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  • Bill
  • Member Since Dec 17th, 2008

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Recent Comments:

Making the Call on Baseball's Best, Worst TV Broadcasters {Fanhouse MLB Blog}

Dec 4th 2009 5:32PM The Cubs' Len Kasper is a glaring omission from this list. He's very, very good. I think there's an ocean between Scully and Kasper, but then at least like the Gulf of Mexico between Kasper and whoever the #3 guy is. (And I'm not a Cubs fan...Twins fan, actually, and Kasper runs circles around Bremer.)

The Guild episode 2 of season 3 {WoW}

Sep 8th 2009 4:04PM That's just sad.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 5:47PM Totally agree with impurezero. It's a good story, but it's still wrong. And it's not exactly like Jean Valjean stealing to eat or something. There are a whole lot of affordable and perfectly legal alternatives to playing WoW.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 3:44PM Lane, I don't see any way to draw those conclusions from those sources, which explicitly say that in most jurisdictions those contracts ARE binding. Blizzard has never sued a user for the same reason the record companies don't usually sue individual users of kazaa etc.--not worth the cost. And I'd bet (without having any knowledge of this specific situation) that the mere threat of it would usually be enough to get what they want anyway.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 3:27PM Lane,

Why would you speak so forcefully about something you obviously don't know anything about? Just search "EULA" in Wikipedia or something. They're not invisible restrictions. They're put right in front of your face before you open the game (and yes, you've "bought" the software without seeing it, but if you look you'll see that they always say you can return it for a refund if you don't agree).

If I wanted to sell you an apple, but with the express restriction that you couldn't eat it within my line of sight, and you bought the apple anyway, you'd be breaking our contract if you then ate it right in front of me. And there's a tradeoff--maybe you'd pay (or I'd insist on charging you) $1 for an apple with no restrictions, but 90 cents for an apple you have to go elsewhere to eat. That's the whole idea of contract law, in a really tiny nutshell. So no, you're not usually bound by agreements when you buy some things (like food or a book), but you absolutely can be. And some things, you're almost *always* bound to an agreement when you buy it (like real estate or software).

And to get really technical, the software companies claim, and many US courts have agreed, that when you "buy" software you're actually only "licensing" software--you're paying for the right to use this for purposes X and Y only, and you don't really "own" it at all. But even if you're not in one of the areas that recognizes that, you absolutely can be bound by an agreement when you buy smoething.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 3:16PM Aigarius, that's an incredibly naive and oversimplified view.
Ungained profits absolutely do = loss. If someone on a private server
would otherwise be maintaining a legitimate account, there's no
functional difference between that and just taking the money out of
Blizzard's bank account. And intellectual property laws may often be
too protective, but at some level they're essential for keeping
things like this (and music and TV etc.) going. People who say things
like "I refuse to pay huge corporations for imaginary property" are,
by and large, freeloaders who are helping themselves at everyone
else's expense and trying to hide their own greed behind flowery
power-to-the-people language.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 2:57PM Lane, you don't need to sign anything to be bound. You agree to be bound by it when you open the box and/or use the software. It's not "far fetched," it's the way the industry works. And yeah, the contracts are closely scrutinized--contracts of adhesion, especially sensitive to unconscionability, etc.--but they're not unenforceable per se. A few oppressive terms wouldn't keep Blizzard from enforcing its EULA in this particular way, which is absolutely reasonable.
And no, Microsoft wouldn't be able to do that, because every country in which Microsoft operates has antitrust laws. You can't contract in a way that breaks the law. You CAN, however, bind someone to a lawful contract as a condition of them using your software.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 2:46PM Yes, the word "fame" generally has positive connotations, but so does the word "mother," and yet it's found its way into so many non-complimentary expressions...
Taken all together, "fifteen minutes of fame" definitely doesn't evoke praiseworthiness. Know who I think of when I think of that phrase? Kevin Federline. I don't think there's a problem with those connotations here at all.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 2:22PM Tweeder, that's absolutely incorrect. You purchased the boxed game subject to an agreement (the EULA). You do not have the right to do anything you wish with that game, you have the right to do whatever you wish within the limits of what you agreed to (and you did agree, by buying the game). Go outside the agreement, and you're breaking the law.

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only {WoW}

Aug 25th 2009 2:19PM 18th Century, I had in mind something like the Alien & Sedition Acts. Kind of out there, I applies more directly to Bossy's below than to yours. The idea that things we disagree with SHOULD NOT BE COVERED.

The immaturity of it is this idea that allowing someone to say his piece without comment is necessarily an endorsement of that person's viewpoint. The 20/20 reference above is a good one. You'll see murderers, rapists and frauds interviewed on the news all the time (here in the US...I should stop assuming everyone I talk to is in this country), but you don't see them berated and insulted unless you're watching one of those sensationalistic cable news shows. On a real news program, they ask the questions and let the monster say what the monster wants to say. It's more interesting and illuminating that way. But it's obviously not an endorsement of murder, rape or fraud.