Amazing scenes - you can now sell your downloaded games
We’re doing some big wow faces around here at some stuff that has just burped out of our news pipe. The Court Of Justice of the European Union has ruled that consumers should be able to resell downloaded games.
That’s going to be a massive kick in the teeth for the top nobs of the games industry, who are busily trying to eradicate physical products and the resale market itself. They won’t like this news.
The ruling states that: "An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet." The Court said the exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by the license is "exhausted on its first sale".
All of which means that the games you buy online, in a non-physical form, such as from Steam, are yours to resell if you so desire, irrespective of what the EULA says.
There’s more. "Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy - tangible or intangible - and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right.
"Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy."
Here’s an important bit. If you resell a license to a game you have to make your copy "unusable at the time of resale" – in other words, delete your own copy once you’ve sold it on to your mate.
In short, this is going to be mayhem.