Video Game Law Blog

December 16, 2004

Blizzard Entertainment recently won its lawsuit against Internet Gateway Inc. and various individuals who reverse engineered Blizzard's software and protocols to create the bnetd project, a free and unregulated alternative to Blizzard's arena. The court ruled that the defendants' activities violated US copyright law and also violated Blizzard's software licences and online terms of use.  

Other software publishers should take note that the court was impressed by the following (a) Blizzard's licence agreement explicitly prohibited reverse engineering, (b) the software boxes and packaging stated that the customers' use of the software and were subject to a licence agreement and terms of use; (c) the pop-up licence agreement and terms of use gave users explicit notice that their use of the software and was governed by the agreement and that the users could return the software for a full refund if they didn't agree to the terms; (d) users would not be able to use the game if they did not consent to the agreement and the terms by clicking "I Agree".

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