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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Diablo 3 - German vzbv Sends Blizzard Cease&Desist

Default Diablo 3 - German vzbv Sends Blizzard Cease&Desist

June 21st, 2012, 22:35
Apparently the official German consumer advice centre (vzbv) was not amused by the stuff Blizzard printed on the Diablo 3 box. Or rather by the things they allegedly forgot to mention.
The vzbv believes Blizzard breaks German law by either not mentioning the following points or not explaining them with sufficient clarity:
  • permanent internet connection required
  • Battle.net registration is not a one-time procedure to enter a key
  • D3 can only be used if the player creates a personalized account on Battle.net
So the vzbv sent Blizzard a cease & desist letter for infringement of competition laws. Blizzard has time until July 13th to sign the C&D or risk a trial in front of a German court.
Found at GamersGlobal.de, who also have additional infos in their column the games lawyer.
More information.
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June 21st, 2012, 22:35
Ouch. Does this stand a chance?
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June 21st, 2012, 22:41
It imho depends on how clearly the information was printed on the package.

I really don't know. To me, this case is unique, but it is alreadyknown that laws say that a permanent internet connection MUST be printed on the package, if it is required.. And, as far as i understood the text, the package didn't have the word "permanent" on it. Which is clearly against the laws.

About the other stuff : I really don't know.

Edit : Points 2 & 3 really mean, as far as I have understood it, that entering a key (a registration key, of course) would mean that this game can be played offline as well. But as everyone knows, this is not the case. The package seems to miss the important information that the game can ONLY be played with a personalized account (and German official Data Protectors are very twitchy about personalization and unnecessarily giving away personal data !) and not only by simply entering a reg key. And on top of all that, playing is only possible in online mode. Nothing offline anymore.

Abnd they argue that this important information isn't clearly enough on the package.

I suspect that someone had already sent a complaint about all of this to the vzbz, because usually they don't take that detailed looks at games. Although they sometimes indeed do.

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June 21st, 2012, 22:46
I expect Blizzard getting into all kinds of troubles for their handling of D3.
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June 21st, 2012, 22:48
Yes there is a thing called justice. There not the first company to lie on the box description.

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June 21st, 2012, 22:50
In an related article in the "the games lawyer" series, there is reported that Blizzard already won Germany's "Big Brother Award" for collecting too much personal data. http://www.gamersglobal.de/news/5231…-fuer-blizzard

The whole series can be found here : http://www.gamersglobal.de/exklusiv/games-anwalt

Edit : EA already accepted a similar (similar to the Blizzard case) cease & desist letter regarding Origin : http://www.gamersglobal.de/news/5347…serklaerung-ab

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June 21st, 2012, 22:59
I personally think it's hilarious. Perhaps the EU can start their recovery off the corpse of D3, muhahaha!!! Do not mess with zee Germans!


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June 22nd, 2012, 00:09
They also forgot the disclaimer that they're only leasing you the game until such time as running the servers is no longer profitable, or the company goes under.

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June 22nd, 2012, 03:13
Vee have vays of making yoo talk.

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June 22nd, 2012, 11:59
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
They also forgot the disclaimer that they're only leasing you the game until such time as running the servers is no longer profitable, or the company goes under.
Not quite. German law is a bit different than U.S. law.
As far as I have understood it - and I'm not a lawyer, mind you, German law says that a buyer actually owns the software package. Deconstruction, disassembling and reverse engineering is not allowed, but you really OWN the package. No leasing.

I don't know,however, what's REALLY standing on the package - simply because I was never interested in buying the game.

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June 22nd, 2012, 13:19
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Not quite. German law is a bit different than U.S. law.
As far as I have understood it - and I'm not a lawyer, mind you, German law says that a buyer actually owns the software package. Deconstruction, disassembling and reverse engineering is not allowed, but you really OWN the package. No leasing.
Add beer to this… I want to live in Germany!!!
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June 22nd, 2012, 14:03
I must admit I 'gleed' when I read this ;-) But I'm sure Blizz will find some way to weasel out of this.
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June 22nd, 2012, 15:53
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I personally think it's hilarious. Perhaps the EU can start their recovery off the corpse of D3, muhahaha!!! Do not mess with zee Germans!
Germany doesn't need any more recovery
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June 22nd, 2012, 16:15
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
But I'm sure Blizz will find some way to weasel out of this.
Maybe, maybe not… but more likely not. We have extremely strong pro-consumerist legislation/jurisdiction in Germany so it wouldn't surprise me if Blizzard would end up signing the C&D to avoid a court trial that they would most likely lose due to said pro-consumerist tendencies.
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June 22nd, 2012, 17:53
I too want to move to Germany. I'm a quarter German on my mother's side, love the food, love the bier, and love DSA. Now, I just need to convince the wife.
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June 22nd, 2012, 18:17
They'll sign it, no doubt. Those Blizzard weasels will not mess with zee Germans.



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June 22nd, 2012, 19:05
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Add beer to this… I want to live in Germany!!!
I'll drink to that. Good on them!

Just another example of how sloppy Blizzard has become…
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June 22nd, 2012, 22:15
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Not quite. German law is a bit different than U.S. law.
As far as I have understood it - and I'm not a lawyer, mind you, German law says that a buyer actually owns the software package. Deconstruction, disassembling and reverse engineering is not allowed, but you really OWN the package. No leasing.

I don't know,however, what's REALLY standing on the package - simply because I was never interested in buying the game.
Doesn't really matter. You may own the content in Germany but since the content won't work without the servers and since the servers are NOT located in Germany there is not much German law can do about it. This is the internet we're talking about and thus a lot of convoluted international trade laws applies where there are always loopholes where national laws can't touch you.

At best this will make Blizzard reconsider their approach to marketing/packaging (that would be great and a certain Win scenario for gamers around the globe) and at worsts Blizzard will stop selling games in Germany (Lose/Lose scenario for all parties … unless you're a Blizzard hater )

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June 22nd, 2012, 22:25
Blizzard stop selling games in Germany? Right… Not in this century.
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June 23rd, 2012, 21:33
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
and since the servers are NOT located in Germany
Official Data Protectors are concerned about this regarding to "Cloud" Services.
Stealing of data by the Secret Service of the country the servers stand in is feared.

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