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  1. #1

    EULAs and WoW in Contract Law + Account Transferability

    Granted, I'm just a silly 3rd Year law student. But it seems a lot like a good deal of WoW's "these characters are not your property but ours" shpiel would fall on its face in a majority of states because the EULA is an adhesion contract?

  2. #2
    If the EULA is invalid, you have no right to access Blizzards private servers. The EULA extends your rights, it does not limit them.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.

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  3. #3
    Warchief marthsk's Avatar
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    Man, I dunno... have you asked Phoenix Wright about this? I've heard the guy's pretty involved in both law and video games.
    It's time to level up and quit your newbie ways
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  4. #4
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    WoW's EULA isn't an adhesion contract. Nobody is making you play the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    Granted, I'm just a silly 3rd Year law student. But it seems a lot like a good deal of WoW's "these characters are not your property but ours" shpiel would fall on its face in a majority of states because the EULA is an adhesion contract?
    while im no expert in the way laws work i know lots of people have tried to sue blzz for one thing or another to "get back their stuff" and it never works O-O
    "I was a normal baby for 30 seconds, then ninjas stole my mamma" - Deadpool
    "so what do we do?" "well jack, you stand there and say 'gee rocket raccoon I'm so glad you brought that Unfeasibly large cannon with you..' and i go like this BRAKKA BRAKKA BRAKKA" - Rocket Raccoon

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  6. #6
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immitis View Post
    while im no expert in the way laws work i know lots of people have tried to sue blzz for one thing or another to "get back their stuff" and it never works O-O
    It's because there's ample legal precedence for software licensing and intellectual property that's in Blizzard's favor.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  7. #7
    The characters on Blizzard's servers are theirs.
    You're not strictly speaking forced to play on Blizzard's servers (depending on location).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    Granted, I'm just a silly 3rd Year law student.
    Because Blizzard can't afford any "real lawyers" they probably made the EULAwith the help from Billy, who watches a lot of Law and order. No way they would have access to any professionals that could easily point out why their EULA would never last. I'm sure before WoW's first birthday the EULA will be shredded to pieces by some 4th year law student who happens to read it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    Granted, I'm just a silly 3rd Year law student. But it seems a lot like a good deal of WoW's "these characters are not your property but ours" shpiel would fall on its face in a majority of states because the EULA is an adhesion contract?
    I'm sorry, but you're wrong. The EULA extends the right for you to play, and moreso, store data on their servers. Any data stored on their servers is their data, regardless of how it originated. Since you have no ownership over the data, or the servers, you cannot transfer an account.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kujako View Post
    If the EULA is invalid, you have no right to access Blizzards private servers. The EULA extends your rights, it does not limit them.
    Wrong. I'm not saying the EULA itself is invalid, but portions thereof. (Which raises another issue because most states will only nix out invalid portions of a contract and attempt to keep the parties intent constant. A minority of states, including my own, would deem the whole contract void. And a click-through agreement such as an EULA is deemed a contract.)

    But specifically, I'm talking about the ability to transfer an account to a third party. It's a restraint on alienation of trade - in other words, the argument would say something like:

    "Even if Blizzard retains property rights to the characters themselves, the inability to transfer that licensed access to an account is a void clause of the contract."

    (I am setting aside issue of whether the players are gaining property interests in their accounts based on the hours they play under property law. Merely addressing that clause from an adhesion contract standpoint + restraint on alienation)

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-20 at 01:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by tehdef View Post
    I'm sorry, but you're wrong. The EULA extends the right for you to play, and moreso, store data on their servers. Any data stored on their servers is their data, regardless of how it originated. Since you have no ownership over the data, or the servers, you cannot transfer an account.
    Wrong. You don't need to have property rights for a restraint on alienation to void a clause of a contract.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-20 at 01:55 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    WoW's EULA isn't an adhesion contract. Nobody is making you play the game.
    An adhesion contract does not require me to be forced to play the game. An adhesion contract just means that one side has all of the bargaining power.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-20 at 01:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    It's because there's ample legal precedence for software licensing and intellectual property that's in Blizzard's favor.
    There's a lot of analogous precedent to the contrary

  11. #11
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    An adhesion contract does not require me to be forced to play the game. An adhesion contract just means that one side has all of the bargaining power.
    You have bargaining power, it's called not playing a game. This isn't a lease or housing contract, it's a game in which you are asking to license their intellectual property: they say yes you may use our intellectual property under these conditions.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  12. #12
    http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/

    You can mail this guy that has this blog. He's a lawyer that is actively involved into all that regards gaming industry. Let us know if he answer back

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    You have bargaining power, it's called not playing a game. This isn't a lease or housing contract, it's a game in which you are asking to license their intellectual property: they say yes you may use our intellectual property under these conditions.
    It doesn't require a lease/housing contract to be an adhesion contract. Lots of adhesion contracts are 100% fine. I'm not saying that it's because it's an adhesion contract that would make the inability to transfer clause of the EULA void.

    But clauses like this could be viewed as unconscionable considering the amount of hours a player may put into their account.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-20 at 02:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Brazorf View Post
    You can mail this guy that has this blog. He's a lawyer that is actively involved into all that regards gaming industry. Let us know if he answer back
    Awesome! Ty The kind of response I was looking for.

    Not to point any fingers at Rukentuts, who apparently believes that adhesion contracts involve leases and housing contracts.

  14. #14
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    It doesn't require a lease/housing contract to be an adhesion contract. Lots of adhesion contracts are 100% fine. I'm not saying that it's because it's an adhesion contract that would make the inability to transfer clause of the EULA void.

    But clauses like this could be viewed as unconscionable considering the amount of hours a player may put into their account.
    Still doesn't change the fact that their intellectual property is licensed to you. I can't just take my lease or mortgage and just go "Kablamo, it's theirs now!".
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    Still doesn't change the fact that their intellectual property is licensed to you. I can't just take my lease or mortgage and just go "Kablamo, it's theirs now!".
    What you're saying is circular though in light of my question.

    The very point of the question concerns whether the inability to transfer that license is unconscionable.

    Saying that you're only granted a license to their IP doesn't affect that inquiry.

  16. #16
    you're welcome. there's this piece on the blog that should suit your taste: http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/2012/the-l...les-in-the-eu/ there's direct mention to software likes WoW and MMOs with subscriptions model at a certain point but I can't link it directly.

  17. #17
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    What you're saying is circular though in light of my question.

    The very point of the question concerns whether the inability to transfer that license is unconscionable.

    Saying that you're only granted a license to their IP doesn't affect that inquiry.
    Yes it does. You are granted that license, not a third party. When that contract explicitly states that we're doing this deal with you, and you only, you cannot just introduce a third party. This is why the contract also says, if you disagree to this, or if your views change in the future, the contract is void (i.e. you lose the license to their IP).

    This isn't rocket science people.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    Yes it does. You are granted that license, not a third party. When that contract explicitly states that we're doing this deal with you, and you only, you cannot just introduce a third party. This is why the contract also says, if you disagree to this, or if your views change in the future, the contract is void (i.e. you lose the license to their IP).

    This isn't rocket science people.
    This is why I should've said "Only law-yers/students reply please". You just don't get it, lol.

    The problem is in the very clause itself saying that you can't transfer it. Agreeing to that clause does not mean that the clause is enforceable. A clause may be unenforceable despite your agreement to it in an adhesion contract such as an EULA if the terms of the clause are unconscionable. An unconscionable contract may exist where one party limits the rights of another party to freely exchange the received service/goods/etc.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-20 at 02:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Brazorf View Post
    you're welcome. there's this piece on the blog that should suit your taste
    Yep! I've been checking it out on my other window while this idiot makes circular logic arguments at me

    Infracted. Please don't insult other posters.
    Last edited by Rivelle; 2013-02-21 at 01:29 PM.

  19. #19
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevski View Post
    This is why I should've said "Only law-yers/students reply please". You just don't get it, lol.
    Yes, I don't get it. Neither does Blizzard's team of legal professionals. I refuse to carry on in this thread with an OP with this sort of attitude.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.

    Cycling Logs: 2012, 2013, 2014 (YTD-9.30).

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Rukentuts View Post
    Yes, I don't get it. Neither does Blizzard's team of legal professionals. I refuse to carry on in this thread with an OP with this sort of attitude.
    I only get negative with those who are negative first~

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