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The Courts Government Role Playing (Games) News Entertainment Games

Blizzard Wins Major Lawsuit Against Bot Developers 838

Posted by kdawson
from the gliding-off-into-the-sunset dept.
Captain Kirk writes "World of Warcraft owners Blizzard have won their case against the programmer who wrote Glider, Michael Donnelly. (We discussed the case here when it was filed.) Blizzard won on two arguments: first, that if a game is loaded into RAM, that can be considered an unauthorized copy of the game and as such a breach of copyright; second, that selling Glider was interfering with Blizzard's contractual relationship with its customers. The net effect? If you buy a game, you transfer rights to the game developer that they can sue you for."
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Blizzard Wins Major Lawsuit Against Bot Developers

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  • Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:02PM (#24189495)
    The problem with this, is the game isn't 100% loaded into RAM (as far as I know) meaning that only part of it is. This could have a much larger impact by calling this small piece of the game the game itself, perhaps leading to smaller sample times of songs, etc.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:19PM (#24189699)

      Meh. No problem. Clearly my feeble attempts to play WoW are covered as parody.

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Firehed (942385) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:53PM (#24189973) Homepage

      Much more importantly, you're guilty of copyright infringement simply by using the product that you paid to use. Quite the precedent. It's all this nonsense about per-device licensing, except in some sort of insane micromanagement level (which I suppose is to be expected from a company that's developed as many RTS games as Blizzard). This could very well outdo the RIAA in their quest to banish everyone from listening to music while simultaneously charging everyone for every song a dozen times.

      This kind of bullshit really makes me want to avoid D3 (as if not losing four years of my life wasn't reason enough).

      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by schon (31600) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:33PM (#24190855)

        you're guilty of copyright infringement simply by using the product that you paid to use. Quite the precedent.

        It's also completely and utterly wrong, according to copyright law.

        US Title 17, section 117 [copyright.gov] explicitly states that copying a program into RAM so you can use it is not an infringement.

        it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided:
        (1) that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner

        The judge quite clearly erred in application of this statute. IIRC the law was amended specifically because of courts ruling that copying to RAM was infringement (which the judge apparently didn't understand.)

        This is pretty much a slam-dunk appeal.

        • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:58PM (#24191081) Homepage Journal

          Did you even read your own quote?

          and that it is used in no other manner

          That's the crux of it, right there.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @12:58AM (#24192283)

            that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner

            The plain meaning of this text is that you're allowed to copy it into RAM if that copying act is an essential step in the "utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine", with the exception that this rule does NOT give you permission to copy it if you are also using the copy for something other than "utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine".

            Now playing World of Warcraft, with or without Glider, and with or without obeying the terms of Blizzard's EULA/ToS, is still "utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine". People running Glider are not doing some magical-fairy-dust thing to their WoW program; they are simply running it on their computer like everyone else. Which requires copying it to RAM, which according to the text of 117(a) is not an infringing act.

            For example, if you decided to print out a hex dump of the whole program on paper, that would be something other than "utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine", and that action would not be protected by 117(a)(1).

            This decision is wrong because the judge interpreted 117(a) incorrectly (as did the Ninth circuit court that he's following). As a result, a software developer who sells a product which happens to help people play World of Warcraft, is now guilty of *infringing Blizzard's copyright on the software program World of Warcraft* even though he didn't copy World of Warcraft himself, and didn't induce any other parties to copy it either. Simply because Blizzard includes a unilateral contract in the box with the software they sell, this other guy (who they haven't sold it to) is now guilty of copyright infringement. Wonderful.

            It's a very dangerous precedent, and hopefully those decisions will both be overturned before they cause too much trouble.

          • Ouch. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Xest (935314) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:23AM (#24192955)

            There goes the legality of most current Virus Scanners in the US then.

      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Informative)

        by mopomi (696055) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:35PM (#24191799)
        If the court had found that, you might be right.

        However, a reading of what the court actually found is much less worrisome.

        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 Blizzardâ(TM)s copyright. MDY does not dispute that the other requirements for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement are met, nor has MDY established a misuse defense. The Court accordingly will grant summary judgment in favor of Blizzard with respect to liability on the contributory and vicarious copyright infringement claims in Counts II and III.

        Basically, because the users of Glider are violating the terms of the contract with Blizzard, their copying of the software (to RAM or not to RAM) is not covered under US Title 17, Section 117 (regardless of what the sibling post states).

      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Thaelon (250687) on Monday July 14, 2008 @11:51PM (#24191909)

        Unfucking believable.

        Seriously.

        I can't believe you just said that.

        There's no way in hell that that could possibly be even remotely true.

        No one on slashdot lost only four years to Diablo.

    • Blizzards own Warden program sits inspecting other files and processes on your system to ensure they're not cheating tools, this is easily and equally demonstrable as against the EULA/ToS of the other applications it scans.

      In winning this case, Blizzard have quite arguably declared their own Warden anti-cheating application illegal.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rogerborg (306625)
        And if it's not against the EULA of MMOGlider to be loaded by Warden, you can bet it will be by tomorrow.
  • While I can certainly understand blizzard's desire to control the bots, I really wish they hadn't won this case on copyright law. I'm afraid of the consequences if the RIAA get's their hands on this decision and can use it as a precedent.
    • by KookyMan (850095) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:05PM (#24189529)

      Wow.

      I guess now the *AA can now start telling us what hardware we're allowed to play movies/music on, and simply loading it into RAM on a non-approved device constitutes copyright infringement, as a copy is being made in a way not granted under the license.

      Lets here it for vinyl. Nothing is ever removed, just vibrations sent down the needle to the speaker. (Talking about the old phonographs.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by torkus (1133985)

        And that's why I don't understand how bliz won this case. You get fair use over you music and, despite their best efforts, the MAFIAA hasn't been able to stop you from ripping CDs to your computer and MP3 player.

        How is it that software can be treated so differently? I don't buy into the click-thru EULA's as 1) there's no proof that the individual in question was the one to accept it and 2) existing laws supercede an arguably invalid contract.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:45PM (#24189905)

          Then talk to MDY's counsel.

          To me, this is the smoking gun.

          If A grants a software license to B on the express
          condition that the license will remain in effect only so long as B makes monthly payments
          to A, and B then stops making payments to A, any subsequent copying of the software to
          RAM by B would constitute copyright infringement â" a conclusion with which MDYâ(TM)s
          counsel agreed during oral argument.

          Here, MDY's counsel is agreeing that "Copying to RAM" is copying, an act that it reserved and controlled by the copyright holder. They agree that if you are no longer in compliance with whatever license you agreed to in order to access the content, then you are no longer entitled to the content -- since the license controls that access on behalf of the copyright holder.

          Regardless of how you may feel, this is what MDY's counsel agreed to. He basically said "Yes, this it true".

          The case then proceeded to prove that Glider is, in fact, a breach of the license.

          The judge made no law here, nothing new here. It's all been done before in other cases. He's simply applying it.

        • My theory (Score:3, Insightful)

          by markov_chain (202465)

          They ran into a judge who happened to be a casual WoW player.

      • You're screwed even with vinyl records. An unauthorized copy is stored in your brain, from which it may be illegally distributed by such devious pirating methods as humming and whistling!

    • by HybridJeff (717521) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:10PM (#24189583) Homepage
      If anyone is interested, you can find a copy of the actual decision via the glider forums ---> link (27 page PDF) [mmoglider.com].
      • by Lane.exe (672783) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:41PM (#24189885) Homepage
        OK, let me break this down for everyone (I am a law student).

        What the decision is saying is that, under 9th Circuit law, it is "copying" to move a program from storage to RAM. So, any time you load a game, you are copying it. If you do this in violation of the EULA and TOU, which in this case prohibit you from loading the game in to RAM at the same time as running the Glider software, you are not authorized to copy the game. This is a copyright infringement. The reason Blizzard chose this method was to have some cause of action directly against MDY, because otherwise it would be a breach of contract suit against the users (who are judgment-proof) for breach of contract damages alone, which are so small as to be non-existent.

        The decision is relevant in the 9th Cir. only, but the reasoning appears substantially correct. The rule that copying in to RAM is copying under the terms of the Copyright Act is not unique to this case: it is in fact cited under previous authority. This case rather simply applies this standard and says that it is a violation of the EULA to use a bot like Glider, and that copying in violation of the EULA/TOU is sufficient to constitute a copyright infringement.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:57PM (#24190019)

          That sounds like some serious restraint of trade.

          "You can't load up (product) if your computer's memory contains a copy of (insert competing product here)."

          I mean, what's next? Making cars require keys with the car company's logo to start so they can enforce "you're not going to transport Toyota parts with our Dodge truck"?

          Thank God I don't live in the US of Insanity.

        • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday July 14, 2008 @08:10PM (#24190155)
          Glider doesn't make the copy. If the user loads the game first, then loads Glider, then the copy was authorized to make at the time it was made.
    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@gm a i l . c om> on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:10PM (#24189589)
      I like Blizzard's games, I hate Blizzard's legal decisions. Everytime I hear their name in regards to a legal dispute, they have the most assine way of looking at the matter and win decisions that completely screw over the rest of us regardless of whether the company had a good leg to stand on or not.
    • by sowth (748135) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:24PM (#24189747) Journal

      The RIAA? What about software companies? Ever hear of the BSA? If any of them can selectively prosecute anyone who runs their programs even if it was legally paid for, then we are all in trouble.

      Though, I finally got through to the site, and it may not be quite as bad. It looks as though the court found you have to obey the EULA. I'm not sure I like that either. After all, you often don't get to see the EULA until after you buy the software and open the box. Even more so, because the stores claim some "copyright law" requires it, they won't take back opened software. Certainly sounds like they are making people sign a blank contract to me...

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:05PM (#24189525) Journal

    if a game is loaded into RAM, that can be considered an unauthorized copy of the game and as such a breach of copyright

    Since the game must be loaded into RAM in order to play, how is it determined that this particular copy is unauthorized?

    selling Glider was interfering with Blizzard's contractual relationship with its customers.

    This one I could buy, but honestly, isn't that between the customers and Blizzard?

    Ah, well. Expect a "Generic MMO Glider" in the near future, that will in theory work with any MMO, but just so happens to be perfectly matched to WoW. Just like the "Generic MMO Servers", which, when given a particular (contraband!) MySQL dump, and a few files off the install disks, just so happen to make an excellent WoW server.

    • by galimore (461274) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:54PM (#24189991)

      For point #2... In a way, Blizzard is defending their customers whom are negatively affected by Glider. "Your rights end where mine begin." So I am torn here, because I agree with many of you that this may set a bad precedent, but nothing irks me more than a 13 year old LOLn00b script kiddie running mods cheating in games. ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:08PM (#24189561)

    New business plan:

    1. Write a game that loads itself into RAM.
    2. Give it away for free.
    3. Sue everybody who plays it for copyright infringement.
    4. Profit!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlexMax2742 (602517)

      That's not quite how the ruling worked. Making a copy of something to RAM in and of itself is not considered copyright infringement. Doing so without agreeing to the terms of the End User License Agreement is.

      In order for your plan to work, you would have to create an EULA that stated that making any sort of copy of the program is illegal, including copies in RAM. However, since by default YOUR program is the one doing the copying, even something like that wouldn't work. You have to rely on users making

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:09PM (#24189571) Homepage

    Performance of WoW is gonna suck now that everyone has to disable their cache before starting the game.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:12PM (#24189629) Journal

    I was under the impression that loading a program into RAM in order to execute it was fair use, or otherwise a legal copy (since the program needs to be loaded into RAM to run).

    Is the argument that the loading into RAM is not playing the game, and thus not authorized, when it's a bot, not a human, that's "playing the game"?

    I get the impression that this case is sufficiently at odds with other decisions that there is plenty of ground for appeal.

  • Pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:16PM (#24189655)

    selling Glider was interfering with Blizzard's contractual relationship with its customers.

    That's actually a reasonable position. I am not sure if it is a correct one, but it is reasonable. WoW is a subscription game with a contract and 3rd parties who interfere with that service could be sued with that position. I am not sure what damages are really done to Blizzard however. Regardless of said interference, what damages occur to Blizzard if any or to the consumer? I dunno.

    that if a game is loaded into RAM, that can be considered an unauthorized copy of the game and as such a breach of copyright

    Now here is where it gets ridiculous. Ludicrous. They have gone PLAID . Technically if I took my music CD, put it into a player and "copied" the information off it into "memory" I have infringed upon somebody's copyrights? Has the player, and indirectly, the manufacturer infringed upon somebody's copyrights?

    To anybody that has even the most basic understanding of how technology works, that sounds downright RETARDED.

    We desperately need some judges in this country that have an understanding of technology to prevent software companies like Blizzard from abusing their "intelligence". This is no different than fooling Corky out of his candy bar. Blizzard should be ashamed of themselves for espousing a position they clearly know is wrong. They are software developers for CHRIST'S SAKE!

    You cannot possibly enjoy a peice of software WITHOUT loading it into memory in the first place. That is an intrinsic property of running code or "software".

    Is playing some sheet music, that was legally purchased, copyright infringment by the mere act of strumming the guitar?

    The whole argument is just plain lunacy. The WoW subscribers paid for the software, they pay for their subscription. They pay for Glider (or it's free, I dunno) as well. The developer of Glider is not performing copyright infringment. That is just ridiculous.

    There is no legal, ethical, moral, or intelligent argument against somebody loading up multiple copies of the game inside their computer's memory.

    Pathetic.

  • Say what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:17PM (#24189671) Journal
    "if a game is loaded into RAM, that can be considered an unauthorized copy of the game and as such a breach of copyright"

    This assertion, if true, means that every single user of the software commits copyright infringement, as it _MUST_ be loaded into ram to simply execute normally.

  • EULA Repurcussions? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:19PM (#24189689) Homepage

    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. MDY does not dispute that the other requirements for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement are met, nor has MDY established a misuse defense. The Court accordingly will grant summary judgment in favor of Blizzard with respect to liability on the contributory and vicarious copyright infringement claims in Counts II and III.

    I think this means that TOUs/TOSs/EULAs now have the full force of copyright law, if a copyrightable portion of the media reaches your computer.

    The section 117 defense is this:

    that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner

    If you're violating the EULA, it is "used in an other manner".

    You know that tiny little link, "terms of use", at the bottom of every web page you visit? Better read that 20 page document behind that link, or you could be infringing copyright without even knowing it.

    • by shystershep (643874) * <bdshepherd@g m a il.com> on Monday July 14, 2008 @08:03PM (#24190085) Homepage Journal

      You're misapprehending what the EULA is: by definition, it is a license to use the software (EULA = End User License Agreement). If you conform with the EULA, the 'copying into RAM' is allowed because you are doing it with permission. If you violate the EULA, the copying is not allowed and is therefore a violation of copyright.

      I can't think of a very good analogy off the top of my head, but it's something like hiring someone to build a fence on your property. As long as they come on your property to build the fence, they're not trespassing. If they invite all their friends over and throw a wild kegger, they've exceeded the limited license you granted them and are now trespassing.

      Not saying I agree with the court's decision -- in fact, I think allowing software companies to claim that you only purchase a 'license' as opposed to the software itself is a crock of shit -- but it does make sense if you look at it in the proper context.

  • by Dash Hash (955484) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:22PM (#24189721)

    A long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, another major gaming corporation lost a lawsuit against a not-so-similar game "enhancing" device.

    Nintendo was attempting to stop the creators of Game Genie from releasing their product via a lawsuit, but the creators of Game Genie were found to be within their rights to permit such altered play.

    I fully realize that Nintendo/Game Genie are a very different beast compared to World of Warcraft/Bots, but at the same time, they are still relatively similar.

    I don't have much else to say on this subject, even though I feel bots in online games cross the line, but it does make me wonder if any other gaming companies will attempt to revisit the old issue with cheat devises (such as Game Shark).

    Anyway, here's a link to a bit more info about the Nintendo vs. Game Genie bit. Sorry it's from Wikipedia, but it is a semi-decent summary (emphasis on summary) that is readily accessible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Galoob_Toys%2C_Inc._v._Nintendo_of_America%2C_Inc [wikipedia.org].

  • by zonky (1153039) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:24PM (#24189735)
    who was being sued in not that dis-similar situation by a well known RTS series publisher. One of the things we were being accused of was direct copyright infringement. Apparently, we had a copy of a file named EXACTLY THE SAME as they had on their CD. Setup.exe Never underestimate the stupidity of the courts/lawyers in technical matters.
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:24PM (#24189745)
    If the copy of a Game in RAM where it needs to be (at least in part) is somehow an illegal copy, then isn't the copy on hard disk also? Perhaps even opening the box will soon become illegal, as it could be taken as a sign of criminal intent.

    I guess Blizzard is feeling real good about themselves for winning this suit. And I feel strongly that there should be a consumer backlash about the way that they did it.

    • by m.ducharme (1082683) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:42PM (#24189887)

      What makes the copy illegal is not that it was put in ram, but the way it was put there.

      Click on the WoW executable, windows sticks a copy in RAM; that's a legal copy, per the license agreement.

      Click on the Glider executable, glider calls the WoW executable, that's an unlicensed copy of WoW and hence is infringing.

      The specific copy of WoW in your RAM is illegal not because it's a copy, but because of how it got there.

  • This is bad news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@SLA ... com minus distro> on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:39PM (#24189857) Homepage Journal

    because if someone writes a plug-in to help gamers, they will use this case to sue them as well.

    This case shows that no consumer can own a copy of a video game, the game development company still owns the copy but only gives the consumer the right to use it in a native copy of Windows, and not modify it in any way. I guess it also means you cannot sell it used, nor can you run it inside of WINE, or a virtual machine or emulator either. You can only run it in a native copy of Windows, anything else is considered modifying it and violating the EULA and could get you sued.

  • Lawsuit not over yet (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:59PM (#24190045)

    The headline here is misleading. Blizzard has won summary judgment on a portion of their lawsuit during pre-trial motions, and MDY won summary judgment on a couple of the counts of Blizzard's suit against them (though Blizzard's victories here are hugely more devastating to MDY than the parts that MDY has prevailed on). The trial on the rest of the suit is still pending, and only after that comes the calculation and awarding of damages.

  • by Torodung (31985) on Monday July 14, 2008 @08:31PM (#24190341) Journal

    The key word here is an "unauthorized" copy, not any copy in RAM.

    The judgment says that a copy to RAM is "unauthorized" when it is loaded alongside other code that creates an experience outside the scope of the World of Warcraft license (EULA and TOU). You're creating an unlicensed derivative work when you use such code. If you're running bots, turning WoW into nothing more than a fancy screensaver that farms resources, you're outside the scope of the TOU. Period.

    This is breach of license, folks. It's explicitly forbidden in the TOU and EULA.

    The court has simply ruled that if you are running a bot program, the limited license granted to the user by Blizzard forbids you to load or keep the program in RAM.

    This is not the same as forbidding any copyrighted work to be loaded into RAM for licensed uses. You already have purchased a license to play your music, so if you load it into RAM to do so, you're legal. All the common legal precedents and arguments in favor of transferring it to a different device to listen to it also apply. You are allowed to listen to your music.

    This ruling regarding "copy to RAM" is very narrow in scope, and was made in order to determine that WoWGlider itself is illegal to sell because it has no purpose other than to abet license violation, i.e.: It's only useful purpose is to violate the TOU, and there is no way to keep it from violating the TOU when used.

    Therefore, it had to be established that loading the program with the express intent to violate the TOU or license agreement is an infringement.

    I think it is, and I think it even makes sense. If you're violating your agreement, you're violating your agreement. No one should be able to sell a program whose sole purpose is breach of contract, or infringement!

    So no one's going to be sued for loading WoW into RAM for any licensed purpose, but it's a necessary step towards the determination that the bot software cannot be sold.

    The guy deserved what he got. He'll be lucky if damages aren't awarded, but at the very least the injunction against the sale of the program seems completely grounded in common sense and law.

    There's really nothing to see here. Just people who read "copy into RAM violates copyright" and either a) misunderstood, or b) have an agenda against copyright law in general, and are being sensational and more than a bit dishonest.

    --
    Toro

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gnuASM (825066)

      You already have purchased a license to play your music,

      What kind of crap nonsense are you talking about? I have NEVER "purchased a license" to play my music. I PURCHASED the media that the music was stored on and I have every right to listen to it any damned way I feel, even through my computer, which incidentally places it into RAM to play. I do not ask for nor do I require someone's permission to ever play what I bought for my own personal pleasure.

      Copyright has NOTHING to do with restriction of USE...EVER! Copyright deals with restriction of DISTRIBUTI

    • by Jaime2 (824950) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:34PM (#24190865)
      It is perfectly reasonable that the TOS has been violated by doing this. That would be a contract violation that would entitle Blizzard to actual damages, but no statutory damages. But as far as I know, a TOS has never been able to narrow down the types of derivitive works you can create under copyright law. This ruling seems to imply that as long as my next CD comes with a statement saying that I cannot copy the music to my iPod, I lose all of my fair use rights.

      By transforming a contract violation into a copyright violation, this ruling crosses the line and will have serious unintended consequences. What's next, a EULA that grants the software company my indentured servitude?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kjots (64798) *

        What's next, a EULA that grants the software company my indentured servitude?

        You do understand that you don't have to agree to an EULA, don't you?

        Too many people these days have an unwarranted sense of entitlement. It really is very simple: If you wrote the software, you can do whatever you want with it. If you didn't write the software, you have to abide by the wishes of the person who did. If you don't want to, don't use the software. Period.

        Oh, and in case you think that you are forced to agree to a license by reading it, or opening a box, or downloading a link, you're not.

  • essentially, good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:43AM (#24193057) Homepage Journal

    I have karma to burn, so here's for a counterpoint:

    I like it that they fight bots. As a player, bots make the game less enjoyable for me. While I think games should be built without grinding, bots provide other players with an unfair advantage, in a competitive sense. I've seen many games in which bots have destroyed the in-game economy. Where, for example, you can forget about crafting the way it was intended, because only the top 1% of craftable items sell at all, since there are so many on the market that nobody would buy anything less.

    You could argue that if everyone would use bots, the playing field would be level as well. Yes, it would. It would also remove the main reason for actually playing the game, when most of it is automated. You see, maybe I would like to enjoy being just a mid-level crafter and still be able to sell my stuff? Lots of us who have jobs and wives and a real life don't have any ambitions of slugging it out with the 16-hours-a-day gamers in the top-tier PvP areas. We're quite happy with the game below level 50 (or whatever the max is), as weird as that concept might appear to some hardcore gamers who apparently consider the first 49 levels to be some kind of tutorial and a challenge to get through as quickly as possible.

    But being able to enjoy gameplay at level 10 means that the stuff you can make there has to have value - for you or for others. That works when the level 20 people have better things to do with their time, and would, for example, pay the level 10s for harvesting, farming or crafting the low-level ressources they need for their level 20 stuff. If bots allow them to automatically harvest during their off time, the interplay between various levels vanishes.

  • The point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandersen (462034) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @04:05AM (#24193163)

    I would have thought the point of playing a game is to play the game - in person. I haven't followed this is any detail, but to me it seems that somebody has developed a tool to circumvent the "play" part of the game; if you are playing alone on a computer at home or somewhere, one could say that this is no problem, as the only one that is cheated at the end of the day is yourself. But when you are many players together, having a few players that cheat and thereby dominate the entire thing, ruining the game for everybody else - that is an entirely different matter. For one thing, everybody else will feel they have wasted their money and the company that expected to earn money on hosting the game will lose business on it.

    This, as far as I can see, is the essence of the matter - whether or not laws and contracts reflect this, I don't know, but it is why we are not allowed to cheat in any game. In a way this is also a very good illustration of the collision between "freedom" and "fairness" - I mean why should we not be allowed to cheat? Why is doping illegal in all competition sports? Why can I not, if I play chess, just ram my queen right through five rows of the opponent's defence and knock the king down? Not being allowed these things, having to follow rules, is a limitation of my freedom. In this case the freedom of one company to make money out of helping people cheat in WoW is being limited - and as far as I can see this is entirely appropriate.

    Now, I'm sitting here with a strange feeling, writing this - I mean why on Earth should it be necessary to even put these things into words? But on the other hand, from the comments I see people making, and from the fact that there is even a market for a way to cheat in something as inconsequential as WoW, it seems that this is far from clear to a lot of people. And we wonder why society seems to be falling apart.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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