Neoseeker : News : Steam adjusts subscriber agreement to prevent class action lawsuits
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Aeolus426 Jul 31, 12
"The new update to the Steam Subscriber Agreement effectively eliminates class action lawsuits when it involves transaction disputes."

haven't they learn from SONY, at least in my state of California you can't take away the right to file a class action lawsuit.
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VeGiTAX2 Jul 31, 12
Odd, I was just looking at their subscriber agreement when I bought Kungfu Strike for a friend and figured it was rare to see something updated 2 years ago. So much for that, although I can see the desire to develop some protections, even if it's frivolous they still end up spending money hiring lawyers to represent them in the case until it's dismissed.

Given I don't have a ton of issues getting refunds from Valve I can't see where this would come up specifically. Maybe the recent issues with GTA / Batman / Burnout / Ubi and etc all sparked this to come up though as a preventative measure.
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ShadowJ Jul 31, 12
Oh hey look Valve just pulled an EA but no one is ripping them a new one...what a surprise
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lKasHl Jul 31, 12
quote Aeolus426
"The new update to the Steam Subscriber Agreement effectively eliminates class action lawsuits when it involves transaction disputes."

haven't they learn from SONY, at least in my state of California you can't take away the right to file a class action lawsuit.
Even if they cant prevent people from launching a class action, this should strengthen Valves position in the event of a class action. Since Valve offer an arbitration facility for customers to easily rectify issues and since the claimant has a responsibility to mitigate their losses, higher courts will likely rule that arbitration should have been the first resort.

quote VeGiTAX2
Given I don't have a ton of issues getting refunds from Valve I can't see where this would come up specifically. Maybe the recent issues with GTA / Batman / Burnout / Ubi and etc all sparked this to come up though as a preventative measure.
Yep, definitely sounds like only a preventative measure, from experience I don't know many friends who have had transaction issues and of those that did, valve customer support was more than happy to rectify any payment issues without escalation. The intention just seems to be to prevent a couple of money hungry lawyers from attempting to profitise on the occasional unintentional error Valve's transaction system might make.
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Lorx Jul 31, 12
quote ShadowJ
Oh hey look Valve just pulled an EA but no one is ripping them a new one...what a surprise
It's almost like they're not pulling an EA.
  • Can still dispute transactions
  • Can still go to small claims court
  • Valve will reimburse your arbitration costs
This is regular Valve. They'll act like a business, they are a business, that's what they do, but they don't mess with their users in the process.
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Aeolus426 Jul 31, 12
quote Lorx
[quote=ShadowJ] but they don't mess with their users in the process.
i'm sure trying to illegally take something away from their users is messing with them.
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Lorx Jul 31, 12
quote Aeolus426
quote Lorx
but they don't mess with their users in the process.
i'm sure trying to illegally take something away from their users is messing with them.
I'd assume it's void where it would be illegal or the law is worded so that if you sign off the right, you sign off the right. Like every other decently made legal document in existence. And don't forget Microsoft has also done this for the 360. The fact that any major company added this to their legal documentation after the lawsuit was filed against Sony should be a rather large red flag to anybody who thought the man had ground to stand on.This is stuff I can only assume lawyers look over before writing up something similar, and if they looked over it, and then wrote up something similar anyway, that's a rather large sign for "he's not going to win".

Here's what Valve has to say on it (article's source), and really, they're right. If for some reason somebody needs to sue Valve, it'll be an individual thing. Writing it up as a class action would be making a mountain out of a molehill. And users can still sue as individuals, they are not limited in any way except for class-actions, which are big deals, stuff that is far larger than however much your game library is actually worth. This is stuff that gets counted in millions of dollars, stuff that is huge, major stuff, that would not actually apply to any of us.

Now stop there for a second, pause, and think about that specifically for a second, how this doesn't actually apply to us. Because, from a surface glance, that...really makes no sense right? I mean, it's limitation...on us right? How can it not...affect us?

The answer is really super simple, and most game publishers say it on a monthly basis:

This is a service industry


How does that matter? What does it...mean? Well, it really is what it is. Being a game publisher means you're job is to market items to consumers, and provide services to them. With the industry pumping out DLC and patches for games over time, this means a lasting service that can go from months to years. It's why many people don't pirate games. If a publishers says "OKAY GUYS WE'RE GONNA DERP NOW" and do something that affects it's consumers negatively, those people are just going to pirate the games, and the company makes nothing. That's why specific games get pirated many times more than others, even if they are similarly popular. It's why Mass Effect 3 will almost certainly be remembered as the most pirated game of the year. It's why many companies are choosing very lax DRM, because hyper annoying stuff like what Assassin's Creed 2 had made people not want to buy the game.

If Valve ever does something that's worth even half of a class action lawsuit, you can bet money that it would harm them more than that actual lawsuit would do to them. They're in the service industry. A service company with terrible service will just not get used. People will go to Origin, D2D, Impulse, GoG, PirateBay, or whatever else they choose, and Valve will basically just die. Far before any class action lawsuit hit Valve and rained down justice on whatever it did, every person affected would have just moved on and gone somewhere else for that game, content, whatever. Effectively making that lawsuit, not affect us at all.
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Aeolus426 Aug 1, 12
All games are interactive are thus making them art pieces not services. patches, dlc and online multiplayer are not services they choose to have that. a service is an act of helpful activity. they are producing a product and saying 'pay us for making it'. the 'service' they use is the kind i learned while working in retail. if you get a retail job your interviewer will ask "Whats the difference between customer service and selling?" and the answer is that service is just getting them what they want so you get the money and selling is getting them basically hooked so they come back.

If you tried to take them to court for some $50 transaction S-C-R-E-W* up the judge will laugh make them pay you and they free to pinch pockets again. in my eyes a clas action is a way of telling the defending partty that we know what they did is wrong and will not be tolerated. if you were a ceo would you rather have all of your pissed off customers try to take you to court one by one over time as you spend their money or would you rather they spend their money to take you to court for all your worth in one case?
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Grimdark Aug 1, 12
I don't believe companies should be able to force users to sign off rights like class-actions simply because Valve's expecting to *bleep* up sometime in the future and doesn't want to lose millions because of it.
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Aeolus426 Aug 1, 12
quote DC Sniper
I don't believe companies should be able to force users to sign off rights like class-actions simply because Valve's expecting to *bleep* up sometime in the future and doesn't want to lose millions because of it.
see some one understands and isn't blind to the injustic

quote Lorx
If a publishers says "OKAY GUYS WE'RE GONNA DERP NOW" and do something that affects it's consumers negatively, those people are just going to pirate the games, and the company makes nothing.
Wrong and heres why. it would be better and safer for people to file a class action than to pirate. untill Kopimism (my religion) is recognized outside of Sweden the courts will always see and deem file sharing as stealing. so if people pirate even just as a way to boycott then the companies will have them tracked and taken to court. because of that people are too afraid and sites are going down. right now they dont need to worry unless people stop buying games and lucky them a lot just shut up take the as* *bleep* and say 'thank you mistress may i have another?'
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Lorx Aug 1, 12
Aeolus, Publishers = Service Industry.
Developers = Whatever

Publishers don't make the games, they just publish them. Valve is both, this is something for Steam, the platform used to publish games.

Service industry. If you don't like their service, go to another service provider. I buy from them because I trust they won't mess with me, they haven't in the past five years, and there's been no big signs of that changing.
You have the option to run off another service provider, though I'm not sure why you would bother right now.

Pirating is illegal in most countries and should be illegal, but that's not the issue here, and that's not what publishers should be arguing (nor is it relevant here, it happens, and it can be done, that's all that matters to this).
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ShadowJ Aug 1, 12
quote Lorx
quote ShadowJ
Oh hey look Valve just pulled an EA but no one is ripping them a new one...what a surprise
It's almost like they're not pulling an EA.
  • Can still dispute transactions
  • Can still go to small claims court
  • Valve will reimburse your arbitration costs
This is regular Valve. They'll act like a business, they are a business, that's what they do, but they don't mess with their users in the process.
Ironically enough every bit of that is also in the Origin and EA EULA...I looked it over about a month ago when it was being discussed in a previous article but decided my time would be spent better elsewhere, so didn't bother to mention it.

Thing is I am not arguing against Valve changing their agreement or what they have changed it to. I just find it ironic that after a few months after EA's controversy change that Valve feel they must change theirs to signify the same thing.

I can't remember exactly what was said but I do remember someone commented on a Neo article and was bitching about how EA "took" away their rights for class action lawsuits and blah blah blah.

EVERYONE was up in arms about it, outraged and so on and yet only a couple of people are "disgraced" by it when Valve do it. Granted that there was also the "collection of personal information" issue with Origin's EULA and the fact EA were inclined to not publicly announce the changes but if you scrape away the lack of announcement and the collection of personal information issues...both EA's and Valve's agreements BOTH state the exact same thing regarding class action lawsuits.

My point...anyone from this point onward complaining about EA refusing people's rights to a class action lawsuit cannot do so without complaining about Valve within the same sentence

Like I said in a previous article, I'm done with commenting on Neoseeker articles now..the comments bore me and it's the same pretty much every time
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Lorx Aug 1, 12
The difference here being EA has already pulled multiple stunts that make gamers rightfully wary of what they do. Whereas, Valve has historically been the exact opposite at every turn. You are not going to win out in a battle of "You trust Valve, why don't you trust EA?". You know that already through experience. You're complaining that it's unjust to say that suing Fox News is different from suing CNN. While the fine line is the same, the people hiding behind it are different. I actually trust news I hear from CNN on the rare occasion I listen to it, whereas Fox News would be something you watch to have a laugh.

I don't recall any point where Valve received a class-action lawsuit, nor is google finding any. But when searching for EA it only took three results before a hit was a class action that was filed, and it wasn't even about the hilarious ban system Origin had, or how much the program spies on your running stuff! gamegrep
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MrGrimm Aug 1, 12
As long as Steam doesn't take the games I have bought away, I'm happy enough. I only halfway read the user agreement before I went "f-it" and clicked accept. It didn't seem to say anything like, "we gon install some viruses on your computer k".
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