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Valid Legal Fix - [help wanted, know lawyer?, see post #6]

Discussion in 'Monetization Suggestions' started by HighPing, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. HighPing

    HighPing Real Lag

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    Suggestion Title:
    Easy Legal Fix
    Short Description:
    This is a basic fix that myself and the server owners of UOGamers (Ultima Online) and L2Kaos (Lineage II) servers used when EA and NCsoft tried to shut us down in the past with a letter similar to the one you provided from Mojang Slind. Not saying it will work but, Its a great shot and I suggested to higher ups in the past. Ok so lets start with the basics for starters.
    Long Description:
    Both 1 and 2 of my suggestion will fix two of their problems.
    Please remove the ability to purchase soft currency.
    Make sure that all items are in line with the Commercial Guidelines linked to earlier.

    This one is the hardest to fix but then again not really that hard if you think about it, I think 3 is the only route that we can go.
    Make sure that all rank perks are in line with the Commercial Guidelines linked to earlier

    My Suggestions

    1.) Trademark/Brands: In every webpage in the copyright section at the bottom and somewhere on the loading screen of the modpacks add the line, "Minecraft" and any "Minecraft logo" are trademarks of Mojang Synergies AB, Microsoft or its affiliates. Don't forget to add a links for the companies name as I did here. This is basic website 101 to keep from having a suit files against you, When you use anything from anyone else you have to give credit where credit is due. Most companies also love when you link back to their site as well because it provides them with more traffic that they may not have had without it.

    2.) Selling Currency: This has been a no no for as long as I can remember, it does not matter if it is in game currency or items you are selling. No one has EVER been allowed anyone to do this. If you did you will be selling things that do not belong to you in the first place to sell. Mojang/Microsoft owns all in game items no matter what the case would be. The way we got around this on other servers when NCsoft and EA both threatened to file a law suit against us was to STOP selling everything and anything.
    Loophole: What we ended up doing is the same thing I suggested too the higher ups in the past. Stop selling stuff and create a Donation system. Do not mention you are selling anything no matter what and create a privacy policy and terms of service which specifically state just that. You are probably wondering, "Why would a player donate if they are not getting anything out of it?" They will be receiving items and currency in game. You just can not sell it, so make sure everywhere on website and shop it clearly states that MyM does NOT sell or trade any Mojang owned items. We do however collect donations to help keep the server alive and in good faith and gratitude we are willing to reward players with said items determined on the amount they donated. Think of it as Tiered donation system. Donate this much get these items for FREE as a GIFT for the donation. Or donate and receive in game currency in its place. It legal to collect donations and give items away for free as a way of saying thank you for your donation, but illegal to sell them as they do not belong to you too sell.

    3.) Based on the guidelines we can not let other people get access to anything the company has made in a way that is unfair or unreasonable.

    Ok so derp this is modded Minecraft, Just change the donation system so that no one can use the commands in game to get things like "god, fly, hunger, etc." I know players will hate not having the command, but there are a lot of items in game that have the exact same effect. So if they are top tier donator's we give them the items in game that have the same effect and just remove all commands that violate this section of the Commercial Guidelines.

    I know I know, I am probably one of the last people that anyone wants to take suggestions from, but I love this server more than any other staff member that has ever actually played here. I said it before and I will say it again, I love MyM and all I have EVER wanted was that this network grow to be the biggest and best out there.

    I always made suggestions to improve the network and staff team. I know my suggestions seemed like they attacked staff ranks or certain staff members but that was their side of the story that made it seem this way and no one wanted to hear me out, but that was never the case and now I am no longer staff on this network and I am ok with that as long as I can still play here and enjoy the network as I always did.
    I also know some people had issues with me in the past because they felt their rank was threatened by my suggestions when all I was doing is trying to make the network better for the players, Some people only think about themselves and their current position when I have been thinking about the future of MyM, Well again I am thinking about the future of MyM and I do NOT want to see this network shutdown.

    Please take my suggestions seriously read over them and consider them as they may be the only way to keep the network the same way with very little changes. Forward my suggestions in your own words making it sound as professional as you can to Mojang and ask them if that will help satisfy the issues they currently have with the MyM network. If they threaten about changing it from selling stuff to rewarding player for donations I know for a fact due to past experience they can not stop it. No such law or rule about giving away things for free for a donation that I have ever seen.

    @Slind, @SirWill and for shits and giggles @Werwolfi_de, You guys should know I have MyM in the heart and I want whats best for this network. I was always loyal to the network and always will be. I am more than willing to help with anything you need me for all you have too do is ask. I am here for the players of MyM and here for MyM itself as always.

    Your Truly,
    Lordicon
    Merged:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2017
  2. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    Since virtual goods do not have a real value, this might be valid in terms of law. Unfortunately this is not a matter of law more a matter of what mojang likes and doesn't, since this has only been a request so far, the most likely scenario for not complying is their blacklist, which does not require legal grounds.
     
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  3. Sandstroem

    Sandstroem Patron Tier 3

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    I think number 2 has been more or less what we are already doing. Most of the credit stuff in the shop is classified as donations, but I think that is mostly a play with words.

    I am not sure about the third suggestion. Does the Eula exclude modded stuff? If I get you right, then for example putting copper ingots from Forestry into resource bags would be okay, but not vanilla iron? Maybe I misunderstood your suggestion.
     
  4. wyndman

    wyndman Administrator Patron Tier 3

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    This was suggested previously, the answer from Mojang is even if a mod adds it, they own it. Their justification is you can't use those copper ingots without their game.
     
  5. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  6. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    If anyone has personal contacts and could run this question by without imposing any costs that would be much appreciated.

    My issue with the legal way is that it is always a matter of view. Lawyer A will say something totally different than lawyer B. Asking someone with a lot of experience (corp and international) would probably be key and they don't come by for less than hundreds (if not thousands) bucks the hour.

    Furthermore do we really want to get on the bad side with mojang.
     
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  7. HighPing

    HighPing Real Lag

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    Never really considered the Blacklist side of things when I wrote this suggestion up. It would fix any legal sides of it but it really does not matter because of the blacklist option in play, If Mojang does not like these type of changes then they will just blacklist us and there would be nothing we can do about it. Mojang blacklisting a server from connecting is no different than Slind banning a player from this network because they broke a server rule.

    I guess the only real question is how do we still provide players with a great experience without them having the ability to buy items or commands in game and still have a revenue to support the servers and keep them running.

    Players can still donate for items as long as every player in game also gains access to these items.

    Would suck but players could donate for the whole server. Donate for "/god" for 24 hour period then it turns off for everyone when 24 hours is up. Different tiers would equal different amounts of time the command is active for on a Specific server only, so if donating for god on Infinity it will NOT carry over to Crackpack or B-Team etc. Or make it donate for credits only and in game whoever donated can select the ability they want the whole server to have from the "/shop" menu.

    Other than that I can not think of any way.
     
  8. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  9. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    One major difference is that there is nothing in terms of class actions in Germany.

    I'm not sure if there are lawyers working based on win rev share here.

    Does the EULA have a different value in a professional environment compared to end users? (since by law/finance this is a company with profit (no non profit state from the finance system)

    Regarding the rumors, do you know the name of any of those servers. We could reach out and ask about it :)
     
  10. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  11. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    @bryan84 Would you mind summarizing all the points you brought up in a structured overview? Something I can use as guideline with a lawyer or send to them? My legal englisch isn't trained at all and I have difficulties following all your points a clean structured document would go a long way :)
     
  12. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  13. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    No worries, all I'm asking is a structured overview of what you already posted. Something that is more easy to understand for me and which I can use to talk to lawyers :) Because atm. I'm overwhelmed ;)
     
  14. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  15. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    No worries, take your time.

    I do like these ideas, though it comes with some troubled feeling knowing the numbers. While it is not extreme like with p2progress games (clash royale, clash of clans..), the costs are covered mainly by a few players who paid a lot. I have my doubts about a low price system. Especially since there are other servers staying free. I doubt mojang is going to get to them in a timely manner or them being ok on changing their shop. After all most of them sell end game items.
     
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  16. Slind

    Slind Founder

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    These were the terms, back when we bought the game: Minecraft
    There is nothing against commercial use, the opposite it even states that one is allowed to sell plugins. Since the context of selling isn't specified, I would argue it doesn't matter how, hence selling access to the plugins is endorsed. If the claims - that terms-of-use/eula changes are not lawful in Germany after the purchase date - are valid and in combination with the toleration of monetized servers after the terms change in 2011/12 there seems to be a solid ground for all the points you brought up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  17. bryan84

    bryan84 Well-Known Member

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  18. HighPing

    HighPing Real Lag

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    wow that is a lot of legal stuff to read, I just want to point out some things that may have or may not have been missed.

    Mojang/Microsoft can do whatever they like with the software. They can host realms or even sell in game items to players if they choose to do so. One major thing a lot of people do not understand is that when you purchase any software no matter what software you are buying, Could be any game out there or ecommerce software or even Microsoft windows itself. Once you purchase the software it DOES NOT belong to you. You are not buying a copy of the software and it is NOT yours. The only thing you are really buying is the licence to use the software. It is kind of sad to be honest because of the price of some software out there.

    Microsoft could at anytime remove your windows key from their system so you no longer have right to important updates etc. They could even go as far as to make sure you do not have windows installed on any of your systems and make it court order that you can not use their software if they wanted to. This is just an example and Microsoft would never do this to a customer because of the time and money it would take. But legally they could and that is my point with all of this.

    We are currently using software designed and owned by Mojang/Microsoft, Mojang can setup realms and sell things all day long and there is nothing we can do about it. If we try to copy them or compete against them then we are the ones in the wrong because it is not legally our software to do this with. Just like selling items in game. We should never take the fight to Mojang or contact lawyers to do so because we will lose that type of fight.

    The only thing that can be done is what I originally suggested and wait for them to bring the fight to us. The worst part about the whole thing is the fact that they can blacklist us. That is their way of getting what they want how they want without getting a suite filed against them, It wouldn't be people that bought the software getting blacklisted so if MyM was blacklisted players would still be able to play somewhere else, only reason I bring this up is because if they did blacklist all players from using the software itself then it would be illegal because they are violating the licence agreement we all agreed to when buying the software. That is not the case here though.

    How to get around being blacklisted is tricky as hell though, I do not believe it is illegal in anyway for them to blacklist connections to THIER Auth servers. The only thing I can think of to get around it is to setup a Auth server of our own and require all of our players to connect using only our launcher which would ensure they are connecting to our Auth server. Of course it may be a bit of a pain and someone is going to have to code the installation of it all and get it setup.

    Then again we would have to install the launcher which adds files to the game itself changing out Mojangs auth connection for our own. Which again raises a problem of modifying game files that do not legally belong to us. It is all a giant Catch-22 and is a pain to get around but can be done with some deep complex thought of it all.
     
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  19. JamesHowell

    JamesHowell Well-Known Member

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    Source: Minecraft

    So in Germany that doesn't count for anything?
     
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  20. harryarne

    harryarne Well-Known Member

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    What happened here?
     

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