iRacing’s EULA and Sporting Code wouldn’t hold up in front of a Judge. Oops.

703916_3491616309624_194368426_oThis is going to get real ugly, real quick. Grab some popcorn. Promise.

I’m sure all 165,000 of you who have came to visit PRC.net since January are more than familiar with how this place operates by now. While we have the credentials to back up our lengthy articles and abrasive opinions, we are pessimists by nature, and have a fairly grim outlook on both the present and future of racing sims. As a result, to some readers it may appear that we hate everything.

And we can’t really blame you for jumping to that conclusion. We’ve knocked Project CARS for turning a portion of the community into viral marketers while releasing a game that wasn’t nearly all it was cracked up to be. We’ve knocked Assetto Corsa for a poor Early Access campaign and questionable direction of development once it went on sale for full price. We’ve knocked Game Stock Car Extreme for having too much obscure content and a fanbase more intent on telling others how great it is instead of actually playing the damn game. We’ve knocked both rFactor 2 and RaceRoom Racing Experience for poor pricing models that drive away people before they’ve even completed a single lap. We’ve knocked ARCA Sim Racing X for it’s dated visuals, NASCAR 15 for shovelware-like gameplay, DiRT Rally for artificially inflating the track count, and F1 2014 for questionable AI behavior. Hell, give me a few hours, and I’m sure I could produce an article explaining why Mario Kart 64 was a piece of communist propaganda.

For those who enjoy our alternative perspective on the world of driving games, there’s a plate of cookies in the dining room for y’all. For those who don’t, you’ll figure out why this place is growing in popularity eventually. It’s like American Idiot, you’ll only understand it when you’re at that point.

During our travels, we’ve also written a fair bit of controversial articles regarding iRacing. Whether it’s due to cheating scandals, surface model woes, weather issues, administration problems, setup exploits, free promo codes, or server failures, PRC.net manages to routinely cause an uproar within the greater sim racing community whenever we report on iRacing. Half of our readers believe this place is a valuable sim racing news outlet with information you can’t find anywhere else, the other half believe I’m mentally ill and have some sort of strange vendetta against iRacing.

iRacingSim64 2015-06-21 15-23-59-75Back in June, myself and many others formerly affiliated with PRC spent a few weeks on Teamspeak using iRacing’s free promo code to create alternate accounts and race in the game’s Rookie Street Stock class. The idea was to evaluate what a newcomer to iRacing might experience in his first few days on the service, and if it was worth their time to invest any serious cash into the sim. To the FPS or MMO crowd who might stumble upon this, we essentially reviewed the tutorial levels. It’s not abnormal for any video game journalist, professional or independent, to do a piece on his first few hours with the title. That’s what we did.

The endeavor resulted in a 2,500 word article summarizing how we felt about the game’s physics, community, and overall environment, pieced together over the course of a rather dull Sunday. As iRacing was in a pretty poor state at the time, transitioning between tire models, aerodynamic behavior, and race structure, our combined experiences were less than stellar and painted a very disappointing picture of a game known to the outside world as the most hardcore racing simulator available for the PC. Blasting through the article at warp speed and giving you an accurate TL;DR, the game advertised itself as Microsoft Flight Simulator with race cars, but the experience in the introductory tiers was on-par with Ace Combat on Xbox Live. Obviously, that’s not good. Some readers agreed with us and offered their own stories of being unsatisfied with what iRacing had to offer new members. Others, as mentioned above, said we had some personal vendetta against the game. For those who visit PRC.net on a daily basis, this is normal fanboy behavior.

ir1

Less than 24 hours after the article was published, my IP address had been totally locked out of logging into iRacing.com, save for a section that allowed you to adjust your basic account information. Through this menu, I was notified that my account had been suspended. Upon checking both active emails I use (my personal account, as well as the email I run this site with), there was no message from iRacing indicating what, exactly, I’d done to deserve this seemingly random suspension.

I mean, I knew, but going the lengths of an outright ban just for a news article? What about the huge amount of money I’ve put into buying cars and tracks? Where did that go? What do I have to show for it? Is that even legal?

No, it’s not.

iRacingSim64 2015-06-21 23-16-24-42Instead of pushing the issue, we pushed onward. The Submit button at the top of the page, coupled with a few good personal contacts, and it was no issue continuing to cover iRacing at the same rate as other games featured on our site. Had the ban indeed been due to PRC.net displaying iRacing in a negative light, removing me from the servers did absolutely nothing to solve iRacing’s problem, it just made them look extremely near-sighted.

It’s quite silly, really. They banned the guy running the site, but didn’t factor in the huge button that allows anybody to send in their own stories, complaints, or news articles at the top of the web page. Essentially, for them to stop PRC.net from posting any negative articles about iRacing, they would have to permanently ban all 130,000+ of their members, because they are all potential contributors to the site.

Think about this.

As we continued to publish iRacing-related articles throughout July, August, and September, a growing number of iRacers contacted me through various means to express their gratitude for the voice this web site had given them. Despite the growing number of angry commenters on Reddit claiming PRC.net was a “troll blog run by a mentally ill individual”, people who mattered were confirming everything we were posting. And upon learning of the suspension following the Street Stock article, they confirmed that I indeed was given the boot for daring to say bad things about iRacing in public.

This lead our site to research a bit deeper than before and publish a string of articles that were written, researched, or confirmed by some of the fastest, most reputable drivers on iRacing. By this time, four months had passed, and I became curious as to when my suspension would end, because I still hadn’t been told what I’d done wrong, nor was I told the length of time until I’d be allowed to return.

The reason? Someone offered to build setups for me in an effort to run for the Virtual Blancpain GT3 Championship. During my time spent not playing iRacing, whether it being due to a loss of interest or an outright suspension, I became a damn good road racer, so why not capitalize on this and run for a pretty nice prize?

The following is the exact Email I sent off to iRacing’s support address, inquiring about my suspension:

Email

Five days later, I received this response (the attached End User License Agreement is available HERE):

Resp

According to iRacing’s EULA, iRacing.com is allowed to suspend, terminate, or delete your account at any time, for any reason (several are listed), or no reason.

You can’t pull this shit. A judge said so.

arsIn 2008, Autodesk, a software company sim racers will recognize as the creators of 3DSMax, attempted to sue a man named Tim Vernor for selling used copies of their software online, which violated one of several terms in their End User License Agreement, or EULA for short. Judge Richard A. Jones essentially told Autodesk they could not use an EULA to impose unreasonable restrictions on the user, as some of their terms directly went against already established laws and regulations, and sided with Mr. Vernor.

So now that the precedent has been set, what constitutes as an unreasonable restriction on established laws or regulations when we discuss both iRacing’s EULA, as well as the virtual rulebook that governs iRacing’s online servers, the Sporting Code?

HudsonFirst, let’s glance over the reasonable restrictions of these two terms:

  • It’s reasonable to restrict your community from being cunts to each other.
  • It’s reasonable to ban someone for harassment or inappropriate behavior.

The internet is a crazy place. Bullying, harassment, and general hostility are commonplace, whether we’d like to admit it or not. iRacing’s servers, forums, and results sheets are full of extremely sensitive personal information, and it’s perfectly reasonable to remove someone who disrespects the boundaries of others within the community. Nobody should have any issue with these rules.

With that being said, let’s break down, one by one, the terms that are unreasonable restrictions, because there are a lot.

  • It is expected that each iRacing.com member will not bring the sport of iRacing into disrepute via their actions.
  • Disrepute – The state of being held in low esteem by the public.

I’m going to hack through the legal wording and tell it like it is – iRacing has made it against their rules to talk negatively about their game. This will not affect 80% of the userbase, as the large majority of players simply want to show up, race, and enjoy themselves in a virtual motorsport environment with comprehensive stat tracking and progression mechanics.

Who does it affect?

It affects any iRacing member who spends time posting on the forums, drawing attention to bugs, glitches, and inaccuracies in an effort to improve the overall quality of the product. Those who lace their posts with negativity, even if it’s constructive, are kept under a watchful eye by iRacing administration and eventually removed if their attitude towards the game doesn’t improve. Finnish iRacers Joni Backman and Jere Seppälä are two of the most recent victims to this rule. Don’t believe me? Ask around.

And this rule also affects the press. Despite our extremely basic WordPress theme and lack of any real direction, Myself, Sev, and Maple are video game journalists. It is our passion to report on driving games in an honest and abrasive manner, and it is our right to do so. The same laws that allow us to voice our displeasure with the current president of the United States also allow us to be critical of entertainment, whether we’re discussing literature, art, music, movies, or video games. What’s that called? Oh right, free speech.

And we are not the only ones who run such a publication, as VirtualR, BSimRacing, RaceDepartment, and InsideSimRacing also exist, with their own gigantic followings. Then you have your independent guys like EmptyBox and GamerMuscleVideos, who take a more modern approach with YouTube videos.

Given the fact that iRacing rarely allows press accounts to cover the game, and the entry cost is quite high, requiring you to fork over anywhere from $150$200 to run a single season – and an amount nearing $500 to race in multiple different series – one must wonder how many of these publications covering iRacing are posting genuine reviews. Do they truly enjoy what iRacing has offered them, or do they fear being booted from the service and losing a substantial sum of money from bringing iRacing into disrepute with a negative review? As we’ve prominently displayed, yes, it happens.

In either case, whether you are just another virtual racer making a forum post, or somebody covering a game for a publication of any size, iRacing has used their Sporting Code to impose restrictions on free speech. You can’t just force people to say only positive things about a video game. This is something that would qualify as an unreasonable restriction because it restricts your basic human right to free speech, and would get completely dismantled if brought before a judge, as the precedent has already been set.

  • iRacing may suspend/terminate/delete your account at any time for suspected cheating or unfair play.

The presumption of innocence, sometimes referred to by the Latin expression Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. In many nations, presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is also regarded as an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 11.

You can’t just ban someone from an online video game based on mere accusations of cheating, as it violates basic human rights. This is something that would qualify as an unreasonable restriction as it restricts your rights as a human being to the presumption of innocence, and would get completely dismantled if brought before a judge, as the precedent has already been set.

  • iRacing may suspend/terminate/delete your account at any time with no reason.

Woah! Did you just read that? Yes, you did! iRacing’s EULA enables them to uphold a gentlemen’s club-like environment, one which allows them to boot you simply because they don’t like you. Given that iRacing administrators are not professional community managers, but amateur hobbyists hand-picked from NASCAR Racing 2003 Season’s several established online leagues from a decade ago, this is iRacing’s “fuck you, we do whatever we want” rule. Putting a term in the EULA that allows iRacing to give you the boot and retain your money for no justifiable reason whatsoever other than “fuck you, your site sucks, get out” classifies as an unreasonable restriction as it denies access to the money you’ve spent, and would get completely dismantled if brought before a judge, as the precedent has already been set.

Let’s break this down to the basics:

When you’ve paid money to play something like World of Warcraft or iRacing, and haven’t violated any rules, or a rule you are alleged to have violated is invalid by default due to something like an EULA imposing unreasonable restrictions, then you have performed your part of the contract and there shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

Real life obviously doesn’t go that smoothly.

If, for whatever reason, the developer team needs to get rid of you because you run a news site that routinely makes them out to be fools on a consistent basis, a software company cannot force you to permanently lose the money you’ve spent on their product. Putting up a metaphorical wall after taking your money amounts to a breach of contract on the developer’s part, and you are legally entitled to a refund. You can first give a legal notice, and if the other party refuses, a lawsuit can be filed.

In my situation, I was legally entitled to a refund of somewhere between $650 and $800 based on the content I’d previously owned, and in the process poked a bunch of legitimate holes in their questionably written combination of an End User License Agreement and Sporting Code. I was instead politely told to fuck off.

478075_3492102881788_1987567472_oYes, you read that right, a lawsuit can be filed, and there’d be a good chance you’d win. However, it’s not the ideal situation for myself, nor anyone else in my position in the past, present, or future. You’re looking at a $3500 vacation to fight over somewhere between $650 and $800, and that’s before you start talking to lawyers. That route is simply not logical.

What is logical?

Drawing attention to the whole mess. The holy grail of Sim Racing, a massively multiplayer, online-only sequel to NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, used a lengthy EULA and Sporting Code to impose on your basic rights as a human being in an effort to minimize bad publicity about their video game. iRacing is so terrified of unsatisfactory reviews and even word-of-mouth reports that they’ve risked themselves getting fucked over in court by anyone with a functioning brain in the hopes that several hundred others are too scared of losing their money to say anything at all. Maybe if enough intelligent people cause enough of a ruckus about how fucking retarded this is, it’ll all stop.

Compared to Madden, FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront, and League of Legends, iRacing is a relatively niche title with a mere handful of users.

Imagine what would happen if EA caught wind of what iRacing was able to accomplish…

TOC

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102 thoughts on “iRacing’s EULA and Sporting Code wouldn’t hold up in front of a Judge. Oops.

  1. Well the person in charge of appeals (Shannon Whitmore), has made a fool of himself lately on the NPAS side of things and is on his way out from what I heard…. Hopefully it’s true since banning a whole club (Finland) cause they told the truth is pretty embarassing to begin with, and then him telling the Pro series drivers to fuck off cause they disagree with him breaking iRacing’s own sporting code is even worse

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hope you win if you get that far. What they are doing isn’t cool. Even if their game is pretty tight.
    Stick it to them good.
    Good day they said. What a bunch of tits.
    But I bet you, nor anyone else has resources to reclaim that $800 bucks.
    I guess this is why you troll them so hard.
    Makes sense. I’d be rightly pissed too and they look a little stupid IMO. If they don’t want you around. They should buy you out.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 1. Xbox Live I heard won’t give reasons for banning too. Some services/forums also pull this shit.
    2. Once again, F1 also have the “bringing the sport into disrepute” clause. This was used to kick out Andrea Moda in 1992, although that was because of the manager mismanaging the team.

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  4. Seriously, like the comment above me says, start a crowdfunding campaign to take their asses to court. They clearly think the law doesn’t apply to them, time for a reality check.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In general: The issue is not being critic, it’s when you give space (by publishing) to lies. Those lies obscures the good articles, that is the reason of why the community is boycotting this blog.

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    1. >500+ hits
      >100k+ unique hits
      >the community boycotts this blog
      let me guess, you fell on your head as a child and it left permanent brain damage?

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    2. Oh and also, which lies are you referring to? Everytime we published false information, we retracted that or commented on it in another aticle. iceRacing shill pls leave

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      1. WHat you think of the new AC patch (1.3)? Kind of a mix bag overall I’m thinking, but there’s a lot added that was missing at the same time. Agreed?

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      2. Saying “IT’S NOT TRUE IT’S NOT TRUE” doesn’t make it any less true. Unless you provide evidence (just as we have) to proof the opposite is true, our side of the story remains 100% true. That’s how facts work, sorry

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    3. I wouldn’t be so quick to equate hits/readership with number of supporters. I visit this website daily to amuse myself. I think the articles are sensationalist rubbish. You may be correct on many points, but I usually switch off after the first couple of ranting paras.

      Ranting wins over trolls and is a turn off to others. Non-emotive argument will win over a bigger audience.

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      1. Indeed. The few times I have visited this site, it has just been to read the nonsense that is written, then laugh & shake my head 😀

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  6. It’s feasible if you consider what is called a “class-action lawsuit” in which a single lawyer team hears a number of people with the same case. Becomes a lot more realistic to take them on then. Happens all the time, so long as there are enough plaintiffs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Any lawyer with a brain cell will be able to make an argument that the ‘members’ are practically investors, and EA knows firsthand how lying to investors goes…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t think that’s the only clear bullshit in their EULA, either. There’s more.

    I really wonder who the fuck they paid to produce that nonsense. I’ll donate a bit if you want to do this, mainly because it may motivate iracing to not be a dick and actually offer a reasonable product at a reasonable price.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, the entire thing is a litany of BS, but then again, go read Apple’s or MS’s EULA’s, there’s some pretty funky stuff in there too.
      The people who wrote that are probably the same people who advised to sue against the mod makers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha yeah you’re probably right about that.

        As I think you already said, the financial strength is a very important factor in actually making progress. A class action is probably the best way to try to get this done, it’s not as easy to drag out or argue against.

        The thing is, apple and MS both (should) have a defense already in place to defend their EULA. It’s pretty carefully constructed. Iracing’s sounds like someone just wrote down some rules because fuck you i’m iracing. You can tear it apart in court.

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  9. I’ve noticed a number of games have the ‘ban for no reason’ bit in their EULA and always wondered how they could get away with that. With many things, I’d imagine it’s because it is just too costly to bring something to court. Lawyers y’know? I like the crowdfunding campaign idea people are suggesting, I’ve certainly thought of doing such. Also probably file a suit against parts of EULA’s in general and not necessarily iRacing itself.

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  10. I’d donate to a crowd funding campaign if it ensures justice is served and prevents this happening to others. Free Speech needs to be protected even if it is sometimes abused or used inappropriately. I love iRacing but if what you have shared proves to be true then it is very disappointing. The ill treatment of customers is not the quickest road to success and for a sim racing title you would hope they knew a bit about staying on the right path. Like a good racer I hope they learn from any mistakes and make improvements before a court rules that they have crossed more than just the finish line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. iRacing has constantly taken the worst possible publicity route in every one of these situations, from the NR03 modder scandal, to they attacking websites who gave reviews they didn’t like (race department), banning members for cheating even though the members had contacted iracing themselves to try to get iracing to remove the possible hacks. Tim Wheatley left them and went to ISI cause he didn’t like the way they do business and it has been going on for along time. They even banned a facebook group that PEAK drivers were saying stuff they didnt like in, and that caused the whole we can ban you for anything rule going into the EULA, so that they could stop the PRO drivers from speaking out, which they were doing alot of back in 2011

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Years of iRacing pissing off individual members would make a class action pretty viable I know 10 people who would jump on instantly.

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    1. Basically the EULA gives one of the parties the power to terminate a contract at will and retain the other party’s money. In any civilized country that is plainly ilegal (Breaching of a good amount of civil and consumer lawas) and counts as inexistant. As it wasn’t there and never was. Period. The funniest thing of this is that it was -theoretically- written by a lawyer hired by iracing. I don’t know how much they payed for that kind of advice (Presumably a good amount), but it is utter BS. The lawyer had many other subtle ways of giving certain power to iracing, yet plainly defied common sense and law stating an absurd clause. This begs for an action, just to laugh at their face.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. 1. They ban the person running the site, for allowing it to be published. It doesn’t matter who is writing it, if you as a publisher, host and ‘news’ outlet doesn’t check up on things, you run the risk. When people send you stuff, you don’t have to publish it. It is your choice, and you cannot hide behind “I didn’t write it”.

    2. Compare iRacing to renting an apartment. If, for some reason the owner wants to terminate the contract. He/she have the right to do that. Now usually with a period where you still live in that apartment.
    You don’t own it. You rent iRacing!

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    1. Probably one of the worst analogies ever given in life. This is a GAME and not a piece of property. Nowhere in the agreement does it say you rent this service (though lately the word service is misconstrued and we would be renting some half-assed simulation created by an inept engineer that was too retarded to figure out that he had the rear diff modeled backwards). It even says that you PURCHASE the content. How can PURCHASING be considered RENTING if you bought the fucking thing?

      The more accurate analogy would be: you buying a house, or car or whatever, pointing out what was wrong with it, and being told you can’t use it and there’s no refund.

      Please don’t be a fan boy. Instead, realize that this article is shedding light on something that is fundamentally flawed and clearly illegal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll start with the last. Fan Boy? I’ve not been on iRacing for a couple of years, and I’ve spent a total of 4 months on the thing. If that’s being a fan boy then damn I’m a fan boy of almost every game I own. If you are so utterly stupid that you think a person who disagrees with an article here MUST be a fan boy of the game in question, then be my guest.

        Taken from the EULA, point 3.1
        “For clarity, the Sim Client and the Content are licensed to you; you will not obtain any ownership interest in the Sim Client or any of the Content.”

        So no, you accept by agreeing to it, that you don’t own it. Searching for the word “purchase” does not give any relevant hits either, so sorry, I can’t find a single place where it says you purchase the content. You do not buy a copy of iRacing, you buy a limited access to the ‘service’.

        You might not like it, I certainly don’t like it. But I don’t see the outrage… Well, except for hits, more hits and some crying about “poor me”.

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      2. ““For clarity, the Sim Client and the Content are licensed to you; you will not obtain any ownership interest in the Sim Client or any of the Content.”

        This just means you PURCHASED their license. Same shit with Windows OS. You purchase a LICENSE to be able to use it, you don’t own the whole Windows source code, but you own your copy of the OS. And unless Microsoft finds you did something incredibly illegal with it, they have no right to black or invalidate your license.

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  13. LOL … Please go to the court with this … I’d really like to see you get kicked to hell and back. That would be amazing read 😀 (But I highly doubt you would share with us in that case … right?)

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    1. There is absolutely zero chance he would lose with this case. If you think anything else will be the case I’d advice getting your brain checked, there’s probably something wrong with it

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      1. If there were absolutely zero chance, Austin have had already sued them. He’s been at court so many times (his words), that he must be a lawyer now 😀

        Go on guys, do it, really. It really is astounding how stupid and full of yourselves are.

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      2. Fucking hell you are so absolutely retarded it makes me angry. You do realise that going to court is expensive? More expensive than the $800 he would get back from iceRacing? Which is why everyone is telling him to try and start a CLASS.ACTION.LAWSUIT.

        Yet again, all you retarded mongrels can do is attack ad-hominem, you haven’t posted one single bit of information that proves that Papyrus is right in this case. You are so fucking dumb I am surprised how you can go through life without forgetting to breathe half of the time.

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  14. Would be interesting if a court-case was actually made from this, be it singular or class-action. You say iRacing members kept coming to you with their thoughts on the matter, I’m sure if you announced “Hey I’m going to try this afterall”, you’d probably see a similar, possibly greater influx of support from that same group.. On the other hand, if it goes no further than this article, it’ll probably just continue on as a ‘Your word vs. Their word’ scenario, with the shills doing who knows what.

    TL;DR – Great PRC article, like the old ones I remember where things were backed-up and sourced extensively, rather than just recycled from the knee-jerk rumor-mill.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If you want this to be a big deal that deserves more attention, sharing it in the simracing community is not the way to go, as the userbase is too small. Instead tell Kotaku, Totalbiscuit or Jim Sterling. If they think it’s a big deal they’ll make it a big deal since they reach millions of gamers.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The three of us at PRC.net have been monitoring the feedback from this article very closely. We honestly had no idea we’d get this kind of reception. We didn’t expect it to get to the point where people are seriously suggesting for us to start a crowdfunding campaign or pursue a class action lawsuit. Usually when we post controversial articles, we get told to go fuck ourselves, or that we’re liars. This kind of unanimous support is foreign to us, especially when people who don’t usually align with our views are backing us up.

    We’re going to be looking into some stuff. I’ve been to court too many times in the past few years, and speaking from experience, it’s stressful as fuck even when you’re the good guy. At this point it would be nice to just get a refund from iRacing and be done with it, because $800+ is a pretty large amount of money that could go towards something else, but I can’t deny that we’ve unearthed a much bigger issue.

    Maple has broken down for me how this could all play out if we take action. It’s pretty wild. Of course, just like ESPN NFL Countdown, pre-game predictions are just that – predictions.

    All we can ask from our readers at the moment is that y’all share the article on as many message boards as possible, and get people talking about it. If your thread gets deleted or your post edited, put it back up again. If administrators, wherever they are, want to play that game, all it does is prove what PRC.net have been saying for months now.

    As professor00179 on Reddit said, as much as Americans want to downplay what we’ve found, the reality is that Terms of Service and EULA cannot challange the law of the land and do not affect any of your other rights as a consumer. We know what we’ve found, all we need is the public to jump onboard, and we’ll try and put something together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As somebody who uses iRacing, even I want to see this happen. There are a lot of things I like about iRacing, but it can be much, much better. Maybe something like this would make them wake the fuck up.

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  17. My consumer protection agency agreed that they can’t simple remove you for no reason if you have paid for the service. Not that it matters since gamers are whores and game developers will more often than not get away with shitty EULAs and other shitty practices.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Honestly just want the Iracing product without the pretence or huge outlay. A service which demands so much financial commitment needs to at least refund unused subscription fees. I still find it ridiculous that you can put so much in and have nothing to show for it if you don’t renew, surely an all inclusive subscription would be better

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t think you’re going to renew, don’t spend money on extra content?!?!?

      Quite how the author(s) of the ‘article’ managed to spend $800 in a few months, testing out Rookie street stocks is unfathomable.

      I have been a member for 5 years, am paid up until, 2017, have all the road tracks and more cars than I could ever competitively drive at once, and have spent just under $400.

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    1. Despite the article clearly saying I already had a main account worth $800 worth of content and started a rookie account using a free promo code to evaluate the tutorial levels, the clueless poster above believes I bought $800 of content on the rookie account.

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  19. The article seems to imply that Joni & Jere had their memberships revoked. This is not true. Jere is logged in as I type, and Joni last raced 6 hours ago.
    All that has happened is that they have had their forum privileges suspended for contravening the forum rules.

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      1. I went bitching on the EA community when they released BF3 (that I bought), because of their broken promises (I was a huge fan of the series), I clearly exaggerating because i was really disappointed, and guess what, they banned me from the EA portal… I honestly deserved it.
        Do you think i should have hired a lawyer to ask for the ban removal? ahahahha… guy you are a joke.

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  20. Did you say 10 claimants in your class action lawsuit? Haha. How long would it take lawyers to eat through the 800 you seek? Or 8,000 10 seek?
    Never going to happen.
    And don’t crowd fund this. it goes nowhere. Crowd fund his cash yes. Cheaper and easier. Don’t get carried away.
    Your only means of justice would be vandalizing them or trashing them publically like this.

    Like

    1. Well that depends entirely on the strength of the case, doesn’t it…

      There’s not a whole lot to ‘eat through’, aside from a EULA that allows iracing to work directly against the interest of consumers of their product. It is the right of the consumer to express dissatisfaction with a product, even if it’s licensed as a ‘rental’.

      Punishing customers for providing honest opinions while not providing returns is not a legal practice. Simple. If this was a large company, the FTC would possibly become involved. There’s very little difference between offering undisclosed awards for positive press and negative reinforcement for the same. You can’t legally do either of those things.

      The money (as I see it) is more general-purpose. This is going to take lots of time and create a bunch of annoyance for James. Plus, some money is needed simply to get counsel on the first step from a professional after more complete numbers are known.

      Crowd funding is the only way I can ever see this happening, because no one wants to personally fund this on their own. Too bad some of you expensive wheel bastards won’t step up to the plate 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I never thought that you OWN the content in iRacing, you merely just rent it. So you think that you can rent an apartment for few years. You then go public and tell everybody that the apartment is shit and the landlord is an ass. He throws you out and you expect to get all the paid rents refunded? C’mon.

    What I agree on, is that iRacing PR strategy (or the lack of it) is sucking big ass monkey balls. You don’t throw messenger overboard. You contact him, try to understand his bad experience and ask how can we make the service better.

    I am saddened by the fact that my favorite developer, Papyrus, has turned into a shady mess.

    Like

    1. Consumer law is different.

      How many game developers do you know that actively go around banning users from their *game* (not just forums) for telling them to fix their software?

      Not many, especially those based in the US, simply because it’s not legal. Doesn’t matter if you call it a ‘rental’. It’s obvious that iracing intends to abuse consumer rights.

      The important part will be compiling and establishing the evidence showing that players have been banned simply for expressing dissatisfaction, or indeed simply driving too fast in a racing game.
      This will naturally lead to a discussion about anti-cheat, which is something that I don’t think iracing will want to discuss. James already has a little something to work with there that isn’t going to look very good for iracing’s defense.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s more like, you rent out an apartment, and when you moved in there were several things that your landlord promised you through a contract would be fixed. You livered there for years and while your landlord promised “I’ll fix it” he simply continued replacing broken things with other broken things. Meanwhile you purchased some furniture for the flat that you agreed on selling back to the landlord when you moved out.

      Now, after several years of the landlord promising to fix shit and not doing anything, you publicly complain about it (community board for example). So instead of doing somethign against it, your landlord simply kicks you out and keeps the furniture that you paid for and he agreed on buying back from you in case you moved out.

      Like

  22. How is your ‘right to free speech’ being stifled? It’s not as though iRacing has closed down your blog. You’re free to say whatever you want here.

    Like

    1. ‘free speech’ as a consumer of a service* Forum bans don’t really count, though they can be used as evidence of systematic consumer abuse.

      Important distinction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you are at my bar shouting around that my cocktails sucks, I will kick your ass out, because you are unwanted, no matter how much money you spent in drinks, being a customers doesn’t make you a god. Don’t you like what you are drink? Go outta here and find another bar, I have enough customers who actually love my drinks.

        Like

      2. Why are people so bad with analogies? In your case you are right, this is correct, but in James’ case he had a subscription to be allowed into the bar and drink as much as he want (the monthly sub), PLUS he had purchased his own glasses to drink out of, and they cost $800. Now, if James complains that the cocktails suck then sure, the owner of the bar is allowed to throw him out as well, but he also has to a) give James his $800 worth of glasses (in James’ case not possible because they can’t gift James the content he bought) or b) the owner has to reimburse James for the $800 he spent on these glasses because obviously he’s not allowed to use them anymore.

        Like

      3. The ‘drink’ was already consumed. You completed your part of the contract and part of going into a bar is accepting the fact that you may be thrown out of the establishment or banned by the owner.

        iRacing offers a long-term service contract (idk what they call it), along with additional one-time charges for additional content access. In no way, shape or form is iracing legally allowed to suppress consumer complaints by blocking users from the content they paid for. This is a pretty basic reason for consumer protection agencies to exist in the first place…

        The past service fees they can legally keep, though anything that is not fully expired must at least be returned. The additional content that can no longer be accessed are more like damages experienced by the consumer.

        Would be funny if they just unban james and ignore him.

        Like

    2. Consumer rights give you the right to criticize a product you bought without having to fear repercussions from your comments. Worst thing a company in that case can do to you is take back the product and refund you.

      Like

      1. Yeah exactly. Imagine if Time-Warner (part of a large duopoly in the US) had you pay for a year of service, saw you complain about how shitty they are and decided to deny you service for the rest of your contract period AND not give you any money back.. That shit does not fly.

        TW does try that kind of stuff at an initial consumer service level, because some people are easily intimidated and/or don’t know their rights as a consumer. If they are pushed, they quickly yield to the legal rights of the consumer.

        iRacing isn’t doing that yet. Again, they are just saying fuck you i’m iracing and I’ll do whatever I want.

        Good Day!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. >Back in June, myself and many others formerly affiliated with PRC spent a few weeks on Teamspeak using iRacing’s free promo code to create alternate accounts and race in the game’s Rookie Street Stock class.

    According to the /r/simracing comments, it is stated that this is the culprit; explicitly using multiple accounts.

    [prepares popcorn and baits for the AC article]

    Like

    1. Multiple accounts are allowed as long as you use your real name. Most DWC drivers use secondary accounts to prevent the loss of their PRO license while running C-Fixed at Daytona.

      It’s also important to note that Christopher J DiBenedetto, Ella Hornbuckle, Vince Marsh2, did not receive bans for their multiple accounts (as well as being featured in the screenshots prominently).

      Not to mention the Email response, which straight up said they did it for no reason. If multiple accounts was the issue, they would have linked THAT portion of the sporting code/tos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makes no sense, you’re allowed to have multiple accounts as long as you’re not ban evading. I haven’t been banned since probably 2011 so as far as I know I did nothing wrong using a trial account to see if iRacing was worth re-subbing for back in he spring.

        And I did, it’s worth it now

        Like

    2. Reddit is hilarious because they defend iRacing 100% from a position of ignorance.

      There are tons of guys on iRacing who fucking alternate posts in the same thread between their primary and alternate accounts, it couldn’t get much more explicit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t that basically what reddit does, as in make judgements based on a consensus of the uninformed? The only useful information I’ve ever seen on the site has been way down on the page, hidden under bullshit and chatter.

        Like

  24. Long story short. Class action lawsuits need many claimants. Or a huge payday to chase.
    Neither of those things happening here. And James can’t hire a lawyer, nor handle case on his own.
    Case closed. Iracing wins.
    Go break their windows or something. Or have lizard squad do DOS attack on them.
    That’s all you can do. Besides piss and moan here all day.

    Like

    1. Actually, he has it in the bag if he wants, and your analysis, once again (as in the racing leagues topic) is retarded beyond belief.

      Only obstacles are money and the dedication and inconvenience and time lost. He can easily get the money needed with the idea someone gave here. He just needs to commit time and effort to it.

      If he wants motivation he can think of the popularity boost his site would get 😉 This story would make his popularity and earnings (if he takes full advantage of it) skyrocket. It´s a good investment. Go for it James! Think big.

      Like

      1. Someone needs to explain to me, whether by email or out in the open, how exactly I have it in the bag. The exact rules, exact laws, and exact consumer protection stuff needed to say with 100% certainty that I have a case. What I’ve done in the article above is my own analysis of the situation. To a lot of people, it makes sense and there are a fair number of you wanting to throw money at me which means I’m definitely on the right track, but hear me out for a second.

        I do not want money, I want info. Because even before I talk to a lawyer, I could respond to iRacing’s email and say “what you’re done to me as a customer is illegal because of X, Y, and Z, and you should stop.” This alone could force a refund of all the content I’ve bought, or a lift on the permanent ban.

        This is obviously the ideal situation, because as a sim racer, at the end of the day I want to play pretend race cars and run a shitty website. I do not want to be “that guy who took iRacing to court.”

        Especially if I’m successful. Let’s say we get far enough into a class-action suit where the EULA/Terms Of Service/Sporting Code is found to be in violation of some obscure law that was last enforced in 2001 at the dawn of online EULA’s and the Judge says something like “iRacing must pay $50 in cash, not iRacing Credits, to each of its 100,000+ customers who joined the service between 2008 and 2015.” Do the math, and think about what that would do to iRacing as a company.

        This is why I say to simply spread the article around and get people talking about it.

        Like

      2. This is why people are willing to give you money. You already know that you need data first. This is a long-term thing.

        I’m confident you can get unbanned, maybe with just an e-mail showing you are ready to proceed with a legal case against them.

        They just need a wake-up call, maybe just find a case or two that sets precedent (should be pretty easy) and make it clear that you aren’t going to back off until you have either a refund or access.

        Don’t listen to the guy talking about ‘lawyers on retainer’. Look at the EULA, there was no competent lawyer involved with that document, and that’s the very basis of their defense….

        Like

  25. You need a lawyer to draw up a document to (try). And I do mean TRY and scare them. Just how much money they want to spend to fight you is an unknown. But I’m just guessing more than all of us are wiling to throw at you. That said. A well written document from a proper lawyer likely to cost you $800 or more. But it might work.
    It’s also likely they keep a lawyer on retainer that can chew you up in five seconds in a few spare hours if they feel like it.
    The only thing that will get their attention is a threat of being sued by you if your being represented.
    Your representation costs more than they owe, but a really good lawyer might be confident he will get that back, plus his fees. That’s what you need. A lawyer who believes in the case enough to think he’ll get his money from Iracing for his fees.
    Not likely you get any lawyers for a reasonable amount that want to touch this though. IMO.
    That’s why your here in the first place you seem like a smart chap that should already have a handle on how the world works.
    So let’s move on.

    Or just keep throwing rocks at windows from PRC.net

    Like

  26. And for the record. Class action lawyers get a hold of people first when they think they can win a case.
    They are people too. And it’s likely at least one lawyer or law professional is subscribed to Iracing.
    If a class action lawyer can smell a big payday from a corp. he’s gonna be the first to ask if you want representation.
    Your first step would be to ask a lawyer how many claimants and how many dollars he must be chasing in what types of situation to make it worth his while. If you can keep them on the phone long enough to hear you out when you mention. “Software licensing agreement”.
    I don’t think they are huge in the software scene, if at all. Tough money.

    Like

  27. Mr. Ogonoski, don’t you worry. I saw an episode of Matlock in a bar last night. The sound was down, but I think I got the gist of it.

    Like

  28. You know back when iRacing claimed they were having ddos attacks I thought it was just a cover for their flaky servers, I mean who could get so worked up over a mediocre racing sim that they’d organise an attack to coincide with an event?. Reading the comments here and I’m now inclined to believe them.

    Like

  29. Why would you agree to their EULA/TOS, and then be harsh is your “Story” If you read and understood the EULA/TOS, you might have gotten a grasp on what would happen if you off at the mouth about them..

    So you flamed them a bit are are upset that they banned you?

    Like

  30. I was directed to this posting by a colleague for a touch of light reading.

    As a lawyer of 14 years, I can tell you that the entity iRacing will without doubt leave a court case as the victors. A first year law student would be able to represent them and still accomplish a satisfactory outcome.

    Every single member is instructed to read the EULA before continuing the registration documentation, if you chose to gloss over this, or read it through and still submit to become a member you have just waived your rights to seek any compensation form iRacing(or any other business) if you are then subsequently removed.

    What they have in the EULA is not illegal, and you have agreed to their terms, on their service. Simple.

    Like

  31. might want to read up on “free speech” It only applies to being able to speak freely about public entities without fear of censorship. Private entities are a different matter. iRacing can do what they want. If you didnt live under this thinly veiled mask of ego-maniacal sensationalist ‘journalism’, you might actually take the time to do some proper research.

    “Freedom of speech is the right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship. “

    Like

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