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Germany makes Valve change HL2 box - Page 3

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Anonymous
February 16, 2005 8:53:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On that special day, Gandalf Parker,
(gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites) said...

> Anywhere there are ongoing support issues which requires a database,
> there can be fees to process a change of hands.

Yes, but that high? If I sell a car to another person, I have to pay a
fee in Germany, but not to the *manufacturer*, but to the *authorities*,
because I have to unregister and give back my license plate. And the
other one, who bought my plate, will have to register the car, and pay
another fee.

The fees seem to range between EUR 5 and EUR 10. Which means, I can
transfer a 13k item for ten bucks. A Valve game is considerably cheaper,
so why do I have to pay the same ten dollars? It can't be *that*
expensive, to run a user database.

And imagine people handing down the game after playing it through (the
single playing mission), from friend to brother, to room mate, which
happens quite often, and should be legal, as long as the former owners
don't play it (ie a pirated copy) any more. You pay thirty bucks, which
is more than half of the original price, only to allow for more than one
person to play it.

I tell you what: they want to force us to pay for the game, each single
person. Regardless of the real number of copies sold.


Gabriele Neukam

Gabriele.Spamfighter.Neukam@t-online.de


--
Ah, Information. A property, too valuable these days, to give it away,
just so, at no cost.
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 10:17:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in
news:nyMQd.14146$4I5.777236@news20.bellglobal.com:

> "Simon Nejmann" wrote:
>> You are in every way entiteled to sell your Half-Life 2 CDs - neither
>> Valve or anybody else can interfere with that. But their service
>> agreement is still tied to you - even if it becomes useless without
>> the CDs.
>
> False. From US copyright law: "The doctrine of first sale allows the
> purchaser to transfer (i.e. sell, rent, or give away) a particular,
> legally acquired copy of protected work without permission once it has
> been obtained. That means the distribution rights of a copyright
> holder end on that particular copy once the copy is sold."

Valve is in no-way restricting your right to sell your CD to other people.
You can do whatever you want with it. That being said, just because you
have sold it to someone else, they don't have the obligation to
automatically give your registration to somebody else so that they can play
the game.

--
Marcel
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 10:17:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Marcel Beaudoin" wrote in message
> Valve is in no-way restricting your right to sell your CD to other people.

Yeah, except for publicly threatening to close the accounts of copies of
Half Life 2 being sold on eBay, charging $10 to transfer accounts, and
linking games to 1 steam account.
Related resources
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 11:12:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 13:49:16 -0500, "The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com>
wrote:

>"Simon Nejmann" wrote:
>> You are in every way entiteled to sell your Half-Life 2 CDs - neither
>> Valve or anybody else can interfere with that. But their service
>> agreement is still tied to you - even if it becomes useless without
>> the CDs.
>
>False. From US copyright law: "The doctrine of first sale allows the
>purchaser to transfer (i.e. sell, rent, or give away) a particular, legally
>acquired copy of protected work without permission once it has been
>obtained. That means the distribution rights of a copyright holder end on
>that particular copy once the copy is sold."
>
>When I buy a microwave, I own the plastic, not the firmware that operates
>the machinery. Sure, but what the hell does that have to do with my right
>to resell the microwave I bought? I can only sell the plastic case; the
>buyer does not have right to operate the machinery because Generical
>Electric owns the firmware?
>I need to pay GE to sell the microwave?

Sure he can operate the microwave, but the warrenty or service
agreement on it is not transferred just by that - you need to have it
transferred (and most likely for a fee).

Can you go buy a cell phone with subscription (correct word?), and
then just sell the phone and subscription to somebody else, or will
the provider require some transfer fee on the subscription?

--
Regards
Simon Nejmann
Anonymous
February 16, 2005 11:12:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Simon Nejmann" wrote
> Sure he can operate the microwave, but the warrenty or service
> agreement on it is not transferred just by that

Yes it is, only now there is one extra party who is liable in the event of a
product failure - the guy who made the original retail purchase. If I sell
my microwave without notifying the retailer, it does not free the retailer
from liability in the event of product failure. The new owner can sue me,
the retailer, the distributor, and the manufacturer.

- you need to have it
> transferred (and most likely for a fee).

Just give the buyer the original receipt. If it breaks, he can take it back
to Wal Mart and get a refund. Or, he can return it to me; i'll bring it back
to Wal Mart, or the
manufacturer, and pass over the refund. I don't need to notify anyone about
who was using the product.

> Can you go buy a cell phone with subscription (correct word?), and
> then just sell the phone and subscription to somebody else, or will
> the provider require some transfer fee on the subscription?

I just watched a show about this. It was complaining about how Canadian
service providers charge a fee for changing cell phone subscriptions, unlike
most other countries. It serves as an incentive to stick with your service
provider, which increases the barrier to entry for new companies and results
in less competition. Canadian cell phone rates are among the highest in the
world, which, it was argued, is no coincidence.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 12:06:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in
news:rhOQd.14854$4I5.800572@news20.bellglobal.com:

> "Marcel Beaudoin" wrote in message
>> Valve is in no-way restricting your right to sell your CD to other
>> people.
>
> Yeah, except for publicly threatening to close the accounts of copies
> of Half Life 2 being sold on eBay

Are people selling the game, or are they selling their account with Valve??
(honestly curious)

>, charging $10 to transfer accounts,

Nothing wrong with that at all. They have every right to charge for work
that they are being asked to do.

> and linking games to 1 steam account.

I am not sure what you mean by this.

--
Marcel
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 2:49:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in message
news:nyMQd.14146$4I5.777236@news20.bellglobal.com...
> "Simon Nejmann" wrote:
> > You are in every way entiteled to sell your Half-Life 2 CDs - neither
> > Valve or anybody else can interfere with that. But their service
> > agreement is still tied to you - even if it becomes useless without
> > the CDs.
>
> False. From US copyright law: "The doctrine of first sale allows the
> purchaser to transfer (i.e. sell, rent, or give away) a particular,
legally
> acquired copy of protected work without permission once it has been
> obtained. That means the distribution rights of a copyright holder end on
> that particular copy once the copy is sold."
>
> When I buy a microwave, I own the plastic, not the firmware that operates
> the machinery. Sure, but what the hell does that have to do with my
right
> to resell the microwave I bought? I can only sell the plastic case; the
> buyer does not have right to operate the machinery because Generical
> Electric owns the firmware?
> I need to pay GE to sell the microwave?
>
>

While "the doctrine of first sale" worked in the old days with things like
books, cars, radios, ... where the person that sold the item usually no
longer held a copy of it. (Unless he went thru the trouble of copying
every page out a book).

The problem now is the digital age. Where a user can easily and quickly
copy a piece of software and send out thousands of copies to friends and
family memebers within minutes. The delicate balance between developers
and users has been tipped. Or in this case, knocked off the table and onto
the floor.

From reading the web, it appears that software developers are allowed to
encrypt, encode, and protect their software. If what Valve is doing is
illegal (prohibiting the sale of HL2 on CD), then users should be able to
take them to court.

But the problem with the courts is that they can't decide how to treat
digital medium. Having said that, section 1201 of the DMCA known as the
"anticircumvention provision," prohibits copyright users from circumventing
technological measures controlling access to a copyrighted work. So this
sounds like Steam is valid. But I'm no lawyer. And you would think that
the lawyers for Valve would have looked at the legal issues surrounding
this.


http://www.mttlr.org/volnine/Calaba.pdf (Recommended reading)

IV. Why the First Sale Doctrine Ceases to Exist
With Respect to Digital Works

Why doesn't the first sale doctrine apply to the copy of "Riding the
Bullet" (ebook by Stephen King) you purchased? A combination of three
factors limits application
of the first sale doctrine to digital works: first, license agreements
imposed by software manufacturers typically prohibit exercise of the
first sale doctrine; second, traditional copyright law may not support
application
of the first sale doctrine to digital works; finally, the DMCA
functionally prevents users from making copies of digitized works and
prohibits the necessary bypassing of access control mechanisms to facilitate
a transfer.

.......
C. A Central Registration System for Digital Copyrighted Works
Another technological means of facilitating a digital first sale doctrine
is the use of a registration system that records both the serial
number of the work and the serial number of the computer's processor
used to open the file. To use the digital work, a user would log on to the
system whereupon the registry would check to make sure that the serial
number of the work matches the processor number. Upon making this
determination, the system would then grant the user an access key to
view, play or use the work


http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/lawreviews/meta-elements/...

In August 2001, the Copyright Office issued its DMCA Section 104 Report.19
For the most part, the Copyright Office recommended no changes to the first
sale doctrine for the moment. With respect to the effect of the DMCA's
provisions, the report essentially concluded that the use of technological
protection measures either had not yet become widespread enough to have any
measurable impact on the first sale doctrine or, where such measures were in
widespread use, the possibility of reduction or elimination of a resale
market for copies did not constitute interference with the operation of the
first sale doctrine.20 As for the impact of electronic commerce and
associated technology on the first sale doctrine, the report focused on the
scenario raised in 1995 in the White Paper, and rejected proposals to amend
the law expressly to allow the owner of a lawfully made copy of a
copyrighted work to transmit the work to another person, as long as the
transmitting owner destroyed her own copy once the transmission was complete
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 7:11:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

According to the two separate EULAs (disregarding their enforceability
for the moment), you are allowed to sell your copy of HL2 with the
usual caveat that you totally destroy your copy and pass on everything
to do with the game, including the CD-Key.

You cannot sell your Steam account.

The two products (Steam and HL2) are treated as two separate entities.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 7:59:38 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Werner Spahl wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, Chadwick wrote:
>
> > According to the two separate EULAs (disregarding their
enforceability
> > for the moment), you are allowed to sell your copy of HL2 with the
> > usual caveat that you totally destroy your copy and pass on
everything
> > to do with the game, including the CD-Key.
> >
> > You cannot sell your Steam account.
> >
> > The two products (Steam and HL2) are treated as two separate
entities.
>
> But this is not correct as selling HL2 makes no sense without selling
the
> connected Steam account. This is like selling a car and not being
allowed
> to sell the ignition key, without paying more money to the car
company...


Yup. You need to have your CD-Key removed from your Steam Account, and
Valve will provide this service for $10.

You can pay up, and sell a useable version of HL2.
Or you can not pay up, and sell an unusable version. Caveat emptor

Legal or ilegal? I'm not a lawyer, but I'm inclined to side with other
posters who say Valve are providing a service, maintaining your
authorisation data, and can legally charge for that.

Right or wrong? I think wrong. You should be able to do this for free
in the same way that you can de-register your email address from a a
website to stop receiving their email adverts. I would welcome
something along the lines of:
1) You log in/authenticate and go to your Account Settings, or maybe
the game properties in Steam.
2) Select the game and click a button to "Uninstall"
3) A dialog box warns that you will not be able to play the game unless
you reinstall it and download all the updates again - are you sure you
want to continue?
4) Click OK and a dialog box (maybe an email too?) confirms that the
game is no longer registered and will not work any more unless you
re-register. The software is still on your PC and you now are in the
same position as the poeople who pre-loaded it through Steam ahead of
the official release date and just needed to enter the CD-Key to
register the game onto their Steam Account.

Valve are charging $10 to do the above (without the dialog boxes).

Legal or illegal?
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 9:43:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 16 Feb 2005 19:17:39 GMT, Marcel Beaudoin <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in
>news:nyMQd.14146$4I5.777236@news20.bellglobal.com:
>
>> "Simon Nejmann" wrote:
>>> You are in every way entiteled to sell your Half-Life 2 CDs - neither
>>> Valve or anybody else can interfere with that. But their service
>>> agreement is still tied to you - even if it becomes useless without
>>> the CDs.
>>
>> False. From US copyright law: "The doctrine of first sale allows the
>> purchaser to transfer (i.e. sell, rent, or give away) a particular,
>> legally acquired copy of protected work without permission once it has
>> been obtained. That means the distribution rights of a copyright
>> holder end on that particular copy once the copy is sold."
>
>Valve is in no-way restricting your right to sell your CD to other people.
Not true.

>You can do whatever you want with it. That being said, just because you
>have sold it to someone else, they don't have the obligation to
>automatically give your registration to somebody else so that they can play
>the game.

Then they shouldn't have imposed themselves on my games, even my older
games that I bought years before Steam. The same old games that I
unwittingly entered, their CD keys, during registration. They should
have at least explained to the user that they are about to take
control of your software, preventing resell without a fee, and should
consider whether the user really wants to tie it to an account.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 9:46:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 16 Feb 2005 21:06:34 GMT, Marcel Beaudoin <me@privacy.net> wrote:

>"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in
>news:rhOQd.14854$4I5.800572@news20.bellglobal.com:
>
>> "Marcel Beaudoin" wrote in message
>>> Valve is in no-way restricting your right to sell your CD to other
>>> people.
>>
>> Yeah, except for publicly threatening to close the accounts of copies
>> of Half Life 2 being sold on eBay
>
>Are people selling the game, or are they selling their account with Valve??
>(honestly curious)
>
>>, charging $10 to transfer accounts,
>
>Nothing wrong with that at all. They have every right to charge for work
>that they are being asked to do.

They're being ask to do it, they are forcing it on us.
>
>> and linking games to 1 steam account.
>
>I am not sure what you mean by this.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 12:50:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Marcel Beaudoin" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:Xns95FFA3CD59F26mbeausympaticoca@130.133.1.4...

> > Yeah, except for publicly threatening to close the accounts of copies
> > of Half Life 2 being sold on eBay
> Are people selling the game, or are they selling their account with
Valve??
> (honestly curious)
>
> >, charging $10 to transfer accounts,
>
> Nothing wrong with that at all. They have every right to charge for work
> that they are being asked to do.

There IS something wrong with that - the work is only required because Valve
is FORCING you to use Steam, therefore locking your copy's CD key to the
Steam account, therefore requiring that the Steam account be transferred for
the game to work. The main issue with this is that if Steam was optional
like it should be, there wouldn't be a need to transfer or even create a
Steam account in the first place.

Valve is even threatening to disable the Steam account of transferred games
to anybody that doesn't pay them a $10 fee. Valve have already received
money for the game, they have no "right" to charge MORE money because the
original buyer decided (as a free person can do) to sell the game.

How can you people possibly defend Valve in this situation?
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 1:05:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

GFree wrote:
> alexti wrote:
> > "Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
> > news:1114slrkq7jb218@news.supernews.com:
> >
> >
> >>No, you have to pay $10 to transfer a Steam account. No joke,
direct
> >>from Valve. If you don't you run the risk of having the account
blocked
> >>because selling the game is "against the EULA".
> >
> > I'm curious about what happens if the person A wants to sell
"steamed" game
> > B, but keep another "steamed" game C...
>
> Simple answer: you can't (at least with the same Steam account).
>
> The only way (currently) is to foresee this eventuality by making TWO

> Steam accounts and registering the games separately. Don't know many
> people who'd bother with that though.

I thought the $10 fee was to transfer the CD-Key to another account,
not to transfer the whole Steam account.

In which case the answer to the ABC question is - you pay Valve $10 and
they either de-register game B's CD-Key from person A's Steam account,
or transfer it to person D(the buyer)'s Steam Account. I'm not sure
whether the $10 gets you a deregistration or a transfer.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 4:12:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns95FF43A3A172gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>,
Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:
>
>Anywhere there are ongoing support issues which requires a database,
>there can be fees to process a change of hands. With a washer/dryer still
>on warranty there can be a fee to transfer that warranty to a new owner
>or you can just void the warranty/support. With a car its abit less
>sensible since most of the use of that database is "their" use (state,
>taxes, police, etc) and not much for the owner who must pay for the
>database change. But at least it could be said that it avoids the car
>appearing stolen.
>
>As I understand it, Steam provides the ability to download patches and
>provides for multiplayer support so if you want to get their database
>updated for continued support, and not appear as a "stolen" account, then
>you pay a fee for updating.
> (...)

It doesn't seem to me that the two are directly comparable then.
Presumably, if I purchase a second-hand hair dryer without paying the
fee, the hair dryer is still going to be functional for drying hair. I
might get some additional support or service or whatever if I pay the
fee, but if I'm happy with just having a working hair dryer, I'm home
free. Or in other words, the primary function of a second-hand hair
dryer is still going to be operational without paying a fee.

HL2 would have been in this category if you could play the
single-player game (or a multi-player game on a non-Valve server)
without having to pay a transfer fee. As it is, however, the product
is completely useless unless you pay the fee. There is no technical
reason why the single-player experience (or multi-play on third-party
servers) should necessitate any kind of Valve subscription or service
beyond the purchase of the software and it is the primary function of
the product so you'd expect it work. At least if the doctrine of first
sale was meant to be something worth wasting ink on.

This, to me, seems to be the distinguishing feature. With HL2 you
cannot opt to drop the fee in exchange for dropping any extras the fee
might have bought you. In stead, the fee is required in order for you
to use the primary function of a second-hand product.

I consider govt mandated fees to be a different ballpark altogether
(indeed, a whole different ballgame on a whole different planet with
unpredictable local gravitic anomalies etc.). The govt can mostly do
whatever it likes anyway - the issue at hand is what a corp can and
cannot do to its customers.

Cheers
Bent D
--
Bent Dalager - bcd@pvv.org - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
powered by emacs
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 4:39:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, Chadwick wrote:

> According to the two separate EULAs (disregarding their enforceability
> for the moment), you are allowed to sell your copy of HL2 with the
> usual caveat that you totally destroy your copy and pass on everything
> to do with the game, including the CD-Key.
>
> You cannot sell your Steam account.
>
> The two products (Steam and HL2) are treated as two separate entities.

But this is not correct as selling HL2 makes no sense without selling the
connected Steam account. This is like selling a car and not being allowed
to sell the ignition key, without paying more money to the car company...

--
Werner Spahl (spahl@cup.uni-muenchen.de) Freedom for
"The meaning of my life is to make me crazy" Vorlonships
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 5:18:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

emilo@comcast.com wrote in news:hgo611pp317u40ijm7r95jnidbdetrs2d6@4ax.com:

> This is what really gets me is that Valve can take control of old
> games that you may have bought years before Steam and now can't be
> sold or given away, thus ending second hand sales unless Valve gets a
> cut... I mean transfer fee.
>
> It's just not right IMO

That would be very rude. Are they offering none of the "benefits" with
that? No download manager for updates and patches?

Gandalf Parker
February 17, 2005 5:29:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <bf0911p8ah3kq93lkb9nld2i7m8qia38mp@4ax.com>, emilo@comcast.com wrote:

>Then they shouldn't have imposed themselves on my games, even my older
>games that I bought years before Steam. The same old games that I
>unwittingly entered, their CD keys, during registration. They should
>have at least explained to the user that they are about to take
>control of your software, preventing resell without a fee, and should
>consider whether the user really wants to tie it to an account.

How does that work exactly? You can't reinstall from the original CD's
anymore? Or are you talking about multiplayer?
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 5:32:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Gabriele Neukam <Gabriele.Spamfighter.Neukam@t-online.de> wrote in
news:cuvttl$g6f$05$3@news.t-online.com:

> On that special day, Gandalf Parker,
> (gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites) said...
>
>> Anywhere there are ongoing support issues which requires a database,
>> there can be fees to process a change of hands.
>
> Yes, but that high? If I sell a car to another person, I have to pay a
> fee in Germany, but not to the *manufacturer*, but to the
> *authorities*, because I have to unregister and give back my license
> plate. And the other one, who bought my plate, will have to register
> the car, and pay another fee.

Actually that makes less sense to me than this. I dont mind when its a
database for me such as support and warranty. But when its a database
being kept for someone else (even the government) and has no benefit to
me then I should gripe about having to pay a transfer fee.

> The fees seem to range between EUR 5 and EUR 10. Which means, I can
> transfer a 13k item for ten bucks. A Valve game is considerably
> cheaper, so why do I have to pay the same ten dollars? It can't be
> *that* expensive, to run a user database.

Why would it be cheaper? I do admin work for ISPs and I know that the
cost of many things we did was directly impacted by a need to have people
updating a database. It didnt matter if it was a cheap thing or a high
cost thing. It only mattered how much info, how stable and accessable it
had to be, and how often it had to be accessed. So far I havent heard
anyone say that Steam does it badly or has access problems so they must
have put enough into it.

> And imagine people handing down the game after playing it through (the
> single playing mission), from friend to brother, to room mate, which
> happens quite often, and should be legal, as long as the former owners
> don't play it (ie a pirated copy) any more. You pay thirty bucks,
> which is more than half of the original price, only to allow for more
> than one person to play it.

Of course the "as long as the former owners dont play it" is a good part
of the reason behind Steam existing. The "good buddy" copies have always
been much MUCH higher than real pirating.

> I tell you what: they want to force us to pay for the game, each
> single person. Regardless of the real number of copies sold.

Right. Thats the idea of it. Various companies have tried in the past to
make it against the EULA to resell a game. But those failed. Its illegal
to try and restrict resale that way. Splitting the "game" from the
"service" (online servers, support accounts, patch/upgrade accounts, etc)
is another way of doing the same thing. Its not good, but it does look
like it will be considered legal if they cover their asses.

The ways it can be screwed up is by NOT telling the customer important
things about it BEFORE he buys it, and NOT providing for certain legal
requirements such as a way to get a "backup" (or replacement) copy if the
original is destroyed.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 5:43:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"The Chronic" <endo@blunt.com> wrote in
news:MyMQd.14147$4I5.777250@news20.bellglobal.com:

> "Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote
>> Anywhere there are ongoing support issues which requires a database,
>> there can be fees to process a change of hands.
>
> There doesn't need to be any fee for this; processing can be done via
> an automated form which the buyer fills out. I can sell my copy of
> World of Warcraft, and the buyer can change the email address
> associated with the account whenever he wants, free of charge. When I
> move, I fill out automated forms for my internet service provider, my
> bank, etc, to update my address, all free of charge.

Thats completely true. There does not need to be a fee. But there is a
service there of having someone input that information to the database.
Ive worked for an ISP and we did charge a fee for forwarding. 10$ to
update the info and maintain it for 6 months after deleting the account
would have wiped all that out. We could also have decided not to offer
the service at all, or make it free.

>> With a washer/dryer still
>> on warranty there can be a fee to transfer that warranty to a new
>> owner or you can just void the warranty/support.
>
> By law, the product has to be fit for its intended use, for a
> reasonable period of time, regardless of whether it has been resold,
> or whether or not you mailed the warranty card when you bought it.
> "Registering" your washer is just a means for the manufacturer to
> collect information for marketing purposes; it does not affect the
> legal binding of your warranty.

Without proof of sale, or warranty, it would be difficult or impossible
for someone pursue that. If I buy a shirt from a store then I can return
it as a defective garment but not with some proof of purchase usually.

But you are correct. There is a period (usually much shorter than the
warranty) for which the product must live up to its written description.
Do you feel that Steam violates that?

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 5:45:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"T. Fink" <fink@freenet.de> wrote in news:cuuup8$ge2$04$2@news.t-
online.com:

> alexti wrote:
>
>> "Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
>> news:1114slrkq7jb218@news.supernews.com:
>>
>>>No, you have to pay $10 to transfer a Steam account. No joke, direct
>>>from Valve. If you don't you run the risk of having the account blocked
>>>because selling the game is "against the EULA".
>
> Might be interesting if someone here in Germany sues Valve then because
> EULAs (except when they are outside on the box) are not binding here
> since they are a belately introduced part of the general contract.

That already happened. Thats what started the thread. Hence the sublect
line of...
"Re: Germany makes Valve change HL2 box"

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 5:50:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

bcd@pvv.ntnu.no (Bent C Dalager) wrote in news:cv257u$seh$1
@orkan.itea.ntnu.no:

> This, to me, seems to be the distinguishing feature. With HL2 you
> cannot opt to drop the fee in exchange for dropping any extras the fee
> might have bought you. In stead, the fee is required in order for you
> to use the primary function of a second-hand product.

I would agree with that but Im getting conflicting responses on the
details. Its said that with no internet connection you can play solo. I
havent heard anyone testing a local lan arrangment. And I may have to go
buy a copy of the game to find out what the box actually says about
internet requirement. But apparently (the subject line of thise thread) it
was lacking on the box and THAT was what the courts forced them to fix.

Gandalf Parker
February 17, 2005 5:52:38 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns96003FB0442A2gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:
>emilo@comcast.com wrote in news:hgo611pp317u40ijm7r95jnidbdetrs2d6@4ax.com:
>
>> This is what really gets me is that Valve can take control of old
>> games that you may have bought years before Steam and now can't be
>> sold or given away, thus ending second hand sales unless Valve gets a
>> cut... I mean transfer fee.
>>
>> It's just not right IMO
>
>That would be very rude. Are they offering none of the "benefits" with
>that? No download manager for updates and patches?
>
>Gandalf Parker

Such "benefits" aren't needed nor desireable for everyone.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 6:14:17 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
news:1116pu4mi9shp90@news.supernews.com:

>
> "Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote in message
> news:Xns95FEA152D7A0Egandalfparker@208.201.224.154...
>
>> > No, you have to pay $10 to transfer a Steam account. No joke,
>> > direct from Valve. If you don't you run the risk of having the
>> > account blocked because selling the game is "against the EULA".
>> Yes I know. Thats what I said. A fee to transfer the account. Thats
>> not a new thing. Its done with cars, household appliances,
>> memberships in gyms, all kinds of things. Saying that its a "charge
>> to sell a game I bought" would indeed make it something illegal.
>> Saying its a fee to transfer the support to a new owner isnt.
>
> This is not an applicance, a membership, or a car; it's a damn $40-50
> boxed game. In any case I don't remember the last time I paid someone
> a "fee" to sell an appliance.

Then you never tried to transfer the support for one. The fees tend to be
the same since the requirement is pretty much the same no matter what
service database is involved. I agree that a $10 fee to transfer the
support contract of a $40-$50 dollar game is stupid but that cant change
the cost involved. And if it makes people more willing to buy a new one
instead of a used one then thats probably one of the reasons that game
publishers would use Steam.

> Why would you pay Valve $10 just to transfer a Steam account (in order
> to fully sell the game) given that the only reason Steam exists is to
> make money this way *illegitamately*, using clauses from an
> unenforcable EULA.

Why does no one read the topic of the thread? I understand missing the
original post but the subject of the thread should give a hint. The first
post was about a news article saying that Germany had forced Steam to
change the box because the EULA didnt count.

> For someone who played the single player game and
> wants to sell it to somebody else that wants to play the single player
> game, there is no need for Steam at all. So I ask you how this is
> legal and / or legit?

Excellent question. And the answer is? Anyone? Anyone?
If you disconnect your internet connection, does HL2 refuse to play solo?
Or is there a seperate executable that can run the game without going
thru the steam checks?

>> Opt out to play solo would make sense to me in the argument of "I
>> bought the game". But opt out of their distrib system to get the
>> distribs without that system? So you just want them to give it all
>> the way you want? Alot of games use a distrib system without using
>> steam (like GalCiv does). And alot of games dont use such a system
>> for handling distribs. Why bother getting mad at their choice?
>
> Again, I do NOT CHOOSE to get this game through Steam. Why is it that
> one needs to deal with Steam at all if he/she purchases the retail
> boxed game?

According to the steam site its an online system for distribution of
patches and upgrades. Its the system they chose to use for that. Im still
trying to figure out how much forcing to use Steam there actually is but
Im thinking that you dont have to use it if you dont want the services it
offers.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 6:22:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

jeff@work.com (Jeff) wrote in news:cv2b3m$sms$2@cronkite.cc.uga.edu:

> In article <Xns96003FB0442A2gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf
> Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:
>>emilo@comcast.com wrote in
>>news:hgo611pp317u40ijm7r95jnidbdetrs2d6@4ax.com:
>>
>>> This is what really gets me is that Valve can take control of old
>>> games that you may have bought years before Steam and now can't be
>>> sold or given away, thus ending second hand sales unless Valve gets
>>> a cut... I mean transfer fee.
>>>
>>> It's just not right IMO
>>
>>That would be very rude. Are they offering none of the "benefits" with
>>that? No download manager for updates and patches?
>
> Such "benefits" aren't needed nor desireable for everyone.

Exactly. Thats why I asked. Im guessing that they are standing on a
platform of "fee for services and the transfer of such services". I hate
databases I have to pay to update when it serves me no purpose. That type
of tacked-on fee does happen alot and does get kicked out in court alot.

Gandalf Parker
February 17, 2005 6:57:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns96004220BB8A9gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:

>Why would it be cheaper? I do admin work for ISPs and I know that the
>cost of many things we did was directly impacted by a need to have people
>updating a database. It didnt matter if it was a cheap thing or a high
>cost thing. It only mattered how much info, how stable and accessable it
>had to be, and how often it had to be accessed. So far I havent heard

As far as I'm concerned, said database, like Steam, serves only Valve's
purposes. not mine. Therefore, any "transfer fees" to update that database
are just added bureaucracy slyly designed either to deter 2nd-hand sales or
allow Valve to profit from those sales from which they could not otherwise
profit.


>> And imagine people handing down the game after playing it through (the
>> single playing mission), from friend to brother, to room mate, which
>> happens quite often, and should be legal, as long as the former owners
>> don't play it (ie a pirated copy) any more. You pay thirty bucks,
>> which is more than half of the original price, only to allow for more
>> than one person to play it.
>
>Of course the "as long as the former owners dont play it" is a good part
>of the reason behind Steam existing. The "good buddy" copies have always
>been much MUCH higher than real pirating.

But, in truth, has Steam made this harder or easier?

I submit that, if anything, it's easier... since my "good buddy" can install
the game and play it offline just as I can if I give him the account info. He
can patch and update too. The only thing he might not be able to do is play
internet multiplayer at the same time as I, a restriction not unique to Steam
either. Not to mention the option of using the Steam emulator.

So there is actually very little "reason" behind Steam existing at all.
February 17, 2005 7:11:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns96004A9A9A37gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:

>Exactly. Thats why I asked. Im guessing that they are standing on a
>platform of "fee for services and the transfer of such services". I hate
>databases I have to pay to update when it serves me no purpose. That type
>of tacked-on fee does happen alot and does get kicked out in court alot.
>
>Gandalf Parker

There is no essential benefit in Steam for the majority of users... none such
that Steam must be required to play, anyway. Valve can force it on buyers,
but they do so for Valve's benefit, not the consumer's.
February 17, 2005 7:40:17 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns96004932B2820gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:

>If you disconnect your internet connection, does HL2 refuse to play solo?

Supposedly. But there've been problems. Certainly, HL2 will refuse to play
solo if it's not validated (such as after a reinstall later).


>Or is there a seperate executable that can run the game without going
>thru the steam checks?

None that are legitimate.


>According to the steam site its an online system for distribution of
>patches and upgrades. Its the system they chose to use for that. Im still
>trying to figure out how much forcing to use Steam there actually is but
>Im thinking that you dont have to use it if you dont want the services it
>offers.

IMHO, providing patches that fix bugs, making the game playable, should be
obligatory. It's akin to recalling a defective car... it shouldn't matter who
the original buyer was, the fix for a defective product is still free.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 7:49:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Gandalf Parker wrote:
> "T. Fink" <fink@freenet.de> wrote in news:cuuup8$ge2$04$2@news.t-
> online.com:
>
>
>>alexti wrote:
>>
>>
>>>"Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
>>>news:1114slrkq7jb218@news.supernews.com:
>>>
>>>
>>>>No, you have to pay $10 to transfer a Steam account. No joke, direct
>>>
>>>>from Valve. If you don't you run the risk of having the account blocked
>>>
>>>>because selling the game is "against the EULA".
>>
>>Might be interesting if someone here in Germany sues Valve then because
>>EULAs (except when they are outside on the box) are not binding here
>>since they are a belately introduced part of the general contract.
>
>
> That already happened. Thats what started the thread. Hence the sublect
> line of...
> "Re: Germany makes Valve change HL2 box"
>

Nope, the original thread was about that the German organization for
consumer rights demands a change of the package and threatens to sue
them as described in
http://www.hardtecs4u.com/?id=1107046955,31360,ht4u.php (the thread
title is therefore not accurate). What I am talking about is that
someone is not willing to pay the 10$ for the transfer and sues because
he bought the current version without EULA on the outside. Also, I doubt
they will ever put the whole EULA on the box cover, so lawyers may earn
a lot figuring out if extracts of the EULA on the box cover are as
binding as the EULA itself.

Cheers

Torsten



--
Kill Holzmichl!
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 10:02:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On that special day, Gandalf Parker,
(gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites) said...

> But when its a database
> being kept for someone else (even the government) and has no benefit to
> me then I should gripe about having to pay a transfer fee.

Someone here said, the government can do anything, even if companies
couldn't do the same.

I don't know how cars are registered and licensed in the US, with
insurances?

However, in Germany there is a general enforcement by the government, to
conclude a third party insurance, for every buyer of a car, as cars have
a tendency to run into accidents and cause damages. The government
wanted to ensure that everyone does that, and decreed that the only one
who may issue license plates, are the local authorities, counties or the
town halls of larger towns. So, I have to walk to an officer, hand him
the documents and proof that I concluded said insurance, pay the fee and
get my license, then I walk to the license plate maker, which makes the
plate (which costs extra, and more than the office fee).

It is quite complicated, that's why many car vendors offer to do the job
for you.


Gabriele Neukam

Gabriele.Spamfighter.Neukam@t-online.de


--
Ah, Information. A property, too valuable these days, to give it away,
just so, at no cost.
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 10:18:01 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

jeff@work.com (Jeff) wrote in news:cv2et0$4bq$1@cronkite.cc.uga.edu:

> In article <Xns96004220BB8A9gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf
> Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:
>
>>Why would it be cheaper? I do admin work for ISPs and I know that the
>>cost of many things we did was directly impacted by a need to have
>>people updating a database. It didnt matter if it was a cheap thing or
>>a high cost thing. It only mattered how much info, how stable and
>>accessable it had to be, and how often it had to be accessed. So far I
>>havent heard
>
> As far as I'm concerned, said database, like Steam, serves only
> Valve's purposes. not mine. Therefore, any "transfer fees" to update
> that database are just added bureaucracy slyly designed either to
> deter 2nd-hand sales or allow Valve to profit from those sales from
> which they could not otherwise profit.

That all sounds real enough to me. Steam says its a service for providing
patches, upgrades, and support. Which is another way of saying
CONTROLLING patches, upgrades, and support. I also agree that I hate to
pay charges for updating a database which does me no service.

Of course that happens. A lot. Its not illegal. Unless they are caught in
an outright lie or failure to provide whats been promised (or required by
law even if its not promised) then its not likely to change. Thats why I
keep trying to pin down what is and isnt promised here other than the
fact that people dont like it.

>>> And imagine people handing down the game after playing it through
>>> (the single playing mission), from friend to brother, to room mate,
>>> which happens quite often, and should be legal, as long as the
>>> former owners don't play it (ie a pirated copy) any more. You pay
>>> thirty bucks, which is more than half of the original price, only to
>>> allow for more than one person to play it.
>>
>>Of course the "as long as the former owners dont play it" is a good
>>part of the reason behind Steam existing. The "good buddy" copies
>>have always been much MUCH higher than real pirating.
>
> But, in truth, has Steam made this harder or easier?
>
> I submit that, if anything, it's easier... since my "good buddy" can
> install the game and play it offline just as I can if I give him the
> account info. He can patch and update too. The only thing he might
> not be able to do is play internet multiplayer at the same time as I,
> a restriction not unique to Steam either. Not to mention the option
> of using the Steam emulator.
>
> So there is actually very little "reason" behind Steam existing at
> all.

Thats interesting. I hadnt seen anyone say that it was easy to bypass the
"benefits" of Steam.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 10:20:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

jeff@work.com (Jeff) wrote in news:cv2fod$4ul$1@cronkite.cc.uga.edu:

> In article <Xns96004A9A9A37gandalfparker@208.201.224.154>, Gandalf
> Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:
>
>>Exactly. Thats why I asked. Im guessing that they are standing on a
>>platform of "fee for services and the transfer of such services". I
>>hate databases I have to pay to update when it serves me no purpose.
>>That type of tacked-on fee does happen alot and does get kicked out in
>>court alot.
>
> There is no essential benefit in Steam for the majority of users...
> none such that Steam must be required to play, anyway. Valve can
> force it on buyers, but they do so for Valve's benefit, not the
> consumer's.

That I never doubted. Like many services such as warrantys and insurances
and support contracts, there is very little real benefit to the customers.
Its something that can be sold to them as a good thing, and mostly benefits
the seller.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 17, 2005 10:26:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Chadwick" <chadwick110@hotmail.com> wrote in news:1108660487.794828.89710
@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> In which case the answer to the ABC question is - you pay Valve $10 and
> they either de-register game B's CD-Key from person A's Steam account,
> or transfer it to person D(the buyer)'s Steam Account. I'm not sure
> whether the $10 gets you a deregistration or a transfer.

Then its a way of managing the CD keys in the database which is required to
know you so that you can play multi-user. They are learning the advantages
that online worlds have in managing keys, and creating a mandatory
situation for the same managment in their game.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 2:47:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Thusly jeff@work.com (Jeff) Spake Unto All:


>There is no essential benefit in Steam for the majority of users... none such
>that Steam must be required to play, anyway. Valve can force it on buyers,
>but they do so for Valve's benefit, not the consumer's.

So don't play.

WTF is with this entitlement thing you people have going?

If you dont like the terms, decline. Wait for it to hit the XBox or
something.
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 12:33:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Jeff" <jeff@work.com> wrote in message
news:cv2et0$4bq$1@cronkite.cc.uga.edu...
> >Why would it be cheaper? I do admin work for ISPs and I know that the
> >cost of many things we did was directly impacted by a need to have people
> >updating a database. It didnt matter if it was a cheap thing or a high
> >cost thing. It only mattered how much info, how stable and accessable it
> >had to be, and how often it had to be accessed. So far I havent heard
> As far as I'm concerned, said database, like Steam, serves only Valve's
> purposes. not mine. Therefore, any "transfer fees" to update that
database
> are just added bureaucracy slyly designed either to deter 2nd-hand sales
or
> allow Valve to profit from those sales from which they could not otherwise
> profit.

Totally agree and this is the point I have been attempting to make. Valve
have created an artifical dependancy on Steam where there shouldn't be one
in the first place thus they have no leg to stand on when they try to
"charge" to transfer a Steam account.

I can understand a (smaller) fee on a game bought through Steam but this is
totally illegitimate on retail.
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 6:44:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
news:111c2kufp8emp3c@news.supernews.com:

> Totally agree and this is the point I have been attempting to make.
> Valve have created an artifical dependancy on Steam where there
> shouldn't be one in the first place thus they have no leg to stand on
> when they try to "charge" to transfer a Steam account.

All quite true. But compared to what? Any effort to control CD keys, or
upgrades, or copies, or the security of their code (avoiding reverse
engineering) is an artifical dependency in the game. But something along
those lines does appear to be a dependency in that quality of game (eww
that made me cringe since I dont believe they are better. Lets say that
level of disctribution). Any level of control only works for a short while
and then they invent something worse. Complain to them by all means and it
might slow them down. But the only fast response is if you can pin them to
doing something illegal like they did with Steam.

Games which dont do that are easily found as shareware, or freeware, or
open source. And some of those are great games.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 18, 2005 9:02:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Gandalf Parker wrote:
> "Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
> news:111c2kufp8emp3c@news.supernews.com:
>
>
>>Totally agree and this is the point I have been attempting to make.
>>Valve have created an artifical dependancy on Steam where there
>>shouldn't be one in the first place thus they have no leg to stand on
>>when they try to "charge" to transfer a Steam account.
>
>
> All quite true. But compared to what? Any effort to control CD keys, or
> upgrades, or copies, or the security of their code (avoiding reverse
> engineering) is an artifical dependency in the game. But something along
> those lines does appear to be a dependency in that quality of game (eww
> that made me cringe since I dont believe they are better. Lets say that
> level of disctribution). Any level of control only works for a short while
> and then they invent something worse. Complain to them by all means and it
> might slow them down. But the only fast response is if you can pin them to
> doing something illegal like they did with Steam.
>

I'm not sure I follow this argument _ who did what illegally with Steam?

> Games which dont do that are easily found as shareware, or freeware, or
> open source. And some of those are great games.
>
> Gandalf Parker
>
>
>


--
Walter Mitty
-
Useless, waste of money research of the day : http://tinyurl.com/3tdeu
" Format wars could 'confuse users'"
http://www.tinyurl.com
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 3:35:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote in message
news:Xns96014EBE41768gandalfparker@208.201.224.154...

> > Totally agree and this is the point I have been attempting to make.
> > Valve have created an artifical dependancy on Steam where there
> > shouldn't be one in the first place thus they have no leg to stand on
> > when they try to "charge" to transfer a Steam account.
> All quite true. But compared to what? Any effort to control CD keys, or
> upgrades, or copies, or the security of their code (avoiding reverse
> engineering) is an artifical dependency in the game. But something along

Multiplayer CD key checks are totally anonymous and don't require any kind
of registration - the server checks to see if your CD key was issued by the
company and that's it. There's nothing to transfer - the game company
doesn't have personally identifiable information about you like Valve does
with Steam. Granted, there's a risk that the person you bought the game from
might still be using the CD key but that risk also exists if you are sold a
copy of HL2 without the Steam account.

> those lines does appear to be a dependency in that quality of game (eww
> that made me cringe since I dont believe they are better. Lets say that
> level of disctribution). Any level of control only works for a short while
> and then they invent something worse. Complain to them by all means and it
> might slow them down. But the only fast response is if you can pin them to
> doing something illegal like they did with Steam.

I don't think it's been as yet ruled illegal but it's only a matter of time
before it is. Hopefully it will be soon enough. Though I don't sell my games
I totally emphasize with those that do

> Games which dont do that are easily found as shareware, or freeware, or
> open source. And some of those are great games.

Shareware games seem to be dead, sadly.
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 8:01:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Walter Mitty <mitticus@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
news:cv7hl0$vbd$03$1@news.t-online.com:

> Gandalf Parker wrote:
>> Walter Mitty <mitticus@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in
>> news:cv573k$6u8$00$1@news.t-online.com:
>>>Gandalf Parker wrote:
>>>>"Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
>>>>news:111c2kufp8emp3c@news.supernews.com:
>>>>
>
>> post of a news article. Hence the subject line of "Re: Germany makes
>> Valve change HL2 box". Its the whole basis of the thread.
>
> Yes I know. You're the guy that got involved in an argument without
> even knowing what was on the box right?

Hey if it bugs you then tighten the crosspost on your next response so
that the HL2 thread stays in the groups that apply. Its not my type of
game but apparently the "steam" part of the discussion was deemed
necessary to include it into many different gaming newsgroups.

>> Germany, which has always been in the lead of defense of the gamer
>> customer, has forced HL2 to update their boxes to make it clearer
>> about
>
> Defense? Rules about no "gore"? hardly defence.

mmmmmmm sounds like a personal thing. Thats considered very much "in
defence" of the gamers whether its agreed with or not. And there are many
other areas such as enforcing "rights to make a backup copy" and "rights
of ownership once bought" and "clarity of promise outside of a EULA".
Most of which I dont actually agree with but they are a power force in
user rights.

>> the "features" of Steam because for them a EULA you read after you
>> buy the game is a worthless control. It will surely be an important
>> event as far as all game publishers are concerned because they arent
>> going to want to have different boxes just for sale in Germany if
>> they can avoid it.
>
> A long winded way of saying that it should be clearer on all boxes?

Ahhh thats nice. Yes of course things "should be clearer" on all boxes.
Of course "should be" has little power with corporations so the fact that
german courts actually forced it onto a company is more likely to make it
into the board meetings than some memo about "should be".

>> Of course the companies are doing all of this for their own purposes.
>
> Erm yes. That why these things are there : to defend against cheats
> and pirates.

Well actually I was giving credance to the faction which cries "they are
doing it just for money" which is a rather whiney way to state such an
obvious reality.

>> equally obviously they are going to word everything biased in their
>> own best light. For us to fight things for our own best interests
>> there are two roads. Make lots of noise about things we just plain
>> dont like (weak but still worth doing). Or watch closely to jump on
>> anything which seems to actually stumble over the legal line (much
>> more powerful and immeadiate). Telling the difference between the two
>> can be hard though.
>
> Who is "us"? What is it "we" have to fight?

Well ok then. Gamers. Or maybe "the buying public". Or in this case
anyone who is angry at Steam and feels something should be done about it.

> The only thing the Germans have done is to ask for the internet
> requirement to be made clearer afaik.

Yes. Its a legal response to the fact that it wasnt clear enough under
their laws. In general their laws are much more in favor of the customer
vs the corporation than they are in the US.

So it still comes down to either being vocal about being unhappy at
Steam. Or keeping watch for real violations which can be enforced in more
immeadiate ways.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 10:40:52 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Kroagnon" <kroagnon@kroagnon.com> wrote in
news:111f1lch0gf4i12@news.supernews.com:

>
> "Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote in message
> news:Xns96014EBE41768gandalfparker@208.201.224.154...
>
>> those lines does appear to be a dependency in that quality of game
>> (eww that made me cringe since I dont believe they are better. Lets
>> say that level of disctribution). Any level of control only works for
>> a short while and then they invent something worse. Complain to them
>> by all means and it might slow them down. But the only fast response
>> is if you can pin them to doing something illegal like they did with
>> Steam.
>
> I don't think it's been as yet ruled illegal but it's only a matter of
> time before it is. Hopefully it will be soon enough. Though I don't
> sell my games I totally emphasize with those that do

Not that part but they did get legally slammed in Germany for not making
some things clear on the box. That type of keeping them in line is a good
thing to watch for.

>> Games which dont do that are easily found as shareware, or freeware,
>> or open source. And some of those are great games.
>
> Shareware games seem to be dead, sadly.

Not dead. But it did prove its points both pro and con. It has its
advantages as a distribution system and works well enough for one level
of game. Particularly single developers just starting off and trying to
build a following.

People who complain about tight controls are well off to be reminded that
there is a reason that methods such as shareware are not used for
shelfware-quality games. Basically, any game which has many people
working on its release has a high chance that one of those people is
going to be in charge of providing security of the game. Saying that its
unnecessary to the game is true. But saying that its unnecessary to that
LEVEL of product is wishful thinking.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 11:15:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Kroagnon wrote:
>
> Multiplayer CD key checks are totally anonymous and don't require any kind
> of registration - the server checks to see if your CD key was issued by the
> company and that's it. There's nothing to transfer - the game company
> doesn't have personally identifiable information about you like Valve does
> with Steam.

To anyone that doesn't already know : Kroagnon is talking through his
ass *again*.

Steam needs to know absolutely nothing about you other than a (typically
anonymous) email address.
Anonymous
February 19, 2005 11:51:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 20:15:14 +0100, Walter Mitty
<mitticus@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

>Kroagnon wrote:
>>
>> Multiplayer CD key checks are totally anonymous and don't require any kind
>> of registration - the server checks to see if your CD key was issued by the
>> company and that's it. There's nothing to transfer - the game company
>> doesn't have personally identifiable information about you like Valve does
>> with Steam.
>
>To anyone that doesn't already know : Kroagnon is talking through his
>ass *again*.
>
>Steam needs to know absolutely nothing about you other than a (typically
>anonymous) email address.

REQUIRING an email address to install and play a purchased PC game
is an implied invasion of customer privacy, since the email is
technically back-traceable. Any attempt at tracking such an email
address back to the current owner to enforce the HL2 EULA is an
actual invasion of customer privacy. Trying to dress a wolf in sheep's
clothing again....... ???

Ummm.... I own BF1942 (just one example of many SP/MP games with
the same properties)... no need for an email address to play SP/LAN/
MP-on-line; just the legitimate CD-Key. Can download the patches and
store on CD.. in case I need to reinstall or transfer to another
machine. Should I wish, I can pre-install multiple copies on my
various computers -- all I need is the legitimate CD-1 in the drive of
the PC that I wish to use when I start the game, either SP or MP.
What could be simpler ?? No need for any Steam- type umbilical
AT ALL. No need for EA/DICE to know anything about me. No need
for a unique on-line account. Can readily and legally trade the
game... Haven't you forgotten (very conveniently indeed) how simple
(and non-intrusive) non-Steam SP/MP games are to install/load
and run ?

Steam is SOLELY there <<<to maximise Valve's profit>>> :--- by
charging exorbitant $$ to download purchasable games and adding
paranoid layers of security and encryption to thwart hackers and
used-game-trades....thus totally pi**ing-off honest customers and
treating Valve's accumulated customer goodwill during the
HL1/CS days like inflammable tissue-paper.

Enjoy your lonely bed-of-nails.

Please say NO to Steam, or any games from developers who
license Steam ( and may call it something different... beware.....)

John Lewis
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 2:59:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

john.dsl@verizon.net (John Lewis) wrote in
news:42179c9a.11913459@news.verizon.net:

>
> REQUIRING an email address to install and play a purchased PC game
> is an implied invasion of customer privacy, since the email is
> technically back-traceable. Any attempt at tracking such an email
> address back to the current owner to enforce the HL2 EULA is an
> actual invasion of customer privacy. Trying to dress a wolf in sheep's
> clothing again....... ???

Heehee. Your kidding right?

> Ummm.... I own BF1942 (just one example of many SP/MP games with
> the same properties)...
<snip>
> Haven't you forgotten (very conveniently indeed) how simple
> (and non-intrusive) non-Steam SP/MP games are to install/load
> and run ?

Not sure the point here. I have games that require no graphic card, no
money paid, and not even the need to install new software. And other
games that can be downloaded from anyones site then you send the money to
the guy if you decide you like the game.

> Steam is SOLELY there <<<to maximise Valve's profit>>>

And again, your kidding right? That might be true if you got Steam from
Valve. But since its included by a publisher into their games I SUSPECT
that it might have some slight benefits to someone other than Valve :) 

> charging exorbitant $$ to download purchasable games and adding
> paranoid layers of security and encryption to thwart hackers and
> used-game-trades....thus totally pi**ing-off honest customers and
> treating Valve's accumulated customer goodwill during the
> HL1/CS days like inflammable tissue-paper.

Now thats a load of facts. Interestingly worded :) 

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 3:26:49 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action (More info?)

Thusly Walter Mitty <mitticus@yahoo.co.uk> Spake Unto All:

>Steam needs to know absolutely nothing about you other than a (typically
>anonymous) email address.

However, Kroagnon hasn't got his head around the concept that you can
have anonymous email addresses yet, so brace for a tirade about
"giving up anonymity" now.
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 5:49:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"OldDog" <OldDog@citypound.com> wrote in
news:aYTRd.15032$911.4081@fe2.texas.rr.com:

> When I bought my house, I had to show them 3 photo ids, a certified
> check, and sign a stack of papers 2 ft high. When I bought my car, I
> had to give them my name and address. When I went to get cable, I had
> to give them my name, address, phone number.... I'm not sure of the
> legal rights, but does customer privacy only apply to certain
> areas/items?

In the military they started handing us these forms to read and sign all
the time about the "privacy act" which specified what can and cant be
asked. STILL we had people all the time saying things like "you cant ask
for my address can you?" or "how come my phone number appears on that
list?".

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 20, 2005 6:58:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

<snip>
> game... Haven't you forgotten (very conveniently indeed) how simple
> (and non-intrusive) non-Steam SP/MP games are to install/load
> and run ?
>
> Steam is SOLELY there <<<to maximise Valve's profit>>> :--- by
> charging exorbitant $$ to download purchasable games and adding
> paranoid layers of security and encryption to thwart hackers and
> used-game-trades....thus totally pi**ing-off honest customers and
> treating Valve's accumulated customer goodwill during the
> HL1/CS days like inflammable tissue-paper.
>
> Enjoy your lonely bed-of-nails.
>
> Please say NO to Steam, or any games from developers who
> license Steam ( and may call it something different... beware.....)
>
> John Lewis
>
I agree with Mr. Lewis' viewpoints. His is the way I see the situation also.
Again, I have been quiet for a long time about this issue while watching all
of the arguments, pro and con. As a legitimate consumer, Steam is intrusive
and wrong.
The German government's response to the mislabeling is the proper course of
action, and I applaud it.
Regards,
John A. Mason
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 4:15:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote in message
news:Xns9603455EC1EBDgandalfparker@208.201.224.154...
> "OldDog" <OldDog@citypound.com> wrote in
> news:aYTRd.15032$911.4081@fe2.texas.rr.com:
>
> > When I bought my house, I had to show them 3 photo ids, a certified
> > check, and sign a stack of papers 2 ft high. When I bought my car, I
> > had to give them my name and address. When I went to get cable, I had
> > to give them my name, address, phone number.... I'm not sure of the
> > legal rights, but does customer privacy only apply to certain
> > areas/items?
>
> In the military they started handing us these forms to read and sign all
> the time about the "privacy act" which specified what can and cant be
> asked. STILL we had people all the time saying things like "you cant ask
> for my address can you?" or "how come my phone number appears on that
> list?".
>
> Gandalf Parker

All I remember when I was in is that they told me, "Young Pup, you have no
privacy!" ;) 
!