Judge's ruling that WoW bot violates DMCA is troubling

Ars Technica writes, "Glider, a popular WoW bot, took another hit on Wednesday as a federal judge ruled that the product went beyond copyright infringement to being a circumvention device under the DMCA. The decision raises serious questions about the legal status of interoperability and competition in the software industry.

Blizzard notched another victory in its legal campaign against World of Warcraft bots when a judge on Wednesday ruled that a leading bot violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. MDY Industries LLC, the firm that develops and sells the Glider bot, already suffered a major setback last summer when the judge granted Blizzard summary judgment on several key issues. This week's decision deals with the issues the judge believed could not be decided until the conclusion of this month's trial. The judge ruled that Glider violated the DMCA's ban on "circumvention devices," and he also found that MDY's founder, Michael Donnelly, was personally liable for the actions of his firm."

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phosphor1123573d ago

"I'm gonna post an article about not being able to use this bot anymore while others out there are actually trying to farm, spending real time and money. Lulz, they can't get any resources in this area because I'm farmzin it allz!!"

Seriously, go away. That kind of stuff has never been allowed.

Original Poster obviously cares about this kind of crap if he posted an article about it. This is seriously pathetic.

Voozi3573d ago

I don't even play & never even played WoW so your assumption just went out the window right there lol...

mpmaley3573d ago


How so? That botters can't exploit the game anymore and get an unfair advantage?

ChampIDC3573d ago

Yeah, it's not unsettling at all. It's a good thing, because bots help spur in-game money inflation, which can make things a major pain for the more casual players. Well, at least gold farming bots do.

Tony P3573d ago

I encourage everyone to read the whole thing, not just the blurb. It's far from whining and provides a lot of analytical detail on the case.

I don't like bots, sure. But this is Blizz saying that bots somehow violate copyright. Basically, they're trying to use the DMCA to control how a user should play their game. The fact that a judge could seemingly support that is very troubling indeed. You can't think of it as being just about bots because if Blizz walks away as victorious as it wants to be, the precedent set in this trial will affect a lot of your rights as an end user.

The article states this far more competently than I do. Again, I suggest you give it a read.

thats_just_prime3573d ago

I say this is not only a victor for Blizz but a great victor for all true gamers. These kind of programs ruin the game. Not only do programs like this give some people an unfair advantage but these bots use up resources so real gamers cant get them. To top that off they are largely used for ebay farmers. Wow be a far better game with out these kinds of people in it and so would every other MMO.

Tony P3573d ago

I appreciate that you at least took the time to post your disagree.

Although, you're not understanding. It's not a victory for gamers everywhere at all. This is a victory for anyone who needs their EULA enforced.

Can you not realise that this decision impacts more than bots?

I've already said, I don't like bots. If we can get rid of them that's fabulous. That's great. I am not defending the use of bots. They should all die. But this is NOT the way.

"Blizzard argued, and Judge Campbell agreed, that when users violated the World of Warcraft EULA, they no longer had a license to play the game and were therefore guilty of copyright infringement. As Siy noted in a blog post last year, Blizzard's theory, if taken literally, would mean that violating any of the rules in the EULA and Terms of Service, such as choosing a screen name that didn't meet Blizzard's guidelines, would be an act of copyright infringement."

This is the worrisome part, right here. That Blizz or anyone with the rightly worded EULA could call you a dirty little crook for violating it. And US courts could back that decision. They just did. Do you read your entire EULA? Do you know all the things that could violate it? Maybe you do, but the vast majority do not. So forgive me if I don't see how anyone with a brain considers this "a victory for all true gamers".

DMCA should not be used to enforce a EULA. This is like the Patriot Act of copyright law now. Players won't play by your rules? Charge them with copyright infringement. I realize this is very doom and gloom talk, but it's also a very real possibility.

Think about the bigger picture before you celebrate your small victory against bots. This could be the definition of a pyrrhic victory.

thats_just_prime3573d ago

"copyright infringement." comes from the guy alting the files that are on the install disc to create his bot program. So it has nothing to do with the EULA. Those files are copyright and anyone with a brain would know that hacking into them is illegal

ArmrdChaos3573d ago (Edited 3573d ago )

I love the fact they are shutting these a$$hats down...but...

One of the things to keep in mind is that a lot of the laws in the US are argued from pre-existing cases and their outcomes. While this particular case may seem straight forward to some there is some grey area tap dancing and twisting going on. The problem is that this case might be used as a base argument for the next case...and so on. This type of behavior could end up generating a chinese telephone type of result. Meaning...that in the end we could have some outrageously stupid laws being enforced simply because of a chain of precedence. This is of course an extreme view of the situation, but it's also not out of the realm of possibility.

Need to keep one eye open...I think that is pretty much what Tony was alluding to.