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Direct2Drive "announces" "Double Civilization and Scenario Pack"

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by salaminizer, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Some rules you can break, others you cannot. In consumer rights, there are certain rules you cannot break. What muddies this however is the fact that it is not European law per se that applies. While I am not an expert in consumer laws per se, I believe that it is typical for an online store to state what law applies. If you say that in the US a consumer gets 30 days, then that rule applies if US laws are applicable here.

    What I am uncertain of is what kind of rule the 'US law refunds within 30 days rule' is. It is common for the people who make laws to make rules that can be broken but the agreement that diverts from the law must be laid down in a written agreement. I am uncertain if this 30 day rule is a rule that stores can break or not. If they can, I would not expect a refund.

    I can see one escape however. If it is true that even with some research, like the one wolfigor executed, it is completely unclear that a user must accept the steam EULA, then you may break the contract saying 'I would not have accepted this deal had I known the implications.' In Dutch law there are several grounds that you can provide to succesfully bring this up. In Dutch this is either 'dwaling' or 'bedrog', with dwaling being the least hard to proof. Bedrog is basically where you were purposefully misled, while dwaling is merely when there is a misunderstanding that should not have occured had the vendor handled things correctly, or at least a misunderstanding that should not be contributed to the consumer.

    To be more exact: You can proof dwaling if either
    a) the misunderstanding is caused by information provided by the seller
    This one I think is not provable because the seller does not provide any info, let alone false info.

    b) if the seller, had he known why the consumer was misinformed, should have known that this was causing 'dwaling' and the vendor should have informed the consumer
    This one may be doable, but I do not have the proper tools to look into this really deep at my disposal at the present.

    c) the vendor and the consumer both got to the agreement based on misinformation
    Good luck proving that...

    So while you may not be without chance altogether, you need to proof that D2D knew you had concerns about accepting EULA's, and knowing this, they should have provided info.

    Again, it is clear that a consumer who just pre-orders and who does not even try to be informed is without protection.

    As you can see I came to somewhat the same conclusion based on this situation and based on the fact that you can proof that you researched this. You still need to prove a few things though. It will not be easy getting the money back.

    Please note that all this is assuming that the clausule in the agreement that there will be no money back is a legal one, and one clausule that may indeed be broken.
     
  2. wolfigor

    wolfigor Emperor

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    The main problem is really that the law lag behind the reality of online commerce and transactions.
    For what I can see, at the moment, we mostly have a "jungle" law: the stronger wins!

    So far in my day-to-day I haven't had to deal with online international consumer law (that btw doesn't really exists), but I had a lot to deal with privacy and "content filtering" laws... that's really ugly stuff.
    Maybe, just because I do have a an inside view of corporate and states views on online services that I get so worried about my own privacy and what data I give away.


    [content filtering == state censorship]
     
  3. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    there is indeed no such thing as international consumer law, There are however laws based on laws that the EU publishes. All states who are part of the EU then have to incorporate that EU law into the national law in one form or another.

    It can indeed be a jungle. That is why people need to be careful and not pre-order blindly. It is like being a kid all over again and hearing your mom say 'do not trust strangers!' It is as true now as it was back then.
     
  4. Welnic

    Welnic Emperor

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    If you go to D2D's product page for Dragon Age there is a link to EA's EULA for the game, since it uses their DRM. I would think there would be the same thing for Civ 5, even though it isn't there yet.
     
  5. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Of course the information that Steamworks is required and Internet is required for installation is not highly visible on D2D or the Civ 5 website.. they don't want to scare potential buyers off.

    People generally don't like things like where they are forced to participate with another 3rd party just to play offline. And there are alot of people who on general blogs and websites who won't buy because of Steamworks, and because of 2K's silly and incompetent marketing strategy.

    Furthermore, EULA's are worthless pieces of trash that mean absolutely nothing, because you really have NO OPTION after a purchase to decide if you wish to accept it or not.

    Sure, you can click NO; but in a huge majority of situations, you cannot get your money back if you do not agree to the EULA. It is completely anti-consumer based in a power struggle against 2nd hand resale and piracy which only hurts legitimate consumers; thus adding fuel to an already burning fire.

    Of course, they need to make money and protect their goods from theft; but Steam is a split road in the like/hate departement.

    The true future will be something like what OnLive has developed (in Beta currently). A friend of mine is a beta-tester and I got a first hand look at it and even played it. Games ran with perfect speed (like being on a $5000 high-performance end machine) off of his Pentium 4 256 MB old dusty PC. This could be the complete END of consoles as we know them, Piracy cannot exist with this, but there are some limitations of course (no modding possible without all the game files installed on your system). In fact, no computer is even needed to play any game on your TV.

    Steam is the final straw to keep the old ways of DRM alive in a way that seems as user-friendly as possible. If you don't mind digital downloads and not owning a product, then something like OnLive should be wonderous where a computer isn't even needed, and games run perfect speed on your notepad, notebook, laptop, or desktop.
     
  6. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    So you dislike Steam, but speak praisingly of a service that asks you to pay a subscription AND to buy games at full price on it? That doesn't just require an internet connection, but a fast, reliable connection that is in a good geographical position relative to telecomms infrastructure? That has no modding and a strange reluctance to support mouse controlled games as the lag intrinsic to such a service becomes more apparent in them?

    You don't know what you want.
     
  7. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    I never said I preferred that... please quote where I stated my preference. If you got confused where I said the "True future will be something like...", that is because it will. It's inevitable. Now for people with horrible slow/no computers, but fast internet, and who don't care to mod or mess around with comp's, it's a good way to good. I would rather have my PC.

    Awaiting your response of where I stated this assumed preference you made up.
     
  8. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Duh. Read it in advance, genius. :mischief:
     
  9. The_Coyote

    The_Coyote Emperor

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    While it´s certainly true in this situation here (download of software) - not sure if it works in general for retail versions (i know the legend that EULAs are worthless, but this is not equal that this is a fact).

    Looking at most packages - there is a hint that you have to accept an EULA - but no hint where you can find this EULA (which is not true for the SSA). So finally, so far, at the moment you bought the game in a store (which is equal to buy the right to play the game, because we only buy licences or even more now subscriptions) you hasn´t seen the EULA (and has seen no link to the EULA). So reading in advance is a bit difficult only having the information provided in the store.

    But even looking at the civilization5 website - so doing some research - i don´t see a good positionated link to the EULA of civ5. How much research (and is a online research really necessary, if you eg only want to play single player games and don´t care communities at all but the game requires an "internet connection for authentication") is needed? Looking at the game site itself, or much more?

    Is in such a case - lets assume reasonable research was done in advance - a later limitation of the already owned usage right (you own this right atm you bought the game in the store - or is this sight problematic) possible? And do you think there is a difference between now and the situation five (or ten) years ago?
     
  10. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Think of it this way. If you anticipate you might not want to accept an EULA, you can be expected to really dig deep in order to read the EULA before buying the game. If the contents of the EULA are that much of an issue, does it seem unreasonable to expect that you try everything you can think of in order to read it in advance? I think not. Everything possible in this context means including contacting the stores, websites and developers, politely requesting to see a copy of the EULA involved.

    In a typical case people do not want to do this much research up front, but one may then also argue that purchasing a product is pretty much implicitly the same as accepting an EULA. In order for an agreement to be binding, it needs not be written down, the writing it down is a formality and a tool to help proof what was the content of the agreement. It is often symbolic. If I defended steam, I would say that upon purchasing the EULA the consumer agreed with our EULA. This is me thinking out loud of course, but I can see such a statement being brought up in court.

    Anyway, I just was drawn into this discusiion because of a slow day at work. I was thinking I could provide a decent answer, but when thinking the legal context out the whole problem was way more complex than I had initially though. I would not be surprised if a lawyer who specialised in this field also has trouble explaining in finer detail exactly how the legal situation needs to be classified, how laws of different countries interact, how far the customers duty to research a product before buying it goes, and how we need to answer the questions in this thread.

    In the end, I am fairly sure that one will not get a refund in court, and that any refund will be a refund based on sympathy and creating a good relation rather than it being legally required. Given the fact that D2D advertises with the 'no refunds' sign, I would however not expect leniency from them in terms of refunds...

    Once more, a warning. Think before you pre-order, and only put in an order when you are certain you will not regret it. :old:
     
  11. LaRate

    LaRate Chieftain

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    To complicate things even more, I don't quite think EULAs apply on pre-orders in the same way they apply on a regular purchase after release.

    Basically, if you pre-order, you close a deal that isn't completed until after release - you fulfill your part of the contract by paying, but the other party will not fullfil its contractual liabilities until the date of release.

    So asking for a refund in this case is not the "I give you back yours, you give me back mine" scenario of a regular purchase. Its more like you resigning from a contract that isn't fulfilled yet and then demanding your money back that a seller has no more claim on.

    Now, I don't really know what circumstances justify yourself resigning from such a contract. However, in Germany (and Europe generally I guess) you have legally-assured 14 days to return a mail-ordered product without having to justify it and with getting a full refund. I don't know how this applies on digitally obtained goods but I don't expect it to be fundamentally different. Now this would imply that you can give back the product up until 14 days after purchase - the purchase being fulfilled not until you have the product (i.e. release date).

    This would basically imply that you could retreat from the pre-order in the moment of actual release (not earlier) - also because this is the point in time where your decision of accepting or declining the EULA can be made.

    The 14-days-money-back law in Germany cannot be overridden by individual commercial rules and terms. It applies to all commercial sellers (not to non-commercial private persons e.g. selling stuff on ebay).
     
  12. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I actually think you are not correct. pre-ordering is indeed the same legal situation than a normal sale. You both agree that the date in which you get the product is postponed until the release date for obvious reasons, but the date of delivery is not something that makes whis a whole different situation altogether.

    Asking for a refund is "I give you back yours, you give me back mine". You no longer claim a right on the product you pre-ordered. THe law states that both parties need to undo the actions they took to fulfil the requirements of the agreement. Just because in the case of the pre-order the actions that were made are not there, it does not mean that it is diffeent legally. In practice we see a difference, legally it is the exact same classification. The unbinding of the contract forces both parties to undo the things they did. In Dutch law it is called a 'verbintenis tot ongedaanmaking.'

    In Dutch it is 7 days if I am not mistaken. Also I question wether or not EU law applies. I unfortunately cannot look into that right now. You may be right that it applies. It is complicated for sure.

    Where I think you err is that the fullfilment date is where we consider the purchase complete. I think the purchase is complete after you transfered the money. That is where the deal is accepted by D2D, and where they take upon themselves the burden of having to deliver the product to you. I am unsure if this is true, but I suspect the date of delivery is not the deciding factor.

    I suspected that you cannot override the period where the consumer can still bring back the goods. However, that is according to laws based on EU rules. I am uncertain if they apply in this case. They may... Complicated, huh? :D

    I said before that you can accept an EULA in advance and explicitly. Pondering over it some more I doubt the validity f that statement. Clicking 'I accept' is pretty much the only time then the other party will know that you accepted, so that would be the deciding moment. Of course deals need not be put into a signed contract before they are binding, but in this case that is pretty much the only time when you can make your decision known.

    My head hurts. :p
     
  13. LaRate

    LaRate Chieftain

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    Admittedly I had only a 2-semester course on private law - but in this point i am quite sure, although maybe I lost something in the translation.

    The deal/contract is set as soon as you click purchase - this is were you accept. The deal is accepted by D2D even prior to that: by making an offer (via their store or whatever) that basically states "we will deliver to anyone under the following conditions". So the contract is in effect even before you pay in the moment you click. In german law this is called "Willenserklärung" (declaration of intent) of both sides.

    Now for the contract to be fulfilled, both sides must give what they agreed on. You give them your money, they give you the product. So the contract cannot be fulfilled until they do their part - which is not before release date.

    If that 7/14-day refund applied (and yes that question might be complicated), the deadline would definitely be after release. Where I did confuse things in my prior post: claiming this right is of course a case of "I give back, you give back".
     
  14. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I am unsure about which date determines when the terms starts to run. If it is the date in which you receive the item, then ok... I suppose if you recall that that was the deciding factor, I believe you. :)

    I think the rest of the post is pretty much correct, except in finer details - but that would be semantic discussion rather than a discussion of law. You have the gist of it right and then choose your wording rather ambigue. For the spirit of it you are correct.
     
  15. LaRate

    LaRate Chieftain

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    This is what I meant by "lost in translation" :) - I don't know the exact legal terms in english which impedes the discussion... However, in the case of D2D I don't even think that EU law will apply...
     
  16. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Some remarks (all of them being based on German law only):

    1) When advertising on their webpage, D2D actually does not offer to sell. This assumption is a common mistake.
    What they do is to invite you to offer them a purchasing contract (invitatio ad offerendum).

    2) With putting the "item" into your "cart" and clicking through the whole sales application, you are finalizing your offer. You offer them the chance to sell x times Civ5 and you declare to be willing to pay the resulting price. At this point, no purchasing has taken place, yet.

    3) They have to accept this offer. In the case of a physical shop, this acceptance would be expressed by the fact that you give the money and they allow you to keep the good (which was assumedly in your cart already), respectively they hand the good over to you. In case of online sales, the start of the download and/or the charging of your credit card would replace this action. In any way, when your credit card has been changed or when the download has started you may assume that acceptance of your offer has been declared.

    4) The sequence in which downloading/charging is going to happen does not matter, important is the fact that a "turn by turn" or "step by step" procedure has taken place (quid pro quo)

    5) For pre-ordering, things appear to be different. Their invitatio ad offerendum stays valid, as does your offer. By charging your credit card they accepted your offer (that' the "quid"), yet they have not delivered yet. The purchasing contract has not yet been fulfilled. It is pending. Up to this point, any party can still step back without having to explain their reasons (this applies for business between private persons and shops/commercial vendors).

    6) Pre-ordering in pre-internet times meant to "reserve" a good for you, although it was to be delivered later. In most cases this was due to limited availability of the good and/or considerable efforts to be taken by the vendor to supply that good.
    Therefore, in at least many cases the vendor asked you for a prepayment to cover their costs (under the assumption that providing that item would be cost-intensive, but they would be able to sell it to someone else in case of you not accepting the delivery). In case of a good made or retrieved only for you, with no realistic chance to sell it to somebody else, it could even be a cash before delivery agreement.
    Once again, that would have been done to give the vendor some safety, since he was doing all the necessary steps in advance.

    7) If you would not have accepted the delivery of the pre-ordered items, there would have been an economical loss for the vendor. To cover that loss, he would have been allowed to keep either the prepayment or the cash before delivery, based on how much the loss would have been. In case of a lawsuit over this, the vendor would have had to prove that keeping your money was a reasonable act in comparison to his economic loss.

    8) Talking about digital downloads, I heavily doubt that any company could claim an economic loss beyond "administrative costs" for providing you with standard software to be downloaded. There aren't any costs for providing you the "good" at a certain point of time.

    9) Since the purchasing contract has not yet been fulfilled and there is no significant economical loss for the vendor in case of you (the purchaser) stepping back from the contact before fulfillment, there is no reason for keeping the whole "cash before delivery".

    10) I agree with LaRate's opinion that customer protection laws will apply, granting you the right to step back within 14 days after the contract was fulfilled.
    This implies of course, that no use of the software would have been made in the meantime, which in case of Civ5 "delivered" via D2D could easily be checked: Was that particular installation used via Steam or not? In case of "no", you may step back and can expect full refund. Excluding refund in the terms of sales is void.

    (Disclaimer: this is of course just my interpretation and holds no guarantee to be correct in each aspect. I cannot be hold responsible for any kind of misinformation in the above statements. :))
     
  17. LaRate

    LaRate Chieftain

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    Yeah... that sounds right. It's been a while since I took that course...
     
  18. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    If 5 is correct, then we may have found a difference in Dutch and German law. In Dutch law you can still cancel a deal within reasonable time. What is reasonable depends on what way the deal was made, but I would think that if the deal is pretty much finalised, in trade between private persons this is not in reasonable time.

    Since consumers can make deals with proessionals under special protection and such, it may be valid for private persons dealing with professionals. So cancelling while the deal is pending may very much be reasonable in this case because of the special rights that a consumer gets. I think however that consumers do not get the special protection there, since you yourself said under 7 that vendors can keep the downpayment to cover their losses. That downpayment is a sort of legal claim of damages, to cover the possible losses if the consumer cancels the deal. If the vendor could not legally make any such claims, then he certainly could not keep the money, not even if he had damages. It would be considered a professional risk. Since he can keep the money however, he must have a claim on damages because he expected the deal to go through when it didn't.

    I have not the time to go into full detail here, but it seems to me like you are describing pretty much how the vendors have put the law into practise, insofar that they found a system where they would ask to be compensated for damages in advance. This is in anticipation for damages that they might get.

    This does not imply that legally a consumer can cancel a deal, it implies that he cannot cancel the deal legally. Doing so grants the vendor a right to be compensated for damages. Becuase a lot of consumers cancel their deals anyway, vendors ask for the damages up front.

    While it sounds not unreasonable to me that you have a right to get a deal canceled - and that you can thus get your money back - D2D advertises with the NO MONEY BACK warning. Whatever the status of that warning may be and if it will hold up in court or not, common sense dictates that it is wise not to take your chances there.
     
  19. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Meh. I am a professional and I was even a bit surprised by that statement. That is indeed how it is legally. I am a bit hazey on that subject since it was years ago since I had to know the finer details. Good to get a refreshment course, thanks Commander Bello! :goodjob:

    These distinctions matter the most in the context of spreading of risk. Suppose a product was damaged while transported. Who has to cover the damages? To answer these questions in an ingenious chain of contracts and deliveries you need to know these finer details. It is not all that relevant in this context though, since problems only arise when we can safely say that there is an agreement.

    I had an insightful closing comment, but then I tipped over my water and I had to clean it. Now I do not remember what it was. :p
     
  20. onedreamer

    onedreamer Dragon

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    It was just a silly example I think anyone that isn't trying to be a fanboi would have got it... and no, the kind of versions we are talking about aren't called with a number, they are variants not versions. I thought CFCers had learnt something from the CivGold Digital version of Civ4 variant...
     

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