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Blizzard has won the latest stage in a continuing court battle over the reverse engineering of its closed Battle.net game server software. The company <a href="htt...

Simon Carless, Blogger

October 1, 2004

1 Min Read

Blizzard has won the latest stage in a continuing court battle over the reverse engineering of its closed Battle.net game server software. The company originally shut down the BnetD project, a piece of free software which emulates Battle.net to allow the playing of games such as StarCraft, Diablo II, and WarCraft III without using Blizzard servers, back in early 2002. However, the company invoked the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) to do so, also referencing Blizzard Games' end user license agreement (EULA), but legal battles regarding the move have raged since then. In particular, the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken up BnetD's case, arguing that "programming and distributing BnetD was fair use. The programmers reverse-engineered Battle.net purely to make their free product work with it, not to violate copyright." The court judgment in St. Louis, Missouri ruled that "the individual defendents... breached the [Blizzard] license agreements in this case", but the EFF has vowed to appeal the case, "challenging the court's ruling that creating alternative platforms for legitimately purchased content can be outlawed."

About the Author(s)

Simon Carless

Blogger

Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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