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Thread: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital game

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    A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital game

    https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articl...al-games.15054

    I love the idea, but this causes a real problem for Valve.

    Let's just think about this for a moment. What happens when I buy a game for say $50 USD. Then I turn around and sell it for $40 after I have played through it. Then that person plays through it and sells it for $30... lather rinse repeat, until the actual value of the game is non existent, and the person who bought it for say $2.50 can only give it away.

    But now, we are at a point of giving things away, in which case people in groups (guilds, friends, etc.) will start to give games to their friends for little to no money, and then purchases start falling off.

    I have some games that I will never play again, and I'd be happy to give them away. However, that eliminates sales for Valve, and the publisher.

    Any other ideas on this?
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    how is that any different than reselling a house you bought from a developer that built a whole neighborhood, or a music CD you bought at a local music store?
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    If you buy a house on a patch of land for which Seller A retains mineral rights, you are subject to that contract ... and to having the owner of the mineral rights bulldoze a road into your back yard to set up an oil drilling rig.

    If you ultimately sell your claim to the property as Seller B to someone else, guess who keeps the mineral rights. Not you and not the new buyer. This has worked out very well indeed for my family.

    Intellectual property is similar. Your possession of the media does not grant you title to the intellectual property rights. Valve is sure to bring the allusion to mineral rights up in the hearing. And every property owner in France will demand that the Court uphold the rights of the original owner.
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    Your possession of the media does not grant you title to the intellectual property rights.
    It doesn't give you copyright so you can't manufacture copies, but for CDs, books, records (vinyl and shellac), tapes, jigsaws, photographs, jewellery, commemorative plates, designer dresses etc. you have the right to sell the item you own. There are well established markets for all these things, much as the manufacturers and media companies would like to outlaw the resale of all items that you buy.

    As for you house analogy, a similar one might be that you buy a nice designer suit. You are free to sell the jacket and the trousers separately to different buyers, and neither buyer should be misled into thinking that they are buying both halves - that would be fraud. But you are free to sell parts of the suit if you wish, and each buyer is free to sell their part of the suit on to other buyers.
    Last edited by The Cog; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:10 AM.

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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    Software licenses may or may not transfer. It depends on the license. Valve might have sufficient control to allow that transfer, but do they control the license rights for every publisher?

    This is one of the reasons that DRM is bad for people purchasing. I've always thought that imbedding the person's full, legal name and credit card and phone number into the file, without any DRM, but letting them know it is in the media, would be sufficient incentive NOT to share any media. Every time the file is opened, display that information for 2-10 seconds, so there is no question.

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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    Quote Originally Posted by The Cog View Post
    There are well established markets for all these things, much as the manufacturers and media companies would like to outlaw the resale of all items that you buy.

    There are a great many established markets for things various and sundry; things mundane and bizarre; things wholesome and unsavory; things legal and illegal. Some resale of DRM protected content is already outlawed, but whether or not the law can be enforced is another matter entirely.

    A book, vinyl, a designer dress ... none of these is digital and thus cannot fall under the purview of DRM law. DRM is where things get sticky.
    Last edited by QIII; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:18 PM.
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    It sounds to me as if the court was thinking that it was physical media.

    This opens up a huge door of problems in Europe. Think about people being able to sell Digital Movie Downloads, Music, and the like.

    This explains why companies like Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, and Epic now have their own store fronts.
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    Quote Originally Posted by Skaperen View Post
    how is that any different than reselling a house you bought from a developer that built a whole neighborhood, or a music CD you bought at a local music store?
    Because, unlike a house, and a CD/DVD, this is not a physical form of media. That, and since it's digital, it's doesn't really become "second-hand." The quality of the product never degrades.

    See, if I wanted to buy a game from you "second-hand," there are certain expectations. i.e. you would have to tell me that it's missing the book, or doesn't have a case, the CD/DVD is scratched (used), or someone spilled soda on it at some point, etc. But these issues do not apply to digital media. Because "perfect" duplicates exist, the concept of "second-hand," (lesser quality) doesn't exist either.

    I mean, I like the idea of being able to sell my Steam games to someone else, so I can make some money on them. Instead they sit in this endless vacuum of cyberspace waiting for me to never download them again. I have other games I'd like to play.

    Other companies, like GameStop will take back old games at a fraction of the price. $50 games can be traded in for up to $10 (depending on how new they are), and are put back on the shelf for $20-$30 as used. But Steam really doesn't need to take back a game, since re-selling it is pointless, as they do not have a number of copies in inventory.

    What will probably end up happening, is Steam will give you the ability to re-sell it to another steam account. They will take a cut off the sale price, and will only allow you to sell games that were not purchased on sale. That, and the game may only be sold so many times before it's non-transferable. It will also only apply to games you have had for a certain amount of time. That way you can't buy a game, jam through it, and then sell it a week later to the next line-person in your group of friends who all want to play it.
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    apparently, the French court had a basis for such a ruling, such as a wording in French law that can make virtual rights equivalent to physical rights. maybe it is not a solid basis. maybe Valve can make a better argument for it next time.

    mineral rights associated with land transfer does require, at least where i live, an explicit contract in that initial sale that separated them. but i don't live in France. i don't know the way their law on such things is worded and how an online sale would form a contract. we think of the displayed pages on a web site as forming a contract. but i have also seen some web sites where people can share the URL of a point after that page is displayed making it possible for someone to buy without ever seeing those terms or knowing they exist. i have never visited the Valve site so i have no idea how there's is done. but i could see it argued the such a web site flaw is much the same as no contract.
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    Re: A French court has ruled that Valve should allow people to re-sell their digital

    Quote Originally Posted by Skaperen View Post
    i have never visited the Valve site so i have no idea how there's is done. but i could see it argued the such a web site flaw is much the same as no contract.
    Steam users download the Steam Client. Then, any purchases made via the client are tied to the user account. Games require you to be logged into the client in order for the copy-protection options to work. And games from other publishers, like EA, or UbiSoft require you to log into their service on top of the Steam service in order to run the game.

    So, if I purchased Assassin's Creed III, I would pay $39.99 for the game. After I purchase the game, it shows up in my Library. I can then download it as much as I like from the Steam server, but can only download it to the Steam Client. I can make a backup of the game files, but again, they only can be restored with the Steam Client.

    Then, when I run the game, it launches the UbiSoft's UbiPlay, with the regular software developer licenses from UbiSoft, and I have to log into that in order to start the actual game.

    So, in essence, Steam is just a distribution service... at least that's how they work in the US.
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