French court rules that Valve must allow for Steam users to resell their digital games

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While the UK High Court is busy banning piracy sites, the French High Court has just finished up another battle within the gaming industry. The French High Court has just ruled that Valve must make some drastic changes to their digital games storefront, Steam, stating that all French users must be allowed to resell their digital games. The legal dispute was led by the French consumer rights association, the UFC Que Choisir, who initially filed the lawsuit against Valve back in 2015. As it stands currently, purchases made on Steam are tied to your account, and once redeemed, cannot be resold--only refunded under certain circumstances.

The court ruled that not allowing for consumers to resell their digital library goes against European law, and that Valve has 30 days to comply, or will risk a daily fine of 3,000 Euros for up to six months, until a change is made. Valve, not pleased with the ruling, has decided to appeal the decision, with a representative claiming, "We disagree with the decision of the Paris Court of First Instance, and will appeal it. The decision will have no effect on Steam while the case is on appeal".

Previously, Valve dealt with an Australian legal battle, in which the courts ruled that Valve must implement a refund policy, which it appealed, and then lost against. A year after, Steam added a refund policy for games purchased on the storefront. Should Valve's appeal be dismissed, it could also open the gates to other digital storefronts being investigated, fined, and forced to add a method of reselling their digital titles.

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Hells Malice

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Well this won't be endlessly abused and lead to significant problems, especially with a huge rise in steam account compromising leading to a ton of innocent people becoming victims of stolen games.

No definitely not.

Definitely wasn't a legitimate reason digital media has historically not had something this stupid be possible.
 

ThoD

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What are those high courts smoking? Because that's some damn powerful shit if they think this makes ANY sense! With all the keystores around, Steam sales and bundles, you can get even 50-60€ games for dirt cheap, getting to resell them after they go back to normal price only means shit is gonna hit the fan VERY quickly!:/
 

Rahkeesh

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The claim here is that Steam is violating EU rather than French law? Couldn't this potentially spread if so?

I would like some consumer recourse but just plain forcing this is kind of dangerous. There's inherent inefficiencies with physical goods that just do not apply to digital ones, particularly ones that are semi-consumable. If its too easy to sell your old games through a middle man site you will find all but the very top games drop to near worthless after a month. That is taking into account that all the cheap sales/bundles on new games would probably vanish completely. Companies facing down that will surely move to creative DRM practices including of course subscription models.
 
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Xzi

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This is still subject to appeal, which is good because it has a lot of potential consequences for the sale of ALL digital items which I don't think the court took into consideration. Not the least of which being that it would accelerate the push toward streaming services and therefore impede our ability to own local copies of our digital games/music/movies.
 
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J-Machine

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can't wait for people to hack my account and sell all my games... the digital world isn't the same as the physical. piracy is rampant as is gray markets to get games for less. I appllaud refunds but this is just gonna force closed ecosystems like streaming services and console exclusivities to florish
 

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This will probably cause the price of digital games to rise as well.
Prices wouldn't necessarily rise, but at the very least, digital games would be discounted at a much slower rate. Sites like GreenManGaming and Humble Bundle would be hit hardest, probably shut down altogether, and we definitely wouldn't see any type of launch discounts happening any more.
 
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ThoD

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Good. It only makes sense, the owner of the licence should be able to resell it.
Sure, it "makes sense" to allow people to buy things on Steam with stolen money then sell the games effectively using Steam to launder their illegal cash like they do with G2A or for people to pay 1€ for a bundle then sell the games at their normal price making 100€ in return /s
 

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Seems like something that would eventually hit consoles as well, if this passes.
Go ahead, enforce these laws. It will be obsolete in 5-10 years when all games are streamed from servers and you never "own" the games Think of it like, can you resell your Netflix movies?

This is still subject to appeal, which is good because it has a lot of potential consequences for the sale of ALL digital items which I don't think the court took into consideration. Not the least of which being that it would accelerate the push toward streaming services and therefore impede our ability to own local copies of our digital games/music/movies.
If these courts keep this up, next thing you know, they will require downloads with cloud services.
 
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