Blizzard Seeks Injunction Against Open Sourcing Bot Software It Can't Defend Against

from the that-raises-just-a-few-questions... dept

We were more than a bit worried last month, when a judge ruled that some bot software of the game World of Warcraft somehow infringed on Blizzard's copyright. It involved a lot of really tortured logic to figure out how such software actually violates Blizzard's copyright. It certainly is true that such software may be annoying to other World of Warcraft players, but that doesn't mean it actually violates copyright. We're already seeing some of the potential unintended consequences of such a decision, as Slashdot alerts us that beyond just seeking an injunction against the software, Blizzard is specifically seeking an injunction against him revealing the code of his software, such as by open sourcing it. If the court agrees, this effectively gives Blizzard control over someone else's source code, just because a judge found it infringed on their copyright. That seems highly problematic and dangerous.


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  1.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 4th, 2008 @ 4:45am

    Freedom of Speech

    This is far worse than suspending the public's liberty to reproduce a published work in order to grant this as a commercial privilege of the publisher. It is suspending the liberty of the public to publish original works - simply because the publisher finds them antagonistic to its own.

    Evidently, when in doubt rule in favour of the immortal corporation. The rights of Human beings are now secondary to the commercial interests of corporations.

     

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    Truthseeker, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 4:49am

    Imagine . . .

    Imagine how hard it would be to wright anything, if everyword in a dictionary could be covered by copywright. If there were no way to legaly combine them into new sentances or express new thoughts built on old ones. Welcome to todays thinking regarding software code.


    This is bad for gamers and its potentially bad for the world.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:09am

    God bless America!
    If you stink I'll sue you cause I stunk before you!

     

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    From a Gamers View, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:18am

    I'm really surprized that Blizzard went this direction. The Computer industry is far exceding the software industry. Everyday you see commercials on TV wanting bright new talent for the computer gaming industries to come join their college. With that said it looks like Blizzard would have grabbed this guy up and offered him a Job. I my self have been playing this game for years now, and although to have bots running around does sound annoying. I think blizzard might be over stepping the rights of programmers and setting the industry back even further.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:29am

    Put the code on a T-Shirt and let the first amendment do its stuff.

     

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    Matt (profile), Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:34am

    this isn't the firs ttime bliz has done this

    Go back to the days of diablo 1&2 and look back into what happened to BnetD and you'll see that this is textbook for blizzard. Here's a link to it: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Blizzard_Entertainment%27s_victory_over_bnetd_sealed_in_Appeals_Court

     

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    Cryptophile, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:37am

    Software and code may be regulated, but the creator of PGP used a good hack...write a book and include the source code in a format that can be easily OCR-scanned. Books are protected by the First Amendment and can even be exported.

    I like you guys, Blizzard, but think it through.

     

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    Shohat, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:44am

    Laws vs being right.

    First of all, if this does go through, it can set a very ugly precendent.
    Preventing the release of a source code for a tool which the company didn't develop is certainly going to be used in the future for far worse purposes.

    But on the other hand, all laws aside, all Blizzard is doing it to protect its customers from abusers. They are fighting with all they got, because they know they are right, and the other side is wrong.
    And I don't mean in the American suit/court/law way, but like absolute right and wrong. Blizzard are defending the people that pay them money every month, counting on Blizzard to make sure that their experience is not ruined by cheaters/bots/spammers ,etc...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    Re: Laws vs being right.

    ". . . But on the other hand, all laws aside, all Blizzard is doing it to protect its customers from abusers. They are fighting with all they got, because they know they are right, and the other side is wrong."





    Blizzard is not RIGHT in this case, they are in fact WRONG.

     

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    Shohat, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    Really ? They are wrong in trying to protect the people that pay them money every month ?

    I am not talking about the implications of their actions, or the way they do it. I am talking about pure intention.

     

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    chris (profile), Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:22am

    good luck blizzard

    keep it up blizzard, once the code gets out, legally or illegally, you won't be able to stop it.

    security isn't a feature you can add on at the end :-)

    it's ok though. this is the logical progression for MMO's: closed beta, open beta, retail, critical mass, bot invasion.

    now that the bots are here, it's time to move on to other games.

     

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    Havok, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:28am

    The Rabbit Hole

    Could this mean that any unlicensed plug-ins are to become the property of the host program?

    Will programs that provide additional functionality to an operating system now be the property of the host OS?

    I wonder how Microsoft/Apple feel about Blizzard violating it's OS copyright by manipulating the OS to automate the game engine?

    Then again, all of this software is just a way to automate the functionality of the hardware...

    And the purpose of the hardware is to automate the functionality of the user...

    Just Canceled my Warcraft accounts....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    The people who use the bot pay them money every month too.

     

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    CM, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    "security isn't a feature you can add on at the end :-)"

    The use of Glider, and other bots is already detectable by Blizzards "Watchdog" software built in. Can't really say Blizzard is trying to add security now. I completely agree with ShoHat, their intention is in the right, their methods suck at the moment.

    As far as Blizzard not liking 3rd party unlicensed software, thats ludicrous. Blizzard is not only tolerant of such software, but even supports it to a degree.

    People who use glider/bots get banned quite often, and that results in a loss of revenue to Blizzard. Add in the damage to the E-economy, and I can see why they are trying so hard. Im just glad their trying, even though their methods are albeit, questionable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:39am

    Blizzard does have a substantial reason to intervene. Blizzard has been more then cooperative with third party programs and recognizes some are helpful and perfectly fine. For those of you complaining either you are incredibly stupid (or you have never even played Wow) or you already know what the problem is and just want to continue being the problem

    Some people actually will use bots then turn around and sell the gold they make (You already know this if you play-dont pretend you dont). Not only are these leeches making money off of Blizzard unethically. There are also third party programs that cause trouble for other players (This is a problem when other people pay a monthly subscription and should be afforded the same experience everyone else gets). I suppose the guy vandalizing the town would complain about how the police handled him when they eventually prevented him from doing it anymore in the future.

     

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    Anonymous, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:50am

    World of Warcraft

    So someone's bot is going to ruin all these players experiences in WOW? Big deal. Maybe blizz should just improve their game to make it not so brainless.

    I can't remember any bots doing anything harmful in Starcraft... oh wait, that's cause Starcraft wasn't a mindless drone game.

    If you make a timesink bots will come.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:56am

    The attitude of a hacker: So someone's bot is going to ruin all these players experiences in WOW? Big deal. Maybe blizz should just improve their game to make it not so brainless.

    Your words reveal your obviously biased opinion. Yeah.. you dont care about whats happening to others. I am sure you would see things differently, If you downloaded a third party program complete with a nice little keylogger and lost all your precious Wow goodies.

    The issue confronting Blizzard should be obvious to anyone with some sense of ethics and rationale.

     

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    Shohat, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    Blizzard has proven time and time again that it doesn't want these people as paying customers - they have activelly used their right to discontinue service to cheaters to protect other players.

     

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    SeattleGuy, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 7:36am

    Publish source code NOW!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Re: Publish source code NOW!

    either result may work for blizzard in the end. if the code gets published, blizzard can analyze it and potentially create a solution that detects the bot. If they don't have the source code yet, then this would be all they need to create some form of detection.

     

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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    The complaint isn't that Blizzard's stated goals are wrong - removing cheaters from the system is generally considered a good thing. It's their methods that are being criticized.

    Your words reveal your obviously biased opinion. Yeah.. you dont care about whats happening to others. I am sure you would see things differently, If you downloaded a third party program complete with a nice little keylogger and lost all your precious Wow goodies.

    The issue confronting Blizzard should be obvious to anyone with some sense of ethics and rationale.


    You're making an emotional appeal instead of making a rational argument, and the issue is hardly a matter of ethics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    "The issue confronting Blizzard should be obvious to anyone with some sense of ethics and rationale."

    Actually, no. Ethics have nothing to do with this. People are rational beings so anyone who has the ability to program a bot (or the time to find one) will perform a cost-benefit analysis on the game. They will say "will the time spent writing this bot, and the potential for being banned from the game, be more than paid off by the money I can make selling the goods from the bot?" Obviously the answer is yes since people do it all the time.

    Unfortunately, life is just a game to see who can play the system to their advantage.

     

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    Kevin, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    Blizzard may still yet offer him a job, but in the meantime they want that bot off their servers. Blizzard tried everything they could before taking this route. Though I would have preferred a suspension of accounts found using the bots code.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re:

    please don't forget that a lot of users use bots to get past the boring parts of the game quickly and/or don't sell the goods, they'll keep the good stuff and donate the worthless stuff to lower level players.

    not everyone is trying to make money, some are just trying to make the game more fun.

     

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    joe nat, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    the judge was paid

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re:

    IIRC, the cot in this instance isn't detectable by their current system which is why all of this started in the first place.

    so basically Blizzard made a game that had a loophole in it, when someone exploited the loophole they cried to mommy to get the mean kid punished and then instead of fixing the loophole asked mommy (with the teary puppy-dog eyes) to make sure the mean kid doesn't tell other people about it.

     

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    joe nat, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Publish source code NOW!

    you should get on your face and worship God.

     

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  28.  
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    Ryan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    blizzard policies

    As a computer programmer and WoW player, I can say that a lot of Blizzard's polices seem to represent poor coding.

    There's this, which should be solved in code, and others.

    Example: If you figure out how it obscures the language between races and use it to communicate with other players, you will get banned. That shouldn't happen as it's fixable with software (don't make lol always translate to kek, etc)

    I have a hard time believing that this code is impossible to detect - it simply can't be - there has to be a solution. Find it and fix it, and shut the hell up until you do.

     

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  29.  
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    Keill Randor, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    Bots and loot/gold sellers

    The main problem with this situation is that the underlying reason for all this happening is that the game of World of Warcraft is UNBALANCED.

    Unfortunately, it's not the only one either - pretty much every main commercial MMO has had similar problems, though Blizzard's games (such as the Diablo series) seem to emphasise the things that create this problem to begin with.

    The underlying problem is simple: the people playing these games, do not get what they need or want for their characters WHILE they play through the game, so therefore all these items (such as gold/loot etc.) have ADDITIONAL value above and beyond the in-game world, and the basic game-play. This then creates a separate market for these items outside of the game.

    Trying to kill this market, (which is what blizzard are doing), CANNOT be done without re-designing the game to reduce the characters reliance on such equipment - the game has created this market, and the only way to get rid of it, is to change the game.

    Any other attempted method to kill this market, will have the same effect of killing any other (black) market - it will FAIL...

    Don't blame the people using this market - blame their BAD GAME DESIGN. If they didn't see such a thing happening as they designed the game - especially after what happened to Diablo 2, then they must be really stupid - or they're trying to play both sides of the market - which again, will not work...

    Tough Shit, Blizzard - no sympathy here... The only people I have sympathy for are those playing the game, who don't really understand why this sort of thing happens, and who have no wish to do such a thing, but are almost forced into doing so by Blizzards own game mechanics/design... Oh well... (I only played WoW for three months - found it too boring to continue).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Should someone take the time to read through these posts it should again be obvious why Blizzard did what it had to do. People feel justified, and believe whole heartedly in taking advantage of 3rd party programs at the expense of others and have little sympathy or understanding for anyone other then their own agenda.

    Thats the problem, there are a huge majority of people who could care less about the consequences of their actions. You cant reach these people, help them understand, or work with them. You simply take them to court, and fight for a copyright violation so it stops. They never are going to like it. Should another hole open up... They will jump at it like piranhas in a feeding frenzy only to do it again.

     

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    Bob Sagan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    Then those people are idiots.

    First off, some idiot agrees to pay, what $15 a month to play online? Then that idiot doesn't like the grind, read: the game. So that idiot decided to pay for a bot to play a game for him that he is already paying $15 a month for.

    Yeah... I'd hide behind that AC tag also if I were you, you idiot.

    As an avid gamer, I hate online cheaters. I cannot believe you guys are defending this guy for what can only be seen as "cheating", and you are calling it freedom of speech? Come on, are you all really this ignorant?

     

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    Ryan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    consequences?

    but what are the worst case consequences of using a BOT to level your character for you?

    1.) you miss out on the game playing experience (no loss to anybody but you.

    2.) You gain ill-gotten virtual goods that have no cash value (who's that harm?? anybody?)

    Does it really harm any other player if my character gets to level 70 faster, or has more gold than theirs? It doesn't affect anybody else's game play or experience at all... so what's the problem?

    Granted, I don't use it because I want to experience the game... but I honestly don't think it's that big of an issue.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Laws vs being right.

    you are under the mistaken assumption that the only people who use bots are those that sell the gold and other loot for money and flood the market. which farmers will do with or without bots anyway. not everyone who uses bots are ruining the game. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you should bend, twist, and subvert the law in order to get back at them, which is what Blizzard is doing right now.

    also, if 'Bob Sagan' is your real name then why not post your full name, Address, email, phone number, and current employer. anonymity on the net is nothing top be ashamed of and even a posted name is no proof of Identity. if I put my name as john Arbuckle there is no way for you to know who I am. It is also possible for someone to give the credentials of another real person and few would be able to tell the difference

     

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    nunya_bidness, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    who cares?

    dorks

     

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    Jimmy, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:31am

    Blizzard's Loophole

    My fellow Gamers,

    After reading all of these wonderful posts and seeing emotions flow through the typing i have come to realize that no one is actually condemning the man but they are condemning the game and the inability for someone to actually play the game. I have been playing Warcraft since it was released and have a very wide range of knowledge of the game itself. There have been loopholes in every MMORPG game developed and i believe most of the people who found them work for the companies now. Stop and think about somethings:

    1. Who is this actually hurting?
    2. Who are your buyers and sellers of gold?
    3. Who are your main auction house people posting?

    Do all of these people use bots? Not everyone uses bots unless they just don't seem to care about getting the experience of the game. Bots are seemingly used everywhere but why would someone pay $15.00 to Blizzard and then pay $15.00 more for a bot and the server in which they have to pay for just to use the bot. Bots are becoming a thing of the present and future. What i despise is the game add-ons that are keylogged. Thats what kills the game play. You play for hours to get the equipment up and your gold up for a big 6 hour raid and then all of a sudden the character is gone and so is all your passwords and accounts. Should you be lucky enough to get the character back then sometimes blizzard gives the equipment back and sometimes they dont.

    Leave this guy alone and go after the people who take accounts illegally. USE YOUR HEAD BLIZZARD. These guys who do the bot programs are helping you and the ones that are stealing accounts are killing the game!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    The inflation in the in-game economy affects other players. I don't play WoW, but I thought I'd mention that. If I did play WoW, I'd probably try to find a way to cheat the system so I could afford to buy something in-game.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    Regarding the keyloggers, that's Darwanism. Don't be stupid and download executables as addons and do your homework.

     

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  38.  
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    Mike, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:12am

    Re: Laws vs being right.

    There is no way that this program infringes on copyright. Someone using it may be violating Blizzards Terms of Service, which is the tool they have in place to protect the "WoW experience", but little else.

    I see the problem as Blizzard can't enforce a TOS with thier users so they are trying to use the courts to do it.

     

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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    Should someone take the time to read through these posts it should again be obvious why Blizzard did what it had to do.

    Thats the problem, there are a huge majority of people who could care less about the consequences of their actions. You cant reach these people, help them understand, or work with them. You simply take them to court, and fight for a copyright violation so it stops.


    First, Blizzard chose this path to stop the Glider program. There were other methods available, so stating that Blizzard "had" to do it this way is wrong.

    Second, reading through these posts shows a concerted effort by some to portray this as an emotional and/or ethical issue when it isn't. Criticizing the methods Blizzard used to get rid of the Glider program is not the same thing as defending its use.

    Third, you seem to be saying that since Blizzard had the best of intentions, it's perfectly acceptable for them to misuse copyright law in order to do it.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:42am

    Re: Re:

    These 3rd party programs can not stand on their own. They require Blizzards software in order to operate. Its hardly a situation where the law is being grossly misused. When one program is 100% built on the operation of another its understandable that Blizzard may take issue if it is effecting their ability to sell and satisfy their customers.

    This emotionally rift you are on is quite ironic. When in fact the case has already been decided. A judge already ruled in this case. I dont see it being overturned by any judge with a shred of common sense. Any arguments at this point are an after thought or an Emotional arguement.

    Ethics are something you understand or you dont. If you dont see an ethical violation in hacking, cheating, etc.. I can hardly explain them to you in a paragraph or two

     

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    Formerly anon cow, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:13am

    On what is objectionable

    There is a problem with people letting a computer program play a game for you. I have a much larger problem with having copyright affect my RAM. The way ALL computer programs work currently breaks copyright by the way this lawsuit was judged. This was not and should not have been a copyright issue. Now saying that the IP of someone elses brain belongs to a different corporate entity adds a whole new subset of dilema. No one should be arguing about whether or not bots are right or wrong, but whether or not the law should be twisted to prosecute.

    If the law will be twisted to suit the moral majority then how can anyone know what the law is and try to follow it. If there is something that someone else feels is wrong later but was not against the law when you did it, the law should not change to prosecute you.

     

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  42.  
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    Hacker, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "These 3rd party programs can not stand on their own."

    I have a poker hand replayer that will only work when I input a hand history from pokerstars.com. The program does not do anything without this hand history. Are you saying that this infringes on pokerstars copyright?

    I don't think it does.

     

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  43.  
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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    When in fact the case has already been decided. A judge already ruled in this case. I dont see it being overturned by any judge with a shred of common sense. Any arguments at this point are an after thought or an Emotional arguement.

    It isn't an "emotional rift", it's a logical argument. Actually, if you bother to look into the cases the ruling was based on, overturning the ruling does make sense. In order to qualify as a copy, it must be on a fixed medium. A computer's memory is transient, therefore it doesn't meet the requirement of an infringing copy.

    Your argument, however, seems to be based entirely on emotion.

    Ethics are something you understand or you dont. If you dont see an ethical violation in hacking, cheating, etc..

    I understand ethics, which is why I am able to understand that this issue really has little to do with ethics at all. The case was based on the way the Glider program works, not the purpose of the program. The supposed damages done to Blizzard by the program were only considered after infringement had been decided.

    Now Blizzard is trying to exercise an unreasonable amount of control over MDY based on that ruling. Not only do they want to prevent the source code being released, they are also seeking to stop MDY from any future bot programs or providing assistance to other programmers. The court ruling held that the Glider program infringed copyright.

    Blizzard does not deserve this injunction for the simple fact that other programs can be written in a way that does not violate their copyright. This level of control is not supported by the ruling.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    I'm probably wrong but I thought the copyright thingy was because WoWGlider ran multiple instances of the game...

    As far as cheating goes I believe it does have a negative impact on the game experience besides an impact on the economy. Every server has a Player vs. Player aspect to it, even the servers that are Player vs. Environment. People cheating not only have a big advantage in the Battlegrounds because they can farm honor and marks all day long thus getting them better gear which makes them more formidable (when they do decide to sit down and play) but they also have a negative impact on the experience for all the other players in that particular Battleground. They bot through the BG taking up a spot on the team and contribute absolutely nothing.

    Parts of the game may be a grind and obviously some players don't like that. Well, don't play the game then, lol! When I go play basketball I don't whine about dribbling and exclude myself from having to do it cause I don't like it.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one is arguing that third party programs can not enhance game play. Blizzard has been very cooperative here.

    If your program allowed you to log onto to poker stars and enter into money games while looking at the hands of other player.... You mean to say, "Poker Stars should be perfectly fine with that"? How dare they take action to prevent this from happening the future? Well if you won your case I seriously doubt you would have any company when you wanted to play poker.

    You have to have some common sense here. Thats how the law works. If the law was open and shut everytime there would be no need for lawyers.

    If someone feels so frustrated by the ruling why has not anyone looked at the copyright law as it is stated and make an arguement how it is impossible to interpret the law in the way the judge did? If you think you got a supreme court case lets hear it.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:if you bother to look into the cases the ruling was based on, overturning the ruling does make sense. In order to qualify as a copy, it must be on a fixed medium. A computer's memory is transient, therefore it doesn't meet the requirement of an infringing copy.

    I understand ethics,

    I understand you feel the computers memory is transiet thus able to to escape copyright. I hardly feel you would support Blizzards direction if the third party programs originated from CD's. If you excuse my boldness I dont feel you even believe your own arguement. It seems you are just fighting on behalf of the third party programmers reguardless of the trouble they can potentially cause.

    Again law is open to interpretation. If you feel a judge is obviously going to let these third party programs continue to wreak havoc because a computers memory is transient... Good luck to you. Any judge with common sense will see whats happening and put a stop to it.

    Hey poker guy... wanna make a bet as to how the judge will rule in the future?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Mike L, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    A step further...

     

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  48.  
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    Mike L, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    A step further...

    I think that if software is designed to thwart sucurity or disrupt activity on ANY network or server, it should be considered malicious and companies SHOULD be able to sue for damages... here's why, there are a couple of companies that make software designed to allow players to cheat in multiplayer games, getting around Punkbuster etc... they generally make it no fun at all to play a game and often are used to crash the server entirely (BF2 commander hacks esp.)
    These jerks should be called to task for maliciously interfering in peoples enjoyment of their gaming. I don't think its much different than hijacking a server or website, and I think not only the companies that make them, but the users of the software should be open to lawsuits for their activity. Why would individuals or companies get a free pass to interfere with other peoples lawful enjoyment of servers they PAY to lease/admin? If you used some script kiddie software to take down my website, and I caught you, would I not be able go after you? These cheat programs are no different than an attack on a server, as they are desighned to circumvent the rules, thus making the game less enjoyable for those of us who do not cheat. (and yes you are a filthy cheater if you break the rules, whether you agree with the rules or not)

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Re: A step further...

    and yet there are those who use hacks and cheats to create a new way to play an old game and inject life (and $$$) into an older game. people use these hacks and cheats only in private games because it gives them a more enjoyable experience.

     

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  50.  
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    Former Anon Cow, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Re: A step further...

    that's fine, if you can get a new law passed to that effect GREAT. Now then, don't twist copyright or any other law to try and cover this behavior until that becomes a law.

     

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  51.  
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    Dewy, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 1:43pm

    Bots

    I've played WoW and its a grind. I've used third party programs made for use with wow, some legit, others didn't have the stamp of Blizzard's approval... but I used my own judgment as to what fit the spirit of the game. I played the game with the assistance of third party programs.

    The same Arguments are readily available on the free Ultima Online shard I play which is really ludicrous. Theoretically we are all pirates playing an emulated server, but many players feel using a third party program is "cheating".

    I have countered many times that the third party programs only automate tasks allowed by the server, and therefore should be allowed. I do not support tools that give you an advantage that other players do not have outside your own skills as a human being.

    I've learned a great deal of programming and logical programming function using the tool, as well as have grown to be a helpful and knowledgeable member of the gaming community where I play.

    So for Blizzard, or anyone else to tell me I do not have the right to operate my hardware or software in a manner consistent with allowed actions of other members of the community (i.e. click here, manipulate there) while logged into a service I paid for (i.e. attended or unattended) is wrong.

    As the operators of their server system they have the tools to do anything they need to do in the game. They have no need or right to seek injunctions outside the game for actions taking place inside the game.

     

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  52.  
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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I understand you feel the computers memory is transiet thus able to to escape copyright.

    "Feel" has nothing to do with it. A computer's RAM, by design, is transient (non-permanent).

    I hardly feel you would support Blizzards direction if the third party programs originated from CD's.

    What? You do understand that a program (or a portion of it) must be copied into a computer's memory before it is executed, right? Your statement makes absolutely no sense.

    If you excuse my boldness I dont feel you even believe your own arguement. It seems you are just fighting on behalf of the third party programmers reguardless of the trouble they can potentially cause.

    And this perfectly illustrates my previous point. Because I'm criticizing Blizzard's methods, according to you I must be supporting hacking and cheating on Blizzard's servers. It's a fallacious argument, with no basis in truth. It is perfectly reasonable to support the intent and denounce the method.

    Again law is open to interpretation. If you feel a judge is obviously going to let these third party programs continue to wreak havoc because a computers memory is transient... Good luck to you.

    And you continue to misrepresent the point. The complaint that was brought before the court was copyright infringement. You seem to incorrectly believe that the case was about stopping cheating.

     

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  53.  
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    barrenwaste, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:09pm

    I don't play WOW anymore. I don't fantasise about being a worker drone trapped in it's little life of toil and boredom. I payed a lot of money for the software, a rediculous amount to log onto the server, and then I found that unless I spend entire days at the keyboard my character was going nowhere. Screw that, text based mmorpgs and Elder Scrolls, please! Now, if I could use a bot to get through the stuff that reminds me of watching grass grow, they still might be getting monthly paychecks from me. Instead, I laugh and point at them when thier customer base screws them over because blizzard's sphincter is so tight that when they pass gass dogs wince. Blizzard, people are bypassing this part of the game because everything costs to much, doesn't drop often enough, or is just plain mind numbing to get. That's not fun, and when a game isn't fun people change it or find a new game.

    As to the legality of it? It's called after market parts, and as anybody who isn't a complete idiot knows, after market parts aren't all made by the producer of the original product. Say you buy a '77 Camaro. Now, that's a nice car, but it could use some improvement. Lets go get us a 327 and throw some Camelback Heads on it. Now we are getting somewhere. Same with WOW. But, unlike Chevy or Toyota, if you don't buy Blizzard's aftermarket parts you are cheating and violating thier copyright. Sounds to me like Blizzard is the one who should be sued. Copyright is not there to provide eternal profit and it never was. Copyright is there to encourage the exact thing it is now being used to squash. Blizzard should have offered the guy a contract, sell the bot, split the profit, then offer incentives to not use the bot. Like a program that monitors the actions taken by the players and for those who don't use the bot for so many consecutive hours a really special item drops...the possibillities are endless, everyone wins, and the game gets fun again for those who don't want to spend a thousand hours grinding rather than just being a hero or villain for a few hours every night.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:"Feel" has nothing to do with it. A computer's RAM, by design, is transient (non-permanent).

    Oh good lord, I am not challenging you on the fact a computers RAM is transient. You are correct about that. The word "feel" was used only to show your OPINION.. that due to this technicality you feel the program escapes all copyright law.

    QUOTE: And this perfectly illustrates my previous point. Because I'm criticizing Blizzard's methods, according to you I must be supporting hacking and cheating on Blizzard's servers. It's a fallacious argument, with no basis in truth. It is perfectly reasonable to support the intent and denounce the method.

    So I am to believe you absolutely no personal interest in this case... In other words your arguements here are simply focused and semantics and technicality in the law. You have no other agenda. So if the law was written to include the technicality (Transient computer ram) you would of course support it in instances of cheats and hacks.

    Quote:And you continue to misrepresent the point. The complaint that was brought before the court was copyright infringement. You seem to incorrectly believe that the case was about stopping cheating.

    You seem to feel that a judge could not understand your opinion. Perhaps you feel a judge is not allowed to make an intrepretation on the law. Perhaps you feel a judge cannot seem to notice that (Transient Ram) is nothing more then a mere technicality being used to avoid legal action. Your arguement lacks common sense Dan. It would be like making it illegal to use an exit in some building. And when a fire broke out you sentence people to the death penalty because they used the door to save themselves from the burning building. Yeah, you can argue semantics. But no judge or jury with common sense will see it the way you appear to be.

     

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  55.  
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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In other words your arguements here are simply focused and semantics and technicality in the law.

    Not at all. I don't think it makes sense to consider a copy in memory as infringement regardless of the law.

    You seem to feel that a judge could not understand your opinion. Perhaps you feel a judge is not allowed to make an intrepretation on the law.

    The judge did not make an interpretation on the point at all, but chose to defer to the 9th Circuit's erroneous precedent.

    Your arguement lacks common sense Dan. It would be like making it illegal to use an exit in some building. And when a fire broke out you sentence people to the death penalty because they used the door to save themselves from the burning building.

    The only thing that lacks any type of sense is this example. I'm assuming it's a convoluted extension of the "arguing semantics" position you're accusing me of taking.

    But no judge or jury with common sense will see it the way you appear to be.

    You keep saying this as if continually repeating it will somehow make it true. I disagree wholeheartedly that the simple act of running a program on a computer can somehow be construed as copyright infringement because of a EULA violation. I also believe that the earlier 9th Circuit decision that somehow managed to define computer memory as a fixed medium is wrong, because by definition RAM is not fixed.

    Furthermore, your continued accusation that this is simply a case of arguing semantics is ridiculous. The concept of what constitutes a copy capable of infringement is a core part of copyright law, and an attempt to simply dismiss it shows remarkable misunderstanding.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:14pm

    Anyone who thinks Elder Scrolls was a game.....LMAO.


    This guy ruins the WoW game play for people who pay to play the game and play it by the rules. Why the hell can't I sue this asshat for ruining something I'm paying for?

     

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  57.  
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    Willton, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I also believe that the earlier 9th Circuit decision that somehow managed to define computer memory as a fixed medium is wrong, because by definition RAM is not fixed.

    You'll have to cite the case, because the 9th Circuit has rendered many opinions on computers and copyrights.

    However, IIRC, the case you are referring to dealt with Duke Nukem, and I'm fairly certain that the 9th Cir. did not say that RAM is a fixed medium. But it did say that ROM is a fixed medium, which is quite different from RAM, and that the reason there was a legit infringement claim was because the media from the CDs were being copied to the computer's ROM, not RAM. The RAM/ROM distinction is not present here: World of Warcraft uses both.

     

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  58.  
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    DanC, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The principle case that dealt with the issue, and the one most commonly cited is MAI SYSTEMS CORP. v. PEAK COMPUTER, INC..

    That ruling used Apple Computer, Inc. v. Formula Intermational, Inc, which stated:

    RAM can be simply defined as a computer component in which data and computer programs can be temporarily recorded. Thus, the purchaser of [software] desiring to utilize all of the programs on the diskette could arrange to copy [the software] into RAM. This would only be a temporary fixation. It is a property of RAM that when the computer is turned off, the copy of the program recorded in RAM is lost.

    Somehow, from that, the 9th Circuit derived this:

    While we recognize that this language is not dispositive, it supports the view that the copy made in RAM is "fixed" and qualifies as a copy under the Copyright Act.

    It honestly looks like they saw the word "fixation", and ignored the "temporary" part of it. Using the logic required to justify this reasoning, you would be guilty of infringement for every bit of copyrighted material in your browser's cache.

    I'm not familiar with a case involving Duke Nukem, but I'm not sure how ROM would factor into the equation unless we're talking about game console cartridges.

     

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  59.  
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    Willton, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, that's the 9th Circus for you. It's just one more reason on why not to move to California.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:08pm

    Re: Freedom of Speech

    Evidently, when in doubt rule in favour of the immortal corporation. The rights of Human beings are now secondary to the commercial interests of corporations.
    But of course! God created human beings but government created corporations and gave them status as legal beings. Would anyone expect a parent to favor other children over their own? Of course not. And so government favors its own creation over that of God. Besides, most governments are jealous of God anyways.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

    Keyboards Too

    Remember, Blizzard is the company that also bans people for using keyboards with features it doesn't like. Auto-repeating keys? Banned! Or maybe not. Depends on their mood it seems.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My Quote: But no judge or jury with common sense will see it the way you appear to be.

    Your Quote:You keep saying this as if continually repeating it will somehow make it true.

    The very first line of the story that started this debate: We were more than a bit worried last month, when a judge ruled that some bot software of the game World of Warcraft somehow infringed on Blizzard's copyright.

    Look closely at that first line Dan. Know it, learn it, memorize it.... I am not attempting to exclaim that you have to use common sense in law in hopes of magically making the statement true. It is true. It should be quite obvious in the first line of the story.

    You make a good arguement Dan. Well thought out. Almost as if you have vast experience with the situation. However it is up to a judge to rule in the case. Right now Blizzard is 2 for 2 on the copyright infringment issue. If it comes up again I am sure it will be 3 for 3.

    I am sure there are few that see the issue as you do. I am just trying to emphasize most people will see your "RAM is not fixed" defense as an attempt to dodge to the copyright violation. I doubt your arguement will be held in court. Any judge with "common sense" will rule in favor of Blizzard.

     

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  63.  
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    DanC, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am just trying to emphasize most people will see your "RAM is not fixed" defense as an attempt to dodge to the copyright violation.

    The last thing I'll say in regards to the original ruling is to reiterate the point that the judge in this case did not examine the issue of whether RAM is a fixed medium or not. He relied on the 9th Circuit Court decision that erroneously stated that it was, and went from there.

    The issue has nothing to do with an attempt to dodge a copyright issue. It has to do with what qualifies as an infringing copy based on the core definitions in copyright law. As I stated in a previous comment, if a copy in RAM can qualify as an infringing copy, then copyrighted information in your internet browser's cache is infringing as well.

    I may be wrong, but you seem to be saying that because the Glider program was "harmful" to Blizzard, "common sense" would lead the court to find in favor of Blizzard. My argument has nothing to do with what the Glider program is used for; I could care less. This ruling basically said that anyone loading the WoW Client files on their computer into their computer's memory using an unapproved method is guilty of copyright infringement. That is what I disagree with, and why I believe the decision is wrong.

     

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  64.  
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    Willton, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 7:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The last thing I'll say in regards to the original ruling is to reiterate the point that the judge in this case did not examine the issue of whether RAM is a fixed medium or not. He relied on the 9th Circuit Court decision that erroneously stated that it was, and went from there.

    Why shouldn't he? The district judge does not have the power to overrule the 9th Circuit, and if he makes a decision that goes against 9th Circuit precedent, he'll be immediately reversed on appeal. The MAI decision, while being widely criticized in academia, has been followed by many circuits and has not yet been overturned. If you think that a district judge is going to thumb his nose at 10 years worth of binding precedent regarding the issue, you are grossly mistaken.

     

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  65.  
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    DanC, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 7:58am

    If the court agrees, this effectively gives Blizzard control over someone else's source code, just because a judge found it infringed on their copyright.

    This may be splitting hairs, but the program itself does not infringe on Blizzard's copyright. The court found that use of the program creates an instance of copyright infringement, and the counts of contributory and vicarious infringement were based on the use of the program.

     

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


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