Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Still Waiting On Grokster, Brand X.... But Take A Look At The BnetD Case

from the legal-questions dept

Lots of people expected the Supreme Court to rule on both the Grokster and Brand X cases this morning, but apparently the Justices decided it was more fun keeping everyone in suspense and hearing the various funny statements from those on both sides of the case as everyone awaits the decision. It may come on Thursday. It may come on Monday. No one's really sure. However, if you really needed your legal fill of tech related court cases, it's worth noting that the BnetD case is getting under way in an Appeals Court. If you don't remember, BnetD involves some folks who were sick of the slow response times in playing a video game that let people play online, so they reverse engineered the central server themselves so people could play on a faster server. The company, Blizzard Entertainment accused the programmers of breaking the DMCA by circumventing their software locks and of breaking the shrink wrap end user license agreement that no one reads. The lower court ruled that BnetD violated the DMCA. This case covers a few different points, from questions about the DMCA, to the legality of EULAs to just our general "freedom to tinker" with software that we've bought -- so it should be one of the next big decisions to watch out for down the road.

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