Blizzard Files against Glider, WoW Botting Program
MarkeeDragon, an online gold reseller site, reported today that an associate of theirs, Michael Donnelly, creator ofWoW Glider, is being sued by Blizzard for copyright infringement, violating the DMCA, encouraging players to violate World of Warcraft's EULA, trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. (Click here for a .PDF of their complaint.)
Wow Glider is a program that automatically controls players' avatars, letting players leave their computers while the program adventures for them. Players can level their characters or amass huge stores of gold and items without even sitting at the screen. Often called "unattended macroing," this type of behavior is against frowned upon by most game developers and is in violation of WoW's terms of service agreement. The enforcement of EULAs and TOSes as contracts is a murky legal subject, as two court decisions contradicted each other on whether or not a user can be bound to something he may not have explicitly read. The outcome of this case may dictate the future of these so-called "shrink wrap contracts," which could alter the way people play games forever.
Blizzard is contending Donnelly, by selling the program, is encouraging users to willfully violate these theoretical contracts with the company, and is seeking unspecified damages, court fees and an injunction against further sales of WoW Glider.
Blizzard's filing is actually in countersuit to MDY's, the company Donnelly owns. In his suit, Donnelly says three men, one of which was a high-ranking officer at Vivendi and one who was a lawyer for Vivendi and Blizzard, arrived at his house and threatened him with a lawsuit if he didn't stop selling Glider. (Blizzard only admitted to part of this.) He filed a suit asking for damages and for a court order to stop Blizzard from interfering with his business. (Click here for a .PDF of the complaint.)
Donnelly has declined comment on the case, but he did create a special forum on his site for users to discuss the case.
We currently have questions out to Blizzard and Donnelly's associates; we'll update as they come in.
Shannon Drake contributed reporting.
I think Blizzard's real concern is that macro programs tend to degrade online games in the eyes of the valued customers. They want to keep WoW as "pure" for as long as possible. While I don't like the concept of a bunch of unattended user accounts battling each other for gold and experience, it kind of speaks volumes to the game's design and play. I mean, a simple program can play the game while you're away... doesn't sound very engaging for a human being to keep toiling away at those digital monsters. Seems like a broken game design to me.
Sorry, just gotta throw in a few comments.
I am the site owner of rpg-exploiters.com and was actually surprised by Mercury's (Michael Donnelly) response. I really cannot say as I blame him, but I was surprised none the less. Things that aren't mentioned here, are InnerSpace (a superior cloaking method for bots), RealmBot, WoWBot/WoWSharp, AutoIt, and ACTool. At no time have any of these entities been approached by Blizzard, and to single WoWGlider out is amazing.
They claim it's because of a loss of income, because of all the accounts they have had to ban, but when you think of all the accounts which get banned each month 30-90 thousand, for gold farming, it would make more sense to go after all the gold sellers. There are plenty of them whose base of operations are in the USA/EU. Right now, Blizzard annoys the gold farmers with weekly bans, but Blizzard is causing the high rate of gold prices, which keeps the gold farmers coming back after each ban. Stop the bans, and people will grow bored, and prices will drop, thus getting rid of the farmers.
Lets also not forget emulators, which cause users to not pay for WoW's monthly fees. There are WOW:TBC Enulators out there, that do a fine job of allowing a player to play for free. I have seen plenty of sites which distribute this software for free, and again are based in the USA/EU. This would seem to me a bigger threat then one software company which creates a bot for dummies.
Then there's the hack programs. Blizzard has actually done a fine job of killing those. There are still plenty of them around, but they are not mainstream, such as the heyday of Bubba's Warcraft Hack (BWH). This is another program which caused massive bans within WoW, but again Blizzard never seemed to go after the owner of that program.
In essence, just because we run the risk of getting banned, that is not a reason for a lawsuit. I personally have had 30 accounts banned within the last 6 months, and I never used Glider. It's a frivolous lawsuit, which never should have made it to court.
We in the exploit community fully support Glider and Mike's lawsuit. What happens here will even affect us.
While I don't like the concept of a bunch of unattended user accounts battling each other for gold and experience, it kind of speaks volumes to the game's design and play. I mean, a simple program can play the game while you're away... doesn't sound very engaging for a human being to keep toiling away at those digital monsters. Seems like a broken game design to me.
well said, i would agree too. ive played a few mmo games but never a pay to play like wow, in my experience the in game economy's are so twisted that you have too look for ways to get ahead that are generally not legal or fair and ive herd about other games getting in game content boosted to such high prices that it makes playing and getting anything worth a damn to require a huge time sink and i would think its probably just not worth it.
in the mmo games that ive used programs to get me a financial boost in the long run did little to help me accomplish anything, the alliances and uber glitchers always seem to be so far ahead and you just can not compete with them or the gamers that play the game all day.
ive quit most of the mmo games i have played for exactly that reason, if you need a program to play the game because you need gold or whatever whether its bad game design or just not your thing you should probably not be playing that game anyway.