73 Comments

  1. AC

    The tenses change all the time in this letter as it moves from first person to third person and then back to first person. It is as if elements of it have been written for Eric Lam to include. Perhaps this is why he runs himself down and praises Evony so highly in places. When you join the dots and read the document carefully it can convey a different story. The internet is a big place and some people place lures to obtain IP addresses. Given the apparent situation in China, I would advise people not to open the link provided, because your IP address can be identified if you do. This could be particularly problematic should any Chinese person associated with David Guo visit it because it may not be what it seems. All Civony and Evony links posted through email, including the old customers service link, implant tracking cookies into your computer. So I would advise care here until the situation can be substantiated.

    The email claims that the Canadian Consulate General was directly approached by phone and also gives specific reference to 911. For reasons of ensuring the personal safety of Eric Lam and anyone associated with UMGE, it might be appropriate to refer this matter directly to Ms. Doreen Steidle, Canadian Consulate General out of concern just to ensure the call was made http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/hong_kong/offices-bureaux/consul.aspx?lang=eng.

    The reason why this may be important is that many bodies, including Crown bodies, can be subjected to the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. As the Royal Courts of Justice permitted the case to proceed with no apparent regards to the safety of the witnesses involved they could be deemed responsible for the consequences of the people and families that have knowingly been placed at risk of harm by violating their privacy as potential witnesses to the civil case being heard in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia. As Bruce Everiss is the only person who is aware of what these terms are, and he does not need to state them, this may be appropriate if names of individuals were given.

    The Ministry of Justice offers a simple explanation of this recent law here http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/manslaughteractguidance.htm. Any body that is reminded of their obligations in this area tend to take a very active interest in complying with these legal requirements, for obvious reasons. Namely they do not wish to be associated with potential manslaughter.

    Bruce Everiss correctly argued that the material that he held could place people at risk of harm. The number of employees engaged by UMGE has been listed as 300. Therefore it means that 300 families are now at potential risk of harm in China due to the actions of David Guo and possibly his legal representatives. Welcome to the British legal system.

    If anyone in China would like to express their concerns about the injunction sought on Bruce Everiss that could have exposed them to potential harm they can express their concerns to this body http://www.judicialcomplaints.gov.uk/, because the injunction on Bruce Everiss would have to been cleared through a judicial body. Do of course appreciate that Bruce Everiss did not wish this action to transpire; in this respect he cannot be held accountable for any action that transpires within China. David Guo can do what he likes to the people involved in Evony because his legal representative in Australia has placed material before the Supreme Court of New South Wales to claim they do not exist.

    There are many issues one can take up with Eric Lam’s letter in relationship to the libel claim against Bruce Everiss, but informed readers here will know what most of these are.

    What people within China may fail to understand is that the pursuit of justice should not involve harming any citizen. While many people are deeply concerned about the way Civony and Evony operates, do not confuse this with anger or hatred. Western gamers and people in the gaming industry will not back down from offering assistance to Bruce Everiss on the simple basis that he is quite correct in his claims.

    AC


  2. AC; choose your words more carefully; I have to comment on this statement of yours:

    “What people within China may fail to understand is that the pursuit of justice should not involve harming any citizen. ”

    AC; this is a wrong and to be completely honest, it is a a racist statement at worst, ethnocentric at best. To lump an entire country, in fact the LARGEST country in the world, China, into one group that does not understand how the pursuit of justice should work, is totally racist.

    China is a remarkable country with an incredible history and culture. Many brilliant, wonderful, good people live in China.

    We can disagree with many policies of the Government in China. I know I do. But to blanket a whole country as big as China with a statement like that is just wrong. I know there are good people even in the government there. China is a very different place than the West but I am sure the people in China have a deep appreciation of what justice is. I am sure they would like to see more of it.

    We can disagree the China government policies, critique the human rights situation there, we may even like the Dalai Lama, but I don’t want to be thought of as anti-China in any way just because I honestly believe Evony is a dishonest or disingenuous company.

    You can be against Evony and “China friendly” in my opinion.


  3. Can anyone (Legal Expert) help Bruces cause, and take up the fight pro bono ??
    Great Publicity !!

  4. Dave

    Evony have been trying to find the mysterious exUMGE employee and discover what he has fed Bruce for a long time. They probably suspect Eric Lam is this person given some of the photos previously published were taken by him. The police weren’t real that visit Lam. They were hired thugs. Why would a known security guard of Evony and a known driver for Evony employees be present for this? Wouldnt it be just the police? Idiots like bendy cannot comprehend this.


  5. @Dave

    In countries like China the police are available for hire. It costs a lot of money, but Evony earns $150,000+ a day.

  6. AC

    @ Steve A

    “What people within China may fail to understand is that the pursuit of justice should not involve harming any citizen.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgqbInNM-8k

    Try not to make the mistake of presuming that this particular sentence was written in the context you have claimed, namely in reference to China and human rights. It was written in the context that people like Bruce Everiss and many people here do not wish to see anyone associated with UMGE placed at any risk of harm as a result of pursuing justice against those responsible for this fraudulent lawsuit undertaken by Evony.

    Should China wish to become involved in this issue it could serve as a welcomed development because courts and embassies connected with Australia, Canada, the US and the UK are already involved, along with financial institutions in the Marshall Islands. This is why the people that have come forward to offer assistance to Bruce Everiss are to be commended because for the first time ever to my knowledge, courts outside of China now have a duty of care toward these Chinese citizens who may offer themselves as whistle blowers. This is because they are signatories of the United National Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), as is China.

    Should you wish to assume that I am a racist with no regards to Chinese citizens, Chinese culture or the Chinese Government, you might like to consider the some historical facts behind the development of modern China. People who do this soon realise that it is not a realistic proposition to accuse China of the same acts that were conducted on its soil by no less than eight empires in the last century. Acts of hostility that can trace their root to the Opium Wars instigated by the British. This is the hypocrisy that exists behind those that choose to use human rights as a political tool against China today. From my experience the people of China have long memories and they choose their friends well. No one can understand the motives behind modern China without understanding this period of history.

    AC


  7. Clarification

    When you wrote “What people within China may fail to understand is that the pursuit of justice should not involve harming any citizen.”

    I did not mean to imply that you yourself were racist or ethnocentric, only that this line of logic was.

    And as I noted elsewhere, one thing that jumped out at me from the congressional hearings i linked on c-span.org is that for the first time in my life a non fringe person stated that China repression would fail [on the internet with their great firewall.]

    I would expect that sort of thing from human rights activists and the like, but no, it was an internet professional executive type just crunching the numbers. 400 million internet users in China, which is more people then the total population of the USA i think, and that over time China special police just can’t repress such a large number of people. Seemed like an accountant just assessing the inevitable failure of repression. Not some left wing activist and he seemed quite impartial to the outcome when he said it, in an offhand kind of a way. Like “Yeah it will fail, there is no way they can regulate 400 million people on the internet forever.” I remember in Tienamien square, i KNEW the government would send in tanks to crush the revolt, but they can’t send out tanks through the servers. They would if they could, they just can’t.


  8. This is stupid. Good luck winning a lawsuit without more expensive lawyers than they can afford. Be careful too. Accidents happen…

  9. Jeff

    Dear Lord Bruce, you have really ****ed up his life. Yes, Evony/Civony whatever has the most annoying ads ever. Yes, their game might/is a blatant rip off, much like a bazillion flash games are. Maybe they have dubious business practices, hell even try to hack into your PC (which is impossible with Flash, but hey). But the thing is… at any stage… YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Play it for a few minutes – it’s shit – get rid.

    Instead, you choose to get the Chinese fuzz on a guy trying to earn decent money in a difficult country whilst raising his 2 kids – you spread rumours and private photos (of course he gave them to you, you’re best buddies!) of HIS FAMILY.

    Forget libel, invasion of his privacy means you have lost the moral high ground here. Way overboard.


  10. @Jeff
    You seem to misunderstand what happened. I did not send the Chinese police anywhere. Someone else did. Maybe you should be exercising your ire on the real culprit.
    And the photograph with this article was selected by Eric himself.

  11. GrantB

    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now for the useful insight into the games industry, mostly skimming over the Evony posts; however I agree with xbendystevex’s first comment.

    A man has been threatened and humiliated in front of his family and neighbours over the escalation of blog posts. Read that sentence again and notice how ridiculous it sounds. This isn’t a case of freedom of speech; China doesn’t work that way, Bruce should have known to be more sensitive with his research.

    I can’t understand why Bruce would post information relevant to his case publicly other than to provoke or get more readers.

    Anyhoo, good luck in court.

  12. adrian

    good luck to everyone in the fight.

    i myself am an evony player and former ievony promoter of the game.

    now i am getting together a group to sue evony with the intention of taking over the company and running things right (legally and honestly and fairly).

    why?

    1. because of the dishonesty of the company

    2. because of the bully boy mentality of the company

    3. because of the non-existent customer service

    4. because of the way they have handled the whole ievony issue

    let me just say that many of us still earn ievony credits through our previous hard work, and we are urged to exchange these for game coins -yet there is nowhere to exchange them.

    credits were not exchanged to game coins on the semi shutdown of ievony.

    and when i raised the issue in the evony forum, moderators simply kept telling me that ievony was closed down due to abuse.

    they dont close down the game due to abuse do they?

    and nor have we been compensated for our losses.

    and now i was banned from the forum forever because i dared to make a stand on this issue and demand the exchange be restored or face legal action.

    deformation: hinting all users were abusers

    alarm and distress: continuation of in game notices regarding earnings which cannot be used

    losses: no access to earnings, and the time and money it took to lay the foundations for the generation of our earnings.

  13. adrian

    (and i am sure we can find many more reasons and specifics the more who join the fight)

  14. Bryan

    @Adrian:
    “Deformation”, lulz.
    Defamation?

  15. Anon

    “Finally I cannot believe that people in the West are prepared to work for Evony.”

    I like having a roof over my head and not having to rely on handouts stolen from taxpayers like myself, thanks for the opinion though.

  16. River

    On near EVERYTHING here, I can see both sides of the fence. I dabble on Evony a bit here and there. Once upon a time, I put some money into it, and later regretted that choice. Either way, now it is something to do when bored, and I get to use their bandwidth knowing they’ll never see another cent from me. All perspective and circumstance people!

    Such as, in a just world: IF Eric Lam is still recieving benifits from his contributions to the Evony team or still actively conducts business with the likes, he probably deserved some of or all of what he got. BUT, perhaps the reason he left was because he saw what was going on and had the morality to walk away. Then, yes! Poor guy, caught in circumstance of nothing more than a former employer! Who knows the absolute truth? Eric does. His former employer ‘probably’ does. But is this the kind of information that leaves a paper-trail for us amateur detectives to follow? So right or wrong, justified or not, in the end, that’s between Mr. Lam and whatever god he may or may not believe in.
    We as ‘western thinkers’ -as it is commonly reffered here- do have our freedom of opinion, and OH do we like to use it! But PLEASE keep in mind that the forefront of that basic right is that we may use it to rationally express conflicting points in open forum. Irrational mud-slinging at eachother resolves nothing. Further, at least I believe that freedom of speech comes with an OBLIGATION to keep an open mind to opposition, to scrutinize (sp?) your own thoughts to the best of your ability and to own up to and grow from your own mistakes, not nitpick off-topic points or hide behind false pretenses.

    With that said, Bruce! I fully agree with your work and courage in standing up to a VERY corrupt organization. I knew they were corrupt before I even knew about any of this! But, I would like for you, as a responsible journalist, to think about your actions as such… (NOT to say that I think you’re in the wrong in the slightest) Hypothetical, just for the sake of personal growth, concider the idea that “perhaps” Eric left Evony on terms of moral disagreement, “maybe” he was a good source for your case, and “what if” 24 hours ago he was beaten to death over the situation? Because you allowed your ‘source’ to be seen outside of strictly closed legal hearings, you would have his blood and the grief of a widow and 2 fatherless kids on your hands. But again, that’d be between you and whatever god YOU may or may not believe in. If you are writing as a logical and informed journalist, it is your obligation to report ALL the facts and NONE of the vulnerable sources, at least in a perfect world. Just food for thought, and I truely hope you take it as such.

    Now, is Evony bad? Oh in my book they are about one of the worst kinds of evil there is in the world. And for giggles, when I’m bored, I’ll still log in, suck up bandwidth and know that I can take from them now, and give nothing back.

    I don’t know if it’s too late, or the proper method of approach, but have you concidered a counter-suit against them? Surely they have caused you personal damages, both financial and mental. And you could probably nail them on defamation, both of your personal character AND journalist personality. Oh, I could come up with a million good trumped-up legal tactics you could use if you’re interested. And with them being the already proven ‘shady’ business entity, and you the poor victm, the fact that they dropped charges on you already shows guilt and poor character reference… I think you could eat them alive! Not to mention the millions of Evony players that would be willing to stand with you in a class action against them for their various other crimes; false advertisement, fraud, etc. I’m sure that if you ever had it in you, with everything how it now sits, a lwayer would pick up your case without initial charge, just for the percent cut of what they’d get out of the settlement! If ever you go there, PLEASE count me in. I’d rather see them shut down rather than just occasionally eating their bandwidth!!!

    Well, I’ve rambled my fair share. Appologies if I offended anyone and cheers!

  17. A_man

    Lessen learned from above posts:
    Do not trust nobody’s words untill you see the proof.
    Anyone can make mistake judging people.
    I see there are people speculate because they are not sure of what has happened , what are happening now, or what will happen.
    There are still a lot of Chinese bashers and blind western worshippers, and they will never understand China because they are lazy, or busy spread rumors.
    Thank you all for teaching me the lessens, so I will avoid pitfalls like a lot of people did.
    Sympathy to all people who were hurt.
    Peace and understanding to who were concerned.

    A Man.

  18. A_man

    Please ignore the grammer errors as my first language is not English. If you understand, good for you. I will never finish my writing if I want them be perfect.

  19. Salinas

    Wow, lol xbendystevex. Must be a troll. Or someone that is just very new to life and/or doesn’t understand the world. The posts make him/her sound like a self-righteous, paranoid, narcissistic moron.

  20. Salinas

    Serious LMAO at xbendystevex’s first comment. Are YOU proud of yourself for not having basic logic skills? Bruce didn’t call the Chinese police and order them to harass anyone. That’s on someone else’s head, not his. All Bruce did was tell the TRUTH about a seedy company on his blog.

  21. Joe

    Eric Lam can be as pissed off as he wants to be, but Bruce’s use of his photos were Lam’s responsibility.

    I see it like this:

    If Lam was going through legal issues with his former employer, Evony (and the things Lam refuses to go into detail about sound serious), you would think that he would destroy or make private anything related to his previous work.

    Sorry, Lam, the police incident must have been unpleasant, but you really brought it upon yourself by neglecting to cover your ass and leaving evidence online and publicly available that could have resulted in, and did result in, a police investigation.

  22. Joe

    @Dread comment #39

    Funny that you use the Australian slang “fair dinkum.”
    It originates from Chinese.
    Chinese gold miners in the 19th century would use the phrase “din gum,” which means, roughly, real gold.
    And one of the issues with the Evony company is its probable gold farming.
    Your word choice made me chuckle. Just thought I’d share.

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