Blizzard has long opposed botting, and has even taken legal action against companies that make botting software used in its games. In 2006, MDY Industries LLC, the creator of a WoW botting software, sought a declaratory judgment against Blizzard that it did not infringe on Blizzard’s copyrights (2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 53988). However, Blizzard asserted counterclaims under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and tortious interference with contract. Although Blizzard’s counterclaims were successful at the district court level, the Ninth Circuit reversed. Ultimately, after five years of litigation, the case was settled in favor of Blizzard.
Blizzard recently attempted to sue the creator of Honorbuddy, a popular third party botting software, in Germany. However, Blizzard was unsuccessful in this case, and withdrew its application for an injunction earlier this month. Honorbuddy had prided itself on being undetectable by Blizzard. However, it is thought that the very recent failure in Court against Honorbuddy was the motivation behind finding a method of detecting the botting software, and the subsequent, massive ban of many Honorbuddy users. With the ban of a substantial number of its users and narrowly escaping litigation, the creator of Honorbuddy has effectively shut down the application for the time being.
Roger Quiles is an attorney from New York City with a practice focusing in business, entertainment, and eSports law. A die-hard gamer since Super Mario Bros., Roger now represents professional gamers, tournament producers, and the businesses that serve them. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left right, B, A, Start.