The bnetd v Blizzard trials scheduled for starting today!

TheJarulf

Banned
The bnetd v Blizzard trials scheduled for starting today!

Found a notice over at Gamasutra. No idea how long it is planned to take, I think a day for the hearings and such and then some time before the ruling (no idea how long US courets usually take for this kind of things).

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=5729

For more info as well as reading the actual papers and such:

http://www.eff.org/IP/Emulation/Blizzard_v_bnetd/

Of most interest is probably the briefs, but the other documents can be interesting reading as well (it is a LOT of reading).
 

Orphan

Diabloii.Net Member
Aye, I noticed that too (though, from a different source).

For the record: to be honest, I'm not much of a fan of reverse engineering, but I guess that isn't what's important here.

The courts have already ruled in Blizzards favor last time, this is an appeal by BnetD against that decision. Personally, I'm not too confident on their (BnetD's) chances.

I remember back when Sega took Accolade to court for similar reasons (back in the 90's). Accolate managed to make games that could be played on Sega's Genesis console without Sega's permission. Sega filed suit, but I believe Accolade won, so I guess anything could happen.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Even more information at Groklaw - http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050619221055320

Even though it does qualify as reverse engineering, there should be nothing illegal about it. If it weren't for this sort of thing, we wouldn't have most of the technical innovations that we use today.

The DMCA is an abomination and should be scrapped. But there's too much money passing under the table for that.
 
Darn, merv, you beat me to posting that link! Was reading the same one this morning. Should be interesting to see how the trial goes.
 
Our very own forumite, Eff is involved? wow, go Eff! :lol:
Anyway, looks pretty clear that they broke copyright laws, but you never know, might get out on a technicality or something stupid.
 

Dredd

D3 Off Topic Moderator
Orphan said:
I remember back when Sega took Accolade to court for similar reasons (back in the 90's). Accolate managed to make games that could be played on Sega's Genesis console without Sega's permission. Sega filed suit, but I believe Accolade won, so I guess anything could happen.
That's the very first thing that came to mind when I saw this thread. I'm very curious to see where this case goes. Thanks for the links, Jarulf.

farting bob said:
Anyway, looks pretty clear that they broke copyright laws, but you never know, might get out on a technicality or something stupid.
Actually, IIRC, it was an issue of copyright (use of the sega logo I think) that ultimately bungled the case for Sega in the suit that Orphan mentioned. I barely remember the suit (I'll have to dig out the book I have and refresh my memory). Hopefully, someone who remembers the details will come along and clarify.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
farting bob said:
Anyway, looks pretty clear that they broke copyright laws, but you never know, might get out on a technicality or something stupid.
Actually, Bob, they broke DMCA provisions and the Blizzard EULA rather than actual copyright laws. Big difference.

Can I have that Zod you found? :-/
 
jmervyn said:
Actually, Bob, they broke DMCA provisions and the Blizzard EULA rather than actual copyright laws. Big difference.

Can I have that Zod you found? :-/
Ah, then ok, its probably more complicated than i thought.
And i dont have the zod anymore. i gave it away in a tournament. the winner managed to take a wirts leg weilding venomsin to guardian in SP dealing less than 700 damage with venom per hit.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
farting bob said:
And i dont have the zod anymore. i gave it away in a tournament. the winner managed to take a wirts leg weilding venomsin to guardian in SP dealing less than 700 damage with venom per hit.
Oh, thought you meant it was a HC Zod. I suppose running a wirtsin, venom or no, deserves a reward...
 
jmervyn said:
Oh, thought you meant it was a HC Zod. I suppose running a wirtsin, venom or no, deserves a reward...
Bah, i made a guardian reently using just psychic hammer to kill stuff. total damage was 84-112 IIRC, plus merc (who killed the majority of stuff in hell, but was fragile)
 

Orphan

Diabloii.Net Member
jmervyn said:
...Initial reportage on Groklaw looks promising..
Sounds promising? I take it your against Blizzard for shutting down BnetD? The report seems to be leaning abit towards Grewal's case, though it is pretty interesting none the less.
 

jmervyn

Diabloii.Net Member
Orphan said:
Sounds promising? I take it your against Blizzard for shutting down BnetD? The report seems to be leaning abit towards Grewal's case, though it is pretty interesting none the less.
Big time. I don't know if Blizzard really was the group with the made-up bone to pick; I think Vivendi/Universal wants to pave some Intellectual Property roads. Who cares if there's a little customer blood in the asphalt?

If Bliz really wanted to keep their server monopoly so restrictive, they should have done a better job supporting the current users, instead of moving to the pay-per-play model. And if they had been smart, they would have embraced the Open Source model, and could have made an even stronger/longer sales run with the Diablo product line. Imagine if any of those Diablo mods could have been semi-official, rather than considered a cheat or crack. We'd have Diabloii/Fallout hybrids by now.
 

Omikron8

Diabloii.Net Member
I see the BNetD situation as blizzard saying this "So you want to go to someone's private servers where cheating and a-holes are actually monitored and possibly eliminated? Sorry can't have that happen, SUE SUE SUE !"
 

Psychic Watch

Diabloii.Net Member
A very thorough analysis of the case is at http://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=149


Yale Law School said:
It seems pretty clear that even if bnetd is a circumvention device, then it clearly falls under the exemption of 1201(f)(2), since any circumvention is only for the purpose of achieving interoperability between bnetd and the Blizzard game. Such interoperability does not constitute infringement, since it does not violate sections 106-118 or 602.
 

Orphan

Diabloii.Net Member
jmervyn said:
Big time. I don't know if Blizzard really was the group with the made-up bone to pick; I think Vivendi/Universal wants to pave some Intellectual Property roads. Who cares if there's a little customer blood in the asphalt?

If Bliz really wanted to keep their server monopoly so restrictive, they should have done a better job supporting the current users, instead of moving to the pay-per-play model.
I'm all for consumer choice. However, I'm all against piracy. Unfortunatly, in a way, BnetD promotes and encourages piracy, because they do not validate CD-Keys. Previously, people who wanted to log onto battle.net knew that they needed to purchase a copy of the game, because they need a CD-Key. BnetD gives them another avenue.

LawMeme said:
Bnetd's emulation of Battle.net does not validate keys. It simply ignores the encrypted packet containing the key. After all, users of bnetd would probably not be happy if bnetd did decrypt the packet, since that could be a means through which the unscrupulous "harvest" valid keys that could then be sold by pirates
The main problem I have with this is that they're afraid that BnetD could harvest CD-Keys to be sold to pirates, but they have no problems with pirates using their system..

I know alot of people are probably going to side with BnetD on this one (hell, a quick search on google brings up alot of sites with that notion, including ones that even suggest to boycott Blizzards products), and I fully expect them to. You said it yourself in the word "monopoly". It's a classic David vs Goliath battle, with Blizzard being the huge tyrant, and BnetD being the poor little kid being pushed around by Blizzards/Vivendi's "financial might".

However, I at least think Blizzard deserves the right to get paid for their games. They took the time, effort and money to make a quality game (something alot of game companies cannot seem to do from time to time) and it's a small thing to ask to be paid for it. With a pirate-happy server available, there's going to be an even greater chance of (and reason to create) pirated games. It's not just the old Blizzard games that could be used on BnetD. During the War3 beta test, players were sending packet dumps to the bnetd project team, so they could begin work on supporting War3 when it was released.

Sometimes, I can't help but sit back and think, that if no-one ever pirated any games (a pretty big assumption), would we have had Diablo 3 by now? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that if alot more people pirated games in the past (than what did), we probably wouldn't even have Diablo 2.


jmervyn said:
Imagine if any of those Diablo mods could have been semi-official, rather than considered a cheat or crack
To my knowledge, the Diablo 2 mods aren't considered a cheat or crack, Blizzard just doesn't allow them on the bnet server system. Yes, it would probably be interesting to have some sort of dedicated server for mods, but let's not make things sound worse than what they are :)

Legal FAQ said:
Can I do a total conversion of your games?

Yes. We've seen some very polished and fun conversions for our games, and have no problems with total conversions so long as they are for personal use and do not infringe our End User License Agreement included in our games, nor the rights of any other parties including copyrights, trademarks or other rights
 

Ax2Grind

Diabloii.Net Member
Having read through most of this...

I conclude the following:

  1. No copyrights have been violated. This was proven by a jury verdict and by simple legal argument (including the rebuttal by Grewal).
  2. Reverse engineering of a protocol, the only DMCA alleged infringement, is shaky at best. The idea being protocol is a product of the client or server, in being a unique language, but someone creating an operating system to similate network interoperability with any of the programs on the market must do the same thing. Can anyone here create networking software for a new OS without knowing how programs network (please, no 'Blizzard would help in such a case' arguments. since this can't be assumed)?
  3. The EULA is the only semi-valid violation the plaintiffs have brought up, and it's only slightly more valid than what's stated above. In fact, I'm under the belief that that's the only reason the jury ruled for them on that count. Though the reverse engineering clause is primarily directed at the actual program, the plaintiffs seem to apply it to anything and everything associated with their products, publicly purchased or otherwise. Whether this is because the jury wasn't legally-, technologically- or logically-minded is another issue, but is communication protocal that isn't, in itself, encrypted covered under any law, let alone this clause?
I also conclude, from the forum posts in the resulting article from the link above the following are the only support for Blizzard: they offer a free network so stop whining, the alternate network supports/encourages/condones piracy (again, not covered under any law unless such is explicitly proven, and it hasn't been), and that it's simply a third party trying to harp on the success of Blizzard's hard work.

Before going in to any further discussion, and assuming the details aren't too off-base, someone correct me on any of these issues.
 

TheJarulf

Banned
Was on vacation last week so have not been able to post before now.

Ax2Grind said:
I conclude the following:

1. No copyrights have been violated. This was proven by a jury verdict and by simple legal argument (including the rebuttal by Grewal).
Correct. There were initially a whole bunch of different accusations tossed out by Blizzard (and some only added late). That of copyright infringement was one droped (since it is not there any more). Supposedly they initially claimed that the bnetd program contained actually copied code from the "server" (must be from the client part since there is no access to actual battle.net code) that had something to do with the cd-keys. They claimed it must be a copy since it supposedly even contained a small bug that was in the Blizzard code. This was droped early I think (have to reread all old documents to be sure of when and how), and is no longer part of the case.

The case if I don't forget something is, as been allready stated in the thread, basically of two parts. One, claim of breach of EULA/ToS and another of circumvention (based on the DMCA I assume). This would, in my opinion, be a circumvention of an access protection, although it is often stated as a copy protection. What is circumvented (claimed to) is not battle.net itself, since that is never accessed when you use bnetd, but rather the multiplayer part in the client, which is used when you connect to battle.net or bnet. However, I find it hard to see how it could be brought up against anyone but the PLAYER, or one connecting to bnetd. Or one have to argue that bnetds only use is that of such circumvention which would not be the case since it can be used by fully correct copies of the game.

Ax2Grind said:
2. Reverse engineering of a protocol, the only DMCA alleged infringement, is shaky at best.

I think they base their reverse engineering on the EULA/ToS, not the DMCA, as I stated above. That is my understanding. At issue is, can one really put anything in an EULA? Even to prevent such things that the law specifically states you can? I also think it is much an issue of conflicting state and federal law (I am not that good on that issue since I am not an American). The copyright law (including the DMCA is a federal law, while contract law (which the EULA/ToS is based on) is state law. So at issue is, can a state law that allow such a contract "over rule" and allow for contracts that put asside "rights" given through a federal law? In much this is a US issue and would not have existed in many other countries, so perhaps a bit bad luck they were based in USA (if you rally for bnetd).


There doesn't seem to be any postings (at eff site of the ruling yet, although there is an mp3 of the oral hearing (have not had time to listen to it yet).
 
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