Collusion: You Have to Prove It

Gods, I wish I could walk away for the SOMERblink player-initiated controversy, but I can’t. A blogger I have no small about of respect for has labeled SOMERblink an RMT site. His last two EVE related posts have been all about that. But is that SOMERblink’s intent? I actually got to talk to the owner of SOMERblink this past weekend. I found him to be an earnest entrepreneur trying to run a business. Yes, a business you knuckleheads; just like you all wish you could run. Keeping that site running is not cost free. It takes real world money, or do you also still believe in fairies? That makes it a business even if it is essentially a non-profit.

But back to this RMT charge. In a standard RMT transaction, one party creates ISK through the game mechanism designed for that purpose, and then sells it to a second party for real money. This transaction may involve many people: multiple bot runners, RMT web site managers, as well as the person buying the ISK. But, there is a very clear intent by all those involved to conduct RMT. It’s why the botters bot, the web site exists and the lazy gamer finds it in the first place. Everyone, at every step, knows exactly what they are doing and their actions show it without a doubt. Their intent is to circumvent the game from the beginning to the end. No contract between any party in this chain of events is allowed according to the EULA or ToS.

Now, let’s look at the SOMERblink incident. First of all, there is no clear cut contract connecting all parties to a single purpose. You actually have three contracts in action here for three separate reasons. At least two of these contracts are sanctioned by CCP.

The first sanctioned contract is Markee Dragon selling GMT. That is a contract between CCP and Markee Dragon. It is no different than the contract given all sellers of GMT; ‘nuf said. It is the least controversial segment of this chain of events.

So Markee Dragon asks a site operator with a shit-ton of hits per day to act as an outside sales person for them. This is the second contract and it is done EVERY DAMN DAY in this world. It is not illegal and does not violate the EULA or ToS anymore than syndication agreements between EN24 and bloggers are illegal. I know, I’ve been a recipient of ISK for that sort of thing. Does that make me an RMTer? If the agreement between Markee Dragon and SOMERblink is illegal, so are all those other agreements out there. The fact they all exist argues otherwise.

There is nothing “wrong” with the previous two contracts. They are also distinct and different. SOMERblink does not sell the GMT directly. They are an agent of Markee Dragon, a duly authorized seller of GMT. We all good up to this point? I hope so because there is nothing controversial about these relationships whatsoever.

Now we get to the third contract that has everyone in an uproar. SOMERblink made a decision to entice their users to use Markee Dragon by offering them blink credit. It is possible for the recipients of blink credits to redeem some of that credit for ISK. It is an indirect process to be sure, but it is possible. Now, this contract is between SOMERblink and its users. If the user uses the link on the SOMERblink site to buy GMT from Markee Dragon, SOMERblink will give them 200 million blink credit. Is this RMT? Well, I’ve written posts and received ISK for them so I’m inclined to say no. Others say yes.

But ask yourself this. If SOMERblink did not get paid for the transaction, would they still issue the blink credit for using the link? The answer is yes, they would. How do I know? Because I personally got blink credit for a GMT sale that was initially refused by Markee Dragon. I had to contact Markee Dragon directly to sort it out. Here’s the email thread.

However, SOMERblink still gave me the blink credit on the 11th. No real money had yet been given to them, because I had not reordered yet, but they honored their contract with me. Wish I could prove it beyond a doubt. The 200 million blink credit they gave me has scrolled off the history available on the SOMERblink web site unfortunately. But the fact I got blink credit first indicates to me the contract has nothing to do with actually obtaining real money via the transaction I conducted with Markee Dragon. It is an incentive not unlike the coupons stores offer to get people to buy certain products for which those stores have a special pricing agreement (SPA) with the manufacturing company. Perhaps SOMERblink would have reclaimed the credit if I had not followed up and resubmitted the order. Perhaps I could have scammed the hell out of them. They’ve been robbed before. But either way, calling it all RMT is a hell of a stretch.

And that’s the point here people. We are not talking about RMT when there are three separate contracts being completed, two of them are outright sanctioned, and there is no intent to get ISK for money. Fact: I bought the GTC for blink credit, not ISK. I wanted to play for “free” and not have to use my hard earned in-game money to do it! How in the universe can this be considered RMT? Well, obviously many do. They believe SOMERblink and Markee Dragon are in collusion.

But a charge of collusion requires a huge amount of evidence. Without said evidence the accusation is at best envy and at worst outright libel. Bloggers need to walk a very fine line here. Making such accusations without proof is a dangerous undertaking. So far this does not seem to have affected SOMERblink or Markee Dragon as a business. But if it does, rest assured that the businesses which are SOMERblink and Markee Dragon may have legal grounds to seek compensation. And don’t forget, libel is a civil charge, not a criminal one. The courts are much more lenient on interpreting the term “harm” in such cases. Be very, very careful treading that field. It’s full of mines.

I’ve another concern too. The EVE community is full of ISK for work deals. We all accept those as legitimate without ever questioning them. But are they really ligitimate? If I pay for this blog (I don’t BTW) and accept ISK for the things I put on it, am I not guilty of RMT by the same logic used by all those who want to burn SOMERblink down? I am, after all, using my real money (and time, which everyone knows is money) to get ISK. To use another analogy, Pandora should never have opened that box.

28 comments on “Collusion: You Have to Prove It

  1. “So… riddle me this. Where in that chain of events is there elicit RMT?”

    It's quite simple. Either blink credits are in the game world, in which case getting blink credits for buying a GTC violates the EVE TOS term 10, or they're not in the game world, in which case getting an ingame item in exchange for winning gambling paid for with blink credits violates EVE TOS term 10. QED.

    I don't really have a problem with blink, but I do think that CCP should rewrite the TOS to reflect the fact that currently blink is violating term 10, changing it somehow. Else, we'll continue to see people constructing lame analogies to Somer to conduct every kind of RMT under the sun, using the same 'loophole' that Somer is currently using. (the loophole not being an actual loophole in the TOS, but a loophole in that CCP is not enforcing the TOS against Somer and people will copy-paste lame imitations of his scheme over every kind of possible RMT that there is)

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  2. NG, you have never, so far as i have seen reading both blogs actually given any explanation of how this is elicit RMT. The cash transaction happens between a player and the GTC seller. who have a contract with CCP to do just that. That contract, i am assuming, but since the affiliate programs aren't rare, I would put an isk bet down on being right, also allows the GTC seller to have such a relationship with their affiliate programs which bring them people looking to but GTC's where they can legally reward them with part of the profit they make. This would be the $ summer receives, an incentive from the GTC seller to promote the buying of GTC's through that seller. The only other $ transaction mentioned anywhere is the buying of the GTC from the seller by the player. This is a CCP sanctioned action. It couldn't be anything but a sanctioned action because the GTC seller would not exist otherwise due to lack of GTC's from CCP to sell.

    This is where the legal tender transactions stop Summer as a promotional tool then gives the player “blink credit” to use inside their system. this is not isk, as it cannot be traded out for isk, but only gotten through the GTC credits, or by purchasing this virtual currency with isk.

    So… riddle me this. Where in that chain of events is there elicit RMT? The Player takes his out of world currency and converts it to in world GTC through an authorized dealer who has a ccp approved affiliate program. That program rewards individuals for sending business their way (its advertising revenue paid on commission)

    At this point we have left the entire world of legal tender behind and are in the game world. what do we have with the game world? blink credits, what can these things be used for? gambling, which is one of those strange things that isn't included in the ways you cannot exchange real money for virtual goods. They cannot be used to buy, sell, or auction goods in game. It can only be used to obtain tickets for a raffle. this is not buying an item, nor is it selling an item, and it is not an auction as everyone who wants that item pays regardless of if they win. That it is possible for someone to, with some luck purchase every ticket for an item does not change the fact that they are not purchasing the item.

    Counting the lack of purchasable items, along with the fact that the player does not purchase blink credits from summer for legal tender fails the whole line of reasoning. its tempting to hand wave the solution and jump over the gap, but that isn't how the world works.

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  3. Tur, that's a tragic story but not really relevant to the point of discussion. If two guy in colors came into your store talking about capping that guy who dissed them and you blithely sold them ammo (or an unregistered firearm) then we could talk responsibility. If you are a bartender who keeps pouring drinks for someone who can barely stand, then you share some of the blame.

    Very, very little is black and white. It's a nice idea for debates but reality is all about shades of grey. We need law, and agreements on conduct, because of those grey areas.

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  4. Well They are RMTing, but let's pu that aside, since it's covered so many other places already.
    Let's ask you this:
    You are saying “be careful what we say, as Somer are a business”. OK. then they are in breach of the EULA. Game accounts are for personal use only. Using game accounts for business purposes is against the EULA.
    Here:
    “Accounts may not be used for business purposes. Access to the System and playing EVE is intended for your personal entertainment, enjoyment and recreation, and not for corporate, business, commercial or income-seeking activities. Business entities and anyone who is acting for or on behalf of a business or for business purposes may not establish an Account, access the System or play EVE. Accessing the System or using the Game for commercial, business or income-seeking purposes is strictly prohibited.”
    http://community.eveonline.com/support/policies/eve-eula/

    And let's be clear. We are talking about the portion of the activities that breach the EULA and TOS here. We are not saying there is any issue with the real world business contract between Markee and Somer, and We're not asking CCP to take real world actions against those businesses. We want CCP to fairly enforce their in game rules, which require them to ban Somer accounts for RMT activity. All the time CCP are selectively enforcing rules, they will see this uproar.

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  5. @Noizy: that's what I thought, but thanks for confirming it.

    The thing that bugs me about this isn't so much that Somer has made x dollars and y ISK off of this, it's that other people have been banned/had ISK confiscated for doing other schemes, where CCP basically said “well they made too much ISK so it's an exploit”; but Somer has made way more ISK than that and it's fine? I say make it clear that what Somer is doing is legal so that people will set up competing services to reduce his monopoly, and then give those other people back their ISK/accounts :-/ .

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  6. Tur, that's a very touching story, but it's completely offtopic. I never said the things you're arguing against. I'm going to have to ask you to stop replying to me.

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  7. Sorry Mabrick, but Pandora opened that box a long time ago. I just haven't figure out if the event was Unholy Rage in the summer of 2009 or the hiring of Darius JOHNSON at the end of 2010. It could even have been when CCP started allowing people to trade ISK for GTCs directly on the Eve-O forums. 2006-7 maybe?

    I think we are working with two different definitions of RMT. For you, RMT means exchanging real world currency for virtual currency. In the case of EVE, that's ISK. For me, RMT means exchanging real world currency for virtual items, with currency defined as a virtual item. In my post, I defined it down further to illicit or grey/black market RMT. That's RMT that does not involve the operator of the virtual world. This is also RMT that violates the EULA and ToS established by the operator of the virtual world. By my definition, SOMERblink is in the grey zone, at best, and definitely is breaking point 10 of the terms of service. By your definition? Well, that's what your post was about, and your argument definitely addressed section 6B of the EULA, although you did not quote it, which I consider the weaker of the two rules that applies to the way that SOMERblink conducts business.

    That's cool. That just means I need to work harder and try to explain the subject more fully and clearly. I don't mean the SOMER saga. I mean the basics. What is grey/black market RMT, why it's bad, and so forth. Perhaps the changes in the EULA & ToS due by the end of the year will make things clearer. Or maybe the recent controversies will push that back to Q1 of 2014.

    And even though I don't comment a lot, I do try to stop by and see what the carebadger is up to.

    Fly safe!

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  8. @Rammstein – As far as I know I did not state there was any collusion between Markee Dragon and SOMERblink. For what I described in my post, there is no collusion required. Just that Markee Dragon not check up on his affiliates. I thought I had made it clear that the problem was with the way SOMERblink was conducting business and not the fact that SOMER was doing business with Markee Dragon.

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  9. I dunno Ram… you tell me. I used to manage guns shops… Retail Firearms & Sporting Goods Stores. I was a manager, salesman and gunsmith for 5 years.

    I once had a lovely young woman enter my store at roughly 9AM on a Saturday. She was in good spirits and wanted a box of .380 ammunition for practice. She picked out a box of hollow-points. I spent a little time educating her as to the difference between cheap practice 'ball' ammo and more expensive self-defense hollow-point ammo. She bought a box of both and went on her way…

    Later that afternoon I got a call from a local sheriff deputy who was asking about a receipt for .380 ammo purchased that morning at my shop…

    To make a long story short, she had gone home and killed herself…. with gun her fiancé had bought her and one round of the ammo I sold her. No note, no forced entry, fresh powder residue on her hands that matched the ammo just fired. IE it was a suicide with no reasonable possibility of foul play.

    So tell me Ramm… how am I supposed to feel? Guilty? Wrought with angst over my part in her self-immolation? Should I have been sued for wrongful death? Should I have been charged with assisted suicide and judged by a jury of my peers?

    We are each responsible for our own acts and deeds and not matter how you bandy about :words:… we cannot be help responsible for anyone else's acts or deeds… period. Everything else is just law and talk talk… Meaningful content = 0.

    And yes, the above is an actual real life experience of mine. Happened in Va Beach, VA when I was 28 years old in 1982 as store manager of Guns Unlimited. So don't try and tell me about how justified anyone is suing people for shit other people do…

    I have come to terms with that and how we each are responsible for and to ourselves. And blaming others for anyone's actions is pure folly. Hold a gun to my daughte'rs head and tell me “Drop it or YOU will cause her death”… my response will always be, “You shoot her, I shoot you thru the head, you do anything but set the gun down and back away from my daughter… and I shoot you thru the head”. “Now you make your choice”.

    Why? because we are each responsible only for what WE DO… we cannot be responsible for what others choose to do irregardless of any amount of :words:…

    Sorry Mab, this whole thing hammered down on a raw nerve. She was a beautiful girl, and I learned later that real suicides often don't leave notes and are very at peace after they make the decision. They let go of all of it. She was about the calmest person I had ever met. Half an hour later,she was gone by her own hand.

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  10. “Small point but a telling one… If I had you a rock and you kill someone with it YOU and YOU alone are responsible for your bad acts. I f I hand you are rock and I know you want to/are going to/plan to kill some one with it then and ONLY then am I responsible for MY bad acts.”

    So if you think there's only a 99% chance that the person is going to use the rock to kill your parents, you still wouldn't feel responsible, because you don't know that he's going to? Interesting. Pretty much offtopic to anything I was talking about and so not a coherent reply, but still interesting.

    “I hate when people who use those prime crappy examples as if they mean anything other than in America you can sue anyone for anything”

    Why do you assume that's not exactly what I was using it for? Or are you not assuming that, in which case that statement is just another non sequitur?

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  11. It's not illegal to make money off of virtual gambling, at least not in the U.S. (virtual meaning they aren't gambling for real money, or something that can be legally and practically exchanged for real money). Also, and perhaps more telling, what Somer is running seems to me to be a type of parimutuel betting. That's basically legal in most of the US, even when we're talking about betting for real money. I can't speak for other countries, though.

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  12. @Ed: Not seeing any real substantive reply there, just a bunch of name-calling, so I'm signing off on the discussion between us two. Cheers.

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  13. Just as an aside, this is not an instance of anyone being able to sue anyone arbitrarily. There are states, Massachusetts for instance, where the bartender has a legal obligation to cut people off if they're about to have too much. Otherwise the bar is liable for whatever happens when they drive home.

    As for SOMER, I don't see anyone alleging collusion. Markee Dragon has been very careful to keep a clean nose, which is not surprising given his history. And I do understand that running a good web site can be expensive. But the EULA doesn't care about that. The issue is whether SOMER is taking cash and awarding in-game items in exchange, and more broadly, when and how it's acceptable for anyone other than CCP to make that exchange–after all, cache scraping is also technically in violation of the EULA.

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  14. Ok, let's assume the naysayers are right and it's just gambling… In that case Somer is making real money off an illicit unlicensed gambling operation.

    You can't have it both ways, they're making money, that's indisputable. Either they're an illegal (in real life) gambling operation or they're an in game RMT operation.

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  15. If I buy a GTC, turn it into a PLEX, and sell it to somebody for 600m ISK in Jita, is that RTM?

    Hint: The correct answer is “Yes.”

    The question we need to be asking is whether SOMER's RMTing is as dangerous to the game as you and other bloggers are advertising. Personally, I don't understand why it's such a big deal to the average Joe. It's a victimless crime, if it's even a crime to begin with.

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  16. That is far too broad a brush, Tur. If someone goes into a bar and gets so drunk he can barely stagger out the door at closing time the bar does have responsibility for the easily anticipated consequences of continuing to serve that customer. While the US does permit a large number of stupid lawsuits (“the manual didn't say I shouldn't use the lawnmower as a hedge trimmer!”) this isn't one of them.

    It's a bad faith argument for the bar to say they couldn't anticipate the actions of the falling-down drunk and it is bad faith for CCP to say that they couldn't anticipate RMT in this transaction chain.

    And as to the “it's CCP's game” argument? Sure, very true, but I fail to see why someone who wants to play the game shouldn't go after CCP when they permit selected people to break the rules. And you are right on the WoW comment – I cannot imagine a serious gamer in any other MMO saying it's ok if the game owner wants to selectively break the rules for the benefit of other players.

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  17. Seeing as your taking it in different order and are unwilling to go with everything:

    “If CCP says that 2 + 2 = 5, would you quote them on that instead of just saying “nah, 2 + 2 = 4″? RMT existed before CCP existed; CCP doesn't get to decide what RMT is and what it isn't. CCP can decide what they want to call RMT and what they want to call something else, but that is them creating a jargon specific to their company, not changing the meaning of that word(phrase) for all English speakers everywhere.”

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trade
    Seeing as you don't seem to understand what trade means and that CCP's 'equation' is 2+2=4

    “I don't know how Canadian tire money works, or what that is at all, but there's a foolproof way to extract ~80 ISK per 100 blink credits, which Noizygamer's article already covered. Saying that Somer taking 20% of your money for using his service makes blink credits not a currency would mean that anyone who ever uses a credit card is paying with something that is not a currency, since credit card companies take 3% off the top out of the money that the store/vendor receives from you. 3% is reasonable, 20% isn't; but Somer doesn't seem to have competitors exploiting his niche atm, and that's how the market works.”

    Ignoring more then half and ignoring the secondary examples 'clap clap'. As my examples point out there are many rewards programs in the world on which SOMER's program emulates.

    “I don't argue that anyone is printing money; I have no idea what you are talking about; Did you even read my post?”

    Apparently you didn't understand the the comparison.

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  18. This entire thing works because it has largely been known only to those who delve into GTC affiliate programs, and websites owners, blog writers, and news services generally are not going to talk about how they come up with money to run their operations.

    The problem CCP has now is that if this particular form of RMT is now fully considered legal you can't just restrict it to your favored website. DNSBlack is cashing out —- and the method he is using is legal under the rules now in place. Further the following is now going to happen going forward:

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=289554

    This is a big deal. CCP acknowledges that the current system is legit:

    http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/community-spotlight-markee-dragon/

    Now out in the open, this changes the nature of the game — Eve has a history of taking things that are simple and pushing them to extreme boundaries … Already we have players wanting to “cash out” … You can expect going forward that corporations, alliances, and other wealthy players may do the same. And that doesn't even touch the idea that now we can link legal RMT to in game ISK scams (like buy a GTC from me and I'll double your ISK).

    Some people have earned real money to pay for their websites and maybe earn extra on the side. The support of Eve Vegas by Somer just opened up everyone's eyes to just how much “on the side” can be.

    One thing I know from Eve: Greed will push the limits.

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  19. The best definition I've seen of gambling runs something like “a self-imposed tax on the innumerate.”

    There is a fundamental difference between someone selling the product of their work (whether that's art, hauling, or blogging) for some ISK in a player-to-player transaction and someone establishing a chain of custody designed to exchange legal currency for game currency. That is all that these companies (including CCP in that mix) have done and it is at best questionable. This rings rather close to the bankers protesting that they had no idea the money was from and they, of course, would never have done it if only they understood the source. It's nonsense when they say it, and it's nonsense to pretend that the people involved here do not know that they are violating the RMT rules, apparently will full CCP endorsement.

    Short take: player time for ISK is fine, player money for ISK is not. And yes, arguing that “time is money” is sophistry.

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  20. Small point but a telling one… If I had you a rock and you kill someone with it YOU and YOU alone are responsible for your bad acts. I f I hand you are rock and I know you want to/are going to/plan to kill some one with it then and ONLY then am I responsible for MY bad acts.

    Suing bars and gun makers is a great argument and is equally as idiotic as suing me for handing you a rock without foreknowledge of your bad intent… I hate when people who use those prime crappy examples as if they mean anything other than in America you can sue anyone for anything., irregardless of law or good judgement.

    Everyone freaking out over SomerBlink is a few steps down on my “Jezuz do YOU have too much time on your hands.” list… It's CCPs GAME… if they say it's OK, it OK period. Don't like it? go play WoW.

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  21. “As much as you may want to you can't use Canadian Tire money anywhere other then Canadian Tire even though it as the same 'value' actually money.”

    I don't know how Canadian tire money works, or what that is at all, but there's a foolproof way to extract ~80 ISK per 100 blink credits, which Noizygamer's article already covered. Saying that Somer taking 20% of your money for using his service makes blink credits not a currency would mean that anyone who ever uses a credit card is paying with something that is not a currency, since credit card companies take 3% off the top out of the money that the store/vendor receives from you. 3% is reasonable, 20% isn't; but Somer doesn't seem to have competitors exploiting his niche atm, and that's how the market works.

    “And while you argue that they are printing money they aren't doing anything illegal and this is an example of SOMER doing the same thing.”

    I don't argue that anyone is printing money; I have no idea what you are talking about; Did you even read my post?

    “Just saying that according to this post SOMER isn't RMTing:
    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2113657

    If CCP says that 2 + 2 = 5, would you quote them on that instead of just saying “nah, 2 + 2 = 4”? RMT existed before CCP existed; CCP doesn't get to decide what RMT is and what it isn't. CCP can decide what they want to call RMT and what they want to call something else, but that is them creating a jargon specific to their company, not changing the meaning of that word(phrase) for all English speakers everywhere.

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  22. @moxnix: that's not really a good comparison. The drugs in that case are hidden; in this case the profits to both sides are open and aboveboard–relatively so. This is much more like a sale in which it's cheaper to buy a Mac computer from a reseller than from Apple itself, where the reseller and the consumer split the profit from Apple's discounted sale to the reseller: except in this case the consumer takes his cut of the profit in ISK instead of real dollars, as an ISK-rich intermediary named Somer steps in to take another cut.

    Noizy is angry that Somer is stepping in and trading ISK for dollars because that's RMT; I'm puzzled why CCP is giving the resellers a cut for such a unique product (Apple doesn't let resellers undercut them like that these days); you think that there's a bag of weed in the MacBook Pro, but you're wrong, because there's simply no weed there; and Mabrick thinks that Apple and the reseller aren't colluding, which is true but irrelevant as no one else thought they were colluding in the first place.

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  23. Regardless of which way CCP rules (and inaction counts as a ruling) I think this controversy only harms Eve.

    I don't play blinks and in general consider gambling as a way that fools get parted from their money. But I can clearly see that a lot of the community gain a great deal of pleasure from Somerblink, Eve Hold Em etc. Does Eve get better if we push the developer to shut down these offshoots of the sandbox? Is Eve better if people can't entertain themselves how they like?

    And how about if this gets extrapolated out to all services for isk? People who sell artwork or blog posts for isk? Is our gaming experience going to be improved by shutting this down? Less people reading Mabrick and Jester on EN24?

    Be careful what we raise hell about because we might not like the consequences.

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  24. Just saying that according to this post SOMER isn't RMTing:
    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2113657

    As well as the point that in-store credit isn't the same as currency. As much as you may want to you can't use Canadian Tire money anywhere other then Canadian Tire even though it as the same 'value' actually money. And while you argue that they are printing money they aren't doing anything illegal and this is an example of SOMER doing the same thing. They provide an in-store credit(gift-card, brand money) for using a service. And again just like in the real world you can buy this in-store credit(gift-cards).

    Now while kickbacks are generally frowned on that is a different topic and in this case I don't have an issue with.

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  25. If pay 50 bucks to have my shirt laundered because I know the laundress slips a bag of weed in the pocket for me both parties know it's just hiding a drug transaction. I'm buying drugs and she's selling drugs even though we both claim I'm just getting a shirt cleaned.

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  26. p.s. simpler example:

    drinking is legal, being intoxicated is legal.
    driving is legal, if you have a driver's license.

    etc.

    Drinking and driving isn't collusion between you, the car manufacturer, and the bar owner. It's just a combination of legal actions into an illegal larger action. Sometimes in these combinations the mastermind gets punished, sometimes the last person to complete the combination gets punished, sometimes a certain key element gets punished…sometimes everyone gets banned. It's a big gray area, or often so.

    (yes, for those of you that don't know, bars do sometimes get punished for someone who drank there later drinking and driving, and gun manufacturers have been sued for someone shooting someone with the gun they made)

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  27. Your argument seems to assume this logical statement: If action A consists of actions X, Y, and Z, each of which are individually legal, then action A is legal. This is not true. E.g.:

    Blow up your own freighters filled with your own goods using alts. Legal.
    Buy implants at unusual prices. Legal.
    Trade in LP for implants. Legal.

    Combine those 3 actions to make 5 trillion ISK, using quirks of how FW works. Banned. (except they reported it so they just got the money taken).

    (Legal above meaning allowed by CCP in EVE, not according to the laws of any specific country)

    Realistically, if you look at the average thing which gets anyone banned, you can break it down into a chain of smaller actions which are all legal. Libeling a CCP employee on the O-forums is just typing in a bunch of words onto a computer screen, where most likely each individual word wouldn't get you banned. You have to read the post, not just read the words- and that's what you're doing here, only reading the words.

    Reading the post, what's happening here is that Somer is running a gambling business, with a currency of ISK-equivalance. He's making a ton of ISK, then trading some of that ISK to people to incentivize them to do something for which he makes real world money. This is RMT. It's not even up for debate, I regard someone telling me that this is not RMT in the same light as I would someone telling me that the Sun is powered by methane farts from cows, not from hydrogen fusion. I'll explain it once if I already know them, if they're a stranger I pretend that person doesn't exist.

    That's it. I didn't accuse anyone of collusion, I just pointed out that what Somer is doing constitutes RMT. Bringing up collusion is a pretty stinky red herring–unless Noizy talked about collusion in his articles and I just don't remember it?

    Noizy is pretty up in arms about this, I'm not. CCP is allowed to do RMT, everything they make money on is RMT, but we don't call RMT by the game runner RMT, we just call it selling a product. Somer is a business partner of CCP, so I don't have an issue with lumping him into that rubric. I do agree with Noizy in that at a certain point, allocating too much profit to a business partner who isn't really all that necessary to the operation is bad business; and that's my real criticism here. I assume CCP has more details than I do though, and if they think it's better for Somer to make his money than for them to run the blinks themselves, more power to them.

    “If I pay for this blog (I don't BTW) and accept ISK for the things I put on it, am I not guilty of RMT by the same logic used by all those who want to burn SOMERblink down? I am, after all, using my real money (and time, which everyone knows is money) to get ISK. “

    yes, you clearly are, but I don't think that's a kind of RMT that CCP is cracking down on; however, I'm 100% sure that they're aware of it and thinking about it.

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