Court Sides With Valve Against Trading Downloaded Games

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A German court has again ruled in Valve’s favor as part of an ongoing dispute regarding whether consumers should be trading online games or resell their digital games on Steam. The Regional Court of Berlin has dismissed the lawsuit.

German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband has previously taken Valve to court, back in 2010, and said back in July 2013 that they intend to go for a second lawsuit before 2014.

The Berlin court has taken Valve’s side, however. Legal eagle Osborne Clark said (spotted by Eurogamer):

The Regional Court of Berlin has dismissed the lawsuit of German consumer watchdog group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (“VZBV”) against Valve Inc. over the provisions in company’s terms of service that prohibit the sale or transfer of user accounts on the Steam digital distribution platform.

The reasoning behind their verdict has not been made public, the consumer group VZBV may have the right to appeal. Their main argument is that consumers should have the ability to resell their Steam accounts, which goes against the German version of the first-sale doctrine — which enables consumers to resell copyrighted products.

Back in 2012, The Court of Justice in the European Union ruled that this doctrine applied to digital software, which explains why VZBV has taken Valve to court once again. Osborne Clark concluded:

Even so, the ruling touches on hot issues of European copyright law and may have ramifications for the games industry and the used games market across all EU jurisdictions.

Would you like to be trading downloaded games? Let us know in the comments below.

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