EFF Weighs in on First Sale Doctrine and Used Games

Ars Technica taps the expert legal knowledge of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Intellectual Property Director Corryne McSherry to answer the question "Is it legal to stop people from selling their used games?" The answer will not be well received by those hoping that it would be an emphatic yes.

McSherry tells Ars Technica that, while the First Sale Doctrine does not prevent consumers from selling, giving away or even breaking legally purchased software, it also does not legally bind companies to make the process easier for those who buy used games.

"I think the first-sale doctrine… would say you have a right to sell your old game… and you have the right to purchase a used game… but the first-sale doctrine doesn’t require somebody to build a used book store, if you know what I mean," McSherry tells Ars.

McSherry also says that if there is an end user license agreement involved and you take the matter to court, most judges tend to side with the EULA creator, and not the consumer:

"Assuming you actually agree to [the EULA], even if you didn't read it, courts tend to treat those contracts as binding," McSherry says. "There's a tension there — have you contractually waived your first sale right? — but unfortunately recent cases have not been really positive in that direction."

McSherry closes by noting that companies who are employing tactics that impede used game sales will change their minds not by legal action, but by public pressure.

You can read the entire article here.

Source: Ars Technica

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