Trying to set prices on sweating, flights, etc is illegal.

Thantos

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Before we have 10 billion posts talking about the decline in sweat prices and how people need to band together and set a price, I though I would share this with the community.

It is illegal to try to set the price on items with competitors. You cannot conspire to do it either. It is against the law in many countries. Here is a very easy read on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

I thought of this about a year ago, due to a class I had to take on anti-trust laws. I thought I would bring it up today in response to a whining sweat thread that was started. We use real money in this game, so this is very applicable to pilots, sweaters, or anyone else who wants to try to set prices on items or services ingame.

What do you think? :ahh:
 

jonvalle0226

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ummm....thats only true with companies, not individuals. When companies band together like that its a trust, but when individuals do it its a union...which are totally legal :). + this is just a game
 

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Before we have 10 billion posts talking about the decline in sweat prices and how people need to band together and set a price, I though I would share this with the community.

It is illegal to try to set the price on items with competitors. You cannot conspire to do it either. It is against the law in many countries. Here is a very easy read on the subject:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

I thought of this about a year ago, due to a class I had to take on anti-trust laws. I thought I would bring it up today in response to a whining sweat thread that was started. We use real money in this game, so this is very applicable to pilots, sweaters, or anyone else who wants to try to set prices on items or services ingame.

What do you think? :ahh:
There is no law ingame that sets any price for anything.

There is no law ingame to stop people setting prices together

There is no law for competitors

There is no law for monopolies

There are no laws ingame for trading/selling market manipulations in any way

You cannot compare rl with ingame in this regard

The only thing you can say.....are things like

It is immorale etc

Rgds

Ace


DOH - miss read sorry, ignore everything i wrote :)
 

Thantos

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ummm....thats only true with companies, not individuals. When companies band together like that its a trust, but when individuals do it its a union...which are totally legal :). + this is just a game
I'm going to have to disagree with that. In the training I received, and the documents I've read, it talks about individuals agreeing to set prices. The "this is just a game" arguement doesn't cut it either, since we are buying a selling things for real money.
 

Thantos

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I think that this law do not applies in a virtual universe.
Not yet anyway.
Stocks are virtual items and are covered by antitrust laws, so I think it may apply. There are many virtual items that are regulated and/or protected by law.
 

Bernz

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Stocks are virtual items and are covered by antitrust laws, so I think it may apply. There are many virtual items that are regulated and/or protected by law.
Maybe. I dont know about things you talk about.
But for virtual sweat bottles and virtual flights with virtual spaceship and virtual pilots ect, ect....

Not yet I say.

edit: Not yet "I think, I hope".
 

Ace Flyster

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Stocks are virtual items and are covered by antitrust laws, so I think it may apply. There are many virtual items that are regulated and/or protected by law.
But everything in game is given out by MA. Therefore only MA can set trading laws (goverment laws have no say so, as they have no influence on the economy)...and i cannot forsee that ever happening. Monopolies would be a given, as for example only Auk has the bp on Evil amps. How can you make that fair???

Rgds

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I'm going to have to disagree with that. In the training I received, and the documents I've read, it talks about individuals agreeing to set prices. The "this is just a game" arguement doesn't cut it either, since we are buying a selling things for real money.
This may be a stretch, but I would argue that the only thing we are buying with real money is PED. Everything else is traded with PED with the potential to convert PED back into RL money upon withdraw.
 

Thantos

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But everything in game is given out by MA. Therefore only MA can set trading laws (goverment laws have no say so, as they have no influence on the economy)...and i cannot forsee that ever happening. Monopolies would be a given, as for example only Auk has the bp on Evil amps. How can you make that fair???

Rgds

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Wow!! I'm playing the wrong game. MA didn't give me my gun, my armor, my fap, my ammo, my bombs. I had to deposit real money and spend that real money to buy these things. When I buy sweat, I buy it with a currency that is used in a "real cash economy." Can you please give me some guns and ammo that MA gave you for free? :silly2:
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with that. In the training I received, and the documents I've read, it talks about individuals agreeing to set prices. The "this is just a game" arguement doesn't cut it either, since we are buying a selling things for real money.
Price fixing in the real world in some situations is against the law.. hence the bringing about of the "recomended retail price" ?

this game is not bound by any "RRP".

WE set the prices above TT value.. price fixing on many items in this game has gone on since the beggining and thb imho in most cases it's a good thing as it retains a necassary devide amongst players and a balance of supply and demand (even if it's sometimes erratic).... but sadly in some cases it's breeds EXCESSIVE profiteering and gross reselling, but that's just part of having a "game" with a real cash economy ;)
 

Ace Flyster

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Wow!! I'm playing the wrong game. MA didn't give me my gun, my armor, my fap, my ammo, my bombs. I had to deposit real money and spend that real money to buy these things. When I buy sweat, I buy it with a currency that is used in a "real cash economy." Can you please give me some guns and ammo that MA gave you for free? :silly2:
A strange way of looking at it....think of it this way then

You exhange rl money for peds....peds are regulated by MA, hence what i said before

Just the same as me exhanging pounds for kronas and going to sweden and spending those kronas. UK pound is no longer relevant and they hold no laws over trading in kronas in sweden

Rgds

Ace

PS Of course MA supply everything in game...you just buy them with MA's currency...that is all. Not sure what you are getting at by saying everything is free???
 

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I think the problem is that it is almopst impossible to get several thousand people to agree to "fix" the price, particularly as the prospective buyers can always get their own sweat. To be able to "fix" prices you need to have a very low number of sellers and a product which people MUST buy. Sweat is not in this category.
 

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welcome to the wild wild west of a virtual economy. An economy where your reputation make deals kosher or not. Here you cannot hide behind the law. What you see is what you get and all deals are final. Every agreement about prices is always necessarily done by subjects, if it is for sweating, for flying and its the same case when you use your 50k ped on card to raise/lower the MU of Narcanisum for just 5% too.

If there is no individually done agreement over prices there is no deal :)
 

Thantos

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I think the problem is that it is almopst impossible to get several thousand people to agree to "fix" the price, particularly as the prospective buyers can always get their own sweat. To be able to "fix" prices you need to have a very low number of sellers and a product which people MUST buy. Sweat is not in this category.
OK, I was trying to be lazy and get you guys to read the link I supplied, but I guess I will have to expound more.

You don't need several thousand people. You need two or more. Then, the least you need to break the law is a conspiracy. Conspiracy is two or more people, talking about doing something illegal (in this case, price fixing), and then one of them doing an act in furtherance. So, an example would be, Thantos and Ace discuss how unfair the sweat prices are. Thantos suggests that they only sell their sweat for 1 pec per bottle. Ace says, OK, let's go get some sweat and do that. Thantos goes sweating now and neither of them do anything else. They are now both guilty of conspiracy to commit price fixing.

The second part about having a low number of sellers with a product that people must buy sounds more like a monopoly, but it does not apply to price fixing.

Good discussion so far everyone.
 

P-J

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Interesting thread.

How about the argument that you are accesssing servers held outside the US and interacting in a trading environment which is managed by a company registered under Swedish Law, therefore, quoting US law is rather pointless?

:D
 

Thantos

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Interesting thread.

How about the argument that you are accesssing servers held outside the US and interacting in a trading environment which is managed by a company registered under Swedish Law, therefore, quoting US law is rather pointless?

:D
The violation can be prosecuted anywhere it occurred. I am in the US committing the crime, you are in Africa (just throwing out a place). We can be prosecuted in either place. The crime isn't taking place on the server as far as jurisdiction is concerned. It's taking place where I am committing it. Which, is at my keyboard in the US.
 

Hellraizer

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The violation can be prosecuted anywhere it occurred. I am in the US committing the crime, you are in Africa (just throwing out a place). We can be prosecuted in either place. The crime isn't taking place on the server as far as jurisdiction is concerned. It's taking place where I am committing it. Which, is at my keyboard in the US.
that's it! self confessed criminal!..Arrest this man ! hehe :p
 

Thorn

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But it happens and is widespread in the real world and in game. As wonderful as people are it`s another reason why people often suck as well.
 

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The violation can be prosecuted anywhere it occurred. I am in the US committing the crime, you are in Africa (just throwing out a place). We can be prosecuted in either place. The crime isn't taking place on the server as far as jurisdiction is concerned. It's taking place where I am committing it. Which, is at my keyboard in the US.
Erm... Gary McKinnon was at his keyboard in the UK when hacking, but is still being extradited to the US. Just because what you are saying makes logical sense, doesn't mean it makes legal sense...
 

Zingking

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Ok so guys its simple, if everyone chooses to set a price its up to them, and the only true way it can be inforced is if no one does business with those who dont go by that price, you cant be a rule, but make it more like a community standard
 

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Thantos: I see what you are saying and I agree that price fixing is wrong in the morality of a free market economy.

However, there are several flaws in your claim that fixing the price of sweat is illegal.

Firstly a basic principal of EU is that all items in game belong to MA (via belonging to their wholy owned subsiduary FPC) including all peds and bottles of sweat - when we trade these items we are not actually trading anything as the items ped and sweat never change ownership, the items remain the property of MA/FPC.

There is however a nonbinding understanding between us the players and MA/FPC that when we wish we can request that they give us an amount of money equivalent to $1 per 10ped in our account. The fact that we trust that MA/FPC will honour this understanding produces the illusion that we are actually trading items with value in EU.

Secondly as much as the US would dearly love to police the world with their laws and ethics I do believe there is a clause in EULA stipulating that all legal recourse will be through the Swedish courts. I do not know what the stand on price fixing is in Sweden but I would not assume that it is necessarily identical to in the US.

Thirdly ther is a principal that states a law is only a law when it is adhered to and enforced. Are the anti-trust regulations in the US enforced at the level of fraction of a cent transactions? I seem to remember a case in point of dairy farmers pouring good milk away to shorten supply so to increase market price not so long ago, and I'm sure there are many other examples of petty market manipulations going on right now.

That all said I would point out that price fixing in a truly free market is basicly impossible, which is one reason why states that try to suppress free market trade inevitably end up with massive draconian secret police systems to suppress the natural free market behaviour of human beings. The only way in which price fixing is viable is if the free market is somehow restricted by propriatary laws or artificial market dominance such that the product can only be produced or marketed by a limited group of individuals or companies. Sweat is free from such false restrictions so is a perfect free market commodity, able to be produced, bought or sold by anyone thus it is naturally immune to price fixing.
 

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There is no way to fix the price of sweat when everybody can gather it themselves. Period.

Now if you want to talk about monopoly issues in EU then you have a little more of a conversation.
 

Thantos

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Erm... Gary McKinnon was at his keyboard in the UK when hacking, but is still being extradited to the US. Just because what you are saying makes logical sense, doesn't mean it makes legal sense...
In my example, there were two people perpetrating the crime in two different countries. In your example, you gave us half of the information. Gary McKinnon was accused of stealing/destroying data that resided on computers in the US. The country where he was "sitting" doesn't care. The country (the other entity involved) where the computers were stolen from were in the US. They did care. Thus he was extradited to the US. :scratch2:
 

Thantos

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Thantos: I see what you are saying and I agree that price fixing is wrong in the morality of a free market economy.

However, there are several flaws in your claim that fixing the price of sweat is illegal.

Firstly a basic principal of EU is that all items in game belong to MA (via belonging to their wholy owned subsiduary FPC) including all peds and bottles of sweat - when we trade these items we are not actually trading anything as the items ped and sweat never change ownership, the items remain the property of MA/FPC.
So, how have people been able to get the police involved when things were stolen or scammed from them? Since it all belongs to MA, only MA would be able to report the loss. It's that way in the US anyways, and I know people in the US have had cases investigated involving theft/scams on EU.

There is however a nonbinding understanding between us the players and MA/FPC that when we wish we can request that they give us an amount of money equivalent to $1 per 10ped in our account. The fact that we trust that MA/FPC will honour this understanding produces the illusion that we are actually trading items with value in EU.
So your items have no value? We are only pretending to spend real money in this game? Remember, MA says this is a Real Cash Economy. You say it's a Pretend Cash Economy?


Secondly as much as the US would dearly love to police the world with their laws and ethics I do believe there is a clause in EULA stipulating that all legal recourse will be through the Swedish courts. I do not know what the stand on price fixing is in Sweden but I would not assume that it is necessarily identical to in the US.
The EULA is a legal device that "can" protect MA, but doesn't necesarrily "always" protect MA. My wife is a malpractice insurance underwriter. Have you ever signed a document somewhere when you were doing something, and the document said you would hold the owner "harmless"? She sees people with the signed documents get sued all the time and they lose sometimes. So, even though these people signed a EULA, it still didn't protect the "owner" everytime. Also, this isn't just US law. I'm going to assume you didn't read the link that I provided, which shows the similar laws in other countries also. I only speak mainly of the US because I am very familiar with their legal system.

Thirdly ther is a principal that states a law is only a law when it is adhered to and enforced. Are the anti-trust regulations in the US enforced at the level of fraction of a cent transactions? I seem to remember a case in point of dairy farmers pouring good milk away to shorten supply so to increase market price not so long ago, and I'm sure there are many other examples of petty market manipulations going on right now.
You are partially correct here. A law is only a law when it is enforced. Not, a law is only a law when it is adhered too. I used to arrest people all the time for not adhering to the law. :eek: In my original post, I stated that no one would probably enforce this law due to the amount of money involved. But, it is still illegal and once the government decides to go after you they will use anything they can to get you. That is why in the early 1900's the gangsters were being arrested for tax evasion. Because they couldn't get them on their other crimes.

That all said I would point out that price fixing in a truly free market is basicly impossible, which is one reason why states that try to suppress free market trade inevitably end up with massive draconian secret police systems to suppress the natural free market behaviour of human beings. The only way in which price fixing is viable is if the free market is somehow restricted by propriatary laws or artificial market dominance such that the product can only be produced or marketed by a limited group of individuals or companies. Sweat is free from such false restrictions so is a perfect free market commodity, able to be produced, bought or sold by anyone thus it is naturally immune to price fixing.
This doesn't even make sense. How is it free from these restrictions? :scratch2:
 

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The violation can be prosecuted anywhere it occurred. I am in the US committing the crime, you are in Africa (just throwing out a place). We can be prosecuted in either place. The crime isn't taking place on the server as far as jurisdiction is concerned. It's taking place where I am committing it. Which, is at my keyboard in the US.
Hmm... I don't think you are correct...it sounds convincing, however, is rather difficult (impossible) to enforce.

PJ returns to google scholar :)
 

Thantos

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Hmm... I don't think you are correct...it sounds convincing, however, is rather difficult (impossible) to enforce.

PJ returns to google scholar :)
When I used to investigate computer crimes, as a police officer, it was correct. ;)
 

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So, how have people been able to get the police involved when things were stolen or scammed from them? Since it all belongs to MA, only MA would be able to report the loss. It's that way in the US anyways, and I know people in the US have had cases investigated involving theft/scams on EU.
Good point. Two possible thoughts; these investigations happened and caused a change or clarification in the EULA making ownership of virtual items MA or investigations were initiated but petered out when the details of the arrangement with MA were discovered.

Additional possibility is I'm imagining things... evidently the current ToU doesn't have any statement about MA's ownership of items. I was sure it included that clause the last time I read it though... anyone got an old copy of the VU9.x EULA anywhere to check I'm not just pulling this out of my arse?


So your items have no value? We are only pretending to spend real money in this game? Remember, MA says this is a Real Cash Economy. You say it's a Pretend Cash Economy?
Here I think yes.

It is all to do with trust just like paying for things with a bank note (British notes actually still say "I promice to pay the bearer on demand the sum of x pounds") the usefulness of the bank note as a currency depends on the trust that the bank will, if asked, give you the declared value of the note, presumably in gold as that is the reserve backing up the western currencies. Without that belief and trust among all concerned the bank note is just a piece of paper.

Same with in game items they really have no intrinsic value (afterall they are just icons representing an entry in some database somewhere) the ped and the sweat and the items are just counters we use trusting that MA will honour the agreement to trade them back to us for the real world money.

The EULA is a legal device that "can" protect MA, but doesn't necesarrily "always" protect MA. My wife is a malpractice insurance underwriter. Have you ever signed a document somewhere when you were doing something, and the document said you would hold the owner "harmless"? She sees people with the signed documents get sued all the time and they lose sometimes. So, even though these people signed a EULA, it still didn't protect the "owner" everytime. Also, this isn't just US law. I'm going to assume you didn't read the link that I provided, which shows the similar laws in other countries also. I only speak mainly of the US because I am very familiar with their legal system.
Agreed, the ToU or EULA is actually probably as leeky as hell as a legal tool. I mean clicking a button isn't the same as signing a document in front of witnesses.

No as it has gone midnight I didn't read the link provided, lazy I know, but thought it would be fun to pitch in to the discussion based on your presumably accurate precies of it.

You are partially correct here. A law is only a law when it is enforced. Not, a law is only a law when it is adhered too. I used to arrest people all the time for not adhering to the law. :eek:
Meh... hard argument to have as I'm not totally happy with the statement that a law is only a law if it is adhered to (by the population at large rather than by all memebrs of the population) there is some argument about laws reflecting the views of society so laws that are so out of whack with general consensus are not actual laws of the society but something else imposed by the state. Which is when it becomes ok to ignore the law (civil disobediance) and tumb your nose at the state for not reflecting the society it is meant to serve.

In my original post, I stated that no one would probably enforce this law due to the amount of money involved. But, it is still illegal and once the government decides to go after you they will use anything they can to get you. That is why in the early 1900's the gangsters were being arrested for tax evasion. Because they couldn't get them on their other crimes.
A law is only a law when it is enforced.
Fortunately in our societies we are (in most cases) tried in front of a jury of our peers who happily dole out judgements on a wider rational basis than just the letter of the laws of the land all overseen by an independent (almost) judiciary who often like to make a name for themselves by poopooing the silly trivial cases brought in front of them.

In the case of the mobsters, society, through the jury, convicted and put away someone who they wished to get put away. They didn't care that it was tax evasion they were done for, a bad man was being brought to trial. If a simpathetic granny had evaded taxes so she could afford to heat her home do you really thing the judge and jury would have sent her to prison?

This doesn't even make sense. How is it free from these restrictions? :scratch2:
Sweat can be collected by any player. They will only pay for it if the value they place on the ped cost is less than the value they place on the time it would take to collect it themselves.

No one owns the rights to sweat gathering or can prevent others from gathering sweat. No one or two organisation can have a manopoly on the sweat gathering because there is no need for infrastructure to gather or market the sweat. The nieve ideas of sweat cartels some new players have immediately falls down due to human nature predisposing us to operating a free market.

Just to point out though... we do agree that a) no one should try to fix the sweat price artificially and b) even if they did (not that I think they could) no criminal action would be taken against them and so c) as a law is only a law if it is enforced they are not actually commiting a punishable offence.

Nice discussion though ;)

Edit: just read the article... did you read the last section about price fixing in the rest of the world? (although I admit Sweden does look like it has laws against price fixing as part of the EU so according to the ToU (which is impotant anyway) price fixing in EU is against the law... modulo the argument about the enforcement of that law)
 
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Bernz

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In the case of the mobsters, society, through the jury, convicted and put away someone who they wished to get put away. They didn't care that it was tax evasion they were done for, a bad man was being brought to trial.
Off topic but....

Deep inside of me, I dont see it like that but I dont want to talk about it using a language I do not control very well. Anyway, my point of view is too much politic to talk about it here.
 

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This may be a stretch, but I would argue that the only thing we are buying with real money is PED. Everything else is traded with PED with the potential to convert PED back into RL money upon withdraw.
Correct answer.

EU is not that other world we know, no matter how much you think it should be.
 
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