Your Rights Under The Eve Online EULA – How CCP May Be Shortchanging You

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. But just because CCP has decided it doesn’t want to live up to its end of the bargain, doesn’t mean you no longer have the rights given to you by the EULA.

Take Section 2(A):

A. Establishing a New Account
Upon establishing a new Account, you will be entitled to play EVE for up to thirty (30) days without paying the subscription fee (the “Trial Period”). If your Account is not terminated in accordance with the procedures set forth below within that thirty (30) day period, you will be charged the subscription fees as described during the registration process when you established your Account.

I don’t know how long its been since you got 30 free days on establishing an account, but these days you don’t get any free days when you start an account(except whatever trial offers are ongoing at the time). If these provisions were to be enforced, by establishing an account, CCP must provide you with 30 days of game time. Do note that establishing an account and purchasing a software license are separate under the EULA per 1(i).

Section 3: ACCOUNT TRANSFER / CHARACTER TRANSFER

You are not permitted to transfer your account to another person. If you wish to discontinue your account please refer to section 6. of this EULA. You may transfer a character from your account to another account, either belonging to you or another person. This transfer option is available from the EVE Online Account Management web site https://secure.eveonline.com/login.asp and is subject to fees and the following limitations: You may not offer to transfer characters except your own, or act as a “broker” or intermediary (for compensation or otherwise) for anyone wishing to transfer or obtain characters. The transferee will obtain all rights to your character in a single transaction, and you will retain absolutely no control or rights over the characters, items or attributes of that character. You may not transfer any characters whose attributes are, in whole or in part, developed, or which own items, objects or currency obtained or acquired, in violation of the EULA.
Any character transfers or attempted transfers not in accordance with the foregoing terms is prohibited and void, and shall not be binding on CCP. A transfer or attempted transfer of a character is entirely at the risk of the parties to such transaction. CCP is not liable to any person (whether transferor, transferee or otherwise) for any acts, omissions, statements, representations, defaults or liabilities of the parties in connection with such a transaction.

Section 3 allows you to transfer characters as long as (1)their attributes are not developed in violation of the EULA, and (2) own items, objects, or currency acquired in violation of the EULA. In Eve you cannot develop your attributes by botting, botting is completely unrelated to developing your attributes since in Eve its a time-based process. Yet, there’s a new Eve policy in place where if they catch you botting they lock the character to your account permanently. It would seem that your botted character, as long as it no longer has currency or objects obtained through botting, should be allowed to transfer. By not letting you do so, CCP is violating its side of the bargain that you entered into.

Section 6(B)(ii):

ii. Termination of EULA
CCP may terminate the EULA, close all your Accounts, and cancel all rights granted to you under the EULA if: (i) you fail to pay the subscription fee when due; (ii) CCP is unable to verify or authenticate any information you provide; (iii) you or anyone using any of your Accounts materially breaches the EULA, makes any unauthorized use of the System or Software, or infringes the rights of CCP or any third party; or (iv) CCP becomes aware of game play, chat or player activity under your Account that is, in CCP’s discretion, inappropriate or in violation of the Rules of Conduct. Such termination shall be effective upon notice transmitted via electronic mail, or any other means reasonably calculated to reach you.
CCP reserves the right to terminate any and all other Accounts that share the name, phone number, e-mail address, internet protocol address or credit card number with the closed Account. Termination by CCP under this section shall be without prejudice to or waiver of any and all of CCP’s other rights or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved, survive termination, and are cumulative. You will not receive a refund of prepaid subscription fees for a termination pursuant to this section.

The issue with this provision is clear, CCP very seldom notifies anyone who has been banned. If you’ve received a temporary ban, you might get a message when attempting to login that you are banned for X number of days. However, on a permanent ban, you receive a standard “Incorrect username/password” message. By not providing notice, CCP has not effectively terminated your account, yet you are unable to access the service you have paid for. Chances are you will be entitled to a refund from the time you were banned, to the time you received notice.

What Can You Do About It?

The first thing to realize is that CCP has a direct remedy at hand if it thinks that you had violated the agreement(they ban you).  But what remedies do you have?  The easiest and most effective remedy for the user is instituting a chargeback.  If you paid in advance for 6 months with paypal or credit card and CCP has terminated your account in violation of the EULA, contact your payment provider and have them chargeback the account.  Not only will you get your money back, but the vendor(CCP) will be charged an additional fee for the payment provider having to investigate the chargeback.

There is nothing illegal about doing this, you have rights under the contract just like CCP does, and just like CCP you are entitled to remedies when the contract is breached.  Also, even if for whatever reason CCP was to sue you, its damages are limited to breach of contract damges(your 6 months worth of money that you would have lost anyway if you didn’t do a chargeback)  and as long as you make a reasonable attempt to settle the claim you won’t have to pay CCP’s attorney’s fees even if you lose.

2 Responses to Your Rights Under The Eve Online EULA – How CCP May Be Shortchanging You

  1. Ganigev says:

    tasty tasty tears 😀

  2. machomedal32@gmail.com says:

    Great Game!

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