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

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Chary, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Not really, no. An account and the items tied to it are a manifestation of your participation in a service, you don't "own" them, per se.
     
  2. ombus

    ombus GBAtemp Fan

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    If digital game cost the same 60 usd a physical one does wich can be resold, then i expect to do the same to the digital game.
    Pay the same and have less rights over the stuff? Nah.
     
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Some effect, sure (indeed prices of Final Fantasy vs various remakes and respins are a fun one here) but despite far superior versions on various consoles since the N64 Rare games are still quite high. Resident Evil might make another interesting test case. Of course Nintendo are probably the exception here (keep finding myself linking https://towardsdatascience.com/predicting-hit-video-games-with-ml-1341bd9b86b0 but it does show interesting things).

    I would guess it is some function of rarity in general, desirability on that console (most of the new to the PS1 final fantasy games had near simultaneous PC releases of reasonable quality), desirability of that console (give or take the neogeo and similar such things -- I doubt the wonderswan is going to do much here but did have several notable versions of games from the same era), quality of any remakes (see final fantasy IOS remakes which somehow spread to the PC, the silent hill collection debacle), how official something is (I am still shocked at the extent of love people have for the mini retro consoles as with the exception of the PS1 everything has been trivial for years and the PS1 was not so bad either) and a few things like that.


    Again there are rights you can't forgo in a contract (see unenforceable terms) so this could be one of them, indeed the court seems to think it is.

    Do physical games deteriorate quickly enough in sufficient volume to not cause the same scenario? I am sure there are some that buy games in cash, slip on (and shred) the receipt on the way to pop it into the console and in doing so snap the disc/cart in half as they land on it but the majority of things don't and as such you could find just about any 2 year old game in mint condition. If that represents the vast majority of income for most (the percentage of games that go on to dominate multiplayer spaces, or indeed become a sport, become test case games or become elder scrolls/GTA/similar in their ubiquity is minimal -- probably comparable to those tech companies that not only get venture funding, not only succeed but don't get bought and then become one of those players that buys other companies) and has not happened yet/did not happen during the decades since software was divorced from hardware then is it likely to change much here? Ditto most physical goods while there is ebay and amazon around?

    If people presumably had to buy the thing in the first place then the incentive (barring need for a quick sale) is not to lose the money. It would mean Steam has some competition but that does not seem like a bad thing. Such competition could also happen if one of the alternatives actually manages to take off.

    Is this customers being treated like royalty or allowed the rights every peasant is granted?

    As for steam going out of business (oh what a glorious day that might be) then technically the licenses are still extant. But yeah it is a problem associated with DRM encumbered goods -- wouldn't be the first and won't be the last. It is generally considered part of the bargain. If Valve truly are the magnanimous gods of the gaming world that some paint them as then they could strip the DRM from it (or whatever they legally can strip... I don't know what goes here as far as agreements with other companies) as a parting gift, and I imagine some company would rush in to take over the Steam database.

    Edit
    They already have a gift function which allows you to send your friends your "unused" games. Compliance by virtue of actually deleting a bit of code that says "if played then don't allow gifting" (though in reality probably if location = France then allow, they presumably already have fairly decent geolocation services baked into it) and telling people sell it on third party services could easily be achieved in a few hours.
     
    Last edited by FAST6191, Sep 20, 2019
  4. Engezerstorung

    Engezerstorung GBAtemp Regular

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    its kind of off-topic but totally agree, when they came up with digital game the big argument was "but it will be way cheaper for consumer since there will be no packaging, no transport logistics, intermediary cuts, etc", and then 2019 here we are...
     
  5. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Netti Netti

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    I can't really think of a reason why shouldn't they be allowed to do so, I'm more worried about the negative consequences.
    That's if you played the game for under two hours and if the purchase was made within the week, how is that abuse?
     
  6. Edgarska

    Edgarska Conjurer of cheap tricks

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    As consumers, it's not our responsibility to worry about negative consequences of exercising our consumer rights.
    If being forced to respect their consumers' rights has negative consequences for a company, then they're doing something wrong on their end and they need to fix it.
     
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  7. Xzi

    Xzi All your base are belong to the proletariat

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    That's the thing: nearly any Steam game I've wanted to buy at launch was available for $45 or less from GMG or elsewhere. Not to mention the price drops much quicker after release than on consoles, whether physical or digital. If this ruling is upheld, I expect to kiss these benefits goodbye, as I don't see individual resellers pricing games as competitively as established third-party key resellers have. Particularly at launch.
     
  8. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Netti Netti

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    Do consumers really have such a right in this regard though? It is a license, permission to use.
    Have you ridden those horses in the parks that you pay a few bucks to go a few rounds? You don't own that horse, you're just allowed to use it with the conditions set. You can't really sell your permission to ride the horse to another person, the permission was given to you by the condition of a full purchase made, only to you.
     
  9. Axido

    Axido GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I don't mind higher prices since this only moves the lower prices from one side to the other. And this time it's the consumers who profit from it instead of keyselling companies. In the long run it'll pay off at least for me.

    And it's a good way of tidying up my library filled with stuff I never touched once.
     
    Last edited by Axido, Sep 20, 2019
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  10. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Oh please, this is a common problem. People "purchase" a game either for a laugh or with the intention to speedrun it, sometimes they stream it or create YT content based upon it and immediately refund it. You're also forgetting that Valve reserves full discretion when it comes to returns and those rules are merely recommendations - a user can simply say that they encountered a game-breaking error that only surfaced after the initial 2 hours, or that they were unaware of the returns policy, or a number of other things.

    https://www.polygon.com/2017/11/15/16657156/sonic-forces-refund-steam-twitch
     
  11. Edgarska

    Edgarska Conjurer of cheap tricks

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    Can you make your point with examples that are actually comparable?
    For example, try to keep people from reselling their car and see how that goes.
    For an example comparable to your horse analogy, netflix has already been presented before in the thread.
     
    Last edited by Edgarska, Sep 20, 2019
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  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Again, you're comparing digital goods with a permanent use license to services subject to a time limit.
     
  13. Snugglevixen

    Snugglevixen Princess of Cuddles

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    On your lap.
    I don't think the Australian lawsuit was about a refund policy. It was about the consumer guarantees act which valve still offers no way to make a complaint over despite saying they will comply with it in tos. Consumer guarantees act supercedes store policy and warranty.
     
  14. Jiehfeng

    Jiehfeng Netti Netti

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    I don't understand how the fact that the time limit changes the fact that it's just a license. You could buy permission to use something, it doesn't make that something yours for you to be able to do anything with it. I still don't understand how you would resell permission.
     
  15. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I see the problem. You are under the impression that, at any stage, you own *the actual game*, code, assets et all. You do not - you own the license to use said game. You are not "selling the game", the license to use said game is transferred from you to another person for a nominal fee. Ownership of the actual item is never in question here - the developer/publisher/copyright holder own the game, you own the right to use it, and that right is both permanent and transferable. This is wholly different from receiving a service from a third-party. A rancher owns the horse and provides a service, namely horse riding. You are given a set amount of time during which you can ride the horse in a designated area, and do just that. At no point you are "licensed" to do anything, the rancher renders a service that you take advantage of. There are no "permissions" here, you're not leasing the horse for your own purposes, you are using the horse for the purpose designated by the rancher.
     
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  16. Edgarska

    Edgarska Conjurer of cheap tricks

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    The time limit is the whole point. It's why reselling a movie ticket is illegal in the USA, while reselling your old bluray of the same movie is legal. You don't own the movie itself, you can't make changes to it or release your own version of it, but you do own the copy that you bought and you can sell it or give it away if you want.
     
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  17. Rune

    Rune GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I meant the original price of the game might rise, not the price from the resellers.
     
  18. DarthDub

    DarthDub Amateur Hacker

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    Your mom's basement.
    I don't care about reselling my Steam games. What I want to do is being able to gift someone a game that I bought for myself that I don't want anymore.
     
  19. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    There is a point at which the price for an item is capped as the customers are only willing to pay so much for it, and not a dime more. Considering the fact that digital copies of games are already priced the same *or higher* than freely resellable physical copies, that point has already been reached. If we'd see price increases, they would be minimal - additional costs are always passed on the consumer, but there is a limit to what the consumer is willing to pay.
     
  20. Tarmfot
    This message by Tarmfot has been removed from public view by Foxi4, Sep 20, 2019, Reason: One-word post.
    Sep 20, 2019
  21. Roamin64

    Roamin64 GBAtemp Regular

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    Exactly the same thing that prevents you from lending/selling your physical copies to friends , nothing! If I want to lend you my car, nobody can say otherwise.. Why would things be different when we buy something that is digital instead of physical..
     
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