WoW bot creator in legal stoush with Blizzard

WoW player and creator of a third-party bot program for the popular MMORPG is in hot water with Blizzard and Vivendi over his creation. Expect this fight to be long and drawn out – neither party is budging.

WoWGlider is a third-party program created by Michael Donnelly to circumvent the need for a player to be present during WoW sessions by setting elaborate scripts to automatically perform quests and hunts. Donnelly charged $25 for a key to unlock the program.

The original suit (pdf), filed in November of 2006, filed by Donnelly after being visited at his home by a ‘high ranking officer of Vivendi’ and a lawyer for both Vivendi and Blizzard, sought a trial by jury if the companies thought that his creation had, as they had accused, violated both World of Warcraft copyrights and the DMCA.

In response, Vivendi and Blizzard filed a countersuit on February 16th seeking “monetary relief including damages sustained by Blizzard in an amount not yet determined.”

The seven-count countersuit (available in pdf form via WoWGlider’s site) claims that “Blizzard has suffered damage in an amount to be proven at trial, including but not limited to loss of goodwill among WoW users, diversion of Blizzard resources to prevent access by WoWGlider users, loss of revenue from terminated users, and decreased subscription revenue from undetected WoWGlider users.”

Blizzard claims that WoW’s EULA and TOU prohibit “WoW players from using third-party add-on programs, and specifically cheat programs, in conjunction with WoW,” and that, by nature of Donnelly’s own WoW account, he was aware of the restrictions and prohibitions.

Blizzard also specifically notes that WoWGlider works by launching an unauthorized copy of the WoW executable to circumvent Blizzard’s Warden anti-cheating system.

In addition to monetary relief and legal fees, Blizzard and Vivendi have asked the court to require that the WoWGlider website be shut down and all rights and titles to be transferred to Blizzard, that Donnelly be restrained from continuing to sell the program, that he deliver the source code to the program, and that he provide the developer with all accounting related to the sale of WoWGlider.

Source: Gamasutra

Related Links: World of Warcraft, WoWglider