TIGA, thetrade association representing the UK video games industry, believes an EU law
which ruled it illegal to prevent the sale of used digital licenses will have
huge rammifications for the software industry.
The Court of Justice of the European Union cast its judgement over a case
involving Oracle which sued UsedSoft for selling used copies of digitally
downloaded software. In stating that a software author cannot oppose the resale of ‘used’ licenses,
it has in effect made it legal to sell used licenses for downloaded software in
all European Union countries.
There is a danger that the ruling will create a lucrative market for
second-hand enterprise software licenses affecting games, software, film, music
and ebooks. The ECJ ruled that once Oracle had sold its software, it had exhausted its
exclusive distribution rights.
The judgement stated: “The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a
computer program covered by such a license is exhausted on its first sale.”
Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
ruling has potentially huge ramifications not just for gaming and software but
also music. Additionally, what impact will it have for car licenses and so on? “The second hand market has long been a contentious one and it's well
known that many traditional publishers are against it. They have taken their
own steps to lessen its impact on the high street – such as restricting online
play to the original purchaser – but the speed at which digital distribution is
becoming the norm means developers and publishers will need to constantly
innovate ways to ensure the original licenses retain their value for players.
Digital is too engrained in gaming culture now for this kind of ruling to
discourage developers from such a distribution route. The fact remains that
this court is not the supreme one so we imagine this ruling will be appealed
against in the near future.”
Notes to editors:About TIGA:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The
majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house
publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing
companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA won 10 business awards
and was nominated a finalist for 9 other awards during 2010 and 2011. In 2010 TIGA won two business
awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association
Forum. In 2011, TIGA won eight business awards including ‘Trade Association of
the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum, ‘Outstanding Organisation’ from the
Chartered Management Institute and two Global Business Excellence Awards,
including ‘Outstanding Marketing Campaign’.
Richard Wilson won the ‘Leadership Award’ from the Trade Association
Forum and the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award from the Chartered Management
Institute. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation.
TIGA's vision is
to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus
on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media
coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our
members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the
corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits
that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in
costs and improved commercial opportunities.
information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or