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Steam: justice has ruled, players will not be able to resell their used dematerialized games


A verdict that sounds the death knell for a duel between Valve and UFC Que Choisir. The consumer association had sued the company behind the Steam dematerialized gaming platform over its resale policy. Valve specified that the resale of games was impossible and prohibited, while UFC Que Choisir wanted to open up the possibility of a second-hand market for dematerialized games. If a first court decision in 2019 ruled in favor of the association, invoking in particular exhaustion of rightsthe decision on appeal is quite different.

The notion of copyright tips the balance

In effect, The Informed revealed that a decision of October 21 of the Court of Appeal does not confirm the previous judgment. If the tribunal de grande instance of Paris deemed illegal the clauses imposed by Steam on the resale of games, the court of appeal considers them to be perfectly legal. Unlike any software, the video game as an artistic work also entails the notion of copyright, which had not been taken into consideration during the first trial.

For the Court of Appeal, the creation of a second-hand market for dematerialized games could harm rights holders, as can be read in the shared report by BFM : “The market for second-hand immaterial copies of video games is likely to affect the interests of copyright holders much more strongly than the market for second-hand computer programs.“The UFC Que Choisir association has not yet reacted to this new decision.

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