Steam: Big blow for the resale of dematerialized games in France!

Steam: Big blow for the resale of dematerialized games in France!

business news Steam: Big blow for the resale of dematerialized games in France!

The question of the relationship between the sale of physical and dematerialized games is related to many topics. From ownership to green issues, including price and access to content, it’s all there. But the issue of reselling dematerialized games remains at the heart of the matter.

UFC-Que Choisir vs. Valve: the resale of dematerialized games at the origin of the dispute

In France, for more than 10 years, the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir Fighting Steam suing the digital market leader. The association attacks in particular the clauses located in the conditions of use and purchase, jabusive and unfavorable suggestions to users. Already in 2015, UFC-Que Choisir had attacked Valve before the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris for these clauses, and in particular for the impossibility for the consumer to resell their games to other users.

The association pointed the finger the absence of a law prohibiting the resale of legally purchased games in dematerialized form, and therefore the fact that Valve couldn’t impose it to his clients. Valve was also accused of failing to take responsibility for account hacks, with a notable lack of follow through when disputes arose. Finally, law enforcement was also on the lineValve complies with Luxembourg law for obvious administrative and financial reasons.

A first trial against Valve and Steam

So we had to wait, but in 2019the High Court had ruled in favor of UFC-Que Choisirclaiming that Valve could not oppose the resale of a copy, “even if the original purchase was made via download”. Same for publishers, sellers on Steam, who can no longer “oppose the resale of this copy or copy, without prejudice to the existence of contractual provisions that prohibit a later assignment.”

No law having been enacted in the meantime, the decision made jurisprudence, but no market for the resale of second-hand digital games has managed to structure itself. In fact, the process is difficult with digital structures and economies to develop, and the platforms have no interest in promoting the practice. They couldn’t stop him anymore, but nothing forced them to organize it. Of course, the joy was short-lived for UFC-Que Choisir, since Valve appealed of the decision

The first verdict annulled, copyright comes into play

On October 21, the Paris Court of Appeal therefore ruled a new verdict, and it’s thunder, which will probably bury any idea of ​​reselling digital games for quite some time. In effect, the Court completely reversed the first instance decisioncreating a distinction between video games sold dematerialized, and other types of software.

For the Court, and according to the informed comments by Informed and broadcast by various means, the market for second-hand immaterial copies of video games”it is likely to affect the interests of copyright owners far more than the market for second-hand software.” Therefore, if the law authorizes the resale of the software license, for video games such as only works with an artistic dimensionThe question of copyright arises.

An essential point for the judges of the Court of Appeals, who consider that the opening of such a second-hand market would harm right holders. UFC-Que Choisir has not yet ruled on the subject, but can still appeal. this court it is not intended to re-examine the facts tried, but may be seized in the event that the plaintiff believes that the courts and appellate courts have not apply the law correctly.

Font : the informedthrough BFM.

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