We’d like to take a moment to provide a major update on the WoW/MMO Glider case. We know this is a topic that many of you have followed, whether because of being directly affected by Glider users in game or simply because it’s been a controversial World of Warcraft-related issue over the past few years. On January 28, 2009, a U.S. district court judge ruled in Blizzard’s favor on several issues in the civil case between Blizzard and MDY Industries, LLC.
When World of Warcraft first launched in 2004, our GM and hacks teams searched for bots manually -- a process that became increasingly ineffective as bot technology evolved. Bots continued to proliferate within the game, and the community let us know loud and clear that this was something they opposed as much as we did. In response, we developed some security measures to protect the game and automatically detect the use of bots and other unauthorized hacks. We also reached out to the makers or operators of these bots in an effort to stop their distribution, and in most cases we were able to come to an agreement. While many bots were discontinued as a result, some bot makers continued their operations, and we needed to take a different route to remove them from the game -- with Glider being the biggest example.
In November 2006, we contacted MDY in an effort to halt the distribution of Glider. In response, MDY filed suit against Blizzard, asking the court to allow MDY to continue operating Glider unhindered. We then filed a countersuit alleging copyright infringement, in that Glider made unlawful use of our intellectual property; unlawful interference with the ToU agreement between us and our players; and Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations, in that MDY had circumvented the protections we’d implemented to protect the game. We asked the court to award money damages and to shut down MDY permanently.
Following these filings and associated court proceedings, a summary judgment was made in July 2008 finding in favor of Blizzard on two counts -- copyright infringement and unlawful interference with our business -- with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act count to be decided in a formal trial. In response to the summary judgment, MDY agreed to a stipulated judgment in the amount of 6 million dollars pending further appeal.
The trial for the remaining issues took place in early January of this year, and the ruling we’re discussing today came as a result of that. In his decision, the U.S. district court judge ruled that Glider violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as the program intentionally circumvents our anti-cheat measures. In addition, the judge ruled that Glider’s creator is personally liable for the damages caused. Lastly, the judge ruled that we’re entitled to a permanent injunction against the distribution of Glider, which will take effect shortly unless MDY obtains a stay of the injunction during the appeal process. For the sake of the game and the players, we hope we’ve seen the last of Glider, but we’ll continue to take measures in game and out of game to protect World of Warcraft if MDY chooses to continue pursuing the matter.
Ultimately, this recent ruling strongly supports our efforts. We remain vigilant in defending our games against cheaters and unauthorized third-party hack programs, and we are as committed as ever to maintaining the overall quality of the player experiences in our games. To that end, we will continue to take any measure necessary to protect our games and our intellectual property rights.
While we generally try to keep the focus on the games themselves here in the forums, and try to avoid bogging everyone down with business-related matters, this was an important ruling for us, and we know keeping bots out of World of Warcraft is an important topic to many of you as well. We want to say thanks to all of you for playing Blizzard games and for either speaking out on the subject over the years or simply showing your support by abiding by World of Warcraft’s ToU and helping us keep the game fair for everyone.