European video games trade body says France's Steam ruling goes against EU law

European video games trade body says France's Steam ruling goes against EU law

The CEO of European video games trade body ISFE Simon Little (pictured) says that a French ruling against Valve has said that it "flies in the face of established EU law."

In a statement released in the wake of the ruling in the case brought by French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir, the exec says that digital downloads need to be protected in order to stop piracy. ISFE goes on to cite EU copyright law, pointing out that the copyright on the digital side of things doesn't run out after the initial purchase unlike with physical goods.

“This French ruling flies in the face of established EU law which recognises the need to protect digital downloads from the ease of reproduction allowed by the Internet," Little said.

"Far from supporting gamers, this ruling, if it stands, would dramatically and negatively impact investment in the creation, production and publication of, not just video games, but of the entire output of the digital entertainment sector in Europe. If Europe’s creators cannot protect their investments and their intellectual property, the impact on both industry and consumers will be disastrous.”

The ruling from France's Court of First Instance last Tuesday (September 17th) said that it must be possible for users to sell on products bought from Steam. Valve has said it will be appealing the decision.

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


1 comment
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies
Thurbo Thurbo
"Ease of reproduction"? "Stop piracy"?!? This sounds like that guy has no idea what he's talking about.

There is an issue with the French ruling, and that is much lower sales per game due to potentially tons of people leeching off the same copy of a game. Much like GameStop and general reselling is a problem, but with how easy it is to do it digitally this could be disastrous.

But effing piracy? How?! That's not related to the French ruling in the slightest. With his concerns for piracy he'd be making much more sense if he told GOG that they should stop their DRM-free approach because of the negative impact on consumers.