Realm Downs.

Orphan

Diabloii.Net Member
stkrause said:
You should consider that there are many countries in the word, and they have really different laws regarding "terms of use" or especially shrink wrap agreements. In germany shrink wrap agreements are void by default, for example.
Interesting. I didn't know that about Germany (I never really looked into Germany's law). Perhaps I'll check it out someday, when I get the time :thumbsup:.

In any case, I believe any disputes over the Terms of Use would be handled under U.S law, since Blizzard is a U.S based company (California, I believe). In other words, it's a double edge sword. The only way for you to complain to Blizzard about Bnet would be to do so under U.S law, which would make the Terms of Use applicable again. That's my understanding anyway.

Additionally, I *think* you might still be in contract with Blizz when you purchased the game. I don't know what the German book has written, but in the Australian one, it states (under section 14, at the very end of the book):

This License Agreement shall be deemed to have been made and executed in the State of California and any dispute arising hereunder shall be resolved in accordance with the law of California. You agree that any claim asserted in any legal proceedings by one of the parties against the other shall be commenced and maintained in any state or federal court located in the State of California, County of Los Angeles, having subject matter juristdiction with respect to the dispute between the parties
I'm not sure what Germany's law says about written contracts that come with a product, but I believe this would also apply to accessing battle.net (since the Terms of Use in the book mention policies regarding accessing battle.net).
 

stkrause

Diabloii.Net Member
Orphan said:
In any case, I believe any disputes over the Terms of Use would be handled under U.S law, since Blizzard is a U.S based company (California, I believe). In other words, it's a double edge sword. The only way for you to complain to Blizzard about Bnet would be to do so under U.S law, which would make the Terms of Use applicable again. That's my understanding anyway.
Honestly, I don't know whom I had to sue where in this case. I probably had to sue the dealer, who then could sue the german importer of the game (but that's really just a guess) Anyways, I won't sue anybody over a 20 EUR game, I have better things to do with my time :D

Additionally, I *think* you might still be in contract with Blizz when you purchased the game.
Nope, AFAIK you only have a contract with the shop where you bought the product (at least when buying "standard" software). Which btw leads to some conclusions people from other countries may find funny: eg you have the (court proof) right to sell an OEM-version of windows without the hardware, even when it's prohibited by MS.

I'm not sure what Germany's law says about written contracts that come with a product, but I believe this would also apply to accessing battle.net (since the Terms of Use in the book mention policies regarding accessing battle.net).
The written contract that comes with the CD (aka shrink wrap contract) is simply void in Germany. You bought the game at some store, so you have a contract with the store (which can not include something you see only afterwards when unpacking/installing the game.) Base of the contract is the BGB (civil law?) and the usage is regulated by Urheberrecht (roughly equivalent to copyright law).

*stkrause
 

druliusCleaver

Diabloii.Net Member
sjw7 said:
I was getting loads of realm downs yesterday morning. Strangely enough i was running emule at the time and once i switched if off i had no more RDs. I hadnt used it for some time and only switched it on yesterday for a short period which coincided with my D2 issues. check your not running anything in the background that keeps a constant connection open on some random port and it might sort it out.

What is emule? ...It sounds like an unauthorized 3rd party program.

My experience with connection problems and RD's is that they always seem to coincide with non-sanctioned in-game activities. It seems like it's inevitable that if I notice somebody running MH in a game ("here, no this way, here, it's over here"), the game will time me out and RD me. Since I don't use any hacks I assume the game dumps everyone in it. It happens most frequently in games with the most popular botting names like Baal Run. Since I don't do many run type games, I rarely get RD's unless someone running MH joins a game I' in, or whatever. Although I seem to have also noticed that when I have done alot of muling in a short period of time (alot for me is runes to one mule, gems to another mule, and items to a third and or fourth mule), something like, play for a few hours, mule for 20 min, then repeat. If I mule on two consecutive days (not to mention twice in one day), I'll start getting dumped out of games and RDs for sure (no matter whether I join or create them).
 

HardyTarget

Diabloii.Net Member
druliusCleaver said:
What is emule? ...It sounds like an unauthorized 3rd party program
emule is a p2p program just like kazaa/winmx/napster.
I don't think it can cause realm downs.
 

TheJarulf

Banned
Orphan said:
In any case, I believe any disputes over the Terms of Use would be handled under U.S law, since Blizzard is a U.S based company (California, I believe).

In other words, it's a double edge sword. The only way for you to complain to Blizzard about Bnet would be to do so under U.S law, which would make the Terms of Use applicable again. That's my understanding anyway.
Only if you live in US. If you are a German, buying the game in Germany, german law of course cover it. If bussiness wants to do business in a country, they have to do it according to that countries law. Imagine otherwise with every coompany based in some obscure country in the world and being free from the laws of all other countries they do business in!



Orphan said:
Additionally, I *think* you might still be in contract with Blizz when you purchased the game. I don't know what the German book has written, but in the Australian one, it states (under section 14, at the very end of the book):


I'm not sure what Germany's law says about written contracts that come with a product, but I believe this would also apply to accessing battle.net (since the Terms of Use in the book mention policies regarding accessing battle.net).
A contract is something two parties agree to. A contract is not a text printed someplace. Thus, just because something is written in a manual (or some place in or on a product, does not turn it into a contract. Imagine if you bought a car and when you open the trunk you find a "contract" that you supposedly are bound by that is written on a piece of paper there.

There are at least some court cases in Europe regarding this, mostly old. I recall a specific one in Norway for example were the text written on the outside of old music discs (the vinyl veriety) was said to have no bearing at all.

So, when you make a purchase in a shop, you basically make a deal or "contract" with the shop, which basically is that in exchange for money, you get some product. That is it. If there is to be some additional contract between you and the shop, that is something agreed upon at the time of purchase. If there should be some contract with someone ELSE, it can of course be made there in the shop as well. For example, here in Sweden when you by your cell phone, it is common that you can get it really cheap if you sign a contract with an operator for, say, 2 years (basically they sponsor your phone). In those cases the store will have you sign up a contract (in the shop prior to allowing the purchase of the phone) with the operator (really on behalf of the operator). This works well and one then have a contract. This is the way such additional contracts can and should be made.

Of course, for things like games with online services, I can't see any problem with having special conditions for the service. I think it should be clear when you buy the game (be it Diablo 2 or World of Warcraft or whatever) that they exist of course, so one is not fooled. However, even for such services, normal consumer sales laws apply, at least here in Europe. There is the EU directive regarding unfair contract terms. It is an interesting read and should be implemented in all European countries by now (many probably have additional provisions as well since it is a sort of minimum standard). Some EULA one see is almost like a checklist of things not allowed (note that the list at the end of the directive is just a list of examples, not an absolute complete list). Here is a link to it:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/consumers/cons_int/safe_shop/unf_cont_terms/index_en.htm

For the actual text (and possibility to chose other languages, click the link in the middle of the text).

Note that the unfairness is not defined to specific conditions but more general:

Code:
Article 1

1. A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer. 

2. A term shall always be regarded as not individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term, particularly in the context of a pre-formulated standard contract.
There is also provisions for how to treat unclear wordings (and language), it should always be treated in favor of the consumer:

Code:
Article 5 

In the case of contracts where all or certain terms offered to the consumer are in writing, these terms must always be drafted in plain, intelligible language. Where there is doubt about the meaning of a term, the interpretation most favourable to the consumer shall prevail. This rule on interpretation shall not apply in the context of the procedures laid down in Article 7 (2).
Here is some interesting entries from the example list at the end:

Code:
(b) inappropriately excluding or limiting the legal rights of the consumer vis-à-vis the seller or supplier or another party in the event of total or partial non-performance or inadequate performance by the seller or supplier of any of the contractual obligations, including the option of offsetting a debt owed to the seller or supplier against any claim which the consumer may have against him; 

(g) enabling the seller or supplier to terminate a contract of indeterminate duration without reasonable notice except where there are serious grounds for doing so; 

(i) irrevocably binding the consumer to terms with which he had no real opportunity of becoming acquainted before the conclusion of the contract; 

(j) enabling the seller or supplier to alter the terms of the contract unilaterally without a valid reason which is specified in the contract; 

(k) enabling the seller or supplier to alter unilaterally without a valid reason any characteristics of the product or service to be provided; 

(m) giving the seller or supplier the right to determine whether the goods or services supplied are in conformity with the contract, or giving him the exclusive right to interpret any term of the contract; 

(q) excluding or hindering the consumer's right to take legal action or exercise any other legal remedy, particularly by requiring the consumer to take disputes exclusively to arbitration not covered by legal provisions, unduly restricting the evidence available to him or imposing on him a burden of proof which, according to the applicable law, should lie with another party to the contract.
As I said, the above are just examples. Each country probably have its own, by courts, determined "list" of what is acceptable and what is not, probably far more extensive than the one in the directive which just give directions.
 
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