Buying Steam Keys From G2a – If you click the link and make a purchase We may earn a small commission. Read our editorial policy.
Buying an activation code from a dealer website is one of the cheapest ways to get the game. Although there are conflicts between some of these platforms such as G2A and developers. but in general Users find dongles to be a good and legal way to purchase games. However, this only applies to keys purchased from authorized resellers. These are usually not incredibly cheap deals and are not the type of turn-key sale in this article.
We don’t want to go into detail about the pros and cons of selling keys here – other articles have been written. a lot about
Most customers who buy from illegal key sellers sites don’t even know they are paying for the possibility of obtaining a downloadable copy of the game. (although in many cases by accident) through fraud or even fraud. The key is simply a way to prove your right to download the software. This is not a software license.
“Buying a door key for 10 euros doesn’t make a key buyer a homeowner.”
In the same way Buying a front door key for €10 doesn’t turn the buyer of the key into a troubled homeowner. It did not give him the right to live in that house. even if the key is in it It’s actually a genuine key, not a fake. Only the key buyer is allowed to bypass the security installed to protect the home by using the key to unlock the door. as well as illegally selling keys.
Some take a clear stance, for example, the Supreme Court of the German Federation found that selling (again) activation keys could be a crime. and other court decisions Many support game publishers or developers against sellers of such keys.
The main court ruling is the famous UseSoft verdict. Legal issues are the most complex in copyright law – under what circumstances can software be “resold”? for many products It’s clear: Legal owners can sell their used cars whenever they want. Plus, usually customers who buy books or DVDs can resell. This also applies to software sold on storage media.
It is true that these works are protected by copyright law. But when the copyright owner puts a copy on the market They cannot ban that copy from resale – at least not if the copy is placed on the market within the EEA and resold within the EEA. Technically, European law says the rights holder’s rights have expired. American law has a similar concept known as the First Selling Doctrine.
Why should the sale of keys be illegal? Software resale has been controversial for a while. in principle The court allows it under certain conditions – these conditions include especially Where the license holder has placed the software on the EEA market that the license has been paid in full (i.e. no subscription or similar) and that the original owner does not keep a copy.
Of course, the latter is difficult to prove. especially when downloading software. instead of storing them on copy-protected media. Major sales sites want to offer this price to convince customers that they have the right to resell the game. But there are huge disadvantages. These decisions and the principles described therein do not apply to the game.
The story of the game is quite different. Games are not just software. But they are also called “hybrids”, i.e. e.g. audio-visual components play a key role. In the European Union, audiovisual media are protected under a different legal regime than software (the InfoSoc Directive protects
, graphics and sound, and the Software Directive protects the software). The court held that the game was protected under both regimes and that exploitation could only be used if the conditions for exploitation under both directives were met. This cannot be the case with games that are distributed digitally: according to InfoSoc orders, digital distribution is not usable. And most of the product keys sold by primary vendors come from digital distribution.
“Many large traders are aware of the problem and operate as a simulated market in hopes of avoiding responsibility by pretending to be neutral.”
But then the keys were removed from the retail box by what’s called. How about a “key puller”? It’s basically physical breakdown and exhaustion, right? Not really. Most of the games retail today don’t include the full game on disc. They need a lot of downloads or at least a day’s worth of patches to work. The full product is not included on the disc. This is a strong argument against exhaustion. Separating the key from the rest of the product is copyright infringement. The principle of exhaustion does not apply if some products are sold to the market because others are eventually obtained, i.e. digital copies are not physical copies of the work.
Note: The provider of the primary place of sale considers the above to be legitimate. We don’t even have to look at the stolen keys. Credit card fraud, account hacking, and other apparently illegal methods of obtaining keys for resale. To conclude, there is no legal way to resell keys without the permission of the rights holder.
Many big traders seem to be aware of the problem and operate as a fake market. It hopes to avoid responsibility by pretending to be a neutral platform, e.g. a platform that only hosts third-party content. However, this argument is irrelevant in cases where there is no way to legally sell game keys. As stated above, operators of such sites are also involved in the entire processing process beyond being considered platform neutral.
Ultimately, it remains to be proven that “middle market” vendors offering thousands of game keys are individuals who sell their used software through platforms unrelated to the main platform operator. Especially since keys can’t usually be reactivated twice, so we’re not talking about actually selling used games. But about commercial activities – the sale of game keys of mysterious origin at large. which is usually not a common hobby of an individual.
All of this sounds (and) is very complicated, but now there are courts that are familiar with these matters. The author of this article has several bans applied to turnkey platforms within days of filing the bans. There are also some interesting tax issues related to turnkey platforms to discuss. The most interesting solution to the VAT problem seen by this author is a site where users can choose the amount of VAT they want to pay.
One-stop platform operators are aware of the legal issues discussed here. While many pretend to be completely legal and even pay huge sums for marketing campaigns to spread false impressions among their customers, they have also structured the company in a way that is hard to imagine not designed by. deliberately Complying with court orders is even more difficult. Ultimately, this means game publishers and developers who wish to be proactive may need to use legal tools used against pirates, such as takedown notices with hosting providers. Disconnecting the domain account blocking and fighting against all the companies that support these services.
Dr. Andreas Lober is a partner in law firm BEITEN BURKHARDT. He has been advising video game companies for many years. and has been involved in legal proceedings with several major publishers’ sales sites. The opinions expressed in this article are his personal opinions and conclusions. If you click the link and make a purchase We may earn a small commission. Read our editorial policy.
G2A is often the center of discussion in the gaming industry. on the other side The market where gamers can resell unwanted games is not inherently conflicting. But conflicting decisions affects every step the company takes.
Hate towards G2A has been building up between publishers and developers over the years. and recently launched a petition to stop the site from selling any indie games.
Every time the company responds Either by offering a refund of ten times the amount the developer lost in the refund. or by offering to create a key blocking tool. Find everything from apathy to mockery to angry tweets: “You didn’t miss the point . “
Allegations that G2A allowed the sale of stolen game keys There are many keys bought with a stolen credit card or a non-working Steam Gift link on the site.
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