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.
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171 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 8.
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31.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
31.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
 
I can ubderstand why people would be pissed if after purchasing the game they discovered they must maintain some sort of 'relationship' with Steam in order to use the product. Shame on Valve if they failed to disclose this properly.

Yup. And they didn't -- at least on the box. From what I could understand, the German case looks to have a good bit of weight to it -- particularly if the EULA wasn't available in German.

And yes, you should be able to play it without having Steam installed. They screwed up here. It should've validated during installation and then never used Steam unless you wanted to do something other than Single Player.

30.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
nin
 
30.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
Feb 7, 2005, 11:56
 nin
 
You are a wreckless ass kisser of conformity.

This is beautiful. You should be forced to post here daily!


I saw that line and thought you'd like it!
(Actually, I thought you'd put it in your .sig.)

May 3rd, 2005 - "We are preparing to destroy you." http://www.nin.com

http://www.beck.com/news/ ? Hell Yes!
29.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:54
29.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:54
Feb 7, 2005, 11:54
 
"What the fuck!"

Man you are such a literal idiot. I never insulted germany. and besides if you owned a busienss or administrated a network you would know what my comments meant. No business is going to invest funds in casual user workstaions to meet high end gaming system needs unless it's a developer environment with a need to know.

You obviously are misinformed. and yeah its no big secrets there are good americans and bad ones. So what? Everyone I've ever had a fight with unfortunately has been american though and I'm american myself. I guess that means nothing...

And lastly Dagok, maybe their are a lot of people that would like to express their feeling about the Steam matter, but not many know where to go to have voice. It's a good thing you're not the Prime Minister of gaming affairs.

Then we all would be fucktards.


This comment was edited on Feb 7, 12:23.
-The Dude-

Vic B.
28.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:51
28.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:51
Feb 7, 2005, 11:51
 
Valve in past commentary always spoke of Steam and Half Life 2 being two separate products

No they didn't. They made it very clear that HL2 was going to be tightly integrated with Steam. In fact, at points they had planned even tighter integration, to the point where you wouldn't even be able to play single player without validating. At least they walked away from that cliff.

27.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:47
Bronco
 
27.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:47
Feb 7, 2005, 11:47
 Bronco
 
You are a wreckless ass kisser of conformity.

This is beautiful. You should be forced to post here daily!



As for the subject matter, I can understand why people would be pissed if after purchasing the game they discovered they must maintain some sort of 'relationship' with Steam in order to use the product. Shame on Valve if they failed to disclose this properly.

edit - spelling and a disclaimer that I don't agree with all of The Dude's statements - but I do find them highly entertaining.

Oh, and JediLuke has to be around here somewhere right?

-TPFKAS2S
http://www.braglio.com
teh m4y0r ownz a GabeN b4ckp4k
http://www.azurebrigade.com
- WoW Guild / Board

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 11:53.
-TPFKAS2S
Avatar 10139
26.
 
Offline
Feb 7, 2005, 11:46
26.
Offline Feb 7, 2005, 11:46
Feb 7, 2005, 11:46
 
The only problem I've ever had with offline mode is that it takes friggin forever before the game starts. Usually steam starts right away, but if you're disconnected, it will sit there for a good 1 - 2 min "phoning home" before it gives up. After it asks if you want to play in offline mode or quit. Then it all worked the same.

25.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deutschland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:45
25.
Re: Let's hear it for Deutschland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:45
Feb 7, 2005, 11:45
 
that agree with this kind of seruptious policy.

Seruptious? That's not a word. That's not even close to a word.

I agree though, something needs to be done about blatant piracy.

Ok. So what do you propose?

If I decide to install this app on another system which I am about to do. due to incessant need to upgrade my fucking hardware and redeploy MS Windows XP Pro to another box from my RIS server running M$.

Care to restate that in English? It made no sense whatsoever.

Valve needs to send us quote:"legal responsible owners" of Half Life 2 a link to a binary that we can download and activate our product offline as we need.

Yeah, because we all know that that stops piracy cold and would only be used by legitimate owners. Uh huh.

Steam is far from perfect, and I disagree with some of Valve's policies in regards to it, but I have no issues with requiring initial validation over the Internet, or with requiring validation before playing online. The offline bits are another matter, and it sounds like Valve didn't do a very good job here.

That said, The Inquirer is hardly a reliable news site, particularly when it comes to legal issues. Some of the points being raised are invalid. 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 (which is another issue I disagree with to a large extent, but the courts have firmly decided on this issue now). Similarly, I doubt that you'd be entitled to a refund in the UK on HL2 anymore than you would be for a MMORPG that you enabled the key on -- because the real value is not the software on the disk, it's the registration code.

24.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:41
24.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:41
Feb 7, 2005, 11:41
 
Spoken like a true drunken barfly.

I don't give a shit about where you're from as much as you have no idea what I do and didn't know.

I may have commented on matters regarding Steam and Half Life but Valave mislead the public by not stating that their Source Engine is built on Steam API.

Valve in past commentary always spoke of Steam and Half Life 2 being two separate products and when I eventually purchased the game. On launch date. I was surprise to see the Steam app taking control of the install wizard as well the executables command strings. Not to metion my inability to run the game if I uninstalled it.

Like I said before Yesman: keep up with your campaign of misinformation... there's no hope for you.


This comment was edited on Feb 7, 12:40.
-The Dude-

Vic B.
23.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:38
23.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:38
Feb 7, 2005, 11:38
 
Wow you really are a biggot arent you? First you make a general insult about Americans, now you are making general statements about the technology level of Germany. And you are the know all of who has what computer systems around the world?

Ass kisser? Nope. Anyone that actually knows me, would tell you quite different. If I was an ass kisser, would I be here telling you and everyone else bitching about trivial matters to grow the fuck up and get a life? Like really...this topic has been beat to death for almost a year. Some lawyer thinks they have a case against a EULA. Isn't the first time and it won't be the last. But it has nothing to do with offline mode and all that other crap. Should Vivendi have put something in the EULA about Steam...probably. Does it affect 99.99999% of the people that bought the game? No. Just the fucktards that have to find something to bitch about.

----------------------------------------------------
Zero Tolerance Games Counter-Strike: Source server.
http://www.ztgames.com
22.
 
Saw this...
Feb 7, 2005, 11:30
22.
Saw this... Feb 7, 2005, 11:30
Feb 7, 2005, 11:30
 
coming from a mile away.

I'm willing to bet within 6 months, you won't even need Steam installed anymore to play HL2, Steam is going to turn into "All Seeing Eye"

Avatar 21946
21.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
21.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
 
Damn dude,

At least I know where you stand 'Dagok'. No point debating anything in a forum with you. You are a wreckless ass kisser of conformity.

but in parting. The way I see it, it has nothing to do with Offline mode as much is has to do with ambiguity.

And I doubt very seriouly someone is going to be runing Half Life 2 on a corporate workstation given most specs on business systems especially Germany.
-The Dude-

Vic B.
20.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
nin
 
20.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
 nin
 
I have been summoned. LOL





edit:
Nin, you know that doesn't work. All evidence of a connection, including the wiring itself, has to be removed from the PC to prevent Steam from trying to log in.

I guess I've been lucky with modem use. Never had a problem...but that doesn't mean others haven't had a problem...



May 3rd, 2005 - "We are preparing to destroy you." http://www.nin.com

http://www.beck.com/news/ ? Hell Yes!
This comment was edited on Feb 7, 11:30.
19.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
19.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
Feb 7, 2005, 11:29
 
I for one didn't realize Steam was embedded/ Binded into
the product and the game engine. I

That is absolute bullshit and you know it. You were involved in the HL2 news threads prior to the release.

BTW, Who said I'm American you twit? Keep flapping those gums, maybe you will get the bullshit out eventually.

----------------------------------------------------
Zero Tolerance Games Counter-Strike: Source server.
http://www.ztgames.com
18.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
18.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
 
This thread is gonna bring out all the whiners, babies, idiots and morons.

Well you're here, so that's a start


17.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
17.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
Feb 7, 2005, 11:27
 
double post.
This comment was edited on Feb 7, 11:30.
16.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:23
16.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:23
Feb 7, 2005, 11:23
 
Somebody page Riley...
I have been summoned. LOL

Why didn't you just right click on your network adapter and select "disable"?
He may not be using Windows XP. Half-Life 2 doesn't require it according to the system requirements.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 11:25.
15.
 
No subject
Feb 7, 2005, 11:21
15.
No subject Feb 7, 2005, 11:21
Feb 7, 2005, 11:21
 
Nin, you know that doesn't work. All evidence of a connection, including the wiring itself, has to be removed from the PC to prevent Steam from trying to log in.

Go read their boards, you'll find others who have to go that far too.

Avatar 13929
14.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:20
14.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:20
Feb 7, 2005, 11:20
 
Well Dagok,

I for one didn't realize Steam was embedded/ Binded into the product and the game engine. I was under the impression systems was an alternative delivery system that you/ I the user had a choice in the matter of installing or not.

So, to be honest I don't think of myself as a whiner or a baby. But I can certainly categorize you as a YESMAN.

You probably are the type of person who agrees without question to policy that you don't care are trite, incompusing and flagrant.

"The meek are indeed having their way with the world!"

And beside, from most conversations I have with typical Americans they always say negative things about the English anyway. So why would you entertain what some shitty UK site says.
-The Dude-

Vic B.
13.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:19
13.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:19
Feb 7, 2005, 11:19
 
and then never dare put it back or else the next time I run Steam, it reverts to online mode and attempts to connect (Whether the modem is on or not).

So why dont you do something proactive about it and contact Valve? They fixed the other Offline mode problems very quickly before. I really havent messed with offline mode because I don't need it. I have never not been able to connect to Steam and if sometime I ever couldn't...I'd just do something else, it's not the end of the world.

But this isnt what the article is about now is it? The game requires an Internet Connection, it says so on the box. Offline mode is not something they owe you.

----------------------------------------------------
Zero Tolerance Games Counter-Strike: Source server.
http://www.ztgames.com
12.
 
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland..
Feb 7, 2005, 11:15
nin
 
12.
Re: Let's hear it for Deustchland.. Feb 7, 2005, 11:15
Feb 7, 2005, 11:15
 nin
 
However, I WASN'T aware that to keep Steam in offline mode, I would have to disconnect my DSL modem and actually go as far as to remove my network in windows

Why didn't you just right click on your network adapter and select "disable"?



May 3rd, 2005 - "We are preparing to destroy you." http://www.nin.com

http://www.beck.com/news/ ? Hell Yes!
171 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 8.
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