[MUD-Dev] Re: Black Snow Revisited

Fred Clift fred at clift.org
Tue Apr 2 11:20:53 New Zealand Daylight Time 2002

On Mon, 27 May 2002, ghovs wrote:
> On Friday 29 March 2002 20:01, Matt Mihaly wrote:

>> And your favorite bar CAN kick you out for something you've done
>> outside. In fact, they can kick you out for any reason at all,
>> except for certain protected categories of reasons, such as race
>> and gender.

> Spying on people to check for their compliance to your rules is
> beyond what you are entitled to do, at least in the Netherlands. I
> do know that background checks are so normal to be almost
> completely

I think now we are picking apart the details of the anaolgy rather
than discussing the actual issue.  In many countries, it is illegal
or at best, improper to follow your clientel around and and observe
their behavior outside your establishment, without their consent.

In online games though, following someone around in the game, and
watching them for aberant behaviour would _probably_ be perfectly
acceptable without any notice, and would be perfectly fine with a
notice saying something like "Note that everything you do in this
virtual world may be monitored by game administrators".

As for following your customers to some other electronic venue
(e.g. ebay) and observing them there - without their consent - you
may or may not be able to do.  If they violate your trademarks, or
your copyrighted material and you stumble across it then ebay has a
standing offer to remove any such auctions where it can be
reasonably shown that you are indeed the copyright/trademark holder
of some information in an auction.  In fact, the contract that
people have with ebay lists a very detailed set of things than can
have your actions remvoed, without your consent, and with no
recourse.  Compound that with the agreement that a customer makes on
DAoC when signing up for an account.  I dont know if the contract
says that they have the right to follow you around the internet and
keep you from violating the policy, but since it is semi-public
information, they _can_ have people watch any place they want and
disable accounts of people violating the policies.  In this case,
they asked ebay if they would please remove the auctions and ebay
agreed to do it, per their rights derived from the contract with the
sellers on ebay.

> Hm, well, let's put it this way -- if your bar opposed you handing
> beer to people after ordering it for yourself, but -only- if you
> got paid for doing so outside the bar (and not setting any other
> conditions to handing people beers), would they be entitled to
> making sure, through some form of out-of-bar surveillance, you
> weren't being paid for handing people beers?

Back to the real-world, what would stop me from sending employees of
mine to hang out outside every pawn-shop in town and have them
report back to me if they see someone violating a 'non-sale'
contract of some item I lent/sold/licensed to them?  Especially if
they had the pawn-shop owners permission?

> And I really hope you don't believe in security through obscurity,
> although that's a flamewar for another mailing list :)

Obscurity usually doesn't hurt a system that is already secure, and
may often raise the bar a little bit, or at least reduce the noise
you have to sift through watching for problems.  :) For instance, I
dont tell the players in my game what actions I log and what actions
I dont log, in general.  Of course some specific things are done,
and I pull out log entries, they do have an idea of at least some of
the things I log...  It makes people be more careful in their
rule-breaking. :)

> negotiable affection providers even have a union :) I'm not sure
> that such distinctions exist in dutch law. Ofcourse, IANAL, so I
> don't know if there might be some dutch law to spite me after all.

Of course the union will harass you if you are working ouside of
their realm of control :).

> My whole point is, that it isn't quite decent to assume your right
> to watch your players even outside your game. Yes it's your turf,
> yes you can refuse entry to anyone, no you can't follow people
> around and check if they're being good little players.

Unless you have standing deals with other venues, like ebay.
Usually two companies can decide to share information with each
other if they choose.


Fred Clift - fred at clift.org -- Remember: If brute
force doesn't work, you're just not using enough.

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