Linux Gaming News

According to German court – You cannot re-sell Valve digital content

A German court has dismissed a ‘reselling’ case in favour of Valve Software, the makers of #SteamOS. German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) had filed a complaint against Valve as Valve’s #EULA (End User Licence Agreement) prohibits users from re-selling their games.

It is bad news for users who lose the right to re-sell their digital content. What it means in layman’s terms, if the courts’ decision is applied in the physical world, you are not allowed to re-sell your old car, couch or anything at all.

In July 2012 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that users have the right to re-sell downloaded content and a publisher cannot stop that via EULA. US companies are extremely aggressive over ‘ownership’ of content and taking away control from users. That case was one of the reasons why vzbv filed second complaint against Valve, as the UsedSoft vs Oracle case concluded that the copyright owners exhaust their exclusive right after first sale which allows users to resell the digital content.

This ruling was the basis of vzbv complaint, but it seems the German Regional court believe that the CJEU ruling does not apply to digitally ‘distributed’ games. For now it seems that digitally distributed games in Germany are not covered by ‘exhaustion’.

While companies do try to protect their works from ‘illegal’ downloads, or illegal re-selling, they should give customer total ownership of works they paid for. As stated above, looking at the extremely community friendly stand on Valve Software, we may expect Valve to give more power to users.

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