If the current battle in the US appeal court goes the wrong way, then this could be the beginning of the end for the second hand games market. It the court rules to utilise an End User Licence Agreement to judge the legality of the sale of second hand software, this could easily start the trend in the industry and flow out of the US to other countries.
Jas Purewal, an expert from Gamerlaw has reportedly said that the use of the terms of an End User Licence Agreement to prevent the resale of second hand software could be the determining factor in the on going battle from major publishers’ battle against the second hand market.
So what happened to put this in the spotlight? The US court of Appeals for the Ninth Circle recently reversed a decision to allow a man to sell copies of design program AutoCAD via his eBay business based on the terms of the EULA which would naturally be on the same grounds as gaming software. The court stated that what was being purchased was a licence to use the software, rather than the software itself, and that the licence is non-transferable.
The the EULA has been under pressure of late with major publishers leading the way. Purewal also explains that this is not only the case with software but could extend to music etc.
Purewal did state that this is a complicated case and that means that the second hand market is not going to be immediately affected, and it is important to remember that this is in the US, so even if it goes the wrong way in the US, the fact remains to be seen if and when the rest of the world take enough notice to look into their local laws in this matter.
If it does end up that one selling their games is outlawed, will the industry not be actually doing harm to their possible sales? Personally I hemorrhage an enormous amount of money each year on games, if I am not getting a cent back on my abundance of purchases, I will not be buying near the amount of titles I do. It will be 95/100 scoring multiplayer games only for me. I am a grown man with a family, so there is no way I will be selling games on a ‘black market’ just to steer away from trouble.
So as far as I’m concerned, you publishers best bring out some fancy titles with huge value if you don’t want me selling, or I just skip it if I think I will be bored in with it in a week.