VALVE HAS GOT itself into another fight with the EU. Hot on the heels of its plan to challenge the EU over an antitrust ruling, the Steam maker has confirmed it plans to fight a new ruling from a French court insisting gamers should have the right to sell their used digital games.
French site Numerama reports a ruling from Paris' high court stating that digital downloads should be treated the same as physical games. In other words, if you drunkenly download a copy of Euro Truck Simulator 2 and regret it, you should be able to sell it onto someone else. Assuming you can find anyone who actually wants it.
It all comes down to the EU's single market principle that allows "the free movement of goods within the union," which stipulates that products can be resold without the permission of its creator. Valve apparently made the defence that the rule doesn't apply to Steam as it's a subscription service… which the court promptly decided it wasn't. If game licences are sold in perpetuity, the court concluded, then it's not a subscription.
Valve now has three months to change its terms and conditions, but realistically it's going to take longer to sort out, because the company has already signaled its plans to fight the ruling.
"We disagree with the decision of the Paris Court of First Instance and will appeal it," a spokesperson told Polygon. "The decision will have no effect on Steam while the case is on appeal."
It also likely won't affect the UK no matter what happens. This is about the EU's single market, after all, and since 2016 we've been hell-bent on getting out of that economically useful union. Unless making the UK version of Steam different to the EU one is more trouble than it's worth, then it looks likely you'll be stuck with that copy of Euro Truck Simulator 2 quietly judging you from your Steam library forever. µ
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