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Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the zerging-with-lawyers dept.

The Courts 252

qubezz writes: "TorrentFreak reports that on Monday, Blizzard filed a lawsuit in US District court in California against the programmers behind the popular Starcraft II cheat 'ValiantChaos MapHack.' The complaint seeks relief from 'direct copyright infringement,' 'contributory copyright infringement,' 'vicarious copyright infringement,' 'trafficking in circumvention devices,' etc. The suit seeks the identity of the cheat's programmers, as it fishes for names of John Does 1-10, in addition to an injunction against the software (which remains on sale) and punitive damages. Blizzard claims losses from diminished user experiences, and also that 'when users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they directly infringe Blizzard's copyright in StarCraft II, including by creating unauthorized derivative works"."

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Blizzard Shizzard (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060769)

Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47060825)

they're just suing since despite tying their game to their servers they still haven't figured out the shit enough to not transmit troop positions or map pieces to the client the client shouldn't know about - and they pretend to be serious about competitive online play.

(how come the suit is not for people who actually cracked the copy protection??)

(in other news this would make "unauthorized mods" illegal)

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060903)

Blizzard half-asses nearly all of their products and "fixes" them 'on-the-fly'...

their suit is merely to try and eek money out of a crappy game... SC1 was awesome... 2... bleh
Warcraft was great until 3... and WoW is pretty much old fashioned now days...

What's next for Blizzard? Bankruptcy because of a lack of ingenuity?

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#47061129)

Yeah, the 10 million plus copies of the two SC2 games are probably really killing them financially...

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (3, Interesting)

Adriax (746043) | about 4 months ago | (#47061149)

Last I checked WoW had a system that effectively merged servers by adding automatic cross-server gameplay to low pop servers. So your character from low pop server #1 would actually be playing on low pop server #2 in some or all zones so you would have other people to play with.
They decided on this because the idea of them actually merging servers to reduce host footprint would spark a massive panic as The One True MMO all others aspire to replace would be in perceived death spiral.

Personally I expect there is a little more to the cross server feature than they're letting on, and eventually the part that differentiated players by their server ( in chat) will be set to fake that info and many servers will actually be fully merged at that point.
All it would take is an extra field in the server database to denote which fake server their character is a member of and adding a check to the "server first" achievements to respect those groups.
Not only would that let them avoid the whole "OMG WoW is dying!!!" panic from the fanboys while actually cutting underused hardware, but paid server moves become even more of a cash grab as in many cases it would be a quick field switch in a single server's database.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 4 months ago | (#47061169)

You forgot to mention the total crapfest that was Diablo 3...or so I've heard. One of very few AAA titles bad enough to manage to score only 2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

The game hearthstone is fun, but I've already had a few arena matches (which you have to spend either gold or money on) bug out to where I was forced to lose. I even took screenshots and everything to show that the game and/or their servers were clearly at fault, yet they won't bother to refund my attempt.

http://us.battle.net/hearthsto... [battle.net]

(I asked them about it and gave them more detail in a trouble ticket, and they told me that they have a strict policy of never issuing in-game credits for any kind of issue at all, even when it is THEIR fault.)

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (2)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about 4 months ago | (#47061331)

Diablo 3 is better now. Or so I've heard. I was gifted it and its expansion not long ago and it's just as fun as the first two but with better graphics and sound.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061595)

The game sucks so much they keep sending me offers to try and get me to play that piece of shit.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061733)

you're just a hipster. it was a great game from the start.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#47061493)

Stars on Amazon were less about the gameplay and more protest over always-online DRM.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061721)

Blizzard's games are still better than most other games out there. I don't know why you guys try to defend a bunch of shitbags programmers who decide to ruin to fun for thousands/millions of players and a company just because they can..

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 months ago | (#47060907)

Have they not figured it out, or is the solution too compute intensive on the server?

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061161)

Too expensive to transmit the entire state of the game at every time step. Here's an interesting MSc thesis on the exact problem where he tries to use movement prediction and compression in RTS network play:

https://skatgame.net/mburo/ps/thesis_orsten_2011.pdf

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47061925)

Too expensive to transmit the entire state of the game at every time step. Here's an interesting MSc thesis on the exact problem where he tries to use movement prediction and compression in RTS network play:

https://skatgame.net/mburo/ps/thesis_orsten_2011.pdf

You don't transmit the entire state of the game.
You transmit only the state of each entity that is newly visible, per client, and any visible actions taken on visible entities by other clients.

For each client x. do {
For each entity y, do {

set visible = VisibilityCheck(x,y)
if visible == 1 && y.lastVisible[x] == 0
    sendEntityToClient(y,x)
else if visible == 0 && y.lastVisible[x] == 1
    hideEntityFromClient(y,x)
y.lastVisible[x] = visible

}
}

Note that hiding an entity from the client just makes sure a properly-behaving client knows to make the unit disappear gracefully - a badly behaving client will simply receive no updates to it, and all actions will be thrown out by the servers, (targeting, etc.) during validation. So you don't need to spend any effort on it - just have the server keep track of the last visibility per entity per client and send a "hide entities {y1,y2,y3,y4}" message to each client, as appropriate. A misbehaving client that chooses to ignore that message gains no advantage.

Showing the entity involves sending its entire state - position, heading, action, health, whatever. But note that you only need to send the full state for entities that are NEWLY visible - the client can calculate the new state for all visible entities (that were also visible on the last frame) on its own. It just needs to know any visible actions taken on the target by another player.

The only "hard" part here is the VisibilityCheck function that determines if a given entity is visible to a given client. You just compute the vision map for a given client and then check each entity against it. The more entities and clients there are, the more work this is. But in a game like SC2 where you have unit caps, small maps, and a low game fps, it's not an issue. There's tons of optimization you can do like checking entities in an intelligent order, lowering the resolution of the fog of war vs the map's full resolution, gridding the map and skipping all entities in a given grid for a client if that client has no vision of that grid, etc.

Plenty of games handle it properly.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47061181)

They haven't figured it out. SC2 has a unit cap, so it never gets too hard to compute the vision circles for a given player.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061187)

It's about latency and responsiveness, and client side prediction, and the fact that both clients have to be in perfect sync. It has nothing to do with computational complexity. Consider the Terran ability to scan any part of the map to reveal units. That information has to be almost instantly available to the scanning player regardless of the number of units revealed. If the other player had their entire army in that location along with some buildings, it would take a long time to transmit all of that data to the other player. If you've watch professional SC1/SC2 players play, you'd realize that any responsiveness delay longer than something like 50ms would be considered glacially slow. Sending the position and full state of over 200 units and a dozen buildings would just not be possible in time.

Also, to minimize network latency and bandwidth usage, the game currently never sends a full state to either player. It always only sends state changes/updates. It was designed *specifically* to avoid having to do something like a full state dump that would be required if clients only had the information regarding revealed or visible units from the opponent. This also helps minimize or reduce desyncs because it's easier to do rollbacks.

They could design a totally different game from the ground up. One where it's assumed both sides have perfect information, like chess, or one where a reveal of hidden information would not be subject to lag or bandwidth (e.g. a game with very limited numbers of units, or a set of known possible unit configurations, again like chess with a fog of war added), but at that point you've designed a completely different game, and that game is not StarCraft.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061475)

There is an upper bound to the number of units that can be made visible in one go, and the (visible) state information per unit is only a couple of bytes. The only thing of concern is your ping. Pros will be on a LAN anyway and the rest of us don't even notice the ping. I have a pretty crappy internet connection and my ping to server is on the order of 5 to 10 ms. It is (theoretically) possible to redesign the SC2 protocol to hide invisible information from the players without affecting gameplay much, but Blizzard has chosen not to do this because that's *easier*. (That doesn't make the choice wrong by the way, but it is a choice.) That then implies that if you allow players who don't know each other and cannot necessarily trust other to play together, that you either have to accept that some cheating will happen, or that for the duration of the game, the players' computers aren't really their computers any more.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 4 months ago | (#47062009)

Each entity's state is only a few bytes. Coordinates, heading, type, owner, friend/foe/neutral, health, energy, effects, action, animation frame #, whatever.
Even if all clients happen to have all 3 races somehow, and they've all filled their unit cap with zerglings (2 for 1) and probes/scvs, are spamming shit like turrets and pylons and fucking overlords or infested terrans, you're going to have to try real fucking hard to break 1000 entities per client.
So even if 7 clients revealed themselves to client 8 at the same time, you're looking at 7000 * a few bytes of data. A few KB.

Go the extreme and call it 2048 entities * 8 players * 32 bytes per entity. 512 KB to each client. Assuming no compression. It's not a problem.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47061199)

they certainly have the money to run it on server(and still be on profit about the game).

it's just something that would need in the development phase a totally different attitude to creating the product instead of going about it like it was 1995. it would also save bandwidth for them to do it properly - and may I remind you this is the company that still pretends being tied to playing Diablo 3 only when connected to the servers is essential for making the "complex" gameplay _possible_ and was not done for the sole reason of fighting piracy(which it was, the game was intentionally made to depend on the servers just for sake of generating drops for the pay-real-money-to-feel-like-a-winner auction house).

I mean seriously, the game logic part of the game is not that complex. it's essentially the same game as warcraft 2 when it comes to troop amounts and how complex the troop rules are - it certainly would not have been too complex for their budget to include a mode where data irrelevant to the client would not have been transferred from the server to the client thus making it impossible to build a map cheat or traffic analyzers to show where the troops are for sake of cheating on online playing.

*(and who the fuck would pay for offline single player cheat?)

blizzard have always been fucks about this and you can go to slashdot archives going back way more than a decade to find shit about them suing people for making software other devs would praise for having been created...(bnet sue days. but those were also sued because they were already positioning battle.net as an antipiracy device to take away value from paid customers)

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061745)

most likely because of the trade-off, Path of Exile for example decided to go for many server checks to make sure no one is cheating, and the trade-off was getting many de-syncs while playing.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

alphatel (1450715) | about 4 months ago | (#47061001)

they're just suing since despite tying their game to their servers they still haven't figured out the shit enough to not transmit troop positions or map pieces to the client the client shouldn't know about - and they pretend to be serious about competitive online play.

You're right. I don't see what the problem is. However, because someone makes a profit off of the company's failure that's where the loophole is, as far as the civil courts are concerned. Alternatively, if you create a cheat based on data packets sent to the client, even in this piss-poor environment of protect-the-corporation-first, you'd still probably get away with it, although you'd likely spend a miserable few years back and forth in court.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061087)

Both clients need to know about things "they can't see" because it effects things like siege tanks and high ground vision which can hit enemy's despite the fact the enemy "can't" see them.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061107)

Modders are free to mod all they want. Blizzard is free to ban cheaters on their own servers. There is nothing "illegal" about modding software -- hope the judge doesn't set some new stupid precedent.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Lando (9348) | about 4 months ago | (#47061459)

What do you mean "new" precedent? This is standard operations mode for Blizzard, they sue period and they win because they have deep pockets. The cases don't settle until they have won.

I'm happy to say that I haven't bought a blizzard game or played any that I didn't own since the bnet incident.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#47061949)

If you made software that was advertised like "Use this application to remotely take down any Amazon EC2 instance", you may run into trouble from Amazon when people start using that tool to DOS their customers. All you need to do is show intent and damages, you're good to go. It's a civil issue, not a criminal one.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061141)

In RTS games, you unfortunately can't do this.

It would cost far too much bandwidth to transfer entire game states over the network (which could be filtered in the way you describe), so the way they do it is by transmitting player actions which are interpreted by each client separately (and synchronously). Unfortunately this means that map hacks will pretty much always be possible in RTS games due to the inability to transfer all the properties of possibly hundreds of units over the network at each time step.

Just inept program design by Blizzard (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061153)

This can be explained very simply even to people with no technical knowledge ... lawyers for example.

The memory in your computer belongs to you. If Blizzard's game writes troop positions into your computer's memory, reading those positions is your right as the owner of this equipment --- after all, it's a pattern of bits in memory owned by you. No company can disallow you access to the equipment that you own. They don't own it, you do.

Everything else in this case hinges on that fact. The Blizzard programmers created this problem themselves through incompetent design. Information which should not be known by a player should never be stored on the player's machine.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061581)

Blizzard has sued before and won in these cases.

You don't know what you are talking about.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061675)

AHEM. You're confusing the term "illegal" (which means "against the law" -- when something is illegal, you're subject to lawsuit from the government, you're presumed innocent until proven guilty, and you can receive jail time if convicted) with "subject to lawsuit from financially-affected parties."

Hint: Anyone can sue anyone for anything. A lawsuit is just a disagreement between individuals (or companies) that's arbitrated by a judge.

If you were to break something I own, I could sue you for what I think it was worth, even if you don't believe it was worth that much, and even if you didn't mean to do it. For a hypothetical example, suppose I have a collection of stamps that I think is worth $10 million, and you are somehow responsible for the destruction of my stamps. Now imagine two hypothetical sub-cases:

Hypothetical Sub-Case 1: they were just publishers clearinghouse stamps. In this hypothetical case, I sue you for $10 million because I think I might have won the sweepstakes with those stamps. Your lawyer would easily prove that the stamps were worthless, and I would end up owing you for court costs -AND- for your lawyer's fees.

Hypothetical Sub-Case #2: They were real vintage stamps worth $10 million, I had a buyer lined up and a transaction pending transfer for $10 million, and you destroyed them as I was transferring them. In this hypothetical case, you would clearly be responsible for the destruction of $10 million worth of my property, and I would have every right to sue you for it. Collecting from you might be another story; that's why people insure valueable things.

Yes, yes. I know we've just entered a gray area. What happens in the case where someone purposely breaks something worth more than then can repay? In such cases, the person may find himself behind bars, but it also depends on the jurisdiction and the intent of the person to cause damage.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#47061873)

There's some pretty cool theoretical math on making an RTS where data isn't shared until it needs to be, but no one has been able to properly implement it yet. The problem comes down to trusting the client.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060833)

Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

The maphack creators almost assuredly have to reverse engineer some SC2 code and implement it them selves. They are then selling it, they deserve to be sued by Blizzard.

Reverse engineering is legal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060975)

The maphack creators almost assuredly have to reverse engineer some SC2 code and implement it them selves. They are then selling it, they deserve to be sued by Blizzard.

You appear not to know that reverse engineering is legal.

As long as they're not selling Blizzard's own code, there is no copyright issue in writing something that interacts with that code using knowledge gained from reverse-engineering.

It's precisely to allow such interoperation that reverse engineering is a protected activity.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060861)

Yeah the freedom to fuck things up for everybody else is something that really needs protecting. I get freedom to make your own mods for private use on your own servers and things like that but when you just extend that freedom to everybody to do anything it inevitably results in some people screwing it up for everybody else.

In this case copyright law is just the vehicle used to stop some people ruining it for other people.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061011)

In this case copyright law is just the vehicle used to stop some people ruining it for other people.

Oh boo-fucking-hoo. The fact that I, for example, ran around in Doom with IDDQD enabled in no way detracts from your own experience with the game.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061085)

Yeah cos that's *totally* the same thing.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061131)

But in Starcraft 2 >multi-player it does detract from his experience

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061221)

It is if you're doing it on a multiplayer server with a competitive ladder that serves as one of the biggest selling points for a primarily online game. Blizzard doesn't give a shit about single player cheating. They built single player cheat codes into the game. This lawsuit is about people cheating in their online competitive ladder.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#47061239)

Legal issues aside (I'm not sure they have a leg to stand on, but it worked for them in the Glider case [joystiq.com] ) we're talking about a multiplayer game. Cheating in a match against other players most certainly has a detrimental effect on those others' experience.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47060913)

It's cheating, whether it's in the form of software, or a cash bribe to the refs. I think cheating is worth very little in terms of free speech value.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#47061223)

Regardless, it's still not any kind of copyright infringement.
Possibly some sort of infringement, if the data was reasonably encrypted, but even that seems far fetched.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47061363)

Promoting cheating is little different than promoting theft or fraud. Would we be arguing over copyrights regarding key loggers? Or some software to grab customer info via that SSL bug?

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061785)

who gives a flying shit what term they use to sue them, the guys ruin the fun of a great game for everyone, I would be glad if they get caught for it.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061883)

Last I checked, ruining someone's fun is perfectly legal.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47061677)

It's cheating, whether it's in the form of software, or a cash bribe to the refs. I think cheating is worth very little in terms of free speech value.

Lucky for us, you don't get to decide what is free speech. I hate cheating, and blizzard should definitely do something about it. But trying to control what other people do? No... this is a game. It's not worth harming my constitutional freedoms just so you can be less annoyed.

Blizzard should handle this in the code. It's not that hard. 10 years ago I remember hearing at a conference about on-line gaming "If their client has the data, they have the data. You cannot trust the client, ever." It's as true now as it was then.

Re: Blizzard Shizzard (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 4 months ago | (#47061983)

It's cheating,

Creating software is not cheating. Those who use software tools as means to gain unfair advantage are the ones engaged in cheating.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

mopower70 (250015) | about 4 months ago | (#47060933)

Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

I'd post that idiocy anonymously too. A) Freedom of speech is freedom from legal suppression. You do not have the right to say whatever you wish. B) Just like you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, you can't release code whose intent or effect is to infringe on someone else's rights. Under your perverse logic, anti-virus software would be "unconstitutional censorship."

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47061053)

Anti-virus software is technological, not legal, so it wouldn't be the result of his logic. You are arguing that DeCSS should be illegal, which is outright ridiculous.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061227)

. B) Just like you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, you can't release code whose intent or effect is to infringe on someone else's rights"

Yeah god forbid you create code which executes on your computer which modifies files or memory on your computer. If data is loaded into my ram it is mine to modify as i please as long as it doesn't cause damage to or allow unauthorised access to a server/network not owned by myself.

That being said charging real money for a cheat is a real dick move and i hope they do get pwned in court.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061253)

Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

I'd post that idiocy anonymously too. A) Freedom of speech is freedom from legal suppression. You do not have the right to say whatever you wish. B) Just like you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, you can't release code whose intent or effect is to infringe on someone else's rights. Under your perverse logic, anti-virus software would be "unconstitutional censorship."

You might want to start posting anonymously too given your pig ignorance of the law and jurisprudence regarding free speech.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/
http://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about 4 months ago | (#47060937)

Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

The First Amendment free speech protections don't cover copyright violation, and it's Blizzard's position that this software is a derivative work of their software, and therefore infringes on their copyright. Whether it is or not is up to the courts to decide, but this isn't a free speech issue.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 months ago | (#47061119)

Actually, First Amendment free speech protections do cover works that would be copyright violation outside of the First Amendment. Fair Use stems from the First Amendment, and the arguments here would be whether or not this is Fair Use.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060985)

Freedom of speech isn't the do whatever the fuck you want card. They created a product that is likely doing financial damage to Blizzard. Code isn't free speech just because you write it.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | about 4 months ago | (#47061731)

really, How likely?  How many people wait for the cheats before they purchase? vs. How many people can actually get a refund if they don't like it because of the cheating? vs. How many people don't buy a game because they heard there were cheats?
It is just as likely that Blizzard is reaping financial benefit and not sharing it with the creators (which is fine, they were never asked to)
Besides, the code itself does no harm - only when the users actually use it does it do anything at all.  Gunmakers don't go to jail or get sued when someone commits murder with one of their guns.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061945)

They created a product that is likely doing financial damage to Blizzard.

So is every other company that makes any other game.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061035)

"Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice" They're not being sued for creativity, sorry no.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 4 months ago | (#47061167)

I'm willing to wager the cheat ships with copyrighted blizzard binaries/code. No free speech issue there

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 4 months ago | (#47061229)

That's possible, and I wouldn't be surprised if some do, but it is my understanding that most cheats inject themselves into the program code at runtime rather than replace the program code entirely. It may be more appropriate to say that they are carefully crafted to work with the copyrighted binaries rather than ship with the copyrighted binaries themselves.

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 4 months ago | (#47061309)

I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

I'm sure you could write a mod for that last part...

Re:Blizzard Shizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061911)

Ok, let's say you opened a hot dog stand, and you had pretty good business. Then let's say I opened a manure stand right next you, and I advertised all the benefits of my cow shit loudly. Now, it is my right to do this, but it would hurt your business because people don't want to hear about and smell cow shit when they are hungry and looking to buy something to eat. You would be upset, and you would want to do talk to me, negotiate, sue, or do something about it, which would also be your right. That is all Blizzard is doing. They aren't preventing the programmers from making whatever they want, but they are upset that someone has made a product that is being advertised and sold for a profit, while directly damaging theirs and hurting their business. What do you call an entity that directly benefits from a larger entity while weakening it? A parasite. What do we do to parasites? Smash them. Blizzard is trying to smash a parasite, so let them.

I agree. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060779)

http://www.pensu.com

Am i the onyl one who hates cheaters ingame? (0)

Some_Llama (763766) | about 4 months ago | (#47060865)

"He's nothing but a low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worm! Hanging's too good for him. Burning's too good for him! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive! "

Re:Am i the onyl one who hates cheaters ingame? (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#47061177)

No. I think banning is sufficient, but otherwise I share your sentiments. Cheaters are lazy, incompetent players, pure and simple.

Re:Am i the onyl one who hates cheaters ingame? (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#47061245)

Cheaters may be dicks, but are they copyright infringers?

Re:Am i the onyl one who hates cheaters ingame? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 4 months ago | (#47061289)

I agree with you and Hanover Fiste.

Re:Am i the onyl one who hates cheaters ingame? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 4 months ago | (#47061849)

chill out. it's just a freakin' game!

Game fairness (-1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47060869)

Blizz is doing the right thing here, they are protecting their players. And the law should treat cheat software the way it would treat cash bribes to a soccer referee or baseball umpire.

Re:Game fairness (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 4 months ago | (#47060897)

Last I checked, sports bribery was outside the jurisdiction of copyright law.

Does the ends justify the means?

Re: Game fairness (-1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47060971)

If I advertise and/or distribute a method to cheat in MLB, I could get hit by a copyright claim (amongst other things), regardless how that method is implemented.

Re: Game fairness (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 4 months ago | (#47061261)

What are you illegally copying by applying a cheat?

Re: Game fairness (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47061697)

The modded game, into RAM.

Re: Game fairness (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 4 months ago | (#47061831)

When you apply a cheat like this, you are altering the game into game+cheat. This game+cheat is a derivative work of the original game.

Making derivative works without permission from the copyright holder is a violation of most copyright laws, and you won't get permission from Blizzard to make this kind of derivative work.

That seems to be the legal argument.

Re: Game fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061967)

Actually, when you apply a cheat, you aren't modding the game, you are tweaking data to be used alongside the game.

ie - this is a bit that reads data from the same stream the game does, then modifies it, and sends it to the game client as though it had been sent by the server that way...

meh - only with a brain dead judge would Blizzard win.

Oh wait, when it comes to technology, they are almost all brain-dead.

Re:Game fairness (1)

subanark (937286) | about 4 months ago | (#47061017)

Yes, Starcraft II is already extensible modable, and supports multiplayer. The hacks that are being provided can already be done with the moding capabilities available. The only things these hacks are effectively doing is letting people use a mod and play against players who aren't using it, thus unfair play.

Re:Game fairness (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47061173)

I think it sets kind of a nasty precedent.

"Use our product in a way we don't like, and we'll get you."

The fact that they look like the good guys in doing this, is irrelevant. Should that kid (dvdjon i believe?) have been sued over cracking CSS? or Geohot(sp?) for the Playstation hackery?

They aren't selling blizzard's code or product; just a product that lets people behave like jerks. (to cheat is to act like a jerk, of course) Enabling, or being a jerk is not illegal -- yet.

Re: Game fairness (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47061319)

Electronic circumvention does not have much protection under the law (see DMCA), particularly if the purpose of the tool is fraudulent in nature. DeCSS preceded DMCA, I believe, but probably would have been legally vulnerable at the time otherwise.

Re:Game fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061631)

If I want to play the game with cheats that's my fucking business.

Re:Game fairness (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47061977)

The issue here is that players who dont want to cheat and dont want to play against players who cheat should be allowed to do so. The cheats being produced by these guys are allowing someone to cheat in a way that the other players in the game don't know they are playing against a cheater and that is unfair.

Re:Game fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061833)

Blizz is doing the right thing here, they are protecting their players. And the law should treat cheat software the way it would treat cash bribes to a soccer referee or baseball umpire.

Nobody is forcing players to run exploits and cheat. They are choosing to do these things on their own separate from existence of tools that can be created by anyone anywhere in the world including outside of practical legal reach of a US business.

What would "the law" have to say about treating hacking tools (e.g. tcpdump, nmap, gdb), browser cookie and ad blocking software the same way as they can be used to bypass "view source" protections or filter out ads and tracking cookies content owners demand as a condition of viewing their content.

Do creators of root exploits for mobile devices so owners can have more control over their own devices they paid for deserve to be fucked by the same law as well? How can you have one and not the other?

The more we go crying to mommy and daddy on account of not liking what our annoying brother is sticking up his nose the more everyone pays.

Freedom isn't free one of the major costs is having to tolerate asshats.

Good. (ish) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060873)

Good, if it is targeting twats that make hacks for online games. Those people are the lowest of low. They are basically brothers with malware authors. Still does the same thing, ruins your experience of a service at the expense of some 13 year old using his epic leet cheats.

Bad because it is likely going to be an insane amount of money they want.

Talk about double-edged. It is worse than betting on Microsoft or Google now. (Formally Apple, but Apple are irrelevant now, again, thank the gods)

Not good, not even good-ish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061205)

Applying the law in an evil way is not okay just because the target is someone "bad". Not even when it's someone who's actually, objectively bad, let alone someone who committed the heinous act of letting some dumb kid beat you at a video game.

Re:Not good, not even good-ish (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 4 months ago | (#47061577)

You are assuming applying the law in this way is evil. That is a huge assumption.

uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060915)

creating unauthorized derivative works

That's a stretch.........

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061047)

Luckily precedent from the past shows that claim holds no water: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] .

Poor little cheaters, snap snap snap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47060921)

You gonna get raped like Glider, bro. Better lube yourself up.

copyright? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 4 months ago | (#47060949)

You don't have the right to modify software? I thought copyright only covered making copies, at least initially?

A tool that uses a small bit under fair use to match binary offsets or checksums should not be copyright infringement. I'm pretty afraid that some well meaning judge that wishes to protect players would establish some bad precedence here.

Re:copyright? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 4 months ago | (#47061079)

No, derivative works have always been covered as well. However, there have traditionally been exceptions, such as derivative works that are parodies of the original.

It's a relatively recent example, but see The Wind Done Gone [wikipedia.org] .

Re: copyright? (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 4 months ago | (#47061209)

Copyright is a sideshow in this matter... It's the circumvention that's the main issue. If I installed a key logger on your PC, would you even care if I had obeyed copyright law in obtaining that software? Cheat software in a multiplayer context is no different than key logging malware, in that it has a deleterious effect on the people playing the game.

Re: copyright? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061369)

Except that he is installing what you compare to a keylogger on his own computer.
This is not a hack tool that attacks the server, it runs on the player's machine and accesses data in the player's machine's RAM only.

Re: copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061669)

Copyright is a sideshow in this matter.

It's a copyright lawsuit, you dope. Anything not copyright is the sideshow here.

God suing CERN for copyright infringement (0)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 4 months ago | (#47060989)

We can't see Higgs Bosons with our eyes, the LHC gives scientists an unfair advantage, and they exploited God's works without authorization to do so.

Re:God suing CERN for copyright infringement (1)

BluPhenix316 (2656403) | about 4 months ago | (#47061077)

shhhhhhhhhhhh before all the churches get any ideas

Re:God suing CERN for copyright infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061197)

God? What's that?

Blizzard claims losses from diminished user exp (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061099)

I think Blizzard did plenty on their own to diminish user experience on many of their new games.

Good On Blizzard for doing this .. (-1)

Jagungal (36053) | about 4 months ago | (#47061259)

As an avid player I fully support them doing this kind of thing as one of the many things that they can do, such as doing mass bans on hacking accounts. Cheating really does put doubt into the game at times.

And ... in the next version they need to redesign the program so that information about what the other player is doing is not sent to your computer. I know some of the MOBA's do this and thus avoid this kind of cheat in their game. It would also allow them to offer a free game. The main problem now with offering a free option on ladder at least is that everyone will use hacks without worrying whether their account will be blocked.

maphack costs money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061361)

the maphack costs money that is why blizzard is sueing just like blizzard trying to do the same to valve with the dota name.
and the that wow bot tool

anything that uses the game is property of blizzard they are referring there to mods for the game but apparently now also hacks

Blizzard their EULA has that Bullshit clause in there

and yes if blizzard was serious about their competitive side of the game that data should not even be send to the client if the client cant see the units in the fog of war

Now you know the difference (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 4 months ago | (#47061377)

Between doing something for the lulz and doing it for profit. The former gives you a slight nod from various interesting parties at Blizzard, the later gets you lawyers so far up your @$$ that you'd better live in a country not known for extraditing citizen to the US to avoid a severe pounding by the penal system.

Wish valve would do the same.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061529)

Valve sees hackers as a means to make easy money.

CS:GO is a huge mess the community is constantly trying to clean up. And just as soon as the community cleans up the mess via overwatch. Valve has a sale on cs:go and the hackers create a new steam account and buy CS:GO and immediately go back to hacking, leaving the community to clean up the mess once again.

Violating the ToS? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#47061603)

In theory, if you had the hack written using a clean room design, the only person who could be liable for violating the ToS would be the person who bought the game and ripped it apart to figure out the hack.

Seems easy to find at least one person using whois (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061817)

Registrant Name: TROY MASON
Registrant Organization: VALIANTCHAOS (TM)
Registrant Street: 25 GAMELIN ST
Registrant City: STAFFORD
Registrant State/Province: QUEENSLAND
Registrant Postal Code: 4053
Registrant Country: AU
Registrant Phone: +61.0437753370
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +61.
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: aroundtheclock@GMAIL.COM

Johns Doe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47061909)

Shouldn't that be "Johns Doe"?

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