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Valve Sees German Lawsuit On Steam Used Sales Dismissed

Valve has won a current lawsuit against a German group that wanted it to allow used sales or transfer of their digital products. In the ruling, law firm Osborne Clarke states:

The Regional Court of Berlin has dismissed the lawsuit of German consumer watchdog group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (“vzbv”) against Valve Inc. over the provisions in company’s terms of service that prohibit the sale or transfer of user accounts on the Steam digital distribution platform.

This is the second time that the group has been shut down in lawsuits against the company. In 2010, another ruling dismissed claims in Germany’s highest civil court.

In the group’s arguments, a copy of a game should be open for resale, due to a copyright owner’s release of individual copies after purchase. This means that, just like books and other goods, single units aren’t the full property of the creator, making it able for individuals to market.

Since Steam games are locked to an account, a resale isn’t possible, without Valve also forfeiting the entire set of goods of that user.

Osborne Clarke seems favorable towards the court decision, stating:

It is another strong signal that digital and hybrid distribution strategies limiting the potential for software piracy and protecting distribution networks against gray imports are feasible and the contractual clauses implementing them will be enforced by the courts.