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Online Game Account Dispute

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  • Online Game Account Dispute

    I have been in possession of a World of Warcraft account for over a year and a half now and spent countless hours building up a character. I have multiple accounts, some purchased through online auction websites, some traded, and some purchased from a store. This particular account I cannot recall how I obtained, as I cannot locate its information in any of my emails.

    A few days ago my account was compromised. The password was changed so I cannot log in, and I have seen my character from that account in the game and completely naked, leaving me to assume the perpetraitor has sold all of his goods for online currency and then sold that currency for real-life cash.

    I called Blizzard Entertainment, the owner of the game, and they refused to assist me telling me I am not the original owner of the account. They also refused to investigate the account in any way and all they would do is remove my debit card information from the account payment information. They told me that only the original owner of the account can make changes to the account, and that the perpetraitor must in-fact be the original owner. Deductive reasoning can prove this false, as the original owner, had he re-obtained his account, would not have sold off everything from a very powerful character and especially in such short time. So in short, there is a person in possession of my account that is not entitled to the account information and Blizzard has openly stated that they would do nothing about it.

    After reading the Terms of Use many times, I have found the following:

    2. Ownership
    All rights and title in and to the Program and the Service (including without limitation any user accounts, titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialogue, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audio-visual effects, methods of operation, moral rights, any related documentation, "applets" incorporated into the Program, transcripts of the chat rooms, character profile information, recordings of games played on the Program, and the Program client and server software) are owned by Blizzard or its licensors. The Program and the Service are protected by United States and international laws. The Program and the Service may contain certain licensed materials, and Blizzard's licensors may enforce their rights in the event of any violation of this Agreement.

    The above-mentioned section from their Terms of Use, which is agreed upon every time the game has an update, shows that the original owner was and always will be Blizzard, so therefore every user of World of Warcraft is illegally modifying their account every time they change any information on the account, since they are not the original owner of the account.

    Another portion states:

    8. Ownership/Selling of the Account or Virtual Items.
    Blizzard does not recognize the transfer of Accounts. You may not purchase, sell, gift or trade any Account, or offer to purchase, sell, figt or trade any Account, and any such attempt shall be null and void. Blizzard owns, has licensed, or otherwise has rights to all of the content that appears in the Program. You agree that you have no rights or title in or to any such content, including the virtual goods or currency appearing or originating in the Game, or any other attributes associated with the Account or stored on the Service. Blizzard does not recognize any virtual property transfers executed outside of the Game or the purported sale, gift or trade in the "real world" of anything related to the Game. Accordingly, you may not sell items for "real" money or otherwise exchange items for value outside of the Game.

    This clearly states that the person I obtained the account from would have been in violation of the Terms of Use, however for me to have purchased or traded this account I would not have been required to agree to any Terms of Use, making the part about "purchasing" the account not valid to me. So I legally obtained the login information to this account through means of a legal trade, am I correct? Once I accepted the Terms of Use, I agreed not to purchase or sell the account(s), which I have not done since, so I am in no violation of the Terms of Use.

    Having found the above-mentioned statements in their Terms of Use, I wish to take Blizzard to court to either A) Return my account and character to the exact state they were and change the account owner's name to me, or B) Refund every penny I have spent on the account, including federal minimum wage for every hour I have put into the account, and more for the time and effort I have had to use to handle this situation, and every account I have (which at this moment is 5 active accounts, plus 3 that had priorly been banned for use of 3rd party programs). Basically I would be withdrawing from World of Warcraft completely, as if I had never started.

    On a side note: I am currently in the Army (MOS: 11C) and serving in Baghdad with another 6-months remaining in my tour. I feel that for Blizzard to have such little account security has compromised personal information about me which could endanger the lives of my family. I would like add something about this to my claim against Blizzard, as I feel my safety and the safety of my family could very well be compromised.

    I am assuming I should take all this information to our military legal department, however I want to confirm that I can do something about this first, as in my current state it is not easy to get in to see our legal department. My time is very limited and online resources is usually the best thing for me.

    Thank you for reading this long post and I hope somebody can aid me in the process.

    Jonathan Plumb
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Re: Online Game Account Dispute

    Based on what you say here, you could file suit against them (or at least threaten it) in small claims court or in regular court.

    I am sure WLD's lawyers could also assist if need be and resolve the issue, or sue for damages.

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