I honestly don’t understand the point of bothering!
Yet another really, really important case has eluded my attention until now!
Brian Kopp, a 24 year old WoW player released a book called “The Ultimate World of Warcraft Leveling & Gold Guide” in August and sold it on e-bay. Blizzard, Vivendi and the ESA responded by “sending repeated takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), asking eBay to yank the auctions because of copyright and trademark infringement concerns”. Kopp put up quite an impressive fight but in the end his eBay account (hmmm…article doesn’t say anything about his Blizzard account…I wonder if he’s still allowed to play?) was suspended.
The companies didn’t let it rest with this, however, they went on to claim copyright and trademark infringement! They claim that he couldn’t sell the book because it “attempts to trade off the substantial goodwill and recognition that Blizzard has built up in connection with its World of Warcraft product”.
I mean, COME ON!!! REALLY?!! I honestly don’t see the problem here. Now, I haven’t read the book and to be honest I’m not a big fan of books like this, but I honestly feel there’s more good publicity in consumers producing such stuff…than harm!
It looks like Kopp is quite the fighter, because he’s now filing a lawsuit against them. I thought the text was quite intriguing, so I’m just going to cut’n’paste from the CNet article:
“Kopp’s complaint argues that his book does not infringe on any of the companies’ copyrights for several reasons: The book presents a disclaimer on its first page about its “unauthorized” nature, contains no copyrighted text or storylines (ooohhh…that’s a touchy word to use in reference to MMOGs) from the game and makes “fair use” of selected screenshots under copyright law, the complaint said. In effect, if the video game industry’s actions are upheld, “then selling a how-to book about Microsoft Word would infringe Microsoft’s copyright, expecially if the book contained one or more screenshots of Word’s user interface,” said Paul Levy of the public-interest advocacy group Public Citizen, which joined in filing the suit on behalf of Kopp. “We think this cannot be the law.”
What silliness of Blizzard and what bravado of Kopp! You just gotta respect the guy for fighting back!!
Looks like Blizzard’s been having a really bad year in public relations!