Steam should let users resell games, French court rules

Joanna Estrada
September 20, 2019

Specifically, the court didn't find Valve's defence that Steam is a subscription service compelling.

At this point, Valve hasn't made a statement regarding this ruling and we don't know if similar cases will be brought against other digital platforms.

According to French website Numerama, the court ruling is the result of three years of proceedings.

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French court rules Steam games must be able to be resold

Released court documents, translated from French to English and viewable here, state that the reselling of digital entertainment licenses is not prohibited on any legal grounds. In fact, the process would be supported as it is with physical products due to the fact that "the author no longer has control over subsequent resales" once they've exhausted their right to the material by authorizing the initial sale.

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 should not keep Steam Wallet funds when users leave the platform, and should reimburse them if requested. You can't re-sell your digital Xbox One, PS4 or Switch games, nor can you re-sell your owned digital copies of PC titles on any store front. Valve can still appeal and by gum, they surely will. For stores which aren't built upon that ideal, it's less attractive. Even aside from perhaps claiming a transaction/middleman fee, a game gone to another player is a whole new set of trading cards and emoticons and hats entering circulation for Valve to skim pennies off. Would Valve be breaching copyrights by allowing customers to resell unsellable products that have already been sold? It might be a far bigger problem for developers, especially those making story-driven games. Valve, not pleased with the ruling, has chose to appeal the decision, with a representative claiming, "We disagree with the decision of the Paris Court of First Instance, and will appeal it".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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