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This Date in Game History: Blizzard vs BNETD


Blizzard Entertainment, in a lot of ways, rules the gaming world for a large sect of gamers. Whether you're a fan (or not) of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, or any number of other games produced by the gaming giant, there is little doubt that you have played their games.

Which is why Blizzard v BNETD is the focus of today's This Date in Game History.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many gamers were growing increasingly frustrated with lagging servers and the disrespectful language and behavior of some players. As a result, four individuals - Jim Jung, Ross Combs, Rob Crittenden, and Yi Wang - decided to take matters into their own hands to address the concerns of the gaming community. To offer an alternative to Blizzard's Battle.Net, the four began to reverse engineer that network to create their own network servers that would be compatible with their favorite games.

The problem was that reverse engineering those games, while a necessary step in creating the BNETD servers, was a direct violation of Blizzard's End User License Agreement. So Blizzard sued.

The lawsuit brought forth by Blizzard also included Internet Gateway, who provided the device that allowed the BNETD crew to make the peer-to-peer connections.

StarCraft
On Sept 1, 2005, judges delivered their ruling in favor of Blizzard on the basis of copyright infringement, impacting not only games like WarCraft, StarCraft and Diablo, but every online multiplayer, massive or otherwise, available today.

Facts be told, Blizzard v BNETD isn't the name of the case at all. It's just easier to remember. The actual name of the case is way too long for you to want to remember.

To read all the official documentation on this case and many others involving gaming and other electronic media, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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