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Jagex Suffers Setback In  RuneScape  Bot Lawsuit

Jagex Suffers Setback In RuneScape Bot Lawsuit

September 3, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

September 3, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

RuneScape developer Jagex suffered a setback in its suit against bot maker Impulse Software, as a U.S. court denied its request for a preliminary injunction prevent the sale and use of Impulse's iBot.

Similar to many other third-party bots created for massively multiplayer online games, Impulse's iBot software automatically completes tasks and levels up RuneScape characters without users needing to play the game themselves -- a practice prohibited by most MMO publishers as cheating.

Jagex, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, filed suit against Florida-based Impulse last February, accusing the company of violations of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, copyright infringement, and trademark infringement.

It also applied a preliminary injunction to ban iBot, which Impulse contested. The court denied Jagex's application, as it did not believe that the MMO developer would suffer irreparable harm without the injunction, that public interest was in favor of the injunction, and that the "balance of equities" fell in the studio's favor.

Furthermore, the court reviewed Jagex's claims and said the company is "unlikely to succeed" with its copyright claims, as the firm hasn't made all the necessary copyright registrations in the U.S. The court was not convinced by the studio's other arguments, either, citing issues with its trademark and computer fraud/abuse accusations.

As for Jagex's claim that Impulse breached DMCA provisions with its iBot, the court commented that Jagex could not rely on any registered copyright works that needed protection and that it did not have technological measures in place to protect them, according to a report from Gamer/Law.

Speaking to trade site Develop, Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard seemed certain that his company will plead its case successfully at trial: "This was merely a interim hearing for an injunction. Jagex is confident that, after all the facts have come to light, it will prevail in this case."

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