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Posts with tag mdy-industries

The Lawbringer: Glider's Neverending Story

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

Back in October, I made the case that Blizzard was in the best position to fight for a stronger EULA because it has the money, industry sway, and a very specific set of lawsuits pending that could allow for stricter End User License Agreement provisions. In the simplest terms, EULAs are hard to hold up in court. They aren't airtight -- yet. Game companies would love to strengthen EULAs since enforcement of their provisions would then be easier.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: MDY v. Blizzard Q & A

Welcome to The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly look at the intersection of law and the World of Warcraft. I'm a new law school grad, acting as your tour guide after escaping the rapping, taco-eating armadillos of my bar prep class.

Last week's timeline of the MDY v. Blizzard case seemed to prompt more questions than it answered. Therefore, I want to take this week to go through the many questions and comments that were left on the site or emailed to me.

Sean asked:

"Can you explain the unfair competition claim? As the only one that MDY won (far as I can tell), it's interesting in its own right."

Blizzard alleged that MDY's business practices of selling a product that encouraged people to violate their EULA & TOU was a willful and knowing violation of Arizona's Unfair Competition Law. MDY moved for summary judgment and Blizzard didn't oppose the motion. MDY "won" by default.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: The history of Blizzard and MDY (Glider)

It's a Glider! Sorry, that's as good as the jokes are going to get. Greetings from The Lawbringer, WoW.com's weekly look at the intersection between law and the World of Warcraft. I'm a newly minted law school grad acting as your tour guide between bar prep sessions.

In the last two weeks, we looked at the difference between purchases and licenses. This is of vital importance as a major bit of cyberlaw plays out in the Ninth Circuit, namely the next stages of MDY v. Blizzard, Vernor v. Autodesk, and UMG v. Augusto. Today seems like an excellent time to review the case of MDY v. Blizzard, as we've covered the other two a bit. My source for this history will be the excellent collection of files at Justicia.com, which includes all documents filed in the district court of Arizona in this case.

Let's get started!

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Glider loses again, shutdown imminent

In the latest ruling in the Blizzard v. Glider case, the Honorable David G. Campbell (U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona) ruled essentially that MDY Industries (the makers of Glider) has to present him with arguments why Glider should not be shut down during what will be a lengthy future appeals process. The arguments must be presented to the court by February 13th, 2009.

The Judge will then decide if the arguments hold merit and justify the continued operation of Glider.

If MDY Industries is not successful in their persuasion of the Judge Campbell, and MDY Industries CEO Michael Donnelly believes they will not be (according to posts made on the Glider forums), then they will have to cease and desist selling Glider. The shutdown of Glider will happen quickly after the February 13th date.

Campbell's full ruling on the matter is available in PDF format for your viewing. We'll have more on this as it develops in the next couple weeks. In the mean time, check out our previous coverage of Glider and its results

Thanks to everyone who sent this in! And while I don't know what Judge David Campbell looks like, I prefer to think of him as pictured in the article.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Jonathan Lee Riches has a better imagination than you, sues Blizzard

A man sitting in a South Carolina prison serving time for wire fraud has decided to file a third-party motion in the MDY v. Blizzard. Jonathan Riches is accusing Blizzard of "...causing [me] to live in a virtual universe, where [I] explored the landscape committing identity theft and fighting cybermonster rival hacker gangs."

I probably don't need to say anything else, and he probably doesn't either. I'm pretty sure most judges would just throw the motion out right there. But, the motion continues...

"Riches was addicted to video games and lost touch with reality because of [Blizzard]. This caused Riches to commit fraud to buy [Blizzard's] video games. Riches chose World of Warcraft over working a legit job. Riches mind became a living video game."

Wow. Just wow.

Is that all that bad? I would love to live my life as a video game. Maybe one day my girlfriend will show up as an Eredar Twin or Pirate. That wouldn't be so bad. Or perhaps she'll be riding around on a giant turtle. With pink elephants.

He has also sued the Eiffel Tower, and lost.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Humor

Blizzard wins $6 million in court case with MMO Glider

Another chapter of the Blizzard versus Glider story has come to a close. Blizzard and MDY Industries have been going at it over Glider since 2006, in a battle that's been rather important. Not only has it been about Glider doing something wrong, it's been about how well an EULA will hold up in court. That's something the entire gaming industry, especially MMOs, have their eyes on. If Blizzard had lost, it would have had a negative impact across the entire industry.

Blizzard is most certainly not losing. According to BBC News (among other sources), they just won $6 million from MDY Industries, which is less than what was expected of them. This isn't their first victory in the war, but it's the first involving money. Blizzard could still appeal the ruling, so it may not necessarily be over, though I personally think the point has been made as far as damages. There are still further chapters in the story that await, because they'll be in court again in January of 2009 to resolve further issues.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Blizzard wins lawsuit against bot makers

You may recall the long running Blizzard vs. MDY battle from various reports here on WoW Insider. In short, Blizzard sued MDY, the makers of the MMOGlider bot (formerly the WOWGlider bot), claiming that the bot violated Blizzard copyright by writing portions of the game to RAM in order to work (since you only have a license to run the game files, and do not actually own them, unauthorized copies are against the EULA). They also claimed that the bot tortiously interfered with Blizzard's customer base. MDY sued them right back, claiming they had every right to sell and distribute their bots.

MDY received a crushing blow yesterday as the court ruled against them, Virtually Blind reports, declaring them guilty of copyright infringement and tortious interference (Apparently, bots stealing your kills is now a legal issue, which is sort of cool). The ramifications of this decision are still being discussed in various corners of the net and legal world.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Blizzard loses a round in the fight against botting

In Blizzard's attempts to get rid of gold farmers and hackers, one of their most annoyingly persistent enemies has been the WoWGlider bot, now known as MMOGlider. They've been throwing suits and countersuits at each other for a few years now, but the latest salvo seems to have gone against Blizzard, the Game Activist reports. Blizzard was trying to subpoena Joe Thaler, owner of Lavish Software LLC, maker of programs such as EQPlayNice. While Lavish Software's programs do not appear to be cheat programs on their own, they did make a deal with MDY Industries, maker of MMOGlider, to use the programs within MMOGlider.

According the judge's decision, Blizzard was hoping to obtain all documentation related to the deal, all communication between Thaler and Lavish and MDY and its owner, Michael Donnelly. They also wanted a list of all WoW accounts owned by Thaler and Lavish, as well as the contents of the WTF folders of every installation of WOW used by Thaler and Lavish Entertainment. Unfortunately, the Judge ruled that Blizzard was demanding information that could compromise Lavish's trade secrets and client confidentiality, and that the demand for the information within 9 days did not give Thaler and Lavish enough time to respond an gather information.

It's worth noting that the judge did specifically say that Blizzard could file another subpoena that would be more narrow in scope and allow more time for Lavish and Mr. Thaler to respond, so this is probably not a fatal blow to Blizzard by any means. I personally hope not. I've never had much patience for bots, or people who feel they have a civil right to cheat at games, so I'm rooting for the big bad corporation on this one. What about you?

Thanks for the link, Tyrsenus.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items

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