Half-Life 2 EULA Legal Issues?

Is the Half-Life 2 EULA illegal? on the Inquirer (thanks Ant) describes possible legal issues surrounding the End-User License Agreement for Half-Life 2 and the Steam service. Here are a couple of hefty excerpts:
...The German Consumer Association has recently found that the packaging on Half-Life 2 is misleading. In a report made following complaints from the public, they said that the mere listing of an internet connection under the 'other' category in system requirements did not accurately describe the true extent of the internet tie-in with the game, and ordered Vivendi to amend the packaging and untie Steam from HL2 or face a hefty fine. See this page. How far other consumer associations will agree with the Germans is yet to be seen, but it seems a no-brainer that Steam should be mentioned on the retail pack.

The return of software has traditionally been a bugbear for gamers. Most shops, at least in the UK, have a policy not to allow the return of opened software because of piracy risks. However, most consumers are not aware that, in some cases at least, this is in breach of their statutory legal rights, which cannot be infringed. This page at the UK's Office of Fair Trading conveniently notes an example of when goods can be returned as faulty:...

It is quite conceivable that any gamer not being able to connect to Half-Life 2 is entitled to a legal refund in the UK. The case would hinge around whether or not the inability to play the game without persistent net connection, or the previous hacking of the CD Key rendering it unplayable, makes the game unfit for the purpose described on the box. This could well be a winner.

The last issue is the most interesting and relates to a number of other cases that have come up over the last couple of years. According to US and UK law, under the principle known in the US as 'First Sale', a consumer buying a game takes absolute title to it; that is, they own it. ...

But, arguably, you can't transfer the CD Key without paying the $10 Steam charge, because otherwise it's still registered to you at Valve, meaning you haven't truly transferred ownership to the buyer.

However, here's something else. No mention of the Steam software is made in the EULA for Half-Life 2. This means that the terms of the Steam EULA that you agree to when installing that software are almost certainly not incorporated into the contract you agree to when installing Half-Life 2. Consequently, the $10 transfer fee would not be enforceable because it isn't in the HL2 contract, and Valve would be acting illegally in blocking any sale of the game from one person to another.
View : : :
171 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 4.
Newer [  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ] Older
111.
 
Oh yes
Feb 7, 2005, 20:04
Oh yes Feb 7, 2005, 20:04
Feb 7, 2005, 20:04
 
Theft is theft, purse or game, it comes down to the same crime. The public truely doesn't understand it yet. That is going to change. Personnally, if you steal, your eventually going to steal from all of us. Somehow, someway. No excuse. So why are the trolls complaining when a company protects its products from the hands of criminals? Because it makes it a little harder to load a game? So why isn't the gaming public calling in everyone they know playing a cracked game? Even the most responsible gamers are overlooking it if it's one of thier LAN buddies. No excuses, we let the problem grow, and we are seeing the effects of it.


110.
 
Steaming Hacks
Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
Steaming Hacks Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
 
If I get this right, the legit buyers are complaining about security measures that the pirates are boasting were so easy to crack. WoW. Is that yin and yang, or a circle of lost hope. Its funny. I happen to have 0 problems with the ability to click, PAY, and download a game from the comfort of my office chair. Had no problems, played at 5:30EST the opening day. I smell troll shit..... or is it dirty diapers?

109.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
Feb 7, 2005, 19:56
 
If i'm not mistaken the warez release of HL2 was the same day as the game came out. Ok supposedly some of the warez users got screwed over, but it doesnt matter. They cracked Steam.

No matter what protection a game has, it WILL be cracked. The only protection that i've heard of that hasnt been cracked is the Starforce 3.3 i think it is, or at least the 3.x versions. If developers dont want their games to be cracked choose Starforce, or alternatively do what Combat Misson: Barbarossa (i think it was that) did. Make it available only online, and the only way to get a copy is to buy it from the developers themselves.

That way theres a much less chance of someone working in a gaming store to be "corrupt" and hand over an advanced copy of a game to crackers to crack. Simple i guess.

Personally i hate anti-copy protection (constant changing of CDS and that) but i do agree with publishers doing all they can to protect their property. If it involves something annoying like Steam, so be it, i won't complain if its a damn decent game. However no matter what new idea a developer/publisher comes up with to stop piracy, people on the internet will still bitch about it. Everyone does it: The beauty of the internet.

108.
 
No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:52
No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:52
Feb 7, 2005, 19:52
 
anyway, screw HL2, buy KOTOR2 tommorrow, it easily has more value for your buck and replay than HL2 will ever have.

107.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:37
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:37
Feb 7, 2005, 19:37
 
You can download one file, extract its contents, and run the HL2 launcher and be playing this incredibly average game in moments. Never will you have to come into contact with steam, donate your 30 quid to the tsunami relief; those poor little Orientals deserve it after providing us with tea for quite a while.

I assume you're referring to the pirate version?

I was kinda confused when that one post was describing how hard Steam was to crack....uhm....it was cracked in what..less than 3 days? if that?

106.
 
No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:28
Tim
No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:28
Feb 7, 2005, 19:28
Tim
 
You can download one file, extract its contents, and run the HL2 launcher and be playing this incredibly average game in moments. Never will you have to come into contact with steam, donate your 30 quid to the tsunami relief; those poor little Orientals deserve it after providing us with tea for quite a while.

I can't wait for a real eugenics movement, i'm bored by short people.
___________________
I'll sell your memories for fifty pounds per year.
105.
 
grrr
Feb 7, 2005, 19:26
grrr Feb 7, 2005, 19:26
Feb 7, 2005, 19:26
 
I posted on several boards including here about this on day one, as soon as i found out the uk DVD retail ver didn't have half life source and no-where had suggested it wasn't gold like the US DVD. none of the advert's stores gave any idea of what it was (like bronze, silver or gold) or even mentioned if it had CS:source. so I was trying to find out how i could sell my game to buy the collectors edition if it came to the UK later, and found you couldn't change the account cd-key's were connected to (at the time). I've still got my corespondance with steam somewhere..

104.
 
Re: Characters
Feb 7, 2005, 19:22
Re: Characters Feb 7, 2005, 19:22
Feb 7, 2005, 19:22
 
JosephBlowski is more of an enigma.

He earned enigma status the day he posted that he is married. Never saw that one coming...

I think he's increased the quality of his posts after laying off the US-Israel BS and moved on to more entertaining things like the "my-dog-got-out-and-the-neighborhood-gays-wanted-me" story. I like the new Joe. Always keeps you entertained.


*** Warhawk ***

Hello, this is Killian. Give me the Justice Department, Entertainment Division.

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
103.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:19
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:19
Feb 7, 2005, 19:19
 
fuck Steam, fuck Valve, and in the final analysis, fuck Half Life, as much as I bitch about console games, I would rather play a console game than tolerate 'gotta watch ya all' spyware

See, well, that's all good. This is why no one forces you to play Half Life.

It isn't consumer rights. If you don't want it you don't have to take it.

102.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 19:15
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 19:15
Feb 7, 2005, 19:15
 
and if you all keep bitching about steam...halflife 3 will never see the light of day. Thank you very much for ruining one of the few developers who actually made somthing decent and innovative. Congratulations...will all be stuck with EA and their crappy game collections and have to deal with mediocre....thanks you prick

lets see, consumer rights, vs Half Life 3. gee thats a toughie here. but thankfully, I can see past the fleeting couple days/weeks of entertainment that HL3 *MIGHT* bring, assuming it was even worth my money and see the bigger picture that consumer rights is a good thing.

fuck Steam, fuck Valve, and in the final analysis, fuck Half Life, as much as I bitch about console games, I would rather play a console game than tolerate 'gotta watch ya all' spyware

You're mindless corporate lackeys, you just don't care how far they make you take in the behind do you? as long as you get to keep hitting that feeder bar dont ya?

I just keep thinking that if it were any other gaming company, NO one would tolerate it, period. double standard. HL ain't that good. fuck that, NO game is that good to put up with that shit.

I'm sick of tired of everyone pointing the finger at Vivendi for various problems, when the fuck is Valve going to be responsible for the product *THEY* made

Vivendi may suck, but evil empire, it aint.
This comment was edited on Feb 7, 19:19.
101.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 18:55
Rob
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 18:55
Feb 7, 2005, 18:55
Rob
 
Yes, be a good consumer and bend over. We may even use lube the next time!


100.
 
Re: First Sale Applies to Software
Feb 7, 2005, 18:54
Rob
Re: First Sale Applies to Software Feb 7, 2005, 18:54
Feb 7, 2005, 18:54
Rob
 
Softman v. Adobe holds if you never agreed to the EULA in the first place.

Are there any cases for resale *after* the EULA forbidding resale was accepted?

99.
 
Re: Gamers: Screwing themselves again.
Feb 7, 2005, 18:38
99.
Re: Gamers: Screwing themselves again. Feb 7, 2005, 18:38
Feb 7, 2005, 18:38
 
My main issue with Steam is that it is very hard to crack. I hate playing games with the CD-checks because I am lazy and don't like inserting the disc every time I want to play. Similarly, I don't want to have to be logged on to some useless program in order to play a game. Securom, Safedisc, etc, can all be cracked easily (with the exception of the newer Starforce protections, which are very annoying). With HL2, cracking requires more than just a replacement of a single executable file. It requires a total restructuring of file locations and access processes. As anti-piracy efforts grow more and more zealous, further DRM-like security measures will be enforced, making it harder to play games when you want to. In the future, it wouldn't surprise me if publishers created dedicated authentication servers that check the CRC of every file in your game directory. Overkill? Arguably so. Nuisance? Definitely.

98.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 18:35
98.
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 18:35
Feb 7, 2005, 18:35
 
I am aware of 6 class actions in the works against Valve and Steam.

Most of which are simply going to be thrown out, as they're just lawyers trying to get a piece of a rather large pie.

Steam is BAD for gaming NO MATTER WHAT.

How can you say that? Is it bad for HL2 right now? Probably. Is it bad for gaming as a whole no matter what? Uh... do you honestly think "NO MATTER WHAT" makes you seem even remotely intelligent?

What if they stopped using it as a piracy protection and it simply became content delivery. A few more developers then jump on the bandwagon. Now free from publisher restraints they spend more time making the game they want.

Is it still bad for gaming? No. Maybe in it's current incarnation you can make the argument, but dude, "NO MATTER WHAT" is never something you want to say in an argument, because there's almost always a matter that changes things.

97.
 
Gamers: Screwing themselves again.
Feb 7, 2005, 18:24
97.
Gamers: Screwing themselves again. Feb 7, 2005, 18:24
Feb 7, 2005, 18:24
 
For years, large corporate game publishers have been setting all the
rules for gamers and game developers alike. Valve software, because
they are privately funded, has a chance to change the way games are
not only distributed, but the amount of control that the corporate
pointy-hairs wield. What do gamers do? They promptly shoot
themselves in the foot by whining about how steam isn't perfect.

And it's not. Steam still has all kinds of things that bug me.
However, Steam is a huge step in what I believe is the right
direction.

Game publishers have been REQUIRING that more and more copy
protections be added to games. These protections often make the game
UNPLAYABLE to PAYING CUSTOMERS. (Note the idiocy of Vivendi in
requiring a CD check for the CD version of HL2.) They go as far as
installing stealth DRIVERS for your hardware to enable these copy
protections.

Steam offers an alternative. True, it requires an internet
connection. (Oh no.) True, it's not perfect. But it's got a MUCH
better future then the alternative.

Not only does Steam offer an alternative way of authentication, it
ALSO offers and alternative method of distribution. The beauty is NOT
that distribution occurs over the internet. The beauty is that
distribution is easily available to small developers.

No need to fight for shelf space at distribution outlets. No need to
coordinate mass-production facilities and release dates

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 18:25.
96.
 
You guys are still playing Half-Life 2?
Feb 7, 2005, 17:48
96.
You guys are still playing Half-Life 2? Feb 7, 2005, 17:48
Feb 7, 2005, 17:48
 
Half-Life 2 is an old game. No one plays HL2 anymore.

I never read the EULA and I always click next.

We're just talking about a game here. It's cheap enough. We can all afford to blow $60 bucks on a game every now and then.

Besides, Steam works with Dialup accounts. And you don't need an online connection to play the single player or lan party mode. Just uncheck the box.

Now go eat some cheese and get happy!

95.
 
First Sale Applies to Software
Feb 7, 2005, 17:43
95.
First Sale Applies to Software Feb 7, 2005, 17:43
Feb 7, 2005, 17:43
 
Point of First Sale does not apply to software, at least in the US, because you're being given a license to use the software, you're not purchasing it outright
LOL!

First, that legal principle in U.S. copyright law is called "first sale". Second, it is specified in section 109 of the United States Copyright Act, and it does supercede any EULA. You can read a very good description of what it is and why it applies despite any EULA agreement at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine . Make sure that you read the case of Softman v. Adobe from 2001 which upheld the principle of first sale in relation to computer software.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 17:44.
94.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 17:40
94.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 17:40
Feb 7, 2005, 17:40
 
Which is exactly what he said. Read the precursor sentence where he said "if it required...".

He edited another section of his post that makes his post more clear. I'll adjust my post.

AFAIK, it was only sold on DVD in Europe.


I didnt edit any part of my post actually , I fixed the link in my sig, and I live in Northern europe, I dont hate Steam, but I can see there are some issues


My HL2DM map Cliff3_grass, inspired by the Action Half-life map
http://bicyclerepairman.shackspace.com/HL2DM_cliff3_grass.zip
EDIT;damn ! had to fix it again, better go and change it!
This comment was edited on Feb 7, 17:41.
93.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 17:32
93.
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 17:32
Feb 7, 2005, 17:32
 
and if you all keep bitching about steam...halflife 3 will never see the light of day. Thank you very much for ruining one of the few developers who actually made somthing decent and innovative. Congratulations...will all be stuck with EA and their crappy game collections and have to deal with mediocre....thanks you prick

92.
 
Re: No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 17:30
92.
Re: No subject Feb 7, 2005, 17:30
Feb 7, 2005, 17:30
 
and you come to this detailed, rude and unexplainable reason for what??

171 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 4.
Newer [  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ] Older