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152 comments

Guess what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890234)

Your mother is a fucking whore.

Re:Guess what? (-1, Offtopic)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 years ago | (#35890242)

is there any other kind of whore? Perhaps as opposed to a limited whore that only sucks or gives hand pleasure?

Just in time to close up shop. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 years ago | (#35890236)

Now that Gamefly has won they can close up shop because everyone directly downloads their games directly from the Nintendo, Sony, or Steam stores now......

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890266)

Somebody doesn't know how Gamefly works apparently...

(Here's a hint: think NetFlix for video games)

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

SeaFox (739806) | about 3 years ago | (#35890722)

Someone doesn't understand the point the previous poster is making.

(Here's a hint: he posted as an Anonymous Coward)

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 3 years ago | (#35891202)

Gamefly is primarily a console game distributor. Nintendo only distributes Wiiware/similar titles online, Sony is mostly the same for their own network, and Steam is only for PC games.

The point he's making makes no sense whatsoever. Gamefly's market is virtually untouched by all of these services.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892256)

Gamefly's market is virtually untouched by all of these services.

Maybe. People have a finite amount of free time and money to spend on games. It's possible that traditional console gamers who also use these services are now renting and buying fewer traditional console games. It's also possible that these other services have drawn some people into traditional console gaming who never would have played them otherwise. Either way, we can't just assume that Gamefly's market has been unaffected by them just because the services they offer are different.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893900)

Considering that Sony is looking to put rental and secondhand stores out of business with their 'used game penalty,' gamefly may be losing out on a lot of business anyway. Microsoft and Nintendo will follow along with this soon enough.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890288)

You can't rent games from Nintendo, Sony, or Steam. Big difference. Gamefly has nothing to worry about - for now.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#35890470)

if I understood the terms correctly nowadays games (especially downloaded one's) are licensed (=rented), not selled...

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890514)

Paying full price for something and never having to return it is not "renting".

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 3 years ago | (#35890656)

It is if the sudden disappearance of some server in another country causes your game to stop working.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 3 years ago | (#35890756)

No, that's just incompetence and horrible customer support on the part of the game creator.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

toastar (573882) | about 3 years ago | (#35893700)

No, that's just incompetence and horrible customer support on the part of the game creator.

incompetence by design

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

mcvos (645701) | about 3 years ago | (#35890846)

Maybe not Nintendo, Sony or Steam, but full-price rentals are very popular with the likes of EA and Ubisoft.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (-1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 3 years ago | (#35890368)

You mean without stealing them? Weird...

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890664)

You can repeat this 'til death, downloading is not stealing, you can only steal physical things, no matter what the M.A.F.I.A. is trying to buy as law.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0, Redundant)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#35891020)

You can repeat this 'til death: Just saying something doesn't make it true.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

temcat (873475) | about 3 years ago | (#35891210)

The same applies to "copyright infringement is theft".
Anyway, copyright itself IS much more similar to theft because it implies infringement on physical property rights.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (-1, Troll)

jpapon (1877296) | about 3 years ago | (#35891508)

So, by your logic, its okay if I hack into your bank account and "download" all your money to my own account... right?

Your definition of stealing is just as out of date as "M.A.F.I.A" 's definition of copyright.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (4, Insightful)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | about 3 years ago | (#35891600)

Uh...really? Because I think that would result in a lower balance in my account. Now, I could be wrong about this (I feel like i have to point out my sarcasm here), but those numbers in my bank account represent physical money that I can withdraw at any time. I'm not saying that everybody should be free to copy games and movies all they want, but that it doesn't liken to the proper definition of theft when I copy the items in question. I don't know why I'm responding to this...we've seen this argument here a zillion times.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (-1, Troll)

jpapon (1877296) | about 3 years ago | (#35891718)

Oh please. You know very well that when someone creates something, and you take it without paying for it, you are committing a crime. It doesn't matter that your theft didn't reduce their supply of the item. You might as well say that creating counterfeit money isn't a crime, because you're not *taking* money, you're just creating copies of it.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35891958)

He's not saying it's not a crime, he's saying it's not "theft". Murder is a crime and is also not theft, for example.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35893688)

Theft of life, asshole. After you murder somebody, you get all of their remaining days.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35894296)

Theft of life, asshole. After you murder somebody, you get all of their remaining days.

w00t! Then I'ma gonna live forevah!!!

{grabs shotgun on way out the door}

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892350)

Creating counterfeit money is a crime. It's not theft, though. It's fraud.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Illicon (1588477) | about 3 years ago | (#35892540)

Actually, by creating counterfeit money, you are devaluing the current supply of currency albeit only slightly.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892742)

True, but the system in place at this time (in the US) does the same thing by creating FRN's (IOUs that are AKA Federal Reserve Notes) which are in fact not legal money as described by the US constitution but rather irredeemable checks or IOUs that represent a numerical amount of actual dollars which you will never be able to redeem them for. How many single-unit-denominated FRNs does it take to buy a $50 gold coin? Who was it that mentioned fraud?

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#35893176)

Creating legal tender devalues current legal tender as well. If only the Fed understood that.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35893726)

Downloading movies devalues creating movies. Idiot.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#35894494)

Putting lousy actors in poorly written screenplays devalues creating movies. Downloading movies is an indicator that the movie HAS value.

Imaginary Property (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#35893146)

So if I go look at a Monet and then I set about painting and make a copy of the Monet it is stealing?

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#35894020)

So if you paint your house creatively and while driving by if I look at it I am stealing from you?
What if I take a picture?
What if I put that picture up on picassa in an album about my vacations?
What if later I make a book of my pictures and sell it?
What if Hollywood make a documentary from my life featuring that book?
What if you watch that movie from a DVD that you bought then ripped so you could watch it on the airplane on the way go visit your "surprisingly spry for 93" Grandmother?

At what point do you consider some theft to have taken place?

I am just saying. It is not as simple as you believe.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Sylak (1611137) | about 3 years ago | (#35894758)

If house in question was painted by somebody with an MFA or similar art degree, it begins as soon as you take a picture, despite the public display of their art ;P

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#35892578)

You think pirating a game doesn't take real physical money from all the programmers, developers, artists, etc. who created that game? I'm pretty sure that very real physical dollars would be missing from a lot of paychecks if everyone were pirating like you.

Justify your theft to yourself all you want to. But the chances of any of us buying your justification are about as good as the chance of you buying a game.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893974)

Depends on how broadly you look at things. IF the person would have otherwise purchased the game then yes, it is impacting the pocketbooks of the creators of the game. However just because someone pirates say 10 games doesn't mean that if piracy didn't exist they would have purchased 10 games. In fact I believe there have been studies that have shown that piracy can actually CONTRIBUTE to the market. Individuals who pirate tend to purchase MORE Games/Movies/CD/etc then your average person. I think one of the main issues that developers need to address is the price, availability & consumer responce of their product. Some "economies of scale" (selling their game to 100,000 people at $30 instead of 43,000 at $70) combined with paying attention to what consumers want (Less DRM, Downloadable Games, etc) would go a long way towards weakening piracy and improving their bottom line.

Get your logic straight... (1, Troll)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 3 years ago | (#35892782)

Uh... how about someone just download your credit card and, uh... "copy" it to twitter. That's not stealing... uh... right? I don't know why I'm responding, we've seen people making the same rhetorical argument that makes no sense.

Read and remember: Stealing is not someone losing something. Stealing is taking something that a) is not your's or b) you are not permitted to have by the owner. Stealing is a verb, it is a form of the act of "TAKING" not the act of "LOSING". Why do people never understand that? Case in point: Bob "stole" my idea for the project.

Nor does it necessitate of physical object, because you yourself said that your numbers represent physical money. But the numbers are NOT the physical money. If someone robs the bank of the physical money, do you lose money? No, because the bank, not you is robbed. If someone robs your account of your "numbers", does the bank lose the physical money, no, because you, not the bank, has been robbed.

Now, you can argue the semantics all you want. But my point remains. Is it stealing if someone simply copies your credit card information to Twitter? If someone does it, what will you tell the police?

A) Someone stole my credit card information and put it on Twitter!
B) Someone unethically copied my digital data. They didn't steal it, but I want you to prosecute them for... unethical copying!

Uh...really? Because I think that would result in a lower balance in my account. Now, I could be wrong about this (I feel like i have to point out my sarcasm here), but those numbers in my bank account represent physical money that I can withdraw at any time. I'm not saying that everybody should be free to copy games and movies all they want, but that it doesn't liken to the proper definition of theft when I copy the items in question. I don't know why I'm responding to this...we've seen this argument here a zillion times.

Re:Get your logic straight... (1)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | about 3 years ago | (#35893186)

B) Someone unethically copied my digital data. They didn't steal it, but I want you to prosecute them for... unethical copying!

Except they (the police/your local DA) wouldn't prosecute you for theft - and they might not even prosecute you at all, if it wasn't criminal copyright infringement. It's still copyright infringement though, a civil offense, so YOU could bring a case against them for that...but not theft.

Get it?

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about 3 years ago | (#35891614)

If you can copy my money without taking it then actually I have no problem whatsoever with that.
You analogy = fail.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1, Insightful)

willworkforbeer (924558) | about 3 years ago | (#35891712)

...Until enough people "copy" your money that it's incrementally devalued and you need a wheelbarrow full to buy a loaf of bread. What worth is your "money" if we all just makes as many copies as we like? Why would we accept yours worthless money for our goods or services, since we could just copy it freely? Your analogy = fail = fail.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 3 years ago | (#35893238)

Temper, Temper...If that actually did happen the Fed would hunt those people down and "disappear" them. Only the federal government is allowed to do that.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

jpapon (1877296) | about 3 years ago | (#35891732)

So you're okay with copying money? Really? You don't think that should be a crime?

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about 3 years ago | (#35891994)

I was only pointing out that your analogy sucks. It doesn't work because of the fact that in your analogy they take something so that it cant be used by the other person. That's not happening with file sharing. That is why your analogy fails, and that is what I was pointing out.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

Kelbear (870538) | about 3 years ago | (#35892568)

(Not really directed at the parent, but all the analogy-fans)

Analogies aren't useful within a forum of people who understand the matter at hand.

Attempts to re-frame the matter into a different context will run into the obstacles of the new context's characteristics. At best, they can only achieve an equivalent understanding of the issue within an alternate context that runs so deeply parallel that there was no point in changing context at all.

The analogy is only useful when explaining a topic for which the audience has absolutely no knowledge /and/ no frame of reference through which to grow an understanding of any new information presented directly. Let's give people enough credit, and admit that they, at least on some level, know what "software" is.

Any attempt to discuss subtleties of an issue will need to discard the analogy, and address the issue directly, in order to have a productive discussion about the issue, and not the shortcomings of an analogy.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#35892308)

Of course that should be a crime. it is not, however, called theft.

Copyright infringement is also a crime, is is also not, however, called theft.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

sargon666777 (555498) | about 3 years ago | (#35892272)

But by copying the money you would put more into circulation which more or less devalues the money which means you are stealing from the value of other money... Of course the US government does this everyday anyhow...

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#35892288)

Yeah that's no problem, I'll even save you the effort of hacking. Here's what you'll download: $33734.13.

Have fun playing with your copy of that number.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892314)

Sure, if all you're doing is reading the amount of my account and copying it into your own - I don't give a shit - although the bank might.

If you're asking if you can take all my money and leave me with nothing - then no, that would be stealing.

But copying does not remove the original, nor detract from its tangible value.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 years ago | (#35890382)

Besides game rentals, which is Gamefly's bread and butter industry, they also make a decent amount by selling used games. Their sales are regularly featured as some of the best on the 'net over at CAG [cheapassgamer.com] . They don't really sell new games, so until physical copies of games disappear (which may only be a console generation away), they should be fairly resilient. This change just makes them more profitable, but again, they are in a dying market, so unless they position themselves to survive it, as GameStop is trying to do by making some purchases of game streaming services, they won't be around in 10 years.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 3 years ago | (#35891104)

so until physical copies of games disappear

Many PC games have already been made impractical to resell even if you have a physical copy by only allowing a key to be used online by one user at a time (starcraft did this), activation limits (e.g. spore) and/or tying keys to an account (e.g. steamworks). It's not clear whether console games will go down the same path but it seems likely to me that they will. IIRC sony were talking about doing this sort of thing in the wake of the PS3 crack (I dunno if they have gone through with it yet).

A half way house tactic that some console game vendors seem to be using is to provide a key for DLC with a boxed copy of the game. Those without an internet connection and those who buy secondhand can still play the main game but if secondhand purchasers want all the content an initial purchaser gets they have to buy some of it online.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

Kelbear (870538) | about 3 years ago | (#35893256)

In time, publishers/developers will charge an unlock fee for the entire game. They are currently priming the market with DLC and pay-to-play multiplayer modes.

This will let them take a cut of the used game sales, and though it will reduce initial sale prices (since some gamers offset initial prices with the resale proceeds), the payoff will be worthwhile to them since they were previously receiving nothing from the subsequent sales. Note also that the sales lost from the increased effective price to new buyers won't be clear, but the income from used game unlocks will be in real dollars they can easily recognize. When other developer/publishers see the used game sale income stream being taken in, they will jump on the bandwagon until this becomes an industry standard

Even farther in the future, there is potential for scaling unlock fees to adjust for the demand. Popular used AAA games continue to sell near full retail price for months. Other games fall pretty quickly. Scaling unlock fees will help them match the market more effectively than a fixed unlock fee. This will take time since MS/Sony/Nintendo will need to provide the implementation for it. Steam is already providing a great avenue for developers to scale prices to match demand for their game, so developers will eventually ask MS/Sony/Nintendo to give them similar flexibility. Heck, Sony is already implementing Steam into the Playstation Network in a limited fashion, so it may happen pretty quickly once used game unlocks come around.

Cap (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35893302)

so until physical copies of games disappear (which may only be a console generation away)

Games for this generation already run up against the single digit GB/mo cap of satellite broadband. Say your satellite provider limits you to 0.2 GB/day (source: HughesNet.com). Buy one PS3 game as big as a dual layer BD, and the 50 GB download eats up well over half a year of transfer. In some countries of Europe, even wired broadband has a cap smaller than 50 GB/mo. So I don't see physical copies disappearing at least until these caps are increased.

Re:Cap (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 3 years ago | (#35893894)

Having had it a year or so ago, HughesNet sucks, you don't want to be using it for playing games if you can avoid it at all, you're out of luck if you want to do online multiplayer. I don't think HughesNet, WildBlue and similar services have enough gamers to carry the expense of physical media for very many games. Besides, when you have consoles with only 120GB or even 60GB or 20GB for first gen PS3s, you can't take (m)any 50GB games. Smaller, less expensive games seem to be gradually displacing the really big blockbusters.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | about 3 years ago | (#35894416)

Of course, not being around in 10 years doesn't mean you can't be profitable now if your prepared to drop everything once the market shifts. After all, they are losing almost a million per month...last February money around the lines of $50 million was offered for the company...

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#35891644)

Not everyone lives in an area with broadband. Until they do, Gamefly has a huge built-in audience. It's rather comical to see people from urban areas comment on such things as if the rest of the world lived just like them.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893656)

Somewhat paradoxically, people from urban areas can often be more provincial than others. They assume the whole world is just like them.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

Americium (1343605) | about 3 years ago | (#35891910)

I'd much rather have the USPS close up shop, or at least make it legal for first class mail competitors to exist.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35894926)

The reason why we have the USPS is to ensure that everybody in the US can send mail anywhere else in the US for the same price. As it is they don't have a monopoly in any meaningful sense, as it's just the mailbox that's restricted, there's no law against there being a separate dropbox for some other carrier. Or for mail to be left on the door step. In fact Amazon and most legal firms of any size already contract with private couriers for internal mail.

At any rate, it would be tough for other competitors to really compete with the USPS as delivering outside of cities is really expensive and USPS has to do that as well for the same price.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#35891960)

"Now that Gamefly has won they can close up shop because everyone directly downloads their games directly from the Nintendo, Sony, or Steam stores now......"

I wish that were true! You still can't download most of the top games on any of the modern consoles. Mario Kart (any modern Mario game actually), Gran Turismo, Gears of War, etc, none of those games can be downloaded through their respective systems. In fact the Wii doesn't even have a hard drive to store games, instead offering to store games on optional SD cards, so it's impossible to download several large games like you claim.

Even if you could download every game through the systems that would still be $60 each for a game stored on the system meaning you might potentially lose that game when you sell the system versus ~$20/month to rent games. Gamefly would still be the better option.

Re:Just in time to close up shop. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#35895148)

Now that Gamefly has won they can close up shop because everyone directly downloads their games directly from the Nintendo, Sony, or Steam stores now......

Microsoft, too. Xbox Live has offered both original Xbox and many Xbox360 games for sale online as well (I can't remember what they call it). Only bad thing is they aren't available on release day - it takes a few months for it to appear on Xbox Live as a downloadable game.

I guess it's a concession to the physical stores...

5th post. George W is your mamma (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890254)

5th post. George W is your mamma

GameFly? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35890312)

I think, by definition, a summary should give people an idea of what the article is about. The summary doesn't tell me:

1. Who is GameFly and what do they do?
2. What the discrimination entailed? Did it just cost them more money to send postage?
3. If GameFly recently complained, then surely it couldn't have taken 2 years?

So many questions, if only I read TFA...

Re:GameFly? (5, Informative)

dingfelder (819778) | about 3 years ago | (#35890394)

good questions.

FTA, Gamefly, the popular video game rental service that operates through the mail, has filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission about the high number of games that are lost or stolen in the mail.

The complaint (PDF) asserts that the postal service's automated sorting machines have a tendency to break a small percentage of discs, and that preferential treatment is given to DVD rental services like Netflix and Blockbuster.

"According to Gamefly's numbers, it mails out 590,000 games and receives 510,000 games back from subscribers a month. The company sees, depending on the mailer, between one and two percent of its games broken in transit. ... Even if you assume the number is one percent, and a game costs $50 to replace, that's an astounding $295,000 a month in lost merchandise. ... That's not the only issue — games are also stolen in transit, which has lead to the arrest of 19 Postal Service employees."

It took almost 2 years, but the US Postal Regulatory Commission just ruled that the US Postal Service "...had unduly discriminated against Gamefly." Gamefly recently complained that the additional postage was costing them $730,000 per month.

From the Order on Complaint filed today by the PRC (the full report is interesting reading, if you're into that sort of thing):

        In this latter section, the Commission confirms evidentiary rulings made by the Presiding Officer; finds that GameFly is similarly situated to Netflix and Blockbuster; concludes that Netflix and Blockbuster have been given a number of preferences, including various forms of manual processing coupled with the avoidance of the non-machinable1 Complaint of GameFly, Inc., April 23, 2009 (Complaint).Docket No. 2009-1 Executive Summarysurcharge; and determines that the Postal Service has failed to present adequate and legitimate justifications for these preferences.

        [1004] DVDs returned by subscribers to Netflix in its prepaid letter-sized mailers are non-machinable, and are frequently damaged or cause machine jams. DVDs returned by subscribers to GameFly also are damaged from processing on automated letter processing equipment. The Postal Service separates and hand processes a substantial proportion of Netflix’s returns without imposing a non-machinable surcharge. The Postal Service is unwilling to hand process GameFly’s returns causing GameFly to incur an additional ounce charge on its mail, which the Postal Service refuses to waive.

        [1005] To remedy this unreasonable preference, the Commission orders the Postal Service to establish two parallel rate categories within First-Class Mail for round- trip DVD mail. One category establishes that DVDs sent as presorted First-Class Mail letters to subscribers will not be subject to the non-machinable surcharge when returned. The other rate category provides that DVDs mailed as First-Class Mail flats to and from subscribers will not be subject to an additional ounce charge.

The PRC order gives the US Postal Service 60 days to comply with the order.

Re:GameFly? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 3 years ago | (#35891842)

Here's the laymans version of dingfelder's reply from me: gamefly is basically netflix for video games. So if you have a console + gamefly, you have a lot of options. It even works for online/multiplayer games. I think it's even the same $10/month as netflix, or $15/month or so?

The post office was charging them extra to send the discs, they sued, they won - they were being treated differently than netflix, and they obviously aren't. It was a stupid post office move - you have a company which is entirely dependent on postal mail, and you want to charge them extra? If you think about it from a business perspective they should do everything they can to cater to netflix and gamefly for example - these companies are basically what is keeping the post office alive.

Discrimination? (3, Interesting)

Ventriloquate (551798) | about 3 years ago | (#35890650)

Is this discrimination against Gamefly or favoritism of Netflix?

Re:Discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35891666)

Favoritism to one is by law discrimination against all other comparable entities.

Re:Discrimination? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35894998)

Why would there be a difference? In either case Gamefly isn't getting the same treatment as another outfit in a similar line.

The main reason why I don't subscribe to Gamefly anymore is that the USPS takes as a matter of routine a full 6 days to deliver mail from any of the gamefly warehouses to me. Rather than the promised 4 days that it should take in the worst case. I wonder how much that costs them.

Just let the USPS die already (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#35892198)

It cannot exist without raising fees year to year and dicking people around.

My local postmaster is a totally uncommitted douche who will stand around and yak with a pal while there's a line six deep. I know, because I've gone through that line while he did it and I could hear every word of his entirely personal conversation.

My local carrier has been changed up repeatedly and now I have a couple of them, one is okay, the other is a douche who can't go up and down my driveway without sliding around in a Jeep despite the fact that every FedEx driver and one of my two UPS drivers can make it in their poorly designed box trucks (poor for the country, anyway) without any difficulty.

Finally, about 90% by number or 99% by volume of the mail I get is spam. Do you have any idea how many trees are cut down yearly to produce that shit? And yes, they really are cutting down trees, and yes, a significant percentage of that is not farmed timber, which does not make the best paper. And a truly puzzling percentage of this spam is printed on heavy, glossy paper. I could do without that nonsense. I really have no need whatsoever to receive anything from the USPS.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | about 3 years ago | (#35892628)

It cannot exist without raising fees year to year and dicking people around.

Yeah, the billion dollar profits over each of the last 5 years shows they've clearly overpriced themselves in the market, and won't survive long.

Personally, I think the fact you can get letters delivered up to 5,000 miles away for less than $.50 is pretty amazing, but if you want to think that's overpriced and they're screwing you, go right ahead.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892760)

Take it from someone who knows several insiders. It is overpriced, and they are screwing you, and even a postmaster will admit it to you when they aren't actually on the clock.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

Posting=!Working (197779) | about 3 years ago | (#35892848)

Take it from the millions of consumers who send mail everyday - the are clearly, convincingly and absolutely NOT overpriced. The only way they could screw you is if they stopped delivering the mail.

A postmaster has no more knowledge of the entire USPS financials than an fast food restaurant manager does of the corporation's financials. They can't possibly make the determination that it's overpriced, they can only comment on how their own inept management style makes it seem that way.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

aekafan (1690920) | about 3 years ago | (#35892856)

The funny thing is that since this is a monopoly, its under priced and it's still screwing you. I would challenge any claim of profit. Prove it or bullshit

doesn't SOUND overpriced to me? (1)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#35892858)

Yeah, the billion dollar profits over each of the last 5 years shows they've clearly overpriced themselves in the market, and won't survive long.

But they're doing 45 billion in business a year... 1 billion of that is under 3% markup. I don't think I'd call that "overpriced"?

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

hrvatska (790627) | about 3 years ago | (#35893354)

Yeah, the billion dollar profits over each of the last 5 years shows they've clearly overpriced themselves in the market, and won't survive long.

The USPS has been operating at a loss. They lost $8.5 billion in 2010. It's about to deplete its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury by borrowing the remaining $3.5 billion At this rate it will go broke at the end of 2011. Congress refuses to let the USPS run in a sensible fashion. They are mandated to deliver mail on Saturdays and they are required to keep open every rinky dink little post office in existance, except in exception circumstances. If FedEx and UPS had to operate in a similar manner they'd go bankrupt or be charging substantially more per delivery.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35892708)

I really have no need whatsoever to receive anything from the USPS.

The amount of rage I get reading this one statement is unquantifiable. It's far in excess of the rest of your post since I vaguely agree with parts of it.

The idea that "Because I don't use it, we should get rid of it" is...Jeez, I'm still struggling to find a way to put my sheer frustration at this into words. To somehow communicate how the smoldering, low key irritation at the world in general has changed. About how your words have combusted the base sludge of bile and vitriol that is my soul into a supernova emanating sheer hatred in such palpable waves, such unfocused and blistering anger that leaves me sputtering as an incoherent mess.

Look, just because you or even I don't make use of something, doesn't mean that we should get rid of it. Hell, I don't use tampons or pads but that doesn't mean we should get rid of it because I'm fairly certain there's a large number of people I don't know who use them (ha ha the internet WHAT ARE GIRLS???). I don't take insulin but I'm certain diabetics wouldn't enjoy getting rid of it. Hell, I don't ride spaceships and in fact most people don't either, but I would absolutely NOT want NASA cut from the budget.

The idea that "I have no need of x so let's get rid of it" or even by extension "everyone I know" or "all my family and friends" substituted for yourself does not, does not, DOES NOT, mean that it's useless.

Some of the other crap you mentioned might mean that it's useless though.

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#35893142)

yeah, LESS competition is good. we don't need a choice in mailing. everyone should use the 2 (later, 1, after they all merge) company to ship.

such wisdom, sir. may I subscribe ...

Re:Just let the USPS die already (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | about 3 years ago | (#35894632)

Soooooo... we're going with anecdotes? Ok, I can do that. I have never once had a problem with the USPS, even on things where I clearly screwed it up. I've never seen them sit there and talk and ignore customers. I've never seen any of the nonsense that people routinely complain about and to be honest, I don't believe it. I've had the "privilege" of moving about once every three years or so, so I've had my fair share of regular postal employees to deal with and it's always been great. Contrast this with one problem after another with FedEx and UPS (including having them attempt to pocket cash from a COD) and I flat out refuse to deal with those guys. I only ship about a hundred packages a month (and I like doing it myself rather than having them come pick up my boxes), so clearly I'm doing something wrong.

Oh, and as to your non sequitur about spam mail... WTF are you talking about? So the USPS is responsible for the quantity and quality of mail sent? Really? They tell advertisers to use glossy, non-farmed timber paper? And you're getting all of these mailings *from* the USPS (as in, they're not just delivering it, but they created it. Because that's what your last sentence sounds like you're claiming)

Bad ruling (1, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35892822)

Why should the USPS be forced to subsidize a business that's unwilling to make simple technical changes that would reduce their cost to process their bulk mail? If you cost them more money you *should* be charged more, especially when you are told what fixes you can make to accommodate them and get the better rates. The postal service is subsidized by the taxpayers and any shortfall from a bulk customer like Gamefly will either be shoulder by us directly through larger appropriations or through rate hikes.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893226)

One question: did you read anything beyond the headline?

Re:Bad ruling (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35893340)

Uh, yes I'm actually familiar with the facts in the case, the order says they were discriminated against by having their mailers machine processed instead of hand sorted. The *reason* they aren't hand sorted is that Gamefly *chose* to make their mailers not stick out to reduce theft. You can't complain that your mailers aren't being pulled before the sorts *and* try to make them not stick out. Gamefly *also* chose to use a tougher but heavier mailer to reduce their breakage costs but which result in higher fuel costs for the USPS, forcing the USPS to lose money on heavier envelopes or increase rates for the companies that were willing to reduce their fuel costs is stupid bureaucracy at its best.

Tradeoff: theft vs. breakage vs. postage (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35893994)

Then could you give details about the "simple technical changes" that would reduce theft and breakage without increasing postage?

Re:Tradeoff: theft vs. breakage vs. postage (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35894090)

Do they need to reduce theft and breakage? If the increased cost of shipping is more than the losses from the others then you put up with them to get the cheaper rates. This is what Netflix has done and they are the obviously more successful business. Life is about choices, making poor ones and then going crying to the government about how it's unfair that you're not having your poor choices subsidized is just lame.

Re:Tradeoff: theft vs. breakage vs. postage (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35894288)

Do they need to reduce theft and breakage?

Yes, because the ratio of postage to replacement cost differs greatly between GameFly and Netflix. New copies of video games cost three times as much as new copies of DVD movies and twice as much as new copies of BD movies. Even now, GameFly service is already substantially more expensive per month than Netflix service; raising the price further would presumably reduce the customer base so much as to make it unprofitable.

Re:Tradeoff: theft vs. breakage vs. postage (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35894342)

Do you think they would experience $700k in breakage and theft a month? Because that's what they are claiming the unsubsidized pricing is costing them over Netflixes rates.

A 1.17% difference in breakage (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35894610)

Do you think they would experience $700k in breakage and theft a month?

An article [geek.com] claims that GameFly makes 1.2 million shipments per month. If console games cost $50 each, then $700K a month is 14,000 copies. That equates to a 1.17% difference in theft or breakage. If a flimsier, easier to steal mailer would increase theft and breakage by more than 1.17% of all shipments, go with it. I lack access to the proprietary information on which GameFly made the decision to go with sturdier, harder to steal mailers.

Re:Bad ruling (3, Insightful)

smelch (1988698) | about 3 years ago | (#35894452)

When you have to ship via USPS because nobody else is allowed to handle that particular class of mailing, and the people working at the USPS keep stealing the discs, and when you act to correct that they start charging you more, does it really still seem like Gamefly is being unreasonable?

Re:Bad ruling (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35895152)

Netflix is supposed to be paying for the hand sort that's required of their envelopes, but that isn't happening. Gamefly chose to comply with postal regulations by making the items fit in the standard equipment because they were going to be charged for it. They presumably pay in part by weight the way that the rest of us do, and as such I don't think there's any reasonable basis for pinning losses on gamefly, it sounds to me like they're doing their best to mitigate damage on their own.

The real question is why Netflix gets special treatment.

Also, you might want to provide some citations there, I don't see how you can attribute the size of the envelopes to theft prevention when postal regulations govern the size and shape of envelopes that are allowed to go through the machines and charge more for those that have to be hand sorted.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893776)

Excellent Ruling. USPS was already subsidizing Netflix by giving them hand sorting without extra cost. It was clear discrimination against Gamefly, which mails nearly the same type of items of a similar size and shape but was charged a fee for the hand sorting. Either charge both or charge neither... picking and choosing is discrimination.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35893840)

Uh, Gamefly's mailers were intentionally made to stack with regular first class and were plain to avoid theft, Netflix mailers were square and brightly colored. It's a lot harder to spot they Gamefly mailer *by their design* so yes they should be charged, if the cost of additional handling is more than the loss to theft then they should redesign their mailer.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35893822)

Why should the USPS be forced to subsidize a business that's unwilling to make simple technical changes that would reduce their cost to process their bulk mail? If you cost them more money you *should* be charged more, especially when you are told what fixes you can make to accommodate them and get the better rates. The postal service is subsidized by the taxpayers and any shortfall from a bulk customer like Gamefly will either be shoulder by us directly through larger appropriations or through rate hikes.

The postal service is funded completely by sales of postage and services. Not one dime of tax money. Just an fyi

Re:Bad ruling (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35894012)

Not true, they get ~$150M in appropriations from Congress each year. Not huge in the $45B annual budget but not peanuts either. There's also all the mail that federal agencies are required by mandate to send through the USPS instead of commercial carrier which is in effect a subsidy.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35894018)

Why should the USPS be forced to subsidize a business that's unwilling to make simple technical changes

The postal service is funded completely by sales of postage and services. Not one dime of tax money.

Grandparent was talking about USPS subsidizing GameFly or Netflix, not the Treasury subsidizing USPS.

Re:Bad ruling - RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35895026)

The ruling states that other companies weren't charged under similar circumstances, that's why the ruling is correct.

Your solution could be considered valid, but it's not addressing the problem from the article unless it's also applied to the other companies in similar circumstances. ie Netflix, etc

Can this be used as a Network Neutrality example? (1)

eric3_14159 (732530) | about 3 years ago | (#35893190)

It seems to be that this entire case, and the ruling, could be used to help explain some of the elements involved in Net Neutrality. Seeing as one of the biggest problems with Net Neutrality has been explaining it well enough for anyone to figure out which parts of it they should be supporting, that could be pretty useful.

really? (1)

indecks (1208854) | about 3 years ago | (#35893480)

People still use Gamefly? I thought they'd have gone out of business by now because of member hemmoraging, considering they NEVER have anything in stock. I jumped ship a couple of years ago after I couldn't get ANYTHING to show up on time. Sure I understand a new game will have a wait time, but I'd have about 20 games in my queue, and out of those 20, I'd get NUMBER 20 on the list. You'd think they could just go to walmart and get a few more copies or something but no, that would make too much sense.

Re:really? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#35895220)

Conceptually I liked Gamefly, but I had the problem of them not having any of the games I wanted, even ones which weren't brand new. The other problem was that during the trial it took an average of just under a week to get the games to me. The site promised that it would be under 4 days, but because they don't have any warehouses that cover the Northwest, and the USPS wasn't upholding its end of things, the games would wind up here a week later. Meaning that unless I played a game like FO:NV, I'd end up spending more time waiting for games to ship than actually playing.

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