I launched Steam client after a long time and it asks me to agree to that new TOS. If i disagree, the client quits and i'm not able to play any game. This is ridiculous. I purchased their games when their old terms of service was active. Now they put up a new TOS and force me to accept it, in order for me to play the games i had purchased when their old TOS was active. I have not agreed to their TOS yet. Is this even right/legal for them to do this??
Steam's new TOS(38 posts)
Yes sir. Its completely legal thats why its called Terms of Service, You don't agree to it you refuse to use their service thus the games that are attached to it.
But i had purchased all those games agreeing to their initial TOS. Was it mentioned in their old TOS that we have to agree to any changes in their TOS in order to continue using the games purchased before their new/changed TOS?
Yes all TOS do this. You can't get out of it. Especially since the games don't run without Steam.
All right then. Steam is turning into some kind of monopolistic bully. I thought the internet would have erupted with this new TOS. It definitely would have if some other service had done so. I really don't feel like i own something i buy on Steam now. I'm avoiding Steam/other digitail services and looking into retail, even if a game is available for sale on Steam. That or GOG. At least they seem to not take cotrol of my experience.
^That is pretty much true, but a lot of people are choosing to ignore it because they get shiny deals on steam.
Do you even know what changed in the ToS?
It doesn't matter what has changed. I understand the frustration of alterecho. There are so many examples and reasons as to why this is wrong but there is no use getting into them. It is what it is and Valve's fans will continue to say "if you don't like it, don't use it!"
Imagine if google changed their TOS for your email and you had to accept them, whether you liked them or not, to check your email.
Saying things like "Do you even know what changed in the ToS" is kind of aggravating as well. I am not sure how saying something of that nature could, in any way, add to the conversation.
It matters entirely what has changed. If you don't even know what those changes are, you're just trying too hard.
You signed a ToS the first time you registered to use the service. Why didn't it matter then? Why does it suddenly matter now?
"There are so many examples and reasons as to why this is wrong but there is no use getting into them."
You can't, under any real argument, state why it's wrong if you don't even know what the changes are. All your answer tells me is that you want to complain for the sake of complaining, with no actual reasons for doing. I mean, if you actually bothered to *explain* what the problem is, that would be great.
"It is what it is and Valve's fans will continue to say "if you don't like it, don't use it!""
No, sensible people who live in the real world will say it. If I don't agree with a ToS, I'm not going to use a service. It's that simple. You can't really say if you like or not though since you apparently don't even know what it says or what has changed.
"Imagine if google changed their TOS for your email and you had to accept them, whether you liked them or not, to check your email."
If you don't like it, don't use it. It really, really is that simple. I don't *have* to check them. If you don't want to deal with this sort of thing, just simply don't use their services. If it was that big a deal, I'd change my email and just stop using the service.
And if Google did change their ToS, I would at least bother to read up on the changes before deciding if I approved of them or not.
Valve has taken away the users' ability to file class action lawsuits against them. See? How hard was that? As a moderator, I would have thought for you to insert some helpful or semi-intelligent information...I was proven incorrect. The information has been plastered all over the internet and I am sure most individuals who follow video game news are aware of these changes.
The reason I said "it doesn't matter what has changed" is because it doesn't. The reason I said "there is no reason getting into them" is because it is not...especially not with people like you. Everyone has their opinion on situations like this and there is nothing that any of us can say that will make the other person go "You know what, I think these new ToS are awesome and I couldn't hit the 'agree' button fast enough".
And how does that change affect you? Class action lawsuits never actually benefit the customer.
Again, if it bothers you, simply stop using the service. You can't really argue about your rights if you throw them away. If it bothers you that much, sue them.
Of course it matters what has changed. Are you actually telling me that companies shouldn't ever change their ToS's. If the change had been something else, that didn't affect you in any meaningful way, why would it matter what has changed?
Please don't waste your breath on ad-hominem attacks. They add nothing to the debate.
All you are doing is TRYING to create an argument. Throwing things out like "class action lawsuits never actually benefit the customer".
Again, all you are doing is validating my point that it isn't worth talking about. Each individual will handle the situation in their own way and arguing legal matters and whatnot on a video game forum is not the best way to handle the situation.
No, I'm just pointing out the nonsensical points in your argument. And you were the one who replied to me first, just sayin'.
Class action lawsuits don't benefit the customer. They just make rich lawyers richer. Considering the change is *about* class action lawsuits, the relevancy of them to the customer is entirely the point.
If you don't want to discuss it, don't. I'm not *forcing* you to reply.
I did read the TOS. In fact this is the first time i think i read a TOS for so long. Why i read it now? Because i've come to depend on Steam for most of my gaming needs, which for me is important. I wanted to see what kind of changes they've made to a service i use the most of all. I've seen some headlines of this new TOS too.
From what i read of the TOS, i'd say a proper scoundrel would have the ability to write such a TOS. My original question was, is this even legal to change a TOS midway, that is all.
This is something like a group of people getting aboard a ship, paying the agreed amount initially, knowing that they can get redressal in case the service is awful. The Captain, midway through, says you can't complain to anyone about the service they provide and asks the people who disagree to jump off/get off the ship, without refunding the money they paid initially or atleast part of the cost.
I love Gaming and don't want it to be monopolized and how i game dictated by any one.
Again, i'm not asking anyone to change their opinion. This is how i view the situation. Remember, this is a service which is dependent on the net. We're dealing with virtual retailers and items. I've had bad experiences with my internet and Steam is dependent on the internet. And when THEY do something like this, its worth becoming alert. Its wise.
You're right class action lawsuits do make the lawyers rich. A sad state of the law since its the only way to get redressals.
Oh and I've not agreed to the their new TOS yet. I'm playing AOE3 collection i purchased a few days back from retail.
This is O'Conner. All he does is posting neurotic 'lawls' and some mundane observations. Resistance is futile.
"All right then. Steam is turning into some kind of monopolistic bully."
THis is not something new. If you had refused it the first time the service simply wouldn't have ran. Its the same thing for the game's individual TOS that you have to agree to if you refuse that TOS you will be unable to play the game even though you had bought it. WHich you don't actually own the game you had just purchased a license that allows you to play it.
@alterecho You choose to depend on a DRMed service for your gaming habit. That was a personal choice. And this right here is why I buy 90% of my games DRM free.
A company can change a TOS entirely as they please, yes. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't done solely to screw over the consumer. It's to stop them being sued into oblivion over every tiny little thing imaginable. And as times changes, so do the rules. The overly specific wording exists so that it can't be as easily manipulated by lawyers.
"This is something like a group of people getting aboard a ship, paying the agreed amount initially, knowing that they can get redressal in case the service is awful. The Captain, midway through, says you can't complain to anyone about the service they provide and asks the people who disagree to jump off/get off the ship, without refunding the money they paid initially or atleast part of the cost."
Except the boat journey is years long, the journey is free and the extras (the games) are option payments, the service is far from awful, and a tiny clause was changed that doesn't even remotely affect 99% of the passengers in any way whatsoever.
Now, if it was something along the lines of being able to take games out of people's collection entirely at the whim of the publishers or Steam-, I could totally understand the complaints going on. But it's not.
alterecho, if they're refusing you access to your games, then you have an idiotproof case against Valve. I'd bring that to the attention of their support staff.
Since Steam is a vendor supplying you with your games licenses, they're also directly responsible for providing you the use of the licenses you paid for. You're not buying the license off Steam, you're buying it through Steam, so by paying you've fulfilled your end of the deal, and Steam has to fulfil theirs.
As such, Steam has to provide you use of your purchased goods, or they'll be in violation of trade law.
You're not allowed to sell people things and take them away, because they don't agree to a change in your terms of service. They must be allowed to continue use, under the prior terms of service.
I know for a fact that that's the case in the EU, and I strongly doubt that the US would allow for a law that would make any company able to essentially yoyo your purchases away from you. It would completely undermine trade as a whole.
I also think you're wrong Michael.
The main argument against class action lawsuits is that they're often used for frivolous lawsuits. However, that's obviously not a problem with the law itself, but purely a problem with judges who allow those frivolous lawsuits to go ahead.
They're supposed to be the stewards of those laws, ensuring their proper use, so when a corporation tries to place the fault with the law itself, it's essentially a major cop-out.
Class actions are supposed to level the playing field, so several plaintiffs can band together against a corporation, which will have access to vastly greater resources, and as such a vastly better legal team, than any one person ever would.
Without it, a corporation will be hiring three Harvard laywers for every one out of state college that you get.
@DSB True, but these "You can't file a class action lawsuit against us" rules wouldn't stand up in a court of law anyway, so this whole concern of the ToS change is fairly redundant anyway.
How sure are you of that, though?
By accepting those terms of service, you're essentially signing a contract promising that you won't join a class filing against Valve.
To me that sounds like it would be hard to refute in court. Surely it counts for consent?
I think it's France who has a law saying that pressing "I accept" on a ToS window doesn't count as a signature, but I don't know if that's the case anywhere else.
"True, but these "You can't file a class action lawsuit against us" rules wouldn't stand up in a court of law anyway, so this whole concern of the ToS change is fairly redundant anyway."
Actually they can ATT had the same exact case where they had put the same clause. ATT was able to enforce it and the class action suit just didn't fly because of that in the contract. SInce it passed in that case every single corp is now putting that in their TOS.
[Phoenixblight:"Its the same thing for the game's individual TOS that you have to agree to if you refuse that TOS you will be unable to play the game even though you had bought it. WHich you don't actually own the game you had just purchased a license that allows you to play it."]
In the case of individual titles on Steam, you're agreeing to the initial TOS shown to you. They do not change their TOS later on (like how Steam just did) while you're playing the game. The TOS in question is wholly formulated by the content delivery platform - Steam.
[Ireland Michael:You choose to depend on a DRMed service for your gaming habit. That was a personal choice. And this right here is why I buy 90% of my games DRM free.]
Where do you purchase your 90% of the games which are DRM free?
[Ireland Michael:"Except the boat journey is years long, the journey is free and the extras (the games) are option payments, the service is far from awful, and a tiny clause was changed that doesn't even remotely affect 99% of the passengers in any way whatsoever."]
Valve invented that buzzword "Games as a service."
The games are the reason why Steam exists (which they will be deviating from). They marketed it as a games delivery platform where you can buy games. Your argument is something like the boat advertised it as it can stay afloat on water and people got into it just because they wanted to stay afloat on water.
[DSB:"Since Steam is a vendor supplying you with your games licenses, they're also directly responsible for providing you the use of the licenses you paid for. You're not buying the license off Steam, you're buying it through Steam, so by paying you've fulfilled your end of the deal, and Steam has to fulfil theirs."]
Steam still doesn't allow me to access the licenses i paid for, since i've been clicking "I disiagree" everytime my PC boots. So Steam is not fulfilling theirs.
[DSB:"You're not allowed to sell people things and take them away, because they don't agree to a change in your terms of service. They must be allowed to continue use, under the prior terms of service."]
Pretty much the case here. They sold and took away since i'm not agreeing to their change in TOS.
The main thing that's bothering me is that Steam can pull a fast one like that - they're change of TOS. It renders my initial agreement useless. If an agreement can be changed like that, the entire point of agreements is useless.
I really wouldn't care as i would simply stop using the service. The problem bothering me is that, they're invading the retail space too, with their Steamworks DRM, where i would HAVE to use a service i don't agree with.
I used to be MASSIVE proponent of Steam initially. I wanted every game to use Steam DRM so i can have huge list of games in one place. Something like Steam or no sale.
I realize now this was such a bad trait i had. Steam knows they're slowly invading other forms of game sales through their DRM and start exposing new customers to their platform.
They then throw some HUGE sales and brainwash people. People start supporting Steam.
They then slowly start cutting off exposure to other platforms (Now i understand that incident with ORIGIN).
When the OS starts to introduce a form of closed store (Windows 8) they start bad talking them (Mind you i don't like Windows 8 too).
Example can be seen when you look at how Newell bad mouthed PS3 initially and then did a complete U turn when PS3 allowed Steam.
When such a service takes away you're freedom of redressal, it bothers me. A lot.
Generally I stop paying attention when people throw themselves into weird conspiracy theories, whether it's brainwashing or space aliens, but the law is on your side if you choose to make a stand.
Seems like a pretty good way to get back at them back at them, if you don't like what they're doing in general.
You're not allowed to sell people a service and take it away unless they violate a prior agreement. Taking away a purchased service violates the entire the premise of a transaction, and forcing you to sign a document under threat of doing it, is obviously blackmail.
I don't know what it's like anywhere else, but here in Denmark we have an ombudsman who does nothing but try cases like these to keep companies in check.
If you have a similar advocate in your country, that would be a costless way of doing it.
"n the case of individual titles on Steam, you're agreeing to the initial TOS shown to you. They do not change their TOS later on (like how Steam just did) while you're playing the game. The TOS in question is wholly formulated by the content delivery platform - Steam."
THey changed the TOS like 3 weeks ago. It just so happens that steam just decided you can't post pone it anymore.
And yes you do have to agree to a new TOS for the game if you decide to patch it.
And the TOS specifically says that if you decline it that you won't have access to the service and the game they provide. Steam can ban you from the service which would do the same thing. I don't think you read the TOS the first time. It details all these things so if you were to go to court you would have little to no ground to stand on.
I was about to start talking this discussion seriously, alterecho, and then you went and posted this...
"They then throw some HUGE sales and brainwash people."
All I can think of is this:
Resistance is indeed futile.
Thing is, you're not allowed to change the definition of transaction and create your own pseudo by-laws, simply through some outrageous terms of service.
It's quite well understood what a transaction is. Just like it's not legal to be part of a pyramid scheme, even if it's fully transparent, it's not legal to deny people what they pay you for in a commercial transaction.
Try it guys. Make a scrap of paper saying that you can do anything you want to a person if he decides to buy your iPad for 5 dollars. Then proceed to take the iPad back, referring to the note. You will still be liable for damages.
You're also not allowed to make people convert to a specific religion in order to keep their games, or make them send you naked pictures to avoid losing their games.
Blackmail is blackmail, a transaction is a transaction, and laws exist to protect you from blackmail, and to protect the sanctity of the transactions you make.
If they did not, there'd be no market, because anyone could sell you anything without delivering, and the economy would collapse at the benefit of a couple of peoples personal enrichment. It's really quite basic stuff. The cornerstone of any open market is the sanctity of transaction.
You pay. You get.
He signed the TOS that specifically says you sign you use their service which means the games through those services. All he had to do was read it the first time to see what he was getting into. He can't scream foul now after the fact. people are welcome to fight it but they would find they have little no rights to stand on in this case. He agreed to the TOS and said " I agree to Steam with what it provides and if I disagree with the TOS I cannot use this service.
"As a Subscriber you may obtain access to certain services, software and content available to Subscribers. The Steam client software and any other software, content, and updates you download or access via Steam, including but not limited to Valve or third-party video games and in-game content, and any virtual items you trade in the Steam Trading Marketplace, are referred to in this Agreement as “Software”; the rights to access and/or use any services, software and/or content accessible through Steam are referred to in this Agreement as "Subscriptions."
First freaking paragraphs
Again, you aren't allowed to make your own laws, no matter how you define your terms of service.
There's still a code of laws and a constitution that you have to answer to, and you are not allowed to undermine either.
If all you needed to have people sign away their rights was a TOS agreement, you could create your own little mini society with it's own little laws. None of which would actually be upheld in a real court.
The courts still belong to society as a whole, and they still answer to the actual law. Not your TOS.
Again, do try the experiment with the 5 dollar iPad. It's not legal to take peoples stuff away after a transaction, even if you attempt to reserve the right to do that. The laws of a nation > Your company's TOS.
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