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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Ev1l0rd

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Cranking up the fines to a point where they couldn't effectively pay would be tantamount to banning them no ?
No. A ban would mean they would full stop say "we forbid you from selling stuff until you comply".

In that situation it would still be Steams own choice to deny EU members to buy from their storefront because they choose not to pay the fines.
 

Uiaad

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No. A ban would mean they would full stop say "we forbid you from selling stuff until you comply".

In that situation it would still be Steams own choice to deny EU members to buy from their storefront because they choose not to pay the fines.

There are ways of effectively banning or removing something without calling it a ban. For instance, let's say your a company and you have a wonderful product that very one loves, manufacturing is cheap and everything is good with the world. Now the people who have a contract with getting the raw product says ' hang on we could be making more money here" and sets up a rival company offering a very similar product, but still has to continue supplying the raw mats for your company.

So the rival decided to jack up the price of the materials at the end of your contract to a place where it's no longer profitable to sell it any more. Would you continue selling at a considerable loss ?

It's not quite what's happening here but it's close enough to demonstrate the point by levying fines against Valve there has to come a point where it's either cheaper to comply or withdraw. complying would mean a major investment as well it's not like they could add a line or two of code and jobs a gooden this would completely change the ecosystem for not only valve but every other online store.
 

Ryccardo

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In that situation it would still be Steams own choice to deny EU members to buy from their storefront because they choose not to pay the fines.
Of course, if they don't have any legal residence in the EU (strongly doubt but I don't know), it's not like the fines will be enforceable...
 

bodefuceta

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If developers lose a lot of income from digital resales, it would greatly benefit subscription platforms like Stadia. Is the timing just a coincidence?
 

Ev1l0rd

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Of course, if they don't have any legal residence in the EU (strongly doubt but I don't know), it's not like the fines will be enforceable...
They technically are, aside from the fact they have an office in luxembourg, they do business in the EU, which means they're under the jurisdiction of the EU.
 

Ryccardo

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they do business in the EU, which means they're under the jurisdiction of the EU.
(ignoring the fact they have an office which makes this a generic thought exercise) that doesn't mean much - if as an Italian citizen I manage to violate the law in Switzerland or the USA and make it out of the country (for example by speeding in front of a radar, which takes at the very least a few days to get processed) I may be fined and later wanted for arrest for failure to pay the fine, but unless I stepped on their territory again they would be unenforceable - and this being a digital service makes "entering the border" much easier to conceal or outright avoid :)
 

GamerzHell9137

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If it goes trough i really hope the same happens to microtransactions where devs are gonna be forced to give dupes to people so they can trade it or sell them.
Microtransactions are so fucked up and should be banned in my opinion. (Off topic sorry lol)
 

HarvHouHacker

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Huh. So I could sell my games? Is that what this means? So if I got Steam, I can get rid of game titles in my store and make moolah? Why is Steam against this?!? :wacko:

Actually, I understand why. Valve wants to make money, too. If someone is selling it, they don't get part of it. So, in order to make everyone happy, how about Steam does what they already do to inventory items in their community market - add interest? See, the seller could set any price they want, and they get that amount - and then Steam adds an interest of some small percentage, say, %5. Thus, if you sell a game that is normally $20 for $10, then the buyer actually pays $10.50. The fifty cents goes to Valve.

Of course, 5% may actually be too large. If you sell something for $100, you end up adding $5 to it. Also, the price may vary from game to game, and Steam may set other limitations such as minimum/maximum prices, which games can be sold, whether DLC is sold with it or separately, among other factors that one should consider Valve would be using. However, it's not a bad idea, the reselling business. I like it! :)
 

the_randomizer

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Everything gets abused. It is the nature of at least a small percentage of the population. The question is would any such abuse outweigh the perks or it or be worth surrendering rights for?

Unless the EU government tries to block Steam in EU if Valve refuses to comply, then no, don't want them pulling any douche moves.
 
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Voyambar

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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.

If you use the family PIN then all your games will be safe. I use it today as an extra security measure.
 

Voyambar

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2FA is not foolproof nor hacker proof - an phishing attack could easily rob someone of the games on their account

True true however I don't think you could steal a family PIN nor know that they have one on their account so it does make it harder to get in. Its also not an official 2FA method...but it does help so I would consider it one. If you mean reselling their games to them in a scam then yeah I could easily see that working out for the scammer. Not all people are dumb but the people who are are the one's who get victimized.
 

Uiaad

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True true however I don't think you could steal a family PIN nor know that they have one on their account so it does make it harder to get in. Its also not an official 2FA method...but it does help so I would consider it one. If you mean reselling their games to them in a scam then yeah I could easily see that working out for the scammer. Not all people are dumb but the people who are are the one's who get victimized.

You underestimate the level sophistication of some of these scams.And of course you could steal a family PIN it's no different than stealing any predefined number. It's yes not everyone is going to fall for a scam like this but there would be people that would fall for it. The fact is that merely having the opportunity there means it will breed these sorts of scams. The second there is a hint of 'easy money' Scammers will be all over it like flies on shit. Just because you wouldn't fall for it, doesn't mean that there aren't people out there that would and it doesn't make them dumb at all. 2FA is more secure than the family PIN in every way and is already integrated with Steam but it doesn't stop it from being vulnerable to social engineering attacks, which by their very nature play on the idea of authority. If Joe Bloggs on the street got a call from 'valve' saying there is a problem with their account, they're not gonna think twice about it.
 
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SomeKindOfUsername

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Terrible idea. Would pretty much be the end of places like GOG too.
But sure, let it happen in the name of consumer rights. Just don't be surprised or complain when the positives that "oppressive" systems like we have now are gone or that they've been replaced with a system that's even worse.
 

FAST6191

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Just don't be surprised or complain when the positives that "oppressive" systems like we have now are gone or that they've been replaced with a system that's even worse.
So like things were for the decades before Valve et al decided to artificially close off the second hand market?
What a horror.
 
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