Libel Tourism Down Under: US Company Tries Suing UK Blogger In Australia For Libel

from the who-did-what-now-where? dept

We've covered how libel tourism has become a big problem, usually in the UK, where defamation laws are much more ridiculous. However, it seems (oddly) that one American company, Evony, has decided to take a UK blogger to court in Australia for libel, after being upset about what that blogger wrote about the company. Once again, to make this clear, it's a US company suing a UK blogger for libel... in Australia. This story originally came out last week (when a few of you submitted it), but I had hoped to wait for a hearing this past Monday determining if the case would go forward. However, it now appears that the hearing has been postponed until February because Evony changed lawyers.

Evony is apparently quite upset at the way blogger Bruce Everiss criticized some of its activities, even though plenty of others have been equally critical of Evony, its marketing practices and how the game itself works. Of course, the further Evony (formerly Civony) takes this whole thing, the more attention it will draw to its practices. It's hard to see how that is a sensible move. Whatever you might think of how Evony conducts its business, the way it conducts its legal campaigns seems reason enough to avoid having anything to do with the company.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    Mike, this is the nature of the digital world. What you publish in one place is viewed and distributed all over the world. There is no denying that the material was available in and likely read by some Australians. Thus, libel may have occurred in Australia, and a lawsuit there is pretty normal.

    Libel tourism? I don't think of it as any better than torrent sites moving country to country to try to stay ahead of the law and lawsuits. It's a goose and gander moment Mike, nothing more.

     

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    Harmony, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    Evony and Ibory

    We all know that people are the same where ever you go

     

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  3.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

    Re:

    Mike, this is the nature of the digital world. What you publish in one place is viewed and distributed all over the world. There is no denying that the material was available in and likely read by some Australians. Thus, libel may have occurred in Australia, and a lawsuit there is pretty normal.

    So you are okay being judged in Saudi Arabia for distributing pornography, because you put up a blog post that includes a photo of a woman in a bikini? After all, it's the nature of the digital world, and what you publish up in Canada can be viewed and distributed in Saudi Arabia. There is no denying that such material was available and likely viewed by some Saudi Arabians. Thus, pornography may have occurred in Saudi Arabia, and a lawsuit there is pretty normal.

    And I should remind you, that in Saudi Arabia, distributing pornography can get you a jail term of 12 years and 1,000 lashes.

    But, that's the nature of the internet, right? We should all live at the lowest common denominator of laws.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    Hey, good to know your opinions.

    Too bad you don't have Freedom of Speech in China, and Mike can surely attest that he gets hits from that country. I hope you enjoy Chinese prisons.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re:

    And that puts an end to that argument.

     

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  6.  
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    evony beta tester, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    want to know hte goods on this company

    here yea go
    i was one of the 1st guys to get systems for cheating in every facet of the game all the top 100 guys in the game then on 3 servers courted my knowledge and guess what

    the moderators and sysadmins allowed it and so you ended up with massive 100 player alliances who subjugated thousands of others all by merely keeping others weak

    the game is boring , expensive
    and the open source its based on is actually more fun

    SUE me evony you suck

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re:

    You know Mike, you should be careful to talk about stuff you don't know about, your ignorance is showing.

    First and foremost, it's a question of legality, rather than civil liabilty. You are trying to mix up violating a law with libelous statements. Not exactly the same thing, now is it?

    So as an example, that a magazine such as playboy is published in the US and might get smuggled (illegally) into a country that does not permit it pretty much negates the liablity.

    Saudi Arabia (and many islamic countries) actively block many internet sites, filter content, and apply deep packet inspection methods to block things such as porn and other "anti-islamic" content. In order for someone in SA to get to porn, for the most part they have to get access to a proxy server, creating the overt act that brings the porn into their country. The material is not published or widely distributed inside the country.

    Now, if I ran a website that was highly critical of the Saudi Royal Family, and pushed people to kill them, I would likely be extradited to their country and tried, or alternately tried and found guilty in absentia, and put on a watch list all over the area. If I set foot in their country, I would be locked up on the spot.

    So no, nobody from Saudi Arabia is going to come to the US (or anywhere for that matter) and give anyone 1000 lashes for selling porn. However, the guy in the country who downloaded it, well... he better hope the scars heal.

    I understand that you are not a legal eagle (I figured that out a long time ago). This just sort of proved it even more.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, if Mike made disparaging comments about the chinese leadership or tried to raise revolt, he would likely be on their travel ban list (no visa for you!) and they would lock him up for reprogramming if they ever got their hands on him.

    When you try to confuse criminal law and civil law, well, you get Techduh!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Evony Player, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Evony is a Chinese Company

    Mike, I've been thinking of submitting this to you, figured you'd like this one, but never got around to it.

    However, you didn't check your facts. Evony is a Chinese company. I played Evony for a few months and really enjoyed it. I even bought some of the in-game goodies, and the payment went to Hong Kong.

    The theory when the suit broke a few weeks back was that their US company is a shell created *solely* for this suit, but then we get into fact-checking again, so I have no idea if that is true.

    But to give you an idea of how the company works, if you type a statement like, "I think so-and-so is cheating" into the chat window, it is censored, it disappears. They don't allow the word "cheat" to appear in conversation. So everybody types instead, "I think that guy is ch*eating".

    There's another angle here that you completely missed Mike, and it's right up your alley. Read the actual blog entries in question and you'll find they're a lot of sour grapes from a guy who claims he's a veteran of the game development biz and who basically just doesn't like Evony's biz model, and one of his big beefs is he just doesn't like the model Evony came up with for giving something away for free and still giving people a reason to buy.

    And finally you missed the funniest and best part of the whole Evony story. They advertise with pictures of beautiful women who tend to, shall we say, display nature's plentiful bounty. No nudity, but darn close to it. This has made them a big joke in the gaming scene, because the game is not a pure strategy game, not the slightest hint of any racy stuff whatsoever. But they themselves have admitted their original ads just didn't work, and the cleavage brings in the players. No surprise there I guess.

     

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  10.  
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    senshikaze, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re:

    argument, win!

     

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  11.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And you are right.

    the only problem was it was an example to provide a point, not actual fact (when was the last time you heard an American porn company being tried and convicted in a Fascist, er, islamic, state? yea.)
    His reply was extreme, and probably wrong, like you said, but the argument is still valid.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, this is the only place where you find that sort of thing - huh

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Evony is a Chinese Company

    pics or it didn't happen

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, you miss the point:

    Mike is trying to confuse the situation by putting criminal law up next to civil actions, which are not at all the same. He will remind you of that all the time in other situations. In this case, he is purposely ignoring that little fact because it would destroy his entire idea.

    It's typical, Mike often conveniently forgets certain details just to make things "better" for his view.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Evony is a Chinese Company

    Please note: While Hong Kong is a SAR of China, doing business there is not under the same rules or laws as China. So it is important to say that the site is operating from Hong Kong, not China (if this is in fact true).

    Many companies are based in Hong Kong for various tax advantages, including Kimble's mega upload things (Monkey Ltd, based in Hong Kong).

     

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  16.  
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    max.elliott (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Someone explain please....

    What benefit this gets the company in question? I understand the claims for jurisdiction, but aren't these things unenforceable?

     

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  17.  
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    Niall (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And I think trying to hide behind the 'difference' between civil and criminal law is a straw man. That factor is utterly irrelevant to the point at hand.

    What Mike is trying to point out is that you can't have people picking and choosing where to apply laws from, or you WILL have someone from somewhere restrictive doing something like he suggests - doesn't matter if it's libel or something 'criminal' - or choosing a more restrictive or 'favourable' jurisdiction. There has to be some appropriateness, or else you'll get US politicians turning to US publications and getting them sued in the UK for libel, or wherever suits them most. Oh wait, just like your patent litigation in East Texas...

    So there needs to be some actual basis - more than "someone in that country MAY have seen this" - for picking a different, non-linked country. The internet is global, but laws are local. If you bought a book on Holocaust denial in Britain (probably legal, if dumb) and then tried to resell it in Germany, you would likely get done under German law, but if you tried to resell it in France, then you can't get sued by an angry German 'under German law', no matter how much it upsets him.

    Peer-to-peer sites are a whole different matter. They 'move' to take advantage EXACTLY of different laws in different countries, but they are 'physically' hosted in that country, so subject to its laws. That's why the Pirate bay was tried in a Swedish court under Swedish laws, NOT an American court or under American laws. So that doesn't work as a counter-example.

    At least until ACTA forces daft US laws on everyone...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What Mike is trying to point out is that you can't have people picking and choosing where to apply laws from

    You fell for Mike's logic because he stated it in a way that makes you think down those lines. But you need to reverse the logic a bit.

    Did the libel happen in Australia? Answer: yes, the material was distributed and made available in Australia.

    Does the company in question do business with Australians? Answer: Yes, they do business worldwide, and it is logical to assume they have some customers in Australia.

    Could the libelous statements cost them business in Australia? Answer: Potentially, which would be part of the discussion of damages, if they get that far.

    If the company had no business in Austalia, no customers in Australia, etc, then it might be a bit of a reach. But as they do business worldwide, and the libelous material was made available worldwide, they can pretty much go wherever they like. It would pretty much be up to the defendants to prove that they have no business, no customers, and no readers in Australia to show that their statements won't affect the business.

    Very important quote from the article:

    Australia has proven a testing ground for online libel cases before – most notably in 2002, when local mining magnate Joseph Gutnick used the high court in Victoria to sue American publisher Dow Jones over a series of allegations made in its financial magazine, Barron's.

    Although the printed magazine was only for sale in the US, the article was also published online and available to readers worldwide – leading Gutnick to claim, successfully, that his reputation had been damaged in his home country.


    Notice the "successfully" comment. Half the deal is already there. The other half is only for them to prove that the Australian court has jurisdiction. The rest of it appears to already be Australian case law, a potential "slam dunk" if the comments are considered libelous.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Somebody said something that someone else didn't like - call the whaaaabulance

     

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  20.  
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    slander (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 9:21pm

    Australia is the new Texas?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "his reputation had been damaged in his home country."

    note the part there that it was his home country he was able to sue if I put a piece of defamatory material up in country X and you our offended by it in country Y you may sue me in country X or Y if you sue me in country N (or even in country Y) why the hell would I care also since Australia isn't the world police I cant imagine the courts having any jurisdiction.

     

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  22.  
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    Jack, Dec 16th, 2009 @ 10:53pm

    Glad to see you finally did a post on this story. As a former of player of Evony, I'm glad to see this story getting much more exposure.

     

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  23.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    AC, I'm not sure if you're making a normative or legal argument here. Legally speaking, maybe there are grounds for libel suit in Australia. I don't know Australian law, but I wouldn't be surprised -- there was that case after all where Yahoo got sued in France over Nazi items being auctioned off in America. As I recall, the case hinged on whether Yahoo could successfully target content based on which country you were from.

    Normatively, even if there are legal grounds, it'd still be a bad idea to let this case go through.

    First, this probably isn't libel. Most of the blog posts in question appears to be either opinions or true. There are a few claims about malware that might get him into hot water though -- we'll see.

    Second, the global nature of the Internet means every that any libel cause will probably involve at least one Australian viewing your content. Granted, that means damages will likely be low, but the mere psychological effect of legal action + legal fees means that even a plaintiff getting only nominal damages can inflict serious harm upon a defendant.

    Third, I don't know if Australia has anti-SLAPP laws, but if they don't, I hope they're working on it.

     

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  24.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Dec 16th, 2009 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Evony is a Chinese Company

    >> one of his big beefs is he just doesn't like the model Evony came up with for giving something away for free and still giving people a reason to buy.

    I think Evony does virtual goods -- Mike hasn't been terribly fond of that business model in the past. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091108/1122426850.shtml

    That said, I can kinda see a rationale for virtual goods. The real scarcity isn't for virtual goods, but for some mix of bragging rights, time, and sadistic entertainment.

     

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  25.  
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    Dan, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Re: Gutnick

    The case is easily distinguished by being allowed on the grounds of lex domicilii - that is, the law of residence. That clearly does not apply here.

    Instead any claim would need to prove lex causae - that it Australia is the correct jurisdiction for such an issue.

    The whole point is moot however. Defamation (the catchall term, as the distinction between libel and slander has been abolished in Aus for quite some time) is a claim without merit as Evony, as a company with more than ten employees, is prohibited from making a claim in defamation. Fortunately, the courts look beyond the wording of employment contracts, looking looking at it as a whole, something they are likely to fail.

    ~~~

    It is for that reason the case was changed to pursue matters of injurious falsehood (the normal resort for corporations) and TPA actions. The latter is likely to fail on a couple of counts, the former may have merit.

    Again, demonstrating that Aus is the lex fori will be difficult with the courts likely knocking it back on policy considerations - most notably, for fear of floodgates and frivolity.

     

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  26.  
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    ewgf, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Bruce Everiss is a hypocritical coward - I have posted up several times on his blog, and he just deletes my posts, since he cannot argue with my proof. If he believed in freedom of speech, then he'd leave my posts in place and respond to them, but since he cannot stand to be proven wrong, he deletes them. If you don't believe me, and suspect (fair enough, you don't know me from Adam) that maybe my posts were just insulting or spam, rather than proven points (albeit necessarily insulting in a way, since they proved Mr Everiss to be not just wrong but also guilty of hypocrisy, which certainly wouldn't make him look good), then follow this link, for example:

    http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/bruceworld/pages/bruce_everiss_vs_pesky_realit y.html

    which lists his editing and deleted of the many posts that disprove his lies and rewriting of (well documented) history.

    The trouble is, this time Mr Everiss is in the right, but his reputation for talking rubbish might well sway people to take Evony's side, as they could well assume that his anti-Evony stance is fuelled simply by his usual bias and inability to recognise or at least honestly record the facts.

    He would have done Evony far more harm if he'd publically sided with them, ironically.

    And as for him describing himself as "a highly respected person", it defies belief. The man is a laughing stock. Don't take my word for it, google for him, and see the results for yourself.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    if one person says something about a worldwide company that they don't like, I can't see how its even worth the court's time, if the company makes a good enough product than the shouldn't be hurt by a single guy

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Shopping your lawsuit around to find a country that might find in your favor is a very different thing.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    "If he believed in freedom of speech, then he'd leave my posts in place and respond to them, but since he cannot stand to be proven wrong, he deletes them."

    Freedom of speech is protection from Government not private entities moron. Maybe once you understand some basic concepts you can come back and actually debate with adults.

     

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  30.  
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    ewgf, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    >>"If he believed in freedom of speech, then he'd leave my posts in place and respond to them, but since he cannot stand to be proven wrong, he deletes them."

    >Freedom of speech is protection from Government not private entities moron.

    No, freedom of speech means being able to say what you like, without fear of censorship, in any venue, be it the street, a public forum, your own house, etc. It's not limited to government control at all. Please check your facts before calling other people morons.

    Although since I doubt you'll agree with me, then please post your source - show me where it legally states that freedom of speech covers government control, and no other form or media. Go on, post the URL(s), and prove you're not just posting some made up on the spot "fact" in an effort to sound clever.


    >Maybe once you understand some basic concepts you can come back and actually debate with adults.

    The fact that you can post insults when YOU misunderstand something does not make you an adult. You might be old enough to qualify as an adult, but age alone isn't enough; both your behaviour and your attitude to those who disagree with you show you to be far less mature emotionally then would be desirable in an adult.

    And why, incidentally, since you took the time to snipe at my post, didn't you attempt to address my points? Maybe because that would have entailed first reading the linked page, and then thinking for yourself?

     

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  31.  
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    ewgf, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

    Well, after an admittedly very brief look, I'm so far unable to find any online definition of "Freedom of speech" that follow's Anonymous Coward's definition. Every definition I managed to dig up included the point that under freedom of speech, NO ONE is allowed to dictate what you can and can't say, not religious leaders, not the man next door, not anyone.

    True, Mr Everiss does have the right to delete any posts he chooses from his site, but by doing so he's not allowing freedom of speech on his site. Therefore he does not allow freedom of speech in the responses to his writing. He's not breaking the law by doing this (and of course I never said he was), but he is disallowing freedom of speech on his site, as I said. If I had a web site, and people posted up things disagreeing with me, I'd argue the points with them, not delete them.

     

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  32.  
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    Burgos, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "'Although the printed magazine was only for sale in the US, the article was also published online and available to readers worldwide – leading Gutnick to claim, successfully, that his reputation had been damaged in his home country.'

    Notice the 'successfully' comment."

    Notice the "in his home country" comment. Forgetting details much?

     

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  33.  
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    Niall (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I didn't 'fall' for Mike's logic, because I completely agree with it without any 'convincing' from him.

    a) it's plain and simple stupid to claim libel (or a crime) in one country when you are in a second country, and the person you are taking offence at is in a third country.

    b) it also sets a really really scary precedent, when you look at some of the restrictive laws around. You know, where you can get done for 100 lashes for saying the wrong thing about a certain prophet...

    What didn't get picked up on was how can something that happens in Australia set a precedent for any other location than Australia. Sure, it might mean that the Australian courts will fall into the dangerous logic of "one Australian saw it, therefore it's libel/criminal/whatever", but that doesn't force any other jurisdiction to follow suite.

    Distribution is a thorny question with the internet. Availability isn't quite the same thing, when you are remotely requesting to access a server hosted in a foreign country. Leaving aside 'push' services such as RSS and email, if someone in Australia read "The Guardian" in Britain, then they applied themselves to get that. Also, since the internet is international, anything is likely to be seen anywhere, so does that mean you want to apply for libel in EVERY single jursidiction? Easier to deal with where you are, or more sensibly, where the item was published.

    Oh wait, you 'copied' it onto your computer. Isn't that now some breach of copyright? Or are you now 'publishing' it when the cache displays it on the screen (since it was just in electrons before)? Better hope they don't counter-sue... ... so many 'reasonable' elements of older laws don't work with computers and the internet as they were originally envisaged, and libel law may well have to adapt some semblance of international tech common sense as well.

    There is also the unpleasantness, as mentioned, of a (multinational?) corporation forcing a private individual to deal with legal costs and hassles on the other side of the planet. Good way to try and win by 'default' as opposed to any actual reasonable cause.

    Part of what Mike's article is trying to say here (as far as I read it) is that this is a scary, dumb can of worms to be playing with, and without some sort of common sense or restrictions, then things will get silly.

     

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  34.  
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    Chargone (profile), Dec 17th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Re:

    I think people are confusing 'freedom of speech' with 'the constitutional right to free speech'. the former is a concept. the latter is an American [and possibly other countries too] legal bit that prevents the government of that country from preventing freedom of speech.

    so, while it's true you can't sue someone other than the government, just as a very loose example, for depriving you of freedom of speech in a given context, that isn't the same as them being unable to deprive you of the same.

    and if you can pick your way through my admittedly tangled wording, i think that answers that one.

    (also, i could have replied to several posts with this... assume it's a response to all applicable :))

     

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    Bockle, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 7:52pm

    Confused....

    Im no legal practitioner sorry for crashing the comment posts... But are you guys defending Evony? If you are? Your all idiots. I'm a long time Evony player and regardless on how you feel about their advertising methods the company is a sham. They are also in the business of scamming people out of money. As in give us money we will give you nothing. Do a little further research into the company. They do a lot more wrong then just steal advertisement and use general manipulation. These guys are money hungry scammers, and guess what? They are doing a great job of it because we are letting them? The real question is, What can be done against them? I'm reading thro these comments and I understand very little of it I admit. So here I am with my "noob" post trying to get a straight forward reply. What is being done? Or is it all about bitching? Don't get me wrong bitching is fine, As long as something is being done about it. So please help a person who is reading this a better understanding on what's going on. Sorry for being so straight forward, However its frustrating reading thro this trying to figure out if Evony is being insulted or commended for their efforts.

     

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    ewgf, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    In Mr Everiss' latest article he writes: "We are at the point where a single game can gross a billion dollars at retail", and yet in:

    http://bruceongames.com/2008/03/25/piracy-imagine-software-and-the-megagames/

    he claims that piracy is killing games. How can games be dying, when, according to his own figures, a single game can "gross a billion dollars"?

    I'm not expecting him to answer, of course, just to delete the post, as he always does when someone pulls him up over his errors or contradictions, but it would be nice if he'd answer instead of avoiding the points he cannot answer to his own blinkered satisfaction.

     

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    ewgf, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:38am

    Wow, Mr Everiss did reply to my comment. Sort of. He didn't actually answer my question, of course. He instead avoided it and posted other stuff instead. But don't take my word for it, read for yourself, either on his site:

    http://www.bruceongames.com/2009/12/...consolidation/

    or here, as I don't trust him not to edit the posts:

    My post was:



    "Mr Everiss, you say "We are at the point where a single game can gross a billion dollars at retail", and yet in:

    http://bruceongames.com/2008/03/25/p...the-megagames/

    you claim that piracy is killing games. How can games be dying, when, according to your own figures, a single game

    can "gross a billion dollars"?

    Please answer this post, instead of just deleting it."



    To which Mr Everiss replied:



    "Game development only works as a business when the people who are users of a game pay for the work that has gone into it. However people generally have no compunction whatsoever in stealing if they think they won’t get caught.

    One of the answers to this conundrum is technical protection. And consoles are the ultimate technical protection in that their main economic purpose is to act as an anti piracy dongle.

    The only reason for the success of the consoles is that piracy was so rife on the 8 and 16 bit home computers that preceded them. In fact this piracy was so bad that it forced many game developers and publishers out of business and much great talent left the industry, never to return.

    Of course the technical protection of a console can be broken, as we saw at the end of the PS1 generation, this created very difficult times for the whole of game development as customers stole instead of paying. In the current generation the PS3 is unbroken and the Xbox 360 and Wii both have bricking strategies to deter the stealing of games. Hence the possibilty of grossing $1 billion.

    There are many platforms that have been destroyed from a development perspective by piracy. In addition to the PS1, 8 and 16 bit computers already mentioned there are boxed stand alone PC games and games for the two handheld platforms, the DS and the PSP. Already the iPhone App Store is being very badly effected by piracy.

    Obvious really."




    I wrote a reply, posted it, and it didn't appear. Turns out he seems to be filtering either my username or e-mail again (neither of which are mine - see, I originally made some posts with my online username ("ewgf") and my e-mail address, but they all got deleted, and so I started using other usernames and made up e-mail addresses, as this was the only way to get my posts to appear, as he obviously set the web page software to ignore any posts by "ewgf" or my e-mail address, one or the other or both, I don't know), and now he's done it again, so it would look like he'd replied to my post and I never bothered to reply back. The coward.



    Anyway my post is:



    "First of all, thanks for answering - it's much more civilised than just deleting my posts when you find my points unpalattable.

    However, I can't help wishing that you'd have addressed my question - instead your post reads like you've made another post into:

    http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/bruceworld/pages/bruce_everiss_vs_pesky_reality.h tml

    in fact I could pretty much copy and paste Stuart Campbell's posts in response to yours, as you just reiterate what you posted then, without answering my question of how (a) piracy is killing games, and (b) a modern game (which can be pirated, at least on the PC, Wii, and Xbox 360, I don't know about the PS3) can make a billion dollars?

    You're contradicting yourself, please either retract one of the points, or explain to me how two seemingly exclusive statements can both be correct.


    Anyway, with regard to the above post, you say:

    "Of course the technical protection of a console can be broken, as we saw at the end of the PS1 generation, this created very difficult times for the whole of game development as customers stole instead of paying"

    yet why then did Gran Turismo 2 sell ten million units when it was released in 1999, long after everyone who wanted to, could get their Playstations chipped very cheaply?


    You say: "The only reason for the success of the consoles is that piracy was so rife on the 8 and 16 bit home computers that preceded them."

    No, consoles were successful for a lot of reasons, such as beng easy to use, no load times (cartridges, as opposed to disc or cassette - compare a NES startup time to a ZX Spectrum, C64 or Atari XL game loading time), being more "user friendly" towards children in their simplicity, and the fact that computers could seem scary to some people, but a dedicated games machine that sat under the living room television did not.

    Your point is nonsense, as I seriously don't think that even one person thought "I'll buy a console instead of a computer, as a console has no pirated games". The success of consoles is down to people buying them for their games, their ease of use, and lack of outward complexity. Not because they have no pirated games.


    You say: "In the current generation the PS3 is unbroken and the Xbox 360 and Wii both have bricking strategies to deter the stealing of games. Hence the possibilty of grossing $1 billion." Well, I don't know about the PS3 (just like you don't know about the PSP, but I at least choose not to make up things about machines I know nothing about (the PSP *cannot* run pirated stuff unmodded)), but the PS3 is still playing many cracked games, as many people are still using them and have not got banned (and many people own a 360 for online play and a 360 for cracked games).

    This isn't uncommon, do a little research and you'll see that I'm right.


    You say: "There are many platforms that have been destroyed from a development perspective by piracy. In addition to the PS1, 8 and 16 bit computers already mentioned there are boxed stand alone PC games and games for the two handheld platforms, the DS and the PSP. Already the iPhone App Store is being very badly effected by piracy."

    Er, the Atari ST and Amiga lasted into the 90s, and were killed off by the PC and the consoles, as by then home computers were losing ground to consoles and ever growinging presence of the PC. After Doom came out, in 1993, who wanted a machine that couldn't give you that sort of gameplay and experience?

    The Playstation's last commercial game was released in 2005, SIX YEARS after the consoles successor, the massively selling PS2, was released. You call that "killed by piracy"???and as for the PSP and Nintendo DS, the DS is still selling huge amounts of games, whilst the PSP has few if any good games. I know, I only use my PSP for emulators and ebooks, and I honestly don't know one person who still uses a PSP for games. Most people I've met who had one bought it because it looked really impressive, with it's big screen, lots of controls, fantastic versions of the GTA 3 games, and of course the Playstation name. Then they just stop using them, and leave them gathering dust. Why? If you ask me it's because most PSP games don't work well with the controls, the small screen, or the "play whilst on the move or when you have five minutes to spare" philosophy of mobile games machines. Whereas DS games tend to suit the host machine, most PSP games seem to be written to be used on a home console - with a full size controller, a large TV set, and an hour to kill.

    You say: "Obvious really." But it's only obvious to you. I see things differently, and the facts seem to tally with my view. Which is why I question your posts. So come on then, tell me how games can earn a billion dollars a time, when piracy is killing them. Please don't avoid the issue, just give me a straight answer. That's all I ask."

    Not that anyone will ever see it, as Mr Everiss doesn't want them to. That's the sort of man he is.


    Chargone, my argument about freedom of speech in this case is that since Mr Everiss publishes a public blog and invites comments on his articles, it is hypocritical to delete or alter posts that he disagrees with. He would be right to delete or alter posts that are racially/sexually/etc offenseive, but not posts that merely prove his written views wrong, but this is what he does. And that is why he is so detested among the small number of people who know of him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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