Steam's recently modified user agreement

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Adjuvant, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. Adjuvant

    Adjuvant Emperor

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    How do I play Civ 5 without steam? Steam recently modified their user agreement and I'm not fond of contracts "switching up" when I'd already agreed. Is it true if I don't feel like being obligated to agree when "they" change the user agreement, can I then never again play Civ 5, the expac and all the DLC's I bought?
     
  2. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    That's correct. If you don't agree to the new terms and conditions, then you can never play Civ V again. Yeah, it sucks. To be honest, I don't know why it's even legal. :(

    Unfortunately, there isn't a legitimate way to play Civ V without Steam. That's not likely to change, either. Maybe Firaxis will smarten up for Civ VI.
     
  3. Adjuvant

    Adjuvant Emperor

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    I don't think it is legal, (to change the user agreement) if there's no other way to run the application without steam.
     
  4. BobDole

    BobDole American Leader in Civ VI

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    You'll just have to agree to the new User Agreement or not play I'd assume. And honestly, if you have a problem with Steam (and I'm not sure why you do since Valve is probably the most trustworthy, user-friendly publisher in gaming), then you'll probably never be able to play PC games in general seeing how everyone uses Steam or some sort of Steam ripoff (like Origin). It's the future of PC gaming.
     
  5. Adjuvant

    Adjuvant Emperor

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    For example, if you have not logged on steam for any reason in the last 2 months, and you refuse to agree to this...

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/07/valve-to-steam-users-no-class-action-suits/

    ... the company should refund you the value of any software which cannot be accessed for use without agreement.

    Just one example. There have been a couple others lately, and will be more in the next 6 months.
     
  6. BobDole

    BobDole American Leader in Civ VI

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    Well, refunds aren't gonna happen (especially since Civ V is 2 years old now so you've gotten lots of use out of the game, presumably. Besides, it's now worth less as a result of its age). And the only major thing I remember changing in the EULA is the whole "no class-action lawsuits" thing and let's face it: it's extremely unlikely there would be one, and if there was and it was successful, you'd almost certainly be getting a check for $2.50 anyway. Not to turn this into a whole "Steam/Origin/Impulse/Whatever is Evil/Not Evil" thread, but these kinds of Digital Distribution/DRM programs aren't going away and are already extremely commonplace. So if you have a problem with Steam (which many PC gamers think is one of the things keeping PC gaming alive, in addition to being a great program overall) then you're probably going to have a hard time ever playing a PC game again.
     
  7. God of Kings

    God of Kings Ruler of all heads of state

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    You are in luck if you want to play Civ V legally without Steam:

    If you have a Mac, you can play the Civ V: Campaign Edition (which also has the Gods & Kings expansion pack) from the Mac Apps Store. You cannot play multiplayer on it and there are not that many mods available (aside from this website's own database). If you already have the Steam version, you have to buy the base game, the DLCs, and the expansion pack again from the Mac Apps Store.

    If you do not have a Mac, then it is an unfortunate fact of life, since Macs are not cheap.

    I am extremely interested in Civ V, except that I do not like Steam (as I am fundamentally opposed to many games on it, as well as not having any friends on it and it can be spyware (your mileage may vary with Steam)). I do not have a Mac, though I am getting one next year. Therefore, I do not have Civ V.
     
  8. Callonia

    Callonia Deity

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    It's a matter of principle.

    To show they can't abuse their customers and get away with it.
     
  9. Teodosio

    Teodosio Warlord

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    Steam is very handy, automatically downloads and updates games and all the rest; nevertheless this breach of freedom is alarming. I really miss the days when I just inserted the floppy and played, without need to ask permission to anyone.
     
  10. Mesix

    Mesix The Allfather

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    There is also a change for customers in Europe who now have to pay national VAT (sales tax) on purchases from Steam which amounts to a 19% price increase in Germany (amount varies by country).
     
  11. glider1

    glider1 Deity

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    The whole thing with Steam is that it is anti-competitive. We should have the ability to switch to other companies that offer a similar service to Steam, without it altering our ability to play the games we have purchased. For example, if there was some competition, I would switch to a company that provided me with nothing more than the bare minimum to legally run the game.

    So it's early days and this whole concept will evolve but it's going to make the lawyers more wealthy yet again before that happens.

    Cheers
     
  12. PibbZ

    PibbZ Paladin

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    25% in Norway :(
     
  13. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    They`re doing the same crap like banks do. Get you into something on one agreement, then change it a year or so later, but you can`t change the agreement. You just have to leave. But the good thing is there are many banks so you can still save your money somewhere.

    The problem with Steam is if you leave, you have no game, and that`s where it`s wrong and probably unlawful. One day, the Consumer law will catch up with them.
     
  14. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Chieftain

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    I spotted a few people saying Steam changing the user agreement is "unlawful" or "not legal". If that is true then do something about it. Go to a lawyer, get advice, write a letter to Valve and point it out to them......

    Or maybe it isn't "unlawful" and when you first clicked the agree button you failed to notice the clause in the agreement that says they are allowed to change it, given enough notice? Or that you dont own the software, you merely licence it and allowed to use it as long as you continue to agree with the user agreement?

    This is the same for a lot of things these days. PS3 and XBox for example, have a similar user agreement and you have to agree it to use the software that makes the machines run.
     
  15. Teodosio

    Teodosio Warlord

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    Yes, that is really a very important point. If you don't agree with the new contract you can just leave by law, as it is with the banks. But what happens then to your games if you leave Steam...?
     
  16. Lunchmoney

    Lunchmoney Chieftain

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    [this text is only added as apparently there is a minimum message length, so please ignore it]
     
  17. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Deity

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    It's worth checking what those changes to the agreement actually are and if you actually care before going off on one about the very fact they dared to change the agreement.

    It's a fact of indeterminate contracts like these are going to change as a service evolves and a company changes its policy. If you don't agree with that on principle, then fine, quit the service. But the price you pay for having such a principle is losing the service provided by the agreement you object, which in this case means you lose access to your games.

    I can see why some people might worry about the potential consequence of such things, but to be quite honest, I wasn't intending to undergo a class-action lawsuit and this change to the agreement probably won't affect me at all. Therefore it seems silly to throw away a load of games on principle. If Valve are actually doing something illegal, consult a lawyer. Or learn to live with it, I guess. It's not really an issue as far as I can see.

    (In before slippery slope response).
     
  18. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    I believe that you agreed that they can change the user agreement at any time.

    I personally hate these things like Steam. I'll never own anything like a Kindle for the same reason.

    As far as I am aware, there are things with Steam that are illegal, however. For instance, it is 100% legal to resell a game, and the line between a normal "license agreement" today and just buying a game is fuzzy at best (after all, you never "owned" a game, ever, you ALWAYS simply had a license, same with books and movies).

    Not being a law student or anything like that, I believe, for instance, 2F paragraph 3 is unenforceable by Steam, even if you would have to take them to court to sell or rent a game (you could transfer reproductions without their permission, but it would be illegal unless you transfer it to the person you sold/gave the original to...and I believe it would actually need to be done in that case).

    Anyway, if you agreed to something that says they can change the terms at any time, you are bound by those new terms or have to cancel your account. If you did NOT agree to that, then they should be unable to enforce a change, unless you agree to it. That being said, you would likely need to get a lawyer in order to get anywhere.

    I'm really not a fan of Steam exactly because it is so unfriendly to the user and will never buy another game that requires it to play (or install, as my CiV box stated, though it is needed for more than that). The only way to really do anything about it would be going to court over any illegal activity, which would likely cause more trouble than it's worth, or simply stop using the service, either for your current games or just avoiding them in the future.

    The last option is the least likely to cause you problems personally, but also the least likely to send an immediate message. Still, if you are unhappy and don't have the time or resources to get a lawyer and still want to play a game you paid for, it's the one that comes Rooftrellen suggested.
     
  19. patsfan454

    patsfan454 Warlord

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    in about 20 years it will probably be illegal to use a computer that is not connected to the internet... i wish i was joking

    and in about 40 years everyone will probably be required to have chips implanted in their heads that must also be connected to the internet at all times.......



    the machines have won, resistance is futile
     
  20. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    Another important point is to consider who the majority of users of Steam are. Chances are 90% they are young gameplayers who just want to play. They don`t care about a boring wall of text contract. How many of these 90% are going to stop and read the user agreement? Almost 0%, most will just click `yes` to get rid of it and play. they won`t complain until something directly happens to them and their game. Steam makers KNOW this.

    Steam has everything to its advantage, not the Player. They know most people will sign their rights away without looking. they know that people who do read it and don`t like it probably aren`t going to sue because they can`t afford it or it isn`t worth the hassle and just incase someone wants to sue they`ve added a clause that basically says `You cannot complain if something is wrong`.

    In fact, it`s worse than banks, since banks are monitered by independent bodies that have the power to bring them to account and penalise them with a large penalty fee for trying to pull one over the customer. NOBODY moniters Steam. So Steam gets away with it.

    They won`t get away with it forever.
     
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