Valve vs. Vivendi Universal dogfight heats up in US District

The two-year-old dispute playing out in Federal Court revs up as milestones, court date approach.

Last week, news of Valve finally shipping the Half-Life 2 release candidate to publisher Vivendi Universal Games (VUG) grabbed headlines. However, behind the scenes, the two companies have been involved in a much less upbeat kind of transaction--an ongoing legal battle that has garnered little attention from gamers.

On August 14, 2002, Valve served its then-publisher Sierra On-Line (now Sierra Entertainment, a Vivendi Universal Games brand) with a lawsuit in US District Court of Washington, Western Division, alleging copyright infringement--the result of Sierra placing Valve games in Internet cafes in the US and abroad. "Sierra has in the past and continues to reproduce, use, distribute, and/or license one or more of the Valve Games with regard to 'cyber cafes,'" the complaint read. "Sierra's activities are outside the scope of Sierra's limited license...and therefore constitute copyright infringement in violation of the Copyright Act of 1976."

News source: GameSpot

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