Plaintiff's Attorney in Player-IGE Lawsuit Speaks to The Escapist

 Pages PREV 1 2 3
 

CaelanPaige:

The reason I haven€t focused as much on the claims in tort is because there is not enough information in the complaint to do a full legal analysis on those claims. While, for the claims in contract, we have all the information we need to resolve the issue. It will take some bit of speculation to analyze the claims in tort, and will necessarily have less predictive value.

As I have stated before, I don't think Mr. Hernandez can demonstrate a valid injury in fact because he continues to play, and arguably enjoy the game (to the entertainment value of 15 dollars a month) despite the actions of IGE. Remember, we do not even need to get to the merits of the case if the plaintiff fails to have standing.

Yeah, see, you keep saying that and I'm sorry to say it this bluntly, but you're flat-out wrong. Mr. Hernandez didn't pay for "the entertainment value of 15 dollars a month." He paid for an account on WoW to enjoy. According to your logic, if I pay $15 dollars a month for HBO and I've already watched $15 worth of movies, then the cable company could cut off my HBO for the rest of the month because I got "the entertainment value of 15 dollars a month." It's a tricky argument that is convincing on first blush, I'll give you that, but, really--you see why it makes no sense now, right?

CaelanPaige:
(3) Intentional and Unjustified interference

A cause of action for tortuous interference requires a showing of both an intent to damage the business relationship and a lack of justification to take the action which caused the damage. Networkip, LLC v. Spread Enterprises, Inc., 922 So.2d 355 (Fla. App. 2006)
The complaint does not allege that IGE intended to damage the business relationship of Mr. Hernandez, only that IGE intended to breach the contract its gold farmers had agreed to with Blizzard.

Like I keep saying, this is a complaint, not a brief. You can't use a lack of specificity in the complaint the way you are. The old days of forms of action where if you forgot to cross one t or dot one eye from jolly old England are far, far in the past. If you know something specific about complaints and Federal court in Florida, let me know so I stop sounding like a n00b, but, from what I've heard about Federal court complaints, they can be pretty general.

CaelanPaige:
Here, Mr. Hernandez is not alleging that the gold farmers or IGE had malice or ill will towards other customers, only that they intended to secure competitive advantages in the game for certain customers by breaching K2.

Again, this is a complaint, not a brief. You're confusing the two, or thinking that a pleading has to be way more specific than it does.

CaelanPaige:
Well... I'm sure you get the idea. Mr. Hernandez's tortuous interference claim is probably going to fail on element three, and will probably fail on element four as well. Assuming, of course that he has standing to sue in the first place, which is questionable because it will be very difficult for him to prove an injury in fact.

I'm sorry, but I get the idea that you're reading too much into a complaint, and that you've got a flawed theory of what an 'injury-in-fact' is, like I outlined above. Not to mention the fact that I don't know if you're talking about Florida standing law or Federal, Article III standing law. If you're only talking about the latter, you shouldn't be saying 'this suit has no chance.' You should be saying 'this suit has no chance in Federal court, and he'll have to bring it in state court.'

And again, I have to ask, why are you so confident this suit will fail when you're also saying "we probably know enough about these circumstances to do a little better analysis on that than the Unfair Trade actions"? You do understand that he could prevail on just the Unfair Trade action and get everything he's looking for, right? Or is there some statutory limitation on damages that I'm unaware of which prevents him from getting an injunction to cut the PayPal money line?

Echolocating:

The rules of the nerd are clear. You may partake of nerd customs as long as you keep the nerd behavior within the nerd kingdom.

Wait, I thought that was Fight Club!

Echolocating:
If this thing even gets to trial, we'll see who's right and who's wrong on this issue. ;-)

I think we're more likely to see who hired the better lawyer and who is lucky enough to have precedential cases--that have nothing to do with the subject matter at hand--on their side. ;-)

In all seriousness, I think it's pretty cool to sue some company that appears to me to have no more interest in this game than the people used to make knock-off Beanie Babies. I guess the difference is I don't see IGE as a member of the nerd kingdom, you know? It's more calling the cops and complaining of trespass on the guy who is there just because he heard we made acid in chemistry class, so that he won't disrupt our game of "Space 1889."

Maybe they'll order the owners of IGE to play WoW until they accumulate as much gold as they sold, and distribute it in-game to everyone in the class action!

Cheeze, Cheeze, Cheeze... what am I going to do with you? ;-)

You've taken an extreme moral stance against IGE. That's fine, but why? You've never played MMOs before. You understand that Hernandez is simply a hardcore WoW addict with too much time on his hands, right? The law firm backing Hernandez isn't really in it to save the integrity of WoW, right? In fact, there's no morality to this issue at all.

Hernandez thinks he can be a bigger top dog in WoW if IGE is out of the picture (and garner acclaim from his WoW peers as a savior) and the law firm wants to make a quick and hefty buck... all on the hope of a small technicality interpreted in their favor. That's right, the EULA. Somehow this document that protects Blizzard from being sued is treated as some form of civil rights for all end users that bleeds into the real world. I don't think so. In the EULA, the end user is never mentioned as a protected party (as Caelan pointed out). Legal mumbo jumbo is a very precise science and is always overly wordy, but extremely purposeful with its statements... yet strangely enough, the end user is not mentioned as a protected party.

If Blizzard wanted to, they could rewrite the EULA and include the end user under its protection (and have everybody click a button to sign it to keep playing), but they won't for very specific reasons... so to infer that players are protected is wishful thinking. The EULA is for Blizzard's best interests... end users are not protected for Blizzard's best interests.

At least insofar as I gathered during the interview, the lawsuit seems aimed primarily at injunctive relief, not damages. I don't think they're going to see big punitives or anything.

Echolocating:
Cheeze, Cheeze, Cheeze... what am I going to do with you? ;-)

Umm, read what I have to say more carefully, and don't assign me arguments I'm not making and positions I'm not taking! Seriously--a lot of what you said here is based on assumptions about me and what I'm saying that just aren't true.

Echolocating:
You've taken an extreme moral stance against IGE. That's fine, but why?

I don't know where I've taken an extreme moral stance. I don't recall using the words 'evil' or 'depraved' for IGE anywhere in this thread. I think I said basically 'they're like people who pumped out fake Beanie Babies' or something? I never said they were putting babies on spikes or anything--even Beanie Babies!

So, maybe the reason you don't know what to do with me is because I'm not living up to the behavior of the person you've imagined having this conversation with, who *has* taken an extreme moral stance against IGE. If you want to have this discussion, those people are out there, but, I'm not one of them. Sorry!

Echolocating:
You've never played MMOs before.

Well, one of the reasons I don't play MMOs is because of companies like IGE.

Echolocating:
You understand that Hernandez is simply a hardcore WoW addict with too much time on his hands, right?

No, I don't; where did you get that information?

Echolocating:
The law firm backing Hernandez isn't really in it to save the integrity of WoW, right?

Same question; also, I don't see the relevance. If it was the slimiest lawyer in history instead of someone like Thurgood Marshall suing to end 'separate but equal', would that mean I shouldn't root as hard for them to win?

Echolocating:
In fact, there's no morality to this issue at all.

Maybe not; however, there is still harm, and there are still legal rights. I think you've confused taking a strong position on one's right to play a game in peace according to one's own rules, with taking a moral stance that the activity that interferes with your game is as morally blameworthy as putting babies on spikes. I think there's room in the world for preventing behavior causing harm that falls somewhere short of putting babies on spikes.

Echolocating:
Hernandez thinks he can be a bigger top dog in WoW if IGE is out of the picture (and garner acclaim from his WoW peers as a savior) and the law firm wants to make a quick and hefty buck... all on the hope of a small technicality interpreted in their favor.

Maybe. Maybe not. Again: (1) what real proof do you have that Mr. Hernandez is as you describe him; (2) what argument do you have that, if you're right about Mr. Hernandez, that everyone benefited by this suit is just like him; (2) what proof do you have that that is what that law firm is like, and (4) even if they are, what difference does it make if, to make an analogy, the knight is evil but the quest is good?

Finally, to call the prohibition against buying gold in the context of a company who creates a secondary market for that gold when this is a game with not only combat, but crafting and gathering skills for the purpose of fair play where someone neither time nor money rich can enjoy the experience what you did, to call it "a small technicality interpreted in their favor" well...

...that tells me you're not really serious about discussing this. You just want to make your point, and will bend the facts to any degree necessary to do so. As you mistook me as a person taking an "extreme moral position" you might have figured I was the opposite and inverse to you and was interested in a fanboi-type exchange. I'm not.

Echolocating:
Somehow this document that protects Blizzard from being sued is treated as some form of civil rights

Wait, when did anyone call it a civil right? I've seen a lot of people call it a *legal* right based on the right to contract, but, like above: you're mischaracterizing the other side to make it easier to argue against them.

Echolocating:
In the EULA, the end user is never mentioned as a protected party (as Caelan pointed out).

Caelan...doesn't know what he's talking about, I'm afraid. He's kinda making it up as he goes along. I'm being nice to him, but, he's got it all fouled up.

Echolocating:
Legal mumbo jumbo is a very precise science

Actually, it isn't in some cases, especially like I keep repeating, in the case of a form contract between a company and an individual, unsophisticated person. Like I said to Caelan we have this stereotype of the law as this old-tymey thing. Those days are over, if they ever existed.

Echolocating:
If Blizzard wanted to, they could rewrite the EULA and include the end user under its protection (and have everybody click a button to sign it to keep playing), but they won't for very specific reasons

Again, like I said to Caelan, that's an antiquated view of a contract that probably was never completely accurate. The contract isn't the EULA--the EULA is *evidence* of a contract and its contents. What the actual 'contract' is or is not is something the courts will decide based on evidence like the EULA. And like I said to him, it takes two to make a contract, and you're relying too much on the argument 'Blizzard wrote the EULA' when actually, that's an argument *against* adopting Blizzard's intentions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_proferentem

Like I said to him, this is actually a very complex issue now that I think about it. How to interpret two contract with identical EULA/ToU'es, when one party not suing anybody presented them both with a form contract, the person suing is legit, and the person being sued never intended to live up to the terms of the contract in the first place.

Problem is, you are both simplifying the issues involved and mischaracterizing me in order to make your arguments seem more solid, when I am flesh and blood, and have never met anyone by the name of Dorothy, let alone one wearing ruby red slippers. :-D

If you truly want me to reply to any of your comments and questions, all I ask is that you refrain from chopping up my 3-paragraph post into 11 separate quotes of single and half-sentences. All context is lost in the matter. Looking back at my previous post I see 3 major points of debate: 1.) I think you believe that this lawsuit has some moral ground to stand on. I obviously don't. 2.) I believe the whole lawsuit hinges on if Hernandez is legally protected by Blizzard's EULA. Anything else is irrelevant to the case. 3.) I believe Blizzard doesn't want users to have the legal right to sue other players based on their EULA. I think Blizzard wants to govern their own game... and I think they should.

The problem with our discussion, Cheeze, is that you don't speak "friendly jerk". I'm fluent in many forms of dialect ranging from "confused, uncool older guy" to "stubborn asshole". ;-)

Echolocating:
If you truly want me to reply to any of your comments and questions

In light of the rest of this comment on top of the general trend of your replies, I don't think your next reply would be of any value to me or anyone else, so, no--I do not.

Actually, this is an even more complex issue, the more one thinks about it. The defendants in this case never entered into a contract with Blizzard directly, but through the direction of their employees who were certainly not representing themselves as being on the official business of IGE.

Funny thing is for all this talk of Mr. Hernandez suing another player, he's not. He's suing a company that only 'played' the game by means of their employees who actively disguised the fact that they were playing on behalf of IGE.

Seems even if the court ruled in this guy's favor, there *still* wouldn't be a precedent for suing other players; even other players only 'playing' under the direction of an outside employer, as it appears the suit is only directed at IGE, and not even at the "co-conspirator" gold farmers.

Joe:
And, since my editorial, "On Behalf of the Chair Kickers," has its comments getting piped into this discussion, here's an excerpt!

It's just not feasible to achieve hardcore gamers' goals in WoW without repetitive gaming, to the point that if you identify as a hardcore gamer, you're probably a farmer, too. I'm sure Molten Core is a great instance, but after the 30th run, that glazed expression you're wearing is very familiar to an RMT farmer's an hour before quitting time. And that, I think, is why the people who take their time to become part of a gaming community are so vocal about farming. They run into farmers more than casual players because they're trying to farm, too, only they call it "grinding," a simple change in nomenclature that's enough to create a gaming Red Scare.

Joe, I have to disagree with you about the way Blizzard handles instances.

1. Many instances, especially in Burning Crusade, now require keys or attunement quest chains before you can access them.
2. They instances are NOT created on the fly, nor are they created when you want them to. You give the impression that they poof out of thin air. As you know, and as many readers may know, the instances themselves are hosted on separate servers on the invididual Server clusters (just explaining to the less technically informed folks). Blizzard has now put a limit on how many times you may access an instance. That limit is now 5 times in 24 hour period just to keep the Farmboi Rogues from accessing places like Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) so they can pick pocket the sleeping orcs over and over and over.

As the US Government amends the Constitution to cover unforseen problems and circumstances, so Blizzard makes rule and gameplay changes. Nobody in their right mind could have predicted the popularity of this game. Nobody in their right mind could have predicted the outright greed and laziness of the human animal when it came to this game as well, from the point of the Farmbois and the Veruca Salts.

The Human Animal, by nature, exerts the least amount of effort to achieve it's desired end result (hence the invention of invention). This is evident by players kill stealing, cheating, and the subject in question: Gold Farming. If we had nothing but honest, law abiding human beings on this planet, rules would not be broken, and we wouldn't be having this discussion. But with the Human Animal being the greedy, lazy ape that it is... It's a matter of smacking the lazier, greedier ones and doing the same to the scum that caters to them and letting them know that this is not acceptable behavior within the TOS and EULA of World of Warcraft and society in general.

Cheeze, are you aware of the litigation against Linden Labs? The judge in that case recently dismissed a motion by Linden Labs that would have ended the suit; the judge ruled that certain clauses of Linden's EULA were not enforceable against the plaintiff because they were "unconscionable".

I think this speaks to your point that "the contract isn't the EULA". But it also suggests that courts may not necessarily view IGE as breaching the contract, either. The courts may find Hernandez has rights as a 3rd part beneficiary under the contract. The courts may also find that IGE hasn't violated a contract with Blizzard, even if it has violated the EULA.

This should be good.

Joe edit: Yeah, no.

Archon:
Cheeze, are you aware of the litigation against Linden Labs? The judge in that case recently dismissed a motion by Linden Labs that would have ended the suit; the judge ruled that certain clauses of Linden's EULA were not enforceable against the plaintiff because they were "unconscionable".

I wasn't until Joe linked to it in his editorial, no. But I think what's going on here and what went on in that case are really worlds apart. In the Second Life case, it was the court deciding a clause that gave the party that drafted the contract an absolute and arbitrary right to determine what a breach was and to breach in retaliation by taking away in-game assets was unconscionable.

That's very different from this case. In that case, striking down clauses in the SL EULA *allows* the courts to take a look and make their own decision about what is 'fair' here. In this case, striking down the WoW EULA will *prevent* the courts from taking a look at the case, you know?

My feeling is that this ruling isn't going to help IGE at all, and might even hurt them because this judge is saying 'yes, your dorky little game and your enjoyment of it because you're a big fat loser *is* worth the time of the Federal courts'. The court didn't state that the EULA is a piece of junk and it's going to ignore the EULA; it stated that "[i]n effect, the TOS provide Linden with a variety of one-sided remedies to resolve disputes, while forcing its customers to arbitrate any disputes with Linden" and decided "[t]his lack of mutuality supports a finding of substantive unconscionability." ( http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2007/05/unconscionable_.html )

I think that's the complete opposite of how Mr. Hernandez is trying to use the EULA. While in both cases it was a take-it-or-leave-it situation, here he's trying to enforce a clause that prohibits gold selling and buying for real money for the purpose of "fair" play. He's saying that by way of the EULA, IGE and he exchanged identical promises not to traffic in WoW gold using real money for purposes of "fair" play. To me, you don't get more "mutuality" than that!

So I'd say the SL decision not only doesn't hurt him, it may help him. The courts in the SL decision said 'we think you have a cause of action when you want the courts and not the company who wrote the EULA to determine whether a contract was breached, and that those contracts must have mutual obligations'. That's *exactly* what Mr. Hernandez is asking for, right?

Blizzard recently filed a lawsuit against a group called Peons4hire. With some of the commentary I've read on other sites, Blizzard is specifically not suing Peons4hire for farming gold for profit; rather their spamming practices. Perhaps I'm misinformed, but the idea that Blizzard isn't suing for the selling of virtual property (a clear breach of their EULA) raises a lot of questions. Anybody know more about Blizzard's lawsuit against Peons4hire and how it possibly relates to this one?

Blizzard is suing Peons4Hire, a Gold Farmer/Powerleveling site, because of their continual private message spamming of players in this game. Up until this last patch, they would literally bombard online users with private messages advertising their gold selling and power leveling. Peons4hire is one of the reasons why Blizzard has the new Spam reporting tools built into their interface. Now the only way someone on a trial account can contact someone with a regular account is through raid chat, party chat, guild chat, /s ("say" which only works within the immediate area of the character), or in General Chat for an area. Private messages from these trial accounts are only allowed if that trial account character is on your "Friends" list or in your guild.

The latest trick of desperation that they are trying to use, but folks are already wise to, is to invite you to a raid and when you join the raid, they spam you in raid chat. Just don't accept raid invites from gibberish names or folks you don't know or if you haven't requested to be invited to a raid.

The new Spam reporting works like this: Clicking on "Report Spam" not only blocks that character from contacting you again, it blocks all other characters associated with that account, and I have heard, all accounts associated with the credit card used to pay for that account, from contacting you for the remainder of your gaming session (until you log out). The permanent *pay* accounts that the farmers had/have access to are being weeded out and banned as they use them for private message spamming.

In a nutshell from a nutcase }8þ: This case is based on the complaints from WoW players that "Peons4hire" have harassed, via continual, repeated unwanted and unsolicited messaging, a large percentage of players in World of Warcraft, and that a large percentage of players have reported "Peons4hire" repeatedly. Said harassment is a violation of the terms spelled out in the EULA and TOS for WoW.

So what it boils down to is Blizzard/VU actually suing P4H to cease and desist their in-game activities of PM spamming and advertising, not anything concerning any virtual property.

Kind of funny that P4H is hosted by TSR Solutions, similar in name to the one the old "Dungeons and Dragons" folks" used to have before WotC bought them out.

I've been playing WoW since December of 2005 and I'm sorry but outside the spamming (which is a separate issue and much better after the last patch) I simply do not see how gold-farmers inhibit gameplay, fun or anything in this game. This case is a waste of valuable REAL LIFE resources.

From the complaint I quote "IGE gold farming activities not only substantially diminish the enjoyment and satisfaction consumers obtain by earning, through the expenditure of vast amounts of time and energy, virtual assets within World of Warcraft..." Are you kidding me? Some entity's actions made this GAME less FUN because it made it EASIER for someone to skip spending TONS OF REAL TIME to attain a VIRTUAL item/lvl/rep/etc. through the use of REAL LIFE money? That's ludicrous. In short, you're suing because someone cheated in a GAME and it made it less FUN for you. Do you have any clue the precedent that would set if you won (which you have no shot IMHO)? Ezines and just about any paid resource that offers cheat codes, walkthroughs or provides any advantage to their gamer-subscribers for any game you have to purchase could be sued. Unless the owners of the game actually state in their ToS that cheating is acceptable, of course.

Here's the deal and I'll carry on with his analogy. If your seat is getting kicked in the theatre talk to the person doing it. If they don't change then speak to the theatre. If that doesn't remedy the situation then GO TO ANOTHER THEATRE!

jhrisk:
I've been playing WoW since December of 2005 and I'm sorry but outside the spamming (which is a separate issue and much better after the last patch) I simply do not see how gold-farmers inhibit gameplay, fun or anything in this game. This case is a waste of valuable REAL LIFE resources.

From the complaint I quote "IGE gold farming activities not only substantially diminish the enjoyment and satisfaction consumers obtain by earning, through the expenditure of vast amounts of time and energy, virtual assets within World of Warcraft..." Are you kidding me? Some entity's actions made this GAME less FUN because it made it EASIER for someone to skip spending TONS OF REAL TIME to attain a VIRTUAL item/lvl/rep/etc. through the use of REAL LIFE money? That's ludicrous. In short, you're suing because someone cheated in a GAME and it made it less FUN for you. Do you have any clue the precedent that would set if you won (which you have no shot IMHO)? Ezines and just about any paid resource that offers cheat codes, walkthroughs or provides any advantage to their gamer-subscribers for any game you have to purchase could be sued. Unless the owners of the game actually state in their ToS that cheating is acceptable, of course.

Here's the deal and I'll carry on with his analogy. If your seat is getting kicked in the theatre talk to the person doing it. If they don't change then speak to the theatre. If that doesn't remedy the situation then GO TO ANOTHER THEATRE!

It's the PROCESS of the Gold Farmers GETTING the gold (and items) that they sell that's causing the problems, not the actual end result of some kiddie stripping Mommy's credit card to buy his uber tinkertoy of doomage. As I described earlier in the thread, there are/were certain areas in WoW where you dreaded going because the Farmers literally owned the areas (Azshara and Felwood to name two). Pre-Burning Crusade, every server (six, so far!) that I played on, when you hit your mid 40 and 50 levels, you more or less had to quest through those areas and you would be harassed by the farmbois in those areas until you left (which inhibits your gaming experience and fun!). Harassing is against the TOS and EULA.

Granted, everyone in the game will grind for money in WoW at one time or another (unless Mommy has a high credit limit), especially for epic mounts. If the farmers wouldn't have called attention to themselves with their methods, quite possibly we wouldn't be having this thread. They made a nuisance out of themselves and got greedy and behaved like thugs, thieves, and hooligans. So now they are in court.

It's not just the fact that they are kicking your chair, it's also how hard and often that they kick it and that they followed you to the next theater.

Kesash:
Harassing is against the TOS and EULA.

Granted, everyone in the game will grind for money in WoW at one time or another (unless Mommy has a high credit limit), especially for epic mounts. If the farmers wouldn't have called attention to themselves with their methods, quite possibly we wouldn't be having this thread. They made a nuisance out of themselves and got greedy and behaved like thugs, thieves, and hooligans. So now they are in court.

It's not just the fact that they are kicking your chair, it's also how hard and often that they kick it and that they followed you to the next theater.

This does sound a lot like my real-life friends when they played EQ. They'd run into a zone and clear it out using ultra-efficient methods, steal people's spawns, berate others until they left, and tried to kill them. Despite multiple warnings, they never stopped. Can I sue them, too? Or is it only people who provide a service to others?

Joe:
Despite multiple warnings, they never stopped. Can I sue them, too? Or is it only people who provide a service to others?

If you did sue them, I don't see why your friends would care about having a court issue an injunction against them preventing them from taking that gold they grind for and selling it in real life for real money.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
If you did sue them, I don't see why your friends would care about having a court issue an injunction against them preventing them from taking that gold they grind for and selling it in real life for real money.

If anything, that accentuates the disconnect here. You're jerks who get in people's way, so you can't do what you want with the stuff you have on your character.

Joe:

Cheeze_Pavilion:
If you did sue them, I don't see why your friends would care about having a court issue an injunction against them preventing them from taking that gold they grind for and selling it in real life for real money.

If anything, that accentuates the disconnect here. You're jerks who get in people's way, so you can't do what you want with the stuff you have on your character.

I don't get exactly what you mean by 'accentuates the disconnect here'.

The mental disconnect between suing people for being jerks and shutting off their ability to exchange goods and services on the internet.

Joe:

Kesash:
Harassing is against the TOS and EULA.

Granted, everyone in the game will grind for money in WoW at one time or another (unless Mommy has a high credit limit), especially for epic mounts. If the farmers wouldn't have called attention to themselves with their methods, quite possibly we wouldn't be having this thread. They made a nuisance out of themselves and got greedy and behaved like thugs, thieves, and hooligans. So now they are in court.

It's not just the fact that they are kicking your chair, it's also how hard and often that they kick it and that they followed you to the next theater.

This does sound a lot like my real-life friends when they played EQ. They'd run into a zone and clear it out using ultra-efficient methods, steal people's spawns, berate others until they left, and tried to kill them. Despite multiple warnings, they never stopped. Can I sue them, too? Or is it only people who provide a service to others?

Oh you could... But I think it would be *MUCH* more fun to educate them to the error of their ways with a loaded foam clue bat... Hickory works too. But with friends like those, who needs enemys? But then, 2 wrongs don't make a right.

Joe:
The mental disconnect between suing people for being jerks and shutting off their ability to exchange goods and services on the internet.

It's more of a "organized jerking for profit" thing when it comes to IGE... }8þ I'm surprised they didn't try virtual prostitution for money... I wouldn't put it past that bunch.

Joe:
The mental disconnect between suing people for being jerks and shutting off their ability to exchange goods and services on the internet.

Hernandez isn't suing them for being jerks; I may have missed something in the complaint, but check section #27: the people actually playing the game and being jerks are not a part of this suit.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Joe:
The mental disconnect between suing people for being jerks and shutting off their ability to exchange goods and services on the internet.

Hernandez isn't suing them for being jerks; I may have missed something in the complaint, but check section #27: the people actually playing the game and being jerks are not a part of this suit.

It still doesn't change the fact the whole basis of the lawsuit is about people being jerks and getting in the way of other people's enjoyment. Pointing out a specific portion of jerks, if anything, makes the suit even sillier to me.

Joe:

It still doesn't change the fact the whole basis of the lawsuit is about people being jerks and getting in the way of other people's enjoyment. Pointing out a specific portion of jerks, if anything, makes the suit even sillier to me.

That's not correct: the basis of the lawsuit is that a specific provision of the ToU/Florida state law was violated.

Now, the *motivation* for Hernandez suing may be that these people are being jerks to him; however, a person's motivation for suing someone is a very different thing than the basis on which the suit is brought.

I don't see what's silly about "[p]ointing out a specific portion of jerks" to sue when that portion of jerks is the only portion that can not only be sued, but sued effectively.

Correction... 2004 since I started when it first came out... my God has it been that long :(

Kesash:

It's the PROCESS of the Gold Farmers GETTING the gold (and items) that they sell that's causing the problems, not the actual end result of some kiddie stripping Mommy's credit card to buy his uber tinkertoy of doomage. As I described earlier in the thread, there are/were certain areas in WoW where you dreaded going because the Farmers literally owned the areas (Azshara and Felwood to name two). Pre-Burning Crusade, every server (six, so far!) that I played on, when you hit your mid 40 and 50 levels, you more or less had to quest through those areas and you would be harassed by the farmbois in those areas until you left (which inhibits your gaming experience and fun!). Harassing is against the TOS and EULA.

I'm sorry to hear you've experienced this and indeed I have as well... on a daily basis in fact. Two accounts filled with toons, multiple 70s and several servers of personal experience confirms this. However, there are three important points I'd like to make:

1. To echo my original post and Cheeze_Pavilion, the complaint focuses on fair trade and specifically states that "IGE gold farming activities not only substantially diminish the enjoyment and satisfaction consumers obtain by earning, through the expenditure of vast amounts of time and energy, virtual assets within World of Warcraft, they also violate terms of agreements Subscribers enter into to participate in World of Warcraft." Their methods, as despicable as they may be, are not relevant to this case as it's "from a consumer protection standpoint." They're complaining gold farmers take away from the arbitray level of fun/reward/fulfillment/whatever you're supposed to get from your $15/month through their breach of the ToS in selling virtual items for real money. Just re-typing that makes me ill as it's absolutely silly. This isn't a right/wrong matter IMHO since sure it's wrong. This is a merit and damages issue and IMHO does not deserve our court's time. Besides, it's like me suing counterfeit D&G manufacturers because it diminshes the value of my real D&G shades.... WTF? LOL

2. How do you distinguish between the greedy jerks that tag your mob, steal your herb/vein, etc. for their OWN greed versus those that do it to resell for real money? Given that this behavior is rampant, exhibited by the vast majority of people I run into and gold farmers do not have unique identifiers unless some jerk does this to you, you buy gold and then he's the one that mails/trades it to you one cannot know for sure. I'm fairly certain that's why they didn't take that route with respect to which ToS was broken to cause damages to the plaintiff. Besides it being difficult to identify defendants, stealing someone's kills, herb or anything even if done repeatedly does not warrant major disciplinary action from Blizzard. In case you've never been in that process from either end (complaining or defending) it takes a lot to get them to do anything beyond a verbal warning and in bad cases perhaps a 24 hour suspension. Being greedy, not playing nice with others, taking their kills and other distasteful behavior alone is not harrasment as per GMs. I'm not even aware of there being a precedent for virtual behavior being grounds for real life damages. I mean, couldn't one then sue for libel, slander, sexual harrasment and a number of other virtual actions? He sexually harrased me preventing me from leveling at my normal rate and thus "diminishing my fun" through his "breach of ToS" Given my hourly real life rate and computing the lost leveling hours I'm seeking $200,000 LMAO! Let's not go there since I don't think anyone has... yet.

3. The 40 to 50 grind is arguably the hardest. It's the last 10 levels most tend to grind in the general populous since normally at 50 you start hitting instances hard. It's much better now but there's always been quest (or lacktherof) issues including the distances between viable 40-50 areas. Since 40 to 50 takes longer than any other set of 10 levels it would seem reasonable to assume there are more 40-50s out in the general populous at any time than any other grouping of 10 levels below this mark.

In short, people shouldn't patronize/participate things they don't like. In the case of a game it's a no-brainer as there's not possible way you NEED to play that particular game. No one's forcing him to play WoW and get "screwed" just as much as no one's forcing those poor folks at Eve Online to stay in a virtual world filled with corruption. Which reminds me, isn't it funny how even after all the cheating, lieing and covering up that developer did to absolutely ruin the game for almost everyone involved not one lawsuit came out of it? Hmmm... or did one and I never saw it?

jhrisk:
This isn't a right/wrong matter IMHO since sure it's wrong. This is a merit and damages issue and IMHO does not deserve our court's time. Besides, it's like me suing counterfeit D&G manufacturers because it diminshes the value of my real D&G shades.... WTF? LOL

That analogy doesn't fit. In order to make that analogy fit, you'd have to compare it to suing counterfeit D&G manufacturers who are selling to people who signed a contract with you not to buy counterfeit D&G goods, or suing counterfeit D&G manufacturers because your state specifically passed a law giving you the right to sue people who traffic in counterfeit goods.

I don't see how looking to enforce a contract between people not to buy counterfeit goods, or taking advantage of a statute designed to protect one from counterfeit goods is a waste of a court's time. Contracts give merit to claims that would otherwise be without merit--that's why we have a Constitutional right to enter into and be bound by them. If you think that class action lawsuits based on state law claims are a waste of the court's time, then your beef is with the Congress that passed the law under which this guy is accessing the Federal courts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_Action_Fairness_Act_of_2005

jhrisk:
2. How do you distinguish between the greedy jerks that tag your mob, steal your herb/vein, etc. for their OWN greed versus those that do it to resell for real money?

Simple--seek an injunction against this behavior that you can then use to prevent places like PayPal from processing these transactions. No need to get the GMs, Blizzard, or anyone else directly tied to the game involved. In no way will this affect "the greedy jerks that tag your mob, steal your herb/vein, etc. for their OWN greed versus those that do it to resell for real money."

Which is exactly what this plaintiff is doing. Not trying to be snarky here or anything, but, it's just weird to me that so much of what people who don't think this guy has a case/shouldn't have a case even if he has one legally are saying or asking questions about are things that that can be quickly answered by reading the article and what the other people have been saying and linking to.

jhrisk:
In short, people shouldn't patronize/participate things they don't like. In the case of a game it's a no-brainer as there's not possible way you NEED to play that particular game. No one's forcing him to play WoW and get "screwed" just as much as no one's forcing those poor folks at Eve Online to stay in a virtual world filled with corruption.

That's like saying no one is forcing me to swim in a pool that I paid to get into in part because they have a rule that says "No Peeing!" when I want to stop people from coming to the pool just to pee in it.

You and I may not have nearly as much sympathy for this guy as we would for the guy who wants to swim in a pee-free pool. However, is that the only standard we should use for deciding what's a waste of the court's time? How similar our tastes and interests and hobbies are to someone else? That seems to be what you're saying here.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 64545)