Blizzard Bot Ruling Sets A Dangerous Precedent On Copyright

from the not-a-good-thing dept

Earlier this year, we wrote a couple times about how World of Warcraft maker Blizzard was suing a bot maker. In that case, Blizzard was claiming that the bot maker (which let users automate certain tasks to quickly rise up in experience level) was violating its copyrights first by getting around the copy protection on its own spybot (which tries to prevent such automation) and then by not obeying the terms of the license agreement. As we pointed out in May, if the court ruled in favor of Blizzard on the license agreement question, it would effectively ignore the right of first sale by letting any company simply announce that it wasn't selling its product, but licensing it -- and then create all sorts of rules well beyond what copyright allows.

Unfortunately, the judge has now sided with Blizzard in a summary judgment on this issue. The one bit of good news is that it rejected the DMCA part of the claim, saying that the bot maker did not violate the anti-circumvention clause. However, the rest of the ruling is quite troublesome. Basically, the court ruled that as long as a company selling you a product says it's only licensing you the product (even if every other aspect of the sale appears to be a sale), then it can set pretty much whatever rules it wants -- and if you violate them, charge you with violating copyright. This leads to some really tortured reasoning, because, as William Patry notes, nothing the guy did actually violates copyright. Instead, the court had to spend eight pages trying to piece together two separate parts of the license agreement to make a case that copyright was somehow violated.

This ruling flies in the face of other recent rulings that found that just because a company claims it's only licensing you a product, it doesn't mean that it's true. There was the Autodesk ruling, saying that a software sale is a software sale, and the used promo CD ruling that says record labels don't get to put extra copyright restrictions on promo CDs just because they write something across the cover. Unfortunately, the judge in this case decided otherwise. Not only does this result in bad policy (now anyone just needs to say they're licensing you something rather than selling it, and they can put additional restrictions beyond copyright on it, effectively dismantling copyright) but it's also a misreading of the law itself (despite what the court says). Hopefully, it will be overturned on appeal.


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  1.  
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    James, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Let the market decide

    Just like "Mass Effect" and "Spore" if they have some encumberance (DRM/malware in those two examples), or unfriendly licensing in this case... let them lose users and revenue.

    Does a non-copyable/playable game really matter how secure it is if no-one plays it?

     

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    some old gy, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 11:48am

    James

    You're completely 100% off topic.

    This is not about copying, its about bots. Blizzard is trying to protect the ever-fragile, but absolutely-necessary market in its wow realms, and glider is trying to destroy that "because they can" (but mostly because the glider-users are too lazy and don't want to play by the rules).

    Blizzard used all the tools it had to fight glider, but it came down to the last straw. The only tool they had left to fight glider was legal. (remember, glider is a cheating bot, no more) It is a sad day for copyright, that is for sure. But as far as mmo's were concerned, this was a victory, albeit, it may have been pyrrhic.

     

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    Ceyarrecks, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 11:58am

    no Sale?

    so,... let me see if I understand this,...

    if someone pays hard cash for a Ford Mustang, they are not the owner of said "product" but have "licensed" it from Ford? and there by can not modify said car? no mag wheels? no exhaust mods? no dice from the mirror!?!?!

     

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    John, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 11:59am

    I don't know...

    If a court has to "spend eight pages trying to piece together two separate parts of the license agreement to make a case that copyright was somehow violated." then it seems to me that there's nothing to this part of the case.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I would think a point in a case should be able to be made in less than a page, and not take EIGHT pages to somehow, sort-of, kind-of make the point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    This is BS.

    I think Blizzard is great for trying to remove bots from their game, but screw them for trying, no, getting some retarded copyright ruling.

     

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    for the info on a w0w bot, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Thanks

    I didn't even know there was such a thing! W00t now it's time to see if I can still find it and kick off some rad macr0ing.. Love it! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I've got GOLD to sell!!!

     

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    Blue, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

    World of warcraft

    On the OTHER hand, World of Warcraft is something that one must pay for continually (Monthly fee), or one can not use it. That sounds more like a licensed situation then one where you pay a set fee, and receive the software, you know?

     

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    PRMan, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:13pm

    Service vs. Product

    I think "Terms of Service" come much more into play when you are, you know, actually consuming bandwidth and resources on a service.

    If this was a stand-alone game with a cheating patch, I highly doubt that the courts would have blocked the sale of the patch. Although, as you can see with the DS homebrew cards and other mod chips, this is not always the case.

    But when a few people are ruining the experience for all the other buyers (and the sellers), what do you suggest Blizzard should do? Should this, instead, be the end of online gaming, because nobody can make a profit due to nobody playing because of the cheaters?

     

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    Karen in Wichita, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Doctrine of first sale

    I suspect that when you said "dismantling copyright," you meant this instead.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

     

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    Eliot, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:17pm

    Re: James

    some old g[u]y, thank you, I no longer feel anything needs to be said.

     

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    CM, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    Re: no Sale?

    "if someone pays hard cash for a Ford Mustang, they are not the owner of said "product" but have "licensed" it from Ford? and there by can not modify said car? no mag wheels? no exhaust mods? no dice from the mirror!?!?!"

    Blizzard is actually all for customization, as long as you abide by their rules. This can be seen in the HUNDREDS of user addons and mobs that you can legally (and freely) D/L

    To use your analogy, you can customize your Mustang all you want, but as soon as it violates the rules of the road, you can no long drive it legally (I dunno, big tires, load stereo whatever).

     

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    Yeah another AC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: James

    The exact same thing could be said about the RIAA and MPAA.

     

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    p-diddy, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: I don't know...

    The court took 8 pages because they laid out the reasoning - it's not piecemeal, it's methodical.

    Here's the section headings of the relevant portions:

    A. Do Users of Glider Infringe Blizzard’s Copyright?
    1. Is the EULA Limited in Scope?
    2. Are Key Provisions of the EULA and TOU Limitations on the Scope of the License or Separate Contractual Covenants?
    3. Do Users of Glider Act Outside the Scope of The License?

    B. Has MDY Established the Copyright “Misuse” Defense?

    C. Does 17 U.S.C. § 117 Require a Finding of Non-infringement?

    Regarding other posters (and the author of the article's) comments, while I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the outcome (I'm still mulling it over), the court made a point of this:

    The first paragraph of the EULA states: “IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO INSTALL, COPY, OR USE THE GAME.” Dkt. #42 at 2 (capitalization in original). The next paragraph provides that “[a]ny and all uses of the [game client software] are governed by the terms” of the EULA, that the game client software is “distributed solely for use by authorized end users according to the terms” of the EULA, and that “[a]ny use, reproduction, modification or distribution of the [game client software] not expressly authorized by the terms of the [EULA] is expressly prohibited.” Id.

    This isn't a sale. If you don't agree to the EULA, you cannot install or use the software. I don't see why this is complicated. The fact that WoW is a continuing service that you pay for monthly, it is even moreso like a license.

    Just my $.02

     

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    Matt, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:31pm

    I think they aren't stupid on this

    the website is still going as of yesterday, so I'm sure an appeal is on the way. Additionally, this is just going to be more bait against EULA's being unenforceable themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:33pm

    US Court Set Dangeous Precedent! Are your children at risk? News at 11!

    You know Mike, for as much as you complain about people using the word "steal" when referencing copyright infringement, you seem to have a similar problem. This does not set a "dangerous precedent". This was a US district court. It sets no precedent, and certainly not a dangerous one.

     

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    OldWOWplayer, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    tired of courts!!!

    Why not just make a guilder "sniffer" and suspend the player for a month and if they use it again then ban them. Trust me when that happens a few times guilder will be gone (I wish there was a way to sniff out gold farmers.

    Warcraft is a "place" owned by Bilzzard. Its like them owning a theater. Just because you bought a ticket does not mean you can break the rules. If you dont like it dont come back.

    I wish Blizzard had the guts just to do it themselfs insted of using the courts.

     

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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:38pm

    Re: World of warcraft

    On the OTHER hand, World of Warcraft is something that one must pay for continually (Monthly fee), or one can not use it. That sounds more like a licensed situation then one where you pay a set fee, and receive the software, you know?

    You pay up front for the client software (which was what the glider program copied into memory), and paid a monthly fee for access to the server. And unfortunately, due to court rulings, you really didn't even buy the client software. You bought a license that sets strict limits on how you can use the software.

    I applaud Blizzard for working to secure their game against bots and hacks, but manipulating copyright law to accomplish that goal is the wrong way to do it.

    The one area I'm really interested to see how this bizarre logic of licensing vs. sale plays out is in ebooks. As is stands now, the physical object contains the same content as the digital product, but the majority of the digital copies are "licensed" instead of sold. You have the first sale doctrine for the physical good that allows you to freely pass the book onto a friend, donate it to a library, whatever you want. Your rights on a typical digital copy are practically non-existent.

    The makers of tangible goods have already started cashing in on the idea, with Lexmark being able to dictate the ability to refill ink cartridges because they slapped a EULA on the side of the packaging. It is truly troubling to see manufacturers attempting to assert this level of control over a product after it has been sold.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: World of warcraft

    You are liscencing access to the servers. It's their servers, and they can say what sort of details they want from a client that they are willing to allow to access it. That's my opinion at least. The client alone does you little good. I suspect a large part of the ruling is not about the client, it's about using the automators on the servers.

    YOU are fear-mongering by saying that this will extend ELUA powers. I, personally, feel that EULAs are invalid on software that runs fully on your machine. But I feel that WOW and other MMORPGS are one of the few situations where an ELUA is valid: You cannot connect to the server unless... yadda yadda yadda.

     

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  19.  
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    teknosapien, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    I've said it a few times here on various subjects

    BOYCOTT, hold off and don't give them your Money. I'm not saying forever but if you are unhappy with how a company does business DON'T support them until you are satisfied with how they've dealt with the issues at hand.
    you can bitch all you want but the only real power any of us has is to with hold our hard earned cash from companies that are doing this kind of crap

     

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  20.  
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    Joel, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Maybe if blizzard would cater more towards casual gamers this type of thing would not happen. Whenever a game is created, there will always be cheats/hacks or whatever. You won't get rid of them, it's like a huge prohibition in a sense. Think of when alcohol was banned, and no matter how many people they arrested for drinking illegally, people would still do it, and it would just keep increasing.

    Fact is, blizzard may put a dent in glider, but they won't stop them. If you've tried glider yourself, all it basically does is hit keys and recognize things on your screen. No harm other than it does attract lazy idiots who live in there basements and need to be spoon fed still at age 21+. But seriously, if they flood the market with junk on the AH, certainly it's in demand if it's going on there. If the ability to undercut is there, and that will help increase said persons wallet, you better believe they will do it regardless if they botted the items or hand farmed them. If blizzard can think outside the box other than quickly jumping on the ban wagon, they might actually come up with a better solution. It's inevitable people will bot, so adapt to that and fix issues with botters in mind.

    After hand leveling a few toons to 70 it gets repetitive, so spending time with the family, writing that essay, or going out for drinks, is out of the question if you want to be 70 in less than a few months. The bot just sits there and goes and goes, and it's real nice if your into extracurricular activities but enjoy playing games as well.

    Game companies are little late in making these moves, there is such a huge market out there already with WoW gold (along with other games) and auctioning off characters.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Re: US Court Set Dangeous Precedent! Are your children at risk? News at 11!

    You know Mike, for as much as you complain about people using the word "steal" when referencing copyright infringement, you seem to have a similar problem. This does not set a "dangerous precedent". This was a US district court. It sets no precedent, and certainly not a dangerous one.

    Precedent has multiple meanings. It *is* a precedent in that it can be cited in other court cases. It may not be a binding precedent, but I never said it was.

    So, yes, it does set a precedent in the most basic definition of the word: "an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time"

    And, it *is* a dangerous one because it appears to justify a way to ignore the limitations on copyright law.

     

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    jonnyq, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: I don't know...

    Then why does it have to be a copyright issue?

    If the user violated the EULA for the ongoing paid SERVICE, then the user loses the right to use the service. This shouldn't have anything to do with copyright - the user should still be able to own and fiddle with the software, but that software may be pretty useless without the service.

    Last I checked, buying the WOW software and paying for the service were different transactions - why is there a need to confuse the two? That's not a rhetorical questions - is there any explanation as to why this is about copyright and not just about Blizzard ceasing to offer service after a violation of its term?

     

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    Mischa, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: I don't know...

    Just because something is written in an EULA, doesn't mean it is legally enforecable.

     

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    casey, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Game Genie ring a bell

    while i do agree that they have to keep an in game economic balance for their currency.

    what about the use of bots just to reach the end game content with is where most of the player base is already.

    also, players who have already done it once and just wants to play a different class, but dose not want to put in the 400+ hours it takes to get there.

    wow was so boring and repetitive that i did not continue past the 1st free month you get when you purchase the game. if i would have known about a bot i may have used it to see what the end game was like.

     

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    Bobino Boberama, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Service vs. Product

    I played WOW for over a year. Bailed to Eve online, because I was tired of having to go through inane grinding sessions to get wool or some crap like that. I also didn't want to go to auction houses and spend money I would need for higher level spells. I do not have 6 hours a night to just grind away. If I have to sit at the computer, I want i tto be fun. other people may have fewer brain cells and enjoy pushing a button over and over for hours.

    On Eve online, I could pick up a load, plot a course, and actually walk away from the computer for 30 minutes. Unload the ship, pick up new cargo and repeat while earnign the money I needed to enjoy teh game.

    When Glider came out, I was like, wow thsi is great. I can now set up an area and do something else while glider would let me animate my avatar. what a novel concept! Wait, no it isn't I could do that with ANY MUD client back in the mud days. That didn't hurt muds, graphics hurt muds!.
    I played for 4 months, until a patch that the video card on my laptop would not support.

    I get 3 hours a week that I can play a game online. I want that time to be fun, but havign the ability to automate some of the boring aspects, can be a positive thing. If they opened up their game, and loosed controls on their economy, you would see books written about WOW not Second Life, because some aspects of WOW are phenomenal.

    I am back to Eve Online

     

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    Rick, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:01pm

    Re: James

    Well at least MMO's got a victory. That's much more important than copyright fairness.

     

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    BillEth0, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:02pm

    It isn't the outcome its why.

    Being a WoW player and hater of "creative" uses of copyright, I would like to share my point of view on the topic. I am no expert just someone who cares.

    Going after the bot maker/users is a GOOD thing. Blizzard should be doing this all the time!

    Their method for doing so where I have an issue.

    Yes there is a EULA, you violate it they can cut your service off. You have no legal recourse.


    You BUY the software, that has been established in several courts as mentioned in the original article. However the game is essentially useless without the ability to access Blizzards service. That server access is licensed to you.

    The EULA the user violated was their ACCOUNT EULA, the software EULA is moot. I didn't see any clear indication of which Blizzard used, but they should have had no issues using the one from their account, as opposed to the software.

    However how they got from a contract violation to copyright violations is a stretch. Why is the bot maker the liable party? They didn't break the EULA, they didn't cause the copy. The users did, they are the ones responsible and who should have been charged.

     

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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: no Sale?

    To use your analogy, you can customize your Mustang all you want, but as soon as it violates the rules of the road, you can no long drive it legally

    Incorrect. In order for your "corrected" analogy to be accurate, Mustang would have to be responsible for setting the terms of use. Portions of a EULA can also be illegal and unenforceable, since the drafters are not bound by law (as shown by the effective elimination of the first sale doctrine through EULAs), whereas in your example, the "rules of the road" are set by the government. Your example sets EULAs on the same level as a law, which is an inaccurate description.

    The original analogy is fairly accurate. If a similar EULA was slapped onto the side of your Mustang that attempted to dictate acceptable use, brands of gasoline, wheel size, etc., then following the logic of this court case, you would be required to abide by it. If Lexmark can legally restrict the ability to refill it's ink cartridges, Mustang could theoretically attempt to do the same. The reason they don't, of course, is because it would be asinine to piss off your customers to that degree.

     

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    Kirion, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Re: tired of courts!!!

    They ban thousands of players for using bots, gold selling and advertising each month. Unfortunately this doesnt work. Farmers just buy new box and continue to sell gold.
    So i'm actually prety happy about this ruling. I hope Blizzard will strip fair amount of cash from this bastard.

     

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  30.  
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    Mudlock, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:06pm

    Re: James

    Baloney. Blizzard certainly had non-legal options. THEY set the rules in their game, THEY control the "economy" in their game. One of their arguments was that bot-players "stay on-line longer and use system resources the whole time" while normal players don't. You know what they could do? They could set limits on how long you can stay logged in (like they ALREADY DO in some countries, at government request) or they could set limits on how many system resources an account can use (perhaps some sort of bandwidth cap (not a flat top-limit, but something with a burst rating/degrading QoS). This is a technical issue and there are technical fixes (the first law of client/server interaction is never trust the client!)

    Or, if people are willing to shell out big bucks to AVOID PLAYING THE GAME, perhaps Blizzard should take that $15/mo. X n million users and make the game more compelling, less grindy.

     

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    Greg, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    Blizzard vs Origin (EA)

    Origin Systems came out with Ultima Online what seems like ages ago now, and someone created a "bot" called UOAssist. I used to play UO and used UOAssist even before Origin decided it did NOT interfere with game play. It did make using UO and doing repetitive tasks a LOT easier. If Blizzard would collaborate with whoever writes the bots, and make one (or more) "official" then there wouldn't be a problem.

    The UOA author has to get permission from the dev team for UO before a new feature is added. This is all Blizzard really has to do, instead of automatically suing people.

    I do NOT play WoW, btw. I got bored with the whole MMORPG thing.

     

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    JerzeyLogic, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:09pm

    Re: no Sale?

    You have to understand different forms of intellectual property and assets to make that claim. Software is not a tangible asset and cannot be regarded as such be judicial formalities.

    JLogic

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:09pm

    Re: It isn't the outcome its why.

    That is a good point.

     

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    Mudlock, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Re: It isn't the outcome its why.

    Good point. How is it legal for Glider to be found guilty of contributing these breaches of contract, if Blizzard has chosen not to go after the parites who ACTUALLY breached the contract?

    On the other hand, the RIAA successfully sued Grokster and never went after any of its users. Was this for _infringement_ or _contributory_ infringement?

     

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    JerzeyLogic, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: James

    The RIAA and MPAA contribute NOTHING to the bottom line or the product itself, they just take their cut. They do mislead artists into the belief that a majority of their profits come from the sale of tangible media. You should research the real function they serve in that industry.

     

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    Xin, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    botters die!

    screw the bot users, all cheaters and should get banned. bot makers should get prison time or just some time to get beat up badly and with their hands cut off.

    blizz is right, botting is cheating

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Im not sure what the problem is. Blizzard has a user agreement which was violated. If the violation of that agreement caused blizzard to lose money then they can sue and should.

    If people dont like that then start up your own gaming world without such strict licenses. People will flock to it.

    A similar real life example is buying a house where being part of the community association is a requirement for purchase. In that case you can not do whatever you want with the house - you are bound by the rules of the community association. If you violate those rules you can be sued to bring you into compliance. If you dont like it then move to a non-CA community.

     

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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: World of warcraft

    I suspect a large part of the ruling is not about the client

    Then you didn't read the ruling. The focus of the case was whether an end user had the right to copy the game client into memory. The court ruled that the end user did not actually buy the game client, but instead purchased a restrictive license only allowing them the rights Blizzard granted. In other words, even though you bought this program, Blizzard has complete control over how you use it.

    YOU are fear-mongering by saying that this will extend ELUA powers.

    This ruling is completely in line with the ongoing debate between licensing vs. sales. It's one more case that a manufacturer can point to as support for enforcing EULAs. I'm curious as to why you aren't concerned with rulings like this - especially since you claim to not support the enforceability of EULAs on "offline" software. I'm particularly concerned, as I mentioned, of the effects this line of thinking would have on ebooks. Unfortunately, the standard still seems to be leaning towards DRM, the first sale doctrine is essentially moot, since you only have the rights granted to you by the publisher.

    I, personally, feel that EULAs are invalid on software that runs fully on your machine. But I feel that WOW and other MMORPGS are one of the few situations where an ELUA is valid: You cannot connect to the server unless... yadda yadda yadda.

    That's what Terms of Service are for, not a EULA. Your position is ultimately indefensible here, since all it would really take is for a software company to put "dial home" code (which many already do) and the program no longer runs "fully on your machine". Force a connection, make sure you're obeying the EULA, and then allow the program to run. Or, to paraphrase your last line: you cannot use this software unless you connect to the server to validate...

     

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    Buzz, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Ummm...

    Just to make something clear, the software for WoW is free. You can start paying a monthly fee and download the entire game at no cost. Buying the game from a store pays for materials, labor, booklets/instructions, etc., but the software is openly available online. It's like "selling Linux".

     

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  40.  
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    Yeah another AC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: James

    Fine, the exact same thing could be said about the record labels and Movie studios that hire firms to protect their bottom line. Like I said, the same thing. Not to mention the old guy here says it is not about copying, so what the hell does it have to do with copyright.

     

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  41.  
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    Vendiir, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    In support of Blizzard

    When you agree to a EULA you basically agree to a contract. The users of Glider agree to the contract but then go against it. If this was any other form of contract there would be people paying out money or foing to jail for breach on contract.

    I fully support what Blizzard has done here because I am one person on the servers who follows the EULA. I do have addons that are allowed for use. Blizzard has tried to remove the Glider users many times and now has decided to go to the legal system to have Glider removed.

    I agree with the desicion

     

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  42.  
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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:43pm

    Re: In support of Blizzard

    I fully support what Blizzard has done here because I am one person on the servers who follows the EULA. I do have addons that are allowed for use. Blizzard has tried to remove the Glider users many times and now has decided to go to the legal system to have Glider removed.

    This line of thinking is part of the problem. Yes, removing bots and hacks from WoW is generally a good thing, but the problem is that they didn't enforce the EULA or the ToS in order to do it. They instead turned it into an case over who has control over the software installed on your computer.

     

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  43.  
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    Sunny Day, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    Re: botters die!

    You may want to crawl out of your basement at some point in the near future.

     

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  44.  
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    teknosapien, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    I've said it a few times here on various subjects

    BOYCOTT, hold off and don't give them your Money. I'm not saying forever but if you are unhappy with how a company does business DON'T support them until you are satisfied with how they've dealt with the issues at hand.
    you can bitch all you want but the only real power any of us has is to with hold our hard earned cash from companies that are doing this kind of crap

     

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  45.  
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    chris (profile), Jul 16th, 2008 @ 2:22pm

    Re: James

    it's called glider in WOW and it was called decal in asheron's call. i forget what it was called in ultima online, and i'll bet you money there are macro/bot tools for every other MMO in the world. MMO's are systems like any other and will be exploited just like every other system.

    whether you use macros to farm, to grind, to craft, the results are the same once the bots come in to play (buff bots, trade bots, craft bots, farm bots, you name it) your game has jumped the shark and it's time to move on. the real game play is over, the decent players will move on, and only the griefers and ebayers will remain. everything will cost billions at the market place and there is nothing that can be done about it.

    so what if they sue that one guy. his work will end up in the hands of others and the cycle will repeat, under new names and taking advantage of new exploits.

    as a matter of fact, it's better that this gets done by bots, otherwise it will get done by children in third world sweatshops in places like china and mexico. that business is alive and well, just check ebay. sure, it's a better alternative than child prostitution, but it's still slavery.

     

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  46.  
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    chris (profile), Jul 16th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Re: I've said it a few times here on various subjects

    that's why crack dealers are such scrupulous businessmen, they are in constant fear of a junkie walkout.

     

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  47.  
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    It is software and service, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 2:47pm

    A big part many of are missing here is WoW isn't just a software sale but is directly tied into a subscription service. You buy the software copy but you subscribe to the service. The software is non-functional without the service. Glider violated the service agreement, not the software copyright.

    I think the judge made the right ruling (against Glider) but for the wrong reasons. This wasn't about copyright but about accessing and utilizing subscription services in violation of the terms of service agreement. Glider clearly violated the terms of service for accessing and utilizing Blizzard's game servers.

     

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  48.  
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    One man's opinion, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 3:01pm

    Blizzard

    I see points to both sides of the argument, however the simple fact is, Blizzard created it and can do what it wants with it. If you bought a J.K Rowling book, then re-wrote the book, and tried to sell it, you get sued. Now granted they hackers (yes, they are hackers) are not selling something, but they are interfering with others' gameplay and the WoW economy and competition as a whole.
    If you had written a game and other people started changing the rules, you'd get pissed off too.
    If you don't like it, don't play it. Easy enough

     

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  49.  
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    WoW Player (kinda), Jul 16th, 2008 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: World of warcraft

    Actually, there is an important difference that makes this case make sense. The original client is a free download (if you do the free trial), and then you buy a subscription. If you buy it in a store, you pay for the box and CD, and get a subscription with it. The expansion costs to buy and authorize (at least this is how I remember it, correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a long while.) Since what you are buying is primarily server access, the license makes sense.

    Also, glider will always exist, since it should be legal on private servers, and if they market saying for use on private servers only, blizz will be hard pressed to shut them down.

     

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  50.  
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    Mike (profile), Jul 16th, 2008 @ 3:09pm

    Re: In support of Blizzard

    When you agree to a EULA you basically agree to a contract.

    A contract cannot bind you to illegal things. It cannot force you to give up certain rights.

    The users of Glider agree to the contract but then go against it.

    What does that have to do with copyright?

    I fully support what Blizzard has done here because I am one person on the servers who follows the EULA.

    You are supporting it for the wrong reasons. While the results may be overall beneficial, it's for the exact wrong reasons, and will lead to many more problems down the road.

    Think through the consequences of what you are supporting, because in supporting this you are giving up the concept of fair use or limited copyright -- because all any company needs to do is write that out of existence in the EULA.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: no Sale?

    To use your analogy, you can customize your Mustang all you want, but as soon as it violates the rules of the road, you can no long drive it legally (I dunno, big tires, load stereo whatever).
    No. The "rules of the road" are public laws, not Ford's rules. If Ford were making the rules you probably couldn't use any custom parts that weren't "Ford Approved" and all your gas would have to come from "Ford Approved" gas stations.

     

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  52.  
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    Sean, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    Re: no Sale?

    That is completely different to make your example work you would have to say. "If I enter a Ford Mustang only race and have modified the car outside of what the rules allow for. Then win the race and it is discovered that I have cheated. I lose my trophy and am disqualified from racing. That should have never happened because I paid the entry fee for the race."

    When you buy the game you do not own it in this situation you have to actively pay to play. The game has to be logged into a server for it to work and must play by the rules that are set forth. Sort of like an airport.

     

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  53.  
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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    I think the judge made the right ruling (against Glider) but for the wrong reasons. This wasn't about copyright but about accessing and utilizing subscription services in violation of the terms of service agreement. Glider clearly violated the terms of service for accessing and utilizing Blizzard's game servers.

    Since the entire case pretty much hinged on copyright, the judge actually made the wrong ruling.

     

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  54.  
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    DanC, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Blizzard

    I see points to both sides of the argument, however the simple fact is, Blizzard created it and can do what it wants with it.

    You say you see both sides of the argument, and then make a statement that shows you don't actually understand the issue at all. The issue isn't that Blizzard is enforcing the EULA, it's that this ruling basically says that Blizzard can dictate what you can and can't do with the software on your computer.

    Now granted they hackers (yes, they are hackers) are not selling something, but they are interfering with others' gameplay and the WoW economy and competition as a whole.

    First, I'm not really sure why you feel the need to point out that they're hackers (although I'm assuming you're using for the generally negative perception associated with hacking). Second, they actually were charging for the Glider program. Third, what you are describing is a violation of the Terms of Service and the EULA, not a copyright violation.

    If you had written a game and other people started changing the rules, you'd get pissed off too.

    Again, this is not the issue. Detect the cheaters and ban them. Using machiavellian means to remove a single hack is wrong.

    If you don't like it, don't play it. Easy enough

    It's my computer, and I should be able to do whatever I want to the files on it. I've played WoW, I've never used a bot or a hack program on it, but if I decided for whatever reason that I wanted to, I should have the right to do so. And I should also have to deal with an account termination when caught. Bringing charges of copyright infringement into the matter turns this into a mess that copyright was not intended to handle.

     

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  55.  
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    Luci, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re: I don't know...

    It is a sale. You have to purchase the software, which you cannot return afterwards, in order to even SEE that EULA. It isn't visible in any other manner. So you buy the game. Read the EULA. Decide you cannot agree to it, so don't install the game. Then? You wasted money you'll never get back.

    Of course, if you get banned from the game, then the same thing occurs.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 6:19pm

    Re:

    I'm not sure what the problem is either. You all owe me a million dollars.

    EULA: By reading this sig, you agree to any and all statements in the above post.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 10:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: World of warcraft

    Connection to server to validate is bull. Paying a monthly fee for services is liscencing.

     

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  58.  
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    DanC, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 12:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: World of warcraft

    Connection to server to validate is bull. Paying a monthly fee for services is liscencing.

    I don't see where I said it wasn't. The previous AC(you?) stated that EULAs should only be applicable to certain types of software such as MMORPGs which required a server to access. I was merely showing that the line between software that runs "fully on your machine" is not as clear-cut as he seems to believe.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    Re: It isn't the outcome its why.

    I agree with just about everything you said.
    There is one difference though.
    The software is not Completely useless without Blizzard server access.
    There are plenty of emulated servers out there. Although they can be buggy and less fun due to lack of players. But still, plenty of other servers to play on, even if not the real thing. =)

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: botters die!

    Why? If he does he won't be able to "farm" gold for hours on end, playing some pathetic online game....

     

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  61.  
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    BillEth0, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: It isn't the outcome its why.

    True, but one could point out that those servers either have reverse engineered a WoW server from scratch, which I find extremely unlikely without access to software they shouldn't have. Or they somehow got a copy of the finish software and modified it.

    In either case there is theft since I am sure that Blizzard doesn't sell their server software lightly if at all.

     

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  62.  
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    Jason, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    Biased Much?

    last i checked, just because you buy a CD doesn't give you the right to take the music, and add to it, sell it and make money off of it.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Biased Much?

    last i checked, just because you buy a CD doesn't give you the right to take the music, and add to it, sell it and make money off of it.
    So who said otherwise? That's a strawman argument.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 5:15pm

    Know what? I'm a WoW player. Not a scumbag cheater, and not someone who tolerates the actions of those who facilitate scumbag cheaters. I enjoy playing the game legitimately, and I'm happy with the job Blizzard is doing as they work to thwart cheating. So, to all the outraged cheaters out there, if you want to boycott World of Warcraft PLEASE DO! I'm glad you're not polluting the game anymore. You won't be missed. Not even a little.

     

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  65.  
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    DanC, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    So, to all the outraged cheaters out there, if you want to boycott World of Warcraft PLEASE DO! I'm glad you're not polluting the game anymore. You won't be missed. Not even a little.

    Congratulations. You have adequately demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the issue. The court case had nothing to do with cheating on WoW beyond determining if Blizzard was being harmed by the supposed copyright infringement.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 8:02pm

    No, I simply see through the fearmongering in the article and the artifice of the outrage presented by many of the posters. I mean really, I'm supposed to take seriously an argument that suggests that an MMORPG client which clearly is not intended to be an independently operable entity should be compared to a truck? Please. I'm not naive.

    The maker of the BoT is exploiting someone else's commercial offering in a way that substantially interferes with that offering. That is wrong. It needs to stop. Period.

    Anyone with a lick of sense can see the difference between a subscription service with massive player interdependency and ink cartridges, or Autodesk software, or promo CDs.

    This is not a credible threat to copyright.

     

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  67.  
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    Mike (profile), Jul 17th, 2008 @ 10:28pm

    Re:

    No, I simply see through the fearmongering in the article and the artifice of the outrage presented by many of the posters.

    Hmm. How is pointing out that this case has little to do with copyright and appears to be an abuse of copyright law "fear mongering"?

    The maker of the BoT is exploiting someone else's commercial offering in a way that substantially interferes with that offering. That is wrong. It needs to stop. Period.

    So the ends justify the means, even if it's a total twisting of the purpose of copyright law, that will allow that law to be abused in many more ways in the future?

    Yikes.

    This is not a credible threat to copyright.

    Then you haven't been paying attention to copyright law and litigation for very long.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    I find the premise upon which rests the claim that this is an abuse of copyright law to be shaky at best. The World of Warcraft client software is clearly not intended to be operable independently, but rather is a specific portion of the overall game software, most of which players never directly see or even run on their own computers. Very significantly the client comes bundled with a unique account key when purchased at retail. It can even be said that you're not purchasing the client software but rather the right to establish a game account via the key (and gee, doesn't that sound kind of like a license?), because Blizzard makes the client software FREELY DOWNLOADABLE.

    Since the article's argument hinges on the difference between a license and a sale, and tries to draw comparisons to products that clearly differ in structure and business model this forces me to question just how much research really went into the article.

    So, Mike. Have you ever purchased WoW? Ever installed it yourself? Actaully gone through the steps of setting up an account yourself? Played it for any significant amount of time? Either your memory about how the whole process works is pretty selective, you've never put any thought into how that process works, or the answer is a straight up no. And that makes it easy to shrug off your accusation that I haven't been paying attention as hypocrisy.

    Since your argument is questionable at step one but you're still making noise, that indeed makes you--intentionally or not--a fearmonger.

    The title would kinda chafe on me too. Personally, I'd look into updating the article with a bit more research rather than parroting some blogger.

     

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  69.  
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    DanC, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Have you ever purchased WoW? Ever installed it yourself? Actaully gone through the steps of setting up an account yourself? Played it for any significant amount of time? Either your memory about how the whole process works is pretty selective, you've never put any thought into how that process works, or the answer is a straight up no.

    I've played it, and I know how it works. That does not, however, change the fact that Blizzard chose to manipulate copyright law instead of enforcing their EULA and Terms of Service on those users that were actually cheating.

    And that makes it easy to shrug off your accusation that I haven't been paying attention as hypocrisy.

    The maker of the BoT is exploiting someone else's commercial offering in a way that substantially interferes with that offering. That is wrong. It needs to stop. Period.


    When you make statements that imply you support a "by any means necessary" approach, you should hardly be surprised when you get called on it.

    Since your argument is questionable at step one but you're still making noise, that indeed makes you--intentionally or not--a fearmonger.

    The title would kinda chafe on me too. Personally, I'd look into updating the article with a bit more research rather than parroting some blogger.


    You don't find it particularly troubling that this court case basically says that a company selling a product can dictate through a EULA what you can and can't do with the files on your computer?

    Even setting aside the license vs. sale issue, the court stated that copying game client files residing on your computer into the memory of your computer when not approved by Blizzard constitutes copyright infringement. That's what makes this ruling particularly dangerous.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    The World of Warcraft client software is clearly not intended to be operable independently, but rather is a specific portion of the overall game software, most of which players never directly see or even run on their own computers.
    You see, that's the whole question: Whether a company can force someone to use a product only as the company wants it to be used (i.e. "intended") after it is sold or transferred to the end user and to use copyright law to do that.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    I wasn't asking you, Dan.

    But since you mention it, let me make clear that this case is not solely, as you would suggest, about what you can and can't do with the files on your computer. It's about what you can and can't do with the files on other people's computers, and THAT is what is being obfuscated here. A consequence of the game's design is that all player actions alter data on Blizzard's servers. Through automation of such actions, Glider alters that data improperly and thus impacts the experience of legitimate customers.

    Were WoW a single player game we wouldn't be having this discussion and botters could cheat to their heart's content without fear of reprisal. But it isn't. And to state clearly for you, no, I have no expectation of ownership of the WoW client software. And yes, I'm comfortable with that.

    Now if you want to say that the law is currently inadequately prepared to deal with technological issues, sure I can agree with that. If you want to suggest that the law be changed to better and more clearly accommodate cases like this one I'll cheer you on. But when you start painting slippery slope disaster scenarios that insult my intelligence, then don't be surprised when YOU get called on it.

    I don't claim that the ends justify the means--I claim that the means aren't the disaster being portrayed here because the specifics of the situation differ from what you (and others) describe.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 2:13pm

    In reply to my fellow Anonymous Coward, but you see I am contesting the notion that the WoW client software is ever "sold or transferred" to the end user. It is designed solely and specifically to facilitate access to a licensed account which actually runs on computers owned by Blizzard, not the end user.

     

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  73.  
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    DanC, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 6:24pm

    Re:

    It's about what you can and can't do with the files on other people's computers, and THAT is what is being obfuscated here. A consequence of the game's design is that all player actions alter data on Blizzard's servers.

    No, that isn't the case. From the court order:

    Blizzard alleges that users of WoW are licensees who are permitted to copy the copyrighted game client software only in conformance with the EULA and TOU, and that when users launch WoW using Glider, they exceed the license in the EULA and TOU and create infringing copies of the game client software.

    ...

    Ninth Circuit law holds that the copying of software to RAM constitutes “copying” for purposes of section 106 of the Copyright Act. MAI Sys. Corp. v. Peak Computer, Inc., 991 F.2d 511, 518-19 (9th Cir. 1993). Thus, if a person is not authorized by the copyright holder (through a license) or by law (through section117, which will be discussed below) to copy the software to RAM, the person is guilty of copyright infringement because the person has exercised a right (copying) that belongs exclusively to the copyright holder.


    In other words, the reasoning of the court is that due to the restrictions in the EULA, a person copying game client files into memory beyond what Blizzard allows is committing copyright infringement, which is what I stated.

    The consequences on the server were only considered by the court in determining whether Blizzard was damaged by the Glider program after infringement had already been established.

    I claim that the means aren't the disaster being portrayed here because the specifics of the situation differ from what you (and others) describe.

    I took the specifics of the situation straight from the court order, so I believe my description is fairly accurate. If you can show otherwise, please do.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 12:05pm

    Clearly, we aren't communicating properly. You aren't answering the argument that I'm presenting.

    What I'm arguing is the distinction that both justifies World of Warcraft's status as a licensed product, and sets it apart in such a way that the ruling does not apply to other types of products.

    Try going back and re-reading what I've written with that in mind.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 7:01pm

    Re:

    In reply to my fellow Anonymous Coward, but you see I am contesting the notion that the WoW client software is ever "sold or transferred" to the end user.
    If it wasn't transferred to the end user then how did the end user ever come to be in possession of it?

    It is designed solely and specifically to facilitate access to a licensed account which actually runs on computers owned by Blizzard, not the end user.
    If none of it runs on the user's computer, then why must it be loaded there?

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 10:38pm

    "If it wasn't transferred to the end user then how did the end user ever come to be in possession of it?"

    'Transferred' in this sense implies an assignment of ownership which does not take place when a product is licensed. This is not a usage of the term as would apply to a download or a process of copying files off a CD.

    "If none of it runs on the user's computer, then why must it be loaded there?"

    Your phrasing suggests that you have misread. Note that I said the client's sole purpose is to facilitate access to a licensed World of Warcraft account. It is the account that runs on computers owned by Blizzard.

     

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  77.  
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    DanC, Jul 19th, 2008 @ 10:44pm

    Re:

    What I'm arguing is the distinction that both justifies World of Warcraft's status as a licensed product, and sets it apart in such a way that the ruling does not apply to other types of products.

    I understand what you're trying to argue; I simply disagree with your conclusions. And, as I pointed out, your assertion that the effect on the servers was somehow being glossed over as a one of the factors in determining infringement is incorrect.

    And regardless of the applicability of this case to others, I still find it particularly troubling that Blizzard can accuse users of the Glider program of copyright infringement. Because, in effect, Blizzard is asserting that it retains control over the game client files on your computer.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    No, I'm really not confident that you do, because you're misunderstanding me even now.

    Let's go over the essence of what I've said so far:

    1. Cheaters suck. People who enable cheaters, especially in a way that interferes with legitimate business, suck really hard. I'll be happy when they're gone.
    2. Many here are painting slippery slope scenarios with the implication that this ruling is the doom of copyright. I find such dire prophesy to be laughably fallacious and insulting to my intelligence.
    3. The game client represents only a fraction of the overall World of Warcraft software. Core functionality of the overall product is specifically processed on game servers. Further, the client is made available freely. Account keys are demonstrably what Blizzard charges for at the time of purchase. This design sets World of Warcraft apart not only from other types of products, but even other types of software.
    4. A consequence of (3) is that as a unified product World of Warcraft is licensed, not sold.
    5. A further consequence of (3) is that a ruling applying to World of Warcraft is not significantly threatening in the scope of other types of products.
    6. The article's author (I'm not, as you have misinterpreted, here referring to the ruling. The ruling contains a terse acknowledgement of the game's structure in basic terms on page 2.) conveniently ignores (3) and its implications when making claims about the consequences of the ruling. I perceive this as fearmongering.
    7. I am not troubled by limits placed in specific circumstances by companies on how their products can be used when a legitimate and good faith case can be made that such products are licensed rather than sold.
    8. Glider inappropriately manipulates Blizzard's server processing. The implication being that because this is even possible, Blizzard's choice to protect World of Warcraft as a licensed product is justified.

    I understand your eagerness to set aside the license versus sale issue and instead make this a "what constitutes infringement" issue. I've presented reasoning supporting my case. But you "simply disagree." Well, of course you do. You HAVE to, because if you can't get past that then there's not much else to argue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 5:04pm

    I understand your eagerness to set aside the license versus sale issue and instead make this a "what constitutes infringement" issue.
    Infringement is what Blizzard claimed and that the judge in this case found. Given that, if you don't think this case was about infringement then you are seriously overlooking something, intentionally or otherwise.

    Now let me say back to you: But you "simply disagree." Well, of course you do. You HAVE to, because if you can't get past that then there's not much else to argue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Re: James

    This is not about copying...
    Not according to Blizzard and the judge. You should actually read the article before commenting on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 12:04am

    Re:


    Let's go over the essence of what I've said so far:


    Okay, sure.

    Your first point is irrelevant in terms of both the licensing vs. sale argument, as well as in determining copyright infringement. I don't understand the point in bringing it up beyond the inference that criticizing the ruling somehow supports cheating.

    It should be noted that the free availability of the game client software is a neutral factor in the license vs. sold debate.

    Account keys are demonstrably what Blizzard charges for at the time of purchase.

    If I go to a store to purchase the box containing the WoW software and documentation, the distinction that the software is licensed is not obvious. A mention is made of the EULA available online on the box, but at time of purchase, at least in-store, it is hardly clear what is being sold.

    But yes, after the purchase there are plenty of notifications of the licensing and terms of use agreements.

    Many here are painting slippery slope scenarios with the implication that this ruling is the doom of copyright.

    When the enforceability of a EULA depends on where the court case is held, the scope of a decision is likewise difficult to determine.

    What is troubling is that this ruling asserts that if a software company can show that its software is licensed, it can then bring claims of copyright infringement against EULA violations. That seems to me to be a gross misuse of copyright law.

    I am not troubled by limits placed in specific circumstances by companies on how their products can be used when a legitimate and good faith case can be made that such products are licensed rather than sold.

    When the "specific circumstances" include the files on my computer, I am troubled by the restrictions a company believes they can enforce. While the court case only held MDY liable for contributory infringement, it held that any user of the Glide program was guilty of copyright infringement.

    Your last point is inaccurate, as Blizzard did not protect WoW as a licensed product. Would they have done so, they would have followed contract law. Instead, limitations in the EULA were used to make an argument based on copyright infringement, via the "copy" of the software loaded into memory.

    I understand your eagerness to set aside the license versus sale issue and instead make this a "what constitutes infringement" issue.

    And I understand your eagerness set aside the copyright issue and deal strictly with the license vs. sale issue. Both are essential factors in this case, and stating that you support the decision without defending the copyright infringement claim is only half a defense.

    But you "simply disagree." Well, of course you do. You HAVE to, because if you can't get past that then there's not much else to argue.

    Certainly there is. Even if I hypothetically ceded the licensing argument, the copyright infringement claim is another issue entirely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 11:46am

    The first point is mainly rhetorical. I didn't expect a reply on it. But think of who stands to directly benefit from Glider being found a legitimate product. It was a swipe at those people.

    Your contention regarding the free availability of the game client fails to recognize the point: the distinction of the game client from the account key. Showing that the account key is the actual object of purchase helps make the case that World of Warcraft is a licensed product.

    Moving on, do you make a profession of taking things out of context? Maybe you'd prefer if I phrased it as "it can be demonstrated that when purchasing the World of Warcraft retail box, one is purchasing account keys, not the client software."

    I'm referring to the scope of other products to which this ruling could be applied, not geographical scope.

    And yes, I know what troubles you. It's OK. You don't need to restate it. Twice. I, for one, have not misinterpreted what you have said.

    As to your contention that Blizzard did not protect WoW as a licensed product, and that they did not follow contract law and instead pursued copyright...well then, I guess they really must not have sought summary judgement for "tortious interference with contract" among their other claims. But only because you say so. You and Aristotle on gravity.

    If you want to argue the copyright issue, go right ahead. Just please don't persist in misinterpreting my statements to get there. I have yet to hear anything other than "it would be bad" anyway. And arguing from consequence doesn't make your case.

    In a nutshell, I see it like this: Section 117 protections form a cornerstone of MDY's copyright defense. If World of Warcraft is a licensed product, then section 117 doesn't apply and that defense falls apart. I don't see how I need to justify that observation.

    Further, the ruling makes its own case with regard to the applicability of copyright law. I have no need to defend that either. It's up to you to spell out exactly why you're right, the judge is wrong, and copyright is inapplicable. Any variant of "it would be bad because..." or "I find it troubling that..." won't cut it. Those aren't valid arguments. They're fearmongering.

    P.S. AC #79. You're just another selective-quote troll. I haven't once "simply disagreed." Try making sense for a change, or don't bother expecting the dignity of a reply.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jul 21st, 2008 @ 3:00pm

    Re:

    I guess they really must not have sought summary judgement for "tortious interference with contract" among their other claims.

    Allow me to correct myself. Yes, Blizzard did in fact use contract law to go after MDY. Claims I - IV of the Motion for Summary Judgement, however, put the emphasis of the case on copyright law and the DMCA. Contract interference was placed under those concerns because that wasn't Blizzard's main focus, as it should have been.

    Moving on, do you make a profession of taking things out of context? Maybe you'd prefer if I phrased it as "it can be demonstrated that when purchasing the World of Warcraft retail box, one is purchasing account keys, not the client software."

    I didn't misunderstand you, and I don't really believe that I took anything you said out of context. The end result of your argument is that when a consumer picks up and purchases WoW from a retail store, it is obvious that an account key is what is actually being purchased.

    I have the retail box for the Burning Crusade Expansion. The EULA is only mentioned via a website address. On the box, there is no indication that the software is licensed, instead of sold. After the box is opened, certainly, there is literature inside that spells out the agreement.

    Any variant of "it would be bad because..." or "I find it troubling that..." won't cut it. Those aren't valid arguments. They're fearmongering.

    Granted, they aren't valid arguments. But they likewise don't constitute fear mongering either. Continually stating that they are isn't a valid argument either. This case stated outright that customers that use the Glider program are guilty of copyright infringement due to a EULA violation of licensed software.

    Your apparent definition of fear mongering seems to preclude drawing any conclusions for any future similar cases.

    As for why the court was wrong in a finding of copyright infringement, it is because they followed the 9th Circuit's unfortunate precedent of MAI vs. Peak, where a computer's RAM was somehow determined to be a fixed medium, despite the fact that, by design, it isn't. Since a copy must, by legal definition, reside on a fixed medium, files copied into RAM, a transient medium, should not qualify.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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