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blankseplocked Question about Legal issues between RL and Game
 
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Etro Tanar
Posted - 2010.02.17 23:45:00 - [61]
 

The issue is that there are no laws regarding "digital property", the concept is still relatively new and laws are always slow to catch up with new technology and trends.

As the world moves further into the digital age, I highly suspect this will change.

Though, I do scoff at someone thinking 0's and 1's on the Net are nothing. My banking details are stored in 0's and 1's, if they get changed, I lose money. Pretty much everything we are and have is stored digitally now.

Apoctasy
Lethal Injection.
Hedonistic Imperative
Posted - 2010.02.18 00:30:00 - [62]
 

Originally by: Triffid PieMuncher
To put it simply....

CCP owns all the game content... that includes ISK, ships, BPO's etc.
you pay RL money to play the game.
If you get scammed or robbed inside the game it doesn't stop you playing.

So there's no 'legal issue'. This imaginary mothership belonged to CCP before some lowlife stole it off you. It belongs to CCP afterwards aswell.


this.

Its in the EULA. CCP owns everything and anything in game.

Shiho Weitong
Caldari
Koa Mai Hoku
Posted - 2010.02.18 00:53:00 - [63]
 

The way I see it, you can't even loose an item without making a choice.

Even if you loose access to an item due to a director dissolving a corp and rendering a station unaccessible to you, you could simply have chosen not to have your stuff at that location.

If you've exchanged your Plex for isk, bought a ship and proceeded to put it in a corp hangar, you chose to have it accessible by other players, and thereby accepted the risk that your ship might not be there for you to turn into a Plex, when you logged on.

That particular example I'd relate to putting 15$ on the counter of some cafeteria, and assuming it was there, when you wanted to buy coffee the next day. Probably not, eh? And where was the sign saying that they would not be safe?

Also, for the people talking about EULA's unenforceability. While it is true that some parts of some EULA's can't be enforced in some countries, no one has ever tried to encroach on the intellectual property clause of said EULA's. Those are pretty much ironclad.

And as such we are back to the fact, that anything you think you own in EVE, is actually owned by CCP, even your Plex, as an astute poster noted.

On a sidenote of hilarity. "The EULA does not warn me, that if I make the wrong choices people will have access to my stuff / people may render my stuff unaccessible to me." No, and it doesn't mention the fact that rats will blow up your ship either.

"GAME OVER MAN, GAME OVER"

Lana Torrin
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2010.02.18 01:52:00 - [64]
 

I cant believe people bite at these trolls..

Hanso Sparxx
Deep Penetration Inc.
Predatory Instincts
Posted - 2010.02.18 03:39:00 - [65]
 

This is the most ******ed 3 page thread ever.


El'Niaga
Minmatar
Republic Military School
Posted - 2010.02.18 05:12:00 - [66]
 

Edited by: El''Niaga on 18/02/2010 05:13:20
The question posed by the OP is a difficult one to answer.

In truth to date no EULA has ever withstood the US Courts, however EVE's EULA to date has not ever been challenged in US or European courts. Thus it is difficult to answer the question.

If the EULA where upheld upon challenge or the portion of it stating that everything belonged to CCP then there would be no recourse since nothing really left CCPs possession.

At the same time if that portion of the EULA where to be struck down by the courts and the ruling later upheld by the appeals courts then yes it would be the same as stealing material goods from the individual.

I think you'd have a hard time finding a serious lawyer to challenge the EULA on this basis though as there would be little money in it for them.

Dacryphile
Posted - 2010.02.18 05:25:00 - [67]
 

If I sell crack to pay for my subscription, and rob some corp of all their BPOs, sell them half price in jita and use it to buy PLEX that I then donate to the haiti cause, does that make me a good person?

Paknac Queltel
Baden's Army
Posted - 2010.02.18 07:14:00 - [68]
 

In the end, I really doubt the EULA actually has anything to do with this discussion. Here's why:

Gametime tokens (GTC, PLEX) are worth money, because you can buy them with money.

ISK is worth absolutely nothing. You can't buy it with money, and it has no meaning outside of the New Eden Webship Simulator.

People choose to barter their gametime token for ISK. This is sanctioned by CCP, who provides ways to do this safely and without getting ripped off. You lost your legal claim to teh munnez when you bartered it away for worthless simulator currency.

Stupid Analogy Time: Once you trade a gift coupon for blank pieces of paper, can you sue the store you bought the gift coupon at when someone steals your blank paper? Even if the store supervised the trade?

Shodow Whisperer
Posted - 2010.02.18 08:30:00 - [69]
 

Thank you all for answering. Some missed the point, but never the less gave valuable answers.

I didn't want to tell this in the beginning, for fear that it might effect your answers.
I'm actually doing a thesis for my school about games/rl and their effects/relations - with one part covering some legal issues. The thesis isn't anything "high-grade" or anything fyi.

I'm happy that I got this much answers, and as I suspected the matter wasn't as clear as people might first thing. The EULA-card, which many were playing - is in a sense quite clear and solid, but as others pointed out - is not always enforcable...

The suggestions of some game-features (such as punishments for corp-thefts / new rating and insurance models) were just my own ideas and had nothing to do with the Thesis, and in retrospect should have not been posted in this thread - luckily many did not notice them.

As I said - nothing in this is personal. I'm a several year vet in Eve (originally started in 2004) and I'm quite happy with the EvE of today and it's game mechanics. Of course I would always like to see some improvements and changes (such as I suggested - even tho they would not affect me in anyway), but I'm quite ok with the current style of gaming with all the suicide gankers and corp thieves and so on.

Thanks again for everyone answering - unless any CCP member would like to give their piece of mind, this thread can be locked... or feel free to continue the debate, if you like..

scutternut
Amarr
Posted - 2010.02.18 20:24:00 - [70]
 

Wow, Eve court.

I thought about that for a few minutes... Who whould we entrust the court? Who would be the judge?

I vote for Sirmolle or Chribba

Gladys Pank
Amarr
Trillionaire High-Rollers Suicidal Bassoon Orkesta
Posted - 2010.02.18 21:10:00 - [71]
 

Originally by: scutternut
Wow, Eve court.

Originally by: scutternut
I vote for Sirmolle

Sure, nothing can go wrong there.

Tatanya Darkdawn
Minmatar
Posted - 2010.02.18 21:34:00 - [72]
 

Theft in Habbo Hotel

"It is a theft because the furniture is paid for with real money. But the only way to be a thief in Habbo is to get people's usernames and passwords and then log in and take the furniture."

Tulisin Dragonflame
Posted - 2010.02.18 21:51:00 - [73]
 

Originally by: Etro Tanar
Unless anyone here is a lawyer, these posts are all speculation and have no real legal standing whatsoever.

I would, however, raise the point that in many countries some sections of software terms and conditions are void due to the laws of that country. Just because you agree to the terms, doesn't make them legally enforcable.


A thousand times this.

I'm all on board with the "EULA says you don't own anything" and "Virtual goods have no real value, only the game time" explanations, but the fact of the matter is that this issue hasn't really been in court enough to set a big precedent. All it really takes is someone with a lot of lawyers and free time getting ****ed off enough to get precedent set. When that happens, and it inevitably will, we'll probably start to see an official connection between "virtual" currencies and real-life ones, with everything that implies.

Real-life taxation of your EVE isk, real-life consequences for stealing ISK (or, more likely, a total liability waiver for all your invested assets, sort of like what happens when you gamble). The connection of real-life and virtual economies is a sad inevitability.

Capt Fossil
Gallente
Posted - 2010.02.19 00:21:00 - [74]
 

Quote:
The connection of real-life and virtual economies is a sad inevitability


and that kids, is /thread

Keep on happily stealin Twisted Evil

Exaduss
Caldari
Standards and Practices
Posted - 2010.02.19 01:06:00 - [75]
 

So. Guy has thesis due soon. Guy creates alt, and throws a troll into C&P.

Much like throwing a bucket of KFC into a Weight Watchers meeting.
Guy then proceeds to sift through the vast and varied wisdom of C&P, for ideas/arguments/witty stuff to put in his paper.

Well done.

Jhoria Englside
Caldari
Posted - 2010.02.19 03:22:00 - [76]
 

9/10

Lana Torrin
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2010.02.19 05:16:00 - [77]
 

Originally by: Jhoria Englside
9/10

While I think this is a **** thread, I would have to agree with you... 3 pages and no sign of stopping.. Well done OP. I hate you.

Gladys Pank
Amarr
Trillionaire High-Rollers Suicidal Bassoon Orkesta
Posted - 2010.02.19 07:10:00 - [78]
 

Originally by: Lana Torrin
Originally by: Jhoria Englside
9/10

While I think this is a **** thread, I would have to agree with you... 3 pages and no sign of stopping.. Well done OP. I hate you.


The more original ones are worth feeding to see where it goes.

Zill
Friends of Honor
Posted - 2010.02.19 09:07:00 - [79]
 

There really is no relation between real life an a computer game. If you buy 10b isk with GTC or even isk sellers, an it gets taken off you by a scammer/or CCP for the latter idea. There is not a thing you can do in real life unless you live near the person an have the bottle to beat the bollox off him.

legally you cant do a thing. CCP states the game has no rules, you can

Lie
Cheat
Steal
Scam
Bully (within game confines)
Kill
Take anything you want anytime you want by any means possible that the game provides.

basically your **** outa luck mate :)

If I join your corp an you give me access to your personal ships, I can take every single one of them, sell them on market or destroy them or do anything I want with them, an its 100% within CCP stated ruleset. I think that's what sets EVE apart from the norm to be honest, Darkfall an now Mortal Online are tryin to replicate EVE an failing very badly indeed.

Swalesey
Prosperity Through Violence
Posted - 2010.02.19 12:33:00 - [80]
 

Edited by: Swalesey on 19/02/2010 12:33:27
With refference to the haboo link posted further up the thread.

Habbo users can create their own characters, decorate their own rooms and play a number of games, paying with Habbo Credits, which they have to buy with real cash.

"It is a theft because the furniture is paid for with real money. But the only way to be a thief in Habbo is to get people's usernames and passwords and then log in and take the furniture.


In this instance the only way to get these credits is to buy them with real life money. as quoted you "have to" buy them with real money.

In eve online you do not have to trade isk for game time cards. it is a part of the infastructure totaly seperate and optional to the game's financial system.

EDIT: Formatted to show what I pasted form the article

De'Veldrin
Minmatar
Norse'Storm Battle Group
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2010.02.19 15:50:00 - [81]
 

The real problem would be, of course, proving that the isk stolen or destroyed was actually the isk you paid rl money for.

Since you can, in fact, make ISK without ever spending a dime on it directly, the defense could simply claim that the ISK that was lost came from other activities.

Unless of course you buy all your isk.
In which case, the defense would probably file a claim to have your competence to file a complaint evaluated.
Enjoy the nuthouse!

YoMamas Girlfriend
Posted - 2010.02.19 16:27:00 - [82]
 

tl;dr

but. it isnt always cash value. sometimes it only has to be a 'thing of value'

0racle
Galactic Rangers
Galactic-Rangers
Posted - 2010.02.19 17:40:00 - [83]
 

Originally by: Shodow Whisperer
Also - a suggestion...

Even (and as I suspect) there aren't really anything illegal in corpthefts and suchs... there should be something in game.

I suggest, that there are implemented legal-actions ingame against scammers/corpthiefs/empiregankers and such...
This could be done by having a CONCORD rate (similar to sec-status). If someone is scamming or suicide ganking - there would be impacts in this rate... this could affect the ability to put up contracts/sell&buy orders/service fees in empire. Also someone doing a corptheft and such would have a rating of trustworthiness - which will show for any future employer if the member should hired for a corp and more over, given any access to corp assets and such...

Already there has been previously argumented that suicide gankers should not be able to recieve insurance payouyt of their ships.

To be honest – I think this should be implemented. As CONCORD shows up and destroys the suicide gankers ship shows that the action is illegal – and as in RL, any profit made with illegal actions (such as insurance payouts) are denied.
So I suggest following things:

1. If ship is destroyed by concord – no insurance payout.
2. If person loses ships often (either by just being unlucky or with self-destructing (like ppl do to get profit from insurances) – the insurance cost and possible insurance leves are changed.

2a. Example – if you lose 1 ship / day, no effect in insurances.
2b. Example – you lose 2-3 ship / day, insurance costs rice (making possible profit margins smaller) for the duration of one week
2c. More ships you lose in given time frame – the more the new insurance will cost and the longer the higher cost will be in effect.
2d. Also if your “insurance rating” goes low enough – you will be denied of insurance levels… like not being able to get platinum level and so on.

This is something that real insurance companies do – the higher the risk – the more the cost for the insurance and in some cases no insurance will be payed and or even issued.

If someone does something illegal (scams/corpthefts) ingame – they will be affected by it in the general public view, increased service costs, diminished ability to operate (scammers will get fewer contracts that they can issue) and so on…
In RL if a corp is robbed of it’s assets and/or it’s infrastructure is damaged (like intentionally dropping sove) they can take it to court. In EvE they can’t do anything – which is imho a huge hole in a game world were the economy is acting and running with (similar to) RL rules and real players.
To have at least some sort of punishment in game is imho a valid request. The Name&Shame action in forums have little to no effect ingame… even pirates that gank in lowsec get the trouble of not being able to get in empire. Kinda similar for RL issue where a murdered will get hunt down and punished, but large scale white collar crime (like Maddof) would not (I know Maddof did – but this is an example). In the end the murder affects only one person (whos dead… ) but the corptheft (like what goons had) effects numerous persons (who might commit suicide and thus be equally bad as a murder) whos life may be affected and altered negatively for the rest of their life…







No because this would be like re-implementing the CEOs being able to take from people's hangars.

Example :
*Really good pilot in meh-ish corp
*Meh-ish corp isn't doing much
*Really good pilot decides he wants to move on
*Meh-ish corp CEO doesn't want to lose his main PvP Defence
*Really good pilot leaves anyway hoping to find better employment
*Meh-ish corp CEO nerdrages and gives Really good pilot a terrible employment rating
*Really good corp thinks Really good pilot is a scammer, corp thief or just incompetent
*Really good pilot doesn't get accepted and spends the rest of his days mining or mission grinding in a NPC corp.

SunGod RA
Endless Destruction
Posted - 2010.02.19 17:45:00 - [84]
 

Originally by: Capt Fossil
Quote:
EULA's are not always enforcable.


BINGO!

People have been saying EULA, EULA, EULA, like it is some Tribal chant to a god of some sort.


i am not a lawyer, but do you realize that a EULA is nothing more (or less) than a written contract between two parties prior or in the context of a financial transactions? are you really trying to argue that a written contract between two parties should be considered invalid and unbinding in a court of law? if you go to a car dealership (one that isn't bankrupt at least lolllol lo l l l olo) and sign a contract to buy a car and pay the money, and the car doesn't get delivered and the dealership says the written contract is unenforceable and thank you for your money, what will do you think mister judge will do?

just like contracts or terms of contracts may not always be enforceable in a certain country or certain jurisdiction (like you can't sign away your basic human rights for example), this doesn't mean that all written contracts (or "licences") are automatically unenforceable.

to use your mcdonalds coffee abherration analogy argument, if mcdonalds made you sign a written contract before they served you coffee, stipulating that the coffee you have just purchased has just come out of a very high-temperature controlled environment and that because of the laws of thermodynamics, it might still be singificantly hot when it finally arrives in your possession (with a simple version of course for those not familiar with the laws of thermodynamics), do you think that same person who sued them would have the same luck in court? in this case we all know this is a fringe case even in the US, and was just one of many attempts likely done every day to score some cash (since a lot of law stuff in the united states is a lot more about cash than about justice proper, e.h. patent trolls etc.)

in the case of the MMO eulas and software licences in general, they are still contracts, and while some parts may be unenforceable in some countries, you are still entering into a legally binding contract and the enforceable parts will be very easily enforceable, with quite literally metric tons of legal precedent on the subject of contracts involving goods AND/OR services.

while there is still some points of contentions on some aspects of software licences and their applicability, for example shrinkwrap licences that stipulate that you agree to all terms of the licence when you open the _shrinkwrap_ even though you cannot read said licence until after you've opened the shrinkwrap and started installing the software, the eve online end user licence agreement is quite easily accessible prior to you paying for access to the service or any parts of the infrastructure, and should you have doubt about the applicability of it in your particular jurisdiction, you are entirely free to hire the services of a lawyer familiar with the laws that apply in your particular vincity and will i am sure be happy to do that research for you in exchange for a small fee and after the signing of a written contract which hopefully you will consider valid and enforceable in your particular court of law that is local to you at the municipal, state, and/or federal level otherwise i simply do not know how you will be able to further push your argument in a position where it is defendable because the only way other than you making your own painful research and graduating law school to defend your own position in a proper court of law is potentially risky and unenforceable in your jurisdiction because someone spilled coffee and won millions and every last armchair protolawyer is using that particular bit of craziness in whatever context they see fit regardless of country or situation.

this being said, it's a completely moot point, because the eve cluster is hosted in the uk, and all persistent data and transactions happen outside the united states.

Karlemgne
Tides Of War
Posted - 2010.02.19 18:58:00 - [85]
 

Yes, but the Korean supreme court has recognized the legitimacy of trading in-game currency for real currency, thus setting precedent for individual ownership of MMO items and currency by players.

Given that, it seems highly plausible that if you stole from a Korean player, that they would be within their rights in Korea to pursue a criminal complaint against you.

This also, btw, sets a dangerous precedent for international courts. Expect more of it in the future.

Estagado
Minmatar
Blackwater USA Inc.
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2010.02.19 20:39:00 - [86]
 

well heres something... ok Say your a new player and you buy 4 30 Day PLEX's from ccp. Which are $69 or so. R/L currency. you eneter game redeem the PLEX's and want to sell them so you advertized in jita.

some Scam'er comes along and opens a trade window offering 2 Billion isk For 4 PLEX's you accept and he in a split second changes the Isk amount to 0 before you can react and has there for Stolen your PLEX's without payment.


in a sense he has Stolen you $68 of R/L money which is petty theft.

for one i would pettion my 30 day plex's back and or money and if CCP tels me to bad i would press charges and file a lawsuit for haveing my money stolen through internet fraud.

SunGod RA
Endless Destruction
Posted - 2010.02.19 21:07:00 - [87]
 

Originally by: Karlemgne
Yes, but the Korean supreme court has recognized the legitimacy of trading in-game currency for real currency, thus setting precedent for individual ownership of MMO items and currency by players.

Given that, it seems highly plausible that if you stole from a Korean player, that they would be within their rights in Korea to pursue a criminal complaint against you.

This also, btw, sets a dangerous precedent for international courts. Expect more of it in the future.


i am still not a lawyer (damnit!), but from what i can gather from the articles (koreatimes article here) on the subject, what the korean court has done is legitimize the conversion of virtual money into real currencies (which was previously illegal/a grey area) provided the virtual money doesn't come from gambling or thru hacking/botting.

this does not necessarily force the recognition of virtual items as actual property and ownership of said items as near as i can tell. it could easily be interpreted as a service offered by the game provider to convert your in-game currrency (which you do not own, as per the contract you have agreed to) to actual currency. it also doesn't force the game companies to provide a channel to convert virtual currencies back into real currencies, merely provides a legal framework within which these kind of transactions can happen. it's still a long range from "you actually own all your virtual items and currency and the company is liable for the well-being and accessibility to your virtual goods".

i'm also not sure it would be applicable to eve online, where conversion of the virtual currency into real money isn't allowed by the game provider. the case seem to be related to lineage 2, which i haven't played, so i am not familiar with the eula. the article is very short on detail and doesn't mention what part of the ruling, if any, depended on the clauses of the eula, and it also doesn't mention if the sellers where banned from the game. currently i don't think it is illegal as per the law in most jurisdictions to sell eve isk for monies thru dubious and grey-area channels, but it isn't allowed by the company and will get you banned anyway.

in other words, even if the korean ruling makes it "legal" to exchange virtual items/currency into real money, that doesn't mean (at least as far as i can glean from minimal information in article) that the company cannot ban you and deprieve you of the rest of your virtual item, since they would still be within the clause of the contract you agreed to when you signed up.

in fact the korean case isn't about in-game theft, that seems be a chinese case from 2003, and it seems to involve hacking, which is illegal in most places already anyway. i don't think either case would be applicable to a situation where in-game scamming/theft is allowed as per the eula/contract.

SunGod RA
Endless Destruction
Posted - 2010.02.19 21:13:00 - [88]
 

Originally by: Estagado
well heres something... ok Say your a new player and you buy 4 30 Day PLEX's from ccp. Which are $69 or so. R/L currency. you eneter game redeem the PLEX's and want to sell them so you advertized in jita.

some Scam'er comes along and opens a trade window offering 2 Billion isk For 4 PLEX's you accept and he in a split second changes the Isk amount to 0 before you can react and has there for Stolen your PLEX's without payment.

in a sense he has Stolen you $68 of R/L money which is petty theft.

for one i would pettion my 30 day plex's back and or money and if CCP tels me to bad i would press charges and file a lawsuit for haveing my money stolen through internet fraud.


i bolded and underlined the part where, as per the eula, you lost actual ownership of the items you refer to =P

once your game time is converted into an in-game item, you do not own it anymore, plus if you get scammed, it's your own responsability since you are provided with all the tools to make sure you don't get scammed.

i'm pretty sure though if you lose items thru an exploit or account hacking, they will give back your items to you.

if you don't like in-game theft/scamming thru social engineering, there are other games, such as wow i believe, where theft isn't allowed at all and GMs can intervene in your favor should that happen.

Estagado
Minmatar
Blackwater USA Inc.
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2010.02.19 21:21:00 - [89]
 

Edited by: Estagado on 19/02/2010 21:23:07
Originally by: SunGod RA
Originally by: Estagado
well heres something... ok Say your a new player and you buy 4 30 Day PLEX's from ccp. Which are $69 or so. R/L currency. you eneter game redeem the PLEX's and want to sell them so you advertized in jita.

some Scam'er comes along and opens a trade window offering 2 Billion isk For 4 PLEX's you accept and he in a split second changes the Isk amount to 0 before you can react and has there for Stolen your PLEX's without payment.

in a sense he has Stolen you $68 of R/L money which is petty theft.

for one i would pettion my 30 day plex's back and or money and if CCP tels me to bad i would press charges and file a lawsuit for haveing my money stolen through internet fraud.


i bolded and underlined the part where, as per the eula, you lost actual ownership of the items you refer to =P

once your game time is converted into an in-game item, you do not own it anymore, plus if you get scammed, it's your own responsability since you are provided with all the tools to make sure you don't get scammed.

i'm pretty sure though if you lose items thru an exploit or account hacking, they will give back your items to you.

if you don't like in-game theft/scamming thru social engineering, there are other games, such as wow i believe, where theft isn't allowed at all and GMs can intervene in your favor should that happen.




the think you have here is flaw'ed , because if i PAY for something i OWN it. how is it MY respnsability for getting Scammed? when i am USEING the tools provided to me to USE "said" PLEX's and Get SCAMED "useing the tools" provided to me, you dont make any sense. scammers in this game use every tool in the game to do just that "SCAM". i just dont see how this is legally just. if you pruchase an item and have it taken away from you by a scammer without reaping the benefits of useing the items you purchased with your real life currancy.


this is like saying. you go to the grocery market and buy a gallon of milk you pay for it and walk out of the store and some one offers to buy that gallon from you outside for 2x the amount you purchased it for and at the time of transaction he steals your milk and walks away with the money. which = a crime.



also troll, this is the only MMO i play, mabye if CCP clamped down on criminals in this game it would make it a better playing enviroment. Like other games do as you say.

Sdlonyer
Posted - 2010.02.19 21:38:00 - [90]
 

Quote:
the think you have here is flaw'ed , because if i PAY for something i OWN it.


You accepted you don't when you agreed to the EULA.


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