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License Agreement

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License Agreement
Rodrick Green
Cardinal Stritch University
Legal and Ethical Issues / Mgt Info Sys - SMS 459
January 24th, 2013

License Agreement
According the Inc.com "A licensing agreement is a legal contract between two parties, known as the licensor and the licensee. In a typical licensing agreement, the licensor grants the licensee the right to produce and sell goods, apply a brand name or trademark, or use patented technology owned by the licensor."(inc.com, 2005) I am not familiar with licensing agreements however I am very familiar with End User License Agreements because I am a gamer and I've used numerous software programs over the years. The End User License Agreement is a legal agreement between you and the owner of a software product. The End User License Agreement serves as an agreement between a producer and a user of computer software and specifies the parameter of use granted to the user. The software producer specifies these parameters and limitations on use, which can become part of a legally binding contract. When you check of the "I Agree" box, you are in fact legally accepting to abide by the terms of the agreement and to use the software as the owner specifies.
Rockstar Games
It was September 17th, 2013 when the most anticipated game of the year was released and took the world by storm. I was one of the millions that purchased the game and like the millions of others I had to click the "I agree" box before I could access the content. Grand Theft Auto V is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. Besides the campaign mode there is an online mode that requires you to agree to the terms and conditions of Rockstar games. I agreed to the terms and conditions but never read them until now. For some reason I don't believe anyone read this agreement because most gamers want to get to the game and the agreement is kind of lengthy to be honest. There is a lot of fine print information on the back cover of the game but it's not the actual agreement in its entirety. To actually get the full agreement you would have to go to online to Rockstar Games terms of service.
Rockstar Games Terms of Service

On October 1st, 2013 Rockstar's legal team made some adjustments to the terms of service for Grand Theft Auto Five. Reading the information on the website was quite boring and yet interesting at the same time. Most of us as users usually have no need to read the information that is openly accessible in the terms of service. Rockstar like other companies need to cover themselves legally and protect their product which is really the reason they use these agreements. Some people use the software they bought to profit for themselves illegally. According to the Terms "All Online Services material, including, but not limited to, text, data, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, video clips, links, digital downloads, data compilations, and software is owned, controlled by, licensed to, or used with permission by the Company and is protected by copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights. The Online Services material is made available solely for your personal, non-commercial use and may not be copied, reproduced, republished, modified, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way, including by email or other electronic means, without the express prior written consent of the Company in each instance."(Rockstar terms of service,2013) This day in age you have people that modify hardware to manipulate the system into thinking that it is actually processing a real disc. Gaming systems are being modified to play burnt (duplicated) discs and are being sold at a reduced cost. Pirates use websites like craigslist.org to sell games like this for as little as $5 for a game that is easily $59.99 plus tax. The website do not monitor post like these which allow pirates to break the law and get away with it. I have heard stories of gamers being caught because of the system being connected to the internet. These games can sometimes be detected while online in multiplayer mode and in some cases the user can be kicked off the network (xbox live). Though that is a slap on the wrist it's huge if you really use the online features. The agreement that I read did not say what the penalty was however I did read an article where a man by the name of "Timothy Hall was sentenced to two years in prison and a $1200 USD fine, for pleading guilty to selling unauthorized video games on his website."( Man sentenced to prison for selling copied video games, 2007).
My Views and Opinions of the Agreement

I have seen this game bought by parents for kids as young as 14 years old. The parent in this case was shown a scene in the game where the player was in a strip club and the content was explicit. The woman seemed appalled by what she saw however she still bought the game for her son. This woman had no idea what she was buying but got just a taste and almost changed her mind. I know that license agreements are accessible in most cases and they seem like long drawn out essays that no one really want to read. I really doubt that anyone will really take the time to read the whole agreement before buying or using a product especially a kid. License agreements go unread all the time; iTunes, twitter, Facebook ect. all have them and can put anything they want. When we check that agree box you really agree to their terms and must abide by them unless otherwise. In my opinion Rockstar's agreement seems to be clearly stated and reasonable. It doesn't come in the packaging and have to be read online so it may not be accessible to everyone. Being one of the many that do not want to take the time to read these agreements I came up with an idea. When a video game is purchased and you're required to agree to the terms and conditions there should be an audio or video reading of the license agreement. With this being done before you even get to play the game it gives the gamer a chance to get all of the information without having to search for the agreement and read it themselves. License agreements are needed and need to be read, however I believe it's time to come up with a different way of presenting it.

References
Licensing Agreements: The Basics (2005, April). In Inc.com. Retrieved January 22nd, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/licensing-agreements.html
Man sentenced to prison for selling copied video games (2007, August 04). In News by afterdawn. Retrieved January 22nd, 2014, from http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2007/08/04/man_sentenced_to_prison_for_selling_copied_video_games
Rockstar games Terms of service (2013, October 01). In Rockstar Games. Retrieved January 22nd, 2014, from http://www.rockstargames.com/legal

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