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Lawsuits, Founders, and Legality


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The problem with EULA/TOS overall is fact, that it hold absolutely no power in jurisdiction. Especially outside USA. Its just a boogeyman of videogame industry. Many companies tried to use it as argument or evidence in court trials and fail miserably. They can write anything they want in to EULA and TOS, but once is case before court, it has same power as "eye witness". Only few parts in them are foundation for other laws (like copyright laws, publisher laws etc), but something like "if you pay this, you don't own it and you can't sue us for getting it" is complete non sense, because it conflicts with ownership law. 

The basic problems with EULA and TOS is, that:

Each country have different laws, which re-write "law" stated in EULA/TOS. Especially European Union members. In my case after purchase (platinum, prime pack..anything) i have opinion to return stuff /chargeback transaction within two weeks without stating reason. If DE say, they won't do it, they could be held before European court, for breaking consumer laws and no EULA/TOS could save them.

EULA/TOS is not written in official language of country you signed in or you are citizen, thus your signing (click on tab OK) is invalid.

Each country have different political belief. (Try enforce something like this in communist China).

There was great saying about EULA/TOS, explaining it pretty clear:

Even when you sign contract with hitman to kill you, he still be held before court for manslaughter.

Edited by JustSneaky
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45 minutes ago, Artorius-Alter said:

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.

Taking it to America would be a bad idea for DE.  Punitive damages are a thing in the US - means they'd be at risk for far more then just the money paid. 

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1 hour ago, Artorius-Alter said:

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.

You're aware that the Judge Judy show is not actually a court of law, right?

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46 minutes ago, Phatose said:

Taking it to America would be a bad idea for DE.  Punitive damages are a thing in the US - means they'd be at risk for far more then just the money paid. 

and

33 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

You're aware that the Judge Judy show is not actually a court of law, right?

It was a joke, poking fun at the ridiculous nature of seriously taking something like this to a court of law.

And yes, ChuckMaverick, I am aware, programs like Judge Judy probably work with contracts that state the participating folks will abide by what this 'judge' rules, we got a similar program here in The Netherlands that does it that way anyhow.

Edited by Artorius-Alter
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14 hours ago, KriLanze said:

Going further to the "F.A.Q." https://web.archive.org/web/20130509142314/https://warframe.com/faq

 

What is an “Exclusive Founders Set”?

The Exclusive Founders Set is available for a limited time only and equips the user with the Excalibur Prime Warframe, and/or the Skana Prime Sword, and/or the Lato Prime Pistol. This special set is exclusively for Warframe Founders and available for a limited time only!

 

Basically there is the "in paper"...  kinda iffy considering the ToS/EULA, but anyway... there it is...

Also, me being a founder with Skana prime that didnt have enough funds for the next level at that time, i really dont care too much if they "unvault" the founder package.

 

Edit: They actually go back with what they said with the Design Council from founder packages :P... so basically anything goes atm with the rest of the prime thingys in the packages

Well...not to get technical...but...actually, yes...to get technical it says this "special set" is exclusively for founders. It doesn't say the individual items are exclusively for founders.

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2 hours ago, NightmareT12 said:

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.

It will change my personal access to data regarding the logistics and legality of a potential suit. Which is all I set out to have it do in the first place. 

I'd say it's been fairly successful so far.

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I think my point was missed in all this:

Why would DE take ANY chance ? the have nothing to gain by by doing this other than a legal bill?

Also Don't forget DE is now owned by someone else they wouldn't even get to make the decision.

There no money to be made from this .

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, DxAdder said:

I think my point was missed in all this:

Why would DE take ANY chance ? the have nothing to gain by by doing this other than a legal bill?

Also Don't forget DE is now owned by someone else they wouldn't even get to make the decision.

There no money to be made from this .

 

 

 

 

That's really neither here nor there. 

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10 minutes ago, DxAdder said:

I think my point was missed in all this:

Why would DE take ANY chance ? the have nothing to gain by by doing this other than a legal bill?

Also Don't forget DE is now owned by someone else they wouldn't even get to make the decision.

There no money to be made from this .

It's a theoretical discussion about the legal technicalities.

No one honestly believes any of this will actually happen, it's just fun to look at the possibilities.

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41 minutes ago, ChuckMaverick said:

It's a theoretical discussion about the legal technicalities.

No one honestly believes any of this will actually happen, it's just fun to look at the possibilities.

Odd as it sounds, this is exactly correct. I'm pleasantly surprised at how civil the conversation turned out to be.

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2 hours ago, -CM-Liverslices said:

OP is 100% correct.

In no way does DE have any legal obligation to founders. Founders bought a one time product, they did not sign any any contract and they are not part of any money over time deals. DE could do whatever they damn please.

Technically they did signed up. When you buy something, you are signing a type of "contract" where you as person (it could be firm, shop, distributor etc) transfering rights for that property on another person. With this come complaints, warranty, insurance, and so on, which are part of consumer laws. Like when you buy new TV and found out, that it didn't work or it was damaged. You sign contract, where seller stated, that this thing have this and this and is in that and that condition. When anything of it isn't true, he brake contract (signed by your money transfer), thus he is obligated to follow consumer laws.

TL:DR DE can't release founder items, because it will break their agreement with owners of this pack, and they will be obligated to chargeback, if owner demand it. And no, EULA part: *Technically you didn't buy it, you only purchase license to use it (ergo copyright law)* is void in this case, because it is in straight contradiction with consumer and advertising law.

Here is part on official site: https://warframe.com/news/founders-program-ending-nov-1

And here is official propagating material: https://web.archive.org/web/20130310105706/https://warframe.com/founders Where you can clearly see word items (not set) and also individual NAMED items in each pack.

The only time, they could be re-introduced in game is situation where founder packs will be again available. Cost doesn't matter, but they must be named founder packs. 

This two bolted sentences legally bound them, to never release stated items again. Otherwise, it will be classified as false advertising.

This is your last chance to get your hands on the Exclusive Founders Only Prime gear -- Excalibur Prime, Skana Prime and Lato Prime -- Plus, show off your support with an in-game Founders Badge. And, don't forget the great discount on Platinum!

None of these in-game items will be available again. So don't miss out, add them to your collection today!

Edited by JustSneaky
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1 hour ago, JustSneaky said:

Technically they did signed up. When you buy something, you are signing a type of "contract" where you as person (it could be firm, shop, distributor etc) transfering rights for that property on another person. With this come complaints, warranty, insurance, and so on, which are part of consumer laws. Like when you buy new TV and found out, that it didn't work or it was damaged. You sign contract, where seller stated, that this thing have this and this and is in that and that condition. When anything of it isn't true, he brake contract (signed by your money transfer), thus he is obligated to follow consumer laws.

TL:DR DE can't release founder items, because it will break their agreement with owners of this pack, and they will be obligated to chargeback, if owner demand it. And no, EULA part: *Technically you didn't buy it, you only purchase license to use it (ergo copyright law)* is void in this case, because it is in straight contradiction with consumer and advertising law.

Here is part on official site: https://warframe.com/news/founders-program-ending-nov-1

And here is official propagating material: https://web.archive.org/web/20130310105706/https://warframe.com/founders Where you can clearly see word items (not set) and also individual NAMED items in each pack.

The only time, they could be re-introduced in game is situation where founder packs will be again available. Cost doesn't matter, but they must be named founder packs. 

This two bolted sentences legally bound them, to never release stated items again. Otherwise, it will be classified as false advertising.

This is your last chance to get your hands on the Exclusive Founders Only Prime gear -- Excalibur Prime, Skana Prime and Lato Prime -- Plus, show off your support with an in-game Founders Badge. And, don't forget the great discount on Platinum!

None of these in-game items will be available again. So don't miss out, add them to your collection today!

Even if your argument regarding sale being an implied contract was legally valid (it's not, for a variety of reasons), the fact remains that under Canadian/US law there aren't any protections for the exclusivity of the item.

Also, while the consumer protections regarding bait-and-switch and even false advertising could theoretically be applied here, there are no direct conflicts between the law and the relevant portions of the EULA and ToS as far as I know.

Warframe is owned wholly by Digital Extreme's, and their right to propagate or not propagate any portion of their IP lies solely with them. You might be able to make a case against the conditions of the initial sale with your "implied contract of sale", but anything past that would be extremely tenuous.

Edited by MadHatHacker
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9 hours ago, SilentMobius said:

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.

 

Take all my +1's for both posts.

I wish I could convey myself this efficiently.

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Just now, Sygnano said:

Does the founders page specifically and explicitely say the items will never go on sale ever again ? Or do I have a ground if I sue McDonalds everytime they reintroduce a "limited time only" burger ?

Yes, and no. But the burger comparison isn't really valid.

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I for one hope they never re-release any of the founders stuff. Because if they did, it would it would erase any and all credibility the company has. Game developers are becoming just as bad as politicians when it comes to going back on their word these days. So it would be nice to see a developer stick to their guns for once. Even if it means that I will never get my hands on Excalibur Prime  

Edited by METAL_BAWKSES
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18 hours ago, EmptyDevil said:

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.

It did mention the western part.

9 hours ago, NightmareT12 said:

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.

You should read the thread again. It wasn't made to change anything but gather information.

I'm sure someone will sue. Under any basis even if it is a ridiculous one. As for the Lato prime in China someone brought up and poked fun at it. The details were that DERebecca confirmed that they didn't know about it and they would start investigating themselves. This has assured at least everyone on the forums that they should wait. I say everyone since as you(whoever it was; I'm not quoting anyone else again) sarcastically mentioned, they haven't sued. 

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At this point, I think it's pretty safe to say the consensus is that a lawsuit with any level of legitimacy would be difficult or even impossible to bring forward.

Does anyone have any differing opinions they can support with relevant, credible evidence?

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44 minutes ago, AerinSol said:

It did mention the western part.

You should read the thread again. It wasn't made to change anything but gather information.

I'm sure someone will sue. Under any basis even if it is a ridiculous one. As for the Lato prime in China someone brought up and poked fun at it. The details were that DERebecca confirmed that they didn't know about it and they would start investigating themselves. This has assured at least everyone on the forums that they should wait. I say everyone since as you(whoever it was; I'm not quoting anyone else again) sarcastically mentioned, they haven't sued. 

Saying, "I'm going to sue this game company!" is easier said than done. That's bush league/internet tough guy 101. Actually, hiring a lawyer that would take such a ridiculous case, probably at a premium is another issue entirely.

Lots of "exclusive" game content ends up getting non-exclusively re-released. This would be an incredibly and ridiculously weak sticking point to try and hinge a lawsuit on.

DE is easily covered by their EULA/terms of use/etc., the ole' standard, "we reserve the right to change/modify/etc." deal.

Did founders get the content they were promised? Yes, they did. And like I already mentioned, they said this was a "special set" for founders. Founders did get an exclusive "set." Doesn't mean DE can't re-release the individual items from the set.

And oh man...all the times I've heard people threatening to sue game companies, forum moderators, other forum posters who point out that they're idiots. If you're (generally speaking) going to sue someone, don't blab about it on a forum. JUST DO IT.

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