Vivendi withdraws DMCA complaint

Vivendi today withdrew it's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint regarding an unofficial guide to its "World of Warcraf" game produced by Brian Kopp and sold on eBay. The International Charter had petitioned the corporation to seek an alternative settlement.

Alleging the book violated intellectual-property laws, Blizzard, Vivendi and the ESA sent repeated "take down" notices, provided for by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), to eBay. 

eBay's general policy is to halt auctions when it receives such notices and to suspend a user's account after a certain number of warnings.

The parties also threatened copyright and trademark infringement action against Kopp, who argued the book was in the clear because it presented a disclaimer on its first page about its unauthorized nature, contained no copyrighted text or storylines, and, though it did use selected screen shots downloaded from a site unaffiliated with the video game's makers, those uses were "fair."

The terms of the settlement do not provide for monetary compensation for Kopp, which he had originally sought. Instead, the companies agreed to withdraw their previous take-down notices and to drop their infringement claims. They also said they'd refrain from filing any future take-down notices against the same items Kopp had already disputed through counternotices.

Kopp, for his part, agreed to retain the book's disclaimers about its unofficial nature and said he wouldn't include links or instructions on how to locate "cheats" in the game.

The International Charter continues to petition eBay to put in place a clear and well defined process for investigating DMCA complaints.