Author Topic: Steam vs. GOG...choices...  (Read 9616 times)

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Offline Cyker

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Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
@The E - What about if the EULA is available on a website or some such?

I was thinking along those lines with my friend as strictly speaking, he didn't agree to any EULA until after a purchase was made. (I'm not even sure there was any EULA agreeing when he added DoW...!).

However, it is available on the website and there's the implication that if he didn't read it before paying for stuff, that's his problem.

Then again I'm not even sure if EULAs are enforced the same way here in the UK...! :nervous:


 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
I was thinking along those lines with my friend as strictly speaking, he didn't agree to any EULA until after a purchase was made. (I'm not even sure there was any EULA agreeing when he added DoW...!).

There wouldn't be a separate EULA presented, when registering a non-Steam copy of DoW on Steam.  The game is governed by the EULA presented at installation, and Steam is governed by the subscriber agreement, presented before its installation.

Then again I'm not even sure if EULAs are enforced the same way here in the UK...! :nervous:

A point that's often raised about EULA's is that there is very little case law surrounding them, and so wherever you are, it's questionable how enforcable they are.  The rub is that nobody really wants to be the test case.  Publishers will rarely sue over a breach of an EULA, because they don't want to risk a court overturning the validity of those contracts, and on the occasions that they do sue, it's pretty easy to get a defendant to agree to a settlement, because at the end of the day, who wants to get dragged through court over a video game?

And of course, regarding your friend being cut off from Steam, it doesn't actually matter whether or not DoW's EULA is enforcable.  Valve reserved the right to terminate his account if he did anything with it that Valve believes to be illegal.

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I think if people actually paid attention to most EULAs and took them seriously, very few would actually buy any software!

I think you're absolutely right, and that's why it's doubly-frustrating that people don't read their EULA's.  If bad EULA's caused software sales and usage to drop to the point of losing (or at least endangering) commercial viability, then they might just get rewritten to be more appealing to consumers.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
@The E - What about if the EULA is available on a website or some such?

In theory, if you display the EULA clearly during the checkout process (before processing payments, that is) you're in the clear. If you link to it visibly on the product's page, you're also in the clear.

However.

In all cases, all stipulations in an EULA have to conform to the laws and regulations as laid out in the BGB (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, "Civil Code", all the laws that govern businesses and contracts and stuff), which boil down to the stipulation that no single side may be unduly disadvantaged. In the case of game EULAs, with their numerous clauses that restrict user's rights combined with lots of disclaimers, this means that at least some clauses will be null and void for private consumers (There are different rules for dealings between businesses, but those are in general not interesting to us).
I think the only clauses that have held up are the "unauthorized replication" clauses, everything else is generally considered to void.

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Then again I'm not even sure if EULAs are enforced the same way here in the UK...! :nervous:

That's definitely something you need to investigate.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline Cyker

  • 28
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
I think you're absolutely right, and that's why it's doubly-frustrating that people don't read their EULA's.  If bad EULA's caused software sales and usage to drop to the point of losing (or at least endangering) commercial viability, then they might just get rewritten to be more appealing to consumers.

C'mon, we both know this isn't true. They'd just blame it on piracy and put in more DRM! :lol:

I suspect there are a lot of people like me who have just stopped buying mainstream games in protest and I like to think that is why the PC games industry sales are down vs console, but the blame is put on piracy (Despite piracy not increasing in-line with supposed lower sales) and used to justify increasingly draconian systems being put in place. We just can't win! :(


@The_E - Wow, how do you know so much stuff!?  :D  Short of asking a lawyer I wouldn't even know where to look for relevant info; When I do have to find law-related info, the sources I do find tend to be confusing and/or contradictory. (Not specifically games stuff; Most recently I was trying to find info to get me out of a suspect parking fine :lol: )
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 03:47:04 pm by Cyker »

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
I think you're absolutely right, and that's why it's doubly-frustrating that people don't read their EULA's.  If bad EULA's caused software sales and usage to drop to the point of losing (or at least endangering) commercial viability, then they might just get rewritten to be more appealing to consumers.

C'mon, we both know this isn't true. They'd just blame it on piracy and put in more DRM! :lol:

That's why I said sales and usage.  If people's idea of a protest/boycott is to pirate the game instead of buying it, then legitimate consumers would just wind up with worse EULA's and more draconian DRM.  If sales drop off without an increase (or even with a decline) in piracy, it sends a clearer message that there's something wrong with the product and how it's being distributed.

 

Offline Cyker

  • 28
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
Wouldn't make a difference - We already have a similar correlation with DRM; That was sort of my point about how PC games piracy is not increasing in-line with sales decreasing - This is known, but they ignore the lack of correlation between copy protection and piracy levels and pile it on.

They ignore all other correlations, e.g. the games that do well sales-wise are often the ones that are most pirated.

Ubisoft's experiment with the Prince of Persia remake showed that piracy rates were not significantly different than with non DRM games but sales were slightly higher which should have proved how useless DRM was, but Ubisoft instead clammed up about these findings (There is no official word from them on sales figures; All available data was from third party sources. If the lack of DRM showed a massive piracy spike, you know they'd be trumpeting it!), and jacked up the DRM even more (IIRC they were one of the first large publishers to implement hard limited on-line activations).

The only way I can see them being proved wrong is if piracy drops to zero as well as sales, but a) That will never happen, b) If it did it'd be too late anyway and c) They still wouldn't be convinced


The only way out is to find publishers who don't do these things and abandon mainstream games entirely, but thankfully there are a lot of great indie games out there. I've been discovering a lot through the various humble and indie bundles :)

Plus of course there is stuff like our beloved FS SCP and its myriad mods and campaigns. The stuff we have here is of such high quality that it rivals and in some cases surpasses modern commercial space games! And you'll rarely see something as professionally done yet absolutely bat**** crazy as JAD in the mainstream, for instance  :D

And it's all for free!!!! I do wish donations could be spread around to everyone whos hard work goes into this community as well as funding the site as I always feel a bit guilty that I can access all this stuff for nothing!

Hmm, that reminds me... (Goes off to poke the donate button...)

« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 05:00:01 pm by Cyker »

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
I like how you quote my sentence out of context and accuse me of going off topic when you're not even involved in the discussion.

So what is YOUR purpose here then, if not to discuss the merits of different delivery services, is your purpose to be an asshole? Seems like. So get lost.

There is no context. That's literally the context of your entire post. "rar steam ads bad" isn't much of story, but hey, it's what you wanted to tell.

My purpose here is to point out you're mindlessly waving your personal prejudice around, like an asshole, complaining about the ads for content delivery service in a content delivery service thread, like an asshole, and making insane comparisons of piracy (by the way, they would have the right to take away your DVDs if they think you're originating pirated material) like an asshole.

Right to take away my DVDs? The BBC has the right to come into my house and seize my property?

Oh wait, you're getting a NEWS AGENCY confused with the POLICE you moron.

So if I buy games from Best Buy, London Drugs, Future Shop, EB Games, HMV, etcetera why should a company have the ability to prevent me from playing those legitimately purchased products. Law is not about punishment, it's about balance, and denying a person access to hundreds of dollars worth of games that they legitimate purchased on grounds of some alternate issue is not balanced. It's like if someone got caught shop lifting clothes and then the Banana Republic raided their house and took away their entire warddrobe.

Basically crapping on people who sell games for trying to sell games is usually pointless and it's a matter of selecting the poison you find least offensive personally, not the one that's objectively least offensive. Until Ubisoft rolls out an online service.

This quote pretty much sums up your entire lack of understanding on the issue.
This isn't an issue of service or delivery it's about freedom of choice and control for the consumer. Services like Steam and Origin take control and power away from the onsumer and put it all in the hands of the corporations, they ARE objectively more offensive from the point of view of the consumer. And your apologist whitewashing isn't going to change that.


Though, after "discussed" this with you over 2 replies I now understand completely where you got your forum "title".

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And if we want to talk about advertizement, GOG sends me email spam about games I'm consistently less likely to care about even as something to know is going on and be able to converse with others as a subject. (In fact the only email they sent me I actually cared about was a recent one for SimCity2000.) They do it pretty much with the same frequency Steam throws big ads at me.

I've received FOUR emails from GOG since August of last year.
That's a little different from receiving an ad EVERY TIME I play a game.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 11:08:05 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
And on the subject of this:

My purpose here is to point out you're mindlessly waving your personal prejudice around, like an asshole, complaining about the ads for content delivery service in a content delivery service thread, like an asshole, and making insane comparisons of piracy [/b](by the way, they would have the right to take away your DVDs if they think you're originating pirated material)[/b] like an asshole.

Analogy time:

#1 You steal property or IP from another individual
1. They catch you
2. They lay charges or file a suit in the courts
3. The courts fine you or force you to pay damages

#2 You steal clothes or other merchandise from a brick and mortar retailer.
1. They catch you
2. They call the police and lay charges
3. The court fine you and put the offense on your record.

#3 You pirate movies from Universal or some other production company
1. They catch you.
2. The police/FBI are informed and lay charges
3. The courts fine you and put the offense on your record.

#4 You do something that violates a EULA while on Steam/Origin/similar
1. They catch you
2. They ban your account and take away everything you've ever purchased


DO YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE?

The entire concept of EULAs or DRM is offensive quite frankly. You should buy something, and it should be yours. Simple as that.
If a violate some IP law, they can charge me or sue me through the proper channels (ie the police/courts). The fact that corporations like Valve, EA or other digital distribution/DRM services have such powers is absurd and any self-respecting consumer should be offended.

They are OBJECTIVELY worse for the consumer, and the fact that people both put up with it and defend such practices is shameful.



Steam itself is openly deceptive in the way it conducts business as well (as origin probably is):

When you purchase a game, it doesn't say "purchase the rights to play" or "subscribe" it simply says "buy or purchase".

Or at the checkout ll digital goods are delivered via the Steam desktop application.

Digital goods? You mean like, POSESSIONS? Something I OWN? No. It's a subscription that they can cancel at any time without being required consulting legal authorities whatsoever.

So I "subscribe to steam".
I purchase hundreds of dollars of "subscriptions" to games through steam.
And they can deny me access to all of those for any reason they feel is justified at any time.

And you're saying there's no difference between Steam and GOG?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 06:36:55 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
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#4 You do something that violates a EULA while on Steam/Origin/similar
1. They catch you
2. They ban your account and take away everything you've ever purchased

Yes.  It's called a breach of contract.  You violated the terms of a contract that you signed, and the company you signed it with ceased providing you with the service that had been guaranteed under that contract.  I don't know why you're so baffled and/or enraged by that.  It's how contracts work, when one party violates the terms of the contract.

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
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#4 You do something that violates a EULA while on Steam/Origin/similar
1. They catch you
2. They ban your account and take away everything you've ever purchased

Yes.  It's called a breach of contract.  You violated the terms of a contract that you signed, and the company you signed it with ceased providing you with the service that had been guaranteed under that contract.  I don't know why you're so baffled and/or enraged by that.  It's how contracts work, when one party violates the terms of the contract.

So, did I sign a contract when I purchased Half Life 2 at London Drugs?

What if I start to install it, decide I don't want to sign that contract and try to take the game back?
Oh whoops, stores don't take PC game returns.

So by buying a game from a store shelf (a game which is btw incomplete and unplayable out of the box), I'm agreeing to a contract which I've yet to read and if in the end I don't agree to this contract I've never read I'll be wasting my money because I'll assumed to be a pirate who copies games and returns them.



The difference between you and I is that while you blame people for not reading a EULA and not knowing what's going on, I blame the corporation for the EULA existing in the first place. If I'm paying 60 dollars for a game from a store, I better be paying to OWN it, or at least EFFECTIVELY OWN IT, not to subscribe to access to the game through a service. And why? Because that's how it's advertised.

http://store.steampowered.com/sub/469/

The relevant portion: Already own Half-Life 2 or Half-Life 2: Episode One?

So . . . .If you're entering a "contract" which they can revoke at any time, you don't Own ****. Get it?

Do you not see something wrong with being "SOLD" something which you "OWN" with digitally delivered "GOODS" which is actually, in reality nothing more than a subscription/license which they can take away at any time? It's false advertising. Ie, deliberate dishonesty. And frankly I don't know how they get away with it.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 10:34:27 pm by Akalabeth Angel »

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
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What if I start to install it, decide I don't want to sign that contract and try to take the game back?  Oh whoops, stores don't take PC game returns.

That depends on the store policy and your local laws.  I'm not familiar enough with London Drugs or Canadian law to know if there is a way for you twist their arm into taking a return.  If this is a contingency that you're really that worried about, though, there are tools that you can use to find the full text of an EULA, before you go to the time and trouble of buying the game.

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The difference between you and I is that while you blame people for not reading a EULA and not knowing what's going on, I blame the corporation for the EULA existing in the first place.

You're pretty badly misrepresenting my position.  EULA's effectively spell out a load of actions and consequences.  I said that I get annoyed with people who take one of those actions and are surprised and angered by the consequence, because they were too thick-headed to do the two minutes of reading necessary to see that consequence coming.

Yes, EULA's suck, and gaming could be more pleasant without them.  That's a nice, little dream world, though.  Here, in reality, software EULA's have been around for over twenty years, and they're unlikely to disappear anytime soon.  (I'll get into why in just a moment.)  Since that's the case, you may as well read the damn things, so that you know what rights you do have under the contract and what might be construed as a breach of that contract.

As to how gaming publishers have gotten away with selling you licenses, instead of games, for over twenty years, the narrative went a little something like this:  EULA's were introduced.  Consumers saw a great big block of text, prior to installing the game.  Assuming it wasn't important enough to invest the time into reading this big block of text, consumers failed to react in any meaningful way to the presence of the EULA.  Because little to no attention was being paid to EULA's, publishers were able to make them more and more stringent, retaining more rights and protections for themselves, at the expense of the consumer's rights, ultimately leading to the situation we're in today, where licenses are sold, not games.

If you don't like a specific game's EULA, then there's an easy solution:  Don't buy the game.  If nothing else, you'll save yourself the trouble of breaching the EULA and having to face the associated consequences.  If you don't like the terms of service for a digital distribution platform, then don't buy games on that platform.  You may have to go without some exclusive titles, but isn't that better than getting butthurt over being stuck in an unacceptable contract?  If you don't like EULA's in general, then the only way you're going to bring about any kind of change in the structure or existance of EULA's is by abandoning PC gaming (or more properly, PC use, since games are hardly the only software bearing draconian EULA's) altogether.  Simply ignoring the EULA's and then impotently whining about it, when that habit comes back to bite you in the ass, just reinforces the cycle that has resulted in what EULA's are today.

 
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
If you don't like a specific game's EULA, then there's an easy solution:  Don't buy the game.  If nothing else, you'll save yourself the trouble of breaching the EULA and having to face the associated consequences.  If you don't like the terms of service for a digital distribution platform, then don't buy games on that platform.  You may have to go without some exclusive titles, but isn't that better than getting butthurt over being stuck in an unacceptable contract?  If you don't like EULA's in general, then the only way you're going to bring about any kind of change in the structure or existance of EULA's is by abandoning PC gaming (or more properly, PC use, since games are hardly the only software bearing draconian EULA's) altogether.  Simply ignoring the EULA's and then impotently whining about it, when that habit comes back to bite you in the ass, just reinforces the cycle that has resulted in what EULA's are today.

I pretty much have abandoned PC gaming as it is anyway, and almost exclusively run xbox, and the habit's never bit me in the ass it's just a matter of principle. If the software providers are selling a license, that's fine, advertise it as such. Don't advertise ownership where none exists. Because it's lying effectively, and as I say how it's legal or how it's never been brought up in court I don't know. Big brand software like adobe is actual upfront about this, it says on the webpage buy a license, not "own photoshop" or whatnot but obviously video game publishers don't want to raise eyebrows from consumers so people spend hundreds of dollars on games they don't own. I've even heard of people being denied access to EA games for violating forum rules. Trolling is annoying but I wouldn't want a guy to lose 100 dollars worth of games for being a prick, just boot him off the forums.

I should actually raise this issue politely on Valve's forums and see how long it takes me to get censored. Can't say I care about any of the games in my library and since Episode 3's never coming out nothing to lose.

 

Offline Mikes

  • 29
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
If you don't like a specific game's EULA, then there's an easy solution:  Don't buy the game.  If nothing else, you'll save yourself the trouble of breaching the EULA and having to face the associated consequences.  If you don't like the terms of service for a digital distribution platform, then don't buy games on that platform.  You may have to go without some exclusive titles, but isn't that better than getting butthurt over being stuck in an unacceptable contract?  If you don't like EULA's in general, then the only way you're going to bring about any kind of change in the structure or existance of EULA's is by abandoning PC gaming (or more properly, PC use, since games are hardly the only software bearing draconian EULA's) altogether.  Simply ignoring the EULA's and then impotently whining about it, when that habit comes back to bite you in the ass, just reinforces the cycle that has resulted in what EULA's are today.

I pretty much have abandoned PC gaming as it is anyway, and almost exclusively run xbox, and the habit's never bit me in the ass it's just a matter of principle. If the software providers are selling a license, that's fine, advertise it as such. Don't advertise ownership where none exists. Because it's lying effectively, and as I say how it's legal or how it's never been brought up in court I don't know. Big brand software like adobe is actual upfront about this, it says on the webpage buy a license, not "own photoshop" or whatnot but obviously video game publishers don't want to raise eyebrows from consumers so people spend hundreds of dollars on games they don't own. I've even heard of people being denied access to EA games for violating forum rules. Trolling is annoying but I wouldn't want a guy to lose 100 dollars worth of games for being a prick, just boot him off the forums.

I should actually raise this issue politely on Valve's forums and see how long it takes me to get censored. Can't say I care about any of the games in my library and since Episode 3's never coming out nothing to lose.

You might not like the next console generation.

lol.

Heck, even the current console generation there are several platforms with download only titles and games bound to your account and other resale restrictions built in.

 

Offline Cyker

  • 28
Re: Steam vs. GOG...choices...
Ugh, tell me about it! Soon they'll be selling them direct-only; No discs! Yay for downloading a 50GB game over ADSL! Or streaming the game data over your 'net connection!
There is talk games consoles may end up being glorified X terminals that play the games via a remote server with little local processing...!

Windows 8 is headed in the virtual distro direction for their Metro programs too...

It'll be a bit like Linux distro repos but with extra evil added :lol: