Policy Spotlight - Account Sharing

Blizzard Employee
Originally posted 07/09/2010

We’ll now be looking at the slightly under-publicised issue of Account Sharing.

It’s come to our attention over the weeks and months that many players sadly aren’t even aware that this practice is both against the Terms of Use and can seriously endanger their account security, so we’ll be aiming to cover all the pertinent points that fall under this umbrella of ‘not-allowed’!

Why am I not allowed to share?
What do I risk by sharing?
What can happen to me if I share anyway?
Disclaimer
Edited by Tiogaradh on 23/01/2013 13:49 GMT
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
Why am I not allowed to share?

Wait, I can’t share my account? Where does it say that?
Now we know you’ve all taken time to read over our game Terms of Use(!), but it genuinely does say in there that you’re not allowed to give anyone else the use of your account, nor to make use of anyone else’s account in kind;

Official Terms of Use Agreement

I. Accessing the Service

1. … You may not share the Account with anyone, except that if you are a parent or guardian, you may permit one (1) minor child to use the Account when not in use by you. You are liable for all uses of the Account that has been enabled by you…

Additionally;

4. … Your Password is to be kept confidential at all times and you are solely responsible for the security of your Password. You may not disclose your Password to anyone, or allow your Password to be used by anyone other than yourself and/or your one (1) minor child. Blizzard Entertainment is not responsible for any harm that may result to the Account (including without limitation the deletion or modification of characters in the Account) as a result of a lost or shared password.

And;

III. Limitations on Your Use of World of Warcraft

3. You agree that you will not
… (6) let any third person (except for a minor for whom you opened the Account) play on your Account including, but not limited to, using so-called "power leveling services", i.e. paying a third person for playing on your Account; or
(7) play on the Account of a third person including, but not limited to, providing so-called "power leveling services"…

But surely all the above is put in there simply to make sure I buy an account too, so that you get more money out of me and my friend?
Actually, not in the slightest.

While we’d love for both you and your friend, brother, aunty, cat, etc., to have their own account so that you can both enjoy the game together (rather than having to arrange times when one or the other of you can make use of the characters), there are actually some very serious and legitimate reasons why it’s in everyone’s best interests not to share accounts.
Do please read on for more information…
Edited by Tiogaradh on 23/01/2013 13:52 GMT
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
What do I risk by sharing?


Firstly, before we begin with the questions, let us return to the sections of the Terms of Use above and remind you that you can be held accountable for any and all activity carried out on your account;

Think of your account as a rental car – when you pay your monthly subscription fee, you’re covering yourself as the sole user of your account – and, as with a single-driver hire car policy, we have to assume that all actions undertaken on the account are either done by, or the responsibility of, the original account creator.

What if my friend promises me he’ll only ever play on ‘his own’ characters on my account?
    Aside from the fact that this may not always remain the case, and it could be tempting one day for him or her to perhaps ‘borrow’ a small sum of gold or a few crafting materials from one of ‘your’ designated characters, each time you tell another person your Battle.net login details you significantly lower your account security (and consequently increase your likelihood of having your account hacked by a malicious, and entirely unknown, third party).

    While your own PC may be squeaky clean, what if your brother/sister/cat logs in on their own system (which may not be quite so secure)? Or how about if they happen to be visiting a further friend/family member/cat, or even a web café, and decide to access the game from this PC?
    It doesn’t even have to be a matter of trust – all too often we see the consequences of account sharing, and these ‘shared’ accounts do become far more likely to suffer actions as a regard of scamming, item and gold loss, and outright theft and compromise.

How about if it’s me that my friend shares his account with? I’m not going to get him hacked – I’m careful with stuff like that!
    While your security-conscious approach is admirable, there is no 100% fool-proof way to avoid being hacked, and even our extremely effective Authenticators can’t be guaranteed as a hack-prevention method.

    This being said, it’s not simply a matter of getting your (or your friend’s) account hacked or compromised – as you can see from all the legal mumbo-jumbo in the first section of this sticky thread, account sharing is against the Terms of Use. So, if it becomes clear that your friend is sharing his account with you (or vice versa), it may become necessary for us to take appropriate action against the account.

Please continue on for further details…
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
What can happen to me if I share anyway?

So, you’ve read all the parts in the Terms of Use telling you it’s prohibited to share your account (it’s mentioned at least eight times, in some form or other!), but you figure that you and your friend’ll be careful and it’ll probably be fine anyway, right?

Perhaps, but we do not recommend that you take this kind of risk with the characters you’ll likely have spent many hours of time on, not to mention any subscriptions paid over the weeks, months or years.

So, say you guys realise I’ve been sharing my account with a friend from school/college/work?
    Interestingly, most of the cases of sharing reported to us come about when players requesting some form of item or character restoration claim that the original deletion was perpetrated by someone other than themselves.

    Now, whether this is the truth or not won’t affect whether we help, nor how likely we are to do so – if it’s not possible for us to refund an item for you then unfortunately it simply won’t matter who bought the item in question, and conversely, if we can return something lost or deleted to you then it would’ve been equally as likely that we’d do this if you simply said you’d made a mistake yourself.

    However, this being said, you really don’t want to build up a history of item and character restorations on your account as a result of account sharing – while we may choose to be lenient on isolated occasions (and attempt to provide education into the risks involved in account sharing), if a clear picture begins to emerge and regular support team intervention becomes necessary as a result of the situation then it is extremely likely that we’d need to take at least cautionary action.

What does that mean? Just a warning?
    Obviously, as with all situations we deal with, we aim to consider all the contributing factors and decide the most fitting outcome on a case by case basis, but account sharing will likely earn you;

    • a warning placed on your account, at the very minimum,
    • a short to medium-length suspension,
    • or anything up to account closure, for severe and repeated cases.

    Also, and this is rather important:
        If it becomes clear that an account is being shared, we can no longer guarantee being able to provide our usual level of customer support with regards to restorations, compromise investigations, and even potential exceptions.
Edited by Tiogaradh on 23/01/2013 13:52 GMT
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
Disclaimer

The shrewd amongst you may have noticed that this “Spotlight” doesn’t explicitly cover the very dubious, and also illegal, practices of account trade or sale.

We recognise that players are rather more likely to be aware of the consequences of this type of agreement, and our procedures for account retrieval (involving providing clear evidence of original account ownership) give a rather clear idea of what can happen if you choose to try and ‘adopt ownership’ of, or play on, an account that was never yours.

Lets take this opportunity, however, to reinforce the fact that these practices are also against the Terms of Use, and that we will only ever recognise the original creator of the account as the person legitimately allowed to play on it;

I. Accessing the Service
    5. Blizzard Entertainment does not recognize the transfer of Accounts, and any unauthorized transfer of the World of Warcraft software will result in the permanent deletion of the Account attached to that software. You may not offer any Account for sale or trade, and any such offer:
      (1) is a violation of this Agreement;
      (2) may result in suspension or termination of the Account at Blizzard Entertainment's sole and absolute discretion; and
      (3) will not be opposable to Blizzard Entertainment.

Bottom Line: If you purchase or accept trade of an account, do NOT expect to be able to keep access to said account – your acquisition of it has no concrete meaning (nor has any money you may have paid for such), and it is very possible that control of the account will be subsequently removed from you without notification or prior warning.
Edited by Tiogaradh on 23/01/2013 13:56 GMT
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
Feedback


As always, one of the main goals behind these “Policy Spotlight” posts is not only to increase awareness of certain aspects of our working methods and general points of policy, but also to gather together any feedback that you, as players and customers, may have.

With a sensitive topic such as this, we obviously can’t guarantee any large scale changes (and no, we’re highly unlikely to make account sharing acceptable off the back of this topic), but please let us know if you have any strong feelings about the current policies, associated punishments (in as much as we’re able to divulge about them), or even about how effective you feel we are at conveying issues such as this to the player-base as a whole.

We welcome, as always, your comments, ideas, questions and thoughts. :)
Edited by Nephadne on 05/12/2010 17:04 GMT
Reply Quote
Blizzard Employee
Reserved
Reply Quote
80 Troll Shaman
1150
Hi
I was not playing wow often for the last year so that i lvl uped a hunter in my big Brothers account (he promoted me to do that).
and now i can play everyday and therefor we cant play at the same time :(
cos of that i bought a new account (this one) BUT i cant transfer my heroes to this one :*((
i love my hunter and even my bro cant leave his Pally Tank in his account and make a new one
in new account . i thought we can transfer my charecters so that i bought new account but now...!!! i don't know what to do.PLZ help me i realy stock :( and dont know how to do this !!.
Reply Quote
90 Human Warlock
13070
20/01/2011 11:28 AMPosted by Draaka
Hi
I was not playing wow often for the last year so that i lvl uped a hunter in my big Brothers account (he promoted me to do that).
and now i can play everyday and therefor we cant play at the same time :(
cos of that i bought a new account (this one) BUT i cant transfer my heroes to this one :*((
i love my hunter and even my bro cant leave his Pally Tank in his account and make a new one
in new account . i thought we can transfer my charecters so that i bought new account but now...!!! i don't know what to do.PLZ help me i realy stock :( and dont know how to do this !!.


You play on your new account, on a new character.

Account Sharing is not allowed!
Reply Quote
your not allowed to share an account with your brother unless he is your appointed legal guardian. there is no way for u to transfer a character off his account onto yours.

your best option is to re-level your hunter on your new account
Reply Quote
80 Troll Shaman
1150
but there must be a way
even if he ask it his own ?! its not just my will.he want it too.btw i just have over 60 compinions there :((i love them.i wish GMs can find a way .
Reply Quote
90 Human Warlock
13070
20/01/2011 11:52 AMPosted by Draaka
but there must be a way
even if he ask it his own ?! its not just my will.he want it too.btw i just have over 60 compinions there :((i love them.i wish GMs can find a way .


There is no way.

This entire thread is about how Account Sharing outside of legal guardianship is not allowed.
Reply Quote
80 Troll Shaman
1150
omg why so solid ?!
how i cant transfer my chars in MY account ! just cos of low ?! its nonsense i payed for accounts and time i played so there must be a way !
Reply Quote
90 Human Warlock
13070
There is no way.
Reply Quote
Customer Service
Even though you now have your own account Draaka, the characters are on your brother's account and therefore cannot be transferred because the account is in his name.

As such you will not be able to transfer the characters to your account.

Keep in mind that this is in our Terms of use and is mentioned here.

You may not share the Account with anyone, except that if you are a parent or guardian, you may permit one (1) minor child to use the Account when not in use by you.
Reply Quote
80 Undead Mage
7345
Going to add my 2 cents to this policy...
I live with my girlfriend, who incidently i met through WoW and I moved to Denmark 10 months ago to be with her. We recently (by recently i mean 2 weeks ago on 5th Jan) we had a baby. She made a choice later in the pregnancy to stop paying for her account (and so did i for a while) because obviously we had other financial obligations to get sorted out. Ok so a while before our daughter was born i decided to start playing again and upgraded my acc to cata (thanks to a familly member that bought cata and gave the key to me). We are in a situation were we have 1 pc available, we have limited time to play and its pretty much not a feasable decission to waste money paying for 2 accounts, either 1 plays or the other pretty simple. I do and i will continue to allow her to play on my account either on my own characters or on her own. I know 100% for fact that my account details will not be passed on to any third party, i have an authenticator attatched to my account and the people we play with (meaning the people that we know personally) know that this is the case and it is either her or me playing AND i am present at home at all times when it is in use.
Should it come to the point that my account is either suspended or closed for doing this then fine, but basically we will NOT for the time being pay out on wasted account subs when there is neither a need or reason for it, simply put 1 account 1 pc, shared time for baby care housework etc etc it is simply not a viable option for us.
Reply Quote
100 Night Elf Druid
8015
20/01/2011 2:48 PMPosted by Frosticcle
Going to add my 2 cents to this policy...
I live with my girlfriend, who incidently i met through WoW and I moved to Denmark 10 months ago to be with her. We recently (by recently i mean 2 weeks ago on 5th Jan) we had a baby. She made a choice later in the pregnancy to stop paying for her account (and so did i for a while) because obviously we had other financial obligations to get sorted out. Ok so a while before our daughter was born i decided to start playing again and upgraded my acc to cata (thanks to a familly member that bought cata and gave the key to me). We are in a situation were we have 1 pc available, we have limited time to play and its pretty much not a feasable decission to waste money paying for 2 accounts, either 1 plays or the other pretty simple. I do and i will continue to allow her to play on my account either on my own characters or on her own. I know 100% for fact that my account details will not be passed on to any third party, i have an authenticator attatched to my account and the people we play with (meaning the people that we know personally) know that this is the case and it is either her or me playing AND i am present at home at all times when it is in use.
Should it come to the point that my account is either suspended or closed for doing this then fine, but basically we will NOT for the time being pay out on wasted account subs when there is neither a need or reason for it, simply put 1 account 1 pc, shared time for baby care housework etc etc it is simply not a viable option for us.


While that kind sharing does make a kind of sense and is very hard to detect unless the GM's are made aware that's it's going on that doesn't change the fact that it's still against the ToU and you are risking a suspension/ban for sharing.

Although as I said unless the sharing was somehow brought to the attention of the GM's it's unlikely they'd notice.
Reply Quote
MVP - WoW, Diablo III
85 Draenei Shaman
5070
20/01/2011 3:00 PMPosted by Ellifara
Although as I said unless the sharing was somehow brought to the attention of the GM's it's unlikely they'd notice.


Maybe by posting the admission on a GM moderated forum?

^_^
Reply Quote
90 Human Warlock
13070

Although as I said unless the sharing was somehow brought to the attention of the GMs


Like by posting it in a thread about how account sharing is forbidden perhaps?


(oh, and I got rid of your greengrocer's apostrophe you silly nelf type. :P)
Reply Quote
80 Undead Mage
7345
20/01/2011 3:00 PMPosted by Ellifara
Although as I said unless the sharing was somehow brought to the attention of the GM's it's unlikely they'd notice


This is entirely true, and as I said I am present at all time that the account is in use, therefore making it pretty much impossible to prove at any given time that is not me using it, partly because most of the time im sat next to kboard having conversations with a familly member while she is playing.


20/01/2011 3:03 PMPosted by Dhamploc
Like by posting it in a thread about how account sharing is forbidden perhaps?


well i done it to make a point due to the fact that Nephadne says:

but please let us know if you have any strong feelings about the current policies, associated punishments (in as much as we’re able to divulge about them), or even about how effective you feel we are at conveying issues such as this to the player-base as a whole.

We welcome, as always, your comments, ideas, questions and thoughts. :)
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]