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Steam Has An Updated Subscriber Agreement

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For those of you that use Steam, it should be noted that their agreements have been updated, so you should probably take a look. These things are usually quite important to read, but I imagine quite a lot of people don't bother.

You can see the full agreement at this link, but thanks to SteamDB we also have a diff checker here, so you can see the differences.

One interesting change is this:
QuotePromotions and Endorsements

If you use Steam services (e.g. the Steam Curators’ Lists or the Steam Broadcasting service) to promote or endorse a product, service or event in return for any kind of consideration from a third party (including non-monetary rewards such as free games), you must clearly indicate the source of such consideration to your audience.

If you curate, or stream directly on Steam and get something for your endorsement, you need to state it. Sounds pretty reasonable right?

Make sure you're up to date with your rights folks.
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24 comments
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minj 23 March 2015 at 10:29 am UTC
Quote(ii) host or provide matchmaking services for the Content and Services or emulate or redirect the communication protocols used by Valve in any network feature of the Content and Services, through protocol emulation, tunneling, modifying or adding components to the Content and Services, use of a utility program or any other techniques now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose including, but not limited to network play over the Internet, network play utilizing commercial or non-commercial gaming networks or as part of content aggregation networks, websites or services, without the prior written consent of Valve
this is old but nonetheless interesting

QuoteIF YOU ARE AN EU SUBSCRIBER, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW FROM A PURCHASE TRANSACTION FOR DIGITAL CONTENT WITHOUT CHARGE AND WITHOUT GIVING ANY REASON FOR A DURATION OF FOURTEEN DAYS OR UNTIL VALVE’S PERFORMANCE OF ITS OBLIGATIONS HAS BEGUN WITH YOUR PRIOR EXPRESS CONSENT AND YOUR ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT YOU THEREBY LOSE YOUR RIGHT OF WITHDRAWAL, WHICHEVER HAPPENS SOONER. THEREFORE, YOU WILL BE INFORMED DURING THE CHECKOUT PROCESS WHEN OUR PERFORMANCE STARTS AND ASKED TO PROVIDE YOUR PRIOR EXPRESS CONSENT TO THE PURCHASE BEING FINAL.

Now this is too legalise for me. It reads like we have that right but actually we don't because all purchases will include a mandatory checkmark to waive that right, or did I misunderstand it?

Is that even legal? o.0
Bomyne 23 March 2015 at 11:22 am UTC
minjNow this is too legalise for me. It reads like we have that right but actually we don't because all purchases will include a mandatory checkmark to waive that right, or did I misunderstand it?

Is that even legal? o.0

If i understand it correctly, you have a right to a refund until you consume the product. That might include playing the game after a certain point.

Imagine going to McDonalds and buying a big mac. If McD ran by that agreement, then you have a right to a refund until you stick that big mac in your mouth and chow down on it.

That's my understanding anyway.
tuubi 23 March 2015 at 11:41 am UTC
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minjIs that even legal? o.0
No it's not, but lawyers always think they can game the system. These subscriber or license agreements always have tons of stuff that would never hold in court. American (and increasingly European) big business is so used to the fact that the one with the deepest pockets wins anyway, and consumer complaints can basically be shrugged off.

BomyneImagine going to McDonalds and buying a big mac. If McD ran by that agreement, then you have a right to a refund until you stick that big mac in your mouth and chow down on it.
Laws like this obviously do not apply to food, so this is basic apples to oranges.
omer666 23 March 2015 at 11:59 am UTC
It is legal. In EU there is a period of retractation. During this period, you can't legally use the service you suscribed to. In order to use this service, you must give up on your retractation right. That is the case for any subscription to a service, which is basically what buying a game on Steam is.

So, by downloading and installing the game immediately after buying it, you give up on your retractation rights.

On a legal basis, a damaged game that can't work can get you a refund. But on Steam, there can't be physical damage, and if you exclude the case where you simply can't download the game, it will always be provided as it is meant to work, even if its completely broken to begin with.

So, agreed, this is not fair, and the law should really improve on these points. That's what you get, applying centuries old laws to new technologies.
Bomyne 23 March 2015 at 12:07 pm UTC
tuubi
BomyneImagine going to McDonalds and buying a big mac. If McD ran by that agreement, then you have a right to a refund until you stick that big mac in your mouth and chow down on it.
Laws like this obviously do not apply to food, so this is basic apples to oranges.

It's an analogy...

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=define:analogy
Quotea comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
tuubi 23 March 2015 at 12:54 pm UTC
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BomyneIt's an analogy...
It's a bad analogy.

omer666It is legal. In EU there is a period of retractation. During this period, you can't legally use the service you suscribed to. In order to use this service, you must give up on your retractation right. That is the case for any subscription to a service, which is basically what buying a game on Steam is.
Of course you're right. They do have a loophole. Another good reason to prefer services that actually sell games, not just the right to play them. Then again, for many people the convenience, and probably the multiplayer and community features of Steam are worth the tradeoff.
neffo 23 March 2015 at 1:32 pm UTC
It's not really a loophole, and it's perfectly legal. If you could play the game for 14 days in the cooling-off period (as it's known elsewhere), and then get a refund any digital distribution would come crashing down as people got 2-week rentals for zero charge.

There are cases where games should be refunded, absolutely, but taking that to the opposite end of the spectrum is just as open to abuse. Don't buy a garbage game in the first place!
Maelrane 23 March 2015 at 2:36 pm UTC
I wonder tho, why one has to resign one's right for a refund upon payment and not upon downloading the game.

What if I buy a game for somebody (or even myself for that matter) and then decide "Ah, ditch it, not gonna play it anyway." It was never downloaded (=delivered) and never opened (=installed).

Another thing would be sales. If a game is going on sale during that two weeks and if you have not downloaded it yet, you could get a refund and...

well, welcome to coorporate dystopia, where the only thing that matters is your money, never your satisfaction
tuubi 23 March 2015 at 2:57 pm UTC
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neffoIt's not really a loophole, and it's perfectly legal.
It's not a loophole in the legal sense, but it's hard to think of it as anything else. The entertainment industry has managed to persuade most of their clientele that a subscription to games/movies/music/whatever is worth the same as actual ownership of said media.

I can't say I'm convinced, partly because I don't care about their "value added" services. I just want the games, and maybe an easy way to get updates. Couldn't care less about multiplayer lobbies, workshops or any of the social stuff. Don't get me wrong, I do have and use Steam. It is convenient despite their business model, not because of it.
stan 23 March 2015 at 5:23 pm UTC
tuubiAnother good reason to prefer services that actually sell games, not just the right to play them.
You always buy a licence to play the game, no matter where you buy it…

And this EU law is actually recent, not centuries old.
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