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Valve sued again by consumer group over no-game resales

Valve is set to head to court in Europe once again, after another consumer group announced it was suing the Steam owner for not providing its users the ability to resell games that they had previously purchased. This time though, the group is French and they're annoyed at other things too, including some of the content ownership rights on the Steam platform.

Although reselling games is a feature a lot of people have requested, citing that it would allow more people to buy more games with their pocketed change, Valve has already won this case in court in Germany. It pointed out that gamers were able to download and re-download their games at will and that technically made it a subscription more than an owned product.

Second hand digital products don't expire either, so the second hand market could stretch on to near-infinity. At least in the eyes of the court that originally looked at the case. It may be that a French one sees differently, but it will have plenty of other points to weight up first.

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The group also wants to go after Valve for not taking responsibility when users are scammed or their accounts are hacked. That one may be difficult to argue too if users are clicking phishing links and logging in through dodgy sites, but as Kotaku points out, there was that hack back in 2011 where Valve took a while to let people on to what was happening.

The consumer group also doesn't like that Valve claims ownership of user-uploaded content, but it is non-exclusive, so can still be used elsewhere.

Finally, the French organisation doesn't like that you can't take money out of a Steam wallet. While that is annoying, it also removes a big incentive for hackers who may otherwise take over accounts and then transfer that money out of the Steam accounts very easily. The only bit that might be a stickler is that that money is taken away if your account is banned.

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KitGuru Says: How do you feel about some of the points raised by the consumer group? It has a leg to stand on in some respects, but you can bet Valve will be citing that German case where it already beat that first point. 

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18 comments

  1. For the money out of the wallet thing, just make it only able to go back to the card it come from

  2. not sure about the reselling,,, all SOFTWARE,, were its digital or not, YOU DO NOT OWN, you only paid for a liecence to use to use it…

    if the devs/publisher wishes to termiate said agreement/liecence they can do so, and leagly the end use by law has to uninstall of software and destorey all copies of said software…

    YOU DO NOT OWN SOFTWARE UNLESS ITS UNDER THE GNU/FOSS

  3. Except you can buy wallet codes in shops, I used that to make gifts for instance. Or for kids without cards. So in the end only the card associated with the account for a defined amount of time should be used and that would solve 99% of the problem.

  4. Good point. I hadn’t even considered the gift cards thing. I think even consumer laws don’t allow those to be refunded to cash so that’d solve that too.

  5. I doubt they have a leg to stand on for any of these complaints. I’m not familiar with the French legal system, but I assume it is not very different from most western european countries. The discussion always will be whether you own the product; but it has always been a user license, so I doubt the French court will see that any different.

    As for the other points. Valve is making a lot of work of account security, with multiple levels of security. That’s more than almost any other service. The content is no different from any other online service such as Facebook. And your steam wallet is not a bank account. Valve might want to change the service into Steam Credits or something, but other than that, it’s no different from any gift card or something which you also can’t refund.

  6. In the old days (90’s) I did own my software, If I purchased a Megadrive or Snes game it was mine till the end of time. Where did it all go wrong and how can we get back our software ?

  7. Buy your games on GOG then. Steam offers a generally lower price and more competitive service to publishers because of the non-transferable license.

  8. They already keep un-tradable and tradable gems separate on the marketplace so I doubt it’d be difficult to have withdrawable and non-withdrawable balances. I do wonder how they’d manage to handle Marketplace withdraws, I know that if I paid £1.60 on a CSGO case and won a decent knife, I’d sure as hell sell it!

  9. Well, they appear to be making steps, but those steps are leading backwards in my eyes. There is the two step authentication that you can use using the Steam mobile app… but, here’s the thing, you can only get that app on iOS or Android. So WP users like myself HAVE to have their account slightly less secure, just because Steam doesn’t want to make a WP app. Seriously, I asked Steam Support and they just said “We’ have no plans at all to make a Windows Phone Steam App”

  10. Ahem… Demon, no you didn’t. EULAs have pretty much always been the same, and that is that you have bought a license that enables you to install and play the game. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember, and I was playing PC games in the early 90’s

  11. EULA are only worth anything when a random judge rules against common sense, otherwise they’re just an overblown piece of legalese.

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  13. That is stupid. However, it just means that they aren’t taking as big a step forwards, people who do have iOS or Android still have better security.

  14. it dosen’t mater,, unless the software (IE games) is under the GNU/FOSS then the publisher/devs own the software and you just bought a licence.. been like this ever since software been around.

  15. ❝my neighbor’s aunt is making $98 HOURLY on the internet❞….A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over $87, p/h.Learn More right Here
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  16. Wrong. You can 2 factor using email. So do that, and stop whining.

  17. This. Which if you set up your Email Correctly, will Also have 2 Factor Authorization and you can have it sent to your phone. So really, People Bitching about 2 Factor not being able to work because they don’t have a Smart phone or decided to buy a phone that is in the severe minority when it comes to sales, have no real excuse. They just want to be treated like Special Snowflakes.

  18. “Finally, the French organisation doesn’t like that you can’t take money out of a Steam wallet.”
    That one is easy, don’t put money in unless you are actively buying something…