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Old 25th Aug 2011, 15:26   #13
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 749
AstralWanderer has yet to learn the way of the DremelAstralWanderer has yet to learn the way of the DremelAstralWanderer has yet to learn the way of the DremelAstralWanderer has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Originally Posted by bbshammo View Post
...STEAM doesn't do DRM, you can access your games offline, and I think you only have to log in once a month at most... Basically, I often play offline Steam games without a connection, no worries.
Gosh, so all those Steam forum threads reporting problems with offline mode are just figments of users' imaginations? Well thanks for the clarification. I guess Valve's Offline Mode FAQ (which, amongst other things, notes that you have to be online to enable offline mode for each game) must have it wrong too.

Your definition of DRM must differ from everyone else's too since Valve can (and regularly do) disable accounts resulting in Steam users losing access to their entire collection (examples here, here, here and here - plenty of others around).

And then there is the Steam Subscriber Agreement which contains clauses allowing Valve to:
  • revoke your purchases at any time for virtually any reason (section 5: "Valve may terminate your Account...for any conduct or activity that Valve believes...negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers");
  • charge extra amounts to your credit card as they please (section 4B: "Valve reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time...") - they have to give 30 days notice but closing your account (and losing access to everything purchased previously, whether you backed them up or not) would be the only way to avoid any such charges;
  • avoid liability if your system is hijacked by malware transmitted through Steam (section 9C: "VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION..."). This should be particularly significant given Sony's recent problems - at least Playstation owners didn't have to worry about their system being infected with malware allowing others access to their online bank accounts.
For long-term Steam users, section 4B should be the biggest concern since it could be used by Valve to bring in an annual, or even monthly, maintenance fee on all Steam accounts.

It's worth noting that Steam initially refused to provide refunds to many users (just like they refused to provide refunds on APB purchases following Realtime Worlds' closure) and only changed their policy when Ubisoft asked them to.
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