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Blizzard sues private WoW server operator

Blizzard sues private WoW server operator

Activision Blizzard has sued Scapegaming, a private WoW server operator, for $88 million.

Blizzard has been awarded a payment of $88 million after a lawsuit against Scapegaming, a company which operated 'private' World of Warcraft servers, according to Gamasutra.

Blizzard accused Scapegaming, run by Alyson Reeves, of copyright infringement, unfair competition and copyright circumvention in a lawsuit that was filed in October last year.

Evidence garnered from PayPal revealed that Scapegaming had bought in $3 million in revenue from running unauthorised WoW servers, which don't require players to pay a subscription to the game.

Private MMO servers also allow operators to alter the rules of the game; Scapegaming is reported to have charged players $1 for levelling up and up to $300 for rare items.

Blizzard was awarded a total of $200 for each of the 427,000 customers Scapegaming had at it's peak back in June 2008, plus $85.4 million for statutory damages.

Scapegaming did not respond to the suit however, so it's unclear if the company will appeal the judgement - or even be able to pay out to Blizzard.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

60 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
leveller 17th August 2010, 09:58 Quote
They must have been insane to think they could get away with it.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 17th August 2010, 10:00 Quote
Uh Oh got your hand caught in the virtual cookie jar. Good for Blizzard!

This is a perfect example of Piracy because "money" was involved on cracked Wow games.

Once Blizzard gets paid will they give their loyal gamers a free month of WOW?
crazyceo 17th August 2010, 10:03 Quote
I'm not agreeing with this in either way but how did this effect Blizzard since it was run independently from the online version. I understand the loss of income angle but other than that what else have they done wrong?
r3loaded 17th August 2010, 10:12 Quote
Wait - they're suing them for competing? Doesn't seem very fair to me.
shanky887614 17th August 2010, 10:18 Quote
if i buy a game for £30 and it has a £5 subscription fee every month i expect at least
6months free
Unknownsock 17th August 2010, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Wait - they're suing them for competing? Doesn't seem very fair to me.

Competing using a product they don't own nor have any rights too. Seems fair to me.

Not sure if i fully understand, as i doubt there was 400k players. I tried private servers whilst i was still playing on the real servers. And from my experience they were terrible.
Genestarwind 17th August 2010, 10:36 Quote
from my experience of private servers on other mmo's most of the time companies will look the other way as long as money isnt involved IE the bedroom hosters putting a server up for a couple of mates isnt usually going to attract a swarm of lawyers but in this case a substantial sum of money was being generated

oh and agree with Unknownsock just about every private server ive played on has been awful
Plugs 17th August 2010, 10:57 Quote
i wonder how much their server costs were
running a server, with thousands of users, smoothly for three years cant be cheap

must have been a big dent in that $3mil revenue
though not as big as an $80mil payout for copyright breach
Mr T 17th August 2010, 11:06 Quote
Forgive me for sounding stupid but where did they even get the server software?
Kúsař 17th August 2010, 11:06 Quote
I feel no pity for the parazyte. They knew the risk and if they thought they could get away with it...serves 'em right.
Genestarwind 17th August 2010, 11:11 Quote
@ Mr T these things are usually leaked, a mate of mine ended up with a copy of the alpha server code for TBC before it came out and we were exploring all the new zones minus npc's just having a look around
Lance 17th August 2010, 11:20 Quote
Alls fair in love and wow.

I think its very fair that Blizzard should be allowed to protect the game that they've spent all their time and effort on creating. Did this start before or after Activision got involved?
dyzophoria 17th August 2010, 11:44 Quote
My bet is if they didnt charge for the service, blizzard would have probably took it easy on them. lol
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 17th August 2010, 11:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Wait - they're suing them for competing? Doesn't seem very fair to me.

Are you serious? They are making money off of Blizzard's game. They are not competing they are stealing.

If they developed and published their own game then they would be competing.
eddtox 17th August 2010, 12:01 Quote
So, let me get this right:

Blizzard is suing the for (($200*427000)+85.4mil) 170.8 million despite them having a total *turnover* of 3 million.

And everybody thinks that's ok?

Have you stopped to consider how much of the 3mil was actually profit? I would imagine that the costs of hardware + bandwidth + time would eat up most (if not all) of that.

And how is the valuation of $200 per customer fair, when its obvious that Scapegaming were making orders of magnitude less than that per customer. Even Blizzard would have to keep *each one* of those 427000 users for over 3 years to make that kind of money from them.

Whether you take the "ill-gotten gains" or the "lost revenue" approach, the damages awarded are outrageously high.

This reminds me of the morons who claimed that each pirated song was worth thousands of dollars.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Blizzard was awarded a total of $200 for each of the 427,000 customers Scapegaming had at it's peak back in June 2008, plus $85.4 million for statutory damages.

That makes it sound like the total amount is $200*427,000 (85.4mil) + 85.4 mil (to a total of 170.8mil. The actual figures are
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzard

The total reward of $88,594,589 comes from $3,053,339 of inappropriate profits, $63,600 of attorney's fees, and $85,478,600 of statutory damages. Statutory damages are damages required by law that are increased for willful and commercially based infringement. Scapegaming may appeal the amount.

Still an excessive amount IMO, but not as bad a my earlier calculation.
impar 17th August 2010, 12:12 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
So, let me get this right:

Blizzard is suing the for (($200*427000)+85.4mil) 170.8 million despite them having a total *turnover* of 3 million.

And everybody thinks that's ok?
Yep.
As someone already wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
I feel no pity for the parazyte.
xaser04 17th August 2010, 12:19 Quote
From the story I can understand the $3 + million based on lst revenue, however I cannot fathom how the $85 million has been calculated. This figures seems extremely excessive given the other figures involved, even if it is for 'statutory damages'.

Its entirely pointless anyway, Blizzard will never see anywhere near $85 million anyway.
iwog 17th August 2010, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
From the story I can understand the $3 + million based on lst revenue, however I cannot fathom how the $85 million has been calculated. This figures seems extremely excessive given the other figures involved, even if it is for 'statutory damages'.

Its entirely pointless anyway, Blizzard will never see anywhere near $85 million anyway.

Correct but how much more impressive does it sound then $3 million revenue + a 50% naughty boy fine. The act of fining the $85million acts a deterrence to others, its much more scary to lose everything then just what you risked in the first place.
Dreaming 17th August 2010, 13:07 Quote
I was all for blizzard until I read how the sentencing broke down.

I guess it would be nice in a digital age for judges to give more verbose judgements e.g. reasonings and so on, because for the average joe, it just looks like at every turn the big guy ****s the little guy (even if he is absolutely wrong) in the rear.

I just can't see how that was justified.

With the amount of money floating around at the top end, wouldn't be surprised if the judge was under considerable pressure to hand out a ****ing massive fine. Wonder if he's going to some epic loots to say thanks now.

P.s. I should make clear I'm all for making wrong doers pay, but I'm not going to be advocating chopping the hands of off thieves, it's all about being proportionate. But since the judges and high flying executives live in a completely different world to most of us, we are just spectators.

Lets hope it doesn't happen to us if we get caught with our hand in the cookie jar!
Marc5002 17th August 2010, 13:08 Quote
Well we are Lucky that the ACTA is not yet accepted worldwide it only in negotiation procedure and it should come to a conclusion/agreement by 2010 November which mean if they accept the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement it will protect basically all mmo / video game / music artist /

and may do serious damage to google/youtube profit as million of video get banned by DMCA that would work in concert with ACTA even if they showed you 10 minute of ad that wouldn't allow them

if a such agreement come to a therm i couldn't tell if anyone within the Europe union / North america will be Able to Acess P2p Service without being sent to The court for pay a over 11K for being criminal to have over 600-5000 illegal mp3 / 10-20 illegal video game that where counterfeit / 10-100 illegal movie that where Counterfeit

so basically if anything that is Counterfeit Found in ur Hard Drive / Memory Stick / SDHC card When Passing a Control zone such as The Frontier Between USA / Canada and they want to scan ur hardware to find illegal thing

they Legally as the same power as a police officer who found you with drug so needless to say you're a lost cause if they found you with that and that you try to pledge innocence :P

So ScapeGaming will either win the cause for now or being forced to pay lower charge i doubt they gonna just charge the company 84M+ if it don't have that money it would be logic if the company ad 200-300M but who as that ?
MajestiX 17th August 2010, 13:35 Quote
it's how it is calculated based on the value of wow, which is high since wow is a high profit game making the content "good will" extremely high.


no one said it was high when intel got fined ;) any who they will settle it and file bankruptcy which blizz will call it a loss, you can't force someone to pay for something they don't have beside jail time. hence gfc and declaring bankruptcy
LightningPete 17th August 2010, 13:52 Quote
Somehow i think paypals seller protection wont cover this. ;)
StoneyMahoney 17th August 2010, 14:24 Quote
For anyone wondering where the software came for the private server, it's independently developed. The core is written by one team and the database and scripts are written by other teams. As it's the database and scripts that actually contain the infringing material (they duplicate the actual game mechanics and contain the data for spawns/quests/items/etc) the core is perfectly legal, protected under the reverse-engineering laws, but only as long as you have never actually used the WoW client yourself or some other way signed yourself up to the EULA that prohibits you from reverse-engineering WoW.

A friend of mine plays on a public unofficial server that has it's own devs and she swears by it. It's considerably behind Blizzard's releases in terms of game content and suffers from some of the usual problems - poor line-of-sight mapping, things falling through the floor, incomplete quests, missing spawns, bugged talents and spells - but DAMN if they haven't got Naxx scripted almost *perfectly*, it's actually feasible to end-game raid there and only ever have to deal with relatively minor bugs.

So cue the Blizzard pwnhammer any moment now ;)
eddtox 17th August 2010, 15:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MajestiX
it's how it is calculated based on the value of wow, which is high since wow is a high profit game making the content "good will" extremely high.


no one said it was high when intel got fined ;) any who they will settle it and file bankruptcy which blizz will call it a loss, you can't force someone to pay for something they don't have beside jail time. hence gfc and declaring bankruptcy

As I said earlier, even Blizzard would take 3+ years to get 85.4 mil out of 427000 users.

Now, taking into consideration that
1. that was the maximum user base ever (i.e: actual average user base is much lower)
2. not everyone who played on that server would play on blizzard's official one if it wasn't available
3. the company probably made very little profit

I think a fine of 10mil would be more than enough.
rollo 17th August 2010, 16:28 Quote
they were selling leveling up and items is why blizzard has clammped down on them nothing else.

blizzard will let you run a private server as long as you dont charge for it

naxx scripted we are in 2010 now not 2009. for most people playing 9+ months behind is pointless. escpially when you can 1 s hot the bosses using gm powers if you choose too

blizzard wants the company to go bankrupt. Look at the steps taking to stamp out gold selling in the last 2 years.

blizzard can sue them for what they want and they really have no defence. As soon as you sell items or level up your in trouble
SuiSid3l 17th August 2010, 17:12 Quote
its not about how much they made, its about how much Blizzard lost due to them running the illegal servers.
wafflesomd 17th August 2010, 17:19 Quote
I bet that they'll just end up in court again because theres no way they'll be able to pay that off.
Hovis 17th August 2010, 17:20 Quote
I think this is perfectly fair. If you want to make money running an MMO then develop an MMO and run it, or buy the rights to somebody elses MMO and run that. Or get sued to death, in the corporate sense. The level of compensation involved is pretty huge, but Blizzard won't get the whole amount, or want it, the offending company will be bankrupted, Blizzard will take what it can, and life will go on. I'm not a big fan of WoW, I think it is a giant sink hole into which millions of hours of effort, concentration and talent have been poured for absolutely zero benefit to the world, but you can't go around ripping off people's tech then charging other people to use it.
eddtox 17th August 2010, 17:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiSid3l
its not about how much they made, its about how much Blizzard lost due to them running the illegal servers.

My point is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that Blizzard lost $88 million due to them running unlicensed servers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
I think this is perfectly fair. .... you can't go around ripping off people's tech then charging other people to use it.

I'm not sure that what they were doing technically qualifies as charging people for Blizzards tech. IMO what money they made was barely enough to cover the cost of hosting the servers.

Put another way, if someone installs an OS you already own on your computer and they charge you 50 bucks, that is not charging you for someone else's tech, it's charging you for their time and costs.
Sloth 17th August 2010, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
I think a fine of 10mil would be more than enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
IMO what money they made was barely enough to cover the cost of hosting the servers.
If you're willing to accept that 3 million is still barely enough to cover costs, then why do you advocate an amount which is still more than they can cover? 10 million or 80 million, either one puts them out of business for good. Blizzard quite likely expects to see very little money from this affair, they just want to crush all these illegal private servers. ScapeGaming will pay out what little money they have and go bankrupt either way.
MSHunter 17th August 2010, 19:07 Quote
They are just following the music industries lead. Soon they will sue player who have bought the game and play on private servers. Add to that there Real ID and the need to give them your real address is the reason why I am not buying Starcraft II. There is no legitimate reason why a games company needs my personal data for any reason they should be happy with my money.

Or do you like having to give you postcode at the corner shop when you got to the till.
It's already required in the USA!
frontline 17th August 2010, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Evidence garnered from PayPal revealed that Scapegaming had bought in $3 million in revenue from running unauthorised WoW servers, which don't require players to pay a subscription to the game

Am i missing something here - if there is no subscription, where does the revenue come from? Presumably Blizzard got all the revenue from the original game sales?

*edit* Ah, never mind i see the bit about levelling up etc.

Well, if they offering something that Blizzard didn't... Personally i don't see the point of 'pay to play' subscription based games anyway.
Cthippo 17th August 2010, 20:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
Or do you like having to give you postcode at the corner shop when you got to the till. It's already required in the USA!

I always give them the code for Ketchikan, Alaska :D
leveller 17th August 2010, 22:30 Quote
I can't believe some people are comparing this to the heavy handed approach of the music industry. No, actually I can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
I think this is perfectly fair. If you want to make money running an MMO then develop an MMO and run it, or buy the rights to somebody elses MMO and run that.

Spot on.
retl44 17th August 2010, 22:42 Quote
A big point is being missed by most who says that there's no problem with this other than these guys charging for use of the server.

They're in trouble for charging for intellectual property that's not theirs. That's why 85 million is correct and justified. The 3 million in revenue received by ScapeGaming is obviously Blizzard's - can't sell something that's not yours.

The 85 million? Just as justified. It's never going to be paid. Blizzard may see a small percentage of it, but I highly doubt that. The reason for the "inflated value" is because WoW is so gosh darn popular. The value of their copyright is extremely high. If there aren't high penalties for copyright infringement, that encourages others to infringe on Blizzard's rights to its own content. Specifically, companies more powerful with better lawyers than ScapeGaming - something no one wants to see happen. It would cheapen game content, lessening the overall quality of games being made.

The 85 million helps to establish a value for Blizzard's hard work - if you're gonna try and rip off Blizzard, you'd better be prepared to face the consequences.

In short: It's not about bleeding these poor folks for 85 million - it's about valuing a clear case of copyright infringement so as to discourage it from happening again. Blizzard's copyright isn't worth less just because the company ripping it off isn't as big.
Guinevere 17th August 2010, 23:33 Quote
OMG I can't believe some people are bitching about the ratio of the "punishment" to the revenue from the crime. What was the ratio? About thirty? So that's the same ratio as getting caught stealing a £10 DVD and getting stung with a £300 fine and no jailtime... doesn't sound that unfair to me.

If someone willfully stole something worth £10 from me, I'd be a bit peeved if they got away only a small fine.

Yeah 88 mil is a lot of money, but what did they expect going against the WOW machine. I bet the decision makers have protected themselves behind the company and have been paying themselves a pretty fine wage.

They would have known it would end like this.
impar 17th August 2010, 23:40 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
I bet that they'll just end up in court again because theres no way they'll be able to pay that off.
Thats the general concept.
"They" will just disappear and serve as an example to others.
dark_avenger 18th August 2010, 00:39 Quote
Like everyone else has already said, there making an example of them.

But seriously ppl are still playing WoW?
eddtox 18th August 2010, 10:00 Quote
My point was that, IMO, it is not clear that Scapegaming was seeking commercial revenue for Blizzard's Intelectual Property, beyond what it required to offer users the alternative experience.

Maybe someone from BT or CPC has some idea of how much it would have cost them to purchase and run the servers?

I'm just not sure that this has been correctly classified as a commercial endeavour, rather than a private, non-profit one.
leveller 18th August 2010, 11:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
My point was that, IMO, it is not clear that Scapegaming was seeking commercial revenue for Blizzard's Intelectual Property, beyond what it required to offer users the alternative experience.

Maybe someone from BT or CPC has some idea of how much it would have cost them to purchase and run the servers?

I'm just not sure that this has been correctly classified as a commercial endeavour, rather than a private, non-profit one.

You think that $3million of revenue could be for private, non-profit proceeds?
eddtox 18th August 2010, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
You think that $3million of revenue could be for private, non-profit proceeds?

Revenue != Profit

How much of that do you think they were left with after covering their running costs? I don't think it could have been much, but please, prove me wrong.
impar 18th August 2010, 12:55 Quote
Greetings!

Why are people defending parasites? :?
eddtox 18th August 2010, 16:15 Quote
*People* aren't defending *parasites*.

*I* am questioning whether the term 'parasite' is an accurate representation of what they were doing, and, if it is, whether the ruling is proportional to the damage done.

When the record industry began suing people and claiming thousands of dollars for each individual violation (read: song) many people questioned that valuation, I am asking the same question.
impar 18th August 2010, 16:56 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
*I* am questioning whether the term 'parasite' is an accurate representation of what they were doing, and, if it is, whether the ruling is proportional to the damage done.
They are using other peoples work without authorization for their own gains.
Regarding proportionality, what would be an adequate financial punishement to put them out of business and send a strong warning to the next would-be parasite?
80M seem adequate.
thehippoz 18th August 2010, 17:14 Quote
I don't see what's the big deal with wow.. it must be william shatner and mr. t
eddtox 18th August 2010, 17:35 Quote
Let's start with the first part of your statement. I will break it down into two claims:
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
They are

a) using other peoples work without authorization
b) for their own gains

a) As far as I know, they are using open source software derived from black-box reverse engineering to tie in to an existing product ecosystem. If have other information, please educate us.

b)On what do you base that statement?

Do you have any knowledge which we lack regarding the extent to which they profited from this endeavour?

Do you know what their running costs were?

Is it not possible that they provided the service at cost, thereby not benefiting financially from it?
impar 18th August 2010, 18:17 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
a) As far as I know, they are using open source software derived from black-box reverse engineering to tie in to an existing product ecosystem. If have other information, please educate us.
They provided an unathorized server to hundreds of thousands of players. She assisted and facilitated the break of WoWs agrrement ([B]2F[/B]).
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
b)On what do you base that statement?
Scapegaming income came from users donations to level up and get new items. Its revenue model wasnt based in a cost cover method.
If she tried to run a scheme like this without gaining anything, she is a fool.

By the way, the lawyer costs were so low because she never even went to trial and the statutory damages were really low too, only $200 for each registered user, thats the minimum value.
leveller 18th August 2010, 19:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
How much of that do you think they were left with after covering their running costs? I don't think it could have been much, but please, prove me wrong.

I appreciate where you are coming from, but personally, I think your argument is ridiculous and makes you sound naive.

YOU prove it was non-profit and impress us tbh.
eddtox 18th August 2010, 23:00 Quote
I can't prove that it was non-profit. I am fairly sure that a company with a total revenue of $3mil (over a few years) can't have had much change left after providing a wow server to (supposedly) 427000 users. Hosting mmo servers is expensive, i would wager.

Secondly, a quick look at the facebook group facebook group shows that it has 3,929 likes - that is less than 1% than the number of users Blizzard has been awarded $200/head for.

Thirdly, not every user of the service equates to a lost subscription for blizzard, and another look at the facebook group suggests blizzard might not even want many of the people, at least based on the wall posts (not exactly a crowd to be proud of).

Finally, my argument is not about whether what scapegaming was doing is right or wrong (it was wrong). I merely question the moral and social grounds for handing out massively disproportionate judgements for (relatively) trivial offences.

Coming back to the example of music:

Say someone shared 20 songs for a period of two weeks.
During that period a total of 200 people connected to his computer.
Would a judgement for 1mil be acceptable?
What about 10mil or 100mil?

Where do we draw the line? Surely, we don't just let the copyright owner come up with whatever figure they want and take it as gospel?

Anyway, sorry if I made it seem like I approved of scapegaming's actions - i don't.
impar 18th August 2010, 23:16 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Finally, my argument is not about whether what scapegaming was doing is right or wrong (it was wrong). I merely question the moral and social grounds for handing out massively disproportionate judgements for (relatively) trivial offences.
The alternative being? A slap in the wrist and a US$1.000 fine?
And to the others that would follow? Going to bed without dinner?

Its time people understand that online/virtual activities are governed by real world laws.
eddtox 19th August 2010, 10:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

The alternative being? A slap in the wrist and a US$1.000 fine?
And to the others that would follow? Going to bed without dinner?

Its time people understand that online/virtual activities are governed by real world laws.

Would you still consider an 88mil fitting if she had physically stolen 3mil from blizzard?
leveller 19th August 2010, 10:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Would you still consider an 88mil fitting if she had physically stolen 3mil from blizzard?

Repay the £3million and 3 years in prison.
impar 19th August 2010, 10:42 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Would you still consider an 88mil fitting if she had physically stolen 3mil from blizzard?
Thats just ordinary theft. It cant be used as an analogy.
In my opinion, what she did was worse, she used someone elses IP without authotization and profited from it. She was just a parasite who has now been squashed.

Its time people understand that online/virtual activities are governed by real world laws.
eddtox 19th August 2010, 11:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

Thats just ordinary theft. It cant be used as an analogy.
In my opinion, what she did was worse, she used someone elses IP without authotization and profited from it. She was just a parasite who has now been squashed.

Its time people understand that online/virtual activities are governed by real world laws.

So you honestly believe that copyright infringement is a worse crime than physical theft?
impar 19th August 2010, 11:48 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
So you honestly believe that copyright infringement is a worse crime than physical theft?
Depending on the infringement. In this case, yes. A downloaded song, no.
Jumeira_Johnny 19th August 2010, 12:10 Quote
To explain the award, for those that don't understand how the judge ended up at that number: He did not have a choice. Under the DMCA, the penalties are stipulated with no leeway. He awarded the minimum he could, and even then expressed the feeling that it was too high. Blizzard had documents that showed the #'s of the server and he used that to calculate the the minimum for each breach of the EULA. The owner of the server never even showed up to court to contest those numbers, which if she had, the judge stated that he would have found a way to lower the amount. But she chose not to contest the suit and got slapped around.

The judge, from what I have been able to read, didn't think the amount was fair either. But the DMCA tied his hands.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
So you honestly believe that copyright infringement is a worse crime than physical theft?
Physical theft is once, copyright infringement is about removing some to any revenue that you might gain from something in the future. If you depended on copyright to make a living, you'd understand this. If I stole a physical book, you'd be out the money. But If I violate the copyright and spread it around, I steal your revenue from every sale you might have had from people that obviously wanted to read it.
impar 19th August 2010, 12:25 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumeira_Johnny
If you depended on copyright to make a living, you'd understand this. If I stole a physical book, you'd be out the money. But If I violate the copyright and spread it around, I steal your revenue from every sale you might have had from people that obviously wanted to read it.
And there is a slight change on the perceived value of the book to the would-be consumer. If the book is available "free of charge", the value of the legal copy of the book, expressed in currency, seems higher that it should be, while maintaining the same value, expressed on entertainment/knowledge/etc, as the "free of charge" version.
eddtox 19th August 2010, 12:45 Quote
Thanks Johnny for the clarification. It is exactly the fact that the judge had his hands tied in this way that I am contesting.

I understand the difference between physical theft and copyright infringement. I also understand that there are nuances of copyright infringement. That is why I believe judgements on such cases should be based on demonstrable or reasonably derived damage to the copyright holder.

There most certainly should not be a lower limit to what a judge can value the damages at. The person whose rights have been infringed should get reparations - not make a profit.

In this case, I believe there is no reasonable grounds to believe that Scapegaming's actions have caused 88mil worth of damage to Blizzard, therefore I believe Blizzard profited financially from court action.

The purpose of the legal system is not to make people rich - or at least shouldn't be.
Jumeira_Johnny 19th August 2010, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Thanks Johnny for the clarification. It is exactly the fact that the judge had his hands tied in this way that I am contesting.

I understand the difference between physical theft and copyright infringement. I also understand that there are nuances of copyright infringement. That is why I believe judgements on such cases should be based on demonstrable or reasonably derived damage to the copyright holder.

There most certainly should not be a lower limit to what a judge can value the damages at. The person whose rights have been infringed should get reparations - not make a profit.

In this case, I believe there is no reasonable grounds to believe that Scapegaming's actions have caused 88mil worth of damage to Blizzard, therefore I believe Blizzard profited financially from court action.

The purpose of the legal system is not to make people rich - or at least shouldn't be.
They won't profit from it. The lady can't, even over entire life span, make enough money to pay the settlement. Again, it's not about Blizzard wanting the money or to profit from the judgment. It's about her not showing up to court and the judge being bound by a law passed by a representative government. If she had bothered to be in court and proved server numbers and her revenue, there is a good chance the judge would have seen fit to find a way to recoup the actual money she made, rather then feel obligated to use the DMCA minimums based on Blizzards hypothetical numbers (Blizzard even mentioned that they weren't 100% sure of the number of people on her server, but they made a good guess. Then the judge said he had to use those numbers since she didn't bother providing her own). She screwed herself over here. She made the mistake of running the server and then compounded it by taking money, basically waving a red flag in Blizzards face. Then she really crapped the bed by being such a giant loser, that she couldn't even be bothered to show up in court - she couldn't even be bothered to send an attorney. No one, not the judge and probably not even Blizzard, wanted to to end like this. In contrast to the RIAA, where they want to crush people for money and the judge has to step in to reduce the fines.

She did it to herself.
Drakonyx 6th September 2010, 15:38 Quote
There is one point thay no-one seems to be focussed upon and I'd have to say it's an important point. EVERYONE paid for the software in the first place which without the server is completely useless, that other people are making servers for people that bought the software required for the game (I paid $50 and more for each of the updates) which is technically my property because I own it, therefore I am cheated of the value of my purchase unless I also have a subscription.

These people whether rightly or wrongly, as debated earlier, that setup these servers, are allowing people to play without having to pay even more for a service that requires the software bought to connect to a chargeable service, costing even more, for as long as you continue to use it. A agree that charging for said service is wrong, but as far as donations and free to play, that is the users choice. Remember that it is the user that chooses to donate, not those running the servers.
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