French court rules that Steam violates EU law with resale ban - The UpStream

French court rules that Steam violates EU law with resale ban

posted Saturday Sep 21, 2019 by Scott Ertz

French court rules that Steam violates EU law with resale ban

While the gaming industry has moved almost entirely to a digital distribution model, there is one clear advantage to physical media: resale. GameStop's business model may have created a bad taste in some people's mouths over the concept, but in reality, the ability to trade or sell a game with a friend or family members is a big selling point for buying games on a disc. Many of the digital distribution systems, Steam included, prevent the resale of games, but that may be about to change, thanks to a French court.

According to French site Numerama, a recent ruling says that Steam violates European Union law by outlawing digital game resales. According to the law that is cited, the EU requires "the free movement of goods within the Union." It prohibits a company from disallowing the resale of products and, with this ruling, it is now applied to digital goods as well as physical. The court has given Steam's parent company Value three months to resolve the issue or face an outright ban in the country, though a real-world solution will likely take longer to implement.

Obviously, Value will appeal the ruling. In a statement to Polygon, a spokesperson said,

We disagree with the decision of the Paris Court of First Instance and will appeal it. The decision will have no effect on Steam while the case is on appeal.

So, during the appeals process, Value will make no required changes to the Steam platform or company policies. However, if the appeals process fails, they will be required to offer a game resale option through their platform. If it comes to fruition, there would be little reason for them to limit the capability just to the EU, but Valve is not known for doing the rational thing. They prefer to be in charge and go out of their way to protect that stance, so we may never see the feature leave the EU if it happens at all.


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