He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone – How You Could Be Breaking The Eve Online Eula, Without Knowing It

If you read the EULA once or twice, you get the feeling that it hasn’t been revised as a whole in a long time. Not only is it riddled with inconsistent provisions, but it even has provisions that CCP stopped abiding by years ago.

Lets take a quick look at the Sections that you may be violating.

Take the preamble to provision 2:

You may establish only one (1) account for each copy of the Software licensed. If you wish to establish another Account, you must obtain another license for the Software (you may be able to do this by purchasing another boxed version of the Software or from the EVE Online web site http://www.eveonline.com).

What CCP is saying here is that if you want to create multiple accounts, you need to buy(or obtain) more copies of the software license. Do note that establishing an account and obtaining a new license are mentioned in the same sentence, therefore common sense dictates that you do not obtain a new license simply by creating a new account. Its clear that CCP is aware that the majority of its player-base has multiple accounts with a single license of the software, yet this provision still remains embedded in the EULA.(More about this later)

Section 7(A):

A. Specifically Restricted Conduct
(1) You may not take any action that imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on the System.

The clear wording of this provision is to put the players in violation for creating excessive load on the system. Note that it is written in the alternative, the conduct is not required to impose an unreasonable and disproportionately large load on the system, but rather, ether one will do. Undoubtedly, any time a huge blobfest goes down in null there is a disproportionately large load on the system for the alliances involved as compared to the rest of the active Eve population. Are we all EULA violators?

Section 7(A)(3):

You may not use macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game.

This is perhaps the most universally discussed EULA provision, and with reason, the entire clause is full of ambiguity and overbreath. For starters, “other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items…” covers everything from dual-boxing, to engaging in group warfare for more efficient pvping(facilitation of acquisition of items). I have deliberately left out the “at an accelerated rate” clause in order to maintain neutrality and avoid all the “OMG BUT THE SPIRIT OF THE EULA” stuff. Whatever “the spirit of the EULA” is, no one knows for sure, but its not something I want to spend time theorizing about. If the “accelerated rate” wording was given any weight, a botter botting 4 hours a day is not acquiring items at an accelerated rate, while a legit player tripple boxing for 6 hours a day might be. Which side do you fall on?

Section 7(A)(5)

You may not engage in any conduct that results in an Account containing items, objects, currency, character attributes, rank, or status that are inappropriate for the level or rank of the character contained in the Account, including without limitation arranging, making or accepting transfers of items to a character without adequate consideration, thereby augmenting or aggregating items in an Account and increasing its value for an Account sale.

Pay close attention to the highlighted part. Consideration is a contract term that refers to something of value given by a promissor to a promisee in exchange for something of value given by a promisee to a promissor. It could be a promise to do or not do something, it could be payment, etc. What this provision says is that you cannot give someone else items without accepting “adequate consideration” in return. Mind you not just consideration, not just something of value, but something of adequate value so as to maintain the net value of the exchange close to 0. Now ask yourself, how often in the world of Eve Online, do people give other people, alliance mates, corp mates, etc, items of value for nothing or close to nothing?

Section 7(C):

Compliance with Rules of Conduct
You agree to observe and abide by the Rules of Conduct as may be amended by CCP from time to time. The current version of the Rules of Conduct may be viewed at http://www.eveonline.com/pnp/terms.asp, and are incorporated in the EULA by reference.

This provision is particularly hilarious. Its saying that the rules of conduct are incorporated into the EULA, meaning that when you sign the EULA you agree to abide by them as well. So we go to the rules of conduct and find the interesting tidbits…

Code of Conduct-Incorporated By Reference:

Section 5 of the code of conduct states:

You will report out-of-game issues regarding harassment, such as threatening phone calls or correspondence, to your local law enforcement officials or Internet provider. CCP will not reveal personal information about its subscribers to unauthorized individuals. We are not responsible for actions taken by our subscribers that occur outside the jurisdiction of our game servers or web site.

Ever been harassed on a forum or received hate email in regards to Eve Online? Didn’t report it to your local authorities or ISP? You are in violation of the Eve Online EULA.

Section 10 of the code of conduct states:
You may not market, sell, advertise, promote, solicit or otherwise arrange for the exchange or transfer of items in the game or other game services unless it is for in-game sales of in-game services or items.

This section seems to invalidate the entire services for ISK industry such as KB hosting, poker, and many other things I can’t think of right now.

Section 11 of the code of conduct states:
The advertisement or sale of out of game goods and services not directly related to EVE online is prohibited. The only out of game goods and services which can be advertised or sold are the following: EVE forum signature creation, website and third party voice communication server hosting or EVE Time Codes.

This section makes an exception for Eve time codes, “website and third party voice comms” and eve forum signature creation. Poker for ISK is neither website communications, nor third party voice communications, nor Eve forum signature creation.

Back to the main EULA-

Section 10(A):

For each valid Account you maintain, you may install a copy of the Software on, and access the System from, a single computer or Game platform, and from a secondary computer if you so choose. You must purchase a separate license to the Software for each additional Account you register; e.g., if you have 2 Accounts, you must have 2 licensed copies of the Software. You may not use more than one Account with a single licensed copy of the Software. You may make one (1) copy of the Software for backup or archival purposes.

Have you purchased a copy of the Eve Online license for every account you own? What exactly is CCP actually doing, and does it conform to what the EULA is saying?

Section 10(B):

License to Access the System to Play the Game
Upon establishing a valid Account, and subject to your continued compliance with the EULA, CCP grants you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to access the System, and to access and use the Game Content and User Content (each as defined below), in order to play EVE online. You may download (and, to the extent permitted by the System, make a single copy for your own purposes in playing the Game) and exchange Game Content and User Content exclusively via a valid Account, solely to play the Game, for purposes permitted by, and in a manner consistent with, the EULA.

…So…by Section 10(A), you need to purchase a separate license per valid account you create and per section 10(B), CCP grants you a license upon establishing a valid account…which one is it CCP? And more importantly, are you violating the EULA by not having license copies for each of your account, or are you not violating the EULA because Section 10(B) gives you a valid license just by creating an account?

Section 10(C):

You may not copy, distribute, rent, lease, loan, modify or create derivative works of, adapt, translate, perform, display, sublicense or transfer any information accessible through the System, including without limitation, any part of the Game Content or User Content, or any item, object or character in your Account, except that, solely to the extent permitted by the System, you may modify certain Game Content and User Content only for your own purposes in playing the Game.

Going back to killboard hosting example, killboard data is clearly either game or user content(or both). Copying, distributing, transferring, adapting, or displaying such content runs afoul of this section.

So now that I’ve walked you through the EULA, which side did you end up on, are you a violator?

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