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Blizzard Sues Overwatch “Cheat” Maker For Copyright Infringement
Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment is suing Bossland, the maker of the popular Overwatch cheat tool "Watchover Tyrant" and several other game cheats. Among other things, the developer accuses the German company of various forms of copyright infringement and unfair competition.

Over the years video game developer Blizzard Entertainment has published many popular game titles.

Most recently the company released the new first-person shooter “Overwatch,” which became an instant bestseller. The game received rave reviews and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue during its first weeks on sale.

While most Overwatch players stick to the rules, there’s also a small group that tries to game the system. By using cheats such as the Watchover Tyrant, they play with an advantage over regular users.

Blizzard is not happy with the Overwatch cheat and has filed a lawsuit against the German maker, Bossland GMBH, at a federal court in California. Bossland also sells cheats for various other titles such as World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm, which are mentioned in the complaint as well.

The game developer accuses the cheat maker of various forms of copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.

According to Blizzard these bots and cheats also cause millions of dollars in lost sales, as they ruin the games for many legitimate players.

“Defendants’ sale and distribution of the Bossland Hacks in the United States has caused Blizzard to lose millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and to suffer irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation.”

“Moreover, by releasing ‘Overwatch Cheat’ just days after the release of ‘Overwatch,’ Defendants are attempting to destroy or irreparably harm that game before it even has had a chance to fully flourish.”

The Overwatch cheat has already become relatively popular in a short period of time. Thousands of players are reportedly using the tool, which enables them to display the locations and health status of hidden or obscured opponents.

watchover

Blizzard believes that by developing the cheats, Bossland has infringed on its copyrights in various ways. Among other things, the complaint accuses the German cheat maker of contributory copyright infringement.

“They have done so by enabling and encouraging third-party ‘freelancers’ or contractors to fraudulently obtain access to the Blizzard Games and then, having done so, to engage in unauthorized reproduction of the Blizzard Games,” the complaint reads.

“They also have done so by enabling users of the Bossland Hacks (particularly the Overwatch Cheat) to use the software to create derivative works, such as the dynamic screen overlay generated by the Overwatch Cheat,” it adds.

Blizzard notes that it has already taken action against thousands of cheaters. In response, Bossland announced that they would make their tool harder to be detected, which suggests that they intentionally violate the game’s EULA.

The game developer adds that the various cheats and bots may have generated millions in revenue for the German company, and demands compensation for its losses.

“Defendants not only know that their conduct is unlawful, but they engage in that conduct with the deliberate intent to harm Blizzard and its business. Blizzard is entitled to monetary damages, injunctive and other equitable relief, and punitive damages against Defendants,” the complaint reads.

Aside from the Overwatch cheat, the current case is very similar to one filed against a freelancer who works for Bossland. This case never really took off and was dismissed earlier this year.

TF spoke with Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew, who informed us that his company hasn’t received the complaint at its office yet. However, they are no stranger to Blizzard’s legal actions.

“There are over 10 ongoing legal battles in Germany already,” Letschew says, noting that it’s strange that Blizzard decided to take action in the US after all these years.

“Now Blizzard wants to try it in the US too. One could ask himself, why now and not back in 2011. Why did Rod Rigole [Blizzard Deputy General Counsel] even bother to fly to Munich and drive with two other lawyers 380 km to Zwickau. Why not just sue us in the US five years ago?”

While Letschew still isn’t convinced that the lawsuit is even real, he doesn’t fear any legal action in the U.S. According to the CEO, a California court has no jurisdiction over his company, as it has no ties with the United States.

In addition, he is supported by a lawsuit his company won in Germany against Blizzard earlier this year. In that case, which dealt with the Heroes of the Storm bot, Blizzard was ordered to pay Bossland’s legal costs and attorney fees.

The full complaint filed at the Central District Court of California is available here (pdf).

You can view the original TorrentFreak article here.

| Edited: Carl Bennett
BNETDocs General Status Update
BNETDocs

Figured it was time for a general status update of BNETDocs.

What's working:

  • Comment viewing for documents
  • Comment viewing for news posts
  • Comment viewing for packets
  • Desktop and mobile versions of the site
  • Document viewing
  • Logging of events
  • News post creation
  • News post deletion
  • News post viewing
  • Packet viewing
  • Server status tracker
  • User login
  • User logout
  • User password updating
  • User permission/ACL system
  • User profile viewing
  • User registration

What's left to do:

  • Comment creation/editing/deletion for documents, news posts, packets, servers, and user profiles
  • Mobile version of the site still missing navigation
  • Document creating/editing/deletion
  • Document relations import from Redux
  • Document searching and popularity ranking
  • Emails
  • Event log viewing
  • News post editing
  • Packet creation/editing/deletion
  • Packet relations import from Redux
  • Packet searching and popularity ranking
  • Server creation/editing/deletion
  • User index (list of registered users)
  • User profile editing

Other notes:

  • Blizzard on occasion will visit this site. This is a good reason to be as welcoming and professional as possible. They've visited 6 times between April 11 and June 13 of 2016.
  • So far, I've been the only one contributing to the BNETDocs source code. If we want to speed things up around here, BNETDocs could use some contributors over on GitHub.
  • Worth mentioning is the bnetdocs.com domain name is being offered for around $2,000 USD. That's pretty insane. If anyone wants to buy it and transfer it over, I'd be extremely grateful. It used to be an alias for bnetdocs.org back in the day and some comments/documentation on this site still reference it.
  • I've imported the comments from Redux over to here. Some are pretty rough and demeaning while others are constructive. Please understand that some of these comments are pretty old and were written at a time when the person might have been at a different maturity level than they are now. Be respectful when diving in to a comment thread.
  • Also worth mentioning about these imported comments is they were written on Redux, not this new site; a lot has changed since Redux, and some comments may no longer be relevant anymore, such as one comment I found about SQL injection and ' symbols over on the Protocol Headers document. SQL injection is impossible on this new site thanks to the aid of prepared statements, proper input/output sanitation, and error handling.
  • Some may have noticed that the To Do document from Redux was deleted. I did this because the purpose of that document has moved to GitHub. The original comments and content of that document are still preserved on Redux, as clicking on that link will show you.

I don't have any milestones for this site, so I can't give you a timeline of when I plan to complete features. I have a full-time job, 9-5 weekdays, plus I like to have leisure time spent playing games or hanging out with friends, rather than spending time coding. In other words, this site isn't my priority. I will always try to donate my time when I can or when I feel like it, though. I haven't abandoned this project. :-)

| Edited: Carl Bennett
Diablo II 1.14d Patch
Diablo

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Blizzard patched Diablo II up to version 1.14d.

This specific patch introduces Blizzard Error and System Survey to better troubleshoot crashes and assertions.

Original Announcement

| Edited: Carl Bennett
Diablo II 1.14c Patch and Ladder Reset Announcement
Diablo

Hey all,

Diablo II ladder reset has been announced for May 17, 2016 at 10:00am PDT. This maintenance will also include a Diablo II patch from 1.14b to 1.14c that addresses a few bugs from the previous 1.14a and 1.14b patches.

The full announcement can be found on Blizzard's forums.

Happy gaming!

Update 2016-05-17 5:52pm: Blizzard has taken the servers down as of 12:00pm CDT and as of now they are still down while they perform maintenance. More information can be found in their new forum post. Thanks all!

Update 2016-05-17 9:48pm: All maintenance has been complete and the servers are all back online!

| Edited: Carl Bennett
Blizzard will be updating Starcraft too!
Starcraft

On April 13, 2016, Blizzard announced that in addition to the updates they have made to Diablo II and Warcraft III, they will also be updating Starcraft!

It all is detailed in the forum post that quickly went off-topic from its Diablo II question and turned into a Starcraft conversation:

xboi209: Hey Clásico, it seems that there's absolutely no mention of any work on StarCraft at the moment. I do agree that D2 should support higher resolutions but in my opinion, bug fixes and compatibility for StarCraft should be worked on first before the eye candy for other games.

Clásico: Hey hey! I will say that, as of right now, Starcraft IS being worked on.

Bingbing: This thread no where even mentions Brood War.

Clásico: When I say Starcraft, I'm implying that it's Brood War. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Bareleon: Are there going to be bug fixes? Any balance updates? A ladder like sc2's?

Clásico: Afternoon Bareleon, as of right now we're working on Compatibility and bug fixing for SC and SC:Brood War.

So there you have it folks! Starcraft is coming down the pipeline soon.

| Edited: Carl Bennett

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