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ry ry
Heroes.
Merciless.
Posted - 2007.09.21 15:11:00 - [91]
 

Originally by: Thanos Draicon
You also agreed to this when you hit the accept button.

to be honest, the whole 'online click == irl signature' thing is a bit shaky at best.

Bagdon
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
Posted - 2007.09.21 15:22:00 - [92]
 

Originally by: Tortun Nahme
as CCP atlanta isn't involved in the production, maintenence, upkeep, or policy setting of Eve-Online or the eula in question, the most the US could do is "ban" the CCP leadership from entering the US


No, the worst that could happen is that payments from US credit cards would be disallowed to go to CCP. This has happened to Project Entropia a few years ago because of an EULA dispute and it was even without ever going to court. It was a major disaster for them (they fixed it quickly, but if they had to fight it in court it could end badly and take a very long time).

And when it comes to the "this contract shall be judged under the laws of Elbonia", it doesn't work. I had personally a contract dispute with Compaq many years ago and my lawyer cut the contract to pieces basically starting with that clause and then showing how the disputed clauses in the contract were invalid under Swedish law. The whole process took two phone calls where Compaq basically said "yeah, we know it's invalid, ok, fine, have it your way".

Joshua Calvine
Posted - 2007.09.21 15:54:00 - [93]
 

lots of opinions here but who's actually a lawyer or related professional? or has done sufficient research? anyone?

Debates like this are very important I agree but a lot of people seem to be stating opinions as facts...

Mashie Saldana
Minmatar
Veto Corp
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:11:00 - [94]
 

There are no law that forces CCP to sell a service to you. By banning you and terminating your payment you are gone with nothing to do about it but cry.

Grif Oberwald
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:29:00 - [95]
 

Its very simple - ISK only has RL value while the game exists, and only between individual players. ISK has no value to CCP. To my knowledge even GTC's bought for ISK are in fact paid for in RL cash by the original GTC purchasing player, who purchase the right to access the server software using the client software in the form of a code that could be punched in to the server to extend game time. That is the extent of the contract you have in law with CCP, even when the entire EULA gets thrown out. And all business have an absolute right to determine who they trade with. Everything else is irrelavent.

Even so, even if you could prove you 'owned' the items, what do you actually own? What you are in fact proving ownership of? Basically the access rights to a small amount of harddrive space with a particular set of 0's and 1's on it, which is what a ship or module, or ISK balance really is, which is absolutely no use of value in itself as it requires CCP owed and exclusively used software (the server program) for that to become a Raven or a Gist X-type X-large shield booster. No court can order a company to remain in business in order to continue to give you access to the software required in order to make those 0's and 1's something you deem to have real life value.Razz

Thanos Draicon
Wolf Pack Mentality
Blood and Steel
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:33:00 - [96]
 

Originally by: ry ry
Originally by: Thanos Draicon
You also agreed to this when you hit the accept button.

to be honest, the whole 'online click == irl signature' thing is a bit shaky at best.

Not really! If they have a document labeled EULA on screen and then a sentence at the bottom that says "By clicking the accept button, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the EULA" then it's pretty simple, and just as binding.

Pirate Tom
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:38:00 - [97]
 

Yeah, it pretty much boils down to the game universe being private property.
A restaurant owner can kick you out of their restaurant for any reason, or deny you entry/service if they don't like you. You pay for the stuff and it's yours, sure, but in EVE you don't itemize your monthly fee into somethin like ...

  • 3.00 ... Mining Barge

  • 1.00 ... Ammunition

  • 1.50 ... Drones

  • 3.50 ... Skillbooks and implants

  • 5.00 ... That shiny new ship and it's fittings


Because you're not paying for the items, you're paying a cover charge to enter and play around in their virtual world (read: Private Establishment). Claiming you own the ships is kinda like saying you own a video game at an arcade because you put a bunch of tokens into it. That only gives you the right to play it for whatever length of time the tokens value covers, not take it home when you decide the other players at the arcade are annoying.

EULA... fun.. in reality it's just a CYA for CCP and a service provided to the users warning them of what could happen. So, CCP could shut down tranquility tomorrow and the most the subscribers would be entitled to is a refund of their unused credit time.

Bottom line. when you pay for 1 months subscription to EVE, you only bought the right to go play in their sandbox, Doesn't guarantee you'll be able to make a sand castle, and it certainly doesn't mean you get to take the sand with you when you go home.

Wild Rho
Amarr
Silent Core
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:41:00 - [98]
 

Originally by: Pirate Tom
Yeah, it pretty much boils down to the game universe being private property.
A restaurant owner can kick you out of their restaurant for any reason, or deny you entry/service if they don't like you. You pay for the stuff and it's yours, sure, but in EVE you don't itemize your monthly fee into somethin like ...

  • 3.00 ... Mining Barge

  • 1.00 ... Ammunition

  • 1.50 ... Drones

  • 3.50 ... Skillbooks and implants

  • 5.00 ... That shiny new ship and it's fittings


Because you're not paying for the items, you're paying a cover charge to enter and play around in their virtual world (read: Private Establishment). Claiming you own the ships is kinda like saying you own a video game at an arcade because you put a bunch of tokens into it. That only gives you the right to play it for whatever length of time the tokens value covers, not take it home when you decide the other players at the arcade are annoying.

EULA... fun.. in reality it's just a CYA for CCP and a service provided to the users warning them of what could happen. So, CCP could shut down tranquility tomorrow and the most the subscribers would be entitled to is a refund of their unused credit time.

Bottom line. when you pay for 1 months subscription to EVE, you only bought the right to go play in their sandbox, Doesn't guarantee you'll be able to make a sand castle, and it certainly doesn't mean you get to take the sand with you when you go home.


Thank you, summed it up better than I ever could.

Major Death
Caldari
Sarz'na Khumatari
Ushra'Khan
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:49:00 - [99]
 

Edited by: Major Death on 21/09/2007 16:51:38
A legal case to recover 'virtual' property would be a waste of money. Worse still because it’s a civil case CCP could recover costs from you if (when) you lose. Digital property only covers intellectual copyright as far as the courts on both side of the Atlantic are concerned. Since the digital property you are refering to (as many posters have pointed out) is actually just a subset of the game, and has no value outside of it, and since CCP are sole owners to the copyright, you own nothing.
As for taking a case over loss of earnings, you are in the same legal position as someone who attends sports events and sells goods on the grounds without the permission of the owners/event organisers. They can ban you from the grounds, and you cannot recover damages, because you didn’t have a contract that covered the sale of goods.
In short you don’t have a legal leg to stand on. The only way you could take action would be if CCP published your name and libelled you by that action, i.e. being called an ‘ISK seller’ was detrimental to your good name.

Lord Dynastron
Mystical Knights
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:51:00 - [100]
 

How online 'virtual' assets are viewed by the law is bound to change. They are literally 'virtual' assets, that have real world value.... and that is the rub. Sooner or later people are gonna wise up and stop mindlessly giving away all their rights to these assets. Fast forward 100 years into the future when you wear a fancy hat and enter the virtual world in a 'dream state' or some such manner. Lets say you get a job at a virtual WalMart selling virtual shoes. Who owns your virtual paycheck? WalMart servers? Pfft.

Kinda like if you build a house on somebody elses land with their materials, who owns the house? Now, think about that same scenario if you paid them to build the house.

Just look at the resons Ebay no longer carries virtual cash! Ebay sees that this is a bombshell just waiting to go off. "legal complexities" as they put it. These legal complexities are just what we are talking about here.

Reference

Fun topic actually,, gets my mental juices all 'flowey'.

Pirate Tom
Posted - 2007.09.21 16:57:00 - [101]
 

Aye, it's bound to change in the coming years, but as of right now. it's still treated as an entertainment service, you're not an employee or a contractor working for them, you're a customer/subscriber using their services.

I have no doubts about it changing in the future, and frankly it'll be good for the world economy, allowing more jobs without having to actually build as much more. Eventually the 'Virtual Goods Dealer' will come to have about the same connotation as 'Cashier' or 'Retail Customer Service'

Grant Miller
Posted - 2007.09.21 17:19:00 - [102]
 

Originally by: Surfin's PlunderBunny
Edited by: Surfin''s PlunderBunny on 21/09/2007 00:01:27
And then after you lose, they ban you Laughing

Let's see... about 50K accounts on Eve, at $14.95 (USD)/month... that's about $747,500 a month... that *12 = $8,970,000/year... I think they can afford to dig in for the long haul. And from what I've witnessed from the Devs' kickass attitudes, this is a matter of pride and they will gank you Very Happy


You fail to understand that $8.75m of that $9m goes to keeping their service running.

Unless an MMO has corporate backing, ala Blizzard/Vivendi, they arent actually making all that much money.

For every account that gets added, they subtract a % of the monthly fee to make up for the cost of keeping that account active.

It cuts into their profits more-so by offering 3, 6, 9, 12 month subscription plans.

Alright, realistically, its like... less than 50 cents theyd lose offering plans.

But don't get it confused -- CCP isn't the next microsoft or anything.
I doubt they could afford to fight a legal battle which boils down to constitutional rights. (thats what this is, anyway)

If you're talking about another game company, such as the aforementioned blizzard with Vivendi universal corporate backing, yeah, you can expect that they'll serve you a legal beatdown with your derriere on a silver platter.

TBH, I think that the EULA could be shot down given enough money. But do you really want to buy your ISK so badly that you'd potentially ruin all MMOs as a result? Not to mention the millions of RL cash you'd spend appealing this to federal courts.

Nocturnal Avenger
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2007.09.21 17:28:00 - [103]
 

Originally by: Wild Rho
Originally by: Nocturnal Avenger

I think you missed my point.

Isk certainly have RL $ value if you chose to sell - even if illigal. I'm not saying it is easy and risk-free to sell/buy isk (I have no idea actually) - just that it is possible and thus isk have RL value.

Personally I would never buy isk because I would hate to see my character get banned (and I have plenty of it anyway), but if I was low on cash and it was risk-free, I would probably consider it.




In that case CCP can say you're selling their private property as it's already made clear that everything ingame (isk, ships, even your char) belong to them. Just because you use and interact with these items does not give you ownership any more than a few loopsholes in the gtc system does.


I never argued about who owns what in this game. (CCP does).

I just said that isk has a RL value - even though it would be by illigal means.

Just like 1kg cocain has a significant street value - even though very illigal.

Pirate Tom
Posted - 2007.09.21 17:29:00 - [104]
 

Edited by: Pirate Tom on 21/09/2007 17:40:08
Don't forget that CCP has (last time I saw numbers) over 300,000 subscribers. You can't tell me 250,000 of those are trials. Just because you only see 30k people on at a time, doesn't mean anything about their total subscriber base.

And Nocturnal dood guy, Anything that takes time has real world value. There's no way to dispute that unless you can find an argument that says your time is worthless.

Major Death
Caldari
Sarz'na Khumatari
Ushra'Khan
Posted - 2007.09.21 17:41:00 - [105]
 

Edited by: Major Death on 21/09/2007 17:43:00
Quote:
I just said that isk has a RL value - even though it would be by illigal means.

Just like 1kg cocain has a significant street value - even though very illigal.


Not exactly true. Isk has no existence outside the confines of the game. You could for example be taxed on the proceeds of the sale of ISK (which is not illegal, its a breach of copyright), but not on having ISK in game (as you are not taxed for having a valuable painting, only on the profits from its sale).
Also when someone is charged with possession of a drug like *******, it’s by weight, not by value, as it has no legal traded value.

Quote:
And Nocturnal dood guy, Anything that takes time has real world value. There's no way to dispute that unless you can find an argument that says your time is worthless.


CCP can instantly create ISK at will in (near) infinite amounts. ISK has no real value.

Pirate Tom
Posted - 2007.09.21 17:52:00 - [106]
 

Edited by: Pirate Tom on 21/09/2007 18:21:51


Originally by: Major Death

(as you are not taxed for having a valuable painting, only on the profits from its sale)


Tell that to the guy who caught Barry Bonds's (US Baseball player) 756th homerun ball was basically forced to sell it because the Government was forcing him to pay taxes on its estimated value, which he couldn't afford.
Incidently it sold for 752,467.20 USD.
Some stories here and here. If someone could find an article that goes into more detail about the tax issues, I'd appreciate it.
edit: found another story, apparently soveniers like baseballs are in a different category, Read here. Not sure how they tax other collectibles
Originally by: as above
CCP can instantly create ISK at will in (near) infinite amounts. ISK has no real value.

That doesn't make the ISK that I have taken the time to get in game worthless until they start giving me some of that- and you could argue that the US Mint could print up near infinite amounts of Dollar bills, which would have the same effect. Just because they *CAN* doesn't mean they will, and in turn the possibility that they might doesn't render something worthless.
Granted, though, the only real value that my ISK has is the value I assign to it for my personal use in game, which really isn't enough to bother with outside of game.

nightslasher
Posted - 2007.09.21 20:17:00 - [107]
 

Edited by: nightslasher on 21/09/2007 20:17:07
Originally by: Joshua Calvine
lots of opinions here but who's actually a lawyer or related professional? or has done sufficient research? anyone?



To be sure, there is more than one answer(different rules in different places), and an attorney in one jurisdiction can only really answer for what they feel would happen in that jurisdiction under circumstances that are not yet detailed enough to be something able to be commented on.

Originally by: Joshua Calvine

Debates like this are very important I agree but a lot of people seem to be stating opinions as facts...


True, dat.


Major Death
Caldari
Sarz'na Khumatari
Ushra'Khan
Posted - 2007.09.21 20:22:00 - [108]
 

Quote:
Not sure how they tax other collectibles


At point of sale or transfer. Hence the possible taxing of people selling ISK for 'real' money. At the point of sale there is a real value that can be taxed, and a taxable (sales tax/V.A.T.) transaction has taken place.

As for the printing of endless currency, the currency was at some point backed be a real item (i.e. gold). Even though that standard is now gone, that gives the real world currency some tangible quality. ISK has never been backed by anything, and is ‘for novelty value only’, just like monopoly money.

Arvald
Caldari
Drunken Space Irish
Posted - 2007.09.21 20:23:00 - [109]
 

Originally by: Zwaplat
There is one thing that annoys me slightly. You pay CCP to provide you a service (servers being online 23 hours per day).
Now, they put in the EULA (the contract, as it were), that this service is not guaranteed.
I'm sorry, but if I went to a garage to get my car fixed, then they provide me that service for my money: fixing my car. They would have no right at all telling me it's not guaranteed that it will be fixed, but I still have to pay them.

As for the rest, I think they have every right to claim that any item ingame is their property, however strange that may seem.

well the server isnt yours you jsut pay to access it...

Imhothar Xarodit
Minmatar
Wolverine Solutions
Posted - 2007.09.21 20:35:00 - [110]
 

Edited by: Imhothar Xarodit on 21/09/2007 20:38:00
Edited by: Imhothar Xarodit on 21/09/2007 20:36:07
I think the most important question here is (and what most people seem to already base upon):

Is the ISK you "earn" in-game your property or not?

I say it is stil the Intellectual Property of CCP.

It is of uppermost importance to distinguish between property and intellectual property.
Different laws apply to those two and as ISK is not an entity as defined by (most?) laws as "object" (things that really exist) and as you have never taken part in really "creating" the ship you fly (remember, the ship was created by CCP's modelers, artist and progrrammers) and the mods you fitted (again, CCP's modelers/artists/designers created it) are never your property, we have to take a look at different laws. You cannot hand me out that Raven you fly in real live and of real matter, can you?
I guess no, and that is where different laws apply.

The things you are mostly talking about here (like that baseball which value was guessed) do not fall into the category of intellectual property as it was a real object. I think that is the major issue in this thread right now, do you own it or not?

I couldn't find any argument that would make ISK/ships/mods etc your property.
And if something isn't your property, you cannot be taxed/whatever for it.

If anyone can find a real proof (with proof, I really mean proof) that the ISK you gained during the usage of CCP's payed service is your property and not CCP's please show it.

JadalofOblivion
Amarr
PURE Legion
death from above..
Posted - 2007.09.21 21:10:00 - [111]
 

Edited by: JadalofOblivion on 21/09/2007 21:15:24
Montaire,

Excellent posts bro. It's a shame they fall on mostly deaf ears. Such is the internet. I'm guessing you're either a law student or paralegal (leaning towards paralegal since you prefaced with "This is not legal advice" Smile) maybe even an attorney? No matter. Always a joy to read from someone who knows what they are talking about.

o7

To the issue of taxation, I don't see it, but Uncle Sam is always trying to get a piece of the pie Laughing. While that might be one way of legitimizing your ownership, I think the stronger one is the Isk = GTC = USD. Of course, if you're gonna fight, bring all you got!

Twin blade
Minmatar
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2007.09.21 22:20:00 - [112]
 

Edited by: Twin blade on 21/09/2007 22:21:38
IF i rember right some one used a loophole to bypass FF11 version and clamed he was just selling his time he played the game for real life money and any item/money on that account was given for free.

The guy won and i think he should of lost i mean he was not selling time spent playing but the items and his money.

Liisa
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2007.09.21 23:25:00 - [113]
 

The comment about the CD a few pages back leads me to ask this question:

If CCP were to lose a case and had to "return" virtual assets, would they have to return them in a form that is usable to the person who went through the legal system to get them back? The reason I ask is because virtual assets are actually simply strings of code in a database. Could CCP not simply copy these strings onto some sort of medium (CD) and give them to the person who won? He would then, by definition, have his assets back, no?

Is this not the whole problem with virtual assets, they do not actually exist in a tangible form. The exist only at the sufferance of the company that maintains the databases where the code is stored, hence to force somebody to return virtual assets means that they also have to reinstate service to the user who wants the assets back, not something the company probably wants to do. Seems like a great legal minefield.

Barbelo Valentinian
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2007.09.21 23:37:00 - [114]
 

Fascinating discussion. My 2c (not a lawyer, and the following is perhaps obvious to many, but some people don't seem to understand it, so I think it's worth stating clearly):

As someobody said above, isk has no real world value except when it has - when individuals exchange real money for isk. It has no real-world value outside any given exchange between individuals, and certainly no value to CCP.

The only reason CCP (or any MMO company) would worry about isk (or any other "virtual" doodad) exchanging for real world money is simply because someone who buys isk online has not subscribed to the game for the length of time it would have taken them to make that isk "legitimately", in game - i.e. the only money CCP made out of the transaction was the subscription paid by the people who farmed the isk, CCP lost out on the extra amount of money they would have made if the isk buyer had gotten their own equivalent amount of isk by sweating through the game themselves to "earn" it. That person can now spend that isk on ships and stuff that they would otherwise have had to spend more time subscribed to the game to earn.

Therefore, in that transaction between isk farmer and isk buyer, CCP has demonstrably lost real money. That seems to me the real nub of the matter - wouldn't courts see it the same way?

Montaire
Krusual Developments
Posted - 2007.09.22 00:20:00 - [115]
 

Yeah, my last few posts certian got ignored :~(

I work for the Department of Justice IRL. I do a lot of auditing and interpreting law for law enforcment agencies.

On a side note, one of my co-workers (who is a lawyer) has agreed to help me get a Private Letter of Finding from the IRS. This would settle if earning ISK in EVE-Online counted as an Internet Barter transaction. If it does, it would then be subject to taxation for its real value. If the IRS decided that was the case, it would then be income, and thus a form of currency - with a whole suite of protections that cannot be erased by an EULA.

On one hand it would totally shatter online game EULA's. On the other it might open up my ingame isk to IRS taxation. Double edged sword with a vengance.

Im not 100% sure how it will turn out actualy. Kinda exciting.


Originally by: JadalofOblivion
Edited by: JadalofOblivion on 21/09/2007 21:15:24
Montaire,

Excellent posts bro. It's a shame they fall on mostly deaf ears. Such is the internet. I'm guessing you're either a law student or paralegal (leaning towards paralegal since you prefaced with "This is not legal advice" Smile) maybe even an attorney? No matter. Always a joy to read from someone who knows what they are talking about.

o7

To the issue of taxation, I don't see it, but Uncle Sam is always trying to get a piece of the pie Laughing. While that might be one way of legitimizing your ownership, I think the stronger one is the Isk = GTC = USD. Of course, if you're gonna fight, bring all you got!

Dionisius
Gallente
the muppets
RED.OverLord
Posted - 2007.09.22 01:43:00 - [116]
 

Originally by: Karlemgne
Originally by: Dionisius
The Eula has no value were i live for the reason that it is not a document signed by both parts and verified to be in accordance to our laws and regulations wich state that the consumer canot abuse the service but the people runing and providing it canot also abuse or trespass the rights of the consumer.

As to EvE, the game and service provided, it is subject to our comerce and regulating laws.

Virtual property, such as isk and ships excluded, all the rest, access, server crashes and reimbursement are fair game.


Good luck. Laughing


Good luck with what?Its a provided service wich you pay for, if you complaint that they aren't giving you support for instance and CCP is convicted, their product, in this case EvE, can be banned from the market, the problem here is the border issue and to counter that our authorities take these mesures in order to actually "do something".


I'm not refering to "virtual" belongings, in fact what belongings?, its a game you down own anything because that thing, ravens, megathrons, etc do not exist, they are just products resulting from bits of code and equations, whoever thinks that they have something should have their head checked.

Alyth
Gallente
Posted - 2007.09.22 02:20:00 - [117]
 

I think people are forgetting what the L in EULA stands for. It's not a legal contract that says you must abide by these rules otherwise you shall be sued or face other legal action, it's more of a you abide by the rules or we revoke your license to access our servers and use our data. Kinda like your driving license, you agree to abide by the rules of the road otherwise it gets revoked.

The reason the courts are involved, I'm guessing, is for reasons such as IP. For example hacking the client is against the EULA and therefore a bannable offence. However, the client you are licensed to use belongs to CCP meaning unauthorised modification impinges on the IP rights and is now a legal issue. Again, selling items for real currency is IP theft. The seller is taking data that is owned by CCP and selling it on (with the ambiguously legal 'I am selling the time it took to make this money' disclaimer). Kinda like someone walking into your house, taking your TV and hawking it on the street or down the pub.

So I guess the answer to your questions are:

1. The EULA itself is not legally binding (in my interpretation), however issues caused by breaches of certain parts of the EULA can be interpreted to be illegal acts (e.g. RMT = EULA breach and therefore a bannable offence, sale of IP without consent = illegal).

2. They are not your virtual belongings. They are (and forever will be) the sole property of CCP. They just let you pay Ł7.50 a month to access them on their servers, using their client that they coded to access their game that they coded and published.

Liisa
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2007.09.22 07:26:00 - [118]
 

Originally by: Montaire
Yeah, my last few posts certian got ignored :~(

I work for the Department of Justice IRL. I do a lot of auditing and interpreting law for law enforcment agencies.

On a side note, one of my co-workers (who is a lawyer) has agreed to help me get a Private Letter of Finding from the IRS. This would settle if earning ISK in EVE-Online counted as an Internet Barter transaction. If it does, it would then be subject to taxation for its real value. If the IRS decided that was the case, it would then be income, and thus a form of currency - with a whole suite of protections that cannot be erased by an EULA.

On one hand it would totally shatter online game EULA's. On the other it might open up my ingame isk to IRS taxation. Double edged sword with a vengance.

Im not 100% sure how it will turn out actualy. Kinda exciting.



Question: Since CCP says/believes that you do not own the virtual assets, could sale of these be considered theft by them? Everybody seems to take for granted that the question of ownership is a given.

El'Niaga
Minmatar
Republic Military School
Posted - 2007.09.22 08:21:00 - [119]
 

I think that CCPs EULA for EVE would not hold up in court the same reason that Second Life's did not. The reason is because CCP has allowed folks to purchase subscriptions using virtual isk. This is a great danger to them.

This in essences gives a real world value to the virtual ISK (Not to be confused with the RW ISK which is Icelandic currency). In turn since everything in game is purchased using this same virtual isk you arbitrarily make everything worth something in real terms even if it is almost negligible.

Say for instance a subscription costs 500 million virtual isk for 3 months. That same 3 months is worth 44.85 USD. 1 virtual isk in this instance is worth .0000000897 USD. So really the individual value is negligible unless you get to talking about large values say in the millions of isk of value.

This is probably the area CCP is weakest at. They've allowed these transactions for as long as EVE has existed as far as I know. In doing so they give real world value. In taking that isk from you they establish that it is your isk and that it is of equal value to the money they would have received had you paid in a real world currency. It is a very dangerous precedent that they have set forth by their own hand.

The second problem with it is that you never get the EULA prior to actually purchasing the product. This is true of any game. Since once you open a game you cannot return it in most US and European jurisdictions then it could be considered fraud since they are placing restrictions that you did not agree to at the purchasing time. Since EVE is primarily sold today as a download they could easily fix this by having a copy of the EULA appear before you put in your payment information and have you agree to it and subsequently having you agree to this each month at the time of payment. By waiting until after you have paid to reveal the information to you then they are potentially setting themselves up for a future fall.

Keep in mind that just because part of a EULA might be invalidated in a court of law does not mean the entire EULA is invalidated.

I believe someone could successfully argue that the provision that virtual items in game do not belong to you could be challenged since CCP does accept in lieu of real world payment virtual isk for you to pay your subscription. (If it is already their isk, they basically are giving it to you for free while everyone else paid.....)

I also believe that since the EULA is not laid out at the time of purchase you could successfully challenge the part of the EULA that gives jurisdiction to the Icelandic court rather than to the jurisdiction whereupon you live. I believe this because you did not agree to that prior to the purchase.

I believe I've also outlined above how CCP could close these potential challenges. Stop taking isk for game subscriptions. If someone cannot afford to pay of their own, it is unfortunate but it is better they not play and seek to improve their personal circumstance until such time as they can pay to play like everyone else. On the other point merely have the EULA appear before you put in any payment information at the original purchase time and upon each renewal segment.


Montaire
Krusual Developments
Posted - 2007.09.22 13:51:00 - [120]
 

Originally by: Liisa

Question: Since CCP says/believes that you do not own the virtual assets, could sale of these be considered theft by them? Everybody seems to take for granted that the question of ownership is a given.


Well that would require a few things. The first is that CCP would have to state that these things have value in some way. For without value, there can be no real theft.

Also note that the actual definition of IP is this "Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce."

CCP has some great IP, and I treasure it. However that does not give them free license to engage in illegal acts of contract, which is what some say the EULA is.

CCP has taken many actions that underscore their clients rights to their property. They have put systems in place to prevent their theft, they have made stealing them through unintended design illegal, they have created policies governing the PLAYERS rights to hold these items.

A court may view this as CCP saying one thing and doing precisely another.

And the poster above me is VERY correct. His astute observation is entirely true : CCP is playing a dangerous form of roulette by officialy sanctioning the barter of their ingame currency and items for Real-World value.

The lynchpin of CCP's claim of ownership of ingame items is the EULA. And it needs to be as strong as possible to resist a court challenge. To do this (again: not legal advice) I would probably end GTC <-> ISK and I would stop character transfer. While I've used both of these once or twice I cannot say its a good idea from a legal point of view. They also need to relax the terms as much as possible so that they are still protected, but so the contract is viewed as a two way exchange, instead of a totally one way license agreement. Those acts alone would probably tripple its relative strengh when it comes to fending off a challenge.

Finally remember : Once a lawyer gets involved CCP will have to carefully consider their actions. It could cost them $100,000 just to fend off the initial legal thrusts of legal challenge. They would probably be better off in nearly every situation to simply reinstate the banned player and impose a gag order on the settlement. I'm sure CCP's legal advisors would tell them this, although nobody is required to listen to sound legal advice most people do.

CCP's single best defense is to allways act in a fair handed way and to enforce their rules as consistantly as possible. And thankfully this is the way I have allways seen them conduct themselves.


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