Starcraft Supports Ask: Do Lawyers Suck?
Readers vote with their keyboards, come to the support of Starcraft, and generally wonder what's up with all these lawsuits.
What is now referred to as "the Starcraft lawsuit," so as not to confuse it with "the Ultima Online lawsuit" we presume, has prompted readers to e-mail opinions that run the full range of possible responses.
Some readers are just plain in love with the lawyer who brought the lawsuit against Starcraft publisher Blizzard. But most responses voice an opinion that consumers needn't be "protected" against game companies like Blizzard Entertainment. The unscientific measure of opinions contained in today's mass of e-mails (about one hundred) defends Blizzard and its Starcraft title - to say nothing of Blizzard's free online gaming service Battle.net.
A few recent e-mails follow. Don't hesitate to voice your opinion if you haven't already.
And now to the letters:I'm afraid that the collective public needs to pull their collective heads out of their collective nether region.
This decade will go down in history as the "I'll sue" decade. This thoroughly disgusts me, the fact that these so-called "protectors" looking to "save" the consumer, computer gamers, from the "atrocities" of the "evil computer publishers." I'm sure the fact that they'll get a few bucks in the process won't hurt, either. First, the lawsuit against Origin. Now, the lawsuit against Blizzard. Come on, people, get real. You know what I did before these lawsuits came about to "protect" me? I didn't buy the game. Novel idea, that. If you buy a game, don't like it, return it for another. If you can't return it, then don't buy another game from the same company. Better yet, wait awhile and see what other people think of the game, and if they've experienced any problems.
Unfortunately, I see the industry becoming like the insurance market. There are so many lawsuits being brought against insurance companies, that it's cheaper for them to settle, then to take it to court. So what happens? The consumer ends up paying more for coverage, because there's going to be somebody suing the insurance company and the insurance company needs to have funds to cover this. Now, we're going to have software companies with a staff of lawyers, and they'll have to worry about all this garbage litigation. Guess what? That piece of software that previously cost $50 will now cost $75, for future litigation against greedy individuals.
It's almost a shame that we don't have a form of public humiliation. Because I sure would like to tell these "protectors" to STOP TRYING TO PROTECT ME! I'm a consumer, I vote with my wallet. That's a response that most companies understand. With today's' sue-crazy society, everyone thinks that someone "owes" them. If I'm not happy, I'll sue someone because I'm not happy. Well, I'm not happy with these idiots bringing on the lawsuits, can I sue them? Probably not. Why? Because there's not enough money in it for any lawyer to take. However, go against a large corporation that has money, why, of course you can sue that company!
People, get a reality check. What Origin tried to do, no one has ever attempted before. There will be glitches. Yes, it's not going to be everything you wanted it to be. It's called reality. We're not living in Oz, Dorothy. What Blizzard did, is nothing more than what any web page does with cookies. Is it within their rights? Yes. Could they have been a little more tactful? Yes. Should they be sued for it? NO!
I'm getting sick and tired of people unable or unwilling to accept personal responsibility for what they do. It's no one's fault but your own if you have unrealistic expectations that are not obtainable. Lawyers need to actually have a spine grafted to them, and tell the public that what they want is immature and potentially harmful. Judges need to pull their collective heads out, and throw these lawsuits in the garbage, where they belong. People need to get a clue, otherwise, we'll not have any new games. Don't want to release a new game, because someone may not "enjoy" it, and sue me for their unhappiness. Get a grip.-Sincerely, Shea J.
I'm just a bit curious about this whole thing. If someone is suing blizzard because their privacy has been violated, and files were uploaded from their computer... cant we also say that whenever we go to a web site, and unknowingly transfer our IP address to the designated computer, that is also a violation of that penal code? Hell, lets all file suit against netscape, microsoft, and every other computer manufacturer and web page owner/designer, and every single ISP out there, thoroughly shutting down the internet, thus returning us to the days of the BBS. Which, i might add, was FREE if you had a local BBS that didn't require memberships, and how many actually DID require a fee? I can name about 30 here that didn't. Should we sue them as well because they knew where we were coming from, but didn't charge us to access their BBS? The internet has turned into something it will never be, REALITY.
Please put the definition of REALITY and FANTASY in your next story man. People seem to not know the difference anymore. Sad. -JCWhen I read your article which included the actual text of the complaints against Blizzard, I honestly laughed. It never ceases to amaze me how people can come forth with this sort of nonsense. It's really a shame that the legal system allows these scumballs to go through with this sort of trash law suit. What especially gets my goat is the fact that it had to happen to such a great company as Blizzard. Here we have one of the two or three companies in existence that actually gives a damn about making quality games (as opposed to a fast buck) being targeted for the most absurd lawsuit I have ever witnessed (with the possible exception of the Origin lawsuit) If only these greedy bastards could be convinced to invent phony lawsuits against companies that deserve to go out of business, like "Running With Scissors" and others of its ilk. Anyway, I think I'm going to buy Starcraft, and Blizzard is most definitely free to access my registry (including all of its top-secret, sensitive information - i.e., my name)-Jason R
This is an interesting lawsuit. While I don't agree that it should be used against a small gaming company, the implications for the major internet players is significant.
AOL automatically updates your AOL software without permission. AOL also automatically installs MS Internet Explorer without permission and then points at its bylaws that say AOL can generally do anything concerning its network when complaints are made.
Compuserve does the same thing, although Compuserve installation requires the user to accede to MSIE agreement before the installation. I have complained to both concerning these actions. NOTE: You cannot currently log into Compuserve without installing MSIE on your computer.
The outcome of the Starcraft suit will probably determine if class action relief is available from the above major players and/or Microsoft.
I might point out that a John Doe/Jane Doe indictment (as this appears to be) requires special permission under the law. There may be Constitutional factors involved when a plaintiff can sue for relief without naming who the complaint is against (Basically, fill in the blank and get money from anyone in the area).
Thank you for the putting this out on the net. I will watch closely the proceedings. -John SIf anything, this lawsuit is by far more justified than the OSI lawsuit. (Although OSI was, and still is, quite negligent as to the management of UO) The thought of anybody snooping around your private information is the kinda stuff horror movies are made of. There really is no reason for Blizzard to have that code in the game in the first place. No other company to my knowledge (except AOL) has ever done such a blatantly illegal move. Other companies, like EA and Microsoft, use external utilities like MSINFO if they need any information - there's no way for you to not know that you're sending that information.
When AOL was caught snooping people's deleted material, they were sued. Now Blizzard's doing it, and they deserve to burn for it. While other people might laugh it off and think that "it's harmless," somebody else could modify that backdoor and potentially steal CC# information from another program, like MS Wallet (The IE4 "net-money" extension).John D.
Once again, another game goes under fire due to the unknowing twits that don't understand a god-damn thing about computer piracy. These jokers who are suing Blizzard have no idea what they are doing. And what they are doing is trying to stop Blizzard from keeping their game from being hacked on battle.net. It's the PLAYER's CHOICE to play Starcraft over Battle.Net; Blizzard doesn't FORCE them into logging on and playing. I know lots of people who'd rather play via LAN or modem, to cut done on lag and to play with people they know. Besides, what's wrong with copying someone's e-mail and name? People give out that info on hundreds of sites they access via cookies. Once you get a cookie from one site, about ten to thirteen others might use that info to know who you are, where you've been, and what you like to download. All Blizzard was doing, and should still do, is protecting a game that they made, that cost them many dollars and hours to create, from being pirated. Yes, people can still download a hacked copy; yes they can get CD-Key generators; yes they CAN AND DO get working keys; and yes, if they access battle.net and that key is already owned by some 10yr old kid who spent his three months' worth of allowance to get the game, then the 10yr old can't get on cuz some slimy little brat in who-knows-where now uses his key.
That's what Blizzard is trying to stop. I say YES, let them have my e-mail, let them have my name, and if they want, copy my whole damn registry; if it'll keep crackers and pirates from using my CD-Key, then who-rah for Blizzard. Who-rah for any company that does this to keep cracked copies of games form being used, and boo-hiss to those who try to stop the (*coughInterventionInccough*)...Ryan B.In my personal opinion this is another case of our legal system gone bad. Blizzard took steps that it deemed necessary to protect itself from those individuals who illegally copy and distribute software. Such individuals proved to be an exceptional problem with Blizzard's release of Diablo. Thus far to my mind, groups which perform the cracking and distribution of the illegal software have simply been ignored by the legal institution of this country.
All the information which Blizzard "stole" has already been given freely to them when the customer registers his or her game. The company is merely ensuring that the person who registered the game is in fact the one using it. This is very reasonable.
Blizzard is an excellent company whose games I have always enjoyed. After the excessive cheating and usage of illegal software on Battle.net with Diablo, I was extraordinarily hesitant about purchasing StarCraft. Then I heard that Blizzard had set things up so that they can look at your game registry each time you log into Battle.net. This would drastically cut down on any problems with illegal copies and help trace cheaters. I felt this was an excellent step in the right direction, and it was ultimately this feature that made my decision to buy the game.
In my opinion, the charges, although legally founded, are ludicrous. We punish those seeking to protect themselves and create a better environment for gamers. Blizzard provides free online gaming so that we, the games at large, can enjoy ourselves with people from around the world. They are the first company to try to "give back" to the gamers that fostered the industry (aka the customers). How do we treat this action? We punish it.-William A.
Just finished browsing the lawsuit that has been filed against Blizzard, I feel it's important to say that humanity has got to the point of being absolutely disgusting. That lawsuit is just about the largest piece of garbage I have ever read in my life. It's really quite sad seeing what people will do to try and make money these days, even if it means lying, scheming, and generally breaking any virtues that they supposedly hold. I whole-heartedly feel in my heart for Blizzard, and it will bring nothing less than the greatest of joy to me if the lawsuit is defeated. Sad, with the problems that face the world today, with death, hunger, and poverty on the rise, people find it necessary to create even more problems, with no real purpose other than personal gain.
Next we will probably hear a lawsuit filed against Intel for ruthlessly destroying the innocent dust particles that once inhabited their processor-manufacturing "clean rooms."
It's truly sad.-Rob F.After reading the lawsuit filed against Blizzard, I can indeed understand Driscoll's intent. While the Ultima Online suit seems born out of ignorance about Internet gaming in general, the Starcraft suit seems entirely plausible. At the very least, Blizzard should have notified gamers of what they were doing, or asked them about it.
One of the prosecution's claims, that data collected by Blizzard could potentially be accessed by other 'net users, seems a little unstable. As long as Blizzard can prove they have either put the data on local storage only or provided an effective firewall around it, they should hold out against at least that point. It is a good thing that they did not deny any privacy invasion charges prior to the lawsuit.-Ryan P.
I have just finished reading about the Starcraft Lawsuit. It appears to me that people who are connected to the Internet should be canny enough to know that if they want to play on a server like Battle.net, then there is some inevitable logging of user information. Gee, even when we use a credit card, we are building up a credit history in some financial service provider's computer database. Admittedly, Blizzard should have told people that were logging onto Battle.net that information was being collected, so that at least they had a choice. However, it never fails to amaze me that there are lawsuits launched over seemingly trivial matters. Everyone cries "Civil Liberties" but don't talk about "Civil Responsibilities" (sorry to get sidetracked).
Hopefully, game publishers will take note of this and the UO suit and avoid getting into a situation where their actions may be called in question.
Thanks for listening-Duncan N.I just read the full text of the lawsuit against Blizzard, regarding Starcraft, and coupled with the UO lawsuit. After reading it, I'm feeling a little depressed... Seems that everyone now wants to sue someone over something, and now gamers are jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon :(
While both the lawsuits bring up valid points, is it worthwhile suing over? What restitution does the plaintiff want? He is asking for a refund, which you could probably get by simply returning the game and not playing it. That Blizzard doesn't upload any information necessary to the function of Starcraft? All that was transferred was names, e-mail addresses and the CD serial number? The serial number is required to play... and it sounds like Blizzard deleted the information once their investigation was over. The rest of it is silly.
The publicity generated from this will deter people from playing the game if they fear their privacy is being invaded. As with the UO lawsuit, how much time, money and effort is going to be spent on this legal issue? You can be sure, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, that the next game Blizzard publishes, it will be the GAMERS who feel the outcome of the lawsuit, in the forms of higher prices, and so forth.-Billy D
Whoever the lawyer is in the suit apparently knows nothing about the computer industry, the internet, or software. The complaint looks as if a seventh grader created it. But let's be fair, most seventh graders these days understand computers, the internet, and the software that they buy.
I for one enjoy being able to pound my friend without leaving scars or a tombstone. Unlike some places, namely California, where cruising around at night and shooting strangers is becoming a sport within itself. I may be one of the general public but I sure do not remember voting for the plaintiff to protect my interest.
This may be rambling but it is quite upsetting the irresponsible lawsuits that interfere with legitimate software manufactures. This lawsuit probably was generated by someone who just did not like the game and decided to return and found that they would not be refunded.
My feelings are that I should be able to a file a suit against these individuals for interfering in my pursuit of happiness. But there we go again with lawsuits for the sake of lawsuits.
Have a fun-filled day and happy gaming!-Tom HAny chance of getting that guy's email address who is suing Blizzard? I really want to tell him what an ungrateful bastard he is. Thank you.-Allan E.
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