This appears to be the slippery slope argument of a defense team trying to garner sympathy for its client.MDY's lawyer wants to make Blizzard look like the schoolyard bully. And they want to scare us into believing unless someone stops the bully, they will eventually come after us, too. If enough players fall for it, public opinion will turn against the bully and get him to back off, or at least ease up.But sometimes when people get bullied, that actually deserved that beating. MDY makes @#$%^&, a botting program that can be used to afk in AV, farm mats, etc. I know I'm not the only person who gets annoyed by players who use these bots. They negatively impact the game for many players by competing for resources or creating imbalances in their battlegrounds. While most players level their characters by spending time and effort, a botter gets to level while he's at work, school, or out partying. These angered players complain to Blizzard who is forced to spend resources to try to address and resolve this problem. Additionally, Blizzard has to deal with the negative PR from struggling to prevent them.Do I want to have to pay to use recount or healbot? Definitely not. But I am skeptical that Blizzard's endgame strategy is to nickel and dime players for every basic service. The public outrage would be unavoidable, and in the end, the market would not support it.
The problem is that although the the basic principle that botting is bad is certainly justifiable I believe that the responsibility ultimately falls to Blizzard to avoid designing game features which allows such a strategy to be successful.The problem is that Blizzard to some extent allows and even tacitly encourages addons, this muddies the waters from an ethical standpoint since they are in effect profiting from other peoples work and coding. It would be interesting to see what the usage rates of third party mods are, but it certainly enhances the game for a not insignificant number of players.But if Blizzard profits from certain individuals hard work what right do they then have to disallow those same people from profiting from it? This is for all intents and purposes feudalism, not a bad system by any means but I would have thought we have moved beyond it.I personally only use 'recount' regularly and would never use much more in the way of mods, much less actually pay for the priviledge. I just feel quite strongly that license and copyright litigation is not the right way to go about these things.
does this mean that we cant download addons anymore?that woud be crappy
The problem is that although the the basic principle that botting is bad is certainly justifiable I believe that the responsibility ultimately falls to Blizzard to avoid designing game features which allows such a strategy to be successful.And if they did as you suggest, how would you suggest they prevent someone from just modifying the bot client to work around these new design features? How do you even know they haven't already tried to do this? Not to mention the issue of paying for the R&D and implementation of these changes?The point is, the most practical way to discourage companies who profit from cheating is to reduce the economic viability of their business model. In other words, sue their pants off.
It would be a shame to see all of that creative energy and effort ganked by big business.I lol'd hard.
Could just be the way I read it... but it seems like Blizzard wants to stop people from making money by selling addons...which in turn would effectively stop all subscription based services and most bot programs before they ever become widely distributed.This also allows people that develop addons for fun to continue to do so... if such an addon becomes popular enough Blizzard has easy access to the code and can incorporate it's functionality into the standard UI.Kalium
does this mean that we cant download addons anymore?that woud be crappyThe use of non-automated addons are still perfectly fine. The new policies put in place are for mod developers in that they cannot charge for use or automate any portion of the gameplay.And as for MDY's appeal, they don't have much more of a chance with the ninth circuit.
Curse doesn't charge to use the download client. There is some sort of improved version that does, but the core features are not affected.
I disagree with Connie's reasoning. Her suspicions seem to be flawed by her basic lack of understanding of the actual technical aspects of creating addons.1) If Blizz wants to lock out deviations then shutting down the LUA interpreter in the client is a lot simpler than the complicated and flawed process of hijacking other peoples' work.2) Blizz has access to the internal engine of the software, which has exposure to more and better data than any addon will get. Why deliberately cripple new features by writing them in LUA? Does not compute.3) LUA is an interpreted language. Interpreted languages have an inherent performance hit when compared to (most) compiled languages. It does not make sense that Blizz would choose to write new features in such as way as to be gimped out of the gate.4) Addons are forced to persist data using an inefficient addon database store. All direct disk access features of LUA are disabled in the Blizz interpreter - praise the Light. Using this gated data store is several orders of magnitude less efficient than direct access. You can experience an aspect of this yourself by obliterating your Auctioneer data store before logging in. At any rate, using native code would be far more efficient, and that can't be done in the LUA environment.Besides the obvious technical flaws in Connie's argument, everything else she says in this regard is guesswork - and based on flawed assumptions, at that.She might still be very right. Blizz has pulled some classic blunders in the past, and this would fall right into that sort of bucket.
Honestly I am not a fan of certain kind of addons like auctioneer, quest helper, cartographer, healbots (i dont mean the Healbot which is not actually a bot) or leveling-guides helpers. In my opinion these are automating/simplifying the game just too much.I think that Blizzard is just getting a tool to fight against this kind of commercial game-automating addons as especially leveling guides are. And I agree with that.I believe that actually useful and well designed addons like recount, grid, bartender4 or omen will not be affected in any way.
does this mean that we cant download addons anymore?that woud be crappyThe use of non-automated addons are still perfectly fine. The new policies put in place are for mod developers in that they cannot charge for use or automate any portion of the gameplay.And as for MDY's appeal, they don't have much more of a chance with the ninth circuit.ok thanks
Certainly legally speaking Blizzard has every right to do what they are doing. Ethically I am not so sure. Almost every important idea used in the game and to make the game is taken from the public domain. The intellectual property rightfully accrues to the game itself and not to the general right to make money from the game:I grow a plant and sell it to Joe to eat, but Joe decides not to eat it but sell it to Bob instead making a tidy profit in the process. Is this stealing form me? I could after all have sold the plant to Bob myself for the higher price.If I buy a book and then Pete writes a review for which he gets paid large amounts, was Pete not profiteering from my effort?Society is built by people who develop ideas in the public domain (see Newton standing on the shoulders of giants) and the coralling of this public space and dishing it out on a first come first serve basis (see Microsoft) is not substantively different from the conquistadors, who after all was acting under legal authority too.Your examples are totally wrongs.It is more:I own a very respected restaurant with limited seats. You reserve a 4 seats table and "sell" the seats for money. Basically, you make money with my business without owning anything about it.
The conversations I've had with Blizzard employees seem to strongly indicate that this isn't the case. I haven't spoken to anybody who can make DECISIONS on this kind of thing, of course, but the people I have spoken to find the idea of paying for Blizzard-created add-ons to be...kind of hilarious.Who knows what will happen, of course, but I would take any discussion about Blizzard's future plans—like always—with a grain of salt.I have absolutely no problem paying for an add-on that is worthwhile. People pay for completely vanity related CRAP on their xbox360's and their PS3's but some clever guys with programming talent can't charge for people a few cents a month to use their work? Programming takes time and effort and it's hard to just work from donations. These guy are entrepreneurs in a very new niche and Blizzard is pulling the market rug out from under their feet. For what?Maybe, if Blizzard would make addon's themselves that were worth ANYTHING, people wouldn't have had any reason to start making money off the, clearly demanding, add-on market. And now if Blizzard were to start selling their add-on's as a result, they would just be monopolizing a-holes.
After reading the interview and a little bit of history about this lawyer I have come to the conclusion that this lawyer is likely one of the people spamming "Anal" jokes in trade on my server.Meh, either way. I seriously doubt that this will have any true effect on the game except to make people trying to profit off of Blizzard's creation need to find somewhere else to do it. Keep our add-ons free (I think it'd be a cold day in hell before Blizzard charged for add-ons). And possibly we may see some add-ons fall off and stop having regular updates and support, like carbonite.Personally I am of the opinion that anyone trying to defend these developers like MDY is either just trying to make a buck themselves or is a similar "scam" artist trying to find easy ways to make money off of someone else's work. Honestly, it is Blizzard's product. They have the ethical right to do whatever they want. Anyone trying to find loopholes in the law to get around that gets filed in the same folder as the lady that sued McDonald's for making her coffee to hot, or the burglar that sued the lady whose house he was robbing when he fell through the skylight.GG worthless people.
I don't see it happening, because Blizzard would lose a LOT of people over it, but the day addons aren't allowed in their current form (free, open-source etc), is the day I quit WoW.
Nothing against you Mal, and not trying to rub you the wrong way- but do you disagree because you are under the Blizzard label or do yourself not agree with her?Personally, I think is far too much of a gray area, and whether or not you agree or disagree with her, to me, is irrelevent. The real issue here is simply that our laws are not up to par with how the Internet is being run and the ways that people can find loopholes and exploit them. To further complicate these issues, because the internet is used worldwide (hene the www.) its hard to follow through with the few old laws that we have and use them against people in different countries.That is one of the main reasons that gold sellers get away with what they do and for the most part do not have legal actions taken against them- its hard to sue someone in Canada, Russia, France, Korea, Germany etc etc, even with normal and understandable laws that are on the books like theft. Frankly, the main issue here, like I stated earlier, is that MDY and Blizzard are able to have both perfectly understandable cases that are logical, but one of them has to be wrong (gotta love the legal system)So, to wrap this all up, I call for new, smarter laws to make our Internet safer and smarter.That's something I think we can all agree on.
After reading all the information about this case and then reading all the comments, I am amazed how many people speak without realizing the Core issue. I realize most people did not actually go and read the court case ( I admit it, it was boring and took a long time) but there are some very fundamental items at issue here, not just "Did MDY screw with Blizzard?" (I apologize for its length beforehand)There is a core issue at the center of this whole thing that is of VITAL importance to those of us who use computer programs everyday. This case touched on it on the fringes, but because of circumstances, it has now become one of the central issues of the case due to monetary damages. This is the issue of EULA and ToA and what rights do we as a consumer have.There is a lot of mis-information in previous posts:1. Malgayne - First, thank you for bringing this out and letting people talk about it. We should be talking about it more. However Connie is the lawyer who represented MDY ... in the legal action that took place between Blizzard and MDY is not correct. She represented "Public Knowledge," a group that tries to fight for the consumer against illegal business practices. She did not defend MDY's behavior. She merely filed an "amicus" brief relating to copyright law.This is the heart of the problem - What do we own and what does Blizzard own. Right now, the answer is simple - we own nothing.2. Wildhorn - It is more:I own a very respected restaurant with limited seats. You reserve a 4 seats table and "sell" the seats for money. Basically, you make money with my business without owning anything about it.I only have one word to say to you - Telecharge. Doing this is not only legal, but a protected right.3. ChefEscoffier - It is simple to stop the "bots." Stop any add-ons from working. Done. Too extreme? Ok, how about the easy solution, all add-ons, in order to work in the game, must be submitted for approval to Blizzard who will periodically issue an update with the Add-ons as part of core code. Done. What Blizzard has done, instead, is to open its doors and then when the bums like M.D. started walking in, go "Oh, we didn't want YOU here."I won't go through some of the other stuff, but let me tell you where you as a consumer stand. This next story may seem amusing, and I fully admit I am going for absurdity with it, but the fact of the matter is under our current set of laws (which Connie is trying change) this is LEGAL.Tomorrow, if Blizzard so chooses, they can change the EULA to read "You must name your first-born child Ulduar."Now, under the current law, if you refuse to do so, you must destroy the software and stop playing the game.But wait a minute, I had a contract with Blizzard where I paid a lot of money for software and server use...oh wait, they made me "sign" an original ToA and EULA which states among other things that they can change the contract at will. I can't change the contract, but they can...AT WILL. And any time I feel that their new EULA is bad, I can quit. They won't give me my money back, but I can leave.In other words, they have ALL the cards and we have none.Not only that but if I do "sign" the new EULA and then don't name my first-born Ulduar. I can not only be terminated for failing to follow ToA, I can actually be SUED for damages. Why? Because I broke a binding contract...well only binding for me, not Blizzard. Now in this case, Blizzard may have a difficult time trying to prove that I did monetary damage to them by breaking the contract, but it doesn't take much imagination to see more "real-life" problems.I will offer only one - Blizzard, tomorrow, could say that the software is now only licensed for use on one computer. You must allow them to take a scan of the computer that is connecting to the internet and if it doesn't match what is on file, your account is terminated and you can be sued for failing to buy a second copy of the program for the second computer.Is Blizzard going to do this? No chance. But CAN they? Yes. Have other companies? Yes.Connie is fighting to change the law that says they can. So, yeah, is it desirable that this issue is now being tied into a jerk who did stupid things that everyone hated, no. But it is an important issue, and I firmly believe that with $6.5 mil on the line, this case may go to the Supreme Court.Blizzard is trying to flex its massive money muscles and smack down a known problem. However, the problem is they have no right to do so. Blizzard has the right to terminate the account of anyone using Gl---r and no more. Moreover, they have the right to not let them play again, ever. Which is what they should have done. But instead they tried to use copyright law to tell us, the USER, that we have no rights. And, in fact, if you have written an add-on since 2005, they COULD knock on your door next. No joke.Crap, this was long. If you're reading this - thank you for getting this far.
I just started using WoWMatrix (after getting a new PC. The old one had TitanUI on it for about a month or two.) and I really don't care if WoW will only use AddOns you have to buy from Blizzard. I just won't use AddOns. Been living without them for around 2-3 years of playing the game.
(This is in reply to Xantham9)Thanks for writing this so I dont have to but I agree with you 100%.Its a shame that these issues are now tied together as they will probably not get resolved in a manner that the public will profit from.Unfortunately IMHO I think that Connie is wrong about everything else including Blizzard's intentions when changing their ToU.I think their intentions are twofold:1) they dont like other people making money off of their work. Some people will agree that this is ok, others wont. Most will probably agree its their right to decide this.2)they want to level the playing field so to speak and make sure other people are not disadvantaged over someone else using a certain addon.The problem is of course as other people pointed out that this case and their ToU give them much broader rights under current laws than they should ever have available for offering this service.
Sorry for coming out of the blue and asking this but what was this article about and how does it affect us the players? I understand that it has something to do with add-ons...