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Posted: 12/15/2010 1:08:14 PM EDT

A Mixed Ninth Circuit Ruling in MDY v. Blizzard:  WoW Buyers Are Not Owners – But Glider Users Are Not Copyright Infringers

The Ninth Circuit today issued its decision
in the second of a trio of cases that raise the critical legal question
of whether "magic words" in a end-user license agreement (EULA) slapped
onto a consumer product can turn buyers (or gift recipients) into mere
licensees, rather than owners.  Following its previous ruling in the
first of these cases, Vernor v. Autodesk, the court today said yes — but there’s a twist.

The case (which we've covered previously)
pits Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, against MDY, the maker
of a program called Glider (what Blizzard calls a "bot") that lets you
play WoW on "auto-pilot" up to a certain level. Blizzard won in the
district court, successfully arguing that WoW purchasers do not "own"
their software, but merely "license" it. On this dystopian view,
Blizzard owns every WoW DVD ever shipped for all eternity and may be
able to use copyright law to punish WoW players who use the software in
any manner not authorized by the "license" (like using Glider). The
district court agreed, and MDY appealed.


In September, the Ninth Circuit held
that buyers of software (and possibly DVDs, CDs and other "licensed"
content) are not owners as long as the vendor saddles the transfer with
enough restrictions to transform what the buyer may think is sale into a
mere license. Today, in yet another blow to user rights, the Ninth
Circuit ruled that Blizzard’s license restrictions for WoW accomplish
the same purpose.  

However, the court also held that using Glider in WoW play in
violation of Blizzard’s terms did not amount to copyright infringement.
Blizzard had argued that MDY was secondarily liable for copyright
infringement because it provided software that allowed users to play in
unauthorized ways.  Not so, said the appellate court, because there was
no direct liability to begin with.  The license term that forbade WoW
players from using Glider was a covenant — a promise not to do something
— rather than a condition — limiting the scope of the copyright
license. And while violating "antibot" covenants might breach a
contract, it does not violate any copyright.  (By contrast, creating a
derivative work might.)


Dont forget you dont own the software you "buy"...
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:19:10 PM EDT
damn wow botters making things cheap in teh Auctionhouse! they all need to be banned!
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:28:16 PM EDT
I'm going to laugh my ass off if this causes their new player subscription rates to fall.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 1:31:17 PM EDT
I'm going to laugh my ass off if this causes their new player subscription rates to fall.

its already down from where its at.. and im pretty miffed at the exp as a whole right now..

do a quest then cut sceen
quest cut sceen

add nausiem

and the last area's seem rushed to production..
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 2:14:08 PM EDT
It's obvious that you didn't own the game to begin with since you must pay a monthly fee to play it.  I for one will never own a game (or game console) that expects me to pay a subscription fee to play online.  Hell, I felt bad about buying Starcraft 2 since it's made by a company that would charge a monthly fee to play a game (but caved since it was so damn awesome).  

While I understand that virtually all software comes with a EULA and I don't actually own any of it, I will only purchase games that only expect me to pay for them once.  Fuck WoW and fuck XBox Live!  Steam FTMFW!
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 3:54:42 PM EDT

If someone gets badly cut by one of their disks, are they liable?

They own it, correct?
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 3:56:37 PM EDT


damn wow botters making things cheap in teh Auctionhouse! they all need to be banned!

The opposite is true.

Link Posted: 12/15/2010 3:58:50 PM EDT
The ninth circuit doesn't know what the fuck it's talking about.
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 4:43:05 PM EDT
This is only going to get worse-legislators don't have a clue what the implications are of laws being passed that modify copyright and IP law in the digital age.

Look at the DMCA for a stunning example..
Link Posted: 12/15/2010 4:50:26 PM EDT

Insane copyright "laws" are a bigger threat to freedom than Islamo-fascism.

Link Posted: 12/15/2010 4:54:30 PM EDT


Insane copyright "laws" are a bigger threat to freedom than Islamo-fascism.

I have to admit... copyright laws are getting out of hand.

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