Skip to comments.Blizzard wins lawsuit on video game hacking
Posted on 09/02/2005 7:54:42 AM PDT by Panerai
A federal appeals court has ruled that computer programmers do not have the right to reverse-engineer Blizzard Entertainment's video games to improve their playability.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled Thursday that federal law--specifically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--disallows players from altering Blizzard games to link with servers other than the company's official Battle.net site.
Affected games published by Blizzard, a division of Vivendi Universal, include titles in its "Diablo," "Starcraft" and "Warcraft" lines.
In a 3-0 decision, the court upheld a trial judge's ruling from October, concluding the programmers' "circumvention in this case constitutes infringement."
The DMCA broadly restricts circumventing, or bypassing, antipiracy measures. Blizzard had included such measures to tie its games to the Battle.net site and detect pirated copies.
The defendants in the case, Ross Combs and Rob Crittenden, reverse-engineered the Blizzard protocol using tools like "tcpdump" to listen to the software's communications with a game server. Eventually, their "bnetd" project let Blizzard games connect with unofficial servers, yielding benefits like faster response times.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.com ...
With the DMCA present this ruling was assured.
This is BS. The DMCA, even as bad as it is, allows reverse engineering for purposes of interoperability. In this specific case, interoperability with other game servers.
Ever since it came out, the DMCA has been used as a cudgel for big business to restrict competition and fair use. Even though it hasn't been legally effective in every case, it can still be used as a deterrent -- not everybody has the money to defend themselves.
Great. Now throw the gold farmers off the servers, Blizz.
DMCA needs to be repealed. The courts are not capable of determining the particular cases where interoperability is justified.
For the Horde!
Somebody called for an exterminator?!
Good to go!
"The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled Thursday that federal law--specifically, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--disallows players from altering Blizzard games to link with servers other than the company's official Battle.net site."That's interoperability. Also,
The 8th Circuit also cited a contractual agreement that Combs and Crittenden OK'd when installing Blizzard software. That agreement prohibits reverse-engineering.That prohibition should not be enforceable since it conflicts with current law allowing reverse-engineering for interoperability or research purposes.
All Your Servers Are Belong To Us!
Seconded. Blizzard, you know who they are. We players keep telling you. Get them out of there.
No it doesn't. All contracts must be within the law. Of course depending on the decision of a court, in general you cannot sign away your rights under law (and that's for real signed contracts, not just shrink-wrap license quasi-contracts). For example, if your state has consumer protection laws, SAM's Club can't state as a condition of membership that you waive those rights.
OKay so ummm. . how many of you are WoW addicts!
Signed. . .
Chana, 00ber dr00d of Earthen Ring :)
*laughs* I played that too *thinks* I don't remember my server though. And DAoC (Albion Guin). . .
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.