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Lawsuits, Founders, and Legality


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7 minutes ago, DeMonkey said:

As far as warranty goes I believe you need a little more than ''I promise''. A warranty is a legal document in and of itself iirc.

Not really, even the 'contract' itself does not have to be a written legal document.

From the Ontario Sale of Goods Act I linked earlier:

Subject to this Act and any statute in that behalf, a contract of sale may be made in writing, either with or without seal, or by word of mouth or partly in writing and partly by word of mouth, or may be implied from the conduct of the parties

also...

“warranty” means an agreement with reference to goods that are the subject of a contract of sale but collateral to the main purpose of the contract, the breach of which gives rise to a claim for damages but not to a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated.

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1 minute ago, ChuckMaverick said:

Not really, even the 'contract' itself does not have to be a written legal document.

From the Ontario Sale of Goods Act I linked earlier:

Subject to this Act and any statute in that behalf, a contract of sale may be made in writing, either with or without seal, or by word of mouth or partly in writing and partly by word of mouth, or may be implied from the conduct of the parties

also...

“warranty” means an agreement with reference to goods that are the subject of a contract of sale but collateral to the main purpose of the contract, the breach of which gives rise to a claim for damages but not to a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated.

Interesting. Sounds incredibly vague though, even listing implied contracts . Surely that's a legal disaster to have it so open to interpretation ?

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8 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

Not really, even the 'contract' itself does not have to be a written legal document.

From the Ontario Sale of Goods Act I linked earlier:

Subject to this Act and any statute in that behalf, a contract of sale may be made in writing, either with or without seal, or by word of mouth or partly in writing and partly by word of mouth, or may be implied from the conduct of the parties

also...

“warranty” means an agreement with reference to goods that are the subject of a contract of sale but collateral to the main purpose of the contract, the breach of which gives rise to a claim for damages but not to a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated.

 

5 minutes ago, DeMonkey said:

Interesting. Sounds incredibly vague though, even listing implied contracts . Surely that's a legal disaster to have it so open to interpretation ?

I'm pretty sure the Terms+EULA protects against this as well. Also, games have the right to change anything in their Terms+EULA without notice and it is effective immediately, IIRC. With that said, you can't really do anything about it.

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26 minutes ago, DeMonkey said:

Interesting. Sounds incredibly vague though, even listing implied contracts . Surely that's a legal disaster to have it so open to interpretation ?

You would think, but I suspect that if you were to push for damages resulting from a non-written contract, you would have to substantial additional evidence. Which theoretically could consist of the banners regarding exclusivity and the snapshot of text the user provided earlier.

That said, the phrasing regarding exclusivity is hardly indicative of anything I would personally construe as a warranty. I wonder if there is any precedent regarding the application of this law that could be applied here?

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36 minutes ago, DeMonkey said:

Interesting. Sounds incredibly vague though, even listing implied contracts . Surely that's a legal disaster to have it so open to interpretation ?

It's necessary as this legislation also covers purchases at a retail store, you'd struggle to even claim a verbal contract there, so it's the action of exchanging goods and money that forms the contract.

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5 hours ago, kyori said:

Did the founders signed any legal documents when they bought the virtual items?  If no then why are they going all big boss about like they own DE just by giving a few hundred dollars?

I've never seen any Founders going "all big boss" but they DID save the company from bankruptcy and funded one of the most successful MMO-FPS games on the market right now when there was no promise that it would be successful or not.

DE was laying off people left and right, and they wanted to make Warframe (or rather, a space ninja MMO) ever since they released Dark Sector.

They approached many companies with it. With what little they had for a pitch, they showed it off.

 

Everyone said it would fail.

 

Then they had the Founders.

 

It's why they're called Founders.

The Founders saved their company. DE owes them nothing and yet everything, so they will forever hold their Founder Packages irregardless of what others may want.

 

The day DE passes out those again is the day they break the trust of those who trusted them to make something great. (And they did. We're all here, after all.)

Edited by ChargeBeam
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You can't find any documentation simply because there is none. 

Even if we wanted to, we could never take DE to court if founders gear was re-released; or well, we could as a symbolic action but without any chance to obtain something. The importance of us founders is undeniable, I'd say we have been crucial on early days, but that doesn't make us owning anything, especially since no contract was signed. 

Those claims about lawsuit and stuff were spread by founders who had to build a second liset just to contain their ego, but it's just BS. 

In the best/worst case scenario, after a re-release they could just leave the game raging like hell in the forums, but I guess that wouldn't be so bad for the rest of the community? 

Edited by siralextraffo
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29 minutes ago, ChargeBeam said:

I've never seen any Founders going "all big boss" but they DID save the company from bankruptcy and funded one of the most successful MMO-FPS games on the market right now when there was no promise that it would be successful or not.

DE was laying off people left and right, and they wanted to make Warframe (or rather, a space ninja MMO) ever since they released Dark Sector.

They approached many companies with it. With what little they had for a pitch, they showed it off.

 

Everyone said it would fail.

They even went overseas to Japan to pitch it there. The reply was essentially "a western MMO in this style? It'll fail right away!"

 

Then they had the Founders.

 

It's why they're called Founders.

The Founders saved their company. DE owes them nothing and yet everything, so they will forever hold their Founder Packages irregardless of what others may want.

 

The day DE passes out those again is the day they break the trust of those who trusted them to make something great. (And they did. We're all here, after all.)

My nitpick of the day... I don't recall Steve specifying where he went overseas, so you should removed "japan" from that post. He mentioned going to a big-name company or something. Their reply to Steve, that i recall him saying was something like 'It looks great, but it will fail because it won't be able to hold players'. The reply didn't say jack squat about being western and Warframe's style. Seriously, if you don't recall the specifics, just be vague and try not to make things up.

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48 minutes ago, ChargeBeam said:

The day DE passes out those again is the day they break the trust of those who trusted them to make something great. (And they did. We're all here, after all.)

Yup. DE is holding onto their words so there are issues even if millions of people are asking about this founder topic. 

Not all but some founders clearly shown their behavior here. Well, I kind of understand too if my exclusiveness is to be taken away BUT there is no need to act like some who has acted here. It just gave them a bad name. 

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The founders supported this game when it was in dire need of liquidity.

When it was just a buggy Corpus ship tileset and the Grineer spoke English, yet the founders believed in it.

And so they became  a very important part of the company's liquidity without having to resort to heavy lending (which probably wasn't even available to them back then in sufficient amounts).

And so the game flourished, so you guys can play this game today.

 

I am nearly at mr23 and I do believe that the founders pack must always remain exclusive to founders.

Edited by disco_inferno6
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Interesting. However, if DE were to have a new limited window for buying the Founder items, but not getting the sigil and titles, but rename those, they probably could side step everything.

Not that I think they will or should.

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Just to note that most of the discussions so far seem to be based on US / Canadian law.  EU Law has stronger consumer protections that most countries offer, and a key part of that law is that you cannot sign away your statutory rights

From a UK perspective, the Consumer Rights Act has three key tenets:

1)  Goods must be AS DESCRIBED

2)  Goods must be of FIT FOR PURPOSE

3)  Good must last for a REASONABLE QUALITY and last for a REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME

The definition of 'reasonable' is determined by the type of goods involved.  You would typically expect an expensive branded TV to last longer than a cheap unbranded digital watch for example.

Importantly there are specific clauses covering Digital content.

------------------

Digital Content

The Consumer Rights Act defines digital content as ‘data which are produced and supplied in digital form.’

Just like goods, digital content must be:

  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for a particular purpose
  • as described by the seller.

If digital content does not conform to these criteria, you have the right to a repair or replacement of the digital content you've purchased. 

But if a repair or replacement isn't possible or doesn’t fix the situation, you can ask for a price reduction which can be up to 100% of the cost of the digital content.

------------------

Digital content covered

  • Any digital content for which you have paid for - whether that’s with money, a gift card or credits.
  • Any free digital content supplied with goods, services of other digital content for which you pay a price. For example, a digital programme you need to download in order to watch a paid-for online streaming service.
  • Any free digital content not usually available for free unless you pay a price for it or the goods, services or digital content it’s supplied with. For example, a smart TV or any other product with digital content pre-installed.

------------------

Manufacturers who are selling goods into the UK will offer a 'Manufacturers Warranty' - but that is supplementary to the customers basic rights under the law.  If goods have failed outside the warranty period then you can still use the law to force the retailer into offering a repair or refund.

Now - in the case of the Founders packs the key clause would be 'As Described'.  If the packs were originally marketed as being exclusive to founders - and never to be re-released - then any attempt to re-release that content to other players who did not participate in the Founders programme would certainly trigger that part of the Consumer Rights Act.

Under UK law there is a 6 year limit of liability for civil action - so anything that DE have done since Dec 2010 would still be covered under the law.

Note that whilst EU Law is harmonised - the actual implementation of those laws can still vary from country to country.  Everything I have stated above is specific to UK Law.

Consumer Rights Act:  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

Summary of the Act: http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

 

Edited by Draksyl
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2 minutes ago, Draksyl said:

Just to note that most of the discussions so far seem to be based on US / Canadian law.  EU Law has stronger consumer protections that most countries offer, and a key part of that law is that you cannot sign away your statutory rights

That's because DE is a Canadian company based in Ontario.

However much of Canadian law is based on English law, so there are many similarities.

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it's not so much a legal bond issue. It's an honor bound issue. No one has the right to sue DE over the re-release of the founder's program because DE own all the rights to everything in their inventory. BUT, they are honor bound not to release it. DE made the founders program to literally  bring warframe into fruition, out of the soon to be dumped, trash can. The founders saved warframe in every regard. I know people would be made or whatever is founders came back. But it is HIGHLY likely that it will never come back because DE literally owes everything to the founders. Including their livelihood.

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While I believe that it would be ridiculous, pointless and completely stupid to file a lawsuit over anything like this, I also believe that reason and logic don't even matter. As an outsider, I think it's an American thing. Now if you're from the US, please don't feel insulted when I call it that. But I've read about burglars, who successfully sued the homeowners they robbed when said homeowner attacked them to get them the hell out of their house. Parents successfully suing stores after they tripped over (their own!) toddlers. People suing coffee shops (and winning!) after they burned themselves on their hot coffee. So if somebody says they'll sue DE if they re-release founders' packs, I just shrug it off, mumble a silent "'Murica" and am absolutely convinced they're serious.

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12 hours ago, EmptyDevil said:

You're one of the few that don't care, in my experiences.

I don't care. I didn't pay for exclusivity, I paid because I wanted to support the game and wanted Excalibur Prime. I didn't pay for other people to not have Excalibur Prime

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11 hours ago, EmptyDevil said:

I'm pretty sure the Terms+EULA protects against this as well. Also, games have the right to change anything in their Terms+EULA without notice and it is effective immediately, IIRC. With that said, you can't really do anything about it.

Terms and EULA are frequently completely unenforceable, many, many services claim powers in their EULA/T&C's that wouldn't stand up in court, if it ever came to court.

The fact of the matter is that the generally stated refrain of "They can sue" is absolutly accurate, they can, but virtually none of us are in a position to determine if they would win that suit, and in fact, the damage to DE wouldn't be from winning it would be from the suit itself, or even the threat of it, that's is all that would matter.

 

Edited by SilentMobius
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Why is this a thread again?

What's the point behind it? What matters isn't what people will, or will not do. What matters here is what the company says, and so far they've said pretty explictly "We do not plan to bring that Program back.".

So here lies the question: What will this thread change, if anything?

Also, just saying, but there's many companies that have EULAs that allows them to virtually do anything. But who decides in the end it's a judge. If that judge finds the claim from a suer in any hypothetical case legitimate, then it's legitimate.

Edited by NightmareT12
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16 hours ago, Phatose said:

It would be for false advertisement, not out of the game itself.  DE said in no uncertain terms "never to be available again".  In writing, on their own page.

In all these years, that's probably the most stupid thing they've ever done.

As for suing, DE should take it to America, take the whiny suing folks to Judge Judy, then just get the popcorn ready while she laughs the entitled brats out of court.

Edited by Artorius-Alter
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DE has a lot to lose even if they don't get sued, Console and PC gamers don't like being lied to, remember No Man's Sky and the S#&$storm that followed because of false advertising? DE would lose credibility and trust, and that's going to ruin any f2p game

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