Blizzard has launched a lawsuit against the maker of a bot that automates many common tasks in World of Warcraft, claiming it infringes upon the game’s End User License Agreement.
Unlike most bots that are single-task only, Michael Donnelly’s Glider software is capable of handling the majority of the game’s tasks on its own. According to the Glider website, “It grinds, it loots, it skins, it heals, it even farms soul shards… without you.” But according to a BBC report, Blizzard is claiming the bot infringes upon the game’s copyright, and also potentially damages it. In its submission to an Arizona court last week, the developer said, “Blizzard’s designs expectations are frustrated, and resources are allocated unevenly, when bots are introduced into the WoW universe, because bots spend far more time in-game than an ordinary players would and consume resources the entire time.”
Donnelly, however, claims the software does not infringe Blizzard’s copyright because no copy of the World of Warcraft client is ever made. He also claimed that he was completely unaware of any looming legal action until the appearance at his home of a lawyer from World of Warcraft publisher Vivendi Games, who told him a complaint would be filed the next day unless he agreed to immediately stop selling Glider and return any profits he made from the software.
Donnelly said more than 100,000 copies of the program have already been sold at a cost of $25 each. Both sides have submitted legal summaries to the court, and are now awaiting a summary judgment in the case.