Re: Oh for the old days...
quote: "I dispute this on the basis that if I buy a blu ray for 20 quid I can watch it until the disc falls apart and I think a 30 year life span is reasonable for those discs."
Absolutely, however bear in mind that for computer programs, you do not buy the data. You buy a license to use the program. You do not own the program, you never have owned the program. You own a (revocable) license, which is governed by the EULA that you agreed to when installing the program.
I'm not saying I agree with this state of affairs, and I'm not saying that this state of affairs is "right". It is however how things have been set up by the industry, and you no longer have a choice in the matter. You cannot install software without having to click "I Accept" on a EULA, even if it is the GPL EULA.
So for your more realistic comparison: if Bioware choose to revoke your license to use Baldur's Gate (which they most likely are within their rights to do after giving notice, read the EULA to check), you can still install and run the game, but you would be doing so "illegally". You would be a software pirate, for using a CD that you had previously purchased legally. Like it or not, for computer programs, physical possesion of the install media does not automatically grant you the right to use that media.
So bearing that in mind: for Diablo 3, did the launch day server issues break Blizzard's obligations as defined in the EULA? If they turn the servers off in 2 years, will that break Blizzard's obligations as defined in the EULA?
I suspect that, thanks to the terms of the EULA (I never read the buggers because I know they are deliberately far too long and complicated to easily understand), Blizzard have not in fact failed in any obligations that could be used to attempt redress. If that is not the case, and they have in fact broken their own EULA, feel free to start legal action against them for breach of contract (or tort, or whatever it is you need to do when one party fails to uphold their end of a formal agreement).
In my opinion, someone whining that they can't play a game they "purchased" simply shows their lack of understanding of what it is they actually spent money on. It also tends to demonstrate that (like me) they didn't take the time to read and comprehend the EULA that they have already legally agreed to.