Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PC Games (Games) Role Playing (Games) The Courts Games

Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week 384

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-blizzard-again dept.
trawg writes "You paid for it, you have the DVD in your drive and the box on the floor next to your desk, but do you own the game? That's the question the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on next week in the case between Blizzard, publisher of World of Warcraft, and MDY, publisher of the Glider bot. The Glider bot plays World of Warcraft for you, but Blizzard frowns on this, saying it voids the license agreement — you don't own the game, you only have a license to use it, and bots like Glider invalidate the license. The EFF has a good summary of the case as well. The case is due to be resumed on Monday."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:36AM (#32455408)

    Still waiting for a Nethack bot that can ascend.

    • by IorDMUX (870522) <mark.zimmerman3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:40AM (#32455426) Homepage

      Still waiting for a Nethack bot that can ascend.

      And this is the reason why people still play Rogue, and will be tapping away at Nethack and Dwarf Fortress long after WoW is gone.

      I am not trying to claim that these games will ever be as "successful" (read: profitable) as World of Warcraft, but I would say they far more closely approach video-games-as-art.

      • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:00AM (#32455540) Homepage Journal

        TAEB is getting there. It already plays better than I do about 10% of the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ais523 (1172701)

          TAEB developer here. Unfortunately, none of us have been working on TAEB in the last year or so; Real Life keeps getting in the way.

          The real problems with building a NetHack bot are dealing with all the special cases; even parsing the screen is nontrivial. You can come up with a few simple rules that handle a lot of situations in the game, but there are always going to be hundreds of exceptions that need handling of their own. In my TAEB AI, TAEB::AI::Planar, I try to handle this to some extent by noticing

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by silentcoder (1241496)

        >I am not trying to claim that these games will ever be as "successful" (read: profitable) as World of Warcraft, but I would say they far more closely approach video-games-as-art.

        I'm not so sure, there's a depth of emotion in WoW that they lack... they are purely intellectual leisure... WoW gets you emotionally involved.
        Example - when I did the Pamela Redpath questline... that's when I started to genuinely HATE Arthas... quite an extreme emotion to be feeling for a fictional character. I wanted to cry ov

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zerth (26112)

          Clearly you've never had a mother dwarf, maddened by grief over the death of her child, kill the elephant that did the deed and then, leaving a trail of crippled dwarfs along the way, proceed to pull the lever that floods your fortress with lava and killing everyone.

          After I was done cursing, it was kind of poignant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)

        And this is the reason why people still play Rogue, and will be tapping away at Nethack and Dwarf Fortress long after WoW is gone.

        I am not trying to claim that these games will ever be as "successful" (read: profitable) as World of Warcraft, but I would say they far more closely approach video-games-as-art.

        If you define "art" as "tedium", then I agree.

        But seriously, you are using a pretty limited definition of the word "art" there. They may be "art" in the same way that, say, chess is. But many video games

  • by watanabe (27967) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:40AM (#32455430)

    I'm really enjoying living in the Future, I have to say. When I was young, I never imagined a trial over the right to have a computer play a game for you... Just wouldn't have made sense to my eight year old videogame-loving brain.

    • by 404 Clue Not Found (763556) * on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:32AM (#32455724)

      I'm really enjoying living in the Future, I have to say. When I was young, I never imagined a trial over the right to have a computer play a game for you... Just wouldn't have made sense to my eight year old videogame-loving brain.

      Yeah, well, you probably weren't traumatized the way Judge Campbell was when his 8-year-old self played q2dm1 for the first time. Poor soul was chain-fragged twenty times. From the sewer. Through eight walls. Right before he was about to snag the rocket launcher.

      That's not the kind of thing you just get over.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fred IV (587429)
      A lot about World of Warcraft still doesn't make sense to my videogame-loving brain, but I'm not sure that the people who stick with WoW for years really love videogames to begin with.
  • by Tepshen (851674) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:50AM (#32455490)
    .. waiting for them to overturn this ruling. the bottom line is that blizzard has all the resources they need to fluff this case up as some kind of crime against humanity and the loss of freedom for every man woman and child in america when the bottom line is they are fighting to poison themselves for the long haul. I must say that as a consumer I HATE when any company wants me to pay for something I wont own. my first thought is always "if you dont want me to own your products, I wont buy them." They will learn this lesson eventually along with the "if we dont make things work easily, the pirates will" lesson after billions wasted and a soured market turns around and bites them in the ass.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snowgirl (978879)

      I think the difference here between what is before and after is that one doesn't play World of Warcraft on their machine alone. There is a heavy amount of server-side interaction.

      I think it is entirely reasonable that World of Warcraft have restrictions on what can be done while you are leasing the allowance to use their servers to play their game.

      Now, as for Diablo 3, and playing on your own machine (or even connecting to a server for no other reason than copyright protection) there's simply no argument f

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:20AM (#32455950) Homepage

        I think it is entirely reasonable that World of Warcraft have restrictions on what can be done while you are leasing the allowance to use their servers to play their game.

        It might have been reasonable if they'd argued that, but they didn't. Their case is entirely about your local copy of the client. They have argued (successfully) that if you do not follow their license terms then the act of copying it to RAM [publicknowledge.org] is a copyright violation.

        Perhaps we could stick to discussing what they have argued, not what they haven't?

        • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:53AM (#32456134) Journal

          I think it is entirely reasonable that World of Warcraft have restrictions on what can be done while you are leasing the allowance to use their servers to play their game.

          It might have been reasonable if they'd argued that, but they didn't. Their case is entirely about your local copy of the client. They have argued (successfully) that if you do not follow their license terms then the act of copying it to RAM [publicknowledge.org] is a copyright violation.

          Perhaps we could stick to discussing what they have argued, not what they haven't?

          You are correct that they argued about a local copy of the client, however you fail to acknowledge that Count I is "Tortious Interference With Contract"

          It is not the ONLY thing that they argued. As for their copyright argument, they asserted that Glider produces an unauthorized copy of the program into memory in order to disable and/or defeat Warden. Such a copy they argue is not authorized.

          It's difficult for MDY to argue that making their altered copy of the program is necessary for play... especially when such play is directly a violation of the contract to play said game.

          • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:06AM (#32456220) Homepage

            Fair enough on the tortuous interference, but that's small beer compared to the ownership and copyright issues.

            MDY shouldn't have to make any argument regarding whether the RAM copy is "authorized" or not, since Title 117 disallows copyright claims against the owner [copyright.gov].

            Note carefully that Blizzard's argument isn't against Title 117, it's that their EULA means that the purchaser doesn't "own" the copy that they bought, and so the enjoys no Title 117 protection. That's the significant precedent here.

            • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:19AM (#32456270) Journal

              Fair enough on the tortuous interference, but that's small beer compared to the ownership and copyright issues.

              MDY shouldn't have to make any argument regarding whether the RAM copy is "authorized" or not, since Title 117 disallows copyright claims against the owner [copyright.gov].

              Note carefully that Blizzard's argument isn't against Title 117, it's that their EULA means that the purchaser doesn't "own" the copy that they bought, and so the enjoys no Title 117 protection. That's the significant precedent here.

              MDY didn't make the argument at all, Blizzard made the argument that it was unauthorized... specifically for the points that you raised.

              MDY is then required to answer as to how Blizzard is wrong, otherwise they stipulate to the claim.

              This raises the question: can a person in possession of a piece of software, make a copy necessary for its use, when such use is in violation of the EULA?

      • by Xest (935314) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:41AM (#32456078)

        "I think it is entirely reasonable that World of Warcraft have restrictions on what can be done while you are leasing the allowance to use their servers to play their game."

        Let's just be clear here, what are you saying, that when you lease allowance to use their servers, they have permission to do whatever they want to your local machine and define what software you can and can't run on it? because that's the issue here.

        Blizzard use pretty much exactly the same techniques to check processes on your local machine as Glider uses to interfact with the WoW process. Blizzard are saying that this technique should be illegal- in the case of Glider, making the whole piece of software illegal even if you wanted to use it on say, 3rd party custom WoW servers. They're saying it's okay for them to use the technique though to scan your other software.

        It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact the technical argument they're using can have massive implications for the software industry, for example, the same technique is used by anti-malware software. Potentially then if Blizzard's argument is held up in court, if someone is stupid enough to click through a EULA on a piece of malware, then the malware vendor could sue for the removal from sale of any anti-malware software by precisely the same argument Blizzard is using. Worse, the technical argument used by blizzard questionably even makes operating systems themselves outright illegal for also using such tecniques.

        It's a bad case in general, Blizzard are attempting to create a dangerous precedent for the software industry that has far reaching negative implications whilst also restricting people's rights to do whatever they want on their computer, and to use whatever software they want, even if that software is in itself not illegal.

        The issue is that Blizzard is going far too far just to protect their game, they're risking too much collateral damage for too many people just for the sake of stopping a handful of people cheating in their game rather than simply making their game less prone to cheating by making it worth playing rather than just macroing. Their actions are utterly reckless and selfish, their game just isn't important enough to create such a dangerous precedent for the millions of people who don't even play WoW. It's their problem to deal with, yet they feel the rest of us should have to suffer rather than them properly deal with it because the worst thing is, people will still distribute such hacks regardless of the legality of them, just as they always have.

        They're using a legal answer, to a technical/gameplay problem.

    • by mr_gorkajuice (1347383) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:27AM (#32455692)
      Do you even realize that WoW is an MMO?
      It's so utterly transparent that by "buying" WoW, you're paying a setup fee for you ongoing subscription.
      Hate them all you want. Your ideology just doesn't go with MMO's. I guess they're not your thing then, and I'm wondering why you can be bothered to post here.
      And btw, there's no (software) pirates (but plenty of the actual one-eyed, peg-legged, parrot-accompanied villains) in WoW. Unless you're counting private servers. Which I guess Blizzard don't really care THAT much about, since their activities aren't actually hurting the real world... of warcraft.
    • The most bizarre thing about this lawsuit is that Blizzard is suing MDY for lost revenue, because Blizzard chose to ban players. Blizzard didn't have to ban those players. They could have taken away their money and levels and allow them to continue playing. Blizzard made a choice. It's completely ridiculous that they blame that choice on someone else.

      It might have made sense if MDY was sued by its customers who got themselves banned for using an MDY product. That I would understand. Blizzard suing MDY is co

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        The most bizarre thing about this lawsuit is that Blizzard is suing MDY for lost revenue, because Blizzard chose to ban players. Blizzard didn't have to ban those players. They could have taken away their money and levels and allow them to continue playing. Blizzard made a choice. It's completely ridiculous that they blame that choice on someone else.

        It might have made sense if MDY was sued by its customers who got themselves banned for using an MDY product. That I would understand. Blizzard suing MDY is completely retarded.

        Blizzard didn't sue them for lost revenue (as I was able to see.) Blizzard obtained a judgement against MDY copyright infringement, and inducement to violate a contract.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        The most bizarre thing about this lawsuit is that Blizzard is suing MDY for lost revenue,

        That would have been bizarre if they'd done it, but they didn't [virtuallyblind.com].

        • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:57AM (#32456172) Journal

          The most bizarre thing about this lawsuit is that Blizzard is suing MDY for lost revenue,

          That would have been bizarre if they'd done it, but they didn't [virtuallyblind.com].

          Since you made me read the whole Counterclaim, claim 49.

          MDY’s sale of WoWGlider has caused Blizzard great harm in the direct loss of
          revenue from terminated users, the loss of subscription revenue from WoWGlider users availing
          themselves of the cheat, and from the severe damage to the goodwill of the non-cheating
          population of WoW users.

          • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:20AM (#32456274) Homepage

            Count 49 is an assertion of facts, not a claim for relief.

            They successfully claimed: Tortious Interference With Contract; Contributory Copyright Infringement; Vicarious Copyright Infringement.

            They failed in their claims of: Violation of the Digital Millennium; Trademark Infringement; Unfair Competition (where they claimed to have been damaged but couldn't prove any damages); Unjust Enrichment (where they did attempt to claim lost revenues, but only because - they said, but could not prove - people capped and left, not because Blizzard chose to ban them, as the GP asserted).

            So, OK, little from column A, little from column B. The core issue remains that of ownership and Title 117; just about everything else is a distraction.

            If I had to call it, I've have given them claim 4, the DMCA violation, since that's the more pertinent legislation.

    • by addie (470476)

      There's a difference between "owning the game" and "owning the service". There are terms of service for WoW and other online games; this comes with the territory when you're playing a game that involves interacting with other players. You can't simply do anything you want, as you actions have effects on others. I don't want players to be botting their way to the level cap or harvesting resources, it has a negative effect on my experience in the game by removing a social aspect, inflating the economy, and ch

  • by Psaakyrn (838406) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:56AM (#32455530)

    You've to realize that this game is a service provided not for a single person, but for everyone who is in one the game. Blizzard has crafted a meticulous balance to ensure that people will continue paying to play for the game and be happy, and this balance greatly requires that people don't get to use shortcuts which bypasses aspects of the game which Blizzard deems as crucial for balance. For that alone I can understand why Blizzard would want to prevent bots.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:18AM (#32455632)

      I don't think the issue here is whether Blizzard should or should not work to prevent bots. The question is the tactic they're using to achieve that end. And, more to the point, the legal ramifications of those tactics being successful.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        I don't think the issue here is whether Blizzard should or should not work to prevent bots. The question is the tactic they're using to achieve that end. And, more to the point, the legal ramifications of those tactics being successful.

        Exactly. I'm perfectly fine with them banning bots. What's stupid is that they sue another company over the revenue lost because Blizzard chose to ban bots. They didn't have to do that. Their decision.

        • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:14AM (#32455930) Journal

          Exactly. I'm perfectly fine with them banning bots. What's stupid is that they sue another company over the revenue lost because Blizzard chose to ban bots. They didn't have to do that. Their decision.

          No, they sued over copyright infringement and inducement to violate terms of a contract.

          Nowhere did they claim any damages for lost revenue.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by snowgirl (978879)

            Exactly. I'm perfectly fine with them banning bots. What's stupid is that they sue another company over the revenue lost because Blizzard chose to ban bots. They didn't have to do that. Their decision.

            No, they sued over copyright infringement and inducement to violate terms of a contract.

            Nowhere did they claim any damages for lost revenue.

            I'm going to take the high road, and point out Claim 49 of the counter claim. They did.

            It's also part of their pray for relief F.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      You've to realize that this game is a service provided not for a single person, but for everyone who is in one the game. Blizzard has crafted a meticulous balance to ensure that people will continue paying to play for the game and be happy, and this balance greatly requires that people don't get to use shortcuts which bypasses aspects of the game which Blizzard deems as crucial for balance. For that alone I can understand why Blizzard would want to prevent bots.

      This has absolutely nothing to do with the legal authority of Blizzard to refuse someone to use a bot. Blizzard cannot really deny a bot playing Starcraft. You own the software, you may do with it as you please.

      However, World of Warcraft is not like buying a house, it's like renting a house. You even pay a monthly licensing fee.

      I was reading through MDY's appeal, and it just reads like kind of a hack job trying to misrepresent the situation... these are not owners these are renters. Their use of the Bl

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ^^^^THIS IS 100% UNTRUE^^^^

        Glider was made for people to play with their own emulated servers at home not on the blizzard servers!!!!!

        If someone chooses to use glider on the blizzard servers blizzard has every right to remove their account. Glider is not arguing with that.

        Glider is saying people who own the software can run glider with it!!!!

        This is the exact same as making a bot that plays starcraft single player.

        • by snowgirl (978879) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:38AM (#32455752) Journal

          ^^^^THIS IS 100% UNTRUE^^^^

          Glider was made for people to play with their own emulated servers at home not on the blizzard servers!!!!!

          If someone chooses to use glider on the blizzard servers blizzard has every right to remove their account. Glider is not arguing with that.

          Glider is saying people who own the software can run glider with it!!!!

          This is the exact same as making a bot that plays starcraft single player.

          This is why we have real lawyers fight this stuff in court. Your argument admits all the key parts necessary to prove liability on the part of MDY in inducing people to violate their contract with Blizzard.

          The primary purpose of Glider is a violation of Blizzard's license agreement to use WoW.

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:29AM (#32456018) Homepage

        Their use of the Blizzard gaming service is on Blizzard's terms...

        Which may be relevant to the tortious interference with a contract action, but is utterly irrelevant to the copyright violation action.

        • by Psaakyrn (838406)

          The copyright violation is from how they bypass the anti-hack security via creating another copy of the game client.

          Which admittedly is a separate issue.

    • by beowulfcluster (603942) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:20AM (#32455640)
      Of course they want to prevent bots, that's totally understandable. Most players probably wish them good luck with that. Does that mean players are committing copyright infringement when using something like Glider, and are the makers of Glider guilty of contributory copyright infringement? That's the question. Blizzard says yes. Sane people should say no(!).
  • by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:00AM (#32455538)

    The case opening brief makes for interesting reading.

    There's one curious omission though (as near as I can tell, I only skimmed it). Ongoing payments.

    Although the brief does mention that the game is available for retail purchase, or download, it makes no mention that an online account that requires an ongoing service charge is required in order to play. I suspect that Blizzard could argue that while the Glider author may not be circumventing the game client itself, it's making an illegal copy of the data stream for which the gamers pays an ongoing fee.

    That said, I believe Blizzard is in the wrong on this one by going the legal route. I believe they have every right to modify their Warden software to scan for and ban accounts which use glider and other bot programs. They're just worried about losing revenue by banning customers, rather than by going directly to the source.

    N.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      There isn't a way to ban Glider. the fact is, the program is using the same input a human does. This is why they are taking legal action.

      Having an AI to play the game for you is not any more unfair then being jobless and playing 20 hours a day.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        There isn't a way to ban Glider. the fact is, the program is using the same input a human does. This is why they are taking legal action.

        Having an AI to play the game for you is not any more unfair then being jobless and playing 20 hours a day.

        I cannot put up my own curtains at a rental home/apartment. The reason is that the owner has the right to ensure that the appearance of the house/apartment building conforms to their satisfaction.

        You are only the possessor of the World of Warcraft program... it requires extensive interaction with their servers to operate. You have a license that dictates the terms of your use of this service (just like a rental agreement). If they don't want AIs to play the game, then by god, that's their right.

        • by dangitman (862676)

          conforms to their satisfaction.

          "Conforms to their satisfaction?" That's the weirdest sentence I've read all week. Surely, one's satisfaction is the result of a stimulus, rather than an instigator?

      • They can (and do) ban glider by updating their warden software to detect glider in memory, or by doing statistical analysis on player actions (time between keypresses, duration keys are held for, which areas players are in, what they're doing, etc). All of this can be faked, but it's a matter of how much trouble someone will go to. If Blizzard really wanted to throw a wrench into these types of programs, there's all sorts of random elements they could include that would play havoc with them. But again, i

  • Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by muridae (966931) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:09AM (#32455580)

    I still find it amusing that Blizzard is going after the makers of Glider, when the license violation is on the part of each player using it.

    Sure, maybe Glider is infringing on some trademark or copyright, but the company making it did not facilitate the user in violating the license any more than the authors of libpcap facilitated someone running ShowEQ and violating Sony's license. The route Blizzard seems to be going ends up at, "The user violated our license, and so we want them to pay the next 20 years of subscription fees while we also cancel their account. After all, they would have paid us anyways." which is patently, and I hope legally, ridiculous. Nothing at all shows that these users would have continued playing if they did not have access to a program like Glider, in fact I recall back in the peek of EQ people quitting when seq or mq or any of the other programs got defeated. If they just got banned, they bought other accounts.

    If Blizzard is really egotistical enough to claim, in a court of law, that the user would play if only they had played by our rules, than let them sue the user. Better yet, let them track down which users are not only still playing, but purchased new accounts to do so. Then lets hope the judge laughs them out of the court room.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Psaakyrn (838406)

      According to Wikipedia, Glider makes a copy of the WoW client (as opposed to just running on top of the client), so the software itself does infringe on the license.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glider_(bot) [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snowgirl (978879)

      Your argument at first sounds about right, but unfortunately it is specious.

      An individual can be responsible for inducing someone else into violating the terms of their contract.

      MDY knew that use of their program violated the terms of use of World of Warcraft. There is no use of Glider that does not violate the terms of use for WoW. Therefore selling this induces people to violate their contract.

      If people did not enjoy the game under the ToU, then they have a contractually allowable response: cancel their

  • really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by acehole (174372) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:11AM (#32455588) Homepage

    If you're needing a bot to play for you its time to give up the game.

    Even though wow is a shadow of its former self.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      If you like a game it does not imply you like every aspect of it. With a bot you skip the parts you don't enjoy (anymore).

      I say, if you paid for it, do what you want. (moral exception applies).
      • by snowgirl (978879)

        If you like a game it does not imply you like every aspect of it. With a bot you skip the parts you don't enjoy (anymore).

        I say, if you paid for it, do what you want. (moral exception applies).

        Do this with your apartment. Just paint the walls, and put in your own walls.

        See how far that gets you.

  • I'm glad Blizzard was able to shut down MDY and go a long way towards interrupting Glider and it's ilk. But I'm afraid Blizzard's lawyers are being too smart for everyone's good. The legal tactic has been successful in achieving this goal. And I'm not sure that there's a more effective way to go about it. However, the legal ramifications are startling.

  • Perhaps I'm missing something here, but isn't the summary a bit misleading? It's not ownership of the copy of the game you've bought that's being contested; it's the right to play it on Blizzard's own servers. Now, admittedly, the game isn't much use if you can't connect to those servers, but it's not as if you didn't know that when you bought the game.

    However, Blizzard is not talking about going into anybody's home and taking away their physical copy of the game, or requiring them to delete it from their h

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      Blizzard isn't contesting anybody's ownership of the game

      Blizzard's Counterclaim 82. "Users of WoW are licensees, and are permitted to copy WoW only in conformance with the EULA."

  • by mwvdlee (775178)

    You paid for it, you have the DVD in your drive and the box on the floor next to your desk, but do you own the game?

    Yes you do. ...but do you also have the server in your room?
    You can add any bot or cheat you want to the game, as long as you don't connect it to the official server.

  • Iffy on this one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:20AM (#32455952) Homepage

    Hoping for a so-so verdict here. The court should allow anyone to modify software they've purchased in any way they wish.
    However, the court should allow Blizzard to block connections from any modified software they detect (just like Apache disconnects clients which violate the HTTP protocol).
    However, their should be recourse for false-positives to get their money back.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:51AM (#32456126) Homepage

    I'll choose Microsoft for an example, although this sort of boilerplate is fairly standard. I quote from the license terms for Microsoft Office:

    The software is licensed, not sold. [...] You may not:

    • work around any technical limitations in the software;
    • use the software in any way that is against the law;
    • rent, lease or lend the software;

    The first user of the software may make a one-time transfer of the software, and this agreement, directly to a third party.

    And many other restrictions.

    So Microsoft can (successfully, in the Central District of California) sue you for copyright infringement the moment you load Office into RAM after: fixing their product for them; using it for any purpose that is "against the law" (which law?); borrowing it from anyone; buying a 2nd hand copy.

    You think that's ridiculous? The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California doesn't think so. They think that the EULA gives Microsoft exactly that right.

    This is not hyperbole or speculation; this is now established case law in that District (pending appeal).

    You don't think Microsoft would ever exercise this power? OK, pick a different name then. Adobe [wikipedia.org]. Apple [i4u.com]. SCO [groklaw.net]. Choose your poison.

  • Whether you own the software or not, you're still bound by the terms of service to connect to their network and use their servers.
    • by nschubach (922175) on Friday June 04, 2010 @07:18AM (#32456478) Journal

      Right, but they aren't going after the users that violate the terms. They are going after another product that enhances or extends their product in a way which they do not approve.

      Woo, a car analogy...

      Just as you are licensed to drive on the road, you have to follow the rules. If, however, you wanted to drive off roads you do not need a license or comply with any rules (except those of the land owner...) but you bought your vehicle for the expressed purpose of driving on a road, then found out later that you can drive it in your field.

      Now, you find out that it isn't quite as fun in your field so you go and modify your vehicle.

      From what I gather, Blizzard is saying that since you bought the game to play on their servers, any modification of that game is illegal, even if you intent to play that game on another server not owned by Blizzard.

      This would be kind of like GM suing aftermarket part companies for allowing you to put a lift kit on your vehicle and change the way it handles.

  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Friday June 04, 2010 @08:31AM (#32456916)

    The reason why bots and gold farming exist is because the game is flawed. If sections of the game are not overly long, boring, and repetitive, there won't be a demand for services to skip that part of the game or play it for you.

    Stop designing games that waste the players' time without providing fun. If you want to keep people as subscribers design your game to have replay value instead of long travel times or grinding.

  • Glider is fun (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcb (5109) on Friday June 04, 2010 @10:25AM (#32457978) Homepage

    Running Glider was one of the most entertaining things I did while playing. Glider comes with default behavior for every class, but you can develop your own in C#. I ended up writing some code for my druid to be a "Healbot", basically causing my character to run around and heal nearby allies.

    It was quite simple - it would search for nearby players and try to stay in the middle of everyone. It would throw heals over time on anyone within range that was slightly injured, and cast big heals on people taking a lot of damage. I used it to farm honor in the PVP battlegrounds. After letting it run for hours, I'd take a look at the chat log and see lots of tells from people thanking me (it) for heals. Never once saw a comment calling it out as a bot. The mod I used to queue battlegrounds took screenshots of the match results, and many times my bot was #1 on healing (often by a large margin).

    It was fun tweaking all the settings, by the time I maxed out on honor the code was pretty robust. I ended up modifying it a bit to follow around specific people (awesome for power leveling).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bckrispi (725257)

      It was quite simple - it would search for nearby players and try to stay in the middle of everyone. It would throw heals over time on anyone within range that was slightly injured, and cast big heals on people taking a lot of damage. I used it to farm honor in the PVP battlegrounds. After letting it run for hours, I'd take a look at the chat log and see lots of tells from people thanking me (it) for heals. Never once saw a comment calling it out as a bot. The mod I used to queue battlegrounds took screensho

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...