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Games Entertainment

IRC Network GamesNet Sued By Founder 14

An anonymous reader writes " The GamesNet IRC Network is being sued by one of its co-founders, Donald 'CoolHandLuke' Wasylyna. The suit names six of GamesNet's Board of Directors as defendants, and alleges a variety of misconduct stemming from the change of Mr. Wasylyna as administrative contact for the domain gamesnet.net to the GamesNet Board of Directors. The GamesNet site has the original complaint (PDF), along with a copy of the official response(PDF)." Another reader points to a Wayback Machine page listing Mr.Wasylyna as one of the two founders of GamesNet - Wasylyna says he was "growing the membership so a membership fee could be charged" before other administrators at GamesNet allegedly transferred the domain name away from him without his consent.
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IRC Network GamesNet Sued By Founder

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  • Ok, so IANAL nor I play one on slashdot.

    Can anyone explain the official answer? It seemed like they responded almost every point with "we have no knowledge..." and ended up requesting a trial by jury.

    Is this normal?
    • Re:Legalese (Score:4, Informative)

      by imitier ( 674794 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @12:22PM (#6285334)
      I am, and yes, it is normal. Basically, the first thing you do, before you've investigated everything for your side, is preserve all your rights and objection that you might assert in the future by denying everything now. Since the lawsuit phase of this dispute has just started, the defendants probably don't know enough (or haven't had enough time to think about) the particular answers and defenses they will assert. The standard thing to do, then, is to deny the allegations because you don't have information sufficient to form a belief one way or the other.
    • Re:Legalese (Score:2, Informative)

      by Entrope ( 68843 )
      The response is directed more at the plaintiff and his lawyer than at the judge. It enumerates some reasons that we contest the complaint's claims, but it does not give the details. Until we go through the discovery process, it is not useful to be specific in why we mention those defenses.
      • What I'm curious about are the domain names. Were the domain names in Donald's name? Who actually owned the domain names?

        If the domain names were misappropriated as the complaint suggests (paragraph 22), how can Gavin Roy claim that he didn't use false letterhead but otherwise doesn't have enough information to respond?

        It also makes me wonder why if paragraph 22 were correct, that criminal charges weren't filed?

        Come on folks, what's the scoop? Inquiring minds want to know.
        • I haven't been part of GamesNET for some time, but during my time there the domains where under both Donald's and James's control. Specifically, I believe Donald was the billing contact and James was the technical contact. I know there was a plan to make the administrative contact the GamesNET board, but I don't know if that ever happened.
      • The registrant information was as follows prior to the domain update. The response that you are asking about was prepared by attorneys and does not represent the meat of my defense.

        gamesnet (GAMESNET2-DOM)
        1015 Hastings Ct
        Lutz, FL 33548
        Domain Name: GAMESNET.NET
  • Three points (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DevilM ( 191311 ) <devilm.devilm@com> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @11:52AM (#6285041) Homepage
    First, I am really glad the people who really care about GamesNET finally have control over it.

    Second, some of the numbers in the suit are incorrect in regard to Donald's expenses as he is representing donations from outside companies as personal expenses.

    Third, it would be interesting to know where James stands on this issue as he was the other offical founder of GamesNET.
    • Re:Three points (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      According to the GamesNET site, he is fighting along side of the GamesNET Board.

      "The GamesNET Board of Directors, including the six defendants and GamesNET's co-founder Grendel, are vigorously contesting the complaint and believe it is without merit."

      He is the only board member not to be listed as a defendant in the case.
      • The small quote doesn't really let us know where he stands. I mean sure we know the suit is without merit, but James should be able to point by point invalidate much of the suit. Further, I'm sure James could provide evidence in regard to Donald's use of a certain company's resources without their consent.
        • Re:Three points (Score:3, Informative)

          by Entrope ( 68843 )
          James has acted in concert with the rest of the board from the time we transferred the domain to the current time. Among other things, he played a significant role in helping us locate the attorney we retained for our defense.
  • he wanted to build membership up to charge membership fees?

    Gamesnet isn't even the best IRC service out there, and he thought he'd be able to charge with a slew of absolutely free competitors out there?

    If they get a judge or jury with a clue, they should laugh him out of court.
    • by vekotin ( 535759 ) <vekotin@nOspAM.vekotin.org> on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @01:12PM (#6285866) Homepage
      Just as a clarification, even as I'm a server admin for GamesNET, my opinion is just my own personal viewpoint and doesn't reflect anything official or any other staff members' opinions.

      Imo, and what seems to be a general mood as well, this is just another great show of what a justice system becomes when it works with money and money alone. Charging IRC users for using it? Get real, even ICQ or AIM aren't charging users yet and they're the ones that are perhaps closest to it.

      However, as strange as it sounds, sometimes people and companies do emerge, willing to "buy out" some IRC networks. I remember this happening once way back at QuakeNet. But an IRC network is its people, its staff, and all of them are from all around the world, bringing their part to it. You can't just sell something like that as a whole. An IRC network in the top twenties is commonly supported by a huge amount of companies hosting servers and services, from USA to Australia and back.

      I did once claim that there is potential for some market value in IRC networks and the network administration should not look lightly on companies willing to host servers that are usually just DDoS magnets. But this is more like having company logos available on a web based client and such.

      Some ideas that just can't work right now include:
      - charging IRC users for using the service. Users can just switch to the next network, plus the service has been free since its founding. Besides, no IRC network is THAT superior
      - selling advertisement space based on things such as private messages spammed regularly to all users. This does have a certain idea, but it's way too easy to block out and quite irritating.

      The latter might reveal a potential idea though, giving users the possibility to take part in for example surveys or perhaps having access to some stores and services via IRC might work, so long as these are things a user can voluntarily choose to do or not to do. If such services are designed carefully, they might attract users.

      I suppose someone might feel that there's some potential in charging for the use of network services, but this seems a bit hazy as well. The fact is, as long as you can get equal or better service for free elsewhere, you'll rather go elsewhere than pay.

      I've had the pleasure of working with many great IRC Networks over the years. It's taken time, effort and money from my pocket. Then again, having motorcycles as a hobby does pretty much the same. Most people don't do it to one day suddenly get rich, they do it because it's FUN and while at it, they learn many useful things which can be helpful with work or other hobbies.

      To me, this is just simply sad and as a non-US-citizen, to me it looks like a waste of the justice system's resources.
  • IRC (Score:3, Funny)

    by J x ( 160849 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2003 @12:30PM (#6285420)
    /mode #gamesnet +lawsuit

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye