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Posts with tag lawsuits

Activision-Blizzard sues over StarCraft II cheats

Activision Blizzard logo
On May 19th Blizzard filed a suit with the Central District of California over the practice of players who create cheats for multiplayer mode in StarCraft II. In particular, the suit names the "ValiantChaos MapHack" as one of, but not the only, hack being targeted by the litigation. The suit claims that the cheats undermine the nature of multiplayer gameplay and "disrupt or impair the online experience for purchasers of the computer game."

The suit targets the programmers behind the hacks, demanding compensation for the copyright infringement inherent in the cheats' modifications of the game. As noted in the BBC report, this lawsuit recalls a similar one from 1990s, wherein Nintendo unsuccessfully sued the creators of the Games Genie, also on the grounds of copyright violation. That lawsuit, however, took place in the days before widespread online multiplayer gaming environments, and it will be interesting to see how much, or how little, this case echoes that one.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

Activision-Blizzard split from Vivendi halted

ActiBlizz
As reported in July, Activision-Blizzard made the move to separate itself from majority shareholder Vivendi Universal by buying itself back to the tune of over 8 billion dollars in total. About a week after the announcement, shareholder Todd Miller filed a complaint against Activision-Blizzard for doing so. Earlier this month, shareholder Douglas Hayes instigated a lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard to stop the sale, alleging that the company's CEO, chairman, and a handful of investors will benefit disproportionately from the sale. As a result, the deal is now halted for the time being.

The lawsuit hinges around the fact that the Activision-Blizzard buyback from Vivendi is actually a two-part share acquisition. The first part involves Activision-Blizzard, as a company, purchasing around 429 million shares from Vivendi. The second part -- which was the subject of Todd Miller's complaint and is at the center of the lawsuit -- involves the private investment vehicle ASAC II LP, headed by Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairmain Brian Kelly, concurrently purchasing around 172 million shares from Vivendi. Hayes v. Activision-Blizzard alleges that the approval of the second sale represents a "breach of of [Activision-Blizzard and Vivendi's] fiduciary duties" and violates "certain provisions of the Company's certificate of incorporation" because it failed to submit the sale's approval to a non-Vivendi stockholder vote.

For its part, Activision-Blizzard seems to view the halt as merely a setback, and intends to continue forward with the buyback. As per the following statement Activision-Blizzard "remains committed to the transaction and is exploring the steps it will take to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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