Gaming company Blizzard has won the first round of a legal battle against the maker of WoWGlider, a third-party application that automates play in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft game.
WoWGlider, created by MDY Industries founder Michael Donnelly, allows World of Warcraft players to kill enemies automatically by controlling the characters. Blizzard first attempted to put a stop to WoWGlider in 2006 by sending lawyers to ask Donnelly to stop distributing the software. He replied with a lawsuit asking the judge to rule that WoWGlider was legal, prompting Blizzard to file a countersuit.
Arizona District Court Judge David Campbell agrees that WowGlider infringes Blizzard’s copyright because it breaks the terms of the licence players agree to when they run the game.
However, the judge did not side with Blizzard over its claim that MDY broke the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a US law that criminalises the production of technologies that circumvent controlled access to copyrighted works.
The case is set to go before a jury in September, when the Judge will rule on whether Blizzard is due any damages, unless the two parties decide to settle out of court.