Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human Revolution Theft

July 7, 2011 -

Yesterday we reported that Square Enix had filed a lawsuit against unnamed Italian citizens who (they allege) stole a preview build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (see this story). The latest wrinkle in the story is that the company wants Valve Software to help them because the stolen build was a copy that was hosted on Valve's Steam service.

For its part, Valve says that it has plenty of information on those individuals responsible for stealing and leaking the file onto the internet, but it is unable to give that information to Square Enix without them presenting Valve with a court ordered subpoena.

It may seem like an odd position for Valve to take with a publishing partner, but the company is simply protecting itself and following procedure.

We'll let you know how this situation plays out.

Source: Kotaku


Comments

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

This is a lot of praise and credit for a stance on user privacy that is par for course for a lot of tech companies.

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

As it should be, in a world where privacy is considering decreasingly private. The way this story has been reported in many news outlets seems like shock that Valve hasn't just instantly given up the information.

This should be a non-story. If privacy was handled well, it would be a non-story. But because we're making of deal of it, it is important to give credit to a company who is staying level headed on the matter.

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

Yes, we do live in a world where companies are increasingly willing to violate our privacy to make money--have you used Google recently? Figure out how they make almost all of their money?--but users still expect their details to be kept private. People either provide false or as little as possible with the expectation that their information will be sold to an advertiser or they place their trust in a company to keep it secure. If nothing else, the whole thing with the PSN and Lulzsec should teach us that companies need to keep our information secure and private. For a company to give us the privacy we expect is as praiseworthy as you showing up on time to work or going to all your classes.

Valve is doing what they should be. Good, fine, I agree with you, this should be a non-story. Should they do something more in this situation, then that would be praiseworthy.

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

It turns my stomach a little to say it, but you are setting your bar too high. We are still getting companies used to the idea that they have to release information carefully, let alone not without cause. Do you remember Yahoo releasing people's "anonymized" searches? That was done for the intent of doing GOOD, and on the surface it can be difficult to understand why it was such a colossal mess.

In Canada right now, we're battling a proposal from our government to spy on all of our web surfing and 'net traffic. It hasn't yet entered the public consciousness en mass that privacy is private.

Google is a terrible example for your case, because they are very clear and very forward about what they share, and it's certainly not your name, address and banking information, which is effectively what Square Enix wants from Valve. Whether or not Google's data harvest is ethical is an interesting question, but one that Google is actually trying to answer.

This is all without the pretense of legal consequences. The subtext of this demand on Valve is: "You are responsible for this theft, and if you do not help us, we will sue you." The average person doesn't understand that this is unreasonable -- that is why this is in the news. So forgive me if I disagree that Valve SHOULD be praised for doing as little as standing behind their privacy statement, despite the potential for bad press for not doing the 'obviously' right thing.

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

Mention of Google is primarily to point out that they make most of their money on search ads, a combination of selling user behavior (which, as you say, is not identifiable, though I would argue simply not immediately, should you start Googling your own name, I hope you don't expect to believe they absolutely will not know who you are) and selling space for companies to put their name with relation to a specific search term(s). Also, "Don't be evil" isn't necessarily "don't do evil," and if Silicon Valley Watcher is to be believed, they've preemptively dropped that motto so they don't break it.

Returning to the topic, this whole process seems to me as what we should expect, even if the public consciousness isn't quite on board. Look at patent cases--what a mess--we've got Apple and Samsung slinging patent lawsuits and countersuits back and forth across different countries and continents. In the context of that, a suit is just a big way of saying "we're serious, pay up" with countersuits sort of like a big "fine, but you're paying for these."

From what I've observed recently, patent cases are more often settled out of court and some money will go both ways. I expect this'll turn out the same way. Square Enix will get their court order, Valve will cough up the required information and only the required information, then Square Enix will shift their focus with the new information and everyone else will be on their way again.

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

Glad to hear they are following their privacy policy:

"Valve will not share personally identifiable information with any third party unless the user agrees to such disclosure in advance." and "Valve may release personally identifiable information to comply with court orders or laws that require us to disclose such information."

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

This isn't a suprising or unreasonable position for Valve to take; with all the user information that they handle through Steam, it'd be an unthinkable precident for them to offer up information to another private entity without legal writ. I certainly don't think Square Enix is unreasonable to ask for the aid, but they too should understand Valve's position. 

Re: Square Enix Presses Valve for Info on Deus Ex: Human ...

I can understand Valves position to be honest, whether they want to give out the information or not they realise how uncomfortable a precedent they would be setting by just handing it over without any kind of official request to do so, it would probably have a negative impact on public perception.

 
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Andrew EisenWhat I find most amazing is the fact that Yiannoppoulos's evidence doesn't in any way support his claim. And I still fail to see the lack of ethics in discussing the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy.09/19/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOh yeah, some outlets sensationalize things (especially with the chosen headline). No argument there. As far as gender issues not being widespread? I'm inclined to disagree but I suppose it depends on what specifically you're talking about.09/19/2014 - 3:43pm
SleakerI think I've been qualitatively informed by those Factual Femenist videos that there isn't reallly a widespread gender issue, and that there are select news outlets that try to sensationalize things.09/19/2014 - 3:37pm
james_fudgeI'm just going to leave this here before someone else does:http://yiannopoulos.net/2014/09/19/gamejournopros-zoe-quinn-email-dump/09/19/2014 - 3:21pm
NeenekoI have met some real jerks and slimeballs in gender activism, but when I hear the idea that there are many 'not nice' people it comes across as code for 'uppity people who do not know their place'.09/19/2014 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
 

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