Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

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

InFaVillaInFaVilla StockholmPosts: 592Member

I've seen claims that a company (in this case EA/Bioware) shouldn't discuss any bans in public because they may get sued.  My question: what exact legal reasons are the basis for sueing in such cases and in which countries? It would be helpful if you have a law degree or can at least cite a source.  Would also be very useful if you could point to a similar case in which the company was found guilty in a court of law or had to settle for a high amount of money. 

 

I've always been under the impression that the main reason that companies do not comment bans publically in their forum is because it is simply not worth the effort to make a solid argumentation in the forums. It is easier to simply just press the ban-button and ignore all criticism rather  than to press it and then follow up any case with posts/letters with  logical and rational reasons for why they find the ban justifiable. Not enough people actually care about the "truth" and what is "justifiable" to make it is economically worth to actually follow up different ban cases and discuss them publically: the staff is used elsewhere instead.

«1

Comments

  • obiiobii WienPosts: 779Member Uncommon

    Never heard of anyone sueing an mmo company for a ban.

    And why should an mmo company talk about their policies on the boards?

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    The first time they tell the truth, someone files a libel suit.

    And it's insane to throw gasoline on a wildfire, of course.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • InFaVillaInFaVilla StockholmPosts: 592Member

    Originally posted by obii

    Never heard of anyone sueing an mmo company for a ban.

    And why should an mmo company talk about their policies on the boards?

     

    They could include it as a part of their customer service. However, yes, I don't see any economic reason for why they should do it. Just wanted to bring clarity to the claims that they are not doing it due to fear of being sued.

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member

    ea/bioware first rule:DONT FEED THE TROLL!it is the only reason!their view is this way why would they give amunition for futur possible suing! by not discussing anything with the community and pre-reersing each massage with proper channel prior to going live, they dont give amunition to anybody!

  • kishekishe aitooPosts: 1,978Member Uncommon

    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.

     

     

  • MalaksbaneMalaksbane HeerlenPosts: 148Member

    You're probably right, InfaVilla, it's just to expensive to discuss indiviual cases on boards, and there's not enough to gain from it. I doubt you'll find many legal cases as again, the costs involved far outweigh whatever they, or a client, could gain. And if someone does start on a legal path, it is likely cheaper to just refund and/or settle the issue quietly.

     

    Otoh, keeping silent on ban cases could cause potential customers to stay away and they can wave with eula's all they want but if something feels unjustified or goes agianst ones sense of justice, legal arguments will convince nobody.

  • shinkanshinkan BestinPosts: 229Member

    As last poster said, why would they. its a lose lose situation for the company, no good can come from it (it basicly goes for any company, not just in gaming/mmo industy).

  • InFaVillaInFaVilla StockholmPosts: 592Member

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    The first time they tell the truth, someone files a libel suit.

    And it's insane to throw gasoline on a wildfire, of course.

     

    Could you elaborate on this "libel suit" and what the chances for the one sueing to actually win? Wouldn't the sueing party would be the one that is most likely to lose? In some countries the losing party is forced to pay the lawyer fees for both parties; that would be a tremendous risk for any private person.

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member

    ya they probably dont bother if a ban arise it is cheaper for them to just refund the culprit and say to him dont come back(like this will stop a player from coming back!i bet a lot of ban end up with private server!

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    You have to remember that a game ban is completely covered by the TOS.  They have a right to terminate their contract with you at any time, for any reason.  It's a service, and they have no obligation to provide that service to customers that (in their opinion, not yours) are detrimental to their game.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Why should they, the ban is on an individual, why should they talk about it in public rather than privately to the individual concerned.
  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Originally posted by InFaVilla

    Could you elaborate on this "libel suit" and what the chances for the one sueing to actually win? Wouldn't the sueing party would be the one that is most likely to lose? In some countries the losing partyis forced to pay the lawyer fees for both parties; that would be a tremendous risk for any private person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

    Effectively zero chance for a customer to "win".  But corporations generally have no more desire to waste time and money in court than anyone else.  All it takes is one bitter customer with enough money and not enough sense, and a lawyer working on spec (hmm, scratch that, the lawyers know the case is going to get thrown out, they'll want their money up front).

    Of course its risky for the customer, courts everywhere are getting far less tolerant of nuisance litigation.

    OTOH, if the corporation does discuss your case in a public forum, they're violating their own contract--they've agreed not to. (Putting them in the Bad Guy spot).

     

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • InFaVillaInFaVilla StockholmPosts: 592Member

    Originally posted by drbaltazar

    ya they probably dont bother if a ban arise it is cheaper for them to just refund the culprit and say to him dont come back(like this will stop a player from coming back!i bet a lot of ban end up with private server!

    I do wonder that. Another approach is to play on the fear for the private person to lose a lot of their money due to expenses connected with sueing: if the private person doesn't win or doesn't get any settlement he stands to lose a lot depending on the law in the particular country. Not to mention, the case may be dismissed before trial with the motivation that the judge sees no ground for a sue.

  • InFaVillaInFaVilla StockholmPosts: 592Member

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    Originally posted by InFaVilla

    Could you elaborate on this "libel suit" and what the chances for the one sueing to actually win? Wouldn't the sueing party would be the one that is most likely to lose? In some countries the losing partyis forced to pay the lawyer fees for both parties; that would be a tremendous risk for any private person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

    Effectively zero chance for a customer to "win".  But corporations generally have no more desire to waste time and money in court than anyone else.  All it takes is one bitter customer with enough money and not enough sense, and a lawyer working on spec.

    Of course its risky for the customer, courts everywhere are getting far less tolerant of nuisance litigation.

    OTOH, if the corporation does discuss your case in a public forum, they're violating their own contract--they've agreed not to. (Putting them in the Bad Guy spot).

     

     

    That would make sense depending on what their analysts calculate the "expected value"  (mathematical probability term) of such "legal costs" to be annually.  However, if that number is extremely low in comparison with other numbers of interest (such as annual profit), which at least I don't know if it is, then it becomes a matter of just not bothering without any real economical reason behind it.  

    On the other hand, it would be interesting if a company would actually go out and give a general statement that "we can't discuss bans in public due to too high potential legal costs in form of unjustified sueing". Maybe almost all players would see that as a positive sign of maturity and become more committed to the game, or maybe they wouldn't care at all.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Originally posted by InFaVilla

    That would make sense depending on what their analysts calculate the "expected value"  (mathematical probability term) of such "legal costs" to be annually.

    Nope, Legal Teams work on the basis of Minimum Risk.  That's what they're paid for.

    we can't discuss bans in public due to too high potential legal costs in form of unjustified sueing

    And because it's a violation of our own contract--legal suicide.

    Honestly, its a rather moot case.  MMO customers have big mouths, but never put the money where their mouth is.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,211Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    Originally posted by InFaVilla

    Could you elaborate on this "libel suit" and what the chances for the one sueing to actually win? Wouldn't the sueing party would be the one that is most likely to lose? In some countries the losing partyis forced to pay the lawyer fees for both parties; that would be a tremendous risk for any private person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

    Effectively zero chance for a customer to "win".  But corporations generally have no more desire to waste time and money in court than anyone else.  All it takes is one bitter customer with enough money and not enough sense, and a lawyer working on spec (hmm, scratch that, the lawyers know the case is going to get thrown out, they'll want their money up front).

    Of course its risky for the customer, courts everywhere are getting far less tolerant of nuisance litigation.

    OTOH, if the corporation does discuss your case in a public forum, they're violating their own contract--they've agreed not to. (Putting them in the Bad Guy spot).

     

     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.

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

  • TheNitewolfTheNitewolf StockholmPosts: 102Member

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    You have to remember that a game ban is completely covered by the TOS.  They have a right to terminate their contract with you at any time, for any reason.  It's a service, and they have no obligation to provide that service to customers that (in their opinion, not yours) are detrimental to their game.

    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.

    My Signature

  • AntariousAntarious Greenville, SCPosts: 2,802Member

    Originally posted by TheNitewolf

    Originally posted by Icewhite

    You have to remember that a game ban is completely covered by the TOS.  They have a right to terminate their contract with you at any time, for any reason.  It's a service, and they have no obligation to provide that service to customers that (in their opinion, not yours) are detrimental to their game.

    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.

     

    Well that's the thing.   No MMO company is banning people for anything but valid reasons.   Unless its a privately owned company with no share holders to answer to....

     

    All of these companies are out to make money.   All of them can only create these games with other peoples money (investors).   Every investory wants a return on their investment and you don't get that by banning income (customers) for non valid reasons.

     

    To the thread in general...  usually companies mention privacy concerns when they explain not talking about bans.   That is the general reason given as to why they will only talk to the individual that was banned.

     

    I would say in almost all cases where an individual decides to make their ban public... you are not going to get the actual reason they were banned.   Sometimes you do... like the guy who found out how to do a paticular dupe in EQ2.   He wrote an article about it afterwards and in that case you got the reason he was banned.

     

    Anytime you see "I was banned for no reason" that is bs... 

     

    As to the idea of a lawsuit..

     

    That would be interesting.   Simply because a great number of bans involve the use of some type of 3rd party software.   Blizzard won a lawsuit against someone that created a program.   I don't remember what it did exactly.. but I do remember what the federal judge ruled...

     

    He said that not only was the creation of such a program violation of copyright... but so was the use of it.

     

    So one might get quite the suprise if they decided to file a lawsuit they have no chance to win... and were slapped with a violation of copyright lawsuit they will definitely lose.   That of course is just my opinion...

     

    Yet I've been playing MMO's since 1997 and never been banned... EA for example owned Ultima Online and eventually DAoC and WAR... I've played all of those (most all MMO's that ever had north american servers).   Yet somehow while all these "no reason" bans were going on... I never got one.

     

    I did once get an email from Mythic... saying a character I'd never heard of was getting a 3 day ban for a pathing exploit on Mordred server (I never played the dreds).   When I logged in a CSR immediantly messaged me... and I told them I had no characters on that server and never had.   About 5 minutes later he came back and said their had been a typo with the account name...

     

    So mistakes do happen and in my case were corrected... but I don't really believe the "no reason" ban story.   Which goes to the main reason not to discuss bans and it was already mentioned here...  don't feed the trolls.

    Moderator's on this site allow certain posters to create endless troll threads. Yet "warn" people for giving recommendations... account *pending* deletion because.. why bother.

  • MalaksbaneMalaksbane HeerlenPosts: 148Member

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

  • EliandalEliandal Chelmsford, ONPosts: 796Member

    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

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member
    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?

  • RenoakuRenoaku Posts: 1,005Member Uncommon

    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.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,860Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by TheNitewolfWhile 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...

  • dronfwardronfwar Shitty, DEPosts: 316Member

    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.

  • MalaksbaneMalaksbane HeerlenPosts: 148Member

    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.

«1
Sign In or Register to comment.