dematerialized games cannot ultimately be resold

dematerialized games cannot ultimately be resold

The Paris Court of Appeal has rendered a judgment invalidating a first court decision taken in 2019 for the resale of second-hand dematerialized games.

This is The Informed website which reports this court decision rendered on October 21. The dispute between the Steam platformbelonging to the video game giant Valve, to the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir had been sent to appeal following a first decision favorable to the association in 2019.

A first hope in 2019

At the end of 2015, the UFC-Que Choisir association sued Valve for its clauses deemed abusive. The association highlighted in particular the difference in treatment of the second-hand market. Only boxed games could be resold, while games without physical support, or dematerialized, were deprived of it. 14 clauses in Steam’s terms of use had been deemed abusive by the Paris tribunal de grande instance in 2019. A decision had therefore been rendered in favor of the company’s complaint.UFC-What to choose. “Valve can no longer oppose the resale of this copy (or exemplar) even if the initial purchase is made by way of download”.

Big boxed games like Call of Duty can be resold, but not their version bought online.©Steam

A victory for the consumer association and a beacon of hope towards the creation of a new major dematerialized second-hand market that can finally touch the pc. But Valve immediately decided to appeal this decision. The repercussions on the company and its platform for selling online games would have been too great and costly if it had left it at that.

Now a victory for Valve

Finally, the judgment on appeal of this case took place on October 21 with a totally different outcome. The Paris Court of Appeal has indeed agreed this time with Valve. And it is the question of copyright that will win the case for the American publisher. Since video games are considered as artistic works and no longer as simple software (whose resale is authorized), their resale would harm the rights holders.

We can read in the judgment “The market for second-hand immaterial copies of video games (sic) is likely to affect the interests of copyright owners much more strongly than the market for second-hand computer programs. »

The UFC-Que Choisir has not yet reacted on its site and, as indicated BFM Tech, we do not know if the association will appeal to the Court of Cassation, the last step still possible before a final decision. Be that as it may, the hopes of one day seeing a second-hand dematerialized game market emerge are dwindling sharply.