Blizzard have yet again managed to win a lawsuit against someone trying to circumvent security, copyright, and make a profit from World of Warcraft.
This time its a company called Scapegaming, which was running private servers for WoW. Blizzard argued that in so doing Scapegaming had committed copyright infringement, circumvented copyright protection, and formed unfair competition for the game.
Winning the case was made easy by the fact that Alyson Reeves, owner of Scapegaming, didn’t even bother turning up for the hearing. So by default Blizzard won. What Reeves may not have been expecting is the huge amount of money now owed to Blizzard. In total it’s $88 million broken down as follows:
* $85.4 million in statutory damages
* $3 million in disgorged profits
* $64,000 in attorney’s fees
The payout was calculated based on a range of evidence. The profits came from evidence of over $3 million in Reeves’ PayPal account. The $85.4 million was based on there being a community on Scapegaming of some 427,000 which was then multiplied by $200 to represent each act of circumvention.
Tracking down and prosecuting Revees was helped by the fact that Scapegaming was being operated from inside the U.S. and more specifically out of Georgia.
Reeves was either totally naive, or just thought the operation was too small for Blizzard to take notice. But having 427,000 registered users and $3 million in a PayPal account is going to raise alarm bells. I wonder if PayPal informed Blizzard that they should take a closer look at this operation, or whether Blizzard had to request the account review?
The 3$ million will be taken from the PayPal account to help pay off the lost profits, but I don’t think Blizzard ever have a chance of seeing the 85$ million unless Reeves is independently wealthy. I’m guessing the company will be happy to accept partial payment and see Scapegaming remain offline. It’s also a clear warning to anyone else considering starting up a similar service.source: http://www.geek.com/articles/games/blizzard-wins-88-million-from-scapegaming-over-illegal-wow-servers-20100817/