Judge Rules Lineage Lawsuit May Proceed

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Judge Rules Lineage Lawsuit May Proceed

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The man who sued NCsoft for his addiction to Lineage II has scored a victory of sorts after a judge ruled that the game's End User License Agreement doesn't preclude him from launching a lawsuit and seeking damages.

What do you do after you've sunk 20,000 hours of your life into an MMO and rendered yourself a useless, non-functioning piece of garbage who can't be bothered to bathe, get dressed or even communicate with your fellow human beings? If you're Craig Smallwood of Hawaii, you sue the company that made the game for failing to warn people that playing an MMO can be dangerous. It sounds ridiculous, but Smallwood's action has cleared its first legal hurdle: Despite NCsoft's assertion that the EULA forbids such lawsuits, the judge in the case has decided to let it go ahead.

The Lineage II user license states that "in no event shall NC Interactive ... be liable to you or to any third party for any special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages ... regardless of the theory of liability" arising from the use of its service. But rather than dismiss the suit, Judge Alan C. Kay "noted that both Texas and Hawaii law bar contract provisions that waive in advance the ability to make gross-negligence claims." As a result, he ruled that Smallwood's case may proceed.

The judge also allowed Smallwood's claims for negligence, defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress to stand, although as lawyer Steve Roosa noted on the Freedom to Tinker blog, "The fact that the gross negligence claims survived is significant in and of itself, but in reality having the right to sue for 'gross negligence' is the functional equivalent of having the right to sue for straight-up negligence as well - thus radically broadening the scope of claims that (according to the court) cannot be waived in a User Agreement."

The ruling has no bearing on the merits of the lawsuit itself but Roosa noted that it could have an impact on future cases, writing, "The Smallwood decision, if it stands, may achieve some lasting significance in the software license wars." A full copy of the ruling is available from us.archive.org. (PDF format)

Source: The Register

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...I still hope this gets thrown out - Its rediculous!

It's been known since the 90's that most MMO EULA's were not universally enforcable and some are not enforceable at all.

Self control is a wonderful thing and I'm glad I was blessed with such a basic function in my brain.

Same can't be said for this guy.

This get's through?

What has seriously happened here?

It's not the devs fault this man didn't get outside, they shouldn't be taking the wrap..

Can I just say this idiot in no way represents the gamer community.

I understand people have addictive personalities and get addicted to various things, but if you can't stand up and get dressed on your own, thats not a problem with a game, its a problem with you.

Can alcholics sue the companies that make their alchohol of choice?

This type of people is why gamers still aren't mainstream. More importantly though; why the fuck was this ever considered?

It's gonna be hilarious when games read: "Available in the US except for Hawaii, and Texas." And the millions of pissed off people will have this guy to blame.

EDIT:

FF14 is incorporating a mechanic that will somewhat keep you from playing after a bit of time, and people are flipping out, and it could cost them sales. But if they remove that feature, something like this could happen, and they could get sued. It begs the question of why games should bother being made at all. Not that I want them to stop making games, but people (and judges who let shit like this slide) need to show some restraint. If you don't show up to work, and get fired, because you were playing WoW, you don't get to sue WoW for making their game addictive.

JaymesFogarty:
More importantly though; why the fuck was this ever considered?

Because lawyers exist.

Wow! I never thought this case would proceed. I guess the means I can sue the manufacturer of this stereo next to me when I helplessly bash my skull against it in frustration that these laws are applicable in any context no matter for FUCKING stupid. After all I was not warned beforehand that if I relentlessly slam my head against their sterio then it could inflict serious harm, which is gross negligence.

Haha!

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Can alcholics sue the companies that make their alchohol of choice?

Or could a chain smoker sue the tobacco company for having lung cancer from cigarettes created by them? :P

imnotparanoid:
Can I just say this idiot in no way represents the gamer community.

You feel you need to say this, on the escapist?

Mr Companion:

imnotparanoid:
Can I just say this idiot in no way represents the gamer community.

You feel you need to say this, on the escapist?

yes yes I do.
HAPPY NOW!

z3rostr1fe:
Haha!

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Can alcholics sue the companies that make their alchohol of choice?

Or could chain smokers sue the tobacco company for having lung cancer from cigarettes created by them? :P

Don't they already do that? Or at least did?

imnotparanoid:

Mr Companion:

imnotparanoid:
Can I just say this idiot in no way represents the gamer community.

You feel you need to say this, on the escapist?

yes yes I do.
HAPPY NOW!

I.... Guess so? :D

z3rostr1fe:
Haha!

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Can alcholics sue the companies that make their alchohol of choice?

Or could a chain smoker sue the tobacco company for having lung cancer from cigarettes created by them? :P

To be fair, cigarettes tell you that they kill, but yeah same sort of thing.

Jiraiya72:
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

You're avatar works for what I'm thinking at the moment. Oh, and I would edit your post with more content I got probation for something similar.
OT: Great, more stereotypes for the cynics. Thanks.

I hope the guy who pressed the charges gets hit by a bus

It's almost impossible for a case to lose Summary Judgement because all the guy has to show is that their MIGHT be a case, the defense has to prove there is absolutely no case for them to proceed on which is extremely difficult. I'm sure it won't win its case n court.

God damned ninja.
While I hope this guy loses his case miserably, I do agree with the judge's ruling. That should not have been the reason for this case to get thrown out, especially since it would be worse for precedent. When the courts do throw this case out or rules in favor against him it will be saying that game companies are not liable for people not being able to exert self-control, not because of EULAs.

Pants-on-head retarded.

Well he's definatly following the formula alot of people follow nowdays:
Do something idiotic and totaly your fault

Blame others for it

Sue

????

Profit

To be honest I'm more impressed with the amount of time he's spent on the game than that this actually went ahead. I mean, cases like this crop up all the time, but... 20,000 hours? Twenty THOUSAND!? Assuming that's actual logged game time, that's... *consults Windows calculator* that's over TWO YEARS! How is this POSSIBLE!?!?!?

Yeah, if I played something that long I doubt I'd have much basic motor function left either. Still, I'd know it was my own stupid fault.

Is this guy going to be "in the courtroom" via webcam? If not, doesn't that kinda contradict his argument?

W00t! Gum companies, here I come with my lawsuits about my lack of self control!

In all seriousness, I'm hoping the judge was just planning on making the man waste his all money away in this lawsuit so that he'll not bother society again.

I'm going to sue God for designing me so that I have to masturbate at least weekly. I never signed on for that!

Jaredin:
...I still hope this gets thrown out - Its rediculous!

I hope that he doesn't get a dime, but I'm glad his case proceeded, because it demonstrates that there are no exceptions to the law (the one saying you can't sacrifice right to sue in a EULA), and shows that EULA's are not infallible, which I think is a good thing, since I think EULA's in general are bullshit.

I have my doubts this guy will win, and when the case is resolved against him, that will stop this nonsense entirely.
This could very well be big with software companies trying to make their EULA's legal documents.
I call this a positive thing.

This is fucking stupid. I hope when this actually gets to court this idiot gets laughed out of the court room.

Wow... Just wow. People like him are the ones that ruin something good for everyone. Censorship and more unrealistic gameplay sure to come because idiots like him don't know how to turn off the game.

And I though sueing Fast Food Stores was the most rediculous court case ever.

I would love to see cases like this handeled by Judge Judy.

Then turn it into a driking game.

Right now I'm thinging, drink every time Judge Judy says "Balony"...... that might actually survice...

image

..Yeeep.

That's all part of the game!

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