World Of Warcraft Developer Vs. The Software Bots: The Legal Crusade

Illustration for article titled World Of Warcraft Developer Vs. The Software Bots: The Legal Crusade

Bots. Like it or not, they're part of online games like World of Warcraft. A U.S. court ruled on the legality of one particular popular and profitable bot.

WoW Glider is a program for World of Warcraft that basically turns your character into one of those annoying bots you see running about. In short, it levels up avatars. The company that created the program, MDY Industries, raked in millions off WoW Glider.

A suit was originally filed way back in 2007 with WoW developer Blizzard saying that WoW Glider infringes their IP, allows cheating, and circumvents copyright protections.


In 2008, Blizzard Blizzard won summary judgment and was awarded US$6 million. MDY Industries appealed, and a U.S. appeal court ruled that WoW Glider is legal, and the previous decision was overturned.

As website Gamer/Law (via Edge) explains, Blizzard lost the copyright argument, but did win the argument that WoW Glider breaks the game's user agreement. Thus, the sale of WoW Glider is still banned. What's more, since the circuit court's ruling overturned the verdict, this either means a retrial or appeals to the US Supreme Court.


Don't close the book on this case just yet. This is going to be a long hard fight of cataclysmic proportions.

Thoughts on the WoW Glider appeal [Gamer/Law via Next-Gen] [Pic]

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If MMOs had actual "fun" and engaging gameplay, the reliance on BOTs for progression would be moot (then it could be a legit case of AIM BOT/WALL HACK bans).

Most people I know that use BOTS use them to keep abreast with their friends' levels because they simply don't have the time or capacity to deal with monotony to achieve those levels honestly.

If these games were actually fun without the requisite friends being online and at the same levels, the anatomy of gameplay would drastically change. Since most MMOs aren't really games at all (is a Slot Machine considered a game when all you do is pull a lever repeatedly?), changing the formula would scare away the addiction-prone vegetables but would also provide players with a game instead of a boring product with a chatroom tacked on that requires a $180 annual fee. Nobody ever paid someone to play Super Mario Bros. for them.