A US district court awarded Blizzard $6 million in damages against MDY Industries, the developer behind software bot Glider, which allows players to automate repetitive actions in MMORPG World of Warcraft
, such as killing monsters and scavenging loot.
Blizzard claimed that the program infringed its copyright and filed suit
in February 2007 against MDY founder and Glider creator Michael Donnelly, asking for "injunctive relief and compensatory damages."
The action was in response to a previous lawsuit filed in November 2006 by Donnelly against the publisher, arguing that Blizzard had no right to terminate Glider's distribution.
Judge David Campbell ruled against MDY in July, declaring that Glider not only broke the license terms that players agree to when playing World of Warcraft
, but that it also "tortiously interfered" with Blizzard’s relationships with its customers through its sales.
According to a report
from the BBC, Donnely is thought to have sold more than 100,000 copies of the $25 application. The court's ruling was helped by an admission in court from MDY's side that it would be reasonable for it to pay some form of damages.
MDY could delay the damages award if it decides to appeal against an earlier judgment, which dismissed its claim to double or even triple the cash settlement.
The case is scheduled to go to court again in January 2009 when it will be decided whether MDY broke the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and whether Donnelly will pay the damages from his own pocket.