German Consumer Group Sues Valve

Bostur

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albino boo said:
Bostur said:
albino boo said:
If you read the steam Eula, it says all sales in the european union take place under UK law. This term was introduced to get round the German courts.
Just because someone writes something doesn't make it true. I doubt Valve can bypass national laws like that, but I'm no lawyer so I may be mistaken.

I think it's great if this area will get some attention. When buying games most of my consumer rights is being bypassed and I doubt that everything that EULAs claim are actually enforcable. It seems like a bit of a loophole that copyright laws can be bypassed like this by claiming that games are not actually sold.

It's tricky when a whole industry decides to change how the business works. What if car manufacturers decides not to sell cars anymore but only offer rentals? Or selling a license to use the car without actually transfering ownership. I think similar business practices could be used for physical products, it's not really something that is unique for intellectual property.
The EULA was written by someone who charges £700-£1000 an hour and they more about EU law than you do. They are not bypassing national law so much as using the single market rules and the internationally accepted principal that parties to a contract can choose what jurisdiction they use.
I'm certainly no expert in international law, or EU law for that matter. But for other products I know there are certain rights that I can't sign away. What international trade is concerned I had the impression that it is the laws of the country where the product is marketed that applies. So a US company selling something in Italy would have to comply with Italian law for instance.

Of course if nothing is sold - as EULAs tend to claim, then that may be the technicality that makes the difference.

But whatever the case. This is a political topic for me, more than a legal one. And I hope the German case will add some publicity to what I believe is a murky area for consumers. I'm certainly not happy about Valve or Microsoft making up their own rules. And signing a complicated contract for buying a product worth 40 Euro or less is just ridiculous.
 

Something Amyss

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Zeckt said:
It's amazing how consumer loyalty works for companies that actually deserve trust. And if Germany wants to sell downloadable games and sell multiple copies of them for a penny and call that legal, then steam has no reason to sell to them at all.

Infact, why not open a site and sell full price games on your own website after buying them from steam for a 1$ for your own profit? it would happen, and giving in to these people would cause a snowball effect that would cannibalize online gaming. If I were Gabe I would cut off the German's entirely to prevent that. And I admit, I would like them to give this group a kick in the balls for potentially ruining digital downloads.
I love how you preach deserved loyalty and then promote totalitarian action.
 

Defenestra

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I get why Valve doesn't have resale yet. It's not like most of the pubishers whose software is sold through Steam were weting themselves with glee about the prospect of used game sales.

But the software licensing model of game distrubution is hardly a flawless edifice worthy of our eternal gratitude. Actually, it's kind of bullshit. Especially given that any book, movie, or CD I purchase, which are also creative products with a market value that tends to drop off after its initial release period, can be resold. The digital versions of these things cannot, granted, but that's why I don't buy the digital versions.

One could make a decent case for the license model of game distribution being a bad thing. Being able to sell one's old games allows people to purchase new games at a lower effective price while still giving the publisher full price for the new game. Price of game for the user becoming stickerprice - resale price.
 

FoolKiller

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I thought the ruling stated that resale of digital good was allowed in Germany but Valve and others don't have to provide any utility to do so.

Meaning you could sell your entire profile (which is against the TOS) and be allowed to do it. I would be okay with that.
 

RedDeadFred

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Falterfire said:
RedDeadFred said:
The amount of people on these forums blinded by their love of Valve is astounding sometimes. Not that I think they're evil, they're a company just like any other. Just better at manipulating their consumers.
Ultimately it comes down to a fundamental difference: Valve is selling single-user nontransferable licenses, which in the PC world is the accepted method of selling pretty much all non-game software, so applying it to games isn't much of a stretch. Therefore accepting what Valve does and how they handle things is easy. EA tends to do limited single-user nontransferable licenses in a bid to further limit the existing system, which is the source of most of the anger.
I dunno, I think the main reason people accept what Valve is doing is because there's not really any good alternative. You can buy the hard copy but that's getting harder and harder to do. I don't really need to state why Origin isn't a good alternative.

For me, it boils down to: if I buy a game on my PS3 or 360, once I'm done with it, I can sell it or give it to a friend. You can't do that with Steam even though you are paying the same price (usually). I have no idea how they could make this work so that you can give/sell your used games to you friends but I'm sure they could figure it out if they wanted to and if enough of their users bothered to ask. This won't happen though because nobody seems to think there should be an alternative. This is what happens when Valve gets to have a monopoly over the digital retail of video games for such a long time. Even though Origin isn't all that great right now, I still think it's a good thing because it introduces more competition. Valve needs more competition or else they have no reason to change.
 

wildpeaks

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It would be handy is if Steam would allow reselling games on Steam itself: Valve could still get a percentage of the transaction, DRM wouldn't be a problem given it's still all on Steam and people may be more likely to spend 60$ on a pre-order if they knew they can get some back when they resell it.

I can imagine editors wouldn't be too fond of that however.
 

Zeckt

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Zeckt said:
It's amazing how consumer loyalty works for companies that actually deserve trust. And if Germany wants to sell downloadable games and sell multiple copies of them for a penny and call that legal, then steam has no reason to sell to them at all.

Infact, why not open a site and sell full price games on your own website after buying them from steam for a 1$ for your own profit? it would happen, and giving in to these people would cause a snowball effect that would cannibalize online gaming. If I were Gabe I would cut off the German's entirely to prevent that. And I admit, I would like them to give this group a kick in the balls for potentially ruining digital downloads.
I love how you preach deserved loyalty and then promote totalitarian action.
I don't care. They would ruin digital downloads for everyone with their greed and then constant reselling of more then one copy and it has to be stopped. If they want their games for free then they can make their own. And if you think you can tell me they would not abuse it like that then that's bullshit, because that's the way consumerism works. If it can potentially be abused it WILL to the absolute worst way possible. Losers making profit by selling it for a $, or giving it away for a penny THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
 

Genocidicles

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Good. Anything that gives more rights to customers is A-OK in my book.

Ah! And already the corporate apologists run to the defence of the people who've been screwing them over for years.
 

Colt47

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To sell a game digitally all you have to do is have the key that lets you play the game detached from the account service and transferred to another individual. That's not the same as copying software: without the key you can't play the game (unless of course you crack it, but that can be detectable using a client side service.) So yeah, it's possible to resell digital software.

The exception would be completely DRM free games that lack keys, but those are primarily the domain of Good old Games, which are at this point torrented like crazy. It sounds like either I missed something on the story, or people in this thread are making some rather strange assumptions about the claims and how this would actually work...
 

Davroth

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Geez, I really hope they don't push it too far. I'd hate to loose Steam service in Germany. -.-
 

Anti-American Eagle

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Nimzabaat said:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.
There's a difference, we like valve's business practice of not ruining franchises...
 

triorph

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Colt47 said:
To sell a game digitally all you have to do is have the key that lets you play the game detached from the account service and transferred to another individual. That's not the same as copying software: without the key you can't play the game (unless of course you crack it, but that can be detectable using a client side service.) So yeah, it's possible to resell digital software.

The exception would be completely DRM free games that lack keys, but those are primarily the domain of Good old Games, which are at this point torrented like crazy. It sounds like either I missed something on the story, or people in this thread are making some rather strange assumptions about the claims and how this would actually work...
I don't understand why people keep missing this point. It's so obvious. There is no difference between digital games and other transferrable real world items like books. If you were to sell your game on steam, then steam would revoke your key and you would not have the game anymore. If you were to crack it, then you might have a playable game, but this would a) only be single player, and b) be no different to what you can already do immorally. You would still be breaking the law, and you would still be immorally playing a cracked game. You also couldn't sell the same game more than once, because you would really be selling the game-key, with the downloads and other services that steam offers with it.

I should preface this that I like what steam has done, with their sales they've introduced competition that has been much needed in the game industry. That said I still disagree with them on this one issue. Really the only even remotely reasonable defense for steam's actions is that it allows for these cheap sales, and they wouldn't be able to sustain them with used game sales. Even so I think this should happen, as consumer's rights are more important than cheaper games (and would probably result in cheaper games anyway).
 

Bat Vader

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I think it would be pretty cool if Valve allowed players to sell their used digital games for funds for their Steam Wallets. They already have the marketplace on Steam to sell items. It could work for games too. If Valve is worried about profits they could easily make it so that they get 15% of what the sale makes.
 

Doom-Slayer

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Question. WHy dont they jsut remove the restriction from their TOS but just not have a feature to enable it? Then say

"Oh its perfectly legal to transfer or sell games to someone else, but sadly we just havent implemented that feature yet"

Seems easy to do..
 

Orks da best

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Nimzabaat said:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.
yea when it comes to valve, people here are baised, if this was related to Ea or any other ccompany really there be all for the customer, not the company, but no its valve and there "the best company Eva!"

ugh...
 

Something Amyss

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Zeckt said:
I don't care. They would ruin digital downloads for everyone with their greed and then constant reselling of more then one copy and it has to be stopped.
Before you edited this, it sounded like you were talking about Valve. XD

If they want their games for free then they can make their own.
Strawman.

And if you think you can tell me they would not abuse it like that then that's bullshit, because that's the way consumerism works. If it can potentially be abused it WILL to the absolute worst way possible. Losers making profit by selling it for a $, or giving it away for a penny THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
Yes. Ignoring the fact it hasn't happened elsewhere in other cases and the model you proposed is completely unsustainable it WILL happen, because...Ponies, I guess.

All of this hyperbole to try and attack people for going after monopolistic and totalitarian behaviour.
 

lacktheknack

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Nimzabaat said:
I love this thread!

EA uses DRM to slightly penalize used game sales = EA is the devil and is destroying video games
Valve uses DRM to completely negate used games sales = Rally the troops to Valve's defense!!!

That's just too funny.
Two different audiences.

EA was restricting a common - even traditional - action and console gamers were ticked because of it.

Personally, it didn't bother me. If that's what it takes to keep AAA extravaganzas cheap, then so it goes.

Steam, however, is for the PC crowd. We haven't had a used game market for YEARS. The lack thereof doesn't bother me either, partly from "this is how it's been for all of recent memory" and partly from the fact that I don't like selling my things. Combine this with my inherent dislike of suing, and yeah, I feel perfectly justified in siding with Valve. Why poke more holes in their rights management (reselling digital is a hell of a thing to regulate) and risk losing tons of their great deals because a few people (and yes, it IS just a few, or else this would have come up long ago) want to resell their stuff because they couldn't be bothered to adequately research it/manage their spending better?

EDIT: Accounting for people who want it because "I <3 user rights" and such, but don't actually want to sell their games, I guess it is more than a few, but basing off of that, it's not really grounds for suing as far as I'm concerned. It's grounds for not buy Valve-distributed goods.
 
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albino boo said:
The EULA was written by someone who charges £700-£1000 an hour and they more about EU law than you do. They are not bypassing national law so much as using the single market rules and the internationally accepted principal that parties to a contract can choose what jurisdiction they use.
If you do business in Germany you are bound by German law and German courts. Despite what companies try to tell you there is nothing to circumvent that.
 

Albino Boo

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NiceJobBreakingItHero said:
albino boo said:
The EULA was written by someone who charges £700-£1000 an hour and they more about EU law than you do. They are not bypassing national law so much as using the single market rules and the internationally accepted principal that parties to a contract can choose what jurisdiction they use.
If you do business in Germany you are bound by German law and German courts. Despite what companies try to tell you there is nothing to circumvent that.
Apart from the small point the valve Europe in based in the UK. So you might be in Germany but you are doing business in the UK which under the single market rules is perfectly permissible