Your input needed: Discussing stuff that is illegal or against a game's terms of service on MEW

Continuing the discussion from Playing Vanilla WoW on a private server — your thoughts?:

The above topic raised some interesting questions about the kind of discussion we want to allow on MEW (thanks @Weasley!).

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with generally discussing topics such as private servers, torrents, cracking DRM, jailbreaking firmware, and so on. (We’ve had articles and/or topics about Denuvo being cracked, for example.)

However, in my opinion it is also obvious that we don’t want to link to torrents, sites explaining how to torrent copyrighted material, and online services that don’t properly license content like streaming sites.

This then raises the question: how do we approach private servers for online games, jailbreaking your phone (or console for that matter), and cracking the DRM of an ebook you’ve bought so you can load it onto a different reader?

Where should we as a community draw the line?

These questions are not all clear-cut to me, so I thought it might be better to open a public discussion about it.

(In the specific case of private servers, that probably falls under copyright law and at the very least we will have to remove links to them when asked to do so.)


I dont see anything illegal with discussing illegal things on an internet forum…thats just me though :slight_smile:

Discussion is fine I think till a certain level but also can’t be linked to that.


I am often reluctant to talk about anything regarding piracy or something of an illegal stance on a public forum, as I feel it implicates you. Perhaps talking about something you received – be it from a friend, or something acquired without playing for it.

I think discussion is always welcome, but we should not link to any of the grey area things such as private servers. It falls into the copyright laws - same as when we do the articles - we make sure to link to the proper places to show our sources and that we didn’t plagarise. Same for the obvious piracy stuff, no links to any thing.

I think general discussion is fine but as soon as someone starts linking to sites or private servers that should be done via PM. No direct links, how-to-guides, private server invites should be allowed in public posts.

This way we are not completely banning the subject but are distancing ourselves from those who wish to post and access that information


I think people are blowing stuff like this out of proportion.
Stuff like WoW private servers have been around for as long as WoW has been.

I do not think a forum should be a place to say what is morally wright or wrong according to the mods. It always gets ugly and goes south quickly.

If there is money made illegally or direct harm being caused to someone sure, then it should be taken up with someone.


I totally agree that we cannot go all draconian on simple discussion about the topic of WoW private servers. As long as we do not actively promote these servers, there is no harm in discussing it at all.

I mean here we sit, all high and mighty, judging this to be illegal, while we wait for our torrents of series and movies not available in South Africa to download, while we discuss these said series here with little to no thought about it’s legality.

I agree that there must be a line, but clearly the line is a bit further than merely discussion.


The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, 2015

“In terms of clause 22 of the Bill any person who intentional and unlawful attempts,
conspires with any other person or aids, abets, induces, incites, instigates, instructs,
commands, or procures another person, to commit an offence in terms of Chapter 2 of
the Bill, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to the punishment to which a
person convicted of actually committing that offence would be liable.”


sigh… If people are going to be copy pasting certain bill and rights about petty stuff like this…Then this is going to become a toxic environment very quickly.

I’ll quote from my law professor : “Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat”

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Funny story… unless we belong to an association like ISPA or the press council, the operators of a forum (that’s everyone involved in helping to run this place) can be held liable for stuff like defamation. I’m not making that up, or making assumptions. That is legal advice from a professional.

So depending on in what kind of depth the discussion of the illegal thing goes (i.e. how to crack a game, link to torrent), we could actually be held personally liable.

Hence this discussion. It won’t be according to individual morals, but based on what the community decides.

Indeed. I don’t think anyone ever suggested that discussion about private servers shouldn’t be allowed, so I’d just like to get everyone back on track.

This is about consistency. I wanted everyone to think about the general case about what kind of discussions we agree are acceptable, and what not, and why. For example, do we allow someone to post a detailed how-to guide on how to jailbreak their Nintendo Switch or PS4? Why or why not?

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LoL. Your quoting game is very strong.

I think all information about this topic is worth having, including reading the relevant law.

I’d prefer that we discuss the principle rather than the legality, though.

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It is just opening a can of worms.
Putting it more in the spotlight than if people just left it.

Making a fuss over such petty things.
So now we are going to regulate all things such as videos and images of cars/bikes speeding because we are now clearly promoting something that is against the law.


The reality is that MEW and @SIGSTART can be put through the wringer for “aiding and abetting” under the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill. That being said, the Bill is rarely enforced unless it relates to terrorism or large scale operations. The simplest way to sidestep this is to take a stance of “you may discuss the topic, but you should avoid discussing specifics around implementation/execution”

It literally takes one person from say Nintendo (or a publisher) to notice a “Hey, this is how you crack XYZ on the Nintendo NextGen Console” to go medieval on MEW. Which is not a space you want to be in (it gets expensive)


in the cracked ps4 article i included

(which is easy but we wont tell you,piracy is a crime)

or any links on how to get hold of the software or games

because it is relevant news we want to be aware of as a gaming community but not promoting it in any sense


That’s a very unfortunate way to look at it.

Here I thought I was allowing the community to help shape the moderation policy.

But maybe you’re right… maybe we should just do it case by case.

Boarding a plane. Short trip. Remember keep it constructive, ya’ll!

Enjoy the flight!! I am def out of this one! Can already see where this is bound the head :stuck_out_tongue: