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Court Upholds Blizzard's Anti-Bot DMCA Claim, Denies Copyright Infringement 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the should-have-farmed-more-rep-with-the-judges dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Ninth Circuit reversed a $6.5 million judgment for Blizzard against MDY Industries, saying that making bots is not copyright infringement. The bad news for MDY? The court found that they did violate DMCA Section 1201(a)(2) (PDF), which prohibits trafficking in products that circumvent technologies designed to control access to copyright-protected works."
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Court Upholds Blizzard's Anti-Bot DMCA Claim, Denies Copyright Infringement

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  • by jack2000 (1178961) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:14AM (#34659938)
    Now if blizzard would only take care of its battle net servers. I swear the damn bots are everywhere in D2 bnet, every single realm.
    You can't have a non password protected public game without them constantly entering and advertising websites to buy items. (which should also be illegal)
    To say nothing of the bots that autorun the game and hunt for items killing the damn economy fffffffff....
    • by TC10284 (1964874)
      Yeah, you are damn right about that. I play D2 daily. Every game you create you get tons of spam. Sometimes you can't even see the game. But you get the most if your game name has "hell", "rush", "help", etc. The only bots I like are the Chaos and Baal run bots. You can get really good drops following those guys. Some bots don't even pick them up. I'm about to hop on.
    • Illegal? That's a bit extreme. Are we going to have internet police to enforce it? There are rather simple ways Blizzard could stop spammers but they've chosen not to. If you want the spammers to go away, vote with your wallet. If you see spammers in a game, it's most likely because it's more profitable for the developer to let them stay. A good example was EQ2 back in the day... the spammers would buy a box for $30 and get banned within a few hours. 1 box per server x 20 (or so) servers x $30 x 3-4 days a
      • by jdpars (1480913)
        Calm down. I know several people say "illegal" instead of "Violation of the Terms of Use and/or the End User License Agreement."
      • A good example was EQ2 back in the day... the spammers would buy a box for $30 and get banned within a few hours. 1 box per server x 20 (or so) servers x $30 x 3-4 days a week = a lot of reason not to do anything that would really stop the spamming all together.

        Actually, the gold farmers frequently buy subscriptions using the credit card info they get from their customers. When the cardholder gets their bill, they complain, and the credit card company does a chargeback, which not only takes away the subscription fee from the MMO company, but also charges them a chargeback fee, and could even cause other fees to be higher if their chargeback rate exceeds a certain threshold.

        Meanwhile, when spamming, they typically use these accounts when they believe a chargeback

        • Actually no, if the spammers ever did that, they'd lose customers. It would be insanely stupid of them. This was just a rummor drummed up by people that were trying to get the people that buy gold to stop. The fact of the matter is, the gold vendors that exist today have been around for almost a decade in most cases. They live and die off their reputation. The truth is, if they misused their customers credit card info even just a few times Visa and MasterCard would drop their contract and cut them off in a
          • IGE may rely on its reputation, but it isn't the only game in town. There are so many different spammers/sellers out there, and all they have to do is register a new domain name if the old one loses its pizzazz. Same thing with the company names and the contracts with CC companies. Plus, they don't have to use the CC info right away - they can wait several months and use it then, when the chances of people making a connection are reduced.

          • by Cinder6 (894572)

            Exactly. I just went ahead and checked a couple of the ones being spammed in WoW's trade chat. They all offer Paypal. Now, I know we all hate Paypal here, but I can't imagine there's any safer way to do it in this case.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday December 24, 2010 @11:37AM (#34660478) Journal

      I feel like I'm taking the wrong side of the arguement - I mean I am generally okay with Blizzards business model though I haven't played any of their games in a while. Wavering back and forth on whether D3 will be worth the DRM, SC2 in my humble opinion wasn't worth the hassle. So any negative feelings towards Blizzard aren't based on any moral grounds or principles or anything like that, I am fine with them having their tight restrictive measures - it helps them crack down on things like bots, and if they want to do that all the more power to them.

      But I'm a little wary of claiming bot software is a DMCA violation. That is stretching it a little bit - because the DMCA is mainly meant for Copyright infringement, and also those who wish to get around DRM.

      The bot doesn't go against any laws besides those set forth by the Terms and Conditions you agree to when playing WoW. And it shouldn't be against the law, I am REALLY afraid of this being the first step towards bringing the lawyers and judicial system into the gaming realm where publishers will no doubt use it to strong-arm their ideas of whats best. Suppose Some 14 year old hacks in TF2 - Valve catches them, wants to make an example, sues them for damaging the content of other people's games, goes for some ridiculous statuatory amount in the multiple thousands, and /. covers the story!

      I dunno, it just doesn't seem like a good road to go down. Blizzard should be entirely responsible for keeping their house in order - if they can't do it, that should reflect on their product, or they should alter their product to handle it. Don't go to the police.

      • by jdpars (1480913)
        Believe me, they've tried suing them for violating their contract. The spambots won that one. Using the DMCA is their last resort. And also, Blizzard dumps millions into preventing these guys. They don't need their money (despite what an above poster said). As soon as Blizzard patches an exploit or blocks a bad IP address, a new one pops up. As far as your slippery slope argument, that's silly. If anything it will show people that the DMCA is broken and new, more accurate laws are necessary to define (and l
        • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday December 24, 2010 @12:06PM (#34660656) Journal

          I'd like to see a reciept that says that millions are actually being dumped into preventing these guys.

          It would not be as difficult as they claim. If someone gets found using Glide, delete their account, ban their credit card from subscribing, don't let them use that email address to register for a new account.

          Make it entirely unprofitable to run an operation like this and you'll cut out a lot of riff-raff. Thing is they are afraid to get a false positive and the bad rap that comes with it. I should be allowed to download and run any software I want on my computer. I should be allowed to develop any software I want. If they want bots to be illegal, they should lobby to make it a law, not tack it onto the DMCA.

          Going after the developers of Glide is like going after the owners of BitTorrent, not the actual people distributing content.

          I just don't like it. It's abusing the system to meet their goals. No matter moral or just the goal is, the end does not justify the means. They shouldn't be using DMCA to achieve this.

          • You forgot rocket propelled grenades - the only message a real spammer understands.
          • I should be allowed to download and run any software I want on my computer. I should be allowed to develop any software I want.

            Sure, go for it. Just don't log into the WoW servers while you're doing it.

            Personally, I'm not too keen on using the DMCA to this end, either. I always thought that tortious contract interference (which was a different count in the suit, and on which MDY has also been found liable) was the way to go, but there may be some legal niceties associated with that concept that I'm not familiar with.

            • Just a correction on what I said above - there was a summary judgment in the district court against MDY on the tortious contract interference count, but it was vacated and remanded by the appellate court for further consideration because there was an issue of material fact still to be decided.

          • It would not be as difficult as they claim. If someone gets found using Glide, delete their account, ban their credit card from subscribing, don't let them use that email address to register for a new account.

            The problem is that a great deal of the people using Glide are gold farmers using stolen accounts and/or accounts opened with stolen credit card numbers. So while Blizzard can and does ban accounts caught botting, all that really does is provide farmers more incentive to come up with creative trojans and scams to hack people's accounts.

            Not defending Blizzard's legal tactics here, but this is the issue they're dealing with.

        • by Morth (322218)

          Citation needed... Anyway, I don't see why they can't just have some ppl listening on all the trade channels and banning the bots as soon as they pop up. I always right click and report when I see them. Blizzard should be doing this themselve, beats me why they aren't.

          And don't tell me it'd be too expensive. One person can easily follow many channels, and there's only so many servers.

      • and also those who wish to get around DRM.

        Sadly, sometimes these people are just angry customers. They're the ones being hurt.

    • by alvinrod (889928)
      Unfortunately, I don't think there's a lot they can do about it, otherwise they probably would. Even when the game was new this was a big problem and they couldn't stop in when they probably had a larger support team looking at the game. The BNet system probably wasn't built to handle problems like that and Blizzard may not have anticipated that such a problem would exist.

      They're running the D2 server software on pretty ancient hardware (at least by today's standards) so it's not as though they can easil
      • by klingens (147173)

        Unfortunately, I don't think there's a lot they can do about it, otherwise they probably would.

        This is wrong. Any experienced D2 player can tell you inside of 2 minutes if a Char running around is bot or not. Identifying Spambots is obviously even easier.

        Even when the game was new this was a big problem and they couldn't stop in when they probably had a larger support team looking at the game. The BNet system probably wasn't built to handle problems like that and Blizzard may not have anticipated that such a problem would exist.

        The main boast Blizzard made about Battle.net and D2 "closed" online play was: it's hackproof! This came after the tons of trivial cheats happening with D1 played online. So they failed in the number one design goal of Online Play for D2.

        They're running the D2 server software on pretty ancient hardware (at least by today's standards) so it's not as though they can easily upgrade it to code in new fixes. This much they mentioned when they released the latest content patch for the game and explained why certain changes couldn't be made.

        No hardware needed. 2-3 students per realm and there'd be a LOT less bots, of the spam or the itemfind/level varie

        • by bipbop (1144919)

          With the increased rune drop rates, I found both a Jah and a Ber within a week of making it to Hell mode. Yeah, that includes an unreasonable amount of grinding, but not cheating. (It was about the span of getting from level 81 to 86.) You can get an Enigma "easily" without cheating or depending on other users who cheat, these days. I still think it's a waste of time grinding for things, but it's a waste of a much smaller amount of time than it was before.

          From what I understand, people still attack the

    • "Ruining the economy". You're funny. D2 hasn't had an economy for 10 years. The day the first guy figured out how to dupe sojs, it ended. And hell, even before that when people realized you could gamble for sojs by having the other unique rings in your stash. D2 and economy are two words that don't go together.

  • DMCA is useful? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kinthelt (96845)

    As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

    This is what it was made for. The original spirit of the act.

    • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:32AM (#34660070)

      > As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

      What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

      The article seems to imply a dangerous precedent:

      "Thus, even though – as discussed above – the court ruled that Glider did not facilitate copyright infringement, MDY could still be liable under the DMCA for circumventing Warden's detection features."

      So the DMCA can apparently be used to attack reverse engineering that was not necessarily used to facilitate copyright infringment.

      • by Kinthelt (96845)

        > As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

        What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

        It was useful in this case because it gets rid of bots. I'm looking at the destination, not the journey. :)

        • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#34660196)

          I'm looking at the destination, not the journey. :)

          AKA "The Ends Justifies the Means."

          Meanwhile this particular end has nothing to do with what the DMCA "was made for" or "the original spirit of the act."

          • by ShakaUVM (157947)

            >>Meanwhile this particular end has nothing to do with what the DMCA "was made for" or "the original spirit of the act."

            Man... who could have thought the government actually would have run down that slippery slope when it came to its citizens' rights?

        • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by poetmatt (793785) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:51AM (#34660204) Journal

          getting rid of bots fails to answer as to what has gone on to encourage bots in the first place.

          if you think getting rid of bots is good, you are missing both the destination and the journey.

          the underlying question should be: how has this game become so repetitive that people can automate it in the first place?

          oh right, blizzard, grind, etc.

          • the underlying question should be: how has this game become so repetitive that people can automate it in the first place?

            I'm not trying to defend Blizzard, I've never found any of their games attractive, but tell me this.. what games can you think of that it wouldn't be easy to make a bot for? I can't really think of any.

            Getting a computer to play a game is easy. It's trying to get it to play a game while appearing human that is a challenge.

            • Any sufficiently advanced RTS, like Starcraft?
              • by Imrik (148191)

                Not horribly difficult to bot, just pointless. Without something carrying over to the next game the bot is just a computer opponent.

            • what games can you think of that it wouldn't be easy to make a bot for?

              Tetris is apparently one. The computer opponents in Tetris Party for Wii, for example, operate on the principle of brute force and ignorance: they play so fast as to out-TPM even the fastest Tetris players in the world instead of actually stacking for tetrises and T-spins.

              • The question was not "which game do you think it would be hard to make a bot that plays humanly", just this guy was surprised that people can make bots that farm stuff in WoW.

                I don't get why people keep saying games that are difficult to perfect but easy to do the basics. I think if people want an example of a game that it would genuinely be hard for a computer to play well, then something like Poker is probably what they're looking for. You've already said that computers can play Tetris better than the bes

      • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by pitchpipe (708843) on Friday December 24, 2010 @11:05AM (#34660278)

        What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

        Favorite $MEGACORP wins case. Must be justified. Case closed.

      • The article seems to imply a dangerous precedent:

        "Thus, even though - as discussed above - the court ruled that Glider did not facilitate copyright infringement, MDY could still be liable under the DMCA for circumventing Warden's detection features."

        So the DMCA can apparently be used to attack reverse engineering that was not necessarily used to facilitate copyright infringment.

        "Not necessarily used"?

        Here, let me simplify this for you: the lawsuit is over a third-party program that knowingly and intentional

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          the lawsuit is over a third-party program that knowingly and intentionally bypasses the security protection scheme in a network client. Hell, I'm fairly sure any other program that does something like this would be considered malware!

          But software designed and intended to serve the interests of the user, can't ever possibly be malware. Oh wait, I see what you did there.. very clever. You used the word "security" without saying whose goals you were talking about. Security is subjective, and when people ha

        • Honestly, I don't know why Blizzard didn't just sue Glider over intent to induce contract violations (whatever the legal term is for that).

          I believe it's called Tortious Interference [wikipedia.org]

      • The Golden Fence (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mateorabi (108522) on Friday December 24, 2010 @01:23PM (#34661080) Homepage
        Exactly. This was one of the most compelling complaints against DMCA when Congress passed it:

        In the name of copyright protection it allows the content creators to build a fence. This 'golden' fence gets a special status under the law and is protected by the DMCA and people who breach it are considered law breakers. But the gross injustice is that along with legitimate copyrightable works, the content creators can put whatever else they want behind the fence. Want to deny a fair use? Integrate such use tightly with the enforced-by-law copyright protection mechanism. Activities that others would legitimately be able to do with the content that aren't infringing become untouchable, because to do so they must cross that golden fence.

        In my opinion, if content creators overreach and try to prevent fair-use activities by fencing things off within their copyright protection/access control mechanisms (such as this case) then the access control technology should lose its special status as legally protected under 1201(a)(2).

        You are a content provider who wants the protection of the law/legal-threat for your access mechanism? Don't want 'violators' to get a free pass? Tough. Only protect things that you had the right to protect in the first place.
    • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:49AM (#34660188) Journal

      do you even have a remote clue what you're talking about?

      they're saying that wowglider broke encryption via running a scripting bot that has nothing to do with it.

      This is blizzard's "we're protecting our business model via lawsuit" argument.

      so it's a bad precedent, which a lot of people lose on from this.

    • Re:DMCA is useful? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sloppy (14984) on Friday December 24, 2010 @11:15AM (#34660344) Homepage Journal

      Um, go on. What was the original spirit of the act?

      The cynical view was that it was intended to prevent anything that anyone doesn't like. In that respect, you're right.

      The naive/front purpose of the act was that it was intended to prevent copyright infringement, by making prohibiting some of the prerequisites to copyright infringement (as well as prohibiting the prerequisites to many fair uses as well, but you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others). In that respect, this application of DMCA has nothing to do with its original purpose.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Kinthelt (96845)

        Blizzards owns the content to WoW, and the players are licensees (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since they pay a subscription). The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls. The content of WoW is copyright. WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content. MDY circumvented Warden.

        Open and shut case.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Blizzards owns the content to WoW, and the players are licensees (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since they pay a subscription).

          And?

          The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls.

          I understood glider uses the proper client.

          The content of WoW is copyright.

          This was NOT copyright infringement.

          WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content.

          MDY circumvented Warden.

          Bypassing a game bot is also not a crime despite it's intimidating

          • The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls.

            I understood glider uses the proper client.

            You misunderstood the part where Blizzard controls the client. As soon as you start Glider, you are breaking the ToS on Blizzard’s client and you no longer have the right to use it.

            • The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls.

              I understood glider uses the proper client.

              You misunderstood the part where Blizzard controls the client. As soon as you start Glider, you are breaking the ToS on Blizzard’s client and you no longer have the right to use it.

              Where is the circumventing copy protections part? Nobody argued that is isn't against the TOS. I wonder where the breaking of law happened.

              If running the client isn't copyright violation, how is warden a copy protection mechanism? It doesn't seem to be protecting blizzard's copyright according to the judge.

              • by Kalriath (849904)

                Actually, that's a rather interesting point you and the GP raise. I can see where he's coming from and I can see where you're coming from. You're arguing that as running the client isn't copyright violation, then you can't argue a DMCA violation. The GP seems to be arguing that as the running of a bot is in violation of the Terms of Service, therefore invalidating your right to run the game, it technically does violate the DMCA to circumvent Warden as the Warden component is designed to prevent the usage

              • by Rakarra (112805)

                The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls.

                I understood glider uses the proper client.

                You misunderstood the part where Blizzard controls the client. As soon as you start Glider, you are breaking the ToS on Blizzard’s client and you no longer have the right to use it.

                Where is the circumventing copy protections part? Nobody argued that is isn't against the TOS. I wonder where the breaking of law happened.

                If running the client isn't copyright violation, how is warden a copy protection mechanism? It doesn't seem to be protecting blizzard's copyright according to the judge.

                It's not a copyright control mechanism, it's an access control mechanism. Copyright was really only part of the DMCA -- it's the access control provisions that may be the most controversial (and the worst part of the sprawling law, IMO).

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content.

          But that's the point. Maybe we disagree what the purpose of the act was?

          Preventing "access" for reasons completely unrelated to trying to prevent copyright infringement, was one of the radical new things DMCA did which wasn't part of the naive/surface interpretation that I stated. DMCA was described to laymen as giving copyright holders new ways, useful in the "digital age," to fight or prevent infringement, rather than giv

        • by Rakarra (112805)

          Note to mods and meta-mods: The parent's post was not that controversial. Whether you agree or disagree with his position, there's no way that it earned a Flamebait mod.

          • by Sloppy (14984)

            Agreed; Kinthelt's post was not flamebait (in fact, I think he very well distilled what the court's ruling was) and it's almost embarrassing to have participated in a thread that gets this kind of stupid moderation.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:24AM (#34660006)

    As Blizzard I would have gone with a case about improper access and interfering with the operation of computer system. The game clients are authorized to access and interact with the servers, the bots are an unauthorized access mechanism to the game servers. Simple plain and shut and clearly puts the bot runners in with the people that do destructive access to systems.

    -- and not enough characters to put "with a computer" in the title :(

    • The game clients are authorized to access and interact with the servers, the bots are an unauthorized access mechanism to the game servers.

      Except glider doesn't access the game servers.
      They access the game client - which then accesses the game servers.
      Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client.

      • by RichMan (8097)

        "Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client."

        The same could be said of using ssh to connect to a server, it is no different in nature or content from what a human could send.
        Yet if you used the ssh connection and a client side script to cause the server to send lots of spam that would be improper use of the connection.

        It is not the connection no

        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday December 24, 2010 @11:45AM (#34660538)

          "Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client."

          The same could be said of using ssh to connect to a server, it is no different in nature or content from what a human could send.
          Yet if you used the ssh connection and a client side script to cause the server to send lots of spam that would be improper use of the connection.

          Wrong. A malicious script behind a ssh client is significantly different in nature and content. A regular human typing those same commands would be just as unauthorized as the script. But a human using the game client to generate the exact same commands as glider does would be considered authorized.

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        Except glider doesn't access the game servers.
        They access the game client - which then accesses the game servers.

        Ah, the overly-literal geek mind trying (and failing) to interpret the law again. "I didn't rob those people, I merely built the robot that robbed those people!" If the game client accesses the servers under the direction of glider, then glider is effectively accessing the servers--it's just doing it indirectly, like the guy with his robot.

        • Ah, the overly-literal geek mind trying (and failing) to interpret the law again.

          Ditto. Glider is operating under the direction of the user - the same exact user who sits down directly at the client. You might as well argue that the auto-repeat in the keyboard is is effectively accessing the servers because the firmware running on the keyboard's microcontroller talks to the client software.

  • I get that this may be further appealed again, but it does seem like the right decision. I might have ideological problems with bots like Glider, but secondary infringement? Really?

    Then again, there is still part of the decision I'm not a fan of with the violation of:

    The first provision, 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A), is a general
    prohibition against “circumventing a technological measure
    that effectively controls access to a work protected under [the
    Copyright Act].”

    Though the court i
    • I really have trouble understanding how glider violates 17 U.S.C Sec. 1201(a)(1). Glider does not touch warden or the client at all. It bypasses warden in the sense that warden doesn't detect a known cheating tool as installed or running on the system. It does not impair warden's operation. You might be inclined to say Glider 'avoids' detection in such a way that it is violating 17 U.S.C Sec. 1201(a)(1), but that is acceptance of Blizzard's right to catalog and examine for their approval anything you do wh

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Friday December 24, 2010 @10:31AM (#34660058)

    I am not sure if it's because of the advent of modern media, with its up-to-the-second news cycles that maybe only makes this seem true, but it really seems to me that our government is becoming more and more openly aggressive in showing that corporations are in complete control of our system.
    Some may think that this story is not related. It is. In a world where corporation control everything, laws like the DMCA are able to pass. I just can't imagine something like that happening 30 years ago, but perhaps it's just because they didnt have the tech which gave them the need.
    More and more, it seems you own nothing you buy.
    People complain sure, but no one does anything about. What can we do? Sure, I vote with my pocket book, since that's the only votes that actually matter anymore.
    Many it's time to go all French on our government? Maybe it's time to say, fuck no, the RIAA does not control our lives. Fuck no, the MIAA does not control our legal system. Fuck no, the government does not get to say that we look at on the Internet.
    Then again, perhaps not. Better just to wait until it's too late.
    There is a famous saying in Russia; Until thunder strikes, a man won't cross himself. Nice to see we have something in common.

  • original article [entertainm...atters.com]

  • can the circumvent technologies clam be used by virus? fake anti virus? spyware?

    • by arivanov (12034)

      My exact thought.

      As per this logic antivirus preventing a virus accessing a command and control network is illegal provided that the network "owner" has correctly formulated its copyright clauses.

      As per this logic virus, scareware, spyware, etc all can fall under DMCA besides the existing legislation on unauthorised access and hacking.

      That is some real stretching of the law way beyond what it was originally intended for.

  • What would happen if you had the bot software installed first and it had protections in it to stop warden from doing things to it... If you then installed the game, and Warden messed up your bot, wouldn't Blizzard now be guilty of the same thing they are accusing MDY of?

    • What kinds of protections? There's really not much that a bot can do to require the Warden to circumvent a countermeasure in order to detect its presence. Scanning memory for a certain memory string doesn't require circumvention, for instance.

      • What kinds of protections? There's really not much that a bot can do to require the Warden to circumvent a countermeasure in order to detect its presence. Scanning memory for a certain memory string doesn't require circumvention, for instance.

        It could have its data encrypted, or have another process that detects when some other program is probing its memory space. This should be enough to qualify as protection under the DMCA. Warden doesn't just detect the presence of the program, it actively tries to shut it down according to wikipedia.

        • It's not circumvention if you don't crack the encryption, and there has to be some portion of the process that is unencrypted in order to be executable in the first place. And who cares if there's a secondary process running to detect probing the first process's memory space - being detected isn't circumvention either.

          Also, Wikipedia is scant on details on what "shut it down" means, but it sounds more like they're talking about shutting down chatbots and such. This could mean that it merely disconnects th

    • by Imrik (148191)

      They aren't going after the users under the DMCA, they're going after the writers. Writing the bot in the first place required circumventing the DRM and reverse engineering the client. Blizzard would have to acquire a copy of the bot and reverse engineers it to improve Warden to be guilty of the same thing.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Friday December 24, 2010 @12:05PM (#34660652) Homepage

    This is great news.

    1) The Copyright infringement thing made no sense. Loading software into memory is not a copy. Especially if you are the person who owns/licenses the software. If it was, every person on earth would be liable for 5 trillion counts of copyright infringement.
    2) This is *exactly* what the DMCA was made to stop. So if we are to debate the merits or downsides of the DMCA, this is perfect case to make an example of it.

    P.S. IF you don't like this ruling, don't blame the judge. He ruled according to the law. If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining that this is why this is a bad law.

    Although frankly, I don't see why this isn't a simple contract dispute. The contract for WoW says "no bots" and this guy made a bot. I'm unclear why this is even a big legal issue. It should be a simple civil matter.

    • If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining that this is why this is a bad law.

      Please do note, however, that this will only work if you have vast amounts of money, or if not listening to the people would have major consequences.

    • Loading software into memory is not a copy.

      Yes it is. A copy is defined as a material object in which a work is fixed such that it can be perceived directly or via a machine. If you have a program on a CD and write a duplicate to the hard drive, that's a new material object (the HD) in which the program is fixed, so it's a new copy. If you take that copy and write it into RAM, the RAM is a new object in which it's fixed. This has been (crappy) settled law for quite some time.

      If you own a copy of the softwar

      • by tepples (727027)

        Copyright law is completely awful

        But how can it be changed as long as MPAA-owned news media have a disproportionate influence on who gets elected? I vote third party because both major parties support expansion of copyright, but third party hasn't won yet.

      • If you own a copy of the software, there's an exception in the law that permits you to load it into memory, modify it as necessary in order to get it to work, and make backups. It doesn't apply if you merely license software, however; then you're stuck with whatever the license allows or disallows, which is why EULAs are a pretty important thing.

        Whether or not software you buy actually counts as being "licensed" depends on which federal district you live in, and even within those districts, the extent to which the license can be enforced varies depending on the actual clauses within the license (Softman v. Adobe [wikipedia.org] upheld a sold, not licensed, view, at least if you don't agree to the terms). It's an awfully confusing mess, and given that EULAs are almost always trying to get around consumer protection laws, I would like to see courts be much more vigi

        • Softman's not a very good case for this; the software was resold but it was never opened or run, though you might want to take a look at Specht v. Netscape. I'd suggest instead looking at ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg on the one hand, and Klocek v. Gateway on the other, for whether or not EULAs apply.

          The problem with EULAs, it seems to me, is really a subset of the problem with adhesive contracts in consumer transactions. It's yet another area where reform is needed.

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining ...

      You know what's funny? Back in 2002 my dad received a legit e-mail from the office of our local congressman. It was thanking us for having sent them an email about passing some proposition or other, and stating that it had indeed been passed. His box's spyware used his Outlook Express for someone else's political agenda. We had no idea who his congressman was prior to this, and dad couldn't write an *English* e-mail, but that didn't stop his "support" from counting for a congressional decision.

      It's scary th

  • First, I'd like to say that not only is the DC9 a steaming pile of shit, but they also store their summaries in PDF format which makes them assholes too. And finally, slashdot developers can eat my shit for disallowing paste. That's just horrible, you cunts.

    Let's quote from the summary:
    The district court, however, ruled for Blizzard following the trial as to its 1201(a)(2) and (b)(1) claims with respect to WoW's dynamic non-literal elements, or the "real-time experience" of playing WoW. It reasoned t
    • by Rakarra (112805)

      Because (b)(1) enumerates the rights of the copyright owner rather than access, the above arguments hold to these points as well. Simply put, Glider enhances gameplay, it does not afford you access to a protected work nor does it invalidate the copyright held by the owner, it merely allows you to do actions which Blizzard wishes you would not do.

      It provides the program access to the copyrighted work, and the program is not authorized. Blizzard Entertainment is the only group that gets to decide what programs are allowed to play the game, and only -players-, not programs are authorized to access the game client.

      Glider circumvents warden. No one's debating that point. Warden is what protects the game client from unauthorized access from programs, so Glider is guilty of (b)(1) -- it "is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing p

  • I hope this makes it to the Supreme Court. This ruling does not jive with the Federal Circuit ruling in Chamberlain Group v. Skylink Technologies [resource.org] and 5th Circuit in MGE UPS Systems v. GE Consumer & Industrial [courtlistener.com] that link circumvention with infringement. In short, that circumvention is only illegal if it is for the purpose of infringement.

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