Web Sites Take Heat for Facilitating the Resale of Codes Bought From Charitable Bundle Sales

April 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A representative for 7 Entertainment has issued a public apology following claims that the site was reselling game keys acquired from various Humble Bundle promotional sales, according to this CVG report. On Friday it was revealed that several online retailers owned by distributor 7 Entertainment, had been reselling game licenses that had been obtained for as little as $1 through various Humble Bundle promotions.

Alex Tutty, a games law specialist at Sheridans, told CVG that it is not illegal for customers or businesses to sell game keys, providing they are permitted by the terms under which they are licensed. Some game companies specifically forbid the practice in their End-User License Agreements.

On the other hand it is not illegal for an individual to resell digital property according to a ruling in 2012 by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Germany seems to be the exception - the Regional Court of Berlin dismissed a lawsuit from the German consumer organization VZBV against Valve in January of this year, granting Valve the authority to prevent Steam users from reselling their libraries of digital games.

According to CVG indie developer Paul Taylor (of Mode 7) managed to confirm the process by buying one of his own game keys through a 7 Entertainment website.

A 7 Entertainment company representative said "it was never in our intention to expose any indie developer to any financial losses or to cause them troubles."

"Our Terms of Service is really clear - it's prohibited to sell games commonly offered as free or games from any charity events."

But CVG's report points out that changes to 7 Entertainment's terms of service were updated to prohibit charity code reselling after the Humble Bundle scandal emerged.

"Please be advised, [we run] digital platforms for vendors from all around the world to sell theirs digital goods. We are not the owner of those products. If you can put it simple - we are like an eBay for gamers," the spokesperson explained.

"We have already contacted vendors selling those products in order to receive some information regarding the origin of those keys. We are sure that this situation will be resolved within next week."

Meanwhile, Lewie Procter of games deals website SavyGamer has come under fire for inadvertently promoting Humble Bundle codes. In a statement on his site, Procter said that he will continue to promote these codes.

"I have absolutely zero intention of ever shying away from informing my users about something that I consider to be a good deal simply because the developer disproves," he said.

The take-away is that some developers are unhappy that customers are buying their games for cheap via bundle sales intended to promote charities and then being resold elsewhere for a fairly decent profit.

Source: CVG


 
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