"Do not lend ... this disc."

So, I open the copy of The Witcher that I bought today, and notice the writing on the disc.

“Do not lend or make illegal copies of this disc.”

Now, I’m all for the illegal copies warning. That’s fine. But do not lend? Man. That just makes me angry. So I thought I’d start a thread.

I could have sworn that not all that long ago someone at Sony made a comment that borrowing a friend’s game is the same as stealing it.

It might not be Sony, but for some reason I’m lumping it in with them. Maybe just cos they kind of had a tendency to say batshit insane things in 2007.

Or like with Bioshock where the two brothers wanted to install it under two different user accounts, but were told that they were stealing a copy.

Hell, most of the publishers would be very happy if they could make second-hand sales illegal/impossible somehow.

I fear this digital rights battle will get worse before it gets better. But to be honest thats impossible to prosecute. I can sell it to him for a penny and he can sell it back to me for a penny. I can gift it to him for free and he can gift it to me for free. Its an impossible claim and making it waters down their valid claims.

But on the positive side I noticed that the Family Guy Star Wars DVD “Blue Horizon” is advertizing itself as a DVD that can be easily copied to your PC and your iPod for viewing. Thats a really cool feature that makes me much more likely to buy it just to support their open stance.

Check older EULA’s many have the same wording. People just notice it now.

You can parse that as meaning that you’re not supposed to lend illegal copies. That copy have right there, though? Assuming it’s legal? Yeah, that one you can lend.


Ignore this. I was thinking of the Bioshock thing.

God, I’d forgotten about 2K’s desperate attempt to balance out good reviews with draconian copy protection policies.

Yeah, obviously burning a bunch of copies of The Witcher to make your kid a mobile is better than giving them out to friends.

Hrm. I suppose that might have been the intent. I read “Do not lend (or make illegal copies) of this disc.”

So you think it’s “Do not (lend or make) illegal copies of this disc.”

Maybe. But that seems redundant, IMO. If you make a legal copy, it ceases to be legal if you pass it around.

I was actually joking, but after you get busted by the Canadian feds (Mounties?) for loaning out your copy of The Witcher, feel free to tell the judge I told you it was okay. :)


Aso, it’s impossible to lend illegal copies if you don’t make them. Definitely redundant. Charles’ parsing is more correct from a logical coherence perspective.

Wouldn’t it have been nicer to put “thanks for buying our game even though we’re ungrateful paranoid pricks!”?

Eh, I can sort of see the rationale from their side. If you accept that software is licensed, then they have the right to make that license non-transferable. I’ve got MSDN licenses for a gazillion other products I’ll never use, but MS wouldn’t be very amused if I started lending them out to friends, when many of them are worth hundreds to thousands of dollars. I traded away that right in order to get a much better deal on them as a package.

It’s hard to argue that to a regular Joe Consumer, though. To them, they see that they can lend similar forms of copyable intellectual property around, like books and music, so what makes software so goddamn special?

Maybe they could write “Enjoy the copy-protection–you paid extra for it!”

Also, go distribute copies of Freespace 2 to all of your friends; that game has the most forgiving EULA that I’ve ever seen.

  • Alan

You were joking but it actually makes sense that that was their intent, perhaps their translation was just a little off as it has been in a few other places.

It makes no sense whatsoever. If I have the ability to make illegal copies, I can make as many copies as I want for virtually no cost. So why would I lend them instead of giving them away or selling them?

English is hard. Hire writers.

“Do not make copies of this disc and then give or lend those illegal copies out. You may lend or sell the original disc if you do not retain a copy for yourself.”

  • $.05 toner ink per copy.


  • $.05 toner ink per copy.

It only took one post on a non-Sony PC game issue to slam Sony. Impressive.