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French Court Says Valve Must Allow Steam Users To Resell Games


You meant abusing the system then. Okay yeah. For me taking advantage of can mean simply using the service because it’s available. English is lovely isn’t it.

This might sound off, but I haven’t actually said that I’m against this. I’m just trying to argue that it’s not all Rainbows and Unicorns. There will be consequences and some of them may be as anti-consumer as the inability to trade. Would it be nice to resell games? Yes. I would love to get rid of Abzu on steam and buy it on GOG. I just think there is a lot of unnecessary baggage and consequence attached. (not to mention this is a MASSIVE slippery slope)

Looks like DRM to me. I personally think a system similar to trading cards will be the most likely option.

transfer =/= sell. There are a few things I can’t sell or transfer, legally, so do I not own them?


indeed, you do not own them



I guess I don’t own myself then.


you indeed do not own yourself, the actual proof for that is that you are not allowed to sell yourself; as I said before, the right to transfer ownership of something is a necessary condition for ownership itself, as established by law, both human and divine

and I am not trolling

we do not own ourselves nor our bodies, which are mere vessels which we have been given to use for a determined time period

but there’s no point of getting into a theological discussion which will probably not lead to anything positive nor any resolution, so it’s probably better to agree to disagree


About ownership - and this is just my feeling, not law or anything - I’ve always considered my GOG library games as owned. At any time, you can download 'em, burn them to disc or something and play them without the manager.

Conversely, stores like Steam, Uplay, Epic, etc … it’s definitely more like a ‘rent’ vibe. Like when you subscribe to a cable TV channel - you’re licensed to watch whatever you like, but the day the company shuts down - that’s it, ‘your’ shows are gone. Unless of course, you took time to archive them for your personal use later. The licence to view / use is temporary, not ownership per se.

I’m not technical minded, maybe there’re some games on Steam that launch without the manager, and for Epic, the same applies. Just saying how I personally feel when the word “ownership” is used here.

Also also, I wouldn’t be reselling my favourite games. I’d like to transfer licences to a friend who also like the games - say to a few of my wee nieces and nephews. For games I don’t use / like, it’d be cool to toss them out the Library and maybe pick up a few Steam Wallet coins for them. (Yes, I know some people have 25k games). Hey, Economics is complicated and there’s no such thing as a perfect system - again, just my little 2 pence. Cheers.


Probably shouldn’t bring it into the discussion then. Just a tip.


I am not going to get into a discussion about it, and I’ve already said I’ll just agree to disagree in case you do (disagree). I answered your comment, and it felt necessary to me to explain fully where I’m coming from (though my point of view is legally sound and conclusive also).


simcity 4 and The sims 3 are two games I know off you can run without the Launcher. After you install both games you just simply delete the shortcut Steam creates for the games, go to their respective install folders, find the executable for each and create your own. This newly created shortcut for these two games won’t be tied to the steam client\launcher as if you installed them by disc. And you don’t even need Steam running in the background before you can run both games. :yum:


@Gnuffi posted this site somewhere in the back of the library here…:heavy_heart_exclamation:

You can copy the game folder anywhere you want to and launch the game directly without being online or having Steam or third-party software running.


Kind of an incomplete list as I didn’t see simcity 4 nor The sims 3 on there, granted I just scrolled each category quickly manually instead of using CTRL+F because I’m currently on my phone and I don’t know how to do it on here.


Scratch that, I figured it out and indeed those two games aren’t even on that list :frowning_face:


Personally I’m of the opinion that this ruling, in it’s current form, should fail. We’re getting licenses to play when we buy a game on Steam and not the games themselves. With Steam’s refund system, and with the license system in mind there’s no real issue with there not being a resale system. Can you resell your movie tickets so someone can see that film you’ve just seen?


I’m actually not sure about that; I think @Fraggles once explained that we do actually buy the games, but it is on the games’ publishers to enable us to play them, and as long as Steam works, they are honoring that obligation, but if Steam were to disappear one day, then it would still be on the publishers to enable us (direct download or a free key for another launcher or whatever) to use our product.

So IF i understand that correctly, Steam offers this service, and we agree to it; however, we do own the game, but the honoring of that sales contract falls on the publisher, not on Steam, and now (1 judge in) France (let’s not forget it’s merely a ruling by 1 judge atm) ruled that that is not how this works and that Valve have the obligation to allow us to sell our games (given that the ability to transfer ownership is a major condition for ownership itself).

If someone is willing to buy them, you can actually sell them, but they won’t be able to use them as they are a single-use item; this is not a valid analogy :smiley:


Well kind of sort of, that particular part was an extrapolation on my part. Primarily a theory that would have to be tested in court in the event of such a situation but based on what I believe is the foundation of the current inquiry. The finding that software licenses are not to be considered in any way different from any other goods and all the implications there of.


That is literally what you said. Observe:

If English isn’t your first language, I can see how this might be confusing. But what you said, in English, was that I was wrong to say that Steam provides a service. Maybe it’s not what you meant to say? Possibly, but over-defensive accusations just make it look like you’re lashing out at someone who pointed out an error in your claims by trying to assign them nefarious motivations.

A good debate should leave emotion at the door. Since you can’t seem to do that, I’m going to bow out of the thread. But for any innocent bystanders left confused about the opinions being aggressively presented as fact in this thread, I would suggest merely looking at the terms of service you agree to when you use Steam:

“The Content and Services are licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Content and Services.”


No THIS is what you said.

Your statement here is clearly exclusionary. Only way I can interpret what you said here is that you want to claim steam only provide services.

Where as my counter to your statement only supplements that products are being supplied. My statement does not, should not at least, be read as if it excludes anything else. In this case I do not deny that services are provided. This all I already tried to explain to you and I really fail to see where you spot any hostility there.

This time instead just try to pick at my supposed lack of linguistic abilities rather than touching in any way on the subject at hand. So on your way out I would appreciate it if you to take your own advice along on the matter.

Also TOS and EULAS rarely hold up in court, many rights can’t be signed away no matter how much companies want you to. EU laws and court findings over rules steams lofty wishes.

AND in fact even if they did, that line itself doesn’t work. Because the whole point here is that EU decided that licenses ARE supposed to be ownership. A license IS sold in the EU, rendering that whole clause pointless.


You’re buying access to the film for its duration. With Steam you’re buying access to the game for the period it’s available. You’re not buying the film and you’re not buying the game.


that’s what Valve says, yes, and technically speaking all Steam customers agreed to that, but according to the judge, French law says that that’s illegal (apparently he sees it as ownership and says the conditions for ownership apply), and so like i said, either the lobbyists will succeed in changing a bunch of European laws, or pretty soon all these companies will have to change their business model cuz a bunch of other countries are going to follow suit


No matter which way you spin it, I just can’t see this being a good thing. On the simplest of terms, this equates to lost sales. Lost sales means less revenue for games publishers, which means less money for new games, which means - less games, games that take fewer risks that guarantee sales, more expensive games, more microtransactions to recoup money. I can see games doubling in price should this happen.

And that’s ignoring the wider digital market…what happens to sites like Chrono or Fanatical when keys can be resold cheaply?

If Steam responds by turning into a subscription service with bolt on upgrades (or game licenses) that’s not great either.


Something to think about: if we had a perfectly efficient secondary market that allowed users to “buy”, loan, or check out a game when they are playing it, and immediately resell or return it when we aren’t playing it, then developers only sell a number of copies equal to the all-time max concurrent players.

Let’s take BATTLETECH and use it as an example. They have sold nearly a million copies of the base game on Steam, so even if the devs only averaged $30/sale, after Steam’s 30% cut they still are getting $21 or so, x1,000,000, so $21,000,000. That goes a long way towards more updates, patches, expansions, future sequels or other games, etc.

Now the same game has 35,767 concurrent all-time max players. This means, at no time were more than 35,767 licenses for their game in use, so in a theoretically perfectly efficient secondary marketplace gamers would just buy/borrow a cheaper copy of BATTLETECH from other gamers instead of buying a new copy from the developer. Even if the developer raised his prices to $100/ea AND never discounted the game, that still means they would only bring in $3,576,700…if Steam doesn’t take any cut. With the standard 30% cut, the price for BATTLETECH would need to be $838.76/copy just for the devs to breakeven with what they had sold under the old system. So we all lose. Us as gamers would pay more, the devs would make less, and Steam would have higher overhead and more systems to manage with less of a cut.

Of course, that’s with perfect efficiency, some gamers like to collect games on a digital shelf so they would refuse to lend out the game sometimes, or maybe someone forgets to mark their copy as available after they finish playing it, etc. Those instances make it even worse for gamers since less copies would be available floating around in the secondary marketplace, but the devs might get slightly higher sales, so a mixed bag.

Just something to ponder, not trying to rain on the discussion here (lots of great points on either side). Thought that example would help some that didn’t understand or couldn’t relate translate it into real numbers so everyone can see the reality of what we would be striving towards if reselling became the de facto standard.

To those saying “Steam would never create a perfectly efficient secondary market”, true, probably that would be hard. However, if Steam didn’t make it hyper efficient, another site would (because there is money in reselling, so even with a 1% cut, if another site was 10% better at efficiently matching players, they would get more business — all other things being equal). It would become an efficiency race to minimize the total number of copies needed to be sold, which in the long run decimates indie developers, and massively takes a chunk out of AA and AAA sales.


Thanks for putting the time into this well-written explanation. I, for one, understood the scenario better with it.

Let’s see how this whole thing develops, guys. I also fear – correct me if this is silly – that Valve will need to make a lot of changes and take a lot of things into account in a very short notice… above the ethical and legal debate, I’m really worried about how they logistics will work if Valve – or a another secondary site – has to implement this reselling system.

IDK, it’s some weird stuff.