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Valve faces potential court action over Steam user agreement

Tuesday, 25th September 2012 12:09 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve has been posed with a legal claim stating that its end user license agreement on Steam leaves consumers at a disadvantage by forcing them to accept it. More details below.

IGN reports – via CinemaBlend – that The Federation of German Consumer Organization (VZBV) has issued a legal challenge to Valve, stating that Steam forces users to accept its end user license agreement. The rationale is that hitting cancel prevents users from using the service, effectively forcing them to accept.

The group has given Valve until October 10th to respond to the claim or it has stated it will take steps to “resolve the dispute in the court.”

More as it happens.

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11 Comments

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  1. Faceless

    They’re going to be laughed out of the court room. Which digital service continues to provide after you disagree with their terms?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. GetUpKidAK

    Yeah, I’m assuming something has been lost in translation here.

    There isn’t a service in existence that you can continue to use if you don’t agree with the terms of service, that’s the point of them.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The_Red

    I think the problem is that they take your already owned game as hostage.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    Exactly Red.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Talkar

    What is missing, is that it is outragous to force a user that has potentially spend thousands of dollars on a platform, and then change the terms of service in a way that is so drastic that it doesn’t even make sense.
    For example, in Denmark, if you have a contract with a company, be that a phone contract or whatever, and then the company change the contract in a drastic way, you have the freedom to get out of the contract, without loosing anything.
    The thing is that EU decided a while back that you are allowed to sell the games you bought with your own money, as used games, even if they are digital. And platforms such as Steam have to facilitate that, which is what they are trying to cheat their way out of.

    I’m surprised VG247 decided to write about this, since they’ve been neglecting it for about a week.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. MFBB

    I read about that here in Germany.

    The thing is that EU allows to resell digital content like games (just like a physical copy of the game).

    Valve dosnt allow that with there games and also forces users to accept the terms by otherwise blocking them from the steam service.

    So some organisation here sued against Valve.
    Valve needs to allow users to resell there digital games by EU law.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    Wondered how long it would take them to get sued for this.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DSB

    Weren’t Sony forced to let people continue use according to the terms of the previous agreement at some point, if they declined? They just wouldn’t get updates and new features.

    I might be remembering it wrong.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheWulf

    This is fascinating.

    Germany continues to be a bastion of digital rights in Europe. Which, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting. Germany is almost as capitalist a country as the United States, so usually in situations like that laws are formed wherein digital rights are taken away from the user.

    See the insidious SOPA/PIPA nonsense for an example of how that works. And usually, the more capitalist the nation is, and the more financial clout they have, the more ridiculous the attempts to take rights away from consumers are. It’s a classic case of the rich getting richer, and any… any rights are a thorn in the side of that notion.

    Consider: Allowing people to resell digital products means that a person can receive a product which has absolutely no wear for a price which is less than the retailer has on it. This drives down prices in order to compete, because essentially someone can do something like dodging ridiculous EU prices (since publishers don’t understand how the world works, and tend to be incredibly out of touch).

    So if a publisher asks sixty dollars and sixty euros for a game, you might end up with someone selling that ‘second hand’ for thirty euros. This, of course, means that publishers have to pull their head out of their arse with pricing. This leads to more fair pricing.

    Thaaat’s what Germany seems to be heading towards. Which confuses me because of Germany’s capitalistic nature. I’d be fascinated to see whether someone can clear this up.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. ManuOtaku

    Not to sound like a broken record here, but while i agree with the notion that this is done under a very capitalist tone, i mean that digital distribution more often than not means lesser rights to the end user, in order to give more benefits to companies, i think the main reason is because the parts involve companies, government, user, legislations (laws), etc, do not see the need to address this situation and the ambiguity it posses due to what are the users rights and the providers rights, right now we dont have mechanisms that rule or watch TOS and EULA, or a guidence that controls this, right now the companies that establish the TOS and EULA are doing them with a license in mind, but with a first sale physical ruling tone under it, so they are also like a sale, and all the benefitst this gives to the end user, therefore till this day we dont know for sure what it is and what are the boundaries for each specific scenario, license, sale, service, etc.

    based on this we need clear guidences , controls, and rulers (watchers) that guide and forge a some type of control in this transactions, and maybe an strong legal environemnt, in order to create a feasible digital distribution media, but for that we should make the first step and adress this ambiguity prior its stablishment, which is esencial in order to know which are the rights and obligations for all the parts involve, the user and the provider IMHO, that will be healthy for this type of transactions, a clear environment.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. NeoSquall

    A pointless legal challenge (I’ve never, ever, seen a company letting use its services to people that don’t sign a contract by not accepting it) to press a pointless law.

    In this digital era, where people who purchase games digitally have (or should have) better awareness of what they’re buying, allowing people to resell their digital goods’ licenses is an unnecessary need.
    There are better causes to be fought, like the need for a data protection law that defends both consumers and providers rights.

    #11 2 years ago