February 2, 2009 | By Fred von Lohmann

More Bad Law in WoW Glider Case

Tim Lee over at Ars Technica has an update on latest chapter in the MDY v. Blizzard case, which pits the maker of World of Warcraft against the maker of Glider, software that lets your computer play WoW on auto-pilot for you. We reported on an earlier stage of the lawsuit in June 2008, but MDY recently suffered another defeat that threatens user rights more generally:

Ars talked to two legal experts at Public Knowledge, a public interest organization that filed an amicus brief in the MDY case last year. Staff attorney Sherwin Siy compared Wednesday's decisions to past decisions that tried to use the DMCA to limit competition in the garage door opener and printer industries. He noted that the purpose of warden seemed less to control access to a copyrighted work than to a network service—quite a different thing. Siy's colleague Jef Pearlman agreed, warning that if the courts weren't careful, we could end up in a situation where "because anything can contain copyrighted works, any access to anything becomes a DMCA violation."

The whole article is worth reading, as Tim does a great job summarizing the case and why it matters. Observers expect an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later this year.


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