Mar(r)y (Me My Lord) Sues: Evony Legal Furore

By Kieron Gillen on August 28th, 2009 at 12:28 pm.

Evony have – er – been active recently. The best over-view of the situation is courtesy of Game Set Watch. Bruce Everiss made a series of accusations against United Multiplayer Gaming Entertainment, Evony’s developer. They respond with a series of hefty old threatening letters. The Guardian’s got one too. The case has been filed in Australia of all places, which Bruce reads as an attempt to deliberately make it as hard as possible for him to defend himself. Really, it’s quite the mess. I advise you to start at GSW and see what you make of it.

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51 Comments »

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  1. Ginger Yellow says:

    Unfortunately, Australian libel law is very similar to English libel law, both in terms of the burden of proof and in the broad claims of jurisdiction. So not only would this case be practically difficult to defend, if he were to defend it the legal side of things would probably be pretty tricky too.

  2. Baka says:

    This Blog is a lot of links and a lot of not knowing what the blog is about.

  3. James G says:

    Ugh. The one good thing I’ve discovered from that whole affair is that the UK isn’t the only country with archaic libel laws.

  4. Heliosicle says:

    I kind of saw this coming, however from reading this guys blog I can see that he isn’t too fussed, and to be honest, all of his points are true.

  5. Heliosicle says:

    Oop seems I commented before I properly read the GSW page, shame on me

  6. JellyfishGreen says:

    I was going to ask, is the game any good? I think I found the answer.
    Apparently it’s Civ4 reverse-engineered MMO with the occasional Chingrish description, and no, no handmaidens of any description.

  7. jalf says:

    Just tell me where to donate money to his legal defense. Anything to wipe Evony ads off the face of the internet.

  8. CMaster says:

    Couldn’t he just ignore this suit?
    I presume civil prosecutions in Oz can’t force you to comply in the UK.

  9. Kester says:

    This is RPS’s worst title wordplay yet. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

  10. Innokenti says:

    Huh… Australia getting a slice of the Libel Tourism industry, eh? Good for them… er…

  11. Freudian Slip says:

    Actually you’ll find the UK’s libel laws have evolved alot over the last two decades. (hence Ian Hislop winning alot more of his cases nowadasy) The new way to sue is through ‘Privacy’ as it’s still not very well defined in law what is/isn’t privacy. As can be seen in the Max Moseley/NOTW case.

  12. MD says:

    Huh… Australia getting a slice of the Libel Tourism industry, eh? Good for them… er…

    Haha :D
    Be careful, or you’ll give our government ideas! There’s probably money in it, it’ll bring cash into the economy via lawyers and judges…

  13. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    Oh I’m sure you could have crammed another punne in that title, Kieron. I swear, it’s like you’re just not trying these days.

  14. monkehhh says:

    “9. Ebony is run by the bad boys of the internet.”
    – I’d love it if someone accused me of being a bad boy of the internet :)

  15. rcsgd says:

    The problem is, Bruce is [somewhat objectionable]:
    http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=212771

  16. cliffski says:

    Anything that saps money away from their ad budget and prevents us being spammed with pathetic soft porn in an attempt to sell in-game chat messages at $1 a time is a good thing.
    These clueless muppets give gaming and micro-transaction models a REALLY bad name.
    Screw evony.

  17. rocketman71 says:

    Bruce Everiss is a bitter old man.While I can concur that what Evony is doing is, let’s say, not right, after having read part of his blog time ago, I have no pity at all for him. He’s not hesitated to hung dry people whenever his had the chance. Let he take a bit of his own medicine.

  18. skizelo says:

    Freudian Slip, we still have a piss-poor track record re: rational libel settlements, Simon Singh’s case being a good recent example.

  19. Heliocentric says:

    @monkehhh you are an internet bad boy.

    Feel better now?

  20. David says:

    rocketman71, can you be more specific about the ‘bad medicine’ Everiss has dished out?

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Freudian Slip, we still have a piss-poor track record re: rational libel settlements, Simon Singh’s case being a good recent example.”

    This is a whole ‘nother thread, but I actually think the Singh ruling (which is only a preliminary ruling on the meaning of the allegedly defamatory statements, incidentally – the full libel trial has yet to happen) was correct according to the letter of the law. I wish it weren’t, as I think the BCA suit will have a terrible chilling effect on the discussion of pseudo-science and quackery, but I do think it was. Justice Eady may be incredibly unfriendly to libel defendants, but the thing to remember is that he’s working within a legal framework that is also incredibly unfriendly to libel defendants.

  22. mujadaddy says:

    Observations:

    1. Other people on the internet aren’t real. Therefore worrying about what they’ve “said” is pointless. qv 4chan, TPB
    2. Evony is the Girls Gone Wild of online gaming, except GGW usually delivers.
    3. You’ve misused the term “Mary Sue”, but due to the high volume of punnage you must dish out to keep the Captain’s lash from your backs, that’s forgivable.

  23. qrter says:

    rocketman71, can you be more specific about the ‘bad medicine’ Everiss has dished out?

    I believe rocketman could be referring to the ‘blaming piracy for my company’s downfall instead of our own bad management’ thing last year on his blog. He was called out on this in his comments and that’s when things went really downhill. More info here.

  24. Derf says:

    Probably the worst RPS blog ever.

  25. Mads says:

    How come? What’s up with all the hostility?
    I think this Evony lawsuit sounds completely absurd no matter how many toes this Brucie-guy stepped on.

  26. James G says:

    @Ginger Yellow

    Ridiculous interpretation of the word bogus notwithstanding, that was the point being made, not that our courts are ridiculous, but that the libel laws themselves are. Still, hopefully it’ll all go in a similar way to Rath Vs. Goldacre.

  27. Alaric says:

    I don’t really get it. Yea, these ads are annoying as hell. So are all the other ads in the Internet. How is this Evony crap any worse than SixFlags, MediFast or AccuQuote adds? (I just reloaded this page 3 times to get those names.)

    As to the game itself being a pile of crap – well, don’t play it then. I certainly do not intend to.

    So again, why is everyone getting their panties in a bunch?

  28. Psychopomp says:

    “How is this Evony crap any worse than SixFlags, MediFast or AccuQuote adds?”

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    BEST FREE WEB GAME

    MARRY ME MY LORD

    TITS

    That’s how.

  29. Cutman says:

    Best rps news title ever.

  30. Tei says:

    Theres 3 rules of Spam:

    1 – Spammers lie.
    2 – If you think a spammer is telling the truth, see 1.
    3 – Spammers are stupid.

    Often a 4th rule is added:
    4 – The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt. (see 3)

    The problem with Evony, is the spammer mindset. Once you have that mindset, these 3 rules are unscapable .

    Now, based on rule 4, Evony natural course will be bankrupt.

    I have no see any exception in more than 15 years, and these rules are tested and confirmed daily.

  31. Tei says:

    postdata:

    Inside the spammer mindset:
    – Spammers think that are more smart that everybody else.
    – Spammers think that theres a infinite number of people more idiot thatn thenselves, and that can scam these people.
    – Spammers think that can lie to everyone, and escape any problem. Even use lies to put anyone in a problem. So no one can call then spammers, and survive a libel.

  32. Alaric says:

    @Psychopomp

    Don’t be ridiculous. Evony crap is appearing in the same spaces as all other ads. If you see more of these ads, it is because they paid more and thus have a right to be there. Paying a lot of money for advertisement is not a crime in my book.

    @Tei

    They are not spammers, as I have not once received an unsolicited communication form them. Like I said, the ads we see are legitimately purchased and displayed.

    And if spam wasn’t profitable, it would not make up over 90% of all e-mail traffic. So these guys are making money. (Not that I approve of them.)

  33. Vinraith says:

    @Alaric

    Spraying not-work-friendly ads all over otherwise-work-friendly sites may not be illegal, but it’s certainly worthy of vitriol. Actively changing the web address of your advertising when sites block you for such behavior may not technically be spamming, but it’s certainly born of the same mindset.

  34. Alaric says:

    Hmm true, true. I didn’t realize they did that thing with URLs. That’s definitely some shitty behavior there. Although I don’t think any of their images are NSFW.

  35. col says:

    Bruce Everiss is a tit.

  36. DMJ says:

    Re: Advertising paying for the right to be there: An ad which causes you to instantly close a browser window is hurting the host site. There are some things you shouldn’t be able to pay to put on sites indiscriminately. Like breasts. And swastikas. And child porn.

    I’m not saying Evony is swastikas and child porn, but for a time at least those ads made it almost impossible to access RPS at work because it would have led to pointed questions. To say nothing of the embarassment of defending games as being juvenile when even the relatively gentlemanly RPS is covered in breasts.

    And on the subject of spam, this may not be mail, but I tend to embrace the “done until death… and it wasn’t welcome in the first place” definition of spam.

    Sorry, what was the topic again? :D

  37. We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog says:

    All I know about Evony are the adverts with hot chicks that keep popping up on my blog.

  38. Ffitz says:

    Adblock ruined my life! Flashblock has deprived me! Who do I sue?

  39. Blather Blob says:

    @Alaric: I think the first of the series of articles they’re threatening to sue over is all about them promoting comment spam: http://www.bruceongames.com/2009/07/10/dont-play-evony/

  40. Isaac says:

    Heheheh. Oh Evony how we doth love you, forsooth your troubles are the most entertaining we’ve had in recent days.

  41. Idle Threats and Bad Poetry says:

    So someone explain this to me. If I can put something up on the Internet anywhere in the world, a company from China that judges my comments to be libel can sue me in Australia? If I’ve got that right, that’s a law as outdated at the Salem witch trials.

  42. Debaser says:

    Man, that is straight up the worst pun I have ever seen. I feel worse for reading it

  43. hitnrun says:

    @Idle threats

    It depends on which country you live in, and which country the suit is filed in.

    If you live in the United States, you can just ignore it.

    In some other countries where the whole “sovereign nation” thing is a little more qualified, yes, you might be able to be sued. Particularly in Commonwealth nations (Britain, Australia, Canada). The situation differ from nation to nation and case to case, but the gist of it is that the fact that what you write can be read anywhere, combined with these states’ common legal traditions and only recently diverging histories, is used to justify enforcing libel judgments in courts that sensible people, ie non lawyers, would call “a country I’ve never visited on the other side of the effing planet.”

  44. nutterguy says:

    The only place I have seen these Evony online ad’s is RPS… cos I love you guys and have adblock turned off for http://www.rockpapershotgun.com
    Until I pony up for a subscription… then they are gone!

  45. RobF says:

    Tei, you’ve just described Everiss perfectly, man.

    Battle of the spammers, who will win?

  46. bill says:

    But can’t he just ignore it? He might have to avoid going to australia in the future… but i can’t see that he’s gonna get extradited for ignoring a libel suit in australia.

  47. Jetsetlemming says:

    I disabled Adblock for RPS and the only ad I see is one for Duke3d on GOG, and that was visible before I disabled adblock. Ah well.
    I’d totally click that ad and go buy Duke3d if I didn’t already have it. Sorry RPS!

  48. Pod says:

    a) Bruce Everiss is a cock. But I’ll let him go this time.
    b) Has Evony even been sued for completely stealing the Age of Empire 2 + Civ 3 graphics?

  49. bill says:

    The problem with his tactic is that it essentially gives more publicity to Evony.

    I’d imagine they are from the “all publicity is good publicity” school of thought, and this lawsuit, and any blogs posting about it, mentioning their game and showing their scantily clad adverts…. that just means more potential clicks.

  50. eyemessiah says:

    @Alaric, it depends where you work. Personally, I have to move the shoryuken forum several inches off the left hand side of my screen at lunch to avoid having cleavage on display for the whole hour.