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View Full Version : Some of You Asked for New Suggestions to Stop Spamming, Here They Are


Quonset
02-24-2007, 06:20 PM
Here are some suggestions I have for Sony to address the spamming issue. Maybe they've been suggested before, but if so, I'm not aware of it. Since one way to prevent the advertising is to make it unprofitable, do  (1) and (2) (1) raise the cumulative cost of the game subscriptions for the spammers by doing the following: (1a) adding a special /spam reporting command, separate from the /report command, leaving the /report command only for complaints about abusive players. (1b) aggressively deleting offending accounts by having a person monitoring each server 24/7 and responding to /spam complaints *immediately*, i.e. within minutes or seconds. (1c) requiring a credit card to register the game and allowing prepaid game cards only for paying further monthly subscriptions. (1d) forever blocking the use of any credit card number used to pay for an account which was deleted for spamming. (1e) reporting any person found to be spamming to the issuer of the credit card and issuing a formal complaint about their illegal activities. (2) raise the cost of any given game subscription for the spammers by doing the following: (2a) not allowing tells or in-game mails from any free trial subscriptions. (2b) selling both cheap and premium versions of the game, and applying different sets of rules regarding tells or in-game mails for these, since for 'real' users, the one-time price of the game is insignificant compared to the subscription cost for several years of play, whereas for spammers who keep getting their account deleted and having to buy a new copy of the game, paying for a premium version each time would be very costly. (2c) add an option for players of the premium version to block tells from users of the cheap version. This would make a two-class system in the game, but the people who play for years and hate the spam would probably be willing to pay a one-time fee to cut down on it. (2d) alternatively, add a premium service for a one-time fee, and allow players to block tells and mail from others not using that service. Start using the legal system, as in (3) (3) take legal action against both the individual spammers where practical and definitely against the proprietors of the plat-selling websites. (3a) the EULA is a legally binding contract, just like a shrink-wrap software license, and anyone who violates it can be sued, and in the case of spammers should be. Sony has a lot of lawyers, I am sure, who could file a lot of papers with the courts. Since anyone registering the game has to do so with a credit card, identifying the perps should be easy enough. Depending on the location of the spammer (China for instance) the court might not be able to apply any direct punishment. However, the EULA could be  (probably is, but I haven't checked) constructed such that jurisdiction is stipulated to be in a US court. The spammers could be charged in absentia, and (since they would never show up) found guilty. Subsequently, Sony could request that their names by placed on a list with Interpol, or that they be put by the U.S. State Department on a list of undesirable persons, never to be allowed enty to the U.S. (3b) since violating the EULA is effectively breaking the law, then encouraging people to do so is also breaking the law, and the websites proprietors should be held liable and sued for damages. (3c) since selling plat is a criminal enterprise and a lot of people are invovled, it constitutes 'organized crime' and the RICO statute could be invoked, and the proprietors charged with felonies (federal crimes, with long prison sentences). (3d) since the activities of the plat-selling websites are illegal, the proprietors are probably violating the Terms of Service of their web hosting companies. Most web hosting companies will shut down such sites when requested, and especially if threatened with a lawsuit. Implement technical measures, as in (4, 5, 6) (4) set up some servers reserved for players whose IP addresses ranges are from blocks assigned to U.S. or European countries. (4a) since Sony already provides different types of servers (RP servers, PvP servers, servers where characters can be bought/sold, and european language servers) adding yet one more type should not be a problem and would only require configuring a router to block IP addresses from countries where most of the spammers reside. (4b) The only way to spam players on these servers would be from within countries where a spammer would be living within a U.S. or European jurisdiction more likely to take action, and where the cost of living and the comparatively high salaries would make it impractical to make a living as a farmer, much less a spammer. (4c) allow a one-time move of characters of players residing in the allowed countries with all their stuff to these new servers. (5) Add more filters to the game, allowing the players themselves to differentiate between other players from whom they will accept in-game mail or tells. (5a) for example, a parameter in the preferences of how many months another player has to have been playing before you will accept ANY communications from him/her. (5b) or level a character must have before you will accept ANY commucations from that player. (5c) these filters would be globally applied to ALL channels, in addition to the regular channel usage limitations (e.g. level 30-39 channel, etc). (6) Filter out offending mails and tells based on content. (6a) actively maintain a list of signatures (URLs, phrases) in a manner similar to anti-virus software (and similar to language filters) and toss any mails containing them. (6b) flag any tells containing the signatures for immediate investigation, similar to an automated /spam report. (7) Allow the spam-haters to help snuff the offending websites (we could do this ourselves, without Sony...) (7a) there are tens or hundreds of thousands of active players, with high-powered gaming machines, which most of the time are not being used... (7b) provide any volunteers who are willing to leave their gaming machines running with denial-of-service software, form a huge bot-net out of them (or optionally let them run independently), and force the offending websites to their knees. Just with HTTP requests, mind you, not with any illegal hacking attempts. (<img src="/smilies/b2eb59423fbf5fa39342041237025880.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> Somebody could offer a bounty to anyone who puts a stop to the illegal (i.e EULA violating) activities by taking down the websites, and let the black-hats go at it. This wouldn't be strictly legal, but hey, the real-world email spammers are paying hackers or using their own bot-nets to attack anti-spam and anti-phishing sites, why not get them to do something socially redeeming for a change?

Mr. Dawki
02-24-2007, 06:31 PM
<p>At the moment im only getting Gmworker tells</p><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p><p>will they do it? no. but a man can dream</p>

Norrsken
02-24-2007, 06:52 PM
Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court.

sayitaintso
02-24-2007, 06:55 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote>Here are some suggestions I have for Sony to address the spamming issue. Maybe they've been suggested before, but if so, I'm not aware of it. Since one way to prevent the advertising is to make it unprofitable, do  (1) and (2) (1) raise the cumulative cost of the game subscriptions for the spammers by doing the following: <span style="color: #663300"> <span style="color: #ff0000">marketing suicide, not to mention probably illegal...</span></span> (1a) adding a special /spam reporting command, separate from the /report command, leaving the /report command only for complaints about abusive players. <span style="color: #ff0000"> So what's this going to do? reporting them now allows SOE to ban the accounts which just get remade... </span> (1b) aggressively deleting offending accounts by having a person monitoring each server 24/7 and responding to /spam complaints *immediately*, i.e. within minutes or seconds. <span style="color: #ff0000">Again this is already done...the spammers just buy another account for $20...It's the cost of doing 'business"...call it an capital investment..</span> (1c) requiring a credit card to register the game and allowing prepaid game cards only for paying further monthly subscriptions. <span style="color: #ff0000">So all the teenagers who pay using game cards can no  longer play...gotcha..</span> (1d) forever blocking the use of any credit card number used to pay for an account which was deleted for spamming. <span style="color: #ff0000">SOE isn't the only company who sells digital downloads of their games. Short of disallowing any other company to sell their products, this isn't going to happen..</span> (1e) reporting any person found to be spamming to the issuer of the credit card and issuing a formal complaint about their illegal activities. <span style="color: #ff0000">What illegal activities...at best the plat spam is against the EULA...I doubt any court in the world would find any laws being broken here..Even if they were laws in the USA, most if not all the plat spammers are international and not subject to them...</span> (2) raise the cost of any given game subscription for the spammers by doing the following: <span style="color: #ff0000"> Sure raise the cost, so no one buys the subsciptions...cut a source of profit...that will happen....when pigs fly</span> (2a) not allowing tells or in-game mails from any free trial subscriptions. <span style="color: #ff0000">this was supossedly already done....</span> (2b) selling both cheap and premium versions of the game, and applying different sets of rules regarding tells or in-game mails for these, since for 'real' users, the one-time price of the game is insignificant compared to the subscription cost for several years of play, whereas for spammers who keep getting their account deleted and having to buy a new copy of the game, paying for a premium version each time would be very costly. <span style="color: #ff0000">montly subscription $14.99 (cheap) Station Access Pass $24.99 (premium) Already done</span> (2c) add an option for players of the premium version to block tells from users of the cheap version. This would make a two-class system in the game, but the people who play for years and hate the spam would probably be willing to pay a one-time fee to cut down on it. (2d) alternatively, add a premium service for a one-time fee, and allow players to block tells and mail from others not using that service. Start using the legal system, as in (3) <span style="color: #ff0000"> Please see above,tells are not against the law, no laws are being broken...</span> (3) take legal action against both the individual spammers where practical and definitely against the proprietors of the plat-selling websites. (3a) the EULA is a legally binding contract, just like a shrink-wrap software license, and anyone who violates it can be sued, and in the case of spammers should be. Sony has a lot of lawyers, I am sure, who could file a lot of papers with the courts. Since anyone registering the game has to do so with a credit card, identifying the perps should be easy enough. Depending on the location of the spammer (China for instance) the court might not be able to apply any direct punishment. However, the EULA could be  (probably is, but I haven't checked) constructed such that jurisdiction is stipulated to be in a US court. The spammers could be charged in absentia, and (since they would never show up) found guilty. Subsequently, Sony could request that their names by placed on a list with Interpol, or that they be put by the U.S. State Department on a list of undesirable persons, never to be allowed enty to the U.S. (3b) since violating the EULA is effectively breaking the law, then encouraging people to do so is also breaking the law, and the websites proprietors should be held liable and sued for damages. (3c) since selling plat is a criminal enterprise and a lot of people are invovled, it constitutes 'organized crime' and the RICO statute could be invoked, and the proprietors charged with felonies (federal crimes, with long prison sentences). (3d) since the activities of the plat-selling websites are illegal, the proprietors are probably violating the Terms of Service of their web hosting companies. Most web hosting companies will shut down such sites when requested, and especially if threatened with a lawsuit. Implement technical measures, as in (4, 5, 6) (4) set up some servers reserved for players whose IP addresses ranges are from blocks assigned to U.S. or European countries. (4a) since Sony already provides different types of servers (RP servers, PvP servers, servers where characters can be bought/sold, and european language servers) adding yet one more type should not be a problem and would only require configuring a router to block IP addresses from countries where most of the spammers reside. (4b) The only way to spam players on these servers would be from within countries where a spammer would be living within a U.S. or European jurisdiction more likely to take action, and where the cost of living and the comparatively high salaries would make it impractical to make a living as a farmer, much less a spammer. (4c) allow a one-time move of characters of players residing in the allowed countries with all their stuff to these new servers. (5) Add more filters to the game, allowing the players themselves to differentiate between other players from whom they will accept in-game mail or tells. (5a) for example, a parameter in the preferences of how many months another player has to have been playing before you will accept ANY communications from him/her. (5b) or level a character must have before you will accept ANY commucations from that player. (5c) these filters would be globally applied to ALL channels, in addition to the regular channel usage limitations (e.g. level 30-39 channel, etc). (6) Filter out offending mails and tells based on content. (6a) actively maintain a list of signatures (URLs, phrases) in a manner similar to anti-virus software (and similar to language filters) and toss any mails containing them. (6b) flag any tells containing the signatures for immediate investigation, similar to an automated /spam report. (7) Allow the spam-haters to help snuff the offending websites (we could do this ourselves, without Sony...) (7a) there are tens or hundreds of thousands of active players, with high-powered gaming machines, which most of the time are not being used... (7b) provide any volunteers who are willing to leave their gaming machines running with denial-of-service software, form a huge bot-net out of them (or optionally let them run independently), and force the offending websites to their knees. Just with HTTP requests, mind you, not with any illegal hacking attempts. (<img src="/smilies/b2eb59423fbf5fa39342041237025880.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> Somebody could offer a bounty to anyone who puts a stop to the illegal (i.e EULA violating) activities by taking down the websites, and let the black-hats go at it. This wouldn't be strictly legal, but hey, the real-world email spammers are paying hackers or using their own bot-nets to attack anti-spam and anti-phishing sites, why not get them to do something socially redeeming for a change? </blockquote>you don't seem to undertand business at all...Plat seller and spammers are GOOD for SOE's profit...therefore it's not going to go away... they make money from the digitally downloaded accounts that the spammers have to buy when their accounts are banned Plat sellers advertise on the EQ2 community web pages like Alakazams and Ogaming (or they have links directing you to sites that do...) No one is violating any laws sending you tells, EULA is not legally binding...And although a civil arguement MIGHT be justified, it would cost so much money, and take so much time no company in their right mond would proceed with such litigation.. It's a moot point, players have lost...SOE wins with profit, the plat sellers win with profit, the plat buyers win with an undue advantage over those who don't buy in game coin....get use to it, it's here to stay...

Quonset
02-24-2007, 06:59 PM
<cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts.

Norrsken
02-24-2007, 07:03 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>And, its a minor offense, so I really think interpol would just give the finger and go on looking for real criminals. Toy lawsuits are something the US is reknown for, and the rest of the world actually finds it q uite amusing, and confusing. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" />

sayitaintso
02-24-2007, 07:05 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote> The EULA is not really leaglly binding..It's more of a threat/set of rules that players are suppose to understand and adhere to. Even if SOE wanted to proceed with legal action based on the EULA, it would cost a fortune and take forever, that is not going to happen..

Mirander_1
02-24-2007, 07:18 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court?

Quonset
02-24-2007, 07:50 PM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote>Here are some suggestions I have for Sony to address the spamming issue. Maybe they've been suggested before, but if so, I'm not aware of it. Since one way to prevent the advertising is to make it unprofitable, do  (1) and (2) (1) raise the cumulative cost of the game subscriptions for the spammers by doing the following: <span style="color: #663300"> <span style="color: #ff0000">marketing suicide, not to mention probably illegal... <span style="color: #0000ff">It's up to Sony to decide what makes sense on the marketing. They make some money off of the spammers. They lose some money from legitimate players. I disagree with your assessment that getting rid of all the spammers (assuming it were theoretically possible) would hurt them financially. It would be a great selling point. There is nothing whatsoever illegal about it.</span> </span></span> (1a) adding a special /spam reporting command, separate from the /report command, leaving the /report command only for complaints about abusive players. <span style="color: #ff0000"> So what's this going to do? reporting them now allows SOE to ban the accounts which just get remade... <span style="color: #0000ff">Right now you don't get any response in real time. You enter the /report command, some data gets logged, that's all. Then you file a /petition and send an explanation to Sony of what happened via an on-line form. Then maybe in a few days somebody gets around to reviewing it. This is way too late. When somebody starts spamming, they know their accont is going to be deleted, but they also know that they get to send a lot of spams before this happens. Maybe for hours or a whole day from the same character. It would make a big difference if the account were to be deleted within a minute of two of the first spam. If the reponse rate on average is say 1%, they have to send 100 spams to get a single new customer. This is based on the notion that some player is unaware of their existence, but would like their services, and needs to receive such an advertisement so as to know where to go. If they can get enough new customers to cover the cost of the deleted account, if pays off. That is unlikely to be the case if they can only advertise to a handful of players before the account is deleted. If they use a program to try to flood the system quickly with automated tells, this can easily be detected and stopped as well. </span> </span> (1b) aggressively deleting offending accounts by having a person monitoring each server 24/7 and responding to /spam complaints *immediately*, i.e. within minutes or seconds. <span style="color: #ff0000">Again this is already done...the spammers just buy another account for $20...It's the cost of doing 'business"...call it an capital investment..</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">No, it's not being done in real-time, see above. I have seen the same person sending tells over a significant time span.</span> (1c) requiring a credit card to register the game and allowing prepaid game cards only for paying further monthly subscriptions. <span style="color: #ff0000">So all the teenagers who pay using game cards can no  longer play...gotcha..</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">Teenagers (under 1<img src="/smilies/b2eb59423fbf5fa39342041237025880.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> cannot enter legally binding contracts. Their parents or guardians are required to do this for them, including registering the game. This is already the case. How do you identify if someone is over 18 on-line? By requiring a valid credit card number just for the registration, not for the actual payment.</span> (1d) forever blocking the use of any credit card number used to pay for an account which was deleted for spamming. <span style="color: #ff0000">SOE isn't the only company who sells digital downloads of their games. Short of disallowing any other company to sell their products, this isn't going to happen..</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">You have a point there regarding sales of the game, but just buying the game is not enough -- you have to register it in order to play. And then we're back to the above. If a spammer buys a game, but is not allowed to register it, that's even better. They take a loss. Sony is under NO OBLIGATION to let a purchaser of the game actually play the game. You can be banned from the game for many reasons, such as abusive behavior. The fact that you bought the game makes no difference. The purchase of the game does not convey ownership -- you purchase a license to play the game subject to the EULA, which is a shrink-wrap license. You accept it by purchasing and opening the game (either on-line or in a box, doesn't matter). Ever read those things where you have to click the ()I agree radio button before you are allowed to download? </span> (1e) reporting any person found to be spamming to the issuer of the credit card and issuing a formal complaint about their illegal activities. <span style="color: #ff0000">What illegal activities...at best the plat spam is against the EULA...I doubt any court in the world would find any laws being broken here..Even if they were laws in the USA, most if not all the plat spammers are international and not subject to them...</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">You are flat wrong. The EULA is part of the software license. Just because we are talking about a game and not Microsoft Word makes no difference. Courts in the U.S. have upheld the concept of shrinkwrap licenses. You don't get to decide which part of the license is trivial and can be ignored. Breaking the EULA is legally no different than reverse engineering and pirating the software. Furthermore, we're not talking about violations just by an individual user here, that is, somebody using bad language, we're talking about systematically violating the EULA for commercial benefit. Sending spam is the U.S. is already illegal, and there are people already in jail for it, doing serious time. It doesn't happen very often, because the perpetrators are hard to catch, but the U.S. Congress has passed laws like the CAN-SPAM act, and at least some people have been charged, tried, found guilty, and punished because of it. Is in-game spam covered by that law? Maybe, maybe not. It certainly is covered by the EULA, and that IS legally binding. Breaking a legally binding contract is illegal. Period. So doing it constitutes the illegal activities which you are not apparently seeing.</span> (2) raise the cost of any given game subscription for the spammers by doing the following: <span style="color: #ff0000"> Sure raise the cost, so no one buys the subsciptions...cut a source of profit...that will happen....when pigs fly</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">I proposed raising the cost for the spammers, not for the players.</span> (2a) not allowing tells or in-game mails from any free trial subscriptions. <span style="color: #ff0000">this was supossedly already done....</span> (2b) selling both cheap and premium versions of the game, and applying different sets of rules regarding tells or in-game mails for these, since for 'real' users, the one-time price of the game is insignificant compared to the subscription cost for several years of play, whereas for spammers who keep getting their account deleted and having to buy a new copy of the game, paying for a premium version each time would be very costly. <span style="color: #ff0000">montly subscription $14.99 (cheap) Station Access Pass $24.99 (premium) Already done</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">You are confusing the one-time cost of the game with the cost of the subscription. I am not proposing raising the subscription cost. Furthermore, I am also not proposing an across-the-board price increase of the game. I am proposing that there be some way (and two versions of the game is one way) of making it more expensive for spammers to reach real players. Anybody who want to pay the cheap game price still can. Players who hate spam can buy a verion of the game where they have the option (but not the obligation) to receive tells and mails exclusively with other players who also bought that version, and even then they could still add anyone they liked to an allow list. </span> (2c) add an option for players of the premium version to block tells from users of the cheap version. This would make a two-class system in the game, but the people who play for years and hate the spam would probably be willing to pay a one-time fee to cut down on it. (2d) alternatively, add a premium service for a one-time fee, and allow players to block tells and mail from others not using that service. Start using the legal system, as in (3) <span style="color: #ff0000"> Please see above,tells are not against the law, no laws are being broken...</span> <span style="color: #0000ff">No, you see the above and maybe get an opinion from a lawyer if you want to content that shrinkwrap software licenses can simply be ignored. </span> (3) take legal action against both the individual spammers where practical and definitely against the proprietors of the plat-selling websites. (3a) the EULA is a legally binding contract, just like a shrink-wrap software license, and anyone who violates it can be sued, and in the case of spammers should be. Sony has a lot of lawyers, I am sure, who could file a lot of papers with the courts. Since anyone registering the game has to do so with a credit card, identifying the perps should be easy enough. Depending on the location of the spammer (China for instance) the court might not be able to apply any direct punishment. However, the EULA could be  (probably is, but I haven't checked) constructed such that jurisdiction is stipulated to be in a US court. The spammers could be charged in absentia, and (since they would never show up) found guilty. Subsequently, Sony could request that their names by placed on a list with Interpol, or that they be put by the U.S. State Department on a list of undesirable persons, never to be allowed enty to the U.S. (3b) since violating the EULA is effectively breaking the law, then encouraging people to do so is also breaking the law, and the websites proprietors should be held liable and sued for damages. (3c) since selling plat is a criminal enterprise and a lot of people are invovled, it constitutes 'organized crime' and the RICO statute could be invoked, and the proprietors charged with felonies (federal crimes, with long prison sentences). (3d) since the activities of the plat-selling websites are illegal, the proprietors are probably violating the Terms of Service of their web hosting companies. Most web hosting companies will shut down such sites when requested, and especially if threatened with a lawsuit. Implement technical measures, as in (4, 5, 6) (4) set up some servers reserved for players whose IP addresses ranges are from blocks assigned to U.S. or European countries. (4a) since Sony already provides different types of servers (RP servers, PvP servers, servers where characters can be bought/sold, and european language servers) adding yet one more type should not be a problem and would only require configuring a router to block IP addresses from countries where most of the spammers reside. (4b) The only way to spam players on these servers would be from within countries where a spammer would be living within a U.S. or European jurisdiction more likely to take action, and where the cost of living and the comparatively high salaries would make it impractical to make a living as a farmer, much less a spammer. (4c) allow a one-time move of characters of players residing in the allowed countries with all their stuff to these new servers. (5) Add more filters to the game, allowing the players themselves to differentiate between other players from whom they will accept in-game mail or tells. (5a) for example, a parameter in the preferences of how many months another player has to have been playing before you will accept ANY communications from him/her. (5b) or level a character must have before you will accept ANY commucations from that player. (5c) these filters would be globally applied to ALL channels, in addition to the regular channel usage limitations (e.g. level 30-39 channel, etc). (6) Filter out offending mails and tells based on content. (6a) actively maintain a list of signatures (URLs, phrases) in a manner similar to anti-virus software (and similar to language filters) and toss any mails containing them. (6b) flag any tells containing the signatures for immediate investigation, similar to an automated /spam report. (7) Allow the spam-haters to help snuff the offending websites (we could do this ourselves, without Sony...) (7a) there are tens or hundreds of thousands of active players, with high-powered gaming machines, which most of the time are not being used... (7b) provide any volunteers who are willing to leave their gaming machines running with denial-of-service software, form a huge bot-net out of them (or optionally let them run independently), and force the offending websites to their knees. Just with HTTP requests, mind you, not with any illegal hacking attempts. (<img src="/smilies/b2eb59423fbf5fa39342041237025880.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> Somebody could offer a bounty to anyone who puts a stop to the illegal (i.e EULA violating) activities by taking down the websites, and let the black-hats go at it. This wouldn't be strictly legal, but hey, the real-world email spammers are paying hackers or using their own bot-nets to attack anti-spam and anti-phishing sites, why not get them to do something socially redeeming for a change? </blockquote>you don't seem to undertand business at all...Plat seller and spammers are GOOD for SOE's profit...therefore it's not going to go away... they make money from the digitally downloaded accounts that the spammers have to buy when their accounts are banned <span style="color: #0000ff">I understand that. Please excuse me for giving Sony the benefit of a doubt and assuming that they might actually mean what they say in the EULA.</span> Plat sellers advertise on the EQ2 community web pages like Alakazams and Ogaming (or they have links directing you to sites that do...) <span style="color: #0000ff">So what? That's immaterial. I'm not complaining about that. I didn't actually complain about anything, just offered some suggestions, if one wanted, how one might tackle the issue. But now that you mention it, I what I *do* object to is being distracted by having to run back from somewhere to a mailbox, only to find that the mail was not from my guild, not from a customer wanting me to make something, but rather a total waste of time spam. It also irritates me to get the spam mails. It really irritates me to try to go harvesting somewhere and have some farming cleaning the area out. </span> No one is violating any laws sending you tells, EULA is not legally binding...And although a civil arguement MIGHT be justified, it would cost so much money, and take so much time no company in their right mond would proceed with such litigation.. <span style="color: #0000ff">B.S. You keep repeating that the EULA is not legally binding, but I maintain that it IS, and that you are just plain WRONG. You know, I have absolutely no love for the record labels, and I've been boycotting them for years (not buying any music CDs) because I disapprove of them having their legal stormtroopers going after teenagers for downloading MP3s off the Internet. But they're still doing it and making examples out of people. You might just as well argue that the Intellectual Property rights of the record companies are not legally binding just because you think its not a big deal. You'd be right about it not being a big deal, but wrong about it not really being illegal. </span> It's a moot point, players have lost...SOE wins with profit, the plat sellers win with profit, the plat buyers win with an undue advantage over those who don't buy in game coin....get use to it, it's here to stay... <span style="color: #0000ff">Well, Sony may or may not do something about it. You didn't have anything to say about my suggestions for technical fixes, like adding a filter based on time a sender has been in the game. That would be easy to implement and could very well work. And if Sony just want to say one thing while doing another, there are always the other options.  A bit of open source software contributed by an angry player and a groundswell by the players would be all it would take to knock those websites right off the net. </span> </blockquote>

Quonset
02-24-2007, 07:52 PM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote> The EULA is not really leaglly binding..It's more of a threat/set of rules that players are suppose to understand and adhere to. Even if SOE wanted to proceed with legal action based on the EULA, it would cost a fortune and take forever, that is not going to happen.. </blockquote> The L A in EULA stands for license agreement. As in a software license agreement. If software license agreements don't mean anything, then I guess I can legally use pirate copies of all the software I want, right?

Spyderbite
02-24-2007, 07:56 PM
Turn on RP or Anon tags and avoid all increases in subscription costs.

sayitaintso
02-24-2007, 07:57 PM
<cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>Well you can maintain that I am wrong all you like, the EULA is a blanket Stamement that doesn't take into consideration laws of foriegn lands, and is probably not enforceable in any country outside the USA, and it's already been established through other cases that game EULAs are not legally binding documents. No legislature has signed off on most of what is incorporated in them, and the cost of hashing out what is written would far outwiegh the documents worth in a court....Look it up, try doing some research prior to speaking of things that you do not understand....I work with EULAs from software providers every day....not just games...ALL software have EULA...and in most cases (except for piracy) they don't hold up to legal scrutiny...

Quonset
02-24-2007, 08:01 PM
<cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>The jurisdiction for a crime is usually the country/state/district where it took place. However even that is not always true. For example, in the U.S. it is generally up to the individual states to decide what is a crime, and what the punishment for a crime can be. That's why some states have the death penalty, and some don't. Theoretically, a state could decide not to even list murder as a crime, and let people kill each other willy-nilly, perfectly legally. The federal government has passed its own laws, however, and could still try somebody in such a state for violating the victim's basic rights under the Constitution. The federal government has also passed a law making it a crime if a U.S. citizen is murdered overseas. Thus, if a U.S. tourist is murdered in say Germany, the U.S. can request extradition for a trial in the U.S. The other country may or may not comply with the request, based on whatever treaties are in force and the circumstances of the case. Civil matters are different. Legal contracts usually specify the jurisdiction. If you read your credit card agreement, it may say for example that in the case of any disputes, the State of Delaware (or whereever) has jurisdiction. You agree to that stipulation when you sign the contract for the credit card. The EULA would be such a case. By agreeing to the EULA, which you have to do in order to use the game, you agree to whatever place of jurisdiction is specified in the EULA.

Hammer4
02-24-2007, 08:04 PM
Since SOE's servers are in San Diego, that can be considered the place where the violation is taking place, so jurisdiction is not a problem at all. The problem comes when you try to enforce judgments in foreign countries. China in particular has a very bad case of "no speakee Engrish" when it comes to lawsuits and complaints about Chinese companies that are bringing in Western currency. Heck, some of these spam outfits may be owned by or paying bribes to Chinese officials. Having said that, I support any method or tactic that makes these people's lives more difficult. Since this game debuted, we have given up space and time to every niche market there is. We gave these people Exchange servers so that they could have a place they could all cheat together semi-legitimately. Find these people, make it more difficult for them to conduct business in any way possible. Real world money laundering is almost as difficult to trace and eliminate, but any success is better than letting them operate and grow without stopping. Heck, why doesn't SOE send some people to GMworker, arrange to buy a plat or two, and bust the "holder" account?

Norrsken
02-24-2007, 08:06 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>The jurisdiction for a crime is usually the country/state/district where it took place. However even that is not always true. For example, in the U.S. it is generally up to the individual states to decide what is a crime, and what the punishment for a crime can be. That's why some states have the death penalty, and some don't. Theoretically, a state could decide not to even list murder as a crime, and let people kill each other willy-nilly, perfectly legally. The federal government has passed its own laws, however, and could still try somebody in such a state for violating the victim's basic rights under the Constitution. The federal government has also passed a law making it a crime if a U.S. citizen is murdered overseas. Thus, if a U.S. tourist is murdered in say Germany, the U.S. can request extradition for a trial in the U.S. The other country may or may not comply with the request, based on whatever treaties are in force and the circumstances of the case. Civil matters are different. Legal contracts usually specify the jurisdiction. If you read your credit card agreement, it may say for example that in the case of any disputes, the State of Delaware (or whereever) has jurisdiction. You agree to that stipulation when you sign the contract for the credit card. The EULA would be such a case. By agreeing to the EULA, which you have to do in order to use the game, you agree to whatever place of jurisdiction is specified in the EULA. </blockquote>then you have the problem, at least outside the states, wher eit cannot be proven that you actually clicked I Agree, and thus, it is not legally binding, as it cannot be proven that you actually agreed. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" />

Spyderbite
02-24-2007, 08:10 PM
Once again... don't mean to dumb down the debates... but I've gotten two spams in the past two weeks... and I'm a Role Player.. Do the math.. I'm sure SoE will understand if you're just taking advantage of a game mechanic in the meantime. ^^

Quonset
02-24-2007, 08:18 PM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote> Well you can maintain that I am wrong all you like, the EULA is a blanket Stamement that doesn't take into consideration laws of foriegn lands, and is probably not enforceable in any country outside the USA, and it's already been established through other cases that game EULAs are not legally binding documents. No legislature has signed off on most of what is incorporated in them, and the cost of hashing out what is written would far outwiegh the documents worth in a court....Look it up, try doing some research prior to speaking of things that you do not understand....I work with EULAs from software providers every day....not just games...ALL software have EULA...and in most cases (except for piracy) they don't hold up to legal scrutiny... </blockquote> Well, since you made the suggestion, I just did a Google search on "Are EULA legally binding?". The results are pretty clear. In general, EULA <b>ARE</b> legally binding. It's a form of contract. You're not going to maintain that contracts are never legally binding are you? A poorly constructed EULA may not hold up in a court of law, just like any poorly constructed contract might not hold up in a court of law. Any contract, including a EULA, which violates some basic rights of a person are illegal. You can't actually make a binding contract forcing someone to sell you their first born son or right arm. But just because abusive EULA would be illegal, does not mean that EULA in general are illegal. So what it comes down to is the question of whether Sony's EULA for EQII is poorly constructed or not. I think only a lawyer can answer that. Unless some shareware author cut-and-pasting something he saw somewhere to make up a EULA, I think Sony can afford some decent lawyers. Legislatures don't have to sign off on stuff before somebody can start a lawsuit. How do you explain the record companies going after individual downloaders of MP3s in order to make examples of them? It would be costly if Sony did it, no doubt. But they wouldn't have to do it to very many people before the message would be received. Anyway, I made a lot of suggestions, only ONE of which was to go after the people violating the EULA. Telling everyone they simply have to live with the problem because you disagree with that one suggestion is just defeatism.

Mr. Dawki
02-24-2007, 08:33 PM
<cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>The jurisdiction for a crime is usually the country/state/district where it took place. However even that is not always true. For example, in the U.S. it is generally up to the individual states to decide what is a crime, and what the punishment for a crime can be. That's why some states have the death penalty, and some don't. Theoretically, a state could decide not to even list murder as a crime, and let people kill each other willy-nilly, perfectly legally. The federal government has passed its own laws, however, and could still try somebody in such a state for violating the victim's basic rights under the Constitution. The federal government has also passed a law making it a crime if a U.S. citizen is murdered overseas. Thus, if a U.S. tourist is murdered in say Germany, the U.S. can request extradition for a trial in the U.S. The other country may or may not comply with the request, based on whatever treaties are in force and the circumstances of the case. Civil matters are different. Legal contracts usually specify the jurisdiction. If you read your credit card agreement, it may say for example that in the case of any disputes, the State of Delaware (or whereever) has jurisdiction. You agree to that stipulation when you sign the contract for the credit card. The EULA would be such a case. By agreeing to the EULA, which you have to do in order to use the game, you agree to whatever place of jurisdiction is specified in the EULA. </blockquote>then you have the problem, at least outside the states, wher eit cannot be proven that you actually clicked I Agree, and thus, it is not legally binding, as it cannot be proven that you actually agreed. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> </blockquote> everyone else was making huge /quote/quote/quote/quote/quote spam why shouldnt i ?

Quonset
02-24-2007, 08:34 PM
<cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote> then you have the problem, at least outside the states, wher eit cannot be proven that you actually clicked I Agree, and thus, it is not legally binding, as it cannot be proven that you actually agreed. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> </blockquote> You have to agree to the EULA every time you log on to play the game, not just when you buy the software. You can't get around that if you are using the Sony-supplied client software. Using some other client to hack into the system is on the face of it illegal. But why has this just turned into a big discussion of the EULA and whether it is binding or not? That's just one way to attack the problem. What people should be doing is saying what they think might actually work to solve the problem, not just complaining that Sony will never do anything. It's a circular argument. The implicit assumption is that Sony will never do anything because nothing CAN be done. People think nothing can be done because up till now, either nothing HAS been done, or nothing which has been done has actually WORKED. And because nothing has stopped the spamming to date, people go back around to just lamenting that Sony WON'T do anything. Bollocks. Sony has taken SOME measures, and who can say but that the problem might be 100x worse if they hadn't. Furthermore, the developers at Sony may be good, but they can't think of EVERYTHING. So I'm trying to make some NEW suggestions, especially some technical ones, but for completeness I threw in the legal options as well. I don't anticipate getting rid of the plat-selling and leveling services. I agree that this is as losing of a battle as trying to develop a DVD encryption which can't be hacked. Although I don't approve of players using these services, I'm not bothered by it. It's sort of like cheating at D&D by giving yourself higher stats than you rolled or cheating at any other game. What's the point? The only reason to play at all is for the challenge of the game, and if you cheat, you just cheat yourself out of the fun of beating the game. My goal is to not have to receive spam mail and spam tells in the game. That ought to be achievable.

Badaxe Ba
02-24-2007, 09:56 PM
<p>WARNING! </p><p>YOU HAVE NOW BEEN TAGGED AS AN ILLEGAL PLAT SELLER, AND WILL BE HELD AS AN OPEN TARGET, AGGROABLE BY ALL NPC, AND PLAYERS, UNTIL PROVEN OTHER WISE.</p><p>Ok, I know this one won't wash, but wouldn't it be nice........<img src="/smilies/908627bbe5e9f6a080977db8c365caff.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /></p><p>I know it would work on the PvP servers! And to avoid exploits, this could only be done at the instigation of SOE investigators.</p><p>"sniper shot ready for Xcdgfejkqrfg"</p>

sayitaintso
02-25-2007, 03:13 AM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote>[email protected] wrote: <blockquote> Well you can maintain that I am wrong all you like, the EULA is a blanket Stamement that doesn't take into consideration laws of foriegn lands, and is probably not enforceable in any country outside the USA, and it's already been established through other cases that game EULAs are not legally binding documents. No legislature has signed off on most of what is incorporated in them, and the cost of hashing out what is written would far outwiegh the documents worth in a court....Look it up, try doing some research prior to speaking of things that you do not understand....I work with EULAs from software providers every day....not just games...ALL software have EULA...and in most cases (except for piracy) they don't hold up to legal scrutiny... </blockquote> Well, since you made the suggestion, I just did a Google search on "Are EULA legally binding?". The results are pretty clear. In general, EULA <b>ARE</b> legally binding. It's a form of contract. You're not going to maintain that contracts are never legally binding are you? A poorly constructed EULA may not hold up in a court of law, just like any poorly constructed contract might not hold up in a court of law. Any contract, including a EULA, which violates some basic rights of a person are illegal. You can't actually make a binding contract forcing someone to sell you their first born son or right arm. But just because abusive EULA would be illegal, does not mean that EULA in general are illegal. So what it comes down to is the question of whether Sony's EULA for EQII is poorly constructed or not. I think only a lawyer can answer that. Unless some shareware author cut-and-pasting something he saw somewhere to make up a EULA, I think Sony can afford some decent lawyers. Legislatures don't have to sign off on stuff before somebody can start a lawsuit. How do you explain the record companies going after individual downloaders of MP3s in order to make examples of them? It would be costly if Sony did it, no doubt. But they wouldn't have to do it to very many people before the message would be received. Anyway, I made a lot of suggestions, only ONE of which was to go after the people violating the EULA. Telling everyone they simply have to live with the problem because you disagree with that one suggestion is just defeatism. </blockquote>Not in foriegn lands when the EULA is in english and the people using teh software don't speak it....Arguement over.,...been there, done that....it's invalid.... Have a minor click the EULA, it's invalid....end of story.. most aren't worth the paper they are written on. In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite arguement... Like i said, it would cost more money and take more time than most companies are willing to spend....Look at how long Microsoft's EULA litigation has taken in china...When the case was first open, Windows 95 was the OS in question. it's still in teh courts and that was 12 years ago.... SOE isn't going to go to Chinese courts and make demands that will prove impossible to enforce and probably take longer to get rulings on than the game will last....

Owilliams
02-25-2007, 08:02 AM
<p>I have posted a thought on this elsewhere, but I'll repeat it here.</p><p>Since the spammers are sending large repeated strings of /tell channel data to multiple players...</p><p>This is certainly deviant from normal channel activity and as such should be fairly easy to set up a tool from server side to flag this activity for assessment and/or response. </p><p>I would think that initually just killing the client channel access for a limited time and a system flag for op assessment to be a reasonable start.</p><p>It's merely a "spam trigger", nothing that would unduly punish regular players... although I couldn't possibly understand why a "normal" player would start start repeating large strings of text in the /tell channel to large numbers of different players in a continuous output. I know this is what the spammers do, my entire guild usually all get the same spammer attack within a few short minutes, it becomes an instant topic in guild chat. My guess is they use a simple utility that searches and compiles an online player list and then just spews out the spam text to that list. Of course the new spam trigger would ignore the group, raid, and guild channels... so that things like combat macros wouldn't be triggering this. They merely watch tells and other channels that may be exploited.</p><p>Having the client abruptly "squelched" after say a 20 string repetition and flagged for GM assessment would seemingly really begin to damper this tactic without requiring large effort on the part of the SOE team. They already assess /report - /petition content on this, so this is merely a tool to get their attention a little quicker as well as fast and simple temporary squelch on the source while they determine if it is a legitimate spammer.</p><p>Combined with client-side parsing filters and a few more chat <argument> options could be a really good thing.</p><p>Not a cure-all, just merely one example of possible strategy that could be looked at. I'm not here to argue the mechanics of this concept within the SOE software, I am only giving a vague idea of an avenue for thought.</p><p>Happy Gaming,</p><p>--Orv</p>

Quonset
02-25-2007, 09:29 AM
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Spam the spammers. Wouldn't it be funny if thousands of EQII players starting forwarding all the junk mail they received to <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>? And signed them up for every mailing list which can be found? There's enough stupid mailing lists out there which don't require a verification, and even the ones that do still send that one email. I rmean, really, if all the defeatists here are right and nobody and nothing can do anything to stop spam, then they can't do anything about it either, right? Be a little hard to service your real customers if your mailbox is full of 10,000 pieces of junk mail. So what they put up some mail filters (like everyone else) for the spam from the real spammers. I do and some still gets through. In addition, if everyone who hates the spam on all the servers just sends them an occasional mail from a free email address which looks legit, saying, 'Hey, where's that gold I ordered two days ago?!', forcing someone in their customer service (more a disservice really) to investigate, they'll be overwhelmed. They can't block whole domains, like yahoo.com or hotmail.com because then they won't be able to communicate with new customers. What we want to do is send a message that the in-game irritations will be paid back in spades. If they stick to advertising via banner ads on fan sites and leave the players alone, the players will leave them alone.

Quonset
02-25-2007, 10:09 AM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote> Not in foriegn lands when the EULA is in english and the people using teh software don't speak it....Arguement over.,...been there, done that....it's invalid.... Have a minor click the EULA, it's invalid....end of story.. most aren't worth the paper they are written on. In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite arguement... Like i said, it would cost more money and take more time than most companies are willing to spend....Look at how long Microsoft's EULA litigation has taken in china...When the case was first open, Windows 95 was the OS in question. it's still in teh courts and that was 12 years ago.... SOE isn't going to go to Chinese courts and make demands that will prove impossible to enforce and probably take longer to get rulings on than the game will last.... </blockquote> You keep misrepresenting what I say with false arguments, strawmen which you then pointlessly proceed to knock down. Been there? Done that? Are you a U.S. lawyer? Did you actually travel to Europe or Asia and participate in a court case and lose? Have a minor click the EULA so that it is invalid? On the face of it plausible, but not end of story. Minors aren't allowed to register the game. Their parents or guardians have to register it for them, so that the contract IS valid. You can't legally pirate software by having your children do the copying for you, although drug dealers have been using that tactic for some years (using minors) so granted it is a potential problem. Most EULA worthless? Misdirection on your part -- the only thing that is relevant here is if the Sony EULA is valid. Can you point out some parts of the Sony EULA which are invalid and provide some references to supporting legal precedents or judgements? Maybe on a new legal analysis thread. I'm sure that Sony's lawyers would be glad if you called their attention to the problems so that they could be fixed. "In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite argument..." Says you. That's exactly what I did, and a cursory examination of the first page of search results seemed to imply the opposite. I didn't do a statistically valid survey of all the search results returned. I never advocated taking action in Chinese courts. I advocated that Sony consider taking action in U.S. courts, where none of the perpetrators will ever show up, and therefore will automatically lose. Should be a simple matter of filing a complaints and providing the necessary supporting technical documentation. It costs money to have the complaints filed, because lawyers don't work for free, but that is not at all comparable with the cost of actually engaging in contested court proceedings. The latter will never happen. Whose side are you on, anyway? Why spend all your time going on about what you think won't work? Why keep harping on this one issue instead of the real issue of how to stop the spam? Do you have any better ideas? If you are absolutely convinced that nothing will ever work, and you personally are willing to live with the situation in the game, then why even respond to the forum posts of those who are still hoping to do something about it? Why not just ignore those posts and the entire threads the way you simply ignore the in-game tells? Why not let the people who haven't given up yet chat amongst themselves and maybe come up with something that will work? I have understanding for the people who get just as irritated by the in-game ranting of the victims of the spamming as by the spam itself. I don't do any of that, and I don't respond to the spam. I just quietly file a report and keep playing. This forum however, does not disturb anybody who is playing the game, and I see no reason for such a sour reaction to those who want to attack the problem and urge Sony to attack the problem. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It's not enough for the issue to be thoroughly discussed one single time, archived as a definitive analysis of the problem, and left to collect dust. If nobody complains, then Sony will assume that noboby is really bothered. But many people really are bothered, and they have the right to complain over and over and over again until Sony not only makes some attempt (because they already have) but rather actually finds an acceptable solution.

Maroger
02-25-2007, 02:14 PM
<p>You want something that can be easily implemented and doesn't require too many man hours. </p><p>You have to be careful not to punish legitimate newbie players or an alt trying to contact his guild for an invite.</p><p>I think allowing players to limit tells from any zone ( i.e. esp. the newbie isles) would block them for a bit. This would force the plat sellers to the main continents where having them KOS on the first spam tell is not a bad idea.</p><p>I suspect parsing a tell for key words of spam site would put some bad lag in the game and take a lot of man hours -- think of all the tells on a single server ( no including plat sellers).</p><p>Interstingly enought I went back to EQlive for a bit and was playing both newbie and higher level characters -- never got plat seller spam at all.</p>

Lord_Quaymar
02-25-2007, 03:12 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote>[email protected] wrote: <blockquote> Not in foriegn lands when the EULA is in english and the people using teh software don't speak it....Arguement over.,...been there, done that....it's invalid.... Have a minor click the EULA, it's invalid....end of story.. most aren't worth the paper they are written on. In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite arguement... Like i said, it would cost more money and take more time than most companies are willing to spend....Look at how long Microsoft's EULA litigation has taken in china...When the case was first open, Windows 95 was the OS in question. it's still in teh courts and that was 12 years ago.... SOE isn't going to go to Chinese courts and make demands that will prove impossible to enforce and probably take longer to get rulings on than the game will last.... </blockquote> You keep misrepresenting what I say with false arguments, strawmen which you then pointlessly proceed to knock down. Been there? Done that? Are you a U.S. lawyer? Did you actually travel to Europe or Asia and participate in a court case and lose? Have a minor click the EULA so that it is invalid? On the face of it plausible, but not end of story. Minors aren't allowed to register the game. Their parents or guardians have to register it for them, so that the contract IS valid. You can't legally pirate software by having your children do the copying for you, although drug dealers have been using that tactic for some years (using minors) so granted it is a potential problem. Most EULA worthless? Misdirection on your part -- the only thing that is relevant here is if the Sony EULA is valid. Can you point out some parts of the Sony EULA which are invalid and provide some references to supporting legal precedents or judgements? Maybe on a new legal analysis thread. I'm sure that Sony's lawyers would be glad if you called their attention to the problems so that they could be fixed. "In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite argument..." Says you. That's exactly what I did, and a cursory examination of the first page of search results seemed to imply the opposite. I didn't do a statistically valid survey of all the search results returned. I never advocated taking action in Chinese courts. I advocated that Sony consider taking action in U.S. courts, where none of the perpetrators will ever show up, and therefore will automatically lose. Should be a simple matter of filing a complaints and providing the necessary supporting technical documentation. It costs money to have the complaints filed, because lawyers don't work for free, but that is not at all comparable with the cost of actually engaging in contested court proceedings. The latter will never happen. Whose side are you on, anyway? Why spend all your time going on about what you think won't work? Why keep harping on this one issue instead of the real issue of how to stop the spam? Do you have any better ideas? If you are absolutely convinced that nothing will ever work, and you personally are willing to live with the situation in the game, then why even respond to the forum posts of those who are still hoping to do something about it? Why not just ignore those posts and the entire threads the way you simply ignore the in-game tells? Why not let the people who haven't given up yet chat amongst themselves and maybe come up with something that will work? I have understanding for the people who get just as irritated by the in-game ranting of the victims of the spamming as by the spam itself. I don't do any of that, and I don't respond to the spam. I just quietly file a report and keep playing. This forum however, does not disturb anybody who is playing the game, and I see no reason for such a sour reaction to those who want to attack the problem and urge Sony to attack the problem. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It's not enough for the issue to be thoroughly discussed one single time, archived as a definitive analysis of the problem, and left to collect dust. If nobody complains, then Sony will assume that noboby is really bothered. But many people really are bothered, and they have the right to complain over and over and over again until Sony not only makes some attempt (because they already have) but rather actually finds an acceptable solution. </blockquote><p> OK Quonset...cmon now. You are clearly not a Lawyer either. The more you post, the more of a fool you make of yourself.</p><p>There is not one single idea that you have come up with that hasn't been thought of and, most likely, tried. Do you honestly believe that HUGE Corporations such as Sony, with their legal departments, etc... haven't already looked into this? Do you honestly believe that you are so much smarter than them? Please. </p><p>I remember back in EQ1, this same arguement came up in those forums 8YEARS AGO and someone posted a link to a court docket where it was ruled that, in essence, selling gold or items in a game such as EQ is no different than selling a used toy in a garage sale no matter how much the company may object to it.</p><p>Personally, I like how Vanguard handles them....</p><p><img src="http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p147/Quaymar/Banned.jpg" border="0"></p>

sayitaintso
02-25-2007, 04:12 PM
<cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote>[email protected] wrote: <blockquote> Not in foriegn lands when the EULA is in english and the people using teh software don't speak it....Arguement over.,...been there, done that....it's invalid.... Have a minor click the EULA, it's invalid....end of story.. most aren't worth the paper they are written on. In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite arguement... Like i said, it would cost more money and take more time than most companies are willing to spend....Look at how long Microsoft's EULA litigation has taken in china...When the case was first open, Windows 95 was the OS in question. it's still in teh courts and that was 12 years ago.... SOE isn't going to go to Chinese courts and make demands that will prove impossible to enforce and probably take longer to get rulings on than the game will last.... </blockquote> You keep misrepresenting what I say with false arguments, strawmen which you then pointlessly proceed to knock down. Been there? Done that? Are you a U.S. lawyer? Did you actually travel to Europe or Asia and participate in a court case and lose? Have a minor click the EULA so that it is invalid? On the face of it plausible, but not end of story. Minors aren't allowed to register the game. Their parents or guardians have to register it for them, so that the contract IS valid. You can't legally pirate software by having your children do the copying for you, although drug dealers have been using that tactic for some years (using minors) so granted it is a potential problem. Most EULA worthless? Misdirection on your part -- the only thing that is relevant here is if the Sony EULA is valid. Can you point out some parts of the Sony EULA which are invalid and provide some references to supporting legal precedents or judgements? Maybe on a new legal analysis thread. I'm sure that Sony's lawyers would be glad if you called their attention to the problems so that they could be fixed. "In fact, a search if legally binding EULAs will get you more hits for the opposite argument..." Says you. That's exactly what I did, and a cursory examination of the first page of search results seemed to imply the opposite. I didn't do a statistically valid survey of all the search results returned. I never advocated taking action in Chinese courts. I advocated that Sony consider taking action in U.S. courts, where none of the perpetrators will ever show up, and therefore will automatically lose. Should be a simple matter of filing a complaints and providing the necessary supporting technical documentation. It costs money to have the complaints filed, because lawyers don't work for free, but that is not at all comparable with the cost of actually engaging in contested court proceedings. The latter will never happen. Whose side are you on, anyway? Why spend all your time going on about what you think won't work? Why keep harping on this one issue instead of the real issue of how to stop the spam? Do you have any better ideas? If you are absolutely convinced that nothing will ever work, and you personally are willing to live with the situation in the game, then why even respond to the forum posts of those who are still hoping to do something about it? Why not just ignore those posts and the entire threads the way you simply ignore the in-game tells? Why not let the people who haven't given up yet chat amongst themselves and maybe come up with something that will work? I have understanding for the people who get just as irritated by the in-game ranting of the victims of the spamming as by the spam itself. I don't do any of that, and I don't respond to the spam. I just quietly file a report and keep playing. This forum however, does not disturb anybody who is playing the game, and I see no reason for such a sour reaction to those who want to attack the problem and urge Sony to attack the problem. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It's not enough for the issue to be thoroughly discussed one single time, archived as a definitive analysis of the problem, and left to collect dust. If nobody complains, then Sony will assume that noboby is really bothered. But many people really are bothered, and they have the right to complain over and over and over again until Sony not only makes some attempt (because they already have) but rather actually finds an acceptable solution. </blockquote>Nope, not a lawyer, I own a computer sales company. I have a corporate lawyer who represents my interests and he is very versed in the laws petaining to software user agreements....He also happens to play MMOs (Vanguard right now). I trust in his judgement (that's why he's MY lawyer). When he tells me that most things in the majority of EULAs are unenforcable. Because of that, the arguements pleaded for the portions that are legally binding are weak...That is why these cases take years to litigate, and cost so much money that they aren't worth making..That is why SOE or any other gaming developer has never pushed them....In fact, very few software companies do...with the exception of copyright infringement or piracy almost no one tries to legally enforce their EULAs....Microsft is probably one of the few that do, and they have virtually bottomless pockets...They enforce thiers out of sheer intimidation...the reason they can't win in China is because the Chinese courts (the place where SOE would have to take this case if the plat spammers are indeed Chinese) stonewall the case and force it to take more time than the arguement is worth...Hence why the Windows piracy case was started with Windows 95..Every time MS releases a new version of Windows they have to start over with the litigation.. Look, I agree the spamming is unacceptable, And I beleive that SOE has teh means to stop most of it with some simple chat channels filters that we the players could manage...But there are 4 elements to game coin sales and SOE has yet to stop any of them.... Farmers who gather the coin Spammers who advertise the coin The sellers themselves The buyers... Getting rid of the  farmers are probably the hardest since SOE can never be sure that they are selling their money to the plat sellers The rest could easily be taken care of if SOE would concentrate on the coin buyers...But they won't....they make too much money from the spammers and advertisers...

sah
02-25-2007, 04:48 PM
<p>I'm not a lawyer but comparing the RIAA going after people who download music to SOE going after spammers is a pretty bad analogy.  The RIAA consists of dozens of big companies (including Sony)and represents hundreds of people who happen to be freakin millionaires so they have the money and resources to go after downloaders.  The RIAA loses tens of thousands of dollars every time they sue someone.  One of my friends in college was sued by the RIAA and after over a year of meeting with their lawyers and proving that his computer was free of downloaded music, he ended up having to pay them absolutely nothing as long as he promised to never illegally download another song again.  And it doesn't even work well!  Say there are 5000 people at a college downloading music and the RIAA sues 50 of them...the next day there's still like 4900 people downloading music.  Unless something major happens, it is very unlikely that SOE is going to try to take legal action against spammers or plat seller/buyers...</p><p>On the issue of chat filtering...any attempt to do this would likely filter out significant amounts of legitimate tells and even more importantly, it would probably cause a very noticeable delay in the time it takes the recipient to receive the message...I'm pretty sure that everyone would rather deal with one plat seller tell every few hours than have to deal with a few second chat lag during peak raiding hours...</p>

sayitaintso
02-25-2007, 05:20 PM
<cite>sahet wrote:</cite><blockquote><p>I'm not a lawyer but comparing the RIAA going after people who download music to SOE going after spammers is a pretty bad analogy.  The RIAA consists of dozens of big companies (including Sony)and represents hundreds of people who happen to be freakin millionaires so they have the money and resources to go after downloaders.  The RIAA loses tens of thousands of dollars every time they sue someone.  One of my friends in college was sued by the RIAA and after over a year of meeting with their lawyers and proving that his computer was free of downloaded music, he ended up having to pay them absolutely nothing as long as he promised to never illegally download another song again.  And it doesn't even work well!  Say there are 5000 people at a college downloading music and the RIAA sues 50 of them...the next day there's still like 4900 people downloading music.  Unless something major happens, it is very unlikely that SOE is going to try to take legal action against spammers or plat seller/buyers...</p><p>On the issue of chat filtering...any attempt to do this would likely filter out significant amounts of legitimate tells and even more importantly, it would probably cause a very noticeable delay in the time it takes the recipient to receive the message...I'm pretty sure that everyone would rather deal with one plat seller tell every few hours than have to deal with a few second chat lag during peak raiding hours...</p></blockquote>The RIAA is using intimidation and threats to resolve their issue. To date only one person sued has elected to allow their case go to court and the RIAA themselves has delayed that case because they are afraid that the courts are going to find that their heavy handed lawsuits are illegal....The rest of those sued has settled out of court for pennies on the dollar because they were afraid of the RIAA's lawyers... Client side chat filters would not significantly slow reception of messages. Depending on the speed of your PC you would probably have a delay of less than 1 second, and it would not have to filter anything that you the player did not want filtered..very simple filtering would probably do it.../filter GMWorker.com /filter vicsales.com ECT...everytime you got a tell from a new company just add it to the filter list. Any words in the filter would never get displayed....It's a VERY simple fix that SOE will never implement because the spammers would stop buying the accounts that make SOE profit...

Eriol
02-25-2007, 05:37 PM
I hate spammers, but I'm nearly-certain that #7 on your list is illegal.

Maroger
02-25-2007, 07:24 PM
<p>You can forget about the EULA -- it doesn't work with respect to China which is where the company we are talking about is based.  One thing SOE could do would be to ban the DNL's they use from accessing the game. </p><p>I don't know where the plat sellers are located but I expect they are in some huge mess hall like room in Guangdong, China where the company is located. So I think blocking the DNL's registered to the company might work. The companies that use a front person situated in the US could be gotten to -- even filing suit against him would shut down his US side business. </p><p>I don't know how big a player base SOE has from CHina ( I bet it isn't 2/3rds of their players like WoW), but you could block all DNL's coming from CHina until China agrees to shut down the operations. I wonder if they have a Chinese Partner company that handles their sales and distribution in China -- maybe they could work through that company. I am sure there is a way to reach that company in Guangdong and get some compliance from them. You can't ban their web site ( but you can hack it) but you could maybe stop the tells.</p><p>I wonder why you don't get tells like this on EQ1?</p>

therodge
02-25-2007, 08:03 PM
<p>No im not a layer, though my 2 sisters father mother and most of my cousins are.. so maybe i can show some insight into this, </p><p> the EULA is technically a legal contract and you could sue someone over it unfortunatly if brang up into a unighted states cout it is dropped out do due our constitution, a very strong case can and would be made for freedom of speach which is valid, if brought  to a unighted states court if found in breach of the first amendment is is void and non-reliable, of course the argument could be made that they are lending you their virtual space (has been used before) and you are agreeing to a sort of land contract, saying you can sue this virtual area if.. now at this point they cant do anything legally as far as prosicution becuase soe has the ability to cancel that account theirfore following up on the EULA and the court can do nothing. becuase their was no illegal action done they violated the EULA theirfore in the EULA agreement it is said if violating following rules you will not have the privlage to play that account denies that privlage. now as far as credit cards go, they did not do anything illegal if it was tehy wouldent be forming a union (this is not a joke) theirfore yes you could ban the credit card but any action past that is impossable.</p>

Maroger
02-25-2007, 09:26 PM
<cite>therodge wrote:</cite><blockquote><p>No im not a layer, though my 2 sisters father mother and most of my cousins are.. so maybe i can show some insight into this, </p><p> the EULA is technically a legal contract and you could sue someone over it unfortunatly if brang up into a unighted states cout it is dropped out do due our constitution, a very strong case can and would be made for freedom of speach which is valid, if brought  to a unighted states court if found in breach of the first amendment is is void and non-reliable, of course the argument could be made that they are lending you their virtual space (has been used before) and you are agreeing to a sort of land contract, saying you can sue this virtual area if.. now at this point they cant do anything legally as far as prosicution becuase soe has the ability to cancel that account theirfore following up on the EULA and the court can do nothing. becuase their was no illegal action done they violated the EULA theirfore in the EULA agreement it is said if violating following rules you will not have the privlage to play that account denies that privlage. now as far as credit cards go, they did not do anything illegal if it was tehy wouldent be forming a union (this is not a joke) theirfore yes you could ban the credit card but any action past that is impossable.</p></blockquote><p>The problem is that the violators are based in China and that won't work. China has no respect for copyright and laws. Sure you might get a judgement but so what -- if you can't execute the judgement it is meaningless.</p><p>You have to cut off their access to the game in some way -- on the grounds of harassment. I would block all DNLs originating in China and put players from China on a special server where I could control the DNL's incoming. </p>

sayitaintso
02-25-2007, 09:52 PM
Like I have been saying, SOE sin't interested in blocking anyone's access to the game, or putting in chat filters, or putting spam filters in their chat channels or going after coin buyers because doing any of that results in a loss of profit... Nothing is going to change. Eventually the only people going to be playing EQ2 are those who don't care that people are buying plat and cheating...probably one in the same...

YeldarbSpiritbla
02-25-2007, 10:02 PM
<p>Here's another one for ya:</p><p>(designating number here).) Tell all your lame friends to stop buying plat. It wouldn't be a problem if people would play the game like they're supposed to. Cheaters need to stop buying the plat from farmers and keeping them in business. STOP CHEATING!! It is against the EULA to buy plat. We should be banning the plat buyers too. If noone buys it, then there would be no market for it.</p>

sayitaintso
02-25-2007, 10:26 PM
<cite>YeldarbSpiritblade wrote:</cite><blockquote><p>Here's another one for ya:</p><p>(designating number here).) Tell all your lame friends to stop buying plat. It wouldn't be a problem if people would play the game like they're supposed to. Cheaters need to stop buying the plat from farmers and keeping them in business. STOP CHEATING!! It is against the EULA to buy plat. We should be banning the plat buyers too. If noone buys it, then there would be no market for it.</p></blockquote> Now THERE is an idea for ya OP...if the EULA is a legally binding contract the have SOE go after the plat buyers....Sue them for ruining the economy or playablility of the product....I am sure most of them live in the USA...Shouldn't be a problem as long as the EULA is legaly binding as you contend it is....right???? /sarcasm off

Quonset
03-10-2007, 09:52 PM
<cite>Eriol wrote:</cite><blockquote>I hate spammers, but I'm nearly-certain that #7 on your list is illegal. </blockquote>Yeah, I know. It was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But I was sort of hoping that amongst all the players would be some black hats who might have a little fun. As for myself, I did have a little fun signing up <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> to about 100 mailing lists, my favorite being some hospital I found using Google with about 50 mailing lists, a different one for each speciality or illness, and apparently no verification. Since a name is usually submitted along with the e-mail address, I had even more fun making up good names -- nothing profane, but funny none-the-less. Now if everybody would quit harping on how the EULA is worthless and start doing this, gmworker.com might get the message that in-game advertising provokes more ill-will than it is worth.

liveja
03-10-2007, 11:53 PM
<cite>Maroger wrote:</cite><blockquote>I would block all DNLs originating in China and put players from China on a special server where I could control the DNL's incoming. </blockquote><p>Blizzard supposedly did just that with WoW, & for months, the WoW General Forum was flooded with people on the U.S. servers, complaining about "Chinese gold farmers".</p>

Spyderbite
03-11-2007, 03:13 AM
I have received 3 /tells and no ingame mail from the spammers since I started in September. *pets his RP tag affectionately* Didn't take me 3000 characters to spell out the obvious working solution. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" />

zaun2
03-11-2007, 07:34 AM
As previous posters have stated, legal stuff helps, but if the spammer is within the US.  A solution will need to be done by automated and technical means: I like the idea of a /spam command, which is made to just be intended for spammers, not just general offensive behavior (which the /report command is for.) A number of these have been expressed, but here are some technical ideas: 1:  Have the server automatically boot a user, locking the account for a period of time (24 hours, or until reviewed at a SOE employee's leisure)if all  three (not just one, but all of them) conditions are satisfied: a.  The user has sent /tells to different people (not a total number of /tells, but total number of different people) over a certain threshold (20-40 in a period of 1-2 hours) b.  A significant percentage of users have reported the /tell as spam. c.  The account is younger than a certain age (6 months, one year). This protects users from being falsely reported on as they would have had to send out /tells for people to hit spam.  This is similar to AIM's Warn feature where people have to send a message before someone can hit "warn" on them. For example, a spammer sends messages to 50 people.  25 of them report the /tell as spam, as the rest are busy, AFK, or doing other stuff.  The spammer's account's age is less than the threshold.  The instant the server notices that the spammer sent a certain ratio of /tells in a time period, AND notices that a high percentage of them are being reported back as spam, the spammer's character is immediately booted, and the account locked until further investigation. 2:  Have the EQ2 client collect non-identifiable data from the person's machine, generate a cryptographic one-way hash of it clientside, then copy the hash to the server.  Then, SOE can ban by that hash of the computer, so someone can't just use the same computer equipment and create tons of bogus accounts... they will need to use a different computer.  Microsoft's activation does this (and it doesn't violate privacy, as only a cryptographic hash is sent to their servers), and has been proven 100% legal in the us US and other country's court systems. The hash cannot identify *anything* but that its the same computer... its not personal data, nor can it be disassembled to find anything out.  Its basically a unique random number to differentiate one person's computer from another. For example, a spammer has one computer with 30 accounts.  Eventually, a GM notices that the accounts he is banning all have the same computer ID, so the actual computer's signature is placed on a blocklist.  Now, if the spammer attempts to use an account on the blacklisted computer, the second the spammer tries to log on, the server locks the account and immediately disconnects. 3:  Allow people to filter /tells by the level of the person, and/or the age of the account.  For example, most of the plat spammer characters are definitely less than level 10, usually just level 1.  So, it wouldn't be hard to offer a filter that would block /tells from people where two conditions are met:  The account is less than say 1-3 months old, and the character doing the /tell is less than level 5.  This will force spammers to put in 20-30 minutes of work exp-ing before they can fire off their bots. 4:  Until an account or character is a certain age or level, force the /who command to pop a dialog asking for someone to type in a word.  This is like a CAPCHA on websites, to keep bots from flooding sites with bogus accounts.  For example, until someone is level 5, or the account is older than a month, if someone does a /who, a dialog will pop asking them to type in the word "Freeport", the word being randomly generated. 5:  Similar to #4, but have /who not return info on large amounts of users until the account has reached a certain age or level threshold.  So, someone can't do a /who in a zone and get every name.  It would give only (for example) 5 names.  This will allow new people to find their friends still, but keep people from grabbing large lists of people. 6:  Similar to the suggestion of tiered accounts (people having only the $10 box versus someone having all expansions), have that available as a filter, BUT add account age and levels in as well.  So, if someone just has the $10 entry level EQ2 package, but has a character total play time (not time AFK, actual play time) of 4-8 hours or so, then the account is moved to the second tier.  This will allow players on a budget to not be discriminated against, but still differentate between throwaway accounts and legit, played ones.

Quonset
03-11-2007, 08:53 PM
Hey those are some great ideas (previous post from zaun2). See, I knew somebody could come up with some more variations. None of them would be hard to implement. Come on Sony, put somebody on it. For those who are now going to complain about the poor legit noobs who can't talk to their guild members or whatever, none of these filters would block tells from somebody added to your buddy list, so it's a non-issue. For whatever reason, the situation seems to be getting better on my server. I played most of the day today and didn't get a single spam.

Norrsken
03-12-2007, 07:08 AM
<cite>zaun2 wrote:</cite><blockquote>As previous posters have stated, legal stuff helps, but if the spammer is within the US.  A solution will need to be done by automated and technical means: I like the idea of a /spam command, which is made to just be intended for spammers, not just general offensive behavior (which the /report command is for.) A number of these have been expressed, but here are some technical ideas: 1:  Have the server automatically boot a user, locking the account for a period of time (24 hours, or until reviewed at a SOE employee's leisure)if all  three (not just one, but all of them) conditions are satisfied: a.  The user has sent /tells to different people (not a total number of /tells, but total number of different people) over a certain threshold (20-40 in a period of 1-2 hours) b.  A significant percentage of users have reported the /tell as spam. c.  The account is younger than a certain age (6 months, one year). This protects users from being falsely reported on as they would have had to send out /tells for people to hit spam.  This is similar to AIM's Warn feature where people have to send a message before someone can hit "warn" on them. For example, a spammer sends messages to 50 people.  25 of them report the /tell as spam, as the rest are busy, AFK, or doing other stuff.  The spammer's account's age is less than the threshold.  The instant the server notices that the spammer sent a certain ratio of /tells in a time period, AND notices that a high percentage of them are being reported back as spam, the spammer's character is immediately booted, and the account locked until further investigation. 2:  Have the EQ2 client collect non-identifiable data from the person's machine, generate a cryptographic one-way hash of it clientside, then copy the hash to the server.  Then, SOE can ban by that hash of the computer, so someone can't just use the same computer equipment and create tons of bogus accounts... they will need to use a different computer.  Microsoft's activation does this (and it doesn't violate privacy, as only a cryptographic hash is sent to their servers), and has been proven 100% legal in the us US and other country's court systems. The hash cannot identify *anything* but that its the same computer... its not personal data, nor can it be disassembled to find anything out.  Its basically a unique random number to differentiate one person's computer from another. For example, a spammer has one computer with 30 accounts.  Eventually, a GM notices that the accounts he is banning all have the same computer ID, so the actual computer's signature is placed on a blocklist.  Now, if the spammer attempts to use an account on the blacklisted computer, the second the spammer tries to log on, the server locks the account and immediately disconnects. 3:  Allow people to filter /tells by the level of the person, and/or the age of the account.  For example, most of the plat spammer characters are definitely less than level 10, usually just level 1.  So, it wouldn't be hard to offer a filter that would block /tells from people where two conditions are met:  The account is less than say 1-3 months old, and the character doing the /tell is less than level 5.  This will force spammers to put in 20-30 minutes of work exp-ing before they can fire off their bots. 4:  Until an account or character is a certain age or level, force the /who command to pop a dialog asking for someone to type in a word.  This is like a CAPCHA on websites, to keep bots from flooding sites with bogus accounts.  For example, until someone is level 5, or the account is older than a month, if someone does a /who, a dialog will pop asking them to type in the word "Freeport", the word being randomly generated. 5:  Similar to #4, but have /who not return info on large amounts of users until the account has reached a certain age or level threshold.  So, someone can't do a /who in a zone and get every name.  It would give only (for example) 5 names.  This will allow new people to find their friends still, but keep people from grabbing large lists of people. 6:  Similar to the suggestion of tiered accounts (people having only the $10 box versus someone having all expansions), have that available as a filter, BUT add account age and levels in as well.  So, if someone just has the $10 entry level EQ2 package, but has a character total play time (not time AFK, actual play time) of 4-8 hours or so, then the account is moved to the second tier.  This will allow players on a budget to not be discriminated against, but still differentate between throwaway accounts and legit, played ones. </blockquote>number 2; just wanted to point out that a hash is in no way a random or unique number, and they are suspectable to collisions (IE, two different sources giving the same hash)' number4: There are scripts in existance that can take care of captchas. And given that the botters already heavily script things, this should be easily circumented.

Owilliams
03-12-2007, 07:49 AM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote>I have received 3 /tells and no ingame mail from the spammers since I started in September. *pets his RP tag affectionately* Didn't take me 3000 characters to spell out the obvious working solution. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /></blockquote><p> I have all my toons set to /roleplay. and while I have definitely noticed a drop in the amount of in-game spam... I am still getting a few each day.</p><p>If you do a simple check by typing "/who all" while in-game you will notice that people flagged as roleplaying and anonymous still come up on the resulting 100 player list.  This makes me curious as to how the spammers get their name lists and why people flagged as roleplay/anonymous seem to miss getting on the spam list much of the time. Odd.</p><p>On a slightly different note, I have also noticed that the in-game mail spam seems to have stopped recently. I hope this situation continues.</p><p>Happy Gaming,</p><p>--Orv</p>

zaun2
03-12-2007, 05:04 PM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote>number 2; just wanted to point out that a hash is in no way a random or unique number, and they are suspectable to collisions (IE, two different sources giving the same hash)' number4: There are scripts in existance that can take care of captchas. And given that the botters already heavily script things, this should be easily circumented. </blockquote> The hash mainly depends on what stuff gets fed into it, and the hashing algorithm.  If you checked stuff like BIOS IDs, and the serial number on the card, the data before the hash would be unique, unless EQ2 was being run in a virtual machine.  For a hashing algorithm, if one used something like SHA-512, Whirlpool-512, or something with a large keysize, the chance of a collision is very small. You are correct about the captcha thing.  This can be refined to be more exotic or less, but its an idea. As it stands now, the biggest difference between an account bought by a spammer to /tell and mail to people versus real players is account age and age/played time of characters on the account.  However, this can't be the only factor, unless you want EQ2 to be extremely newbie hostile. In game, the only real difference between a spammer character and a normal one, are levels (spammer bots will be random names and low level), and a high amount of tells and E-mail to different people (not conversations) per unit time.  So, anti-spam measures should use account age as a weight, but the server's automated anti-spam code should mainly look at amount of /tells per unit time to different people as the biggest item to check for spam.

Sotaudi
03-12-2007, 06:24 PM
[email protected] wrote: <blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>The jurisdiction for a crime is usually the country/state/district where it took place. However even that is not always true. For example, in the U.S. it is generally up to the individual states to decide what is a crime, and what the punishment for a crime can be. That's why some states have the death penalty, and some don't. Theoretically, a state could decide not to even list murder as a crime, and let people kill each other willy-nilly, perfectly legally. The federal government has passed its own laws, however, and could still try somebody in such a state for violating the victim's basic rights under the Constitution. The federal government has also passed a law making it a crime if a U.S. citizen is murdered overseas. Thus, if a U.S. tourist is murdered in say Germany, the U.S. can request extradition for a trial in the U.S. The other country may or may not comply with the request, based on whatever treaties are in force and the circumstances of the case. Civil matters are different. Legal contracts usually specify the jurisdiction. If you read your credit card agreement, it may say for example that in the case of any disputes, the State of Delaware (or whereever) has jurisdiction. You agree to that stipulation when you sign the contract for the credit card. The EULA would be such a case. By agreeing to the EULA, which you have to do in order to use the game, you agree to whatever place of jurisdiction is specified in the EULA. </blockquote>then you have the problem, at least outside the states, wher eit cannot be proven that you actually clicked I Agree, and thus, it is not legally binding, as it cannot be proven that you actually agreed. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> </blockquote><p> You are incorrect in regards to the legality.  If clicking on an agreement on a webpage did not legally bind you, then Internet commerce would come to a grinding halt.  In anticipation of some [Removed for Content] trying to rip off companies by purchasing some product or service on the Internet then trying to claim it was not legally binding, the Federal government passed a law several years ago making such agreements binding.  The problem is not that you cannot make said agreements binding.  The problem is that even legally binding contracts are moot if someone violates the contract in a foreign country and the foreign country will not enforce judgements, as is apparently the case with China.</p>

Norrsken
03-12-2007, 07:18 PM
<cite>Sotaudi wrote:</cite><blockquote>[email protected] wrote: <blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Mirander_1 wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Quonset wrote:</cite><blockquote><cite>Norrsken wrote:</cite><blockquote>Mr. Dawkins wrote: <blockquote><p>sue them an d make an example, and it would stop</p></blockquote>Only one problem with that. they are in another country. Firms have tried to push lawsuits, but they wont take in other countries. Sweden is one of the countries where the eula in every single peice of software is not legally binding. For multiple reasons. And there are other countrie s with even less chance of lawsuits even making it  to court. </blockquote>That's why you sue them in a U.S. court (where the EULA IS legally binding, and they agreed to both it AND the place of jurisdiction in it) in absentia. And then you have the executives placed on a blacklist both with U.S. immigration authorites, so they can never enter the U.S., and where possible with Interpol or other agencies. The executives are fine until they go across the wrong border. Having something like that hanging over your head is not comfortable and would act as a deterent and still be a punishment of sorts. </blockquote>Pardon my lack of legal knowledge, but even <i>if </i>a US court would find a EULA to be a legaly-binding contract, but how could it even be guarenteed that the case would go to a US court?  Aren't these types of things usually determined by the country it happened in?  And techincally, the plat-sellers are logging-in on a computer in China or other countries, so wouldn't it go to court in China, where it may be harder to have this stand up in court? </blockquote>The jurisdiction for a crime is usually the country/state/district where it took place. However even that is not always true. For example, in the U.S. it is generally up to the individual states to decide what is a crime, and what the punishment for a crime can be. That's why some states have the death penalty, and some don't. Theoretically, a state could decide not to even list murder as a crime, and let people kill each other willy-nilly, perfectly legally. The federal government has passed its own laws, however, and could still try somebody in such a state for violating the victim's basic rights under the Constitution. The federal government has also passed a law making it a crime if a U.S. citizen is murdered overseas. Thus, if a U.S. tourist is murdered in say Germany, the U.S. can request extradition for a trial in the U.S. The other country may or may not comply with the request, based on whatever treaties are in force and the circumstances of the case. Civil matters are different. Legal contracts usually specify the jurisdiction. If you read your credit card agreement, it may say for example that in the case of any disputes, the State of Delaware (or whereever) has jurisdiction. You agree to that stipulation when you sign the contract for the credit card. The EULA would be such a case. By agreeing to the EULA, which you have to do in order to use the game, you agree to whatever place of jurisdiction is specified in the EULA. </blockquote>then you have the problem, at least outside the states, wher eit cannot be proven that you actually clicked I Agree, and thus, it is not legally binding, as it cannot be proven that you actually agreed. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> </blockquote><p> You are incorrect in regards to the legality.  If clicking on an agreement on a webpage did not legally bind you, then Internet commerce would come to a grinding halt.  In anticipation of some [Removed for Content] trying to rip off companies by purchasing some product or service on the Internet then trying to claim it was not legally binding, the Federal government passed a law several years ago making such agreements binding.  The problem is not that you cannot make said agreements binding.  The problem is that even legally binding contracts are moot if someone violates the contract in a foreign country and the foreign country will not enforce judgements, as is apparently the case with China.</p></blockquote>In sweden, it actually is not legally binding. <img src="/smilies/8a80c6485cd926be453217d59a84a888.gif" border="0" alt="SMILEY" /> Most people do not know this, and thus, it is working.

Lord Taranius
03-12-2007, 08:50 PM
Rather than quote anyone directly I'll just ask it - I have a question regarding those who say that SOE could 'sue' the companies for doing this. What could they get out of it that would stop the plat spammers? As far as I am aware, and as far I was able to find in my research, a 'legal' agreement with a private company (any private contract, really) only means that you will follow the terms of the contract. Sony could not sue for money, lost income, theft, or anything. The EULA states that account access can be removed for essentially any reason, but it doesn't say "and then you owe us $1,000 in damages." Those kind of things only come up in Federal Law and such a monetary agreement couldn't be enforced without a legal signature or Federal Law being broken. Of course, that also only applies to anyone bound by US Federal Law. They could sue for sale of property, much like software copy suits, but that's only valid within the US in accordance with Federal Law. They could really only take legal action if the individual found means to play the game without paying for it, regardless of attempts by Sony to remove them, thus suing for lost subscription amounts that would be worth less than the cost of a lawyer for an hour or two, likely. A court could then direct that they stop playing the game on that account, but there's nothing within any law that I'm aware of that states they cannot buy another one and continue to play. I'm unaware of how any International Law applies in these situations, but I do not believe that it would result in any financial damages against a company outside of the United States. Is there something I am missing that someone could show me via an actual enforceable law somewhere? Please link it to everyone so we can see what you're talking about. Unfortunately I'm no lawyer, and web sources are a lot more scarce than I would have liked. Even searching legal websites give a lot less than you'd think on something so hot a topic across the web (lots of various discussions on blog sites all over the place).

Echgar
03-12-2007, 10:23 PM
There was an <a href="http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=352249" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">announcement</a> made today regarding some changes being made to address plat spammers.  Please give your feedback <a href="http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=352278" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>.