Blizzard wins $88m in private server case

Unauthorised WOW operator sued.

Blizzard has been awarded an $88 million judgment in a lawsuit against Scapegaming, which operates unauthorised, or "private" World of Warcraft servers, Gamasutra reports.

Blizzard accused Alyson Reeves, operator of Scapegaming, of copyright infringement, unfair competition and circumvention of copyright protection systems when it filed the suit in October last year.

Blizzard submitted "satisfactory evidence" from PayPal that Scapegaming had received $3m in revenues from its WOW servers. Although private servers allow players to avoid paying subscription fees, operators can change the rules of the game at a whim - so Scapegaming was able to charge players anything from $1 for a level-up to $300 for rare items.

However, the majority of the award was $85.4m in "statutory damages". The court decided to award Blizzard $200 "per act of circumvention" - i.e. for each of Scapegaming's 427,000 users when the community was at its peak in June 2008.

Reeves did not respond to the suit, so the judgment was made in default. It's not known if she will appeal, or can pay $88m award.

Thanks to reader Andrew Barratt for the tip.

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Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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