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Old 07-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
Escaflowne2001
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EU rules publishers cannot stop you reselling your downloaded games

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that publishers cannot stop you from reselling your downloaded games.

More specifically: "An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet."

The Court said the exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by the license is "exhausted on its first sale".

The ruling means that gamers in European Union member states are free to sell their downloaded games, whether they're from Steam, Origin or another digital platform - no matter what End User License Agreement has been signed.

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

The ruling suggests that if you've bought a license for a game off your mate, you're within your rights to download it from the publisher's website. "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," the Court said.

Whether Valve and EA will make changes to their websites to reflect the ruling remains to be seen.

The ruling in more depth:

"Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy - tangible or intangible - and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy."

There is one condition, however. If you resell a license to a game you have to make your copy "unusable at the time of resale". Now you will do that, won't you?

"If he continued to use it," the Court explained, "he would infringe the copyright holder's exclusive right of reproduction of his computer program. In contrast to the exclusive right of distribution, the exclusive right of reproduction is not exhausted by the first sale."
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...wnloaded-games
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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Followup by GreenMan Gaming:

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Today's eye-catching ruling that publishers cannot prevent gamers reselling downloaded games will, in the long-term, "shake up the digital distribution market", according to one affected online shop.

Green Man Gaming boss Paul Sulyok told Eurogamer that the Court of Justice of the European Union's ruling is "very disruptive", but insisted that in the short-term little will change.

The EU today ruled that "an author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet". The Court said the exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by the license is "exhausted on its first sale".

It means that gamers in European Union member states are free to sell their downloaded games, whether they're from Steam, Origin or another digital platform - no matter what End User License Agreement has been signed.

One important part of the ruling dictates that if you resell a license to a game you have to make your copy "unusable at the time of resale".

The two biggest digital games platforms, Steam and Origin, currently do not facilitate this, and there is no directive in the ruling forcing Valve and EA to do so. But Sulyok believes all it will take is for one consumer to enforce his right to the resale of a game - and thus be required to make his copy unusable - for the two heavyweight companies to be triggered into action.

"Medium term, I think some first acquirer somewhere is going to push this through, because it's the kind of thing the community does, and it's their right to," he said. "There will be a first case against one of the platform holders.

"The result of that is a foregone conclusion. So they will have to facilitate that. This will shake up the digital distribution market. Long-term there are some important implications and this is very disruptive.

"Both Origin and Steam would have to facilitate some kind of method whereby a consumer could revoke the activation of that key and then pass a brand new key onto a third part."
2

Also, the ruling suggests that if you've bought a license for a game, you're within your rights to download it from the publisher's website.

"The major platform holders are the ones that will be significantly impacted by this. If in Europe legally they are bound to give people the rights to be able to switch off a game and pass a token or a digital code on to a third party, that's a very interesting proposition.

"It's only one step away from being in a situation where a first acquirer says, I would like to have the rights to do this and I have the right to do this, therefore your system should facilitate it. It does link together."

Both EA and Valve will be keen to avoid this situation, and with good reason. Sulyok can see a future where a secondary market emerges in which third parties buy keys from the likes of Steam and Origin and sell them on to gamers with huge discounts.

"The classic technique of deep discount, short time limited discounts, all of that will be slightly skewed now, because you don't want to have a deep discounted game that can then be sold on elsewhere," he said.

"The secondary market then cuts in and then what will happen is the same sort of thing as you've seen in the high street whereby a supermarket chain puts a fantastic discount on a product for consumers and all the other high street retailers trot down to the supermarket to buy them to stop them."

Green Man Gaming employs a system whereby customers can download games, play them then trade them in to offset the cost of their next purchase.

"When we do this we like to ensure publishers benefit from the resale of the digital product," Sulyok said. "All of our publishers who are on a trade-in contract benefit on a per transaction base every time that game is sold."

Under the new ruling, publishers would not be entitled to any money from a resale - and Sulyok admitted that if Valve and EA were to employ a system similar to GMG's trading, it could severely impact his business.

"It will be an interesting conference call that Steam will have with Origin first thing in the morning, when the West Coast wakes up," Sulyok concluded.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ibution-market
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Greenman is awesome. I love the trade in stuff they have with certain games. Not all of them have them though. Would be cool if steam had this too.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:55 PM   #4
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Does this mean the end of the online passes for europe? Its ilegal otherwise. The game has to at least have the ability to generate a new code that revokes the old one and allows the new user.

To be honest this is good for digital districution, because the biggest plus of physical media is you can resell it. Its alot of value you lose on a digital copy.

With that said i love to be in europe. We dont let companies fuck about with our rights. <3
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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Bam. Finally. I was just thinking about this with the whole supreme court thing, in which copyright holders are pushing for people to be disallowed from reselling anything. I was thinking it's about time consumers pushed into the offensive, demanding the right to resell purchased products. Looks like Steam and it's ilk are going to have to find ways to make us want to buy from them specifically. And about time. Apple should be concerned about this too. With their apps. Maybe they could have an iMarket that could work like an eBay type thing in which Apple could take a bit of a cut, so really not affecting them at all.

This is great news. Well done ECJ. About time too.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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awesome, I wonder if this counts that we can sell our steam accounts in europe now? I've had people offer me 5000 dollars for mine.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Finally, a bit of sanity on the matter.

Publishers must be shitting themselves.

EA, Steam and Activision are going to abandon doing business in Europe because of this because they are greedy, controlling fucks.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #9
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How the hell would one go about the process of buying/selling downloaded games, anyway? Like if I wanted to sell my PSN copy of FLOW to someone... how would I do that?
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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How the hell would one go about the process of buying/selling downloaded games, anyway? Like if I wanted to sell my PSN copy of FLOW to someone... how would I do that?
As an American you would first have to go fuck yourself because Americans don't have rights above corperations. If you were European however you would contact a lawyer and begin the process of suing Sony. Though even with this ruling I'm not sure you could win.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Einhander View Post
Finally, a bit of sanity on the matter.

Publishers must be shitting themselves.

EA, Steam and Activision are going to abandon doing business in Europe because of this because they are greedy, controlling fucks.
Hehe... no, they wont. Exactly cause they are greedy.

Can you imagine Activision giving up the million sales CoD does in europe? Or EA for that matter? Their MMO (SWTOR) has more subscribers in europe than the US.

They got no choice in the matter, besides trying legal action.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #12
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Well, people continue to not understand how digital distribution even works. The anti-digital people have come out in droves on every website too.

I think this is a good thing anyway. This Law is about selling games, not about buying them used after all. Steam needs to let to sell your games but isn't obligated to have a used section, which is pretty impossible for digital distribution anyway. People can stop crying that they can't sell their games and publishers don't need to cry about used gaming.

Steam could implement a feature to sell back your games to them and then have that money go into the Steam wallet, and Valve keep track of what you paid for each game so you won't be making a profit for buying in sale like some people speculated. I think that'd be an easy, painless solution. Steam continues to be more awesome every day.

I won't be bothering, I never sell games, but at least people have the choice. If a game's worth selling it's not worth buying as far as I'm concerned, it's why I just wait for sales. I like having a collection too.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #13
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Steam could implement a feature to sell back your games to them and then have that money go into the Steam wallet, and Valve keep track of what you paid for each game so you won't be making a profit for buying in sale like some people speculated. I think that'd be an easy, painless solution. Steam continues to be more awesome every day.
Lovely idea. Shame it won't be in compliance with the ruling.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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So they can't stop me from selling torrented games? Hell yeah I'm opening a business $5 a game.


Oh damn I'm in U.S.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:30 AM   #15
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I dont think you got it quite right justin.

You could sell torrented games IF you had a code/license for every copy you resell.
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