Beware Discount Steam Keys - Unknown Worlds

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  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Members, NS2 Developer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,122 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    If a company does nothing to act on known fraudulent transactions, Victims of fraud will not know they have been victims and will continue to purchase stolen goods unknowingly from such sources. Lessons have to be learnt even if sometimes they are tough lessons in order to prevent such crimes to be continually profitable to criminals.
    The victims can get their money back, they have been made aware of the situation and it's seriousness.
    Potentially UWE, Steam, Paypal, Google so on and so fourth could be held accountable for fraud for not acting appropriately on the know sale of stolen goods or fraudulent transactions, even for example accepting fake cash if proper actions where not taken to ensure it's legitimate leading to legal liability for handling fake cash.
    In short Layman's terms the only way to be sure of avoiding any legal liabilities pressed against both the retailer and the end buyer is to try and restore everything to how it was before the fraud occurred thus protecting not only us but you the victim as well from further complications. (Handling Stolen goods is a criminal offence)

    Please read the section I have quoted from the Citizens Advice Bureau at the bottom of this post.

    Quote from a law firm:

    With garage sales, EBay, and Craigslist remaining popular, some criminals have used these outlets in order to sell their stolen goods, but what happens to those who purchase those goods? The first question is whether the person knew of they were buying stolen goods, or should have known they were purchasing stolen goods. If the person knew they were purchasing stolen goods, the person (depending on the state) could be charged with theft, embezzlement, fraud, larceny or something else. But what about those who don’t know they are purchasing stolen goods?

    Many Companies Have Policies To Prevent Stolen Goods From Being sold
    In order to combat the threat of receiving stolen property, many bidding companies have implemented policies specifically focused on stopping the sale and purchase of stolen property. For example, EBay will not allow a person to list items with altered or removed identification numbers. EBay has also explicitly stated that they will help any law enforcement action, including releasing IP addresses, email addresses and paypal accounts. To highlight the seriousness of the problem, The Calgary Herald estimated that theft rings cost U.S. retailers up to $30billion per year. Most of these theft rings sell their goods through garage sales, swap meets, or online auctions.

    Handling stolen goods is a criminal offence but you are unlikely to be arrested if you didn't know the goods where stolen.

    Should Someone Suspect An Item Is Stolen Because It Has A Very Low Price?
    Previously, if you purchased a good far below its market rate, you could be charged with knowingly purchasing a stolen item because you should have known it was stolen based on its low price. However, today many items begin with a bid price of $0.01, bidding websites tout their low starting bids, and people are always looking for their deal. Courts have been more reluctant recently to jump to the conclusion that a person knowingly received stolen goods when they win an auction. However, if you do purchase stolen property, you will likely have to, at the least, return the stolen property, and you may be charged with a criminal offence if the prosecution can prove: (1) that the accused gained control of the item, (2) that the accused knew it was stolen and (3) that the accused intended to deprive the rightful owner of their interest in the property. If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is always best to consult with an experienced criminal attorney. However, the bottom line: if the price is too good to be true – it usually is.



    Citizens Advice Bureau:

    Who owns the goods?

    If you buy stolen goods, the general rule is that you are not the legal owner. In other words, you do not have good title. This applies even if you paid a fair price and didn't know that the goods were stolen. The person who originally owned them is still the legal owner.

    The only exception to this rule is where goods are insured, such as cars. In this case, the goods would become the property of the insurance company after the real owner's claim had been paid.

    What should you do if you've bought stolen goods?

    If you discover you've bought stolen goods, you should stop using them immediately.

    Can you claim compensation from the person who sold you stolen goods?

    If the stolen goods you bought are returned to the original owner, you can sue the person who sold the goods to you for breach of contract. This is because the law says that any seller of goods must have the right to sell those goods.

    However, this can be difficult because you will need to be able to trace the person. It can also be a slow and expensive process.

    You should always take independent advice before starting legal action.

    If you know who is the rightful owner of the goods

    You should inform them that you have their goods and let them take them away. If you don’t give them back, the owner can apply for a court order to make you return the goods.

    If you have spent money on improving or repairing the stolen goods, you may be able to claim compensation for the value of these improvements or repairs. However, this only applies if the owner is taking court action to get their goods back. If you hand the goods back willingly, you lose the right to claim this compensation.





    It's all fair and well someone saying UWE should let these people keep the keys but if the Law disagrees with this action from us we can face more complications.
    If we do not prove we have taken enough appropriate action to deal with this situation then we can not dispute and get back the money lost to the Charge-Backs.
    abcptHeymanTalesinCrazyEddie
  • nikodimus86nikodimus86 Members Join Date: 2012-10-22 Member: 163188Posts: 73
    Bump to activate comment thread.

    This is probably a good way for me to check something. Is "bumping" a thread when you post stuff in it so it is shown on the main forum page, where people see the most talked about stuff?

    P.S. As a student of business management and a gamer I am on the side of UWE on this one. Because from a business standpoint UWE needs money so they can focus only on NS2. Also as a gamer I want them to have the money to continue working on NS2 or it's sequel if there ever is one. Although they probably won't get the 30k back. Some of the people who bought the fake key and liked the game might buy it legally. Those who don't probably didn't like it in the first place.
  • IronsoulIronsoul Members Join Date: 2011-03-12 Member: 86048Posts: 869 Advanced user
    This is crap, people can be entitled to their own opinions, except when that opinion is wrong. Anyone who purchased a copy of ns2 via this "cheap store" is an idiot and deserves what they got: a virtual slap to the face. There are some games that are rediculously expensive in some countries (Modern warfare 2 is STILL $90 in Aus, thanks Activision for exploiting a lack of tribunal), but ns2 is $25.
    abcptsoccerguy243Sharp-Shooter
  • tarquinbbtarquinbb Members Join Date: 2012-11-03 Member: 166314Posts: 1,123
    as long as we're on the subject of helping potential con victim's:

    never cheaply assume a cheque to be legit payment for an item, in this situation you have NO security. a cheque is nothing more than a 'gentlemans agreement' until the cheque is cleared by the bank (can take from a few days to a couple of weeks).

    it's the easiest way to get conned imo... people see a $$$ sign on a cheque and don't realise it could potentially be toilet paper.
  • soccerguy243soccerguy243 Members, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2012-12-22 Member: 175920Posts: 515 Advanced user
    On some level, there's part of me that disagrees with the policy of deactivating all the keys. And the reason for it is directly in the press release:
    The owner of the stolen credit card ultimately disputed the charge and we lost the sale. In total, we lose ~$45 per transaction of this kind, due to the charge-back fee (~$22 fee + $25 game price). Meanwhile, the unauthorized key reseller kept the money from the player who ultimately received the bad key.

    Deactivating the keys only punishes the innocent people who bought the keys. It doesn't restore the lost money to UWE, and it doesn't punish the person who sold them. The proper response here was to eat the loss and hope the people who obtained the game in this way lead to more sales via positive word of mouth.

    Tell me how uwe can punish the thrifty that uwe false/stolen info to buys the key?

    Tell me how you know all those 1341 Keys been resold?

    Tell me how the the buy again option won't let uwe collect some id the money lost?

    > That's not an English sentence

    > They can't. Who cares? Reselling keys isn't a crime and it doesn't hurt anybody.

    > It will. Assuming an unrealistic 100% conversion rate, it will limit their losses to 22 USD per purchase, meaning each chargeback basically cost them as much as an entire user's sale after that user then paid them correctly for the game.

    Lol. You misunderstood my post. I know how uwe will get my money but the person I quoted didn't get it.
  • extolloextollo Ping Blip Members Join Date: 2010-07-16 Member: 72457Posts: 368 Advanced user
    theory crafting the proper response to fraud. this board. :facepalm:
    CrazyEddie
  • Chris0132Chris0132 Members Join Date: 2009-07-25 Member: 68262Posts: 3,854
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.
    JAMESEARLJONOS
  • soccerguy243soccerguy243 Members, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2012-12-22 Member: 175920Posts: 515 Advanced user
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    It's a bad situation, but the action that UWE took in deactivating the keys was wholly unnecessary. As explained above, most of the people who end up with deactivated keys will just leave the game. And they'll be out money because most people aren't going to go through the hassle of a chargeback for what's a nominal charge. The extra step you guys took in deactivating keys falls squarely on the shoulders of otherwise innocent people and it's not really right. Take it as you will.

    Afraid this is kinda what I think too.

    I can't imagine it making you much money, only producing a bunch of people who are going to tell everyone they know how much UWE is a terrible company who screw people out of games

    The game seller screwed them not UWE.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    Squishpoke wrote: »
    50% off of $25 wasn't enough for some people?

    Well, when many people don't even know if the game will work on their system, much less whether or not they will like it, yeah 12.50 is a little steep. Also the game price has gone UP since December, when it was actually $20 with a 50% off during the Christmas sale. Plus these discount codes are probably being sold when the game isn't actually on sale, so they could be $10-15 and still make a small profit over a prior steam sale price.
  • HeymanHeyman Members Join Date: 2005-03-29 Member: 46895Posts: 406
    edited March 2013
    SgtBarlow wrote: »
    Who owns the goods?

    If you buy stolen goods, the general rule is that you are not the legal owner. In other words, you do not have good title. This applies even if you paid a fair price and didn't know that the goods were stolen. The person who originally owned them is still the legal owner.

    What should you do if you've bought stolen goods?

    If you discover you've bought stolen goods, you should stop using them immediately.

    It's amazing that so many people here are ignoring common law in favor of some sort of shitty higher justice, thinking that it would benefit UWE more to let illegal resellers get away with this crap just so the "consumer" will not lose out on this.

    Since UWE have killed these keys, it lets people question the legitimacy of their distributor, and nobody said that UWE wouldn't cooperate with the people who lost their copies of NS2 over this.
    Sharp-Shooter
  • WheeeeWheeee Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    In this case the answer is simple: UWE sold access to its game for a price. It then receive a charge-back on that purchase. UWE has every right to cancel that access, regardless of whether the purchaser then re-sold that access.

    It is up to the end buyer to take the fraudulent reseller up.
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • tarquinbbtarquinbb Members Join Date: 2012-11-03 Member: 166314Posts: 1,123
    edited March 2013
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    unless i'm mistaken, business doesn't operate like that.

    they don't take their physical money and store it away in a closet to swim around in. they calculate sales to generate a realistic projection, falsified sales will indeed botch that projection by $30000.


    your post is dangerously close to the 'downloading pirated games for free is not stealing' argument.
  • sotanahtsotanaht Members Join Date: 2013-01-12 Member: 179215Posts: 1,020 Fully active user
    tarquinbb wrote: »
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    unless i'm mistaken, business doesn't operate like that.

    they don't take their physical money and store it away in a closet to swim around in. they calculate sales to generate a realistic projection, falsified sales will indeed botch that projection by $30000.


    your post is dangerously close to the 'downloading pirated games for free is not stealing' argument.

    So dangerously close to absolute truth then? Piracy is not theft, it's piracy.
  • SgtBarlowSgtBarlow Level Designer Members, NS2 Developer Join Date: 2003-11-13 Member: 22749Posts: 1,122 Advanced user
    edited March 2013
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    We have no idea who has an actual bad key, The people who have a bad key probably don't know either.
    All we know is key X has been charge-backed but we don't know who has the charge-back key to tell them, "Hey you bought a key purchased on a stolen card and sold on to you". All Steam knows is who activated a bad key on X steam account but it's not Steams responsibility to contact all these people and inform them nor is it practical to message each individual without spending more time and money doing so and arguably at who's expense would these people be contacted, Under the Privacy Policy Steam can not give out your contact details to us.. Legally you can't keep the product anyway.
    So all we can do is dedicative and post to Everyone! - Then those effected knows it applies to them and they can claim their money back.

    Bottom line, We can not afford to what is essentially give out free copy's of the game at an expense that is not only the value of the item not gained through sale (Unlike when we generally give out the odd free keys for a competition or something) plus on top of that the money we lost from giving it back to the stolen card holder.

    There only one real way to get our money back from this and that is for you to reclaim your money from your card vendor and use it buy the game from the legitimate retailer.
    It's all down to the card vendors getting the money back from the criminal. In the mean time we have to cover the cost of the missing cash while the criminal is found, persecuted and fined the damages because the vendor wont.

    In the mean time its double loss for each one of those copies! and were talking over a thousand here, not 5 keys given away in something that we can afford, This has bankrupted many businesses.
  • Chris0132Chris0132 Members Join Date: 2009-07-25 Member: 68262Posts: 3,854
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    It's a bad situation, but the action that UWE took in deactivating the keys was wholly unnecessary. As explained above, most of the people who end up with deactivated keys will just leave the game. And they'll be out money because most people aren't going to go through the hassle of a chargeback for what's a nominal charge. The extra step you guys took in deactivating keys falls squarely on the shoulders of otherwise innocent people and it's not really right. Take it as you will.

    Afraid this is kinda what I think too.

    I can't imagine it making you much money, only producing a bunch of people who are going to tell everyone they know how much UWE is a terrible company who screw people out of games

    The game seller screwed them not UWE.

    Yes, but the game seller isn't the one taking their games off them, it's about perception,.
    abcpt
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call?Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    Thanks for the info, UWE! As Max says, it's not something people normally hear about and it's refreshing that UWE has been completely open about what has happened, what their actions were and why.

    If those official posts haven't fully answered the haters in this thread, then haters: you have my pity. :/
    For all your gorge busting needs.
    It is very strange how some1 who spend so much time makeing videos to help mans, can fall and take miror image of dark ages bourgeoisie, outdated set of belifs
    How True.
    Talesin
  • KalabalanaKalabalana Members Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Posts: 1,049 Advanced user
    On some level, there's part of me that disagrees with the policy of deactivating all the keys. And the reason for it is directly in the press release:
    The owner of the stolen credit card ultimately disputed the charge and we lost the sale. In total, we lose ~$45 per transaction of this kind, due to the charge-back fee (~$22 fee + $25 game price). Meanwhile, the unauthorized key reseller kept the money from the player who ultimately received the bad key.

    Deactivating the keys only punishes the innocent people who bought the keys. It doesn't restore the lost money to UWE, and it doesn't punish the person who sold them. The proper response here was to eat the loss and hope the people who obtained the game in this way lead to more sales via positive word of mouth.

    heres a scenario

    someone stole your wifes/husbands wedding ring, and i bought the stolen wedding ring for my wife to get married, and you find out i have it, what would you do?

    let me keep it cause im innocent? i didnt steal it, i thought i bought it legitimate..
    or
    take it back and tell me its yours, and i should deal with the theif?

    i think you would take it back because its yours, i know its two completely different things, but you know what i mean, purchasing anything stolen, even if your innocent does not make it yours, thats with everything you buy from software to goods.

    Did you buy the ring from a guy in a parking lot? And not a real business? If so, you have no excuse. Your analogy is flawed.

    It's unfortunate for those players who went outside of the official channels for buying the game to skirt paying full price, but that was the risk they took.
  • KhazeKhaze Members Join Date: 2006-12-12 Member: 59031Posts: 270 Advanced user
    UWE made the right call, no question about it. Don't let the loud minority wear you down, guys.

    Keep on rockin'!
  • KalabalanaKalabalana Members Join Date: 2003-11-14 Member: 22859Posts: 1,049 Advanced user
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    By not deactivating the keys, they would enable this form of illegal market to continue. If people think buying keys from unofficial vendors is ok, the problem will continue/grow. Which leads to more lost money for UWE.
    Sharp-Shooter
  • Chris0132Chris0132 Members Join Date: 2009-07-25 Member: 68262Posts: 3,854
    tarquinbb wrote: »
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The problem with applying most theft laws to this is that UWE hasn't actually lost anything they can 'reclaim' as such.

    This isn't like stealing diamonds, where UWE needs to reclaim them in order to continue to have their diamonds, because software doesn't work like that. UWE doesn't get anything back if they deactivate the copies, they don't get to put them back in the big secret room full of physical NS2 copies in the UWE office and swim around in them on friday afternoons.

    In this case, UWE loses literally nothing by allowing people to keep the game if it was bought in good faith, because UWE still have their copy and can still sell it.

    Yes it is important to tell people if they're buying it illegally, so as to stop illegal sales, but taking their copies off them would seem to be completely counterproductive to that. It seems unlikely that the people you do that to would want to support you when all you've done for them is take the thing they paid for off them, they'll probably just go and pirate a copy of it or have nothing to do with you in the future.

    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    unless i'm mistaken, business doesn't operate like that.

    they don't take their physical money and store it away in a closet to swim around in. they calculate sales to generate a realistic projection, falsified sales will indeed botch that projection by $30000.


    your post is dangerously close to the 'downloading pirated games for free is not stealing' argument.

    It's more akin to 'trying to punish people for pirating games is a kind of futile effort.' Which it is. It's why DRM doesn't really work and why software piracy is basically impossible to tackle without going all totalitarian rule on people and monitoring every single thing they do on the internet, and instituting outlandish multi-thousand dollar fines for downloading an MP3 or something.

    The punitive approach to it really doesn't work, and we've seen it really not working for years now, I can't help but put far more store in the fostering approach as a result of that. Instead of trying to dole out the pain on everyone you can, perhaps giving people positive reasons to support you and buy from you would work better?

    Such as saying 'hey, you bought this key from an illegal seller and we've lost a fair bit of money on it, now, we know you probably didn't realize this or didn't intend to cause that sort of loss, so we aren't going to take the game off you, because you've paid someone for it you thought was legit.

    But, if you could, please contact the seller/your card company/whatever and ask them to look into this, if you can get your money recouped, please contact us and we'll sell you a proper version for the price you originally paid [or just a flat discount, or full price if you have to], and we'll throw in a special model for when you play the game with an arm emblem signifying this, so everyone ingame knows what an honest person you are.'

    Something like that might be responded to better than 'hey you bought this from guys we don't want selling it, we're taking it off you, buy a new copy'.

    Leastways I'd think so?
  • BacillusBacillus Members Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Posts: 2,774 Advanced user
    I'm often pretty whiny about things like this, but at least I can't see anything wrong in the way UWE has handled this. The clarifications by Max and Barlow are also greatly appreciated. Hopefully you can get away with minimal damages out of this.
  • WheeeeWheeee Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13713Posts: 4,262 Fully active user
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    It's more akin to 'trying to punish people for pirating games is a kind of futile effort.' Which it is. It's why DRM doesn't really work and why software piracy is basically impossible to tackle without going all totalitarian rule on people and monitoring every single thing they do on the internet, and instituting outlandish multi-thousand dollar fines for downloading an MP3 or something.

    The punitive approach to it really doesn't work, and we've seen it really not working for years now, I can't help but put far more store in the fostering approach as a result of that. Instead of trying to dole out the pain on everyone you can, perhaps giving people positive reasons to support you and buy from you would work better?

    Such as saying 'hey, you bought this key from an illegal seller and we've lost a fair bit of money on it, now, we know you probably didn't realize this or didn't intend to cause that sort of loss, so we aren't going to take the game off you, because you've paid someone for it you thought was legit.

    But, if you could, please contact the seller/your card company/whatever and ask them to look into this, if you can get your money recouped, please contact us and we'll sell you a proper version for the price you originally paid [or just a flat discount, or full price if you have to], and we'll throw in a special model for when you play the game with an arm emblem signifying this, so everyone ingame knows what an honest person you are.'

    Something like that might be responded to better than 'hey you bought this from guys we don't want selling it, we're taking it off you, buy a new copy'.

    Leastways I'd think so?

    You don't get it. UWE is not only losing the sale, they are being charged a fee. That means for each fraudulent sale, not only are they not receiving money, they are LOSING it. This is a prime example of when deterrence is a must-have because otherwise it would invite more frequent and more severe fraud.
    QUOTE (EEK)
    Don't assume that because I said something it means I actually was thinking that the core of the sun was going to be replaced with hot dogs.
  • RuntehRunteh Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2010-06-26 Member: 72163Posts: 1,883
    Why don't the people on here complaining about the situation understand that FRAUD has been committed. If anything you should be after the sellers who you bought the keys from for a refund.

    I feel sorry for you, but UWE have been as much effected as yourselves.
  • Chris0132Chris0132 Members Join Date: 2009-07-25 Member: 68262Posts: 3,854
    edited March 2013
    Wheeee wrote: »
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    It's more akin to 'trying to punish people for pirating games is a kind of futile effort.' Which it is. It's why DRM doesn't really work and why software piracy is basically impossible to tackle without going all totalitarian rule on people and monitoring every single thing they do on the internet, and instituting outlandish multi-thousand dollar fines for downloading an MP3 or something.

    The punitive approach to it really doesn't work, and we've seen it really not working for years now, I can't help but put far more store in the fostering approach as a result of that. Instead of trying to dole out the pain on everyone you can, perhaps giving people positive reasons to support you and buy from you would work better?

    Such as saying 'hey, you bought this key from an illegal seller and we've lost a fair bit of money on it, now, we know you probably didn't realize this or didn't intend to cause that sort of loss, so we aren't going to take the game off you, because you've paid someone for it you thought was legit.

    But, if you could, please contact the seller/your card company/whatever and ask them to look into this, if you can get your money recouped, please contact us and we'll sell you a proper version for the price you originally paid [or just a flat discount, or full price if you have to], and we'll throw in a special model for when you play the game with an arm emblem signifying this, so everyone ingame knows what an honest person you are.'

    Something like that might be responded to better than 'hey you bought this from guys we don't want selling it, we're taking it off you, buy a new copy'.

    Leastways I'd think so?

    You don't get it. UWE is not only losing the sale, they are being charged a fee. That means for each fraudulent sale, not only are they not receiving money, they are LOSING it. This is a prime example of when deterrence is a must-have because otherwise it would invite more frequent and more severe fraud.

    But how does it deter anyone?

    The people doing the scamming aren't going to be deterred because deactivating the keys does nothing to them, they've already got the money and I highly doubt they care one jot about the principle of the thing.

    It might deter the people who get their copies taken off them, but I think it's MOSTLY going to deter them from buying anything from UWE ever again, and giving them a simple email would convey all the information they need. Even say if you must 'from now on we will be deactivating any future copies sold in this manner' if you need to. But if you want to make people aware that they shouldn't buy from dodgy sites, you can just tell them.

    And offering them an actual incentive might help you get some of the money back because perhaps, just maybe, some people might respond positively if addressed in a positive manner? If you ask nicely people are quite agreeable in my experience, if you come at them with threats and attacks they will respond in kind.

    That the fraudulent sales are more expensive than just lost custom doesn't really matter, the problem remains that fraudulent sales are bad and you want to reduce their prevalence as much as possible, without causing yourself further damage. Driving away any possible future custom from these people who obviously care enough to want to pay money for your game, even if not full price, that seems like it would only cause further damage if the alternative could lead to a better impression being left on that thousand or so people, and possibly some of them coming forward to actually re-buy the game from you.
  • SixtyWattManSixtyWattMan Members Join Date: 2004-09-05 Member: 31404Posts: 708 Fully active user
    I love laughing at people who buy keys through these shady sites. It's too bad your entire Steam accounts didn't get banned, NOW THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A REAL KNEE SLAPPER

    Sorry 'bout the loss UWE.
  • abcptabcpt Members Join Date: 2013-03-08 Member: 183781Posts: 6
    edited March 2013
    Well, im one of those players who had the key blacklisted, to be honest i really tought i was buying a legit key (from g2(censored).com you probably know the rest, its a popular store), i have been searching this morning and now im not really sure if this store is legal... hurry up and put the game on greenmangaming, i got some credits to spend there, will buy it again.
    CrazyEddieSharp-Shooter
  • tarquinbbtarquinbb Members Join Date: 2012-11-03 Member: 166314Posts: 1,123
    sotanaht wrote: »

    So dangerously close to absolute truth then? Piracy is not theft, it's piracy.

    now you're just being pedantic. piracy is very much 'stealing' money unless you want to focus on semantics to justify your immoral principles.
  • JAMESEARLJONOSJAMESEARLJONOS Members Join Date: 2012-12-15 Member: 175155Posts: 194 Fully active user
    SgtBarlow wrote: »
    If a company does nothing to act on known fraudulent transactions, Victims of fraud will not know they have been victims and will continue to purchase stolen goods unknowingly from such sources. Lessons have to be learnt even if sometimes they are tough lessons in order to prevent such crimes to be continually profitable to criminals.
    The victims can get their money back, they have been made aware of the situation and it's seriousness.
    Potentially UWE, Steam, Paypal, Google so on and so fourth could be held accountable for fraud for not acting appropriately on the know sale of stolen goods or fraudulent transactions, even for example accepting fake cash if proper actions where not taken to ensure it's legitimate leading to legal liability for handling fake cash.
    In short Layman's terms the only way to be sure of avoiding any legal liabilities pressed against both the retailer and the end buyer is to try and restore everything to how it was before the fraud occurred thus protecting not only us but you the victim as well from further complications. (Handling Stolen goods is a criminal offence)

    Please read the section I have quoted from the Citizens Advice Bureau at the bottom of this post.

    Quote from a law firm:

    With garage sales, EBay, and Craigslist remaining popular, some criminals have used these outlets in order to sell their stolen goods, but what happens to those who purchase those goods? The first question is whether the person knew of they were buying stolen goods, or should have known they were purchasing stolen goods. If the person knew they were purchasing stolen goods, the person (depending on the state) could be charged with theft, embezzlement, fraud, larceny or something else. But what about those who don’t know they are purchasing stolen goods?

    Many Companies Have Policies To Prevent Stolen Goods From Being sold
    In order to combat the threat of receiving stolen property, many bidding companies have implemented policies specifically focused on stopping the sale and purchase of stolen property. For example, EBay will not allow a person to list items with altered or removed identification numbers. EBay has also explicitly stated that they will help any law enforcement action, including releasing IP addresses, email addresses and paypal accounts. To highlight the seriousness of the problem, The Calgary Herald estimated that theft rings cost U.S. retailers up to $30billion per year. Most of these theft rings sell their goods through garage sales, swap meets, or online auctions.

    Handling stolen goods is a criminal offence but you are unlikely to be arrested if you didn't know the goods where stolen.

    Should Someone Suspect An Item Is Stolen Because It Has A Very Low Price?
    Previously, if you purchased a good far below its market rate, you could be charged with knowingly purchasing a stolen item because you should have known it was stolen based on its low price. However, today many items begin with a bid price of $0.01, bidding websites tout their low starting bids, and people are always looking for their deal. Courts have been more reluctant recently to jump to the conclusion that a person knowingly received stolen goods when they win an auction. However, if you do purchase stolen property, you will likely have to, at the least, return the stolen property, and you may be charged with a criminal offence if the prosecution can prove: (1) that the accused gained control of the item, (2) that the accused knew it was stolen and (3) that the accused intended to deprive the rightful owner of their interest in the property. If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is always best to consult with an experienced criminal attorney. However, the bottom line: if the price is too good to be true – it usually is.



    Citizens Advice Bureau:

    Who owns the goods?

    If you buy stolen goods, the general rule is that you are not the legal owner. In other words, you do not have good title. This applies even if you paid a fair price and didn't know that the goods were stolen. The person who originally owned them is still the legal owner.

    The only exception to this rule is where goods are insured, such as cars. In this case, the goods would become the property of the insurance company after the real owner's claim had been paid.

    What should you do if you've bought stolen goods?

    If you discover you've bought stolen goods, you should stop using them immediately.

    Can you claim compensation from the person who sold you stolen goods?

    If the stolen goods you bought are returned to the original owner, you can sue the person who sold the goods to you for breach of contract. This is because the law says that any seller of goods must have the right to sell those goods.

    However, this can be difficult because you will need to be able to trace the person. It can also be a slow and expensive process.

    You should always take independent advice before starting legal action.

    If you know who is the rightful owner of the goods

    You should inform them that you have their goods and let them take them away. If you don’t give them back, the owner can apply for a court order to make you return the goods.

    If you have spent money on improving or repairing the stolen goods, you may be able to claim compensation for the value of these improvements or repairs. However, this only applies if the owner is taking court action to get their goods back. If you hand the goods back willingly, you lose the right to claim this compensation.



    It's all fair and well someone saying UWE should let these people keep the keys but if the Law disagrees with this action from us we can face more complications.
    If we do not prove we have taken enough appropriate action to deal with this situation then we can not dispute and get back the money lost to the Charge-Backs.


    All you've done in this post is link a giant strawman that really has zero relevance to the overall point in this thread. Physical goods are not digital goods, as much as content creators would like to argue otherwise. It's why downloading something illegally is not theft by the legal definition of the law, rather, it's copyright infringement which is a dramatically lesser offense (so much so that it's handled by civil law rather than criminal law). Why? In physical theft, the victim of theft is permanently losing a physical good, whereas in copyright infringement someone is merely making an unauthorized copy. In the former, the loss is a quantifiable "I no longer have this", in the latter, the loss is a theoretical "It's possible I could have gained money if this didn't happen.[/b]


    The above applies even to the unfortunate case of shady douchebags selling ill gotten keys - when talking about the end user. As in, talking specifically about the people who received the keys, and not the steps that occured earlier in the process. UWE does not reclaim stolen property by deactivating the keys. They do not regain products they would have had to rebuy at a loss if they weren't "recovered" in such a fashion. It's not as if the 1,300+ people had stolen bicycles which could all be reclaimed and resold. So what's the point of this?

    The final step of deactivating keys harms innocent people for no particular gain. Which has always been the main point I've been hammering in this thread.

    (P.S. The idea of, "We had to deactivate the keys to deter future criminals!" is pretty silly. Terrible and shady operations like the one described in the OP are based around smash and grab. Expecting potential bans of their product is already baked into their business plan.)
    Savagery
  • kingkrabbe.#bofkingkrabbe.#bof Members Join Date: 2012-10-21 Member: 162892Posts: 87
    Chris0132 wrote: »
    The logic and reasoning behind most theft legislation and the actions you take when you are the victim of theft simply do not make sense when applied to software, because the only thing you 'own' is the intellectual property, you don't own any actual things and you're selling information, which by its very nature can be copied indefinitely and near-instantly. You aren't trying to keep control of a finite resource, you're trying to control the propagation of information you created, which is a very different thing.

    I get your point but why should the fishy key seller make profit while UWE is charged with a fee? We don't talk about piracy here, we talk about profit on one side (key seller) and loss on the other. It's just the same with Kim Dot Com: he makes money while the producing economy makes losses. And he doesn't even get his hands dirty. The dumb ones are always the people on the receiving ends which are UWE and the people with non working cd keys. Which doesn't mean that UWE should give them free copies. It only means: both sides have lost. It doesn't get better when one side takes all the losses. The only reasonable way would be to sue the key seller or middle man from both sides. What wouldn't work, because that's the internet.

    In the long run, I think piracy is crippling the major gaming economy because the only real answer to piracy right now are microtransactions, paid DLC and F2P/Pay2Win games. The companys that produce information should get paid for it. We could argue about the pricing of these informations, but that basic rule just stands there: you make something, you should be able to get a reward.

    BTW pirating a indie game like NS2 is straightout robbery in my books.
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