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German consumer group targets Valve over new EULA

No opt out and lack of resale options put developer under scrutiny

An umbrella group representing a number of German consumer organisations has challenged Valve over updates made to its EULA last August which it says don't meet the standards of local law.

The group has given the publisher until Wednesday September 26 to reply to the charges, after which it is likely to pursue them in court, CinemaBlend reports.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations, or VZBV, is a non-governmental organisation which lobbies and campaigns on behalf of a number of German groups, both locally and in the European courts. Valve, the VZBV says, is acting unfairly by requiring customers to sign a the new EULA to secure continued access to content already purchased, as well as by restricting the methods of resale available to customers.

Currently, Steam users who refuse to agree to the EULA's terms will find themselves unable to play games already purchased under previous agreements. There is no way for customers to opt out of the new arrangement.

Secondly, the VZBV argues that the new EULA does not meet the requirements stipulated by a recent European ruling which dictated that "an author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet," essentially meaning that all games purchased digitally, via Steam or otherwise, must come with a mechanism which allows their resale by the purchaser.

Valve have yet to respond to the accusations publicly, but with legal action looming it seems unlikely that the Steam owner would be willing to abandon the world's largest PC market without a fight.

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