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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Breakdown of LoL's Terms of Use

I thought it would be fun to read through LoL's Terms of Use and summarize some of the main points. Although I have drafted several similar documents, I know full well that hardly anyone reads these.

LoL's Terms of Use can be found here.

This is a lengthy post since I am quoting parts of the ToS that I find interesting and then providing a quick analysis. In sum, here are the most interesting parts of the ToS:

(1) You do not own your account - Riot does.
(2) Only accounts created by adults are valid - all other accounts are technically against the ToS.
(3) You do not own Riot Points that you bought and Riot may take them away at anytime.
(4) Riot really doesn't want you to submit any "creative ideas, suggestions or materials" but if you do, they belong entirely to Riot.
(5) Riot owns any work produced as a result of its work - even if that work is created on a different planet.

Please note that I am in no way criticizing the ToS - this post is meant to be informative and somewhat amusing.

(1) Hopefully you all gave the correct birth date when you signed up for your account.

"While some elements of the Site may be generally accessed by the public, certain aspects of the Site (e.g. posting in the Forums, as defined below) as well as participation in the Game requires you to create an Account by providing Riot Games with certain personal information, specifically, your email address and date of birth. You agree that you will supply accurate and complete information to Riot Games, and that you will update that information promptly after it changes...You acknowledge that, if any information provided by you is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, Riot Games reserves the right to terminate this Agreement, your Account, and/or your use of the Game."
I have yet to hear of anyone who was banned for giving an incorrect birth date, but if it happens, then at least we'll know why... 

(2) Anyone who is not an adult that created an account is in violation of the ToS.

"By entering into this Agreement and creating an Account, you represent that you are an adult and have the legal capacity to enter into a contract in the jurisdiction where you reside."
Ever play with someone who is not an adult? How many of these non-adults do you think made their own account? Technically, any non-adult who opened an account is in violation of this provision and can easily be banned. Of course, I doubt this would ever be enforced and have not heard of anyone banned for these reasons.

(3) The account which you do not own is worth nothing, regardless of whether you bought Riot Points.

 "You further acknowledge and agree that Riot Games has the right, but not the obligation, to delete, alter, move, remove, or transfer any and all Game Assets, in whole or in part, at any time and for any reason, with or without notice to you, and with no liability of any kind to you. Riot Games does not provide or guarantee, and expressly disclaims any value, cash or otherwise, attributed to any data residing on servers operated by Riot Games, including without limitation the Game Assets associated with your Account." 

(4) Seek permission from Riot before transferring virtual items/Riot Points, or be sure to transfer them only via Riot-approved services.

"The sale or transfer of Virtual Items or Riot Points between users may only be conducted via services approved of and provided by Riot Games, if any, and Riot Games may terminate any Account that acts in contravention of this prohibition."
I'm not familiar with how people sell/give away riot points, but I hear of it a lot. Presumably, anyone engaged in such practice are doing so "via services approved of and provided by riot games."

(5) The account which you created and use does not belong to you.

Unless I am mistaken, there is nothing else in the ToS that would indicate that Riot does not own the accounts. Thus, the next time someone says "My account was banned," you can correct them and say "the account that belongs to Riot was banned."  

(6) Riot doesn't want your creative ideas or materials, but if you submit them, they belong to Riot.

"Riot Games values your feedback on its services and products, but please do not submit any creative ideas, suggestions or materials. Neither Riot Games nor any of its employees and/or contractors accept or consider unsolicited ideas, original creative artwork or other works, including, without limitation, ideas or suggestions for new or improved games or technologies, game or product enhancements, marketing plans or names for new games (collectively “Unsolicited Ideas”). Please do not send your Unsolicited Ideas to Riot Games or its employees and/or contractors. This policy is aimed at avoiding potential misunderstandings or disputes when Riot Games’ products or services might seem similar to Unsolicited Ideas that are submitted. If you do submit your Unsolicited Ideas to Riot Games or to any of its employees and/or contractors despite this policy, then you hereby acknowledge and agree that, from the time of uploading, transmission or dispatch, you grant Riot Games and its designees a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable, transferable, assignable, and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally perform, make, have made, sell, offer for sale and import your Unsolicited Ideas, including, without limitation, all copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, industrial rights and all other intellectual and proprietary rights related thereto, in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, including, without limitation, giving the Unsolicited Ideas to others, without any compensation to you. You also give up any claim that any use by Riot Games and/or its licensees of your Unsolicited Ideas violates any of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, privacy rights, rights to publicity, proprietary or other rights, and/or rights to credit for the material or ideas set for therein."

(7) Riot owns all of its content, even those located outside Earth.

"'Content' means any communications, images, sounds, and all the material and information that you upload or transmit through the Site or the Game, or that other users upload or transmit, including, without limitation, any Forum (defined below) postings and/or the in-Game real-time interactive chat text (“Chat”).You hereby acknowledge and agree that any and all Content shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property of Riot Games from the time of uploading or transmission. Accordingly, Riot Games shall exclusively own all now known or hereafter existing copyrights and all other intellectual property rights to all Content of every kind and nature, in perpetuity, throughout the universe and you hereby assign to Riot Games as a present assignment of future rights all such intellectual property rights to the extent owned by you."

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