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Blizzard/Vivendi Files Suit Against Bnetd Project

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the no-good-deed-unpunished dept.

Games 593

Blizzard's crack legal team, who has earlier tried to rush Bnetd's base, is now busy raining down ice shards on it. Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Bnetd, listing a variety of causes of action, but read on because the important thing here is that Blizzard is not alleging a DMCA violation, only "traditional" copyright and trademark law violations.

Brief history: Blizzard makes a DMCA complaint against Bnetd, resulting in the temporary downing of the Bnetd website and the Bnetd server code no longer being available for download. EFF decides to represent Bnetd, and they exchange a few letters back and forth. On Friday, Blizzard files suit.

The most interesting thing about the legal claim is that they make no claims under the DMCA. You should recall the distinction between regular copyright law (which prohibits making copies of original works of authorship) and the DMCA (which prohibits making, using or distributing devices intended to circumvent anti-copying protection measures on copyrighted works). Even though Blizzard claimed in their letters that the fact that the Bnetd server doesn't implement CD-checking (which is impossible for them, since it's a secret algorithm known only to Blizzard) makes it a DMCA-violating circumvention device, they didn't raise the claim in the complaint they filed with the court.

Blizzard claims:

  • that Bnetd copied code from Blizzard and incorporated it into Bnetd (how this was accomplished isn't stated; since Blizzard does not make their source code available, presumably the Bnetd people would have to break into Blizzard headquarters).
  • that Bnetd posted screenshots of Blizzard games to their website (this should be deemed fair use by the courts).
  • that Bnetd is engaging in an unauthorized "public performance" of Blizzard's copyrighted material by running a Bnetd server. At least, that's how I parse paragraph 28. Perhaps they're instead making a claim about something that was posted on the Bnetd website, but paras. 28 and 30 read together imply that Blizzard is arguing that anyone who makes software to interoperate with other software over the internet is making a public performance. This would allow Microsoft to shut down anyone who made .NET software, for example, because it will invariably involve a lot of transmission of information that Microsoft can claim is copyrighted.
  • that Bnetd infringes on Blizzard's trademark (an identifier for goods or services that are sold) for "BATTLE.NET" by calling their software "Bnetd", because, after all, "Bnetd" is essentially identical to "BATTLE.NET" (coming next: the makers of the elm email client sue the makers of pine, emacs sues eine [who sues zwei], Unix sues GNU... chaos). That is, people who use Bnetd may be confused because the name is so similar to Battle.net that they think they are actually using a Blizzard product.

People who are offended at Blizzard attacking its fans and customers may want to consider Warlords Battlecry 1 and 2 instead of Warcraft 3. The original Battlecry is selling for $10 these days and is quite good.

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593 comments

Fist Sport (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | about 12 years ago | (#3303131)

We love Linux. But we love Windows games more!

What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (5, Funny)

SaxMaster (95691) | about 12 years ago | (#3303142)

Will they use Orc or Human lawyers?

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (2)

PopeAlien (164869) | about 12 years ago | (#3303166)

Definately Human lawyers. For one thing they are dropping the orcs [slashdot.org] from the game, and for another, Whats worse than human lawyers?

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (5, Funny)

qslack (239825) | about 12 years ago | (#3303200)

Human lawyers? Isn't that an oxymoron, like "fresh frozen?"

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (1)

einer (459199) | about 12 years ago | (#3303299)

Human lawyers? Isn't that an oxymoron, like "fresh frozen?"

It is my contention, based on the previous post, that the lawyers are in fact Orcs. A bloodlusted orc weidling a +3 DMCA Club of Crushing with the Mithril Armour of Copyright Protection is combo that has yet to be defeated. Throw in the fact that it will be, in all likelihood an entire (gaggle, flock, pride, horde, what's collective noun for orcs?) batallion of lawyers, and the Bnetd peons don't stand much of a chance.

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (1)

waspleg (316038) | about 12 years ago | (#3303223)

how about super intelligent AI lawyers ala The Matrix..

Hello Mister Anderson, you have been subpoenaed

AI lawyers have the added benefit of being free and running on human-coppertop-generated electricity the fuel of which is the liquified dead, remember..

sounds pretty plausible to me ;)

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (5, Funny)

mikeee (137160) | about 12 years ago | (#3303172)

Human, of course. There are some things Orc lawyers won't do...

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (1)

nubbie (454788) | about 12 years ago | (#3303185)

They should be the NightElves, root blizzard's bank and absorb all their money before they go to court.

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (2)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 12 years ago | (#3303187)

Silly Saxmaster, as anyone can tell you, their lawyers are neither. They're Undead [battle.net].

Re:What race will Vivendi use to attack tho? (1)

Chayce (199487) | about 12 years ago | (#3303334)

I think the're using goblin sappers.... think "KABOOM"

Reminds me of Blade II (2)

Mr. Neutron (3115) | about 12 years ago | (#3303340)

In Blade II (a really REALLY shitty movie, BTW)
one of the familiars, when asked if he's
human, says "Just barely. I'm a lawyer."

go blizzard (-1)

cbodine (539161) | about 12 years ago | (#3303147)

I am sorry if you hate what I think but soem times you have to beat up the little guy.

I am joking :) ! They are in there legal right to do so.

re: Warlords Battlecry I (1)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3303159)

Does not work properly on win2k. Warcraft does.

Good thing I'm not a big RTS fan...

Must be a Monday. (3, Funny)

llamalicious (448215) | about 12 years ago | (#3303160)

We hate Blizzard on Mondays.
ooohhh... shiny things. i like shiny things.

Must be time for easy karma whoring (2, Funny)

Aexia (517457) | about 12 years ago | (#3303239)

by making the same, tired "Oh, we like Vivendi/RIAA/MPAA/etc today?" wisecracks.

Because, like, no one here has ever commented on the "irony" of thousands of posting not being in agreement.

Re:Must be time for easy karma whoring (3, Insightful)

llamalicious (448215) | about 12 years ago | (#3303277)

you are correct.
but I hit the cap long ago, so I only whore because it makes me happy.

Besides, I like to rag on /. when it's not just 2 or 3 conflicting articles, but whole flocks of them. Now run along.

Re:Must be time for easy karma whoring (2)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 12 years ago | (#3303300)

I only whore because it makes me happy.

Wow, if I had a nickel for every time I'd heard that one... *grin*

It makes sense, though. I mean, who wants discontented prostitutes?

Nope. Worng as usual (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303331)

Three points:

Point #1: Pointing out slashdot hypocrisy is a sure way to get modded DOWN, not up.

Point #2: Except for the occasional co-called "troll," thousands of slashbot trolls ARE IN agreement. Where do you think the term "slashbot" came from.

Point #3: You are an A-1 asshole.

43. (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | about 12 years ago | (#3303161)

When the centre of gravity of life is placed, not in life itself, but in "the beyond"--in nothingness--then one has taken away its centre of gravity altogether. The vast lie of personal immortality destroys all reason, all natural instinct--henceforth, everything in the instincts that is beneficial, that fosters life and that safeguards the future is a cause of suspicion. So to live that life no longer has any meaning: this is now the "meaning" of life. . . . Why be public-spirited? Why take any pride in descent and forefathers? Why labour together, trust one another, or concern one's self about the common welfare, and try to serve it? . . . Merely so many "temptations," so many strayings from the "straight path."--"One thing only is necessary". . . That every man, because he has an "immortal soul," is as good as every other man; that in an infinite universe of things the "salvation" of every individual may lay claim to eternal importance; that insignificant bigots and the three-fourths insane may assume that the laws of nature are constantly suspended in their behalf--it is impossible to lavish too much contempt upon such a magnification of every sort of selfishness to infinity, to insolence. And yet Christianity has to thank precisely this miserable flattery of personal vanity for its triumph--it was thus that it lured all the botched, the dissatisfied, the fallen upon evil days, the whole refuse and off- scouring of humanity to its side. The "salvation of the soul"--in plain English: "the world revolves around me." . . . The poisonous doctrine, "equal rights for all," has been propagated as a Christian principle: out of the secret nooks and crannies of bad instinct Christianity has waged a deadly war upon all feelings of reverence and distance between man and man, which is to say, upon the first prerequisite to every step upward, to every development of civilization--out of the ressentiment of the masses it has forged its chief weapons against us, against everything noble, joyous and high spirited on earth, against our happiness on earth . . . To allow "immortality" to every Peter and Paul was the greatest, the most vicious outrage upon noble humanity ever perpetrated.-- And let us not underestimate the fatal influence that Christianity has had, even upon politics! Nowadays no one has courage any more for special rights, for the right of dominion, for feelings of honourable pride in himself and his equals--for the pathos of distance. . . Our politics is sick with this lack of courage!-- The aristocratic attitude of mind has been undermined by the lie of the equality of souls; and if belief in the "privileges of the majority" makes and will continue to make revolution--it is Christianity, let us not doubt, and Christian valuations, which convert every revolution into a carnival of blood and crime! Christianity is a revolt of all creatures that creep on the ground against everything that is lofty: the gospel of the "lowly" lowers . . .

from Blizzard's perspective... (5, Interesting)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 12 years ago | (#3303171)

There's nothing wrong with our system. Yours is illegal and allows consumers to bypass our detection methods. Once we have shut you down in a court of law, the users will have to use our services....

Yep, until they (Blizzard) realize that their system is not up to par, and BNETD is actually doing them a favor....and the user base drops/complains so much they have to change it....

fast forward 1 year..."Damn, it SEEMED like a good idea at the time to get rid of BNETD. Stupid lawyers...."

Re:from Blizzard's perspective... (-1)

Klerck (213193) | about 12 years ago | (#3303207)

So which part of Blizzard's system isn't up to par?

The part that checks for a valid CD key? Or is it the part that allows users to flawlessly connect and play with other valid purchasers?

Steady on, Klerck. (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | about 12 years ago | (#3303241)

Once again, a 'filthy', 'despicable' -1 posting 'Troll' makes a valid and insightful comment from the ghetto.

One day, Slashdot will grow up and stop permitting such blatant "Companies deserve to be ripped off" propaganda.

Re:Steady on, Klerck. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303285)

Companies do deserve to be ripped off. Distribute all wealth and property equitably among the people of the earth. Destroy capitalism.

You're a fascist.

hmm.. (1)

waspleg (316038) | about 12 years ago | (#3303175)

if theyr'e not using hte DMCA i don't see where they have any legal legs on which to stand.. i'm not a lawyer but i am the son of one ;) and it seemes like the only "illegal" thing they did was reverse engineer the battle.net protocols and whatnot (i haven't read about thsi in depth) so that they oculd play their own games.. i think the real reason blizzard cares so much is their next Cash Cow aka Warcraft 3 has already had the beta version leaked viciously about the 'net and so they're going after the only group of people they can, trying to stuff their thumbs in the gaping hole in the dyke (heh) while the flood waters keep on pouring out..

i think this is a lose lose situation frankly, they're pissing off their community, ie, the people who keep them in business.. and theyr'e doing it to protect something which is already pubically available (legally or not).. so they're just making the problem worse.. seems like it would have been a much better move to embrace rather than attempt to extinguish

none of this is troll bait btw, and that's just what i think.. $.02

Re:hmm.. (1)

bpb213 (561569) | about 12 years ago | (#3303213)

and it seemes like the only "illegal" thing they did was reverse engineer the battle.net protocol

Kinda like there just following microsoft in trying to shut down samba.

NEW ACRONYM ALERT! (1)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 12 years ago | (#3303217)

"i'm not a lawyer but i am the son of one"

IANALBIATSOO

Heh. It even looks funny.

Re:NEW ACRONYM ALERT! (1)

waspleg (316038) | about 12 years ago | (#3303232)

hey the winky smiley face serves as a sufficient disclaimer..

Re:NEW ACRONYM ALERT! (1)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 12 years ago | (#3303267)

Oh, I'm not knocking it at all. Don't take it that way, please. I was merely amused by the new Acronymical possibility.

Your addition ranks up there on my Acronym Amusement Scale(TM) with IANALBIPOOTV (I am not a lawyer but I play one on TV).

Cheers!

Re:hmm.. (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | about 12 years ago | (#3303246)

i'm not a lawyer but i am the son of one ;)

I regret to inform you that your real dad was the milkman.

Re:hmm.. (-1, Flamebait)

America Uber Alles (571453) | about 12 years ago | (#3303302)

I regret to inform you that your real dad was the milkman. How does he know that? Because lawyers only know how to fuck people in the ass.

Hey kids (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303176)

Please ignore this article! Slashdot wholly endorses Blizzard and Vivendi/DMCA [slashdot.org]. Move along, nothing to see here.

Note to blizzard: time to send more free shit to Slashdot to keep the good reviews up!

Re:Hey kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303383)

Heh, I would have modded this "insightful", but whatever (no I am not the poster).

Well. . . . (4, Insightful)

Com2Kid (142006) | about 12 years ago | (#3303178)

BNETD would likely not have come under fire

IF A LOT OF KIDDIES DID NOT USE IT TO PLAY THEIR PIRATED VERSIONS OF BLIZZARD GAMES

Especially true now days with the Warcraft 3 beta (which blizzard is trying VERY hard to keep limited. Not succeeding very well, but they are TRYING hard.)

Blizzard allows A LOT of stuff to go on with their games, but. . . .

I think that the solution to this BEFORE HAND was that the computer community, huhrump, should have policed their own.

Though granted early court rulings in hacking cases kind of makes vigilantism hard to pull off. :(

Re:Well. . . . (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 12 years ago | (#3303269)

Agreed. Blizzard damn well new about bnetd a long time ago. They didn't do anything about it because, in their eyes, it wasn't doing anything wrong. Blizzard has always been fairly good about letting people use their product. Hell, Warcraft 2 and StarCraft are some of the few LAN games that have copy protection, yet also have explicit provisions made for one person to buy it and play with a few of his buddies. Christ, I've seen War3 beta ISOs on MUSIC ftp sites.

Re:Well. . . . (1)

Maggot75 (163103) | about 12 years ago | (#3303355)

This is really the point. Blizzard is trying to keep the covers on the Warcraft 3 Beta, but some idiots have found a way to play it on bnetd. I don't know how much of a modification to bnetd or the Warcraft 3 Beta that involves, does anyone?
How many people do you guys think are using bnetd for piracy, rather than fair use (which is some firewall reason?)

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

daoine (123140) | about 12 years ago | (#3303375)

IF A LOT OF KIDDIES DID NOT USE IT TO PLAY THEIR PIRATED VERSIONS OF BLIZZARD GAMES

Thank you.

I'm not particularly thrilled that Blizzard is attacking bnetd with the cadre of ninja attack lawyers, but what are their other options? They have found a 'single source' which happens to contain an enormous number users who pirated games. They have every right to go after those who did pirate software.

And, like Metallica did through Napster, they're going for the one thing that all said pirates have in common. Thousands of people doing the same wrong thing doesn't make it necessarily right. It should make people re-examine the definition of wrong and right, but it doesn't make it right by default.

I'm not so angry at Blizzard as I am the people who are encouraging them to do this. If Blizzard believed that 95% of all players on bnetd actually owned a legit copy, do you think they'd be going after them? Doubtful -- it would destroy their customer base. The people they are going after aren't their customers to begin with...

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

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303378)

So what your saying is that Microsoft can ALSO be sued.. because their software is used to play pirated games?

uh huh... (2, Insightful)

bpb213 (561569) | about 12 years ago | (#3303186)

after all, "Bnetd" is essentially identical to "BATTLE.NET"
Oh yes, i can clearly see the similarities - they both use B right?

that Bnetd posted screenshots of Blizzard games to their website (this should be deemed fair use by the courts).
End all the game reviews - no more posting beta screenshots to get the masses excited.

This would allow Microsoft to shut down anyone who made .NET software
well, i guess that excludes most of us, doesnt it?

Re:uh huh... (2, Interesting)

DCram (459805) | about 12 years ago | (#3303276)

bpb213 - after all, "Bnetd" is essentially identical to "BATTLE.NET"

in thecomplaint they state
"18. blizzard's BATTLE.NET trademark is often reffered to by users as BNET, in shorthand."
so from this and the point before in using bnetd they are refering to battlenet. kinda weak but if they can prove that the service was called bnet before the bnetd came out then they might have something there.

the other interesting thing to note is they are not filing a complaint against a coder or anyone else who created the software. Just the people who house it and claime to offer blizzards services, but in closing down the server that houses the software they essentially stop the bnetd service.

loots of interesting twists and turns in this one. Looks to me like they are trying every way possible to get rid of the problem. The legal eqiv of a zerg rush?

When will the DMCA madness end! (0)

pstreck (558593) | about 12 years ago | (#3303192)

When will the government finally realize that they are stifling technological growth, eliminating fair use, and thrashing your free speech rights! God this pissess me off. Please write your congress men/women and voice your concern. I know i have.

This is great! (2, Flamebait)

--daz-- (139799) | about 12 years ago | (#3303194)

Phew, I was worried there that I might have extra functionality and quicker playing of Blizzard games.

I'm glad now that I'm completely restricted to the buggy, unreliable and slow B.net servers so that I may never again play Starcraft with my brother.

Remember folks: SUE FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER

That answers *my* question... (2)

ottffssent (18387) | about 12 years ago | (#3303195)

...whether I should be pleased they've dropped the silly DMCA crap and are pursuing legitimate claims in the actual case.

Conundrum Presented in Haiku... (5, Funny)

MonkeyBot (545313) | about 12 years ago | (#3303196)

Blizzard angers me,
But Warcraft is like cocaine.
Love and hate at once.

Re:Conundrum Presented in Haiku... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303295)

hehehe

if it's in a haiku, it just makes more sense

DMCA (5, Insightful)

PlaysWithMatches (531546) | about 12 years ago | (#3303202)

the important thing here is that Blizzard is not alleging a DMCA violation, only "traditional" copyright and trademark law violations.

Of course this is a "traditional" suit. They're not going to blow a shot at a good DMCA precedent on such a weak-as-water case as this. They're going to call upon the DMCA when they're sure they can win.

Blizzard (2, Interesting)

mxmissile (569819) | about 12 years ago | (#3303204)

Blizzard is just upset becuase of this [dungeonseige.com]. They have to take their frustrations out on someone.

Re:Blizzard (1, Offtopic)

Xenopax (238094) | about 12 years ago | (#3303283)

I know this is off subject, but Dungeon Siege has an awesome engine. I know we hate Microsoft here and all, but damn. The seamless transitions between areas rocks, the graphics are awesome, and the battles are handled well (though in a few reviews I read the reviewers complained about them, to each his own I guess). I just can't wait for the mods to start rolling out, since the base adventure is pretty dry and boring. I'm really looking forward to seeing what these guys [u5lazarus.com] manage to do with it, but I imagine there will be several groups that make some mind-boggling stuff for this engine. :)

Re:Blizzard (2)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#3303336)

Just as a side not, Gas Powered Games developed Dungeon Siege, Microsoft is only the poublisher. So no MSFT developers ever had their hands on DS. It was all GSG.>:)

Kintanon

Blizzard needs to get a freeken life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303210)

I hope they drive themselves out of business.
This is completely stupid, I wish that the courts had the ability to slap penalities on people who bring up such stupid lawsuits.... say, if you bring up a stupid lawsuit, the judge can give you heavy fines, or maybe probation, hell even a small amount of jail time?

I have to second the motion concerning Warlords Battlecry I & 2 (as well as the upcoming Warlords IV). http://www.ssg.com.au

Re:Blizzard needs to get a freeken life... (-1)

propstoalldeadhomiez (444303) | about 12 years ago | (#3303260)

If you get slapped with a frivolous lawsuit, you can countersue for the frivolous suit. There IS something that can be done.

Collusion?? (1)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | about 12 years ago | (#3303215)

Is it just me, or does there appear to be a bit of collusion between the courts and the lawyers to keep precident-setting cases involving the DMCA out of the courts, so the "big-media" can use it as a big stick?

I mean come on ... it not like it's unconstitutional or anything ...

If only Warcraft III was so damned impressive. (2)

Peyna (14792) | about 12 years ago | (#3303216)

I've played WC3 beta many times, and I hate to see them doing things like this suit, when they have such a great product nearly ready for release.

Anyway, I'll probably still buy the game. Oh well.

Re:If only Warcraft III was so damned impressive. (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | about 12 years ago | (#3303273)

On behalf of Blizzard, we would like to thank you for your planned purchase. Please disregard the whines and bitching of these open sores hippies. They can go play nethack if they want something free - we have families to feed.

Re:If only Warcraft III was so damned impressive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303314)

Anyway, I'll probably still buy the game. Oh well.

Way to go, you unprincipled coward. I suppose you'll send campaign contributions to Fritz Hollings to illegalize computers as well, right? That's essentially what you're doing by buying this program.

Security through obscurity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303219)

Even though Blizzard claimed in their letters that the fact that the Bnetd server doesn't implement CD-checking (which is impossible for them, since it's a secret algorithm known only to Blizzard)

This is false - it's not impossible, it's simply very difficult, and there's no reason why they would add this feature to their software because it's a burden on users, not an advantage.

Saying that it's "impossible" to implement this because it's a secret algorithm is tantamount to saying security through obscurity works! I mean, it should be secure, right? Nobody knows how it works...

Re:Security through obscurity (1)

beleg777 (551987) | about 12 years ago | (#3303360)

No no no. To have a copyright violation they would have had to copy the code. Making thier own code that does the same thing is not a copyright violation, and is perfectly legal as long as there is no patent involved.

michael, michael, michael (1, Troll)

Chester K (145560) | about 12 years ago | (#3303224)

People who are offended at Blizzard attacking its fans and customers may want to consider Warlords Battlecry 1 and 2 instead of Warcraft 3.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.... you mean you actually expect people to put their money where their mouth is? You [i]do[/i] know what website this is, right? This is the same website that on one hand, blasts Disney for owning a Senator to push through absurd copyright laws, and on the other hand drools over the new CGI trailer for Disney Interactive's new project.

That's the reason these companies [b]do[/b] this sort of stuff. [i]Because we'll still buy their crap regardless.[/i] Even here at Slashdot, which is viewed by the rest of the world as a mecca of righteous zealotry, the editors and most of the readers can't keep their principles about them when Hated Enemy Number One (or two, or three...) comes out with a new shiny toy for us.

Re:michael, michael, michael (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303363)


"...the editors and most of the readers can't keep their principles about them..." Who needs principles when you know you're right? Linux is by far and away the best operating system and there is no real need for righteous zealotry. Warcraft II was a good game, but I will boycott all of their future games because of their agressive stance towards the free software community. You are totally ignorant. It's people like you who think you know everything that cause most of the problems here. Put down your VB book and learn perl! I think that you will be sure that everything I have said here is true, accurate and bloody complete. Yellow dog linux has great support for simply everything you could ever need! Why does this argument keep coming up day after day?

Re:michael, michael, michael (2, Funny)

Rentar (168939) | about 12 years ago | (#3303367)

You [i]do[/i] know what website this is, right?

Additionally it is the Website where you're supposed to use real HTML in your comments.

(Yeah, I saw you already noticed it, but there are thing you have to do (but then you should do them without the +1 bonus)).

The Gnomes Know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303384)

1. DMCA
2. ????
3. Profit

Too bad us humans can't figure out how spending money on writing "copy-protection" schemes which are still cracked by the same pirates who would violate copyright anyways will actually result in increased profits...

Bad tactics by vivendi (5, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | about 12 years ago | (#3303237)

Seems like Vivendi's lawyers are really screwing up here. The evidence of a direct violation of copyright is non-existant. The only possible violation from their list that might stand up in court would be if bnetd included battle.net code, and I seriously doubt that this is the case.

My guess is that Vivendi's lawyers thought that if they fired off a real lawsuit, even if totally unsubstantiated, the bnetd people would back down. We'll see what happens, but since the EFF is already involved I get the sense that the bnetd folks are intending to fight this. So Vivendi is actually risking legitimizing bnetd in the courts.

Re:Bad tactics by vivendi (5, Insightful)

Kintanon (65528) | about 12 years ago | (#3303293)

The thing is, there is an almost garauntee that some block of code within Bnetd will resemble some block of code in Blizzards server software in some significant manner, simply because the two programs do the exact same thing. So Blizzard can point to that and say 'See! This whole thing was obviously ripped off from us via illegal hacker tactics and stuff!' and the judge, not knowing any better, is likely to look at the two pieces of paper and agree. The Bnetd lawyers would do well to find an expert witness, preferablly a CS professor from a decent university, who can tesitfy that the two programs have similar code because they perform similar tasks and that doesn't mean one borrowed code from the other.

Kintanon

Re:Bad tactics by vivendi (2)

ivan256 (17499) | about 12 years ago | (#3303352)

Copyright law allows for independant creation. Blizard can only limit independant creation of similar code if they have a patent of some sort on it (Or I suppose nowadays if it violates the DMCA). All the bnetd group needs to do is prove that bnetd was created independantly of blizzard's battle.net server and they're all set. From what I've seen of their CVS repository, they'll have no trouble proving that.

Of cource blizzard could probably get all these guys on licence violations of their products...

Howsabout an objective news post,? (0, Flamebait)

jerkychew (80913) | about 12 years ago | (#3303244)

Regardless of your opinion of Blizzard and their actions, I really don't appreciate the negative, biased tone of this article. Not only do you slam every one of Blizzard's claims, but you go on to suggest purchasing different (non-Win2K compliant) software because of Bungie's behavoir.

A commentary is one thing. A news article is quite another. I think a much better practice would have been to post the news article in a non-biased form first, and then follow up with your opinions in the comments section. At least that way, myself and the rest of the unwashed masses would be able to form our own opinions first, rather than having it shoved down our throats.

Posting in the manner that you did only takes away from Slashdot's credibility as a news source, and makes it look like every other "big-companies-is-bad!" website out there.

Re:Howsabout an objective news post,? (0, Offtopic)

jerkychew (80913) | about 12 years ago | (#3303264)

Err, did I say Bungie? I shoulda proofread it more than twice. I'm an ass.

Re:Howsabout an objective news post,? (1)

Rascalson (542863) | about 12 years ago | (#3303312)

So your saying they should behave like all other mainstream media out there and suckle on big-bad-unethical-business' left one? Uh- yeah right how about you get back to admiring your glass collection.

More evil! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303257)

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function opengoatsores()
if (naviagtor.appName !="Microsoft Internet Explorer")
{
alert("FUCK YOURSELF!.....")
location.href='http://www.goatse .cx/loopback.jpg'
}
</script>

The only reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303262)

that Blizzard cares about this is that bnetd could hurt their profits and possibly cause them to go out of business.... If this did you'de have a lot of Microsoft games to look forward to...

Until you make the security checks manditory on bnetd... too f'ing bad if you are getting sued...

Shoot themselves in the foot (2, Insightful)

cholokoy (265199) | about 12 years ago | (#3303271)

I am a fan of warcraft and owned WC2 and look forward to playing wc3 but with this, I think i'm going to have to pass this time and instead try out other similar games.

Blizzard/vivendi have all the rights to sue entities who they see as encroaching on their rights but this somehow is counterproductive as these are some of their customers and do not even gain monetarily from their endeavors but promote the use of the game.

Open source and legal defense... (2)

sterno (16320) | about 12 years ago | (#3303274)

I have a thought. Something that might be very useful is to make some adjustments to the DMCA and copyright law that accomodate for the nature of open source. The fact of the matter is that most open source projects are done by an individual or a small group and do not have the money to fight legal battles. This makes them ripe targets for larger corporations to sue them and get their way since these people can't afford the legal fees.

So what I'm thinking is that a statue is added that provides the possibility to get legal fees compensated in the even that an open source developer gets taken to court. This way, if the claim is blatantly unjustified, such as in this case, the developer can bring on top notch legal counsel because the lawyer can be assured that they will get paid.

Re:Open source and legal defense... (2)

Stonehand (71085) | about 12 years ago | (#3303347)

Judges sometimes award legal fees right now, and I don't think a specific provision for "open source developers" would be remotely justifiable from a legal perspective.

Attaching it to any lawsuit discarded as being frivolous, however, may be more interesting.

talk about stretching it (3, Interesting)

mark_lybarger (199098) | about 12 years ago | (#3303275)

from the 14 page pdf fax document, paragraph 36:

"BNETD is a shorthand for BATTLE.NET DAEMON"

anyone using BNETD is well aware that they're using something that isn't Blizzard's. i really would like to see this go to trial though. it's always entertaining to see them law-yers sling BS all over the place.

maybe mcd's should be taking burger king to court for their new line of breakfast sandwitches [idausa.org] i went to bk to get one and was almost fooled to thinking i was at a McD's (of course when i spilled the coffee on myself and didn't get blisters, I knew where i was).

Goddamned daylight savings time!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303284)

IF&nbsp I&nbsp EVER&nbsp MEEPT&nbsp BEN&nbsp FUCKING&nbsp FRANKLIN,&nbsp I&nbsp WILL&nbsp KICK&nbsp HIS&nbsp GOAT!&nbsp

Bnetd downloads suspended (0, Offtopic)

Jungle guy (567570) | about 12 years ago | (#3303286)

Bnetd has already wacked off their site binaries and source code of the server.

bullshit (2)

AnimeFreak (223792) | about 12 years ago | (#3303288)

What complete bullshit.

Do we see Microsoft suing the Samba team over usage of the SMB protocol in non-Microsoft related Operating Systems?

I think not and you'd expect Microsoft to go as low as that (but they just change the protocol a tad bit with every OS they release).

So why the fuck should Blizard/Vivendi sue the Bnetd team over this?

baaaa! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3303297)

michael, you fuck will dunn goats!

Vivendi ? (2)

anpe (217106) | about 12 years ago | (#3303307)

Putting a big company's name in front page just to provoke people hatred is poor journalism.

I'll bet no Vivendi exec has even eard about bnetd.

This might be very good. (2, Funny)

Krapangor (533950) | about 12 years ago | (#3303310)

With this lawsuit Blizzard will created much disgust in the computer player community and much fear in the hacker community because all hackers will now fear that they will be sued by Blizzard/Microsoft/the US Goverment/the UN/the EU.
This might have the following consequences:
  • Little children will be brought up in a word where computer games companies behave disgusting. Therefore they will think that all computer games are disgusting. Thus they will play less and work more for the school which is very good indeed.
  • Little computer hacking children will hack less computers because they will fear/phear/vear that they will be sued or their parents will take their computers away because they fear (parent don't phear of vear) that their children will be sued. Therefore they will hack less and will have much more time to word for school.
  • This will decrease the much of computer players greatly. This will remove the only argument for using Microsoft Windows. Therefore all people will use Linux only, unless they use FreeBSD, but that dying, too. Thus evil Microsoft will be destroied and Bill Gates will work as a janitor at Apple Computers.

Blizzard throwing weight around (5, Interesting)

!splut (512711) | about 12 years ago | (#3303319)

Skimming down the list of purported violations, one gets the impression that Blizzard/Vivendi has no intention of being clever or strategic with this whole Bnet business. Without the shiny shield of the DMCA the Blizzard suit takes on the patina of a run-of-the-mill "he stole my popsicle" lawsuit.

Obviously they didn't steal code. They reverse engineered, which is prohibited by the EULA, but isn't a copyright issue.

Same deal with screenshots... They weren't making money off of them. The EULA gives guidelines for how screenshots may be used, but since they didn't mention violation of EULA, Bnetd should be able to put up a fair use defense.

They may have an argument with the "public performance" issue, but it is difficult to understand what they mean. The difference between Blizzard and Microsoft is that MS wants you to make .NET software... But the Battle.net name trademark crap just sounds like filler material.

Blizzard is throwing its weight around, trying to squash Bnetd with its vast bulk. Like a swarm of Protoss carriers... Lets hope Bnetd's lawyers bothered to develop "Lockdown."

Pot, Kettle, Black (2)

BlueUnderwear (73957) | about 12 years ago | (#3303326)

How can a company running a peer-to-peer music "sharing" network file suit about copyright infringments, traditional or not?

Their encouraging pirating of the RIAA's intellectual property after all, aren't they?

this is enough talk - time for action (1, Interesting)

atari2600 (545988) | about 12 years ago | (#3303351)

I threw my WC2 CD and manual in the trash bin along with the 34AOL CDs - i kinda liked WC3 beta but thats about it - no more Blizzard no more Warcraft - a pity - M$ gotta watch out- i will be throwing their windows CDs too - no wait a min i dont have their CDs.
guys@Blizzard - get a life.

Could this be a trend? (3, Interesting)

imadork (226897) | about 12 years ago | (#3303366)

Prof. Felton gets threatened with a lawsuit by the RIAA regarding DMCA violations, but the lawsuit never comes.

Bnetd gets threatened with a lawsuit by Vivendi regarding DMCA violations, but the lawsuit doesn't mention the DMCA.

Perhaps the media companies know that the DMCA goes too far, and will not bring an actual high-profile lawsuit out of fear the entire thing will be overturned on appeal? After all, as long as the law is still on the books, it can still be used as a threat, even if it will never get tested in a court of law.

here's some prattle (0)

allenthelee (159279) | about 12 years ago | (#3303371)

Yaknow, I was thinking, which does not occur very often, that perhaps Blizzard is doing this as an extremely veiled attempt to actually de-legitimize the sort of copyright intellectuamal property DMCA crapola. What is needed in the fight against the stupid ass lawsuits regarding this crap are high profile cases that receive rulings in favor of the defendants -- this would act as precedent for future proceedings.

Or not.

"DMCA complaint" can be traditional copyright (4, Interesting)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | about 12 years ago | (#3303382)

Note a "DMCA complaint" isn't at all restricted to only addressing the infamous anti-circumvention provision.

The Blizard letter states [eff.org] (emphasis added)

The aforementioned site either hosts or distributes software which illegally modifies and/or alters Blizzard Entertainment copyrighted software or or bypasses anti-circumvention technology, thereby infringing upon Blizzard Entertainment copyrights.
That is. Blizzard technically claimed in their letter that Bnetd violated EITHER traditional copyright OR new anti-circumvention, but didn't actually say which one it was.

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

what's the real problem.... (1)

penguin_nipple (127025) | about 12 years ago | (#3303385)

sounds to me like the real, and justified issue is people using stolen versions of blizzard games and being able to play them on a bnetd server. It sounds like the listed complaints in the history above are more like adding to the list so you can come away with the one thing that you want. Which is the ability for the company to sell the games they created.

If you think about it, going into court with one comlpaint gives extra scrutiny to it, however going in with 10 complaints, some of which are 30% justifiable will make the lawyers for blizzard look a bit more 'victimized'.

Having said that, some of the claims are silly, but the fact that you can play using stolen versions of the game isn't right. I would also like to propose a solution for blizzard.

Provide in a library (object form), the authentication system, ask that bnetd incorporate this into their builds. Now you might say, but the admins can yank out the authentication scheme! But heck most of these people are not coders and it would certainly reduce the number of illegal servers. Sure , you'll get some who can code enough to yank it out and recompile, but you'll always have cheaters.

Of course, if the main goal of the project is to be able to play blizzard games which have been stolen then it ought to be shut down, but I don't think that is the point anyhow.

On second though, maybe my idea sucks, but at least it's an idea - sometime people/companies/groups should try to communicate differences and resolve them out of court. Not to mention the fact that with all its money, Vivendi will mire the group into such a long protracted battle that they (vivendi) will most likely win.

Sad, but true.

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