Yesterday, CCP Stillman released a curious new dev blog. In it contained the troubling news that cache scraping - something programs like Eve-Central, EveMon, and many other programs do - is now not only against the EULA, but 'has always been' against it.
- Cache scraping is against the EULA, and always has been. No one doing it before April 15th will be punished.
- "Non-cheating" use of cache scraping will not be punished, or it might!
- Despite the outrage of the playerbase, CCP will not address the issue until the next EULA revamp.
Immediately there was backlash from the community, as seen in the devblog comment thread.
Solo Drakban, IT administrator of Goonswarm Federation, made the following comment to GSF on this devblog:
CCP is being pants-on-head retarded again. Not just pants on head retarded, no, this time they found some nylon pants, lit those pants on fire, then put the pants on their head, ran around bouncing off of walls a few times until the nylon melted onto their skull, then spent a bit picking the nylon out of their flesh and then later wondering where their face went, forgetting about the fire pants they placed on their head. Glue may also have been consumed, paint chips snacked on, and probably some gas huffed. Read the dev blog here and catch up on the thread here (pmchem and Entity really get into it around page 6) and if you disagree with CCP let them know.
If you are wondering what the big deal really is, basically CCP has declared the majority of it's userbase to be in violation of the EULA if you dare use such tools of cheating like EVEMon, EVE-HQ, eve-marketdata-relay or GoonMetrics. Except they are skirting around that with a knudge and a wink by saying 'if all you are doing is cache scraping, you have nothing to worry about, as it is not a priority for us to enforce at the moment'. So, the use of EVEMon is currently a perma-bannable offense under the EULA, but CCP won't ban you for it, unless you do something they don't like, at which point they declare that you're using an illegal tool and ban you while pretending that thousands of other players aren't exactly guilty of the same thing. IngSoc has got nothing on CCP when it comes to doublethink apparently, especially since in the past they have expressly stated that cache scraping is OK. Once again a perfect example of CCP not knowing it's ass from it's elbow.
To quote Entity, a EVE-famous third-party dev and developer of one of the most popular tools for extracting cache data (who also received an explicit OK from CCP back when he started developing it): "To keep with the car analogy, what CCP just said is "Driving a car is now illegal, but if you behave, we probably won't take action if you are driving one"."
Also, this is not a call for a threadnaught or anything like that. This is a PSA to make you aware that you as a player of EVE are probably now in violation of CCP's EULA if you use any number of popular third-party EVE tools. You at risk of being banned at their whim for doing something that they have expressly OK'd in the past. I am encouraging you to read the blog and the opinions in the thread and, only if you want to, contribute to the thread in an intelligent and meaningful way and while this may seem like asking a lot from goons, I do know that we are capable of it with a little effort.
In response to the furor, CCP Peligro posted this update:
Thank you for all your comments and concerns regarding cache scraping, we are listening and we truly appreciate your feedback.
After consulting with CCP Legal and Team Security, we are not prepared to amend the EULA at this time to address your concerns. However, your comments are good ones, and we will consider incorporating them with the next scheduled update to the EULA (expected this fall, 2013).
In the meantime, CCP confirms that we will only impose penalties on cache scraping if used in connection with other illegal activities in the game (i.e., botting). We will not take action against cache scraping for other uses.
To describe this devblog as ham-handed and unnecessary leaves us straining for better adjectives; what is striking is that the 'point' of the blog was to call out tools that most of the playerbase uses today, while simultaneously backpedaling and saying that there will not be any enforcement against such tools. I'm not sure who reviewed and gave CCP Stillman the go-ahead to publish such a PR disaster of a blog, but dev blogs do not give CCP a license to rewrite history at a stroke and suggest that programs which everyone has been using for ages with explicit CCP approval have 'always been' against the EULA.