Index ← 1771 CFJ 1772 1773 → text
==============================  CFJ 1772  ==============================

    comex initiated an equity case in eir message dated Mon, 22 Oct 2007
    16:16:40 -0400


Caller:                                 omd

Judge:                                  Zefram
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by omd:                          28 Oct 2007 17:21:56 GMT
Assigned to Zefram:                     28 Oct 2007 17:33:14 GMT
Judged FALSE by Zefram:                 28 Oct 2007 18:49:22 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

There is a precedent (MMI before it got upmutated) that lower-power rules
can define terms used in high-power rules, and I would not consider Rule
2171 to actually be in conflict with 1742's definition of contract.  In
fact, R1742 could be read as defining any binding agreement fitting the
definition as a contract, and there is no question that 2171 can create
such a binding agreement.

The rules (notably R2169) also reference and try to impose things called
binding agreements, but if they are not to be considered contracts, Rule
1742 does not require that they be enforced.  Furthermore, rule 2169
references otherwise-nonexistent "usual processes governing binding
agreements".  Precedent and the intent of Rule 2171 also concur that the
rules are to be treated as a contract.

I recommend that the judge read the thread context, including:


Caller's Evidence:

On Monday 22 October 2007, comex wrote:
> I initiate an equity case with the rules as contract, the players as the
> parties to the contract, and Peekee's quoted violation of Rule 2149 as
> the state of affairs whereby events have not proceeded as envisioned by
> the contract.


Judge Zefram's Arguments:

This case hinges on whether it is possible to initiate an equity case
concerning the rules.  Rule 2169 speaks of the subject of an equity
case being "a particular contract".  The word "contract" is defined by
rule 1742:

      Any group of two or more persons may make an agreement among
      themselves with the intention that it be binding upon them and
      be governed by the rules.  Such an agreement is known as a

which then goes on to make several provisions governing contracts.
Rule 1742's definition must be interpreted in the light of rule 101(iv):

        iv. Every person has the right to refuse to become party to
            a binding agreement.  The absence of a person's explicit,
            willful consent shall be considered a refusal.

We must consider whether the rules are compatible with this definition of
"contract".  Per CFJ 1709, the rules are binding not only on those who
have the rule-defined status of "player", but on all those who play
the game in the broader sense.  Initiating a CFJ, for example, is a
long-standing way in which non-players can play the game.  Of recent
relevance is that a non-player can enter into a contract, as defined
by rule 1742, and is then bound by rule 1742's obligation to abide by
the contract.

If the rules are to be regarded as a contract, then, the set of parties
(the set of entities bound by the contract) is clearly the unenumerated
set of people who take game actions, whether or not they are officially
players.  However, taking game actions other than registration certainly
does not constitute "explicit, willful consent" to be bound by the rules.
It is questionable whether even registration as a player achieves this,
but initiating a CFJ certainly does not.  On this point, the rules cannot
be a contract as defined by rule 1742.

Rule 2171 attempts to make the rules adjudicable as if they were a
"binding agreement".  This is relevant to the interpretation of rule
2169 if we accept "binding agreement" as a synonym for "contract".
In this case rule 2171 is either attempting to make the rules be
viewed as a rule 1742 contract, or attempting to modify the definition
of "contract" for the purposes of rule 2169 to include the rules.
Either way it conflicts with rule 1742, which has higher power.  If it
were interpreted as attempting to change the meaning of a higher-power
rule solely by redefining terms, then per CFJ 858 this can constitute
a conflict, and I believe in this case it does.

The rules are generally not written as a contract, and generally do not
envision adjudication by means of an equity-like process.  The rules
explicitly institute a criminal-style process for the adjudication
of rule violations, and a process of declaratory judgement for the
adjudication of uncertainty regarding the interpretation of the rules.
The rules do not envision any restrictions on who they can bind, among
those who take actions that are relevant to the rules.  Rule 2171 is
completely incompatible with these pervasive aspects of the rules.
If it had high power then rule 2171 would cause a lot of breakage.
As it is, at power=1, it is simply ineffective due to conflicts.