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New Steam Agreement Now Says You Can't Sue Valve

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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  • sacre
    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.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    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.
    Reply
  • applegetsmelaid
    Fine by me! More time in the court room means less time p0wning n00bs ;-)
    Reply
  • s3anister
    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?
    Reply
  • zshift
    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.
    Reply
  • Inferno1217
    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.
    Reply
  • Pinhedd
    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
    Reply
  • jerm1027
    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.
    Reply
  • ikyung
    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.
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    Did a judge rule those bad?
    Reply