Oh wow (in Links)

QBOddBird August 31 2010 4:24 PM EDT

I'd actually HEARD of Scapegaming. No more for them!

Admin{CB1}Slayer333 [SHIELD] August 31 2010 4:28 PM EDT

Such a fate as everyone who plays WoW deserves.

Lochnivar August 31 2010 4:29 PM EDT

was the 'Oh wow' title a deliberate play on words OB?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 31 2010 4:31 PM EDT

Does anyone really expect her to be able to pay $88 Million in damages?


AdminQBVerifex August 31 2010 4:34 PM EDT

Maybe she is allowed to pay with WoW Gold?

Lochnivar August 31 2010 4:40 PM EDT

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson has ordered Reeves to surrender the $3 million in profit she made off hosting illegal versions of the game, and pay $88.5 million in statutory damages based on the number of registered users who used Scapegaming and $66,600 in attorney’s fees.

Maybe it's just that I'm a bleeding heart liberal, but I would have comped the 66k in lawyers fees.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 31 2010 5:02 PM EDT

I just can't fathom how they got to the 88M, especially as she only earned 3M out of it.

Now, if she was charging a cheaper monthly subs, ok, she wouldn't have earned as much as Blizz would have in the time. But 3M to 88M? She would have ot have charged something like 3 pence a month instead of ᆪ8.99...

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] August 31 2010 6:01 PM EDT

"That's right, since the woman in question never showed up in court, she was slammed with a DMCA violation for every single one of her users. In fact, the statutory damages were low, according to the court. The $200 fine per circumvention is a statutory minimum, and in this case it was multiplied by 427,393 users."

raikkanto September 1 2010 3:30 AM EDT

That's just ridiculous. There is just no way she could afford to pay $88M, or should be expected to do so.

Wraithlin September 1 2010 4:58 AM EDT

She won't have to pay that much. But you can't just ignore laws when totally up how much someone owes.

What will really go down is she'll declare bankruptcy as the court takes everything she owns and then gives the total amount to the company.

Then she's left with nothing basically to start over again.

It's like when someone is sentenced to 4 life sentences back to back. The reason they get that is because that's the sum total of the penalties of what they did. They will only end up serving one of em, but they still got hit with all 4.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 7:38 AM EDT

@Rod - Obviously, she will not be able to pay the money and will declare bankruptcy. However, I do wonder why you think that she should not be expected to pay it back? Do you think that she should be allowed to profit from stealing or just say 'Opps' and go on her way?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 7:45 AM EDT

Do you think she actually stole 88M dollars worth from Blizzard?

Wouldn't having to pay back the 3M profit she made back be enough? With legal costs on top as well. And maybe some sort of punshiment fine on top as well.

But something that didn't exceed the actual profit made by a factor of 30...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 7:49 AM EDT

I mean, that sort of excessive fine doesn't actually mean anything, as said above, there's no way she could pay it, and will obviosuly declare bankrupcy.

Now if the penalty was a, tad, more realistic, then the agreeved party might expect to actually get that cash back...

Or am I just being silly?

Wraithlin September 1 2010 7:57 AM EDT

she didn't steal 88m from blizzard, she stole whatever the difference in her 3m she got and what they would of paid to blizzard during that time. (I assume she charged less).

So say she charged 3 dollars a month instead of 10 or whatever, she stole 10m from blizzard.

The 88m is basically just the standard penalty for this type of crime. It's supposed to be a deterent to people doing it. Obviously this woman didn't feel like having to pay 200 bucks per person she took from blizzard was much of deterent.

Another example would be the signs you see on the side of the road "$1000" fine for littering (or whatever it is in your area). Did you really cause 1000 dollars worth of destruction when you tossed the napkin out your car window? No you probably did not, but you're not going to pay the 12c worth of damage you did, you're going to pay the 1000 dollars because this type of behavior is trying to be stopped.

If the payment always fit the crime there would be no reason not to do it. If all she had to do was pay back the money she stole then basically blizzard gave her a 3 million interest free loan. Do you think that's fair?

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 8:45 AM EDT

Is this really a deterent? It's so large that people know there is no hope of paying it back.

You might as well go out to aim for a 50M fine, 100M, or a Gazillion. Whatever. The outcome will stil be the same.


As for the difference between what she charged, and what blizzard does, that's a slipery slope. Some people might have played her cheaper version only becuase of the cheaper cost, and wouldn't have played Blizzards ever.

She didn't 'steal' anything from Blizzard. She gained cash in a way she shouldn't have though. And shouldn't be able to keep her profits. Inlcuding any interest. ;)

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 9:24 AM EDT

Yes, to many people it is a deterrent. I for one would not like to lose all that I had worked for all my life.

She will have to declare bankruptcy as she will be unable to pay the fine. That will cost her now and affect her for the next 7-15 years depending on the bankruptcy laws of the state. Credit cards if she can get them will have a higher rate, good luck trying to but a home in today's market with a bankruptcy on your record. Many employers are also starting to look at person's credit rating before hiring them. These are just some of the many implications of declaring bankruptcy, after, of course, losing much if not most of what you own.

I see no slippery slope, she stole from Blizzard. While, you can debate how much she stole, the fact is she took money that would otherwise have gone to Blizzard. The article states that there 425 thousand users. If just 1 in 10, would have played Blizzard and not hers, then she stolen from Blizzard $425,000 per month.

Minnakht September 1 2010 9:48 AM EDT

Don't forget that Blizzard also makes money charging for in game services such as Server Transfers/Faction Transfers/Name changes/Authenticators, which wouldn't have been bought when players used her servers.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 9:53 AM EDT

Yes, to many people it is a deterrent. I for one would not like to lose all that I had worked for all my life.

How much would you have to be fined? 10 Thousand? 100 Thousand? 1 Million Dollars?

Is there any difference in you being fined 10 Million or 100 Million Dollars? Would both just equate to bankrupcy?

Would a 100 Million Dollar fine be any more of a deterant to a 10 Million Dollar fine for you?

As for stealing, you would have to show which of those users were playing WoW originally, and cancelled thier subscriptions to move over to her cheaper servers.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 1 2010 9:53 AM EDT

It strikes me as silly that the courts are being use to shore up bad code. If a company doesn't want you to use their software in a certain way, it should be up to them to prevent it. Having laws and prosecutions seems insanely wasteful to me.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 9:54 AM EDT

the fact is she took money that would otherwise have gone to Blizzard

Not if the players on her severs never had any intention of playing WoW.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 9:55 AM EDT

Nov, same could be said about Guns and Gun crime. ;)

The manufacturer sells a punter a Gun, and it's up to the punter to not use it in an illegal fashion. ;)

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 10:08 AM EDT

I agree with you on the Guns and Crime analogy. The crime should always be based on the person committing the crime and not what they used.

I do have a hard time believing though that none of the 425,000 people that played on her server would not have played on Blizzards. It may or may not have been a large percentage. In my example, I used just 10%, but even if you drop to 1% that is still taking money from Blizzard.

Most courts when faced with multiple violations, first determine the amount that should be awarded per violation. The court damages were just about $207 per user of her servers which is less than 2 years subscription to Blizzard. That is not that large per user assessment. It is simply that she had 425,000 users that made the total so high.

Wraithlin September 1 2010 10:37 AM EDT

I really have no clue why there is a discussion on such a simple subject....

There was a law in place that if you stole a person in this manner the fine is 200 bucks.

She stole 476k people

that's 85 mil, plus the 3 mil she made was also owed, so 88 mil.

Nobody "made the crime fit the punishment" they just took out a calculator and multiplied the already figured out punishment for this offense times the number of times she commited it.

As for modifiying it so that it's reasonable, why bother? You have a value she can't pay, why spend the time modifying it to some smaller value she still can't pay. And if you make it something she can pay then you're not punishing her.

Someone steals 3 mil from a bank and they go to jail, she's not even going there, she's just going bankrupt and having bad credit for 10 years, if anything she's getting off light.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 1 2010 10:43 AM EDT

Getting off light?

It's odd when spending time and money to produce a valuable service constitutes stealing. The lines we've drawn for ourselves seem arbitrary and foolish to me.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me think RMS is right. The whole system seems like it going to end up making criminals of us all.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 10:50 AM EDT

She spent time and money to steal and profit from others work. Bankrobbers will spend money to by the tools that they use for a robbery. I do not really see any grayness here. She knowingly worked to steal.

Drawing an arbitrary line? One company invested millions of dollars and years of development on a product they hoped would make them money and another person steals that product to make money for herself. That is not an arbitrary line to me, that is a very clear cut defined line.

Wraithlin September 1 2010 10:52 AM EDT

So if you walked into a movie theater and recorded the movie you think you should be able to sell copies of that for profit?

theft of intellectual property is still theft, regardless of how appreciative your patrons are.

Lochnivar September 1 2010 10:54 AM EDT

+1 Wraith

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] September 1 2010 11:00 AM EDT

Blizzard failed to restrict the software they create from accessing non-blizzard servers. Because of this they sought to have the law do their job for them. Fair use may not really exist anymore, but if it did I could easily see how this would fall under it. This is basically betamax all over again. You buy something and then have artificial restrictions on how you can use it. It's terribly silly to ask the courts to prevent people from using what they buy in any manner they see fit.

VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 11:10 AM EDT

There are many time where the Court have limited a person use of something that they own:

Property: You can only build according to the zoning of the property. Home owners associations can further restrict how your house looks and maintenance.

Cars: You must be a certain age to drive on public road. You must drive certain speeds and obey posted and unposted laws.

Alcohol and Tobacco: You must be a certain age to use. There are places were you can an can not use them. You can not drink and drive.

Firearms: There are locations that you can not carry them and areas you can not use them. You are also forbidden to use them in a crime.

There are many more examples, I am just to lazy to get a comprehensive list.

Lochnivar September 1 2010 11:12 AM EDT

Let's say I patent a cure for cancer...

I think I should be allowed to ask the court to stop some one who buys it and sees fit to duplicate it and mass produce it. I mean yeah, they bought it but I'm pretty sure that I have been wronged here. Of course I could have spent countless amounts of money to make it harder to illegally copy my medicine... so I guess it is my fault right?

and no, WoW =/= cure for cancer

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] September 1 2010 11:44 AM EDT

So if you walked into a movie theater and recorded the movie you think you should be able to sell copies of that for profit?


But should you be fined $200 dollars (per person) for letting folk view a $10 moive for $3?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] September 1 2010 11:55 AM EDT


VsCountStrum [Black Watch] September 1 2010 12:01 PM EDT

To your question, Yes. Why not? If that is what the court decide according to the Laws that Court must follows, then they should fine that. The fines should be relative to crime. Taking the basic idea from your post a $200 fine for $10 movie, would be excessive. However, if they showed that $10 movie every month, then it would quickly add up.

I believe the current fine can be up to $500 or $5,000 per person for showing illegal movies.
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