MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm't, Inc., No. 09-15932 - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm't, Inc., No. 09-15932

Copyright Infringement Action Concerning World of Warcraft

In MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm't, Inc., No. 09-15932, an action seeking a declaratory judgment to establish that plaintiff's sales of a "leveling" program (Glider) for World of Warcraft (WoW) did not infringe Blizzard's copyright or other rights, the court affirmed in part judgment for defendant where plaintiff was liable under Digital Millennium Copyright Act section 1201(a)(2) with respect to WoW's dynamic non-literal elements.  However, the court reversed in part where 1) WoW players did not commit copyright infringement by using Glider in violation of the terms of use; and 2) Blizzard did not maintain an effective access control measure with respect to WoW's literal elements and individual non-literal elements, and therefore, plaintiff did not violate DMCA section 1201(a)(2) with respect to these elements.

 

As the court wrote:  "Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. ("Blizzard") is the creator of World of Warcraft ("WoW"), a popular multiplayer online role-playing game in which players interact in a virtual world while advancing through the game's 70 levels. MDY Industries, LLC and its sole member Michael Donnelly ("Donnelly") (sometimes referred to collectively as "MDY") developed and sold Glider, a software program that automatically plays the early levels of WoW for players."

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