Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Man Arrested For Creating Online Game Bot Bully

from the pandora's-box-is-opening... dept

A few years ago, there was a brief flurry of interest in the legal question concerning how offline laws fit into online virtual communities. This becomes very tricky, very quickly -- especially with the growing ability to sell virtual goods from these communities for real money. So, what happens when a virtual character steals from another virtual character and sells what they get for real money? The quick answer, some might say, would be that the thief is guilty of real-world theft, and deserves to be punished. However, since the stealing was allowed in the game, isn't it a part of the game? Worse, what if it's a major part of the game and encouraged? Suddenly the lines get very blurry. Over in Japan, someone has now been arrested for creating an automated in-game bully that would hang out in the popular game Lineage II, beat other characters up and steal their goods. Unfortunately, the article doesn't make it clear whether the arrest was for creating the bot... or for the thug-like virtual muggings. Either way, it raises some troubling questions. Even when real money is involved, the virtual world a totally made up world -- where the creators of that world can put in whatever restrictions they want. So, you could make a fairly convincing argument that if the game creators allow it, it's hard to see how it can be breaking the law (especially when players may come from all over the world, where the laws may differ). At worst, it could break the terms of service of the game -- which is why people (including game developers) need to start realizing that their terms of service are basically a constitution for the game and the game developers themselves play the role of the government in a game.

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  • identicon
    Rahawn, 18 Aug 2005 @ 11:03am

    Rules of the game

    If the game rules allow theft and the TOS allows sale of virtual items, then I think that any defense lawyer can simply compare it to the prize money one wins in a boxing match and win the case. One is rewarded for superior competition according to the rules of the contest.

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

    • identicon
      Bob3000, 18 Aug 2005 @ 11:25am

      Re: Rules of the game

      I agree. What he does with the loot after he steals it is his own business. If your game allows stealing then ...

      Though the developer shoudl see if they can make some new code to 'spot the bot', change their EULA, and delete the character.

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

    • identicon
      Dan K, 18 Aug 2005 @ 12:33pm

      Re: Rules of the game

      Exactly, if they don't want people to steal items then don't give them the ability to do so in the first place.

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

      • identicon
        malhombre, 18 Aug 2005 @ 4:04pm

        Re: Rules of the game

        Arrested! Wow...that's scary.

        Ok, I get that he obtained real yen and all, but like the previous posts that point out the fact that the software/developers/uberlords of the friggin' artificial world have allowed this to occur, HOW CAN IT POSSIBLY BE A CRIME?

        Crap, maybe there are longer term effects from the bomb than we ever foresaw...

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

  • identicon
    Freedster, 19 Aug 2005 @ 6:47am

    No Subject Given

    This is in Japan. It will probably never go to trial, but if it does, expect to hear the outcome in a decade or so:<br><br>http://www.keithfinch.com/jlog/2004/03/the_real_asahar.html<br><br&g t;- Freed

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

  • identicon
    Kevin, 19 Aug 2005 @ 2:56pm

    L2 is a sewer of greed


    Many many people stopped playing this game because of a flood of chinese workers who were being paid to farm for the games version of money "adena". I'm talking about the US servers too.

    This games design, based on very hard to aquire wealth and equipment, practically ensured that this would happen.

    It was so bad, you'd actually log into a town, see a 'boss' with some chinese name, and then 15 assassin type characters all named something like USAgirl01, USAgirl02, etc. They would work all day killing monsters for adena, then then sell the sell it on ebay or many other sites.

    They were so amazingly rude to everybody, it killed the community and economy.

    If you look at the designs of more modern games, like world of warcraft, you'll see many features that are built in to prevent this.

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

  • identicon
    Jackie, 16 May 2006 @ 2:44am

    Why cant they stop the bots from the games

    Like a bot blocker, in other games like 'Silkroad Online' has a penalty if you bot like a month block from logging in and maybe even a permenant block. Silkroad even allows player to get the botters get killed!
    Its very easy to stop this from happening, all the game has to do is to block bots!

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

  • identicon
    Gnome, 30 Jun 2006 @ 2:23am

    This is making the issue blind . The game needs rules , If it doesn;t already . They have a t.o.s for almost everything online that has a community of users .

    People should not worry so much and just do what they have to do . I am sure the rules of this game didn't allow this and if overlooked , will be making some changes .

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

  • identicon
    RG, 3 Nov 2006 @ 1:34pm

    BOT is not and never e a crime

    Making bots is not a crime and never will be. Abusing people, that is a crime, but if you let your software to allow that it wont be illegal at all to bully people. If you didnt want that to happen simple stop allowing your chars to do certain things. But companies dont really care about that. they care to have just a big enough community to make them enough money. What a joke is hearing some online communities condesidering bots to be some kind of cheat. WHo do you think this fault is? the fault is from the same game deisgner who just create games for adictted people that likes to spend all day long playing so give them an edge over some people who just want to have fun an doesnt have time to be there all day long. therefore, addicted player said bot is not right cause i earn the right to spoil you game in virtual world cause Im uncappable to do anything with my life in real world and you havent play enough time. So where does entertain get to be fair and equal to all clases? One thing I admire is GUILD WARS. You dont need bots there cause you have an option with already all levels so you have to learn how to use your weapons and combos effectively. They wont have a bot trouble cause bot are created to be sold to casual players who just want to have fun and dont spend all their timet in the computer to build their characters. In Guild Wars you just need to learn your combos and how to use your weapon so you go right way to the fun part that would be equal compentition for all and just the best will win...

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

  • identicon
    kotoq, 15 Dec 2006 @ 1:33pm

    sdnf kdshkfhsdkhfkfshjkgdfk k dfhgk dfghkdh h jfghk

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

  • identicon
    mukesh11, 10 Apr 2009 @ 10:45am

    Square Enix protects its IP

    The Seoul Central District Court recently issued copyright infringement sentences to the producers and directors of a music video for Korean singer “Ivy”. The video used portions of the storyline, setting and character styles from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children without Square Enix's permission.

    In the words of Square Enix’s General Counsel: “This judgment by the Seoul Central District Court is stringent in comparison to other copyright infringement cases in South Korea, and we appreciate that the maliciousness of this infringement has been recognized in a public forum. Square Enix will continue to take decisive action against any infringements upon the Company's intellectual property, recognizing that this property is one of our most crucial resources.”

    The total damage awards were small (approximately $11,000 against the producer and $6,500 against each of the directors), but sometimes the certainty of a small penalty can be a more effective deterrent than the uncertainty of a large penalty. Also, Square Enix’s civil lawsuit is still pending and might result in an additional damage award.
    -------------
    I wonder why you think that, maybe if you thought about it a bit more you would change your mind. Or maybe I am just being a bit egotistical. What does everyone else think.
    --------------
    mukesh

    Lineage Adena - Lineage Adena

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

  • identicon
    akhil, 10 Apr 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Man Arrested For Creating Online Game Bot Bully

    hello frends,
    Online game is a perfect game is a entertainment The developer found a number of players in the popular MMORPG making use of bots -- programs which automate play, enabling a character to gain money, items, and experience without any direct help from the player. The use of bots is a violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.---------------------

    akhil

    Lineage Adena-Lineage Adena

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

  • identicon
    akhil, 10 Apr 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Man Arrested For Creating Online Game Bot Bully

    hello frends,
    Online game is a perfect game is a entertainment The developer found a number of players in the popular MMORPG making use of bots -- programs which automate play, enabling a character to gain money, items, and experience without any direct help from the player. The use of bots is a violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.---------------------

    akhil

    Lineage Adena-Lineage Adena

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

    • identicon
      Delsomore, 26 Nov 2014 @ 10:00am

      Re: Man Arrested For Creating Online Game Bot Bully

      use cheats, automation software (bots), hacks, mods or any other unauthorized third-party software designed to modify the World of Warcraft experience;, so is using Visual studio consider a third party software, even though its run by Microsoft. How is what i said is a increment, or violation of the term use

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


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