(Topic ID: 284355)

Stern's new EULA

By attack7

11 months ago


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  • Latest reply 10 months ago by Smack
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    There are 246 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 5.
    #201 11 months ago
    Quoted from WJxxxx:

    Not if I bought the machine second hand

    But they got something at some point as per the license agreement.

    The other issue is they have no control over how the assets are presented. We hear stories about how protective companies like Disney are about their properties. Seeing these unapproved mods being streamed for the world to see would piss them off no end and kind of defeats the purpose of them being rigorous with their license in the first place.

    #202 11 months ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    Fair use would be something like making a film review and using short clips while going through your talking points.
    This is more like classic hip hop cutting up stuff from old 60s and 70s albums and remixing them to make new songs. Which spoiler alert, is not considered fair use.
    It's no longer for personal use when it gets distributed for others to enjoy. It doesn't matter that it's given away for free. (maybe if you had to supply your own movie and cut out the assets yourself it could skirt the law)
    I don't like the law, but that is the law. It's antiquated and didn't foresee issues like these.

    I'm talking about buying a pinball machine and buying a movie and using clips from the movie in my pinball machine for my use. That's exactly covered under fair use. I can't legally distribute my new changes to others to put on their machines, but I contend that in court you could probably win a claim against you for streaming yourself playing said game, too.

    --Donnie

    #203 11 months ago
    Quoted from WJxxxx:

    Not if I bought the machine second hand

    Yes, yes they did. They licensed their IP to be used in that machine. Doesn't matter what order you bought it in, they got paid for it, period.

    --Donnie

    #204 11 months ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    But they got something at some point as per the license agreement.
    The other issue is they have no control over how the assets are presented. We hear stories about how protective companies like Disney are about their properties. Seeing these unapproved mods being streamed for the world to see would piss them off no end and kind of defeats the purpose of them being rigorous with their license in the first place.

    It doesn't matter what they like or don't like. If I want to screw a post into the playfield between the flippers and make it curse at me, they can't stop me. And I see no reason why they should be able to stop me from streaming myself doing stupid things if I want to, either. *shrug*

    --Donnie

    #205 11 months ago
    Quoted from djb_rh:

    It doesn't matter what they like or don't like. If I want to screw a post into the playfield between the flippers and make it curse at me, they can't stop me. And I see no reason why they should be able to stop me from streaming myself doing stupid things if I want to, either. *shrug*
    --Donnie

    Until you stream it and then you’re screwing with their property ie. The license.

    #206 11 months ago
    Quoted from djb_rh:

    It doesn't matter what they like or don't like. If I want to... make it curse at me, they can't stop me.

    They can, by implementing a software lock that is illegal to break. Due to the DMCA you can’t even repair your own equipment in some cases.
    https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7ape4/it-is-time-yet-again-to-beg-for-the-right-to-repair

    #207 11 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    Fair use is built into copyright law and their EULA doesn't make it just go away. Remember Galoob vs Nintendo regarding Game Genie. Folks have the legal right to change the bits in software on their devices. Also, tying acceptance of an EULA to simply playing a machine .. that would be interesting to see in court. Remember, WMS had those FBI warning stickers in the backbox that said essentially the same thing, and everyone ignored them. If I buy a game secondhand and play it, I didn't legally agree to diddly-squat.
    The problem is this: "and/or losing access to Stern Pinball’s online game network"
    If they try to pull PSN or Xbox Live bullshit and force users to subscribe to said network get normal software updates (where they can track and ban you), that will be the end of Stern for me. If I want to, say, make my Metallica play folk music, that is still my legal right.
    Streaming stuff will be an interesting fight.. I can see the desire to block streaming of modified 3rd party content (Metallica might get pissed if videos of folk Metallica proliferate) and such streams may not have strong fair-use protections.

    and in places where they need to take back the item if you say no will they do that on an $10K pinball + return shipping?

    #208 11 months ago

    Most of the complaints right now revolve around the ability to hack Stern’s hardware and the discussion about fair use. If the hardware was locked up it wouldn’t be an issue. Funny how nobody complains about the inability to hack other manufacturer’s games. Stern was lazy and cut corners on hardware security. They won’t make that same mistake on the next hardware revision. This will most likely become a moot point.

    The streaming issue isn’t Stern. It’s related to the new DMCA law passed hidden in the stimulus package. Yay for sneaky politics.

    #209 11 months ago
    Quoted from MrMikeman:

    Most of the complaints right now revolve around the ability to hack Stern’s hardware and the discussion about fair use. If the hardware was locked up it wouldn’t be an issue. Funny how nobody complains about the inability to hack other manufacturer’s games. Stern was lazy and cut corners on hardware security. They won’t make that same mistake on the next hardware revision. This will most likely become a moot point.
    The streaming issue isn’t Stern. It’s related to the new DMCA law passed hidden in the stimulus package. Yay for sneaky politics.

    hardware security?? like apple. the node boards are now SN locked and you need to use an stern tech (just an pinball tech that paid all kind of dues to be an stern tech) to pair an new one to your game.

    #210 11 months ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    hardware security?? like apple. the node boards are now SN locked and you need to use an stern tech (just an pinball tech that paid all kind of dues to be an stern tech) to pair an new to your game.

    Betcha that’s to prevent people from making interactive toppers

    #211 11 months ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    and in places where they need to take back the item if you say no will they do that on an $10K pinball + return shipping?

    That would be interesting. Open the box, setup the game, read the EULA wherever they stuck it, decide not to accept and call the dist to come pack up and take the machine?

    Not sure if it would make an impression with Stern but it would be the last game that distributor sells you!

    #212 11 months ago
    Quoted from MrMikeman:

    Funny how nobody complains about the inability to hack other manufacturer’s games

    wut?

    I need to introduce you to this thread... https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/official-williams-and-bally-software-upgrades

    Which was the resolution/compromise reached after WMS/PPS went after soren for modifying the WMS/Bally catalog of games and distributing it.

    #213 11 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    wut?
    I need to introduce you to this thread... https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/official-williams-and-bally-software-upgrades
    Which was the resolution/compromise reached after WMS/PPS went after soren for modifying the WMS/Bally catalog of games and distributing it.

    Dude... Seriously?? That's ONE guy who changed/updated software. You're comparing to everybody who owns a machine can hack the audio/video packages.

    #214 11 months ago

    You are missing part of the picture. Pretty much anything can be hacked given the want and time. Stern is more susceptible because they are the biggest and put out the most games (on a standard platform). They reach the largest audience, so most likely to have people with that skill, time, and desire.

    Of course, that is the key, desire. There needs to be a reason first. Most of it revolves around the endless band games. A few things with toppers, but in the grand scheme of things much of the 'mods' can be done without any software modification. The other smaller companies? frankly not a lot of reason to hack the software at this point, and since they are lower numbers, less likely to happen at all.

    #215 11 months ago
    Quoted from MrMikeman:

    Dude... Seriously?? That's ONE guy who changed/updated software. You're comparing to everybody who owns a machine can hack the audio/video packages.

    Until olga made pinbrowser a few years ago... no one was modifying Stern games ROMs at all either. Modified game ROMs for other platforms have been a thing for awhile, they were just not very common as the desire/difficulty ratio was out of whack. Soren has been modifying old ROMs for years, and no need for 'everyone' to do it if the skilled few do what is needed and pass it along. Same reason pinbrowser has basically no competition. But people have been modifying game ROMs for ages. The Sega games were being tweaked... gottlieb games and bally games were having modifications done in the repo board sets, etc. Most modifications were not encroaching on areas that were risky... The biggest concern was 'support' and or bad reputation over games running unauthorized code.

    It's always been a grey area and some have been done with the copyright holder's blessing, others just stayed off the radar enough.

    But in the past year, WMS/PPS finally intervened and forced soren to take his work down. They've reached a licensing deal to continue now. I know the Gottlieb stuff is done under an agreement as well.

    The big difference now is with pinbrowser we got into media swapouts - which is much higher profile. There is no limitation on doing this for HUO etc... people run the modified code out on location at commercial spots, etc. And of course now you have people distributing entire packages including the original copyrighted material (modifed) and the unlicensed copyrighted material too. All this moves things from out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

    #216 11 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    That would be interesting. Open the box, setup the game, read the EULA wherever they stuck it, decide not to accept and call the dist to come pack up and take the machine?
    Not sure if it would make an impression with Stern but it would be the last game that distributor sells you!

    but is the distributor now an agent / employee? and also on warranty then will it need to start when it's sold? Car Warranty starts when the car is declared as sold.
    so if they clam it's sold to the distributor does the distributor need to take agree to the EULA?? and after that other laws may kick in to void it as it's the distributor selling to you and not stern so the EULA may be more voided?

    #217 11 months ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    but is the distributor now an agent / employee? and also on warranty then will it need to start when it's sold? Car Warranty starts when the car is declared as sold.
    so if they clam it's sold to the distributor does the distributor need to take agree to the EULA?? and after that other laws may kick in to void it as it's the distributor selling to you and not stern so the EULA may be more voided?

    these are distributors - not some one selling second hand. The terms of sale can be triggered when you buy from the distributor.

    Imagine in the future if completing a purchase included a simple digital invoice or ToS agreement signed as part of submitting payment.

    Not a crazy change that could happen

    #218 11 months ago
    Quoted from Zablon:

    You are missing part of the picture. Pretty much anything can be hacked given the want and time. Stern is more susceptible because they are the biggest and put out the most games (on a standard platform). They reach the largest audience, so most likely to have people with that skill, time, and desire.
    Of course, that is the key, desire. There needs to be a reason first. Most of it revolves around the endless band games. A few things with toppers, but in the grand scheme of things much of the 'mods' can be done without any software modification. The other smaller companies? frankly not a lot of reason to hack the software at this point, and since they are lower numbers, less likely to happen at all.

    Is there a specific amount of money you need to prove this on a JJP game.... I can think of Many who would coin up if you could show us how.

    #219 11 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Is there a specific amount of money you need to prove this on a JJP game.... I can think of Many who would coin up if you could show us how.

    Which part are you asking? If JJP can be hacked? Most likely. Is it worth it to most? Probably not. Unless someone really good is a huge pinball fan and sees a need or thinks they can make money off it. If millions of people bought pinball machines and had them in their home at their disposal 24/7, it would get done by someone, probably just to see if they can. And no, I'm not one who could do it or I already would have tried.

    If you are referring to this 'mods can be done without software modification', I was referring to normal mods that require nothing more than power, not integrated mods. That being said, I'm sure there are some people around who COULD do it, if they wanted to. One of the first questions I asked on this site was if anyone was making custom images, and you could see it was a touchy subject.

    #220 11 months ago
    Quoted from Zablon:

    Which part are you asking? If JJP can be hacked? Most likely. Is it worth it to most? Probably not. Unless someone really good is a huge pinball fan and sees a need or thinks they can make money off it. If millions of people bought pinball machines and had them in their home at their disposal 24/7, it would get done by someone, probably just to see if they can. And no, I'm not one who could do it or I already would have tried.
    If you are referring to this 'mods can be done without software modification', I was referring to normal mods that require nothing more than power, not integrated mods. That being said, I'm sure there are some people around who COULD do it, if they wanted to. One of the first questions I asked on this site was if anyone was making custom images, and you could see it was a touchy subject.

    I think your over reading my question. Sorry. Just observing how many posts and threads there are from people Wishing they could add to or edit a JJP game (say A Pirates Life) as an example. Just curious how nobody can hack a JJP. That’s all.

    #221 11 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    Is there a specific amount of money you need to prove this on a JJP game.... I can think of Many who would coin up if you could show us how.

    What's to hack on jjp games?
    Surely there are some stuff with pirates and wonka.
    Rest of the games?

    #222 11 months ago

    Maybe all the people with playfield chipping and pooling could claim the artwork was intentionally being modified without the original licensee (studios) consent, and that Stern is liable since their process is allowing that without authorization (by altering the approved artwork). Therefore, Stern needs to replace the PF...apparently with a perpetual warranty.

    Sarcasm, but whatever goes around, comes around.

    #223 11 months ago

    A friend brought this to my attention... I far prefer Capcom's approach to protecting their rights on streamed content:

    https://www.capcom.com/video-policy/

    #224 11 months ago
    Quoted from attack7:

    A friend brought this to my attention... I far prefer Capcom's approach to protecting their rights on streamed content:
    https://www.capcom.com/video-policy/

    Not often you read something that's so descriptive and no longer or more complicated than it needs to be. That was great.

    #225 11 months ago
    Quoted from attack7:

    A friend brought this to my attention... I far prefer Capcom's approach to protecting their rights on streamed content:
    https://www.capcom.com/video-policy/

    Their policy is much more fleshed out, but Capcom doesn't face the same issues as most pinball machines which are heavily licensed. Something like Street Fighter, Resident Evil, or Monster Hunter is all Capcom IP. They made the art, sounds, etc. There is no one else to complain about the stream.

    But they make it clear that the game license does not cover streaming licensed assets.

    Stern should probably re-write their EULA to say that you can't stream with the audio turned on. Some PR person spent a lot of time carefully writing Capcom's page and it's worth cribbing from.

    #226 11 months ago
    Quoted from attack7:

    Capcom's approach to protecting their rights on streamed content:
    https://www.capcom.com/video-policy/

    Capcom is one company that intentionally designed their video game boards to die permanently when the battery died. Forcing customers to buy a replacement board.
    I won’t support a company that does that.
    http://www.arcadecollecting.com/dead/

    #227 11 months ago

    Don't Sterns node board lockouts go against right to repair? If they are indeed like that, I can't believe anyone still buys them unless they are dirt cheap.

    #228 11 months ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    I think your over reading my question. Sorry. Just observing how many posts and threads there are from people Wishing they could add to or edit a JJP game (say A Pirates Life) as an example. Just curious how nobody can hack a JJP. That’s all.

    I probably was. Short of it is, it probably isn't a matter of can't. It's more of a matter of lack of people with the skills and lack of desire. Even if someone did, doesn't mean it could be done in months. It could be years. I would be surprised if it is THAT difficult though, otherwise they should be licensing to the NSA rather than working in a pinball company.

    #229 11 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    these are distributors - not some one selling second hand. The terms of sale can be triggered when you buy from the distributor.
    Imagine in the future if completing a purchase included a simple digital invoice or ToS agreement signed as part of submitting payment.
    Not a crazy change that could happen

    But are you paying / having an ToS agreement with stern or the distributor? and what legal / tax issues are there with that? Also Overseas sales where local laws may void that tos / eual?

    #230 11 months ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    But are you paying / having an ToS agreement with stern or the distributor?

    Depends on the language - they could do both.

    Think about it... software EULAs haven't been thrown out because you bought your copy of Windows at Best Buy instead of directly from Microsoft. The EULA we are talking about here is between Stern and the user... where you bought it or how is immaterial. Stern could have a license notice on the box and the details inside... or make it part of the sales transaction.. etc. Lots of options here.. and none really invalidate Stern's general right to have a EULA.

    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    and what legal / tax issues are there with that? Also Overseas sales where local laws may void that tos / eual?

    You're mixing different worlds when talking about taxes... not sure what that has to do with the questions around a EULA.

    As for overseas... that's for Stern to interpret and plan for as they decide what markets they operate in. Yes, some countries have stronger consumer rights laws in this area... but that would basically apply just there, not everywhere. This is the job of the lawyers to plan that language out.

    #231 11 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Capcom is one company that intentionally designed their video game boards to die permanently when the battery died. Forcing customers to buy a replacement board.
    I won’t support a company that does that.
    http://www.arcadecollecting.com/dead/

    they did service them after battery death for an long time (you had to pay for it)

    #232 10 months ago

    I wonder. Is the trouble that Stern is now deep into, primary, because of their games featuring licensed music - or licensed movie footage. And I guess both being an issue because games now feature a full fidelity sound playback system. And a full fidelity television.

    So remind me again. Who asked for a television in a pinball machine.

    And remind me again. Are songs a good soundtrack for a pinball game (any game). Let alone from the catalogue of a single band.*

    * Obviously band pins sell. So I see why. But?

    #233 10 months ago

    I'd guess a big part of it is like this:

    STERN "We want Stairway to Heaven in the game"

    LAWYERS "No stairway. Denied!"

    STERN "Fine, hard LZ fans will buy it anyway..."

    Owner puts in Stairway with pin browser, makes YouTube video about it.

    LAWYER "WHY IS STAIRWAY IN THAT F'ING GAME???"

    -2
    #234 10 months ago
    Quoted from soren:

    I wonder. Is the trouble that Stern is now deep into, primary, because of their games featuring licensed music - or licensed movie footage. And I guess both being an issue because games now feature a full fidelity sound playback system. And a full fidelity television.
    So remind me again. Who asked for a television in a pinball machine.
    And remind me again. Are songs a good soundtrack for a pinball game (any game). Let alone from the catalogue of a single band.*
    * Obviously band pins sell. So I see why. But?

    Strange conclusion.

    My conclusion: The less asset you put in a game, the higher the risk put in extras in the game. Ofc stern is a n.o.1 target, since their barren games.

    #235 10 months ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    I'd guess a big part of it is like this:
    STERN "We want Stairway to Heaven in the game"
    LAWYERS "No stairway. Denied!"
    STERN "Fine, hard LZ fans will buy it anyway..."
    Owner puts in Stairway with pin browser, makes YouTube video about it.
    LAWYER "WHY IS STAIRWAY IN THAT F'ING GAME???"

    I think they already had this conversation, except with JP movie assets...

    1 week later
    #237 10 months ago

    The Eula notice even comes up when you want to look at a code readme file. Why?

    #238 10 months ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    The Eula notice even comes up when you want to look at a code readme file. Why?

    Maybe it’s a coverall for that part of their website who knows.

    #239 10 months ago

    https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/53149950_v-6_EULA-1-14-2021.pdf

    The latest update. Softening of the streaming language from something like " you have to have our permission " to " we wash our hands of your illegal activity."

    #240 10 months ago
    Quoted from attack7:

    The latest update. Softening of the streaming language from something like " you have to have our permission " to " we wash our hands of your illegal activity."

    Well at least they're paying attention.

    #241 10 months ago

    "i.You will not copy, reproduce, alter, replace, distribute, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, display, perform, create derivative works based on, or otherwise modify the Stern Pinball hardware or Stern Pinball Software or any Authorized Update, in whole or in part; and will not commercially exploit any of the foregoing"

    I don't think the part about modifying Stern hardware is enforceable. Changing GI LEDs to different colors would fall under that broad clause, not to mention adding flipper fans, decorative toys, etc. Most installations require some changes to the base game, even if just another hole drilled somewhere. Hell, I had to reposition the 3bank in my AIQ because it was installed too far back and the targets wouldn't drop. Will there be an exception to this clause for fixing factory fuckups?

    "In view of the rights held by third-party owners of Authorized Content (e.g., music and video clips), Stern does not have the legal authority to give permission to stream the gameplay of Stern Pinball Machines"

    Maybe Stern should start securing those rights during negotiations with rights-holders? People streaming themselves playing is a core part of gaming these days. I figure folks are going to stream anyway, will have to see if any rights-holders try suing.

    "Stern Pinball may update the Stern Pinball Software from time to time without further notice to You, for example, to update any anti-piracy, security, and technical measure."

    If Stern moves to distribute updates by forcing end-users into an online-only subscription, there will be no more Stern games for me. One of the joys of pinball has been NOT having to deal with online DRM, and there are plenty of older games to explore that don't have it if Stern starts crippling the new games.

    #242 10 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    Maybe Stern should start securing those rights during negotiations with rights-holders? People streaming themselves playing is a core part of gaming these days. I figure folks are going to stream anyway, will have to see if any rights-holders try suing.

    And maybe say this game is for sale in USA only? streaming rights are there own thing and in cases the steamer needs to pay / give up % of the funds they get.

    #243 10 months ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    Maybe Stern should start securing those rights during negotiations with rights-holders? People streaming themselves playing is a core part of gaming these days. I figure folks are going to stream anyway, will have to see if any rights-holders try suing.

    Of all of the machines purchased in say 2020, how many of those do you think have been streamed? The percentage has gotta be incredibly low.

    So if Stern negotiates those rights it will cost more licensing dollars. This will result in either a reduction of BOM or increased price of the pin or both.

    Why would the vast majority of purchasers want this if it is something that doesn't apply to them?

    #244 10 months ago

    You're right.. I was thinking more of Stern not paying more but simply telling the rights holders that people are going to stream the game regardless, but I realize they're basically doing that by disclaiming any involvement. I doubt any rights holders will mess with hobbyists streaming their gameplay, but they might want to talk to commercial streamers. Tournaments have to deal with it as well...

    #245 10 months ago
    Quoted from Smack:

    Of all of the machines purchased in say 2020, how many of those do you think have been streamed? The percentage has gotta be incredibly low.

    It's high enough to get mentioned in the EULA though. I really don't think Stern should be poking the bear with this one. Streaming is free marketing and a large part of pinball's resurgence.

    #246 10 months ago
    Quoted from Pahuffman:

    It's high enough to get mentioned in the EULA though. I really don't think Stern should be poking the bear with this one. Streaming is free marketing and a large part of pinball's resurgence.

    "Poking the bear" is Stern looking like it is not doing it's part to protect the licensor's IP. To me that is what this is all about.

    I am sure Stern loves the free marketing of people streaming their games but I'm sure they do not love the IP holders breathing down their neck.

    I don't particularly agree that streaming pinball damages or impacts the IP itself but these are the times we live in, especially with some of laws coming into effect in the US. But if a steamer is earning money while streaming a game with IP then we know from YouTube and others that IP holders will make their claim for a portion or all of the proceeds. Hopefully this doesn't happen to pinball streamers but I'm not holding my breath.

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