Crime Vs Gameplay in Eve
RMT, Jita Scams, Corp Theft, Watch Scorpions, Spais, Betrayal, the list of activities within Eve that could be labeled as crimes is rather long. Players and CCP have had a long and difficult history with crime and punishment in New Eden. The line between gameplay and crime can often be a blurry one, and is often a two-edged sword that cuts both sides of any potential argument.
We have to trust in the EULA, in CCP, and in a larger context law enforcement agencies to deal with whatever bleeds out into the real world. And that is how it should be when such things happen. The further away from Eve an act gets the easier it becomes to recognize it for what it is - a crime. The further inside of Eve an act gets, the further into the murk it falls.
Every single group or organization of players in our game deals with this issue. In most cases dealing with "crime" takes up a huge percentage of any Corporation's rules of conduct. POS passwords are protected. Roles are carefully assigned. Trial periods are instituted. Warnings are issued. Standings are set. And each group of players, individually and corporately, must come to terms with how they feel about each kind of criminal activity.
Over the years I've also struggled with how I feel about criminal activity in Eve. I've broken POS passwords. I've used "can baiting" in high-sec to lure players into fights. I've border-lined exploits a few times, with cans on gates, and grid-fu, among others. I've stolen from my enemies. I've ransomed. And I even tried running a scam in Jita once or twice -although I was terrible at it. Directly ripping off another player didn't sit well with me, so I gave the Isk back.
Eventually it all came down to the essential philosophy that we use today in our Alliance. Even among Pirates you have rules. Ours are extremely simple. As long as it is outside the Alliance, pretty much anything goes. Trust being the hardest commodity to come by in Eve, you can't exploit, steal, or otherwise cause harm to your Alliance mates. Everyone else is fair game. And while I personally don't engage in these activities, far be it for me to forbid you do so. I wouldn't hesitate to take full advantage of information made available to me. We have our spais too.
I personally do not believe stealing from your corp mates is actual gameplay. As such, I do not respect those that engage in it. On the other hand, it is an activity that some people seem dedicated to pursue. And it does bring a measure of excitement to the game. I just think it should be directed at other people. But that's me.
This is why our recruitment remains open. While that means that sometimes a spai or a corp thief will find their way into our group - the good far outweighs the bad. Those few bring content that we deal with, mitigate, and then punish. The majority brings more pilots, more content, and more opportunities to find great corp mates. It is a system that has served us well over the past year and a half. And I don't see it changing anytime soon.
No system is perfect. I believe we have to embrace those imperfections and absorb them. Not create meaningless rules that do little to curb such activities, when in fact, they usually only encourage them more.
If someone decides to step outside those boundaries, then they must face the consequences of their actions. Sadly, in most cases, those consequences are rather limited by the game. There is only so much we can do. For the most part, a corp thief like we had recently gets away scot free. There are even places in Eve that will welcome a known Corp thief into their ranks. (Like the Tuskers for example.)
It is a dangerous game we play. And that is what makes it Eve.