Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 08:56 UK

Blizzard gets Warcraft bot payout

Screenshot from World of Warcraft, Blizzard
Glider runs characters on behalf of players

World of Warcraft creator Blizzard looks set to get $6m (3.36m) from the makers of a software 'bot'.

The cash is part of a deal brokered by Blizzard and MDY Industries - the maker of the WoWGlider software 'bot.

Blizzard embarked on the case against MDY claiming that the World of Warcraft Glider software produced by the company infringed its copyright.

The Glider software lets Warcraft players automate many of the repetitive steps the game involves.

Cash call

In July US District Court Judge David Campbell ruled that the MMOGlider, as the software is now known, broke the terms of the license that players agree to when they play World of Warcraft (WoW).

The Glider software is the creation of MDY founder Michael Donnelly who is thought to have sold more than 100,000 copies of the $25 (14) program.

It proved popular with many WoW players as it helped them automate the many repetitive tasks, such as killing monsters and scavenging loot, required to turn low level characters into more powerful ones.

The damages award could have been bigger if MDY had not won some of its arguments about damages in court, said game law expert Benjamin Duranske on the Virtually Blind website which has lead coverage of the case.

MDY's case was also helped by an admission in court that it would be reasonable to pay some form of damages.

The award could be delayed if Blizzard appeals against the judgement which threw out its claim to double or triple the cash settlement.

The case is due to go to court again in January 2009 when the remaining issues in the legal conflict look likely to be settled.

At issue will be whether MDY broke the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and whether Mr Donnelly will have to pay the damages from his own pocket.

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