German Consumer Group Sues Valve

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Braedan:
I get that. I think that practice is pretty shitty, but doesn't it say that it requires Steam to play?

Yeah, usually in the fine print or there's like a small icon that says "Steam activation required".
Funnily enough, the biggest problem with store-bought games requiring Steam is Amazon for me. While unobservant customers can easily fall into the trap of buying a product that they didn't realize they need a third-party program and internet connection for in a store (which is in itself reason enough for consumer protections to get involved), I always carefully check boxes. However, a lot of online retailers don't (or didn't, hopefully they fixed it) state on the article's website whether or not a game needs Steam.
Do you know how I found out that Fallout New Vegas needs Steam (even though Fallout 3 didn't)? From the customer reviews on Amazon. Amazon itself never bothered to tell me such a crucial detail. And since it's online, I can't even check the box for any tiny info tidbit that might tell me.
As for whom to get mad at? Valve handles the subscription service. The issue is with them and, yes, the publishers working with them. But I don't see how others also being at fault in any way removes responsibility for fixing their broken service from Valve.

I don't know anybody that has ever bought a game from Steam full-price. So that "I bought a game full-price so I can do what I want" argument sounds kinda bollocks. Reselling a digital only product is ridiculous.

I'm still not sure which side of the fence I come down on with regards to reselling digital games, but I do know that going for a supreme court ruling for it in a single European country is dumb as balls. Even if the court rules in favour of the consumer group, Valve won't implement the desired system; they'll just make Steam unavailable in Germany. Anyone with a functioning brain can see why it would be in Valve's best interests to cut the cord with Germany rather than allow reselling of digital wares.

Falterfire:
I will laugh so very hard if the end result here is that Valve just stops selling games to German customers.

They would likely have to extend that to the whole of the EU.

Falterfire:
'Anything they want'? Okay, here goes: I copy it. Then I 'sell' it to a friend for $0.01. Then I make another copy. And I sell that to another friend for $0.01. In fact, while I'm at it, why not just throw it up on my website and offer a 'donate what you want' system.

Is that okay? I mean, it's MY game! I paid for it! I should be allowed to do whatever I want for it.

You pay to do what you want with the copy you own (similar to how it happens when you buy games Retail). You can also resell them, lend them to your friends or similar. Presumably an Online Account system would remove/transfer the rights to that game to someone else. What you DON'T get when you buy a product is the rights for distribution instead of rights regarding that one copy.

mateushac:
Are people seriously still stuggling with the concept of license?
I'm all for consumer's rights and everything, but what they're doing there is bullshit.

See, what they want to do is pretty much like a student being admited to harvard and then giving up and trying to sell his spot to one of his friends.
Games are not a product, they are a permission. They are a copyright owner's allowance for one to use THEIR (the copyright owner's) property.

BigTuk:
Hmm see your point though considering you more or less have to agree to such in the term of service when you purchase stuff off of Steam. While I'm no German Law student I think that trumps it. Steam isn't the only source for many of these games so in short, if the consumers actually have a problem with the terms... why are they using the service. Let them patronize any of the other services. It's like a bar or restaurant saying 'no shirt, no shoes, no service'. Doesn't matter if you already made paid reservations, if you cannot abide by the terms of service they do not have to provide service. The terms are stated up-front, you have to agree to such before you are allowed to make the transaction and again you are implicitly agreeing to the terms by making the transaction.

What I'm saying is that the consumers don't act like they'[re being mistreated (as Valve did say they have received no complaints). Though technically if you had a problem you wouldn't agree to the ToS and thus would not have bought on Steam. I'm getting the feeling this is a case lawyers arguing for the sake of getting paid to argue. It's not like their fees are determined by actually 'winning' after all. Your Tax Marks at work German People.

You very much have ownership over what you buy and games are very much a "product". Software companies have tried arguing that you don't own what you buy for a long time now. The reality though is that you do, and the only restrictions that matter to you being able to do what you want with your legally owned products apply because of Copyright laws and not EULAs and Terms of Services. EULAs oftentimes don't matter, since a company can pretty much write whatever it wants in them, see: http://www.geek.com/articles/games/gamestation-eula-collects-7500-souls-from-unsuspecting-customers-20100416 and the terms won't apply as long as they aren't backed by actual laws, at least till companies are allowed to write binding legal documents in their favor that become law.

The only reasons certain entities got through with those kind of egregious terms in their Agreements in the first place is because nobody with the right amount of money (legally) questioned their practices. EULAs in large parts of Europe are also void if they are presented to you only AFTER you bought a game and have consented to the actually legally binding purchase agreement.
I only ever bought things on Steam in the full knowledge that whatever Steam tries to argue I *do* have full ownership over what I have bought, and if they try blocking my account with multiple thousands Euros worth of product on it (which is also from various Retailers and Digital Distributors including Amazon, GameFly, GameStop, Saturn etc.) I would sue.

I'm very happy that working consumer protection agency actually exist in Germany and they also use the force of law to allow for fairer Agreements and better consumer protection.

DVS BSTrD:
[...]And you can't legally buy Left 4 Dead 2 uncut in Germany.

Of course you can.

B2T:
I wouldn't buy on Steam if it wasn't for:
1. the sales
2. the awesome service
3. the fact that Valve is one of the few companies that I really trust (made some of my fav. games, Linux and OSX support, the whole "Games as service" thing)

R.Nevermore:
Absolutely not! The more rights I has as a consumer the better... I just think they are fishing in the dark here and have no case. Games these days do not belong to us. We've moved on to a life ding system, and quite frankly I prefer it. Steam has done great things for the game industry. I don't think this group understands the difference here. The game does not belong to us. We merely bought the rights to use them on our accounts.

Like I said. I prefer it this way. I am not really up for game prices being driven further up because some asshat buys the new CoD game and resells it a thousand times for a fraction of the price because its 'within his rights'. Freedoms can be taken too far.

Uhm, the game(s) very much do belong to you. Similar to how Retail bought games do. You can open the box and take a crap in it, then set it on fire, you can also play frisbee with it and you have the right to resell it.

Just because Valve or other companies argue that you don't "own" something you've paid money for doesn't make it so and doesn't take your state-given rights away from you in favor of some company.

A lot of people seem to be confusing restrictions bound in Copyright law preventing you to make additional copies of software to resell them, rights for distribution, including similar related rights like changing parts of code then giving it out as your own and making money off of it that are entirely unrelated to any licensing rights (they would apply just as much without ANY sort of EULA or ToS saying so) with the inherent ownership rights over the one copy that you buy and do own.

albino boo:

If you read the steam Eula, it says all sales in the european union take place under UK law. This term was introduced to get round the German courts.

Just because someone writes something doesn't make it true. I doubt Valve can bypass national laws like that, but I'm no lawyer so I may be mistaken.

I think it's great if this area will get some attention. When buying games most of my consumer rights is being bypassed and I doubt that everything that EULAs claim are actually enforcable. It seems like a bit of a loophole that copyright laws can be bypassed like this by claiming that games are not actually sold.

It's tricky when a whole industry decides to change how the business works. What if car manufacturers decides not to sell cars anymore but only offer rentals? Or selling a license to use the car without actually transfering ownership. I think similar business practices could be used for physical products, it's not really something that is unique for intellectual property.

R.Nevermore:
If you don't like what steam has to offer....

SUE THEM!

I mean seriously, if you want a hard copy to do with it as you please, don't buy a licence, buy a hard copy from a brick and mortar shop.

EDIT: but even then, you'll have to deal with some even more draconian DRM...

You must not have done this in a while. I wasn't pleased when my copy of Fallout: New Vegas which I purchased from Walmart for PC for the purpose of modding had a one-time use activation code for Steam and nothing else. Also most of EA's games even if you buy a hard copy at a store that really just means you are buying a code to use for their Origin service. I find it quite angering.

I think it's good that they're standing up for the consumers but I don't think you can simply compare a board game and a video game in this regard.

Falterfire:

Hitchmeister:
I think the obvious solution is that people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their Steam games including selling them.

'Anything they want'? Okay, here goes: I copy it. Then I 'sell' it to a friend for $0.01. Then I make another copy. And I sell that to another friend for $0.01. In fact, while I'm at it, why not just throw it up on my website and offer a 'donate what you want' system.

Is that okay? I mean, it's MY game! I paid for it! I should be allowed to do whatever I want for it.

Nimzabaat:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.

Imagine if Half Price Books was to be sued by Penguin Publishing for copyright infringement for allowing the resale of books & dvd's. If garage sales were stormed by ICE agents, people would be livid

Meanwhile, game publishers start implementing plans to make impossible and/or illegalize secondhand sales, & gamers defend them.

I like Steam in that it's a relatively unoffensive form of DRM, but there's a reason I buy games on GOG or Humble Bundle instead if I have the chance: because if I do, then the thing I bought actually belongs to me

While I like and respect Valve the most out of any game company, I'm inclined to think that this case might yield favourable results. I wouldn't mind being able to re-sell games on steam (or, rather, the rights to play them). Especially single-player games. And as someone mentioned, I could use that money to buy more games from steam. There could even be a 10% or so commission fee that goes to Steam, although I'm pretty sure people would bitch about that, too.

On the other hand, it's probably within Steam's TOS that we've all accepted before using it. I can't say if it's definitely in there, because I haven't read it(as I'm pretty sure well over, uh, being generous, 90 percent of users haven't done). So if you've agreed to the thing, you don't really get to bitch and sue left and right about it.

Nimzabaat:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.

It's amazing how consumer loyalty works for companies that actually deserve trust. And if Germany wants to sell downloadable games and sell multiple copies of them for a penny and call that legal, then steam has no reason to sell to them at all.

Infact, why not open a site and sell full price games on your own website after buying them from steam for a 1$ for your own profit? it would happen, and giving in to these people would cause a snowball effect that would cannibalize online gaming. If I were Gabe I would cut off the German's entirely to prevent that. And I admit, I would like them to give this group a kick in the balls for potentially ruining digital downloads.

tangoprime:
Apparently, Germany doesn't get how software licensing works...

Apparantly, you don't realize that it doesn't have to be this way.

OT: I'm a fan of Valve and I love Steam, but I'm glad that someone is trying to get them to change that policy. There are definitely some games on Steam that I'd love to trade/sell.

Dexter111:

snip

You very much have ownership over what you buy and games are very much a "product". Software companies have tried arguing that you don't own what you buy for a long time now. The reality though is that you do, and the only restrictions that matter to you being able to do what you want with your legally owned products apply because of Copyright laws and not EULAs and Terms of Services. EULAs oftentimes don't matter, since a company can pretty much write whatever it wants in them, see: http://www.geek.com/articles/games/gamestation-eula-collects-7500-souls-from-unsuspecting-customers-20100416 and the terms won't apply as long as they aren't backed by actual laws, at least till companies are allowed to write binding legal documents in their favor that become law.

The only reasons certain entities got through with those kind of egregious terms in their Agreements in the first place is because nobody with the right amount of money (legally) questioned their practices. EULAs in large parts of Europe are also void if they are presented to you only AFTER you bought a game and have consented to the actually legally binding purchase agreement.
I only ever bought things on Steam in the full knowledge that whatever Steam tries to argue I *do* have full ownership over what I have bought, and if they try blocking my account with multiple thousands Euros worth of product on it (which is also from various Retailers and Digital Distributors including Amazon, GameFly, GameStop, Saturn etc.) I would sue.

I'm very happy that working consumer protection agency actually exist in Germany and they also use the force of law to allow for fairer Agreements and better consumer protection.

Licenses ARE valid legal instruments, at least everywhere I know.

With Valve (and everyone else should do it too) you are made aware of what you're buying (a personal, intransferable license) before the trade is made.

Before every purchase is made through Steam, you are required to read and agree to the Terms of Service (which are a contract specifying the terms under which Valve shall offer you the service you're about to acquire). I don't really know what country you live in, but a contract (which EULA and Terms of Service are) should always be valid, except when it goes against the law.

In most of the world, not surprisingly, there is no law that states that the provision of entertainment or intelectual property can't be offered as a service or under a license (or else we'd be in quite a lot of trouble for going to the movies), therefore there isn't any doubt a company CAN offer a business model in which it charges you for YOUR PERSONAL USE of their property, and nobody else's.
(That's also the reason they can forbid you from tampering with their code, which also helps them prevent other companies from stealing their hard work)

I reckon that Europe has a bit of a different stance on this, based on that court ruling from last year. I also agree that being able to trade their used software licenses is a right of all those legally bound by said ruling (which should only be "everyone" if the ruling has "erga omnes" effectivenes, btw)even though that would cause a few problems when it comes to laws defining whether or not there can even be personal and intransferable services (such as plane tickets, newspaper subscriptions, digital distribution of media, etc) in the first place.

What makes me nervous, though, is all the people here in this thread who do not realize the HAVE NOT BOUGHT THE GAME. They have purchased a license, which can be traded in a few places (such as Europe), but not everywhere else (unless they have laws about it, of course).

Hm, I actually like where this is going. I am a pretty hard Valve fanboy, but she has a point, I paid full price for a game, I should be able to do with it what I want. How about enabling trading used games between steam accounts Valve?

That way I can't just:

Falterfire:
Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.

I mean, the system is already in place even.

EDIT: And hey, there could be a little transaction fee to "enable" a used game for trading, that way Valve can even make money FROM it. Win win.

Nimzabaat:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.

This, this, this. The blind loyalty of Steam fans (under the thin justification "no we trusssttt them") never ceases to amuse me. if Activision start charging $1 for every round you play in the next CoD the rage would shake the foundations of the internet, Vale does just that and the reaction is "omg we love you Gabe imma spend $100 on hats to celebrate".

OT: I really hope this goes badly for Valve. I'm still bitter that every other retail game I buy is nothing but a steam download code. And if nothing else I would love to see a company that people regard with almost religis devotion get kicked in the teeth. For that matter if they really "cared more about the consumer than money" as their acolytes claim I would think they would try to have a system like this in place, my understanding is that GreenMan Gaming already does.

Doom972:

tangoprime:
Apparently, Germany doesn't get how software licensing works...

Apparantly, you don't realize that it doesn't have to be this way.

OT: I'm a fan of Valve and I love Steam, but I'm glad that someone is trying to get them to change that policy. There are definitely some games on Steam that I'd love to trade/sell.

I'll just say what the guy in the post below your post said on it.

"Licenses ARE valid legal instruments, at least everywhere I know.

With Valve (and everyone else should do it too) you are made aware of what you're buying (a personal, intransferable license) before the trade is made.

Before every purchase is made through Steam, you are required to read and agree to the Terms of Service (which are a contract specifying the terms under which Valve shall offer you the service you're about to acquire). I don't really know what country you live in, but a contract (which EULA and Terms of Service are) should always be valid, except when it goes against the law."

I'm definitely on the side of the consumer's total rights over a physical item, including a game when you own the disk. But getting into consumer ownership of digitally distributed software is a bit iffy, and I don't like the idea of an aftermarket in intangible, digital copies of software. All that'll do is further infuse DRM into everything, to be sure when someone sells a piece of software, they've completely removed all traces of it from their system and no longer have access to it. More realistically, I just see software companies refusing to sell software to a jurisdiction that imposes some kind of laws to that effect.

Also, when you buy digitally, and agree to that software license agreement, you DON'T OWN IT, you agreed that you don't own it when you bought it, so you have no standing to sell it, or argue about "your rights" over it, you already agreed on the terms as part of your transaction. To legally remove the ability for software companies to use that kind of license agreement would completely muck things up for the biggest software market in the world, that is, business productivity software, and as mentioned, I think companies would just choose to not license or sell their software in those jurisdictions, or else impose draconian DRM, devote a lot of effort to enforcing violations, and pass that cost on to the business customer.

tangoprime:

Doom972:

tangoprime:
Apparently, Germany doesn't get how software licensing works...

Apparantly, you don't realize that it doesn't have to be this way.

OT: I'm a fan of Valve and I love Steam, but I'm glad that someone is trying to get them to change that policy. There are definitely some games on Steam that I'd love to trade/sell.

I'll just say what the guy in the post below your post said on it.

"Licenses ARE valid legal instruments, at least everywhere I know.

With Valve (and everyone else should do it too) you are made aware of what you're buying (a personal, intransferable license) before the trade is made.

Before every purchase is made through Steam, you are required to read and agree to the Terms of Service (which are a contract specifying the terms under which Valve shall offer you the service you're about to acquire). I don't really know what country you live in, but a contract (which EULA and Terms of Service are) should always be valid, except when it goes against the law."

I'm definitely on the side of the consumer's total rights over a physical item, including a game when you own the disk. But getting into consumer ownership of digitally distributed software is a bit iffy, and I don't like the idea of an aftermarket in intangible, digital copies of software. All that'll do is further infuse DRM into everything, to be sure when someone sells a piece of software, they've completely removed all traces of it from their system and no longer have access to it. More realistically, I just see software companies refusing to sell software to a jurisdiction that imposes some kind of laws to that effect.

Also, when you buy digitally, and agree to that software license agreement, you DON'T OWN IT, you agreed that you don't own it when you bought it, so you have no standing to sell it, or argue about "your rights" over it, you already agreed on the terms as part of your transaction. To legally remove the ability for software companies to use that kind of license agreement would completely muck things up for the biggest software market in the world, that is, business productivity software, and as mentioned, I think companies would just choose to not license or sell their software in those jurisdictions, or else impose draconian DRM, devote a lot of effort to enforcing violations, and pass that cost on to the business customer.

Laws that limit what can be demanded of the consumer in such license agreements can and should be made. The fact that it's legal for companies to do that, doesn't mean that it should stay legal.

Since the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "used" software license sales are legal, it basically means that Steam prevents people (in Europe at least) to do as they please with the software licenses that they purchased. To that you might say that the EULA states that the license states that it's not transferable, and I would respond that if a license agreement demands something illegal of the consumer, it's null and void. For example, if the license agreement said that you have to kill yourself, you wouldn't have to do it.

I'm a little confused why people think it absolutely impossible to sell the right to a game (yes, not the game itself, because that is how Steam works) that they bought from Steam to somebody else.
Hello? You can already do that by buying something and making it a GIFT to somebody else on Steam! How difficult can it be to SELL this right to play said bought game to somebody else?
Get your feet on the ground, people! You're raving like fanboys.

Doom972:

Laws that limit what can be demanded of the consumer in such license agreements can and should be made. The fact that it's legal for companies to do that, doesn't mean that it should stay legal.

Since the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "used" software license sales are legal, it basically means that Steam prevents people (in Europe at least) to do as they please with the software licenses that they purchased. To that you might say that the EULA states that the license states that it's not transferable, and I would respond that if a license agreement demands something illegal of the consumer, it's null and void. For example, if the license agreement said that you have to kill yourself, you wouldn't have to do it.

I already said I approve the germans fighting for the enforcement of their right to sell their used games (even though steam might figure it's best just to pull the plug on germany instead).

What really bothers me is people saying it IS their right to do whatever pleases them with the games to which they have licenses. Unless there is law saying so (which is the case of Europe), or the contract says so (maybe if it makes no statement about the issue too), it is not your right.

EDIT: Sry, I hadn't realised you were talking to the other guy.

Why the fuck would anyone buy a used game from someone anyway? If someone's looking to procure a game while not giving their money to the people who made it, why wouldn't they just pirate it?

Dr. Mongo:
I'm a little confused why people think it absolutely impossible to sell the right to a game (yes, not the game itself, because that is how Steam works) that they bought from Steam to somebody else.
Hello? You can already do that by buying something and making it a GIFT to somebody else on Steam! How difficult can it be to SELL this right to play said bought game to somebody else?
Get your feet on the ground, people! You're raving like fanboys.

The answer mainly stems from a very important baseline:
Steam was created and has been managed based on the fact that you are buying a nontransferable license for personal use. All those sales? They can exist only because of the whole 'nontransferable license' thing.

Remember two important things: Far more games are sold during sales and game devs make no money from used game sales. The combination of these two is likely to mean that after a game does a single 75% off sale, the dev will not make any money from that game until the next 75% off sale as all sales will be used.

Quite simply, in the digital market there is absolutely zero reason to buy new if 'used' is available. A 'used' license key isn't scuffed. It will never become damaged. There isn't a manual to lose or a case to misplace. The only difference between 'new' and 'used' is whether or not the publisher and dev got paid for it.

In Steam PC Land, where used games aren't a thing, we are seeing massive sales because the huge volume of sales cannot hurt the Dev/Publisher. In Redistro PC Land, huge sales at a discount price can easily lead to huge numbers of used games preventing them from making any further profit until every single one is gone.

Can I provide numbers to prove my point? Unfortunately not, since even the numbers that exist now are mostly under various NDAs or simply not publicly disclosed. But you can bet that every game dev will consider the potential of this happening before agreeing to a sale should Steam begin facilitating resale of licenses.

Obviously the counterpoint is 'But the Console Market hasn't collapsed!', but there's a fairly good reasoning behind treating the Console Used Market as an incomparable situation. It's more difficult to locate a used copy of a console game from anywhere that isn't GameStop. It's much harder to find a used copy from anywhere that isn't a brick and mortar. Online you would be able to use Steam's own forums to find a used copy. Moreover, the accessibility factor is much lower. You have to find your games, they have to be in a good condition, and you have to go to GameStop or wherever to sell them. If it were digital you could literally put up a game as 'used' with a handful of button presses. If you don't think that will massively increase the number of used sales, you are underestimating the power of laziness.

mateushac:
Are people seriously still stuggling with the concept of license?
I'm all for consumer's rights and everything, but what they're doing there is bullshit.

See, what they want to do is pretty much like a student being admited to harvard and then giving up and trying to sell his spot to one of his friends.
Games are not a product, they are a permission. They are a copyright owner's allowance for one to use THEIR (the copyright owner's) property.

What the hell has happened to these forums? You have all turned into mindless corporate drones.
No mate, sorry, you are NOT 'all for consumer rights and everything'. You are for large corporations

The concept of 'licensing' is bullshit invented by monopolising companies. The issues of copyright aren't 21st century, they are as old as Gutenburg and the press.

Games ARE a product. If they aren't, why do I need to give someone money for them? I don't give money to people for other things than products or commodities. A team of artists and technicians produce a product, which I pay money to obtain. This is no different to a painting or a car.

I've never heard of a indie dev whining about their 'licensing' rights - it's always multinational companies.

Wake the fuck up you ants.

Falterfire:
I will laugh so very hard if the end result here is that Valve just stops selling games to German customers.

But seriously? Used digital games still make no !@#$%ing sense. Consumer rights are good and all, but used digital games are still nonsense.

If it was legal to resell a digital game, I could sell the same copy seventy three bajillion times using the magic of Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.

Thing is though if this is being brought forward to the European Courts of Justice and they rule it in favour of this German group then it has a chance of every single person in the EU (meaning nearly all of Europe bar a few notables like Norway and Switzerland) of being locked out of Steam due to how EU law works. More then likely is that Steam would change it's policy rather then shut out the European market.

R.Nevermore:
If you don't like what steam has to offer....

SUE THEM!

I mean seriously, if you want a hard copy to do with it as you please, don't buy a licence, buy a hard copy from a brick and mortar shop.

EDIT: but even then, you'll have to deal with some even more draconian DRM...

Considering alot of non valve games now require steam and to lock it into the service even with a hard copy, thats no longer an option. Honestly I support this, not because I dislike steam (I have over 400 games on it and growing) or that I want to sell any, but because of the principle that it needs to be an option. Free trade and the right to resell items of value, weather physical or digital, is a fundamental part of capitalism and our free rights.

because people keep bringing up weird arguments: as far as i can tell they only want you to be able to sell the game, nothing would stop valve from implementing a "you can only sell this for 90% of what you payed for it"(because you stretched the bytes or something), no buying up games during sales and selling them en mass later.
and valve will not drop Germany because this is an EU thing and they really would not want to loose that market.

and in related News: Internet access was recently ruled to be as important as access to power and water in Germany, so yay.

Falterfire:

Hitchmeister:
I think the obvious solution is that people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their Steam games including selling them.

'Anything they want'? Okay, here goes: I copy it. Then I 'sell' it to a friend for $0.01. Then I make another copy. And I sell that to another friend for $0.01. In fact, while I'm at it, why not just throw it up on my website and offer a 'donate what you want' system.

Is that okay? I mean, it's MY game! I paid for it! I should be allowed to do whatever I want for it.

Woo do you work for ESA? Cause that's the same argument they use when they try to equate used games to piracy. Selling your licence and blatant copyright infringement are two different things. Just like selling a DVD and selling home-burnt duplicates of a DVD are vastly different things.

Interesting.

As far as digital distribution platforms go, I like STEAM, it's the one I use. That said I turned to STEAM out of duress due to everything going digital. I am a big believe in people owning their purchuses and doing what they want with them, including trading them, and selling them, which is also why I'm a big defender of used game sales on Gamespot and the like.

There is the legitimate issue here that Digital Games by their nature are not something that can be sold or traded reliably due to their digital nature in most cases.

I'm hoping that The Germans "win" this one and other countries follow suit, starting a domino effect accross the civilized world (including the US) where digital distribution basically beomes illegal, as does company controls and security that hamper the sale and trade of games between people. Meaning we go back to "Disc in hand", no more online registration, DRM, digital distribution accounts and services, or even Downloadable Content gimmicks. Again you go to a store, hand over your money, and get a game that is yours to do with as you please.

Daemonate:

Games ARE a product. If they aren't, why do I need to give someone money for them? I don't give money to people for other things than products or commodities. A team of artists and technicians produce a product, which I pay money to obtain. This is no different to a painting or a car.

Thank god you never visit parks or private museums... or watch movies in the theater for that matter.

Daemonate:
I've never heard of a indie dev whining about their 'licensing' rights - it's always multinational companies.

Well, I've never seen anyone fight for their rights to sell used indie games.

And, btw, quite a lot of those indie devs also include nontransferability clauses to their EULA. Please check your facts.

Now if only someone will take Valve to task about removing and/or refunding games that they throw up and don't run properly without having to find solutions on the forums/online.

mateushac:

I already said I approve the germans fighting for the enforcement of their right to sell their used games (even though steam might figure it's best just to pull the plug on germany instead).

What really bothers me is people saying it IS their right to do whatever pleases them with the games to which they have licenses. Unless there is law saying so (which is the case of Europe), or the contract says so (maybe if it makes no statement about the issue too), it is not your right.

I imagine people are expecting that they are buying a copy of a game, just like they would have bought a copy of a book, a movie or a CD. The terms by which such items are traded are governed by national copyright laws that states that the owner (the buyer) is allowed to do what they want with them, as long as it doesn't infringe upon the distribution rights and the artistic rights of the authors. There is no reason at all why software can't be traded on the same terms.

Software used to be sold on those terms, and it doesn't make much of a difference whether the distribution method is floppy, cd, dvd or bytes through a network connection.

In Europe we are generally not used to signing contracts, waivers and other legal documents as consumers. We are used to following the laws. Software agreements are almost impossible to read as a consumer, because half of what they claim are not things we can legally sign away. So exactly what parts of an EULA counts and what parts doesn't? Thats not a simple thing to figure out.

Should we just silently accept to abandon our consumer rights just because some random foreign company says so? Where I live democratically elected representatives make the laws. Not Valve, or Microsoft or Sony. Thats the problem I have with licenses, and I imagine a lot of other Europeans as well.

Unfortunately most normal people don't have the personal or economic ressources to sue a company every time we buy a game or another piece of software. So the validity of the licencing practices has rarely been tried.

Falterfire:
Snip

In essence you are saying that it should not be possible to resell your gaming licenses because the companies wouldn't make as much money as they would like to. I am sorry, but that is not the way capitalism is supposed to work (though a lot of companies like to tell us a different story these days).

Granted, there will be a lot less people who will buy new games when they can get the used ones. Granted, Steam will make a LOT less money than before. Granted, this will influence the gaming industry in some big ways (and certainly not only in positive ways) for the consumer.
But does it prove the concept of being able to resell used games (or licenses) wrong?
I think not.

Captcha: crop up. There you go, captcha.

Dr. Mongo:
In essence you are saying that it should not be possible to resell your gaming licenses because the companies wouldn't make as much money as they would like to. I am sorry, but that is not the way capitalism is supposed to work (though a lot of companies like to tell us a different story these days).

Granted, there will be a lot less people who will buy new games when they can get the used ones. Granted, Steam will make a LOT less money than before. Granted, this will influence the gaming industry in some big ways (and certainly not only in positive ways) for the consumer.
But does it prove the concept of being able to resell used games (or licenses) wrong?
I think not.

Captcha: crop up. There you go, captcha.

No, you misunderstand. I'm not saying it shouldn't happen because of the money aspect, I'm saying that the current system you use was built with knowledge of nontransferrable licenses in mind. If licenses become resaleable, you should be prepared to deal with the resulting shockwaves through the industry, which may very well include Steam cutting back greatly on the quantity and quality of sales and the a number of indie game devs getting hit HARD.

You can't just change the fundamental nature of what is being sold by a service such as Steam without a huge amount of backlash. It would be one thing if Steam was selling only Valve games, but it isn't. Immediately after licenses became transferrable, Steam would have to renegotiate every single contract they have, meaning that the only games available on Steam would be Valve games until they talked to each individual company.

Will it end PC gaming to have digital licenses become transferrable? Probably not, but it certainly won't doing anything good for PC gaming in general and not much good for the consumer in particular.

Ultimately, what you and I think doesn't matter because this issue will be decided not by industry veterans but by lawmakers who have only a passing knowledge of how to use this newfangled internet thing and who have no clue of the actual ramifications on the industry.

Nimzabaat:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.

The amount of people on these forums blinded by their love of Valve is astounding sometimes. Not that I think they're evil, they're a company just like any other. Just better at manipulating their consumers.

RedDeadFred:
The amount of people on these forums blinded by their love of Valve is astounding sometimes. Not that I think they're evil, they're a company just like any other. Just better at manipulating their consumers.

Ultimately it comes down to a fundamental difference: Valve is selling single-user nontransferable licenses, which in the PC world is the accepted method of selling pretty much all non-game software, so applying it to games isn't much of a stretch. Therefore accepting what Valve does and how they handle things is easy. EA tends to do limited single-user nontransferable licenses in a bid to further limit the existing system, which is the source of most of the anger.

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