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Court Upholds Blizzard's Anti-Bot DMCA Claim, Denies Copyright Infringement

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the should-have-farmed-more-rep-with-the-judges dept.

The Courts 143

An anonymous reader writes "The Ninth Circuit reversed a $6.5 million judgment for Blizzard against MDY Industries, saying that making bots is not copyright infringement. The bad news for MDY? The court found that they did violate DMCA Section 1201(a)(2) (PDF), which prohibits trafficking in products that circumvent technologies designed to control access to copyright-protected works."

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Crack down on spam already. (4, Interesting)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659938)

Now if blizzard would only take care of its battle net servers. I swear the damn bots are everywhere in D2 bnet, every single realm.
You can't have a non password protected public game without them constantly entering and advertising websites to buy items. (which should also be illegal)
To say nothing of the bots that autorun the game and hunt for items killing the damn economy fffffffff....

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

TC10284 (1964874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660018)

Yeah, you are damn right about that. I play D2 daily. Every game you create you get tons of spam. Sometimes you can't even see the game. But you get the most if your game name has "hell", "rush", "help", etc. The only bots I like are the Chaos and Baal run bots. You can get really good drops following those guys. Some bots don't even pick them up. I'm about to hop on.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660436)

Illegal? That's a bit extreme. Are we going to have internet police to enforce it? There are rather simple ways Blizzard could stop spammers but they've chosen not to. If you want the spammers to go away, vote with your wallet. If you see spammers in a game, it's most likely because it's more profitable for the developer to let them stay. A good example was EQ2 back in the day... the spammers would buy a box for $30 and get banned within a few hours. 1 box per server x 20 (or so) servers x $30 x 3-4 days a week = a lot of reason not to do anything that would really stop the spamming all together.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660528)

Calm down. I know several people say "illegal" instead of "Violation of the Terms of Use and/or the End User License Agreement."

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660740)

Calm down. I know several people say "illegal" instead of "Violation of the Terms of Use and/or the End User License Agreement."

That is not reason to calm down, it's about the most frightening piece of news I've heard all day.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660834)

Why? That fits the definition of illegal perfectly.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (3, Funny)

Lakitu (136170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661256)

If that frightens you, you should log off the internets before you see how people online use the word rape.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661058)

Calm down. I know several people say "illegal" instead of "Violation of the Terms of Use and/or the End User License Agreement."

Pirates hope to establish their morale superiority, to push their agenda, by splitting hairs of laymen terminology (stealing, thieves, pirates, giving it to "the man") while censoring anything which is contrary - like hundreds of years of information which invalidate their position.

The only thing I've learned from reading pro-pirates on slashdot is they are hypocritical, socialists who believe they should have the right to consume anything they want for free while still receiving their own paycheck. And anyone who says otherwise must be censored.

Its ironic that those who supposedly cry for "intellectual freedom" seem to be the first to fall over themselves to censor anyone and everyone else who disagree with their illogical and hypocritical version of the "truth." Look how many posts are completely outraged that criminals are stopped by the law - and the portion of the law which makes absolute sense. And with absolutely certainty, you can rest assured they would be one's crying the loudest if it were them who suffered at the hands of pirates.

I guess when you don't have a legitimate position in the first place, its best to distract by hand waving, censorship, and hair splitting.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660802)

A good example was EQ2 back in the day... the spammers would buy a box for $30 and get banned within a few hours. 1 box per server x 20 (or so) servers x $30 x 3-4 days a week = a lot of reason not to do anything that would really stop the spamming all together.

Actually, the gold farmers frequently buy subscriptions using the credit card info they get from their customers. When the cardholder gets their bill, they complain, and the credit card company does a chargeback, which not only takes away the subscription fee from the MMO company, but also charges them a chargeback fee, and could even cause other fees to be higher if their chargeback rate exceeds a certain threshold.

Meanwhile, when spamming, they typically use these accounts when they believe a chargeback is imminent (since the account will be closed anyway), or they use accounts for which they've gotten the login info through phishing or keyloggers.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660858)

Actually no, if the spammers ever did that, they'd lose customers. It would be insanely stupid of them. This was just a rummor drummed up by people that were trying to get the people that buy gold to stop. The fact of the matter is, the gold vendors that exist today have been around for almost a decade in most cases. They live and die off their reputation. The truth is, if they misused their customers credit card info even just a few times Visa and MasterCard would drop their contract and cut them off in a matter of minutes. On top of that, most people that buy and sell gold are very paranoid about the whole deal and usually use a service like paypal.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661084)

IGE may rely on its reputation, but it isn't the only game in town. There are so many different spammers/sellers out there, and all they have to do is register a new domain name if the old one loses its pizzazz. Same thing with the company names and the contracts with CC companies. Plus, they don't have to use the CC info right away - they can wait several months and use it then, when the chances of people making a connection are reduced.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661166)

Exactly. I just went ahead and checked a couple of the ones being spammed in WoW's trade chat. They all offer Paypal. Now, I know we all hate Paypal here, but I can't imagine there's any safer way to do it in this case.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660478)

I feel like I'm taking the wrong side of the arguement - I mean I am generally okay with Blizzards business model though I haven't played any of their games in a while. Wavering back and forth on whether D3 will be worth the DRM, SC2 in my humble opinion wasn't worth the hassle. So any negative feelings towards Blizzard aren't based on any moral grounds or principles or anything like that, I am fine with them having their tight restrictive measures - it helps them crack down on things like bots, and if they want to do that all the more power to them.

But I'm a little wary of claiming bot software is a DMCA violation. That is stretching it a little bit - because the DMCA is mainly meant for Copyright infringement, and also those who wish to get around DRM.

The bot doesn't go against any laws besides those set forth by the Terms and Conditions you agree to when playing WoW. And it shouldn't be against the law, I am REALLY afraid of this being the first step towards bringing the lawyers and judicial system into the gaming realm where publishers will no doubt use it to strong-arm their ideas of whats best. Suppose Some 14 year old hacks in TF2 - Valve catches them, wants to make an example, sues them for damaging the content of other people's games, goes for some ridiculous statuatory amount in the multiple thousands, and /. covers the story!

I dunno, it just doesn't seem like a good road to go down. Blizzard should be entirely responsible for keeping their house in order - if they can't do it, that should reflect on their product, or they should alter their product to handle it. Don't go to the police.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660550)

Believe me, they've tried suing them for violating their contract. The spambots won that one. Using the DMCA is their last resort. And also, Blizzard dumps millions into preventing these guys. They don't need their money (despite what an above poster said). As soon as Blizzard patches an exploit or blocks a bad IP address, a new one pops up. As far as your slippery slope argument, that's silly. If anything it will show people that the DMCA is broken and new, more accurate laws are necessary to define (and limit) the government's role in the internet.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660656)

I'd like to see a reciept that says that millions are actually being dumped into preventing these guys.

It would not be as difficult as they claim. If someone gets found using Glide, delete their account, ban their credit card from subscribing, don't let them use that email address to register for a new account.

Make it entirely unprofitable to run an operation like this and you'll cut out a lot of riff-raff. Thing is they are afraid to get a false positive and the bad rap that comes with it. I should be allowed to download and run any software I want on my computer. I should be allowed to develop any software I want. If they want bots to be illegal, they should lobby to make it a law, not tack it onto the DMCA.

Going after the developers of Glide is like going after the owners of BitTorrent, not the actual people distributing content.

I just don't like it. It's abusing the system to meet their goals. No matter moral or just the goal is, the end does not justify the means. They shouldn't be using DMCA to achieve this.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660726)

You forgot rocket propelled grenades - the only message a real spammer understands.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660848)

I should be allowed to download and run any software I want on my computer. I should be allowed to develop any software I want.

Sure, go for it. Just don't log into the WoW servers while you're doing it.

Personally, I'm not too keen on using the DMCA to this end, either. I always thought that tortious contract interference (which was a different count in the suit, and on which MDY has also been found liable) was the way to go, but there may be some legal niceties associated with that concept that I'm not familiar with.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661480)

Just a correction on what I said above - there was a summary judgment in the district court against MDY on the tortious contract interference count, but it was vacated and remanded by the appellate court for further consideration because there was an issue of material fact still to be decided.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660664)

and also those who wish to get around DRM.

Sadly, sometimes these people are just angry customers. They're the ones being hurt.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660742)

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a lot they can do about it, otherwise they probably would. Even when the game was new this was a big problem and they couldn't stop in when they probably had a larger support team looking at the game. The BNet system probably wasn't built to handle problems like that and Blizzard may not have anticipated that such a problem would exist.

They're running the D2 server software on pretty ancient hardware (at least by today's standards) so it's not as though they can easily upgrade it to code in new fixes. This much they mentioned when they released the latest content patch for the game and explained why certain changes couldn't be made.

The bots don't really destroy the economy, they just add more crap to it, which drives the price of almost everything downwards. That actually benefits the average person as they've better access to better weapons. Perhaps you consider that ruined, but from the average person's perspective, it's not exactly a bad thing. Also, since D2 has random stats on almost everything, the values of items can vary widely from essentially worthless to decently valuable. It seems to me that as of recently, most people were using bots to get to the top of the ladder.

Re:Crack down on spam already. (1)

klingens (147173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661002)

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a lot they can do about it, otherwise they probably would.

This is wrong. Any experienced D2 player can tell you inside of 2 minutes if a Char running around is bot or not. Identifying Spambots is obviously even easier.

Even when the game was new this was a big problem and they couldn't stop in when they probably had a larger support team looking at the game. The BNet system probably wasn't built to handle problems like that and Blizzard may not have anticipated that such a problem would exist.

The main boast Blizzard made about Battle.net and D2 "closed" online play was: it's hackproof! This came after the tons of trivial cheats happening with D1 played online. So they failed in the number one design goal of Online Play for D2.

They're running the D2 server software on pretty ancient hardware (at least by today's standards) so it's not as though they can easily upgrade it to code in new fixes. This much they mentioned when they released the latest content patch for the game and explained why certain changes couldn't be made.

No hardware needed. 2-3 students per realm and there'd be a LOT less bots, of the spam or the itemfind/level variety, out there. But that'd have consequences: the D2 economy "crashes". Without MF bots to find stuff, people can't have their teleport armors in a day of playing anymore, which would take out the "fun" for many, and make the player base shrink. After all, if you need 2-3 months of hours of daily play for this armor, it's a lot less common.

The bots don't really destroy the economy, they just add more crap to it, which drives the price of almost everything downwards. That actually benefits the average person as they've better access to better weapons. Perhaps you consider that ruined, but from the average person's perspective, it's not exactly a bad thing. Also, since D2 has random stats on almost everything, the values of items can vary widely from essentially worthless to decently valuable. It seems to me that as of recently, most people were using bots to get to the top of the ladder.

DMCA is useful? (1, Insightful)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34659964)

As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

This is what it was made for. The original spirit of the act.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660046)

What's the difference between a bot or paying a Chinese farm for doing it manually with near slave labor?

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

mweather (1089505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660068)

Nothing. Both are DMCA violations.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660708)

I don't see how a Chinese farm (e.g. real person doing the work) is a violation. It would be a violation of ToC, but not DMCA.

Re:DMCA is useful? (4, Insightful)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660070)

> As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

The article seems to imply a dangerous precedent:

"Thus, even though – as discussed above – the court ruled that Glider did not facilitate copyright infringement, MDY could still be liable under the DMCA for circumventing Warden's detection features."

So the DMCA can apparently be used to attack reverse engineering that was not necessarily used to facilitate copyright infringment.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660118)

> As much as it hurts me to say it, it seems that the DMCA is useful in this case.

What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

It was useful in this case because it gets rid of bots. I'm looking at the destination, not the journey. :)

Re:DMCA is useful? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660196)

I'm looking at the destination, not the journey. :)

AKA "The Ends Justifies the Means."

Meanwhile this particular end has nothing to do with what the DMCA "was made for" or "the original spirit of the act."

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660492)

>>Meanwhile this particular end has nothing to do with what the DMCA "was made for" or "the original spirit of the act."

Man... who could have thought the government actually would have run down that slippery slope when it came to its citizens' rights?

Re:DMCA is useful? (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660204)

getting rid of bots fails to answer as to what has gone on to encourage bots in the first place.

if you think getting rid of bots is good, you are missing both the destination and the journey.

the underlying question should be: how has this game become so repetitive that people can automate it in the first place?

oh right, blizzard, grind, etc.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660324)

why are you still playing the game if it's boring?

Re:DMCA is useful? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660366)

the underlying question should be: how has this game become so repetitive that people can automate it in the first place?

I'm not trying to defend Blizzard, I've never found any of their games attractive, but tell me this.. what games can you think of that it wouldn't be easy to make a bot for? I can't really think of any.

Getting a computer to play a game is easy. It's trying to get it to play a game while appearing human that is a challenge.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660386)

> what games can you think of that it wouldn't be easy to make a bot for?

Go. Or any game like it with enough complexity than humans can do it, but computers can't.

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660680)

Computers can play Go. A normal desktop computer of course would suck against a decent human player because of lack of resources, but it would still be able to actually play the game. Then again, a normal desktop computer back in the 80s probably sucked at Chess against decent players too.

By the way, supercomputers are starting to do pretty well [wikipedia.org] at Go. It's not that the game is difficult for computers to understand, it's just that it has a massive search space, so it's difficult for the computer to know which moves are most advantageous in the long run.

Or any game like it with enough complexity than humans can do it, but computers can't

Okay, so what are they? I was thinking more of video games than board games btw.

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

psycho12345 (1134609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661282)

Any sufficiently advanced RTS, like Starcraft?

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661390)

Not horribly difficult to bot, just pointless. Without something carrying over to the next game the bot is just a computer opponent.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660410)

Given that bots are made for the purposes of holding a conversation, is it such a surprise to you that one can automate activity in a game?

Especially given that the bots do not perform the high-end content of the game, just the routine. That's like saying you can get a robot to repeat the stops on a train route.

Big deal.

How divergent do you want the game to be?

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660480)

Given that bots are made for the purposes of holding a conversation, is it such a surprise to you that one can automate activity in a game?

We were discussing you, not me.

Especially given that the bots do not perform the high-end content of the game, just the routine. That's like saying you can get a robot to repeat the stops on a train route.

Oh... can get a robot to repeat the stops on a train route?

Big deal.

OK... "Especially given that the bots do not perform the high-end content of the game, just the routine. That's like saying you can get a robot to repeat the stops on a train route". Tell me more.

How divergent do you want the game to be?

We were discussing you, not me.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661286)

I think D.U.D.E could do better.

Re:DMCA is useful? (3, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660278)

What leads you to that conclusion? There is nothing useful about the DMCA.

Favorite $MEGACORP wins case. Must be justified. Case closed.

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660670)

The article seems to imply a dangerous precedent:

"Thus, even though - as discussed above - the court ruled that Glider did not facilitate copyright infringement, MDY could still be liable under the DMCA for circumventing Warden's detection features."

So the DMCA can apparently be used to attack reverse engineering that was not necessarily used to facilitate copyright infringment.

"Not necessarily used"?

Here, let me simplify this for you: the lawsuit is over a third-party program that knowingly and intentionally bypasses the security protection scheme in a network client. Hell, I'm fairly sure any other program that does something like this would be considered malware!

Honestly, I don't know why Blizzard didn't just sue Glider over intent to induce contract violations (whatever the legal term is for that).

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661268)

the lawsuit is over a third-party program that knowingly and intentionally bypasses the security protection scheme in a network client. Hell, I'm fairly sure any other program that does something like this would be considered malware!

But software designed and intended to serve the interests of the user, can't ever possibly be malware. Oh wait, I see what you did there.. very clever. You used the word "security" without saying whose goals you were talking about. Security is subjective, and when people have conflicting interests (as is usually the case whenever proprietary software is involved) then once party's security is another party's insecurity.

Honestly, I don't know why Blizzard didn't just sue Glider over intent to induce contract violations (whatever the legal term is for that).

They did (that's the tortuous interference part of the case) but decided to use everything they thought might stick.

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661288)

Honestly, I don't know why Blizzard didn't just sue Glider over intent to induce contract violations (whatever the legal term is for that).

I believe it's called Tortious Interference [wikipedia.org]

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661750)

Malware does stuff the user doesn't want. The users of Glide want it to do what it does.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662008)

Of course, other customers of Blizzard don't want the users of Glide doing what they do.

Go figure

The Golden Fence (5, Insightful)

Mateorabi (108522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661080)

Exactly. This was one of the most compelling complaints against DMCA when Congress passed it:

In the name of copyright protection it allows the content creators to build a fence. This 'golden' fence gets a special status under the law and is protected by the DMCA and people who breach it are considered law breakers. But the gross injustice is that along with legitimate copyrightable works, the content creators can put whatever else they want behind the fence. Want to deny a fair use? Integrate such use tightly with the enforced-by-law copyright protection mechanism. Activities that others would legitimately be able to do with the content that aren't infringing become untouchable, because to do so they must cross that golden fence.

In my opinion, if content creators overreach and try to prevent fair-use activities by fencing things off within their copyright protection/access control mechanisms (such as this case) then the access control technology should lose its special status as legally protected under 1201(a)(2).

You are a content provider who wants the protection of the law/legal-threat for your access mechanism? Don't want 'violators' to get a free pass? Tough. Only protect things that you had the right to protect in the first place.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34662070)

There's nothing useful about you, either, but we still deal with you...

Re:DMCA is useful? (3, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660188)

do you even have a remote clue what you're talking about?

they're saying that wowglider broke encryption via running a scripting bot that has nothing to do with it.

This is blizzard's "we're protecting our business model via lawsuit" argument.

so it's a bad precedent, which a lot of people lose on from this.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660582)

the new TOS is tighter than anything ive ever seen (Updated during SC2 release and cataclysm)
we the community have been bitching at them for a long ass time to start dealing with all the cheats.

they take sc2 and wow pretty serious, d2 is history. d3 however is worth money and reputation.
the community will mostly support any attacks by blizzard on cheaters. especially if its legally
straightforward. (the new TOS reserves no end of rights, presumes no end of powers, and restricts
counter claims for damages)

GJ blizzard.

Re:DMCA is useful? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660842)

Um, it's a bad precedent that companies protect the integrity of their interests through the use of a court of law???

Since when did people lose from that? Would you rather they be restricted to sheer voluntary consent, or to the use of coercive force that is not regulated by the court system?

Exactly what do you want Blizzard to do instead?

Or do you want the customers of Blizzard to suffer from the actions of a few? Are we to have no say in what we want???

Re:DMCA is useful? (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660344)

Um, go on. What was the original spirit of the act?

The cynical view was that it was intended to prevent anything that anyone doesn't like. In that respect, you're right.

The naive/front purpose of the act was that it was intended to prevent copyright infringement, by making prohibiting some of the prerequisites to copyright infringement (as well as prohibiting the prerequisites to many fair uses as well, but you can't make an omelet without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others). In that respect, this application of DMCA has nothing to do with its original purpose.

Re:DMCA is useful? (0, Flamebait)

Kinthelt (96845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660536)

Blizzards owns the content to WoW, and the players are licensees (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since they pay a subscription). The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls. The content of WoW is copyright. WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content. MDY circumvented Warden.

Open and shut case.

Re:DMCA is useful? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660950)

Blizzards owns the content to WoW, and the players are licensees (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since they pay a subscription).

And?

The content inside WoW can only be accessed via a client which Blizzard controls.

I understood glider uses the proper client.

The content of WoW is copyright.

This was NOT copyright infringement.

WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content.

MDY circumvented Warden.

Bypassing a game bot is also not a crime despite it's intimidating name.

Open and shut case.

Good thing you're not a lawyer.

Re:DMCA is useful? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661000)

WoW put safeguards up (via Warden) to prevent unauthorized access to this content.

But that's the point. Maybe we disagree what the purpose of the act was?

Preventing "access" for reasons completely unrelated to trying to prevent copyright infringement, was one of the radical new things DMCA did which wasn't part of the naive/surface interpretation that I stated. DMCA was described to laymen as giving copyright holders new ways, useful in the "digital age," to fight or prevent infringement, rather than giving them completely new types of powers (and conversely, creating totally new prohibitions for the public which aren't related to fighting copyright infringement).

Of course, one of the core things about this decision, is that it rejects the need for there being anything related to copyright infringement, for a DMCA violation to apply. This court would have ruled opposite to how the garage door opener case's court would have ruled, whereas that court probably would have only said a DMCA violation happened, only if the bot was did things like help people capture the "dynamical nonliteral elements" of the game so that people could sell WoW experience movies (presumably with the "literal" elements removed, since good old' fashioned copyright would already prohibit that).

They're taking the position (and they explain it) that DMCA really was intended to be as evil as it reads, isn't necessarily intended to merely make copyright infringement harder at the expense of fair use, and therefore should be applied more aggressively. I'm not saying that's a wrong decision, but it does go against what is often billed as the original purpose of DMCA, and therefore gives the people another good reason to repeal it. They're upholding the "access" prohibitions of DMCA, saying that nobody gives a fuck whether or not anyone's copyright is being violated or anyone is losing money or incentive to create works is effected -- nobody gives a fuck about the purpose and spirit of copyright; Congress prohibited access and tools that help you access, and if you don't like it: tough shit, write your Congressman.

And we should.

the players are licensees (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since they pay a subscription)

I think that would be a huge surprise to most people, and that most of them think they're paying a subscription for a service, rather than a "dynamic nonliteral element" playback license.

I would have gone with "interfering with computer" (3, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660006)

As Blizzard I would have gone with a case about improper access and interfering with the operation of computer system. The game clients are authorized to access and interact with the servers, the bots are an unauthorized access mechanism to the game servers. Simple plain and shut and clearly puts the bot runners in with the people that do destructive access to systems.

-- and not enough characters to put "with a computer" in the title :(

Re:I would have gone with "interfering with comput (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660022)

That's, uhh, what the summary said.

Re:I would have gone with "interfering with comput (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660232)

The game clients are authorized to access and interact with the servers, the bots are an unauthorized access mechanism to the game servers.

Except glider doesn't access the game servers.
They access the game client - which then accesses the game servers.
Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client.

Re:I would have gone with "interfering with comput (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660304)

"Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client."

The same could be said of using ssh to connect to a server, it is no different in nature or content from what a human could send.
Yet if you used the ssh connection and a client side script to cause the server to send lots of spam that would be improper use of the connection.

It is not the connection nor the data stream, it is the entire interlocked system that is meant to be used for a specific purpose and in a specific way. The data stream between client and server is to be driven by a human in at the client controls. Fudging with the client end generates out of specification traffic for the system and represents a violation of the terms of access given to the account holder. The account access is authorized to only operate the client with human hands. The account access is not authorized to stick glider in control.

Also when we are given accounts on systems we are not authorized to "do anything" we are authorized to only do specific things. There are many things we could do which would mess up the system. These things are considered sabotage of the system.

sudo rm -rf /

#!/bin/sh
# This script is called "die"
die &
die &
die &
die &

Re:I would have gone with "interfering with comput (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660538)

"Glider itself doesn't send or receive any data across the network, only the client does and that traffic is no different in nature or content than what could be generated by a human accessing the game client."

The same could be said of using ssh to connect to a server, it is no different in nature or content from what a human could send.
Yet if you used the ssh connection and a client side script to cause the server to send lots of spam that would be improper use of the connection.

Wrong. A malicious script behind a ssh client is significantly different in nature and content. A regular human typing those same commands would be just as unauthorized as the script. But a human using the game client to generate the exact same commands as glider does would be considered authorized.

Re:I would have gone with "interfering with comput (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661780)

Except glider doesn't access the game servers.
They access the game client - which then accesses the game servers.

Ah, the overly-literal geek mind trying (and failing) to interpret the law again. "I didn't rob those people, I merely built the robot that robbed those people!" If the game client accesses the servers under the direction of glider, then glider is effectively accessing the servers--it's just doing it indirectly, like the guy with his robot.

The take of someone who is anti-IP law (2)

Zot Quixote (548930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660042)

I get that this may be further appealed again, but it does seem like the right decision. I might have ideological problems with bots like Glider, but secondary infringement? Really?

Then again, there is still part of the decision I'm not a fan of with the violation of:

The first provision, 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A), is a general
prohibition against “circumventing a technological measure
that effectively controls access to a work protected under [the
Copyright Act].”

Though the court is right, it was violated. Its just a bad law.

Perhaps it's only me.... (4, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660058)

I am not sure if it's because of the advent of modern media, with its up-to-the-second news cycles that maybe only makes this seem true, but it really seems to me that our government is becoming more and more openly aggressive in showing that corporations are in complete control of our system.
Some may think that this story is not related. It is. In a world where corporation control everything, laws like the DMCA are able to pass. I just can't imagine something like that happening 30 years ago, but perhaps it's just because they didnt have the tech which gave them the need.
More and more, it seems you own nothing you buy.
People complain sure, but no one does anything about. What can we do? Sure, I vote with my pocket book, since that's the only votes that actually matter anymore.
Many it's time to go all French on our government? Maybe it's time to say, fuck no, the RIAA does not control our lives. Fuck no, the MIAA does not control our legal system. Fuck no, the government does not get to say that we look at on the Internet.
Then again, perhaps not. Better just to wait until it's too late.
There is a famous saying in Russia; Until thunder strikes, a man won't cross himself. Nice to see we have something in common.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (-1, Troll)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660134)

but it really seems to me that our government is becoming more and more openly aggressive in showing that corporations are in complete control of our system.

There is absolutely nothing here which indicates what you're saying. That's just pro-piracy hyperbole. Like it or not, IP is a significant contributor to much of the world's economy. Protecting jobs and by extension the economy is actually an excellent idea. The benefactors of such efforts include both small and large companies - and even individual artists, musicians, programmers, and inventors.

What you're really saying is the government is more openly aggressive, in the face of efforts to undermine the world's economy, showing that individual artists, musicians, programmers, and inventors are receiving help from the government to protect their sources of income. And at the end of the day, that's one of the primary functions of government. So contrary to the pro-piracy propaganda which is all too often ignorantly spewed here on slashdot, its actually a very, very, very good thing - unless you have a socialist agenda.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (2)

theNAM666 (179776) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660314)

A "socialist agenda?" Oh Jesus Christ. Who let the birther idiot on SlashDot? Anyone got his home address?

IP law in general is fine. The chances that an "individual artist" in the United States could be protected by it, pretty laughable-- good luck getting an IP lawyer to talk to you if you weren't frat brothers or you're not paying him $350/hr.

IP law today has been manipulated by the major corps/RIAA/MPAA for their own ends, to the exclusion of other interests. If it is inherently "a compromise," as Samuelson puts it, then it is a compromise that has failed.

Of course, the thread-starter's whiny "we can't do anything" BS is more annoying than you birther freaks. Of course you can do something in a democracy; be politically active instead of having your head in the sand of your own self-interest. But that takes effort, and liberal kids want their cake handed to them on a silver platter.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660896)

Right, because voting for any of the political parties will yield results for the actual people. That's just bullshit.
The current system to too far gone. The only recourse it to gut it. To start over. It will require a fight though because our "leaders" will not give up control, we must take it from them.

So why dont you read my fucking post again. The whole point is that it is time for action, but you fuck all douche bags will do what you always do..nothing...oh I know...lets vote on it. Fuck off.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (5, Interesting)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660388)

Like it or not, IP is a significant contributor to much of the world's economy.

It may be a huge contributor to the world economy, but it's a huge drain on the domestic economy, if you can't stop other countries from becoming free riders on it. China has no reason to pay for American IP when they can just take it and not pay. We can't do the same to them, because they make actual physical products. If things continue as they are, the unidirectional money flow is going to destroy the US.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661052)

If things continue as they are, the unidirectional money flow is going to destroy the US.

No, it won't, not at all. The money from China's Hollywood consumption would be helpful but is not at all required, Hollywood is self sustainable simply within domestic consumption. China's consumption isn't even a factor in the production.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (5, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660438)

What you're really saying is the government is more openly aggressive, in the face of efforts to undermine the world's economy, showing that individual artists, musicians, programmers, and inventors are receiving help from the government to protect their sources of income.

Bullshit. So if I call up the FBI and inform them of copyright infringement of one of my works, they will help? Not likely, unless I also happen to be in the legal department of a Hollywood corporation.

IP law in the United States is written to benefit corporations, not the artists, musicians, programmers, and inventors. The man who "invented" Mickey Mouse is long dead at this point, but the Disney corporation is still profiting from the its perpetual copyright. Whom does IP law benefit? Not its creator.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661004)

The man who "invented" Mickey Mouse is long dead at this point, but the Disney corporation is still profiting from the its perpetual copyright. Whom does IP law benefit? Not its creator.

Do you have any idea how much it costs to maintain someone in cryogenic suspension?

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660450)

How the hell do bots have anything to do with IP or "undermining the world's economy"? Seriously.

Yes, bots suck, but it's Blizzard's problem to deal with. Just making it illegal is not going to stop cheaters. For one thing, the DMCA is US only.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660882)

The only thing I've learn from this post is that pirates are pro-socialists and love censorship! Their position is so weak they must censor rather than debate. That's pathetic and disgusting. And so goes the life of a pirate.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661262)

There is absolutely nothing here which indicates what you're saying. That's just pro-piracy hyperbole. Like it or not, IP is a significant contributor to much of the world's economy. Protecting jobs and by extension the economy is actually an excellent idea. The benefactors of such efforts include both small and large companies - and even individual artists, musicians, programmers, and inventors.

Hyperbole - the game anyone can play. You've had your turn, me next.

I agree. Since money is the only moral factor to consider here, I'm looking forward to when governments begin to protect the narcotics industry. Narcotics are a significant portion of many economies and is intertwined with much of the world's economy. Narcotics are a benefit to large and small crime syndicates and even benefits individual dealers and users.

Re:Perhaps it's only me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660662)

I honestly think going all French on a government wouldn't work here. These people will stop at nothing to protect their interests, and I think if people did take to the streets, they might start shooting. With that said, I think we SHOULD take to the streets. I don't think this is going to happen because life is still too comfortable for the average person, and there are still too many people ignorant of what's going on.

TFA is a copy of an article (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660150)

original article [entertainm...atters.com]

can circumvent technologies be used by virus? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660224)

can the circumvent technologies clam be used by virus? fake anti virus? spyware?

Re:can circumvent technologies be used by virus? (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660542)

My exact thought.

As per this logic antivirus preventing a virus accessing a command and control network is illegal provided that the network "owner" has correctly formulated its copyright clauses.

As per this logic virus, scareware, spyware, etc all can fall under DMCA besides the existing legislation on unauthorised access and hacking.

That is some real stretching of the law way beyond what it was originally intended for.

Re:can circumvent technologies be used by virus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661202)

I would LOVE to see a botnet creator try to use DMCA to defend their stuff.
They would be charged with criminal conspiracy, their assets siezed, and the state would give everyone a free license to violate their copyrights for the purpose of cleaning things up.

mod Down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660552)

Hmm... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660560)

What would happen if you had the bot software installed first and it had protections in it to stop warden from doing things to it... If you then installed the game, and Warden messed up your bot, wouldn't Blizzard now be guilty of the same thing they are accusing MDY of?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660814)

What kinds of protections? There's really not much that a bot can do to require the Warden to circumvent a countermeasure in order to detect its presence. Scanning memory for a certain memory string doesn't require circumvention, for instance.

Re:Hmm... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660876)

What kinds of protections? There's really not much that a bot can do to require the Warden to circumvent a countermeasure in order to detect its presence. Scanning memory for a certain memory string doesn't require circumvention, for instance.

It could have its data encrypted, or have another process that detects when some other program is probing its memory space. This should be enough to qualify as protection under the DMCA. Warden doesn't just detect the presence of the program, it actively tries to shut it down according to wikipedia.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661110)

It's not circumvention if you don't crack the encryption, and there has to be some portion of the process that is unencrypted in order to be executable in the first place. And who cares if there's a secondary process running to detect probing the first process's memory space - being detected isn't circumvention either.

Also, Wikipedia is scant on details on what "shut it down" means, but it sounds more like they're talking about shutting down chatbots and such. This could mean that it merely disconnects the user from the server, which wouldn't involve killing any processes, but even if it does, it's not circumvention because killing the process doesn't grant access to a protected work.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661522)

It is circumvention if one goes around the human interface hardware (ie: circumvents it)
I think you meant to say it's not cracking if you don't crack the encryption.
Killing protective processes is also circumvention and if said processes are being used to prevent/control access to protected work, it's circumvention. That's called bypassing a security measure (ie: circumventing it)
I don't have to crack an encrypted SSH daemon to crash it and do what I wanted to do through it with another process and yet I'd be circumventing the security measures by doing so.
I think you need to read this
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/circumvent

being detected isn't circumvention

That's correct though.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661442)

They aren't going after the users under the DMCA, they're going after the writers. Writing the bot in the first place required circumventing the DRM and reverse engineering the client. Blizzard would have to acquire a copy of the bot and reverse engineers it to improve Warden to be guilty of the same thing.

OH GOOD!!! (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660652)

This is great news.

1) The Copyright infringement thing made no sense. Loading software into memory is not a copy. Especially if you are the person who owns/licenses the software. If it was, every person on earth would be liable for 5 trillion counts of copyright infringement.
2) This is *exactly* what the DMCA was made to stop. So if we are to debate the merits or downsides of the DMCA, this is perfect case to make an example of it.

P.S. IF you don't like this ruling, don't blame the judge. He ruled according to the law. If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining that this is why this is a bad law.

Although frankly, I don't see why this isn't a simple contract dispute. The contract for WoW says "no bots" and this guy made a bot. I'm unclear why this is even a big legal issue. It should be a simple civil matter.

Re:OH GOOD!!! (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660782)

If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining that this is why this is a bad law.

Please do note, however, that this will only work if you have vast amounts of money, or if not listening to the people would have major consequences.

Re:OH GOOD!!! (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34660786)

Loading software into memory is not a copy.

Yes it is. A copy is defined as a material object in which a work is fixed such that it can be perceived directly or via a machine. If you have a program on a CD and write a duplicate to the hard drive, that's a new material object (the HD) in which the program is fixed, so it's a new copy. If you take that copy and write it into RAM, the RAM is a new object in which it's fixed. This has been (crappy) settled law for quite some time.

If you own a copy of the software, there's an exception in the law that permits you to load it into memory, modify it as necessary in order to get it to work, and make backups. It doesn't apply if you merely license software, however; then you're stuck with whatever the license allows or disallows, which is why EULAs are a pretty important thing.

If it was, every person on earth would be liable for 5 trillion counts of copyright infringement.

That sounds about right. Copyright law is completely awful, and heavily weighted in favor of the interests of publishers and copyright holders against the public.

Re:OH GOOD!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661034)

Exactly which copyright protection mechanism was bypassed? Good luck finding one.

Re:OH GOOD!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661064)

Loading software into memory is not a copy.

This is wrong on both legal and technical levels. On a technical level, you'd have to be insane to state that copying data from disk to memory is not, uh, copying data. On a legal level, this is also recognized and specifically accounted for in the law, as without copying data into RAM a program is completely useless, and so this form of copying must be treated differently.

Re:OH GOOD!!! (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661848)

If you don't like it, write your congressperson explaining ...

You know what's funny? Back in 2002 my dad received a legit e-mail from the office of our local congressman. It was thanking us for having sent them an email about passing some proposition or other, and stating that it had indeed been passed. His box's spyware used his Outlook Express for someone else's political agenda. We had no idea who his congressman was prior to this, and dad couldn't write an *English* e-mail, but that didn't stop his "support" from counting for a congressional decision.

It's scary that someone else with "super dirty" political plans can ballot stuff laws using unwilling but PUBLICLY accountable* e-supporters. Worse if start auto-posting links about your "support" in your facebook given further account spying. The law may never pass, but its "dirtiness" would forever leave marks that you don't want in your FB profile, even after deleted. That's one reason I don't set up anyone's cable/DSL POP3 and just train them on webmail.

* Imagine Anonymous using a campaign to create laws to support Assange, and how the FBI would be tracing and investigating all the unwilling email senders. Till specific scripts can be found, think of the discomfort the FBI could bring to someone like my father.

Androids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660760)

What if instead of hacking the WoW client, I build an android to play the game and sell it on the free market. If I could accomplish the same thing, would my WoW playing androids be violating any of WoW's IP/CR?

Re:Androids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661552)

If Warden gives the player a Turing Test and your android fails the test, then that test will become a technological measure that controls access to the copyrighted experience. If, after that, you then modify your android to pass the test, and (this is important) you market your patched android as being able to pass the new test, then you will have violated DMCA.

It will not violate copyright. It might violate the contract that you signed with Blizzard (you'll have to read it and check), although who will have violated the contract, isn't clear (you? or the android?).

entitlement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660822)

The real problem here is that Blizz is a corporation trying to deal with irrational customers. They try to be user friendly, but a certain segment of users aren't friendly. Those users feel they pay their $15 and are free to crap all over Blizz's servers and all of the other customers. "I have a right to my bot", "they owe me an API", "it's none of their business what code I run on my machine". I call BS. It is their BUSINESS when you screw with their customers and their servers. Personally, I'd love to see alot less QQ and a lot more account bans. Blizz doesn't owe anyone access to their servers beyond what they've paid for, and Blizz is free to stop accepting the money and kill the accounts.

They went the DCMA route to try to attack the problem builders rather than their own customers. Unfortunately for Blizz, those specific customers are the real problem.
Don't blame the gun manufacturers for the murderers.
Don't blame the beer companies for the drunks.
Don't blame the car manufacturers for the reckless and intoxicated drivers.
Don't blame the restuarants for the obesity.
It is the people choosing to abuse the tools and services, with no respect for the impact on others, that are at fault here.
They are the ones that should be held responsible. They are entitled to nothing.

Wait a minute.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660952)

According to the court, making bots is not a DMCA violation, so by that token the bots are NOT "designed to circumvent copyright protection". Yet on the other hand, trafficking in them is? Is it just me, or is the court not completely contradicting itself here?

This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, whatever you think about the DMCA.

Why is DMCA being used when contract law should be more than sufficient anyway? Boot the bot users, if they're so horrible. Even if you're going to be a dick about it, computer crime laws are way worse than enough. Why are courts enshrining the DMCA as the be all and end all? Whole thing reeks of covert agenda.

Car analogy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34660958)

So let's make a car analogy in hopes that someone making a decision about this will one day read it, also, while I have your attention, FUCK the 9th CC, more and more bullshit precedents come out of this court than any other I've ever seen.

So let's say car manufacturer A designs a car X. This car upholds all regulations set forth for road-worthy vehicles in the country. Now, they design the car so well that it's capable of far more than what the average person needs, so they minimize the interface with the person so that all they can do is some basic operations heavily limited by their interface and the onboard computers. For the sake of analogy, let's assume they also came up with this awesome new technology to use a separate motor to turn the wheels and that your steering wheel merely feeds rotational data into the car's onboard computer.

Now you and I get together and we want to make the car remote controlled. Why? Because a fully sized remote control car is fucking awesome, as MythBusters has amply demonstrated. Now we have 2 options, we can design a physical system that presses the gas pedals and turns the wheels (like MythBusters does) [aka, in this analogy, something like an Auto-IT bot that scrapes the screen and clicks on shit], or we can be a little more sophisticated and figure out the electrical connections from the steering wheel and using an Arduino or something, write a little program that can handle input from our controller and convert it into the proper signals (and because we're awesome, it'll also handle accel/decel in a similar way). So now we're interfacing with the electrical lines (read: path of execution in a process) to the car's onboard computer (read: WoW client). Our remote control car works and we're having tons of fun driving the car while being on top of it, etc. This is awesome, and we record lots of videos and upload them to YouTube to demonstrate our awesomeness. Because it's so awesome, we decide to start selling these kits to people so they can make their own epic-style RC cars.

Problem. Company A sees our video and is shocked. They specifically made a steering wheel and gas pedal for people to use them, not to go making epic things out of their invention! How DARE THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH WHAT THEY PURCHASED!!!!!!! So they file a lawsuit. In this lawsuit, they claim that our manipulation of their vehicle results in a new vehicle B which is in violation of some regulation against the manufacture of vehicles, because they did not file for some bullshit approval process the modifications made to the vehicle [this is basically the DMCA in our analogy, a big pile of stupid shit that only stands in the way of innovation, btw] that our invention violates several rules, and because we modified their car, they'd like punitive damages for the modified X vehicles because their amazingly superior X vehicles were meant to be used a certain way and because this is not in line with their vision, they feel they have incurred a monetary loss in some way (yes, let's just ignore the fact that people bout X's specifically so they could make RC cars -- thus increasing sales, they'll try to make this out to be an unprovable statistic while trying to prove their own statistics as to how their sales somehow magically decreased as of late). They argue that the public image of an RC car made from the X vehicle has damaged the reputation of the company and many people believe that A condones the manufacture of these devices and is supporting what people believe is dangerous and probably UNFAIR on the streets, and this is the reason they need lots and lots of money, in fact, everything + some that we made on our little invention.

The court then awards A the desired punitive damages and all the while we've violated no street laws (we didn't manufacture a vehicle) [or in terms of this article, we didn't violate the DMCA since we merely told the client what to do rather than actually bypassing the encryption and security and doing it ourselves -- ie, hacking the onboard computer]. Now we're fucked and we have a new precedent which further stifles EPIC innovation and all of you fuckers who want to feel a little safer can go on with your fewer freedoms and feel nice and cozy.

what about useing the DMCA to lock in oil change a (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661076)

what about useing the DMCA to lock in oil change at the dealer that is very over priced and sues jiffy lube under the DMCA.

What if Glider wasn't s/w on a PC, but instead.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661134)

... was a wetware mod running on a human host? A mod that puts the gamer into a coma-like trance, with the gamer's digits grinding away at the boring repetitive task, making the first few level of the game less tedious? Oh wait, that's just smokin' a d00b to the forehead....

Bad judgement -- From TFR (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34661252)

First, I'd like to say that not only is the DC9 a steaming pile of shit, but they also store their summaries in PDF format which makes them assholes too. And finally, slashdot developers can eat my shit for disallowing paste. That's just horrible, you cunts.

Let's quote from the summary:
The district court, however, ruled for Blizzard following the trial as to its 1201(a)(2) and (b)(1) claims with respect to WoW's dynamic non-literal elements, or the "real-time experience" of playing WoW. It reasoned that Warden effectively controlled access to these elements, which could not be accessed without connecting to Blizzard's servers. It also found that Glider allowed its users to circumvent Warden by avoiding or bypassing its detection features, and that MDY marketed Glider for use in circumventing Warden. We turn to whether Glider violates DMCA 1201(a)(2) and (b)(1) by allowing users to circumvent Warden to access WoW's various elements. MDY contends that Warden's scan.dll and resident components are separate, and only scan.dll should be considered as a potential access control measure under 1201(a)(2). However, in our view, and access control measure can both (1) attempt to block initial access and (2) revoke access if a secondary check determines that access was unauthorized. Our analysis considers Warden's scan.dll and resident components together because the two components have the same purpos: to prevent players using detectable bots from continuing to access WoW software.
So in summary of summary, they reasoned that access to the actual copyrighted content (the client and media distributed with it) were not seen as infringement, however because Glider is a bot that is undetected by Warden that it violates a DMCA -- Warden therefore is a DRM technology protecting the "copyrighted content" of the "online experience." That's right, the online experience is considered copyrighted (what next, are you going to copyright my thoughts you fucktards?). Further, this ruling is bad because it exposes an issue with the DMCA which I fully believe is unintended. People here say "this is what the DMCA is supposed to stop" -- no, you moron, it is not. Glider did not enable access to copyrighted content. You HAVE ACCESS already, you can log-in to the fucking game and play it. You do not need Glider to allow you to have access to the game. Nor does it remove a DRM so that you can pirate the game -- everyone using Glider had a legitimate copy because Glider interacts WITH A LEGITIMATE COPY OF THE GAME, it does not enable the use of it without a fully licensed copy. Let me quote from the DMCA the referenced portions:

(a)(2):
(2) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that --
(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological manner that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;
(B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title; or
(C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person's knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

(b)(1):
(1) No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that--
(A) is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof;
(B) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or portion thereof; or
(C) is marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person's knowledge for use in circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner under this title in a work or a portion thereof.


Now, they claim Glider violates these sections. I disagree because no evidence is given (in the summary nor in any case-related material I can find) that establishes that Glider violates any of these points. I do agree, however, that Glider's authors are guilty of claiming that their product bypasses Warden's scans (that is, they aren't detected by a very limited scanning technique). I do not, however, agree that this constitutes a violation of the DMCA nor that the choice to allow Warden to be considered a DRM measure. It is what we colloquially consider an "anticheat." It is designed to stop people from obtaining an unfair advantage through a TOS or EULA breach, it is not, however, designed to prevent access to copyrighted material (nor does Warden, it is intended to prevent you from accessing material when in breach of a EULA, it is a Digital Contract Management measure, not a Digital Rights Management measure). As such, the scope of its implementation is meant to stop all unwanted code injection or unintended execution flow in the game client's process(es). Therefore anyone who has ever made an AntiVirus or a Virus/Trojan which has run on a machine that has had WoW loaded is in violation of the DMCA for the same reasons Glider is. This is too broad an interpretation, maybe, but it fits the exact same technological description of the violation given to MDY.

Now, looking at each of these provisions, let's attempt to determine whether MDY violated them via Glider. For shits and giggles, we'll assume Warden is a valid DRM measure. We'll start in order with
(a)(2)(A) -- It is not primarily designed to circumvent Warden, it is primarily designed to provide an unfair advantage by letting you automate monotonous tasks within the game.
(a)(2)(B) -- Its commercial significance is solely the advantage given above, the fact that it is undetected by Warden only makes it likely to be used, this is not a motivating reason behind its use.
(a)(2)(C) -- It is not marketed to be used to circumvent Warden to access the so-called "copyrighted material." It is marketed to enhance your play, you still access the "copyrighted material" just as you would would have before without the enhancement.

Because (b)(1) enumerates the rights of the copyright owner rather than access, the above arguments hold to these points as well. Simply put, Glider enhances gameplay, it does not afford you access to a protected work nor does it invalidate the copyright held by the owner, it merely allows you to do actions which Blizzard wishes you would not do.

The precedents I do not want to come away from this are plain. I do not want anticheats to be considered DRM measures. They are not. And I do not want the advertisement of being "undetected" by an anticheat together with the sale of the product that is the subject of the advertisement to be considered a violation of the DMCA. I fully believe this poor interpretation and bad judgement is solely a result of a lack of knowledge on part of the judges and likely a very persuasive if misguided attack on MDY by Blizzard using jargon and techno-speak well above the judge's threshold for understanding as justification for their claims. Warden is simply not a DRM. And Glider simply does not, even in that interpretation, serve to bypass a DRM, it serves as a game enhancement. It is absolutely in violation of your EULA with Blizzard, but that's about all, really.

Re:Bad judgement -- From TFR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34661740)

You're caught up on whether or not Warden is DRM. That is copyright-centric thinking. Nobody gives a fuck about copyright; this case was never about Blizzard feeling threatened by pirates or anything like that.

Being an anti-cheat is what Warden is for, but being a technological measure that controls access is what Warden does.

MDY's error was to market Glider as being able to defeat Warden. What they should have done, is market it as having no effect on Warden. Then the whole question of whether or not it really circumvents the tech measure that controls access, could have been fought. Instead, MDY lost that point by default.

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