Blizzard vs. BnetD Decision

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (thanks Mike Martinez and Slashdot) has word on a decision in the DMCA lawsuit between Blizzard and the makers of the BnetD alternative to the Battle.Net service. According to the interpretation of this: "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." Both the /. article and the EFF article have further opinions on what this means going forward, and word is the EFF is planning an appeal.
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32 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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32.
 
Re: Sony and First Sale Rights
Oct 4, 2004, 12:41
32.
Re: Sony and First Sale Rights Oct 4, 2004, 12:41
Oct 4, 2004, 12:41
 
Valve tying your CD key to your Steam account also makes it hard to sell your game to someone else, if I understand that correctly.

31.
 
Sony and First Sale Rights
Oct 4, 2004, 12:10
31.
Sony and First Sale Rights Oct 4, 2004, 12:10
Oct 4, 2004, 12:10
 
Sony also insists that your copy of SWG is not transferable to another person. Nice huh?

(former correpondant here)

30.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 04:18
30.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 04:18
Oct 4, 2004, 04:18
 
I'm not arguing that the bnet service should be illegal because it could be used to allow pirates to play, I am saying it *is* illegal because it provides a service another company has developed and copyrighted.
LOL! You cannot copyright an idea or a service. Those types of things require a patent to be protected, and there is too much preexisting art for Blizzard to be awarded a patent for Battle.net.


29.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 04:14
29.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 04:14
Oct 4, 2004, 04:14
 
Hmm, I think the first sale rights thing is what bothers me the most
Actually, what I found most ironic is that about the only thing this judge got right was first sales issue whereas the judge in the class action consumer lawsuit against Microsoft did not. In the class action civil case against MIcrosoft, the judge absolved Microsoft from liability because he claimed that due to the first sale principle, it was the computer manufacturers not Microsoft that was guilty of overcharging consumers for the Windows OS that was installed on new computers. However, since Windows is licensed software and not a physical product which is purchased outright, that ruling was ridiculous.

28.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 04:08
28.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 04:08
Oct 4, 2004, 04:08
 
The long and short of it is that it *is* Blizzard's property.
No, it isn't, and if you actually read the ruling, you will see that was not the issue at all. The bnet software was NOT Blizzard's property. It incorporated no copyrighted code from Blizzard. The judge ruled against bnet's developers essentially because they violated Blizzard's EULA since they had agreed to iut when they installed Blizzard's games and also because the judge claimed the bnet developer's violated the DCMA (however, that part of the ruling is very questionable and appealable). As the ruling stands now, if bnet's developers had developed their software without actually installing Blizzard's product and agreeing to the EULA, it is reasonable to infer that the ruling would have been different. That said, I doubt that bnet's developers would have been able to create bnet without installing and using Blizzard's games.

This comment was edited on Oct 4, 04:19.
27.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
27.
Re: No subject Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
 
Wow, I see a lot of denial here.
Wow, I see alot of irrelevant argument which doesn't directly relate to the issue at hand. Piracy is a red herring in this case. The important legal issues here are whether software publishers can force consumers to forgo their rights through EULA's and whether reverse engineering of software to provide compatible functionality is legal.

The bnet software was not designed specifically to bypass Blizzard's security mechanism. That was simply a byproduct of the fact that bnet's developers did not replicate that functionality since they did not have the knowledge necessary to implement it.
Programs like bnetd have the potential to eliminate a significant amount of the incentive that potential players have to buy a legit copy of the game.
Not really. No amateur effort like bnet can compete against Battlenet since Battlenet is built into the game itself. bnet was and would always have been nothing but a sideshow with a small following. Relatively few players would even know about something like bnet and fewer still would actually use it. Look at XBOX live. There are free alternatives to XBOX live like Gamespy's, but the overwhelming majority of XBOX owners who play online pay Microsoft to use Live.

The excuse that we need some alternative to battle.net because battle.net could vanish is bogus, because it's still around, it's not likely to vanish anytime soon
Even if Blizzard does not go out of business entirely, it could decide to stop supporting some games on Battlenet or start charging fees to play some or all games. With the great number of mergers and corporate changes that are made these days, that is a real possibility.

people could develop stuff like bnetd AFTER that happened.
No, legally if this ruling is upheld, they could not.

It sounds like greed and arrogance.
LOL! it is greed and arrogance of the developers and publishers to demand that their customers can only play the game online using their system and under their rules. It is even more arrogant and intrusive when the publisher tries to dictate how the game is played when the computers hosting the game are owned by the consumer.

This comment was edited on Oct 4, 04:21.
26.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
B M
26.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
Oct 4, 2004, 04:00
B M
 
The long and short of it is that it *is* Blizzard's property. If they don't want people using it, you shouldn't be able to use it.
-----------------------------------------------------
SO you can't use something that you bought?
25.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 03:34
25.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 03:34
Oct 4, 2004, 03:34
 
Exactly, Fox. That's the main thing. EULA can trump consumer protection laws and be considered a means of forefitting other rights with any clear transference of rights or actual agreement. Not to mention Microsoft changes its own EULA multiple times a year. Check out an origianl EULA from WinXP and compare it with the one now. Quite different. The EULA changes without the owner knowing.

As for BattleNet, maybe there has been some miraculous change, but I used to get disconnected a lot playing Diablo2 and WC3. We would be playing 3on3 WC3 maps and someone would always end up getting kicked off before the first player got zerged. That's why I stopped playing Diablo2. I was tired of getting disconnected in the middle of dungeon crawls. I couldn't play with any of my friends outside of BattleNet, so it wasn't worth the grief.

There is no advertising revenue from BattleNet and it's cost free. So these guys made it so regular people could host a server, like Doom, or HL, or NWN etc. and not have to deal with a very laggy and, often, limited multiplayer option. What the hell is wrong with that? They didn't steal any copyrighted code and they obviously didn't promote piracy, especially since they asked to allow people to check against Blizzard's own CD-Key server.

Perception I guess, but VU could screw up Blizzard one day, or there coul be a Daikatana moment and BattleNet would be no more. Online play would be gone from Blizzard's games. I just find it very anathema to spurn community mods and support for a game when other companies not only welcome it, but laud it as one of the best trends in gaming.


Still, the most important and damning thing is the power given to EULAs.

Avatar 20108
24.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 03:03
24.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 03:03
Oct 4, 2004, 03:03
 
Blizzard may have every right to try to prevent people who didn't pay for their games from playing... but that wasn't really what concerned me.

The end result was a ruling that apparently said that a company can put in pretty much anything they want in an EULA, forcing the consumer to waive all rights if so desired, and can enforce it. And you are required to agree without even seeing it in most cases.


23.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 02:15
23.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 02:15
Oct 4, 2004, 02:15
 
Hmm, I think the first sale rights thing is what bothers me the most. While I liked bnetd and fsgs, simply because at the time of starcraft and then diablo2, battle.net was swamped and full of net splits. It was almost impossible to get a stable game with your buddies. If they had put in an IP to IP (for sc, d2 had that thank god) I'd have been mucho happier.

I can see why blizz wouldn't want bnetd etc. around though.

22.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 4, 2004, 01:32
22.
Re: wtf.... Oct 4, 2004, 01:32
Oct 4, 2004, 01:32
 
I'm not arguing that the bnet service should be illegal because it could be used to allow pirates to play, I am saying it *is* illegal because it provides a service another company has developed and copyrighted.

As I said, a game designer spends tons of cash and time on their product... when you purchase that game, you are *not* just paying for the series of ones and zeros on your CD, you are paying for the *service* provided by the game developer (namely, playing on battle.net). When someone else comes along and writes their own software to provide YOUR service, using YOUR game, what they are doing is illegal. Welcome to the information age.

21.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 3, 2004, 23:40
21.
Re: No subject Oct 3, 2004, 23:40
Oct 3, 2004, 23:40
 
yes. that is stupid.

Hopefully this will just drive the bnetd creators and other talented coders out of the united states.


20.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 3, 2004, 22:50
Tom
20.
Re: No subject Oct 3, 2004, 22:50
Oct 3, 2004, 22:50
Tom
 
Wow, I see a lot of denial here.

There is value in the fact that in order to play online, you have to buy the game. Many games these days operate on this principle. When you buy a game like this, you either know what you're getting into, or you didn't care enough to do basic research ahead of time and you deserve however few rights you get with your purchase.

Programs like bnetd have the potential to eliminate a significant amount of the incentive that potential players have to buy a legit copy of the game. It makes a lot of sense for Blizzard to try to prevent this from happening, and keep their product being used in the reasonable manner they intended it to be used in.

The excuse that we need some alternative to battle.net because battle.net could vanish is bogus, because it's still around, it's not likely to vanish anytime soon, and even if it did, people could develop stuff like bnetd AFTER that happened.

Is it fair as consumers to say to a company, you released this product, now we can use it HOWEVER WE WANT TO because we paid some small fee (or, as is more likely, didn't pay at all)? This doesn't sound like freedom, fairness, or justice to me. It sounds like greed and arrogance.

Btw, I may be biased in that I purchased War3 and TFT solely for multiplayer online, and I played the hell out of those games (only on custom maps/gametypes) and continue to. I'm talking hundreds of hours easily. And battle.net has never failed me. Not once.

19.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 3, 2004, 21:30
19.
Re: No subject Oct 3, 2004, 21:30
Oct 3, 2004, 21:30
 
What is BnetD's motivation behind taking a set of reigns?
Freedom for users who play Blizzard's games. With Blizzard being the sole controller of online play of its games, if Blizzard decides to stop supporting one or some of its games, the customer is screwed. Think that won't happen? With the number of game companies that have bitten the dust over just the past couple of years it is not as far-fetched as you might think. Or, Blizzard might decide to stop supporting its older titles for online play after a set time. EA already does this on a regular basis with its older games (just two years for its sports games), but at least EA built in IP-to-IP functionality so consumers can still play online if they arrange their own matches.

This comment was edited on Oct 4, 04:23.
18.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 3, 2004, 21:22
18.
Re: wtf.... Oct 3, 2004, 21:22
Oct 3, 2004, 21:22
 
Am I the only one who *doesn't* find it strange that it is illegal to set up your own servers that let you play someone's copyrighted work without a valid CD-key...?
Aside from the idiots at Blizzard you are the only one. You said the magic words in your post; "YOUR OWN" server. The alternative BNET service did NOT run Blizzard's copyrighted software. Granted this alternative software would allow those without valid keys to play as well as those with them, but that is not the fault or the responsibility of the person running the server nor of the developers of the alternative software. The alternative battle net software could be used for both legal or illegal means like any software including Windows itself. You don't outlaw something just because it can be used for illegal purposes. If that were the case, neither the VCR or even a steak knife would exist.

This comment was edited on Oct 3, 21:33.
17.
 
No subject
Oct 3, 2004, 19:35
Xii
17.
No subject Oct 3, 2004, 19:35
Oct 3, 2004, 19:35
Xii
 
Maybe because another program has features I want that an in game browser does not. Maybe I have serveral games I play at one period in time and I don't want to open each game to see which has servers I feel like playing on. Same principals apply to online games. Maybe someone's server has features that the battlenet servers don't. Mods extend the life of a game. Maybe, though, I just want to have a private server where only people I know can come and play. They offer a free alternative to a free service. Alternative, NOT replacement. BnetD has been around for a long time (years), equating them to a flavor of the week shows lack of understanding of the situation. With all the time BnetD has been in existance there is still the official service, people use it, it isn't going anywhere. They coexist now so leave it that way, stop pissing on customers, even if they are a minority.

16.
 
No subject
Oct 3, 2004, 19:04
16.
No subject Oct 3, 2004, 19:04
Oct 3, 2004, 19:04
 
I don't like this deal here.
I prefer the one network situation where a company has its own network for its own games.

Honestly, why should another company be allowed to capitalize off of another company's work like this? Blizzard developed their games for multiplayer through their network as opposed to the id software system of online servers run by individuals.
They don't charge for the network, they don't demand monthly fees, and they provide a decent amount of support for the software that drives the whole shebang.

So why on earth would any other company think that they can waltz in and lay claim to the network traffic that is buzzing around Blizzard's games?
That's absurd!

While it's true that Gamespy is not id Software, Gamespy grouped all online play into one program.
I don't personally use Gamespy as each game that is released today is 'Powered by Gamespy' and thusly has a server browser built into it. I can't justify third party middleware, ever, with anything, thus I avoid it everywhere I can.

While I may not wholeheartedly agree with a monopoly situation, Blizzard is providing a service without cost. How do we know that BnetD (or whatever the flavor of the week is) will do as well as Blizzard? Why does anything need to be changed with this service at all?

Does anybody really give a shit?
Here's a factoid: Early on in the Blizzard Battle.net history, it was discovered that information was being syphoned to the servers. This was rectified after it was brought to light.
What is BnetD's motivation behind taking a set of reigns?

Avatar 13202
15.
 
I don't know
Oct 3, 2004, 18:45
Xii
15.
I don't know Oct 3, 2004, 18:45
Oct 3, 2004, 18:45
Xii
 
Maybe its just me but I'm used to Q3A style (and many other FPS) auth / private servers. I don't get why they can't do something like id does where the client auths with a Blizzard master server and then after that who the hell cares what server they play on, the copy is legit (or at least the chance of it being legit is as good as current method). In some games the client displays the type of server the entire game (ie Leased, Official, 3rd party) this way there's no confusion and the company can say, if you're having issues on those unsupported servers come to ours where we can make everything peachy. (yeah, right)

14.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 3, 2004, 15:32
14.
Re: wtf.... Oct 3, 2004, 15:32
Oct 3, 2004, 15:32
 
The main thing was that it was possible a pirated copy of the game could used to play online. Just as it is possible that a copyrighted song could be downloaded on a P2P netowrk. Just as it is possible you to cause a 20 car pile-up by driving.
Blizzard created a service that allows paying customers to play their game as they intended... some coders created a service that allows anyone to play their game... Why should Blizzard allow their software to be used in this obviously less beneficial way? Just imagine if another company made a free server for a popular MMO... The original company is the one that developed and tested the game, and now they are supposed to let someone else use it for their own benefit?

Welcome to the information age, where untangible things have significant monetary value. Whether it's showing a feature film on national TV or playing an hour of an MMO, these things represent real services that belong to the owner of the copyright.

Halsy, if they didn't want people to use their software, they shouldn't have marketed then. Yes?
Clearly they want people to use (read, buy) their software, but that doesn't mean they can't regulate its use.

13.
 
Re: wtf....
Oct 3, 2004, 14:56
13.
Re: wtf.... Oct 3, 2004, 14:56
Oct 3, 2004, 14:56
 
Just move to a country that explicitly DONT recognice EULA's.

Problem solved.

~~DukeP~~

32 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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