As part of its latest efforts to combat unauthorized gold sellers in World of Warcraft
, Blizzard Entertainment has asked PayPal to close the accounts of notable offenders over "intellectual properties violations".
Though many online titles allow users to purchase virtual currency through in-game shops or third-party companies, Blizzard has a strict policy against selling gold, characters, equipment, of power-leveling services for World of Warcraft
. The company bans users it suspects of "farming" or selling gold, and invites subscribers to report violators.
Complying with the publisher's request, PayPal notified major gold reseller sites using its services for transactions, "You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft
merchandise," according to
MMO news site Curse.
The online payment processing company allows those sites to dispute Blizzard's claim and file an "Objection to Infringement Report" if they feel their products do not infringe upon Blizzard's rights. If they choose not to file a report and continue selling the unauthorized products, though, the e-commerce firm will close their PayPal accounts.
Blizzard has previously fought these companies directly, filing suit against Peons4Hire in 2007 for reselling gold and aggressively "spamming" users in-game with their wares. Peons4Hire settled with the publisher, resulting in a permanent injunction
that barred it from advertising or "engaging in the sale of World of Warcraft
virtual assets or power leveling services."
Last August, Blizzard also successfully sued Scapegaming
for running unofficial servers for World of Warcraft
that circumvented the game's monthly subscription fees. Scapegaming collected over $3 million via PayPal during the pirate servers' operation, but it was eventually ordered to pay back those profits and $85.4 million in damages to Blizzard.