The point is understandable and completely makes sense. Still, I think it's unfair that one should have to keep it forever simply because such a product can be reproduced in an illegal manner by the person who owns it or someone who is able to do it for them. Again, it's understandable, but at the same time unfair that in the end only the seller gets the benefits while the consumer gets stuck. Of couse, one always has the option of avoiding the product all together but that to me is not a solution, simply a lame argument that fixes nothing.
Sure, you can look at it from the one sided view. But then, you can also put it in perspective, and consider both the benefits and the drawback's of Stardock's system, rather than just the drawbacks. There are quite a few things you can do with Stardock's system that you can't do with others that do allow you to re-sell games easier.
For example, if you buy a non-digitally distributed game, if you ever lose the disc or cd key you have to buy a new one. Not so with Stardock, since you can just re-download as many times as you like. This is all at no cost to you, but at a cost to Stardock.
So you decide if it's worth the trade off. Lifetime assurance that you'll never have to worry about losing a cd key/disc, combined with better-than-most update support versus not being able to re-sell. It isn't as if Stardock does the exact same as any other publisher, but adds this restriction on top of it. No, they offer you a perk, and a drawback. They spend extra money on support, and in light of it want to make sure that they know where that support goes.
How 'unfair' that is depends on each individual.
It's a wash. If I keep the game, you're still going to incur support costs for me for the game. If I sell the game, those costs are just transferred to the other person.
Not really. If you had installation issues, they spent money helping you fix them. If you had patching issues, they spent money getting it fixed.
If the new owner has installation issues, they now have to spend money on the same support that you already got. It's not like they're simply transferred, there's a liability. A risk that they re-incur the same expenses with the new owner that they already had with you.
It may not seem like much, but look at the big picture. Between all of their products, and judging by forum registrations, let's say they have 3 million product users. Even if it costs $5 per person on support, imagine if all 3 million users at one point or another resold their stuff. All the money that Stardock spent on support for the original 3 million now have a chance to be re-incurred with the new 3 million - with no extra revenue to compensate.
Extreme example, yes, but designed to show that even relatively small amounts of money mean a lot with a sufficiently large user base, and they do have to budget for it.
This kind of thing doesn't exist anywhere else. As I said above, music, movies don't have any support costs. The studios make them and sell them, and wash their hands of it. There are no costs to maintain it. For electronics, tools, cars, houses, whatever you always pay insurance/warranty. You buy a new shiny TV and want some guarantee of getting a replacement if it breaks within a year or two? You buy a warranty. The manufacturers can afford this from the fact that fewer people need replacements/fixes than the number that pay for the warranty. It's the same in the insurance business. But game publishers have no such system. They have constant out of pocket expenses on support, and the only way to recoup them is original game sales.
You have to look at the whole picture here, not pick out only what's convenient