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Originally Posted by MadVandal

Looking at the last two sentences in part A of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

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The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.
----

Read that multiple times and it seems that termination of a Steam account not only locks one out of downloads but also strips your license to legally use anything previously downloaded...DRM free or not.


ALL software is licensed, whether it's bought from Steam, GOG or a retail disk.

Maybe you should also read GOG's EULA:
Quote
1.License. Company grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Program, but retains all property rights in the Program and all copies thereof. This Program is licensed, not sold, for your personal, non-commercial use. Your license confers no title or ownership in this Program and should not be construed as any sale of any rights in this Program. You may not transfer, distribute, rent, sub-license, or lease the Program or documentation, except as provided herein; alter, modify, or adapt the Program or documentation, or portions thereof including, but not limited to, translation, decompiling or disassembling. You agree not to modify or attempt to reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the Program, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted under applicable law notwithstanding this limitation. All rights not expressly granted under this Agreement are reserved by Company.


And GOG's TOS:
Quote
Termination
These Terms of Use are effective until terminated. You agree that GOG may terminate your log in access to the Service, including your user name and password, at any time for any reason without prior notice or liability. GOG may change, suspend, or discontinue all or any aspect of the Service at any time, including the availability of any feature, without prior notice or liability.

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Originally Posted by jimnms
[quote=MadVandal]
Looking at the last two sentences in part A of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

----
The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.
----

Read that multiple times and it seems that termination of a Steam account not only locks one out of downloads but also strips your license to legally use anything previously downloaded...DRM free or not.


Originally Posted by jimnms

ALL software is licensed, whether it's bought from Steam, GOG or a retail disk.


Yes, the right of license termination option always remains open, however I think you missed the key difference. The GOG terms do not indicate that maintaining a GOG account is a licensing requirement. The termination of a GOG account does not automatically terminate the license of any software bought.




Last edited by MadVandal; 06/07/14 04:11 PM.
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In the case of D:OS, terminating your Steam Account, you can still play the game.

(Or so I've been told, haven't tried it.)

I do know you don't have to have steam running at all to play D:OS.

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Originally Posted by MadVandal

Looking at the last two sentences in part A of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

----
The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.
----

Read that multiple times and it seems that termination of a Steam account not only locks one out of downloads but also strips your license to legally use anything previously downloaded...DRM free or not.


Good point. Steam's DRM codified.

Originally Posted by Horrorscope
In the case of D:OS, terminating your Steam Account, you can still play the game.

(Or so I've been told, haven't tried it.)

I do know you don't have to have steam running at all to play D:OS.


You can (only in some cases, not in others), but according to Steam that would be illegal. GOG doesn't have such restriction because they aim to be DRM-free.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 04:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by Horrorscope
In the case of D:OS, terminating your Steam Account, you can still play the game.

(Or so I've been told, haven't tried it.)

I do know you don't have to have steam running at all to play D:OS.


You would think but the Steam terms say otherwise outside of the EU. The latter half of this article covers this well with input from an actual legal professional:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/02/01/thought-do-we-own-our-steam-games/

Basically as of right now outside of EU Steam is overriding the publisher on license termination. It can get away with this for now until a legal challenge occurs.


Last edited by MadVandal; 06/07/14 04:38 PM.
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Originally Posted by shmerl
Originally Posted by Horrorscope
I do know you don't have to have steam running at all to play D:OS.


You can (only in some cases, not in others), but according to Steam that would be illegal.


Correction, it would be a violation of the TOU/EULA.

EULA/TOU doesn't equate to law. It's the creators attempt to cover their backsides. As such, and given they're written predominantly by lawyers, they will basically cover themselves in any which way they can conceive of. It may seem restrictive, but that's just to ensure someone doesn't attempt to find a loophole they can wriggle through. Whether it's enforceable would depend upon the courts determination of it's legality.

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Originally Posted by Jito463
Correction, it would be a violation of the TOU/EULA.

EULA/TOU doesn't equate to law. It's the creators attempt to cover their backsides. As such, and given they're written predominantly by lawyers, they will basically cover themselves in any which way they can conceive of. It may seem restrictive, but that's just to ensure someone doesn't attempt to find a loophole they can wriggle through. Whether it's enforceable would depend upon the courts determination of it's legality.


Violating the EULA is legal only if EULA itself violates the law. For example some consumer protection laws and etc. While this can happen (and happens quite a bit), it's not necessarily the case here. I'd say without a sound legal basis, one can't make a claim that one can ignore this EULA because it might violate the law.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 04:54 PM.
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That Eula stuff I don't care about, I speed regularly and speeding is more upholding in court than a Eula. However I surrender others might, BOO!

You know that I know that I know that you know... this isn't ever going to court. Ever. 0 in a million. Read the room.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 06/07/14 04:55 PM.
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@Horrorscope: I prefer simply to support those who don't shove such junk EULAs in their users throats.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 04:55 PM.
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Originally Posted by shmerl
@Horrorscope: I prefer simply to support those who don't shove such junk EULAs in their users throats.


I know you do, the world has all types. You'll make a fine lawyer someday if you aren't already one ore pursuing to be one. If you are not filthy rich already, you are under-achieving.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 06/07/14 04:58 PM.
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@Horrorscope: I prefer programming to legalese wink

In general I agree that DRM and such kind of restrictive EULAs are unenforceable anyway, and as such they are completely unnecessary, which only demonstrates the point against DRM.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 05:17 PM.
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Originally Posted by shmerl
Originally Posted by MadVandal

Looking at the last two sentences in part A of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

----
The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.
----

Read that multiple times and it seems that termination of a Steam account not only locks one out of downloads but also strips your license to legally use anything previously downloaded...DRM free or not.


Good point. Steam's DRM codified.


Let me highlight the key part for you: "you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet." It does not say you ARE required, it says you MAY be required. Whether the Steam client is required to be running and/or an internet connection is up the developer/publisher of the software you are buying/running.

Originally Posted by shmerl
Originally Posted by Horrorscope
In the case of D:OS, terminating your Steam Account, you can still play the game.

(Or so I've been told, haven't tried it.)

I do know you don't have to have steam running at all to play D:OS.


You can (only in some cases, not in others), but according to Steam that would be illegal. GOG doesn't have such restriction because they aim to be DRM-free.


If the developer/publisher of a game doesn't use DRM on their game distributed through Steam, then you are still able to run the game with or without a Steam account or client running. The software you buy, no matter where you buy it, has its own EULA and TOS, and as long as you aren't violating those, you can legally play your DRM free game bought from Steam, without the Steam client, even if for some stupid reason you terminate your Steam account.

If you buy a game that does not have DRM in it, that means it's DRM free right? What does it matter where it's bought from? I think you're trying to claim it's not DRM Free from Steam because you have to download it from Steam using the Steam client. I've bought DRM free games from Amazon.com, and I had to first download and install the Amazon Games & Software Downloader before I could download the game. In your eyes, that means it's not DRM free because I had to install a download client from Amazon.com.

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@jimnms: You missed the point that account is required:

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To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account


That's not a may be. So if Steam closes your account for whatever reason, or let's say Steam itself shuts down (and naturally your account is gone), you won't be able to legally play your Steam games anymore. They can't really enforce such restriction but as I said, practically all DRM is unenforceable and as such is completely nonsensical to begin with.

Can't say anything about games on Amazon - I never looked into that service, but their other services are DRMed (e-books and video for example). The only DRM-free option that I saw there were music purchases (where you can download the files).

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 07:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by MadVandal

Looking at the last two sentences in part A of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

----
The Software is licensed, not sold. Your license confers no title or ownership in the Software. To make use of the Software, you must have a Steam Account and you may be required to be running the Steam client and maintaining a connection to the Internet.
----

Read that multiple times and it seems that termination of a Steam account not only locks one out of downloads but also strips your license to legally use anything previously downloaded...DRM free or not.


Even a banned account is still an account. Besides that software is nearly always not owned but just a licence. Afterall you are not buying the source code, distribution rights, etc, but just the right to use that program.

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@Apocalypse: No, you aren't buying "rights to use the program", you are buying files. And the owner gives you the right to use it in some way (but not in others). For example you shouldn't redistribute it to others, since you don't get that right with the purchase. However if you aren't buying files but buying "licenses" that's not called buying anymore. It's renting.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 08:47 PM.
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Incorrect, you are not buying the files or even the disc they may come on (though obviously, some of that is factored into the cost), you are explicitly buying a license to play the game. The method of distribution just depends on what is most effective. It has worked this way pretty much since Bill Gates introduced licensing to the software world. The only difference is that with online activation, the rights holders have more power to de-authorize licenses that they deem invalid.

You seem to be a bit confused about how software licensing works (and I'm not just referring to Steam). I'd recommend reading any EULA, including older ones (before the age of digital distribution), and you'll see what I mean.

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Here, I looked up one for Morrowind, as an example:

Quote
You may not cause or permit the sale, disclosure, copying, renting, licensing, sublicensing, leasing, disseminating, uploading, downloading, transmitting, or otherwise distributing any of the Products, the Documentation or any of the other components of the Package by any means or in any form, without the prior written consent of Bethesda Softworks.


In other words, you cannot resell the product with Bethesda's permission. Not that they had any intention of enforcing that, it's just a standard clause to cover themselves, much like the Steam TOU (a.k.a. the SSA).

Here's another interesting little tidbit regarding the editor:

Quote
If You distribute or otherwise make available New Materials, You automatically grant to Bethesda Softworks the irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, sublicensable, right and license under all applicable copyrights and intellectual property rights laws to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, perform, display, distribute and otherwise exploit and/or dispose of the New Materials (or any part of the New Materials) in any way Bethesda Softworks, or its respective designee(s), sees fit.


In other words, any mods you make become the sole property of Bethesda, to do with as they see fit. Did they have any intention of enforcing that? No, and it's presence did nothing to thwart a thriving mod community. It was a simply CYB (cover your backside) clause to protect themselves from unforeseen circumstances. That's all an EULA is, to protect the rights holders from unforeseeable circumstances. This is why they're always written in such extremes, because they have to basically cover everything they can think of, and then some.

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@Jito463: you are still buying files, especially when it comes to physical media. But they come with restrictions. It's not any different than when you buy physical books. You aren't buying licenses on books - that's nonsense. You are buying books, but you can't do just anything with them. For example you can't go making and selling copies and so on. Same thing with files. That's if we are talking about buying. Renting is a different case. One can rent books, but for digitial goods renting while used (for example Spotify and Netflix are renting services) is not really logical. (I can explain it in detail why renting for digital goods is really pointless if needed).

It's also getting interesting when it comes to the first sales doctrine which allows you to resell what you bought. It's clearly applicable to cases when you buy files with a physical media (like disks). But when you buy them digitally it's getting more moot. Can you resell those files? Does it make sense or not?

Originally Posted by Jito463
In other words, you cannot resell the product with Bethesda's permission.


That's exactly the example where EULA violates the law and can be perfectly ignored. No Bethesda can take away your first sale rights. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

What it can mean however that you can't duplicate and sell those copies (i.e. multiply the sales). That's for sure not legal.

Last edited by shmerl; 06/07/14 09:59 PM.
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I never claimed Bethesda could stop you from reselling your disc, my point was simply that they refused to grant permission to do so in their EULA. As I stated before, an EULA is written in extremes, because they have to cover pretty much all contingencies, not just the ones they can consider.

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Originally Posted by shmerl
It's also getting interesting when it comes to the first sales doctrine which allows you to resell what you bought. It's clearly applicable to cases when you buy files with a physical media (like disks). But when you buy them digitally it's getting more moot. Can you resell those files? Does it make sense or not?
In the US, EULAs can prevent reselling following the case of Vernor vs Autodesk (over-riding the First Sale Doctrine, so they may override other consumer rights too).

In the EU, things are likely to be different, but since most DRM systems inhibit resale, you would have to take the companies concerned to court (only possible if they have a legal presence in an EU member state) to enforce such a right.
Originally Posted by Apocalypse
Even a banned account is still an account...
Originally Posted by shmerl
...if Steam closes your account for whatever reason, or let's say Steam itself shuts down (and naturally your account is gone), you won't be able to legally play your Steam games anymore. They can't really enforce such restriction...
Just to clarify, if Valve ban your account, none of your Steam games will work except for the minority that don't use Steam's DRM and backed up copies won't work either (examples of this can be found here, here, here or here to pick just four).

There has been mention of Valve lifting that restriction, but the the update at the bottom of Valve Updates Steam's Account Policy... suggests otherwise.

If GOG ban your account, their games will still work, their installers will still work - you just won't be able to download updates or new copies of the installers. So as long as you keep copies of the installers you have, you shouldn't lose out in any way.
Originally Posted by Jito463
Originally Posted by Stargazer
...Valve can start imposing fees (per year or per month) to keep accounts open instead (with 65 million accounts, a $10/month fee could pull in an extra $6.2 billion annual income even if only 80% of users sign up).


Oh, come on. Do you honestly believe that's even a possibility, much less a probability? Exactly what would they be charging for? Access to our already purchased content?...
Charging to maintain access to content you've already bought is exactly what I'm talking about (though in practice, any such policy would have to be dressed up to include some token freebies like account hijack insurance or a free game per year to make it appear less like outright digital blackmail).

If you think it wouldn't work on you, then try this simple exercise - count up the number of Steam games linked to your account (excluding the DRM-free ones). Then calculate the cost of each from elsewhere (if you purchased during a sale, count the non-sale price). That's how much you would have to pay to replace them if you lost your Steam account (and of course, some games like Skyrim and Civilization V are Steam-exclusive). Then consider how signficant a $10/month fee would be to avoid losing that amount of money.

For most long-term Steam users, I'd bet the total would be in the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. So a $10/month fee would be pocket change in comparison, and as noted above, worth billions to Valve. If that isn't an obvious incentive, then I'd suggest you're a little out of touch with the material world. wink

Last edited by Stargazer; 06/07/14 10:35 PM.
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