Valve/Steam sued in Germany over 2nd Hand Game Sales

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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by darthviper107: He meant the same thing, that digital copies should not cost the same as physical copies since you get less for the money.


Thanks for that, I seem to have misunderstood what he meant.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by PerryDS: With digital files, they can be cracked and then sold over and over again ... no licence issue.


In that case the person buying could just download the game for free, which already happens.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by PerryDS: With digital files, they can be cracked and then sold over and over again ... no licence issue.


The fact that, say, 10 - 15% of people may bother to resort to things like that doesn't change a thing here.

This is about upholding BASIC CONSUMER RIGHTS. BASIC BUYER RIGHTS.

I pay good money every month for the content I buy. Both films and AAA games cost a bunch to buy here, as they do elsewhere.

Why in the world would I give a shit what the industry's insignificant "Boohoo - There's Some Piracy In The World!" problems are?

To put it another way: The fact that some people may choose to game the system is not an excuse for my fundamental consumer rights to be taken away, or your's, or anybody elses.

And besides, it is damn easy for the content industry to fight piracy, if that is something it is actually serious about - something I personally doubt.

Bring the market price of digital content down!

That way more people will be able to afford to buy legal copies of films, games, music and so on.

And the piracy rate will fall from say 35%, to maybe 10%, which is an insignificant number.
 
  02 February 2013
It's a tricky question and it's interesting to see everyone's take on it.

I myself prefer subscription services when I'm not buying things digitally (such as Spotify for music..). You pay a certain amount each month and you get access to everything for as long as you pay. Once you stop, you don't. There is no hazzle with licensing nor files that you own or not. The main problem with that model is that companies would make less money/or the end user has to pay a lot each month to make it work (and have multiple services.. one for music, books, games, apps etc..)

I really hope we get more subscription and streaming based services soon, because for videos there aren't many good that is available in each country (and that works on tablets..). For games... I have not seen any. Amazon is beginning to lend out kindle books which costs about half of the price of buying it..

I think some companies are heading in the right direction but we're far from done. It is an issue both for companies and end users and I really hope someone comes up with a clever solution to it that benefits everyone.
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  02 February 2013
My simple take on it is that if you don't agree with their EULA, just don't buy. "Caveat emptor, pal"

It's not as if Valve changed the rules in the middle of the game or tried to cheat anybody. It's kind of silly to try to change a business model because you don't agree with it by suing, specially when you knew how Steam worked and still put money in it.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by entropymachine: It's kind of silly to try to change a business model because you don't agree with it by suing, specially when you knew how Steam worked and still put money in it.


Here's what you don't seem to grasp:

There is such a thing as BASIC CONSUMER RIGHTS - lets call it "BCR" for short.

Your BCR, which are rights backed by legislation, says that you can buy something, and then sell or give it away to someone else if you don't want it anymore, or, indeed, you run out of money and want to sell a few things you have legally bought.

What that something is doesn't matter much. Could be a book, a film, a car, a Photoshop license, or a set of silver spoons.

Steam deliberately and calculatedly takes away everybodys "BCRs".

So it is appropriate that Valve/Steam should be sued in order to try to restore Steam users' BCRs.

My 2 Cents.
 
  02 February 2013
I'm not sure consumer rights is a thing, in any case it's something that when there are unique cases that come up with new technology the old laws don't necessarily apply. I think it's hard to say you own something when that thing requires support from Valve or the developer for it to work.
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  02 February 2013
Actually because no one really knows, it seems no legit laws were imposed when industry went digital iam glad a law will take care of this now. Companies put in EULAs which are legally not necessarily binding. It will be interesting. Personally the lack of ability to buy second hand software is the biggest problem with professional software. Getting Photoshop PS4 instead of 6 which can do all i need all i want and should cost far less than the overpriced money maker. Same with 3Ds Max 2013, when there was hardly a worthy addition since 2009.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by DePaint: Here's what you don't seem to grasp:

There is such a thing as BASIC CONSUMER RIGHTS - lets call it "BCR" for short.

Your BCR, which are rights backed by legislation, says that you can buy something, and then sell or give it away to someone else if you don't want it anymore, or, indeed, you run out of money and want to sell a few things you have legally bought.

What that something is doesn't matter much. Could be a book, a film, a car, a Photoshop license, or a set of silver spoons.

Steam deliberately and calculatedly takes away everybodys "BCRs".

So it is appropriate that Valve/Steam should be sued in order to try to restore Steam users' BCRs.

My 2 Cents.

You can physically own tangible things like a book, a car, or a set of silver spoons. If someone takes your silver spoons you will no longer have them. Now explain how this applies to a collection of bits copied in your computer memory? I do agree with a notion that technology has changed and so should the business model. Litigation is unnatural. And you do have consumer rights- the right not to buy. Nobody is taking away your "BCRs". I can start selling a crappy version of Pacman game I wrote in 30 minutes for $100/minute to play. This doesn't mean that you should sue me, you just don't buy into crappy deals
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by BrainFreeze: You can physically own tangible things like a book, a car, or a set of silver spoons. If someone takes your silver spoons you will no longer have them. Now explain how this applies to a collection of bits copied in your computer memory?


A very basic Steam example:

1) You own Dishonored for PC. You've played through it twice. You are bored with it and don't want to play it a 3rd time. Dishonored is tied to your steam account.

2) You now meet someone online who wants to buy Dishonored for PC 2nd hand.

3) You agree to sell that person Dishonored 2nd hand for 20 Dollars.

4) A simple swap is done. Dishonored disappears from your Steam Library, and instead appears as an entry in the other person's Steam Library. All that happens, in reality, is that the Dishonored license is removed from one person's database entries, and added to another's. So there is no hassle or "extra work for Valve" in this. A very simple automated script can make the game/license swap happen.

5) You agreed that the swap was for 20 Dollars. So now you get expendable 20 Dollars as Steam Store credit. (Or alternatively, 20 Dollars is sent to your credit card/bank account).

6) You now have 20 bucks to spend on new Steam games. And some happy other person gets Dishonored for 20 bucks. This is a Win - Win situation from a consumer rights standpoint.

7) The only remaining legal question is whether the 2nd owner of Dishonored can, in turn, finish playing it and sell it on to a 3rd person, and that person to a 4th person, and so on.


From a technological standpoint, allowing games to be resold/swapped is no big deal, as you can see from this example.

The only thing that stands in the way of this happening is the HUGE GREED of companies like Apple, Valve, Amazon and others.

And that is why the best option open to consumers is to let these mega companies be sued in a proper court of law.

I hope that makes some sense?
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by BrainFreeze: You can physically own tangible things like a book, a car, or a set of silver spoons. If someone takes your silver spoons you will no longer have them. Now explain how this applies to a collection of bits copied in your computer memory? I do agree with a notion that technology has changed and so should the business model. Litigation is unnatural. And you do have consumer rights- the right not to buy. Nobody is taking away your "BCRs". I can start selling a crappy version of Pacman game I wrote in 30 minutes for $100/minute to play. This doesn't mean that you should sue me, you just don't buy into crappy deals


i think its exactly the same. the problem is you COULD copy it, but that does not mean you WILL do it. the companys tell you that you COULD copy their products, so they have to save it in a special way. what they really say is that they dont trust their own costumers.

if you buy a digital product and you resell it, you cant use it anymore, like a car you resell or a cd. the companys say now that you will use it at all cost without a lic. you resell it, but you steal it automatically and will use it in the future without to pay for it. and thats the point alot of people dont get. the companys declare their own customers as thiefs from the start.

and dont write now alot of people illegally using digital content. that does not make a difference, its forbidden, simple as that, no excuse for it. this does not mean you can cut user rights by default and declare them as thiefs like today.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Kzin: and thats the point alot of people dont get. the companys declare their own customers as thiefs from the start.


Correct. They do this "oh no sooooo much piracy!" routine partly as a sneaky psychological tactic to make younger buyers aged 12 - 25 think that the product must be great and worth a lot of money.

After all, if people everywhere are trying to steal the game/software, it must be freaking great, right?

This is pure Psych-Warfare. Don't fall for it!

Originally Posted by Kzin: and dont write now alot of people illegally using digital content. that does not make a difference, its forbidden, simple as that, no excuse for it. this does not mean you can cut user rights by default and declare them as thiefs like today.


Correct again. Companies should not have the right to brand people as "thieves".

But they do so because there is nothing out there that stops/regulates them from doing this.

This is why the digital content providers need to be sued in court, sued in court, and sued some more in court, so the legal system finally provides a little protection for the consumer.

I hope that the case in Germany is won by the consumer rights side, and I hope that these lawsuits spread to other territories in the EU, and the U.S., and maybe even countries like mine - Turkey.

I'm fed up with companies stomping all over my consumer rights...

"Roast them over a slow fire in a court of law" I say!
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by DePaint: Your BCR, which are rights backed by legislation, says that you can buy something, and then sell or give it away to someone else if you don't want it anymore, or, indeed, you run out of money and want to sell a few things you have legally bought.


Yes, and traditionally also the right to return the item in a short time in case you're not happy and be granted a full refund with no questions asked,etc. And they don't allow that either. No digital content seller does, because it doesn't make sense either. One thing is how "we" think things should happen, the other is how they are. Its fine to try to find another business model that suits those worries, but i see no logic in suing Valve for it.

My point was before the "rights" argument, it's a simple issue: you read (supposedly) an EULA, you press accept. It also legally binds you as having accepted what's written in there. If Steam's states those rules about no trading or re-selling and you still said "yes", you've wavered any right to complain about their rules after the fact. It's a conscious choice.

Last edited by entropymachine : 02 February 2013 at 02:19 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by entropymachine:
My point was before the "rights" argument, it's a simple issue: you read (supposedly) an EULA, you press accept. It also legally binds you as having accepted what's written in there. If Steam's states those rules about no trading or re-selling and you still said "yes", you've wavered any right to complain about their rules after the fact. It's a conscious choice.



Can we please address this once and for all. A EULA is NOT a legally binding document. Not unless the courts say so. (recently oracle lost - users allowed to resell)

That another little 'Psych Game" thats played by many a company, putting what ever they want in a eula, and they can, but it DOES NOT mean its legally binding. Not matter how hard they try and sell you that it is. That's why we have Judges.

Regarding the whole consumer rights, why am I'm not surprised at reading that this is happening in Germany, they seem the last bastion for defending their citizens rights. Other countries are either a) on the take - ie tax and/or b) care nothing about citizens rights.
 
  02 February 2013
Companies like Valve, Amazon, Apple etc. operate on one basic assumption: the customer is by nature untrustworthy and a thief, and as soon as he gets his grubby, little mitts on their precious digital goods he will replicate and spread them among his friends and on the internet UNLESS they find a way to stop him. Which is both insulting and also incredibily stupid.

These days (maybe with the exception of online games like MMOs and other services that rely on a constant internet connection to stream the actual content from the original company's servers) it's actually WAY easier and hassle-free to download and install a game illegally than to go through all the hoops associated with legal digital purchases. People don't pay for digital goods because they are too stupid to figure out how to download a file from Rapidshare. They make a deliberate decision to give you their money, the company that rewards them by treating them as potential criminals.

The sheer fact that I bought the digital product instead of downloading it illegally should be enough proof that I don't want to cheat or steal from you. So there's no harm in granting me the right to resell or return it if I'm not pleased with it, because for the same reason that I CHOSE to not download it illegally in the first place, I'm not going to keep using it after I sold it to someone else or returned it for a refund.

I agree with Emre, many companies selling digital content for years now have been trampling on basic customer rights, which at last in Germany are indeed granted by law, so I hope they will get the shit sued out of them and forced to change their illegal practices.
 
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