Is Your Game Really Yours?

Posted on September 13, 2010


Selling your old games helps out the environment, but a Court decision could ban the reselling and purchasing of used games.

Many of us know of the three conservation “Rs”- Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce.  Many of us also know that every dollar counts in this economy.  So when it comes to old video games we no longer play, the best option is to resell those old games.  Now with the extra money we have, we can put it towards the purchase of a shiny, new game, or towards the purchase of a used, but slightly cheaper, copy.

Reselling our old games, or “trading” them in to retailers such as GameStop, helps out the environment by keeping those discs, cases, and paper manuals out of our landfills.  It also means that we can reduce the amount of materials that need to be used for the distribution of the game.  Plus, that game that you enjoyed (or maybe not so much) will be available for someone else to experience.

Seems like a win-win situation: you get rid of unwanted games, have extra money for a new one, and the entire process of selling-purchasing used games helps out your Mother Earth.

However, a court decision could ban the selling of your dusty, old games.

As cited by GameInformer and Gamasutra, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the right of software companies to deny the reselling of their products.  This issue has mainly revolved around eBay and the selling of computer software, but the decision could affect the legality of selling your old games.  Part of the issue is if you actually own the product when purchased, or if it’s simply being “licensed” to you.

Personally, when purchasing something, I get the impression that I own the physical copy and have the right to basically do whatever I want with it.  Even if this decision is upheld, the popularity of reselling video games may make the decision impossible to enforce. What do you think?

Posted in: Law Related