Author Topic: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions  (Read 6285 times)

dsmart

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Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« on: January 09, 2018, 04:01:01 PM »
Adapted from my article here

UPDATE: JAN 25th, 2018

So there’s another TOS revision released Jan 25th, 2018. You can compare it to the previous June 10, 2016 version.

I called this one back in Sept when I heard about it from sources. At the time, it was speculated that it would be released with the new website which was also expected to go live around the time of the 3.0 “release”. But the website didn’t launch, 3.0 was an unmitigated disaster, then the holidays happened. Compared to the previous June, 10th, 2016 TOS version, it’s amazing.

If you have been following my TOS forum which tracks these changes, then you should already be familiar with how they have systematically not only revised them to continue screwing backers, but also to reduce their liability and obligations. This latest version is worse. First of all, the Fundraising & Pledges section has been completely re-written – again. It also now comes with a disclaimer:

Quote
“RSI is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of the Game and the related RSI Services. You do not purchase anything, you make a pledge towards the development of the Game and the other RSI Services. Your pledge entitles you to receive the selected in-game items when they are developed and introduced into the Alpha releases of Star Citizen and/or to receive the game Squadron 42, as selected. Please read this clause carefully to understand the differences between crowdfunding and a purchase.”

If you thought the above was bad, wait, there’s more…

Quote
The Pledge Funds will be earned by RSI at the earlier of:

        - when the Pledge Item becomes functional in Star Citizen’s Alpha Persistent Universe (or is delivered separately, such as the game Squadron 42), or
        - when your Pledge Funds have been expended for the Game Cost.

Yes. So basically, once you have bought into the game, say they implemented a particular ship which you own, they can deny you a refund, even though the rest of the game may be incomplete and not delivered at the time.

Remember back when I said 3.0 was the MVP? Now we see why sources were saying back in the Summer that this TOS coming with 3.0 was going to set the stage for what was to come.

Then, buried in the Miscellaneous Terms section at the bottom is this…

Quote
Governing Law. These TOS shall be governed and construed by the laws of England and Wales. The competent courts of Manchester, England shall have the non-exclusive right to hear any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms of Use. As noted in these TOS, your conduct may also be subject to other local, state, national, and international laws.

These clowns really think that, with their head office and base of operations being here in the US, that if they are sued under the TOS, that a US court is going to totally allow an English court to have jurisdiction. I can’t wait.



Highlights of the current June 2016 TOS

Quote
1) They can deliver anything (e.g. Minimum Viable Product as I wrote in this blog) they like, and it doesn’t have to resemble anything promised and which you backed. Which means that everything you see here in the stretch goals – and which you backed – is now meaningless. Those concept ships which have yet to be modeled, let alone flight ready? They don’t have to create them

2) They are under no obligation to deliver anything – like ever

3) You are not entitled to refunds – for any reason – like ever

4) They can ban your account – for any reason – delete it, and not refund you

5) If you buy an account and they find out, they can terminate the account and not refund you. This is essentially to kill the Grey market (Star Citizen trades has now been removed from the Reddit subs), prevent people from buying accounts and/or holding CIG accountable etc

6) The disparaging CS tagging (1, 2) that occurred just this week, gives rise to how they were seeking to identify backers outside of their website/services, in order to identify their accounts and terminate them – without cause (other than because you were a dissenter)

7) They no longer owe backers any financial accountability for where the money went. This was one of the key points they used as a carrot during this funding. That, and the ability to do refunds. Both have now been removed.

8) There is no release date for anything. The 18 month (which was previous 12 months in prior ToS revisions) time frame to deliver following the original Nov 2014 date, has been removed

9) The new ToS is an agreement with RSI and not CIG as before. Considering that they have a bunch of corporated entities associated with this, the implications of this change are not yet clear to me. UPDATE: After speaking with my attorneys, we view this move as an attempt to shift liability (lawsuits, creditors, investors etc) from CIG, and to the subsidiary (RSI). This is a common tactic used when businesses are setup. In fact, it clearly explains all these entities associated with this project. So when this project collapses – as I am certain that it will, seeing as they can’t deliver it as promised – CIG (which is the parent) will be shielded from the lawsuits and liabilites of RSI. However, according to the law, in cases where fraud is uncovered, there is no such protection.

10) They say you agree not to sue them – like ever

16-06-10 // current version. Comparison between this and Feb 2015 v1.2
15-02-01 // v1.2, Arbitration clause appears in XXII
13-08-29 // v1.1, Arbitration clause appears in VIII
13-08-13 // v1.0, No arbitration clause.
12-09-13 // Original version from RSI website before they moved the campaign to Kickstarter. No arbitration clause.

NOTE: If you pledged on Kickstarter, then you are subject to their ToS, as well as the RSI ToS which was active after the campaign ended and you had to access their site to create your citizen account.

According to their  ToS v1.1 of 08/29/13 they said if they failed to deliver within 12 months of Nov 2014 (the original Kickstarter estimated delivery date), they would issue refunds. At the time, this non-delivery period would kick in during Nov 2015.

Quote
IV. Charges & Billing
“RSI agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date. However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a promise by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of the deposit shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the pledge items and/or the Game to you within 12 months after the estimated delivery date.”

Since that time, having already i) missed the Nov 2014 delivery date and ii) embarked on the increased scope (aka “vision 2.0”), thus extending the delivery date for the project, they surreptitiously made another changed in ToS v1.2 of 02/01/15 (which remains the current one on their website). The previous section was moved; and now reads:

Quote
VII. Fundraising & Pledges
“RSI agrees to use its good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items and the Game on or before the estimated delivery date communicated to you on the Website.  However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a firm promise and may be extended by RSI since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of your Pledge shall not be refundable until and unless RSI has failed to deliver the relevant pledge items and/or the Game to you within eighteen (18) months after the estimated delivery date.“

And in the current ToS, here is a key section that ties into the above:

Quote
VII. Fundraising & Pledges
“For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of RSI’s good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Game with the funds raised, you agree that any Pledge amounts applied against the Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not RSI is able to complete and deliver the Game and/or the pledge items. In the unlikely event that RSI is not able to deliver the Game and/or the pledge items, RSI agrees to post an audited cost accounting on the Website to fully explain the use of the amounts paid for Pledge Item Cost and the Game Cost. In consideration of the promises by RSI hereunder, you agree that you shall irrevocably waive any claim for refund of any Pledge that has been used for the Game Cost and Pledge Item Cost in accordance with the above.”

The trigger in ToS v1.2 which will require (they won’t do it voluntarily) them to provide refunds and a full accounting, will expire 18 months from when they promised the project to be delivered on Nov 2014. It was set to expire in Nov 2015 as per the previous ToS. Then they extended it from 12 to 18 months. So the new expiration date is May 31, 2016 depending on when you backed the game and agreed to the ToS.

However, it doesn’t matter when you backed the project; as long as you accessed their services (game, forum) and agreed to the ToS v1.2 revision when presented, you are subject to it. All previous versions would then be null and void. However, if you NEVER accessed their systems, and thus never agreed to ToS v1.2, then you are not only due a refund, but also due a full accounting as per the previous ToS versions.

When it comes to dates…

In the case of Kickstarter, it means the Nov 2014 date posted in the campaign.

In the case of the original 2012 CIG website, it means the same as above.

In the case of the CIG website, it means the dates such as this





In this video interview from 2012 around the 8:50 mark, he again states that the game was two years out


Quote
Gary Whitta:

Chris thanks for joining us and seriously, congratulations on this tremendously successful funding effort, but I guess really now this is just the beginning of the actual difficult part which is building the game, when are we actually gonna see this thing?

Chris Roberts:

Ehh, well the… the… the FULL FINAL GAME will be approximately TWO YEARS from now but ahm, one of the advantages and I think the same is true on David’s Elite if… if you BACK IT EARLY, you know, besides being part of the COMMUNITY and the DISCUSSION, ah, and… and having your voice heard and seeing sort of what’s happening in the background so, you know I… we’re going to ah… you know, instead… we don’t have a PUBLISHER but you know what, we’re gonna TREAT OUR BACKERS the same way we would a PUBLISHER so when we get to a MILESTONE we’re gonna give them a SHOW AND TELL and all the STUFF and personally I’d rather do that to them than a publisher because I’m showing it to a hundred thousand people that really care about this and get EXCITED by it and so that’s kinda cool, but the other thing that you’ll be able to do is PLAY, ah, sort of the EARLY BUILDS and the way I’m… the way I’m sort of STRUCTURING is I’m trying to, ah… test out components of this overall bigger UNIVERSE along the way so I don’t just drop everything all at once so in TWELVE MONTHS TIME you’ll be able to play the SINGLE PLAYER… ah I mean sorry, sorry… the MULTIPLAYER DOGFIGHTING ALPHA which won’t be the full PERSISTENT UNIVERSE and it won’t be the single player game, but it WILL BE basically all the ships that you’ve PLEDGED FOR, think of it more like WORLD OF TANKS… and we’re gonna use that to ah… BALANCE THE COMBAT, uhm… you know, FINE TUNE it with the help of the community, and ah… try and see you know, exactly STRESS TEST how many people we can get in an instance at any one time and then, ah, you know… about SIX TO TEN MONTHS after that we’ll do a sort of BETA of the SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN which is SQUADRON 42 and then finally the FULL PERSISTENT UNIVERSE BETA to sort of ah, you know… gonna be about TWENTY MONTHS OR SO AFTER NOW and the LIVE RELEASE SHOULD BE ABOUT TWENTY FOUR MONTHS… but of course you know, there… it… there may be plus or minus a month here… well not minus… plus a month or so, on that… on the bigger thing at the end… but I’m PRETTY CONFIDENT about the DOGFIGHTING ALPHA IN TWELVE MONTHS
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 04:48:13 AM by dsmart »
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

Wipeout

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 03:47:02 AM »
Wasn't there a new one when 3.0 came out?  Could have sworn I agreed to one after running 3.0 for the first time.

dsmart

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 07:03:16 AM »
Wasn't there a new one when 3.0 came out?  Could have sworn I agreed to one after running 3.0 for the first time.

Yes. It was new language added from the website TOS to the in-game TOS that's in the launcher.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

Greggy_D

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 12:44:46 PM »
"RSI is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of the Game and the related RSI Services. You do not purchase anything, you make a pledge towards the development of the Game and the other RSI Services. Your pledge entitles you to receive the selected in-game items when they are developed and introduced into the Alpha releases of Star Citizen and/or to receive the game Squadron 42, as selected. Please read this clause carefully to understand the differences between crowdfunding and a purchase.”

In that case, they are going to stop charging VAT, right?  Right?

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14433-VAT-Change-Announcement

"The downside of this organizational change is that starting on February 1st, we will be required to charge VAT on all purchases (including digital goods) made through the Roberts Space Industries International website, similar to how we must charge sales tax on items sold in Texas and California."

So....purchases are no longer "purchases".    Right........

Morons.




StanTheMan

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 04:21:14 PM »
"RSI is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of the Game and the related RSI Services. You do not purchase anything, you make a pledge towards the development of the Game and the other RSI Services. Your pledge entitles you to receive the selected in-game items when they are developed and introduced into the Alpha releases of Star Citizen and/or to receive the game Squadron 42, as selected. Please read this clause carefully to understand the differences between crowdfunding and a purchase.”

In that case, they are going to stop charging VAT, right?  Right?

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14433-VAT-Change-Announcement

"The downside of this organizational change is that starting on February 1st, we will be required to charge VAT on all purchases (including digital goods) made through the Roberts Space Industries International website, similar to how we must charge sales tax on items sold in Texas and California."

So....purchases are no longer "purchases".    Right........

Morons.

Yes well they can write what they like and then there is the law of the land.


dsmart

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 08:12:11 AM »
Yes well they can write what they like and then there is the law of the land.

Yup. Pretty much so. All agreements can be safely ignored, unless challenged in court.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 07:17:14 PM »
In case you missed this, let me repost it. Remember how I have always maintained that Star Citizen ToS will NEVER withstand ANY legal challenge ANYWHERE on Earth? Especially in the EU?

ZX Spectrum Vega Plus Backer Wins Refund in Court
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

Motto

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Re: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 09:37:58 AM »
New TOS version, more info here

StanTheMan

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Re: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 06:09:57 PM »
New TOS version, more info here

"German consumers won’t be able to pre-order products with vague release dates, according to a report from Heise found via Eurogamer.

The Higher Regional Court of Munich ruled that vague release dates like “coming soon” aren’t offering enough information to consumers, after a consumer protection group raised a complaint over the pre-ordering of the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. The courts decided that this ruling would apply to other products as well, including video games.

In order to offer a pre-order option, the game must have the latest date by which consumers can receive the item listed upfront."

https://variety.com/2018/gaming/news/germany-bans-pre-orders-games-no-release-date-1202873894/

Wheels of law makers move slower than those of justice...


dsmart

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Re: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 10:12:36 AM »
New TOS version, more info here

Yeah, I just found out about this, though I have yet to review the English version to see what they changed. Has anyone done this yet?
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

jwh1701

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Re: Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2019, 11:59:20 AM »
Yeah, I just found out about this, though I have yet to review the English version to see what they changed. Has anyone done this yet?

I had posted a few changes in reddit that I found funny to say the least. But have not had much time to go back over the differences.

Judge_dolly_OG

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 12:06:36 AM »
"RSI is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of the Game and the related RSI Services. You do not purchase anything, you make a pledge towards the development of the Game and the other RSI Services. Your pledge entitles you to receive the selected in-game items when they are developed and introduced into the Alpha releases of Star Citizen and/or to receive the game Squadron 42, as selected. Please read this clause carefully to understand the differences between crowdfunding and a purchase.”

In that case, they are going to stop charging VAT, right?  Right?

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/14433-VAT-Change-Announcement

"The downside of this organizational change is that starting on February 1st, we will be required to charge VAT on all purchases (including digital goods) made through the Roberts Space Industries International website, similar to how we must charge sales tax on items sold in Texas and California."

So....purchases are no longer "purchases".    Right........

Morons.

I wonder if this is because so many ships have not made it into the game, and probably never will, and they are trying to protect themselves from backers arguing they never got what they paid for.

jwh1701

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 09:01:56 AM »
I wonder if this is because so many ships have not made it into the game, and probably never will, and they are trying to protect themselves from backers arguing they never got what they paid for.

I would suspect they are making sure everything all closed up and tidy for the quick exit or whatever they are planning. I love to bring
up the Hull-C whenever possible.

dsmart

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 05:20:51 PM »
I would suspect they are making sure everything all closed up and tidy for the quick exit or whatever they are planning. I love to bring
up the Hull-C whenever possible.

Funny how getting high-profile investors makes you sit up straight and get your shit together.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

jwh1701

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Re: All Star Citizen TOS Versions & Revisions
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 07:30:47 PM »
Funny how getting high-profile investors makes you sit up straight and get your shit together.

It certainly does seem that way, I'm waiting to see what other changes might be coming.

 

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