Picture taken from their Twitter

  • gila
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    18 months ago

    It’s not really an intricacy of IP law though, it’s kinda one step away from a contract saying “I get to write a blank cheque from you to me. Don’t worry, I’ll put in the right amount you owe, and if you don’t think I did just tell me and we can talk about it. I reserve the right to say no though”

    To legally charge the dev, an invoice has to be raised. That’s a legal document, there’s an item on it, a quantity, and a price. If the details of the invoice cannot be verified by either party, it is invalid. About as fundamental a principle in contract law as you can get, I imagine.

    The way it’s different to reddit is that Unity wants to charge per installation on unique hardware. That is, if you buy a license for the game, and install it on your PC as well as your Steam deck, then the devs need to pay 2x install fees.

    • @TranscendentalEmpire
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      18 months ago

      It’s not really an intricacy of IP law though,

      It is in the fact that the game was built on their platform using their IP. They may own the game they created, but they don’t own the right to distribution, that’s a service.

      legally charge the dev, an invoice has to be raised. That’s a legal document, there’s an item on it, a quantity, and a price.

      That’s if you are doing product business, the service industry has more flexibility in their terms of service and how much they can charge for it. The option is typically to discontinue the service or to pay for continued service.

      The way it’s different to reddit is that Unity wants to charge per installation on unique hardware. That is, if you buy a license for the game, and install it on your PC as well as your Steam deck, then the devs need to pay 2x install fees.

      Right, and as a service they will claim that additional downloads are an responsible for the loss of additional revenue, one they wish to offset to the customer who created it.

      I’m not saying that this is a good thing, just explaining that the service industry has a lot leverage in court.

      • gila
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        18 months ago

        And I’m going a step further to say that’s not actually a defensible argument. The distribution is a distribution of game licenses with associated terms, and those terms don’t dictate a limit to the consumer on the number of installations on hardware they own for private/non-commercial purposes. For Unity to argue additional installations per license represent lost value is an argument against the terms of the licenses, not the terms of their arrangements with devs.

        Lost revenue obviously isn’t the reason for it, anyway. It’s almost certainly due to technical limitations of their data collection method resulting in them not being able to associate unique installations with their associated license. So the reason devs must accept a degree of inaccuracy that inherently favours Unity is that it would be illegal for Unity to be accurate.

        • @TranscendentalEmpire
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          18 months ago

          The distribution is a distribution of game licenses with associated terms, and those terms don’t dictate a limit to the consumer on the number of installations on hardware they own for private/non-commercial purposes.

          Right, but it’s not unity who is selling the game license. Nor are they limiting the end consumers ability to download the game as many times as they wish. They are just charging the dev for the use of server space and traffic.

          argument against the terms of the licenses, not the terms of their arrangements with devs.

          The arrangement with the devs is literally the only thing they have control over… it’s a service based company. Services are allowed to change their terms whenever they want, you don’t own access to their services, you pay to access them. If they change their terms of services and you don’t agree, you stop paying for the continuation of service.

          TOS agreements are for the benefit of the company, not the benefit of the consumer. You can sue or arbitrate over the TOS, but it’s primarily only successful in cases involving negligence that harms the client e.g a leak of sensitive data that makes someone loose an important client.

          Lost revenue obviously isn’t the reason for it, anyway. It’s almost certainly due to technical limitations of their data collection method resulting in them not being able to associate unique installations with their associated license. So the reason devs must accept a degree of inaccuracy that inherently favours Unity is that it would be illegal for Unity to be accurate.

          I think that’s quite an assumption… servers cost money, sending a large amount of traffic through them cost money, it’s pretty standard for service companies to increase fees with increased server usage.

          If I were a guessing guy, I would imagine that being able to track unique downloads would be kinda important for a gaming dev service.