Their DRM is known to cause (via bugs) prevention of running your own purchased software when their offline mode flakes out.
This doesn't *seem* to be by design, but given that these bugs have gone unaddressed for upwards of 5 years, it does seem that ensuring your legal rights are fully exerciseable is not at the top of Valve's list.
Meanwhile Valve has some other unpalatable practices, including:
- A policy of no refunds for any reason (such as the software not working at all) Their store was very confusing for mac users on initial release, and I purchased a windows-only program on the mac without warning or explicit notice. At this point their software did not offer any way for me to download the software at all, and yet they refused to refund.
- A historical de-facto policy of trading transgressions == all your software is disabled. The notable examples were people that purchased games in one region (for a low price) and gifted them to people in other regions (where the price is high). People who did this frequently were presumed to be going around the pricing scheme and had their entire account locked (all software disabled). Valve has since changed their stance on this specific issue, but obviously they have and are willing to use a "turn off all your software" button. Does that seem right to you?
- A refusal to engage in a realistic fashion on billing irregularlities. Their common practice is to just point fingers at banks, paypal, etc with no backing provided data, leaving the problems entirely non-actionable for the end user save by reversing charges (if the credit company is willing) or legal action.
I mean, overall Valve has tried to do right for their customers, but in some areas they're just seemingly entirely unmotivated.