Valve Clashes Against EU Consumer Laws
The High Court of Paris ruled in favour of consumers being able to resell digital copies of games. Initially, Valve said Steam was a subscription-based service but was rejected. Evidence showed that most games were a single time purchase, not reoccurring. This case has been going on for quite some time, nearly four years, started first by the consumer-rights association UFC-Que Choisir.
In the end, it was the European Union law that led to the change due to laws protecting computer programs. Most of the problems in the case surrounded the lack of physical copies to be resold. In the end, the court ruled that a game sold with the author’s authorisation meant the author had no claim over any resales.
Until Valve agrees to the ruling, it will face a fine of €3,000 a day, for up to six months. While this isn’t a lot of money to Valve, it has changed policy after a court case. After it lost a case in Australia, Valve eased its refund policy and had to pay a $2.4 million fine.
When asked about the outcome, Valve’s Doug Lombardi responded to PC Gamer’s request for comment with the following: “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.”
Despite the fines and ruling, but there doesn’t seem to be any immediate change coming to Steam. There’s no telling how the future appeal will go, or if Valve will have to change its policy. This is not the first time the company has faced off against EU law, and this is just one of many cases surrounding game companies and their relationships with consumers and may be signalling more change to come.
What do you think about reselling games? Should it be physical only, or digital too? Let us know in the comments!