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Blizzard, Bnetd Respond on Bnetd Shutdown

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the stormy-weather dept.

Games 675

EvilDonut writes: "Following the roar of protests following the shut down of the BnetD-project, Blizzard has posted a Battle.net emulation FAQ, citing their reasons to to search out and close any project that allows people to play Blizzard games online without using Battle.net. Their main arguments are software piracy and the ability to control and expire the WarCraft III beta." There's also a brief note from the Bnetd people, included below.

From: "Tim Jung"
Subject: bnetd.org shutdown

If you would like more information on this please feel free to contact me. I am one of the developers and the hosting ISP for www.bnetd.org. I have talked at lenght with both the Blizzard/Vivendi lawyers and with EFF lawyers about our options both as an ISP and as a developer.

As an ISP I did not force the group to do anything, but rather presented them with all the legal information I have recieved and asked them what they wanted to do. As you can imagine neither my company nor any of the developers have the money to fight the Blizzard/Vivendi lawyers at this time. So until we are able to get some legal help to fight this we felt we had no choice but to close down the site for now until the time at which we could fight this legal battle.

If you have any questions or suggestions let me know.

Tim Jung
System Admin
Internet Gateway Inc.

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First (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050794)

yep, just had to say it.

f1r5t ps0t!

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050797)

Fo'sheezy my neezy
Keep my arms so breezy

Big shout out to all 'dem Caltech bitchez.

Ode To Jon Katz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050800)

On a spring Sunday
Jon Katz breaking through O-ring
thirteen year old boy

This troll was reposted from the Troll Library without permission of the original author. If you object to this post, or if you wish to add your troll to the Troll Library, please reply to this message.

Full Text (1, Redundant)

shaunbaker (157313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050805)

Why is Blizzard trying to shut down servers that emulate Battle.net?
Servers that emulate Battle.net facilitate software piracy of Blizzard products by circumventing Blizzard's authentication code. Blizzard products are intellectual property, and we are well within our legal rights to protect our products from software piracy.

How do CD keys help reduce piracy?
Blizzard uses two main methods to combat piracy: disc-based copy protection and CD keys. As part of the login process, Battle.net authenticates the user's CD key and prevents people from logging in with the same key or an invalid key.

Why doesn't Blizzard provide facilities that enable these emulators to authenticate CD keys through Battle.net?
In order for us to keep our proprietary CD-key algorithms secure, we cannot allow outside servers to query for the validity of CD keys.

What about software that hasn't been released yet? Wouldn't it be better to have as many people testing the beta version of Warcraft III as possible, even if they are playing on non-Battle.net servers?
The primary purposes of the Warcraft III Beta are to get play-balance feedback and to test our Battle.net servers. Our servers aren't tested if people are playing the Beta on rogue servers. Additionally, the Warcraft III Beta is not intended to be a product demo; when testing ends, we need the ability to terminate the Beta's functionality. Rogue servers eliminate our ability to expire beta versions of our products.

What about the hobbyists who are not pirating your software but just want to use these servers as an alternative to Battle.net?
Unfortunately, software pirates have spoiled this situation for hobbyists. We are constantly working to improve Battle.net, and we sincerely hope that one day, no one will see any reason to seek alternatives to Battle.net for playing Blizzard games.

Your games sell millions of copies. Why do you care if a few people pirate your software?
The sales success of a product should not exclude it from laws intended to protect intellectual property. Software piracy needs to be combated at all levels, and at Blizzard we intend to do our part to fight illegal distribution of copyrighted media.

Re:Full Text (3, Interesting)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050865)

Unfortunately, software pirates have spoiled this situation for hobbyists.

1201a of the DMCA [gpo.gov] reads: ''(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 measure 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."

It does not take a lawyer to know that bnetd is not a "circumvention device" under the DMCA, and by saying that the "pirates" "spoiled" it for the rest of legitimate users, they are even admitting that there are substantial legal uses and bnetd is not "primarily designed" to circumvent a copy prevention mechanism.

They wouldn't stand a chance if this went to court.

Request: Alternative server for WinXP cd keys (-1, Offtopic)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050806)

I want an alternative server for WinXP cd-keys so I can activate winxp products! How about www.activatexpkeys.org? :-)

files are still mirrored......for now (5, Informative)

kajoob (62237) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050809)

if you want to grab the files while you can, grab it from sourceforge here [sourceforge.net] or here [dyndns.org] or here [nmsu.edu] while they last. That should cover all the flavors.

Re:files are still mirrored......for now (1)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050835)

Well the dyndns.org and nmsu.edu stuff is gone, but sourceforge was still there.

Might be an interesting read awhile you can.

Re:files are still mirrored......for now (1)

Scooby Snacks (516469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050951)

There's another mirror up at http://censored.firehead.org:1984/bnetd/ [firehead.org] . It looks like they have source tarballs, binaries, and a recent CVS checkout.

Well.... (3, Insightful)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050812)

They wrote it.

They earned the right to sell it and protect it.

I'll still buy Blizzard games as long as they provide enough entertainment for the money.

Re:Well.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050820)

At the foundation of it all is the legality question. Is it illegal ( at least here in the US ) for someone to emulate a software product without any knowledge of the proprietary code? I think I'm confused on when it is... and when it isn't. Take the motive of the author's out of it for a second ( for piracy, etc. )

Re:Well.... (0, Flamebait)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050847)

You're an idiot.

You clearly aren't thinking this through.

What's wrong with you?

Big deal, they wrote a server to emulate another server-- it happens all the time with other products, what the hell makes Blizzard so special? Their arguement about piracy, while entertaining, is also irrelevent. If I bought their product, I should be able to use it any way I choose-- I should not need to go through an intermediary to play online (it's like being forced to ask Mommy if it's okay to play-- I grew up a long time ago, didn't Blizzard get notice?).

Now, regarding the legality of their claims, the DMCA and so forth-- I have complete faith that if something like this were to go to trial, Blizzard would lose. Nobody involved with BNetD is pirating Blizzard software. It's like holding gun manufacturers responsible for the murders caused by their guns-- madness. How can the manufacturer control what their product is used for? The BNetD folk can't, just as Smith and Wesson can't.

Re:Well.... (3, Informative)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050899)

It's like holding gun manufacturers responsible for the murders caused by their guns-- madness. How can the manufacturer control what their product is used for? The BNetD folk can't, just as Smith and Wesson can't.

Funny, Smith and Wesson was forced into a deal with the government to prevent a suit.

And also, odd that you would use the example - since municipal gun suits are still trying to get off the ground. Check it out [overlawyered.com] .

Re:Well.... (2, Insightful)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050940)

I'm well aware of that, but unlike smoking cigs (I know you didn't list this as an example, but I'm mentioning it early to get it out of the way in case someone ELSE does) for example, there's really only one use for a gun-- kill or injure people. With smoking though, the big tobacco companies DID try to downplay the possible harms their product did (not releasing studies done internally, not warning the consumer, etc). I think these gun suits won't make it though, I mean there's no logic at all in trying to sue a gun manufacturer because the murderer of your child/spouse/sibling was done with one of their weapons. What, should we go after baseball bat manufacturers too, maybe hockey stick companies? Heck, while we're dreaming up frivelous lawsuits, let's go after knife manufacturers, surely THEY knew that [so and so] was going to slit young [daughters name here]'s throat, right?

Right.

The BNetD people wrote something that generally speaking is benign and causes Blizzard no harm (and in fact, IANAL, but legally thinking, doesn't there 1) need to be enough harm caused and 2) enough infringing uses for it to even get a day in court?). I dunno what their REAL reason is (you know, the one they didn't put in the FAQ), but I imagine it's probably got something to do with them perhaps starting to charge for access.. Which if there was a possibility of open source competition to something like that, I'd like to see it.

Re:Well.... (0, Offtopic)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050997)

Offtopic so, I'll try to remember to take off my +1 bonus - the grounds for the only (even mildly) successful gun suits are based about predatory marketing (IE, gun makers intentionally market products to be used for criminal purposes), very much the same as the cigarrette cases, and, in fact, much like the DeCSS case (in principle, different laws obviously).

Re:Well.... (2, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050952)

They wrote it.
No. They didn't. Hobbyists wrote bnetd. Every single line.

Re:Well.... (5, Interesting)

radja (58949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050966)

>They wrote it.

Yes, they did. They wrote the battle.net server.

>They earned the right to sell it and protect it.

yup. but they aint selling the battle.net server software, and have protected it. As I understand it, bnetd is a cleanroom implementation. It was built from the ground up. Nobody stole the code, they're just getting competition that's better and cheaper than they are.

//rdj

Play something different then... (2, Funny)

bovinewasteproduct (514128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050816)

Well you could always play one of the developer friendly games OR you could being doing what your supposed to be doing, WORK...:)

Atleast thats what my wife tells me all of the time.

BWP

Kirk was panting by now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050819)

Kirk was panting by now. He slipped his fingers under the waistband of the doctor's pants and pulled down, exposing the hard organ underneath. He looked with fascination at McCoy's erect member; then he bent down, and ever so gently, kissed its tip.

The doctor moaned again, wordlessly. Kirk pulled his own pants off, releasing his painfully large erection. "Bones ... " he whispered, but could think of no other words to say. He suddenly sat up, catching himself as a wave of dizziness passed over him, and opened a drawer in his nightstand. He pulled out a small jar of hand lotion, and very deliberately spread the cream over his own penis, until it was slippery and white. He lay down again, and nibbled on McCoy's ear.

The doctor's breath was coming in short gasps. Kirk ran his tongue around McCoy's earlobe, and then slid it down to his neck, caressing his nape with his mouth. McCoy arched his back and Kirk's hands found their way back to his stomach, where the teasing touch made the doctor tremble.

Kirk was trembling, himself. He put his hands on McCoy's shoulders and rolled the man onto his side, then formed his own body to fit around the contours of McCoy's back. He looked down, saw the doctor's smooth buttocks and stroked them with hot hands. "Jim ..." McCoy rasped.

"What?" he breathed, quivering with anticipation -- but he would wait. If McCoy really didn't want this ... it would be hard, but he could restrain himself. He thought.

But McCoy did not reply in words; he only let out a long, shuddering groan as Kirk unconsciously stroked his behind again. Kirk could only assume that all was well.

Moving very close to McCoy -- his chest pressed to the doctor's back -- he pushed his penis into McCoy's anus, and moaned with pleasure when the doctor tightened his buttocks. He pushed in as far as he could go -- they were almost as one person, he thought, inhaling deeply of McCoy's smells. He pulled out a little and pushed back in, taking delight in his friend's moans.

Kirk reached an arm around his friend's body and took McCoy's erection in his hand, squeezing gently. McCoy cried out, and he squeezed harder, still moving in and out in a slow-moving rhythm. The doctor's member was hot and pulsing under his fingers; he slid his hand up and down its length, feeling his friend's body tense and relax with the rhythm of his caresses.

He breathed hard and stroked hard, going as deeply into McCoy's body as he could. When McCoy came, he let out a moan that seemed ripped from his soul and sprayed his semen into Kirk's hand; the stiffening of McCoy's body led Kirk to reach his climax, deep within McCoy. Riding a wave of the greatest sexual pleasure he had ever known, he screamed with joy in the quiet room. Then, spent, he sagged onto the bed, trying to catch his breath.

Several minutes passed before Kirk was truly aware again. But when he looked over at the still, half-naked form of McCoy, he was shocked to see that the doctor was crying.

"Bones?" he whispered, suddenly horribly afraid that he had done wrong. "Bones, talk to me."

McCoy curled into a fetal position and hid his head. "I never meant to do that," he said, gasping for breath as sobs began to come harder.

"Bones, I -- I'm so sorry," Kirk said, every bit of energy suddenly drained. "I thought ..."

"No!" McCoy almost shouted. "It isn't your fault. I ... I just can't believe it." His voice trailed off. "I never thought I ... I never knew I wanted that." He drew a long, shuddering breath.

"But now ..."

"I don't know, Jim. I ... don't know. I guess I'd better go home now." McCoy seemed incredibly weary.

Kirk couldn't believe it was all ending, just like that. "Stay here," he urged. "You're in no condition to go out walking." He held his breath until the reply came.

The pause that ensued felt like an infinity. Finally ...

"You're right," the doctor said. "I'll stay here -- with -- with you, Jim." The words came haltingly.

Kirk put his arms around McCoy and held him close until they both fell asleep.

Solution (4, Interesting)

pouwelse (118316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050823)

If their problem with the OpenSource server emulator is the piracy, problems can be solved easily.

Why should the on-line piracy validation be integrated with the server? It is "relatively" easy to split the actual battle.net serving with the vadidation process.

With an Open client/server protocol the client could get a ticket/.net pasport from the official site and play with the Free server...

Just my 5 EuroCents.

Re:Solution (1)

ai0524 (1952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050852)

From the FAQ:

Why doesn't Blizzard provide facilities that enable these emulators to authenticate CD keys through Battle.net? In order for us to keep our proprietary CD-key algorithms secure, we cannot allow outside servers to query for the validity of CD keys.

I suppose that their keys are not particularly strong.

Re:Solution (1)

sysadmn (29788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050954)

Perhaps, perhaps not. Suppose you create a dummy bnetd server that just bombards the Battle.net auth daemon until it finds an acceptable key? In theory you could do that today, but searches would take longer, since you have to fake more of the login process.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050858)

The problem with allowing the open source server to authenticate against the battle.net servers is that - being open source - it would be relatively easy to remove the check.

Re:Solution (1)

skilef (525335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050971)

It doesn't matter whether there are possibilities to integrate the verification process: by stating that it is not possible, Blizzard made clear they are not up for the effort it takes to do so. If they really considered the possibility (they did, covered in FAQ), they would've come up with this solution themselves. Additional time has to be invested in the development of a secure tool and by providing extra means to authenticate, there will always be more leaks in the authentication as well. For Blizzard this means less money.

Battle.net (-1, Troll)

Rogain (91755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050833)

are a bunch of gay wads! Rename it fag.net.

Well, isn't this a crock of... (5, Insightful)

Scooby Snacks (516469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050836)

Why is Blizzard trying to shut down servers that emulate Battle.net?

Servers that emulate Battle.net facilitate software piracy of Blizzard products by circumventing Blizzard's authentication code.

Notice how they cleverly shift the argument from one of "Why did Blizzard (successfully) attempt to shut down this project?" to "Are you saying you support piracy?" This is what we call a strawman [wikipedia.com] , boys and girls.

All they've done is piss off a bunch of people and possibly "prevent" a couple of copies of their games from being the target of copyright violation. Let's see... a couple fewer sales, or the loss of much goodwill? The really determined copyright violators will still find a way, then they'll make their methods known, so they're back to where they were in the beginning with fewer fans.

Yeah, great choice, guys.

Re:Well, isn't this a crock of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050889)


You want to write an open source game and give it away for nothing - feel free. But don't get pissed when a *COMPANY* who's main goal is to *MAKE MONEY* tells your hacking ass to take you're reverse-engineered software off the net. Who taught people that stealing the IP of another company is right and proper, and that any defense of said IP is a *bogus sin*? Grow up.

Re:Well, isn't this a crock of... (2, Informative)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050949)

If they have reverse engineered in a clean room environment then they haven't stolen any IP. Who taught you it was illegal to write a product that is compatible at the protocol level with someone elses?

Intresting and I somewhat agree (1, Interesting)

glh (14273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050837)

From blizzard FAQ:

"Your games sell millions of copies. Why do you care if a few people pirate your software?
The sales success of a product should not exclude it from laws intended to protect intellectual property. Software piracy needs to be combated at all levels, and at Blizzard we intend to do our part to fight illegal distribution of copyrighted media. "

I think they have a good point. After all, think of all the entertainment value you will get out of a measley $50. Really it's not a bad price to pay, especially when battlenet is free.

Re:Intresting and I somewhat agree (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050958)

i have to object here. battlenet is free only in that there is no monthly fee. but, you certainly pay for it, as a portion of the retail price for the game. think of it as a 15 dollar or 20 dollar lifetime subscription.

if battlenet were free, then you could theoretically play on it with a third party version of starcraft. however, you cannot.

i'm not denying that 50 dollars is a fair value for most of blizzard's games. they make great games, and starcraft is perhaps worth a half point on my gpa. :)

Re:Intresting and I somewhat agree (1)

diamondc (241058) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050965)

they dont have a God giving gift to make a profit. or for people to use their servers. im not sure why they even brought out the argument that bnetd is pirating software. no one is giving away copies of warcraft. all they've done is reverse engineer the server.. happens all the time.. remember Compaq reverse engineering the IBM BIOS?

FSGS what about that.? (1)

attobyte (20206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050838)

It does not prevent praicy. It allows people to play Starcraft on the internet. Blizzard is just a regular corparation owned by Microsoft. (Not directly of course)

Poor CD key algorithm (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050839)

I will not comment on the other flawed ariguments, but this cought my attention:

They need to keep the CD key algorithm secret in order to be secure



This sound like yet another amateur cryptography to me. If they used a proper public key algo they would have no need to keep it secret.In other words: reading crypto books helps.

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (3, Insightful)

angryty (464324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050873)

I for one don't want to type in a 256-character CD key code when I install the game. That would certainly be stronger, but not necessarily smarter. Is that what you're advocating?

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (4, Interesting)

pergamon (4359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3051001)

That would be an excellent use for those silly CueCats. Scan a few barcodes off the back of the CD case when you install...

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (1)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050887)

Shit, let them keep the CD Key algorithm secret & set up some simple https authentication script that the bnet server can pass the user's CDKEY and it returns, "YES, this key is ok", or "NO, its not OK". It might be oversimplified, but come on now, it is almost THAT EASY.

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050911)

The point is that with unlimited access to a yes/no validator you could reverse engineer the algorithm and create a perfect CD-creator.

It'd probably take a few days, but all in all, its not very impossible or even hard. A decent CS student could make it happen with a few cases of jolt and/or a few decent joints.

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (2)

arivanov (12034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050932)

If the validator is a private 2048 bit key no way in hell it can be hacked in a reasonable amount of time. This also means that only Blizzard's servers will work anyway unless someone finds a way to introduce the public key into the Warcraft client.

In other battlenet and warcraft are both written without even elementary knowledge of cryptography and security. Otherwise there would have been no need to keep the algorithm secret.

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (1)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050972)

The point is that with unlimited access to a yes/no validator you could reverse engineer the algorithm and create a perfect CD-creator.

It'd probably take a few days, but all in all, its not very impossible or even hard. A decent CS student could make it happen with a few cases of jolt and/or a few decent joints.

How much different is this from simply trying random codes in the game itself against Battle.net servers?

Umm no... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050895)

Ummm no. This is not a conventional case of cryptography. Blizzard's problem is that they have to decide on an algorithm completely before shipping. Blizzard's games need to have a simple formula and at some point, a function that returns true or false depending on whether a CD key is valid or not. Because this formula lies within the code for Blizzard's games and gets deployed with each game, they cannot change the rules after they ship.

Any service that can validate a CD key or not would be an invaluable service for anyone attempting to determine what that algorithm is. Thus I can see why they would not want to provide that service.

Public key encryption is a tool that solves a completely separate problem, and could not be applied to this task.

Re:Umm no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050922)

No - it *could* be applied to this task.

Simply make the keys the license number followed by a signature of that license number, then you only need to include the public part of the key in the code to validate it. Nobody can fake it, because you can't derive the private key.

That's exactly what the W2K/O2K keys are supposed to do (according to the WPA guys). Yes, I know there's a keygen for W2K around somewhere - I can only assume that it works using a birthday attack or similar, and that the key is small (40bit or so).

Re:Poor CD key algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050897)

No - not really. That would allow them to validate the CD key offline and prevent people writing key generators (and they may already do that), but it wouldn't prevent people copying the key and using it with different copies of the game, unless they *check on the server*. Which is what they do, and bnetd doesn't. And bnetd can't do it (realistically), because you could just recompile it with the code taken out.

Not all that surprising (3, Interesting)

Xentax (201517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050840)

Blizzard is ultimately doing the right thing in going after people cracking the Beta, IMHO.

I mean, ideally they ought to allow things like bnetd for their published games, since that reduced the load on their real battle.net servers, which I think most of us will agree is often more than they can handle.

Instead of citing security of their protection algorithms, I think they ought to be working WITH the bnetd people -- they need to find a way to allow copy protection while still allowing user-operated servers.

If they need a real example of a system that works, they need look no farther than Half-Life or Quake3 -- they can be played on LANs without authentication, but by and large, you need a licensed copy to play on the Internet.

Xentax

Re:Not all that surprising (1)

Bartmoss (16109) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050891)

Ehm, you can play, say, Diablo2 on a LAN without battlenet, too.

Re:Not all that surprising (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050900)

If they need a real example of a system that works, they need look no farther than Half-Life or Quake3 -- they can be played on LANs without authentication, but by and large, you need a licensed copy to play on the Internet.

They don't need to do anything... they already won.

blizzard has the right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050843)

I love blizzard games and they have every right to do this. If you think the problems with identity theft was bad in the early days of battle.net, think about what happens if people are playing on other networks. How in the world is blizzard going to handle complaints and support. It would damage all the work they put into making network play secure and reasonably safe from identity theft. People used to complain and scream when diablo characters got stolen on battle.net, they worked really hard to fix that problem. Until 3rd parties can prove their system is equally secure and doesn't cost them in support dollars, blizzard should shut down other networks.

It would majorly suck for everyone, if a few people start steeling characters because of third party networks.

Re:blizzard has the right (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050915)

Handling the complaints and support would be incredibly easy. Since bnetd wasn't written by their teams, they merely tell the customer that asks about it that they don't support it, as third party software the authors need to be contacted and they use it at their own risk. As for identity left, the described uses were more for lan parties, if one of your friends steals your character at a lan party just walk around the table and smack him. Also, if you think they should be allowed to work if they are proved secure, how do you expect them to be able to prove it when they can't write the software?

blizzard has no right (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050996)

Each and every example Blizzard cites for their chasing down bnetd is an example of Blizzard trying to control what the consumer does with their software after the point-of-sale. Especially the "we want to expire the Warcraft 3 betas" excuse. They can go after pirates as much as they want, but if I have a legitimate copy they have no right to infringe upon my own rights.

"How in the world is blizzard going to handle complaints and support."

And we have the same, tired old excuse of "But Blizzard will have to support it!" Where the heck do you people get that idea? I answered Dell tech support calls a few years back and I only got support questions about non-Dell peripherals maybe once a day. And I never got a call asking to support hardware that the customer didn't buy through Dell (such as an HP printer).

Customers aren't quite as dense as you seem to think. And this is before you consider the amount of work they'd have to go through to set up a connection to a non-Battle.net server. I will truly be surprised if anybody went through the effort to play StarCraft on one of these servers under the assumption that the server was owned and operated by Blizzard.

At best this is an example of Blizzard using the excuse of a very small minority to infringe upon the rights of everybody.

"It would damage all the work they put into making network play secure and reasonably safe from identity theft."

Then why are they afraid to let it compete with the security of other server operators?

4 words: (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050844)

Signifigant Non-Infringing Uses....

Why don't the servers ask for a CD key? Then leave it to Blizzard to authenticate the key?

Re:4 words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050870)

Because you could always take the check back *out* of the server. That's part of what makes open source 'open'.

Re:4 words: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050907)

Because
A: Evil developers could cache the successful CD-Keys and then give them away to friends, etc. The key would become invalid, and you'd get screwed (dependant on the amount of evil in the world)

B: Evil developers could generate a slew of 'fake' CD-keys and test the validity via the battle.net authentication...and then do what I mentioned in A.

Slashdot cuts ties with Editor Over Bogus Story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050851)

HOLLAND, MI (Reuters) - Online weblog Slashdot said on Thursday it had cut ties with a freelance writer for falsifying an article about an Afghani "netizen" -- the latest in a series of ethical lapses by Linux advocates.

A rare "Slashback" in Thursday's frontpage said the writer, Jon Katz, had acknowledged that his Oct. 18 story in Slashdot.org about one boy's experiences was in fact based on an obviously hoax email. It said that many facts were extrapolated from Katz other obsessions, including bad movies, hellmouth, and online culture.

"Slashdot's policies prohibit posting innuendo, rumor, speculation, duplicate posts, or using fictional devices in factual material," the note said.

A Slashdot spokesman said the last time it published an article that turned out to be falsified was this morning.

Spokesman Hemos said Katz had written eight other articles for the website in the past 2 moths and that he had assured Slashdot that none of those were falsified or fictionalized. The website said it didn't care as long as it increased page viewership.

This won't solve the problem... (2)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050857)

Like any other software, once it hits the hands of someone outside the company it's going to be pirated. I checked Efnet last night, and the iso for the warcraft 3 beta is all over the place. It's sad that people pirate software, but that's the nature of the beast and no reason to shutdown a legit project. Now the bnetd server has gone underground, and will be modified by 3l337 h4X0r5 from here on out, and blizzard will not be able to get any control of that.

depends on the context (0)

xsteinberger (224520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050859)

it really depends.

there are countless advantages to alternate networks and battle.net clones elsewhere, the one that pops to mind being bandwidth.

bring out the DMCA bandwagon. there are perfectly "legit" uses for alternate servers, but blizzard has a right to take action when their EULA is violated.

the warcraft 3 beta that has been circulating however is a slightly different story. LAN play has been disabled, with battle.net being the only option for multiplayer play. i do feel, however, as a testing beta, the benefits one might gain from an alternate server, such as internet lag, would be something blizzard analysists would be collecting data on, and not something theyd require input on from the gameplayers.

Isn't this just reverse engineering? (1)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050860)

I imagine that blizzard did not give these guys the code to battle.net, so bnetd is essentially a clean room, reverse-engineered implementation, correct?

If so, I would think that bnetd would be well within the bounds of the law, as AMD did this same thing with the x86 instruction set. Of course, being within the law and having the means to fight for those rights are entirely separate things, unfortunately.

Re:Isn't this just reverse engineering? (1)

TeddyR (4176) | more than 12 years ago | (#3051007)

Yes... but when AMD did it, there was no DMCA that prohibited it...

Translation (5, Funny)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050861)

Why is Blizzard trying to shut down servers that emulate Battle.net?

Servers that emulate Battle.net facilitate software piracy of Blizzard products by circumventing Blizzard's authentication code. Blizzard products are intellectual property, and we are well within our legal rights to protect our products from software piracy.

We, at Blizzard couldn't figure out how to keep people from copying our software, so we decided to do authentication in the server, and hope no one figures out how to write their own server.

How do CD keys help reduce piracy?

Blizzard uses two main methods to combat piracy: disc-based copy protection and CD keys. As part of the login process, Battle.net authenticates the user's CD key and prevents people from logging in with the same key or an invalid key.

We realize that all attempts to combat piracy are futile. We put these schemes in place more to frustrate legitimate users than to stop determined people from copying our software.

Why doesn't Blizzard provide facilities that enable these emulators to authenticate CD keys through Battle.net?

In order for us to keep our proprietary CD-key algorithms secure, we cannot allow outside servers to query for the validity of CD keys.

We believe that keeping our CD-key algorithms secret makes our software look more secure.

What about software that hasn't been released yet? Wouldn't it be better to have as many people testing the beta version of Warcraft III as possible, even if they are playing on non-Battle.net servers?

The primary purposes of the Warcraft III Beta are to get play-balance feedback and to test our Battle.net servers. Our servers aren't tested if people are playing the Beta on rogue servers. Additionally, the Warcraft III Beta is not intended to be a product demo; when testing ends, we need the ability to terminate the Beta's functionality. Rogue servers eliminate our ability to expire beta versions of our products.

This is just the beginning. We need to be able to, on a whim, terminate your access to a game you rightfully bought. We are testing this scheme under the guise of a "time limited beta test". If we let others run servers, they could play the game they paid for whenever they want!

What about the hobbyists who are not pirating your software but just want to use these servers as an alternative to Battle.net?

Unfortunately, software pirates have spoiled this situation for hobbyists. We are constantly working to improve Battle.net, and we sincerely hope that one day, no one will see any reason to seek alternatives to Battle.net for playing Blizzard games.

We don't understand why someone else would want to use an alternative to Battle.net. Our software is close to perfect, and who cares about those strange Linux-using customers?

Your games sell millions of copies. Why do you care if a few people pirate your software?

The sales success of a product should not exclude it from laws intended to protect intellectual property. Software piracy needs to be combated at all levels, and at Blizzard we intend to do our part to fight illegal distribution of copyrighted media.

Business as usual... "War on Piracy..." News at eleven...

Re:Translation (1)

MagerValp (246718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050955)

We realize that all attempts to combat piracy are futile. We put these schemes in place more to frustrate legitimate users than to stop determined people from copying our software.


But I don't see how it frustrates legitimate users. Battle.net has always been smooth for me; of course no server ever works perfectly, but the free servers does make it too easy for people to pirate the game. Separating authentication might solve the problem, but that's NOT trivial -- you don't want rogue bnet server admins snooping CD keys or anything like that.

From a business perspective (which, as always, has more to do with stuff than we'd like) the free servers are a really bad idea for Bungie. Keeping their customers close allows them to build a community tied to their company. As a business that's much more valuable than something like the fragmented quake/whatever community.

Now, if Battle.net actually sucked I'd be more upset...

Re:Translation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050987)

BUY THE FUCKING GAME you freeloading fuckwit. then you can play it all you like.

you have NO right to pirate software, what makes you think you have?

get it into your thick fucking skull...jeez

Host it outside of the US (3, Insightful)

Simpler (558434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050863)

DCMA isn't valid outside the US. Host the server software and source outside the US. Find yourself a European or Russian ISP willing to do it.

The only legal recourse for Blizzard is to try to shut down individual game servers residing in the US (small potatoes), or to try and track down developpers individually should they also reside in the US.

If you're an american developer for this, just deny any involvement from this point on.

Re:Host it outside of the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050908)

A la HavenCo [havenco.com] ?

cascade effect (2, Interesting)

imr (106517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050866)

I use bnetd to play starcraft on linux on lan. I'm not going to put ipx just for one game.
Yes, I did buy the game, and yes I use winex to play it.
I also happen to be the geek to call for a few tens of persons when they have a technical problem or to talk about games.
I'm going to advice all those persons to never again buy a blizzard/vivendi game until this affair is settled between vivendi and bnet. There is obviouslly something better to be done for vivendi than to piss off fans with stupid useless legal moves.
Piracy is not harmed by this move, nor helped by the existence of bnet.

Blizzard/Vivendi/Universal (1)

Nickodemus (529872) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050869)

Read: Greed
This is what it amounts to. The games Battle.net currently supports are either years old or in beta cycle. At this point the games have been posted to usenet, morpheus, or just plain copied so many times that there is little they can do about it. But they can try to make sure that online gaming with their product takes place under their auspices. Does anyone have the EULA for Starcraft or Diablo 2? I would be interested in seeing whether it states in the EULA that online internet play may only take place on the Battle.net servers. Otherwise, it seems like they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. In the end, though, it is just another large corporation using the shield of intellectual property rights to force people to use their services. And the only thing we can do about it is not buy their products.

Re:Blizzard/Vivendi/Universal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050985)

its not greed that motivates universal here..its intellectual property that illegal copied. They have the right based on DMCA, and us copyright laws(be as it may bad laws) respect their right...besides fork over the money to pay for it..nothing is free :( Even open source companies has to find revenue in order to surivie

Greed? (1)

newaza (108679) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050994)

I fail to see that wanting people to pay for a service is greed. I just do.
The games Battle.net currently supports are either years old or in beta cycle. At this point the games have been posted to usenet, morpheus, or just plain copied so many times that there is little they can do about it.
Starcraft and Warcraft II BattleNet Edition are still being sold in stores at a discount, which means that Blizzard is still making money of their "years old" software. To take away the BattleNet incentive would discourage people to buy their games, old and new. Plain and simple, yes.

No Big Deal (1)

newaza (108679) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050871)

No big deal here, move right along .. Of *course* Bnet-emulating servers will be used to play pirated copies of the game. Back when I used to play Diablo II, BattleNet was the one deciding factor that made me buy the original game.

Can't blame them, can we? (1)

MagerValp (246718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050875)

As far as I can tell they actually have legitimate reasons to shut them down, Battle.net is part of their copy protection. If you bought the game are there any reasons why you would want to play on other bnet servers than the official one?

But how does this compare to the unofficial Ultima Online shards? I don't think EA has shut them down, though I haven't followed the news in the Ultima world for a long time.

Re:Can't blame them, can we? (2, Interesting)

nemui-chan (550759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050924)

EA Originally DID shut down the UOX project which let ultima online users run their own servers for free instead of for pay. After the EA servers got overloaded and they couldn't support all the players, they dropped the lawsuits and let people have all the free servers they wanted. Now there are hundreds of free servers and UO is still in existence because of it, and the server load on the main server has dropped dramatically. Battlenet's currently running very close to the same problem. Its servers are laggy, even during non peak hours, and during peak hours its almost impossible to play.

Really.. how do CD keys reduce piracy? (0)

Twisted Logic (21508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050877)

How do CD keys help reduce piracy?
Blizzard uses two main methods to combat piracy: disc-based copy protection and CD keys. As part of the login process, Battle.net authenticates the user's CD key and prevents people from logging in with the same key or an invalid key.

This sure doesn't tell me how CD keys reduce piracy. It tells me that CD keys are used to prevent people from using bad CD keys. Disc-based copy protection can be broken. CD keys can be generated by a program, which will likely be written by someone in the cracking community eventually.

Try again, Blizzard.

Re:Really.. how do CD keys reduce piracy? (1)

$uperjay (263648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050990)

Christ, have you ever tried to get on Battle.net without a legitimate CD key? You can't just use a key generator, because there are at least a hundred 1337 h4xx0rs out there using whatever key you get generated - and that's IF Battle.net lets you on, since none of the key generators have perfectly cracked Blizz's 'secret code'.

Playing on Battle.net requires a CD key. This is probably the only reason I bought the game, seeing as I could have just used burned discs and a fake key otherwise.

Bnetd DOES circumvent their copy protection. Are you pissed because you can't play D2 on your linux box? Shouldn't be using a fucking linux box for gaming, dipshit.

If you knew anything about the current situation, you'd be aware that everyone and his dog has been playing leaked copies of the Warcraft 3 beta, using versions of bnetd. Blizzard spent money making Warcraft III, and the #warcraft3 DALnet crew stole it. Don't give me none of this fair-use bullshit, there's no fair use for a closed beta if you weren't invited to test it.

Look at them trying to pass the blame (5, Insightful)

syzxys (557810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050879)

From the FAQ:

Q. What about the hobbyists who are not pirating your software but just want to use these servers as an alternative to Battle.net? A. Unfortunately, software pirates have spoiled this situation for hobbyists.

"Software Pirates" didn't spoil this for hobbyists. *Blizzard* spoiled it for hobbyists. In the style typical of any arrogant corporation, they don't care what their customers want; they just want to control every aspect of everyone's interaction with them. (IMO, this is typified by the horribly buggy CD copy protection on Diablo II -- ever try to play it with more than one CD-ROM drive, or the CD not in the first drive? Feh. They'd rather keep legitimate buyers from playing (hell, they already have our money) than risk letting even *one* "software pirate" slip through the cracks!)

Don't let Blizzard fool you. *They* are the ones who are causing problems here, not bnetd. What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" (Yes, I know it's a legal principle, but it used to be widely practiced even by ordinary people... until the lawyers found they could make more money by pre-shafting people, so to speak.) Anyway, just my $0.02.

---
Crash Windows XP with just a simple printf! [zappadoodle.com]

Bleh on Blizzard and Battlenet (1)

nemui-chan (550759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050885)

Normally I'd totally agree that Blizzard is well within their rights to shutdown the bnetd project because of piracy issues. My problem is the fact that battlenet is so incredibly laggy, even during offtimes, that extra servers would be really nice. I've purchased all my blizzard games, and will continue to do so. I think they're good games. I just hate being online and waiting 20 minutes to walk 2 steps, all the while listening to some pre-pubescent 12 year old tell me "1m a l337 pk and 1m gonna beat y0 down!" =p

Bnetd-based gameplay (1)

Chardish (529780) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050905)

It's too late, Blizzard: too many servers are all running different variations of Bnetd, some even custom-tuned. I, myself, was among one of the first people to log onto a bnetd server, which happened Thursday.

My personal curiosity was why Blizz waited so long before they started this whole legal battle against the Bnetd folks. #warcraft3 on DALnet was the channel where everyone was congregating to talk about Bnetd emulation, as well as distributing the ISO to various users so that, when some solution was created, everyone could just hop in and play. The channel's users topped 400+, and there was no doubt in our minds that someone from Blizzard was in there just gathering a log...

So Bnetd was originally released for Starcraft and Diablo2. Then the Warforge folks come along and they create a version of Bnetd (since Bnetd is GPL'd) that works with War3Beta. The Fluffnet project also worked on this. I believe that Fluffnet got finished first, and Warforge got a crack out that let everyone play. Soon people were playing everywhere...if Blizz was smar they would have stopped this whole charade long before it was near completion. But it took them too long, and they screwed themselves, legal-wise.

Long live the Warcraft 3 Beta

-Evan

Suggestion for bnetd authors (5, Insightful)

WhyteRabbyt (85754) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050910)

Make this offer to blizzard : the bnetd supplies the server game code, but passes the authentication off to a Blizzard-run server....

Lets see how Blizzard would respond to that, if piracy really is the objection...

Re:Suggestion for bnetd authors (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050983)

Its been said above to some extent, but the problem isn't just that people can run their own servers (FPS games get their own servers all the time), but that bnetd is open. Once you've got source, you can edit out the license check fairly trivially - no license check, no need for a license. Replacing the check with a handy steal of the person's key may also be simple, depending on the exact method of checking used.

This is interesting... (1, Troll)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050912)

What has Blizzard done that is so wrong? They're protecting their property. If they don't want Starcraft or Diablo played on non Battle.net servers (unless, of course, you're running over UDP or TCP), who are we to complain? They created and wrote the game, they sell the game - it's their decision how they want to handle their own property. This isn't a case of fair use ala Napster - you bought a license to use this game not the game itself. Blizzard can decide how they want to administer their property.

I. for one, will still play Starcraft or Diablo and judge any new products as they come out on their merit. If I decide that server emulation would be a good idea at that time, then I will complain and contact Blizzard. But, for me personally? I've no issue with Blizzard cracking down on BnetD

Re:This is interesting... (2)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050931)

Sorry about the italics...I should have previewed...

Licensing (2)

pridkett (2666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050980)

Once again this is the whole licensing crap. If I paid for my copy of Diablo, Diablo II, Starcraft and WarCraft II then I should be able to play them online, but sometimes there are problems with firewalls and what not that render a battle.net server unaccessible. This is neither my fault nor their fault, but they have esentially turned my CD's into coasters.

As for the stuff about CD keys, I think we all know that's just skirting the issue some. The real issue is about control. Blizzard is after complete control just like every other closed software company is. The fact they make kick ass games shouldn't change your view in this case.

Dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050913)

Simple: No more Blizzard games. Even if the games are great, shutting down bnetd is something that can't be accepted.

I also don't like the concept of 'if you want to play online, you must play on battle.net'. I bought the game. I can play whereever I want. Why don't they do something similar to id? the id cd key is also quite annoying (lan parties), but at least you can play on other servers. And if I want to run a server, I can do so.

They're well within their rights (0, Flamebait)

Scooby Snacks (516469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050920)

Blizzard is 0wned by Vivendi. I mean, if huge corporations can't make more money than God, the terrorists have already won!

What they aren't saying... (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050926)

...is that they want to restrict online Blizzard gaming to Blizzard servers so that they can keep track of their users. They want to know how many people are playing their games online, probably for metrics data collection and marketing (advertizing) data.

Don't get me wrong, it is well within their right to do so. Blizzard has been put into a tough spot by these server emulators, because they are forced to choose between an uncontrolled environment (which leaves the very real possibility of piracy), and high server load and an irate community that somehow feels that their rights are being violated.

You don't have to agree with their position (which I personally do) but at least understand the reasons WHY they are taking this stance.

Simple solution... (5, Interesting)

Whizard (25579) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050933)

It's funny, there's actually a pretty simple solution to all of this, which neither Blizzard or the /.-ers want to admit: Blizzard just needs to release a legitimate version of the B.Net server, with CD key checks enabled, that anybody can use to start up a B.Net server. This should solve both the complaints of those, like me, who own a legitimate copy a game, but have never been able to actually get a game up and running on B.Net with friends due to the servers being so overloaded, and Blizzard, who seems to just be worried about piracy. But, that would be giving the customer freedom of choice, now, wouldn't it, and then Blizzard couldn't start charging for access to B.Net eventually.

Re:Simple solution... (3, Insightful)

syzxys (557810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3051000)

Blizzard just needs to release a legitimate version of the B.Net server

This is a great idea. A couple problems though:

  1. The current battle.net server is an in-house application, which means (since they probably didn't develop it with a public release in mind), it's probably (a) really warty (not that this would matter to the average buyer) and (b) probably horribly coupled to all kinds of internal proprietary servers. I mean, look at Bugzilla [mozilla.org] ; it's successfully used by a lot of projects, but it started as an in-house bug tracking system and *it still really shows.* Just try to set it up sometime!

  2. The server would probably only run on Windows, since that seems to be the main audience Blizzard develops for. Or, alternately, if it runs on *nix, their marketing types would probably say, "well, our customers aren't running *nix, so there's no point selling it." Catch-22 here.

    Also, with LAN parties combined with Microsoft's infamous "no more than 10 people may connect to a Win2K Pro machine over TCP/IP" (yieh! you're just a *consumer*, a *nobody*, so sit down biotch!), Blizzard's lawyers might warn them about people violating Microsoft's EULA. And heavens, that might be worse than Software Piracy!

  3. With the server released, that would be more code crackers could look at to try to reverse-engineer the CD key algorithm. True, this can be done with the game too, but maybe the authentication is written in perl or some other text based language that would be trivial to reverse engineer.

  4. Blizzard/*Vivendi*. How likely is Vivendi to do anything that even resembles giving customers freedom? They're all about control of "consumers," nowadays.

  5. Blizzard tech support, like any large tech support organization, is already overworked from idiots emailing them about trivial problems. At least they probably have a good procedure in place for dealing with this though. Server software is a completely different ballgame, and they'd probably have to hire new staff just to deal with it. To their minds, this could be just more money down the tube.

So basically I agree with you, but with the analysis for blizzard = spending more $$ on development + spending more $$ on tech support + fear of "software pirates" + general belligerence, I doubt it will ever happen. Oh well, we can always hope, right? :-)

---
Crash Windows XP with just a simple printf! [zappadoodle.com]

Answer to this is --- (2, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050941)

--to see which opensource Diablo lookalike is furthest along and offer your support towards its development.

If you want a real laugh, make it use the bnetd as its server [bnetd is GPL after all], so bnetd server can no longer be primarily regarded as a piracy tool [if it ever was]

Game development takes a long time and several years of effort, so a complete start from scratch to produce something that operates in a similar fashion to Diablo is probably not a good idea, but if you can assist on something that runs on both Linux and Windows you'll rip a lot of their profit base from under their feet. What better way to be avenged ? I suggest the bnetd developers have a look around for a suitable project!

a really simple solution... (3, Interesting)

bob@dB.org (89920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050943)

something like a quarter of a milion people read slashdot (or so i'm told). my suggestion for a solution is simple:

if you don't agree with the politics of this desicion, don't buy the game. tell your friends not to buy yhe game.

i'll bet they are going to lose a lot more money from that then they would ever have done due to piracy.

try protecting your intellectual property from that!

Stephen King, author, dead at 54 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050944)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Kali did (might still do) the same (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050950)

using Kali, a software that's been around since.. 95 at least, http://www.kali.net/ , gamers were able to play IPX game on the net under the guise of "Lan" emulated games. Eventually this evolved to encompass tcp/ip games, such as diablo, allowing users to play together without connecting to battle.net server.

Kali therefor ALSO bypasses the battle.net cd verification software, and has done so for the past 7 years.

Blizzard cracked down on bnetd, for the only reason, that it allowed ten's of thousands of players to play their closed beta unchecked.

Spite is what it really comes down too, as the piracy issue did not affect sales in any way for this beta.

another good deed for vivendi......

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050959)

They wrote, develop the concept, they have the full right...so you want to steal that? so it can be free...wtf.....

They're full of it. (5, Insightful)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050960)

Servers that emulate Battle.net facilitate software piracy of Blizzard products by circumventing Blizzard's authentication code.

This is, of course, pure bollocks. I could as easily write that "Playing Diablo II in single-player mode facilitates software piracy by circumventing Blizzard's authentication code. What's really at issue is that they don't want any competition for their pay-for-play servers in the future, and are willing to overlook the fact that the bnetd folks aren't the ones who added WC3 support.

Here's the letter I wrote to Blizzard:

Dear Sirs,

I have been a Blizzard customer for many years now. My shelves have accumulated boxes of Warcraft, Warcraft 2, Starcraft, Diablo, Diablo 2,
and sundry expansion packs for those games. But I'm afraid actions your company has undertaken have persuaded me that I should stop being your
customer.

Like many others, I've been distressed recently by the damage hackers and cheaters have been doing to gameplay on Blizzard's Realms servers on the battle.net service. Duping items, hacking items, skill hacks, and various other methods of cheating have been running rampant. But until now, I've held out hope that Blizzard would take action to address these problems, and deliver on the cheat-free Realms that it has promised since before Diablo 2 was released.

Instead, I've noticed to my dismay that instead of investing its resources to improve the gaming environment for all legitimate players, Blizzard has instead chosen to squander those resources on stifling the innovation of those legitimate players. I speak, of course, of the letter threatening legal action Rod Rigole has sent to the bnetd project, hosted at http://www.bnetd.org. Mr. Rigole claims that this software violates the DMCA, and that it is Blizzard's interest that the software be suppressed.

Putting aside the fact that this is a questionable legal interpretation, given that bnetd is not a means to bypass anti-circumvention techology, does not facilitate copyright violation, and plainly lies within the DMCA's
exemption for reverse engineering done for the purposes of interoperability between privately-created software and preexisting software, and also putting aside the fact that I have never used the bnetd software, I am writing this letter to tell you that it is not within Blizzard's interest to take such action.

As evidence of that, I will offer the fact that your draconian action against a piece of software that only serves to enrich the gaming experience for thousands of your customers, has convinced me that I should not again purchase one of your products.

[signature]

war3 goes gold... (1)

Ogrez (546269) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050961)

The day its released... without a doubt.. I dont have the cracked beta. But I have already preordered my copy. Blizzard makes GOOD games.. the reason you pirate games is because every half ass developer out there gets an engine, changes some skins, and rolls it out the door. Im not paying for every piece of crap that comes into ebworld.. But if I get a pirated game that plays good.. I buy it. Blizzard gets the benifit of the doubt. As far as the bnetd thing, when you buy a blizzard game, it says free internet play on bnet.. not bnetd.. while I like the idea of other servers.. someone should prolly have dropped blizzard an email post production. Blizzard could have sent bnetd a ascii "the finger" at the end of the email and I would still be buying war3 (already paid for) but my point is.. when other companys were giving us crap.. they gave us diablo.. starcraft.. diabloII.. they give us good games.. we should be trying to help them or work with them... not getting butthurt because they hurt our feelings.. SUPPORT COMPANYS THAT MAKE GOOD GAMES!!

Its Blizzards Toy (1)

mtythor (53921) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050970)

Blizzard made the games they make the rules. If you don't like there rules you should play a different game. The reason why, either to eliminate software piracy or to disable betas, is indifferent. It hurts them in the long run. Now the software has to be pirated and the servers will have to go underground. Sales will drop and another company that tried to get to tight will fail

EFF? (2)

poemofatic (322501) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050975)

Let's hear from the EFF folks.

Can Blizzard do this?

Note that I'm not asking wether or not they have a reason. Sure, you can limit piracy by controlling every possible environment in which a game is played. But do they have a right to shut down a clean reverse engineered network, just because they use their own network is an anti-piracy device?

If I sell a car, and one of my anti-theft devices is to place some sort of homing beacon under the hood, which is maintained and serviced at special approved dealers, then can I shut down independent mechanics who also service the car?

It's a shame!! (1)

jdma (557170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050976)

How canthey complain about piracy in other servers?? As long as I remember almost all the servers online of Quake 3 have CD-Key authentication. Why they can't do the same, some sort of database that can be accessed by servers to authenticate.
These guys want to charge by playing in bnet. That's what they want.
Their games are cool but technically suck!!

boo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3050979)

Quake3 has it's key authentication outside of the server, of course with quake3 there's no need for a clone server bceause they don't force you to use their servers, battlenet will be up and down constantly for the first 6 months after war3's release. bnetd was going to be the only way to play reliably. also, bnetd would never have been started if blizzard included direct tcpip support in starcraft, like they should do in war3.and that would solve any issues with their gay service

Bullshit! (1)

The Evil Troll King (227904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050981)

Score: -1 (Pissed-off Rant)

I used to go to a college that had a firewall in place, making it impossible to connect to Battle.net. Furthermore, the admins had it set up so that we couldn't play over an IPX network unless all the computers were in the same building. As a result, we were completely unable to make use of Starcraft's multiplayer capabilities, which is the whole fscking point of having Starcraft. Had we had bnetd, we could have set something up.

What Blizzard is doing is absolutely ridiculous. We all had legit copies of the game, so had we run a bnetd server, we would have been totally within our moral rights.

If Blizzard doesn't back down, it'll be a cold day in hell before I buy any more of their games.

Steve

I'm rubber, you're glue. (0)

Twisted Logic (21508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050984)

If this is the case, they should shut down Battle.net too. I wonder how many pirated copies of Diablo and Warcraft are being played over Battle.net?

Looks like Blizzard has a pistol with a full clip, and is prepared to use every one of those bullets on its own feet.

DMCA (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050993)

Those are the four letters you need to see to know Blizzard is in the wrong. For reasons we all know, this law is evil, and the message we need to send to companies is "If you use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, you lose."

I don't care why they want to shut down bnetd, if they can't do it without the DMCA, then I want them to suffer. I am not one to steal games that I play a lot, and I wasn't intending to play Warcraft III in the first place, but now I'm going to do everything I can to make sure anyone who wants to play this game without paying can do so. I will tell all of my game playing friends this: "Warcraft III? Oh, that game sucks, actually, but I've got a copy and a server you can run it on..."

If they are going to use rules that shouldn't exist, we have to break the rules (and them) in retaliation.

The solution is quite simple (1)

Dodger_ (51556) | more than 12 years ago | (#3050999)

The Warcraft III client simply verifies it's key with an authentication server before it even is allowed to connect to battle.net or any other server. If the key isn't authenticated, no online play for you. This is how Quake 3, RTCW etc do it, it works perfectly AND allows third party servers to operate. All these suggestions about letting a bnetd server get the key from the client and then verify with Blizzard are just ludicrous and asking for someone to just develop a server that grabs the key and then disconnects the client.

Thank You! (2)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 12 years ago | (#3051006)

Thanks for not just folding on this, guys. I was worried for a bit there.

If the DMCA isn't going away, we at least have to show corporations that trying to make unsubstantiated threats will cost them more than they seek to gain -- in terms of popularity of the software and in terms of legal battles. I think they've got very little to stand on here (as opposed to the DeCSS case, which I think the DMCA was basically written for), so good luck in your fight.
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