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Posts with tag account-selling

The Lawbringer: Mail Bag 9

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps.

Welcome to another mail bag edition of The Lawbringer, ready to answer your questions, inqueries, and crazy considerations. A lot of you have been emailing me about SOPA and PIPA, the two bills currently being legislated on in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. These bills make it extremely easy for parties who feel that they are the victims of copyright infringement to take websites offline without much due process due to the overreaching aspects of the broadness of the respective legislations' wording. We as a subculture of the internet do not like these pieces of legislation.

I chose not to talk about SOPA or PIPA because, honestly, I think everyone is saying what I would say better than I could say it. So many people much smarter than I have already said wonderful things about these bills that you should probably read those instead. If you're looking for more information on SOPA, PIPA, and their general mechanics and potential fallout, hit up Wikipedia for a full FAQ about the bill and great links. For a different perspective, my good friend Chris put up a great discussion of SOPA from a non-legal standpoint as a developer and programmer.

My Lawbringer mail bag always has awesome questions, and I'm thankful to all of you who send them in. I try to get to as many of them as I can, and if you haven't gotten a response, try sending your question in again. It might have just gotten lost or whatever. Email mat@wowinsider.com with any of your Lawbringer questions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Account security and you


Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

New players will soon be streaming into World of Warcraft come Cataclysm time, as well as old friends and enemies returning from prolonged sojourns. With these new or old accounts becoming active again, as well as a demand for grey market services increasing with a growing player base, account security is going to be on the tip of everyone's tongue again. For good reason, too. World of Warcraft has had one of the most daunting burdens of any MMO to date in dealing with account security, account hacking and a legal nightmare overseas.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Real money transactions and some eBay history

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

eBay and massively multiplayer online role playing games have a deep, rich and occasionally sordid past. As social beings, we've been bartering, trading and selling our time and goods for the entirety of human history. The internet just made things even easier. Hell, buying some gold or an item off of eBay isn't the first time you've probably spent money for a work-around in a game. Ever heard of Game Genie? We paid money for that at one point in our lives.

This week, The Lawbringer delves into the past, remembering the good ol' days when the internet came in three varieties: 28.8k, 33.6k and 56k v.90. Also, 14.4k, but only losers had such weak baud. Please don't make me go back further in time. You're probably making modem sounds right now, pretending to go ksshhhh ksshhhh bee doo be dooo wha wha wha wha wha wha wha beeboobeeboobeebeeboobeep, so we should probably start this up.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

Man imprisoned on fraud and theft charges over account selling scam

According to The Associated Press, 23 year old Christopher H. Bouffard accepted $760 in 2008 from at least two people in exchange for WoW accounts. Bouffard then failed to turn over the agreed upon accounts, leading to a police investigation. He has now been charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of scheming to defraud. Bouffard is currently being held in jail until he is able to post a $20,000 bail.

While defrauding people and taking their money isn't anything new, getting busted over it while selling WoW accounts is. From what we understand, the arrest is not for the actual trading and selling of accounts, but for the fraud that went on in the process. The fraud in this case is a criminal matter with very real implications for Mr. Bouffard, whereas the buying and selling of WoW accounts is against the agreed upon Terms of Service, but not against any criminal code.

We've been hearing a lot about misbehaving WoWers lately, from the cougar who ran off with a fifteen year old boy, to Blizzard helping international authorities track fugitives online. This appears to be just the latest in a string of cases for Jack "Hang 'em High" McCoy to lay some law and order down on.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: Why Blizzard should make authenticators mandatory on Battle.net accounts


With the impending switch to necessary Battle.net accounts, Blizzard has an opportunity to create and extremely secure and hardened gaming community. They can do this by waving a magic wand, angering a certain amount of their customer base, and eliminating in one swoop nearly all, if not all, account hacks.

Blizzard can make authenticators a mandatory feature on all Battle.net accounts.

There are many pros and cons such a move would bring about. Let's examine the cons first since everyone likes to complain about stuff. The largest con would be that people would be required to have a physical piece of equipment specific to WoW and other Blizzard games. Some people would obviously not be okay with this and cancel their subscription, and others would not understand how to push a button and punch in numbers (I'm not kidding). There would be a large cry from people around the net, particularly people who enjoy scamming others out of gold and their accounts, but those are easily enough ignored.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Account Security

Officers' Quarters: Crushed by the banhammer

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I enjoy the process of leveling as much as anyone else. I like the feeling of accomplishment in leveling, and the gradual growth of power that comes with it. Blizzard has given us a variety of tools to speed up the leveling process, including heirloom items and the Recruit-a-Friend service. Even so, I can understand why some players just want to skip to the endgame. To some people, questing on a low-level character is a lot less interesting than raiding or PvPing at the level cap.

In order to skip the leveling process, your options are both limited and dangerous. You could pay a leveling service. However, some of these services are actually scam artists who will use your account info to sell everything you have and take all your stuff. You could ask a friend to log in and level for you. However, sharing your account information can get your account banned. Finally, you could just buy an account. Let's see how that turned out for one particular guild leader.

Hello Scott,

My guild is going through an incredibly rough time right now. Our situation is this: We are one of the best guilds on our server. We have cleared Ulduar in both 10 and 25 man, working on hard modes right now. Our team is rock solid. We have about 35 dedicated, geared, and skilled raiders. We all get along great and have an awesome time raiding. But recently a problem has come up that will undoubtedly destroy our guild and send some of the best players on our server without a home. Our GM had unknowingly violated Blizzard's ToS/ToU and now his account has been banned.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Buying and selling


Recently, the rogue Zeuzo, who had defeated the Black Temple and held the Twin Blades of Azzinoth reportedly sold his character for nearly $10,000. Now, that's a heck of a lot of cash, but there's also a lot of time and effort invested in a character that powerful. So for today's Breakfast topic I'm asking this: if you found yourself in possession of the best gear in the game, would you sell your character? Or would the time you put into the process be worth more than any money you could get for it?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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