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-   -   Blizzard - Abusing Copyright Law (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4496)

woges May 12th, 2008 20:35

Blizzard - Abusing Copyright Law
 
Or so says The Inquirer.
Quote:

The World of Warcraft licence agreement explicitly forbids the use of programs like Glider. Blizzard claims that Donnelly's enabling users to breach its licence.
However, Blizzard is also claiming that, because its licence prohibits the use of programs like Glider, Glider users are also committing copyright infringement every time they load their copy of the WoW client software into RAM to play it.
If the court accepts Blizzard's position, Glider users could find themselves liable for statutory damages which might start at $750 for every time they use Glider.
Blizzard's argument would also give software vendors the right to prohibit the use of any and all third-party software that interoperates with their products.
But WoW players each own their copy of the client software, and Section 117 of the Copyright Act says they all have the right to copy it — that is, load it into RAM — if that's necessary to use the software, which it is.
Blizzard argues that its WoW players don't own their copies of the WoW client software, but merely licence them. But courts have held that whether or not a user is an owner under Section 117 depends on the substance of a transaction, not just how one party describes it.
If you buy a copy of piece of software, install and use it on your own computer, and don't have to return it to the vendor when you're finished with it, that likely means you own it.
More information.

Greymane May 12th, 2008 20:35

quoting:"If you buy a copy of piece of software, install and use it on your own computer, and don't have to return it to the vendor when you're finished with it, that likely means you own it."

No, it means you 'own' that license, you get exclusive use of it, as long as you abide by the terms of the license.

Just like a license to drive a car. It is your license, people can't take it from you and go driving around with it. But if you break the rules that apply to the 'licensed user', the law will definitely discontinue your usage of the license, even though it is still 'yours'.

Alrik Fassbauer May 12th, 2008 21:21

Here in Germany, the law really says that you "own" it.
At least as far as I know.
Which is not liked at all by some software companies.

woges May 12th, 2008 21:41

I think the analogy of a driving license and a game is a little weak being that a DL is a government issued permit not a traded item - but I know what you mean.

Turjan May 13th, 2008 01:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer (Post 79441)
Here in Germany, the law really says that you "own" it.
At least as far as I know.
Which is not liked at all by some software companies.

And saying yes to an EULA that claims otherwise doesn't change anything with that.

Alrik Fassbauer May 13th, 2008 01:18

The perfidity lies in the fact that software comanies do as if "their" laws would apply, thus trying to enforce laws that are in the EULA because they are originally U.S. laws, but are not applicable for example in any african country.

They usually do not adjust the EULAs to the countries' laws, but instead keep the formulations so as if the e.g. U.S. laws would apply …

The effect of this is that people get the feeling as if the U.S. law was valid even I their own countries !

This is incredibly subtle and not to nail down at all.

And the overall *effect* is that of a kind of sublte export of U.S. laws intoother countries - especially when the companies do so much lobbying that the politicians are subtly "pushed" into the belief that they should "invent" similar laws to those of the U.S. (in this example) !

According to an article I once read the resiult is in a few countries that the copyright laws modified there in recent tiomes are even more restrictive than in the U.S. ! Hooray to powerful lobbying !

This is so subtle that almost no-one ever notices this.

Corwin May 13th, 2008 02:35

I always wonder at accepting a EULA after I buy a game, rather than before. You either accept it, or try returning the game. You don't have any real choice. My take is if I purchase something in a store, then I OWN it. If I buy a board game, for example, it's mine, so why should a video game be any different!! I'm not sure what the 'legal' position is here compared to the US.

woges May 13th, 2008 12:53

The argument for the firms creating digital media is that it is now easier to copy and distribute their product so they want different rights to protect them.

Gorath May 13th, 2008 13:02

An important point, at least in Germany and maybe in other countries too, is the infos you get when the actual contract between customer (= you) and supplier (= retailer) is made. All you know is printed on the box. If the box does not talk about a "license" or a limitation of activations the publisher might get into trouble if he tries to enforce it.
Symantec for example explicitly sells a retail box with one 12 month license for Norton Internet Security. Valve on the other hand got into trouble because they forgot to mention that HL2 requires an internet connection. (->additional costs!)

Greymane May 13th, 2008 19:58

I for one, hope Blizzard wins this case and sues the crap out of the glider person and the glider users. Blizzard has created a game that depends on it's 'multiple' players having a fair and equitable environment for competition. It's that simple, anything that changes that, greatly harms their product and it's appeal. I'm no lawyer, but I know why Blizzard wants it to stop, and so does everyone else with half a brain. Ripping off game companies and taking advantage of them is not going to encourage new game companies, and we will all lose.

woges May 13th, 2008 20:03

Although it's perfectly ok for companies to bypass the first-sale doctrine? By calling a sale a license?

Alrik Fassbauer May 13th, 2008 22:31

Huge companies - Microsoft, for example, according to an article in the magazine called c't - don't want unused licenses to be sold. MIcrosoft in Germany tries to forbid this, and work against it - according to the article - but so far the law is against them: Unused licenses *can* be sold ! At least here.

Greymane May 13th, 2008 23:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by woges (Post 79559)
Although it's perfectly ok for companies to bypass the first-sale doctrine? By calling a sale a license?

I've written and re-written a response several times and erased it. I don't care to get into a debate, but I think this is a case of a 'law' being mis-applied to a technology that can't stand up to having it's online offerings being tampered with by selfish hackers or creators of 'cheats'.
It will not bode well for the online industry and we, you and me, will suffer from it. Only the guys like the glider creator will profit in the short term at all of our expense. And 'that' should be against the law.

Turjan May 14th, 2008 00:05

I think people are not concerned about that glider guy being sued. It's about the claim that this program breaks copyright. I don't think it does. They should try a different angle to get rid of this nuisance.

Alrik Fassbauer May 14th, 2008 01:02

I tend to agree with Turjan.

The problem is not the Glider itself - it's the approach, imho.


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