Xbox Live User Sues Microsoft for $US500b (Or 625,000,000,000 MS Points)

Some cletus down in Arkansas opines that Microsoft has to pay him $US500 billion because it didn't answer, in writing, a mailing designed to not get a written response do his demands for $US500 billion.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is your source for all the fun, courtesy of a federal civil complaint filed Monday by one David Stebbins. His grounds for suing is a technicality about the nature of the Xbox Live terms of service allowing him to unilaterally amend it unless Microsoft rejected his terms in writing.

The new terms? Something about being paid $US500 billion if they didn't like the old terms.

Stebbins actually admits to the P-I that his notice to Microsoft was designed to not attract their attention and to go unanswered. "When I mail these documents to Microsoft, they won't go to any legal division; I arranged for the mailings to be picked up by the employee that just collects regular mail! It's quite possible that these employees won't understand the legal significance of these documents, and know that they're required to respond."

Clever! Best part? He refused to create an actual paper filing, as one would expect of a legitimate complaint. Instead he created a YouTube video (since removed) of screenshots of the contract amendments because to create them in paper "would put an undue strain on my printer."

You'd think that if $US500 billion were actually on the table, someone would pony up for a $US40 printer or a trip to Kinko's.

I'm not going to waste words poking holes in his legal reasoning or waste time finding the statutes that limit either the scope of his claims or proscribe this kind of conduct. It's enough to know he's tried this bullshit in other venues, too. And, also, that he claims to have Asperger's syndrome, which is the go-to punchline for many a 4chan troll. I'm sure his agoraphobia will keep him from showing up in court, too.

Xbox Live User Says Microsoft Owes Him $US500 Billion [Seattle Post-Intelligencer via PikiGeek]


    LOL good one.

    Heh check the link and see all the muppets in the comments section cheering him on for fighting the korpurayshuns!!

      I don't think I like 'muppets' as an insult. The Muppets are awesome. We need a better insult.

        Would you prefer "Fraggles" :-P


        Ahem, might I suggest Wiggles or Teletubbies - both evil and dead set scary.

          Hey man, back off the Wiggles. It's hard to make money as a real band, and while The Cockroaches 'She's The One' is a classic, sometime being a professional musician means you have to reinvent yourself. Bowie did it.

        I would have to say that Iggle-piggle from 'in the night garden' - he/she/it seems daft enough to have its name used as an insult.

    As someone raising the issue about EULAs and the incredulous nature of them, good on him.

    As someone out to get money... what an absolute idiot.

    Still, you shouldn't imply Asperger's is a simple scapegoat illness.

      It depends on whether he is self-diagnosed or professionally diagnosed. Self-diagnoses are all to common on the internet.

        It doesn't matter. It shouldn't be used as a scapegoat illness, whether or not the guy has it or not. It's just stupid.

          "If you've spent any time on the Internet, you will have run into someone claiming that s/he has this condition and were wondering what it meant.

          Also, it's very popular for Internet users to self-diagnose themselves as having Asperger's Syndrome, often to garner sympathy or to provide a faulty explanation for their erratic behavior. Something Awful actually made a running joke out of this ("Ass Burgers," "'spergin out"). Sadly, over-diagnosing in Real Life is not uncommon either, resulting in specialist schools for autistics containing many mere badly behaved brats alongside the children with actual problems. This is very much comparable to the overdiagnosis of Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! in the past few years. Conversely, Asperger's was very commonly diagnosed as everything from ADHD to schizophrenia to mental retardation before the condition became well known. This has resulted in a Hype Backlash due to this and may be at least partially responsible for the joking and piss-taking that has since occurred.

          Generally, depending on the person and group, it can range from being considered a "badge of honour", to not caring about it one way or another; genuine Aspies rarely see it as a problem, and even more rarely use it as an 'excuse' for bad behaviour."

    As someone with Asperger's, I can sympathise with his application of logic. Unfortunately, taking logic to its (logical?) extreme doesn't always work in the real world. The real world accepts that the consumer will always be the one screwed by EULAs.

    The guy's other problem? Boasting about how he deliberately tried to keep his demands away from legitimate channels (lawyers). He's sunk his own case there.

    And Kotaku? Lose that ridiculous picture at the top of this story, that bears no relationship whatsoever to the story. It belittles someone who is expressing a grievance against how consumers seem to get the pointy end of the pineapple when dealing with large corporations.

        dude! not cool, some people do have aspergers and while yes there are some who use it because they are introverts there are those who actually have it.

        I'm diagnosed. This dude probably is too. Heaps of people have been diagnosed with ADHD as kids, even though they didn't show any violent tendencies or mental breakdowns that are associated with the disease. Heaps of kids, who were then later diagnosed with Aspergers when they got older.

        It's a large group of people, and most of them are gamers. I'm friends with 4 other people with the same condition, and they have similar interests.

        But people are people. Claiming you have something doesn't change who you are, and the person lodging this article is just a stupid noob. His mental conditions didn't need to come into things. That's what most of the outrage is about.

        It's like saying "It's typical of people born in Adelaide to use their birthplace as an excuse for their stupidity", or change it to Christians if you'd like. It's just lame journalism.

          ADHD is over diagnosed in general.

        Yes, genuine diagnosed (and not trendy, I'm in my 40s). Asperger's did exist several decades ago, it just didn't have a name.

        And you clearly have no idea about people with Asperger's. They are not just "awkward nerds" with a fear of social interaction, it is a lot more complex.

        Oh, and as someone diagnosed later in life (which is apparently a lot more difficult), YES having a name for my "affliction" helps. How would you feel, for instance, if you were in terrible pain and your doctor said "dunno what this is sorry, don't let the door hit you on the way out". I now know what I have to deal with, and how to manage a range of problems Asperger's creates.

          ^This. I have chronic DSPS (not self-diagnosed fyi), I guarantee nobody here has heard of it, and it was a massive help having a name to put to it, mostly because it gave me access to all the things people already know about it, stories of other people who went through the exact same thing, etc.

          Just knowing it's a real thing and I'm not just some lazy bum was a big weight off my shoulders. I imagine other disorders are much the same.

    As someone with Asperger's, please be aware that while some of us are idiots, dicks or otherwise unmentionables, it's not the condition that causes this. All being aspergic does is gives us a severe handicap in understanding other people emotionally(emotions, body language, etc - if you've ever seen "Lie to me", that's the sort of thing we have a huge deal of trouble with), but tend to have an incredibly aptitude for higher thinking, especially logic. If we *accidentally* upset or offend you, we tend to miss it, but as soon as you point it out, we'll spend a lot of effort trying to understand what we did - normally, we literally will not understand how whatever we did could offend someone, and need it explained in detail. If we *intentionally* upset or offend you, then it's by design and while our experiences with asperger's might help us achieve it, it's not the illness at work any more than cold-blood murder is the work of reflex - blame the individual, not the condition here.

    Before you make fun of people who spend their lives being lost, confused and lonely as a result of not "reading" the majority of inter-human communication, try learning what it actually is, please. What you're doing here is the same as accepting those people who are too lazy to spell(instad ch0zn 2 tip lik dis) as being dyslexic.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go back to mapping out every outcome I can think of for my phone call to uni tomorrow so I can rehearse it and not make a fool of myself. Yeah, the social ineptitude is that bad.

      I have Aspergers. It has nothing to do with how you act on the internet or intelligence.

      This dude is just a dumbass troll.

    I also have said condition. In it for the chicks

    Thats so dog.

    Owen Good, you are the worst journalist I have ever come across, be it gaming related or otherwise. Please find another career and leave this to the professionals, mmmkay?

      I'm not a fan of the wording in this article.

        Yes, please proof-read the article and edit it accordingly.

          Sure. Change the final paragraph to:

          I’m not going to waste words poking holes in his legal reasoning or waste time finding the statutes that limit either the scope of his claims or proscribe this kind of conduct. It’s enough to know he’s tried this bullshit in other venues, too.

          Just delete that last sentence. Save this article from being complete bullshit.

    Is it too late to claim I have Asbergers too? I want to be one of the cool kids.


        Watch out, I may attack you with my retard strength.

    Aspergers has nothing to do with the case at all and there is no reason for him (the idiot who is trying to sue) to mention it as nobody cares.

    By the way, the picture is to scale.

    Having re-read this article, and the comments on it, I think Kotaku has a few things it needs to do:

    1. Unconditionally apologise for its denigrating comment regarding Asperger's
    2. Make sure staff have appropriate understanding of the things they're writing about - in this case, Asperger's
    3. Make sure users of these fora have an adequate understanding of appropriate sensitivity. This may be through a specific article, or through warnings to individuals
    4. Fix up that picture. As mentioned in my previous post, it bears no relationship to the story and simply denigrates the individual.

      I agree.
      If such comments as those esposed by Steve were directed at black people, for instance, I would be surprised if they were not censored (as they should be).
      Poking fun at those less fortunate because of what they can't help (instead of the decisions that they can) is the worst of human nature.

      While you would be right if they had directly degraded people with the condition, I don't think that's exactly the case.

      It's stating that many people, with OR without it, use it as an excuse for unrelated unreasonable behaviour, which is VERY likely the case with the individual in question.

      It's a stab at these people that self-diagnose (any sort of condition) for an excuse, not the people who legitimately have them.

      That said, the article itself is horrible. Aside from being incredibly hard to follow, the abundance of split infinitives made me not want to read it.

    The guy has about 15 cases open against other companies right now. I'm guessing this is just his way of paying his rent. Sue, then look for a buyout.

    I'm sure it's been said before but didn't the medical researcher who named the condition (I imagine with his own name), note there was an issue with calling a socially debilitating mental condition something that's pronounced 'ass-burger'?

    Hey, did you guys notice that he claims to have Asperger's Syndrome? Seemed like everybody missed that part... :-P

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