A European court has ruled that game publishers and digital distribution platform runners like Valve (Steam) and EA (Origin) can't prevent customers from reselling digital games.

Publishers have traditionally inserted clauses into user agreements that state that the license they purchase to download and play a digital game is non-transferrable, but in Europe at least, that's just changed.

"An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet," the ruling read, and the publisher's exlusive distribution rights are "exhausted on its first sale".

"Therefore the new acquirer of the user licence," it continues, "such as a customer of UsedSoft, may, as a lawful acquirer of the corrected and updated copy of the computer program concerned, download that copy from the copyright holder's website."

There's one reasonable catch, of course: the person selling the digital game can't continue to play it.

Now, will game publishers start to revise their policies? That's doubtful. They could simply withhold other services from users who resell digital games, like what Apple does to customers who jailbreak their iPhones, despite jailbreaking being deemed perfectly legal.

Will you be more willing to buy games digitally if you can resell them when you're done? Do you think this ruling will shake things up? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.

[via Game Politics]