Using Patents to Enforce Copyright: New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games

by Stephan Kinsella on January 4, 2013

From Slashdot (h/t Wendy McElroy). For related posts about the interrelationship between patent and copyright, for example how Microsoft uses monopoly profits garnered from software copyright to fund the acquisition of patents that it can use to further hammer competition, see Controls breed controls, Monopolies breed monopolies;  Apple vs. Microsoft: Which Benefits more from Intellectual Property?;  Patent Cross-Licensing Creates Barriers to EntryGoogle’s Schmidt on the Patent-Caused Smartphone OligopolyThe Microsoft-Apple Gesture OligopolyNortel Patents Sold for $4.5 Billion to Consortium Which Includes Apple.

So, now, companies can use copyright profits to acquire patents which help them enforce their copyrights.

 

New Sony Patent Blocks Second-hand Games

Posted by samzenpus 
from the one-console-to-play-them-all dept.
silentbrad writes in with a story about a Sony patent that would block the playing of second-hand games.“… the patent application was filed on 9 December 2012 by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, and will work by linking individual game discs to a user’s account without requiring a network connection meaning any future attempt to use this disc on another user’s console won’t work. The patent explains that games will come with contactless tags that will be read by your console in much the same way as modern bank cards. When a disc is first used, the disc ID and player ID will be stored on the tag. Every time the disc is used in future, the tag will check if the two ID’s match up and, if not, then the disc won’t work. The document goes on to explain that such a device is part of Sony’s ongoing efforts to deter second-hand games sales, and is a far simpler solution than always-on DRM or passwords. It’s worth noting that Sony has not confirmed the existence of the device, and the patent doesn’t state what machine it will be used in, with later paragraphs also mentioning accessories and peripherals. … There’s also the issue of what happens should your console break and need replacing, or if you have more than one console. Will the games be linked to your PSN account, meaning they can still be used, or the console, meaning an entire new library of titles would need to be purchased?”
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Christian January 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Good luck selling a console that won’t play used games. Your going to need it.

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