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Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect

The Interactive Software Federation of Europe has issued a statement about yesterday's news of a ruling by a French court that says Valve should be required to allow the resale of games and other media purchased on Steam. According to the ISFE this contradicts established EU law, and should be overturned on appeal:

Simon Little, CEO of ISFE, said: “This French ruling flies in the face of established EU law which recognises the need to protect digital downloads from the ease of reproduction allowed by the Internet. Far from supporting gamers, this ruling, if it stands, would dramatically and negatively impact investment in the creation, production and publication of, not just video games, but of the entire output of the digital entertainment sector in Europe. If Europe’s creators cannot protect their investments and their intellectual property, the impact on both industry and consumers will be disastrous.”

According to EU copyright law, when it comes to digital and streaming services, every use must be subject to the authorisation of the rightholder and copyright does not expire with their first sale, as it does with physical goods. Physical goods are subject to the “distribution right” and to the “exhaustion doctrine” which means that the purchaser has the right to resell the goods if they were first put on the market with the authorisation of the copyright owner. This is not the case with digital downloads which are subject to the “communication to the public right”, meaning that the purchaser does not have a right to sell them on, without the copyright owner’s permission.”

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39 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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39. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 23, 2019, 20:50 Rilcon
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 21, 2019, 10:40:
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:55:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:46:
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:33:
If this were to hold, I suspect many companies in this realm would simply stop doing business in France. Go back 20 years, many companies wouldn't work with other countries until they got copyright protections, this is just going back to that point. France will most likely cave wanting those tax dollars back in the end, we'll see.

You can't regionlock inside the EU; a publisher can't sell in Germany or Italy but exclude France, it's all or nothing.
Check.

Was thinking about this and not saying you are incorrect, but how can one country then like Germany ban something while another EU doesn't? How do they region lock that? So France just made an entire possible decision for the EU with this ruling?

AFAIK, yes. There've been some recent ruling that paid online streaming services in one country can't regionlock or charge different amounts depending on the country, forcing them to either open service to the entire EU, or shut down entirely.

tbh the EU has a lot of these ideas that are great on paper but end up being a shitshow in practice due to already existing crap.
 
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38. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 21, 2019, 11:16 eRe4s3r
 
Great, I already said this last topic.  
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37. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 21, 2019, 10:40 HorrorScope
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:55:
Rilcon wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:46:
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:33:
If this were to hold, I suspect many companies in this realm would simply stop doing business in France. Go back 20 years, many companies wouldn't work with other countries until they got copyright protections, this is just going back to that point. France will most likely cave wanting those tax dollars back in the end, we'll see.

You can't regionlock inside the EU; a publisher can't sell in Germany or Italy but exclude France, it's all or nothing.
Check.

Was thinking about this and not saying you are incorrect, but how can one country then like Germany ban something while another EU doesn't? How do they region lock that? So France just made an entire possible decision for the EU with this ruling?
 
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36. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 21, 2019, 00:08 TheVocalMinority
 
roguebanshee wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:32:
NKD wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:02:
Games have gotten more expensive to produce, and cheaper to buy as time goes on.
And the sales targets have been increased dramatically.

Selling 1 million copies of a major title in 1990? Unrealistic.
In 2000? Expected.
In 2019? Way under target.

The price for a product is also tied to the expected sales of that product.

Also, with the various additional purchases offered by major titles, the actual cost of a AAA game can easily turn out to be far in excess of $100.

You didn't spell this out but it is important for your point - unlike physical goods there is no (or very little) cost in making a copy of software so more sales will support greater development costs.
 
"How easily we let ourselves be taken in by partisan labels" - Solzhenitsyn
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35. No subject Sep 21, 2019, 00:03 Mashiki Amiketo
 
NKD wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 21:01:
But how the fuck is some indie developer going to cope with this? How would they make any money if after a few days they stopped making sales because everyone was just swapping around the same pool of used copies?
How did the music industry make ends meet by doing this? Or DVD's? Bluray? Records? Cassettes? That's the thing, the VG industry is one of the only cases where your purchase of something has no right-of-transfer. In fact, it's pretty much put a bullet in gamestop since digital sales of games have far outstripped physical copies even on consoles.

How do they cope? Offer value of buying something from them. Or make more of something, even small studios had no problems surviving the days in the 90's where PC game rentals were a thing.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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34. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 22:40 Simon Says
 
Sepharo wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 22:32:
Simon Says wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 22:21:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 21:44:
They're licensing the right to run the software. As is the case with all software.

Then don't call it a "sale". It's not a sale.

They're selling the license.

Then you should be able to resell the license. But it seems they think you shouldn't, ergo, it's not a sale.
 
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33. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 22:32 Sepharo
 
Simon Says wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 22:21:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 21:44:
They're licensing the right to run the software. As is the case with all software.

Then don't call it a "sale". It's not a sale.

They're selling the license.
 
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32. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 22:21 Simon Says
 
Sepharo wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 21:44:
They're licensing the right to run the software. As is the case with all software.

Then don't call it a "sale". It's not a sale.
 
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31. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 21:44 Sepharo
 
Simon Says wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 21:10:
"This is not the case with digital downloads which are subject to the “communication to the public right”, meaning that the purchaser does not have a right to sell them on, without the copyright owner’s permission.”"

If you don't have the right to resell, you never owned it. If you never owned it, they're not selling games like they pretend to, they're RENTING them.

Which means that all this time Valve ( and others ) were guilty of FALSE REPRESENTATION. They're shooting themselves in the foot.

"This French ruling flies in the face of established EU law which recognises the need to protect digital downloads from the ease of reproduction allowed by the Internet."

Resell of owned goods has nothing to do with this, resell /= reproduction ( aka copy ).

They're licensing the right to run the software. As is the case with all software.
 
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30. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 21:10 Simon Says
 
"This is not the case with digital downloads which are subject to the “communication to the public right”, meaning that the purchaser does not have a right to sell them on, without the copyright owner’s permission.”"

If you don't have the right to resell, you never owned it. If you never owned it, they're not selling games like they pretend to, they're RENTING them.

Which means that all this time Valve ( and others ) were guilty of FALSE REPRESENTATION. They're shooting themselves in the foot.

"This French ruling flies in the face of established EU law which recognises the need to protect digital downloads from the ease of reproduction allowed by the Internet."

Resell of owned goods has nothing to do with this, resell /= reproduction ( aka copy ).
 
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29. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 21:01 NKD
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:40:
How much did EA make last year? Ubisoft? Activision? Oh yeah, they're barely scraping by. Oh yeah, and game prices for new triple A titles here are $80 on average with CE's surpassing $130 so yeah, they are keeping up with inflation. Jesus, are some of you seriously crying for how hard done by assholes like Bobby Nodick would be?



I think people are more concerned with what this would do to smaller operations that can't afford to do the things it would take to adapt to this change in business model. Those big companies will be fine, they'll find a way to get their money out of you.

But how the fuck is some indie developer going to cope with this? How would they make any money if after a few days they stopped making sales because everyone was just swapping around the same pool of used copies?
 
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Welcome to the Retirement Home for Old People Terrified Of Change
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28. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 19:55 HorrorScope
 
Rilcon wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:46:
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:33:
If this were to hold, I suspect many companies in this realm would simply stop doing business in France. Go back 20 years, many companies wouldn't work with other countries until they got copyright protections, this is just going back to that point. France will most likely cave wanting those tax dollars back in the end, we'll see.

You can't regionlock inside the EU; a publisher can't sell in Germany or Italy but exclude France, it's all or nothing.
Check.
 
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27. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 19:46 Rilcon
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 19:33:
If this were to hold, I suspect many companies in this realm would simply stop doing business in France. Go back 20 years, many companies wouldn't work with other countries until they got copyright protections, this is just going back to that point. France will most likely cave wanting those tax dollars back in the end, we'll see.

You can't regionlock inside the EU; a publisher can't sell in Germany or Italy but exclude France, it's all or nothing.
 
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26. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 19:33 HorrorScope
 
If this were to hold, I suspect many companies in this realm would simply stop doing business in France. Go back 20 years, many companies wouldn't work with other countries until they got copyright protections, this is just going back to that point. France will most likely cave wanting those tax dollars back in the end, we'll see.  
Avatar 17232
 
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25. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 19:26 Mashiki Amiketo
 
opie wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 14:29:
I do feel like a lot of judges these days are making rulings that are outrageous and easily overturned on appeal in order to make headlines. is there no accountability on this?

for those who are "shocked, well, not that shocked" about this, lets just see where it ends up on who is right.
Judges doing that? It does happen. I'll point out the obvious thing, most reporting on legal cases is so shit, that unless you were sitting in the courtroom what's reported, and what is, are two different things. And when interest groups are against something, they'll twist anything to make it sound bad.

From the skimming of the original ruling in French(I didn't read the shit in the other thread yet), it seems that the judge has effectively stated that while goods are digital, the right of transfer is still a consumer right akin to selling ones property to another party. In turn, the ability for the consumer not to do so infringes on what is effectively the french first sales doctrine for any type of property, whether it be a house, CD/DVD, or cellphone. It's been a good 20 years coming.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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24. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 19:01 Rilcon
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:40:
How much did EA make last year? Ubisoft? Activision? Oh yeah, they're barely scraping by. Oh yeah, and game prices for new triple A titles here are $80 on average with CE's surpassing $130 so yeah, they are keeping up with inflation. Jesus, are some of you seriously crying for how hard done by assholes like Bobby Nodick would be?



Big publishers generally make a only profit on a minority of the titles they invest in, and these days most of that profit does indeed come from collector's editions, DLC, season passes, etc. and not the title itself, because even with sales expectations big games are sold at a loss.

And the vast, vast majority of the industry is not these big players, it's third parties going with minor publishers and wholly independent studios going alone; if they're very lucky, they have some money from a previous successful project... chances are they don't, and in any case the cost of development just increases year by year over whatever they could have made before.

But that doesn't matter, what matters is that all games should be cheap and if you don't like it after putting 6 hours into it, you should be able to get 80% of your money back, right?
 
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23. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 18:51 Bill Borre
 
people buying and reselling games endlessly

The actual article has few details. I don't think the above is what the case is about. I think what they're arguing for is being allowed to sell the game out of your library in the Steam marketplace similar to the way you can sell those character icons you unlock from playing a game.
 
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22. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 18:40 Cutter
 
How much did EA make last year? Ubisoft? Activision? Oh yeah, they're barely scraping by. Oh yeah, and game prices for new triple A titles here are $80 on average with CE's surpassing $130 so yeah, they are keeping up with inflation. Jesus, are some of you seriously crying for how hard done by assholes like Bobby Nodick would be?


 
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"Ah, Impressionists, the boy bands of the art world." - Sideshow Bob
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21. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 18:32 roguebanshee
 
NKD wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:02:
Games have gotten more expensive to produce, and cheaper to buy as time goes on.
And the sales targets have been increased dramatically.

Selling 1 million copies of a major title in 1990? Unrealistic.
In 2000? Expected.
In 2019? Way under target.

The price for a product is also tied to the expected sales of that product.

Also, with the various additional purchases offered by major titles, the actual cost of a AAA game can easily turn out to be far in excess of $100.
 
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20. Re: Industry Group: Steam Refund Ruling Incorrect Sep 20, 2019, 18:32 Bodolza
 
NKD wrote on Sep 20, 2019, 18:02:
It doesn't take a genius to see how disruptive this would be

Just like Steam was massively disruptive to resellers and resulted in much higher prices for gamers. How's Gamestop doing these days? I use to be able to wait a few months to pick up a game for cheap since I didn't care about having the latest and greatest. Now I have to wait literally years for a comparable sale on Steam.
 
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39 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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