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Blizzard 2, Glider 0

Posted Tue, Jul 15, 2008 by Morvelaira

It's proven, Glider is copyright infringement.

In the continuing drama that is the Blizzard v. MDY suit, (MDY being the makers of Glider - the post popular WoW bot software) a major judgment has come down in Blizzard's favor. The two important parts of the judgment are these:

The Court reaches the following conclusions on the basis of undisputed facts, construction of the EULA and TOU, and controlling Ninth Circuit law: Blizzard owns a valid copyright in the game client software, Blizzard has granted a limited license for WoW players to use the software, use of the software with Glider falls outside the scope of the license established in section 4 of the TOU, use of Glider includes copying to RAM within the meaning of section 106 of the Copyright Act, users of WoW and Glider are not entitled to a section 117 defense, and Glider users therefore infringe Blizzard’s copyright.

and

The following facts are not disputed: MDY knowingly aids WoW players in breaching their contracts with Blizzard; MDY assists the players in gaining an advantage over other WoW players; MDY enables players to mine the game for their own financial benefit and in direct violation of the TOU; MDY assists players in avoiding detection by Blizzard, and does so in a way designed to place Blizzard at risk. The second factor concerns MDY’s motive. That motive is clear – profit. MDY’s business strategy is not to accept and honor the pre-existing contract between Blizzard and its customers, but to take advantage of that relationship for MDY’s financial gain.

So what does all that legalese mean? Basically it boils down to Blizzard has a copyright and Terms of Service (a contract with its customers), Glider by the way it works violates that copyright and Terms of Service. In addition, it does it in a way that causes risk of damage for Blizzard and it is solely motivated by profit. In essence - Blizzard wins.

While this will not be final and set in stone for some time, it's basically over now. MDY has never tried to deny the way that Glider works, or the fact that it violates the ToS. What they've been trying to argue is that 1) they don't violate any copyrights because Blizzard doesn't have any, and 2) that they're not liable if the users violate the ToS using their software. This is of course a smokescreen, since A) it's been observed that the ToS are structured eerily similar to a copyright and B) MDY is liable because violating the ToS was it's intended design use.

So MDY is liable for damages to Blizzard for their creation and sale of Glider. But - Users of Glider - don't think you're off the hook. See that little bit up there in the quote about "users of WoW and Glider are not entitled to a section 117 defense"? That means Blizzard is going to come after you too. I'm sure one of the damages Blizzard is going to go after with a vengeance is a list of people who have purchased Glider. So expect some scrutiny. But they'll have to prove you used it to get large judgments against you. As a bit of friendly advice - stop using Glider, get it off your computer, get a new hard drive if you have to. Erase Glider completely from your life and NEVER go illegally gold farming again.

And that's my two cents of advice for you.

To see a more indepth dissection of the Blizzard v. MDY verdict, please check here.

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