Just to get this straight, you are promoting bots/cheats on your site site? all we need is a yes or no answer and that will make the answer to this very easy, it is simple as that...
I'm not really sure about the legality of cheats/bots, but I do know, if I ran a site I wouldn't remove anything until I actually heard from their legal team. Community management in MMORPGS is another word for lackey.....
Well, no, it's not "as simple as that".
What we do need is more information about exactly what is going on in order to be able to answer the question correctly.
That being said, is it worth it to you (The OP) to keep this site with the possibility of having a headache of some size associated with a "cheat" site of sorts? Is the income you are earning enough to pay for any potential problems?.
(And last - is the game owned by Blizzard? ).
I don't give any advice in this specific circumstance, but the information above about weighing your options should be taken into your own decision making matrix.
Best to you,.
Does bots/cheats violate the TOS of COMPANY NAME? (we all know the answer is yes). So they may be well within their rights to enforce marks with any means possible. I do know that MMORPS are starting to crack down on activity that is outside the scope to which the game was intended...
Oh DNQ...what does TOS of a company name have to do with anything. The person owning the site doesn't have to agree to their TOS..and even if he has an account the TOS only allows them to cancel his game account.
Also he is just LINKING to a bot/cheat site. One has to wonder how their TOS is worded on that regard. Legally speaking I don't believe he is breaking any laws. However this may not prevent them from going after you for damages and forcing you to hire lawyers.
You either call their bluff...and hope they are bluffing. Or you do as they ask and enjoy life.
Btw...cheaters and hackers are freaking SCUM...consider that too...
I wasnt making any money off of the site. It was purely for building a list of people who like/play RuneScape. I would then use that to start up a forum.
I took the site down even though I don't believe there was any law breaking...
If the files are not on your site, it is legal. End of story, if you provide the files that is a different thing.
Think about this as Torrent. It is legal because the files are not on there computers, if it was.. Well than everyone we know would be down or atleast most.
If you hear from a legal team and if you are under the age of 18-21 delete the files and say sorry. If you are above the age of 18 or 21 than fight it as you would probably win. Plus sadly legal stuff is very good advertising. Look at ThePirateBay, lost there site and went to court, in 24 hours it was al over the internet. They came back online to find there user base almost tripled.
I agree with you Labrocca about the TOS, but unlike single player games, cheating at MMORPG has an effect on everyone involved. Therefore, claiming damages doesn't seem unreasonable. How they'd prove those damages were caused by his links or set a monetary value for the damages seems completely impossible though. But, like you said, it'd still be a hassle if they decided to pursue it further, and apparently the OP didn't want to risk that hassle.
I don't think it's a clear cut situation though, because I've been unable to find any law or previous rulings involving cheat sites... Usually they are widely accepted in the gaming industry, but I can see where MMORPGs would want to protect against cheats. Personally I don't see where any laws would be broken either. Just because a program could be used to violate the TOS of a game company, doesn't necessarily make it illegal.....
You are 100% correct. They can make claims, but they cannot prove that it has an effect on there community. The fact there community has bots is there fault and they should be working to disallow them insted of getting there lawyers to send out "false accusations". There is no real TOS "Terms of Service" for a game company. There are legal documents they can have to stop piracy but other than that. You are free to play the game as you wish (keeping in the rules of America (No porn for underage, child porn, etc, etc).
Thanks for all the feedback. So I guess I technically wasn't breaking any laws.
One more question, say the owner of the site was out of the US. Would COMPANY NAME still go to court (and no it's not Blizzard - you dont want to mess with Blizzard)?.
The country is European...