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8-23-2008 @ 1:37PM
I'm disappointed in Blizzard. Surely they're within their legal rights to send a C&D, although it is a bit inconsistent considering the amount of WoW-related stuff on the net. And as Eliah speculates, it probably means that Blizzard is developing an app of their own, but in that I have two issues with them. One, just because they're developing an app does not mean that it will ever be released. Why take down something that is available now over the possibility that a Blizzard app will be available in the future? Secondly, money may be the issue here. Not in that the Armory Browser is charging $.99 but in that Blizzard may be planning on charging a lot more and an inexpensive competitor would undermine their profits.
8-23-2008 @ 1:46PM
Your point is little more than speculation without a basis in fact. There isn't any evidence to suggest that Blizzard is developing it's own app and historically has not taken action against sites or tools that have done the things that Blizzard has later put into the game (mods, profiling sites etc). Since they have also not made any threats towards the Warcraft Characters apps, it would be safe to conclude that the sole issue here is the blatant profiteering. Blizzard's legal and moral position is entirely defensible. It says "Feel free to make things based around our game, but once you start charging for them without permission, you're going to get a slap on the wrist".
8-23-2008 @ 4:07PM
Blizzard has always been very trigger happy when it comes to lawsuits. They protect their IP very aggressively, which is funny considering the origin.The bnetd suit just showed how Blizzard doesn't care about "community" or "fair use" or even consumer rights in general and their stance in the new gold selling case is just about as radical.So not really a huge surprise at all.
8-23-2008 @ 4:22PM
On the contrary, they are very concerned about their community, hence the reason they only take action against those they perceive as harmful to it. Gold-sellers are self explanatory. Bnetd? Reverse engineering Blizzard code to provide private Bnet hosting? What exactly was the purpose of that, how did it benefit the community? The answer is it didn't, it benefited software pirates. Blizzard are not trigger-happy when it comes to litigation at all, indeed, when they do act, it is in a calculated manner, and targets those who seek to either profit from Blizzard's work unfairly, harm the community, or both. Those who talk about the 'wider implications' of cases such as these often don't have a clue what they're saying. Any precedent that comes from any of these cases has a very strict interpretation and is only binding in cases which are almost if not entirely identical. These kind of things seem to get open-source advocates and the overly liberal agitated, nothing more.
8-23-2008 @ 5:14PM
I'm not an open source advocate nor am I overly liberal, please try not to label me as such in the future.My comment about Blizzard not caring about their community might have been misguided and too hastily typed - I have no insight into their internal company "culture" or processes and I'm sure they do care about their paying customers.As far as I know (I'm not a laywer) you don't need to have a "purpose" to reverse engineer software. Reverse engineering is perfectly legal in most countries as long as the original was obtained legimately.You could argue the free hosting didn't benefit community and it only benefitted software pirates - my experience was completely different, most servers were/are setup with legal copies of the game. It also ensures you could still run the game through bentd even if Blizzard would choose to close Battle.Net (or if it was unavailable). As a consumer and a community member, I would argue it benefited both consumers and the community.I certainly don't claim to have any 'clue' about the wider implications of the ruling when it comes to its legal aspects, as I said I'm not an lawyer.However, I do work in the software business and the ruling does cast some doubt over whether I should really engage in otherwise lawful reverse engineering (rev.engineering competitors products is quite normal), this can be quite agitating, as you pointed out.
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