Quoted from Jvspin:
My interpretation is that JJP is only legally bound to provide warranty service to games sold through his authorized distributors. This gives added value to his authorized distributors for those buyers who are concerned that warranty service will not be provided unless the manufacturer is legally required to. Stern has a similar official policy.
STERN PINBALL INC. SELLER WARRANTS ONLY TO THE INITIAL PURCHASER OF ITS
PRODUCTS THAT THE ITEMS LISTED BELOW ARE FREE FROM DEFECTS IN MATERIAL
AND WORKMANSHIP UNDER NORMAL USE AND SERVICE FOR THE WARRANTY PERIOD
In practice, we know that both JJP and Stern choose to go above and beyond their official warranty policies to provide excellent service to whoever owns their games.
"Authorized distributor" sounds like factory select sales points for price fixing IMHO.
When JJP lets a game go off the warehouse dock, front door or back door he gets the dollar amount he wants or it does not go. Warranty and support should be the same regardless of direction.
Hopefully if someone buys a new JJP pin its fully supported (parts & service) regardless of how the box gets into someones home.
The same goes for Stern but I never recall anyone from Stern posting in these forums or any other that ONLY games from distributors receiver parts and service for the warranty period and they have covered new games all along where JJP has made conflicting statement for warranty coverage and service.