World of Warcraft Cheating Isn’t Illegal, Still Banned

By  |  Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

The old question of whether you own or merely license software got another answer in a U.S. appeals court, which ruled partly in favor of World of Warcraft maker Blizzard.

The court was ruling on a two year-old lawsuit by Blizzard and Vivendi Games (now Activision-Blizzard) against MDY, whose Glider software automatically plays the game on behalf of users. The point is to get through the grind of leveling up in World of Warcraft without paying attention or exerting effort.

Blizzard argued that Glider violated the game’s terms of service and should be banned, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed, upholding the decision of a lower court. But Blizzard also wanted MDY — and by extension, its users — to be liable for copyright infringement. The Ninth Circuit wouldn’t go that far, and overturned the lower court’s decision. While the Ninth Circuit agreed that MDY violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing Blizzard’s anti-bot detection program, “WoW players do not commit copyright infringement by using Glider in violation of the [terms of use].”

What does this mean for WoW’s unscrupulous players? Exactly what it should: If you cheat at World of Warcraft, you run no risk of getting sued, however unlikely that was in the first place. But you are playing in Blizzard’s house, so if you get caught breaking the rules, you might get kicked out. As with any online gaming service, membership is a privilege, not a right.

Of course, with the court upholding an injunction against MDY, World of Warcraft cheaters will have to find another way to coast through the game.


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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Buffet Says:

    WoW gold really plays such an important role in World of Warcraft. I will need a lot of wow gold in the every time i will come to PBT Online ( ), which is my favorite website.:)

  2. None Says:

    This is not accurate. The 9th circuit upheld the important DMCA ruling.

  3. JaredNewman Says:

    Yes, but players seem to be in the clear. In any case, I've changed the end of the third paragraph to clarify that.

  4. None Says:

    That's not accurate either. Players that use programs (like Glider) that circumvent access controls (i.e., avoid Warden) violate the DMCA. The decision isn't limited to developers.

  5. JaredNewman Says:

    Not sure about that. Going off the EFF's summary of the decision (, the court seems to conclude that using Glider breaks a covenant, rather than a condition of the terms of use.

    Quoting the decision:

    "Were we to hold otherwise, Blizzard — or any software copyright holder — could designate any disfavored conduct during software use as copyright infringement, by purporting to condition the license on the player's abstention from the disfavored conduct."

    Quoting the EFF:

    "WoW Buyers Are Not Owners – But Glider Users Are Not Copyright Infringers"

  6. None Says:

    You're right about the covenant vs. condition, but that only factors into the copyright analysis and the DMCA claim that was reversed, not the DMCA (a)(2) claim.

    Notice that the EFF's quote only says Glider users aren't copyright infringers. That is technically correct. They are, however, violating the DMCA which, as the court notes, stands on its own apart from the Copyright Act.

  7. JaredNewman Says:

    Sorry for the late reply. It looks like you know your stuff, but I'm pinging the EFF on this for some more clarification. If you don't mind, please let me know exactly what part of the story looks inaccurate to you, and how you think it should be corrected. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    If you guys are interested in getting WoW Bots don't bother waiting for Glider, it's old and never really worked well at all. Honorbuddy, Gatherbuddy, and Pirox are all the best but cost a lot of money. You can get them cracked and free @

    Enjoy! Hope to see you "cheaters" and even some of you non cheaters on the forum. We even have the best guides like zygors and dugis guide also free!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    ^- the above spammers website went down after an unfortunate coming in close to the developers website whose programs they are "stealing". As a player I agree to playing the game fairly and giving blizzard what they deserve in their own gamespace.

    However stealing peoples work itself beyond what they are used for should be avoided by regular players, even if you either buy gold or do bot: support the people providing you with the software, from the actual developers website.

    Even though I personally do not bot, I do recognize what botters do, they float the economy into a state that is sustainable for the demand of supplies on the servers, with competition of regular users and other botters… thus lowering the prices.

    Do not enter the thieves website, it isn't worth dealing with skiddies.

    Patiently awaiting further news on the MDY trials.

  10. aaron Says:

    it went down because of a server change -.- the websites we steal from have NOTHING to do with it ever going down, you can't get rid of a forum cracking a hacking program.

  11. WoWInfinity Says:

    Hi, I own a World of Warcraft blog. It’s a lot like your site. It’s a website about WoW Infinity and World of Warcraft bots. We should add links to each others sites. If you have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment.

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