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Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits

Valve announces an updated Steam Subscriber Agreement, becoming the latest company to attempt to avoid potential class action lawsuits by prohibiting them as a term of service. Here is their explanation of this:

Weíre also introducing a new dispute resolution process that will benefit you and Valve. Recently, a number of companies have created similar provisions which have generated lots of discussion from customers and communities, and weíve been following these discussions closely. On Steam, whenever a customer is unhappy with any transaction, our first goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible through the normal customer support process. However in those instances in which we can't resolve a dispute, we've outlined a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute. In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse your costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount. Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitratorís decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable.

Most significant to the new dispute resolution terms is that customers may now only bring individual claims, not class action claims. We considered this change very carefully. Itís clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions donít provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.

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135. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Aug 2, 2012, 07:54 Mr. Tact
 
Scheherazade wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 12:44:
Actually, you paid ONLY for the license.
The game's DVD and packaging were FREE.
The DVD is just a medium to convey the licensed game to you, and it is 100% irrelevant.

The license is commonly a single user permission to use the game.

So long as you have a license, how you get the game or how you store it is irrelevant.

You have a right of access to the program.
You have stated this position clearly. However, I stand by my comment. I find this position to be lacking common sense on it's face. I don't know if you couldn't find comparison to my owning a book, or just didn't think or care to.

If you believe what you are saying, then can you explain why books couldn't, shouldn't, aren't marketed in the same way? (Let's ignore electronic books for the moment). The way I see it, owning a DVD copy of "Doom 3" is no different than owning a copy of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." Yes, there are restrictions on my ownership. Such as I can't make copies and resell them without proper permissions. However, for the most part, for my own personal usage, I can do whatever the hell I want. And the manufacturer has no right reclaim my copy. It is MY copy.

The approach you are stating is to me, nonsensical. Maybe it's simply the verbiage I'm tripping over. Perhaps if instead of selling game software, they came out and called it a indeterminate length rental. Hmmm, yeah, I wouldn't like it -- but at least it wouldn't be a lie.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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