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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Should Gold Farming be Illegal- a real misdemeanor or felony?

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149 posts found
  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

10/06/12 7:09:56 PM#61
Originally posted by fenistil
Originally posted by FrodoFragins
Of course not.  But hacking peoples accounts for any reason should be a crime.

It is already in most western countries for a preety long time. 

 

Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by fenistil

Will this mean that selling gold / items / lockboxes by game developers will also be forbidden?

 

why would it be? it's their product they made it they can sell it how they want.. 

I was just asking, not tring to get into a discussion about who has right to trade anything in a video game.

 

In example I think any form of chance based things (like lockboxes or  anything similar like 100% succes rate tokens for crafting,etc) should be forbidden. 

Using bots for any reason, hacks and exploits(bugs) to gather gold / items and profiting on it also.

Additionally any item you buy on cash shop should be tradeable and sellable also for real money.  You bought sparkle pony for 25$? You should be able to transfer it to any other player without any cost at any time.  After 1 day or using or after two years, without limits - so person who bought sparkel pony from you should be able to transfer / sell it to aniohter player as well.

 

Other things, like gathering gold yourself without using bots / hacks / exploits and selling it in a game that have cash shop? Would be bit hypocrytical and would just be using goverment machine and everyone tax money to increase companies profits.

It would make more sense for me, when there would be no direct link between those.  In example : game is purelt B2P without cash shop, lifetime sub or sub only based without microtransactions.  Then I would agree.

*putting on fireproof and covering with fireshield blanket*

NOTE:  Above is NOT a product of me analyzing current law, analyzing how far game companies can manage and control their property, what is totally right and what is not,etc

It is totally biased, subjective and I meant it that way.

 

Maybe I should take on hero suit and defend corporations from bad farmers and support using countries police and courts to incease game companies revenue.  Maybe I should.  I don't feel like it though.

I really don't see why Jon or anyone should be punished for selling gold he farmed himself - basically selling his own time, when companies can create endless amounts of gold / items and sell automatically. Even though I personally I am against that pracices, just not sure in current monetization schemes it should be something that is regulated by law. 

Giving comapnies more right to quickly perma ban accounts and not being afraid of law suits - that I could agree to.

Most other things like hacking accounts for gold, using stolen credic cards, etc is alrady a crime.

i think talking in a movie theater should be illegal as well soooo yea...:)

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  gigat

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/24/10
Posts: 606

10/06/12 7:22:08 PM#62
Originally posted by Robokapp
Originally posted by gigat

  If gold sellers/buyers didn't exist, then it wouldn't be a problem.

Alright. here is where it gets ugly though...

 

how do we make them not exist?

 

Time to transition from idealism to realism...

 

I assume we can rule out genocide. it'd work but overkill. Perhaps looking at the state apparatuses can provide a better idea? perhaps companies can be empowered by laws to impose great financial fines upon those cught in this activity? with gov't support of course?

 

Don't need to send a gold farmer to jail, just send him a fee of a few thousand dollars. I bet that's a lot in chinese currency...


I didn't mean to imply that they shouldn't exist.  Online games with player-driven economies would be better if there weren't any gold buyers/sellers.  But they are both dependent on each other.  There would be no need for gold sellers if there weren't buyers.  And if the gold sellers weren't there, then the gold buyers wouldn't have anybody to buy their shit from.

Since there's really no way to get rid of either one, what can we do?  We can try to report the buyers or sellers.  But that only goes so far.

 

The companies who run the games and read those reports, depend on both the buyers and sellers for income.  So they're less interested in banning them indefinitely, and more interested in keeping them as paying customers.  As a result, you can't rely on the company to take action.

 

The next step would be to show the company that you're unhappy with their service by not playing their game anymore.  Which defeats the purpose of the campaign against gold sellers/buyers.

 

The last option, if it really bothers you enough, you could just completely quit playing online games.  If you think about it, that's probably the only way they can truly be stopped.  If everyone quits playing online games, then there's no market.

 

In summary, it can't be stopped.  Even if there are laws, it won't stop.  As long as online games provide a virtual economy where players are free to trade items and currency within the game, there will always be third-parties trying to profit from it.  And as long as the company that runs the game continues earning money from those players, then they really have no need to stop it.

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4850

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

10/06/12 7:31:49 PM#63
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by aesperus
Originally posted by Aerowyn
you are making money off of someone else's product illegally.. don't see it any differn't than people who rip movies or games and sell pirated copies and that's a felony... 

The thing is, it's not a question of 'if' gold selling is illegal. It is illegal. The issue comes down to how to prosecute it. When dealing w/ gold sellers (and especially ones that hack), you are nearly always dealing w/ an internation incident. Issues with Intellectual Property, especially digital IP, are typically handled very poorly internationally.

Different countries have different laws around these issues, and they also prioritize them much differently. Western companies tend to persue these issues much more aggressively, because a lot of our money in the west comes from our inovations. Eastern companies are typically not as aggressive about it.

Anet & Blizzard aren't even the only major companies to have to deal w/ issues like blatant EULA breaks. Companies like Google & Apple have also had their share of trouble in dealing w/ IP issues overseas as well. Gold selling has always been illegal, but it's up to the countries who are harboring these criminals to each handle them on their own. It's also a question of how much pressure MMO companies can put on these countries to prosecute & crack down on gold sellers. For some countries it's more effective, but for some of the major offenders (like China) it just doesn't work.

It is not illegal to sell currency in video games.  That is a croc...

It's not against the law, but it is against an individual companies guidelines, namely their EULA.  Game companies can go after anyone who breaks these rules.  For small time deals like an account sale, they generally don't care (not worth the time or money), but they reserve the right to serve litigation against those who habitually violate their rules, specifically, gold farmers & account hackers (stealers).

 

So it's not against the law to sell currency, but it is a break in a contractual agreement between the company and the user, which leads to someone being sued.  This is why MMO companies take gold selling sites to court and (sometimes) win (Blizzard did this many times).  Court details are generally interesting, because a gold seller is asked where they got the currency they sold.

 

It is against the rules of the game yes, and yes that does break EULA.

However whlie courts have upheld some EULA's in some jurisdictions

http://www.google.ca/search?q=are+eula's+legally+binding&rls=com.microsoft:en-ca:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&redir_esc=&ei=l75wUKDULeahiAKZzICAAQ

others other been struck down in other jurisdictions

http://herochat.com/forum/index.php?topic=243806.0

One reason is due to an inherently unfair nature of the EULA, that being that often the customer doesn't have the ability to inspect the eula before purchasing the product. 

Also breach of contract is not criminal.

http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/contract.html

It's interesting that in Blizzards suit against IGE, they stated nothing about loss of income, which was probably smart, but talked specifically about the gold sellers calculated decision to reap substantial profits by knowingly interfering with and substantially impairing the intended use and enjoyment associated with consumer agreements between blizzard and subscribers to its virtual world called World of Warcraft."

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/72346-IGE-Sued-By-World-Of-Warcraft-Player

Trying to find what the results of that were.  Hmm it appears it was settled, darn it.

http://virtuallyblind.com/2008/08/27/hernandez-ige-settles/

Your first link is a google search :-)

Your second link is interesting.  There is no mention of MMO's though, specifically P2P MMO's. A company supporting an MMO can still restrict (ie ban) an account at their will?  I know Blizzard bans accounts suspected of account sales.  At least from what we know ... yet somehow accounts do get sold and the subscriber information drastically changes.  Maybe they pick and choose who to show off as an example, dunno.

The third link doesn't relate to MMO's.  It relates to contracts, which have more meaning when physically signed.  Argueably, software has a spam of text which people just click "Accept" and either there is no devotion to the actual concept by the singer or there is no proof that the person who clicked "Accept" is the actual person paying the bills to a game company (and playing the game).  This is disputed often (thanks internet anonymity).

4th and 5th links, direct effect of gold selling.  Getting sued.

 

Sorry if I was antagonistic, just stating how I saw things :-)  Thanks for your post!

 

 

 

Doh, well the 2nd item in that search haha

3rd link was about contracts, not specific MMO's.  People were talking about contractual agreements, I felt it necessary to point that that contract law is not criminal.

Aye the last links were a specific example of a company taking action on a gold seller. 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  GoldenArrow

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/09/08
Posts: 1109

10/06/12 7:37:15 PM#64

The nature of these gold farming companies is usually rather shady and I'm quite sure most of them don't pay tax or actually appear on any corporate listings. In itself the gold selling is not criminal but the companies behind it aren't actually following law to the letter.

This is however extremely difficult to control and states don't have much interest in chasing these companies because they are in the end rather small businesses.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6829

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

10/06/12 7:56:56 PM#65

It already is illegal,you can`t make a profit off of someone elses`s copyright work.You own absolutely NOTHING in game,not the items,weapons or currency,none of it.

They make sure to include a waiver exempting developers from liable action.This is becuase `your game experience`will most  definitely change if RMT are allowed to ruin the game not allowing you to enjoy the game you piad for.There are other reasons that waiver is in there,but this is one of them.

Rmt can ruin quest hubs,boss claims,market values they can basically ruin an entire game.it is so important,EVERY developer SHOULD have counter measures designed into the games before launch.

between cheating and RMT,a game is as good as vendor trash,totally worthless.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Betaguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2646

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

10/06/12 8:08:45 PM#66
I sells my time acquiring the items not the items themselves they are free of course, can't stop that, I beat it in court twice for others products...

  Acornia

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/21/04
Posts: 172

10/06/12 8:11:18 PM#67

After being hacked by others in games I have played over the years with things taken and all the gold sellers on the game channels.

If someone writes the code that is used to hack into a game to steal or gold farm, they should be put to death.

Those that sell the gold should receive life with out human contact.

Those that buy that gold or other items should be given 20 years in jail.

 

I am sorry but I have have very strong feelings about hackers and gold sellers/buyers, and hope that the FTC and congress passes very strong laws about it.

  sojobo69

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/22/08
Posts: 73

10/06/12 8:28:24 PM#68
Originally posted by Acornia

After being hacked by others in games I have played over the years with things taken and all the gold sellers on the game channels.

If someone writes the code that is used to hack into a game to steal or gold farm, they should be put to death.

Those that sell the gold should receive life with out human contact.

Those that buy that gold or other items should be given 20 years in jail.

 

I am sorry but I have have very strong feelings about hackers and gold sellers/buyers, and hope that the FTC and congress passes very strong laws about it.

Please you need help friend, but lets just say we allow this to pass here is a day for a couple cops.......

 

so what is on for today 12 pickup

2 hate crimes

1 stolen bike

9 game laws broke

 

ouch so what is our first few, well lets get this kid

 

age 14 stolen gold

what did he do

found a glitch bought from one vendor and found another across the town to sell for a few more silver, made off like a bandit

the was dumb, guess when he see daylight he won't be a kid anymore haha yeah.

the next is a good one 8 year old killed one mob 6 times 

that was silly, now he going to jail for farming

yep add to the fees and lost dev  money 6 years and 100k in fines, 

 

i love my job

me too lets get this hardcore law breakers.

 

 

people are dumb thinking we should make everything a law .

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4850

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

10/06/12 8:55:57 PM#69
Originally posted by Wizardry

It already is illegal,you can`t make a profit off of someone elses`s copyright work.You own absolutely NOTHING in game,not the items,weapons or currency,none of it.

They make sure to include a waiver exempting developers from liable action.This is becuase `your game experience`will most  definitely change if RMT are allowed to ruin the game not allowing you to enjoy the game you piad for.There are other reasons that waiver is in there,but this is one of them.

Rmt can ruin quest hubs,boss claims,market values they can basically ruin an entire game.it is so important,EVERY developer SHOULD have counter measures designed into the games before launch.

between cheating and RMT,a game is as good as vendor trash,totally worthless.

Um no.  Copyright does not prevent someone from making a profit off someone else's work. 

http://www.ogc.harvard.edu/copyright_docs/copyright_and_fair_use.php#1

Copyright does this:

What does a copyright authorize the copyright owner to do, or to restrict others from doing?

Subject to certain limitations, a copyright owner has the exclusive right to:

  • reproduce the work by making copies of it;
  • distribute copies of the work to the public by sale, donation, rental, or lending;
  • prepare new works derived from the original (for example, a novel adapted into a play, or a translation, or a musical arrangement); and
  • publicly perform or display the work
Nothing about using it in a different way or stopping others from profiting with it. 
 
Actually in many cases, fair use allows people to use parts of anothers work directly and make a profit from it. 
 
Copyright typically allows somoene to use a portion of anothers work anyway. 
 
Copyright definately applies to code, but not necessarily in someone else using only parts of the code for a differerent purpose than the author intended.  Such as gold selling. 
 
Interesting link here
and here talking about moral rights in copyright law
 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4754

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

10/07/12 12:32:33 AM#70

valid points were raised in this topic. namely...

 

gold selling is not reported for taxes, therefore it's fiscal evasion.

 

 

  DOGMA1138

Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/11
Posts: 477

10/07/12 12:43:22 AM#71
Originally posted by Robokapp

valid points were raised in this topic. namely...

 

gold selling is not reported for taxes, therefore it's fiscal evasion.

 

 

How do you know that? IGE US is paying taxes :P

 

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4754

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

10/07/12 12:46:35 AM#72
Originally posted by DOGMA1138
Originally posted by Robokapp

valid points were raised in this topic. namely...

 

gold selling is not reported for taxes, therefore it's fiscal evasion.

 

 

How do you know that? IGE US is paying taxes :P

 

you know it's valid...unless you're in a country like nigeria where there isn't taxation because there is no gov't...hatever country you are in, you are by law supposed to pay an income tax.

 

you get income, you don't pay tax. therefore gold selling is illegal. Not in itself but it implies breaking a few laws.

  bishbosh2

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/12
Posts: 66

10/07/12 1:35:10 AM#73

No thanks, id rather not have the government poking their nose in other peoples business any more than they already do. I also do not want to pay more taxes to fund the bureacracy that will be in charge which catching and imprisoning gold sellers. I dont want to pay for their holiday time in jail either. 

Businesses can simply not let them use their service if they dislike the way they are using it. Its very simple. 

OP it is attitudes like yours which has lead to countries becoming pieces of shit run by corrupt government bureacracies funeded by private companies that have vested interests.

 

  Igorcht

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/09
Posts: 83

10/07/12 1:37:52 AM#74
While I do not at all support gold farming or buying gold, this is probably one of the stupidest ideas I have ever read on this forum. When you consider the... *ahem* "quality" of the average post on this forum, that is an insanely impressive feat.

"I am the weapon that strikes/In the hearts of men I thrive/Feeding their fear with lies/I will devour/I will divide/I am the god of hellfire/inside every man there lives a liar/before their gods they cower/I will divide/I will devour" - "Divide Devour" by Iced Earth

  MoonBeans

Novice Member

Joined: 4/23/12
Posts: 175

10/07/12 1:56:57 AM#75
to me should be made illegal in every country.   they ruin every MMO they manage to get into
  Lithuanian

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/06
Posts: 176

10/07/12 2:23:31 AM#76

Government voting for law that describes what is MMORPG, what is in-game currency and even establishing some Board to take control of all in-game currencies, from Turbine points to Second-Life "Linda dollars".

Just right.

Well, it's not government business. I have being approached many times in Runescape with things like "Buy rune armor from me for only NNN" and whren I refused - "me iz RS admin and me will ban u".  Is it government business? Or maybe government should regulate power-levelling and PvPing?

No, no and one more time no. I don't want Government to interfere here. Gold farmers deserve severe punishments in-game, be it permadeath, permaban or turning then into level 1 chickens that everyone hunts.

http://www.mmoblogg.wordpress.com

  chilltime99

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/08/09
Posts: 27

10/07/12 2:39:40 AM#77
Originally posted by Aerowyn
you are making money off of someone else's product illegally.. don't see it any differn't than people who rip movies or games and sell pirated copies and that's a felony... 

bingo

making a profit off of someone else's property is a crime (exluding the fair use doctrine for monetization). Clearly, gold farming/selling is not associated with fair use.

  DOGMA1138

Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/11
Posts: 477

10/07/12 2:53:18 AM#78
Originally posted by Robokapp
Originally posted by DOGMA1138
Originally posted by Robokapp

valid points were raised in this topic. namely...

 

gold selling is not reported for taxes, therefore it's fiscal evasion.

 

 

How do you know that? IGE US is paying taxes :P

 

you know it's valid...unless you're in a country like nigeria where there isn't taxation because there is no gov't...hatever country you are in, you are by law supposed to pay an income tax.

 

you get income, you don't pay tax. therefore gold selling is illegal. Not in itself but it implies breaking a few laws.

Again how do you know that? IGE used to be owned by RPG Holdings / Affinity Media it is an american company and is paying taxes.

All of those companies are much bigger than you think, just so you'll know ZAM network sites, Thottbot, Torhead, and all of those other wikilike sites are owned by the same companies that sell gold, atleast the large ones like IGE(heck Curse.com used to be one of the largest affiliates of IGE).

As far as i know and could find out all of the major RMT companies are either US or Korean(And korea has tax laws for RMT even for individuals) based tax paying companies, heck some of them were and still are publicly traded companies.

Also IGE and other companies like that do no actually "farm" gold, they are the middle man they have suppliers in asia which sell them the gold cheaper than what they sell you.

Originally posted by chilltime99
Originally posted by Aerowyn
you are making money off of someone else's product illegally.. don't see it any differn't than people who rip movies or games and sell pirated copies and that's a felony... 

bingo

making a profit off of someone else's property is a crime (exluding the fair use doctrine for monetization). Clearly, gold farming/selling is not associated with fair use.

It is not a crime, and also not a single company can dictate to you what is or is not legal, they can only dicatate you the TOS, and the EULA which has no legal standing what so ever.

Lets say i use one of those rental city bikes in my job as a messenger, i make money out of some one elses property is that breaking the law?

If you claim that virtual currency is the property of the company who made the game than you are not selling it either since it only exists in the game then nothing actually changed hands...

 

 

  bubaluba

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 464

10/07/12 3:12:13 AM#79
It is not immoral, they gave money for game same as we do. Immoral would be to use some kind of hacking and not to pay for subscription or to legally buy copy of the game
  Chingo

Novice Member

Joined: 4/27/12
Posts: 134

10/07/12 3:13:31 AM#80

Somewhere in China:

  • Gold farmer 1: "Oh look, they made gold farming punishable by the government in the U.S."
  • Gold farmer 2: <rolls eyes>
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