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  1. #41
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    Judges are elected, so having a law background kind of helps. Federal judges are selected by the President and confirmed by Senate, so again having law experience definitely helps. It's not REQUIRED by law that you do, but you'd probably have a hard time being selected/elected if you didn't.
    I didn't mean to imply that a judge has no law background, but rather that it's vastly different from here where judges come from barristers who are specifically offered the opportunity to serve as a judge or magistrate or whatever. You can't apply, it's something offered.

  2. #42
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    Out of curiosity, you may want to check up on your local laws. As far as I know the UK doesn't have class actions at all in the law, so it doesn't change much, and the US has been thoroughly checked by Valve's lawyers, but here we have this little gem in my province's Consumer Protection Act:
    11.1. Any stipulation that obliges the consumer to refer a dispute to arbitration, that restricts the consumer's right to go before a court, in particular by prohibiting the consumer from bringing a class action, or that deprives the consumer of the right to be a member of a group bringing a class action is prohibited.
    The funny thing is that if you read through that Act, there's a bunch of things multinational corps are doing which, at least from my (limited) understanding, are prohibited, such as altering an agreement after it has been entered into by both parties without providing for a way to leave the agreement at no cost or penalty.

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that a judge has no law background, but rather that it's vastly different from here where judges come from barristers who are specifically offered the opportunity to serve as a judge or magistrate or whatever. You can't apply, it's something offered.
    Appointment, as compared to election, doesn't seem like a much stronger assurance of objective arbitration. While the top judges of the land here got their jobs through a massive political battle, appointment simply sidesteps the battle in favor of the politics of those who appoint them.
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  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Appointment, as compared to election, doesn't seem like a much stronger assurance of objective arbitration. While the top judges of the land here got their jobs through a massive political battle, appointment simply sidesteps the battle in favor of the politics of those who appoint them.
    That wasn't my point (and we have further issues where the judiciary isn't really entirely separate), this is all inconsequential to the primary issue. My actual point was that independent arbitration isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    That wasn't my point (and we have further issues where the judiciary isn't really entirely separate), this is all inconsequential to the primary issue. My actual point was that independent arbitration isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    You sound like you want to do away entirely with the civil courts.

    I find that, as an opinion, kinda out there. As it stands, the dudes with the most money already have the scales in favor of them.
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  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You sound like you want to do away entirely with the civil courts.

    I find that, as an opinion, kinda out there. As it stands, the dudes with the most money already have the scales in favor of them.
    I don't. But arbitration isn't necessarily bad, provided it's independent. Of course Valve apparently dictate who the case goes before, so that's open to question. But arbitration itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It beats dragging it through the courts provided it's actually a fair process.

    If it isn't though it's horrible, but a court that's against you from the get-go is just as bad.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    Out of curiosity, you may want to check up on your local laws. As far as I know the UK doesn't have class actions at all in the law, so it doesn't change much, and the US has been thoroughly checked by Valve's lawyers
    Having it checked by lawyers isn't really saying much. The clause would have issues in pretty much every country for the simple fact that it's the court which decides what cases to try, not the defendant. You can no more prevent yourself going to court via a contract than you can prevent yourself being arrested for murder via a contract.
    Largely the clause is more one of encouragement than anything else. In theory at least, if you're offering people a cheaper and more expedient method of resolving a dispute than engaging the legal system it encourages them towards using that rather than seeking legal redress.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't. But arbitration isn't necessarily bad, provided it's independent. Of course Valve apparently dictate who the case goes before, so that's open to question.
    Independence isn't really an issue. You can also read it as Valve saying "if your claim is less than ten thousand dollars and our legal experts think you might have a case, we'll pay up rather than go to court".

  8. #48
    Activated Node Utnac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    The funny thing is that if you read through that Act, there's a bunch of things multinational corps are doing which, at least from my (limited) understanding, are prohibited, such as altering an agreement after it has been entered into by both parties without providing for a way to leave the agreement at no cost or penalty.
    Fairly interesting point, I wonder what Valve would do if I phoned them up and told them I don't agree with their EULA but that I want to continue playing my games, presumably they have to let me under UK law?

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    Having it checked by lawyers isn't really saying much. The clause would have issues in pretty much every country for the simple fact that it's the court which decides what cases to try, not the defendant. You can no more prevent yourself going to court via a contract than you can prevent yourself being arrested for murder via a contract.
    In the US the forcing of binding arbitration by means of a contract is 100% legal, as determined by the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. It's just another step in the US's steady march towards the complete degradation of consumer rights.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utnac View Post
    Fairly interesting point, I wonder what Valve would do if I phoned them up and told them I don't agree with their EULA but that I want to continue playing my games, presumably they have to let me under UK law?
    Valve already have a mechanism in place that allows them to prevent new purchases, trading and online activities while still allowing you to download and play stuff you've already bought (that they tend to use instead of banning accounts now) so they'd probably do that.

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unruly View Post
    In the US the forcing of binding arbitration by means of a contract is 100% legal, as determined by the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. It's just another step in the US's steady march towards the complete degradation of consumer rights.
    This is kind of the point though. This erosion of consumer rights only really applies in the US. In the EU stronger consumer law blocks most of these attempts, hence I wasn't outraged when Sony did it (though obviously I didn't voice it on this forum). But I don't think Valve are getting off easily, as has been suggested, I think the apathy is more general.

    Also going back to UK (well English judges as Scotland has a separate system.) they're appointed by an independent commission of other judges, so they are fairly independent from politics here. Though of course there are issues with nepotism and judges being a conservative lot. However it's fairly safe to say they are independent of politics considering the amount of time the executive seem to spend at war with them for making wrong decisions. By wrong I mean decisions that are entirely correct by the law but look bad in newspapers.

  12. #52
    Activated Node Hirmetrium's Avatar
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    Valve already have a mechanism in place that allows them to prevent new purchases, trading and online activities while still allowing you to download and play stuff you've already bought (that they tend to use instead of banning accounts now) so they'd probably do that.
    What about retail purchases that use Steamworks?

    Also, a comment about the Valve bias in this thread, I didn't care when Sony changed their policy, or EA changed their policy. Or anybody for that matter. Just like I don't care about Valve. However, the entire steam client shuts down if you click "I Disagree" and you have no way to get back on it. I get the feeling that isn't legal.

    Finally:
    The funny thing is that if you read through that Act, there's a bunch of things multinational corps are doing which, at least from my (limited) understanding, are prohibited, such as altering an agreement after it has been entered into by both parties without providing for a way to leave the agreement at no cost or penalty.
    You US folks totally need a class action lawsuit for that.

    Also liking the joke about Valve being for togetherness gaming but not togetherness court cases :P

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't. But arbitration isn't necessarily bad, provided it's independent. Of course Valve apparently dictate who the case goes before, so that's open to question. But arbitration itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. It beats dragging it through the courts provided it's actually a fair process.
    The courts are an independent arbitration. That's kinda the point of their existence.

    Regardless, what this clause is trying to do away with isn't judges, but lawyers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Also going back to UK (well English judges as Scotland has a separate system.) they're appointed by an independent commission of other judges, so they are fairly independent from politics here. Though of course there are issues with nepotism and judges being a conservative lot. However it's fairly safe to say they are independent of politics considering the amount of time the executive seem to spend at war with them for making wrong decisions. By wrong I mean decisions that are entirely correct by the law but look bad in newspapers.
    That reads like: "They aren't independent of politics; they're independent of parliament. They dominate their own strata of politics." Hence the nepotism and conservatism.
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  14. #54
    Lesser Hivemind Node Shooop's Avatar
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    This really does not bode well. Yes it won't effect the majority of people, but denying anyone the ability to file a lawsuit is never a good thing because it's much easier to abuse them afterwards.

  15. #55
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That reads like: "They aren't independent of politics; they're independent of parliament. They dominate their own strata of politics." Hence the nepotism and conservatism.
    Yep which are issues, all went to the same private schools, less women represented etc. Those are issues for their professional bodies though, same as doctors, engineers, bankers and so forth.

    I would be reulctant to refer to it as their own strata of politics though. They're pretty politically neutral. They just interpret the acts of parliament based on precedence and totally ignore what politicians or the people say on the matter. Which I personally feel is a good thing.

    For instance when Tony Martin (a farmer with an illegal shotgun) killed a kid robbing his house in self defence (shot him in the back as he ran away), the Judges made sure the jury paid attention to the law where self defence is only valid if reasonable force is used. Despite the newspapers and conservative party all arguing it was fine in public. Hence he got sent to jail.

    Also things like the death penalty, where if you let the public directly you'd get bad decision making. Elitist but I don't care.

    Anyway that's waaaay off topic.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The courts are an independent arbitration. That's kinda the point of their existence.

    Regardless, what this clause is trying to do away with isn't judges, but lawyers.
    And preventing it from going to court, and probably preventing massive damages claims. Which is understandable.

    Re independent arbitration - hopefully the courts are independent but again that's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about - truly independent arbitration services (or alternative dispute resolution services if you want another term of it) aren't bad.

  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I would be reluctant to refer to it as their own strata of politics though. They're pretty politically neutral. They just interpret the acts of parliament based on precedence and totally ignore what politicians or the people say on the matter. Which I personally feel is a good thing.

    [example of a case that they interpreted in a manner in which I agree]
    I'd contend that nobody is politically neutral. Hell, the court system here is a political body purposefully meant to retard the speed in which government can change.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    And preventing it from going to court, and probably preventing massive damages claims. Which is understandable.

    Re independent arbitration - hopefully the courts are independent but again that's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about - truly independent arbitration services (or alternative dispute resolution services if you want another term of it) aren't bad.
    Hopefully they're independent? Compared to what? Certainly not for-hire dispute resolution counselors.
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  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Hopefully they're independent? Compared to what? Certainly not for-hire dispute resolution counselors.
    Really? The idea of a kangaroo court has never crossed your mind?

  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Really? The idea of a kangaroo court has never crossed your mind?
    So dispensing with any sort of representative body is a step in the right direction?
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  20. #60
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    @Hirmetrium: I'm afraid the act I quoted isn't from the US. I'm not sure they have something comparable really.

    @archonsod: I said that because I'd reasonably expect that Valve's lawyers would advise against such a clause if it actually contradicted US laws. I know this may sound overly trusting of lawyers, but I honestly can't be bothered checking. The US dug their grave a while ago.

    @deano2099: I wonder if that's what happens if you click "Disagree" when Steam updates with the new ToS?

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