Epic Games Sues Apple

Lakados

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So the wife was surfing around one of those mommy blogs and there is a very large section dedicated to Fortnight. Apparently Apple will refund “unauthorized” in game purchases regardless of Epic’s no refund policy. I’m wondering how much this lawsuit was brought on by that little tidbit.
 

UnknownSouljer

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A good chance that nothing happens, except a loss of reputation and the business relationship for Epic.

Apple losing would mean 3rd party app stores, which I agree with in principle but don't think is a great idea in practice.

Even though I use Android, I rarely install raw apks or alternative stores due to the security implications (and yes, there are shady apk stores for sure).

This goes against the whole Apple business model, they will fight tooth and nail and basically spend all their trillions to make sure this doesn't happen.

Or, if Epic wins, Apple would do the bare minimum to comply with the court but in a way that doesn't really help Epic like they want.

I can't see a scenario where this is good for everyone.
While I think it's possible that judges could order Apple to lower their pricing model and become even more consistent with admittance to the app store, I think it sets a terrible president that the government can come in and meddle with a companies IP that they barely understand. Which is why I more than suspect they will do little if anything against Apple in this lawsuit.

In all 100% seriousness, regardless of how (the proverbial) you feel(s) about Apple, the idea that the government can force a business to do anything with their IP is an incredibly bad president. If (the proverbial) you can't see the applications, you're incredibly short sighted.
 
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cybereality

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Yeah, on the whole the government really isn't up to date with technology and it may be worse if they meddle.
 

Lakados

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Epic just filed for an Injunction trying to force Apple to put Fortnight back on the store. Turns out iOS players make up 1/3’rd of all their players and 60% of those players have stopped playing. So 70 million of their 350 million players, they are trying to argue that it’s an unfair threat to their business and that Apple has effectively split their game into 2 and that Apples policy of a 1 year ban of the account would cause the iOS community to eventually give up on it and not return.

https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/2020-09-04---preliminary-injunction-filings-928657856.pdf
 

DooKey

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Epic just filed for an Injunction trying to force Apple to put Fortnight back on the store. Turns out iOS players make up 1/3’rd of all their players and 60% of those players have stopped playing. So 70 million of their 350 million players, they are trying to argue that it’s an unfair threat to their business and that Apple has effectively split their game into 2 and that Apples policy of a 1 year ban of the account would cause the iOS community to eventually give up on it and not return.

https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/2020-09-04---preliminary-injunction-filings-928657856.pdf

Mess with the bull and get the horn.
 
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Aurelius

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Epic just filed for an Injunction trying to force Apple to put Fortnight back on the store. Turns out iOS players make up 1/3’rd of all their players and 60% of those players have stopped playing. So 70 million of their 350 million players, they are trying to argue that it’s an unfair threat to their business and that Apple has effectively split their game into 2 and that Apples policy of a 1 year ban of the account would cause the iOS community to eventually give up on it and not return.

https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/2020-09-04---preliminary-injunction-filings-928657856.pdf

Maybe Epic should've thought about that before intentionally violating store policies as a publicity stunt.

I suspect Epic only had a half-baked strategy: it was smart enough to realize this would draw attention to Apple's practices, but didn't stop to think Apple might hold its ground or that the financial damage would be as much as it was. Somewhere, someone on Epic's legal counsel is screaming into a pillow out of frustration after their warnings fell on deaf ears.
 
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Nolan7689

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Epic just filed for an Injunction trying to force Apple to put Fortnight back on the store. Turns out iOS players make up 1/3’rd of all their players and 60% of those players have stopped playing. So 70 million of their 350 million players, they are trying to argue that it’s an unfair threat to their business and that Apple has effectively split their game into 2 and that Apples policy of a 1 year ban of the account would cause the iOS community to eventually give up on it and not return.

https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/2020-09-04---preliminary-injunction-filings-928657856.pdf
Hahahahaha. Fuck them. Don't start a fight unless you’re willing to get hit, and sure as shit don’t pick a fight out of your class
 

UnknownSouljer

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This is about legal practices, not IP.
A majority of the conversations in this thread have been about very specifically what Epic wants to happen as a result of this lawsuit: which is to open up iOS and allow for other app stores or at least their app store. Whether you agree with Epic's position or not, if the government rules in favor of Epic that is forcing a company to have to alter their IP to meet the demands of an outside entity.

Does Apple have the "right" to do what they want with their platform (IE control their own intellectual property)? Their hardware and their software? Or is anyone allowed to tell them they have to change hardware or software to meet their demands? Because again, if they don't then the implications/ramifications for any company building anything is insane.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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I'd argue not insane, overdue.
Cool. Then I guess as has been noted elsewhere, there will have to be the expectation that every piece of hardware I own should be opened up to me so I can program for it or not at will. From DVD players to smart refrigerators and certainly anything inside a car. Any and all IP you have you have no right to control. Who cares if that takes away a massive incentive in the market to actually invent anything.

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have zero right to get payment for any of their IP's. They must spend billions making new consoles, but I should be allowed to bypass all their contracts (licensing) and sideload any software I want. I should be allowed to have as many app stores on there as I want. Again bypassing any ability of theirs to make money off of their IP. Who cares whether or not they barely make any money off of consoles. Not my problem, right?

I'm glad you have zero ability to decide any of this stuff, because it isn't remotely rational or logical. As I said earlier which you just skipped over. It'd be one thing for a decision to come down on pricing structure or admittance to the app store, but controlling IP is an entirely different thing. One that has to be protected if you actually want tech investment in this country.
 

Axman

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Then I guess as has been noted elsewhere, there will have to be the expectation that every piece of hardware I own should be opened up to me so I can program for it or not at will.
No, but we've already discussed why. Although there is an argument for that outside of this.
It'd be one thing for a decision to come down on pricing structure or admittance to the app store, but controlling IP is an entirely different thing.
Because it doesn't really have anything to do with IP and what you're saying doesn't really make sense in a legal context.
 

UnknownSouljer

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No, but we've already discussed why. Although there is an argument for that outside of this.

Because it doesn't really have anything to do with IP and what you're saying doesn't really make sense in a legal context.
Cool. You've cherry picked things I've said now twice. In a row. We're done, you have zero interest in actually having a conversation. It's more just "I'm right, you're wrong" with zero evidence or logic behind any of it and the expectation that essentially companies should be slaves to the whims of other organizations or the government with zero control over the things they produce.

Glad we've cleared up your positions.
 

Axman

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Glad we've cleared up your positions.
I'm not so sure. My position is that this is a legal argument, while a big chunk of this discussion is about things that don't really have anything to do with the lawsuit or anti-trust laws. People are trying to frame this from their positions as fans of or haters of certain companies and their products. Legal arguments necessarily must be to a position, not from a position.

Look, Epic could literally produce incest porn and Apple could use all of their profits to feed the poor, but if their business model is illegal and Epic has standing to bring a lawsuit to bear on them that's all that matters.
 

Lakados

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I think a far better argument would be “Is Apples iOS business model legal?” Hard stop. If yes the government has no say in this, if not than a sweeping reform of all tech companies in the US and most of the world is required.
Epic picked a fight to make a statement and it’s probably going to blow up in their faces. But at least it’s started a conversation on the subject but it’s probably not the one they wanted.
 

Axman

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I think a far better argument would be “Is Apples iOS business model legal?” Hard stop. If yes the government has no say in this, if not than a sweeping reform of all tech companies in the US and most of the world is required.

And even if that means a Wild West period for walled gardens breaks out, we don't selectively apply the law because it may have wide-reaching effects. If anything we should pursue cases that have wide-reaching effects.

My main worry is that a judge might use this to create a de-facto new kind of monopoly siding with Apple to avoid the consequences. Maybe it's time to have a conversation about drafting new laws that provide for certain kinds of walled garden monopolies, but I don't want a single person using the bench to replace the legislative body.

Maybe there's room -- and I can't believe *I'm* saying this -- for walled gardens. Maybe something like a Section 230 where the walled garden provider is entirely responsible, particularly financially responsible, for the software/content they curate.

Heck you make that the law, walled gardens might open up on their own without the need for lawsuits.
 

1_rick

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if the government rules in favor of Epic that is forcing a company to have to alter their IP to meet the demands of an outside entity.

I know this has been brought up in passing but I think that ship has long sailed, for example with Microsoft and IE. In Europe, Microsoft was forced to make IE go to a page with a randomized-order list of other browsers the first time you used it. Also there was Windows N/KN.
 

Lakados

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And even if that means a Wild West period for walled gardens breaks out, we don't selectively apply the law because it may have wide-reaching effects. If anything we should pursue cases that have wide-reaching effects.

My main worry is that a judge might use this to create a de-facto new kind of monopoly siding with Apple to avoid the consequences. Maybe it's time to have a conversation about drafting new laws that provide for certain kinds of walled garden monopolies, but I don't want a single person using the bench to replace the legislative body.

Maybe there's room -- and I can't believe *I'm* saying this -- for walled gardens. Maybe something like a Section 230 where the walled garden provider is entirely responsible, particularly financially responsible, for the software/content they curate.

Heck you make that the law, walled gardens might open up on their own without the need for lawsuits.
That’s also a thing... but Apples walled garden has been sued a lot from a bunch of angles which eventually led to the addendum to their developer TOS requiring them to use the Apple payment processes. Apple was constantly getting sued by people for their kids racking up huge CC bills in games because of loot crates or in game items and the like. So Apple lost that one and had to invent a method to prevent it from happening. So Apple decided that if they ran their own payment processor they would no longer have to deal with MasterCard, Visa, and the likes and they could deal with it completely internally. So this way if somebody calls Apple and says a charge was “unauthorized” they can deal with it on their own then and there.

This honestly is why I think Epic is so upset at Apple on this because Apple is the only platform that does refunds for their in game purchases. Epic is also currently fighting a number of lawsuits over their child predatory practices in their their loot box setups and their no refund policy.

But think about this Epic has confirmed that Apple makes up 1/3’rd of their player base but given the global trend that Apple users spend far more than Android that 120 million some odd users could make up a disproportionately large portion of their income. And if Apple is processing returns on some fraction of that than I can see why Epic would want this fight. If they win they save 30% off the top, keep that customer base, and no longer have to deal with Apple “robbing” them by refunding angry parents.

So I really do think the walled garden environment needs rules and regulations but it’s not going to be a one off ruling here and there. It’s going to have to be one of those committees that sit down over years and bang something out. It will be a big deal because the reaching implications across the global tech sector are just astounding.
 

erek

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That’s also a thing... but Apples walled garden has been sued a lot from a bunch of angles which eventually led to the addendum to their developer TOS requiring them to use the Apple payment processes. Apple was constantly getting sued by people for their kids racking up huge CC bills in games because of loot crates or in game items and the like. So Apple lost that one and had to invent a method to prevent it from happening. So Apple decided that if they ran their own payment processor they would no longer have to deal with MasterCard, Visa, and the likes and they could deal with it completely internally. So this way if somebody calls Apple and says a charge was “unauthorized” they can deal with it on their own then and there.

This honestly is why I think Epic is so upset at Apple on this because Apple is the only platform that does refunds for their in game purchases. Epic is also currently fighting a number of lawsuits over their child predatory practices in their their loot box setups and their no refund policy.

But think about this Epic has confirmed that Apple makes up 1/3’rd of their player base but given the global trend that Apple users spend far more than Android that 120 million some odd users could make up a disproportionately large portion of their income. And if Apple is processing returns on some fraction of that than I can see why Epic would want this fight. If they win they save 30% off the top, keep that customer base, and no longer have to deal with Apple “robbing” them by refunding angry parents.

So I really do think the walled garden environment needs rules and regulations but it’s not going to be a one off ruling here and there. It’s going to have to be one of those committees that sit down over years and bang something out. It will be a big deal because the reaching implications across the global tech sector are just astounding.
Apple's Battle With Epic Over Fortnite Could Reach Jury Trial Next July
 

cybereality

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Even though I'm working with Unreal Engine and hope the companies come to a fair agreement, I am surprised to see the judge is up to speed with tech and particularly the game industry (or, I guess has good assistants to do the research).

My main concern with this whole litigation isn't Epic or Apple winning, but the government getting overly involved in something they don't understand or use it as a way to take more control than they already have. But the judge here seems fair.
 

Lakados

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Even though I'm working with Unreal Engine and hope the companies come to a fair agreement, I am surprised to see the judge is up to speed with tech and particularly the game industry (or, I guess has good assistants to do the research).

My main concern with this whole litigation isn't Epic or Apple winning, but the government getting overly involved in something they don't understand or use it as a way to take more control than they already have. But the judge here seems fair.
Problem here is they will have to pack the Jury with people who don't understand it either, finding somebody who understand it who doesn't have a bias towards Apple or Epic is gonna be a tricky one. Its high profile enough that Juror selection is gonna be a nightmare.
 

Aegir

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The bias won't be avoided. There is no clear good vs evil here. We just need to make a decision.

What we need to do is ensure that whatever bias is chosen is bias that "we the people" support, and which will benefit the entirety of the technological sector for as long as the precedent stands.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Ideally it’s at least filled with 12 programmers. That’s as close to peers as would be possible in this situation.
 

Lakados

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Ideally it’s at least filled with 12 programmers. That’s as close to peers as would be possible in this situation.
more realistically its going to be 12 people in the mid to late 60 who don't know how to use their phone and have never heard of Epic, and it is going to be a trial of who can best describe how this works to Grandma in a way that she understands while not getting frustrated and not calling it a tool of the devil and giving up in frustration.
 

Aurelius

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The bias won't be avoided. There is no clear good vs evil here. We just need to make a decision.

What we need to do is ensure that whatever bias is chosen is bias that "we the people" support, and which will benefit the entirety of the technological sector for as long as the precedent stands.

Cynically speaking, I don't think it's going to turn out the way some techies want it to (certainly not the Anything But Apple camp). Even if the jury fully understands the concept, that doesn't mean it's going to side with Epic. Jurors may understand the mechanisms, but that doesn't mean they'll automatically side with Epic — they may decide that Epic doesn't really have a case as it explicitly violated rules it had agreed to for years and clearly profited from.
 

Lakados

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Picture this, Apple looses the case they allow 3'rd party stores Epic's being the first, and the day after it launches Apple Sues Epic for permission to open their own store within the Fortnight to sell their own skins and mods. They could use their own lost case as precedent to allow it...
 

odditory

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If it goes to a Jury anything is possible....
Problem is Apple will endlessly appeal. They have more money than god and can appeal for the next 3000 years. No way in hell will they allow Epic to establish any precedent where every app developer will then want their own store and direct payment scheme.

The judge already declared "this entire crisis is of Epic's own making" - and that'll be hammered into any jury. Epic have demonstrated they're boneheads, where the CEO doesn't actually take the advice of his attorneys. Even if Epic wins, they lose = the opportunity cost of Fortnite not being in the app store during years of litigation, while its popularity continually declines.
 
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Lakados

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Problem is Apple will endlessly appeal. They have more money than god and can appeal for the next 3000 years. No way in hell will they allow Epic to establish any precedent where every app developer will then want their own store and direct payment scheme.

The judge already declared "this entire crisis is of Epic's own making" - and that'll be hammered into any jury. Epic have demonstrated they're boneheads, where the CEO doesn't actually take the advice of his attorneys. Even if Epic wins, they lose = the opportunity cost of Fortnite not being in the app store during years of litigation, while its popularity continually declines.
I know if Apple looses I will be very very shocked, but I will laugh my ass off if Apple sues Epic to open a store inside Fortnight throwing their own argument back at them.
 
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Epic taking a stand against monopolistic practices... releases Crysis Remastered only on the Epic game store... oh the irony!
 

deruberhanyok

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Ideally it’s at least filled with 12 programmers. That’s as close to peers as would be possible in this situation.

terrible idea. Put 12 programmers in there and they’d all reach entirely different verdicts through different methods. Two would get caught in loops, one wouldn’t document his thinking and confuse himself later, three would out semicolons in the wrong place, three of them would argue about whether or not scripting is programming because there’s no compiler, two would try to define the whole thing in a matrix and one would be learning JavaScript the whole time so he could go get a better job.

no, if they want this case to go anywhere the only option would be to pack it with middle managers.
 
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I know if Apple looses I will be very very shocked, but I will laugh my ass off if Apple sues Epic to open a store inside Fortnight throwing their own argument back at them.
Would be nice to see Apple's profits off walled gardens approach gets taken down a few notches. But yeah, I'm all for it going both ways.
 
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