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Steam EU Legal Conflict

German consumer organization Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband outlines objections to changes to the Steam end-user license agreement, complaining that declining the agreement causes users to lose access to previously purchased games, and also runs afoul of a recent legal ruling in the EU that requires the ability to resell games purchased through digital distribution. According to a translation of this article this requires Valve to issue a "required declaration of failure" by next week, which Blend Games describes a response to a cease and desist order.

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32. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 22, 2012, 12:57 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Dev wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 12:08:
That would be why in the last year or so they've started popping up the EULA prompt even when you add a game to steam, such as in the case you describe of buying it elsewhere then putting the serial into your account. So, your argument is moot.
I seem to remember something from the SSA thread, that the EULA that was being popped up was the old agreement, not the new one.
 
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and it is always wrong."
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31. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 22, 2012, 12:26 eRe4s3r
 
I wasn't making an argument I asked basically which EULA would be the one valid if it went to courts... You can let EULA's pop up everywhere, that does not make them any more valid. Especially in the EU, where the revised steam EULA is illegal, not just invalid. Because they forced you to agree to it or lose your account, the EULA changes can be considered VOID. The currently binding EULA (in the EU) is the one before the change.

If steam where to ban you for a reason they added recently to the EULA you would have a strong case before court...
 
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30. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 22, 2012, 12:08 Dev
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 12:23:
Even funnier -> what EULA is actually valid when you don't buy via Steam... because if you bought the game elsewhere Steam is not a store but rather the DRM and download manager, they are essentially a party that fulfills a contract of a 3rd party. So it begs to argue that the steam EULA isn't even valid in that case. Because Steam can not just change contracts of 2 parties where it is only the download and drm service component.
That would be why in the last year or so they've started popping up the EULA prompt even when you add a game to steam, such as in the case you describe of buying it elsewhere then putting the serial into your account. So, your argument is moot.
 
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29. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 19:45 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 15:01:
I have several friends who've moved to Europe and love it. I'm contemplating it myself. North America is locked into a downward spiral.
Meh. Europe sucks, at least from both of my cousins point of view. One cousin was endlessly harassed and stalked, then finally assaulted in broad daylight by the "unnamed group of minorities of the day who don't want to be offended" while the police ignored it, she's still living in Oslo, and moves every 3-4 weeks as she can. She's stuck in a work contract for another 3 months then getting the hell out of Norway. She can't afford to pay the quit clause. My other cousin lived in Germany, and is now in Switzerland, took her nearly 5 years to get her citizenship there and even now she's considering moving again.

Myself I've been considering Singapore off and on again for a few years. Though Japan will have a booming job market in a few years, the real question is how much of a pain in the ass is it going to be for some people. Singapore is easy, for english speakers though it's already a recognized and official language there, along with 3 others.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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28. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 19:23 Golwar
 
Bet wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 12:57:
The stickier issue is that until the Supreme Court weighs in on the most recent case, the only games on Steam that could be resold in Germany, are games made in Germany (Gothic, Risen, etc). The rest are barred from being resold without violating copyright by any standard.

No idea where you got that funny idea, but you are wrong.
First off, this impacts Europe and not just Germany alone.
And second it would impact all games sold in Europe, not regarding their origin.
 
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27. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 19:06 007Bistromath
 
You know, this could actually be a good thing. Steam already has the road paved for reselling with its inventory system. They just haven't used it for that because other publishers and devs will scream bloody murder if Steam allows the return of that evil demon secondary market. If somebody forces their hand, they'll figure out a good system for this; if anyone can do it, it's gaben. Many companies will jump ship, possibly going as far as to yank their titles and cause some kind of... refund cascade failure. But Valve will easily survive it and become better for it, and fuck anybody that reacts in that fashion in any case.

Interesting times.
 
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26. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 17:16 dj LiTh
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 13:31:
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:20:
I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

You have no idea how good the USA has it. Try living in Eastern Europe for a few years. You'll beg to return.

I lived in the US for my first 25 years of life. Then i moved to Eastern Europe (Hungary) for 6 years while i went to school to recieve an education that didnt cost me my next 25 years of income. Now i've moved from there to Germany. I'm enjoying it to no end. Seeing as how i actually have experience in what i'm talking about, i'll repeat myself. I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

@Cutter - Best decision i've ever made. I dont have any kids yet, but after experiencing the education system in Europe there'd be noway in hell i'd subject my children to the American education system compared to the one in europe. Middle class in europe is an amazing upgrade to Middle class in America.

I'm sure its not for everyone. For me its like night and day.

This comment was edited on Sep 21, 2012, 17:21.
 
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25. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 16:29 netnerd85
 
"I'm moving to Europe y'all"

Good luck finding the country of Europe
 
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24. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 15:43 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 15:01:
BobBob wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 13:31:
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:20:
I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

You have no idea how good the USA has it. Try living in Eastern Europe for a few years. You'll beg to return.

I have several friends who've moved to Europe and love it. I'm contemplating it myself. North America is locked into a downward spiral.

That spiral is exactly the same in Europe. I realize it's hard for people to believe, but shit exists everywhere. Some things are better in Europe, other things are better in the US. Yet other things are better in completely other countries.

There is no one country where everything is sunbeams and unicorns. Sure, if you've just moved, you're going to think the place you moved to is the fucking bomb. Then you stay there a few years, and you start seeing the issues.

It comes down to what issues are important to you personally, and what downsides you can live with, and then try to find a country that matches those up as close as you can get.

Creston
 
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23. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 15:01 Cutter
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 13:31:
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:20:
I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

You have no idea how good the USA has it. Try living in Eastern Europe for a few years. You'll beg to return.

I have several friends who've moved to Europe and love it. I'm contemplating it myself. North America is locked into a downward spiral.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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22. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 14:34 Quboid
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 13:31:
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:20:
I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

You have no idea how good the USA has it. Try living in Eastern Europe for a few years. You'll beg to return.

You saw where he mentioned he moved from the US to Europe, and how it still seems like a good idea? That suggests that he has a fairly good idea how good the USA has it.
 
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21. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 14:26 netnerd85
 
ASeven wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 13:49:
Glad they are doing this. Regardless of how much people like Steam, some of their practices are downright horrible and I'm glad someone finally stood up in the EU against that. In the end us consumers will be benefited.
Agreed

They are a company and by default "in it for the money" and nothing more.
 
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20. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 13:49 ASeven
 
Glad they are doing this. Regardless of how much people like Steam, some of their practices are downright horrible and I'm glad someone finally stood up in the EU against that. In the end us consumers will be benefited.  
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19. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 13:32 Omni
 
Its fun with all those worthless American made eula's and what not we European have to agree to, can't be fun to live in American were you have to follow the rules made by fucking companies that sells software.

Anyway I really hope this kinda shit changes one day but it will proper not since most of the companies got there hand up the arse of the US. government.
 
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18. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 13:31 BobBob
 
dj LiTh wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:20:
I feel better leaving the states behind for europe every day.

You have no idea how good the USA has it. Try living in Eastern Europe for a few years. You'll beg to return.
 
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17. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 12:59 nutshell42
 
"required declaration of failure"

A better, as in not harebrained, translation would be [b]declaration of cessation[/b] (the translation includes the stilted legalese tone).

Basically as a response to a cease and desist order you promise to cease and desist. This generally allows the ceased and desisted party to escape further legal trouble while the ceasing and desisting one can truly fuck you up good if you break said promise later on.


Valve of course won't do it because being able to rape you in the ass is part of their business model. They sell access to your asshole to publishers. Hell, this whole business started because they want to take away your right to sue them if they rape you too hard. (not that I don't have a steam library but at least I'm not in love with my pimp)
 
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16. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 12:57 Bet
 
Further, the privileges created by the first sale principle do not "extend to any person who has acquired possession of the copy or phonorecord from the copyright owner, by rental, lease, loan, or otherwise, without acquiring ownership of it." See 17 U.S.C. 109(d). Most computer software is distributed through the use of licensing agreements. Under this distribution system, the copyright holder remains the "owner" of all distributed copies. For this reason, alleged infringers should not be able to establish that any copies of these works have been the subject of a first sale.

Steam is between a rock and a hard place. Everyone knows we don't 'own' the games due to all previous EULAs we've agreed to. People here would be the first to state that we effectively 'rent' the games on Steam.

The stickier issue is that until the Supreme Court weighs in on the most recent case, the only games on Steam that could be resold in Germany, are games made in Germany (Gothic, Risen, etc). The rest are barred from being resold without violating copyright by any standard.

Very problematic situation brewing here.

There was also a Texas court that passed a completely opposite judgment than the one passed in Germany, about a week after. So at this point it's a US copyright attitude (which goes all the way up both political party ladders to the highest people in our government), vs sensible EU judicial judgement. We've got ourselves an international trade dispute.

Steam executives must be having migraines over this.
 
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15. Re: Steam EU Legal Conflict Sep 21, 2012, 12:49 Darks
 
This was something I was really upset about when they changed the legal agreement and FORCED us to agree to it just so we can get in and play our games. This is something that NEEDS to be changed.

My thoughts are this, yes you agree, and No I do not agree but I still get logged in to my games. Whether Valve or other developers likes that or not its needs to be this way. This is my legal right saying that No I do not agree with your strong arm tactics but you had better not lock me out until I do agree. I damn well paid for those games, and forcing us to agree is a measure of strong arming the users.

Utter crap anyway you look at it. I hope this finally gets fixed.
 
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14. Re: More Big Picture Details Sep 21, 2012, 12:31 LittleMe
 
HorrorScope wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 10:47:
Interesting that our EU friends have to now carry the banner of freedom for us Americans. We all know changing the terms after the fact IS A NO NO. Good for them, hope they win and reverse this recent trend of BS.

Is it a Right or Freedom?

  • A Right is a common privilege given to all citizens for example the right to vote, the right to property, the right to worship, the right to information, etc.

  • Freedom is when you have no constraints to conduction your actions freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to rebel, freedom to complain, etc.


  • Seems to be more of a right and not a freedom issue. In this case, the right to resell DD games. We have the 'freedom' to buy or not buy from STEAM though. So we are still free here on that count. The game developer has the 'freedom' to implement steamworks in their game, or not. Now, the consumer may or may not have the 'right' to access their STEAM games if they decline the agreement once.

    'Freedom' doesn't mean you have a mandatory alternative to STEAM though. Freedom doesn't guarantee much. That's what rights are for.

     
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    Political freedom can only be preceded by economic freedom which is preceded by monetary freedom.
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    13. Re: More Big Picture Details Sep 21, 2012, 12:30 HorrorScope
     
    SimplyMonk wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:37:
    nin wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:33:
    Quboid wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 11:24:
    HorrorScope wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 10:47:
    Interesting that our EU friends have to now carry the banner of freedom for us Americans. We all know changing the terms after the fact IS A NO NO. Good for them, hope they win and reverse this recent trend of BS.

    It seems that a great many people in America have been duped into thinking that freedom means freedom for companies to do what they like. In fairness, I hear that companies are people over there.

    I think it's more apathy than anything...

    It is actually a lot more complicated than that. You see, the real problem that we face here as a nation is that...

    Wait. One second. There is a "Toddlers in Tiaras" marathon on! I love this show!

    <drifts away>

    Perhaps part of it. But why not "Oh I have to go to work now. When I get back I have a soccer game to attend, after that bills to pay."

    Sure we can think all we do is entertain, but there is plenty of serious business getting done to. The problem is to think corps could think they could do this to begin with. That is why you do need watchdogs..... "That is their work".
     
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