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Vivendi, Electronic Frontier Foundation Scuffle Over Online Gaming Site

Vivendi, parent company of Blizzard Entertainment, sent a "cease and desist" letter to Internet Gateway Inc., an Internet Service Provider which hosts an online
The site, called "bnetd" is essentially a third-party Battle.net site. Gamers can meet online or on a local area network to chat, find competition, and start multiplayer games using the bnetd software. Vivendi demanded that the ISP disable the website hosting the bnetd software, saying it violates copyright law and the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), because bnetd doesn't perform a CD-KEY check on a player's disc to ensure it's a legitimate copy of the game. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken up the cause for Internet Gateway Inc. and the bnetd users, issuing a reply that says that Vivendi has overstepped its bounds and using the DMCA this way. "A group of volunteers decided to write a server for Blizzard games because the Blizzard servers were undependable and we wanted increased functionality," explained Tim Jung, owner of Internet Gateway, based in St. Louis. "Vivendi claims that the server violates the law because it does not implement checking the game's CD-KEY, designed to prevent the use of illegal copies of their games. We asked them to give us the information we needed to do the checking, but they refused."

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