I would like to say a big thank you to all the many people who have contributed to this fund, I have been more than pleasantly surprised by the response. Every amount, no matter small, will help, it all adds up. And whilst I am truly appreciative of everyone’s generosity I have actually been shocked at how much some people are willing to donate to this cause.
There are several issues at stake here. The first is libel tourism. Earlier this year Evony were very pleased to repeatedly post this (I have the screen grabs as evidence): “Evony is owned by UMGE (Universal Multiplayer Game Entertainment). Founded by a small group of avid Chinese game developers, UMGE is based in Guangzhou, China and develops online multiplayer games.” Then on July 22 this year (after I wrote the articles they object to) they formed a Delaware company, Evony LLC. This company is now suing me for libel in Sydney, Australia whilst I live in Coventry, England.
If this case is allowed to proceed it will create a precedent and open the floodgates for anyone to litigate anywhere against anyone they don’t like. It will stifle all our freedoms because the rich guy will always have the upper hand and will be able to choose the country with the most punitive laws.
The second issue is reputation management. Unlike the print media, that our libel laws were designed for, online content can be unpublished, ie removed. So now a huge legal industry has sprung up where authors are threatened with libel action unless they remove content that the person paying the solicitor objects to, whether it is the truth or not. Obviously the authors invariably remove the content, such is the massive cost of defending a libel action. So the internet is being massively censored, usually by the people who have something to hide that we should know about.
The third issue is just plain freedom of speech, the foundation of our democratic society. What I wrote about Evony was the truth and fair comment. This supposedly American company has not acted against me in America, they would be laughed out of court because of the Constitutional protection of free speech. However British libel law was designed to protect the rich from the gossip of their servants. And it is an extension of this British law that is in force in Australia. What this means is that Evony can make many strange and outrageous claims against me and I have to go to great lengths to disprove every single one in court, to the satisfaction of a jury. This obviously puts me at a massive disadvantage in the case.
The fourth issue is Evony itself. I don’t like the way that you can buy in game achievements, the way they are constantly badgering players for money, that the game exposes young people to online gambling,Â the fact that this blog (and others) were comment spammed repeatedly and I don’t like their risque bait and switch advertising. There is much more not to like but I don’t want to add to the list of things that I have to prove in court!
And the amazing thing is that I have actually caused them no harm whatsoever. When I wrote my article less than a million people had joined the game. In the few short months since that has risen to over ten million. Admittedly most of those have since left the game, for obvious reasons. So it looks like the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is true. It seems very likely that my writing has driven more people to go and try the game. In other words I have had the opposite effect that they are claiming.
Bruce, keep fighting the good fight. This whole debacle is ludicrous, and it’s sad that an honest industry vet such as yourself is being dragged through the muck by such under-handed conspirators.
I only just started reading your blog in the midst of the Evony business–a friend of mine had asked me to play the game with them, and I grew wary of what was going on behind the scenes after strange behavior in my operating system. I Googled for Evony-related blog postings and warnings, and eventually stumbled upon your blog. (Prior to that, but obviously afterward, I quit playing altogether.)
I find your knowledge and frank point of view very refreshing in the sea of mindless bloggers who post simply to hear their fingers hit the keyboard.
Keep on truckin’, good sir!
I am delighted to learn that people are rallying around to help support this issue and stand by Bruce Everiss.
On a personal level I think it is highly commendable that an individual is prepared to stand firm in the face of corporate opposition and offer information when many national media bodies will not. While the articles offered by Bruce Everiss may not appear to be a courageous act, let us not forget that those associated with UMGE are facing significant legal action in the United States http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/business/media/16adco.html?_r=1. Given the type of actions UMGE have been associated with in China, Bruce Everiss has exposed himself to potential risk of harm, because people that oppose major gold farming organisations may face repercussions. I am sure the gold farming companies based in China are less than cordial to those that betray or risk the loss of their financial assets. One reason why I think this is the case is because gold farmers do have the unfortunate reputation of threatening peopleâ€™s lives.
As far as I am aware, minors all around the world play Evony. It should be self evident that the issues pertaining to Evony revolve around public safety as this article identified by Bruce Everiss makes the point all too clear http://www.thirteen1.com/forum/index.php?topic=3496.5;wap2.
Have you investigated the possibility of suing Evony in the US for infringing your freedom of speech?
Are you aware that under Australian law – if a case is brought against you in Australia and the ‘offence’ (so called, in this case) is committed elsewhere, you can have the case transferred to another court (anywhere – i.e. – your legal eagles can put in an application to have it transferred to London ) 😉
Hope that helps.
Worry not – they’re doomed anyway.
Hey Bruce, I once upon a time had hope for Evony that perhaps they actually would try to produce a decent game and maintain it with their forums as well, but after trying for a while to get things fixed, and seeing the horrible manipulation occuring on those forums to my friends (I have been banned finally) I figured that I would finally put this out there.
In this article written prior to Evony’s existance http://www.wowgoldfacts.com/2008/10/02/extra-extra-rmt-expose-plus-don%E2%80%99t-shoot-sue-the-messenger/ a list of people associated with WoWmine is listed. Of those names, 3 caught my eye, Eric, Isaac, and David. Why do you ask?
Well the Evony forums have had different admins throughout its existance. Yet there are three prior admins (only one is still listed as an Admin) that I find interesting.
Now the correllation with the names and that list I found hilarious, and seeing how Evony is using more money on lawsuits then improving their game and making sure their packages work properly, I figured its time that they learn how to properly run a company.
I’m now washing myself of anything that ever dealt with Evony because they are a company of corruption. I wish you luck in your suit, and although I don’t really have any money to offer you, I hope you find that information useful.
Bruce, good luck to you. I remember the force you and yours were in the 80’s and I’m glad to see you still stand up for what you believe in. I’ve read your blog for some time but never posted, this is nothing more than token support I know, but the truth will out. All the best.
Glad to see you standing up for yourself, I’d do the same. I too hate Evony, everything about them. The only good thing that’s ever come of them, is the quote, “Tit’s now m’lord?” that me and a friend say whenever we see the adds, for obvious reasons. In order to stop their ads, I had to filter out over 20 sites in Adsense, that’s ridiculous, shame on Google for allowing it. As for the battle, keep people updated, lots of people. This could prove to be a heavy fight, keep people on your side, and try and get some big names involved if you can. Good luck with everything, hoping for the best.
Plenty of us still here cheering you on from the sidelines. Bloody dodgy chinese bastards, stick it to them!
Thanks everyone. The support is brilliant.
What I don’t understand is why the mainstream press haven’t got hold of this. There are some very important issues here.
Wow, how awful. After this I’m paranoid to so much as leave a comment on your blog!
I actually just saw an ad for Evony (one of the ones that makes it look like Age of Empires or Civilization, NOT one of the half dressed women ads) and it looked intriguing, but I decided to read up on it first. I was linked here from Wikipedia and I can assure you I won’t be giving those people any of my time! This worries me very much; one thing I have not found is what happens if you just ignore it?
Keep up the good work, Bruce!
saw a new add, looks like it stole from a MMORPG, can be sure wich one, maybe WoW, the irony
dont click my name, as it leads to evony.com
(evonys new marketing campaing, reverse psychology)
Anybody tries to sue me in another country and I just wont go to court. I don’t pay taxes in America to deal with that bullshit in another country that I have no loyalty to.
Bruce you committed no crime in any country, tell them to come to you with complaints. Better yet just drop 100 Atomic bombs on China since they don’t intend to ever get with the rest of the world on the international shit.
By the way, I served in the armed services in America, if someone wants to take my rights that I earned with blood and sweat then they can try it in my country.
Bruce, your articles have cost them just as much as if you pirated their game…
You should use a disclaimer that says that any litigation against your website is limited to jurisdiction of your town, or something very specific to counter the idiots and this new category of trolls. I hope this company will burn in the nesuing streisand effect.
Have to agree evony are corrupt to the core! Been playing for about a year and spending around $30 per month, ran into some problems, contacted evony support for help and to this day they haven’t responded! In short Evony couldn’t give a damn about their customers and even tho they promote the game as ”Free Forever” every single thing about the game is designed to persuade players to buy, indeed to be successful you need to spend.
The wheel of fortune for instance only gives you what you dont need (very irritating) same with medals if you need honor medals for promotion, medal farming will give you something else. However if you succumb to buying a medal chest you can guarentee your next medal farming will give you medals you needed before the purchase.
Noted with some interest that Evony definately dont practice what they preach. For instance they’re taking you to court over freedom of speach issues, but by the same token dont allow their members to express their opinions. I resently got banned at the forums for voicing my opinions of there diabolicl customer services.
Good luck with your campaign.
RE: ”What I donâ€™t understand is why the mainstream press havenâ€™t got hold of this. There are some very important issues here.”
Have you tried promoting this more using the social bookmarking sites, Digg is an awesome method of gettting stuff out there as is twitter. The more people know the better in my opinion!
Have dugg this story Bruce perhaps if we can get this to the top of digg news more people will take notice.
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