Australian Uses eBay To Resell EA's Charitable Humble Bundle At A Profit -- UPDATED

The EA Humble Bundle isn't just a great deal for gamers, with multiple great titles being offered a reasonable price, it's also a great gesture by EA itself. Most Humble Bundles send a percentage of profits to various charities and allow users to choose how much goes where, but with EA's bundle each and every cent of revenue goes to charity. This is what makes the acts of eBay user jazz_singh.88 all the more problematic.

Because in this eBay auction Australian user jazz_singh.88 is selling the Origin keys from the games in the Humble Bundle to unknowing consumers for a flat $10 fee, presumably buying multiple copies of the bundle at close to the average asking price in the humble bundle (currently $4.82) and taking the profit for himself.

"For Sale is a huge origin bundle," reads the auction. "This Offer is for a limited time only so get buying!!!"

The auction then goes on to list Battlefield 3, Medal Of Honor, Dead Space 3, Dead Space, Burnout Paradise, Crysis 2, Mirrors Edge and The Sims 3 as games available in this "Origin Bundle".

The Humble Bundle is essentially a 'pay what you want' service. Consumers are able to go directly to the Humble Bundle site, pay what they want and receive all the games in the bundle. It's a site that runs on good faith, and encourages users to pay more than the average payment to receive extra games. EA's Humble Bundle was interesting specifically because EA is donating all of its revenue from the bundle to charity, which means that jazz_singh.88 is essentially taking money directly from these charities by attempting to make a profit on what is, essentially, a gesture of goodwill.

We sent off a direct email to jazz_singh.88 questioning his motives for the auction, but have yet to receive a response. One Kotaku reader, however, did manage to get a response earlier today and was told to "mind his own business" if he "wasn't interested in buying".

EA's Humble Bundle has, at time of writing raised almost $7 million for charities such as the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This auction is essentially taking potential funds directly from those charities.

We also contacted eBay Australia for an official response. We'll update as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE: eBay has now removed the auction, and sent us the following statement.

The listing in question has been taken down because it was in breach of the Digitally Delivered Goods policy. The policy exists to protect both buyers and sellers as there is no way for eBay to track digital delivery of goods.

The resale of items purchased from charities is allowed on eBay. But we do reserve the right to make judgement calls about them – for example we would hope that our members would not knowingly divert funds away from charities, and we wouldn’t allow listings that somehow suggest that the item for sale is still of benefit to a charity. We have taken many of those types of listings down in the past and will continue to do so moving forward.

Thanks Garth


Comments

    what a bell-end.

      Total dick. The bright side is that EA will still get money for those copies anyway which in turn means the charity will also get it.

      To explain what I mean: The seller listed BF3 in the bundle. Which means that he paid the minimum $4.80 odd for the bundle. Now, given that most people will only pay the average, hence why it's an average, chances are that the potential purchasers of the bundle would have only paid $5 odd. So the charity would get the same.

      Only the buyers would be 'ripped off' by $5 buying from this middle man. In any case, he's an ass. Do it for other business ventures, but not if charities are involved.

      Last edited 19/08/13 3:21 pm

        Actually, the buyer (jazz_singh) could have selected for no amount to be given to charity - and for all the funds to go to Humble Bundle organization. And to be fair, that would have been his fair and legal right.

        Also, why would the buyer be ripped off? They are after all not obliged to purchase the item.

        And is jazz_singh the middle man? And if so, is there anything wrong with that? Legally or morally?

        As far as I can see he's onselling a product that he's purchased. I don't think the fact that a charity may or may not have been a recipient of any of the initial funds for the legal purchase has anything to do with it.

        I don't understand the objection that on-selling is not acceptable if and when charities are involved.

        I don't see that any charity has been harmed.

        If the end user buyer was aware of Humble Bundle was available at a much lower cost, offering a more satisfying and secure transaction, that they would purchase that way.

        Jazz Singh was merely taking advantage of people's lack of knowledge which is extremely common place in the capitalist society that we live in.

        Can I ask those that will be negging this comment down to please make a brief reply showing which aspect of the comments you disagree with, and why. That way a discussion could actually take place as opposed to simply calling someone an ass without clearly providing reasons for doing so.

          Well it's difficult to argue that it does any financial harm to the charity, considering they've got literally an infinite amount of the product to sell, the moral argument boils down to 'is it ok to profit from other people's charity work'.
          When you break it down into standard on-selling it doesn't seem wrong, but it certainly doesn't seem right.

          There's also the question of whether it's ok to steal EA's thunder here. This is in part a publicity stunt. The people who buy the on sold keys don't recognise EA's contribution. I feel no pity for them there but the question still has to be asked.
          The charities themselves deserve some publicity that they aren't getting.

            If, as you say, it doesn't seem wrong, then does the issue deserve this much attention? Does the seller deserve this much derision?

            I think this guy is guilty of profiteering, and that's all (other than the infringement of terms and conditions - that at the end of the day none of us are offended by).

            We're all guilty of profiteering. That's what makes the (capitalist) world go round. Don't believe me? Hey readers, do any of you work for companies that exist only to make profit? Let's see if anyone puts there hands up. I suspect that one or two might.

            I bought this Humble Bundle but I didn't recognise, or care for EA's charitable contribution. The way I understood it, and I might well have been wrong, was that I was the one making the contribution from my personal funds.

            In fact, I could go further and suggest that EA and or Humble Bundle did a disservice to the charities concerned by not having a higher minimum amount.

            My guess is, and again I could be completely wrong, is that if the minimum level for $8, $10, $15, $20, that far more money would have been raised than actually was.

            I mean $5 for all those games, including the newly released Dead Space 3 which still costs $40 or higher for the console versions, and includes genre leading current gen games such as B3, and Sims 3. Why were they shooting themselves in the foot like that?

            If it was in part a publicity stunt I would say that it at least failed in some regards. Sure, it's lead me to become an Origin user (as the Steam codes didn't work for me - side note), but I was only aware of the Humble Bundle because I trawl through various gaming sites. Not everyone does.

            Is it really a loss if the end user buyer of the keys that likely wasn't aware of the Humble Bundle (and may still not be) isn't aware of whatever contributions EA has made? Does anyone really care about that?

            Should we care when not everyone sees the latest McDonalds advert. Is that loss really hurting anyone?

              But you're essentially letting capitalism replace a moral compass. It's ok to buy up all the tickets and scalp them at an artificially inflated price because if the vendor wasn't willing to charge $300 for Disney on Ice tickets that's their problem. Capitalism says that's fine but it's still a real douchebag move that only serves to exploit people who just want to see a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume skate around to crappy music.
              Eventually that line of thinking just leads to Objectivisms 'it'd be irresponsible not to screw over literally everyone you meet, pat yourself on the back for being an asshole' attitude. Frankly I'll take Communism over that.

              On the subject of McDonald's ads I'd say that if Ronald McDonald house does their thing I think they deserve to not have their involvement in the project scratched off the side. This didn't change my mind on EA and honestly I've forgotten the other charities involved already, but personally I think if they're willing to do the work setting up the charity they at least deserve to have their logos on the transaction.

              At the end of the day there are a million other ways to on-sell and make money. Exploiting someone else's charity for your own purely financial benefit is incredibly sleazy at best. I'm not going to attack someone for doing it but I'm definitely not going to feel any sort of sympathy when they get spat on.

                I disagree.

                I don't think that i've defended any behaviour, or any aspect of capitalism.

                I think I've just said that JazzSinghs behaviour is normal within a capitalist society.

                Capitalism is all about exploitation. Why are we pretending that it's not?

                If you look at the negatives of Capitalism then it's easy to favour alternatives. And vice versa.

                Here's an example for you.

                Would it have been wrong of JazzSingh if he had paid $5,000 for a pair of Kylie Minogues jeans in a bid to sell them for a higher price at some point in the future?

                The principle seems the same to me, and the actions of bidders at charity auctions is typically viewed highly favourably.

                EA did work to set up a charity? That's not right.

                They didn't set up a charity. They didn't even set up a charity bundle forum - Humble Bumble did that.

                EA agreed to sell their products at ridiculously low prices in a bid to increase their user-ship and improve their PR.

                They'll have their logos on every single game, and all over Origin - you don't need to worry about EA's lack of branding.

                I disagree that buying something from a charity and on-selling at a profit is sleazy. I agree that it appears sleazy. It seems against (many of) our sensibilities. But in actual fact it's not sleazy. It is in fact of benefit to all concerned.

          I read it as people are paying him $10.00 on Ebay, he is then going to humble bundle, donating $5.00 and forwarding the keys to the ebay winner. People who don't know about humble bundle (lots) would see this on Ebay and be like "holy shit!" not realising they're passing on the opportunity to help developers, charities and being ripped off more than they need to pay.

          It would have been far better to buy a few and wait until after the bundle had passed. You're being far less of an asshole that way.

            I might be misunderstanding a few of your points.

            It seems that you're suggesting that JazzSingh was selling the bundle keys before purchasing them - and you seem to be objecting to this. I don't see what's objectionable to that. I don't see that it matters either way if he sold the items prior to purchase, or after purchasing - unless it put him at risk of not being able to secure the keys to pass on to the buyers - and that doesn't appear to have been the case.

            I also think you might be wrong with your quoted sale costs. The average cost of the Humble Bundle is $5, and includes 10 keys. I think he was attempting to sell each of the 10 keys for $10 or so each - yielding a profit ratio of approx 2000%. A tidy amount. My maths or representation may be wrong.

            Yeah - the people that don't know about the Humble Bundle wouldn't have been in a position to contribute to the special offer - simply on the basis of them being unaware. From this, JazzSingh was actually providing a benefit to the charity / promotion - by securing funds from those that were not in a position to contribute - for whatever reason, and to be clear the reason was a lack of awareness.

            JazzSingh, and no one else, is not obliged to speak out aloud in order to promote the Humble Bundle. Did everyone here that knew about the Humble Bundle do at least one thing to promote it to those in the wider community? Probably not. I know I didn't. Selfish? Maybe, but it wasn't my responsibility to either.

            You might have a point about waiting until after the Humble Bundle had expired in order to sell them - although I don't think the timing would in any way influence the infraction of the terms and conditions.

            if he had of waited, the unaware buyer may have become aware and purchased directly through Humble Bundle, and potentially have contributed more than JazzSingh did in order to acquire the keys; and certainly the buyer would have had the opportunity to have had bought the exact same item through more secure means at a lower cost. Having said that, the buyer may never have become aware of the Humble Bundle and as such would not have otherwise had the opportunity to purchase the keys at the JazzSingh sale price.

            Last edited 20/08/13 2:31 pm

              I still prefer the more succinct version of
              "What a bell-end"

          I know i'm a bit late adding to this, but your 100% correct, except there is a reason that this is an exception and not the rule. The reason why people feel this way is due to the nature of the product. I read an example here of jeans and concert ticket scalping. Both of such example have limited availability. This leads to people missing out or being extorted.

          That's the difference here. Most people are viewing this from that stand point. In actual reality in this case the product has an unlimited supply. As such the above mentioned ebay user is not really doing anything illegal or unscrupulous. Capitalism is actually pretty ugly as you mentioned, the only people who like it are the people doing the exploiting.

          Last edited 20/08/13 9:48 am

            I don't think exploitation is the correct term.

            No one is being forced to buy anything.

            I don;t understand the relevancy of supply in this case.

            If there was a limited supply of the codes I don't see how that would change the legality or ethics involved. It might change the price, but not the principles involved.

              It's quite simple, your not diminishing anything when the supply is unlimited. It's not a matter of legality but ethics. The odds of obtaining something with an unlimited supply is pretty good but when something aimed at the general populous with limited supply, you end up diminishing the chances of obtaining at the lower price for the purposes of profit. In this case the seller is not diminishing the chances of the buyer becoming aware of the humble package thusly not diminishing the buyer of the option of buying at the lower price. Illegal no, unscrupulous no.

                Hmmm, you make an interesting point, although i'm not quite sure how relevant it is, and it is a little difficult to decipher. And to some degree it is incorrect.

                The supply of the item has no effect on legality or ethics.

                The seller is not diminishing the chance of the buyer becoming aware, and nor is that an issue if they were, however the buyer might well not actively seek out further copies of Battlefield 3 codes which they might have done should they have not purchased the sellers keys. That being the case it could be argued that the seller is indirectly diminishing the likelihood (albeit not opportunity) for the buyer to become aware of the Humber Bundle directly.

                  Lets be clear here, I'm not talking about fact, i'm talking about what could be the general perception and emotional reaction they might have.

                  For example, with regard to concert tickets, it would not be considered by many to be unscrupulous to sell tickets you purchased because you cannot attend for one reason or another.

                  What people find unscrupulous are the scalpers who would buy large amounts of tickets for the sole purpose of diminishing the odds of being able to buy a ticket at the regular price, in order to be able to raise the price. That in itself isn't largely a huge problem if only a handful of people do this as the impact is not that high and the scalpers aren't buying thousands of tickets at a time.

                  However, these days, its so common that its not just a few people. Its seems like there are large amounts of scalpers buying more and more tickets each. Its become a full time business as opposed to turning a quick buck.

                  Lets say a concert has 25,000 tickets, promotional companies buy/provided/allocated 5,000 tickets. Scalpers buy up another 10,000. Your odds of being able to get a ticket without an inflated price tag has significantly reduced. My figures are pure speculation of course. But having looked into tickets for my daughter in sydney, i've trolled around the sites and i'm amazed how many people are selling tickets inflated by huge margins in the 1000s of tickets. Some people seems to have over 50 tickets each to sell under a single sellers name. Of course, my daughter doesn't have any tickets, but that could be because i'm a tight a**.

                  Having said the above, if the ticket companies had an unlimited supply of tickets, and I still can buy from the ticket company and maybe there would be less scalpers. Being unaware is not an excuse, i need to do my homework, just like with any purchase, so if i bought from a scalper thats my problem.

                  Another example, if you and I bought all the food in 50% of the supermarkets, the odds are that people will miss out on the things they want from the remaining 50%. Now we can inflate the price and force people who missed out to pay higher prices. However if the remaining supermarkets had an unlimited supply of everything, people could still goto those markets we did not buy out and the odds of getting what they want is not diminished.

                  Its unethical to inflict reduced odds on people for the sole purpose of making a profit on a item.

                  Now think of what would happen if this was to happen to the pharmaceutical field....... Of course there are laws, systems and regulation there to stop this kind of thing.

                  Sorry this was so long winded.

                  Last edited 21/08/13 9:01 am

                  @ meeki (cant reply directly)

                  I don't see the point in focusing on scruples.

                  Scalping is legal (isn't it? I really don't know).

                  You won't like it if it is adversely effecting you. You will like it if is enabling you to gain profit.

                  Just because you want to throw a hissy fit about it doesn't mean that the hissy fit is justified.

                  WIth the scalper problem what is the solution?

                  Simple. The concert promoters need to develop and implement systems that does not allow for the re-sale of a ticket without financial penalty.

                  Is that an implementable system? Yep.

                  Is that a faultless system? No. But it would likely devastate the current scalping industry quick-smart.

                  How long did it take to come up with the idea for that solution? Approx 0.5 seconds.

                  "Its unethical to inflict reduced odds on people for the sole purpose of making a profit on a item."

                  I think I disagree with this.

                  Hey, we're in a games site yeah. How many of you are aware of Collectors Editions. Do you know why they're called Collectors (and Limited) Editions? I'll give you one guess.

          The reason this is bad is not one of ethics, or what others think is right. It is rather simple. The user in question purchase his humble bundle and in doing so also agreed to the licensing terms which clearly state that you cannot resell the keys, give them away, or use them for any other reason other than for him to personally use.

          What he did is a violation of that contract. its a simple as that, and this entire thread and discussion is as usual a complete waste of internet time.

            Yes, I entirely agree - and that's largely what I'm arguing.

      Also, hopefully people will stop being as negative about EA. They've been good recently. Took away their DLC policy and now they do this. Kudos to them I say.

        Yeah, but in retrospect it looks like they only took their online pass stuff away because the XBOX One was about to make them practically obsolete anyway.
        EA go through cycles. Every now and then they decide they need to improve their image and do something legitimately good. The problem is their working environment seems to heavily encourage the anything less than maximum profit is a loss mentality so it always slings back to slash and burn eventually. It's like a pressure release valve for an evil reputation.

        I guess all you can really do is support them when they do good and give negative feedback when they don't. I'm not going to blast them for doing this for charity, even if you're totally cynical and assume it's just a ploy to get more people on Origin they're doing something really good, but at the same time I'm not going to let it cause me to trust EA to ever do the right thing.

    scum... pure n simple... unfortunately though... someone will fall for it and he'll make a few $

    That's a lot of effort for dollars. I'm curious what the cross section of buyers is for people savvy enough to go looking for cheap cd keys on ebay but not know the humble bundle exists.

    Last edited 19/08/13 1:34 pm

      Not really. All he has to do is wait for a buyer, then pay for another Indie Bundle and send his "client" the keys.

      I wonder how it'd go for him if a whole bunch of people "bought" these from him, and never paid?

      In any event, when money is involved, someone will start scalping. I'm not encouraging the practice - I think it's disgusting and for limited use items, deprives people of the item just so someone can be a greedy ass.
      People will do almost anything for money.

        I wonder how it'd go for him if a whole bunch of people "bought" these from him, and never paid?

        Almost impossible as you don't have to send anything to the buyer if the item is not paid. Even Ebay will tell you to make sure you have the money before posting the item lol

    Scumbag. Please post his email so we can all shame him/her.

    Last edited 19/08/13 1:38 pm

    I can only suggest people report this assbutt for being an assbutt.

      ebay should really add an assbutt report category :(

        I'm disappointed it doesn't now.

        Last edited 19/08/13 1:49 pm

    He is just taking advantage of peoples stupidity, anyone doing online shopping would search around for a better deal, inevitably uncovering that this humble bundle is still going on the official website and its only a dollar.

      I don't think the Humble Bundle is that well known. I've heard of it before but this was the first time I purchased.

    There's a special place in hell reserved for people like this. Those who try to profit off charity... ffs. One of the worst kinds of people.

    Instead of saying what a bad person he is, do what I did and report the listing on ebay and get it taken down.

    Last edited 19/08/13 1:57 pm

      I would, but I don't have an Ebay account.

      Last edited 19/08/13 2:01 pm

    Looking at his ebay history this isn't his first time of on-selling humble bundle items. There are games sold from the THQ bundle and others.

    Just to present an opposing point of view, anyone who takes money away from EA is alright in my books. (I have an unjustifiable hate for them after what they did to C&C and other franchises which I might have taken part in but will no longer (Sim City))

      IT'S ALL GOING TO CHARITY.

        I know but still EA ruined my favorite franchiseeeee! . Also wow, Mark is replying to ME *Blushes*

          That doesn't make EA wholly responsible. While EA have done bad things in the past, in the entirety of this sale they are doing only good. They are making no profit out of the Humble Bundle because, as Mark said, the money is going to charity. AND THIS GUY IS MAKING MONEY OFF OF IT.

            Ok, I accept that this person is doing wrong and I have been harsh but I still remain adamant that I do not like EA as a company and what they have done is bad and has alienated many potential customers

              So you approve of someone profiteering off charity because you don't like the company supporting it, even though they make no profit for themselves? I didn't think it was possible to ever see THIS kind of stupid in my lifetime

              What on earth does that have to do with someone using EA products to steal from charity? Might also be worth pausing a moment and realising the company you hate so much is making a pretty great contribution to charity. Love or loathe EA, the Origin Humble Bundle was a pretty cool move.

              I apologize for previous comments. What the 'seller' did was quite wrong.

          Maybe read what you're posting in the future before you press submit.

          he's replying to you because you've said something idiotic... well done...

          if you go and look at the humble bundle page you'll see that none of the money goes to EA, also you don't have to even use origin to take advantage of the bundle as a good portion of the games activate on steam... of which you get keys for BOTH platforms...

          so no... just no... move along

      So because you feel like EA owes you in some way, you are supporting theft. Cock head.

        sorry, but how is this theft? he's simply buying and reselling for profit. please reconsider your importance to the human race you oxygen thief.

    I hate people that do this kind of shit, take advantage of an extremely cheap deal buy up and then re-sell to make a profit.

    It's like the people who buy extra concert tickets, for example like Soundwave & then stick them up on eBay for 2x or more the face value, highly illegal, but yet eBay doesn't seem to give a shit if you report them. To get anything done you have to report these people to Soundwave who then had the tickets removed and the people were forced to sell them at face value.

      Not to mention that those Soundwave and other concerts quite often sell out in just a few minutes or hours. People who want the ticket so they can see the show end up getting shafted - either they miss out, or they buy a ticket from a scalper, usually paying a fair bit more.
      It wouldn't bother me so much if these people were selling stuff you could still buy, but too often they buy up a large percentage of the available tickets, wait until the show is sold out, and then reap the rewards of being an asshole.

        Yep, I remember when Big Day Out, used to sell all allocated tickets and within minutes of it selling out there would be hundreds of eBay listings for 3 or 4 times the value of the ticket & people would pay it. I hate scalpers, they're just scum. Legitimate people selling a spare ticket or their ticket because they cannot attend for the sale price or around that are fine. But those who make a business out of it deserve to be dealt with accordingly, how ever that may be.

      Every company in the world is formed solely to make profit you fucking moron

    How about you all stop polishing your sence of justice and actually do something about it?

    There's a report buton for a reason.

    Hang on a second.

    Money is still going to charity, he still has to buy the bundles to get he keys. People who are buying it from him obviously have never heard of the humble bundles and would not have purchased from them in the first place, so he is actually helping out buy creating more exposure and bringing in more sales. Good on him for thinking outside the box.

    His plan failed when he realised that nobody has ever done a search for "origin keys"

      He could have just listed under Battlefield PC or such and could have easily have been the lowest priced option.

      If nothing else, his inventiveness can be admired.

    My gut doesn't like this, but let me play devil's advocate here:

    He's still paying the average price, and he's on selling to people that presumably don't know about the bundle. This seems almost identical in principle to those charity muggers - yes they take a cut, but charities use them because it recruits people who wouldn't otherwise give them money.

      yeh but there is some small fine print on the humble bundle page: Offer may not be substituted, exchanged, sold or redeemed for cash or other goods or services.
      Don't know how its enforced though. Usually those charity muggers have permission to on sell.

        Oh ok - this (and only this) changes things.

        If it's against terms and conditions then he's been naughty.

        I doubt he's the only one in this thread to have broken a digital copyright law though.

      In this case, I'm inclined to agree with you, as he is at least paying the average price [BF3 and Sims3 included require that].

      Every single time there is a humble bundle, though, there are people selling the steam keys on ebay and only purchase them at the 1 cent minimum. So while this case isn't too bad, overall the practice shouldn't be encouraged, as it totally undermines the principles upon which the Humble Bundle operates.

        Well Steam keys are minimum $1.00; not sure if you would consider that to be much better than $0.01

    This listing has now been removed!
    "This listing (151102150913) has been removed, or this item isn't available."

    That's just disgraceful. Once the humble bundle ends and any bonus games have been allocated I plan on just giving away my leftover keys... I already own half of those games and don't really plan on registering them on both Steam and Origin.

    Went to report, item has been removed.

    "This listing (151102150913) has been removed, or this item isn't available."

    Huzzah!

    Although this is just a one ant in a nest it seems. A search for "origin bundle" turned up 2 other Australian sellers and at least 4 international sellers also trying to make money off this :(

    And now it's been removed. :)

    Does seem a bit low someone would profit off these bundles, but honestly, if you go search the individual games you'll see plenty of keys have popped up magically since the sale started, so it's probably a much bigger problem than people imagine...... People will do anything to get some extra $$$ hey? *sigh*

      Yeah the site just crashed for me too, thought it was just my net...

      Yep - it's just capatilsm at work.

      Why get hett up about this.

      What about the 10,000s of fake Chanel handbags on ebay.

      Or the millions of people and business selling items as being in Very Good Condition that are anything but.

        To put it simply, just because something is legal does not make it moral. (And in this case, it's not even legal as reselling the keys is against the terms of the licence.)

        It's quite possible to make money under capitalism and do so morally / ethically. It's normally done by adding value to something. That addition of value may just be adding convenience (by making the item available at retail), by offering professional advice, or even just by preserving an item so somebody else can buy it later. Capitalism is NOT about making a profit. Capitalism is about turning added value into profit.

        This Ebayer is not adding value but subtracting it. Firstly, the keys he's selling won't be registered to the email address of the actual purchaser, so they would have trouble regaining access if EA cancel the keys (because, for example, they were issued against the terms of purchase). Secondly, part of the "value" in this case is the knowledge of making a charitable contribution. Any contribution is capped in this case at whatever he's contributed already - the buyer doesn't even know that incorporating a charitable donation is an option.

        If he really wanted to make money for charity he would post the ad with a note in large friendly letters referring purchasers to the Humble Bundle site.

        I'll add that "but everybody else is doing it" is not a reasonable excuse. If the Government started offering a $1000 bounty for killing anybody over the age of 65 (and made it legal to do so) would you take up the bounty?

          Capitalism is about making a profit. Adding value is a means to making profit.

          This ebayer is both subtracting value, in the ways in which you state, as well as adding value - offering at an item at a price point that the buyer would otherwise not be able to purchase (due to being unaware of the Humble Bundle).

          The buyer doesn't need to know that a charitable donation was potentially an aspect of the transaction. It's not the sellers responsibility to inform the buyer of their sources generally (although due to the legal terms and conditions maybe it was in this case).

          The buyer is free to make any charitable donation at any stage. We all are.

          "If he really wanted to make money for charity he would post the ad with a note in large friendly letters referring purchasers to the Humble Bundle site."

          I absolutely agree. And we could have all done this - promote the Humble Bundle to those that are unaware in one capacity or another.

          It's not the sellers responsibility to raise funds for charity. I think the sellers motivations were to make profit (easily) and not to raise funds for charity.

          Your bounty analogy is silly, and if not, certainly pointless and irrelevant. But to answer your question I guess it would depend on how willing and able I was to kill the over 65s'. I currently don't own any weapons and if I was to enter a killing business, regardless of the age of the targets, I'd need to invest in an array of tools to enable me to perform the job effectively, So, if it's possible to acquire the weaponry it could potentially be a business opportunity worth investigating. Why, are you looking for a partner? Perhaps we could re-group after the election.

          OK, here's my summary on the topic.

          The seller is definitely acting illegally. They've broken the licence terms and conditions. I don't think this in itself warrants the level of outrage that we see here, and elsewhere, however it is most definitely illegal.

          The seller is acting unethically - by selling an item that, as you highlight, is handicapped in some ways and the seller is (as far as I'm aware and i've not checked) not informing the buyer of these deficiencies. Again, this is no worse than what the likes of EB do every day, and what they have done for several years - i.e. sold used products without informing buyers of the lack of originally included DLC / online passes etc.

          The seller has definitely contributed to the Humble Bundle and legally purchased the items (just not legally sold them).

          The fact that a charity may or may not have been involved in the origination of the item has no bearing of the legality or morality of the sale.

          Last edited 20/08/13 9:35 am

            I'm approaching this from the viewpoint of somebody who, some years ago, actually went through an Economics degree. What they told us in Economics 101 is that the purpose of any economic system is to solve the "economic problem". The economic problem is all about taking raw materials (land (raw resources of any kind), labour, capital (machinery) and enterprise (entrepreneurial spirit)) and using them to produce goods and services and distributing them efficiently and fairly.

            The purpose of capitalism is not to make a profit. The purpose of an individual in a capitalist economy may well be to make a profit; but the purpose of capitalism is to produce and distribute goods and services efficiently and fairly. In an ideal market economy, prices will adjust to the point where an individual can't make an "above normal" profit - that is, they can't earn more than their contribution is worth.

            However, that mechanism breaks down when there is a monopoly or when information transfer is less than perfect. That's the case here. This is a problem because clearly this guy is taking advantage of poor information transfer to make an above-normal profit. I'm not sure if I would class this as a market failure, but clearly it's not a circumstance that capitalism, as an economic system, is handling well.

            I agree that the bounty analogy is a bit silly. My basic point is that if you regard anything that is legal as being automatically moral, you probably need to have a close look at where your moral grounding lies.

            If I had to venture a guess, you don't actually believe that to be the case, you're just more tolerant of people placing their own self-interest above that of others. It's entirely possible that you would never consider doing something similar yourself, you just recognise the right of others to do so.

            If that is your position, I actually agree with you to some degree. I do believe however that as mature human beings we should have some concern for the welfare of others in everything that we do. That's not to say that self-interest should be ignored, just that it needs to be weighted against the welfare of others. A person who ONLY considers self-interest is, more or less by definition, a psychopath. (A person who NEVER considers self-interest is probably crazy in a rather different way.)

              "The purpose of capitalism is not to make a profit. The purpose of an individual in a capitalist economy may well be to make a profit; but the purpose of capitalism is to produce and distribute goods and services efficiently and fairly."

              OK, I agree that I, who did not study economics for any significant amount of time at university, was probably discussing the actions and intentions of an individual in a capitalist economy rather than the inner workings of a capitalist economy itself.

              I would also add that just because a text book provides an agreed upon definition within an academic setting, does not automatically make it true and correct, or entirely applicable to the real world.

              I would add, in order to clarify my understanding, that despite recognising the definition / explanation that you've provided, I would still believe that virtually all companies, individuals, entities within a capitalist society have profit as a primary, and most likely the primary, motivation for any actions that they take. Does Coca Cola act in order to be fair, or to make profit? It's such a simple answer.

              Are humans (and human created entities) entirely selfish? No. Are humans (and human created entities) mostly selfish? Yes.

              And they need to be.

              " This is a problem because clearly this guy is taking advantage of poor information transfer to make an above-normal profit."

              I agree that this guy is taking advantage of poor information transfer to make an above-normal profit, but I don't see how that is a problem (other than the fact that in order to make the profit he has had to break the licencing agreement, and is likely selling an item that has deficiencies (not registered in the correct name / email) without fully disclosing that to the buyer (I believe).

              I don't see the problem with this guy, or any other person or entity trying to profit from what they can profit from when it doesn't harm anyone else (other than the aspects of harm that i've already mentioned). And if this guy is making an above normal profit then well played to the guy. I can't literally mean that due to the issues with his sale, but if those issues didn't exist there would be nothing wrong with this transaction.

              "My basic point is that if you regard anything that is legal as being automatically moral, you probably need to have a close look at where your moral grounding lies."

              That's a point that doesn't need to be made.

              "If I had to venture a guess, you don't actually believe that to be the case, you're just more tolerant of people placing their own self-interest above that of others. "

              Perhaps I am more tolerant. Perhaps it's simply that I'm not reacting by singling out the actions of an individual concerning something that we all do 1,000 times a day.

              "It's entirely possible that you would never consider doing something similar yourself, you just recognise the right of others to do so."

              I wouldn't decide to do something illegal in pursuit of profit. It's not worth the risk. If it was completely unpoliced I might.

              I would not do something that potentially harms the buyer without their full knowledge. I'm extremely honest and feel utterly obliged to highlight everything that ought to be highlighted. I'd rather not make a sale than sell something under false pretences. I'm referring to the fact (?) that given that the end user buyer didn't purchase the keys directly that they don't have full benefits should they have a technical issues.

              I recognise that it's a bit pointless and rather mean and irresponsible (and potentially dangerous) to essentially publicly embarrass and shame an individual on multiple forums when they are only slightly acting illegally, no more than most do themselves (have you never broken a digital copyright law? (for the reader)), and arguably not acting unethically at all.

              "however that as mature human beings we should have some concern for the welfare of others in everything that we do. That's not to say that self-interest should be ignored, just that it needs to be weighted against the welfare of others. A person who ONLY considers self-interest is, more or less by definition, a psychopath. (A person who NEVER considers self-interest is probably crazy in a rather different way.)"

              Look. The guy is making a transaction for financial gain. The transaction is slightly illegal (T&C) and slightly unethical (non full disclosure). It does not warrant the hoopla that it has received.

              Does the ebay listing deserve to be removed? Yes, but not for the reasons argued.

              THE issue is that the sale is illegal. But please, why are we all pretending that there's a single person within this thread that hasn't acted illegally at some point. It is just not deserving of a moral outrage.

    The opportunity to do this with Humble Bundles has always been around for any bundle they do. I think the main difference this time round that has facilitated the behaviour of buying the bundle and re-selling it is simply because it's EA Games.

    We've seen games like BF3 and Sims 3 go to as low as $10 each once, when will we ever see the day it turns into $5 for both games AND MORE? People see this bundle as an opportunity for arbitrage because these games are much more popular than the regular indie bundles that they do normally (last biggest one imo that was popular was the Deep Silver bundle two weeks back).

    But if the bundle is that popular surely people will steadily hear of it and see that they should just buy the bundle for themselves DIRECTLY from Humble Bundle, rather than "re-sellers"

    It does beg the question though: can they really generate up to 7 million keys for all these games (and can the servers even handle that sort of load)?

    And there's still 9 more days to go for this bundle.

    Also, the bundle is back up again (re: the above posts)

    Last edited 19/08/13 2:26 pm

    It's good it's been taken down (I imagine EA was involved).

    But can we really be surprised? Didn't the first ever humble bundle have like a 25% piracy rate?

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