Capcom CPS suicide batteries illegal?


#1

(this needs it own thread)
So, Basically if you saved your hard earned dollars back circa 1999-2000 and droped $3000+ for a new 3rd Strike machine from Capcom your machine would be dead or near dead now with no USA replacement or fix possible. This is actually Illegal for Capcom to do as they concealed the fact to their customers and made no metion of it in the manuals. It would be similar as you buying a new car in 2000 only to find 5-6 years later that one morning it didn’t start because it had a hidden suicide battery under the seat that when it dies the car can’t be fixed. Huh, so why hasn’t anyone pressed a Civil Lawsuit against Capcom? Well, arcade owners have made thier money and are no longer for the most part in business anymore. Also, there are not many people that bought a 3rd strike machine for home use.I doubt that they even know why their machine won’t work anymore. Still this doesn’t make it right for Capcom to pull such a stunt. In fact its just plain criminal. If a Civil Lawsuit was pursued Capcom would have to fix or replace all Cps3 boards at no charge or pay a huge settlement. Anyone know a good lawyer?
Steve


#2

Yeah, let’s all sue Capcom, so they could have even LESS money.


#3

Well, tell that to the guy who’s 3rd Strike just died and found out it had a hidden battery. Anyway capcom has plenty of money… More than enough to fix peoples’ Cps 3 boards who want them fixed… Thats the goal, not to break Capcom just make them fess up to thier mistakes. Don’t go feelin sorry for them thats just stupid.
Steve


#4

What capcom did was completely legal. Sue all you want the only people getting any money is the lawyers.

Also in the grand scheme of crappy copy protection modes that screw the user, this isn’t bad at all.


#5

Well it’s not Capcom Japan’s fault that Capcom USA shut down Capcom Coinop USA, and I guess from the looks of it, Capcom USA wasn’t at fault for shutting down Coinop USA division since Arcades are pretty much dead on this side of the pacific.

Sad to say that, but we all know it’s true, and denying it isn’t going to make things better either.

I used to think that the suicide batteries was just an ingenious way of continuing to make money off the arcade operator for repair fees, and that the piracy thing was BS. But when you think about it, well the piracy thing isn’t BS, and because of the suicide batteries CPS3 isn’t getting pirated anytime soon, unless someone somehow figures out how to crack it, but that won’t be for a very long time.

It’s all different on who you ask, but yeah, Capcom did what they had to do, I mean look at SNK (now SNKP), the MVS didn’t have any real copy protection and look how fast the NeoGeo got pirated and how it even went as far as hurting SNK (the Garou leak for starters or the countless number of bootleg MVS carts) in the long run. They are only recently started to recover from all that with their move to AW and now, possibly to Naomi, since AW is dead.


#6

honestly, it’s not too obvious what’s “entirely legal” about that.

i’m sure they could’ve made better anti-piracy methods than one that makes a board kill itself inevitably with time. (assuming you didn’t know you could replace the board.)

legal or not, i think it’s pretty unfair for the buyer. i’m sure every other electronic device is supposed to break in like 7 years, but at least those devices can be replaced.


#7

Didn’t know if you knew this or not but you can change the suicide batteries yourself.

Here is a link showing how to do it on a CPSII Board. I have all three CPSI CPSII and CPSIII. The trick is to get the suicides out before they die.

but check out this link, if your system is still working then i would do this asap!

http://home.online.no/~tjaberg/cps2_battery/index.htm

t:rock:mass


#8

yeah, we all know the suicides can be stopped, but what about the ones who’ve lost their boards already and didn’t even know about this?


#9

No its is not legal… You can’t conceal something that is ment to destroy your product after a certain amount of time. Would you sue your car manufacturer if they didn’t tell you about a hidden battery that would kill your car completely in 6 years? Please, you would be pissed and seeking out a lawyer immediately. Open your fucking eyes… Gee, I guess you could go out and buy the home version or 3rd strike… oh but wait thats what Capcom wants you to do! Dear God get a fucking clue.
Steve


#10

Well part of the reason it hasn’t been cracked is that very few games were created for CPS3, so there isn’t much incentive for the community to break it. CPS2 took a while to crack as well but it had so much content the time was worth it.

Yes it is legal. It’s not capcoms fault if the consumer didn’t look into the product enough to realize it had a suicide battery.

Also their have been court rullings on media fiascos like this, since everything will die after a time. The results are that when you purchase something you don’t actually have full rights to the media/intelectual property, you only have full rights to the actual physical disk/hardware. So if it craps the bed or fails capcom (or whatever company) doesn’t owe you squat to fix it or get it working again (much as when VCR tapes/dvds go bad after time the studio doesn’t owe you a new one). I’ll add that this is also one of the reasons why you can’t legally copy IP from various machines now.

Once again sue all you want, you won’t get anything.


#11

i don’t know how applicable those rulings will be. i mean, other media (CDs, VCRs, whatever) die pretty much unintentionally while a CPS3’s suicide battery was put there to kill it.

also, i’m not sure how that goes. it’s the consumer’s fault for not looking inside his hardware while he really has no reason/experience/knowledge to do so (and risk his CPS3’s safety in the process)? that doesn’t really make sense to me.


#12

It doesn’t just apply to CD’s VCR’s I just used those as an example, a fair amount of it is intentional. The CPS3 battery was put there as a way to force you to pay more and to help protect their IP. Both of these practices are also common. Many items are made specifically so they will fail with time if you don’t shell out more, or to flat out self destruct if you tamper with them.

Just because it’s new to the arcade industry doesn’t mean it hasn’t been going around in other industrys for a long time.

And yes it is the consumers fault. When you buy something technical it’s on you to understand what’s going on and what the issues with it are. Ignorance of your purchase doesn’t mean that the manufacture is legally responsible for your problems. Stuff like this happens all the time on a mass scale where person/company x purchase item from company y and then years down the road it all craps out.

Not having the reason/experience/knowledge to do so just means the consumer purchased a product that probably was over his head. It doesn’t hold up in court.


#13

depends on how you look at it. capcom didn’t mention this product will self destruct within 4-5 years and that’s illegal. doubt anything will happen though becuase only a handful of people own the 3s board unless you got a lawyer who’s into 3s or something and might do something about it.


#14

I can’t believe some of you are actually siding with Capcom here.

And the sad thing is, arcade operators are CLUELESS about this problem. Our 3s machine down here at Pittsburgh has been “out of order” for over a year now. And it just so happens it died at 6 years old. Gee wonder what happened.

Saddest still is I tried to explain suicide batteries to the guy running the place he doesn’t believe me.

Steve is absolutely right on every count, how decieptful and fucked up of capcom. Capcom could have at least let operators know what was up in the instruction manual or something. Shit.

Although you’d have a good case, it probably wouldn’t be worth persuing legally by yourself. Legal fee’s would run you more than sending your cart to Japan to get fixed. Now if many 3s owners got together and made a law suit it might actually be worth it.


#15

Please don’t post ignorant garbage like that with out thinking first. There is absolutely no way for the consumer to know that Capcom hid a suicide battery inside the system and Capcom did not document this. Please think before you post. Yes Capcom in the wrong. Thank-You Parry-All!
Steve


#16

If they are in the wrong then go ahead and sue them let me know when you get the money.

While you’re at it give the name the of the lawyer. Since over the years I’ve owned tons of items that had battery stored data that died after years, hell I have them now. And all the prior legal information means it’s tough luck you paid for an item with a battery and you got what you paid for. In fact this kind of thing is so common I could launch a slew of lawsuits for all sorts of lost data/failed devices and not have to work for the rest of my life.

I’m not saying it wasn’t a bad thing to do, it was and yes capcom screwed with people. But this doesn’t make it illegal. You can’t just declare something illegal because it was a nasty buisness move and you got the short end of the stick.

Legal precident is on Capcoms side.


#17

Ok, got some quick legal advice from a lawyer friend of mine. #1. A class action lawsuit would have to be filed against Capcom. (similar to one Epson Printers just lost for reporting low ink when indeed there was ink left in the carts) #2. Wether its Legal or Illegal doesn’t matter much because it would be up to the Lawyers/plantiffs to prove Capcom was negligent, which in this case according to my friend would not be tough to prove. Infact he said its a very good case, but the costs and time involved in fighting a company like Capcom would not be practical unless someone with lots of money had something to prove. Still this doesn’t mean Capcom is right. Infact its pretty low.
Steve


#18

Lol you are a moron. So, I guess if I go buy an HDTV, and there is a device inside it that blows up the picture tube in 6 years, and neither the seller nor manufacturer said a word, “I’m” to blame.

Yeah that is totally legal and legit business practices. Stupid consumer shoulda known better :rollseyes:. Yeah right.

There are most certainly Lemon laws IE, some cars were built to break and owners of these cars have sued and won. Shit there’s a number you can call here in Pittsburgh 1800MY LEMON to talk to a lawyer about it. This shit is well documented. So it’s not like there’s not precident here.

Bottom line you could seriously get them in trouble in court but you need more than one owner to band together and get some money/ a lawyer. The problem of course is like Steven said, arcades are dead, owners have long since sold off their games/don’t care anymore, and 3s wasn’t exactly the most widespread arcade game in the first place.

Do you think that, if Capcom actually TOLD arcade operators about the suicide battery that they operators would have still bought the hardware? Fuck no. Had Capcom been legit about it and told them, then explained it was designed to thwart piracy- and then told the operator they’d replace the battery for free, yeah that woulda been legit. But they didn’t do that. They practiced decietful business and they got away with it. It’s fucked up bottom line.


#19

Read my 2nd post… Not looking for $$ looking for workin CPS3 that won’t kill its self intentionally. Also your “battery stored data” was known to have a battery inside when you bought it. This is not so with a CPS-3 system… Show me anywhere in its docs where it says the word “battery inside”. You won’t find it.


#20

Not all devices inform you the data is kept alive by an internal battery, in fact most don’t. Take video game carts with a save option. After x amount of years that battery is gone and then your game is worthless. I’d also note CPS3 is not the only arcade system to use a suicide battery, this is hardly an isolated incident.

Does it say it has a battery in it? No, but that doesn’t mean they can be held liable once it craps the hell out. If you didn’t replace it that’s your problem.

Not a fair comparion. The point of the battery wasn’t to blow up the device, it was for copy protection/security. A fair comparison would be if a company put a battery system into a game cart so you couldn’t steal the game. And if not replaced in x years the game would die on you. Which is completely legal, in fact a lot of games have battery systems for other reasons and die like crazy.

This is assinine. Why would they replace it for free? That’s the stupidest thing they could do because then they screw themselves into replacing old technology for ever and would break the law if they didn’t.

How it works in the real world is that it’s on the owner to contact about replacements unless they purchased a warrenty (if one is even offered).

Is it fucked up, hell yes, was it mean thing to do, yes. But I wasn’t talking about that, I’m correcting the original poster who says that it was illegal, when it’s perfectly legal, and similar companies pull similar stunts all the time because they can.

If you want to be upset about it more power to you. However don’t kid yourself that this is illegal. Be aware that this practice is quite common over multiple devices so next time you can take steps to maintain your investment.