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German consumer rights group sues Valve over game resale issue

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A German organisation called The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) is attempting to sue Valve over the issue of game re-sales on Steam. At present, Steam account holders have no way of selling, or transferring, their games to other users.

This is not the first time VZVB has tried to take the issue to court. A previous case made it as far as the German Federal Court of Justice, who ruled in 2010 that Valve was not violating German law with is policies.

According to VZVB’s Carola Elbrecht, the organisation is hoping that last July’s ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (stating that “used” game sales are legal and cannot be blocked by the author) will add weight to its new lawsuit. Legally speaking, however, the situations are somewhat different.

Even Elbrecht herself feels that this litigation could go on “for years,” and will most likely end up at the German Federal Court again.

So whether you’re hoping to be able to re-sell your Steam collection, or hoping that never happens, it doesn’t seem like a change to the status quo is on the horizon any time soon.

Source: PC Advisor



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  1. DavidTheSlayer | February 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

    I think it would be cool to sell on used games etc, bargin bins are pretty much a market itself and making people pay for each and every version on a different device or online pass crap is just killing consumer activity not helping it. I’m suprised that laws conflict and yet changes are so slow I mean this could probably apply to other industries?

  2. Are you currently able to re-sell other forms of software? Or are they just picking on games? I’m unfamiliar with German/EU law in this area.

    • avatar Peter Parrish | February 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm |

      I think the EU Court of Justice ruling last July was specifically about “software” (the case wasn’t brought in relation to games as such, it just may have that side-effect.) But that also dealt with sales being blocked by author – I imagine it gets murky when you bring in publisher/distributor interests too. Short answer: I don’t know!

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