“Half-Life” developer Valve is being sued by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, or VZBZ) for not allowing consumers to resell their games, Eddie Makuch writes for Gamespot on Feb. 1.
As originally reported by PCAdvisor, Carola Elbrecht, the VZBZ project manager, says that “Steam users should have the means to sell their digital wares, much in the same way that gamers can sell boxed products at their discretion.”
“If I pay full price for a game,” she says, “then why am I not allowed to do with it what I want?”
The VZBZ warned Valve back in Sept. 2012 of their demands, and when Valve did not amend their practices to reflect this, the VZBZ sued them in a Berlin District Court this past week. Nonetheless, a Valve representative who was contacted by Gamespot says that they have not yet been offered a formal complaint by the VZBZ.
"We are aware of the press release about the lawsuit filed by the VZBV, but we have not yet seen the actual complaint," Valve said. "That said, we understand the complaint is somehow regarding the transferability of Steam accounts, despite the fact that this issue has already been ruled upon favorably to Valve in a prior case between Valve and the VZBV by the German supreme court. For now, we are continuing to extend the Steam services to gamers in Germany and around the world."
The VZBZ did have another, earlier tangle with Valve: back in 2010, a judge ruled in Valve’s favor when the VZBZ brought up Valve’s prohibition of user account transfers (trading games). Then again, a European court declared this past summer that the creators of games cannot prohibit redistribution of their work after a purchase—not matter what the license agreement says.
The above disagreement between the VZBZ and Valve is just another illustration of how game developers are attempting to limit the selling of their games between people after they are purchased; thus, the companies do not continually get money.
Check out Eddie Makuch’s article for Gamespot for more information.