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EU to Allow Digital Software Resales?

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) outlines a legal ruing in the EU that seems to open the door for resale of digitally distributed software (thanks Joao). Here's a bit:

Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy tangible or intangible and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.

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19. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 14:33 Ruffiana
 
Techie714 wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 11:19:
This is the last thing business in the U.S. wants to see. EA & Valve have no interest in you reselling your games. Hell, the rumors are all around that the next consoles wont allow resale of games. I could be wrong though. It would open the door to new business models in the U.S.

Not entirely true. Publishers wouldn't mind people reselling their games if they didn't see it as a direct threat to their primary business model: selling new copies. Argue all you want about whether piracy affects the bottom line one way or the other, it is impossible to argue that the Gamestops of the world most certainly do insert themselves between a buyer with money and the publisher attempting to sell a new copy of the game they've paid to develop. Sure, it's great for the consumer, but it's lousey for the business of developing the product they like to consume.

Sad fact is that, unlike a physical good or product, there is no diminishing utility for digital media. The game I sell you is exactly the same experience and level of quality as the one you in turn sell to someone else, and someone else, and so on and so forth. There's no such thing as a high-mileage game. The storage media for a physical game may see wear, but when dealing with the actual data it's essentially immortal. The only consideration is 1) does it work and 2) is it cheaper than a new copy at retail price?

This business model of making and selling games is being forced to change. It was prodded in that direction long ago before any legal decisions upholding a consumer's right to resell their games. That's practically unenforceable whether it's legal or not. People will continue to trade, lend, sell, buy used, and pirate games whether it's legal or not and in all of those scenarios the publisher does not get a dime for the product they've paid to develop and put into the market. It is an unsustainable business that's become worse every day as more and more people start finding ways of getting their games cheaper or for free. The mass market has opted to not support the pre-exisiting business model and thus the business model will adapt to the market.

Ultimately, that changes the type of games made. We've already seen the move towards sequels, established franchises, and licensed games because it's a safer bet. It changes the quality of games as developers have struggled to meet the demands of increasing complexity on leaner, less risky budgets and timelines. And it fundamentally changes how games are distributed and monetized...which gives us things like more emphasis on micro-transactions, server-based accounts, and DLC.
 
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