August 12, 2005 1:34 PM PDT

Game players say Blizzard invades privacy

A number of "World of Warcraft" players are up in arms over software being used by the game's publisher to scan users' computers for hacks prohibited under its terms of service.

Many publishers of MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) contend regularly with players crafting illegal software hacks that provide some form of gameplay advantage, such as increased speed, awareness of monsters or the like.

To that end, some publishers have deployed programs that can peer into players' computers in an attempt to detect the existence of such hacking software. Blizzard Entertainment, publisher of "World of Warcraft," is one of those companies.

We're not the police...
We have no interest in personal information because it has no direct bearing for our game."
--John Lagrave
Senior producer, "World of Warcraft" live operations team

Players sometimes cry foul about such practices, though, arguing that a game developer's need to keep out hackers doesn't outweigh customers' rights to privacy.

"It opens the ability for a company to do a whole list of things under the guise of security," said a frequent "World of Warcraft" player who asked to be referred to only by his first name, Dennis. "Once you give a company the right to scan your system, you've basically opened the door...Now you must fully trust that company with any data on your computer, because it's at their discretion that they download this data and do whatever they want to with it under the guise of stopping the hackers."

Another player, known as Malek, wrote in a forum on the official game Web site that users should be wary of Blizzard's motives.

"All of you people not concerned about this," Malek wrote, "are showing an awful lot of trust in Blizzard and its coders not to do anything malicious."

But Blizzard said that it isn't interested in anything other than whether users are trying to hack into the game.

"Our stance has always been that we really want to stop the hacker that actively attacks our game," said John Lagrave, senior producer on the "World of Warcraft" live operations team. "We have a system that looks for hacks into the actual game itself. We're not the police; we're not the Nazis. We have no interest in personal information because it has no direct bearing for our game."

Nevertheless, the history of MMORPGs suggests that sometimes game publishers underestimate players' desire for privacy. In one case, "Everquest" publisher Sony Online Entertainment quickly deactivated its own scanning software after players reacted angrily.

"We put a feature into 'Everquest' that was scanning background programs to find people who were hacking and cheating in the game," said Chris Kramer, director of public relations at Sony Online Entertainment. "We did it the wrong way. We put it into the game without alerting the player base first. We apologized to our user base and promised that in the future if we looked to use a scanning program, we'll let them know ahead of time."

Blizzard said that its own scanning of "World of Warcraft" players' computers is different from that of the "Everquest" situation, because Blizzard spells out in the game's end-user license agreement, or EULA, that the company maintains the right to perform such anti-hacking scans. Players like Dennis and others who have complained about the scanning on the game's official forums don't have much of a leg to stand on, Blizzard says.

"People should read contracts," Lagrave said. "Whenever we update our game, that EULA is always displayed so that people have to accept it every time. So it's been in their face many times."

Kramer agreed that players need to be more careful about reading what they agree to.

"People should read the EULA," Kramer said. If they don't, "that's like saying, 'I didn't read the contract before I signed it. Why does the devil own my soul now?'"

74 comments

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Privacy Concerns on PCs are already a Joke
This is nothing new; why would it become news now?

Anyone who read the user agreement would now they scan
memory.

But this is something basically inherent to Microsoft Windows
PCs: Any program you launch can and will violate your privacy.

Every time we download a program, we're trusting the
programmers not to do anything malicious with our systems.
This is how the computer was designed.

Unix variants, Apple computers, and other more mature
operating systems no longer have these issues.

Why is this news?

And how is knowing what other programs and drivers are
running, 'invading our privacy' when those programs affect how
the game program runs?
Posted by CKentavr (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
no problem with them scanning my memory...
or whatever i might be running while playing the game.

i do NOT want them scanning my hard drives or any USB drives i may have connected.

that is where some of us have issues.
Posted by mpmp0 (85 comments )
Link Flag
OSX Tigger is "mature"?
Are you on crack? :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
ban anti-virus
it invades my privacy by scanning my files! save meh save meh!
Posted by Sam Papelbon (242 comments )
Link Flag
Slag PC all j00 want ... but...
WoW runs on Macs, too. How do ye like them apples?
Posted by (64 comments )
Link Flag
Strange analogy
The Blizzard rep's last quote seems to compare the EULA to a contract with the devil. Is that supposed the reassure their customers? Couldn't he come up with a better analogy than that? I think that Blizzard might want to look into hiring a better PR man.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
EULA's
What you can't agrea to any thing until you've opened the package which in and of itself is wrong. If their so confident about their EULA's then post them in the open where I can agrea before I buy, they won't, because they know publishing their EULA's would hurt sales. And as far as updates go, they change the EULA to fit their need, If I refuse to update because of the EULA then I can't play. If I were a lawyer or had the money they would be in trouble. Sony I believe was sued once because of their game. Adobe's EUAL was found un-enforceable in certain spot's Blizzards can be too, they shouldn't be so full of themselves, it will haunt them.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Have Your Minor Kid Install the Game
eula's (as with any contract) are unenforceable on minors.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
I have to agree
You sure cant take it back for a refund once the game has been opened, I usually tend to stay away from online multiplayer games now a days as most want to charge a monthly fee to play it online, so i play single player games most of the time, but if i do any multiplayer its over my lan and usually not over the internet, as far as cheats go, i see no harm in using them on single player games, but in online mutiplayer games they should never be used in order to keep the game fair between all players, as far as scanning for these things, i dont agree with the way it is implemented, if they would let me choose to send the data or not or even see what it is they are sending then maybe but since i dont know what it is they are recieving, i think this could become a real privacy issue.
Posted by (71 comments )
Link Flag
Whiners...
these cheaters should **** and stop ruining the game for legitimate players... ive quit too many games because of 13 y/o pimple heads who think they are hacking by dl'ing a script...
Posted by volterwd (466 comments )
Reply Link Flag
cheats suck
steam and punkbuster do the same thing and make no secret of it. it's the fault of cheats that these programs exist. all they do is ruin the game for people who want to have fun. why? it's one of the biggest reasons people quit games. newbies get beaten by cheaters and think that everyone is too 1337 and experienced players get sick of having to put up with cheaters. i would like to see companies put a big warning in saying that the game conatins software that scans your computer rather than hiding it excusively in the EULA. at the very least it would stop people complaining as much since they would not play the game if they disagreed.
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
you are wrong.
..and you're probably 18. grow up. people's privacy is much more important than an integrity of your gaming experience. catching so-called "hackers" is the responsiblity of Blizzard, and this should not be done by invading people's privacy. Blizzard's stance on this is the same as if i walked into your house, checking everything in the closets, etc., telling you i'm only looking for something specific. this is uncalled for and ridiculous. i do hope this is not allowed to continue.

i recently made my son quit playin this game, World of Warcraft, because the fact he plays on a family computer. it is absolutely none of Blizzards business what is on OUR computer, regardless of any EULA. this is about principal, nothing other.

there is absolutely nothing Blizzard can say to approve what they are doing, nothing at all. with the advertisement of the game, should be warnings of the user giving up their privacy, BEFORE game purchase. not after purchase, as stores do not accept opened software on returns.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
The real consequence: lost money.
Guess what? I'm not going to play or join world of Warcraft, just because of this. I loved the original warcraft/starcraft, too.

Even worse, it's not technologically necessary. They could have public-private keys to authenticate their code, and avoided doing any hard drive scanning.

Guess what Blizzard?
You've just lost my money.
Posted by bob donut (90 comments )
Reply Link Flag
typical corporate garbage
"you should read the EULA"
How about you should RESPECT YOUR CUSTOMER! If the average person stopped to read every EULA that was shoved in front of them on a daily basis they wouldn't get a thing done. Not only that but half of them don't make any sense unless you are familiar with business law. And another thing, since company reps are so big on legalities of EULA's maybe someone should look into the legality of stipulating that you have to give up your privacy rights to actually play the game you just purchased. Or maybe just forget all that and just dump World of Warcraft altogether and let them figure out that you can't treat all your customers like POTENTIAL cheats just because some of them are.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
WTF?
What privacy are you concerned about? For instance VAC2 by Valve for Half-Life / Counter-Strike etc... scans your memory to see if you have any hacks running, like altered copies of opengl.dll. Punk Buster scans for cheats and the only people that complain about that are the people busted for cheating.

The game companies aren't data mining you, they aren't reading your freaking email... they are doing what must be done to maintain a level playing field and to make sure the games stay cheat free as possible.

Eveytime I make a hardware change, Valve wants to do a hardware survey report. Everytime I install WinAMP, it wants to submit annonymous stats, same with Google Toolbar and many other programs. There is so much spyware out there that makes identity theft a major world problem... yet a few people sit here and try to act all concerned about their PRIVACY because a game company is checking to see if they are cheating. **** you cry baby noobs! Don't hack and you have nothing to worry about. Pretty freaking simple.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
open package to read EULA, then uable to return
Stores around here have policy against accepting returns on opened software. Nice racket. No worries for company about returns due to EULA as stores don't allow those to happen.
Posted by seansd (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Reason Why
Anyone could go buy a game or piece of software, open and install it, then go download a CD crack or whatever and then return the product yet, still have a working copy on their computer. That is why a lot of places do not allow open software returns. Plus the problem with duplicate keys being in use.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
EULAs are NOT, "law"...
Numerous judges have already ruled that such "...software EULAs" are not even enforceable "...civil-contracts".

In fact, ...a few judges have even flatly-stated that many "EULAs" actually "...violate legally-protected consumer-rights".

However, I do honestly think it is going to take a lot more consumer-backlash, to finally put a stop to this CLEAR-ABUSE of customers by business.
Posted by Raife (63 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just one of those ways...
Some software companies have piracy protection and product authentication tools. There are also tools and utilities like MD5, DRM, digital signatures, licenses, etc. All with the general intention of making sure a software product is authentic, serviceable and safe. Blizzard has the right to check against hacks because the game server is shared by a majority of likely "unhacked" and likely "non-cheating" users. I think Blizzard is only securing not only the game's integrity and credibility but also the gamers in general, new and veterans alike.

And yes, I'd rather trust them first because, at the moment, that's the only thing I can have for or against them...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Do they really sent the data out?
To my understanding, when they are scaning for hacks, they useed method similar to what Anti-virus software uses. They will scan files looking for cirtain string of code that match the known hacks. If they detected the matching, then They would report back to the server that the cheat has been found. Similar to Anti-virus, looking for strings of virus code. It would not make any sense to send user personal data back to the server as it will overload the connection.

If you do not agree with their EULA, then you should not agree to your antivirus software you have installed, as it do just that (scans your files possibly all of your files, scan your running process for like virus activities, scan your temporary downloaded webpage (preventing spywares nd viruses) before displaying.

So, if you have anti virus, anti spyware, firewall installed you should not be complaining about EULA crap. :)
Posted by (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not to be rude, but
Why do people who have no idea what they're talking about feel the need to comment? The comparison is nonsense for so many reasons, I hardly know where to begin.

For one thing, no anti-virus program I know of will send any data to the manufacturer without your explicit permission. They all make this very easy to disable, and only functionality that can't be done any other way is lost when this data is not sent.

But the key issue -- no anti-virus program I have ever installed (and I think I've installed every major one around) asks for your consent to send any data in your computer's memory to the manufacturer without further consent or refuses to operate at all if you don't give this consent.

Further, we all know that anti-virus programs do in fact scan by templates. If they find a match, they tell you, and generally let you choose what to do or configure them to do what you want.

If they find an unknown program that looks suspicious, they tell you. They then ask you what you want to do, or again, let you configure it to do what you want.

If you want to approve any data before it's sent, they all give you that options. There is nearly no risk that anything you don't want sent will get sent, unless you configure it to create that risk in exchange for greater convenience.

Contrast this with a program whose method of operation is unknown, that probably does transfer anything suspicious to the manufacturer (so they can analyze it and detect new hacks). For all we know, they might transfer all running programs that aren't already in their database, without our further knowledge.

The comparison is just so incredibly wrong-headed, I don't even know where to start. It's like saying loaning your car keys to your son for two hours to get lunch down the road is just like leaving them on your doorstep with a flashing arrow pointing to them.
Posted by joelkatz (17 comments )
Link Flag
Trying to be rude...
b/c the comment above didn't go far enough ("so wrong headed I don't know where to begin")

***** "So, if you have anti virus, anti spyware, firewall installed you should not be complaining about EULA crap. "*****

If I have a FIREWALL I can't complain about "EULA crap" ? Wow. You are a bleeding head wound that needs salt. How is having a firewall even remotely close to what we're talking about in this article?

Silence.
Posted by (64 comments )
Link Flag
Other MMOs do this...
and they don't tell you anything about it. The best policy is not to tell anybody.
Posted by (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That won't work
Fortunately, you can't hide it. Other companies have tried, and people can fairly easily find out. You can tell what programs on your computer are doing if you look at them closely enough.
Posted by joelkatz (17 comments )
Link Flag
How to stop being the number one gaming company
I am really shock at John LaGraves remarks. Blizzard has always been the gaming company that goes out of their way to be friendly with their customers. They have always put out quality products.

John of course is NOT the PR person. He is much higher rank than that. This would be another example of why executives should not be allowed to be interviewed. They tend to have smug attitudes.

As for PCs being scanned for hacked code. This is not the same as an anti-virus program. If my anti-virus program detects a virus, it does not call up the AV company, who then bans me from the Internet. The AV program tells me how to fix it.

Can't the server detect if you are runnnig hacked code. I mean, if my Dark Elf Warrior is supposed to run at 35 pixels per second (or whatever the messurement), can't the server tell if I am traveling at 70 pixels per second? If my character is standing in Iron Forge one second and then I am in Scarlet Monastary the next second, can't the server detect that?

If not, why can't it?
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How can you even say Blizzard is the number one company that goes out of their way to be friendly with their customers. They have always put out quality products"?. I have found them to be exactly the opposite. They have the rudest customer service.tech support i have EVER dealt with and have more bugs and an bad code than anyone other than Microsoft.
Posted by theDon_1960 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Two questions
Please ask the guy from Blizzard two questions:

1) If I find the game in a retail store, how would I
read the EULA (or even know to read it) before I pay
for the game?

2) If I open the game and find I don't like the EULA, what retailers will allow me to return the opened game?

(What an arrogant ass.)

DS
Posted by joelkatz (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Two Answers
1.) Best Buy has a notice in the store that you can ask to see and products EULA before purchase.

2.) See 1.
Posted by fujiJuice (1 comment )
Link Flag
Source?
Do you have any source to your claim that violating an EULA is copyright infringement? That strikes me as kind of strange. Copyright grants specific rights to copyright holders, like the exclusive right to distribute or make copies. Copyright law certainly doesn't say that after you buy something, you need some additional permission to use it.
Posted by joelkatz (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So stop playing
I don't get it. If you don't like the policy then don't play the game. Period. No one is forcing these people to spend 90 hours a week playing it. Problem is that they are all so hard core addicted that they can't stop playing. The only thing they will do is complain... but keep paying their monthly fee. They have to, most of these players have no life outside of the game.
Posted by Don Key (186 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ummm.
Interesting approach. Attack people who play MMOs and this story isn't even about any of that. Way to go off topic and atack people that aren't even here, involved or are responding.
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Link Flag
I said it before, I'll say it again.
So Don, how's that cure for cancer comming? oh? you don't do anything important with your spare time either?
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
BLAH!
These kids who act so concerned about the scan should simply shut up. As a gamer addict myself, BF2 / CS:S, nothing pisses me off more than playing against a bunch of idiots hacking. I'm thankful that Valve is getting VAC2 in working condition and saw a significant drop in cheats when it started kicking people. Punk Buster for BF2 is doing a decent job at keeping some servers cheat free. If you have something to hide, put it on another computer, or burn it to DVD. If you are vocal against anti-cheat scans, then don't hack and you have nothing to worry about. I doubt Blizzard, Valve or EA is going to be sending your name to the RIAA, MPAA or the kiddie pr0n police. Don't hack, simple as that!
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's not the end of line
Your 'suggestions' aren't reasonable:
Even if online gamers have multiple systems, its likely that they will use the gaming system to do some personal transactions - most likely online.

Its impossible to trust a gaming company's programmers once they have the 'license' to scan users' systems.

If they want to scan user machines, they might want to make the scanning code open-source or subject to 3rd party review.

EULA - I can't remember the last one I read. Sony's right if they are going to scan, then they have to let users know upfront about what the program does exactly and perhaps allow an open review of it.
Posted by (6 comments )
Link Flag
re:
Why does laziness on your part constitute bad behavior on Blizzards? If you don't read the EULA it's your own fault.

Besides, it seems to me that alot of people here are operating under the assumption that they are important enough for anyone to really care what they have stored on their computer. I hate to break it to you, but you aren't.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ok...
"Why does laziness on your part constitute bad behavior on Blizzards? If you don't read the EULA it's your own fault."

A. The majority of EULAs are illegal anyways so there's usually no harm in agreeing since it cant be enforced.
B. They are worded specifically to prevent people from understanding what they say. For the majority of people they can either agree to it not knowing what it means or throw the game away and lose $50. Which would you do if you couldnt read legalese?

"Besides, it seems to me that alot of people here are operating under the assumption that they are important enough for anyone to really care what they have stored on their computer. I hate to break it to you, but you aren't."

So no one would find your credit card numbers and access information to your bank account interesting? Must be a very nice and safe little fantasy world you live in.

In fact.. since none of us are important enough for our information to be of interest to anyone, why dont you be the first to volunteer your bank login and credit card numbers?
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Link Flag
I agree with Don
If you don't like a company's policy then don't support it. There are currently several companies that I refuse to give my hard earned money too because of reasons just like this. That is the only way to get thier attn anyway. You think blizzard cares about half a million complainers when they continue to flood thier purses with monthy fees? No. If those same half a million subscribers suddenly terminate thier subscriptions then it might raise a few eyebrows. It's all about the bottom line... Just my 2 cents
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Abundant with idiots
With high end assembly coders using their skills for changing game code or altering packets sent back to online gaming servers, neophitic games programmers and even "security specialist" don't have a leg to stand on.

Take Counter Strike for example, the most hacked game online. Hacks were everywhere until memory scanning came into play and then the "hack programmers" really just "script kiddies" got onto IRC(internet relay chat) and found REAL some real coders to help with their projects. So now you have Elite Programmers helping some script kiddies just for fun and you suddly have a group.

These groups worked together to try and foil the momory scans that VAC/VAC2 used to find their hacks.... this they found easy enough by randomising the process ID generated by the hack's .exe or .dll file resident in memory, along with some other thing I need not get into.

Due to this and the underground IRC scene, which allows the hacks to be distributed "discretely" without the need for use of a web of ftp server these hacks are considered "elite" due to the fact that they are not public and because of this they are never detected due to the fact that most online anti-game-hack personel need a copy of the hack to actually reverse engineer and thus make it detectable to VAC/VAC2/PB or what have you.

I read further up someone saying he felt safe with VAC2 now ... well if you go to www.japsclan.com you'll find a copy of GDSC sitting pulicly for download, Undected by VAC2, all they can doo is change the offset used withing the hack's every so often making it nessisary to update the hack... what an inconvenience! :)

If people want to cheat then they will if they are smart enough to follow through with it. I am sick of online gaming companies crying wolf when they are invading your privacy via your upper memory. If you know what you're doing then grab a packet sniffer and take a look for yourself, see what blizzard, steam/valve, EA Games, and all the rest are really recieving. Can't monitor what they're monitoring all the time ... kinda takes the fun out of the game.

f00b a.k.a isiah
Posted by f00b (1 comment )
Link Flag
Does it always have to be the Nazis?
Quote: "We have a system that looks for hacks into the actual
game itself. We're not the police; we're not the Nazis.[http://..|http://..]"

To be quite honest, I feel pretty annoyed by the trend to to
compare each and every bad move to the atrocities of Nazi
Germany. Why the hell not choose a more fitting example like
"we're not the guys who dropped two A-Bombs" or maybe "we're
not part of the Watergate fiasko"? As a non US-citizen, and I
sincerely hope I don't start a flamewar here (not my intention,
honestly!) I think the States have enough skeletons in their
closet without having to run the fascist line every time.

Just my two cents on a PR statement which leaves a bad taste in
my mouth.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Think about big picture of agreements
When you buy a software product, it would seem that by now, one should know they are going to have to agree to an EULA. I haven't bought any software in the last 5 years that didn't have one.

That said, you should attempt to find a copy of the EULA to read before you buy the software, since, as already mentioned, most places won't refund opened software.

The EULA for WoW was easily obtainable online at <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/eula.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/eula.html</a>

By purchasing a game you agree to (IMO) use the game as designed by the software company AND to the terms of the EULA. If you don't agree to those terms, don't buy.

FYI - I do play WoW
Posted by Networkjoe (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
WoW - hacks
well.. if I was playing WoW I would want people that are using 'sploits to beremoved form the game... if i put in 72 straight hours in on a game and then some f'ing botter comes along... i will have wished that Blizzard scanned them first.
Posted by djpaisley (80 comments )
Link Flag
EULA follies
I actually read the EULA (call me crazy) and I do not see where it mentions any kind of this activity as permissible. It grants Blizzard the right to make connections to the "Game Client", but not to anything else. The "warden" spyware-like program sends information about every program open, not just those distributed by Blizzard or even those that pertain to the "Game Client" in any way.

Even if it was in the EULA, why would Blizzard check every program running when the warden could do it's job by restricting itself to only Blizzard files. Also, I would expect a big "We ARE checking your files and running programs for ...blah blah blah". Not, "We CAN check". Many EULA's give the "Licensor" open-ended rights that are left completely up to interpretation. There are no explicit claims to ownership, instead it's: "The game is ours, everything related to the game is ours, and everything else is ours".

If this bothers someone so much, they could stop playing. But perhaps I wouldn't have even started playing if I knew the ramifications of running the program I *purchased*.

What ramifications? I work in the IT Healthcare field, and commonly work on-call from home at night, sometimes even with WoW running as my gameplay was interrupted by a minor catastrophy. Without being informed of Blizzard's practices, I have not known that information from programs outside of Blizzard's scope have been sent over the insecure Internet. Information such as patient privacy information and company finances. Information protected by federal laws such as HIPAA and SOX, whos violations carry very hefty fines and even jail time.

So you don't work with that kind of information... what about your information? Or information from other people's accounts on your PC? Are these protected? Is the data transfer from the warden to Blizzard encrypted? Is the data stored in a permanent database, or scanned and deleted? Who knows? Blizzard's stance seems to be "You accepted an agreement, so shut up and continue paying or go play another game". That is pretty harsh to loyal players that have never even thought of cheating.
Posted by pinion (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here is the EULA
Version 1, November 2004


YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT BEFORE INSTALLING THIS SOFTWARE PROGRAM. BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE SOFTWARE PROGRAM, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, PROMPTLY RETURN THE UNUSED SOFTWARE PROGRAM TO THE PLACE OF PURCHASE, OR CONTACT BLIZZARD CUSTOMER SERVICE AT (800) 592-5499 FOR A FULL REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE.

END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT

This software program on CD-ROM, and any files that are delivered to you by Blizzard (via on-line transmission or otherwise) to "patch," update, or otherwise modify the software program, as well as any printed materials and any on-line or electronic documentation (the "Manual"), and any and all copies and derivative works of such software program and materials (collectively, with the "Game Client" defined below, the "Game") are the copyrighted work of Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Davidson &#38; Associates, Inc. or its suppliers and licensors (collectively referred to herein as "Licensor"). All use of the Game is governed by the terms of this End User License Agreement ("License Agreement" or "Agreement"). The Game may only be played by obtaining from Licensor access to the World of Warcraft massively multi-player on-line role-playing game service (the "Service"), which is subject to a separate Terms of Use agreement (the "Terms of Use"). If your purchase of the Game included a period of "free access" to the Service, the Terms of Use agreement also governs your access to the Service during the period of "free access." The Game is distributed solely for use by authorized end users according to the terms of the License Agreement. Any use, reproduction or redistribution of the Game not expressly authorized by the terms of the License Agreement is expressly prohibited.

1. Grant of a Limited Use License.

The Game installs computer software (hereafter referred to as the "Game Client") onto your hardware to allow you to play the Game through your account with the Service (your "Account"). Licensor hereby grants, and by installing the Game Client you thereby accept, a limited, non-exclusive license and right to install the Game Client for your personal use on one (1) or more computers which you own or which are under your personal control. All use of the Game Client is subject to this License Agreement and to the Terms of Use agreement, which you must accept before you can use your Account to play the Game through access to the Service. Licensor reserves the right to update, modify or change the Terms of Use at any time.

2. Service and Terms of Use.

As mentioned above, you must accept the Terms of Use in order to access the Service to play the Game. The Terms of Use agreement governs all aspects of game play. You may view the Terms of Use by visiting the following website: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.shtml" target="_newWindow">http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.shtml</a>. If you do not agree with the Terms of Use, then (i) you should not register for an Account to play the Game, and (ii) you should contact Licensor's customer service at (800) 592-5499 to arrange to return the Game for a full refund of the purchase price within thirty (30) days of the original purchase. Once you accept the Terms of Use and register an Account, the purchase price of the Game will not be refunded to you if you choose not to continue the monthly subscription to the Service.

3. Ownership.

A. All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the Game and all copies thereof (including, but not limited to, any titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialog, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, character inventories, structural or landscape designs, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audio-visual effects, storylines, character likenesses, methods of operation, moral rights, any related documentation, and "applets" incorporated into the Game) are owned or expressly licensed by Licensor. The Game is protected by the copyright laws of the United States, international copyright treaties and conventions, and other laws. All rights are reserved. The Game may contain certain licensed materials, and the licensors of those materials may enforce their rights in the event of any violation of this License Agreement.


B. You may permanently transfer ownership of the Game and all parts thereof, and all of your rights and obligations under the License Agreement, to another by physically transferring the CD-ROM, all original packaging, and all Manuals or other documentation associated with the Game, and by removing from all of your home or personal computers and destroying any remaining materials concerning the Game in your possession or control, provided the recipient agrees to the terms of this License Agreement. The transferor (i.e., you), and not the Licensor, agrees to be solely responsible for any taxes, fees, charges, duties, withholdings, assessments, and the like, together with any interest, penalties, and additions imposed in connection with such transfer.

4. Responsibilities of End User.

A. Subject to the Grant of License hereinabove, you may not, in whole or in part, copy, photocopy, reproduce, translate, reverse engineer, derive source code, modify, disassemble, decompile, or create derivative works based on the Game, or remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Game. Failure to comply with the restrictions and limitations contained in this Section 4 shall result in immediate, automatic termination of the license granted hereunder and may subject you to civil and/or criminal liability. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you may make one (1) copy of the Game Client and the Manuals for archival purposes only.


B. agree that you shall not, under any circumstances,


(i) sell, grant a security interest in or transfer reproductions of the Game to other parties in any way not expressly authorized herein, nor shall you rent, lease or license the Game to others;


(ii) exploit the Game or any of its parts, including, but not limited to, the Game Client, for any commercial purpose, including, but not limited to, use at a cyber café, computer gaming center or any other location-based site without the express written consent of Blizzard;


(iii) host, provide or develop matchmaking services for the Game or intercept, emulate or redirect the communication protocols used by Licensor in any way, including, without limitation, through protocol emulation, tunneling, packet sniffing, modifying or adding components to the Game, use of a utility program or any other techniques now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, unauthorized network play over the Internet, network play utilizing commercial or non-commercial gaming networks or as part of content aggregation networks; or


(iv) create or maintain, under any circumstance, any unauthorized connections to the Game or the Service. All connections to the Game and/or the Service, whether created by the Game Client or by other tools and utilities, may only be made through methods and means expressly approved by Licensor. Under no circumstances may you connect, or create tools that allow you or others to connect, to the Game's proprietary interface or interfaces other than those expressly provided by Licensor for public use.

5. Termination.

This License Agreement is effective until terminated. You may terminate the License Agreement at any time by (i) destroying the Game; (ii) removing the Game Client from your hard drive; and (iii) notifying Licensor of your intention to terminate this License Agreement. Licensor may, at its discretion, terminate this License Agreement in the event that you fail to comply with the terms and conditions contained herein, or the terms and conditions contained in the Terms of Use. In such event, you must immediately destroy the Game and remove the Game Client from your hard drive. Upon termination of this Agreement for any reason, all licenses granted herein shall immediately terminate.

6. Export Controls.

The Game may not be re-exported, downloaded or otherwise exported into (or to a national or resident of) any country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods, or to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department's Table of Denial Orders. By installing the Game, you are agreeing to the foregoing, and you are representing and warranting that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list.

7. Patches and Updates.

Licensor may deploy or provide patches, updates and modifications to the Game that must be installed for the user to continue to play the Game. Licensor may update the Game remotely, including, without limitation, the Game Client residing on the user's machine, without knowledge or consent of the user, and you hereby grant to Licensor your consent to deploy and apply such patches, updates and modifications to the Game.

8. Duration of the "On-line" Component of the Game.

This Game is an 'on-line' game that must be played over the Internet through the Service, as provided by Licensor. You understand and agree that the Service is provided by Licensor at its discretion and may be terminated or otherwise discontinued by Licensor pursuant to the Terms of Use.

9. Limited Warranty.

Licensor expressly disclaims any warranty for the Game, including the Game Client and Manual(s). THE GAME, GAME CLIENT AND MANUAL(S) ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF CONDITION, DEFECTS, USE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, OR NONINFRINGEMENT. The entire risk arising out of use or performance of the Game, Game Client and Manual(s) remains with the user. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Licensor warrants up to and including 90 days from the date of your purchase of the Game that the media containing the Game Client shall be free from defects in material and workmanship. In the event that such media proves to be defective during that time period, and upon presentation to Licensor of proof of purchase of the defective media, Licensor will at its option 1) correct any defect, 2) provide you with a product of equal or lesser value, or 3) refund your money. THE FOREGOING IS YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR THE EXPRESS WARRANTY SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

10. Limitation of Liability.

NEITHER LICENSOR NOR ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARIES OR AFFILIATES SHALL BE LIABLE IN ANY WAY FOR LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THE GAME, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR ANY AND ALL OTHER DAMAGES OR LOSSES. ANY WARRANTY AGAINST INFRINGEMENT THAT MAY BE PROVIDED IN SECTION 2-312(3) OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE AND/OR IN ANY OTHER COMPARABLE STATE STATUTE IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. FURTHER, Licensor SHALL NOT BE LIABLE IN ANY WAY FOR THE LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PLAYER CHARACTERS, ACCOUNTS, STATISTICS OR USER PROFILE INFORMATION STORED BY THE GAME AND/OR THE SERVICE. LICENSOR shall NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INTerRUPTIONS OF SERVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ISP DISRUPTIONS, SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE FAILURES OR ANY OTHER EVENT WHICH MAY RESULT IN A LOSS OF DATA OR DISRUPTION OF SERVICE. IN NO EVENT WILL LICENSOR BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, or allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitations may not apply to you.

11. Equitable Remedies.

You hereby agree that Licensor would be irreparably damaged if the terms of this License Agreement were not specifically enforced, and therefore you agree that Licensor shall be entitled, without bond, other security, or proof of damages, to appropriate equitable remedies with respect to breaches of this License Agreement, in addition to such other remedies as Licensor may otherwise have available to it under applicable laws. In the event any litigation is brought by either party in connection with this License Agreement, the prevailing party in such litigation shall be entitled to recover from the other party all the costs, attorneys' fees and other expenses incurred by such prevailing party in the litigation.

12. Changes to the Agreement.

Blizzard reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to change, modify, add to, supplement or delete any of the terms and conditions of this License Agreement when Blizzard upgrades the Game Client, effective upon prior notice as follows: Blizzard will post notification of any such changes to this License Agreement on the World of Warcraft website and will post the revised version of this License Agreement in this location, and may provide such other notice as Blizzard may elect in its sole discretion, which may include by email, postal mail or pop-up screen. If any future changes to this License Agreement are unacceptable to you or cause you to no longer be in compliance with this License Agreement, you may terminate this License Agreement in accordance with Section 5 herein. Your installation and use of any updated or modifications to the Game or your continued use of the Game following notice of changes to this Agreement as described above will mean you accept any and all such changes. Blizzard may change, modify, suspend, or discontinue any aspect of the Game at any time. Blizzard may also impose limits on certain features or restrict your access to parts or all of the Game without notice or liability. You have no interest, monetary or otherwise, in any feature or content contained in the Game.

13. Miscellaneous.

This License Agreement shall be deemed to have been made and executed in the State of California without regard to conflicts of law provisions, and any dispute arising hereunder shall be resolved in accordance with the law of California. You agree that any claim asserted in any legal proceeding by one of the parties against the other shall be commenced and maintained in any state or federal court located in the State of California, County of Los Angeles, having subject matter jurisdiction with respect to the dispute between the parties. In the event that any provision of this License Agreement shall be held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, such provision will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible, and the remaining portions of this License Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. This License Agreement constitutes and contains the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes any prior oral or written agreements, provided, however, that this Agreement shall coexist with, and shall not supersede, the Terms of Use. To the extent that the provisions of this Agreement conflict with the provisions of the Terms of Use, the conflicting provisions in the Terms of Use shall govern. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand the foregoing License Agreement and agree that the action of installing the Game Client is an acknowledgment of my agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions of the License Agreement contained herein.

(c) 2004 Blizzard Entertainment. All rights reserved. World of Warcraft is a trademark, and Warcraft and Blizzard Entertainment are trademarks or registered trademarks, of Blizzard Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. All rights are reserved.
Posted by pinion (2 comments )
Link Flag
Not playing game because of privacy issues
Look, to all you people whining about privacy issues.

1.) Blizzard is not looking through your My Documents folder or looking into your private financial files.

2.) If you are THAT worried about files of that nature, then use use a program like Folder Guard and keep your important files encrypted!

3.) You can find out what they are looking for here: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=blizzard-archive&#38;t=33&#38;p=1&#38;tmp=1#post33" target="_newWindow">http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=blizzard-archive&#38;t=33&#38;p=1&#38;tmp=1#post33</a>

4.) If you are an honest player that doesn't cheat, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!

5.) Just like my thought on Big Brother watching everywhere with public cameras....WHO CARES!?! If you an honest person that does nothing illegal, they you have nothing to worry about them seeing!
Posted by ConcernedCitizen1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Not playing game because of privacy issues
"1.) Blizzard is not looking through your My Documents folder or looking into your private financial files."
They'd better not be...but who knows what they're actually doing in there. Are you holding the devs hand while he scans your system? What sort of scanning do they use? Call me paranoid, but I tend to be that way when my right to privacy is violated.

"2.) If you are THAT worried about files of that nature, then use use a program like Folder Guard and keep your important files encrypted!"
Riiiight. That's REALLY going to help you, when they justify cracking it because the folder was encrypted and COULD have contained a crack. Cheaters may not be honest, but they're not stupid.

"3.) You can find out what they are looking for here: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=blizzard-archive&#38;t=33&#38;p=1&#38;tmp=1#post33" target="_newWindow">http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=blizzard-archive&#38;t=33&#38;p=1&#38;tmp=1#post33</a>"
Again, the point is, they're violating a right you have.

"4.) If you are an honest player that doesn't cheat, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! 5.) Just like my thought on Big Brother watching everywhere with public cameras....WHO CARES!?! If you an honest person that does nothing illegal, they you have nothing to worry about them seeing!"
I am an honest player, and I don't like it. Why? Just because I'm not doing something wrong, doesn't mean I shouldn't worry about something violating my right to privacy. Yeah, they included it in the TOS...but I want you to think long and hard, and name me ONE person who reads it from top to bottom, front to back, end to end each and every time it pops up in his/her face. No one does...everyone's too anxious to play the game. Just including something THAT dramatically threatening to someone's civil rights demands announcement, not some sneaky, under-handed "it was in the TOS" ********.

I know, no matter where I go, someone will always be watching me. Do I act out of hand because of it? No. In a lot of cases, the reward is worth it. Cameras are designed to catch criminals/petty thieves...someone seeing your face doesn't hurt you in any way.

Blizzard (among many other companies) IS trying to protect their consumers, true, but who's to say they aren't doing other things in there? Do you watch them at every moment? Of course not...if you're connected to the game, strong chance you're actually playing it. Just because they justify it as protecting you, should not allow them to violate your basic right to privacy...this is something you should be asked in a pop-up, something you don't have to dig for, the first time you load the game. Plain and simple.

I'm not doing anything wrong, but I'd like to keep my civil rights intact, thanks.
Posted by mike_elliott (1 comment )
Link Flag
Blizzard has every right to...
If youdon't like it, just don't play it. Blizzard has every right to protect their investments, as onlinegaming has turned into a compleatly new reality.

It's not just a game, it's a life for soo many people, which is sad actually, but thats how it is.

Just take a look at sites like www.taukt.com, www.onlinegamehacker.com or www.wowhacksworld.com (only some examples) and you will see that if there was no warden the game would be so full of hackers, that nobody will want to play it. And that's not what blizzard wants.

And why would blizzard want your personal info? Like said in another post here, there is no privacy anyway over the net nowerdays.
Posted by liigagi (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not from around here are you?
From your incorrect use of tense modifiers in the english language and from your failure to apply basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the United States of America, I predict that you are not a Citizen of the United States. If you are a citizen then my apologies. If you are not then it is understandable that you have completely missed the point of these discussions.

It doesnt matter one iota what a company wants to do when it comes to the law. A corporate entity has a right to protect its investment, yes. but only to a point, after which the corporate entity is no longer a law abiding member of the community but at best a scofflaw and at worst an outright criminal.

The laws in this country are based on several innate rights as expressed in that most wondrous of documents The Constitution of the United States of America, and in the laws rules and regulations built to maintain, defend, and protect the citizens of this country from any entity foreign or domestic that would usurp those clearly defined rights. One of these rights layed down by our founding fathers is this:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Now I dont find any exclusive application of this particular right to be directed solely at the Government of the the United States nor of any particular state.

This right applies to individuals to corporations to state and local governments and to the federal government in toto. You DONT violate this right. Period. doesnt matter if your a government or a corporation or an individual. to do so violates a basic tenet of a free society.

By introducing any software that records a United States Citizens data from his personally owned and operated data storage device or from a publicly accessible data storage device such as in a Library or other public data conveyance is a gross violation of this right.

For you to not know this you are either: A) Too young yet to comprehend what those rights are. B) Not capable of understanding these rights (in which case you are legally forgiven as you do not meet the mental acuity necessary to accept responsibility for your own actions nor to enter into a binding agreement) C) not a citizen of the United States or Legal resident working towards citizenship, else you would know from your civics classes that you are protected by this right, or D) any combination of the other three.

Corporations no matter the language of the EULA may not author nor enforce any contract or agreement which violates any federal or state law statute or ordinance. Further they may not violate this particular right. Any agreement that does so, inclusive of severability clauses, becomes unenforcible in its totality.

Me personally? Im not too worried about "Hackers" or "Cheaters" or "Exploiters" as they are usually trapped without too much difficulty within the community of WoW itself. Our own netizens keep a close watch on each other in these environments and report anything out of the ordinary. Thats even a little BigBrotherish for my tastes but we as a community do take notice of the unusualy and will for the most part report unusual activity.

Blizzard also maintains a firewall(s) on their equipment that they can use to limit access to their servers in multiple ways which provides further protection. They also maintain technology used for the purpose of sniffing packets of data distributed to their devices from outside the firewall that particularly describes the Host and the actions or instructions to be executed and in this way can monitor the clients use, and or potential abuse WITHOUT having to look at any data on a Game Client machine.

Now with all those other protections in place I ask you two simple questions. Why does Blizzard need to look at data on YOUR Game Machine? What assurances do we the citizens have that the data gathered by Blizzard is handled appropriately?

If you doubt the validity of that last question I suggest you talk to The Department of Veteran Affairs, TDAmeritrade ETrade HP The State of Massachusets American Express or any other company that has had personal and confidential data stolen off of a laptop that wasnt supposed to have that kind of data on it in the first place.
Posted by marlberg (2 comments )
Link Flag
Not from around here are you?
From your incorrect use of tense modifiers in the english language and from your failure to apply basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens of the United States of America, I predict that you are not a Citizen of the United States. If you are a citizen then my apologies. If you are not then it is understandable that you have completely missed the point of these discussions.

It doesnt matter one iota what a company wants to do when it comes to the law. A corporate entity has a right to protect its investment, yes. but only to a point, after which the corporate entity is no longer a law abiding member of the community but at best a scofflaw and at worst an outright criminal.

The laws in this country are based on several innate rights as expressed in that most wondrous of documents The Constitution of the United States of America, and in the laws rules and regulations built to maintain, defend, and protect the citizens of this country from any entity foreign or domestic that would usurp those clearly defined rights. One of these rights layed down by our founding fathers is this:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Now I dont find any exclusive application of this particular right to be directed solely at the Government of the the United States nor of any particular state.

This right applies to individuals to corporations to state and local governments and to the federal government in toto. You DONT violate this right. Period. doesnt matter if your a government or a corporation or an individual. to do so violates a basic tenet of a free society.

By introducing any software that records a United States Citizens data from his personally owned and operated data storage device or from a publicly accessible data storage device such as in a Library or other public data conveyance is a gross violation of this right.

For you to not know this you are either: A) Too young yet to comprehend what those rights are. B) Not capable of understanding these rights (in which case you are legally forgiven as you do not meet the mental acuity necessary to accept responsibility for your own actions nor to enter into a binding agreement) C) not a citizen of the United States or Legal resident working towards citizenship, else you would know from your civics classes that you are protected by this right, or D) any combination of the other three.

Corporations no matter the language of the EULA may not author nor enforce any contract or agreement which violates any federal or state law statute or ordinance. Further they may not violate this particular right. Any agreement that does so, inclusive of severability clauses, becomes unenforcible in its totality.

Me personally? Im not too worried about "Hackers" or "Cheaters" or "Exploiters" as they are usually trapped without too much difficulty within the community of WoW itself. Our own netizens keep a close watch on each other in these environments and report anything out of the ordinary. Thats even a little BigBrotherish for my tastes but we as a community do take notice of the unusualy and will for the most part report unusual activity.

Blizzard also maintains a firewall(s) on their equipment that they can use to limit access to their servers in multiple ways which provides further protection. They also maintain technology used for the purpose of sniffing packets of data distributed to their devices from outside the firewall that particularly describes the Host and the actions or instructions to be executed and in this way can monitor the clients use, and or potential abuse WITHOUT having to look at any data on a Game Client machine.

Now with all those other protections in place I ask you two simple questions. Why does Blizzard need to look at data on YOUR Game Machine? What assurances do we the citizens have that the data gathered by Blizzard is handled appropriately?

If you doubt the validity of that last question I suggest you talk to The Department of Veteran Affairs, TDAmeritrade ETrade HP The State of Massachusets American Express or any other company that has had personal and confidential data stolen off of a laptop that wasnt supposed to have that kind of data on it in the first place.
Posted by marlberg (2 comments )
Link Flag
Blizz has every right to...
If youdon't like it, just don't play it. Blizzard has every right to protect their investments, as onlinegaming has turned into a compleatly new reality.

It's not just a game, it's a life for soo many people, which is sad actually, but thats how it is.

Just take a look at sites like www.taukt.com, www.onlinegamehacker.com or www.wowhacksworld.com (only some examples) and you will see that if there was no warden the game would be so full of hackers, that nobody will want to play it. And that's not what blizzard wants.

And why would blizzard want your personal info? Like said in another post here, there is no privacy anyway over the net nowerdays.
Posted by liigagi (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
in blizzard terms theres nothing mention about scanning your computer and they wont even let you to print off the terms of use aggreement. what really blows my mind is that they scanned my computer hard drive with out asking for my permission. i have records that they scan not just your memory but your files on your hard drives. someone should make a partion and get this thing settle
Posted by ace2008007 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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