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UPDATE: Humble Bundle keys being re-sold for profit, 7 Entertainment responds

Tuesday, 1st April 2014 09:56 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Humble Bundle Steam keys being sold through websites owned by 7 Entertainment, according to a report. The company has since responded to the matter, stressing that it will crack down on the re-selling of keys.

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UPDATE: Following the news that Humble Bundle keys were being re-sold through 7 Entertainment sites, a company representative has told CVG, “it was never in our intention to expose any indie developer to any financial losses or to cause them troubles.”

They added, “Our Terms of Service is really clear – it’s prohibited to sell games commonly offered as free or games from any charity events.”

However, CVG has discovered that the terms and conditions relative to the matter were only updated once the Humble Bundle scandal surfaced on Friday. The rep continued, “Please be advised, [we run] digital platforms for vendors from all around the world to sell theirs digital goods. We are not the owner of those products. If you can put it simple – we are like an eBay for gamers.

“We have already contacted vendors selling those products in order to receive some information regarding the origin of those keys. We are sure that this situation will be resolved within next week.”

We’ll have more as it comes.

ORIGINAL STORY: The PC games digital distributor is purportedly illegally re-selling the keys obtained through the charity for profit, according to the Game Informer report.

The main culprits it seems are Fast2Play, Kinguin and G2Play, all owned by 7 Entertainment, and each are re-selling the keys for more than Humble Bundle charges, but for less than the regular Steam price.

Proteus developer Ed Key said he purchased a key to his game through Fast2Play and cross-referenced the code with his list of issued keys sold through Humble Bundle. It was a match, and there are other sites not owned by 7 Entertainments doing the same, especially sites which allow site users to sell games.

“This seems to be unrelated to G2A.com but I do know some indies who also had problems with their games being sold without their agreement on that site,” said Keys.

Frozen Synapse was once such title posted on Fast2Play, and Mode 7 developer Paul Taylor successfully had the title removed from the site, after asking for proof of a distribution agreement his firm and the website. with Mode 7. The game was still up for sale on other 7 Entertainment sites, however, and was being sold for $6 when it usually runs $24.99.

“As an indie team, we want to keep doing low-price and pay-what-you want promotions to allow customers to purchase our games legally and cheaply,” commented Taylor.

“We don’t want to be deterred by the idea that anyone can come along and exploit that illegally for their own gain without any recompense for the original developers; this doesn’t seem fair, it’s demonstrably illegal, and it’s also against the spirit in which such promotions are intended. Finally, this kind of behavior is also predicated on the idea that nobody will challenge it: We don’t think that’s acceptable either.”

The sites are based in the EU, and according to Taylor’s legal counsel, resale is prohibited by the non-commercial use terms set by Humble Bundle.

“What was obtained in this instance was a non-transferable license to use a game,” said Alex Tutty, an associate at Sheridans in the UK. “Unlike physical goods, digital products can have these restrictions placed on them and while the law is developing in this area, this is where it currently stands in the EU.”

You can read the full report through the link.

Thanks, CVG.

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4 Comments

  1. Dragon

    Why am I not surprised?
    Hopefully anyone guilty gets the deserved punishment.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Digital Bamboo

    Even if the law concerning digital goods is not yet fully realized enough to get a conviction, I hope an astute lawyer will find a way to nail them with something related to charity theft.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. SLARTIBAF1

    @Digital Bamboo
    Why is it charity theft? They did pay for the keys and so added their fair share to the charities funds.
    If a publisher decides to support charity with every game sold, is it charity theft if you resell your copy of it when you’re done with it?

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Tormenter

    @SLARTIBAF1

    Dude, that’s a horrible stance to take.

    It MAY be acceptable on a purely user based situation, but to do this on a wide scale basis…That’s just not on, man.

    #4 5 months ago

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