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View Full Version : Getting after "plat sellers"


Genda
03-15-2005, 06:08 PM
I've got a question for you.

I know it will just be speculation, but do you know whe the game publishers drug their feet in going after the IGE's of the world, before they got to be so big. Obviously, now IGE has resources which makes them a less desireable lawsuit prospect.

What do you think?

Peralay
03-26-2005, 04:35 AM
Add on questions.

Usually, during many sports events,mostly near the end, the announcers go through a spiel about the broadcast being the sole property of "yada yada" and that rebroadcasting or other public veiwings are prohibited without prior approval of "yada yada". (I know its not exact wording - sorry - I am a tech - not a lawyer). I read your post explaining contracts and this seems to fall quite a bit short of one (no offer or aggreement). So I wonder, is this enforceable by law and if so, can it be applied to MMOG software in some fashion?

DVD videos (rent and bought) have a nice little screen depicting Federal laws as it relates to the movie content at the beginning of each disk. Again, I have not memorized the contents of it. Do you think that someday a similar federal law will/could apply to MMOG software?

Oloh
03-30-2005, 10:23 AM
I've got a question for you.

I know it will just be speculation, but do you know whe the game publishers drug their feet in going after the IGE's of the world, before they got to be so big. Obviously, now IGE has resources which makes them a less desireable lawsuit prospect.

What do you think?

Sorry for the delayed response.

Well, hindsight is always 20/20. I wasn't involved in the early discussions about how to handle the secondary market. I do know Dark Ages of Camelot had some litigation over the issue, so at least some people were willing to take legal action.

Nearly every developer that I speak with wants to make games. For the most part, it is less a business to them and more a passion. The business side of game development is one of the unfortunate side effects of making a great game. Somewhere far below the business side of game development is the legal side of it.

I am certain that early on, poison pen letters were mailed and accounts were (and still are) banned. The secondary market was persistant though, and continued to operate. At some point, the only recourse was legal. The question was most likely presented: "Do we want to have another expansion, or do we want to chase around kids selling money out of their basement?" Understandably, most game developers chose making their product better. After all, that is what a (good) game company does.

So, while it seems now that a strong effort early on could have stopped some of the bleeding with less effort, there is no real way to tell that for sure.

Oloh
03-30-2005, 10:34 AM
Add on questions.

Usually, during many sports events,mostly near the end, the announcers go through a spiel about the broadcast being the sole property of "yada yada" and that rebroadcasting or other public veiwings are prohibited without prior approval of "yada yada". (I know its not exact wording - sorry - I am a tech - not a lawyer). I read your post explaining contracts and this seems to fall quite a bit short of one (no offer or aggreement). So I wonder, is this enforceable by law and if so, can it be applied to MMOG software in some fashion?

DVD videos (rent and bought) have a nice little screen depicting Federal laws as it relates to the movie content at the beginning of each disk. Again, I have not memorized the contents of it. Do you think that someday a similar federal law will/could apply to MMOG software?

Good questions.

Both instances are referring primarilly to copyright law. It is helpful to view Copyright law as a "contract between authors and the world." That "contract" is implied in every single original work of authorship, simply because the work was created. Protection springs forth immediately.

License agreements and service agreements (both of which apply to MMOGs) are governed by contract law. There is no "universal" contract law about MMOGs. Instead, the relationship of the parties is based on the text of the contract itself, which is written by the developer. The terms are provided "take it or leave it" meaning, if someone doesn't like the terms of the contract, then he or she shouldn't play the game.

I am sure that you are aware that you cannot buy a single copy of 50 cent's new record, burn a bunch of copies and sell them to your friends. That would be illegal. The thing that makes it illegal is copyright law.

Now, if you called 50 cent and asked him if you could do it, and he gave you permission, well now the terms that you could sell his records would be covered by contract. You would have a signed agreement saying that 50 cent gives you enough rights to sell the records, which would be called a license.

In the secondary market context, there is clearly a contractual problem. The secondary marketers are either doing it themselves (a contract violation), or paying folks to do it (which brings up another area of law, called tort).

There are also potential copyright claims as well, but these claims are extremely complicated and do not make for very good light reading. ;)

Raya
03-30-2005, 06:41 PM
zzzzzzzz :cool:

Just kidding - actually this was very interesting. :D

Odysseus
05-04-2005, 05:19 PM
I enjoy the availability of secondary markets for MMORPGS. Some people play the game so much and become so addicted that they may skip work etc. to game. I think if Vanguard allowed players to sell in-game items/money, some players might find the game less attractive while other players may join for this issue alone. What can really be done to people for selling in-game items/money if the game does not state specifically that they will press charges for individuals doing this. Afterall, many people want a job that they truly enjoy. Since there is a considerable amount of work required for an indivdual to get to the point where they are able to make money off the game,why should they not be able to do it? I have seen secondary markets in just about every MMORPG out so far. I think it is just a matter of time until online-gaming allows players to use the game as a source of income.