Today CCP Stillman has posted a Dev Blog about a 30 day ban enforced on people who have been using client modifications, namely warp to zero autopilot.
This dev-blog would be nothing out of ordniary, if Stillman didn’t remind the community about Cache Scraping being a bannable offense as well.
Let me remind you what Cache Scraping is. EVE is storing some temporary data on your computer to avoid downloading it from the server every time this data is required. Market prices are a good example: when you visit the in-game market, the game is downloading prices and is storing them in cache. There is several programs, including well known EVEMON, which use this information to feed eve-central.com, one of the biggest unofficial API projects made by EVE players. Data frome eve-central.com is used to feed killboards and other third party apps with current prices.
There is also the excellent Python script by Entity (the famous item collector), which allows to create a static data dump from singularity (or tranquility) client cache data. This allows third party developers to offer their apps with up-to-date databases even before official Static Data Dump is available. I have been using Entity’s script to publish data dumps from Singularity builds as well (these dumps allow players to see what changes are coming to ships and modules in the coming expansion).
With cache scraping banned, all these useful additions would be gone
But here came the excellent EVE Online community. As expected, players have rallied together and created this forum threadnaught to remind CCP, that they are about to ban something, that enriches the game, and fills the gaps left by the developers. EVE API does not allow access to the market data, so players have created a tool for other players. CCP has consulted their lawyers, and CCP Peligro has posted this in the threadnaught which I’ve mentioned:
CCP Peligro wrote:
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.
The day is saved, long live the EVE community!
PS. It’s not Stillman’s fault, that the EVE EULA disallows cache scraping. What happened today however, has a chance to get the EULA ammended in such a way, that players using the data from game cache will not end up being punished for enriching the game for others.