Xfire Sues IGN For Copyright Infringement, Loses First Legal Battle

Video Game Law Blog

November 01, 2006

On October 16, 2006 Xfire filed suit against rival IGN Entertainment over IGN's GameSpy Comrade program incorporated into Electronic Arts' Battlefield 2142 game. Xfire's complaint is that GameSpy Comrade's 'Buddy Sync"? feature, which retrieves users' friends list from other instant messaging programs like Xfire and allows those users to invite friends with GameSpy accounts to join, infringes on Xfire's copyrights.

The day before Battlefield 2142 was scheduled to ship to retail, Xfire filed a request for a temporary restraining order in order was to prevent the distribution of Gamespy Comrade, arguing the release of the game could irreparably harm Xfire by infringing its copyrights, disclosing trade secrets and siphoning off its users to IGN's program. In response, IGN argued that Xfire has no copyright to a user's name and list of friends and, furthermore, that the alleged 'trade secrets"? were prominently posted on a publicly accessible area of Xfire's web-site. Electronic Arts also responded, arguing that a delay in the game's release would significantly reduce its sales.

In the result, the court denied Xfire's request for a restraining order, citing Xfire's failure to meet the burden of demonstrating probable success on the merits of the case.

Coverage at  http://shorl.com/fypumunyvebru (Gamespot)