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The Courts Games

Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the zerging-with-lawyers dept.
qubezz writes: "TorrentFreak reports that on Monday, Blizzard filed a lawsuit in US District court in California against the programmers behind the popular Starcraft II cheat 'ValiantChaos MapHack.' The complaint seeks relief from 'direct copyright infringement,' 'contributory copyright infringement,' 'vicarious copyright infringement,' 'trafficking in circumvention devices,' etc. The suit seeks the identity of the cheat's programmers, as it fishes for names of John Does 1-10, in addition to an injunction against the software (which remains on sale) and punitive damages. Blizzard claims losses from diminished user experiences, and also that 'when users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they directly infringe Blizzard's copyright in StarCraft II, including by creating unauthorized derivative works"."
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Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

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  • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:03PM (#47060825) Homepage Journal

    they're just suing since despite tying their game to their servers they still haven't figured out the shit enough to not transmit troop positions or map pieces to the client the client shouldn't know about - and they pretend to be serious about competitive online play.

    (how come the suit is not for people who actually cracked the copy protection??)

    (in other news this would make "unauthorized mods" illegal)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:28PM (#47061153)

    This can be explained very simply even to people with no technical knowledge ... lawyers for example.

    The memory in your computer belongs to you. If Blizzard's game writes troop positions into your computer's memory, reading those positions is your right as the owner of this equipment --- after all, it's a pattern of bits in memory owned by you. No company can disallow you access to the equipment that you own. They don't own it, you do.

    Everything else in this case hinges on that fact. The Blizzard programmers created this problem themselves through incompetent design. Information which should not be known by a player should never be stored on the player's machine.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:36PM (#47061245) Homepage

    Cheaters may be dicks, but are they copyright infringers?

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:30PM (#47061677)

    It's cheating, whether it's in the form of software, or a cash bribe to the refs. I think cheating is worth very little in terms of free speech value.

    Lucky for us, you don't get to decide what is free speech. I hate cheating, and blizzard should definitely do something about it. But trying to control what other people do? No... this is a game. It's not worth harming my constitutional freedoms just so you can be less annoyed.

    Blizzard should handle this in the code. It's not that hard. 10 years ago I remember hearing at a conference about on-line gaming "If their client has the data, they have the data. You cannot trust the client, ever." It's as true now as it was then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:21PM (#47063037)

    Go the extreme and call it 2048 entities * 8 players * 32 bytes per entity. 512 KB to each client. Assuming no compression. It's not a problem.

    Bandwidth wise it is not a problem until you consider latency. To transmit that 512kb to a player in 1s, that player requires a connection speed of 512kb/s or ~8.5-9mbit/s. 1s of latency is horrible, especially in a rts where you can lose vital units/buildings in that time. So we want to get it as quick as possible, 80mbit/s to get that 512kb of data within 50ms.
    Compression could help, you should be able to get that 512kb of data down to less then half its size which would reduce the required bandwidth to 40mbit/s but that is still much higher then the average person's net speed.
    TL;DR;
    512kb of data may not seem like much but to transmit it quick enough to useful ( 50ms) you need a connection speed of over 80mbit per second (quite reasonable to assume in South Korea). Using compression would help but then you may run into problems with overloading the server.

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