If you were planning on taking Valve to court because you’re sick of waiting for Half-Life 3 (or whatever), you’re going to have to find some other way to make money instead – the company has updated the Steam terms of service to include one of those no-suing clauses that are all the rage these days. Oh, and you can’t opt out because you can’t opt out, and you’ve already agreed to it because the new user agreement is already live.
In Section 12 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement, users must now agree to the following class action waiver:
YOU AND VALVE AGREE TO RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES AND CLAIMS BETWEEN US IN INDIVIDUAL BINDING ARBITRATION. THAT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, ANY CLAIMS ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO: (i) ANY ASPECT OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US; (ii) THIS AGREEMENT; OR (iii) YOUR USE OF STEAM, YOUR ACCOUNT OR THE SOFTWARE. IT APPLIES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIMS ARE BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT, STATUTE, FRAUD, UNFAIR COMPETITION, MISREPRESENTATION OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY.
YOU AND VALVE AGREE NOT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION, PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION OR COLLECTIVE ARBITRATION, EVEN IF [THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION’S] PROCEDURES OR RULES WOULD OTHERWISE ALLOW ONE. THE ARBITRATOR MAY AWARD RELIEF ONLY IN FAVOR OF THE INDIVIDUAL PARTY SEEKING RELIEF AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF THAT PARTY’S INDIVIDUAL CLAIM.
You know they’re serious because it’s in capitals letters.
The waiver does not, however, extend to class action suits arising from intellectual property rights and anything else pertaining to those.
“It’s clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don’t provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims,” the company said in an official statement.
“Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.”
Which does sound perfectly reasonable, until something catastrophic happens to Steam, and everybody loses their stuff. At that point, though, we’d probably be too busy defending the planet from a hostile alien invasion to worry about things like video games. Or maybe not – I mean, with everybody else out fighting for the survival of the human race, I couldn’t think of a more convenient opportunity to work on my Orcs Must Die high scores.