To me, you actually run into a number of legal issues here.
No one has the right, to take away someone else’s rights, EVEN IF the terms of the marketplace agreement stated there was a forfieture, how does that play out at the copyright office? Those are actual legal rights, that go above and beyond agreements, it would have to be settled in court. Especially the owner of the content had filed for an actual copyright, which gives greater protection, than just the merely “publish” and it’s copyrighted instantly by convention. What happens ( to take a point to an extreme), the owner of the copyright had been unable say due to coma for 6 months, to do anything, and Epic has no way to know what is going on. Has in effect stripped the owner of copyright, taken Intellectual property that it does not own itself, based merely on a contract? Remember in contract law, you cannot give away more rights, than what is legal to, secondly Epic will have given no specific compensation to the copyright holder, for their loss, and the person comes out of the coma? What then? The damage has been done, one cannot unring a bell… Is Epic now responsible to pay the true owner of the product, the marketplace price, for all the “free” copies, that Epic gave away?
Ok, so the coma is an extreme, I grant that, yet, life is a funny thing, the extremes happen, just not all that often. If not a coma, something else. How long does Epic wait? caveat venditor…
I know if I was Epic Games, I would not wish to be involved in litigation, where by I had to defend the concept of taking someone else’s intellectual property, and giving it away, saying in effect. “Come one, Come all, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBIES, download, get it while it’s hot!!!”
While at the same time, looking to be renumerated 5% of gross sales from any product derived from the UE4 Engine (and no I’m not complaining about the 5% at all, double it, and it’s still a steal).
If it’s a refund, where does the money come from? Epic? they have already paid the owner of the content, that money is gone… good luck trying to get it back, especially if the person has went incommunicado. So does Epic now reach into it’s own pockets, and dig up the other 70% that they paid the seller? If this is the case, i’m sure a bean counter somewhere in Epic, will have one response… Close the marketplace, this is just not worth it.
At some point in time, it becomes, as it is in all walks of life, in all industries, caveat emptor…
As this won’t be a popular post I’m sure… let the firestorm begin… lmao
Jay (playing devil’s advocate here, and chasing down a infinite loop of memory allocation in the UE4 engine, and not a happy camper about it.)