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Blizzard Wins Court Case Against World Of Warcraft Emulator Servers

by Phil Kollar on Aug 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Last year, Blizzard filed a lawsuit against Scapegaming, a company that was operating private, emulated World of Warcraft servers and charging users to access them. Last week, a court judgment was made in Blizzard's favor and Scapegaming was ordered to pay a lot of money.

According to court documents, Scapegaming owes Blizzard just under $89 million, mostly in the form of "statutory damages." In a statement about the decision, Blizzard had this to say:

"Our ultimate goal is to create the best games in the world, and that means we need to protect our games and safeguard our players’ experiences with them. Server emulators that use Blizzard’s IP facilitate piracy and offer unauthorized, inconsistent gaming experiences that can damage Blizzard’s reputation and goodwill with players. We take these types of threats very seriously and will continue to take every available measure to protect our rights globally."

We talked about the case to friend of Game Informer Eric Chad, an intellectual property lawyer with Merchant and Gould, and he pointed out some interesting tidbits. As it turns out, this decision was a default judgment, which essentially means that the defendant (Scapegaming) did not respond to Blizzard's complaint and thus forfeited the case. This isn't surprising, since they didn't have much of a way to defend for their actions, but it's interesting to note.

Also interesting is the $89 million judgment amount. According to Chad, $89 million is a very high amount to be awarded in a default judgment. It's highly unlikely that Scapegaming can pay off all or even much of this, but it will serve to shut them down, and it "sends a powerful message to potential copyright infringers."

That message is clear: If you want to play World of Warcraft, you play it on Blizzard's servers. Or be ready to pay them an absurd amount of money.