Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through Paypal, Flattr and Liberapay!

Valve and game developers have a bit of a fight on their hands here, with a French court ruling that Valve should allow users to re-sell their digital games.

Reported by the French website Next Inpact, the French consumers group UFC Que Choisir had a victory against Valve as French courts have ruled against them on the topic of reselling digital content. From what I've read and tried to understand, the courts have basically said that when you buy something on Steam it is indeed a proper purchase and not a subscription.

Valve has been ordered to pay damages at €20K plus €10K to cover some costs. On top of that, they will also have to publish the judgement on Steam's home page (presumably only for users in France) and for it to remain visible for three months. If they don't, they will get a fine for each day of €3K. To Valve though, that's likely pocket change. The bigger issue though, is how other countries inside and outside the EU could follow it.

Speaking to PC Gamer who got a statement from Valve, they are going to fight it. Of course they will though, they could stand to lose quite a lot here and it would set a pretty huge precedent for other stores like GOG, Epic, Humble, itch and all the rest.

There's a lot to think about with this situation. Valve could end up changing the way they deal with this, just like they did with the nicer refunds option which came about after legal issues too. Imagine being able to sell and transfer a game over to another Steam user. Valve could take a cut of that most likely too.

Something to think on there is how this could affect game developers too, I'm all for consumer rights but I do try to think about all angles. We could end up looking at higher prices overall, no release day discounts, more micro transactions, more games updated as a constant service, games that require an online account as a service so you're not paying for an actual product and so on as developers try to keep more income when many smaller developers are already struggling.

Interesting times.

Hat tip to Nibelheim.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
30 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
About the author -
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
184 comments
Page: «17/19»
  Go to:

chancho_zombie 20 September 2019 at 8:50 pm UTC
I think the article needs more clarification some news site are saying that the ruling is forcing to allow to sell games inside steam.Like this one:

https://malditosnerds.com/noticias/La-justicia-francesa-obliga-a-Valve-a-habilitar-la-reventa-de-juegos-en-Steam-20190919-0006.html

Is not the same to force the creation of a marketplace inside steam or outside steam.
linuxcity 20 September 2019 at 9:18 pm UTC
yea you need to chill out with me dude.if i feel i want to sell anything i will do so.how is this even about me this is about us the users.if we want to sell any of our games it should be our right to do so.people have been selling games for decades,what difference if its a actual copy or digital.

orochi_kyoThis is simple, Valve should close doors on France. This is beyond ridiculous, why suing Valve specifically when every other virtual store including console ones are doing the same.
Now imagine the impact for developers, Funny thing Epic shills will celebrate this when they support Epic because "Epic is cool with devs", lol. They are so dumb.

linuxcityi would not mind selling games i no longer play or transfer them to another user

Of course you dont!! All of this is about you and only you, the other people who could get involved negatively doesnt matter.

This behavior of not thinking how anything could affect anyone else but me is a cancer.
We have a healthy gaming sector(not in the employee yet) when we have plenty of competition that allows users to get games in nice sales, but with things like this, I see developers raising prices in order to get the revenue lost by the fact people can resell their games for whatever price they like. This is something really stupid, ruled by a court that has no idea of how the gaming industry is working right now!!

This will affect indies really hard.
Salvatos 20 September 2019 at 9:46 pm UTC
chancho_zombieI think the article needs more clarification some news site are saying that the ruling is forcing to allow to sell games inside steam.Like this one:

https://malditosnerds.com/noticias/La-justicia-francesa-obliga-a-Valve-a-habilitar-la-reventa-de-juegos-en-Steam-20190919-0006.html

Is not the same to force the creation of a marketplace inside steam or outside steam.
My Spanish isn't perfect, but where does that article say that? I don't see it there nor in the French articles that I've read about this ruling. Is it just the headline?

By the way, having read a bit more now, it's interesting to mention that according to the court, contrary to what Valve claim in their terms, they don't sell game subscriptions but actual game copies, on the basis that the "licence" is perpetual, which is contrary to the nature of a subscription service (recurring payment for time-limited service). This, in turn, makes those games subject to normal French laws regarding resale, i.e. Valve cannot prevent it. I wonder if Valve might counter that argument by changing its terms of sale to provide time-limited access instead (perhaps only in France).
chancho_zombie 20 September 2019 at 9:58 pm UTC
Salvatosbut where does that article say that? I don't see it there nor in the French articles that I've read about this ruling. Is it just the headline?


in the headlines, but it also can be a spelling mistake.
Purple Library Guy 20 September 2019 at 10:06 pm UTC
vinniebottledSo a quick question why would anyone by new?
Lack of supply. There won't be that many used copies for sale. I'm sure not selling my games--they're mine. Lots of people feel the same, while the majority just can't be bothered.
Also, the same reason lots of people buy at release instead of waiting for the sales: They don't want to wait. Even people who sell their games won't do it instantly. They'll want to play the game through, if it doesn't suck they'll want to play it through again, or at least they'll think they might and plan to for a while before finally deciding that nah, they probably won't get back to it. Very few people are going to do really fast turnaround resale.
I don't see this as having nearly as big an impact as a lot of people here do.
flesk 20 September 2019 at 11:04 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Contributing Editor
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
Salvatos
pbThat's it, I'm telling my son right now to stop dreaming of developing games. This basically legalises keyshops and now even allowing you to sell the games you're already played and finished, if it wasn't bad enough before... Piracy killed Amiga gaming, socialism will kill PC gaming?
Can we maybe not be so dramatic? Some of us are old enough to remember that that’s how it was for the majority of video gaming’s existence. And books, DVDs, cars, etc. Sure it would be a disruptive change, but as long as it doesn’t open the door to duplication (piracy), the market can adapt. It might not be pretty for a while, but it won’t just die like that.

Doesn't have anything to do with socialism either. With socialism, developers would get a fair price for their labour, and consumers would be entitled to a copy, but no right to profit from it. If anything, socialism would be better for indie game developers, as it would allow them a stable and dependable income, but obviously much less lucrative for AAA publishers.
Arehandoro 20 September 2019 at 11:50 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy
Arehandoro
sub
Salvatos
pbThat's it, I'm telling my son right now to stop dreaming of developing games. This basically legalises keyshops and now even allowing you to sell the games you're already played and finished, if it wasn't bad enough before... Piracy killed Amiga gaming, socialism will kill PC gaming?
Can we maybe not be so dramatic? Some of us are old enough to remember that that’s how it was for the majority of video gaming’s existence. And books, DVDs, cars, etc. Sure it would be a disruptive change, but as long as it doesn’t open the door to duplication (piracy), the market can adapt. It might not be pretty for a while, but it won’t just die like that.

I'm not yet having a position on all this yet, tbh.

Being honest, this pure digital distribution is different to what
we had back then for games or even more for the book example.

If you sell a used book, it's used - no matter how hard you try.
Those old game boxed were usually plastic sealed and you had to open them.
From my experience the cardbox boxes suffered as did the jewel case plus the CD.

All I want to say is this: Usually a used product is not mint anymore.
It shows signs of use that is represented in the price when you resell it.

This is completely gone for digital products.
You sell something that's perfectly the same as you bought it first hand.
There is no price on the consumption of the game anymore, which is what the
developer actually wants to get paid for - and that's fair, isn't it?

It's a dilemma.

Not entirely true.

When one buys a 2nd hand book, film, album or game, does the content differ? Is the content less enjoyable because the medium it comes in isn't in mint condition? In my case, I know the answer to both questions (NO).

One might decide to pay less for the state of that format but ultimately the importance here is what you do with that content. Therefore, Valve's case isn't different to existing consumer rights and market laws. Besides, let's not forget that more often that not 2nd hand books are equally, if not more, expensive that new ones in many situations AND that 2nd hand market is completely out of companies revenues. In a platform like Steam, if 2nd hand were to be enabled, they could, and they will, still control how it works getting a chunk of every sale for them as platform and for the dev. Which I believe, it should create another topic in itself.
On Steam (and perhaps the devs) getting a chunk of resale, that's still probably less than the overhead for resales of physical goods. Consider used bookstores--people who actually have gone to used bookstores to sell them your old books* will realize that they pay diddly for them, and only partly because the thing itself is used. They pay diddly because they have to pay rent on a store and utilities and some money for themselves so they don't starve, out of the markup. Similar things are true for used clothes and other things; lots of used goods stores don't pay for the stuff at all, people just donate whatever to get it out of their way. So if Steam or whoever takes a cut of resale, that's hardly unprecedented; they're providing the infrastructure just like a used bookstore.

* I very rarely do this but I have occasionally ended up with duplicates of the same book. Of course where I live, there hardly are any used bookstores any more. Rent got too high, Amazon took over, they all died except a couple legendary ones.

Totally agree with you. What I wanted to express with creating another topic, and mentioning the Steam-infrastructure case, is that we are still to see whether Steam copies could be resold elsewhere -something we can do with physical goods- and whether the devs see a portion of the sale -something they currently don't-.

Continuing with the bookstore analogy; where I live there are still several 2nd hand books though mostly people, and me, buy from online platforms. Quite sad in a way.
g000h 21 September 2019 at 6:50 am UTC
Purple Library Guy
g000hFor those thinking this will be a good thing for DRM-Free Gaming: I think the opposite - This will push all new commercial games to become purely rental titles, i.e. You can download the game for free, but you won't be able to play it without a subscription. DRM-Free games will just be for free gaming (i.e. where no money is paid for the game title). Commercial game developers won't be releasing DRM-Free any more.
Until the next lawsuit. I'm not sure getting around law is quite so simple as all that.

I'm not sure you're quite getting my point on this.

My point isn't that a subscription model would be leveraged onto current games (although it isn't impossible). My point is that it will push game publishers/developers to adopt a subscription model (e.g. rent per hour) for all their new and future titles. This is something which is perfectly fine from a legal perspective, and it would allow them to get around the resale problem entirely (and not lose any profits to resale).

A subscription model like that would change the gaming industry in a big way, i.e. no DRM-Free titles from commercial developers, people who play more hours could end up paying more for the privilege. A loss of consumer ownership of the software - The software would not work if the rental wasn't paid. A subscription model is similar to a streaming model, but rather than streaming the game's video and remotely-controlling it, you still download the files and run it locally.
ObsidianBlk 21 September 2019 at 2:00 pm UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
  • Top Supporter
Shmerl
ObsidianBlkI get this... and I'm not saying I don't have digital games myself, but still... I have CDs I bought in the early 90s that I can still read data off of. How many hard drives can you say the same for?

Consider yourself lucky, but don't think it's a reliable method of storage. Optical discs deteriorate with time, and are a lot more error prone than hard drives which in contrast are built to last for many years.

I'm not sure how you treat your optical media, but all I do is keep them in their cases, on a shelf, and they all still work for me. In fact, I don't think there's a single CD/DVD I've attempted to use in recent years that failed to read. No media is 100% fool proof... especially if treated roughly... but, yeah, I do not see how you think optical media is worse than hard drives. I've rarely heard of a drive lasting much longer than a decade (and, that's actually a pretty solid amount of time).


Shmerl
ObsidianBlkAlso, depending on the size of your collection (and the size of the games within your collection), that huge hard drive may still only store about a hundred or so (thinking ~50gb sized games these days).

Not all games are 50 GB. But let's say they are and let's say you have 8 TB hard drive (around $200 these days). That will fit 160 of such games? If you need more, you can get even bigger hard drives (14 TB for example), or get several. Still a lot easier than managing a whole pile of optical disks to hold the same amount of data. If you need backups, get a NAS.

So no, you don't need to give up on actual ownership. You should just use the right tools for it.

To each their own.

Your side has the downside of having to purchase the hard drives (let's go with $200 a piece) and the NAS (not always a cheap option in and of itself). Those have moving parts (unless you do SSD, but then you're driving up the cost of the drive) which I can virtually guarantee will fail at some point and then you'll need to buy replacements to get things up and running again. Furthermore, even with low power components, you are still paying money just to keep that NAS going. Not everyone has the money to run and maintain that sort of equipment. If you can, wonderful! But a solid NAS is not an inexpensive item even without hard drives, if you want it to be fast, reliable, and not need maintenance every couple of years.

My side does have the downfall of having to maintain physical objects... and if each and every one of my games were physical, that would be 150+ optical discs to have to manage. Yes, cumbersome. But my greatest expense for maintaining them is perhaps a $200 book/display case (if I want to get really fancy). Again, I have not encountered an optical disk to date that (barring it having been manhandled by children or used as a coaster) failed to read for me, including, but not limited to, a 1995 copy of Doom II for Windows 95 (23 years and still going. Not bad).

To bring this back to the original topic of this whole thread being the ability to resell your games... digital media nearly strips you of that right. You will either have to relinquish ANY chance of even being able to use that NAS for storing your games and only sell them (the license to use them, anyway) on the storefront in which you purchased them, or you will be allowed to "back them up" as encrypted data blobs which can only be unencrypted by the store front you backed them up from. Going to the argument that these storefronts can take your games away from you as they see fit (See PT), there's no guarantee that even if you backed up your game in an encrypted file, the service would allow you to unencrypt it to play again or sell if *they* no longer "have" the game. With optical media there's no such worry. Buy a game. Play it. Give it to your friend and/or sell it. It is now *YOURS* to do with as you please. The storefront, developers, publishers, etc have no control over what you do with your physical media! (BTW... yes, piracy, but that's ever present, so I'm only arguing purely legal situations).

One last thing... This is all about being able to control what you put your money into. Digital distribution is extremely convenient (and, again, I use it just as heavily as the next gamer), but you own nothing! You're not buying anything! You have no control! You can't trade it. You can't resell it. Your money goes into a hole.

And let me be clear... games are *NOT* a service! You're not renting your copy of Monopoly. You're not being told what to do with your copy of Settlers of Catan, or Magic the Gathering... why should we allow publishers to dictate that video games are really any different?

Physical games (that're not just glorified download codes) can be traded. They can be resold. There is a chance with physical media that the value (when reselling) could remain or even go up as they age (don't bank on it, but it's far more possible with physical media than digital only)!
sub 21 September 2019 at 5:08 pm UTC
ObsidianBlk
Shmerl
ObsidianBlkI get this... and I'm not saying I don't have digital games myself, but still... I have CDs I bought in the early 90s that I can still read data off of. How many hard drives can you say the same for?

Consider yourself lucky, but don't think it's a reliable method of storage. Optical discs deteriorate with time, and are a lot more error prone than hard drives which in contrast are built to last for many years.

I'm not sure how you treat your optical media, but all I do is keep them in their cases, on a shelf, and they all still work for me. In fact, I don't think there's a single CD/DVD I've attempted to use in recent years that failed to read. No media is 100% fool proof... especially if treated roughly... but, yeah, I do not see how you think optical media is worse than hard drives. I've rarely heard of a drive lasting much longer than a decade (and, that's actually a pretty solid amount of time).

Doesn't matter if your discs all still work.
Shmerl is right.
CDs and DVDs printed detoriate and should never be used as backup media.

In case of printed CDs/DVDs it's the reflection layer that detoriates.
For writable discs it's even more problematic due to the dye layer.

This is called "Disc rot".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Proton, Pleb
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts