Greetings,

As many of you may be aware, CCP made some changes to the Terms of Service (ToS) last week. The purpose of the ToS update was not to change anything in regards to policy or how we handle cases involving impersonation. The purpose of the update was to pull bits of existing policy into a prominent place where everyone would be able to see it, rather than requiring players to dig through EULA and Naming Policy to fully understand all the rules regarding impersonation.

Our goal in this blog is to clarify with our players some of the history and thought behind how CCP has handled Impersonation in the past, and how we intend to handle it as we move into the future.

First, a history of Impersonation of other players and the EULA:

CCP archives show that this Impersonation clause in the EULA was slightly different at the very beginning of EVE Online’s history. For roughly a year (May 6th, 2003 – April 13th, 2004) it looked like this:

"No player may use the player name of another player to impersonate or falsely represent his or her identity."

The clause was then updated, and an archived version of the EULA from June 29th, 2004 shows the current version:

"No player may use the character name of another player to impersonate or falsely represent his or her identity."

This clause has remained unchanged since 2004, and Customer Support has always interpreted it as prohibiting impersonating of another player by using their character name, be it by imitation of name through spelling trickery or claiming to be alt of that player, as stated in this forum post back in 2008 for example:

“Posted – 2008.08.13 23:17:00 – [65]

To provide some clarification – impersonating another player, be it by creating a character with a similar character name as someone else or simply claiming you are the alt of someone (such as the 'I'm your CEO's alt' scam as described by F'nog), is not allowed.

Regards,

GM Krymus

It has come to our attention that many of our players, while aware of rules regarding similar naming, were not aware of CCP’s policy regarding false claims of identity, but we will get to that a bit later in the blog.

Second, a brief history of the Naming Policy:

By checking out web archives of the CCP Naming Policy one can find the following:

On December 11th, 2003 the "EVE ONLINE USER AND CHARACTER NAME POLICY", as it was known back then, stated:

b. Character names may not:

* Impersonate or parody any employee or representative of EVE Online, CCP, Siminn, Customer Support personnel or volunteers.

* Impersonate or parody an NPC type from the EVE game world (i.e. CONCORD or other official NPC corporation or organization members) for the purpose of misleading other players.

c. Player-run corporations, factions, organizations and player-owned items within the EVE Online game world are also subject to these rules and policies. Players may not create, promote or be a member of a group that violates the policies outlined herein. Membership or participation in such a group may result in character deletion, temporary suspension or termination of a subscriber’s account.

On June 10th, 2013 we made a few updates to the policy, the name of it was changed to "EVE Online Naming Policy" and we updated the policy to clarify that it included other names than character names. For this purpose the following parts were added/clarified:

b. In- game names may not:

* In-game names include, but are not limited to: Character names, corporation names, alliance names and any other player-nameable item or entity within the game world.

c. No player may use the character name of another player to falsely represent his or her identity. Player created corporation and alliance names also fall under this policy, as do names of any other in-game entities.

These changes did not elicit any concern from players at the time. As such we did not expect the ToS update to do so either, since it was simply made to get all the above bits and pieces of policy regarding impersonation into one place where everyone could see it.

The Recent Past.

We understand that many of you were upset with the changes to the ToS. We believe that this is largely due to a misunderstanding regarding how Customer Support has enforced its policies in the past—hence the above “intro”.

In the past many players interpreted the EULA and Naming Policy to mean that one could not imitate a player or group’s name through UI or spelling tricks (e.g. – Capital i instead of lowercase L, “Chriba” instead of “Chribba”). Many (including both scammers and their victims) did not realize that it was also against the policy to falsely state your identity by using another Player’s, Corporation’s, Alliance’s, or other in game entity’s name. This could clearly have been made, well, more clear.

The Path Ahead.

After hearing the feedback and concerns of our players, we have decided to take a deeper look at what we should and should not be enforcing. Customer Support will be working with the Game Design Department and the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) to sort this whole thing out. However, given the consistent, long standing nature of these policies, it is also possible these groups will conclude no further change is required.   As with any binding document like the ToS, making changes can sometimes take some time, and we appreciate your patience as we look into the matter. In the meantime, we encourage all those with constructive input or feedback on the matter to talk to your CSM here.

We at CCP are committed to making New Eden the best and most immersive “sandbox” universe in all of video games. As universal stewards we realize the players are the driving part behind its wonder, beauty and danger. We constantly discuss the “boundaries” of the sandbox in departments throughout  the company and appreciate that there are times when discussion should be focused on specific areas such as this.

[ Original Dev Blog ]

44 Comments

  1. nigger jim

    “Player-run corporations, factions, organizations and player-owned
    items within the EVE Online game world are also subject to these rules
    and policies. Players may not create, promote or be a member of a group
    that violates the policies outlined herein. Membership or participation
    in such a group may result in character deletion, temporary suspension
    or termination of a subscriber’s account.”
    you heard it here first. you cant be in goons, nulli, PL, BL, or any major alliance. in before massive ban wave.

    September 20, 2013 at 8:46 pm Reply
    1. Billbo

      As a result the character known as “Mintchip” as been permanently banned due to impersonating a CCP employee.

      September 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm Reply
      1. Kamar Raimo

        Hahahaha that’s a good one.

        September 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm Reply
  2. Goddamn

    Right it’s not up to the players what CCP enforce! Stop fucking crying like little babies grow some balls and get over it already. Jesus fucking Christ

    September 20, 2013 at 9:49 pm Reply
  3. Dirk MacGirk

    “In the meantime, we encourage all those with constructive input or feedback on the matter to talk to your CSM here.”
    Translation: Don’t call us, call your local CSM representative at 1-800-EAT-SHIT. That’s why we created that band of monkeys

    September 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm Reply
  4. The Observer

    Honestly, I think this whole thing is people turning mole hills into mountains. the TOS or EULA didn’t change, it just took an obscure rule in the contract and made it more known. People are whining and crying because scam by impersonation is the easiest way to scam people. Dumb scammers tears are fun. Smart scammers have yet to bitch about anything because they make the current EULA, TOS and game mechanics work for them. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few coups or scams didn’t happen because of the “change.”

    September 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm Reply
  5. GrouchyOldGamer

    That’s an awful lot of bullshit. CCP have known scamming has been taking place for year. It was even brought up that a previous CSM Chairman would occasionally benefit from unfortunate misunderstandings. To pretend that it’s just slipped through the net over the last few years is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

    September 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm Reply
    1. Gort

      CCP Soundwave said during Alliance Tourney XI that he made all his ISK from scamming because he was no good at anything else – so yes the bullshit is strong with this one and it all started about the day after the left. It’s will be on the videos somewhere if someone knows some YouTube-fu.

      September 20, 2013 at 11:45 pm Reply
      1. dino

        Those rules don’t prevents scamming… You don’t need to pretend to be Chribba to be a rogue escrow. You don’t need to pretend to be mittens to rent goons space.

        September 21, 2013 at 12:23 am Reply
      2. I just do not know

        Thank you for that, that explain so much, I am so glad that fucker has left, now perhaps we can get the hard game I want to play, not Scammers Hello Kitty on line.

        September 21, 2013 at 11:16 am Reply
  6. Seems Legit

    Back in 05 my Alliance at the time was living in this small low sec constellation, the space was oversaw by this corp who thought they were in charge of the place, mining rights, mission ratting etc. We soon set them right on who was in charge and who would be perma camped into the NPC Stations there.

    Needless to say I made a Character and Corp alt to mimic the CEO of that Corp and made a laughing stock out of him. He petitioned the character name and Corp name I was given an official warning on my account and the names of the character and Corp were changed by CCP.

    I see no difference than what happened to me in 05 that what is taking place here, CCP has not changed anything tbh. People were just twisting the knife to see how far they could get and they found out how far the line would be toed.

    September 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm Reply
    1. Devore

      Again, not what this change is about. The recent change is about banning claiming to be someone’s alt (even if you actually are, in fact, their alt) or claiming to represent “a group” of players when you do not. Leveraging another character’s good name and reputation, even if it is a character you own, is now explicitly not allowed when engaging in any activity that might be construed by the victim as scamming.

      You were warned under a naming policy that has always existed.

      September 21, 2013 at 12:58 am Reply
      1. Toxic

        You sir are wrong. It states you cannot “falsely” represent your identity. If you are actually the alt of the character, corp,entity.. then it is not a violation.

        September 21, 2013 at 5:13 am Reply
        1. Devore

          No, you cannot claim to be an alt of another character while committing a scam under any circumstances, even if the claim is true. A GM on EVE-O forums confirmed this exact scenario. CCP claims this is impersonation because the target has no way to know this is a true claim.

          You can downvote me all you like, does not change the facts.

          September 21, 2013 at 5:21 am Reply
          1. Toxic

            I would love to see that forum post your referring to. In this article they linked the forum post and quoted the GM response which states impersonating another “player” not “character”.

            i.e. straight from the current T.O.S.

            c. No player may use the character name of another player to falsely represent his or her identity.

            September 21, 2013 at 5:40 am
          2. Bubbret

            You don’t have a fucking clue what you are talking about. Maybe you should actually read the fucking thread before talking out of your god damn ass.

            https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3609952#post3609952

            tl;dr you just been served son.

            September 21, 2013 at 6:09 am
          3. Toxic

            You should follow your own advice. Post #1604 page 81 of that thread quote from CCP GM GRIMMI:

            “Telling others that you’re an alt of a character you own or telling them
            what other characters you own is not a EULA/TOS violation and will not
            get you banned.”

            What you tried to serve me just got sent back to the kitchen!

            September 21, 2013 at 8:13 am
          4. Bubbret

            You are a fucking idiot. The whole TOS says repeatedly that you will only be banned if you are impersonating for nefarious purposes. Simply stating you are your own alt does not matter. Saying you are your own alt and scamming someone will get you banned.

            It is all there in black and white stop being a FUCKWIT.

            September 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm
          5. Toxic

            just wow. Your reading comprehension skills need polishing.

            You state “that you will only be banned if you are impersonating for nefarious purposes”

            YOU CANNOT IMPERSONATE YOURSELF

            as said by GM GRIMMI in his post

            https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3634140#post3634140

            September 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm
          6. Bubbret

            It’s called a policy changed. They ‘cleared it up’ after they were ripped a new asshole by the player base. The previous 80 pages were all confirming impersonating yourself was bannable.

            The irony of someone who never read the entire thread claiming i have no reading comprehension. AHAHAHAH……..

            September 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm
          7. Toxic

            You cannot impersonate yourself. No policy change was made from the first page to the last. The majority of players complaining about it failed to realize the difference between references made to “player” or “character”.

            September 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm
  7. Herpa Derp

    Fuck Eve and Fuck CCP

    September 21, 2013 at 2:03 am Reply
    1. IWuzThere

      You took the time to post here, so it’s more like FUCK YOU.

      September 21, 2013 at 4:19 am Reply
      1. Herpa Derp

        No thanks if your as bad as your mother no thanks.

        September 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm Reply
  8. Ozamis

    “We need to make the ToS more clear due to an increasing amount of gullible idiots who don’t know how to vet people that join their corp. Also, these idiots buy into our marketing and are very important to us due to our improved profit margins, and updating the ToS gives us more flexibility to punish the player base who actually know how to play.”

    September 21, 2013 at 2:50 am Reply
    1. ccp is not amused

      Well. A “Scam” (If you want to call it that) took place where a user simply created a corporation name similar to somer blinks deposit corp, and began receiving isk meant for deposits into the corporate account. The impostor corporation was generating 200+ mil/day before ccp intervened and reversed all of the deposit transactions into the impostor corporate account.

      September 21, 2013 at 9:02 am Reply
  9. Duh

    GIANT GOD-LIKE HAND OF PUNISHMENT PLEASE LEAVE THE SANDBOX

    September 21, 2013 at 7:50 am Reply
  10. a guy

    guys i know this game for long time but didnt played for so much but i know that eve its a hard game thats why all joined if i would go for WOW or others fucking think.scammers are part of the eve sandbox.and for not saying if u get scammed u learn by the hard way but u learn.i m ganna say this little babies can go cry in other game and if u dont like it leave.its simple like always -.-

    September 21, 2013 at 9:02 am Reply
    1. I just do not know

      Eve is baiscally Hello Kitty on line for scammers, you have it so easy its laughable, you are the cry baby because people are starting to see whatthe issue is, hopefully CCP will move on it and you will cry like the baby you are.
      Then we will play Eve as its meant to be, hard, instead of easy mode, oh I need ISK lets go and steal what I need on account x, lol, you would not know hard if it came and kicked you up the ass!

      September 21, 2013 at 11:14 am Reply
      1. Ammzi

        shut the fuck up bitch titties and run back to mamma

        September 21, 2013 at 11:44 am Reply
        1. I just do not know

          That must have taken you an hour to think up, and you still couldn’t make a sentence out of it, lol

          September 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm Reply
          1. Ammzi

            lol

            September 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm
          2. yeah you dont know

            LISTEN UP CAREBEAR, you dont like being scammed boohoo the scams are laughably simple to see through 99% of the time how much easier do you want it??? you that lazy?

            September 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm
          3. I just do not know

            You really have no idea of the issue and the impact of it, scams in game are ok by me, however you have to look at the game structure and how that is used to make it impossible to see through, and I am talking about the use of another account to get into other corps/alliances and then destroy them from within. Blow up my ships in glorious pixel combat, but steal all my ships and ISK and what do I do then?

            September 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm
          4. Eric loto

            Uh not give director roles?
            Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?

            It isn’t like you are some granny getting mugged, do research, don’t give roles without trust. If you get burnt trust people even less.

            September 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm
  11. I just do not know

    Fuck me, all the noise, the ease of scamming in Eve is down to one simple thing the inability to link accounts and check it in game, unless that changes you are all pissing in the wind

    September 21, 2013 at 10:49 am Reply
  12. Dirk MacGirk

    The issue related to impersonation is not about the person who was scammed. It is about the damage caused to the third party being impersonated, who was unaware they were even being implicated. I understand CCP attempting to protect the innocent bystander. But should the scam victim be compensated for their loss? They just got scammed like any other scam victim. They shouldn’t get their shit back. The impersonator shouldn’t get to keep it, but that doesn’t mean the scam victim should be made whole either. They obviously didn’t do their proper due diligence.

    September 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm Reply
  13. Nothing to see here

    Dear players, it took us this long to go back and edit all the previous forum posts to present you with something we feel is consistent and will pull the wool over your eye.

    Now please go back to sleep and under no circumstances use Eve Search to demonstrate our inconsistencies!

    September 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm Reply
    1. tim
      September 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm Reply
    2. Sidara Davidson

      We all thank you for your hard evidence that you brought to this comment, so that we may see that you base these allegations on facts and not pulling it up from some unlit places.

      September 24, 2013 at 9:08 am Reply
  14. laserzpewpew

    who was banned?

    September 22, 2013 at 1:32 am Reply
    1. ccp is not amused

      I’ve been banned for impersonating a corporation back in 2012. The
      funny thing was that my corporations name was a variation of “Eve
      Corporation 325436542654″ and the only thing I truly copied was the
      corporations description font, and font size, all wording was different,
      and the text (if read) actually explained that it was a scam. I still
      got banned, although there is much more to that story (that has nothing
      to do with EVE or CCP) that ccp felt it necessary to push for a ban on
      my accounts.

      September 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm Reply
  15. To Reimburse or Not...

    It should come down to whether the player was scammed as a result of crappy mechanics or something CCP did — in which case they should be reimbursed — OR whether it was a clever ruse thought up by an ingenuitive scammer that doesn’t rely on some sort of mechanical exploit — in which case they need to HTFU or go play a cartoon game for babies.

    September 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm Reply
  16. Sidara Davidson

    So here is an idea that needs polishing, but why not post it and let the flame war do the polishing task:
    What if you don’t ban the scammers, but instead, you make their char, and I mean, all of them, past, present and future, fair game for everyone.
    Meaning, no CONCORD would stop you from shooting them in high-sec, in fact, you will be given some ISK for doing so (to be debated). This way, you don’t ban them, you let the sand box decide if people wanna punish them and how.

    I know, really half-baked, but maybe worth considering and improving upon.

    September 24, 2013 at 9:55 am Reply

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