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Steam in Hot Water in the EU?

A This recent article follows on news from last year of a possible legal battle over the inability to resell games bought via Steam, which conflicts with a recent EU legal ruling. Word is the VZBV has filed a complaint in a Berlin district court over this. GameSpot has a response from Valve to this, as the company says it has not received a formal notice about his. "We are aware of the press release about the lawsuit filed by the VZBV, but we have not yet seen the actual complaint," Valve said. "That said, we understand the complaint is somehow regarding the transferability of Steam accounts, despite the fact that this issue has already been ruled upon favorably to Valve in a prior case between Valve and the VZBV by the German supreme court. For now, we are continuing to extend the Steam services to gamers in Germany and around the world."

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48. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 3, 2013, 20:14 StingingVelvet
 
Dev wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 01:26:
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 22:29:
I think people should be supported for their work, not see identical experiences give them nothing in return thanks to reselling games as if they were physical objects that lose value over time. I hope this fails.
You hope what fails? This is already a done deal in EU law. The questions are just about specific implementations now.

I imagine the question is whether it applies to software services.
 
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47. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 3, 2013, 01:26 Dev
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 22:29:
I think people should be supported for their work, not see identical experiences give them nothing in return thanks to reselling games as if they were physical objects that lose value over time. I hope this fails.
You hope what fails? This is already a done deal in EU law. The questions are just about specific implementations now.
 
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46. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 22:29 StingingVelvet
 
El Pit wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 15:38:
Now imagine somebody would put those movies on something like a disc. And sell it to you. And then - would you be able to resell it? I know, I got strange ideas with movies on discs, but nevertheless.... Okay, that wouldn't work if you bought the disc but the movie would be somehow bound to some user account of yours.

I like the old times, where we bought a tape, watched it and sold it again.

I like Steam, got a lot of games on Steam, but I'd really love to sell some of those that I either don't like or will never play again. You know, like in old times.

Yet in return for these changes we get other benefits, like ease of use, no storage, massive sales and niche titles being more profitable. Change is scary but you can't say digital is a total bad.

I think people should be supported for their work, not see identical experiences give them nothing in return thanks to reselling games as if they were physical objects that lose value over time. I hope this fails.
 
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45. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 17:37 eRe4s3r
 
Sometimes I wonder if you guys even understand what Steam is? Because Steam is not like iTunes or rental video/mp3 services... steam does not sell licenses and you can buy a copy of Windows and give it to someone else without any problems... at least with Windows Vista and 7

It would help if you guys would stop mixing up non transferable licenses with what you can buy on Steam. Because on steam, you do NOT buy non transferable licenses. Although Steam could certainly change into this type of store if it wanted, but currently, what you buy on steam, you own. (in the sense that you bought infinite, non restricted access to something INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF RESALE)

At least, if you are European.

Sidenote: This "right of resale" is what the lawsuit is about though. So yeah.. technically you don't have the right, because practically, you don't have a right at all if you can't use it.

This comment was edited on Feb 2, 2013, 17:59.
 
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44. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 16:50 Asmodai
 
If they are that concerned with resell rights why aren't they going after iTunes, Amazon Video/MP3, Google Play, and countless others for the same reasons. Seems a bit strange. I am pretty sure you can't transfer your songs to another person or resell your apps on your phone/tablet.

Or, ya know, Microsoft, or anyone of thousands of software vendors who issue non transferable licenses...
 
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43. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 16:35 TheEmissary
 
If they are that concerned with resell rights why aren't they going after iTunes, Amazon Video/MP3, Google Play, and countless others for the same reasons. Seems a bit strange. I am pretty sure you can't transfer your songs to another person or resell your apps on your phone/tablet.

I would have thought iTunes/appstore would have made a better example. You know how large the marketshare being that they are on about 50% of the phones and tablets and defacto monopoly for digital music.

 
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42. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 16:20 eRe4s3r
 
Even if the EU could force it, you will have to wait at least.. 5 or 10 years for anything to change. With the EU decision pro resale things are in motion but they move slowly (And you can believe that Steam is not "unaware" of the legal situation....) if Steam is smart, they do it in some way that makes it a publisher choice and thus delays the entire thing by another 10 years. But it will come, the EU courts ruled consumers have a right of resale, and consumers can SUE for this right. Although it would be a long and expensive (if uninsured) battle since you would have to go up to the highest EU court. Since this involves international trade the EU has a nifty arsenal to force companies to comply, the EU is the second largest gaming market in the world. And no publisher could afford punishment or even exclusion.  
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41. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 16:04 Dev
 
tomigun wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 15:58:
I did recently purchase a game from someone who gifted me the game via steam, is that legal? Or only applies to certain titles?
Thats a new purchase, someone bought a game (usually off of steam) and gave it to you entirely UNUSED. That game, once you used it, is now associated to your account, and can not be further given away. Valve built that mechanism into steam to allow people to buy games for others. For instance, giving gifts as christmas presents, or someone doing a 4 pack and having others join him in his purchase. As for the legality of it... is it legal to live in a country where valve sells the censored game and get someone to gift/sell you the uncensored version? I dunno, but I highly doubt anyone is going to go after an individual recipient of a game like that (do note though, that valve has in the past disabled cross-region activation of its own games when they are activated in other regions than they were purchased from such as orange box/TF2, while its unusual it has happened).

That gifting mechanic has not much to do with being able to resell USED digital games, which is what this discussion is about.

This comment was edited on Feb 2, 2013, 16:10.
 
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40. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 15:58 tomigun
 
Yep , I guess like with most companies it comes down to money.
And steam being a distribution service working with the manufacture , in both their interests wants to make as much as possible.
Must be a line though where you have to keep your customers happy as well, or the idea of pirating becomes a lot more appealing and nobody wins.

In saying that I did recently purchase a game from someone who gifted me the game via steam, is that legal? Or only applies to certain titles?
 
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39. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 15:38 El Pit
 
tomigun wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 15:29:

I guess one way steam may view this is:

Imagine you go view a movie at the theatre , your've paid for a ticket
Watched the movie now want to sell that experience ( or ticket ) to a friend/buyer....
The movie theatre won't allow it .
Guess a movie theatre and steam would share similar views.

Now imagine somebody would put those movies on something like a disc. And sell it to you. And then - would you be able to resell it? I know, I got strange ideas with movies on discs, but nevertheless.... Okay, that wouldn't work if you bought the disc but the movie would be somehow bound to some user account of yours.

I like the old times, where we bought a tape, watched it and sold it again.

I like Steam, got a lot of games on Steam, but I'd really love to sell some of those that I either don't like or will never play again. You know, like in old times.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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38. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 15:29 tomigun
 


I guess one way steam may view this is:

Imagine you go view a movie at the theatre , your've paid for a ticket
Watched the movie now want to sell that experience ( or ticket ) to a friend/buyer....
The movie theatre won't allow it .
Guess a movie theatre and steam would share similar views.
 
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37. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 15:21 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 11:03:
Do you have stock in Valve or something Dev? Gods anytime one of these threads come up you defend Valve like your life depends on it.
I would if it was available. But its not a public company, which is one of the reasons why they don't have many of motivations/pressures a publicly traded company does. And if you don't even know that little bit about valve...

Also, if you think all I do is defend valve, you haven't looked at my posts. Since I often see your posts in threads I post in, I have to wonder, do you bother reading posts in a thread when you respond? I'm one of the most vocal people on blues about valve's failings. Such as their broken promises with L4D1. Or their horrid customer service (it took WEEKS to get a missing game I had recently paid for added to my account, and that was with them trying to close my ticket every other day and me contacting them every day or two). Or their inexcusable storefront reliability issues.

This comment was edited on Feb 2, 2013, 15:31.
 
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36. removed Feb 2, 2013, 15:02 jamiedj99
 
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Feb 2, 2013, 16:04.
 
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35. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 2, 2013, 14:08 HorrorScope
 
Sure it would be nice to resell. But face it we've all saved a lot with digital download services, including Steam. As a collective whole we haven't been tearing walls down to make reselling happen, online always DRM gets one's emotions boiling much more. How about we just re-up again and support the industry and keep these personal collections, as it's benefiting use with lower prices and them with overall sales #'s. AKA it's working right now, don't F it up.

If re-sell became the norm, prices would go up or quality would go down.
 
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34. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 13:53 Silicon Avatar
 
I'd like to be able to resell stuff I don't play on Steam. Even if the sale just gave me store credit and Valve took 5% it would be really nice to be able to unload things I don't play anymore. I sort of wish the EU could force it.  
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33. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 13:41 saluk
 
With the whole personalized storefront thing Gabe talked about in that talk and inventory etc, maybe they are working towards allowing this. I bet they could find a way to make it financially viable.

Steam is great, and there are few digital storefronts that make it easy to get a refund or allow you to sell what you have bought... but it doesn't have to be this way. If Amazon can succeed by showing you ads of the product you are looking at with a cheaper price, Steam can succeed by allowing used game trades. They probably wouldn't make as much on sales - but the sales lately haven't been that great. And if they take a percentage on trades (not sure if that would be legally acceptable, but it would still be a ton better than how it is now), they might make the same or more over time rather than waiting for the sale to get the bulk purchases.

Who really DOESN'T want this are the game publishers. And if steam started doing this it would be interesting to see if the publishers stick around, or if more back out and do their individual stores like origin. I think many publishers on steam do rely on sales for a lot of their, um, sales, and if there is a lot of user to user trade going on I'm not sure if they would see that as much. Having to compete with users would be difficult.
 
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32. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 12:19 qsto
 
deqer wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 22:05:
TheEmissary wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 21:00:

That is great and all for older titles and console games but not so much for modern PC games. Most games lately are tied in to storefront/drm/middleware like steam.
So? So what? Your point?
Just don't play them then. What? Is this some type of crack that we can't live without? So, are you saying that once micro-transactions hit games, that we should play those games too because that's what's modern and we have no other choice?

Each time you play modern games, you are supporting a bad business model; you are being taken advantage of by the companies; and yet you don't think twice about it. You just eat it up?

Godddd, humans are dumb.
How about if I just like video games? It's a hobby of mine. Albeit only one of the many, yet certainly the dearest hobbby I have. Been playing since I was 2. I'm 32 now. How is it exactly that I'm being taken advantage of? I only see Steam as an advantage, not an impediment in any way for me to enjoy the games I love to play.

Btw, if this suit actually holds water and this case becomes a precedent, how is it going to bode down to the fact that we all know the next generation consoles will most likely feature a some form of a DRM system that more or less makes reselling of video games a thing in the past?
 
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31. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 12:13 El Pit
 
Julio wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 11:07:
The EU should shut steam down, or fine them around $1 billion like Microsoft

GOG>Steam everytime

Steam wouldn't want resales because it would cut into their business.

Yeah, GOG is great, but most titles I want are not available @ GOG.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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30. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 11:07 Julio
 
The EU should shut steam down, or fine them around $1 billion like Microsoft

GOG>Steam everytime

Steam wouldn't want resales because it would cut into their business.
 
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29. Re: Steam in Hot Water in the EU? Feb 2, 2013, 11:03 RollinThundr
 
Dev wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 01:09:
netnerd85 wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 00:44:
Valve do need a good, hard, smack - about users legal rights. Their ninja-tiger grip on PC DRM has gone far enough.
There's this thing called GoG.

Do you have stock in Valve or something Dev? Gods anytime one of these threads come up you defend Valve like your life depends on it.
 
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48 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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