World of Warcraft Ebook Seller Wins Case Against Blizzard

When we last discussed this World of Warcraft lawsuit, we had Brian Kopp, who is a Florida man who claimed that he was unlawfully prevented from being able to sell his unofficial World of Warcraft leveling guide by California-based Blizzard Entertainment, parent company Vivendi Universal and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

Well, after an out-of-court settlement, Brian's free to sell as many copies as he wants.

What's the background on this lawsuit won by Brian Kopp?

Brian's original lawsuit centered on the opinion that these companies were illegally terminating eBay auctions of his ebook “The Ultimate World of Warcraft Leveling & Gold Guide“. (The two top Warcraft walkthrough leveling and gold guides are from Brian Kopp and Joana (aka Mancow)).

WoW videogame guideBlizzard, Vivendi and the ESA, using the always prevalent Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), sent take-down notices to eBay, alleging the World of Warcraft ebook violated intellectual-property laws.

Brian Kopp then would file counternotices against these claims. Since these companies didn't respond to Brian, eBay would then reinstate his auctions. The video game companies would then send more take-down notices, and eBay suspended Brian's multiple username accounts.

“It's pretty much the equivalent of showing up at your store one morning and finding your goods on the curb with nothing you can do about it,” said attorney Greg Beck, who is representing Brian Kopp on behalf of advocacy group Public Citizen. “They get so many notices of claimed infringement that they can't investigate all claims.”

Is Brian getting any money out of these companies?

The settlement doesn't provide for any monetary compensation for Brian Kopp. The companies did agree to withdraw their take-down notices. They also agreed to stop sending take-down notices in the future on his World of Warcraft (WoW) game guide.

What does Brian Kopp say about this? Did he have any comments?

“I did this for everyone, I could have settled the settlement in only my favor but I was willing to take it all the way to help out everyone, not just me,” said Brian Kopp. “I had a free lawyer at Public Citizen so I didn't lose money there, only money I lost was filing fees. Since I wasn't paying anything, my lawyer suggest this was the best outcome. You see if I didn't settle now and took it to trial, all I would get is maybe $5000-$10,000 and the trial would take up to a year to get going, this way I will get more from it between my site and eBay. I pushed as much as I could to help more people than myself out here.”

Legal Filing (PDF) here: Brian Kopp v Vivendi Universal Games, Inc., Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., and Entertainment Software Association