============================== CFJ 1455 ==============================
Sir Toby did not join The Evil Scam Contest in a message sent to
agora-business on Fri, 14 Mar 2003 08:53:40 -0800, with the
following subject: This message brought to you by the letter "a".
Caller: Sir Toby
Called by Sir Toby: 14 Mar 2003 17:22:32 GMT
Assigned to Steve: 21 Mar 2003 00:09:49 GMT
Judged TRUE by Steve: 27 Mar 2003 01:41:53 GMT
Peekee has created a contest where he attempts to create a regulation that
causes players to join the contest merely by posting a message in the
public forum containing the letter "a". The message referenced by this CFJ
contains 4 instances of the letter "a" that were placed there
intentionally. Peekee would like people to believe that I am now a member
of The Evil Scam Contest since I posted a message to a public forum
containing the letter "a".
I'd like to point out that this just isn't possible. When I posted the
message I reference above, I was not a Contestant or the Contestmaster of
The Evil Scam Contest. Rule 1446 specifies the jurisdiction of a
Contest's regulations (its SLC) as being the Contestmaster and all
Contestants of the contest. Since I was not a Contestant or the
Contestmaster of The Evil Scam Contest at the time I posted the above
referenced message, I was outside the jurisdiction of The Evil Scam
Contest's SLC. Rule 1591 says that an SLC has the power to constrain the
actions of players, just like the rules, but only for those players inside
its jurisdiction. Since I was outside of the jurisdiction of The Evil Scam
Contest's SLC, it cannot constrain my actions. Thus, it cannot cause me to
join the contest by merely posting a message to a public forum containing
the letter "a".
Sir Toby's message sent to agora-business on Fri, 14 Mar 2003 08:53:40
-0800, with the following subject: This message brought to you by the
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2003 08:53:40 -0800 (PST)
From: "Jeff Weston (Sir Toby)"
Subject: BUS: This message brought to you by the letter "a"
This is a test message.
Jeff Weston (Sir Toby)
Gratuitous Arguments by G.:
Please see CFJ 1290 (http://cotc.taral.net/viewcase.php?cfj=1290)
which clearly distinguishes between "types" of statements used
as consent, and hinges on whether the inferred intent of a
player making a statement was to join a contest. By CFJ 1290's
standard, Sir Toby has indeed joined the contest as e made
statements with clear intent to test a joining clause (as Goethe
did in CFJ 1290).
Gratuitous Arguments by Sir Toby:
The only way that the letter "a" can become a synonym for a statement of
intent to join the contest is within the SLC for The Evil Scam Contest.
Since I was definitely not under the jurisdiction of the contest's SLC,
when I posted the message the letter "a" did not apply as a synonym for me
giving consent to join the contest. When I posted the message, I knew that
I was not under the jurisdiction of the contest's SLC, which means I knew
that including the letter "a" in a message was not a clear intent to join
the contest. You cannot say that just because I knew about the regulations
of The Evil Scam Contest that the letter "a" becomes a synonym for a clear
intent to join the contest. While I knew about the regulations, I also
knew they did not apply to me since I was not under their jurisdiction.
Gratuitous Arguments by root:
These arguments are intended to be an attempt at a strong, clear,
definitive interpretation of the authority given by the Rules to SLCs.
The Rules grant an SLC the authority to "constrain the actions" of
Players in its Jurisdiction, and in the case of contests the authority to
specify the four types of things listed in R1539. This is *all* the
authority given to SLCs by the Rules, as per R1592:
A SLC has the power to define the manner in which certain
properties of entities are changed. This power shall be limited
to any property solely defined by that SLC and to any other
property to which the Rules grant that SLC this authority.
Note that while SLCs can "constrain" actions, which I take to mean in a
limiting sense, the Rules grant SLC's no authority to create *new*
mechanisms for changing anything, except when allowed by R1539 or when
the properties to be changed are solely defined by the SLC. In particular,
there is no authority for an SLC to define new mechanisms by which players
may join the contest, such as posting a's to the public forum.
Of course, by R1592 an SLC can still create mechanisms that change
properties "solely defined by that SLC". For example, an SLC could state
that each time a Player (not necessarily in its jurisdiction) eats a
banana, that player's silliness factor is increased by 1. Nothing prevents
the SLC from defining its own properties or from changing them willy-nilly.
On the flip side, an SLC that attempted to change Rule-defined properties,
even when the properties are attached to players under its jurisdiction,
would fail. For example, dictating a change in ownership of properties
would fail, as would dictating that a player, even one under the
jurisdiction of the SLC, becomes a contestant of a contest. Of course, by
R1591 the SLC can *require* the player to transfer currencies or to join
a contest, provided the player is already under its jurisdiction. But it
seems that an SLC can not automagically cause the change by fiat. This may
break some existing SLCs, but probably not very many; most "magical"
clauses of SLCs merely cause contestants to leave the contest, which is
explicitly allowed by R1539.
It may be argued that an SLC could be used to redefine the meaning of a
message sent to the public forum, such as ('a' => 'I join the contest').
However, by providing new meanings, the SLC would be constraining the
actions of Players by preventing them from posting the redefined phrase,
lest they trigger some new effect. Therefore, by R1591, only Players in
the Jurisdiction of the SLC need pay any heed to the redefinitions.
As a side note, I don't believe this interpretation counteracts my pay-out
scam, because that relies on R1591 to constrain the contestmaster's actions
but does not actually attempt to change any properties itself.
Judge Steve's Arguments:
First, the facts. According to Regulation 6 of The Evil Scam Contest
(see Evidence <1>):
... Players become Contestants of this Contest by posting a messgae
[sic] in the Public Forum containing the letter "a". Any such post
is an indication by the given player of their willingness to become
a contestant in this contest.
Sir Toby immediately proceeded to post a message to the PF containing
the letter "a" (see Evidence <2>).
(As an aside, I note that the ACO for The Evil Scam Contest gives the
Class of the Organization as "Competition". On a very literal reading,
this does not specify a legal Class for the Organization (currently only
Monasteries and Contests are defined), and so it is tempting to avoid
the morass of legal issues raised by this CFJ simply by ruling that The
Evil Scam Contest never came into existence. However, since I am not a
fan of very literal readings, and since 'Competition' is a reasonable
synonym for 'Contest', I shall resist the temptation.)
Several arguments have been advanced concerning this CFJ. I shall deal
with them each in turn.
Sir Toby, both in his Caller's arguments and elsewhere, has argued that
Regulation 6 could not apply to him, since he was not within the
jurisdiction of the Contest at the time that he posted his message.
I reject this argument as too quick. The question of the operation of
Rules (or of Rule-like entities such as Contest Regulations) concerning
how players enter the jurisdiction of those Rules is a difficult and
subtle one. For example, we accept that it is possible for a Rule like
R1714 (Lawlessness) to restrict the ability of some non-players to
register to play. With this example in mind, we should not be too quick
to conclude that just because Sir Toby was not a member of The Evil Scam
Contest, that Regulation 6 did not apply to him.
[Although it's not strictly relevant to deciding the case before me, I'd
like to put on the record my view how about this question should resolved
with respect to the Rules.
The question here is: to what extent exactly do the Rules apply to
non-players? The application of R1714 to non-players is noted above --
does this imply that the Rules can extend their jurisdiction to non-
players without their knowledge or consent?
I would say that it does not. Just as we should be careful not to be too
quick to conclude that the Rules never apply to non-players, we should
be just as careful not to be too quick to extend that application too
far. The best interests of the game are served by having the Rules apply
only to those persons who have consented to it. Therefore I would say
that Rules apply to non-players firstly, only if they have expressed a
desire to participate in the game (e.g. by requesting registration, or
submitting a CFJ), and secondly, only to the extent that they have
expressed such a desire. That is, a non-player who requests registration
should expect the Rules concerning registration to apply to em, but
while e reamins a non-player, e should also expect to be free of the
Rules that do not concern registration.]
2. Authority of SLCs
Sir Toby and root have argued that the while R1539 clearly allows
Contests to define "[a]dditional *restrictions* on Players to become
Contestants", the Rules do not grant to Contests the authority to define
additional *conditions* for Contest entry. In other words, Contests can
make it harder to players to become Contestants, but they cannot make it
This argument relies on a restrictive reading of R1539, according to
which the list given there of things that a Contest's Regulations can
specify is exhaustive: if it isn't listed in R1539, then a Contest's
Regulations cannot specify it. The language in R1539 alone is not enough
to justify this conclusion; the Rule does not say that the list is
exhaustive, and a good thing that is, too, since it would prohibit any
Contest from having substantive provisions describing how it actually
Sir Toby and root invoke R1592 to support their argument at this point:
A SLC has the power to define the manner in which certain properties
of entities are changed. This power shall be limited to any property
solely defined by that SLC and to any other property to which the
Rules grant that SLC this authority.
However, I don't think R1592 supports their argument. Consider the
property of being within the jurisdiction of the Contest's Regulations.
In my view, there are good arguments that this property is solely
defined by the Contest's Regulations, and even better arguments that
this is a property which the Rules grant the Regulations the authority
to change -- see R1539 again. In either case, being within the
jurisdiction of a Contest's Regulations is a property that the
Regulations have the power to change -- which is as it should be.
Summing up this section, it's my view that the Rules are not very
restrictive of Contest Regulations, where entry into the Contest is
concerned. The Regulations of a Contest can specify pretty much anything
they like. This is not to say, of course, that such Regulations will
have their intended, or for that matter any, effects.
3. Protection against involuntary Contest entry
R1612 states that:
Rules to the contrary notwithstanding, no Player shall ever
involuntarily become a Member of an Organization.
In my view, the existence of this protection in the Rules is the best
argument for the truth of the Statement. In my view it is a minimum
requirement on a player voluntarily becoming a member of an Organization
that the player should have expressed clearly and explicitly eir desire
to join. There is nothing in Sir Toby's message that clearly
communicates such a desire. The claim in Regulation 6 that posting the
letter "a" to the PF is equivalent to expressing a desire to join the
Contest is neither here nor there. Even though Sir Toby knew about the
Regulation, he may have had (and it appears from his Gratuitous
Arguments that he did have) a reasonable belief that e was not subject
to the Regulation and that his message was therefore not equivalent to
expressing a desire to join.
The Statement is therefore TRUE.
Some discussion of the relation between this Judgement and that in CFJ
1290 seems warranted. The facts in that case, very briefly, were that
the Regulations of the Agora the Beautiful (AtB) Contest claimed, among
other things, that "any insult to the intelligence or character of a
player" implied consent to join the Contest. Goethe then posted a number
of such insults (e.g. "Blob is a doo-doo head."). Judge solublefish
ruled, with misgivings, that implied consent is possible under the
Rules, and that Goethe had clearly given implied consent to join AtB.
(See Evidence <3>)
In this Judgement consistent with the earlier one, or am I setting a new
precedent? I can't really give a clear answer. My Judgement is arguably
consistent with solublefish's, but my reasoning is probably not.
On the one hand, the situation here is somewhat different. In the
earlier case, the actions that the AtB Regulations used to define
implied consent to join were much more specific than that used by The
Evil Scam Contest, and Goethe was much more equivocal in his statements
than Sir Toby was about what his intentions were in posting as he did.
The argument that Goethe was trying to join AtB is therefore much
stronger than the argument that Sir Toby was trying to join TES. So even
given solublefish's ruling on the existence of implied consent, one
could argue that Sir Toby did not give even implied consent to join TES.
On the other hand, in my Judgement I have given more weight to the best
interests of the game than solublefish did in CFJ 1290. As a result, I
apply a stronger test: instead of implied consent, I look for 'clear and
explicit' consent. So I am setting a new precedent. Future Judges will
have to decide for themselves what to make of it.
Judge Steve's Evidence:
<1> ACO for Peekee's Evil Scam Contest
<2> Sir Toby's message, referred to in the Statement
<3> CFJ 1290