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The Courts Government Entertainment Games News

Valve Wins Summary Judgment Against Vivendi 36

ShamusMcGee writes "Valve today announced the U.S. Federal District Court in Seattle, WA granted its motion for summary judgment on the matters of Cyber Café Rights and Contractual Limitation of Liability in its copyright infringement suit with Sierra/Vivendi Universal Games." From the judgement: "...based on the undisputed facts and applicable law, Sierra/Vivendi, and their affiliates, are not authorized to distribute (directly or indirectly) Valve games through cyber-cafés to end-users for pay-for-play activities pursuant to the parties' 2001 Agreement."
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Valve Wins Summary Judgment Against Vivendi

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  • how is this significant? not trolling... rather im encouraging the flow of meaningful conversation :)
    • As far as i can tell its not. The legal judgement is over cyber cafe distribution. Basically it states that valve cant be cut out of any cyber cafe distribtion deal.
    • by fireduck ( 197000 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:23PM (#10953337)
      the backstory can be found here []. Valve was suing Sierra because they were distributing HL to cyber-cafes, seemingly w/o Valve's authorization. sounds like cyber-cafes weren't in Sierra's distribution pervue, and Valve was annoyed that their games were given away (?) to cafes.

      Not sure what this means, except Valve has control over their games in cyber-cafes now. Given their community friendly stance, I don't see this as a bad thing (although if Sierra was just giving the game away previously, I don't see that as bad for the community either.)
      • Friendly stance?

        Aren't they requiring subscriptions to Cafe's now, not simply purchases of the game?
      • Caffes pay 10$ a month per computer for steam. Other than blizzard games ( which are 5k per year for all their games on up to 20 computers ) and ea games ( 850$ per year license for all ea games ) other games just require buying them.
      • ?? Community friendly? Have you tried Steam yet? It's about the most unfriendly app I've seen.
      • Given their community friendly stance

        Right, which is why Valve has helped out in expanding the community by wanting millions upon millions of dollars in licensing fees in order for someone to license Half-Life for Mac, right?

        Valve is only 'community friendly' because without those user made mods, no one would still care about Half-Life this long after its release. Half-Life was semi-popular, and a decent game, but it wasn't until a small team of users made a little teensy mod called Counter-Strike tha

    • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:27PM (#10953381)
      As sebastard on Evil Avatar [] pointed out, cybercafes are a multi-billion dollar business overseas. Vivendi took a different approach to selling things like Counterstrike to these cybercafe owners (Valve uses Steam and a play-for-play approach).

      I suspect that Vivendi will be paying Valve a fair bit of money in the near future.
    • Valve & Vivendi are in another legal battle concerning the sale of HL2 on Steam. Apparently the deal was inked back when Steam was still in beta, and Valve told Vivendi that they didn't expect steam sales to even come close to retail sales. However, with Valve's early release of Counter-Strike Source bundled with a to-be-released copy of HL2, and the midnight activation on release day, Valve has sold tons of copies of HL2 on Steam. Vivendi is suing Valve for misleading them on steam sales, causing th
  • by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:23PM (#10953331) Journal
    Have been causing a stirr, they were actually outlawed in Greece I heard, and then re-instated - too many kids playing games!

    I say the distributors could sell licenses to the cafes themselves... this seems to be a funny way of capturing a wierd stake... valve shafted thier publishers, almost making sure they had an escape plan... or thier publishers are greedily holding onto something that isn't thiers.

    Publishing will not go away, but become a gift based medium, an 'order nice boxed set (collectors edition) for gifts.

    Anyway, In Korea only old people use pay-per-play
    • I believe the whole thing about games being banned in Greece was a step to curb illegal gambling, and the law passed included pretty much any type of video game. But it was later modified in order to just include gambling games, not all games.
    • Come on now, did you really think Greece would pull off a successful video game ban? They couldn't figure out how to market the olympics or build a stadium properly. Enough said.

  • Yeehaw (Score:2, Insightful)

    I suspect I will be one of the few people happy about this; most are going to see it as corporate suits fighting for every last penny at the expense of the gamers. Oh well. I'd rather Valve have control over the Cyber Cafes than Vivendi.
  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @12:37PM (#10953484) Homepage
    Maybe now cafes will have to carry games other than fucking Counterstrike.
  • Most people who would even bother to read this post are well aware of the longstanding issues between publishers and programmers - specifically the catfight between Valve and Vivendi. Well, I for one am glad to see this judgement swing in favor of the Designers. Vivendi obviously overstepped its bounds, and needed to lose this.

    Now the real question - How will pubs treat Game Designers in the future? If the pendulum swings too far to the money (Pubs), many smaller designers will never see the light of day

    • Steam is not the first method of downloading games. It might be one of the first to do so in the background, but there are plenty of examples of people using web servers to distribute their games, even commercial paid-for ones.

      Dunno why Vivendi would be scared of Steam in particular, considering it is awful tripe. Maybe they're more afraid that Valve has enough money to self-publish? Publishing is a lot more than just distribution.
    • While sell a perfectly acceptable version for $50 when a bloated one can be downloaded at $89. Don't be drinking the Steam Kool-Aid just yet my friend. There are many advantages that the game box has over the downloaded version. What is truly needed is a dual-system where the consumer has a choice.

      Many are touting that Steam is the new savior of content delivery. If you look closely at the economics, there are hidden costs involved (most of which deal with the costs of Valve become their own developer)
  • With this lawsuit result, I would imagine that Valve and Viviendi may be going their separate ways in the future. What would this mean for the gamer?

    Will Steam allow Valve to pretty much be its own publisher? Think about the fact that Viviendi is a middleman, delivering the packaged game to those of us who bought the actual box and CDs.

    Do those of us who purchased via Steam actually seen any benefit at all from Valve's relationship with Viviendi? I don't think so, all we saw was a publishing house di

  • After talking w/ a Valve sales partner, the cyber cafe agreement is that of a pay per computer agreement for the Steam application.

    This is where the fun part comes out of it:
    • It depends where you live for licensing rights to use the Steam application and its games.
    • There is also a minimum of 10 computers that must be signed up for using Valve's Steam application.

    After a quick inquiry, my rate (for living on the East Coast) was $10/per machine per month ($100/month for 10 computers -- quick math for yo

    • Here is a copy of the sales quote price:

      All commercial licensing of Valve software is done directly with Valve Corporation. The Valve Cybercafe Program costs $10USD per month per computer. You will need to maintain an active subscription for a minimum of 10 licensed seats to participate in the program. Subscription fees are due on a quarterly basis, however, with the advance purchase of a one-year subscription, café owners will receive a 10% discount.

      You do not have to purch
    • I aggree! However, may break even??
      Hl, Hl2, Counter-Strike, not worth it!!
      Our cafe will not pay that price!
      Steam, is more trouble than it's worth.
      Valve won't pay my time trying to keep it working, will they ;)
  • by 2TecTom ( 311314 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2004 @05:29PM (#10956828) Homepage Journal
    I was involved with several cyber / gaming cafes that went broke largely due to licensing issues. In fact, if the full license fees had been paid, these fees would have been the single greatest expense, exceeding that of wages or lease costs.

    It's been my experience that many gaming places don't have sufficent numbers of retail licenses nor do they pay extra for commercial site licenses, all of whom call for regular on-going payments. If they did, they'd be unprofitable.

    Here's my prediction. The big corporate publishers will abuse licensing, eliminate mom & pop cafes and replace them with franchises.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll