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Selling characters (account) for real money

Author
Hannott Thanos
Notorious Legion
SCRUBS.
#61 - 2012-07-04 16:19:30 UTC
"Accounts are not software".

!!! Not that I don't agree with EvE accounts not being legal to sell !!!

But serial keys, online activation and other similar stuff are neither software. Would you pay for Windows 7/8 if you did not get the key?

while (CurrentSelectedTarget.Status == ShipStatus.Alive) {

     _myShip.FireAllGuns(CurrentSelectedTarget);

}

Orecia
THE S0S BRIGADE
#62 - 2012-07-04 16:23:45 UTC  |  Edited by: Orecia
Technically the serial keys ARE the software, it's just a new way of easy distribution.
Mallak Azaria
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#63 - 2012-07-04 16:26:25 UTC
Hannott Thanos wrote:
"Accounts are not software".

!!! Not that I don't agree with EvE accounts not being legal to sell !!!

But serial keys, online activation and other similar stuff are neither software. Would you pay for Windows 7/8 if you did not get the key?


People pay for that? News to me.

This post was lovingly crafted by a member of the Goonwaffe Posting Cabal, proud member of the popular gay hookup site somethingawful.com, Spelling Bee, Grammar Gestapo & #1 Official Gevlon Goblin Fanclub member.

Hannott Thanos
Notorious Legion
SCRUBS.
#64 - 2012-07-04 16:27:23 UTC
Then should an account not technically be the software too? I mean you do need it to play. Just like you need the serial to use windows. Windows can run extremely limited after the activation timer runs out, just as you can run eve without getting to log in without the account

while (CurrentSelectedTarget.Status == ShipStatus.Alive) {

     _myShip.FireAllGuns(CurrentSelectedTarget);

}

Hannott Thanos
Notorious Legion
SCRUBS.
#65 - 2012-07-04 16:28:04 UTC
Mallak Azaria wrote:
Hannott Thanos wrote:
"Accounts are not software".

!!! Not that I don't agree with EvE accounts not being legal to sell !!!

But serial keys, online activation and other similar stuff are neither software. Would you pay for Windows 7/8 if you did not get the key?


People pay for that? News to me.


Harr harr harr. RL sec: -10.0

while (CurrentSelectedTarget.Status == ShipStatus.Alive) {

     _myShip.FireAllGuns(CurrentSelectedTarget);

}

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#66 - 2012-07-04 16:29:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Tippia
Hannott Thanos wrote:
But serial keys, online activation and other similar stuff are neither software.
No, they are tokens to prove the ownership of the software licenses that are the subject of the ruling.

Quote:
Then should an account not technically be the software too? I mean you do need it to play.
No. You need an account to alter stuff in CCP's databases. You don't need an account to download and run the software (which is what the — usually free — license covers).
Soundwave Plays Diablo
Royal Amarr Institute
Amarr Empire
#67 - 2012-07-04 16:33:36 UTC
ITT internet rules lawyers determine the the "L" in EULA means something other than license.

that beast
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#68 - 2012-07-04 17:23:28 UTC  |  Edited by: that beast
Well, to start with, we seem to be forgetting that a large portion of the EU rulings are, to put it simply, ridiculous. The whole rights thing... non, only if something is hidden from you should you have the right to complain. Otherwise you should just be more careful with what you buy. Sometimes a little choice is a nice thing yno...

Before anyone goes "rargh Americans don't know what rights are", I'm not an American, I live, breath and work in the EU.

Now.

No, software keys etc are not licenses, they are representations of a license, like proof of ID. You can show your ID to a banker to prove that an account is yours. You can't show an ID to a shopkeeper to pay for something (ignoring recent developments in the whole oyster-card like payment systems). My point being, that you can use your ID as proof that you own the money (so the banker will give it to you) but you can't use it as money (I.E. being able to give some part of it to a shopkeeper for his wares).

With me so far?

Awesome.

Something which occurred to me whilst I was reading all the rage throughout, and all the well reasoned arguments, was that you could argue, theoretically, that your account/character is an in game personification of you. It is a virtual representation of your being, mind, soul, whatnot, and as such, I suspect that an accomplished lawyer (which I am most certainly not, although maybe Mittens could help...lol) will easily be able to argue that selling your character for real life money is tantamount to selling yourself, and lead from there to prostitution. I'm pretty sure the EU rulings don't make that legal...

Now of course, that does bring into view the issue of character trading for in game money, but again I'm sure a sharp mind could work around that.

Might I remind you that, in order to sell an account, you would have to give away your password to someone else, and THAT is not covered by the rulings, but most certainly IS covered by the EULA. So if the EU want to stop CCP stopping you giving your account to people for money, so be it, but they (CCP) CAN ban the account for you giving away the password. And, as seems appropriate given the level of dependency issues in this thread, the game is useless without the account, which in turn is useless without the password.

The password is not software and isn't a license, and so won't be covered by the rulings.
If the EU decides to make selling passwords and flaunting them around legal, then God help every one of us...

Yours.

TB
Othran
Route One
#69 - 2012-07-04 18:04:46 UTC
that beast wrote:

The password is not software and isn't a license, and so won't be covered by the rulings.


Wrong.

The ruling is clear - if the software requires an online account/authentication/activation to fully function then that forms part of the sale. If the authentication/whatever cannot be separated from the software and the s/w manufacturer is unwilling to provide a new method of authentication then the account IS part of the software licence. That was one of the things Oracle wanted to establish but it backfired spectacularly on them.

Eve isn't affected unless it goes FTP in which case all bets are off. For now its quite clear that software with a recurring charge (ie a subscription) is not covered by the ruling.
Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#70 - 2012-07-04 18:12:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Tippia
In fact, the only thing that is a bit unclear is how you get a software license for EVE, since you need one in order to open an account… Blink

They do seem to say in the EULA that they basically grant you a license for reading the EULA and/or by downloading the client:

“9. LICENSE
A. Software License

Subject to the terms of the EULA, CCP grants you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to use the Software and its accompanying documentation solely in connection with accessing the System in order to play EVE using a single valid Account.”
that beast
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#71 - 2012-07-04 18:15:49 UTC
Othran wrote:
that beast wrote:

The password is not software and isn't a license, and so won't be covered by the rulings.


Wrong.

The ruling is clear - if the software requires an online account/authentication/activation to fully function then that forms part of the sale. If the authentication/whatever cannot be separated from the software and the s/w manufacturer is unwilling to provide a new method of authentication then the account IS part of the software licence. That was one of the things Oracle wanted to establish but it backfired spectacularly on them.

Eve isn't affected unless it goes FTP in which case all bets are off. For now its quite clear that software with a recurring charge (ie a subscription) is not covered by the ruling.


Firstly, thanks for taking the time to read my post :)

Secondly, how do you mean "If the authentication cannot be separated from the software"? Because surely the password and the account are two separate entities? They just need to go together to make everything work? By which I mean, the password is not hardcoded to be attached to the account, it can go and be a password for anything else, or even just a bit of text, they aren't attached?

As for needing authentication to fully function, what I'm saying is, that is covered by the account, but for the account to function, it requires the password. Sort of a double dependency, but I'm sure you could argue that the second dependency (password) IS separate from the first dependency (the account itself) and so wouldn't be covered?

Either way it's not really an issue for EVE because CCP can still ban people for RMT, right?

TB
rodyas
Tie Fighters Inc
#72 - 2012-07-04 18:22:54 UTC
What about apps from the apple store? Are those up for resale as well? Kind of surprised that has not been brought up.

Signature removed for inappropriate language - CCP Eterne

Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#73 - 2012-07-04 18:32:04 UTC
rodyas wrote:
What about apps from the apple store? Are those up for resale as well? Kind of surprised that has not been brought up.
They should be covered by it, yes.
Zumra
Perkone
Caldari State
#74 - 2012-07-04 18:47:05 UTC
that beast wrote:

Secondly, how do you mean "If the authentication cannot be separated from the software"? Because surely the password and the account are two separate entities? They just need to go together to make everything work? By which I mean, the password is not hardcoded to be attached to the account, it can go and be a password for anything else, or even just a bit of text, they aren't attached?

TB


The ruling allows you to resell software, if that software requires a password you set up, it is part of it. Your arguments against it make no sense.

If a EULA go against the laws of the state where the software is sold, the EULA is not worth the bits that are storing it. In fact, if parts of the EULA are contradictory to laws of the state, an argument could be made against other parts of the EULA.

An EULA is not a legally binding document, it strengthens a companies position in court, helps set precedent, and gives a company a measure of control over what a states law does not cover.

The ruling stated by op does not appear to cover a subscription model such as EVE online. If someone were to take it to court, as someone above suggested, it would most likely be expanded but to what affect one could not really predict now. The ruling would cover games such as Diablo 3, where there is a cd key that comes with the box, and is required to use the software.

Note, by state I mean government/nation/country, not the American version of state. Also, anything stated above does not apply to the USA, as their laws are... yeah.
Kunming
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#75 - 2012-07-04 18:48:44 UTC
Your account is not your property, you rent it with a subscription or PLEX. The characters on an account, on the other hand, are your 'ingame' assets, and are subject to the same rules as items and ships. You may sell them, scrap them, or transfer them.

Emiko P'eng
#76 - 2012-07-04 19:20:37 UTC
Kunming wrote:
Your account is not your property, you rent it with a subscription or PLEX. The characters on an account, on the other hand, are your 'ingame' assets, and are subject to the same rules as items and ships. You may sell them, scrap them, or transfer them.
What Kunming says is the most valid point of this whole debate as if you read the full ruling!

InfoCuria - Case-law of the Court of Justice: (Legal protection of computer programs – Marketing of used licences for computer programs downloaded from the internet – Directive 2009/24/EC – Articles 4(2) and 5(1) – Exhaustion of the distribution right – Concept of lawful acquirer)

Note due to length of URL 'Left Clicking' on the above 'Link' wont work? While 'Right Clicking' and selecting 'Open in New Tab' does work??? Weird Forum bugShocked

Section 72 states

Quote: 'On the basis of all the foregoing, the answer to Question 2 is that Article 4(2) of Directive 2009/24 must be interpreted as meaning that the right of distribution of a copy of a computer program is exhausted if the copyright holder who has authorised, even free of charge, the downloading of that copy from the internet onto a data carrier has also conferred, in return for payment of a fee intended to enable him to obtain a remuneration corresponding to the economic value of the copy of the work of which he is the proprietor, a right to use that copy for an unlimited period.'

Translated to Plain English:

If there was no time limit placed on the sale at the point of sale it is yours. If you rent it you don't own it.

So in EVE's case!

You own the programme disc and the client software there upon!

But you don't own the account you set up to enable to use the content of that disc, as you pay a rental fee for that!
Nate Guralman
Pandemic Horde Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#77 - 2012-07-04 19:35:40 UTC
Zumra wrote:

An EULA is not a legally binding document,


LIKE HELL IT ISN'T!! A EULA is very much a legally binding document. It doesn't mean it can't be overruled by local/national laws (like in the example the author mentioned about giving someone the right to hurt you). It's also possible to enter in an separate agreement with the vendor if you contact them and they're willing to give you an amendment. But it's *DEFINITELY* a legally binding document.

But don't take my word for it, check with your attorney.

For the OP, I'm not sure where the confusion comes form. The EU ruling you posted *clearly* states that the license is transferable:

Quote:
an author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the interne


Emphasis mine.

And the license (the EVE EULA in this case) *clearly* states that the accounts and in-game virtual goods aren't transferable:

Quote:

The buying, selling or auctioning (or any attempt at doing so) of characters, character attributes, items, currency, or objects, whether through online auctions, newsgroups, postings on message boards or any other means is prohibited by the EULA and a violation of CCP's proprietary rights in the Game
E'ara Koshun
The Order of the golden Sun
#78 - 2012-07-04 20:12:46 UTC
Emiko P'eng wrote:


If there was no time limit placed on the sale at the point of sale it is yours. If you rent it you don't own it.

So in EVE's case!

You own the programme disc and the client software there upon!

But you don't own the account you set up to enable to use the content of that disc, as you pay a rental fee for that!


this is what i think too


Graic Gabtar
The Lemon Party
#79 - 2012-07-04 20:36:29 UTC
Cebraio wrote:
This ruling IS interesting for gamers though, because it means Valve, EA, Blizzard and others might be forced to offer a way for selling used games - at least for EU customers. I'm looking forward to sell D3. Two weeks ago they refused my request.
Yay for Internet lawyers!

As an online distributor why fight it? You can sell your game to whoever you want. All you will need to do is pay the $100 administration fee to cover the costs of verifying the claim, record tracking system changes only for the EU, labour etc.

Easy to facilitate.
Vyktor Abyss
The Abyss Corporation
#80 - 2012-07-04 21:17:27 UTC
On a purely theoretical note, how much real cash would someone pay for a 120m SP pvp allrounder character?