A recent conversation in Trade channel, transcribed verbatim:
Gold farmer: [insert gold seller spam here, including phrase “100% legal”]
Player A: I like that 100% legal bit, as it is 0% legal
Me: Actually, is it illegal? It’s against the EULA and the TOS, but they’re not laws
Player A: It is “illegal” as far as Blizzard is concerned
Me: That’s not the same as ‘illegal’ though
Player B: It is illegal as far as the courts are concerned too, as Blizzard won a ginormous suit against a “gold farming company” not too long ago
Player A: Semantics get you nowhere
Me: That’s a civil case. If it were illegal, it would have been prosecuted by the government (ie police/district attorney/whoever does that job in the jurisdiction in question)
Player C: Hey, lawyer boy. STFU
Me: Just curious – I see people say “it’s illegal” all the time; I just wondered if anyone had any evidence for it.
Player A: Defending gold farmers is epic fail
Me: I’m not defending them!
Player A: Everything we say pertains to the game. As far as the rules of the game go, it is “illegal”. You get banned for using the services
Player D: Illegal is the wrong word
Player A: Again, semantics get you nowhere. We know what we mean. You know what we mean.
Me: Pardon me for wanting to use the correct words for things.
Player E: Its in the EULA, its violates the terms of the game… which is also bound by a court ruling
Me: Show me a law against gold farming, selling or buying
Player E: Also high chance the gold they sell is stolen from a hacked account. Trafficing in Stolen Goods… Hows that one
Player A: Which is theft of intellectual property. Which is, in fact, illegal
I should have known better than to expect critical thinking from the denizens of the Trade channel – however, I’m curious. Is gold selling actually illegal, in any jurisdiction? Or is it merely a violation of the TOS/TOU/EULA and therefore purely a civil matter? Any lawyers in the audience able to help me out?
(Note that I am not, as some genius in Trade channel suggested, supporting the Real Money Transfer industry; I’m merely curious about the actual legality of it.)