UK gamers are now legally allowed to resell any digital games that they’ve downloaded thanks to a recent European court ruling.
The Court of Justice of the European Union declared that once a software author has made their first sale to a customer, that customer is then free to resell the digitally downloaded game. This ruling means that going forward software companies and their respective publishers can no longer stop European consumers from selling on ‘used’ downloads.
Traditionally the pre-owned market was one reserved exclusively for physical media, but thanks to this recent ruling (July 3rd, 2012) the resale industry could now open up to the trading of second-hand digital downloads, changing the pre-owned market landscape greatly.
However, the decision does pose some interesting possible changes for consumers, retailers and software sellers alike. The biggest of which is the obvious clash with typical end-user license agreements (EULA), which currently clearly outline and prohibit such resale activity. This clash with the EULA is addressed in the ruling whereas it states that “even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy” — a line which could see a change to European EULA’s brought into place.
For consumers wishing to sell on their downloads the ruling also makes a point of stressing that sellers “must make the copy downloaded onto his own computer unusable at the time of resale”, meaning that you can’t sell on your downloaded game and then continue to use that same copy yourself.
This ruling could potentially pose major implications for digital retailers such as Steam, Origin and even Xbox Live and the PSN — although it depends on how, and if, the method for making such second-hand transfers is handled. Either that or a simple change in the Terms of Service is in order.
Would you like the option to sell on downloaded games once you had finished with them?