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  1. #1
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    Seems UK citizens can refund steam games quick and painless

    This is interesting. Found on Reddit today.


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    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governme...ghts/DG_183048
    Interesting, but there are two places in the above link where I reckon Valve can get away with it still. Namely, it being a service not a product, and also if they're trading from outside the EU.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm more concerned about "You don’t have this cancellation right: where the security seal has been broken on a CD, DVD or computer software". It seems like kind of a perversion of the intent of the law where you can get a refund just because it's not a physical product with a security seal. You've still virtually broken the seal.

    On moral grounds, Steam is capable of retracting a licence to use a game, so there should be nothing stopping them giving a refund (except in the few cases of games that have no DRM, in which case there's no way to ensure "return of the goods"), but on legal grounds, I don't think it's quite that simple.

    It's not so simple in practical terms, either. You buy a game from Steam, download a crack for it, ask Steam for a refund, they give you your money back and revoke your licence, but you continue playing because you downloaded a crack. I can understand Valve not wanting to give refunds until they can figure out a way around that eventuality.
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    Network Hub sendmark's Avatar
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    Yeah seems clear they would find a loophole. In this case they probably figured with a cheap game like Worms it would be less hassle to just refund, especially if it's a regular Steam customer.

  5. #5
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    Aren't most games technically sold as licences ? IE you have a licence to play the game, you don't own the game.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    Aren't most games technically sold as licences ? IE you have a licence to play the game, you don't own the game.
    No, that's not how it works. You buy a product (eg, a retail copy of a game), you own that product. With the EULA the seller may, within the law, dictate terms under which you are allowed to use that product. But you're not "buying a license".

    This is lazy terminology we use in business software when we might sell 5000 copies of our software to a client, but not provide physical media for each one. They still "own" each copy, provided that the deal is not a lease or a service.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't count on them giving a refund so easily all the time. I've heard it said before (albeit not officially) that Steam will do one refund per account as a goodwill gesture, any more than that and you'll have a hard time getting anything without an incredibly good reason. It seems like any purchases made from Steam are subject to US law rather than UK, although I can't make enough sense of the subscriber agreement to be certain.

  8. #8
    That's not how it always works. I know my fathers company sells a licence. He can at any time revoke that licence. I was under the impression all software was that way in theory, although no one would ever do so.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Nullkigan's Avatar
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    Either way, steam take several days to get back to UK customers when you most need them (around the time of sales!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    No, that's not how it works. You buy a product (eg, a retail copy of a game), you own that product. With the EULA the seller may, within the law, dictate terms under which you are allowed to use that product. But you're not "buying a license".

    This is lazy terminology we use in business software when we might sell 5000 copies of our software to a client, but not provide physical media for each one. They still "own" each copy, provided that the deal is not a lease or a service.
    Whatever gave you that idea?

    Software isn't a physical product, so you can't really 'own' it in the traditional sense. You can own the disc/media it's stored on (and that disc may even be covered by a warranty), but the software falls under the realms of "intellectual property", and it's always been that way.

  11. #11
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    "A novel isn't a physical product, so you can't really 'own' it in the traditional sense. You can own the book it's stored in (and that book may even have an preface), but the story falls under the realms of "intellectual property", and it's always been that way."

    Doesn't mean the publisher can tell you how you can read the book.

    The issue with Steam is we don't know if they are selling a service or a product, as the EULA says service, but all the marketing and promotion calls them products "you already own this game" etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    No, that's not how it works. You buy a product (eg, a retail copy of a game), you own that product. With the EULA the seller may, within the law, dictate terms under which you are allowed to use that product. But you're not "buying a license".
    The product in this case being the media, not the software on it. You still need to be licensed to use that software.


    In regards to the OP I doubt it has anything to do with Steam worrying about UK law, and everything to do with customer support not wanting to waste time and effort. Most companies will actually refund you if you push hard enough; generally speaking it's cheaper all around to simply give you the money back than actually handle your complaint.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    "A novel isn't a physical product, so you can't really 'own' it in the traditional sense. You can own the book it's stored in (and that book may even have an preface), but the story falls under the realms of "intellectual property", and it's always been that way."

    Doesn't mean the publisher can tell you how you can read the book.

    The issue with Steam is we don't know if they are selling a service or a product, as the EULA says service, but all the marketing and promotion calls them products "you already own this game" etc.
    I'm not going to argue with you though, we've all been here before and you know all the (valid) responses to your argument. Trouble is you seem to think being contrary is a clever form of debate, when in fact it renderes the entire process pointless, especially when you insist on using inappropriate analogies (also not as clever as you seem to think).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mistabashi View Post
    I'm not going to argue with you though, we've all been here before and you know all the (valid) responses to your argument. Trouble is you seem to think being contrary is a clever form of debate, when in fact it renderes the entire process pointless, especially when you insist on using inappropriate analogies (also not as clever as you seem to think).
    For what it's worth when I did that I thought it'd just make a mockery of your point and I read it back and it was absolutely true. Because of course you don't own a story in a book. But that doesn't stop you using your copy of it however you see fit. I could have used console games as an analogy instead but then I guess that would have been inappropriate too because I'm an idiot that can't see the massive gaping chasm of difference between Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PC and the same game on the 360.

  15. #15
    Activated Node Jorum's Avatar
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    As one of the contracting parties (i.e you) are in UK, I would suspect that UK law would apply regardless of where Valve are located.

    With regard to the "are you buying box or license", the general understanding used to be (perhaps mistakenly) was that legally you are buying a licence. The medium (i.e DVD or download or whatever) is just suppliers choice of how to get software to you. So if you broke or lost a DVD you could request a replacement and they were obliged to replace it at P&P cost only, as the actual purchase was the licence.
    I tried this when I broke my Baldurs Gate 2 disc, sent them the broken disc and a letter and they sent me a free replacement disc.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    For what it's worth when I did that I thought it'd just make a mockery of your point and I read it back and it was absolutely true. Because of course you don't own a story in a book. But that doesn't stop you using your copy of it however you see fit.
    Except, y'know, the bookstore has the right to deny you a refund when you take the book, walk across the street to Kinko's to photocopy all the pages, and return it.

    Don't believe me? At the end of every semester, watch the college kids beeline to B&N to return all their textbooks, and watch the B&N cashiers pray to whatever deities or non-deities they believe in not to get an aneurysm by day's end.

    Legality or extra-legality (or grandfathered extra-legalities that we've all gotten used to) aside, it's just as likely that Steam refunded Tei's game not because they're in the wrong when it comes to UK law but that they see less profit in fighting it than just acquiescing to the small numbers of people who will send in a ticket.

    TLDR: It could just be a case of squeaky wheel.
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  17. #17
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    bookstore has the right to deny you a refund when you take the book, walk across the street to Kinko's to photocopy all the pages, and return it.
    Uh, yeah, i'd say that in majority of cases that will cost several times the value of the original book, so i have a hard time believing this kind of stuff happens on a regular basis.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karry View Post
    Uh, yeah, i'd say that in majority of cases that will cost several times the value of the original book, so i have a hard time believing this kind of stuff happens on a regular basis.
    Point being, even if you were incredibly stupid and attempted this, the bookstore would balk at your request. (And, sometimes, college frosh are incredibly stupid)
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karry View Post
    Uh, yeah, i'd say that in majority of cases that will cost several times the value of the original book, so i have a hard time believing this kind of stuff happens on a regular basis.
    I've vaguely known people who photocopied whole textbooks on their office copier.
    Or I spoze you could just take pictures of each page. =P if your time is worth a lot less than your money...

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    If you're going to steal, you may as well be efficient about it.

    Don't steal.

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