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News EU court rules second-hand sales of digital goods legal

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 4 Jul 2012.

  1. dr-strangelove

    dr-strangelove Member

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    I don't think they'll be able to do that. Under this ruling you have the right to re-sell everything you buy, including dlc. So they can have day one dlc but they'll have to enable you to sell it on if you want to. It's also possible that they'll have to let you sell on your bonus content codes along with the game, depending on whether or not the bonus content codes are considered part of the first purchase.

    Personally, I hope we see more of the GoG DRM free approach to selling games.
     
  2. Valinor

    Valinor New Member

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    One of the first things that I thought when I read this is that companies like Valve and EA could stop "selling" games all together, and instead switch to just renting out their games (not lifetime rents like there are atm, but 1/2/5 year rents). Can't say I'd be happy if this is how it turned out.

    On the flipside, there are loads of games in my steam account which I never play, and the only reason I still have them is that I can't resell them. It'd be nice to clear up that list a bit.
     
  3. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

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    Finally, the court has recognised that when you purchase something, you have purchased something! Who cares if it's physical or digital, you've still traded money for it, and therefore should have certain expected rights to the product now in your possession.

    Insofar as reselling digitally downloaded games goes I feel Steam and Origin would be rather off their rocker if they didn't implement a system wherein a user could "bundle up" a game bought through one of their systems into a large, singular installer file which could then be sold on. The game would still require activation through one of their systems, but the resold unit would not be eligible for download through the respective digital distribution system - this is a right held only for first-party buyers (much like a warranty on goods bought at retail). The used game seller would be responsible for the transfer of the file, and there is minimal loss (if any) financially to the distributors from this transaction, with the built-in provision that their incumbent DRM scheme is still there, doing it's thing.

    This scheme would almost exactly replicate used goods sales as we have all become comfortable with over the past several thousand years, with minimal interaction or expense on the part of the initial distributor and an opportunity to advertise to new users via their digital distribution system (Steam and Origin). But more than likely we'll just see the wording of the T&C's changed in an effort to side-step the law and further strip away users rights :p
     
  4. fingerbob69

    fingerbob69 Member

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    Ah ha! Now a year or two back I bought a CD copy of Valve's Half-life 2 Orange Box pack second hand of eBay. As most probably know (I didn't!) this requires activation via Steam by inputting a key code. But because the game was second hand...had already been activated (and despite the seller also giving me his username/password) I couldn't get the game to work.

    An email to Steam garnered a reply stating that no, a new key would not be forth coming....quell surprisé!

    This ruling would seem to indicate that Valve/Steam must either allow the existing key to work or provide a new key ....as I am [now] the legitimate owner of that particular copy of that game (imo I always was, it's just now the Law agrees with me).

    Who wants to bet Valve/Steam still tell me to piss off when I email them asking for an activation!?
     
  5. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    Malvolio for new head of EA! Sorry mate can't replace Gabe until we see next HL release.
     
  6. Instagib

    Instagib Well-Known Member

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    I can just see the price of 1st hand digital sales jumping up a notch as Steam/Origin figure that the only opportunity to make money from a game would be at first point of sale, so they may as well make the most of it.
     
  7. Grimloon

    Grimloon New Member

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    My first thought on this obviously mirrored that of others in that it's simply a new revenue stream for Valve to exploit via a second hand market place in Steam or EA through Origin. I doubt I'm alone in being more than willing to fork out £10 - £20 for a copy of a second hand game on a console and used to the same on the PC back when bricks and mortar stores were still the primary means of games purchases.

    At the moment they might shift a few copies via a sale but a second hand market place where they take their cut could be one hell of an earner if done right as well as keeping customers loyal to their platform because they want to rather than because they have to.
     
  8. Andy Mc

    Andy Mc Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe post extracts from your Raspberry Pi book here instead?



    Pretty please?
     
  9. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    It'll be interesting to see how this affects next generation consoles if they use in house global digital distribution.
    Will they have to design that system so globally anyone can resell games, or will there be a special Euro version? Or will they do an Apple and insist on you using their payment system, then take a 30% cut.
     
  10. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    the later if they go fully digital

    enough most countries in europe are not ready for digital age (only sweden has a backbone internet rdy for blue ray size downloads )

    to the person who mensioned how you sell your steam games

    you cant its not possible and it requires steam orgin ect to put in the code to allow you to do it and id guess the court has given them a time to implement such a thing ( they give microsoft 3 years to remove internet explorer ) and id guess there will be a huge appeal about this from the main 7 it affects ( amazon google apple sony microsoft and valve / origin, They are the main resellers of digital media in europe )

    Steam though is first and foremost just a reseller of other publishers games, valve have produced very few games in the last 10 years

    half life 1 2 episode 1 2

    team fortress and left for dead 1 and 2

    that about it

    you can pick up the lot in steam sales for about £15

    EA have produced probably 3-500 in that time.

    does this affect amazon, apple and andriod market places in europe as they are strictly speaking selling digital media which is what the ruling is about not just games. ( reading the ruling indicates it does )

    expect a mass appeal agaist it by them or delaying it forever ( took ms 10 years to remove IE cost them 1billion in fines they made god knows what in that time id guess it was 100 + times the fine amount.)

    Dout us as the consumer will see any immidiate change

    Steam terms of service have not been updated niether has any of the 7 ive mensioned above
     
  11. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    Wonder if they will just pull out of the EU so you have to import and then they dont have to follow this ruling. Now that would be an interesting result. :D
     
  12. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    amazon apple pull out of europe that wont happen

    google pull out of europe that wont happen also

    origin could easily become sales locked to USA though without alot of backlash as it only sells EA games

    Steam id guess has a tonne of publisher deals which would make it difficult to pull out of europe

    microsoft have pulled out of europe on products before nothing stopping them doing it again.

    sony has different eulas for europe and USA already the thing everyone doesnt read then complains at a later date about lol
     
  13. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    We will end up paying the same for games overall, I'd rather it stayed the same instead of launch prices being pushed up to cover the lost sales from second hand copies.
     
  14. Glix

    Glix Left Thumb Stick in the mud.

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    Then reduce first hand prices...

    Thinking logically, for example of Steam, a user can download a game 60 billion times if they wanted, but what difference does it make if the user changes and the number of downloads doesn't?

    I think the 2nd owner should have the same entitlements as the first.
     
  15. CrazyJoe

    CrazyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Erm, what?
     
  16. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    been a while since ive used origin like bf3 launch last i checked they published bf3 though

    publisher is not the producer remember

    crysis 2 is another of there published but not produced games
     
  17. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    The people who sell us digital games have a LOT of money and a LOT of clever lawyers.

    They will work around this and it will probably work out worse for us in the end...
     
  18. CrazyJoe

    CrazyJoe Well-Known Member

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    They'll either get around it or start adding the online pass thing that console games have so that anything we buy 2nd hand will be a gimped version and we'll need to pay to get the full game.

    Origin sells games from lots of publishers now, just like Valve does with Steam.
     
  19. Glix

    Glix Left Thumb Stick in the mud.

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    @Joe, I think this actually defeats the online pass. Because like it says, you pay and receive goods (the online pass usually comes with bits of downloads like skins etc).
     
  20. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN I want to change my name but I also don't

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    I don't expect any real change from the end user perspective, the software industry has an army of lawyers ready to work around this.

    However, if somehow this does end up having a huge effect, it's still naive to expect to be able to just transfer steam games and such in their current form. Most modern software benefits from additional services such as free patches. In the context of Steam there's also redownloading, stat tracking, cloud saves etc. All of that costs money to run, and if providing that to millions of people who don't cover the costs becomes unviable, it will be changed.

    I see people in this thread expecting that Steam will just gift them a new key for a used copy of a game they bought. Maybe they will be forced to rework their business model to do that, but the transition wouldn't be straight forward. I'd imagine a Project Ten Dollar type fee to enable any steam functionality beyond simply having the key attached to your account.
     
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