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View Full Version : Why WoW private servers are legal, and some questions of my own.


ralphbananas
Mar 27, 2007, 01:31 PM
Read all of this so that you understand my point...

Here is the statement from the GotWoW? community about private servers:

"Statement from Blizzard Entertainment to the GotWoW? Community

As many of you already know, Blizzard has taken steps recently to stop the development of unauthorized emulator servers for the World of Warcraft™ beta.

While we appreciate the devotion and enthusiasm the GotWoW? community has shown for World of Warcraft, the development of emulator servers directly contributes to the illegal copying of the beta game client and creates
the opportunity for people to continue to play on unauthorized servers after the completion of the World of Warcraft beta test.

Some individuals may have helped develop emulator servers under the belief that Blizzard was not opposed to the existence of illegal copies of the World of Warcraft beta game client. However, this belief was incorrect. Blizzard places a high value on its intellectual property and does not condone illegal copies of the beta game client or software that facilitates or encourages the use of illegal copies of the beta game client.

Leaders from various emulator-server development teams, including StormCraft, Vibe, and Khaos, have turned over their code and stopped development of emulator servers. We are asking that those of you who are continuing to operate unauthorized emulator servers for the World of Warcraft beta take this opportunity to voluntarily stop these efforts and turn over your code to Blizzard as well. For a short period of time, Blizzard will grant amnesty to those who comply with this request. Please contact us at *email removed* for more information.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping us to ensure the integrity of the beta-testing process. We look forward to seeing you in game when World of Warcraft is released!"


Blizzard never actually claims that anything about the emulated servers, themselves, is illegal. Rather, they attempt to mislead you into believing that the servers are illegal by associating them with illegal copies of the World of WarCraft client. They do have a legal argument, however, albeit a weak one, which is that the development and existence of these servers encourages the distribution of pirated copies of the game, and thus the servers should be considered illegal. Such an argument would not, in my un-professional opinion, stand in any court, as I can't believe that Blizzard has much of anything to back it up.

I wanted to add that I am aware of the case of Blizzard v. Bnetd. However, I think there are significant differences between the circumstances in that case and those in this one. The Battle.net service is a free online game service for several Blizzard games, as was Bnetd. However, first of all, Battle.net is free, and second of all, using Battle.net is not necessary to play any of the games it hosted. You can play StarCraft, WarCraft II and III, and Diablo I and II single player or multiplayer over a LAN. Bnetd, as far as I know, basically offered the same service (which was not necessary to play the game) for the same price. However, to play World of WarCraft on one of Blizzard's servers, you must pay a monthly fee, and if you do not pay that fee, you cannot play that game (unless you find a private server). Blizzard certainly knows all this, and judging by their official comment, the additional legal information they almost certainly have probably indicates to them that they would at least be on very shaky ground coming out and denouncing WoW private servers as illegal.

Also, reverse engineering is protected under US Law. If these emulated servers were designed using Blizzard's source code then there would be a problem.

So as you can see, private servers are quite legal.

Now for my questions: How do you create a private WoW server on a Mac, and how do you run someone else's private server?

Gurutech
Mar 27, 2007, 05:05 PM
what's the point of playing mmorpg on emulated server?
It's highly unlikely that you will get updated fast enough. Also it's highly unreliable.
Also, there is very high possibility of unfairness.

sb58
Mar 27, 2007, 05:41 PM
i wanted to make one so i could try the 60+ content for a bit.

WinterMute
Mar 27, 2007, 06:54 PM
I'm sorry but this is still an illegal activity under the terms of the EULA that all users of the game agree to when they install the code.

Blizzard own the rights to the game, the code and the ideas behind the game where applicable, and that is what they are protecting.

For sure they want the player base to keep paying the fees for server access, but they put the money into the development, publishing and maintenance of the multitude of game servers, and they have the legal right to profit from their endeavors.

Whilst you may not agree that pirating a beta test client to run on a server is a big deal, Blizzard do and the law is on their side.

MacRumors cannot condone the promotion of illegal activities on these forums.