European Union Says Digital-only Games Can Be Resold

The Court of Justice of European Union, their highest court of law, has passed a ruling that publishers cannot prohibit the resale of used software licenses for downloaded software.

“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.”

In other words, once the software is sold to a customer, the customer can choose what to do with it. Well, with the exception that each license is only good for one user at a time. This basically means that all those digital-only games from Steam and Origin? Yup, you have the right to resell them according the EU. Whether you actually have the ability to do so, well, that’s a different issue. Thanks to Eurogamer for the heads up!

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