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Posts with tag blizzard-legal

Blizzard wins 2 year legal battle against WoW bot creator

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Blizzard's legal team has achieved another victory in their war against botting. Ceiling Fan Software, developer of the Shadow Bot and Pocket Gnome, is now facing a $7 million judgement and have been ordered to cease all operations.

After more than 2 years of legal battles with Blizzard Entertainment to both pursue our right to operate and our customer's right to play WoW as they choose, we did not prevail in the suit and have been ordered by the United States District Court in California to cease our operations.

This isn't the first time Blizzard has taken a botting company to court. The infamous Glider bot was deemed to have infringed on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and was shut down. The details of that settlement were never made public other than the fact that all Glider trademarks were transferred to Blizzard.

WoW bots are programs which will play the game for you automatically, and Blizzard has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to any kind of gameplay automation.


Filed under: Blizzard

Blizzard wins victory in legal battle over security breach

Blizzard has emerged (mostly) victorious in the case of Bell v. Blizzard Entertainment, which was filed in response to the Battle.net security breach last sumer. Though no financial data was taken, the lawsuit claimed the data breach harmed customers and targeted authenticators, which it said were required for players to have "even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data." From the beginning, Blizzard has said that the suit was without merit, and the court has dismissed 6 of the lawsuit's 8 claims, saying that the plaintiffs failed to to prove that they were harmed by the data breach and that Blizzard did not misrepresent its security practices.

The part of the lawsuit that moves forward relates to Blizzard failing to fully disclose the importance of an authenticator to users, though Blizzard is certain to continue the fight. As in most legal battles, the situation is more complicated than can be explained in a couple of paragraphs: if you're interested in digging further, you can read the full text of the complaint or legal analysis by Mayer-Brown.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Blizzard opposes Valve's DOTA trademark application

Blizzard has filed an opposition in Valve's ongoing trademark application to trademark the word DOTA, an acronym for the Defense of the Ancients map made popular through Warcraft III's custom map scene. DOTA was responsible for a good portion of Warcraft III's success and widespread competitive play, and the community has been calling the genre DOTA for many years before Valve began development of DOTA 2.

Valve hired on DOTA developer Icefrog to develop a new DOTA product from the ground up in house. Other DOTA developers went off to form Riot Games, which makes the incredibly popular League of Legends. And even as Riot tries to shift the nomenclature from DOTA to MOBA, the community that started it all is still winning out. Even Valve head honcho Gabe Newell said he didn't like the DOTA or MOBA acronym, instead substituting ARTS, or Action Real Time Strategy, in its place.

Filing an opposition does not necessarily mean that Blizzard wants to trademark DOTA -- it doesn't. Rather, an opposition makes light of information otherwise not seen and shows that there is more at stake and more people and parties have a stake in the word DOTA as being a community-owned term.

Valve and Gabe Newell responded to Blizzard's opposition by stating that the game being developed was a true sequel to DOTA and rightfully should have the moniker trademarked. However, the DOTA genre is still very much a term used to describe the three-lane tower setup of the classic DOTA map.

Blizzard will be releasing its own Blizzard DOTA game in the future through its brand new Battle.net Arcade system.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Breanni of WarcraftPets.com closes store, posts apology to Blizzard

The amazing Breanni of WarcraftPets.com, once loved so much by Blizzard that he got immortalized in the game, has apparently gotten another of Blizzard's C&Ds. First, we saw iPhone apps pulled off of the App Store with what seemed like legal action, and then we heard that webcomic Shakes and Fidget was contacted by Blizzard legal, and now Breanni has pulled down his merchandise store, as well as posted a "formal apology" to Blizzard. Breanni doesn't say exactly what happened, but he says that he "became aware" that what he was selling was violating Blizzard's trademark policy, and calls the store a "lapse in judgment," and says that he hopes to "continue to recieve Blizzard's blessing." It's almost like hearing one side of the conversation -- we don't know what Blizzard said to him (if anything), but he definitely sounds spooked.

This is a slightly different issue from the other C&Ds we've seen -- Breanni was making money from selling what we presume were actual images of Blizzard's copyrights and trademarks, so a store like that is pretty plainly in violation of copyright law (Mania's Pets calendar, for example, uses fan art rather than actual screenshots). But what's interesting here is, if they did contact him, why Blizzard has decided to do this now, and why they've only moved against Breanni. There are certainly lots of other places to find Blizzard art printed on products for sale. We're not suggesting that Blizzard should just let it all go, obviously, but why now?

We've had requests for comment out to Blizzard ever since the first few iPhone apps were pulled off of the App Store about all of this recent C&D action, and we've added this one to the stack. If we hear anything back from them, we'll let you know.

[Thanks, John E!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Fan art

Blizzard legal targets private servers

Privately run WoW servers have been dropping like flies in the last day or so after receiving letters from Blizzard's lawyers under the DMCA. They've been shut down so quickly and rapidly that it's being heralded as "the end of private servers" by quite a few people. The biggest and most well known servers such as Toxic WoW and Ani-WoW are more or less all gone already, and it seems that it's only a matter of time before the smaller ones go down as well. Supposedly, this letter has a pretty long list of sites and servers that are to be taken down.

Some of these sites have just called it a day, shut down their servers and will move on with their lives, but a few others are already talking about starting them back up elsewhere, 'underground.' It's the internet, and at this point, that just seems silly. Blizzard is watching, and it seems this issue has moved up a notch on their priority list. My advice? Don't tempt fate.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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