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Blizzard Stomps Bnetd in DMCA Case

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the if-you-buy-blizzard-games-you're-supporting-them dept.

The Courts 773

base3 writes "The EFF reported that the Vivendi/Blizzard vs. the good guys case has been decided, and it doesn't look good. Some highlights from the ruling are: A clickthrough EULA isn't unconscionable (and thus enforceable); Fair Use rights can be waived in a EULA; First Sale rights (!) can be waived in a EULA; The DMCA's interoperability provisions are not a defense. If this ruling is allowed to stand, it will allow one-sided EULAs to force the waiver of the rights of First Sale and Fair Use. This, combined with the Supreme Court's recent assent to perpetual copyright, a few decades at a time, will destroy any semblance of balance in U.S. copyright law. Fortunately, the EFF plans to appeal the ruling."

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Poll time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414174)

Re:Poll time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414454)

Jawsome!

Street Sharks rule!

sold down the river (2, Informative)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414178)

Ok, so we've been sold down the river, what else is new.

Call me cynical but really it will get a lot worse before it will get better.

Re:sold down the river (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414209)

Better?
If you want it to get better, you have to do something about it, not just sit on your ass and say "it will probably get even worse!"
When things get better, it's cause someone stood up and said "I want to make things better!"
Think american revolution, WW2, and the people who protested vietnam. These people did something, because the faced the fact: Yes, if you keep sitting there complaining,
IT WILL GET A LOT WORSE!

Re:sold down the river (0, Flamebait)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414233)

Yeah, things will get a lot worse. I can't think of a better comparison - the WW2 fight against Nazis and you, living in your mom's basement listening to Skinny Puppy and living off of Hot Pockets, fighting against having to pay for and abide by liscencing agreements of the software you choose to use. When you're right, you're right!

Re:sold down the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414314)

I'll grant you the other points, but:

What exactly is so wrong about listening to Skinny Puppy?

Re:sold down the river (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414253)

guess what, I wasn't complaining, just extrapolating from current data.

Also, in fact I *am* doing something to make things better. But it will probably not be enough.

Re:sold down the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414349)

Because playing a video game is more important than world wars.

Thanks, geeks. Way to put things in perspective for us.

Re:sold down the river (2, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414397)

Well they are not strong enough. What is more important is to interfere in early stage of consulatations, see upcoming EU-consultations [ffii.org] .

Alea iacta est. The only thing they can win is to stop it. Only lobbying as the industry does can help to defend our interests.

First Post!!!!! (-1, Redundant)

max909 (619312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414182)

First Post!!!!!

Re:First Post!!!!! (0, Redundant)

Frightcrawler (798418) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414192)

Maybe you should press refresh before you post. :P

Re:First Post!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414374)

Maybe you should remember to post anonymously sometimes...

Plain Engrish? (0)

mquires (817570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414193)

Can someone explain to me what this means, I RTFA and couldn't really figure it out.

Re:Plain Engrish? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414219)

It's a press statement by Blizzard that says "Don't buy our products!".

Re:Plain Engrish? (5, Interesting)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414267)

It roughly translates to "Boycott Blizzard."

This ruling gives publishers the ability to take away all consumer rights under copyright law. It basically overrules copyright law with whatever they put in their EULA.

You can't play without clicking through the license. You can't read the EULA without opening the package and running the software. You can't return unopened software (to most stores, again for mostly copyright reasons).

So unless you consent to the possibility of giving up all rights, you should not purchase any software. You have no idea what the restrictions of the license are until after you've given them your money.

An extension of this could mean that any documents you create under a future version of MS Office could potentially be copyrighted by MS. Granted that would be a very stupid thing for MS to do, but this ruling seems to make it possible.

Re:Plain Engrish? (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414307)

It roughly translates to "Boycott Blizzard."

You mean "continue to boycott Blizzard".

Won't ever buy one of their games. Was close with D2+expansion, but then this shit blew up.

The right thing to do now is to convert as many people as possible into also boycotting these scumsuckers.

Re:Plain Engrish? (3, Interesting)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414365)

But you should be able to return it directly to Blizzard.

Boycott Howto:

*Get a lot of money (or indignated consumers)
*Buy Latest Blizzard game in droves.
*Open the box. Copy the game. Copy the CD-Key. Scratch the cds a little.
*Return all the package to Blizzard, arguing you don't agree with the EULA.
*Post Cd-keys somewhere on the net.
*Repeat (since you got the money back, why not?)

Re:Plain Engrish? (2, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414403)

So unless you consent to the possibility of giving up all rights, you should not purchase any software. You have no idea what the restrictions of the license are until after you've given them your money.

This seems like as good a time as any to point out that Linux games are getting better and better. You can download wesnoth, Neverball, and other great titles for free. Even get the source on and learn to write computer games yourself if you like.

The real breakthrough in recent years has been the massive work that has gone into the cross-platform SDL toolkit. It's really amazing, and not to discount anyone else's work, but I see a lot of great stuff coming out ever since SDL became commonplace.

Easy fix (1)

MichaelKaiserProScri (691448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414425)

Read the EULA. If you disagree with it, return it! Never buy anything from that publisher again.

Bad wording... (1, Insightful)

vspazv (578657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414204)

St. Louis - Fair use was dealt a harsh blow today in a Federal Court decision that held that programmers are not allowed to create free software designed to work with commercial products.

Umm... with that wording wouldn't that make it illegal to use free software with windows?

Yes... (3, Insightful)

AtOMiCNebula (660055) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414239)

Yeah, but then again, the media regularly gets stuff like this wrong. News reports read the original article, *think* they understand it (even though they don't, which shows like mad), and then rewrite their own version.

So, yes, you're right. Too bad the media industry doesn't know what's really going on at times like this. They should realize they have to fully understand the article, since otherwise they're confusing the public, and then the public gets the wrong idea too, and then everyone is worse off.

Er...whoops. (1)

AtOMiCNebula (660055) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414260)

Didn't mean to double post, but that's what I get for not RTFA-ing. After reading the article, I think that the EFF is just overstating things a bit, trying to make a point that this is what the court ruling *could* mean.

I'll read the article first next time, I promise!

Re:Er...whoops. (5, Insightful)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414320)

The EFF is just doing their job, as lawyers, to explain the worst case possibilities of this ruling.

You can bet your ass that Blizzard's lawyers, and EA's lawyers, and MS's lawyers, and Sun's lawyers, and IBM's lawyers, and probably even SCO's lawyers are reading up trying to figure out how they can best leverage this into their own products.

Next thing you know, your iPod will only work with iTunes.

Oh. Right...

It can be.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414246)

If the copyright holder of windows forbids it..

It might be stupid, but they could do it legally...

They already restrict what you can create legally with their development tools ( you cant create a competing product for example )

If that wording is right, GOOD BYE SPYWARE (1)

Mooga (789849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414286)

Lets hope that's not the real wording....

That could be a REALY bad thing... although it WOULD ban spyware since it's "Free Software"

Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (5, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414211)

Now we have one. And they are legally binding...

Joy Joy.

Been saying all along you CAN waive rights via agreement of a contract..

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (3, Insightful)

bnenning (58349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414268)

Been saying all along you CAN waive rights via agreement of a contract..

Sure, I just reject the claim that a EULA is a contract. There's no consideration; you supposedly give up your rights, in exchange for *nothing*. Yhey're along the same lines as me saying "by replying to this post you agree to pay me $1000".

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414290)

I'm replying to this post...

oops...

checks in the mail.

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (2, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414323)

What do you mean nothing? YOu mean you're agreeing to a EULA for nothing? I mean don't EULA's usually come with *something* like say software?

No, EULA's don't come with software. (5, Insightful)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414368)

They come with the installation of software--after you've already paid for it.

The big problem most people have with EULA's is that they aren't presented at the time of purchase. I go to the store to buy a copy of Warcraft 3, I see no license agreement, I am presented with no conditions on my purchase, I pay for it. Contract concluded. Finito. I now have all the standard rights of the consumer to a copy of a copyright-protected work.

What makes you think Blizzard can then say, "Oh, and you have to agree to surrender some of those rights. Tough luck."

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414375)

I already paid for the software when I bought the box. Thus, there's no consideration.

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (1)

offpath3 (604739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414384)

Software which you *already* own through your purchase *before* clicking the EULA.

EULA is a contract (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414389)

But, you are getting something in return: A right to use their software.. ( presumably that is something of value, sometimes its debatable )

So technically it IS a contract..

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (4, Interesting)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414445)

The EFF, or other concerned groups, needs to set something like this up. Form a corporation who releases a software product with an insane licensing agreement (you give up your first born, etc.) then have people buy the software. Try to enforce the agreement, and have these people sue. The court must either decide that all EULAs are OK no matter how ridiculous, or case law will be established which limits how far a software company can go. OK, maybe they shouldn't really ask for the first born, but a large sum of money instead. Or some severe usage restrictions. If nothing else, it would be a very uncomfortable decision for a judge to make approving something like this, so it would be quite likely that we would see some restrictions finally put in place.

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414276)

Sure, but the question has always been whether shrinkwrap EULAs are contracts, given that their model of offer-and-acceptance differs hugely from that of all other contracts.

Re:Well, we wanted a ruling on EULA's (5, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414332)

This is one of the most frightening rulings I have seen, WRT software licensing, etc. The judge pretty much get Blizzard a pass on everything.

It's interesting to note, however, that a lot of the decisions were built upon Blizzard's stating that a person can take the software home, read the EULA, reject it, then take it back to the store for a refund within 30 days. I didn't see anywhere pointed out that you won't actually GET a refund in the real world. So Blizzard offers a "way out" of the one-sided contract that cannot actually be used.

Hopefully the appeal will point this out, in which case I think most of the other rulings won't have a leg to stand on, since Blizzard now has $50 of the customer's money, and the customer is left with nothing they case use (without giving up a bunch of rights).

There was a lawsuit [com.com] about a year and a half ago in California regarding this very issue - naming MS, Symantec, and others. It basically said that you were being forced to buy software that you cannot return after opening without seeing a EULA that you are forced to agree to in order to use the software. I haven't seen any updates, so it may have been settled out of court.

This ruling CANNOT be allowed to stand. It's WORSE that UCITA. It's so one-sided, it makes one wonder whether the judge was really impartial on this one.

Unable to return product (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414446)

I agree totally on that point, you should be allowed to view the EULA before opening, and given the option to return.

I think that part would loose in a court , if it was presented via that angle..

The rest, of course would stand..

who cares?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414222)

as soon as software makers quit being asses I';ll quit pirating their software.

I dont care about price, I care abou tthem being outright assholes.

until then I will pirate and distribute with crack+keygens+nocd's

and they all can bite me.

Re:who cares?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414250)

I think you and I both know you won't stop pirating their software. So stop blaming them for "being asses"

Right of First Sale in 2001 (4, Informative)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414226)

Here's a blurb [linuxjournal.com] from linuxjournal on a ruling between Adobe and Softman that appears to grant Right of First Sale. Did this one get overturned?

This is wonderful news! (5, Funny)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414228)

Yay our favorite game company won!

Now the boycott on them can end! Enough of those pesky morals and ethics. I mean they make AWESOME video games. No one's gonna remember your sacrifice against a game company. So GAME ON!

WOOO HOOO!

This is bad. (5, Interesting)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414229)

You don't get to read the EULA before you have already purchased the software and many stores will NOT take back opened software. I see some lawsuits coming against said stores if this appeal doesn't work out. Imagine if when you bought a music CD you had to sign a contract saying you wouldn't allow anyone but yourself to hear any time you played it.

Re:This is bad. (1)

vspazv (578657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414249)

Imagine if when you bought a music CD you had to sign a contract saying you wouldn't allow anyone but yourself to hear any time you played it.

I'd say its time to buy stock in headphone companies.

Re:This is bad. (2, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414338)

A little clarification: Imagine if you bought a CD, payed with cash, as you walked out the door you were forced to sign the contract or they smashed your CD and you were not allowed a return.

Nope (2, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414411)

No lawsuits, they just tell you to take it up with the Manufacturer. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure the Manufacturer is required to accept returns in those curcumstances. Now if we could just get a couple tens of thousands of gaming nerds to buy Blizzard software and then return it right to the manufacturer. This would really fuck them over since they'd have to pay for a) their cost on the game and b) the retailer's profit margin. Oh well, people are lazy, this is not going to happen.

for those of us who value fair use backups... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414234)

...would it be legal to make backups of the software BEFORE agreeing to the EULA?

Re:for those of us who value fair use backups... (4, Insightful)

Siniset (615925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414341)

that's a really good question... i was going to mod you up, but then realized i had lost my mod points... :(

But, I think this needs to be decided on soon by the courts: At what point does a EULA come into effect, and if it can come into effect just by opening the shrinkwrap (the infamous shrinkwrap license), can people reasonably be expected to sign away significant rights?

Because I agree that people can sign away these rights of "First Sale" and other rights in a contract, but what effectively is occuring here is that you have no choice in choosing the contract, you are coerced into aggreeing to the contract, because if you refuse the EULA on a piece of software, you are stuck with a very expensive cd coaster.

Re:for those of us who value fair use backups... (4, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414458)

I think the problem is that the word "sign" doesn't have the meaning that it used to. At no time in the past twenty-five years of purchasing software have I ever been required to "sign" anything. As in taking up a writing instrument and putting my signature upon a piece of paper. The whole point of "signing" a contract was that a. it verified that you agreed to the terms of the contract and b. provided undeniable evidence that you had done so. This whole shrinkwrap/clickwrap/EULA nonsense is so unbelievably offensive that it just makes you want to find your nearest lawmaker / judge / corporate attorney and throw up in his lap.

There might be a business opportunity for a company that could provide insurance for people that want to buy software. Call it proxy-licensing. You pay a yearly premium to the insurance company, and whenever you buy a new piece of software one of their representatives (known as an "opener") stops by and deshrinkwraps the package for you. If it should be discovered, upon installation, that a clickthrough license is required, he or she would provide that service as well. That way you're off the hook (I mean, hey, you didn't open the box and you didn't click anything) and if the software vendor chooses to sue, the insurance company takes care of it for you.

P.S. that was a joke but it makes about as much sense as anything else on this subject.

Re:for those of us who value fair use backups... (1)

dmayle (200765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414430)

...would it be legal to make backups of the software BEFORE agreeing to the EULA?

Bravo! Thanks, Anonymous Coward. This is exactly why the whole idea of a EULA is ridiculous. If it's the click that generates the acceptance, than people will just start making tools to extract the software without running any install code. (I've actually seen tools that do this already in limited circumstances.)

And if they're binding before we've actually clicked, then we've got a precedent whereby you can be party to a contract without having ever actually seen it.

EULA's have got to stop. They just make no sense, and could possibly be damaging for so many reasons.

Thanks for letting us know!!.. (5, Funny)

arhar (773548) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414247)

The EFF reported that the Vivendi/Blizzard vs. the good guys case has been decided, and it doesn't look good.

Thanks for letting us know who the good guys are! I can never figure out who's right or wrong myself, and I like it when I can count on Slashdot telling me that.

GOD FUCKING DAMN IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414255)

This is teh sucks.

Cue Hip-Hop Beat... 1.. 2... yo, yo... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414427)

God fucking damn it!
This is teh sucks.
"All your base are
Belong to us!"

Blizz with the blitz
Got the gamers in fits
Fair Use has been dissed
now the EULAs exist

Vivendi gets pissed
as STEAM clouds thier green visors
As VALVE holds the mod
community with incisors

The game won't come out
till legalistic advisors
come up with a way to please
the stockholder misers!

I expected something else from Blizzard (1)

Plaeroma (778381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414262)

I have to say this it not something I'd expect coming from Blizzard. I know they are just trying to stop the (rampant) piracy of their games, but this is has implications that extend well beyond that. Sad to see.

Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414266)

So say you click thru a EULA, you agree to it. You install the software and then decide to pirate it, saying "the EULA is not legally enforcable".

You do that, that's retarded.

You want to know a better solution? Don't agree with the EULA. If you don't like the terms that it sets out for you, stop the install, put the media back in the box, and drive back to the store and bitch about it.

Then simply don't buy that software from them again.

You know what would happen if people did that?

Bizzard (and other software companies) would STOP MAKING UNREASONABLE DEMANDS ON THEIR CUSTOMERS.

Whala, problem solved.

And saying that it won't work beause people are sheep is no excuse for your own llamma-like behavior. Stand up for yourself, stop being such a wimp all the time.

I mean don't you think that it's pretty pathetic to trade your self respect in order to play WoW?

I do.

Re:Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414337)

Exactly. I mean, I've had no trouble at all returning software to Best Buy after having been given the opportunity to read the EULA and decide I didn't agree with it. Oh, wait. That's not right.

Re:Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (3, Informative)

TCaM (308943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414339)

Most stores have a no return policy these days for open software.

Re:Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414355)

Why the hell didn't the EFF bring in videotape showing someone trying to return WC3 because he didn't agree with the EULA? That should have ended that "contract" bullshit right there, unless the judge is bought.

You want to know a better solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414394)

Okay, you take the time to demand/return software and I'll be drunk when I click through the EULA.

Re:Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (2, Informative)

runderwo (609077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414419)

If EULAs are going to be held enforceable under contract law, then the same rules that apply to contract law should apply. Namely, if I delete (cross out) the parts of the EULA that I don't like and agree to the remainder, that should be legally binding. You can do just that by editing textareas in web forms and by editing EULA.TXT before installing a piece of software. Unfortunately the courts aren't smart enough about technology to see a reasonable equivalency there.

Re:Seems to me to be a bit... *duh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414447)

> I mean don't you think that it's pretty pathetic to trade your self respect in order to play WoW?

hmmm........

I mean, you gotta look at those screenshots!

judge (-1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414274)

My god, that judge has got to be crooked.
Anyone know the name?

Re:judge (1)

Squonk01 (635994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414399)

Judge Charles A. Shaw
United States District Judge

United States District Court
Eastern Division of Missouri, Eastern Division

Courtroom 12 North
111 South 10th Street
Suite 12.148
St. Louis, MO 63102

Phone: (314)244-7480

He's a Clinton appointee.

Re:judge (1)

Eschatus (590957) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414414)

Well, if you just scroll down to the bottom of the doc, you'll see that it's United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw. This is really no surprise, as a growing number of them are thoroughly corrupt. As well documented on the following site: http://www.jail4judges.org/ [jail4judges.org]

Ummm... (0, Flamebait)

Aash (130966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414275)

Can someone explain to me why these guys are the "good guys" and Blizzard are the "bad guys"? I mean, let's break it down:

Blizzard - makes kickass games, provides us with endless hours of entertainment = bad guys.

Bnetd - an application whose primary use is to allow people with pirated versions of Blizzard games to play them online = good guys.

Something seems a bit off here...

Re:Ummm... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414313)

bnetds primary purpose is to allow people to play pirated versions? errr no. It is to act as a battle.net server that isn't controlled by blizzard, perhaps you'd like to setup private leagues or something.

I guess you reckon the primary use of a cd burner is to steal music from hard working starving artists and their even harder working record company executive bosses.

Re:Ummm... (1, Troll)

Aash (130966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414405)

bnetds primary purpose is to allow people to play pirated versions? errr no. It is to act as a battle.net server that isn't controlled by blizzard, perhaps you'd like to setup private leagues or something.

Yeah, just like filesharing is only for independent bands to get their music heard, cracks are only for educational purposes, and emulators are only for playing games you already own.

Justify it all you want -- and hey, some people probably are using bnetd legitimately -- but most people are using it to play pirated versions of Blizzard's games.

Re:Ummm... (2)

Mooga (789849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414321)

"Bnetd - an application whose primary use is to allow people with pirated versions of Blizzard games to play them online = good guys."

The program was made for the legal verson. The fact that you can use it the worng was has nothing to do with the progam it self. There's a lot of info on this if you go to the EFF website and look up the DMCA. I just wrote a speech on the DMCa and metioned this case.

Re:Ummm... (1)

prezkennedy.org (786501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414331)

If you think making "kickass" games is good enough reason for your rights to be tread upon by these guys, well... no wonder the court system is the way it is. Oh yeah... those games are anything but "kickass".

Re:Ummm... (0)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414366)

"makes kickass games, provides us with endless hours of entertainment " They do what they have to do to turn a profit, that doesnt make them good. Its not like they've EVER released sourcecode, binaries for anything that they dont sell in stores , etc. Good is "I just do it because linux gives me a woody", not turning a profit. Granted, blizzards patch policy is nicer than most, but in the end they're just trying to retain customers so people play their games rather than someone elses.

Bnetd is useful because you can use it to avoid the extortion blizzard uses on lan center owners.

Re:Ummm... (1)

tachi_ (227522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414380)

i'll bite.. by your logic it'd allow ppl like MPAA and RIAA to sue the creater of bittorrent (just a networking protocal for efficient file distribution) because its primaryly used to distribute illegal bootleged movies and such. do you see the problem? they should be going after the ppl who pirate their games. bnetd is just an alternative to their battelnet servers. its not there fault that the ppl who uses it pirated blizzard games. i remember at some point they even tried to work w/ blizzard and impliment their cdkey check system into bnetd which of course was turned down by blizzard.

Re:Ummm... (2)

quantum bit (225091) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414421)

Bnetd - an application whose primary use is to allow people with pirated versions of Blizzard games to play them online = good guys.

Uh, no, a lot of people use it for the same reason that I do -- running a private server for friends (who own legitimate copies, thank you very much) to play on that is free of cheaters and lamers.

It's not good guys vs bad guys... (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414431)

It doesn't matter who are the good guys or the bad guys: there's just a bad legal construct (copyrights on interfaces), so the people using it are automatically demonized.

It's like Napster. Napster were unquestionably crooked when they started, and the fact that the RIAA was bent as hell shouldn't have led anyone to lionise them... but it did. Nobody seems to have cared much about mp3.com, who were trying to operate within the spirit of the law but turned out to be violating the letter.

The FSF are the good guys, right? But the core difference between the GPL and the LGPL is that the GPL asserts a copyright on the interfaces exported by the GPL-ed code, otherwise you could simply ship GPLed code as a shared library and treat the interface as a firewall between two incompatible licenses.

It's all a matter of reputation, really. All you can do is keep reminding people that just because you agree with someone doesn't make them the "good guys", or that you disagree that doesn't mean they're the "bad guys".

Re:It's not good guys vs bad guys... (1)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414457)

Actually, using a shared library between a GPL'd library and code with an incompatible license is not neccesarily legal. Something to do with the dependance clause.

Appeal (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414295)

Ok, so the EFF is going to appeal the ruling. They have had some success in the past, but how can they win here? I am sure the bnetd guys already brought forward most if not all of the important arguments, yet the judge ruled against them.

What did they do wrong anyway? Adding value to Blizzard's games?

Re:Appeal (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414357)

What they did was violate Blizzard's EULA by reverse engineering battle.net, and also circumventing Blizzard's cd-key system, thus allowing illegal copies of the games to be played online

Re:Appeal (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414378)

bnetd doesn't have keychecking, so pirated copies of Diablo2 could be played on it without penalty.

That was Blizzard's major issue, and one I can agree with.

Okay - call me a Linux zealot, but... (3, Insightful)

bushda (460996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414297)

...at least when it comes to GPL software I know what I'm getting into when I use it.

Let's see - software that works the way it' supposed to, has no spyware, and is trustworthy or something with a EULA and none of the above?

Someone tell me again why Windows and commercial software are so much better than open source / free software because I'm just not getting it...

- Dave

Re:Okay - call me a Linux zealot, but... (1)

scottking (674292) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414436)

because it's easy.

but we all know what happens when the easy path is taken [thinkexist.com] , don't we?

Re:Okay - call me a Linux zealot, but... (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414456)

Everyone has his own reasons, but most boil down to: I don't care. :-(

ouch. (3, Interesting)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414298)

This is bad. A Blizzard boycott is not likely, due to the quality of their titles overall. I won't be getting whatever they come out with next, but a million fanboys will.

The solution? Someone comes out with a popular piece of software with some crazy clause in the EULA. Like "On October 31st, 2009, your right to use this software is revoked, along with your computer, which becomes our property on the date" or some such. People won't care, and when the enforcement lawsuits come to take your computers, we'll see if this curent decision isn't overturned. Bad news in the meantime, though.

The GPL looks better and better every day.

In Soviet Russia (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414300)

Peoples rights more important than interest of greedy corporations.

Re:In Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414418)

Look where that got the Soviet Russia.

Isn't it time (5, Insightful)

rpg25 (470383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414312)

...to open a second front against companies like this, and just refuse to buy their products?

If Blizzard is a necessity of life for you, like food, I guess you lose. But it seems like a luxury to me, and isn't it time to just refuse to give a company your money if you don't like what they do with it?

It's your money that's paying for their lawyers.

talk about bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414324)

More like Blizzard/Vivendi vs the Pirates, and the good guys won.

Silly Blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414329)

Bungie didn't sue these people [mariusnet.com] for making a clone of Bungie.net.

WWot? fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414348)

Pre-installing firefox.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414352)

....Means that your system is a security risk...

Hmmm..... I guess that could be extended to mean that pre-installing Linux .....

Wait a minute...... piracy = security risk???

Hmmm.... maybe MS is on to something here....

In a bid to control piracy.. (2, Interesting)

xot (663131) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414354)

they are just going to add to the piracy with rulings and suits like this.A lot of people who used to buy the games are now gonna stop buying them WHICH doesnt neccesarily mean stop playing them.I would just go and download a copy from the net or buy a cheap pirated version.
A lot of people care gonna take this adly and it might surge up the piracy for Blizzard.Great games though, Warcraft,Starcraft n Diablo esp.

bnetd's case (5, Informative)

rpdillon (715137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414382)

I've been following this for some time, and was always kind of appalled by how unjust the case is.

Basically, for those that don't know, bnetd was a daemon (!) that ran under Linux (maybe windows, I forget) that emulated Blizzard's Battlenet server. Blizzard sent out a C&D and took them to court under DMCA. Really, this is a whole lot like DVD Jon in some ways, because Vivendi is contending that the existence of bnetd promotes piracy because it does not enforce CD key checking. In reality, the motive was never to circumvent CD key checking - it was a workaround to allow LAN games over TCP/IP (vice IPX, bleh). The only way to work this is to emulate a battlenet server that everyone can log into locally.

IIRC, the bnetd team actually asked for Blizzard's help in making CD key authentication work (since the point of the project wasn't piracy) and Blizzard told them to go away. This clearly demonstrates a horrible misuse of the DMCA - basically the circumvention of the copyright protection was unintentional and in fact, undesired.

Hell, since I'm on the fence about who to vote for, if one of the candidates for president would say "Hey, I'm going to fix the DMCA mess!" I'd vote for him. Too bad that'll never happen.

Someone please explain to me... (4, Insightful)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414386)

How can an EULA, which I would hardly class as a contract, take away statutory or court established rights? Can I sign away my right to free speech? Right to counsel? How far does that go and what takes precedence, law or contract?

Would a lawyer please explain?

Its all fun and games until Battle.net dies (1)

dtandersen (794543) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414391)

If Battle.net should ever shut down (e.g. Blizzard goes out of business), then titles like Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft will cease to be playable over the internet.

Let's take it slowly. (1)

noselasd (594905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414393)

This story is full of legal blurb.
In a sentence what does this mean for You and Me ?

Re:Let's take it slowly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414423)

Executive summary: We're fucked.

You can't legally resell a program without the publisher's blessing. The publisher can require that you give anything that doesn't violate other law, up to and including your rights in return for allowing you to be his customer. Removing the DRM on your iTunes tracks is now undisputably a Federal crime, since the iTMS user agreement is legal by this precdent.

But other than that, it's no big deal.

Time to Burn Some Karma But (2, Insightful)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414401)

The PC Game market is dropping like a rock while the console industry is booming. Many genres have all but disappeared, long time companies are failing, and sales keep going down. Its not like the console market is doing massive innovation or has better graphics. And console games tend to be more expensive new and hold their full price longer.

I'm going to commit a holy Slashdot sin, but do you think that, gee, maybe the easy of piracy MAY have something to do with it?

One of the reasons that Blizzard has been successful is that they make multiplayer games that require that you BUY THE GAME. None of this play it for a year and justify to yourself why you didn't buy it by saying "This sucks, its just like War2. I'm not going to buy it".

It's not like Blizzard isn't providing enough servers or bandwidth or like its hard to find a game.

We should be protecting Blizzard as one of the few quality game companies left making PC games, not attacking them because they would like to remain profitable.

You don't like it? DON'T BUY THEIR GAMES OR PIRATE THEM.

Brian Ellenberger

Re:Time to Burn Some Karma But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414404)

Yeah, the decline of PC gaming is all due to piracy. Not due to the fact that you need a $400 video card to play a game that runs fine on a $100 console.

and now? (1)

topgan1 (725611) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414409)

What we should do now? Stop using bnetd? Stop playing Blizzard games? Stop reading EULAs? Stop buying pirate software? Start programming free software? I mean, we heard these before... these things rnt new :)

Lets see where everybody stands (1)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414434)

Outrage, outrage!

What if someone were to write an open-source daemon that would allow me to use the Music Store interface in iTunes to access their own version of it, where they got all the money instead of Apple, or noone got any money (free fileswapping.) Would Apple be right to intervene with the DMCA?

Some wiggle room? (1)

BrotherZeoff (776525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414440)

The court seems to hold that the reverse engineering would have been OK if they had never accepted the EULA. So, you can hack if you have never played?

"vs. the good guys" -- Slashdot. Fair and balanced (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10414442)

Yup.

A clickthrough EULA isn't unconscionable ... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10414455)

Maybe not, however clicking thru a EULA doesn't mean I was conscious of its contents, but only that I clicked thru it.

Then there is the pre-click-thru, the set up.

Was the EULA long and in a small windows, difficult to read?

Then there is the pre=pre-click-thru.... as mentioned by other posters/comments that in order to get to the possibility of click-thru EULA, you have to have already bought it and perhaps without ability to return it once you get to the choice.

Sooooo, as a matter of convience, we can ignore all the pre-click-thru unconscionable things that lead up to it???

A non-sequator (sp?)...

Damnit..... first they get you being unconscious and all of the sudden expect you to be conscious.... Sounds like the salesman task of getting you to say "yes" ..... so he can build up to selling you something you don't really want or need...
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