Valve Drops the Hammer On Infringing Dota 2 Mace

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Vigormortis:
Exactly.

Some people just seem to lack perspective. Seriously.

Oh my God guys! This poor shmuck got banned from his Steam account! He can't play his games anymore! That's too harsh a punishment! Valve is evil! This is why digital distribution is bad!

Yeah. Losing anywhere from $1.00 to a few hundred $$ worth of software titles is so much harsher than facing a $500 to $50,000 dollar fine, court fees, extraneous legal fees, customer damages (for the items sold, totaling around $15,000), and fees for any other "damages" incurred as claimed by any parties involved (i.e. NCSoft, Valve, etc).

Yep. Way too harsh.

Amen. Threads like this make me wish that there was a test prior to posting titled something along the lines of "Plagiarism, the Law and You: Things you need to know before spouting off on things you don't have a clue about". Failing the test would result in a person only having viewer privileges in the topic. Incidentally my captcha is 'rocket science' in that it isn't rocket science to see that plagiarism is illegal and that under any reasonable perspective this guy got off incredibly easy here.

CriticKitten:

Ledan:
No, I am not defending plagiarism nor is anyone else who says his punishment is unfair. When I argue against the death penalty I am not defending the murderer's actions. In case you do not understand that analogy: Discussing the punishment for a criminal does in no way mean that you are defending the criminal, it means that you are discussing what punishment he should receive for the agreed upon heinous act.

You're defending the punishment as unfair, but that isn't defending the action? How exactly does that strain of logic operate? It especially bothers me that your analogy jumps right to "murder" instead of another crime of similar nature, because you're escalating the scale to exaggerate your point. Sorry, but if you're actually going to come out here and say "I think he's being unfairly treated", then you are defending him. It doesn't matter if you are defending the action specifically or the individual in question, you are still defending the indefensible. You can try to twist the mental logic however you like, but this is very cut and dry.

Dafuq? no, and a thousand times no.
Person A steals money from an orphanage. He is flogged publicly for a day and a half. I can argue that the punishment is unfair without defending the criminal's actions. The criminal is a criminal, and should be punished, but not by this specific punishment. Are you seriously suggesting that in this theoretical case I am in favor of people stealing from orphanage? Since you've already stated that, let me try to make this even simpler.
Paul commits action A. The legal system punishes him with action B. I disagree with action B. I think we should have done action C instead. At no point to I defend action A. I say that action A was committed, that it was bad, but that action B is to severe.
This is very cut and dry. I am not defending his right to plagiarize. I am not defending his actions. I am arguing about the punishment inflicted upon him.
As for me exagerating the point, I was taking your logic and applying it to a case I hoped you would understand.
When people argue about the death penalty, they are not defending the criminals actions. Do you understand? There is a difference between saying "this man is being treated unfairly" and "i agree with what this man was doing".
I can condemn someones actions and condemn their punishment without endorsing their actions.

If someone is in debt, they choose what to do to pay of that debt. The party that the debt is owed to does not get to choose what the person in debt has to sell. If you owe me 5000 dollars, I can't demand want your bed, your chairs, your TV, and a box of oreos. I can't demand a specific piece of jewelry, you get to choose how you pay me back. That is your legal right, to keep what you value and sell what you personally feel that you can do without.

Except that this wasn't a legal matter unless the case went to court (which it didn't). Steam chose to settle it outside of court by using their Terms of Service (terms you agree to follow when you use their services). So you really have no right at all to complain about the manner of punishment Steam chooses to inflict upon you (unless the punishment violates another law), since you agreed to the contract.

Steam still does not have the legal authority to dictate what assets of yours should be sold to pay the fine. That is still your perogative. Maybe things are different in the US, but here in Europe no corporation can say "You owe me 5,000 dollars, give me your grandmothers earrings and your collection of SEGA games to pay me off".

And please, spare me the "EULAs aren't legally binding" bit. Steam's Terms of Service are not an EULA to begin with. They are a legally binding document whose terms you agree to follow or the service in question will be denied to you. While EULAs have been challenged in some small courts, the Terms of Service for Steam have not been challenged in court and overruled yet, which means they ARE legally binding until established otherwise by court of law. That is how a contract works.

In this theoretical case he would have lost his games. EU laws would have forced them to give them to him. The court case wouldn't be about his plagiarize, that is a separate case, but that they stole his property. They don't have to provide him with their service, but they have to provide him acces to his games. If steams current ban policy is this, then he has no reason to go to court.

No. People are already misunderstanding what that court ruling means, and I swear it's going to drive me absolutely batty.

One single court case in one country in the EU does not mean that every single court everywhere across the European Union must acknowledge all EULAs as null, first off. EULAs have been brought up many times in US law and the jury is still out about whether or not they're legally binding, since some have ruled in favor and others against.

Second, the ruling specifically applies ONLY to the "no resale" clause. It does not have relevance beyond that.

Third, Steam's services are not covered under an EULA but rather a Terms of Service contract, so the ruling is completely irrelevant to this case.

Fourth, even if it was relevant, the ruling in EU has no bearing whatsoever on the case unless the individual in question is an EU citizen (and there is no confirmation what country he is from, or even if he is a he at all).

Did you misquote this, because it has no relevance to the paragraph you quoted. Im not talking about EULA's or terms of service. What exactly are you complaining about?

Except that he always has a right to his games. That is the basis of my argument, that is my point, and that is the leg that I stand on. Steam isn't taking away his games. Great. They are doing the right thing. If they weren't, which until recently that is what a Steam ban would have been, then they would have been infringing on his property rights.

Games that are run out of their servers can be denied to him without legal recourse. This is how companies like Blizzard are able to ban cheaters from World of Warcraft without having to face a lawsuit every time they ban someone.

There is a fine line between digital games and digital services. Games that require servers, dungeon defenders, cod multiplayer,etc can be denied to him. He should still have access to Skyrim, Deus Ex human revolution,etc.

If they were physically taking the game from the user, that's a different story....but if it's a game he purchased that runs on their servers, they have every right to say "no, we won't let you use our servers because the last time you did, you broke the law and nearly got us into a major lawsuit".

Again, though, irrelevant since he still has his games.

Not irrelevant to the point I was making. You seem to ignore that I'm not arguing about this case specifically, but using it as an example to argue how things should be.

Yup, he is not entitled to a service. He is though to his games.

You got really bothered by me repeating the phrase "he hasn't lost access to his games", and yet you keep repeating the phrase "he has every right to his games" even though we know for a fact that he still has access to his games. And you wonder why I feel the need to keep repeating myself?

Yes, he still has bloody acces to his games. Can you for a moment think beyond this specific case and understand that I'm talking broadly about peoples (well, to be fair EU citizens) right to their digital games as property?

Plagiarizing on an intellectual level of academia, and making an art asset aren't the same. It's a similar difference of nicking an album and robbing a bank.

No, they're considered identical in a court of law. You would be charged with fraud and subject to the same fees and penalties. However, many cases of plagiarism are settled in-house rather than involving the courts because it is much faster and allows the victimized party more control over the situation. Universities typically opt to settle matters of plagiarism in-house, and Steam has every right to do so as well. The charges are only filed if the victimized party chooses to pursue the matter in court.

Ah yes! I completely forgot that plagiarizing an entire book and one small art asset are exactly the same!

It also doesn't matter if losing a couple of games is minor, it's still a crime. The law doesn't look over infractions because they are minor in comparison to other crimes. If a petty thief is hit by a car driven by a drunk driver, both the reckless driver and the thief are put on trial for their respective crimes.

You're still operating under the notion that the EU court case applies at all to this situation. It doesn't.

And once more I find it necessary to repeat that his games were not denied to him. Your next statement is incredibly ironic considering that you keep repeating this false assertion over and over.[/quote] Do you understand the word theoretical? Do you understand that I'm arguing that games are property, and can't be taken away from you even if Steam didn't take away his games this time? Are you blind, or did you willfully ignore the times when I agreed that his games had not been taken away from him?

Why do you repeat the same thing over and over? You have already stated that Steam bans don't result in a loss of his games. Obviously he has no inherent right to Steam's services. Obviously he does have a property right to his games.

I have to keep repeating it because people (like yourself) keep misunderstanding it.[/quote]
And what pray tell is it that I keep misunderstanding?
-That he didn't get his games removed.
-That he did get his service with steam removed.
-That steam has a legal right to terminate the service, but not his access to his games.

So what exactly is your point? Your whole argument centered around him having every right to his games (which he didn't lose), so without it....what exactly are you arguing about in the first place?

Do you understand the word theoretical? Do you understand that I'm arguing that games are property, and can't be taken away from you even if Steam didn't take away his games this time? That is my point. That games are property and can't legally be taken away from you. They were not in this case. Does not change my argument that games are property and can't be taken away from you.

As for me centering on the EU: I live here. I agree with its morals and values. I agree with many of its laws. I find many of the US laws repugnant. I agree with the EU's decision that digital games are regarded as property. There is surely a fine line between digital games and services, such as MMOS.

NuclearShadow:
Not only do I agree with the ban but Valve should also hand all information to the owners of Aion in case they wish to pursue legal action. In-fact Valve really needs to be careful about this themselves. Viacom sued Youtube for 1 billion dollars for a rather similar act. User submitted materials that happened to be copyrighted.

At-least Youtube wasn't selling these videos while Valve is indeed selling these copyrighted materials. The deciding factor what gave Viacom victory over Youtube was that it was clear Youtube knew it was taking place even if they did not wish or promote such. Now Valve has admitted to the same thing knowing it is happening.

If I was at Valve and the one to make the call I would issue a apology to the copyright owner. I would throw that little bastard under the bus and make fully support him being sued. I would create a instant DMCA notice take down option on all submitted content. Letting any company/person to file and instantly take down anything that was filed against and if countered filed it would go for review.

It seems to me that this is kinda what Valve is doing already. Basically by making an example of one guy they prevent future incidents and also show Aion that they take the matter seriously enough to prevent a lawsuit. If Aion does pursue legal action I think it's safe to predict that Steam will give them any money that they got from the crates, if they haven't already.

Hey guys did you hear that if you steal a priceless diamond you might be put in jail for it. I can't be living in this country if they can just put you in jail for simple stuff like that.

That is how silly some of you sound. The guy broke the law, the punishment he got is even more lenient than what could have happened. It doesn't mean Steam are going to take all your games for something tiny. It means that if you break the LAW, you will be punished.

Andy Chalk:
Call me old-fashioned, but I equate this with, say, EA sending a guy over to your house to take away all the games you legally paid for because it caught you making copies of one you didn't. I don't think any of us would stand for that, so why is it okay for Valve to take away legitimately-purchased Steam titles for an unrelated matter?

You forgot the part where he would be selling the copies of the game claiming that they were his own work.

Cutting out the irrelevant garbage, otherwise this is going to take me forever. >_>

Steam still does not have the legal authority to dictate what assets of yours should be sold to pay the fine. That is still your perogative. Maybe things are different in the US, but here in Europe no corporation can say "You owe me 5,000 dollars, give me your grandmothers earrings and your collection of SEGA games to pay me off".

What fine? You're not making a lick of sense.

Steam is providing services and has every right to take them away if you violate their contract. You don't get to complain if they tell you they won't let you use THEIR servers to conduct illegal activities.

As for games, unless you can quote a successful court case in which someone lost their Steam games and "won them back" in court, you need to accept the reality that there is no precedence for such a thing in any court anywhere in the world, so there is no way of knowing whether or not such a case can be won. While courts have been moving in favor of considering software "property" in the context of law, we're not there yet.

Did you misquote this, because it has no relevance to the paragraph you quoted. Im not talking about EULA's or terms of service. What exactly are you complaining about?

You are referring to "laws here in the EU", which means you're undoubtedly talking about a recent court case. I was pointing out that you have grossly misinterpreted the ruling in the case. The case did not rule that digitally distributed games are "property" and that they can never be denied to you. The case had nothing to do with digital distribution at all, and cannot be used as a point of legal reference to "prove" that the EU considers digitally distributed games as legal property. That is a gross exaggeration and misinterpretation of the case. It's a first step towards digitally distributed games being "property" but it's not the definitive leap you want to pretend it is.

Not irrelevant to the point I was making. You seem to ignore that I'm not arguing about this case specifically, but using it as an example to argue how things should be.

Yes, he still has bloody acces to his games. Can you for a moment think beyond this specific case and understand that I'm talking broadly about peoples (well, to be fair EU citizens) right to their digital games as property?

Do you understand the word theoretical? Do you understand that I'm arguing that games are property, and can't be taken away from you even if Steam didn't take away his games this time? Are you blind, or did you willfully ignore the times when I agreed that his games had not been taken away from him?

Do you understand the word theoretical? Do you understand that I'm arguing that games are property, and can't be taken away from you even if Steam didn't take away his games this time? That is my point. That games are property and can't legally be taken away from you. They were not in this case. Does not change my argument that games are property and can't be taken away from you.

So you're arguing a meaningless hypothetical that hasn't happened and has nothing to do with this case? Why are you even here? If you want to theorize about whether or not games are property, create a thread and start a discussion about it. That discussion doesn't belong here since it clearly has nothing to do with the scenario.

And if you were arguing a hypothetical this whole time, why did your original post make a point of saying that you thought the punishment was unfair if you knew that the punishment did not include him losing his Steam games? Sounds to me like you're just trying to cover your trail. It's okay to admit you were wrong, you know.

Ah yes! I completely forgot that plagiarizing an entire book and one small art asset are exactly the same!

Legally, they are the same and punishable by the same minimum charges and fees. Your failed sarcasm doesn't change the letter of the law. One may end up treated more harshly than the other, but the charge and minimum punishments are identical. I can only assume that you're speaking out of a misunderstanding of the law (and of plagiarism itself) in making such a ridiculous statement.

As for me centering on the EU: I live here. I agree with its morals and values. I agree with many of its laws. I find many of the US laws repugnant. I agree with the EU's decision that digital games are regarded as property. There is surely a fine line between digital games and services, such as MMOS.

And where/when did the EU decide this? I'm curious whether or not you can actually point to a court case proving that games distributed through a Steam-like medium cannot be restricted or taken from a user, or if (as I suspect is the case) you've just misunderstood recent court cases in the EU as legally binding proof that software is "property".

Furthermore, why does it matter since Steam is based out of the US (and therefore EU law has nothing to do with this conversation)? It doesn't matter if you LIKE US law or not, that's the law that would be applied in this case if Steam had in fact taken his games. >_>

Mr.Mattress:
Wait, Dota 2 isn't even officially out yet, at least not according to everything I'm hearing. How can 25,000 people have it if most people can't have it yet? I don't understand...

It's very easy to get into the beta, and it's the most played game on steam practically every day.

What sort of idiot would even try to pass off copyrighted material as their own. Even from an obscure game such as Aion where the item has very little resemblance. Yes, greater chance to get away with it (it got voted to be sold) but still. What's the point. It's like me submitting the skin for a staff from Magic & Mayhem.
He at least could have had the balls to go for the Glaives of Azzinoth.

Then again, it is ironic that Steam condemns him for plagurism since *some* of the DotA2 skins for Heroes still look almost like Warcraft 3 models. Like Disrupter or Enchantress.

He plagiarized someone else's IP and peddled it as his own. If I had the choice between seeing Valve entangled in an IP lawsuit and kicking his butt off the service, I'd go for the latter. His loss of Valve stuff he might have bought is harsh, but it's a much smaller loss than if he would be held accountable for his deeds in court.

Everyone can try to sneak in some fun stuff and cross-pollinate IPs, I know I enjoy it. But if a service allows you to make money selling your own, original stuff you just don't even try to get away with something like this.

He wanted to see the world on fire? Well, he sure got his ass burnt.

Andy Chalk:

I don't know how much money the guy made off the mace (and will thus lose) but the part that really stings is the ban from Steam, which means the loss of all the games in his library. I would never condone plagiarism, but that's an awfully harsh punishment and one that I don't think necessarily speaks well of Steam. Transgressions must be punished, but stripping someone of games he's rightfully paid for is a little too heavy-handed for my liking.

You're joking, right? This was handled with motherfucking Martha Stewart levels of leniency. The guy could've been sued for several thousand dollars and been saddled with even more in court and legal expenses, but instead lost a few hundred bucks worth of games. Are you really saying that that would have been better, as long as he gets to keep his games?! 'Cuz let me tell you, if Valve didn't handle this, you can bet your ass NCSoft would have, and they damn well wouldn't have gone easy on him.

So let me ask you, which would you choose: lose a couple hundred dollars worth of games, or be sued for plagiarism by a multi-million dollar corporation?

Denying him any profits from the item, taking away his right to create any other content, and even taking direct legal action against him (suing) for it all makes sense. Some of this even goes across to future steam accounts he might have been found to make. Taking away his games and to a lesser extent access to buy more games is going too far though. Yes, suing him for all he's worth is fine, but taking away the games he already owns isn't (unless you can somehow treat them as assets in the suit).

The fact is, steam and other similar services need to treat the games you have bought or otherwise own as YOURS, anything that denies you access to those games is therefor tantamount to theft. If I buy something and the seller forcefully takes it away at a later date after I've paid, there is no other word for it. You don't own services though, like online play, so you can still be banned anytime, but even if the game is online only you still own your copy of the game. As it is, it's like if the bank had the right to close down access to your account permanently at any time without notice, and after doing so did NOT have any requirement to give you the money in your account.

Out of curiosity, was it intentional theft or did it just happen to look like a mace in another game? All I can think about while reading this thread is "Half the mace's I have ever designed look like the one in the article".

Andy Chalk:

I don't know how much money the guy made off the mace (and will thus lose) but the part that really stings is the ban from Steam, which means the loss of all the games in his library. I would never condone plagiarism, but that's an awfully harsh punishment and one that I don't think necessarily speaks well of Steam. Transgressions must be punished, but stripping someone of games he's rightfully paid for is a little too heavy-handed for my liking.

Not sued by NCSoft, Not sued by VALVE

Not taken to court for any reasons involving passing off other people's content as his own. and then selling it.

You're totally right, losing access to a gaming account is a huge deal. The reason for an EULA and ToS document is in these kinds of cases, which allow a company to take pretty much any action they want against you if you break their rules.

This is probably the most lenient of decisions that Valve and NCsoft could have taken for the time being. Nothing happened to the dude except he lost access to some games.

Would you feel the same way if I took everything you've written for the escapist, toddled over to CVG and posted it there as my own content, and got paid for it?

dogstile:
Out of curiosity, was it intentional theft or did it just happen to look like a mace in another game? All I can think about while reading this thread is "Half the mace's I have ever designed look like the one in the article".

I have a Timebreaker, I have to say, the original design didn't look very mace-ish. It does now.

Sotanaht:
As it is, it's like if the bank had the right to close down access to your account permanently at any time without notice, and after doing so did NOT have any requirement to give you the money in your account.

He'd be able to launch games that don't require steam manually from his PC, assuming that he had them installed. That's how I played most of AC:R, because it uses the ubisoft launcher.

dogstile:
Out of curiosity, was it intentional theft or did it just happen to look like a mace in another game? All I can think about while reading this thread is "Half the mace's I have ever designed look like the one in the article".

seems like a simple recolour.

this is the dota 2 mace:

and here is the Aion mace it ripped off:

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume this guy directly ripped off the Aion mace, I think a ban was a reasonable punishment.

I actually owned the original dota 2 mace so it looks like I am one of the 25,000 who has a shiny immortal mace to hold onto.

Limecake:

dogstile:
Out of curiosity, was it intentional theft or did it just happen to look like a mace in another game? All I can think about while reading this thread is "Half the mace's I have ever designed look like the one in the article".

seems like a simple recolour.

this is the dota 2 mace:

and here is the Aion mace it ripped off:

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume this guy directly ripped off the Aion mace, I think a ban was a reasonable punishment.

I actually owned the original dota 2 mace so it looks like I am one of the 25,000 who has a shiny immortal mace to hold onto.

Looking at that, yeah...it is safe to say this this was most likely intentionally done.

You do realize your facebook can get banned? They own everything you post there as per the agreement you passed by to start posting on their website, so they can own your personal information and deny you access to it. Your phone service, has a copy of all your phone records that they can hand over to the police if they are requested to do so as per the agreement you signed when you took your shiny new phone out of the box. Do you see where I'm going here? Don't whine about something you already signed. If the TOS is onerous you shouldn't have signed it. that covers the valve QQing crowd.

As for the "what if" he came up with it himself scenario being philosophically discussed. Ask a patent clerk how that works. If your not the first it's no longer original, therefore you lose your right to call it your own.

Finally, He knew he could get screwed over here and even if he didn't, guess what, in the real world people will laugh at you and call you a dumbass for not knowing the rules. he broke several very severe laws in a time when they are heavily enforced. He's lucky to still be out on the streets, that is if he didn't get arrested and pursued by his governing body anyway.

Limecake:

I actually owned the original dota 2 mace so it looks like I am one of the 25,000 who has a shiny immortal mace to hold onto.

Any idea what they're worth? it seems that they're rarer than TF2 Earbuds

ResonanceSD:

Limecake:

I actually owned the original dota 2 mace so it looks like I am one of the 25,000 who has a shiny immortal mace to hold onto.

Any idea what they're worth? it seems that they're rarer than TF2 Earbuds

probably not a ton right now, since dota is still in closed beta I'm assuming that when the final game is released they'll become a little more valuable.

I also own a pair of earbuds, maybe valve loves me or I just have good luck. in a couple years I might get a game or two for these items.

Limecake:

ResonanceSD:

Limecake:

I actually owned the original dota 2 mace so it looks like I am one of the 25,000 who has a shiny immortal mace to hold onto.

Any idea what they're worth? it seems that they're rarer than TF2 Earbuds

I also own a pair of earbuds, maybe valve loves me or I just have good luck. in a couple years I might get a game or two for these items.

Absolutely no luck involved with getting buds, buddy, logging on to TF2 with a mac got them.

I hate playing hard carries so there's no reason for me to keep the damned thing -_- but it's quite tempting to get a strange sapper + stuff for it.

"an awfully harsh punishment and one that I don't think necessarily speaks well of Steam"? Considering how much legal trouble this guy could have gotten Valve into (and still could, for that matter) that's probably the easiest punishment he could get. He should count himself lucky he didn't steal the design of something made by a more dickish company, one that would have actually sued Valve.

Owyn_Merrilin:
OT: Yeah, the steam ban is a bit much for this.

Can't disagree more frankly. The guy literally stole, tried to scam money out of Valve and their users in the process, and caused them some headaches in having to verify this and rectify the situation. Sorry, but banning him from Steam and having him lose access to his games is appropriate. It means Valve is taking a hard stand on this not only being unacceptable, but says that there will be some very real consequences for people who are going to try and cheat Valve and other users. Valve doesn't want people like that using their system and they're making it very clear here. And all of this is without mentioning the fact that this guy opened Valve themselves up to a lot of legal liability and the potential to be sued had they not caught it so fast.

Considering the punishments for such blatant plagiarism anywhere else are far more severe this is letting him off quite lightly. Pull this stuff in University and you'll be expelled. Pull it in the real world where a company like Valve isn't there to nip it in the bud and you'll find yourself sued into poverty. The only reason I'd say he doesn't deserve to have worse come at him and be sued is because he will never see any money from this since they caught it before he was paid.

Vivi22:

Owyn_Merrilin:
OT: Yeah, the steam ban is a bit much for this.

Can't disagree more frankly. The guy literally stole, tried to scam money out of Valve and their users in the process, and caused them some headaches in having to verify this and rectify the situation. Sorry, but banning him from Steam and having him lose access to his games is appropriate. It means Valve is taking a hard stand on this not only being unacceptable, but says that there will be some very real consequences for people who are going to try and cheat Valve and other users. Valve doesn't want people like that using their system and they're making it very clear here. And all of this is without mentioning the fact that this guy opened Valve themselves up to a lot of legal liability and the potential to be sued had they not caught it so fast.

Considering the punishments for such blatant plagiarism anywhere else are far more severe this is letting him off quite lightly. Pull this stuff in University and you'll be expelled. Pull it in the real world where a company like Valve isn't there to nip it in the bud and you'll find yourself sued into poverty. The only reason I'd say he doesn't deserve to have worse come at him and be sued is because he will never see any money from this since they caught it before he was paid.

Let's put it this way: if you steal from a store, they can take back what you stole from them, but legally they can't take back what you've legitimately bought in the past. That would be theft on their part, and it would be wrong. It's a moot point anyway, because it turns out that Steam bans no longer remove access to your games, just the store and the community[1], but what everyone thought was going on at first would have been inexcusable. Should he have been punished? Hell yes. Should valve have been punished by the government if they had done what everyone thought they had done? Fuck yes. As far as I'm concerned, what everyone thought they did is worse than what the plagiarist actually did, because we're talking about them accepting people's money, selling them products, and then taking those products away as soon as any of their customers does something they don't like. That is illegal under any system of consumer law, for damned good reason. And yes, this was an extreme case, but if you think it takes something this major to get a Steam ban, you're delusional.

[1] which is totally justified in this case, and within Valve's rights

Owyn_Merrilin:
Let's put it this way: if you steal from a store, they can take back what you stole from them, but legally they can't take back what you've legitimately bought in the past. That would be theft on their part, and it would be wrong.

Perhaps, but we're not talking about stealing a physical item. We're talking about blatant copyright infringement which opened, not only the perpetrator, but Valve as well to legal liability and defrauded thousands of paying customers. This wasn't a case of stealing from one person and causing harm which is easily rectified by returning what was stolen.

It's a moot point anyway, because it turns out that Steam bans no longer remove access to your games, just the store and the community[1],

Fair enough. Then he gets a slap on the wrist and those who are morally outraged by a blatant criminal being harshly punished can calm down a bit. I wonder if it would be worth NCSoft's time and effort to sue this guy though. He certainly deserves it whether it were to happen or not.

but what everyone thought was going on at first would have been inexcusable. Should he have been punished? Hell yes. Should valve have been punished by the government if they had done what everyone thought they had done? Fuck yes. As far as I'm concerned, what everyone thought they did is worse than what the plagiarist actually did, because we're talking about them accepting people's money, selling them products, and then taking those products away as soon as any of their customers does something they don't like.

No, it would be taking away access to their games after they committed a criminal act and left Valve open to civil liability. Had Valve not caught this so soon they could have been on the hook for some rather large legal damages had they been sued. And for all any of us knows, they may be within their rights to remove access to your Steam games under such circumstances based on the TOS. And let's face it, worse clauses than that have been upheld by courts in EULA's. Hell, the way ownership of software is viewed under the law is that you're buying a license which is controlled by the creator, not a copy of the software. This could make taking away access when you abuse said license to commit a crime and profit from it perfectly acceptable under the law.

It may be a bit of a grey area, and maybe there is some case law I'm not aware of that says otherwise (I'm not a lawyer so I don't have a high level understanding of the legislation and case law on this subject), but it may not be as black and white a situation as you think it is.

And yes, this was an extreme case, but if you think it takes something this major to get a Steam ban, you're delusional.

I never claimed that Steam bans are only handed out for committing a crime, nor did I ever say they always resulted in loss of access to games. I assumed that specifically happened in this case because that was what the article claimed, but I never assumed nor implied that it was the norm. But thanks for being insulting and condescending anyway. :)

[1] which is totally justified in this case, and within Valve's rights

Vivi22:

Owyn_Merrilin:
Let's put it this way: if you steal from a store, they can take back what you stole from them, but legally they can't take back what you've legitimately bought in the past. That would be theft on their part, and it would be wrong.

Perhaps, but we're not talking about stealing a physical item. We're talking about blatant copyright infringement which opened, not only the perpetrator, but Valve as well to legal liability and defrauded thousands of paying customers. This wasn't a case of stealing from one person and causing harm which is easily rectified by returning what was stolen.

It's a moot point anyway, because it turns out that Steam bans no longer remove access to your games, just the store and the community[1],

Fair enough. Then he gets a slap on the wrist and those who are morally outraged by a blatant criminal being harshly punished can calm down a bit. I wonder if it would be worth NCSoft's time and effort to sue this guy though. He certainly deserves it whether it were to happen or not.

but what everyone thought was going on at first would have been inexcusable. Should he have been punished? Hell yes. Should valve have been punished by the government if they had done what everyone thought they had done? Fuck yes. As far as I'm concerned, what everyone thought they did is worse than what the plagiarist actually did, because we're talking about them accepting people's money, selling them products, and then taking those products away as soon as any of their customers does something they don't like.

No, it would be taking away access to their games after they committed a criminal act and left Valve open to civil liability. Had Valve not caught this so soon they could have been on the hook for some rather large legal damages had they been sued. And for all any of us knows, they may be within their rights to remove access to your Steam games under such circumstances based on the TOS. And let's face it, worse clauses than that have been upheld by courts in EULA's. Hell, the way ownership of software is viewed under the law is that you're buying a license which is controlled by the creator, not a copy of the software. This could make taking away access when you abuse said license to commit a crime and profit from it perfectly acceptable under the law.

It may be a bit of a grey area, and maybe there is some case law I'm not aware of that says otherwise (I'm not a lawyer so I don't have a high level understanding of the legislation and case law on this subject), but it may not be as black and white a situation as you think it is.

And yes, this was an extreme case, but if you think it takes something this major to get a Steam ban, you're delusional.

I never claimed that Steam bans are only handed out for committing a crime, nor did I ever say they always resulted in loss of access to games. I assumed that specifically happened in this case because that was what the article claimed, but I never assumed nor implied that it was the norm. But thanks for being insulting and condescending anyway. :)

It's black and white, not grey, digital games are property, the law just hasn't caught up to reality yet -- at least not in the US. The EU treats it like what it is. And their TOS isn't worth crap except, again, in the US, where corporations effectively own the government. You can't sign away basic rights in a contract, especially not in a contract of adhesion, which is what these EULAs are. The laws in this country are effed up majorly.

As for the difference between copyright infringement and theft, yes there is a difference, but it doesn't matter to my example. The point was, he broke the law, but what everyone thought Valve had done was, if anything, worse. I'll give you another example, based on what used to be a real punishment in certain countries: you can't cut off someone's hand for shoplifting, even if they signed a contract saying that's what would happen if they shoplifted. Or how about this one, which is closer to what happened here: you don't take someone's physical record collection because they got caught downloading music. The theft of the records is actually a much more serious crime than the copyright infringement involved in the downloading.

By the way, the last part, about what it takes to get a steam ban, was less aimed at you and more at the people in this thread who had literally been claiming it takes something this major to get a ban. Look through it. There are people saying that nobody should be saying "well what if valve took your games?" because obviously it takes something this major, and the great and powerful Valve would never ban anyone for anything less.

[1] which is totally justified in this case, and within Valve's rights

Andy Chalk:
Call me old-fashioned, but I equate this with, say, EA sending a guy over to your house to take away all the games you legally paid for because it caught you making copies of one you didn't. I don't think any of us would stand for that, so why is it okay for Valve to take away legitimately-purchased Steam titles for an unrelated matter?

You see the difference here is you said "EA" if this were EA doing it it wouldn't matter one way or the other - people would be all up in arms about how horrible EA is and how much BS being banned from the games you bought off Origin is ...

Now since this is Valve and Steam its obviously "Steam is a service, not a product" despite, you know, having paid for products on their service.

Ya know, I'm aware they've done some great stuff for PC gaming, but overall, FUCK VALVE. I still haven't forgiven them for their retarded nonsense and the bullshit they pulled on Troika, and how Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines (one of the greatest PC rpgs ever made, once you get the fan patches and a few mods) suffered as a result.

ResonanceSD:

Nicolaus99:
Yet one more reason to envy pirates. Some company can't come along and essentially delete your game library.

Maybe this perp deserved it but who among us is really comfortable with that WMD hanging over their heads? I can picture a consumer law requiring the refund for the destruction of any "digital property" like this. A long term Steam library is not an investment to laugh away.

Did you even read the article? THe dude stole a design from NCsoft, published it to Dota 2, made MONEY off it, and caused legal crap for VALVE

I'm not sure what you think you're entitled to when you agree to Steam's ToS, none of the above is covered though. It's not a WMD, It's proportional response.

Ever seen this? In this scenario, The President's idea is entirely justified.

Itsthefuzz:

Nicolaus99:
.

Maybe this perp deserved it but who among us is really comfortable with that WMD hanging over their heads?

Not me. Steam doesn't ban for small, idiotic reasons. If they have, I haven't seen it. That's like criticizing the police for arresting someone and saying, 'Who here can ever be comfortable knowing that someone can just come to your house an arrest you like that?' Uh, maybe the people who don't break the law?

I'm not denying the perp was up to no good in a nasty way. This is also a property rights issue and a question of just what IS a EULA legally worth?

EULA's will say that so far as Steam goes, you own nothing at all and are merely renting temporary game licenses at the complete leisure and mercy of your corporate overlords who may withdraw those licenses without explanation or compensation.

This is the de facto state of affairs but is it one we should allow to continue unchallenged? I have far more confidence in my Constitutional rights as a property owner than in the random mercy of some corporation; even one with a positive reputation like Valve.

You come into my home, start tossing my game discs = $X into a bag and I have the lawful right to shoot you dead on the spot. You delete my Steam account of games = $X and... what? Nothing? This digital property divide will come back to haunt us all.

-nice clip by the way, though you'll notice that moderation was the wiser course of action. The rejection of disproportionate action is what has kept population centers crater and radiation free for generations.

Stormz:

Deathfish15:

Stormz:
Wonderful, glad to know me not supporting steam anymore is valid. He does something as small as this and gets banned for it and loses access to all the games he paid for.

Small? He stole another person/company's Intellectual Property and passed it off as his own for SALE in a different game product. That's not small, that's HUGE! He deserved his ban.

Yeah and he spent who knows how much off games on Steam. Ban him from ever playing the game again and prevent him from making money off the item , but losing 1000s of dollars worth of games is not fair. I'm never replacing my discs if getting banned is this easy.

Why don't we do some math then. If he put this item out to sell, and the item was bought by 24,603 people, then even at $.10 a pop that's still just under two and a half grand he just made. And I highly doubt he had over $2500 worth of games on his Steam account.

Also, the fact that Valve decided to monetize the item can get them sued by the company that created Aion. They are covering their asses and rightfully so. People are so quick to demonize a company that is just looking out for their best interest and in turn their consumer's best interest. This guy deserved the ban. And he can always create another account and re-buy the games.

Nicolaus99:

You come into my home, start tossing my game discs = $X into a bag and I have the lawful right to shoot you dead on the spot. You delete my Steam account of games = $X and... what? Nothing? This digital property divide will come back to haunt us all.

You forget that the government and the banks can take away everything you own just as easily as Valve can take away the games you paid for, for something as simple as owing them money.

Since Valve bans don't remove your access to your games this whole discussion is kinda moot, but upon finding this out I am disappointed in Valve.

I was under the impression that if someone did something seriously wrong through Steam, Valve had a serious punishment to dole out. (thereby discouraging people from doing bad stuff) Instead I learned that their harshest punishment, is basically a slap on the wrist. You don't lose anything, and all it takes is for the person to make a new account to continue using the steam service.

Also, to the people who are upset at the very idea of Steam "Taking away your games" I have a perspective to propose. Steam is not taking away your games, they are no longer allowing you to use your service. If you have all your games stored on a spare hard-drive, then you are still allowed to play them directly as much as you want. The only thing "Valve taking your games" would mean is that they turned off your access to their servers and wouldn't allow you to use their remote storage anymore.

In other words, if you're paranoid about Valve taking your games (which they don't actually do) then pay 50$ to buy another HD and store your games on that. Or, you could just not use Steam, I guess. It's no skin off my nose.

One more time for the people in the cheap seats. This post is hypothetical in nature, because:

Valve does not take away your games even when they ban accounts. ... because Valve is awesome. (I admit I am a big steam fan)

Elmoth:
But why do they hate steam?

Because it's the hero gamers deserve, but not the one they need right now. So, we'll hate it, because it can take it. Because it's not our hero. It's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.

^This made me giggle like an idiot. Thank you Sir/Madam.

I don't know how much money the guy made off the mace (and will thus lose) but the part that really stings is the ban from Steam, which means the loss of all the games in his library. I would never condone plagiarism, but that's an awfully harsh punishment and one that I don't think necessarily speaks well of Steam. Transgressions must be punished, but stripping someone of games he's rightfully paid for is a little too heavy-handed for my liking.

I don't know about that. Valve is taking a huge risk with this type of monetary exchange and they made it clear, crystal clear, in the T&S agreement what would happen to people who abuse the system. Could you imagine what could have happened if Valve would have been caught and sued? People could have lost their jobs from this. Companies have been sued into bankruptcy for much less than this. I'm not saying to drag this guy out and flog him but this is the best option, that sends a message BEFORE the lawyers get involved. Hell, T&S's aren't legally binding in *some* countries so this guy could sue and get it back.

mike1921:

IamGamer41:
That's the one thing I hate about sites like Stream.You get banned you lose all your games.If that's not a crock of shit I don't know what is.Could you imaging Nintendo or Sega doing this back in the 90's? Oh you let a friend borrow your Sonic 2 game? Well your banned from Sega!We will take all your Sega games back!

It's sad that we can't own the games we buy now a days.

I'm thinking the article here is wrong and that dude didn't really lose his games, and that the person who wrote the article just assumed being banned means you lose your game (it used to mean that too)

According to this he didn't lose his games http://www.shacknews.com/article/73450/steam-account-bans-no-longer-take-away-all-your-games

Even if he did lose his games, I'm pretty sure the T&S explains what happens for plagiarism.
People literally, could have lost their jobs over this and I'm glad that clearer heads prevailed and the lawyers didn't need to come swooping in.
Yet.

CriticKitten:
Um, how does it not speak well of Steam? It shows that Steam will ban you if you violate their Terms of Service and open them up to potential legal liability and/or lawsuits. That's an admirable trait, not one deserving of scorn.

As long as you're Valve and not, say, EA.

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