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DRM Role Playing (Games) Games

Blizzard Issues DMCA Notice to a Fan-Run 'WoW' Legacy Server (torrentfreak.com) 308

An anonymous reader calls it "the never-ending stupidity of copyright wars." TorrentFreak reports: Blizzard Entertainment is taking a stand against a popular World of Warcraft legacy server. The fan-operated project allows gamers to experience how the game was played over a decade ago and to revive old battles... In recent years the project has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of die-hard WoW fans. At the time of writing, the most popular realm has more than 6,000 people playing from all over the world... Blizzard, however, sees this as copyright infringement and has asked GitHub to pull the site's code offline.
The article notes the DMCA notice came "just weeks after several organizations and gaming fans asked the US Copyright Office to make a DMCA circumvention exemption for 'abandoned' games."
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Blizzard Issues DMCA Notice to a Fan-Run 'WoW' Legacy Server

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  • Abandoned games... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rewind ( 138843 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @07:46AM (#56069743)

    Um... I really do think that something needs to be done about classic and abandoned games. We are, unfortunately, losing those parts of history to the obscurity of copyright.

    With that said...
    "The article notes the DMCA notice came "just weeks after several organizations and gaming fans asked the US Copyright Office to make a DMCA circumvention exemption for 'abandoned' games."

    WoW is not even close to an abandoned game. They are working on a subscription right now and maintain and update servers that millions play on right now. In what way is it abandoned? The language in this post is more like the FUD spread by hardcore DRM supporters than someone who wants to preserve software. This is an awful sub EditorDavid...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They have announced recently a "WoW Classic" so it's hardly an "abandoned game".

      • by subanark ( 937286 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @09:43AM (#56070065)

        To be clear WoW classic will be a compromise of the old game with probably some more recent features that don't impact the gameplay like cross game chat, security exploits removed etc... However you get into some gray area like multi-loot, or what ui addons they support it gets complex. Add into this how fast new content is released within the original game (there are over 12 content patches), and needing to run it on newer servers, and you can understand why it will take a while to get it out the door.

        I've seen non-Blizzard classic servers pull all kinds of shady tricks like being able to donate for grossly overpowered items (e.g. similar to best items in the game, but with an extra 0 on the end of each stat)

        Also, don't play WoW classic if you didn't play it back in the day. There is no class balance, and death was penalized by having to spend a good 5 minutes or more walking back as a ghost to your body (in harder content areas). This was however a drastic improvement over Ever Quest which had a massive XP loss penality (like 4 or more hours of grinding XP gone).

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I would say the Everquest of now is a lot better than the Everquest of yore. Now, if one dies in EQ, they go to a room (guild hall annex), have their body summoned, and one of the NPC priests there give you your exp back. You can easily solo since regardless of class, you can get a mercenary to come with you, while previously, there was 0 way to solo for most classes.

          The Everquest of the early 2000s was a game of frustration. One class (bard, druid, monk) could easily and continuously wipe raids just by

        • Everquest has what they call progression servers where they start a server out without any expansions and gradually add the expansion content over time. Perhaps this is what WoW is planning to do. Having played on the most recent progression server, it seems like it has managed to bring back people who hadn't played in years for the nostalgia of how EQ was years ago.

          • by subanark ( 937286 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @10:56AM (#56070435)

            Lets see what do I remember about EQ (got to level 20):
            1. The game was full screen. Any attempt to switch to another app would close EQ
            2. Having to type /con to determine approximately what level an NPC was relative to your own.
            3. Solo play outside of a couple of classes was impossible due to anything granting XP being able to kill you
            4. Having to sit down to slowly regain mana, Also move, sit, wait for mana regen tick, move, repeat.
            5. Unlike WoW multiple characters couldn't occupy the same place.
            6. Massive XP penalization for dying. Clerics could resurrect you to restore some XP, but their 100% XP restore had a 1 day cool down.
            7. Players who volunteered to be in game customer support (they got free subscription).
            8. A high level quest which involved sitting under water for 3 hours +/- 15 minutes for an NPC to show up.
            9. Having to compete with other players on an NPC that spawns once per week for its loot/quest requirement.
            10. No private party only dungeons.
            11. Daylight savings screwed up the servers
            12. If you died you had to get your gear back from your body.
            13. I played after they removed the part where you had to stare at a book in the UI to recover mana
            14. If you got blind, the UI, including chat with other players was black. Although you could hit just fine.
            15. A hack called "Show EQ" pissed off devs and was pretty much undetectable, as you ran it on a proxy server running Linux.
            16 If you carry too much you can go to 0 movement speed. If you got a buff to walk, then even the smallest fall was fatal.
            17, An invisible NPC called "Pain and suffering" which would attack any player lower than 0 hp, but not yet dead (very unlikey at high levels).

            So, No thanks to that. I'm not touching EQ again.

            • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @12:41PM (#56071083) Journal

              Basically, you're confirming that EQ was hardcore. Sadly that's no longer commercially viable as MMOs rely on network effects, and the networks build around the less punitive games - as you indicate you'd prefer yourself.

              It's a shame though, as EQ did have a tremendous amount of content and did help define a genre. I'm not sure I'd want to play it myself if it was released today (with shiny new graphics, etc) but EQ does have its place in gaming history.

              Incidentally, points 2, 5, 7 and 16 aren't necessarily bad at all. Shit, you could /con something, find that it's pathetic and still get utterly hammered for attacking it. My first death happened that way..

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          There is no class balance, and death was penalized by having to spend a good 5 minutes or more walking back as a ghost to your body (in harder content areas).

          There was class balance, but the devil is in the details. Like.. which patch from Vanilla will they settle on? The classes changed radically throughout alpha (you could claim that the classes were not finished on release), and my guess is that they'll settle on the Naxxramas release patch.

          Now, I said classes were fairly balanced, but it's worth noting that not all specs for a class were equally viable. IE, in end-game PvE, if you were a priest, druid, shaman, or paladin, you were a healer**. Ret/shadow/fera

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:04AM (#56069775)

      WoW in its "classic", level 50 (or was it 60?) cap form, IS abandoned. Blizzard does not offer the option to play on a server where the old dungeons are the endgame and expansion creep isn't forcing people to play the game in a way they never wanted to.

      If Blizzard offered no-expansion servers, we can talk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's not even a question of expansions existing. The original content was "replaced" by the Cataclysm expansion. You can't experience it at all. It is content that is abandoned.

      • by kfsone ( 63008 )

        Dear Sir/Madam, I forced the lock on your back door this morning to find this house abandoned. I had to force the lock because you did not offer access to the tv or coffee machine and this exclusion creep was forcing me to use the space in a way I never intended to.

        If you offer public access to your rooms, we can talk.

    • by Xamindar ( 533756 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:05AM (#56069779) Homepage
      I think the point is that "version" of the game is abandoned. You had to buy the game before you had the opportunity to pay monthly to actually play it. Shouldn't people be able to set up their own servers if they want as they have already bought the game?
      • by bv728 ( 943505 )

        Blizzard own copyright over things like Quest Text, art design, textures, logos, map designs, and sound/music independently of the game. If they rebuilt their servers without using any of those, the case would be in question, but it's not. Even if purchase of a game gave you the legal rights you're implying (and it does not!), it does not give you free reign to use the remaining copyrighted content.

        The second element is the question of abandonment. If you buy a copy of World of Warcraft off the shelf, and

        • Everything you list here is contained on the client side, which is bought at retail. Everyone playing retro servers bought this and therefore legitimately can play it without copyright violation... The only thing the sever does is authenticate and then send the interaction information back and forth (location, HP/MP, item tracking, etc.) and those same things for the mobs. The mob AI is actually run on the client side from what I understand. The server side load is as minimal as possible by design.

        • All what Blizzard 'owns' is client side.
          And the players bought the client ...

          They have no claim at all against people running servers. Perhaps you dont know what copy means in the term copyright?

        • by Wulf2k ( 4703573 )

          "Blizzard own copyright over things like Quest Text, art design, textures, logos, map designs, and sound/music independently of the game."

          Yeah, and I'd bet nearly all of that is baked into the client. Quest text is the only thing I'd suspect could be server-side, and that's a simple change if it's found to be infringing.

          Blizzard sold people the client. These people are just offering a server.

          Where's the infringement on which specific copyright elements?

      • by Toad-san ( 64810 )

        And you had to buy each and every one of the "expansions". I'm looking at "Mists of Pandaria", "Warlords of Draenor",
        "Wrath of the Lich King", "Cataclysm", "Burning Crusade", "Legion" right now, sitting up there on my shelf. 45 bucks each. None of them require the original "vanilla" WoW from back in 2004 (which I also bought for $45 as I recall. So why can't I just play the original on a fan server, and NOT buy all the expansions.

        I have to wonder what would happen if I booted up a copy of the original

        • From or After(not sure) the the third expansion you could have downloaded them for free.

    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:07AM (#56069783) Homepage
      There is an issue though - what is 'abandoned'? Let's take the 8 bit games legacy. When mobile gaming took off, suddenly these games were appearing once again but on mobile phones - things like Lords of Midnight, which by every rationale people previously would have considered abandoned. They turned out to be a viable revenue stream again. Or all the Nintendo ones that found a new life in the 'virtual console' on their newer platforms.

      Don't get me wrong - I also agree there should be some solution found. But I really don't think it's simple, because even the definition of 'abandoned' isn't clear cut, and we have a recent example where a technology shifts have rendered viable again things one previously considered abandoned
      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @10:31AM (#56070283) Homepage

        Companies only started releasing those games in response to the public constantly pirating them. It seems like we need pirates to help the copyright holders find valid business models.

      • to bad the virtual console and other pay emulators is messing stuff from other free emulators and can't do stuff you can do on the real hardware.

        I want to be able to just buy the roms and use the emulator of my choice.

      • Also, "abandon" doesn't invalidate the copyright ownership of the product. Many people think that "abandoning" gives them the right to copy/use without an explicit statement from the copyright owner. That is completely wrong by the meaning of law. These people are likely thinking and misunderstanding of ethical part, not legal part.

      • I also agree there should be some solution found. But I really don't think it's simple, because even the definition of 'abandoned' isn't clear cut, and we have a recent example where a technology shifts have rendered viable again things one previously considered abandoned

        I wonder if the solution got discovered a couple hundred years ago. A shorter copyright (e.g. 14 years) with option to renew would fit perfectly. Think your old copyrighted work whose copyright is about to run out, might have a second wind?

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
        Time was, copyright required not only registering the copyright, but periodically renewing the registration. That kind of scheme would solve a rather lot of problems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WoW ( as it stands may not be abandoned ), but as stated the version / release and content that excited people in droves back then most certainly has been.

      Perhaps software companies would do well to embrace communities like these to enhance player experience vrs kill them off cause they seem to do things better than they currently do. Lets face it the gaming industry is super stagnant right now, almost as bad as Hollywood and movies, any help to a company or genre of game should be welcomed not shutdown

    • and more (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:18AM (#56069821) Homepage Journal

      I really do think that something needs to be done about classic and abandoned games

      I see it as even more than that. Abandoned applications of every type: operating systems, drivers, vertical applications, etc.

      Frankly, if software is unsupported, I see no reason it should continue to enjoy the protection of copyright, patent, or anything else, frankly.

      I don't draw a distinction as to why. If the developer is gone or no longer willing, if the "upgrade" no longer supports the operating system or hardware you've been using (or vice-versa... operating systems should be treated the same), basically if the thing no longer is "live", then it's abandonware. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who steals it, reverses it, copies it or, as here, supports it from a third-party position should be blameless.

      And yes, I am a developer, and yes, I still think this should be the case. If you aren't going to support your customers, then there's no particular reason to expect your now ex-customers to support you. From my POV, that most certainly includes no longer honoring the legal protections you are awarded in trade for producing something useful. As soon as you, as a developer or large entity (Adobe, Apple, etc.) decide to abandon, compromise or outright destroy that usefulness, you are the one that has broken the compact.

      Let the chips fall where they may.

      • vertical applications, etc.

        At one time I was looking for some older m68k ver of an mac app and corp that made it no longer had for sale but was still selling old PPC ver.

    • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:27AM (#56069843)

      Can you explain to me what the difference is in copyright between an abandoned game, an abandoned book and an abandoned movie? It is called a copyright, not a blocked-right-if-used. I can write a book and not even publish it, just let one person read it and then put it in a closet. I die and somebody finds it. That book will still have my copyrights and the kids will enjoy it for 70 years after I die.

      The fact that I have never published it, means it was abandoned.
      Obviously the period for copyright is WAY too long, but it was never dependent of the usage, just of the moment of creation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        But do you have the ability to remove the book from people's hands, update it's content without their permission and desire to do and then go after them if they find a way to read the original copy of the book?

        If they purchase your book, and you charge a subscription to access a book club so they can attend with other book readers, is it right that you can take the book away if they no longer wish to attend the book club? Or go after them if they take their book to another book club that doesn't charge them

      • I think the missing part of the equation is that in your example, you never sold your book to anyone. In the realm of software, and games in particular, it is more akin to you writing a book, selling that book to millions of people, then several years later, completely erasing the book and rewriting it from scratch and remotely deleting the original work from all of your customers possession. This is essentially what Blizzard did with the Cataclysm expansion. Now your customers no longer have access to t

    • by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @09:09AM (#56069963)

      Either way just move the server/code to Canada.

      We already have "interoperability" exemptions to copyright. This is an ideal example of why they were put in. User demand for a specific version of the product which the original maker refuses to support.

    • Ive thought about this too. If something is no longer being sold then the copyright should automatically expire. The point of copyright is to allow a copyright owner to make a profit from the work. However, if they are no longer selling the work, there is no point any more. The copyright should expire. Maybe there should be a provision to allow the copyright to be revived if they do start publishing it again. But, I am also for a 30 year copyright term for a corporate copyright or life of the author for a l

      • Copyright needs a total revamp after the tampering by the music and movie industry in the 1976 for their exclusive benefit that completely destroyed the original intent of copyright laws in the first palce. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Copyright term for movies and TV shows should be limited to 14 years on the original work.
        Copyright on software and games should be limited to 7 years with a 7 year purchasable extension requiring that the software/game still be in use and for sale to the general public

    • Shorter copyright terms. Trademarks are perpetual: you have to renew them, and protect them; if you fail to renew, eventually it becomes a dead trademark. Copyright shouldn't be hundreds of years, though.

    • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @01:25PM (#56071357)

      Vanilla WoW is indeed an abandoned game. There is nowhere you can play it and it is no longer supported in any way by Blizzard.

  • by mfh ( 56 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:14AM (#56069801) Homepage Journal

    These private servers are interacting with old clients that were released freely by Bliz. They claim the tables are nearly identical; the tables can easily be remapped.

    If I was a judge that'd be my ruling: remap the table names and continue supporting ABANDONWARE; yes, private servers are running abandonware services; they designed the server stuff based on how the client expects to be communicated with.

    DCMA has a very specific clause that blocks copyright on ABANDONWARE. Old warcraft patches aren't currently available and were unavailable for many years.

    The servers are fine if there is an honest judge hearing the case.

    • by Holi ( 250190 )
      Randomly capitalizing abandonware does not change the fact that WOW is still sold and developed. It is the exact opposite of abandonware.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      DCMA has a very specific clause that blocks copyright on ABANDONWARE.

      I was about to write that it must be a drug-induced hallucination, because there's absolutely nothing like that in the DMCA itself. But there's a clause in section 1201(a)(1) that lets the Librarian of Congress create exceptions and apparently in 2015 they apparently granted a very narrow exception valid for three years with the possibility for renewal. I'll quote most from the prelude not the actual legalese but you can find both in the final order here [copyright.gov]:

      With respect to gamers, the Register concluded that the record supported granting an exemption for video games that require communication with an authentication server to allow gameplay when the requisite server is taken offline. (...) At the same time, the Register determined that proponents had failed to provide persuasive support for an exemption for online multiplayer play (...) The Register also confirmed that the exemption for gamers should not extend to jailbreaking of console software

      So it's only video games, not copyrighted works in ge

    • It's not the code per se - but the gigabytes of art, music and sound assets these guys are pirating as well (many of which are still in the currently sold game) - which the dmca is well suited for.

      I highly doubt old patches really qualify as abandonware for a game currently for sale.

      I think it's kinda funny how people justify these private servers...

  • by Rip!ey ( 599235 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:22AM (#56069831)
    How much Blizzard code exactly, has been copied, to produce the non-Blizzard server?
    • If you actually read the DMCA request, you'll see it's about data, not code. A game server needs data to know the allowed actions in the game, the entities in the game, the rules for interaction, the locations, etc, in order to maintain a common understanding of the world with the clients. It is this data that was copied from the WoW client and incorporated as a SQL database (into otherwise presumably bespoke server code).

      You could make your own completely new game data (and somehow insert it into the Blizz

  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:31AM (#56069857)

    Blizzard Issues DMCA Notice to a Fan-Run 'WoW' Leg

    No. They issued the DMCA notice to GITHUB. Terrible summary.

    Blizzard has asked GitHub to pull the site's code offline.

    Blizzard asked Github to take down ONE file. Github complied because they are located in the United States. Light's Hope on the other hand is run outside of the United States so there is absolutely no jurisdiction for Blizzard to take it down and they can't really stop the code from being disseminated. Blizzard is just quite frankly wasting their time and money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by lucasnate1 ( 4682951 )

      Someone in Blizzard needed to show he is working.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Lest you forget, Kim Dotcom's case should remind you that the US has jurisdiction wherever it wants.

      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        Lest you forget, Kim Dotcom's case should remind you that the US has jurisdiction wherever it wants.

        Kim Dotcom = German, Light's Hope = Russian. Good luck convincing Vladimir Putin to agree to extradite the folks running Light's Hope. They couldn't shut down Sci-Hub or have Alexandra Elbakyan extradited either. The United States doesn't run the world and it can't force other countries to bend to its will. It may be able to negotiate that with Germany but not with the Russians. The United States does not dictate world policy.

    • Why not host it outside the US then? its not like the only code hosting services are in the US.

  • To be expected (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheSanAdmin ( 5254315 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:40AM (#56069877)
    Blizzard recently announced they were bringing back the classic version so it only makes sense they would start clearing out any "competition". These servers have been around for years and Blizzard didn't care until now.
  • by RabidStoat ( 689404 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @08:49AM (#56069905)

    All these people, here and elsewhere that are claiming they should be able to play the game as released by Blizzard. Sure, go on then ! Having played since the early Betas, i remember what the game was like when it was first released and my account history shows how much free time there was when it was _released_. Oh and of course, next you'll have people claiming "oh no, we didn't mean when it was released, we mean when it was stable", or "oh no, we didn't mean when it was released we meant at the end of the expansion". Copyright is copyright. Like it or not, dislike the period or not , get over it.

    So what version are we talking about when they say its been "abandoned", as someone else pointed out that means they should be keeping servers running for every patch "I want to play the second Burning Crusade patch please - you've abandoned that Blizzard, I'm not entitling myself to create my own server and copy all your material". Reductio ad absurdum - I want to have my own server running the patch the day before yesterday, 'cause you've abandoned that version Blizzard.

  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @09:20AM (#56069997) Homepage

    Blizzard is really reaching here. AFAIK, this is a pure reverse-engineering effort. No code was copied. There's basically almost no case for claiming any sort of copyright infringement. In desperation, Blizzard claims, for example:

    "Blizzard’s notice targets several SQL databases stating that the layout and structure is nearly identical to the early WoW databases."

    Given the data to be stored, and the rules of normalization, of course the structure of the databases is similar. All that shows is that whoever designed the database was competent.

    They complain that the code includes direct references to - get this - another fan-run WoW server (Nostalrius). Whose copyrights Blizzard does not own, ahem.

    Some files have names that reference fantasy elements in WoW - they don't specify, but I assume things like town names. Which would make sense for the server-side implementations of these elements. Whether they can legitimately claim copyright on those names?

    Lastly, they point out that "some" database record IDs are the same. Not all, but some. How many, they don't indicate. Statistically speaking, of course some of them match, though it should be very many. Of course, Blizzard does not specify a number.

    • It does not sound like a valid copyright case to me. Copyright does not cover names and tables in a database are such. Its particularly egregious because it contains no proprietary WoW code, a clean room effort.

      • Copyright does not cover names and tables in a database are such.

        Yes, it does. The data generally cannot be covered by copyright, but the structure of the database certainly can be.

    • To answer my own question: A brief search yields that names cannot be copyrighted. So really, Blizzard seems to have no basis at all for a DMCA takedown request.

      Really, it seems to me (IANAL) that their own case is against individual players, if the EULA says that the clients can only be used with a Blizzard-approved server.

      I hope the owner of the GitHub repo files a counterclaim, rather that just giving up.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        It is a bit more complex than that. It implies trademarks, derivative works, etc... It is the kind of situation where IANAL doesn't cut it.

        I suppose Bilzzard has the right to take on individual players, but they probably won't. They know better than to attack paying customers. Bans are usually limited to highly disruptive players. As using the legal system against players for just playing pirated games is not very effective.

    • Exactly. This, from the sounds of things, is no different than when any other open source group has reverse engineered a proprietary document format or proprietary protocol and released their own tools and services that operate on or over it. Provided they haven’t copied Blizzard’s code—which it sounds like they haven’t—and provided they haven’t copied Blizzard’s art or music assets—which I suspect they didn’t have a need to, given that the client app th

    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      Are there no assets on the server that were copied? Maps, images, sounds...?

    • If the client references those names server side, then they're required for interoperability. That's an affirmative defense.
    • Yes, but you could have made the exact same arguments in the bnet.d case and they won that case. So I agree, but that doesn't mean that the courts will.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @12:14PM (#56070907)

      Some files have names that reference fantasy elements in WoW - they don't specify, but I assume things like town names. Which would make sense for the server-side implementations of these elements. Whether they can legitimately claim copyright on those names?

      If I remember right, when Phoenix reverse engineered the IBM BIOS [wikipedia.org], they had to put "Copyright IBM" in their BIOS because IBM had put it in the original and required it to operate. The judge ruled that since it was required for the reverse-engineered copy to work, that was a purely functional constraint and thus had no creative element, meaning it couldn't be copyright infringement - copyright infringement being when you have the freedom to do it differently, but you make it the same as the thing you're copying. If IBM had included "Copyright IBM" but not made it required for the BIOS to function, and the reverse-engineered copy also had "Copyright IBM" in it, then that would be a clear copyright violation. It's one of those "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers" situations.

      So if their client requires those specific names for the server to function, copyright law doesn't apply and the private servers can use the same names. If it doesn't require those specific names, then Blizzard can claim copyright on the names (assuming they're unique to WoW) and force private servers to come up with different names for their towns and such.

    • Um, hate to burst the bubble in this thread, but copyright infringement isn't the problem here.

      It's the DMCA. DMCA says reverse engineering copy-protection or proprietary protocols is prohibited.

      If this was just an infringement issue, the server might have a chance, but there's no chance. The entire third-party server is a violation of DMCA reverse-engineering prohibition. The software itself is a violation of DMCA, don't even have to look at the fact they're using it to run a server. They don't have a

  • The solution is obvious. Move the repository to many other source hosting services outside of the US. Post the tar of repository on the various file sharing services. If the database contains data from WoW, then delete the database from GitHub and put the code back up on GitHub. Not that hard to figure out. Then people can get the database from the file sharing services or the non-US source repositories.

  • It's a privileged society chooses to grant in order to encourage people to make creations available to everyone. I think we have really lost track of the idea that copy right is something that is supposed to benefit society first. The game is abandoned the moment most people can't play it. Further there should be an requirement for copy right holders to make available to society their creation when the copy right expires. The BBC should not have the copy right for lost Dr. Who episodes, all those 8 bit
  • While WoW is old, it isn't the first MMO. UO, for example, had many classic private servers. For decades EA cared and went after these. They all were shut down only to have new ones spin up.
  • is because they see a monetary possibility in resurrecting the Classic Game vs the modern day version of it.

    This isn't about DMCA, Copyright, et. al.

    It's about fan run servers taking away a future potential business angle and the profits it would provide.

  • by duke_cheetah2003 ( 862933 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @01:52PM (#56071557) Homepage

    Whomever is running that server is pretty much boned. Reverse-engineering the WOW protocol is a violation of DMCA all by itself, so naturally running the software to provide a server is also a violation of DMCA. The question of some spell system or files being the sore point is moot.
    Emulation has always been a gray area that people have operated in. It's not legally permitted, but for the most part, companies have turned a blind-eye toward this.

    Sadly, Blizzard isn't one of those companies. At the end of the day, the legacy server doesn't have a leg to stand on here. If Blizzard wants them gone, they have little-to-none recourse.

    My suggestion? Don't play MMO's that are closed up like WoW. Move to an MMO that's more open. Like ARK Survival, Minecraft or Space Engineers, or any of the other open-world type offerings out there that include a server for you to run as you see fit.

  • by Toad-san ( 64810 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @01:55PM (#56071583)

    https://wccftech.com/wow-class... [wccftech.com]

    Blizzard VP Talks WoW Classic: Original Graphics the Starting Place; Mentions Nostalgia and Rose-Colored Glasses
    Author Photo
    By Aernout
    Feb 4
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    world of warcraft classic

    Blizzard’s Vice President and production director on World of Warcraft, J. Allen Brack, talks about re-recreating the original World of Warcraft experience in WoW Classic.

    In an interview with Forbes, Brack and senior game designer Jeremy Feasel talked about the upcoming World of Warcraft vanilla server option, which was announced at BlizzCon 2017.
    Brack was asked whether Classic would be using the original 2004 graphics or the high-definition character models used in the recent World of Warcraft expansions, after which he replied that re-creating the original 2004 experience is the starting place and that the Warcraft community might help them decide."

  • LightsHope is a derivative of MaNGOS, a server emulator. This isn't a fan-recreation, you need Blizzard's client software and data to be able to play.

    All the actual original creative and engineering work, creating and designing the zones, building the systems to support it, server, client and client/server, was done by Blizzard.

    This is *very much* a direct violation of Blizzard's IP, copyright, trademark and etc rights.

    As for Blizzard, they continue to actively develop the product, they've engaged the commu

  • by Fieryphoenix ( 1161565 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @02:56PM (#56072047)

    Copy right needs to be defended or it is lost. Blizzard does have to do something. But I always wonder why in the world companies don't simply negotiate carefully worded licenses with fan projects to both protect their rights AND promote fandom. Just draw up a license that allows them to continue specifically running the server but not to charge money, but not to use the IP in novel ways.

  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:13PM (#56072161)

    Copyright needs a total revamp after the tampering by the music and movie industry in 1976 for their exclusive benefit that completely destroyed the original intent of copyright laws in the first palce. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Copyright term for movies and TV shows should be limited to 14 years on the original work.
    Copyright on software and games should be limited to 7 years with a 7 year purchasable extension requiring that the software/game still be in use and for sale to the general public at market price in good faith.
    All software should be covered exclusively by copyright and all software patents summarily invalidated.

    Notwithstanding the above, all commercial copyright material (TV, Movies, corporate developed software and games) automatically enters copyright stage two (described below) if unavailable for good faith purchase or un-aired for a period of 1 year in the US after initially released anywhere in the world.

    Books should be covered for 25 years with an automatic extension of 15 years if they are still in print.
    Music should be covered for 14 years with a 7 year purchasable extension.

    All books and music (and other small/single author content that requires a publisher) should be limited to a maximum of 3 year contract, after which the rights are reverted to the author(s) to be re-negotiated in a new contract of their choosing.

    Once an item leaves "commercial" copyright, a second stage should engage (call it distribution copyright), where only the rights holder can sell the copyrighted material, but it is free for anyone to share/distribute in a nonprofit manner. This period lasts an additional 20 years, at which point the work enters the public domain.

    Further, consumer purchases of copyrighted materials should have clearly described rights set in the law, rather than the current mess of EULA "heads we win, tails you loose" bullshit. Rights like right to resell for both physical copies and digital copies, right to switch format (disc, digital, streaming, whatever), right to un-adulterated use (updates cannot remove features, function or content from a purchase, nor can updates add undesirable features, like malware, adware, tracking or telemetry), etc. as well as penalties for any company violating these rights [something like $1000 per violation, in 2018 dollars (inflation corrected), per customer, paid to the customers injured, or 5x the purchase price, whichever is greater, and they still have to fix their underlying violation].

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant