EU court rules that users can re-sell digital content
Publishers cannot stop used sales of downloaded games
Posted by Alex 'SpectralShock' V on Jul 5, 2012 - 12:32pm EST (Jul 5, 2012 12:32)
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that publishers cannot stop used downloadable games from being sold, reports EuroGamer.
"An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet," reads the ruling."The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a licence is exhausted on its first sale."
The ruling means that gamers in European Union member states are technically free to sell their downloaded games, whether they're from Steam, Origin or another digital platform, even if the End User License Agreement has been signed.
It's unclear where the industry and gamers will go from here. There is currently no system in place to manage game licenses per say on either Steam or Origin, though it could be pontetially easy to implement by simply transferring games between different user accounts. The harder issue is controlling the cash or multiple games during such transactions amongst users.
Publisher pushback to the ruling is also likely, in the industry where used game sales are already a hot topic for retail console games. Adding this PC digital sales argument to the mix would prove to be an even bigger challange for DRM.