The EVE Online EULA specifically states:
6.A.2. You may not use your own or third-party software to modify any content appearing within the Game environment or change how the Game is played.
6.A.3. You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play. You may not rewrite or modify the user interface or otherwise manipulate data in any way to acquire items, currency, objects, character attributes or beneficial actions not actually acquired or achieved in the Game.
Cache scraping is neither of those things. It's a read-only operation. It's akin to opening a book and reading the contents. Opening and reading the cache files in no way violates the EULA. As long as you don't alter the cache data and save it back into the file you just read it from, you're fine and dandy, from a legal standpoint.
So when CCP Sreegs replies to a question about cache scraping and says he doesn't like it, it really doesn't much matter what he thinks. He doesn't get to interpret the EULA in whatever broad sense that he might want too:
EVE Online Forum Dude: Are we to interpret this as official policy change on the issue of cache scraping?I'm not sure I understand his "don't modify the client" comment. He may have been responding to something completely different. Or thought he was responding to a different question and/or accusation. Sreegs is a bright guy. I know he knows that cache scraping is not "client modification." He must have realized he needed to clarify:
CCP Sreegs: I've never agreed with it. My stance of "Don't modify the client" hasn't changed since day one. That GMs for some reason have a different interpretation than I do is irrelevant.
In my opinion cache scraping is illegal. You won't be banned for it today.Unless the EULA is rewritten to ban read-only access to EVE Online files (and just running the game would put you in violation of the EULA), then it will never be bannable. And even if the CCP lawyers figured out some way to codify cache scraping into the EULA as a no-no, how is CCP going to police this in a way that wouldn't piss off their customers? I doubt CCP will go down this road, no matter Sreegs opinions, but if they did, good luck with policing that.
There was a bit of Twitter conversation about the TMDC article today. Mostly focusing on Bacon. This was a third-party application well before my time, but it was made inoperable due to some changes to the data EVE wrote to our hard drives.
What was Bacon? It was an app that read from the the system log entries. In the old days, whenever anyone entered a system (i.e. appeared in local), it was written to the log file. These log entries were then compared to your corporation and alliance standings. If the person was a baddie, it would emit an audible warning. It did this in real-time, through nothing other than reading the logs and using standings information as compiled by either yourself or someone in your corporation/alliance.
CCP wasn't too impressed with Bacon, but it was most certainly not against the EULA. They recognized this. So they did the only thing they could. They changed log file processing so that those entering/leaving system messages were no longer logged. Bacon stopped working. There was, of course, an uproar. It was a misguided uproar, though. CCP was well within their right to log and cache whatever information they wanted in whatever format they wanted. They didn't do anything silly like try to ban Bacon. That would have been impossible. So they used what was in their control, and that was controlling the data stored locally on the client.
Now if CCP Sreegs really hates market scraping, he has the same option open to him (if he can convince the powers that be.) The market data can be removed from the cache, though that would result in a huge bandwidth hit to the server center. They could perhaps encrypt the market data, though that would likely be cracked within a week. There are probably some other clever options open to them, if they really want to go down that road. If market data scraping was killed due to such a change, I wouldn't complain. I'd be annoyed, but so be it. It would be inconvenient, not to have an EVE-Central at my fingertips, but CCP would have been well within their right to change or remove the data available for scraping.
Until any of that happens (and I'm not sure why CCP would be too bothered with it), Sreegs can continue being unhappy about scraping. I'm sure there are lots of things that make him happy, and there are many things that make him unhappy (puppies, for instance.) Cache scraping is just going to be one of those things that makes him frown and gives him forehead wrinkles.