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NewsForge: Bnetd Reverse Engineering Ruling May Stifle Innovation

Oct 17, 2005, 19:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jay Lyman)

"Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the popular Warcraft and Diablo videogame titles, handed opponents of reverse engineering perhaps their most potent weapon to date last month when the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in its case against open source software developers who had created BnetD, an application that emulated Blizzard's Battle.Net and let gamers connect with each other outside of the company's servers.

"In upholding a lower court ruling, the court held the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--which has previously been the basis of protecting a degree of reverse engineering in software--prohibited the reverse engineering BnetD developers required to create their software. In addition, the ruling held that so-called click-wrap, browse-wrap, or handshake licenses may also prohibit the reverse engineering..."

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