Selling Lawsuit Filed to Defend World of Warcraft Online...

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    Lawsuit Filed to Defend World of Warcraft Online Strategy Guide From DMCA There’s a new consumer advocate group known as “Public Citizen.” Public Citizen has filed a major lawsuit against the giant corporation Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard Entertainment is the maker of the hugely popular and massive multiplayer online virtual game called “World of Warcraft.” The lawsuit was filed in California. Specifically, the US District Court for the Central District o California and it seeks to restore the right of author Brian Kopp. Kopp of Bronson, Florida, wants to continue to sell his online World of Warcraft strategy guide on He was selling it on when blocked any and all auctions of the strategy guide after Blizzard Entertainment invoked the provisions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming that the guide violated Blizzard Entertainments copyright laws. Attorney for Public Citizen, who is representing Kopp stated, “Copyright laws are designed to promote creativity and innovation, not squelch it.” Beck went on to elaborate, "A video game is copyrightable just like a book, and just like a book you should be able to comment on it, create new works inspired by it, teach about it in classes, write newspaper articles about it and so on. It is this kind of innovation and open discussion that the copyright laws are supposed to foster. By claiming that mere publication of a how-to book about its game infringes its copyright, Blizzard has interpreted its intellectual property rights in a way that would prohibit legitimate commentary that is protected by the First Amendment." "The Ultimate World of Warcraft Leveling & Gold Guide," is the guide Kopp wrote. Kopp began to sell copies of the guide he wrote on August 18, 2005. In the guide are tips on how to play the game. Kopp states that although the guide does not contain any copyrighted text or storyline. After he began selling the guide, Blizzard, Vivendi, and the ESA filed notice against under the DMCA, and terminated his auctions. After a certain number of auctions were terminated, suspended Kopp's account in accordance with their stated policy. Mr. Kopp has gone public about Vivendi and Blizzard Entertainment threatening him personally with a lawsuit for copyright infringement if he continues to sell the guide at all. He does continue to sell the guide through his own personal website where he takes payments directly through PayPal, a company owned by the Corporation. So the unasked question for World of Warcraft fans have to wonder is: Is this really about copyright infringement, or is this about something else entirely? The first thing that came to my mind was that Blizzard Entertainment was trying to protect its deal with BradyGames. BradyGames publishes and sells the “official,” licensed Strategy Guide for World of Warcraft. But if you were to look closely, and compare the two guides you would find that the BradyGames version of the strategy guide, (which I own) is a nicely laid out overview of what the World of Warcraft game has to offer in regards to all of its various classes of characters. However, what the BradyGames Strategy Guide does not offer that Kopp’s version does is how to level up your character. Kopp’s version also tells you how to collect all the in-game gold as humanly possible as fast as possible. Clearly this is a more useful and valuable guide for the average game player. The problem in MMO’s of “gold-farmers” that sell in-game gold for real cash, and in the meantime disrupting the World of Warcraft economy, has always been a major concern for companies like Blizzard. It is standard practice for accounts accused of any such farming activities like this in the past to be banned immediately. So it’s not that Kopp’s guide has or suggests the sale of in-game gold for money, it’s that by using his strategy’s one could easily train to be a good gold-farmer, which would be bad for the game in general. This is likely the reason for Blizzard coming on so strong with the big legal guns and trying to lay down the legal heavy hammer. Certainly it’s not fair to assume that everyone who is interested in buying such a guide as Kopp wrote is a potential gold-farmer. Just like everyone who buys a lighter is no a pyromaniac. And gold-farming aside, I’m big enough to admit that I myself came close to buying Kopp’s guide for myself on his website. Yes the thoughts of learning the inside best secrets to loads of gold and even more enticing, the quick ascension of leveling had me close to pushing that ole’ PayPal button. But in the long run I figured that I would get a better sense of satisfaction by using my old methods of muddling through the game at my own slow pace, as I’ve always done in previous games better suited me. So won’t you please show mercy to this pitiful level 48 mage? Despite the true motivations behind Blizzard’s legal actions, (which we will never know), the result of this lawsuit will prove to be more than a little interesting for anyone concerned over some of the potentially uglier ramification of the DMCA. Does any game copyright holder have the right to put limits on what we as the public can and cannot say, write, or speak about and sell to others about the game? Hopefully, Public Citizen is successful and it won’t. - Buy, Trade, and Sell Accounts and Characters - spamsite: Buy/Sell WoW Accounts, FFXI Account, EVE Online Characters
    #1 WoW Account and Character, 1/28/13
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