The High Court of Paris (le Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris) ruled Tuesday that digital games purchased on the gaming platform Steam can be resold.
The practice of reselling physical copies of games has been the norm for years.
Valve, the publisher of Steam’s platform, sought to distinguish digital copies from physical copies to prevent reselling. Specifically, Valve claimed that consumers were only obtaining subscriptions through Steam and not licenses when they purchased digital copies.
The french Federal Union of Consumers challenged Valve’s claim and sought a declaration to nullify a clause preventing the resale of Steam games.
The court agreed with the Federal Union of Consumers, finding that consumers were obtaining digital licenses through Steam. The court ruled that Valve “can no longer oppose the resale of this copy (or version) even if the initial purchase is made by downloading.” As a result, these licenses can now be resold.
The court further justified its decision by looking to EU laws and their support of the free movement of goods across member nations. The free movement of goods is not dependent on permission or oversight by the original seller of a product.
It is expected that Valve will appeal the decision.