Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Free software game server engineers in Court

Filed under
Legal

On Monday, June 20, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Blizzard v. BnetD, a case that could dramatically impact consumers' ability to customize software and electronic devices and to obtain customized tools created by others.

Along with co-counsel Paul Grewal of Day Casebeer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing three open source software engineers who reverse-engineered an aspect of Blizzard's Battlenet game server in order to create a free software game server called BnetD that works with lawfully purchased Blizzard games. The BnetD server lets gamers have a wider range of options when playing online. The lower court held that the reverse-engineering of the games needed to create this new option for consumers was illegal.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will determine whether the three software programmers were in violation of the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Blizzard Games' end user license agreement (EULA). EFF will argue that the DMCA expressly protects the programming and distributing of programs such as BnetD and this protection cannot be undercut by general state contract law as applied to EULAs.

EFF took the case to stand up for consumer choice in the marketplace. Reverse engineering is often the only way to craft a new product that works with older ones. Congress expressly recognized this when it created an exception to the DMCA for reverse engineering. Whether it's allowing gamers to choose a better server for Internet play, or allowing a printer owner to purchase from a range of printer cartridge replacements, reverse engineering is a critical part of innovation in a world where more and more devices need to talk to each other in order to operate correctly.

The hearing will take place Monday, June 20, at 9 a.m. at the Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals, 27th Floor, Southeast Courtroom, at the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse, 111 South 10th Street in St. Louis, MO.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 17.10 Finishes Its Transition to Python 3.6, Ubuntu 16.10 EOL Coming July

Canonical today published a new installation of the Ubuntu Foundations Team weekly newsletter to inform the Ubuntu Linux community on the progress made since last week's update. Read more

6 Linux clipboard managers to boost your productivity

During a recent episode of Bad Voltage, each presenter had to name a small Linux utility we were surprised more people didn't regularly use. Fellow Opensource.com Community Moderator Ben Cotton suggested this topic would be of interest to the Opensource.com community, and I think he's correct. Thanks for the suggestion, Ben. The item I chose to highlight is a clipboard manager. For those of you not familiar with a clipboard manager, it's a small program that runs in the background and keeps a history of everything you save to the clipboard. It sounds simple, and it is, but it will likely boost your productivity more than you'd initially anticipate. It also comes in handy when you copy something, only to realize that means you've lost something else in the clipboard that you actually needed. Read more

7 great open source tools to power your marketing stack

Today's digital marketers use an ever-increasing amount of software to plan, organize, execute, measure, and report on marketing campaigns. Marketers often refer to the various software they use as the "marketing stack." In many cases, that software is proprietary. There are several very good reasons why marketers should consider building out their marketing stack on open source software. One is that there's an excellent range of open source software they can choose from; here are three others. Read more

Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 – new kid on the block

Generally speaking, Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 left a nice impression on me. You can order your own copy of this operating system here. It felt solid, fast and stable. There were no glitches apart from the screen-related issue at the very beginning of the boot process. There were issues here and there of various severities. If Debian wallpapers in Ubuntu-based distribution can only cause a smile, the software search issues in the default package manager are something that should be really dealt with. Read more