Earlier last year a European court ruled that publishers are not allowed to prevent the resale of digital products. Today we have learned that a German consumer advocacy group has taken issue with Valve’s lack of movement toward allowing the reselling of digital games on Steam. The consumer advocacy group also known as VZBV has filed a formal complaint with a German court.
Because of the European court ruling last year, no digital distribution service is allowed to block the reselling of digitally distributed games. VZBV has taken issue with the fact that Valve has yet to comply with this court ruling. The advocacy group says Valve is moving to change their end-user license agreement on Steam to be more lenient; but the group says that Valve is not moving fast enough.
So that is why VZBV has filed a formal complaint with the German court, because the current system is not in favor of consumers and could harm long-term growth in digital distribution. Valve to this point has not commented on the court filing, but it should be known that basically no digital distribution sites at this point offer reselling options.
It is likely that this advocacy group is trying to make an example out of Valve and Steam. Should the court rule in VZBV’s favor, it will be very interesting to see the ripple effects throughout European digital distribution sites.