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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » What exact legal reasons are there for not discussing a ban in public?

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43 posts found
  User Deleted
1/01/12 8:43:03 AM#21
Originally posted by Malaksbane

Not to mention that I've yet to see a legal TOS on any game.

  Then you need to look harder.  Courts HAVE accepted TOS/EULAs

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

1/01/12 8:44:05 AM#22
But they don't have to actually refer to any specific ban to just clarify their policy and quash these rumors. All they would have to say is something like:

We realize that there has been some controversy about our ban policy as discussed in the ToS. We wanted to make it clear that it is not against the ToS to go to higher level worlds and loot containers. But it is against the ToS to exploit any bugs that cause these containers to respawn very quickly.

How could you ever get sued for that? And really, that is why I think these ban allegations may be true. Until BW says something on the matter, their silence will almost be viewed as a tacit omission to the veracity of the ban claims.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Renoaku

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/07
Posts: 973

1/01/12 8:47:19 AM#23

LOL now that is just funny... I am not a lawyer, so I would say to ask one, but from my own knowledge you really cant get sued because you told everyone why you got banned from a game or service, and provide evidence of their wrong doing and negligence.

For example, In a game called Second Life, I was harassed by a group of people called Norians, they pay $3600 USD a month if their server costs are $300 USD each month, I got defamed by their GM's I exposed their GM's of corruption, talking behind my back, they threatend me with legal issues, but really I don't care because I have more on them than they got on me, and mine is a lot worse with the evidence I have on my pc of harassment, their threats, and allowing access to under aged minors on their region when it is 18+ they do not require ID for adult content.

But it has been over 3 months since their threats, and nothing has came of it.

Now as far as an actual MMORPG like SWTOR, WOW, the game companies can attempt to sue you if you to defamination to them, however most companies will not go that far, and even if they did by any chance you have the right for free speech as an American Citizen, not sure about outside U.S and laws etc, but if the servers are located in the U.S and the business then it is bound to U.S laws, and unlikely anything would happen if outside the U.S. For example if you posted a YouTube video they could request a take down of such videos possibly and it is up to the company if they want to remove unless it violates copyright, or they have a court order or disclosure of information court order.

In that case you can always sue them back for.

1. Your Mental Health was impacted by the game and they banned an account which made you cry for days and effected your mental life, they gave you no warning about such, and just because a software game has a big long agreement with any game doesnt mean a person sees it, or doesnt even say who clicks the I accept button, or doesnt mean you saw changes to their agreement they have made, so really you could always go for something like this you saw the game in a store, bought it you were not required to accept any agreement on purchase, and because your ban it effected your mental health.

But Most Likely...

Nothing will become of it just another person on the internet complaining, those that believe your experience will, those that don't wont. As far as the game company goes I really think SWTOR is a big failure they could have done a lot better, and they are the ones at fault for the recent so called exploit their developers did not restrict access to that one planet and just banned random people. My personal advice is that everyone should quit paying for the game for 1 month, and demand they do what is right, hey if they loose a lot of money over a protest chances are they will listen.

The Customer is Always right, Technically not true, but its better for business, and Unless it is a serious issue I dont understand why the ban.

Even if they did manage to bring a legal claim against you, you could always send the documents to a friend over skype from an IPad, or something or use a VPN, or proxy service to hide your tracks, or Free WI-FI, and then have them post it all over every internet blog, forum, random post saying that they ban customers without a reason and leaking everything constantly, even if they could come down on you and make you remove all your psots, if you post from a different IP address some services do not allow you to remove, or edit your posts, and on top of that your friends can keep posting and leaking it around to the point where it becomes an internet protest like Occupy Wallstreet, and what are they going to do then.

But as I said really no legal issues comes  as long as you tell the truth and have logs, emails or docuemnts to back it up, and honestly I think Bioware/EA or whoever is in charge of SWTOR should unban everyone who was banned for a stupid reason, make a public apology and be done with it mistakes happen but this could cost them.

Ever watched the movie called Rampage?

Well that is me on the internet when someone seriously makes me rage on the internet, where it be a simulator such as the Sims, or Second Life, you attack me, I know how to attack back, I know how to defend, and I know how to seriously play with companies that want to play around even other users on the internet. Generally I believe the internet is for fun, gaming and peace, Protesting, Free Speach, and a Library for people to learn, share ideas, But some people do wrong things to others and Troll/Grief, and make people so angry to the point where they just need to leave. As the rules of the internet say. 1. Enjoy Your Ban, ( Why) Because you really cant be banned, change your IP, login from any public location, or VPN, change your hard disk serial or run a custom client and bam your back in any forum or game. 2. Its also the internet because anything can happen, people will personally attack you, the internet is also filled with things like idiots,Trolls,Harassment, even used for stalking people all over the internet, but the moment it gets taken to real life thats when the police get involved.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 7498

1/01/12 8:51:40 AM#24


Originally posted by TheNitewolf

While that might be the case in NA and other parts of the world, in the EU they in fact can not simply terminate the contract for no reason. If you (for example) have three months left on your sub and they would ban you and thereby terminate the contract without a good reason you can sue them for contract violation. Just because something is written in the TOS doesn't mean it'll stick in court.
If they go out of business or you act like an ass they of course do have a valid cause for an early contract termination.



IceWhite said "any reason", not "no reason". Which is the point, if the contract is terminated, you can bring it to court as the reason will become a subject of legal case.

If you agree that one side of the contract can terminate the contract any time for no reason, there is no legal case as you both agreed on that.


ie. you can quit your job without stating a reason.

EU likes to run peoples lives but it is not that bad yet...

  dronfwar

Novice Member

Joined: 10/14/11
Posts: 323

1+1=1
(IMO)

1/01/12 9:14:48 AM#25

If someone is exploiting, then put him in an ingame jail.

If someone steals 50k make the bill 100k.

All this ban politics and hobby lawyer bull is just ridiculous.

 

It's still a ************ game and I don't want to care about law problems and TOS/EULAs.

EA already went on my nuts with that Origin TOS and now this.

You got problems, I can tell you.

  User Deleted
1/01/12 9:19:05 AM#26
Originally posted by Eliandal
Originally posted by Malaksbane

Not to mention that I've yet to see a legal TOS on any game.

  Then you need to look harder.  Courts HAVE accepted TOS/EULAs

Why, I only have to look at Eula's of games I am interested in, they're annoying enough to read, let alone that I am going to read them for stuff I am not interested in.

You know, it starts with when it is presented, any eula that is presented after the sale (the moment when we enter the contract) is basically redundant and usually invalid.

  Vrika

Elite Member

Joined: 10/03/05
Posts: 2184

1/01/12 9:34:28 AM#27

If a ban were unjustified, and the company employees would release information about it publicly. They/the company could be sued for insulting the banned person's honor, and the banned person could win.

Even if it's unlikely, big companies generally want to avoid such risks.

Also, companies have privacy policy about what data they are allowed to reveal and to whom. If the privacy policy reads several ways they can reveal your data, but does not say anything about revealing those who were banned and the reasons for their bans publicly. They could be sued for breaching the agreement about using your information they made themselves.

But I think it's not really a legal matter. It's more that companies want to keep all such things between them and the individual. When 10 000 botters have been banned it's good PR for the company, but when 1 person claims he's been unjustly banned it's bad PR no matter how ridiculous the claim. In internet someone will allways believe any claim you make.

  Lidane

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 2315

1/01/12 1:03:16 PM#28

I have a lot of colleagues in the game industry and I've also had an internship at a gaming studio. I can tell you, they're not about to discuss any sort of CSR decisions, including bans, in public. It's just not worth the headache, because it turns into a he said/she said situation so quickly. 

It's not a matter of getting sued as much as it is not wanting to escalate a situation to that level. If someone is violating the TOS or is exploiting or hacking or whatever, best to just ban them and move on. You don't sit around and parse the details. It's just very cut and dried -- that person did something bad enough to break the rules, so they're gone. Case closed. You just move on and worry about the players you've got left.

 

  obii

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/04
Posts: 781

1/01/12 1:12:56 PM#29
Originally posted by Eliandal
Originally posted by Malaksbane

Not to mention that I've yet to see a legal TOS on any game.

  Then you need to look harder.  Courts HAVE accepted TOS/EULAs

*coughs* Depends ...

German courts rules that the 'origin' contract was in violation of german law and sort of asked EA to change it :P

Not sure how they settled as EA has no company seat in german to sue it seems

  fnorgby

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 158

1/01/12 7:54:33 PM#30
Originally posted by zymurgeist

 Oh it's possible for a customer to win if a representative of a company says something really really stupid. People have sued for defamation in small claims courts where there's a lower standard of proof and less cost involved. You don't even need a lawyer. It's an unlikely event but the best way to avoid it is still to not talk about bans.

 

Hmmmm...  The standard of proof in court is always the same -- you have to show that your side is more likely to be the truth than the other side.  Small claims is less formal and cheaper since neither side can bring a lawyer.

I'm suspicious of your claim that libel actions can successfully be brought in small claims.  The reason is that to win a libel suit (this is in the US, btw), you have to prove certain things that are not easy to prove.

FIrst, if you can prove that the people who made the statement knew it was false AND that they said it intending to hurt you, then you don't need to prove you suffered monetary harm.  However, proving what someone else knew or intended is very difficult.  You'd need something like a copy of an internal memo showing malicious intent.

If you can't prove that they knew it was false and acted maliciously, then you have to prove actual harm.  "They hurt my feelings" won't do.  You have to show that your reputation in the community was damaged, and that this damage resulted in some loss of status or loss of business.

Invective -- meaning things that are said to be mean, without regard for the truth -- don't satisfy either standard.  "Don't listen to him, he's just a lowlife loser who likes to eat bugs!" would not count, because people hearing it would know it's not true.  It doesn't matter how malicious the intent is. 

I'm not a lawyer, but US libel/defamation law isn't simple or straightforward.  Just because someone lied about you and was mean about it doesn't automatically get you a big payday.

I can also roleplay the tower in a chess game and shout "is that a peasant at the horizon I see? I will smash it I will! Oh damn I broke one of my merlons!". -- maji

  zymurgeist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5212

1/01/12 8:00:14 PM#31
Originally posted by fnorgby
Originally posted by zymurgeist

 Oh it's possible for a customer to win if a representative of a company says something really really stupid. People have sued for defamation in small claims courts where there's a lower standard of proof and less cost involved. You don't even need a lawyer. It's an unlikely event but the best way to avoid it is still to not talk about bans.

 

Hmmmm...  The standard of proof in court is always the same -- you have to show that your side is more likely to be the truth than the other side.  Small claims is less formal and cheaper since neither side can bring a lawyer.

I'm suspicious of your claim that libel actions can successfully be brought in small claims.  The reason is that to win a libel suit (this is in the US, btw), you have to prove certain things that are not easy to prove.

FIrst, if you can prove that the people who made the statement knew it was false AND that they said it intending to hurt you, then you don't need to prove you suffered monetary harm.  However, proving what someone else knew or intended is very difficult.  You'd need something like a copy of an internal memo showing malicious intent.

If you can't prove that they knew it was false and acted maliciously, then you have to prove actual harm.  "They hurt my feelings" won't do.  You have to show that your reputation in the community was damaged, and that this damage resulted in some loss of status or loss of business.

Invective -- meaning things that are said to be mean, without regard for the truth -- don't satisfy either standard.  "Don't listen to him, he's just a lowlife loser who likes to eat bugs!" would not count, because people hearing it would know it's not true.  It doesn't matter how malicious the intent is. 

I'm not a lawyer, but US libel/defamation law isn't simple or straightforward.  Just because someone lied about you and was mean about it doesn't automatically get you a big payday.

 The standard of proof in every country, in every court,  in every jurisdiction is the same? Don't think so.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  fnorgby

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 158

1/01/12 8:06:00 PM#32

Also, you have about as much chance of winning a countersuit for "mental health" as you do of skiing to the moon.  This is another misconception about US tort law.

Many states in the US simply don't allow lawsuits for emotional distress, without some physical harm involved.  I slammed into your car, causing injuries AND you can't sleep any more -- that's fine.  *IF* you can get a doctor to testify in court (at $400 per hour for examination, report writing and testimony -- expect to pay $5000 or so per doctor) that the insomnia is directly related to the injury.

But what you're talking about is called Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.  In the states that allow this cause of action to stand on its own, it is extremely difficult to win.  Judges, and particularly appellate judges, **hate** IIED cases.  They scrutinize everything beforehand to make sure the jury only hears evidence that has some factual support.  If you present your case to the jury, you'll have to prove that your quality of life has been *noticeably* or demonstrably damaged.  I don't expect that "I'm so upset that now I can't play any video games so my quality of life is very bad" will convince a jury.

You usually need some physical manifestation of anxiety or distress -- insomnia, hives, hysteria, change in personality.  Despite what you see on TV or may have heard, these conditions are very difficult to fake.  The case will take two years, during which you'll be spied on by private investigators and evaluated by the other side's medical experts.  If YOUR ATTORNEY believes you're lying, your attorney can face disciplinary charges for going forward with the case.  If you get caught lying, you can do prison time.

I can also roleplay the tower in a chess game and shout "is that a peasant at the horizon I see? I will smash it I will! Oh damn I broke one of my merlons!". -- maji

  fnorgby

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/05
Posts: 158

1/01/12 8:15:28 PM#33
Originally posted by zymurgeist
 

 The standard of proof in every country, in every court,  in every jurisdiction is the same? Don't think so.

Small claims is peculiar to the US, so I assumed we were talking about the US.  My apologies for not being clear on this.

And if we are talking about the US, then yes.  Absolutely.  The standard of proof in civil courts, regardless of jurisdiction, regardless of the level or degre of formality is always the same:

"Preponderance of the evidence".   That is, if the jury believes that it's 50.001% likely that you're telling the truth, you should win.  If it's 49.999%, you should lose.

Technically, I believe it's possible for a state to establish a higher standard of proof for civil cases without violating due process.  However, I'm pretty sure that all 50 US states and the federal system use preponderance of the evidence as the standard in civil cases.

There are exceptions, but only with regard to specific portions of the case.  So, while a libel case always uses preponderance as the standard, if you're trying to prove libel per se (that's the one I referenced earlier where you can prove they knew it was false and did it intentionally to harm you), then as to the knowledge and malice portions of the case there is a higher standard of proof required.  It's called "actual malice", and it's definition is too technical to get into here -- suffice to say it's higher than "preponderance" but slightly lower than "beyond reasonable doubt".  However, the US Supreme Court has mandated that states may not use a standard lower than actual malice for libel per se cases.  So yeah.  I don't even think a small claims court is equipped to deal with libel per se, but if they were it would unconstitutional for that court to have a lower standard.

SO, yeah.  The upshot of all this is that bacon is delicious.

I can also roleplay the tower in a chess game and shout "is that a peasant at the horizon I see? I will smash it I will! Oh damn I broke one of my merlons!". -- maji

  Chivalry1978

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 193

Life is a game, just without a reset button

1/01/12 8:17:59 PM#34

there is no legal or civil action one can take against a mmo company for being banned...And here is why....When you instal the game there is this thing called and end user legal aggrement...I will simplify this. Its a like a pre-nup that says the following. This is our game not yours, We make the rules as we see fit, You use this software and service at our discretion not yours. If you violate our terms of service we can take what ever action we see fit. Terms of service subject to chage as we see fit and we are not required to notify you of any changes...

Now since this is built into the games installer as well as every time there is a patch you are forced to read this, if any actually do you can not claim you had no idea and any attorney you take a claim to will look at you and say did you see a eula when you installed the game.....The fact you didnt read it does not pardon you from the effects of it.

 

Interesting side not to this...When diablo 3 and the cash shop auction house comes out there will be some interesting aspects to your standard eula as well as tos that may actually give some base protections to the player base as money transactions and handling are a rather regulated thing and would be subject to civil and criminal charges.

  User Deleted
1/02/12 2:18:26 AM#35
Originally posted by kishe

Its not illegal as per law, its just counterproductive and overexhaustive to point that only one mmo has ever disclosed bans (they crucified banned people on crosses and put them around game world)

 

fact is: 99% of people who get banned in a MMO are idiots, its never a good idea to argue with an idiot.

 

 

 

If I remember right, Anarchy Online used to do public executions or something.

  ForumTroll

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/20/11
Posts: 143

Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.

1/02/12 2:32:06 AM#36
Originally posted by Razeron

If I remember right, Anarchy Online used to do public executions or something.

That would be an awesome in game event. Stone the exploiters and receive unique prizes. Everyone gets to pick up their rocks after the event with the blood of the hacker still on it. The description could read "Stone of blah blah blah, Thank you for helping us uphold the integrity of our game!"

A little off track of thread but still pretty funny!

"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."

  User Deleted
1/02/12 11:26:12 AM#37
Originally posted by Chivalry1978

there is no legal or civil action one can take against a mmo company for being banned...And here is why....When you instal the game there is this thing called and end user legal aggrement...

 

The deal is made when you buy the product, usually in a shop, the agreement should be presented, in printed form, before the sale is made. If not, the enitre Eula thing is void, legally meaningless.

But getting your right in reality is another matter, and for a product with a sale-value of  €60 it seems utterly pointless to pursue it.

  Linthead4504

Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/07
Posts: 18

1/02/12 11:29:02 AM#38
Originally posted by Malaksbane
Originally posted by Chivalry1978

there is no legal or civil action one can take against a mmo company for being banned...And here is why....When you instal the game there is this thing called and end user legal aggrement...

 

The deal is made when you buy the product, usually in a shop, the agreement should be presented, in printed form, before the sale is made. If not, the enitre Eula thing is void, legally meaningless.

But getting your right in reality is another matter, and for a product with a sale-value of  €60 it seems utterly pointless to pursue it.

You're actually wrong here. Courts have allowed EULA to be binding, even if it's after the sale of the good as long as it's before you use the product for online goods. 

 

It used to be how you stated, but the laws and courts have changed with more and more software and online products coming to the market. So the EULA is not void or meaningless.

  Vrika

Elite Member

Joined: 10/03/05
Posts: 2184

1/02/12 11:51:34 AM#39
Originally posted by Chivalry1978

there is no legal or civil action one can take against a mmo company for being banned...And here is why....When you instal the game there is this thing called and end user legal aggrement.

In EU countries you can allways take legal action. Law is above contracts, and it's possible to challenge the validity, compliance with law, interpretation or balance of the contract. Even if there's a clause where a person would agree about alternative method to settle disputes or waive his rights, the contract can still be brought to court by arguing about that clause.

  User Deleted
1/02/12 1:00:53 PM#40
Originally posted by Linthead4504
Originally posted by Malaksbane
Originally posted by Chivalry1978

there is no legal or civil action one can take against a mmo company for being banned...And here is why....When you instal the game there is this thing called and end user legal aggrement...

 

The deal is made when you buy the product, usually in a shop, the agreement should be presented, in printed form, before the sale is made. If not, the enitre Eula thing is void, legally meaningless.

But getting your right in reality is another matter, and for a product with a sale-value of  €60 it seems utterly pointless to pursue it.

You're actually wrong here. Courts have allowed EULA to be binding, even if it's after the sale of the good as long as it's before you use the product for online goods. 

 

It used to be how you stated, but the laws and courts have changed with more and more software and online products coming to the market. So the EULA is not void or meaningless.

 

You'have to hand me something about that within dutch jurisdiction then, I haven't seen anyhting to support your claim. I am now in doubt though if it was sufficient to point potential buyers to online copies of the Eula, before the sale. There's also been a case about some customer demanding a refund on a pre-installed piece of software with license/eula he didn't agree to. In practice it would probably mean the retailer would have to refund.

Anyway, I am curious who actually reads them before buying and then still buys a game, reading eula's tends to depress me to the point that I completely loose my interest - in the game.

 

Edit: changed point about loosing my interest in the game

 

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