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Author Topic: Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!  (Read 2058 times)

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Offline Thedeacon

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« on: December 22, 2003, 08:24:30 PM »
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/fun.games/12/19/china.gamer.reut/index.html



Now check that out....



A gamer in china had his account hacked and the company that made the game basically told him to fuck off, a la Funcom, so the guy sued the company making the game....AND WON.



On the one hand, it's Chinese law and is not applicable to other nations, but on the other hand, it sets a new precedent for online games, as each game is played by people all around the world.  By this one small victory, it opens an opportunity for other cases to reference this incident and potentially set up new laws to handle online MMORPG theft.  



The fact that it's being covered by CNN only casts a bigger light on the situation.



Recently, AO had such a problem with security in that all of your character login info was saved in the anarchylauncher.prefs file, which created a security hole.  Were someone to get ahold of that file, they could log into your account without needing your password.  Hence, Funcom would have been partially liable for not protecting your info.  The whole Stindy situation comes to mind :p



Quote
"I exchanged the equipment with my labor, time, wisdom and money, and of course they are my belongings," it quoted him as saying of the virtual property he collected online.



The company argued that the value of the virtual property only existed in the game and was "just piles of data to our operating companies."



In the end, Beijing's Chaoyang District People's Court ruled on Thursday that the firm should restore the player's lost items, finding the company liable because of loopholes in the server programs that made it easy for hackers to break in.



His quote is interesting because it may cause changes in the way Ebaying is handled, heh.



Over time, we spend alot of money on online games and it's nice to know that we might not be totally fucked if something like this were to happen to us.  Again, I can't say how a case would fare in other countries, but I'm willing to bet that a US court would probably find in the player's favor, especially considering the amount of money that is spent over the years.



A good read, at any rate :)
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Offline Bantram

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2003, 08:32:13 PM »
sounds cool!  I'm not sure if somehitn like that would apply in the US though.



i heard on the travel channel that in vegas, there are 5 kangaroos for every person!
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Offline Stray

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2003, 08:42:13 PM »
yea i saw that one earlier on today, pritty interesting.



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Offline Thedeacon

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2003, 08:44:22 PM »
in the US, a woman sued McDonald's for making her coffee too hot after SHE spilled it on herself...



...she won 4 million dollars.



Another lady won 2 million after tripping on a clear plastic coathanger, citing it was "hard to see".



Yeah, something like this would win in the us hehe :D
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Offline kini

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2003, 08:52:44 PM »
I sue joo Funcom!!!  Sue joo all to hell!



Eh, not. :mrgreen:  Theyre not fun anymore.. and what do I have to come back to? An expansion that doesnt really turn me on and being out of the loop for 6 months..*pokes Duckie and sticks a sn?ball in his shirt*



Interesting little story.  You go, Li Hongchen!
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Offline Bantram

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2003, 08:56:41 PM »
you are probably right, deac.



also, a thief won like 100 grand after he injured himself breaking into a house.



i live on a farm, and if some hunter broke his leg on my farm trespassing, he could sue me for a lot of cash and be fined like $200 for trespassing.



kinda fucked up.
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Offline Gavelin

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2003, 09:52:39 PM »
Oooh we pickin' on Stray in this thread?



*throws a k?ttbulle at Stray* :evil:

Offline Ralyth

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2003, 10:32:05 PM »
Quote from: Thedeacon
in the US, a woman sued McDonald's for making her coffee too hot after SHE spilled it on herself...



...she won 4 million dollars.



Another lady won 2 million after tripping on a clear plastic coathanger, citing it was "hard to see".



Yeah, something like this would win in the us hehe :D
Their all urban myth's :P
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Offline Spizmack

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2003, 11:30:01 PM »
Quote from: Ralyth
Quote from: Thedeacon
in the US, a woman sued McDonald's for making her coffee too hot after SHE spilled it on herself...



...she won 4 million dollars.



Another lady won 2 million after tripping on a clear plastic coathanger, citing it was "hard to see".



Yeah, something like this would win in the us hehe :D
Their all urban myth's :P



No, Mcdonalds is ture. Was all over the news.

Offline Quizzical

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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2003, 11:31:30 PM »
That many judges like to give out these large rewards, but rarely do they survive the appeal process, and the person who thinks they might get the cash ends up owing the laywers that helped them, as the initial case was won, so the fees had to be paid, but the total reward was lost, so the suer ends up on the hook.



But enough of them come through that every peice of stuff has to have all sorts of redundant rediculous information like coffee cups all having a message that it has hot fluids, cigarettes saying they will kill you and plastic bags are not toys.



The funniest one I saw was on an underwater football for scuba divers. Imagine a 12 inch football shaped thing, but only reaching about 1 inch in diameter at its hight. on on one end there are tail fins to provide it with control when launched. The warnign message "Choaking Hazard" dont think about it too long.



Quizzical.

Offline Karrd

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Re: Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2003, 12:06:46 AM »
Quote
In the end, Beijing's Chaoyang District People's Court ruled on Thursday that the firm should restore the player's lost items, finding the company liable because of loopholes in the server programs that made it easy for hackers to break in.



aww wtf, all they did was restore lost items? pffft, i was hoping for an obscene cash settlement  :P

Offline Stray

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2003, 12:35:33 AM »
Quote from: Potti
Oooh we pickin' on Stray in this thread?



*throws a k?ttbulle at Stray* :evil:



h8'ers!



Its because im pritty isnt it? :[
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<Lyetur> or do you just not speak on org chat?

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Offline Bantram

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2003, 02:15:49 AM »
Quote from: Stray
Quote from: Potti
Oooh we pickin' on Stray in this thread?



*throws a k?ttbulle at Stray* :evil:



h8'ers!



Its because im pritty isnt it? :[



yes!!
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Offline Thedeacon

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2003, 09:02:04 AM »
Quote from: Bantram
you are probably right, deac.



also, a thief won like 100 grand after he injured himself breaking into a house.



i live on a farm, and if some hunter broke his leg on my farm trespassing, he could sue me for a lot of cash and be fined like $200 for trespassing.



kinda fucked up.



HAHAHA yeah I heard about that one too.  



Some of them get appealed, most don't.  Last thing a large company wants is more litigation.  McDonald's lawyers cost a shitload.  It costs a shitload for people to take off work and testify, pay lawyers, pay PR people, etc.  Typically the larger corporations pay the money or settle out of court.  The second incident that I referred to happened in Milwaukee about 10 years back, shortly after the McDonald's lawsuit.  The lady got paid too :p



It's typically the small time operations that do a million appeals, as they can't afford to pay the millions of dollars.



Here, one of the court reports from the McDonald's case:



Stella Liebeck, 79 years old, was sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson?s car having purchased a cup of McDonald?s coffee. After the car stopped, she tried to hold the cup securely between her knees while removing the lid. However, the cup tipped over, pouring scalding hot coffee onto her. She received third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body, necessitating hospitalization for eight days, whirlpool treatment for debridement of her wounds, skin grafting, scarring, and disability for more than two years. Morgan, The Recorder, September 30, 1994. Despite these extensive injuries, she offered to settle with McDonald?s for $20,000. However, McDonald?s refused to settle. The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages -- reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent at fault -- and $2.7 million in punitive damages for McDonald?s callous conduct. (To put this in perspective, McDonald's revenue from coffee sales alone is in excess of $1.3 million a day.) The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000. Subsequently, the parties entered a post-verdict settlement. According to Stella Liebeck?s attorney, S. Reed Morgan, the jury heard the following evidence in the case:



McDonald's makes over 1.3 mil a day in coffee alone...why would they appeal that lawsuit?  Waste of time, money and more bad publicity for them.



I'd love to see someone sue Sony or Funcom or one of those companies in the states :p



Yknow the real bitch about that case in China?  Restoring the fella's items would have cost the company nothing, but instead they had to pay for lawyers, and since the company was found at fault, they have to pay his legal fees too, costing them thousands of dollars and lots of negative publicity.  



It makes me wonder if additional laws will be put in place to cover virtual items.  The EULA is nice and all, but there's already laws that supercede them.  If the EULA stated that Sony for funcom could come into you house and rape your mother, it wouldn't matter much if you agreed or not, as federal and local laws supercede the EULA.



So if you ever get hacked....remember the case of Wong Chong Whatever vs evil chinese gaming comany.
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Offline Theed

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Gamer sues a game company for being hacked...AND WINS!
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2003, 04:54:10 PM »
Couple points on this:



1)  The purpose of punitive damages is deterrence.  Deterrence is measured as against the defendant; i.e. Ford Motors or Bob next door.  Punitive damages may be reduced on appeal where they are found to be unreasonable.  However, a jury verdict is almost never overturned on appeal.



2)  The McDonald's case is true as is the burglar case.  You are not allowed to set dangerous traps for burglars (sling guns).  In California, even trespassers may recover against you where your property was unreaonably dangerous.  But just because state juries award insane damages doesn't mean that a judge would.  I really do think this will come down to an interpretation of law, is this "property" or was there a "contract?"  Interpretations of law are left to the court, not the jury.



3)  I'm not sure how a U.S. court would go on this issue. A California state appellate court recently held that computer data was intangible: Ward Insurance Services Inc. v. The Employers Fire Insurance Co.  Of course people recover for intangibles all the time.  I doubt a U.S. court would find that the items were the players "property."  I also suspect that gaming companies will react to this in the usual way, by modifying their contract language (which would likely kill the issue).  At most, players will probably be able to get their stuff back (as here) but getting anything more than their monthly gaming dues is questionable.

 

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