To all EU citizens: Please help us!

EU

We are about to send a letter to the European Commission.

Sending a letter. Why?

At the moment I – as a citizen of Poland or for example France, Greece, Germany or any other member country – cannot buy products in the Steam Store in the shop reserved for residents of the United Kingdom (http://www.steampowered.com/?cc=uk) which is against the European Union’s directive.

Here it is: Directive 97/7/EC:

Whereas the free movement of goods and services affects not only the business sector but also private individuals; whereas it means that consumers should be able to have access to the goods and services of another Member State on the same terms as the population of that State;

So basically we have the same right to buy and have access to all goods, merchandise and services as any of citizens of any EU country. Unfortunately, the Steam Store effectively takes that right away from us.

We need your signatures before we send out an officiall letter to the European Commission’s Head of Unit on November 30th.

How can you help?

Sign our petition - we will attach the link to petition in our official letter to the Commission. Even if we won’t gather enough signatures we’re still going to send the letter.

I’ve set the goal to 20,000 signatures but if even can get a 1,000 that’s a good result.

What’s our goal?

The reason we want to use the British Steam Store shop in other EU countries, is the desire to buy products not available at the Polish, German or any other EU Steam store and the ability to purchase products in pound sterling.

Thank you!

Update:

The petition page was just updated. You can now read the actual letter we plan on sending to the Consumer Liaison Unit. If you have any thoughts or ideas please leave a comment and we may even change the letter. Thank you for your participation!

 

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To all EU citizens: Please help us!, 4.8 out of 5 based on 36 ratings
  • http://www.steamprices.com nova

    I’ve put a message on SteamPrices.com: http://www.steamprices.com/

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  • rottencat

    please sign but also send this to your friends, link in forums etc…

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  • Dragoon

    Petition Signed!
    If you don’t fight for your rights they will be taken away from you.
    The last I will do is to accept that an US Company thinks they can dictate their own rules to EU-citizen.

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    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  • http://www.facebook.com/marcin.nowakowski.10 Marcin Nowakowski

    I would prefer to pay in USD like Ukraine http://store.steampowered.com/?cc=ua
    Just look at those prices, so much lower than in US or UK steam store.

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      You can dream but Ukraine is not a part of EU so we can’t really do anything about it. Actually Valve can set any currency as far as I know on Steam or any price for that matter but according to the directive they should not block access to the stores on the EU territory to other EU states members. We’ll see how this goes after we get an official response.

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    • http://twitter.com/a_drozdov a_drozdov

      Yeah, we got nice prices here, but would you prefer to got all this regional restrictions? Most of recent AAA-titles bought in RU/CIS-regions cannot be launched abroad. Add last Borderlands 2/COD:BO2 precedents with terrible restricted multiplayer (which was resolved in the end, but it was). I’d rather pay a little more, then got ghetto-versions of same product.
      “We” brought it on ourselves with all this trading business, but as always ones who suffer is legit users.
      Sorry for my english.

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  • zolwiciel

    From Steam TOS:
    “YOU AND VALVE AGREE NOT TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION, PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION OR COLLECTIVE ARBITRATION, EVEN IF AAA’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 and Valve also agree not to seek to combine any action or arbitration with any other action or arbitration without the consent of all parties to this Agreement and all other actions or arbitrations.”
    Congratz ;)

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      This has nothing to do with Steam Subscriber Agreement, non of us are seeking justice in court of law as a Steam user – even our letter states that Valve is providing the best service available on the market when it comes to gaming on PC – also since when corporations and agreements between them and end users are above EU state law? They can price us in whatever currency they want but they cannot block access to other EU stores. We’ve contacted European Commission about prices on Steam 3 or 4 years ago and they were very cooperative I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be now – and at least now we have actual laws to back us up.

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    • zolwiciel

      “they cannot block access to other EU stores” No, they cannot, they have to(sic!). it’s becouse the publisher didnt allow them to sell their titles in some countries. You cannot buy uncut version of some games in germany becouse the local law that is above EU directives doesnt allow them to do so. It’s not about them to state what and where they can sell it. The only problem that i have with games not avaible in my region are some Bethesda’s games and they are to blame for that, not steam store

      I 100% agree with “since when corporations and agreements between them and end users are above EU state law?” ut as you may see it’s not steam store problem – publishers and local law are to blame not Steam as stated in petition. Complaing about Valve will get you nowhere or in the worst scenario will get you banned cos noone said you have to use steam or even play games at all – you don’t want it – don’t use it

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      This has nothing to do with publishers, we don’t care if certain publisher wants or doesn’t want to sell specific product in our area, because we are going to buy it on another country’s territory – according to that directive we should be able to buy goods from UK store the same way British people do – therefor I am not buying the game from lets say Spain (or any other EU country) but UK, so after all I am not violating the publishers business.

      I can buy something that’s not available in Poland in the UK right? Like a TV, fridge, magazines, music, movies, physical copies of games etc. So why wouldn’t I be able to access the UK Steam Store from anywhere in the EU?

      The local law is never above the EU directives but I have no idea how that goes with German censored games.

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    • Dragoon

      I can give you a very good example.
      Source homepage of the European Commission
      http://ec.europa.eu/competition/consumers/map/cases/volkswagen_en.html

      VW sells cars in Germany and Austria for a much higher prices than in Italy.
      Smart German and Austrian customers went to buy and re-import cars from Italy to save themselves a lot of money.
      VW didn’t like that and tried blocked German and Austrian customers and merchants from buying cars in Italy.
      The European Court of Law found this practice in violation with the competition law found in the free trade agreement between the European Union member states. The court ruled a 102 million euro fine for the duration of the infringement. In the end the European Commission issued a 90 million fine to VW.

      I find this situation similar where Steam tries block non UK based but European citizen non the less from buying at the UK Steam Store.
      I think we have a good shot at this, especially since we saw the last 2 years a couple of EU court rulings that challenge the business practices of IT companies. Like in software license trading.

      BTW the European Commission themselves release an annual report to help EU Citizen find the cheap car prices in Europe.

      http://ec.europa.eu/competition/sectors/motor_vehicles/prices/report.html

      Imagine they would publish a monthly report where you can buy video games cheapest in the European Union. :D This is probably never going to happen in thousand years, but just the thought of it sounds amazing.

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    • d32

      Terms of contract contradicting laws or international treaty are void.

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  • zolwiciel

    “This has nothing to do with publishers, we don’t care if certain publisher wants or doesn’t want to sell specific product in our area, because we are going to buy it on another country’s territory – according to that directive we should be able to buy goods from UK store the same way British people do – therefor I am not buying the game from lets say Spain (or any other EU country) but UK, so after all I am not violating the publishers business.”
    You CAN do this when you are physically in UK. The same way you cannot make someone to ship it to you.
    And it IS about publishers, cos i cannot buy for example Skyrim from ANY UK store not only steam ut i can buy nearly all other games.
    Maybe ask them why there refuse to sell it to me? Cos they AREN’T ALLOWED to do so.

    This one with cars is the best example:
    “It is illegal for car manufacturers to discourage their dealers from selling to customers resident in other EU Member States.”
    car manufacturers = publishers
    dealers = stores
    You got the point?

    If you aim at valve as a publisher you should look at titles as HL, CS, Portal, and if you are polish you have the cheapest prices on those titles in the whole EU, so yeah, blame them more and encourage them to shut down this pricing zone cos you want to buy from UK – think they will deal with this better than you.

    If you want it to work than you should ask for the publishers not to discourage shops (as steam shop) for selling games only for specific counties in EU.

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      Well then we can agree to disagree. If because of this letter they will remove Tiers from Europe I will be more than happy.

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    • http://www.facebook.com/jan.karlicz Jan Karlicz

      “if you are polish you have the cheapest prices on those titles in the whole EU”
      in whole europe prices too same in €

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  • http://twitter.com/Raton_Laveur Raton-Laveur

    You want 20 000 signatures in 3 days ? Are you on crack ?

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      I want 20,000 signatures until December 24th – our 4th anniversary – but at least 1,000 in 3 days.

      Sorry for the mix up.

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  • Suffering

    You guys really need to advertise this a little more. Something like this needs lots of exposure in order to be successful. As it stands now, it doesn’t seem like the 20.000 mark can be reached :/

    Maybe get TotalBiscuit to mention it, his flock of worshipers will take care of the rest.

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    • http://www.steamunpowered.eu stranded

      The petition is only to show that a bunch of people care about this letter, we are sending the letter anyway, no matter how many votes we get on the petition. The office has to respond to our formal letter even if it’s only one person – which is basically me. You guys can send a letter like I will too, I will probably post more details here as a separate post.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.karlicz Jan Karlicz

    purchase products in pound sterling? wtf”? We are in EU so we shoud pay in EURO € = also UK =]

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