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Posts with tag public-knowledge

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 responds to Public Knowledge about WoW Glider

As we've been posting on WoW Insider, Blizzard is entangled in a lawsuit with the makers of WoW Glider, a bot program that is against WoW's terms of service. And there's been a wrinkle in the case -- an advocacy group called Public Knowledge has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit arguing for Glider, and saying that if Blizzard wins this case, it could set a precedent for copyright law that would make any copying of a computer program (including the simple act of copying it for an install to the hard drive) be illegal at the IP owner's will. That's unacceptable, says Public Knowledge, so even though they agree that Glider may be against the ToS, they don't think Blizzard should win the case.

And now Blizzard has responded to Public Knowledge, and their argument isn't all that new. They claim that when you "buy" your WoW software, you don't actually own it -- you're just "licensing" it to use it on your computer. This is an argument that's long been used by copyright owners to claim that end users don't have the right to hack or otherwise modify their software, and it opens up a whole other can of worms, not least of which is that Blizzard is claiming if Glider wins this case, then all software "sales" ever really will give end users the ability to hack or modify it at will (something that a company like Microsoft, with their Windows OS, wouldn't want to happen).

As we've said before, there are a few ways this case could pan out, and it's likely that it won't end with either of the doomsday scenarios that Blizzard and Public Knowledge are describing -- the court could still rule narrowly in favor of Blizzard, stopping Glider but staying away from the other messes brought up here. Oral arguments in the case started this week -- we'll keep an eye on what happens next.

[via Massively]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items

Interest group speaks up against Blizzard on Glider case

Blizzard's lawsuit against the Glider folks (who were trying to sell a bot that was used to play the game while /afk), has a new wrinkle in it. According to PC Gamer, an interest group called Public Knowledge (they're funded by a variety of creative arts foundations) has filed a brief in the case accusing Blizzard of overstepping their rights under copyright law. In the brief, and an accompanying blog post, they say that while what Glider is doing in-game may be wrong, it isn't actually copyright infringement, because the Glider software doesn't actually infringe on any copyrights that Blizzard holds. And they're worried that if Blizzard wins this case, it could set a precedent strongly in favor of copyright holders, to the point where any misuse of the software at all, from using bots to using the wrong name, would be interpreted instead as copyright infringement.

They kind of have a point here -- Blizzard just used all the tools they had in this case to try and send a clear message to anyone out there trying to sell automation software that what they were doing would get them in trouble, and they may have thrown copyright infringement on the menu when it didn't really belong. For Blizzard's part, they claim that making a copy in RAM of the game's information constitutes copyright infringement, but again, that's only because Glider is misusing those RAM files -- every user everywhere needs to copy parts of the game into RAM in order to run it.

At any rate, Public Knowledge has filed their brief and had their voices heard. It's up to the judges in this case to decide what comes out of it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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