Valve can no longer stop French users from reselling games, but there’s more to this than that.
On Sept. 17, 2019, A French court passed judgment on a case involving the makers of the Steam Store, Valve. In UFC-Que Choisir vs Valve, the French court deemed the resale of digital materials on the Steam network to be lawful.
This ruling is huge and could have serious ramifications for all digital game stores. According to the site Next Impact, which broke the story first, the Tribunal de Grande — Frances highest court — determined the following:
The owner of the right concerned can no longer object to the resale of this copy (or copy) even if the initial purchase is made by downloading. The publisher of the software (or its beneficiaries) can no longer oppose the resale of this copy or copy, notwithstanding the existence of contractual provisions prohibiting a subsequent assignment.”
This is translated from the French site, so it might not be verbatim, but it essentially says that Valve can no longer stop its French users from reselling video games once they are downloaded.
But what does it mean?
There’s a lot to unpack here. Since we haven’t seen the repercussions of all of this yet, a lot of this is speculation.
Here’s what we understand though. The Tribunal de Grande (TGI) has made it clear that because Valve sells you the game for an unlimited time limit, it cannot be considered a subscription and therefore falls under the normal EU rules set in place for Copyright materials.