The appeals court trial of Blizzard vs. BnetD, a dispute which began over three years ago, is schedule to begin on Monday, June 20th. The Electronic Frontier Foundation will be representing the BnetD side, along with co-counsel Paul Grewal of Day Casebeer.
The issue is whether BnetD's software, a reverse-engineered online arena that duplicates Blizzard's Battle.net functionality, violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Blizzard claims that BnetD circumvents copyright control functionalities present in its own server software, as well as violating reverse-engineering policies present in the Battle.net EULA.
The EFF, for its part, disputes this ruling, in what it calls "a case that could dramatically impact consumers' ability to customize software and electronic devices and to obtain customized tools created by others", commenting on its official website: "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."
The hearings will begin at 9 A.M. at the Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals, in the Southeast Courtroom of the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. The District Court of St. Louis has previously ruled
that "the individual defendents... breached the [Blizzard] license agreements in this case", but the EFF has vowed to appeal the case, "challenging the court's ruling that creating alternative platforms for legitimately purchased content can be outlawed."