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Games Your Rights Online

Valve Removes Right For Class Action Claims From EULA 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-all-sue-them-for-this dept.
trawg writes "Valve has joined the list of companies that have altered their terms and conditions to prevent users from filing a class action suit. Their official statement says that such claims 'impose unnecessary expense and delay' and are 'designed to benefit the class action lawyers.' In its stead, they've added a new arbitration process, in which Valve will reimburse costs (under certain circumstances) when dispute resolution can't be solved through their normal support process."
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Valve Removes Right For Class Action Claims From EULA

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  • opt out (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @10:38PM (#40837891)

    I sent an email to sales@steam.com that bounced back and then I forwarded to webmaster@steam.com

    I told them that I would not give up my rights as an american to have a jury of my peers, and since I notified them of that I would then accept the altered terms of the EULA based on that statement.

    They did not respond before I clicked it.

    I don't think they should be able to steal my money if I do not agree (by not allowing me to play the games I purchase if I do not agree) so I figure in the unlikely event that this EULA would ever matter, I could at least hope for a sympathetic judge when I explained how drunk I was when I came up with this plan. //toddles off to get another beer.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @10:44PM (#40837951)

    I'm not sure about EULA's but it has been specifically allowed by the supreme court in contracts. Whether the former count as much as the latter is a matter of contention.

    It was only the right to band together in a class-action, it doesn't affect your rights to sue as an individual, and some companies (Sony) give you the option to opt-out of this clause, if you write to them directly to do so.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @10:44PM (#40837955)

    BS. Valve is just proving they're as evil as anyone else. Fast downloads of games does not grant them a holy indulgence.

    As far as arbitration goes, arbitration _always_ means that the rich side of a dispute wins. In normal suits the the rich side usually wins but there remains a chance to have actual justice. What matters in arbitration are the clauses that say what happens if either side disagrees with a ruling, and they usually say something like redo the arbitration with expenses split evenly, or the person disagreeing with the output pays for the new arbitration, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @11:07PM (#40838171)

    According to the post in my RSS reader, they are also allowing small claims court, which is probably the appropriate venue for most disputes about video games. My account is pretty big (between one and two hundred games) but i still wouldn't expect it to be worth more than a couple of thousands dollars. Not with going to a jury trial over. I haven't read the full text of the agreement, though.

    I'd mostly be concerned if Valve fucks something something so badly that the damage is much greater than the value of the account itself. In a catastrophic situation like that, a class action might be called for.

  • by freeze128 (544774) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:14AM (#40838945)
    Do they even need to force arbitration? When has one of Valve's products killed someone?
    Or left them crippled?
    Or changed their lives so seriously that they actually NEEDED to sue Valve for damages?

    The EULA already pretty much says that this software is sold as-is and is not fit for a particular purpose, and indemnifies them against loss of data on your hard drive, and any responsibility is yours.

    If the product doesn't do what you would expect, they can always just give you a refund, and kick your butt out the door.

    It would seem to me that this clause would prevent lawsuits like "Your game gave me carpal tunnel" or "Because of Half-life, my family left me", which are all bullshit lawsuits anyway, and those are EXACTLY the things that Valve wants to avoid.
  • by Firethorn (177587) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:44AM (#40839499) Homepage Journal

    How is this better than class action lawsuits, which from my experience has the lawyers sue a company I do/did business with, end up with a settlement where the lawyers get $10 per person and I get $1 for the company's supposed screwing me illegaly for $10?

    I'd almost rather just be screwed for the $10, because I felt it was worth it at the time. Companies deserver their profits if they're good enough, and profits on computer stuff is razor thin as is, even with the occasional bit of price fixing(the normal reason for the lawsuit). I've never had a situation where I felt I was being screwed over when I bought something.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:09AM (#40839619) Homepage Journal

    I would disagree with you. I recently got an email from a random lawyer informing me that I was part of a class action lawsuit against netflix, and that the outcome was this:
     
    Lawyers will get $220 million to cover their costs
    Netflix will pay $3 million towards a non profit
    I will get no money
     
    Take your sides, but this just sounds like a money grab/extortion on the part of the Lawyers, with no benefit whatsoever to the consumer. Supposedly I have two free $5 off vouchers with ticketmaster from a similar settlement. I mean seriously, what the fuck? The only people who benefit from these lawsuits are the lawyers, and I think that's what Valve is trying to avoid. They're a ripe target for this sort of thing, especially in light of the shakedowns that ticketmaster.com and netflix.com have gotten in recent years (probably Sony too)

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:29AM (#40839717)

    So because lawyers get a big share, companies can effectively negate any and all possible class action lawsuits and still appear moral?

    The point of class actions lawsuits is to get something done about egregious behavior that can not be solved via individual suits in small claims court. It's not about getting rich, it's about punitive action, making sure the company changes their behavior.

  • No its because the "victims" get NOTHING, nothing at all, understand? If you rip me off for $50 then WTF am I supposed to do with a $10 off coupon towards my next purchase FROM YOU?

    The problem with class actions is the victims don't ever get jack shit while the lawyers make it like fucking robber barons. Frankly you'd be better off getting a lawyer on a contingency basis or hell, even taking them to small claims court as at least there you will get more than a fucking coupon!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:18AM (#40840457)

    "Class action lawsuits are clearly not so you can make a lot of money. I'd say they're more for teaching the company a lesson. And frankly, I would find it absolutely idiotic if a mere EULA was able to take that right away."

    Class-action suits are useless--a judge gets to decide what you get out of it, which usually means a free product of the ilk that got them sued in the first place.

    The answer is to sue individually--BURY them in lawsuits and make them pay the legal fees of every single lawyer involved. So what if you don't get any of that money--you ain't getting it from a class-action anyway.

    While were on the subject, anyone that plays Everquest 2, or any other Sony Online Entertainment MMO for that matter, can get in on the action. Check out this thread on their forums--it looks like the Sony/BMG Rootkit all over again...

    http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?&topic_id=520848

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