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EU court rules gamers are free to resell digital games

Tuesday, 3rd July 2012 14:54 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The Court of Justice of the European Union, as reported by Eurogamer, has ruled that publishers are legally unable to stop people reselling digital games.

Said the court: “An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet.”

The exclusive right covering the distribution of a copy of a game is “exhausted on its first sale,” said the ruling.

This means you are legally able to resell downloaded computer games, whether no matter where you bought it and no matter what EULA is associated with the retailer.

The ruling continues: “Therefore, even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.”

Big stuff. There’s a lot of detail in the EG story.

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87 Comments

  1. AHA-Lambda

    So when can i trade in my digital stuff from steam/psn/xbl that I don’t want any more? :D

    #1 3 years ago
  2. CyberMarco

    Nice…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Gekidami

    …People do know that because of this, publishers will have to remove the ability to download something you’ve brought more than once, right?

    EDIT: Actually, i missed the part were it said its only good for one sale. Never mind then.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. tdrules

    There’s nothing stopping Steam closing your account though, and if you have a fair few games on there you wouldn’t take the risk.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. ManuOtaku

    This was the type of laws that i was talking about in the previous post fo ea going all digital, this is a first step into the right direction, although we need more laws that protect the costumers over the TOS and EULEAS, at least some laws the put some restrictions or rules over the provider of the service, in order to let the control of the account to the end user, or at least implement some guides that control the provide also, something that will benefit 50/50 the user and the provider, nice this news, really nice

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheBlackHole

    GreenManGaming will be happy. That’s their entire USP.

    Not sure why the Steam logo is being used, given that you can’t resell Steam games. Can you?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    Sooooo….

    What’s to stop me from buying a copy of SC2:HOTS, then making a bajillion copies and selling them on my website for 1p each?

    Are digital copies referenced?

    #7 3 years ago
  8. OrbitMonkey

    Good news for Game/Gamestop etc… How would this work in practice though? Would I be copying/transferring my digital game onto a USB to take into store?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheBlackHole

    @7

    You only have the license for one copy, so presumably you can only sell that one.

    Surely though, the consumer could argue that they should be able to free-up the license once they’ve finished with the game, so they can distribute it. Currently, once it’s used that’s it.

    GMG get around this by being in control of the game key and transferring it from user to user, but this has to be pre approved by the publisher, and not many big titles are on their trade system.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. G1GAHURTZ

    This makes no sense.

    All a dev would have to do is make once licence per copy, and it makes the ruling meaningless.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. TheBlackHole

    @10 see post 9.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @6
    RE:Steam. Well that’s kind of the point isn’t it? This ruling suggests you should be able to.

    @7
    I think the implication is you can sell on your licence to play it. So just the once.

    @8
    If this sticks then the people you bought the game from will have to provide a way for you to sell it on to someone else. I think that’s a big “if” though. This will drag on and go further, can see them all rolling over and giving in on this.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. G1GAHURTZ

    @11:

    Ah, I see.

    Good point.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    Wait if I’m reading this right, the EU court has said publishers cannot legally prevent you reselling your digital copy… So any action the pubs take to block you would be illegal and leave them liable right?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. TheBlackHole

    @14 that’s a possibility.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Kabby

    So how do we sell our Steam games?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    The way I read the ruling, it’s not actually forcing anyone to do anything, or really voiding any EULAs.

    It’s just saying that the author only has the right to the first sale. After that, the user can do whatever he wants with his license or licenses.

    If anything, I could see this being a threat to online passes, since they are essentially a coporate imposed tax on the resale of a license. Since multiplayer is a part of the original product, that would also be transferred when the license changes hands.

    So if this ruling stands, online passes can’t be legal.

    Something like Steam won’t be forced to allow resales, but you would be allowed to sell your Steam account however you want, along with any license you have laying around. And if Steam took action against you for doing that, they could be chased out of the EU.

    I’m not sure that’s really in my best interest, since it means that every hacker under the sun is going to look to trade in ill gotten accounts.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    This is a aweful. A really bad ruling. And I am betting most people can’t see why.

    Here are two reasons:

    The big one is that this will push Diablo III style always on DRM. Nice.

    Secondly this will push “service” subcsriptions. Think online play passes are bad now…just wait.

    Your only ever going to get one install. You will have to buy another liscence for everytime you want to install it. So, buy a new PC, rebuy. Want to play it on a tablet, rebuy. etc.

    Do you really think your going to sell off your Steam libary for bunches of monies? Morons.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    @17
    Why wouldn’t Steam be forced to allow resales? This ruling is about the licence to play individual games – nothing to do with the accounts people sell you the games through.

    Online passes are an interesting point. They are given with the original product – but they are not part of the core product in that you have to enter a code you get in the same package as the game. Quite a grey area.

    Far from this ruling being all gravy, it could have longer term detrimental implications too. Higher prices, and other ways to make the money will be implemented.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    And yes, I agree with orbit, this opens the doors for more legal action on rulings down the road. Will Blizzards always on DRM even be legal? Will Steam run into legal trouble? Could this effectivly kill digital sales? PC?

    I know companies are often seen as evil, and I curse some of them here and there too. But we are talking about intelectual and tanagable products. At some point their rights to make money and stay in a viable profitable bizz needs to be considered.

    I love the indie scene, this will kill it completly if you can buy a 15usd game for 50cents on amazon. There won’t be a way for a start up company to get a foothold. Might as well make/sell mobile games for a buck.

    This could crumble several parts of the industry, cause you know second hand sales have been so good for consoles…

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @18
    I can see service subs yes. Not sure I understand the “one install” argument though. That’s further down the path that the court has ruled against.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. TheBlackHole

    This will all become redundant once streaming games becomes commonplace.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @22 Which they never will.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    @19 Because the ruling says no such thing.

    Steam are still free to define their own business model and the features of their client. At no point does it say that anyone has to provide the specific means for a resale.

    In that regard, it also doesn’t explicitly state that people are free to sell their subscription to something like Steam, but since that’s the only way to transfer the licenses of the account (that are already in use) I don’t see how Steam could prevent it without being in some form of violation of that ruling.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. OlderGamer

    @TBH, this is going to force streaming gaming. Like I said, services. Monthly subscription fees. Even if not streaming them ala netflix/Gaikia style, then the current PSN+ style of services. Monthly fee, selection of games, download and play.

    I don’t mind that notion, not at all. Except while it works great for the Actis, EA, MS, Sony, Nintendos…it simply doesn’t work at all for small companies.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. DSB

    I swear OG, you’re the donkey from Winnie the Pooh.

    Very little is going to change simply because an EU court gives people the right to their licenses in full.

    It will certainly take the fun out of offering free games to users on something like Steam, since that license will suddenly have an actual value, beyond just a nice gift for a friend, or a mutual trade. Valve and the publishers don’t mind handing out licenses for a bit of extra business, but they’re not going to give away actual money.

    It does open the door for new business models to be undertaken by other sites, like GreenManGaming which has already been mentioned.

    However, GreenManGaming obviously haven’t caused a revolution, so I don’t see how a court affirming the legality of that strategy changes very much.

    Either way, the sky is in no way falling, man.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    @DSB

    I don’t know Rabbit, sure looks like rain to me.

    ;)

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DSB

    :D

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Phoenixblight

    The law may say that you can sell your digital games but it doesn’t say that the publishers or services like Steam have to provide you a way to do so.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DrDamn

    @DSB & Phoenixblight
    It’s a bit complex in wording but this bit …
    “In this context, the Court’s answer is that any subsequent acquirer of a copy for which the
    copyright holder’s distribution right is exhausted constitutes such a lawful acquirer. He can
    therefore download onto his computer the copy sold to him by the first acquirer. Such a download
    must be regarded as a reproduction of a computer program that is necessary to enable the new
    acquirer to use the program in accordance with its intended purpose.
    Therefore the new acquirer of the user licence, such as a customer of UsedSoft, may, as a
    lawful acquirer of the corrected and updated copy of the computer program concerned,
    download that copy from the copyright holder’s website.”

    Says the new owner may get a copy from the copyright holder’s system. So if they don’t allow that what then? Aren’t they stopping the sale that way?

    #30 3 years ago
  31. JB

    Finally!!!

    Consumers are now a little less screwed ^^

    Though I`m sure the Industry will try new loopholes to prevent people from owning games and reselling them. (how dare they – games are special)

    Looking forward for the industry`s next futile attempt to corrode basic consumer rights in The EU.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Phoenixblight

    @30

    Still doesn’t specify the key or how that is handled. Publishers, Devs, and DRM developers will have to create a new system that allows for license to be passed from one person to another.

    They won’t be allowing this and will be dragging their heels until they appeal this law or find another way so this law doesn’t effect their products. EU may have just push cloud gaming or services like PSN just for EU. Yay!

    #32 3 years ago
  33. DrDamn

    @32
    Oh sure, this is something which will take a long, long time to reach a proper conclusion on. The court case was based on Oracle software. I would expect this to be fought in a big way all of the big software houses.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. JB

    @29 You`re transferring the license, so whatever the “original” owner had access to – the new owner has access to – You cannot limit the license as the publishers tried to, that`s the point of the ruling.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Phoenixblight

    @34

    They will be dragging their heels Apple won’t let this fly. As I said they will be going with services like Zune or PSN where you subscribe to a service and have access to the software but you do not own them.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. DSB

    @30 It is lawyerspeak, so I won’t pretend like it’s totally clear, but they’re talking about what happens after UsedSoft has acquired the license.

    They’re in no way saying that the other guys have to accomodate them. Just that they can’t stop them from using the license in the same way as the original user.

    In other words, the author is already providing the download, so he can’t just take it away because the license changes hands.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. JB

    @32 These things should have been included from the start, publishers just got away with it for a time, probably due to the average age of politicians and their limited knowledge of games and ze Net.

    It looks like the Wild West Age for game publishers is finally over. Wild piracy claims, unbalanced rights which limit consmuers, Etc… are no longer enough to push digital laws through the system, at least not in The EU (like ACTA).

    #37 3 years ago
  38. NeoSquall

    I agree with OG in this, this ruling is the start of a huge shitstorm in the digital games scene; providers like Steam and Impulse will be required to put in place a different client (this means they can also cut games from release on this particular market because it isn’t “profitable”) for the EU market with the tools that enable users to “transfer” their game licenses.
    These providers will also have to put “always-on” DRM on the games that constantly check who is using the game, worse than Diablo III and the Ubisoft one, effectively preventing any user without a stable Internet connection from playing their games.

    Is this what you really want?

    #38 3 years ago
  39. DSB

    @38 First of all, in no part of the ruling does it say they have to change anything about their business practices, beyond desisting in disabling licenses and downloads on resale.

    Secondly, how would always-on stop anyone from selling their account?

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Phoenixblight

    @39

    The DRM would be there to verify the owner of the software is in fact playing the game.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. NeoSquall

    Not to mention this ruling is in no way helpful to the “little men” in the industry, the indies that still try to sell their games on their own.

    They will have no reason to sell their games cheaper, because they will lose sales over sales after some thick-headed prick hacks their DRM system, because they will have to put these on to track the user-associated key and, you know, DRM cost much money.

    This ruling also endangers charity initiatives like Humble Bundle, because normal people (I’m not counting true donors like Notch and the Bronies) will just purchase the bundle for 1$ (the minimum to get Steam Keys atm) and resell their keys for much more.

    This is unfair and destructive for the industry. The Judges have made the worst sentence ever.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. DSB

    @40 That doesn’t change anything. The owner now has a right to transfer his license at his discretion.

    The EULA connected to the service delivering the license might have something to say about that, but given this verdict, that lawsuit might not be in their favor.

    They already voided one part of the standard EULA by ruling this way.

    @41 That’s very true. The smaller businesses who deliver installers directly will be in a far worse position based on this, but then they’re already shouldering the biggest risks and at least to some degree depending on peoples trust in not distributing those installers.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. NeoSquall

    @39 If Steam will be forced to adapt to this ruling, Valve will have to modify the client to allow license transfer because, at the moment, it doesn’t have no such functions.

    The always-on DRM will be required to allow publishers to track the effective user of the game.
    This means publishers will have to control your games more than they do now, and they’ll likely do it by registering your personal data, coupled with the MAC address of your machine(s), because you can lie for the former, but not on the latter.

    This is not more freedom for the end consumer, it’s the true concept of “leasing games” that you could only glimpse with the previous EULAs.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. NeoSquall

    @42 You can’t trust people in not distributing your products, if they can make money out of it.
    It’s a rule of the business.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. DSB

    @43 Where does it say that? Please point out the part of the ruling that stipulates that all services must now accommodate the user in enabling the resale of licenses.

    All it says is that they aren’t allowed to stop them from doing it, which is what the suit was about:

    A user sold his license.

    The author tried to stop the new owner from using the license.

    The new owner sued the author.

    The author has now been told to allow the new user the full use of the license as it was originally sold.

    “Cannot oppose” does not mean “Must accomodate”.

    @44 I don’t know about that. GOG and Wadjet Eye Games both distribute DRM free installers to be used by anyone and everyone, and they both seem to be making a business even though all people would have to do is share it through a torrent, ftp or messenger.

    Trust is also a rule of business.

    #45 3 years ago
  46. OrbitMonkey

    Tbh, all this will probably do is drive up the prices of digital dlc for Europe, as Pubs make up for *lost sales* :-/

    #46 3 years ago
  47. NeoSquall

    You sure are naive, DSB.
    Valve, EA and GameStop will have to change their clients to allow people to sell their license, if they decide to accomodate the ruling, because they have no system to allow that right now.

    Also, GOG and the other sites that sell DRM Free games are still doing it because they sell at the lowest prices in the industry and also offer various extras with the games.
    Now that people can sell their game licenses at potentially lower prices one can think that even these publishers will have lower sales and risk to shut down or be forced to implement a tracking DRM to allow the “legally enforced resale” of the games.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. manamana

    All the publishers need to do, is adapt their terms and conditions. End of story.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. DSB

    @47 You didn’t even come close to answering the question.

    Where does it say that they must accommodate the user in reselling their games?

    It’s a 2 page document, it doesn’t take long to read.

    The conclusion itself is right at the top: “An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet”

    “Cannot oppose the resale” still does not mean “must accomodate the resale”. You are not allowed to sabotage or deny anyone the right to resell their items. That, however, does not in any way mean that you must go to the opposite extreme.

    “Thou shallt not kill” does not mean “thou must be a necromancer”.

    It’s two very different things.

    So for the third time: Where did you find that meaning in this ruling? For a law or a legal precedent to be enforced, it must be specific.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. silkvg247

    I hope this will be the start of what is long overdue; the complete death of DRM and online activations.

    When I buy a car, I’m allowed to sell it.
    When I buy a DvD Box set, I can give away the parts I own.
    When I buy *anything at all* I have the right to give it away or sell it, because I bought it. The only exception has always been digital content and as such just downright wrong.

    I should entirely have the right to sell on old steam games. Yes they will have to change their software but it isn’t rocket science. Right click – deactivate. Uninstalls the game and adds the key to your steam gifts area.

    I should entirely have the right to pass on parts of bundles that I already own. I suspect due tot his ruling Valve will no longer be able to sell bundles without gifting you copies of the games you already own; which to be fair they should have always done.

    This will go a long way to vastly reducing piracy on the PC; suddenly legal digital content is more tempting because we’re free to do with it as we please. Like we can with cars. And DvD’s. And books. And clothes. And makeup. And food. And.. you get the gist.

    #50 3 years ago
  51. NeoSquall

    @49 Since you still don’t get that the dumb judges that made the ruling don’t know jack of digital distribution, you should understand that, since the dumb judges haven’t ruled the means by which to allow the resell of a license (they couldn’t do it anyway becase every publisher has its system), the publishers must find a way to allow the selling of licenses on their services, or face the fines by clever (read idiot) people that want to sell their digital games.

    But please, DSB, do sell me a license for one of your Steam games.

    #51 3 years ago
  52. NeoSquall

    @50 You buy a car, you own a car.

    You buy a game (or any digital product), you don’t own its bits!
    Bits are signals, electricity, you can’t own it or sell it.

    What you get is the right to use the bits that put to reality the creativity and the imagination of its owner, and the owner can tell you, with the EULA, what you can and what you can’t do with his idea.
    That is the contract you pay for.

    Money can’t buy your imagination, yet.

    #52 3 years ago
  53. silkvg247

    @52 What about the data written to CD/DvD/Blue Ray which I *can* sell?

    Why is the fact it’s downloaded directly to my HDD different to the fact it got burnt to other media?

    Also if I bought a painting, the creative work of an artist, I could sell that as well.

    We’re not talking about selling a person’s idea, as that would be copyright theft as per the recent tetris clone court ruling. We’re talking about selling a product which we own.

    #53 3 years ago
  54. JB

    @51 No – the dumb and greedy peeps are not the judges – they`re enforcing the law, whcih was in place years and years before digital games or videogames for that matter.

    The publishers knows this perfectly well, they`re consumers as well, but they`re being trying to plead the case that videogames are special and that the law was different for them. THEY are the ones who should have implemented this system in the first place

    It`s ironic you think peeps that want to sell their games when they`re done with them, or didnt like em, got it as a gift, are idiots.

    It`s basic capitalism, supply or demand and all that old peeps only stuff – how dare they dabble in matters they don`t understand, eh?

    Ignorance is bliss eh?

    #54 3 years ago
  55. DSB

    @51 For a fine to be issued, a violation of law must have occurred. What is that violation? Would you please point it out to me?

    For the fourth time: Where does it say that Steam and co. must provide an avenue for the reselling of game licenses?

    “Cannot oppose the resale” does not mean “must accomodate the resale”.

    It says “Steam aren’t allowed to stop me from selling my games”. It does not say “Steam must allow me to sell my games”. That’s entirely up to Steam.

    Which means this: Steam are required to fulfill the conditions of the license as it was offered to the original owner, even if the original owner decides to pass it on to someone else.

    That’s all it says, unless you can show me where it says they must allow for resales. Which is what I’ve asked for, four times now.

    Has Steam denied you the right to use your license as it was originally offered to you? Have you transferred a license to a third party, and has that third party been threatened or limited in the use of that license?

    No? Then it seems you don’t have a case.

    There’s nothing naive about reading the law the way it was written. That’s the whole point of having laws in the first place.

    You’re not allowed to make laws up out of thin air and write out fines for those.

    #55 3 years ago
  56. ManuOtaku

    And people wonder how on earth capcom came with the idea od lock on disc DLC, well they obviously see comments on videogame sites, they know they will get away with things, because some gamers in the end do not fight for their rights as costumers, really, i say good job capcom and the others that put Always connected single player on games, DRM, etc,etc we got what we really deserve.

    One can be concern about the overall health of this business,thats a given, good for them and good for us in the end, but without given away or rights, we can have a win win escenario here, instead of a win/loss which is the mindset of most of this industry, saddly, in the end we need a robust legal enviroment for this business before going all digital, one that defend the end user for the provider, as well as the provider from the consumer.

    #56 3 years ago
  57. Bojangles

    @53 Why is the fact it’s downloaded directly to my HDD different to the fact it got burnt to other media?

    It’s no different. You don’t own that data in any form whatsoever. People mistakenly believe that because one is delivered on a tangible, physical format such as a DVD it is somehow more theirs than the same data delivered through a cable. You don’t own it. The money you paid was NEVER for ownership of the data, merely access to it under very specific terms.

    Most people ignore those terms and do as they please. They’ve been doing this for so long they are under the impression that their whim has become law. It hasn’t and it won’t.

    Cars, paintings and houses are not software. Comparisons of wildly different commodities only muddy the waters further.

    #57 3 years ago
  58. JB

    A guide to what you can (and can’t) patent (in The US at least.)
    You’re out of luck if you want to patent a website – but you can copyright it.

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/12/smbusiness/patent_website.fsb/index.htm

    Here`s EU`s version:

    http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/internal_market/businesses/intellectual_property/index_en.htm

    #58 3 years ago
  59. ManuOtaku

    #57 “The money you paid was NEVER for ownership of the data, merely access to it under very specific terms”
    i do agree but the thing is they cannot control who goes with the terms and who doesnt,i mean who vilotes them and who doesnt, but with digital they can control, thats the difference, thats why you can sell your physical media and not the digital, but the issue is that laws were done when this didnt exist, now they have to accomodate to this reality, the thing we need to disccuss is why with a finished real product, you have all the rights to do with it what you like, sell it, loan it, give it away, etc?, and why not do it with the same product in digital version?, such a differentiation should not exist, to the eyes of the law, because is the same product, lets take limbo for example, why the upcoming physical game can be sold with the allowance of the law, and why not do the same with the digital copy?, that ambiguity should not exist legally speaking, the same things that rule for one should rule to the other, because is the same product done under the same circustamces, just delivery in different forms.

    #59 3 years ago
  60. Anders

    Huge stuff. So this means that limiting the number of different computers a game license can be used on is illegal from now on? I guess that companies could force users to remove the game from a computer before they would be able to install it on another, but still. This’ll be interesting to follow.

    #60 3 years ago
  61. JB

    @57 software is a product like any other product, it`s not special. Just because the delivery method is different from the one used for many years, that doesn`t change.

    That`s just the usuall corporate BS.

    You`re not paying for the code, you`re paying for the functioning product – it`s no different than buying a burger from McD, you`re not paying for the reciepe, you`re paying for the product (burger)

    And apperently you didn´t get the part that The EULA dont mean shit.

    #61 3 years ago
  62. NeoSquall

    Ok DSB, you’re right.

    Now please sell me one of your Steam games.

    #62 3 years ago
  63. OwningXylophone

    @60

    How did you jump to that conclusion? No, all this means is you can sell your 1 licence to somebody else, it even categorically states that you cannot sell licences that you purchased but were more than you required (i.e 1 licence of a multi-user licence, or by a similar interpretation buying with the intention to only sell) and that the software had to be deactived for use by the original buyer before the transfer can occur.

    #63 3 years ago
  64. OwningXylophone

    Also, for all the people dancing in the streets thinking how much they will make by selling their old Steam games, this ruling is NOT LEGALLY BINDING! It is merely the opinion of the ECJ and the final decision over who is right in the case will still be made by the German courts.

    When dealing with matters of legal rulings it’s best to go to a trusted, useful source with record of understanding legalese, not Eurogamer…

    EU court decision deals blow to Oracle – FT.com

    #64 3 years ago
  65. Ireland Michael

    @64 Pfft, research and facts? Stop right there! That sort of thing isn’t acceptable around these ‘ere parts!

    #65 3 years ago
  66. ManuOtaku

    #64 “Also, for all the people dancing in the streets thinking how much they will make by selling their old Steam games, this ruling is NOT LEGALLY BINDING!”
    I do agree, but at least is a precedent, maybe something they can use in future cases, and in a future and needed (well done for all parts involve) digital law.

    #66 3 years ago
  67. DrDamn

    @DSB
    I understand what you are saying, you are right it doesn’t say they must change their systems. However if the method of sale does not allow you to sell it on isn’t that effectively opposing the re-sale?

    #67 3 years ago
  68. Ireland Michael

    What this mainly means is that if a service has any sort of ability to transfer licenses to a different account, a consumer would be freely allowed to sell that game through any (legal) means they desire, and the provider would not be allowed to argue the consumers right to profit from it.

    It *doesn’t* means that services like Steam and Origin will be forced to implement the direct ability to do so.

    I have to wonder, does that mean that one could legally sell, say… their World of Warcraft account? Since the ability to transfer accounts already exists on Battle.Net

    #68 3 years ago
  69. OwningXylophone

    @67

    Oh, I’m sure Usedsoft will win the case in question, even though it was originally ruled in Oracles favour by the German courts until it was referred to the ECJ when Usedsoft appealed.

    It’s just hilarious to see all the websites reporting this as some kind of fully binding legal ruling and all the people who think they understand what this means even though they can’t be arsed to read more than the 3 lines from the report that are presented to them in the article.

    #69 3 years ago
  70. OwningXylophone

    @Ireland Michael

    I would assume it would allow you to sell your entire account yes, but individual characters, probably not, as they are not what the licence covers.

    #70 3 years ago
  71. Ireland Michael

    @70 Well yeah, of course.

    #71 3 years ago
  72. sh4dow

    What the…

    F-ing RIGHTS were granted to the consumers! Something that happens so rarely these days. And instead of people being happy, there’s pages and pages of bitching!
    Are you really so damn desperate to get screwed?!
    Why don’t you just cancel your internet access and donate the money you save to those in need? You know… Sony, EA, Microsoft…

    #72 3 years ago
  73. JB

    @57 “It makes no difference, in a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, whether the copy of the computer program was made available to the customer by the rightholder concerned by means of a download from the rightholder’s website or by means of a material medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD.”

    Straight from the horses mouth:

    http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=124564&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=2601069

    No 47.

    Forgot “part” 55

    “On this point, it must be stated, first, that it does not appear from Article 4(2) of Directive 2009/24 that the exhaustion of the right of distribution of copies of computer programs mentioned in that provision is limited to copies of programmes on a material medium such as a CD-ROM or DVD. On the contrary, that provision, by referring without further specification to the ‘sale … of a copy of a program’, makes no distinction according to the tangible or intangible form of the copy in question.”

    #73 3 years ago
  74. Bojangles

    @61 You`re not paying for the code, you`re paying for the functioning product

    Wrong.

    You’re paying for a software licence. At no time are you acquiring ownership of the data itself. You never have been. All arguments and posturing based on the belief that you own the data is fundamentally flawed and entirely incorrect.

    You need to grasp the concept of what you are actually buying before you can act as though you have a right to one thing or another.

    Its such a shame that people go to such exhaustive lengths to argue what they’re entitled to or not when they’ve overlooked such a significant detail. Probably because people argue for the thing that suits their personal interest best rather than what is actually the case.

    #74 3 years ago
  75. JB

    ROFL @74

    #75 3 years ago
  76. OrbitMonkey

    @74, Well isn’t that still covered by the “A author of software cannot oppose the resale of his used licences…”

    So even though we’re only buying a licence to play the game, we could potentially sell said licence on right?

    #76 3 years ago
  77. Ireland Michael

    @74 “You’re paying for a software licence. At no time are you acquiring ownership of the data itself. You never have been. All arguments and posturing based on the belief that you own the data is fundamentally flawed and entirely incorrect.

    You need to grasp the concept of what you are actually buying before you can act as though you have a right to one thing or another.

    Its such a shame that people go to such exhaustive lengths to argue what they’re entitled to or not when they’ve overlooked such a significant detail. Probably because people argue for the thing that suits their personal interest best rather than what is actually the case.”

    This is factually untrue. It’s an argument that has been made many times before, but the law as it currently stands fully dictates that the ownership of any product is entirely in the hands of the person who bought if, and they are completely free to do with it is they choose. Otherwise it can be deemed as fraud. A license requires a contract.

    This fact is the sole reason why the jailbreaking of iDevices is now completely legal. You bought the device. You can do whatever the hell you want with it as long as you don’t break the law by stealing anything.

    Good and services are not the same thing, and this is why, for instance, you can buy a copy of World of Warcraft but still be rightfully banned from playing the game for breaking the Terms of “Service”. You still own the physical game though, and nobody can legal take it away from you.

    #77 3 years ago
  78. Bojangles

    @75 Great counterpoint.

    @76 You’re correct. And this news concerns the software licence. However, few licences ever grant the licence-holder the right to redistribute the data. (And why should they? – you never owned the data anyway).

    In other words, if you sell on the licence and redistribute the data (when the licence forbids it) – you’re the one in the wrong.

    People make HUGE assumptions about what they can do – typically in a manner that suits their self-interests. Software is not cars, paintings, houses or even Apple devices. Such comparisons are completely misleading and do not set any sort of precedent. They serve to suggest the opposite of what is true: that things that are uniquely different should be treated as though they are identical.

    #78 3 years ago
  79. DSB

    @Neosquall Why would I? Is it the law that I be allowed to sell my games to you? If so, what law might that be?

    @Anders It says that to transfer the license you must also give up any access you have to it as part of the transaction. So if you keep a copy for yourself after the sale, that counts as copyright infringement.

    @DrDamn That’s really the multi-million dollar question right there.

    What does it mean for the services themselves? Ultimately there’s no way of telling unless someone sues a service like Steam to find out.

    Are you allowed to keep games locked as part of a service, or do you have to supply people with the right to sell them. Does that count as an obstruction, or is it a perfectly legal business model? That’s not addressed by this ruling.

    I think that would be the trial to end all trials when it comes to digital distribution.

    #79 3 years ago
  80. Ireland Michael

    @78 Again, you’re wrong. Digital media is something a physical thing. If it is in your possession, you are free to do with it as you wish, within the confines of the law.

    This is why nobody gets sued for hacking the DRM out of a game, why you can mod your device, why companies like Blizzard are racing to design games in way they did they designed Diablo 3, why every single franchise nowadays is deemed to “require” multiplayer, and why everyone is trying to tout cloud gaming as the future, when all it does is fuck the consumer up the ass even more than they already are being right now.

    Steam is a service. They can ban you for breaking their rules, but they can’t condemn you for freeing your games from their DRM restrictions, as long as you’re the sole owner. In the vast majority of popular cases where people were “banned” from Steam, their accounts were later restored with all their games intact, with the only punishment being the removal of access to whatever feature they were abusing, which only enforced the point.

    The only thing you aren’t allowed to do with a physical possession is redistribute its intellectual property for your personal game. Selling something simply requires the loss of ownership of that item. Data on a HDD is not a “license”, no matter how much you want to claim it is. Its a completely tired assumption that has no grounding in actual law.

    #80 3 years ago
  81. OrbitMonkey

    Ok… So let’s say I’ve downloaded a game. I could possible sell it on as long as I don’t sell a copy, or keep a copy for myself…

    Also, wouldn’t a way around this be a simple clause in a pubs service agreement that you keep your copy for a minimum of 3-6 months?

    #81 3 years ago
  82. Ireland Michael

    @81 Basically. You would have ti give up all ownership of the product on your original account.

    It’s no different than trading something second hand for money. You only paid for one item. Selling something you don’t own while still retaining possession is piracy and fraud.

    #82 3 years ago
  83. JB

    @81 Unlikely as is the case with EULA`s they`re not worth much as a consumer in The EU or at least many of EU country`s.

    Publishers can write what they want in a EULA.

    What counts is the national laws and EU`s laws.

    unless you`re in another part of the world :P

    #83 3 years ago
  84. TheWulf

    Well then.

    You’re really all still talking about this? I think I’ll just leave you to it.

    As it is, it’s an interesting footnote that might set a precedent for future legal proceedings, but as of right now it doesn’t actually do a lot. And law is often decided by the lawyers with the most money.

    This isn’t going to change anything soon.

    In fact, it might not for a long time. Like I said, it might just set an interesting precedent for something that may happen decades down the line. But that’s it.

    It hasn’t broken anything, ruined anything, or opened up any new possibilities. In today’s world, ‘interesting times’ are too much to hope for. Systems like this are fairly locked down.

    But who knows, in a few decades this could get interesting.

    But not right now. Not at a point where people will buy a terrible game with always DRM and be happily willing to die for its defence. Because people are like that. Not all, but most.

    The problem is is that it’s the human condition itself that would stop this ever becoming anything. The majority of our species actually enjoys being a bitch to someone, it’s fulfilling. Don’t believe it? Look at Blizzard’s treatment of people with Diablo III. Do you think any of those people are going to not buy the next Blizzard game? Hahaha. Good joke. They’re going to buy every game Blizzard puts out, no matter how much they protest.

    That’s the problem. The human condition results in millions of people whose primary function is to be someone’s bitch. As such, we don’t particularly care about our rights. And the opinion of the ECJ isn’t going to change that.

    No one’s going to sue Valve for the right to resell their games.

    And the world goes on.

    — EDIT —

    The funny thing is is that indie developers would likely have no problem with people reselling their stuff. But they aren’t in a position of power, so bitching to them just isn’t sensible or fulfilling. No, it’s publishers with power who’re the ones that people bitch themselves to.

    And the large likelihood is is that you’re a publisher’s bitch.

    Again, human nature. You can’t avoid it.

    We actually have people in this thread who think that being able to resell is a bad idea. I understand the arguments regarding digital goods and why it isn’t that way, but rarely do people touch upon why it shouldn’t be another way. Why was it that way in the first place? How did we let this happen?

    We let this happen because this is how we are.

    And that’s never going to change.

    So you can stop panicking, now. The world isn’t going to fall apart. Too many bitches holding up the foundations for that to happen, and we all know it.

    #84 3 years ago
  85. OlderGamer

    How come you guys can’t see the evil in this?

    Ok new biz model….free game client, “codes” to unlock content. Notice I didn’t say DLC, I said codes. You can have the game for free(no value there) but if you pay to get a code you play the next stage/world/whatever. of course your not buying content, your unlocking it. The new owner will also have to pay to unlock it.

    Who are you going to sell your games to? Each other? I don’t have online digital payment recieving options, do you? I do have paypal. But then again, does everyone? What if your buyer/seller doesn’t? This will cause new bizz to rise in order to recycle digital games. in other words more middle men. Think GameStop and Ebay merging. They will buy your three games for 3usd each, and resell them for 15usd each. For your troubles you will get 9usd(prolly credit) to use towards one of their avalible used game vouchers. But again, because even older games(like the ones you sold) cost 15usd, your still going to be short. What happens? In the end, a middle man intercepts payment that a would be dev/pub could have recieved and the industry bleeds profit.

    And for what?

    It will devalue the digital games market.

    I can think of so many bad angles here. And not one single solitary good aspect. Not one. Oh, unless you really wanna get 3usd for an old game.

    This could easily lead to higher game prices(they can’t sell5 copies, just one that gets recycled five times), so the game costs more(lots more). Less games are being made, who can afford to invest in a game that becomes worthless overnite? Greatly reduces PC growth. Stifles Indie growth. People lose jobs. The game market dwindles and melts away into one big mess of moble and casual games. Trip A games are either 200usd each or dead.

    #85 3 years ago
  86. OlderGamer

    But maybe the sky is just falling again. Hard to tell with all of the fireworks tonight. :)

    pst 4th of July in states.

    #86 3 years ago
  87. Phoenixblight

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/173538/What_a_new_digital_game_trading_law_in_Europe_could_mean_for_you.php

    I agree with this article in that nothing will change.

    #87 3 years ago

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