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Blizzard Ganks Botting Software Company

Let me guess… we all love bots, right? Those programs that automated your character for leveling, farming, BGs, and whatever? Set up a program and AFK your way to honor, loot, and glory, right? Right?

Ok, ok, stop with the rotten tomatoes already.

It looks like Blizzard got the courts to agree that there was a large, deliberate “interference with contract” violation or somesuch going on. As a result a company which made $300k selling botware now gets to pony up $7 million to Bliz.

Blizzard wins $7M judgment in World of Warcraft bot lawsuit

Blizzard Entertainment has prevailed in a two-year legal battle with Ceiling Fan Software over World of Warcraft bots, and has been awarded $7 million by a federal court in California.

The publisher originally filed suit in December 2011 against Ceiling Fan, a company that developed two bots — Pocket Gnome and Shadow Bot — allowing World of Warcraft players to automate aspects of the game. Using bots is a violation of the World of Warcraft end-user license agreement and its terms of use.

More: Read the comments, too. They’re very good.

If you’re interested in the legal stuff you can find the legal summary here and the actual judgment here.

This is another win for Bliz in the war against the bots. They previously got one against Glider. Here’s a brief Slashdot article which I thought explained the rules, nicely.

The court found that they did violate DMCA Section 1201(a)(2) (PDF), which prohibits trafficking in products that circumvent technologies designed to control access to copyright-protected works.” (source) 

The demand is too high for the problem to stop, but now the software people are aware of the potential costs. So we’ll see.

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