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Lawsuit demands the right to resell Steam games

A French group says you should have the freedom to pass along your digital games.

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One of the biggest gripes about downloadable games (unless you're a developer) is that you can't typically resell them -- that title is yours forever, even if you'll never play it again. French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir is doing something about it, though. It's suing Valve to demand resales for Steam games. Its policy violates the European Union's right to resell legally purchased software, according to the group. As proof, it points to a 2012 Oracle case where a judge ruled that there was no difference between reselling disc-based copies and their downloaded equivalents.

The outfit also blasts Valve's self-given right to reuse user-made Steam content, and argues that it should refund any leftover credit if you close your Steam account.

Whether or not Que Choisir wins the day is far from clear. A German group didn't have any success trying a similar feat. And even if the French lawsuit leads to an EU-wide resale policy, you shouldn't expect it to spread to the US. Downloads are typically considered licenses in the country, not sales, and wouldn't be subject to the same scrutiny. Even so, this is a step forward for anyone hoping to thin down a massive Steam library... and make some spare cash in the process.

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