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New Steam Agreement Now Says You Can't Sue Valve

By - Source: Valve Software | B 57 comments

Valve has joined Sony and Microsoft, saying that Steam users can't sue the company if they want to use the service.

Valve Software has joined the ranks of Microsoft, Sony and Electronics Arts by requiring Steam users to waive their right to file a lawsuit against the company in order to use the digital distribution platform. The company made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that Steam's new dispute resolution terms allow customers to only bring individual claims, not class action claims.

"We considered this change very carefully. It’s clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers," the company said. "In far too many cases however, class actions don’t provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities."

"We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole," Valve added.

According to the new dispute resolution process, the first goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible through the normal customer support process whenever a customer is unhappy with any transaction. When a dispute can't be resolved in this fashion, then Valve agrees to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute. In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse the costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount.

"Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitrator’s decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable," the company said.

In addition to the lawsuit aspect, the updated Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA) and Valve's Privacy Policy reflect the opening of a new Valve office in Luxembourg to better serve EU customers and partners.

"For those living in the EU, the SSA will be with Valve's Luxembourg subsidiary Valve S.a.r.l. and the SSA has been amended to reflect additional terms specific to our EU customers. We've added other terms related to the Steam Wallet and Steam trading to accommodate new features and capabilities of Steam," Valve said.

The full update on the Steam Subscriber Agreement can be read here.

 

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Top Comments
  • 38 Hide
    sacre , August 3, 2012 3:05 AM
    The system is screwed up badly.

    How about this, you show us the EULA before we buy the game. So now, if I disagree with your EULA, I can just put the game back onto the shelf instead of being unable to return the game because I opened it, and nearly installed it.

    Don't make me buy the game THEN ask me to agree to its terms.

    This really pisses me off.
  • 22 Hide
    Inferno1217 , August 3, 2012 3:31 AM
    I don't see how this would ever hold up in court. As sacre said you can't return the item once opened and you have to open it or purchase it online before agreeing to the EULA. Also if putting a "no sue" clause in a contract worked every time, every company would have done this long ago. I think it's a scare tactic but little do they realize in all their greed, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
  • 21 Hide
    s3anister , August 3, 2012 3:26 AM
    Quote:
    Valve has joined Sony and Microsoft, saying that Steam users can't sue the company if they want to use the service.

    Are we ever going to see the U.S. government step in on this? It's ridiculous that a corporation is able to do this. Take an auto manufacturer for example, if the car you drive is defective (Firestone and Ford, anyone?) you can sue them to hopefully fix the problem if there is one. What good is it to have a legal system if you can't use it to the fullest extent?
Other Comments
  • 38 Hide
    sacre , August 3, 2012 3:05 AM
    The system is screwed up badly.

    How about this, you show us the EULA before we buy the game. So now, if I disagree with your EULA, I can just put the game back onto the shelf instead of being unable to return the game because I opened it, and nearly installed it.

    Don't make me buy the game THEN ask me to agree to its terms.

    This really pisses me off.
  • 8 Hide
    nukemaster , August 3, 2012 3:20 AM
    They also say the service will not be free of viruses as well(just to cover the "In Case" scenario).

    This is the same standard for ALL games now days. Blizzard is the same thing.
  • 21 Hide
    s3anister , August 3, 2012 3:26 AM
    Quote:
    Valve has joined Sony and Microsoft, saying that Steam users can't sue the company if they want to use the service.

    Are we ever going to see the U.S. government step in on this? It's ridiculous that a corporation is able to do this. Take an auto manufacturer for example, if the car you drive is defective (Firestone and Ford, anyone?) you can sue them to hopefully fix the problem if there is one. What good is it to have a legal system if you can't use it to the fullest extent?
  • 18 Hide
    zshift , August 3, 2012 3:30 AM
    That title is a blatant lie. Valve allows you to SUE them in small claims courts. It's mentioned in your article, and as per the Valve post, "...we've outlined a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute." Stop hyping your titles to bring in traffic, and go back to presenting honest journalism.
  • 22 Hide
    Inferno1217 , August 3, 2012 3:31 AM
    I don't see how this would ever hold up in court. As sacre said you can't return the item once opened and you have to open it or purchase it online before agreeing to the EULA. Also if putting a "no sue" clause in a contract worked every time, every company would have done this long ago. I think it's a scare tactic but little do they realize in all their greed, they are shooting themselves in the foot.
  • 15 Hide
    Pinhedd , August 3, 2012 3:31 AM
    s3anisterAre we ever going to see the U.S. government step in on this? It's ridiculous that a corporation is able to do this. Take an auto manufacturer for example, if the car you drive is defective (Firestone and Ford, anyone?) you can sue them to hopefully fix the problem if there is one. What good is it to have a legal system if you can't use it to the fullest extent?


    Contracts aren't law. Companies often put whatever they think that they can get away with in service contracts but whether or not they get away with it is for a court to decide. If a court decides that the right to seek redress for grievances cannot be signed away like that then that's just too bad for valve/microsoft/sony
  • 14 Hide
    jerm1027 , August 3, 2012 3:34 AM
    I don't think this is actually going to stop anyone from filing a class action lawsuit if Valve fucks up. Seriously, it's like telling an officer they can't arrest them. I wonder if it's possible to sue over the anti-suing clause in the EULA.
  • 11 Hide
    ikyung , August 3, 2012 3:39 AM
    s3anisterAre we ever going to see the U.S. government step in on this? It's ridiculous that a corporation is able to do this. Take an auto manufacturer for example, if the car you drive is defective (Firestone and Ford, anyone?) you can sue them to hopefully fix the problem if there is one. What good is it to have a legal system if you can't use it to the fullest extent?

    You obviously have no idea how the legal system works... just because Valve says you can't sue us, doesn't mean you can't sue them. You have the right to sue anyone no matter what their user agreement says. If Valve truly screwed you, then take them to court. The judge will decide whether you should receive compensation or not. Not valve.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , August 3, 2012 3:53 AM
    Did a judge rule those bad?
  • -2 Hide
    zander1983 , August 3, 2012 3:59 AM
    This is happening because people abuse the law. Companies are getting sick and tired of every John Doe trying to make money.
  • 4 Hide
    zeratul600 , August 3, 2012 4:01 AM
    can i have a maid and made her sign a contract that says that if she wants to work she wont sue me for rape or sexual harassment or for stealing from her??? oh america your legal system it's bringing you down!
  • 6 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 3, 2012 4:02 AM
    sacreThe system is screwed up badly.How about this, you show us the EULA before we buy the game. So now, if I disagree with your EULA, I can just put the game back onto the shelf instead of being unable to return the game because I opened it, and nearly installed it. Don't make me buy the game THEN ask me to agree to its terms.This really pisses me off.


    AND...

    Write the EULA in ENGLISH. I can tolerate some lawyer writing, but no more than like 10 pages of it.
  • 8 Hide
    ozchoz , August 3, 2012 4:06 AM
    Meanwhile in Australia, we don't generally sue companies we buy things from if we are unhappy, we just stop buying things from them.
  • 7 Hide
    tobalaz , August 3, 2012 4:07 AM
    zander1983This is happening because people abuse the law. Companies are getting sick and tired of every John Doe trying to make money.

    No, the lawyers are abusing the law.
    No one wins in a class action claim but the lawyers, they take millions from the companies and the victims get somewhere between 50 cents and five bucks when they were usually hosed well in excess of $50.
  • -1 Hide
    loops , August 3, 2012 4:19 AM
    one word: Unconscionability
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2012 4:31 AM
    Any contract that requires that you sign away ANY right is invalid. They have no legal leg to stand on, at least in the US.
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , August 3, 2012 4:37 AM
    Well considering they added terms it is likely possible to get a refund should you disagree to the new terms and don't have access to the software that got purchased under other terms!

    Hmm 250 titles in my library... must not!
  • 0 Hide
    azathoth , August 3, 2012 4:46 AM
    The chances that any of us will be directly effected by this, such as valves credit data being stolen + cracked (cough Sony) is slim to none.

    However, the very principle of being forced to sign off our RIGHTS so we can use products we have already paid for is simply absurd.

    It's just a dirty tactic... What am I going to do? Throw away $1000+ in video games?
  • -3 Hide
    mmstick , August 3, 2012 4:47 AM
    It's clear that no one commenting here actually read the article.
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