Vivendi to Drop Complaint Against Unofficial WoW Guide

A Florida video game enthusiast will soon be able to resume selling on eBay his home-made guide on how to succeed in "World of Warcraft," a hit online video game owned by Vivendi.

Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., agreed on Friday to settle a lawsuit with Brian Kopp, author of a 300-page guide that explains how to accumulate game points. Kopp's guide did not include copyrighted text or story line. It stated that Kopp was not affiliated with Blizzard and that the guide was not official, his lawyer said.

Nevertheless, Blizzard Entertainment and the Entertainment Software Association filed several complaints of copyright violation with eBay, which shut down Kopp's account advertising the product in November. Kopp responded by filing a lawsuit in a federal court in California.

The software companies agreed on Friday to withdraw their complaints within five days, said Greg Beck, an attorney with the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which represented Kopp.

In April, Vivendi reported a strong rise in first-quarter sales, boosted in part by the World of Warcraft, ranked as one of the world's most popular online role-playing games.

More than 600 customers have paid $14.49 for access to Kopp's guide since last August, when he began distributing it as a series of online files. "It's good income for just playing a game," said Kopp, 24, who plays video games for five or six hours daily. The Florida resident is now working on a supplementary "World of Warcraft" guide and plans to study computer engineering.

News source: Reuters

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