These are the markers used to cross our names off the credits. What? It's not the most tenuous connection I've used.
One of our readers was kind enough to point us to two sites that, once again, were stealing our posts without crediting our authors or anything like that. (I don't mean "this post looks suspiciously similar"; I mean abusing copy and paste.) Unfortunately, while we're aware of these things, there's not a whole lot we can do other than request that the sites get taken down. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but it's all we can do. I guess it's nice to be good enough that your work is worth stealing without credit? That's something.

This week's installment of Ask Massively isn't going to focus on that, however. Instead, we're going to focus on the recent spate of MMO litigation and the potential for a boxed RIFT expansion. If you have a question you'd like to see answered in a future installment of Ask Massively, mail it along to ask@massively.com or leave a comment in the field below. Questions may be edited slightly for clarity and/or brevity.

myr asked: Why are all these MMO lawsuits popping up all of a sudden?
I don't know if I'd say that there are all these lawsuits. There are three big ones that have been up fairly recently: the Bethesda/Interplay battle, Jagex against the botters, and the latest NCsoft vs. En Masse suit. The cases are all different, but each one speaks to an important truth: Online games are becoming really important.

Bethesda and Interplay spent a whole lot of time fighting over rights -- not over an actual game, but rights to possibly make an online game. That should say something about the size of the market we're talking about here. This was not an idle legal battle, if such a thing exists, and both companies spent a great deal of money trying to acquire the rights to the Fallout franchise's potential online installment. After all, even less-successful games can make money these days, and the rise of free-to-play models means that it's easier than ever for games that wouldn't have had a shot years ago to now be successful.

Long story short: The lawsuits are popping up for the same reason that film lawsuits and musical lawsuits pop up. There's big money involved, and when you have the money to hire a bunch of lawyers, litigation starts looking like a good solution.
J45neoboy asked: Do you think we will see a traditional retail expansion for RIFT 2.0?
If we do, it will most certainly not be until next year. That having been said, Trion Worlds has clearly been pushing itself as being a big-name competitor despite being a small little independent outfit, so there's a very real possibility. If the company's next game does well, expect a boxed expansion. If not, I have a feeling the developers will go with the EVE Online/Lineage II approach.
Fienemannia asked: Why the heck is it so cold in here?
Put a sweater on if you're chilly. It's fine.
Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!

This article was originally published on Massively.