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The Courts Games

Lineage II Addiction Lawsuit Makes It Past the EULA 267

We recently discussed a man who sued NCsoft for making Lineage II "too addictive" after he spent 20,000 hours over five years playing it. Now, several readers have pointed out that the lawsuit has progressed past its first major hurdle: the EULA. Quoting: "NC Interactive has responded the way most software companies and online services have for more than a decade: it argued that the claims are barred by its end-user license agreement, which in this case capped the company's liability to the amount Smallwood paid in fees over six months prior to his filing his complaint (or thereabouts). One portion of the EULA specifically stated that lawsuits could only be brought in Texas state court in Travis County, where NC Interactive is located. ... But the judge in this case, US District Judge Alan C. Kay, noted that both Texas and Hawaii law bar contract provisions that waive in advance the ability to make gross-negligence claims. He also declined to dismiss Smallwood's claims for negligence, defamation, and negligent infliction of emotional distress."
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Lineage II Addiction Lawsuit Makes It Past the EULA

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  • Re:Big "Uh Oh!" (Score:3, Informative)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @05:13AM (#33447004) Homepage

    Did you miss the part where some of their Texas-requiring EULA is actually prohibited by Texas law?

  • Re:Big "Uh Oh!" (Score:5, Informative)

    by totally bogus dude ( 1040246 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @05:20AM (#33447038)

    Let me quote the post you responded to, with a bit of emphasis

    A Texas company writing a license agreement [...] requiring any legal claims against them be brought in Texas and limiting liabilities in ways that are expressly prohibited under Texas law

    You're welcome. Have a nice day!

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:50AM (#33447394) Homepage Journal

    Buddhism doesn't involve believing in any gods (though some people worship Buddha apparently), so you can be an atheist Buddhist..

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @06:59AM (#33447436) Homepage Journal

    You're picking and choosing very specific verses that suit your argument.

    That doesn't make him wrong. Would you rather he picked versus completely unrelated to anything he was saying?

    I've read the whole of the bible twice btw. God directly started wars in the old testament. That sounds like religion giving reasons for war to me, unless you're saying that the Israelite leaders were just pretending that God said something as an excuse for war? *gasp* Would humans ever do something like that, make up gods and beliefs to control people and get their own way? Surely not!

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @07:22AM (#33447568) Homepage Journal

    Killing all Christians and burning all churches = wet dream of every slashdot anti-theist

    Don't be such a fucking clown. I think Christianity and all religions have it dead wrong, but I don't want to kill everyone who has beliefs. I can understand and even respect some religious beliefs, and I see that religion does provide positive influences in some people's lives, though on a larger scale it has many negative effects.

  • by ZeRu ( 1486391 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:18AM (#33447940)
    You may think so, but apparently even Dalai Lama isn't too fond of atheists [nytimes.com] and thinks they are no better than religious extremists.
  • Re:Big "Uh Oh!" (Score:3, Informative)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:32AM (#33448062)
    In general the answer would be no. You're supposed to file suit against a party in their home jurisdiction. In this case, I don't think that's what happened, the Judge in the case noted that in neither of the two relevant states does the local law allow the limitations on gross negligence claims to be limited in advance and as such can't be considered valid. Which is common sense, it can get dicey when the laws disagree, but it's silly in cases where both jurisdictions are actually in agreement to go with something else completely.
  • by pregister ( 443318 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:32AM (#33448070)

    Excellent point. From the linked article:

    "WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best — and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today."

  • by SirJorgelOfBorgel ( 897488 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @08:34AM (#33448078)

    As co-owner of a small software house, I agree.

    We have aggressive EULA's as well, but as we're based in Europe we also have strong consumer laws to work with. The EULA's main purpose is to stop lawsuits dead in their tracks and just be reasonable about usage.

    Sure, if the software doesn't work as the user expects it to, we will either attempt to fix it first or issue a refund. Its the user's choice whether we try to fix it first or refund immediately (no questions asked), if the refund request is made within 30 days of purchase. We generally offer a refund long beyond those 30 days as well, we have free fully-functional 21-day trial versions, and you have to agree to the EULA before even purchasing. The EULA is clearly linked, not hidden, and a refund request can be done by a simple email. We even allow you to use a single copy on all your computers instead of purchasing a copy per computer. I know, people usually do this with all their software, but it is usually against the EULA.

    We find this entirely reasonable and gives the user more than enough chance to see if it works as they expect it to, and is actually more lenient to the end-users than is legally required. The right to refund (in our case) is only 7 days, and the manufacturer (us) has the right to attempt a fix 3 times before having to refund.

    But you still need the EULA as developers, because the liability is insane. For example, say you were walking around while holding your netbook in one hand and typing on it with the other, while the software is running (which is a pretty weird thing to do in any case), and you walk under a bus, we may actually be liable under law. I've never heard of an actual case like this, but legally, it's possible. So the EULA needs a clause which disallows you from usage when usage could result in serious injury to anyone (not just the user). That's just one of a great many examples. As over here it's not allowed to simply have a clause which waives liability for many cases, each case like this needs to be covered explicitly by the EULA.

    And even with a strong EULA, you simply can't cover all these cases. Luckily, the place we operate from is not (yet) a sueing society like the USA, and awarded damages are usually limited to provable loss (and not some arbitrary number some money hungry lawyer thought up, or emotional damage and whatnot). Add to that that due to our exact situation - contrary to what someone posted above - we actually are able to limit the court's location where you can sue us to our own country.

    Still, the possibility for insane lawsuits are still there, and simply cannot be fully covered by an EULA.

    Now ask the question, what is wrong here? Are we manufacturers evil for trying to protect ourselves from people seeking to make an easy buck at our expense? We could cover that, but then a single copy would not cost $15, it would cost $15000. I sincerely doubt the average end-user would like to pay that amount for software. Or are the laws insane for allowing end-users to act irresponsibly and then succesfully blaming others for their own mistakes? In my book that is behaviour you try to teach kids not to have, though it seems a great many missed that part of their education.

    If laws, end-users, and manufcaturers would simply be reasonable, EULA's would not be needed. Blame not the manufacturer for including a EULA, blame the law for needing one! We work hard for our money just like you do, and no, we don't think you're entitled to our life savings because you stubbed your toe.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday September 02, 2010 @09:25AM (#33448698) Homepage Journal

    McDonald's was the stupid one. All she wanted was the medical bills for her 3rd degree burns paid; I think that's quite reasonable. McDonalds said "No way, bitch, sue us". Dumb. They deserved getting their asses handed to them on a platter, they BEGGED for it.

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:05AM (#33450780) Homepage Journal

    Like any religion Buddhism has countless sects. I'm sure there are some sects, especially the sort that seem to be popular in Hollywood, that are more secular in nature. Just like there are sects of Christianity that are drastically different from the more common forms.

    Exactly, so believing in gods is not one of the basic things that makes Buddhism Buddhism.

    I wasn't going by Hollywood, while I was checking what I was saying about Buddhism and Atheism I was using this link: http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/buddhaatheism.htm [about.com]

    It does say:

    The many mythological creatures and beings that populate Mahayana Buddhism art and literature are often called "gods" or "deities." But, again, just believing in them is not the point.

  • by Abstrackt ( 609015 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:23AM (#33451106)

    So if you sold someone some pizza and they shoved a piece of the melted cheese onto their "nether region", and they got burns, its your fault ?

    What person in their right mind, regardless of "how hot" something is puts an OPEN container of coffee between their thighs ? If someone said "I put my hot coffee between my thighs and I got burned - Its your fault." came to me I'd say sue too.. because I'd think there is no way this can be my fault.

    Regarding your pizza example: no, they'd just be an idiot.

    Regarding McDonald's: "McDonald's required franchises to serve coffee at 180–190 F (82–88 C). At that temperature, the coffee would cause a third-degree burn in two to seven seconds. Prior to her lawsuit, there had been approximately 700 other burn cases involving McDonald's between 1982 and 1992." (Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants [wikipedia.org])

    I agree it wasn't a good idea to put the coffee in her lap but she spent eight days in a hospital, required skin grafts and two years of medical treatment just because she spilled it on herself. I don't know if you've ever ended up with a hot beverage in your lap but it usually just hurts for an hour and gets a little red; it doesn't involve a trip to the hospital. Her original plan was to settle with McDonald's to cover her medical costs and they offered her $800. After that, they filed a suit for gross negligence for providing "unreasonably dangerous" and "defectively manufactured" coffee.

  • by JoesRagingBileDuct ( 452917 ) on Thursday September 02, 2010 @11:29AM (#33451250) Homepage

    This is completely wrong. Buddhism is a religion but you could claim that it is not a theology. There is a difference. It is a religion because it involves things like souls and the afterlife/reincarnation. It is the combination of a philosophy and a fairy tale, a way of living your life and a fantastical reason why it should be that way. That is pretty much the definition of a religion. Now, in most Asian countries, the "Buddhas" are treated as gods. Why? Well because when they converted to Buddhism they took their old gods and made them enlightened ones (Buddhas). The same way that old African gods became saints in places where Christianity took over. The same story is repeated every place one religion comes to supplant another. In traditional (Indian) Buddhism, this is not the case, they accepted the old Hindu stories as useful parables but mostly moved on from their old beliefs.

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