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July 5th, 2012, 22:09
I dunno Count. I think it's really not that simple. In particular, the Steam items you mentioned are actually add-ons to the original digital product. These add-ons are designed to prevent transfer of the digital product to a different party. As such, they could be considered products designed to restrict free trade with a net result that Steam could be subjected to a substantial penalty unless the restrictive products are removed from the digital product.

Seems to me the more interesting questions do go to slightly different digital products, such as a game that is delivered only as part of a streaming service subscription. In that case, it seems to me that the game might be viewed in the same light as multimedia entertainment, e.g., movies and the like, currently delivered via cable subscription. No one argues that the customer has the right to record and sell multimedia delivered in this form.

However there still could be a question whether a consumer who purchased a prepaid subscription to a cable service could be restricted from transferring that subscription to someone else. Still even that question wouldn't arise in connection with a pay-monthly subscription service. This might be the future of video games.

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