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German Court Forbids Resale of Valve Games

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the einmal-und-nur-einmal dept.

The Courts 261

sfcrazy writes "A German court has dismissed a 'reselling' case in favor of Valve Software, the maker of Steam OS. German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) had filed a complaint against Valve as Valve's EULA (End User License Agreement) prohibits users from re-selling their games. What it means is that German users can't resell their Steam Games."

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German court bans the BETA (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208403)

Fuck beta

HATE BETA? YOU ARE NOT ALONE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208409)

so say we all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208579)

so say we all

Last post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208419)

I have the honor of being very close the the international date line, it is almost midnight, February 9th. I just want to say that the opposition by Slashdotters to our new corporate overlords has renewed my faith in humanity, and especially the nerd faction of humanity. Live long, and prosper, and I will see you on the other side. End Transmission, Carrier lost.

Bad ruling (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208425)

I feel that it is a bad ruling. Typically EULAs aren't shown to the user until the purchase has been done. Shit like that should not be tolerated in contract law.
If you want to put restrictions on you customer, not only should you be required to show the contract before purchase. Just like with regular contracts you should have verified that the other part is mentally sane and have read through the contract.

Yes, you will get less sales if customers can't just ignore the EULA but if your business model depends on people not taking the time to read the EULA every time then you shouldn't have one.

Re:Bad ruling (0, Flamebait)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 10 months ago | (#46208485)

I think it's a good ruling. There's too much artificial scarcity in the world, and it's easiest to see in the realm of "intellectual property". When ordinary people think they have accumulated value in their "intellectual property" holdings, they're less likely to support putting a stop to this vicious scheme.

Re:Bad ruling (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208525)

I think it's an in-between ruling. Why? Because I'm wishy-washy like that.

Game theory (5, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | about 10 months ago | (#46208757)

I remember reading an analysis a while back that actually does a bit of economic/game theory on this, and he found that forbidding resale actually has positive benefits for the *consumer*. Part of his analysis was looking at prices between console games, resellable computer games, and games bought via services like Steam. More specifically, he looked at games with online-playing modes that require servers.

What he found is that with resellable games, gaming companies typically only got that 'first bite' and continued play was essentially free through quite a number of customers. Remember that places like gamestop will buy the old games for a song, and sell them for almost as much as a new game.

With games that can't be resold they're able to price the initial game lower, and keep the profit flowing in. It removes places like gamestop from the equation(so they hate it, of course). Consider that I can buy many year old initially $60 games from steam for like $10. Because the game is still being sold, there's still incentive to fix/patch/expand the game.

Roughly speaking, the results were that new game consumers don't pay any more(the new game is slightly cheaper, on average, by about the same amount as what they'd be able to sell it to gamestop for), used game consumers don't pay more, and the studios get more money vs resellers, increasing their profits and encouraging more/bigger games.

Re:Game theory (2)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 10 months ago | (#46208913)

With games that can't be resold they're able to price the initial game lower, and keep the profit flowing in. It removes places like gamestop from the equation(so they hate it, of course). Consider that I can buy many year old initially $60 games from steam for like $10. Because the game is still being sold, there's still incentive to fix/patch/expand the game.

But publishers don't lower the initial game price from the goodness of their hearts. New releases on Steam still cost (typically) 50 Euros, that has not changed compared to pre-Steam times. In short, publishers try to charge as much as the market will tolerate and pocket the extra profit.

Now there are a few people like me, who strongly dislike "services" like Steam and will buy less than before (and that preferably from DRM-free sources like GOG). But it seems that we are too few to make a difference.
Unless you count the success of crowd-funded games (Kickstarter) as an aspect of that dislike. Which it may be, but I don't have the data to prove it :-(

Re:Game theory (2)

Firethorn (177587) | about 10 months ago | (#46208945)

But publishers don't lower the initial game price from the goodness of their hearts. New releases on Steam still cost (typically) 50 Euros, that has not changed compared to pre-Steam times. In short, publishers try to charge as much as the market will tolerate and pocket the extra profit.

Console titles still tend towards more expensive, at least initially. The initial offer prices are often forced on them because they're forced to match the store price/MSRP. I believe that the big game stores like Gamestop take a higher initial bite than places like steam, plus have rules like 'You can't sell it for cheaper online if it's going to be in our stores!'.

New console games are going for $60-70 today, computer games are closer to $40-50, even less if you take advantage of the many specials.

Re:Game theory (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208993)

In short, publishers try to charge as much as the market will tolerate and pocket the extra profit.

Why on Earth would they do anything else? They're businesses, not charities! It isn't extra profit, it's simply the maximum profit they can make!

Re:Game theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46209057)

Because the tard above claimed otherwise.

Hmm? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208773)

German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) had filed a complaint against Valve as Valve's EULA (End User License Agreement) prohibits users from re-selling their games. What it means is that German users can't resell their Steam

This is a win for publishers and developers of games, so once you bought the game and it's "yours" you cannot "resell" it, even tho your not going to make your money back..

I don't care whether it's physical, or digital I bought the game if I choose to resell it they can kiss my arse. Of course with this DRM communist approach it is impossible to resell, since I'm renting the game, but never "own" it.

Im not sure what is involved with this consumer group, nor there motives, but if Steam goes down the path of DRM, or standing up for publishers/developers they kiss any chance they have at being any type of player in the gaming market goodbye. It's one thing to claim be open hardware/firmware it another to follow in the demands of gaming companies.

Re:Hmm? (3, Insightful)

Wootery (1087023) | about 10 months ago | (#46208885)

it is impossible to resell, since I'm renting the game, but never "own" it.

Indeed. I think Steam should stop using the word Buy (which they currently do).

but if Steam goes down the path of DRM

Steam has been DRM since before Half-Life 2.

No, it's a bad ruling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208801)

EULAs have been rated by the German higher court to be ineligible as a contract, therefore even if the EULA says "No resale", the EULA can't forbid it.

Valve can just refuse to activate it for anyone else, but they would not be able to claim violation of EULA allows them.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208557)

It's not a sale, if you don't own it and can't sell it forward. It's rental. That should be clearly indicated also.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208581)

My equipment, my rules. I'll sell it if I want to; damn the law.

Re:Bad ruling (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#46208609)

If it's a rental, Valve is in some hot water, when it comes to software. Because the owner of the rented item has to keep it in usable shape. Thus Valve would be liable for everything their software causes on their client's systems.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 10 months ago | (#46208887)

I don't follow. If you rent a VHS and it wreaks your player then you're up for a new tape for the person you rented it from. The rental company is not liable to replace your VHS player.

Re:Bad ruling (2)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#46209127)

Actually, if you can show that the rented object was defective when it was rented, the rental company indeed is liable to repair your VHS player (at least in the legislation I live in).

Re:Bad ruling (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 10 months ago | (#46209149)

That goes for purchased items as well, in most jurisdictions...

Re:Bad ruling (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#46208745)

Exactly. I have no problem with rulings like this, as long as Valve can be sued for fraud if they use the words 'buy', 'own' or 'purchase' anywhere in their advertising. A quick glance that the Steam web site shows it listing 'Top Sellers' and says 'buy it once, play on Mac, PC or Linux'. If they are not allowing you to buy the game, then this is fraudulent advertising.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208751)

You don't have a problem with rulings that say that non-private data stored on your own property that you bought isn't actually yours, and that you can't resell it? Well, I do.

Re:Bad ruling (4, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 10 months ago | (#46209209)

Actually it isn't "fraudelent advertising".

Not trying to troll or anything here, but you seem to share a common misunderstanding with the rest of the world. In the hopes of not getting modded down into oblivion, let me try to explain what is going on. And let me be clear that I don't necessarily support this model, I am just the one who risks his karma and dares explain it a bit better... :-)

You do actually buy something - but not "the game" as such. You buy a license. After you have purchased that license, it is yours. You can use it, or leave it idle somewhere, or burn it, or use it as toilet paper. The license does not give you copyright of the product; but you are free to use the license as you see fit, within the restrictions and rights granted to you in that license... and subject to local laws (which in some cases may expand your rights and in some cases limit it further).

This is in line with pretty much every other "license" in life; including licenses not related to software. A license is society's way of grating you certain rights in a limited fashion and it is used for a gazillion things other than software. You can be "licensed" to produce pharmaceuticals. Or fly an airplane in public airspace. Or recycle waste subject to strict environmental laws.Or carry a firearm. Or drive a car!

Since car analogies are the big thing in IT lets stick to that :-) You can "buy" a drivers license from a local driving school, but you are unable to "resell" that to another person, and you are bound by the terms of the license. You can't drive however you please either. You must follow certain ruled and protocols while driving (restricting the use of your car when operating it). If you loose its physical representation (the drivers license plastic/paper card itself) you are still considered to be "licensed" by the issuing state or country. You may get a small ticket for not being able to produce the little card, but that is not the same as "driving without having a drivers license". A drivers license is in many ways (but not all obviously) a good analogy for a software license. Both grant you certain rights but subject to a number of restrictions. Both are "personal" and cannot simply be passed on to other people. Neither of them are "physical"; they are both tied to your person in an immaterial fashion. Any physical object representing them merely serve as easy/convenient proof that you hold a license - the physical object is not the license.

While you have "purchased" your drivers license from the local driving school, that have not engaged in "fraudulent advertising" if they have used the words "buy" or "purchase" or "OMG get your licenze here for peanutz". But roughly the same condition apply to your drivers license as to a software license. There are many restrictions on how you can use the license, and if you give it to another person that does not in fact grant them "a license" to do anything. You are really just handing the proof that you hold a license - the license itself is not transferred. All the other licenses mentioned above follow this pattern as well.

In this sense Valve does not engage in "fraudulent advertising" because it is well understood that they sell licenses, not complete copyrights for software products. Or in other words: You buy a right to use the software in a limited way, you do not buy the complete copyright and full intellectual property. And giving your license to someone is really noting more than handing them proof that you are the rightful user of said license. The license itself is not transferred.

We may not like the way these things work, but that is an entirely different story.

:-)

- Jesper

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208621)

I feel that it is a bad ruling. Typically EULAs aren't shown to the user until the purchase has been done. Shit like that should not be tolerated in contract law.

I think most Steam games are bought from Steam, and you need to accept the Steam EULA before every purchase. It's only game-specific EULAs that won't be shown until you've already bought it.

Re:Bad ruling (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 10 months ago | (#46208629)

Without commenting on the other aspects of that ruling, but that point is moot for games bought on Steam. The Steam EULA IS shown before the purchase.

And in another ruling just one day earlier German couts followed the ruling of the European court that in general, the sale of used software is legal and can't be stopped by EULA. (If it has been bought like a tangible good, the rules for re-sale of tangible goods apply. --> similar to first sale doctrine)

Licenseing is explicitly handled differently, but it has to be clearly noticeable that the underlying contract is a licensing contract and not a sales contract.

Re:Bad ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208645)

Without commenting on the other aspects of that ruling, but that point is moot for games bought on Steam. The Steam EULA IS shown before the purchase.

That may be so, but then Steam can (and does) change the EULA *after* you have purchased/licensed the game. If you don't agree to the new terms, you can't continue to use the software under the terms you agreed to; you lose it all.

It refutes your point that "the EULA is shown *before* (emphasis mine) the purchase" as it changes afterwards...

Re:Bad ruling (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#46209079)

It refutes your point that "the EULA is shown *before* (emphasis mine) the purchase" as it changes afterwards...

In what way exactly? Steam always shows you the new EULA to accept if it's been modified.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

metrix007 (200091) | about 10 months ago | (#46209115)

And if you deny it can you still play the games you previous bought?

Re:Bad ruling (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 10 months ago | (#46209189)

Just curious, if you refuse the modified EULA, does the game get deactivated and your account credited?

I haven't used Steam yet but will be gaming again (hopefully) soon.

Re:Bad ruling (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 10 months ago | (#46208659)

Most games on steam are not owned by value. Problem is that most games these days have an online registration which locks up the the key for the game to an account outside valve's control. So to say you can resell your steam games put valve in a pretty nasty spot as for games they can't control that for, well they would have to stop selling these games else face legal issues over it.

Loss of revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208431)

So everything in .de 'sold' via Ireland or another tax haven will not pay Germany's version of VAT - ever. German (Physical) storeowners will go broke. Never mind the distinction between 'Rent' and 'Buy'. Never mind the distinction between rent and buy. The solution is a sticker that says 'You may not purchase this product - it is only rented - and worthless upon resale which is not permitted'
It seems the .de court has not thought through the tax implications. Wanna bet the 'price' is not reduced accordingly?

Loss of Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208523)

Hello Beta, farewell slashdot

Re:Loss of Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208575)

Beta, see ya latah

Re:Loss of revenue (2)

Dunbal (464142) | about 10 months ago | (#46208541)

Not rented - licensed.

Re:Loss of revenue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208591)

Not rented - licensed.

Is that that was claimed during the purchase?
Usually when I see advertisements for games they encourage me to buy the game, not license, rent or lease it.
If every indication they gave was that the game was bought but all the customer got was a limited license then it is if not fraud then at least very shady behavior.

You can't sell a car for a price that the customer expects to buy a car for and then show up later and say that it was only a non-transferable license to drive that particular car.

Re:Loss of revenue (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#46209083)

Read the terms of the sale. It is quite explicit that you only licensed it.

Re:Loss of revenue (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 10 months ago | (#46209253)

No. But you can do that with a drivers license ;-)

You can "buy" a license to drive a car from your local driving school, but you cannot give that license to another person and by that action grant them the legal right to operate a car. They need to go get their own license, subject to many restrictions, and issued by an organization which has the "monopoly" for issuing such licenses in your regtion.

That is the nature of licenses. All licenses.

I am not saying we should like it. There is a healthy debate to be had over immaterial property and rights. But to compare the purchase of games/software with a physical product is a mistake. If you want to compare it to something, compare it to other licenses in life. :-)

- Jesper

Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208439)

Come guys, enough FB's.

Valve has every right to restrict reselling downloaded games. There is no physical media to resell, and the service is at no risk of shutting down any time soon.

In hindsight, games should be permitted to be disconnected from Steam, so if at some point Steam goes bellyup or is bought by EA and renamed Origin, that there is some way of actually still playing the games without being forced to rebuy the games YET AGAIN.

I say Yet again, because certain games I have several copies of because they originally came on floppies, then CD-ROM, and then I ended up buying them again on Steam AND GOG.com because the steam version was broken.

Re:Wow more free FB... (3, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#46208469)

That's not the legal situation within the E.U.. The European High Court has actually ruled that it makes no difference if there is a physical medium or not, a sale is a sale, and the First Sale doctrin applies. Thus, lets wait for the appeal. (The article actually mentions the decision about downloaded software, if you are interested, it's UsedSoft vs. Oracle C-128/11.)

Re:Wow more free FB... (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#46208549)

Except when a sale is a rental under a lease agreement, which is basically what the Steam EULA is.

The question is not "whether you own something you've bought" but "did you *buy* it, or just agree to a copyright-usage license?"

Pretty much, we know how the answer should go in law (the same way this article says they've gone). Yes, it would be lovely to "own" a game. But you don't. You don't own a movie, or many other things either.

Like the GPL, the law is only going to give one answer, it just takes several people with lots of money with ideas otherwise to actually make the courts bother to state it explicitly in certain cases.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208595)

If the software vendors want to play games, then maybe they should be subjected to some new labeling laws so consumers can clearly understand that they aren't actually purchasing software that they can resell when they get bored with it and/or realize it's shite.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208599)

Pretty much, we know how the answer should go in law

Yes. During advertising and purchase the claim was that the game was bought. The EULA showed up after the purchase and is invalid.
If the customer doesn't own the game after the purchase then all that went on before it is fraud.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208601)

Where is it indicated that it's a rental? Nowhere. Just because it says "you can't resell" in the EULA is not a clear indication of a rental service, especially when terms like "buy" are used with it.

It has to be said clearly before the customer makes the currency transfer. It's like walking to a car dealership, "buying" a car, and there's a print somewhere in the contract that you can't resell the car. That's not buying a car, that's renting a car. They are just trying to call it something else than renting since people wouldn't pay for that shit then, but that's deceptive.

Re:Wow more free FB... (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 10 months ago | (#46208603)

Except that just because a contract says it's a rental does not make it a rental. I would expect certain terms for something to be considered a rental. In particular I would expect that the longer a person has the object or the mor he uses it, the more he pays.

Re:Wow more free FB... (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#46208647)

The European High Court applied the Duck Test [wikipedia.org] on this one, and it found thus: If it is a one term payment and if there is no time limit to the usability, it's a sale, independent on what the contract says, and the First Sale doctrin applies.

Re:Wow more free FB... (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 10 months ago | (#46208747)

Except when a sale is a rental under a lease agreement, which is basically what the Steam EULA is.

In Germany, if you paid money for it - you bought it.

Unlike USA, in Germany, EULA can't override the (consumer protection) law.

My reading of the RTFA (the only linked by Muktware) [osborneclarke.com] is that the issue isn't as singular as "enforce the EULA":

1. (The first case.) Valve isn't obliged to facilitate the resale of games.

2. (This, the second, case) The judge decision isn't yet public so it is unknown why/how it was reasoned.

3. (Another pending case) Games are not only software, but in larger part are art work. And art work has its own protection laws.

Re:Wow more free FB... (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 10 months ago | (#46208765)

Oh and yes, and obviously /. headline is load of bull. In the first case, court hasn't said that resale is forbidden - it has said that Valve isn't obliged to facilitate it. I doubt very much that the second case arguments would be of much different character.

Re:Wow more free FB... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#46208473)

Valve has the right? Valve does not. Except now in Germany apparently they do. But in the US they are still skirting around the law and the first sale doctrine by using digital locks. Imagine if you had a physical board game that came with a license forbidding you from playing it outside your home, or from regifting it to someone else. But the fans will step forward and defend Steam over this, thinking it's just another form of copy protection.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208561)

But the fans will step forward and defend Steam over this, thinking it's just another form of copy protection.

maybe the fans will step forward and defend steam over this because of massively discounted prices that come with the soul-crushing drm.

Re:Wow more free FB... (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 10 months ago | (#46208701)

Valve has the right? Valve does not. Except now in Germany apparently they do. But in the US they are still skirting around the law and the first sale doctrine by using digital locks. Imagine if you had a physical board game that came with a license forbidding you from playing it outside your home, or from regifting it to someone else. But the fans will step forward and defend Steam over this, thinking it's just another form of copy protection.

That's not the situation here. The court ruling didn't say you can't sell the game. The court ruling said that Valve isn't required to let the person who bought the game use their servers.

Let's say you buy a ticket that gives you unlimited entrance to the zoo for one year. After three months visiting the zoo every weekend, you've had enough of seeing animals. There is nothing that stops you from selling the ticket. There is also nothing that can force the zoo to let anyone else but you into the zoo for free with that ticket.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208739)

In that case i would have to have the right to get my money back on the time i haven't spent.

Re:Wow more free FB... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208709)

Sure they have every right to their products, however, after German law they're required to leave no doubt about what they're offering. Currently both when being bought online (via the client or their website) and in stores, it's unclear that the product is merely a licence until the money has been transferred. That's what's too late under German law on private contracts.

That's why i suppose the ruling will be turned at a higher court.

From the courtroom (-1, Flamebait)

should_be_linear (779431) | about 10 months ago | (#46208455)

Valve won this case on the grounds that judge was not able to pronounce "Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband".

Re:From the courtroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208503)

"Verbauche... verbacherzentral... Bundesveb... Vernot gonna spend long on this case I tell you what."

Re:From the courtroom (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | about 10 months ago | (#46208531)

For a german, that is trivial to pronounce and no native german will have the slightest difficulty.

Welsh names, on the other hand... "Gwrhyr Gwastawd Icithoedd" - yeah, right. Did your cat jump on the keyboard? No, that's actually some real welsh name.

Then again, I assume native welsh speakers now think "uh, what's the deal? That's easy, it's pronounced ..."

Re:From the courtroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208673)

For a german, that is trivial to pronounce and no native german will have the slightest difficulty.

Welsh names, on the other hand... "Gwrhyr Gwastawd Icithoedd" - yeah, right. Did your cat jump on the keyboard? No, that's actually some real welsh name.

Then again, I assume native welsh speakers now think "uh, what's the deal? That's easy, it's pronounced ..."

Sure, it's as simple as: Eyjafjallajökull
Eyefawedaofud?
No, Eyja-fjalla-jökull
Eyefa-weda-ofud?
**sigh**

Re:From the courtroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208723)

Sure, it's as simple as: Eyjafjallajökull
Eyefawedaofud?
No, Eyja-fjalla-jökull
Eyefa-weda-ofud?
**sigh**

Less interesting etymological tidbit: jökull is related to the word icicle
Eyja means island and fjalla means fell.

The way the words are pronounced in Welsh is probably closer to the way they are spelled in the name of an icelandic glacier than they are to the way they are spelled in English.

Re:From the courtroom (3, Informative)

Kartu (1490911) | about 10 months ago | (#46208705)

I'm not German, learned it when I was in mid 20th and I have no problem whatsoever pronouncing (or reading) it.
There are words I struggle with (e.g. Eichhörnchen) but these are none of them.

Also take into account that being long doesn't necessarily mean being complex, long German words are often combined out of very frequently used words, which are easy to recognize.

What you've cited are actually 4 words. Verbraucher-zentralle Bundes-verband.

Re:From the courtroom (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 10 months ago | (#46209055)

I'm not German, learned it when I was in mid 20th

I find myself curious - you're not German, and referring to your age as "mid 20th" (instead of mid 20's) suggests you're not American. So what are you?

Erm.... ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208489)

Seems like something went wrong when translating. Can someone re-write this /. snippet in plain Engrish prease?

Re:Erm.... ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208507)

FUCK BETA

Steam Rentals (1)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 10 months ago | (#46208521)

I don't think Valve should be forced to make the changes necessary to make individual games transferrable, but I think they should have to make it clear that you do not have the right to do as you please with your "copy." I know it's in the EULA, but they should stop calling them "sales" and "purchases" and call them what they are: rentals. That said, they can't stop you from selling your entire account and giving over your login/password. In the US, the first amendment would protect your right to divulge that information no matter what the EULA says.

Steam niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208527)

Down with beta

Re:Steam Rentals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208577)

That said, they can't stop you from selling your entire account and giving over your login/password. In the US, the first amendment would protect your right to divulge that information no matter what the EULA says.

The first amendment would never even be involved. You do it, they find out, the account gets permalocked.

Re:Steam Rentals (2)

Cruciform (42896) | about 10 months ago | (#46208627)

The first amendment refers to government censorship. Valve closing your account because you shared your password would not fall under its purview in the slightest.

Re:Steam Rentals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208867)

In Tennessee, giving someone your Steam password could be a felony, if the games in the account have a high enough retail value.

Same with sharing your Netflix password, if they watch enough movies.

(Sharing either AT ALL is misdemeanor punishable by up to $2500 in fines and a year in jail.)

The governor who signed the bill into law admitted he didn't understand it, but the media companies told him it was good, so he did.

Fascinating ruling (4, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 10 months ago | (#46208543)

[ Still using Slashdot until beta takes over, then I'll dump it. ]

It's an interesting ruling. While Steam's lack of support for re-sale of games may run into legal issues, their willingness to keep games available at lower and lower price points as games get older shows that they're not abusing the privilege. If you can wait a while, the price will come down to a reasonable point and the game is available for people who'd have otherwise needed to buy the game used. And I've been delighted to see old games that I've enjoyed, such as the original Doom or Thief or X-com games, be available on Steam. It's helped me avoid having to recover and old games and simply pray that they'd be playable on modern operating systems: I'm very pleased with Steam for making older games available at very reasonable prices. We're actually getting something from them in return for their exclusive licensing.

Re:Fascinating ruling (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208605)

welcome to our new altslashdot [soylentnews.org] this week we will be collecting suggestions for a new name. A submission form will be soon up on the website. After a week we will have voting. The submissions will be kept secret to prevent namesquatters. In two weeks we will have a domain with a name for our new news site. Bruce Perens is with us!

Re:Fascinating ruling (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208615)

Reddit is good for low brow stuff - too much noise there and repeated jokes.

Try Hacker News:
https://news.ycombinator.com/ [ycombinator.com]

Re:Fascinating ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208623)

shows that they're not abusing the privilege

Yet.

Re:Fascinating ruling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208761)

I'm adding you to a list of users I will observe after beta is released. No, you won't leave. Yes you will still post comments. Just like the hypocrite you are.

Re:Fascinating ruling (1)

Kartu (1490911) | about 10 months ago | (#46208873)

Compare Steam's prices (and DRM) to GOG's, which has lower prices and NO DRM, and uh, I'm not that sure about "abuse".
I'm delighted for no-DRM STALKER trilogy going for 14.99$ on GOG.

Correct Headline (5, Insightful)

mseeger (40923) | about 10 months ago | (#46208545)

The correct headline would be:

German court refuses to force Valve Steam to allow resale of games

Too complicated?

Re:Correct Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208571)

Thanks, that would be an appropriate headline.

This site isn't user friendly for me anymore! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208565)

I have to edit out "beta" many times in the address bar and enter in "www" just to get it to a functional state where I may view the summary and the comments.

This is the final straw. Goodbye Slashdot.

Maybe (1, Flamebait)

Sepodati (746220) | about 10 months ago | (#46208643)

Maybe you shouldn't be on a computer.

Re:Maybe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208683)

beta sucks - enjoy the crappy meltdown and exodus of users.

Re:Maybe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208759)

maybe you should've held on better when sliding out of that vagina and entering into this magical world.

Regional Court (4, Informative)

silanea (1241518) | about 10 months ago | (#46208573)

This is a decision by a regional court. They universally suck at rulings regarding any technology invented after 1900. A state court recently held a domain registrar responsible [heise.de] for copyright infringement. And nevermind the treasure trove of truly grotesque copyright-related rulings coming out of the city-state of Hamburg - they are legendary here in Germany, similar to patent cases in Texas.

This is bound to be appealed, and our higher courts usually fare better when it comes to dealing with Das Internet.

Thank goodness.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208607)

The internet is not Germany.

This will really encourage people not to pirate (1)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | about 10 months ago | (#46208655)

their software. Not!

Re:This will really encourage people not to pirate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208687)

Hopefully DIce can be encouraged to fuck off.

Entirely reasonable... if (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 10 months ago | (#46208657)

They accept piracy. If they accept piracy and stop persecuting the practice then all these stupid copyright laws are fine.

I can't resell something I bought? fine... I can take the money I didn't make selling it and put that towards a pirated copy.

Happy publishing industry?

The sad thing is that a resale market might actually get people to treat this stuff like property again. But if its set up as a system where only they own anything then... fine. We'll see what the market has to say about that.

Re:Entirely reasonable... if (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208679)

FUCK BETA

http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=##altslashdot.org

Upholds previous precedent (2)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 10 months ago | (#46208689)

This follows a previous ruling:

The matter was litigated all the way to Germany’s highest civil court, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof; "BGH"), which dismissed the suit in 2010, finding that while the doctrine of exhaustion limited the rights holders’ powers with regards to an individual DVD, it did not require them to design their business in a way that facilitated the sale of used games and therefore did not make the Steam terms of service unenforceable.

-- Osborne Clarke [osborneclarke.com]

This second suit was prompted by a court case which found that the first sale doctrine ("doctrine of exhaustion") did apply to digital goods. However, it's not surprising this case was dismissed because it is not a question of what rights the consumer has over software they have purchased, it is a matter of what duties the software provider must guarantee to continue providing.

IMHO it is perfectly reasonable that if it is a matter of online support (cost of server maintenance, etc.) that the one-time fee charged to one person does not in turn mean that person can give their support contract to someone else. The one time fee is presumably calculated based on typical use for a single account holder.

But the single-player package should remain fully transferrable.

And as for companies making games require internet connnections they really don't need to abuse the ambiguity here, let's just say I'm not going to cry when they complain about piracy.

Re:Upholds previous precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208703)

Christ tell me about it ... There's also a LEGION of college students out there who are terminally screwed as well.
Almost all of the people I graduated college with in 2001 are unemployed or severly underemployed (the lucky ones). The *lucky* folks are selling motorcylces, the less lucky are delivering pizzas etc... but most are just unemployable. Ever try to get a minimum wage job when you have a BS degree? I have a BS in CSIf you lie you have to explain why you haven't been working for the last 4 years, or in my case why my previous job was as a Systems Administrator and now I want to answer telephones at a reservation center?

Re:Upholds previous precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208781)

Christ tell me about it ... There's also a LEGION of college students out there who are terminally screwed as well.

Indeed. There are some dangerous STDs going around, and students should take care to use proper protection.

Re:Upholds previous precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208813)

Why oh why did I have to reach puberty after the AIDS epidemic began? I hear there was free love and penicillin before AIDS made everyone think twice before screwing.

Re:Upholds previous precedent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208789)

The good news is, college enrollment is way down because people know they won't find work if they get college degrees. The bad news is, there are a lot of thirtysomethings who are overeducated and unemployable. In retrospect, anyone of college age during the 2000s should have just joined one of the wars.

Re:Upholds previous precedent (1)

Barny (103770) | about 10 months ago | (#46208725)

On the flip-side, what right do you have to dictate the way their software license works?

The only right you always have in this regard is the right not to play/use their software.

Re:Upholds previous precedent (0)

Lisias (447563) | about 10 months ago | (#46208785)

On the flip-side, what right do you have to dictate the way their software license works?

The ones granted to me by the Law, God Damnit!

There're people that says "first sale doctrine" applies to software. There're some others arguing against.

And, more importanlly, there're people that says you can't change a contract after you paid the bill. If EULAs are contracts, they must adhere to the rules. If EULAs are not contracts, I don't have to comply with it.

The only right you always have in this regard is the right not to play/use their software.

NOT IN A MILLION YEARS.

Once I used my money on something, I have the right to get EXACTLY what I paid for (under the law!), and no one (except under the law) has the right to take it out from me!

Re:Upholds previous precedent (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#46208797)

I don't know of any jurisidictions that recognize a 'right to dictate' how somebody's contract works; but the existence in contract law of doctrines that limit the scope of what any contract could do are fairly common. In the US, UK, and many UK-derived systems you have 'Unconscionability' [wikipedia.org] , for instance. France, Germany, and (to varying extents) the Berne Convention signatories have 'moral rights' that are partially or wholly immune to sale or transfer unlike other elements of copyright. Details vary by location, and by case; but it's pretty widely recognized that you can write up essentially anything in the form of a contract; but that that doesn't necessarily mean that you should be able to get away with it.

Exactly what you can or can't make your contract do is an ...evolving... matter; but there is usually something on the list.

So... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 10 months ago | (#46208771)

Do the Germans have a single, very long, really angry-sounding, word for 'this software is licensed, not sold'? Inquiring minds want to know.

DRM is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208779)

DRM needs to die, and it's not going to die if people keep buying from Steam. Stop buying from Stream, people.

Like I said all along: rentals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208795)

Oh, but Steam is the best form of DRM there is!

BOLLOCKS.

I would not steel a car. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208819)

But i can sure sell it when used...

So if they come with piracy is stealing then if i buy it i want to be able to sell it also!

Re:I would not steel a car. (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#46208911)

Try it when you've leased your car, though.

The whole argument is really a question of whether you're "renting" or "buying", not what you can do with it after. And it's hard to "buy" a copyrighted work of any kind without buying the FULL rights, which include the right to redistribute (i.e. selling the game as your own).

Games, movies, books are much closer to "renting" rights than an outright purchase. It's like trying to "sell" your leased car. The people with the lease agreement with you will come looking for their car and/or cash equivalent via the courts.

Re:I would not steel a car. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46209143)

You can transfer lease rights, so actually it's like having someone take over payments of you lease. This happens all the time...

you should be able to sell whatever you wan't be it the physical box the game came in, the cd key, or the right to play it. You should also be able to sell the account connected to steam if you so choose.

Next program... NOTEPAD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46208941)

Wooooo hooo!!!

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