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Steam games may be sold second hand

The French Supreme Court states that Steam users may resell their digitally purchased games second-hand.

The French Supreme Court states that Steam users may resell their digitally purchased games second-hand. According to the French court, second-hand game sales do not matter whether it is work in digital or physical form, reports French game site Numerama.

According to the court, a game on Steam is made available to the user for an unlimited time, for a previously agreed price. According to the court, rightsholders cannot, therefore, prevent resale, just like with physical work.

Adjust conditions

Steam, the largest digital store for PC games, does not allow users to resell digital games second-hand. Games are linked to the user’s account. The French consumer organization UFC-Que Choisir, therefore, started a lawsuit against Steam owner Valve at the end of 2015.

According to the organization, the licenses that Steam users purchase on digital games would just be able to resell second-hand. Now that the judge agrees, Valve must adjust Steam’s terms and conditions. That probably doesn’t happen: Valve will most likely appeal the ruling.

Possible far-reaching consequences

However, should the judgment remain unchanged, could that have major consequences, both in France and Europe. The French court relies on European legislation on digital goods. This law prohibits obstacles to the free movement of those digital goods within the EU. By law, all goods, including software, resold without the consent of the original seller.

That is why it is possible that all stores that sell digital games and software allow the resale. Steam is not the only platform that now prohibits that sale; also on Android, iOS, the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and many other platforms do not allow digital resale of games and software.

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