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Valve has up until October 10th to come up with a reasonable response for the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V., or Federation of German Consumer Organization's desist order before the organization pursues a resolution for the matter in the court of law. According to a representative from the vzbv, if Valve doesn't respond by the extended deadline, it was stated that they will seek to “resolve the dispute in court.”
The German Consumer Organizations is an umbrella group composed of various consumer rights advocates. The group sets out to resolve matters usually deemed unfair to consumers. Their latest target is Valve, the number one good guy company in the video game industry, although, depending on how this turns out they could be number two behind Good Old Games (a.k.a. CD Projekt).
The vzbv is after Valve for what they label as an unfair end-user license agreement that was recently modified back in August – an agreement that was labeled as a coercion for users. Furthermore, the vzbv wanted to enforce that Valve uphold the new EU court ruling regarding the resale of digital goods, a service and feature that isn't available from any online digital distribution platform.
We originally reported on the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband slamming Valve just last week, where at first Valve was given until September 26th to come up with a reasonable response to the desist declaration from the vzbv regarding Steam's EULA. After contacting the organization, Carola Elbrecht, chief officer and coordinator of advocacy for digital consumerism, simply stated that...
Valve has a new deadline (10.10.2012) to respond to our letter now. Maybe after this time we will resolve the dispute in the court.
Flame-proof jockstraps just got real.
A lot of gamers have been questioning how Valve will address this situation, whether the company will fold and amend the EULA or if they will fold and alter Steam itself to allow for digital resale or enable users to bypass the EULA for older games that they purchased before the new EULA went into effect as of August of this year.
There's been a lot of mixed reactions regarding the matter given the sensitive nature of the issue. Allowing for digital resale creates a whole new kind of atmosphere for the digital landscape, a landscape that I might add is quickly being looked at as prospective greeding-ground for the likes of Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and many other companies who want to cash in on both digital distribution and free-to-play gaming.
The vzbv is not a organization to be taken lightly and if they have a deadline in place for Valve I imagine they plan to uphold it. The statement from Elbrecht seems to suggest that they would prefer going to court, where some legal armchair warriors seem to favor the vzbv coming out the victor. What effect this would have on gamers, Steam's games and the future of your Steam library remains to be seen, but we'll definitely keep you posted on what happens once October 10th rolls around.