We’ll review a trio of cases that illustrate the line drawn by the law when software users try to do an end-run around a software owner:
However, the court decided that MDY was liable for a DMCA violation with respect to WoW’s “dynamic non-literal elements”. The term “dynamic non-literal elements” refers to the copyright-protected elements of the game other than the written code that are created in the course of dynamic play by user. The court upheld the permanent injunction against MDY.
Lessons for business? In Canada, we don’t have an equivalent of the DMCA, though the proposed changes to the Canadian Copyright Act contain anti-circumvention rules of the type that caught MDY in the WoW case. Software publishers and vendors should ensure that their end-user terms or acceptable use policies are well-drafted and up-to-date to guard against this type of indirect access. This may not allow a software vendor to access copyright infringement remedies, but will provide a contractual remedy.
Cases 2 and 3 up next.
Calgary - 07:00 MST