Valve Software Bullying Cybercafes

from the fun-for-the-whole-family dept

Ernest Miller writes "Yesterday, Valve CEO Gabe Newell thanked the gaming coummunity for helping to catch those responsible for the theft of Half-Life 2 code by saying, "Everyone here at Valve is once again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community." What he didn't say was that Valve was demonstrating its appreciation by threatening to sue a cybercafe that was offering Valve's Counter-Strike as one of the games people could play. Companies like Microsoft often let cybercafes offer their games as long as they buy each copy of the game they use. At the other end of the scale, Valve charges more than most cybercafes can afford to let them use 5-year old, freely downloadable as a mod, games. Furthermore, instead of merely sending a cease and desist letter ("knock it off or we will sue"), Valve sent a prepay us for a license or we'll sue letter. In other words, unless the cybercafe pays for a one-year license, they will be sued. The next time you don't find any Valve games at your local LAN center, you'll know why. Perhaps fans of LAN gaming and the professional gaming leagues ought to consider whether Valve's aggressive, overbearing stance towards LAN centers is helpful to the gaming community or not. "
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Jeremiah, 13 Jun 2004 @ 12:31pm

    yes, butt....

    I think Valve's issue had something to do with the concept of 'resell'.

    Basically, their license grants you the right to play the game whenever, wherever. What you *cannot* do, however, is resell the game in a retail context: Valve sees selling time on PC's as a resell of their product. In other words, they only get paid once, and another party can continue to exploit their work *FOR PROFIT* without allowing the creators to share in the proceeds derived from their work.

    It's an interesting turnaround if you look at it through the music-biz lens: the artists/creators (Valve) are seeing their work generating revenue for licensee's (record companies) and their being denied the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

    I hope that makes sense...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ragnar, 13 Jun 2004 @ 5:40pm

    Hmm.

    What can they do about this situation:

    You sell computer time. And you sell the Valvegame. Then after the customer played the game he sells it back to you. A perfectly legal business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.