Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
11 March 2007
Why isn't that illegal?
First, an apology: This isn't directly game related, except in the sense that a similar anti-consumer position is adopted by the companies that make and sell games.

Anyway, I'm visiting family and I noticed that my mother had bought some software from OfficeMax. On the box is a sticker saying:
Copyright Laws Prevent OfficeMax From Accepting Returns Of Software.

Defective Merchandise May Be Exchanged For The Same Item Only!
That looks like a scare tactic to keep people from returning software. What they mean, I suspect, is that a customer's potential violation of copyright law could lose them some money. However, I'm not aware of anything in copyright law that would prevent a company from accepting a software return. If it's not true, isn't it lying to the consumer?

Sometimes the world is just too insane.

Labels:

--Matt Matthews at 21:29
Comment [ 12 ]

Comments on this post:

That's a very vague statement. I know that you can't return any opened box of software, but you can exchange it if it's defective. If it's unopened, I don't understand the problem with returning it.

I think you're right, it's most likely a scare tactic aimed at people that don't know what they're doing.

By Blogger Bigelow, at 11 March, 2007 21:53  

I clarified by adding the second part of the sticker, the part which says what you say about defective.

Still, if you find the software won't run well or doesn't do what you expected it to do, why can't you return it?

By Blogger jvm, at 11 March, 2007 22:02  

I doubt that there's some overwhelming legal prohibition. However, I can't think of any shop that would let you return opened software for a refund.

By Blogger Jeremy, at 11 March, 2007 22:03  

It's one thing if it's their policy that they don't accept returns of unopened software. But it seems they're claiming that it's against the law for them to do so. I don't think it is.

By Anonymous greay, at 11 March, 2007 23:37  

Erm, did you consider they state this to avoid liability from the publishers?

If they were to allow "no questions asked" returns of software they might be setting themselves up for charges of supporting piracy in some guise. It behooves them to thus make clear that they have adopted this policy for a particular reason.

Please, let's not demonize the retailer for something which they can hardly be held responsible for. They do not write the rules for this particular game...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12 March, 2007 08:27  

Oh, you fucking anonymous pussy.

Why is it with anything that's clearly bullshit, there's always some spineless faggot who completely makes something up out of supposition, then acts like its a hard, sacrosanct rule?

Eat shit and die.

By Anonymous Jon R., at 13 March, 2007 21:15  

I am not the same anon, but he's on the right track.

I used to work in electronics retail, and the explaination given to us was that the SPA would hold the store liable for a pirated copy of anything returned unsealed but not defective.

Basically, if the SPA audited a location that had unsealed returned games, each copy was a fine, leading up to the possibility of the distributor being barred from supplying software to the company if enough violations had happened.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 March, 2007 21:16  

I am not the same anon, but he's on the right track.

I used to work in electronics retail, and the explaination given to us was that the SPA would hold the store liable for a pirated copy of anything returned unsealed but not defective.

Basically, if the SPA audited a location that had unsealed returned games, each copy was a fine, leading up to the possibility of the distributor being barred from supplying software to the company if enough violations had happened.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 March, 2007 21:16  

The SPA has no legal authority to do anything. They can try to scare you... but they have no legal right to do anything. You do not have to submit to their "audits" and they generally blow a lot of hot air. I couldn't give two monkeys about their position on anything. Personally, software copying and infringement are morally thorny issues... but I do not condone gestapo tactics and fear mongering in an attempt to "educate" the public.

The sign's wrong. There is no law against accepting returns of opened software.

They try to buffalo people into believing it's true. I saw the same sign at the CompUSA where I used to shop...

the SPA is a trade organization. Nothing more... they cannot act on behalf of law enforcement, nor can they force anyone to submit to their scrutiny.

Of course if store policy is not to accept returns on opened software, just be sure it's visible before the person purchases it and be done with it.

By Blogger JFTaylor, at 13 March, 2007 23:57  

Well, jftaylor, what you fail to realize is that the SPA, eing a trade organization, can legally block a retailer from carrying SPA member companies' products. So, their rules might as well be laws, since you don't want to break the rules in your own industry.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 March, 2007 14:46  

So? Thumb their nose at a big enough retailer and they'll be singing a different tune when their member companies see sales plummet to make a "point".

Like I said... (in so many words) they're all hot air...

By Blogger JFTaylor, at 16 March, 2007 00:49  

If anything, copyright laws say that they HAVE to let you bring it back, because the average shrink-wrapped EULA says you can if you don't agree with it.

By Blogger webrunner, at 19 March, 2007 10:07  

Contact Us

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

 Feedburner

Playing

Warm bile sold separately:

Browse Curmudgeon Gamer Memorial Library

Blogroll:

Internet game search:


Archives:
Classic: 02/2002 to 10/2005
Google
 
Web curmudgeongamer.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?