the same question to some DVD forum somewhere? Or perhaps you have chosne like most to place the DVD player out of reach and insist if they want a movie on, that you be the one to put it on.

The games are expensive, the best solution is to treat them as such and teach them to be careful or not let them put the games in themselves.

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