Blizzard Sued for Nixing Fan Warcraft Guide

Brian Kopp of Bronson, Florida, has filed suit in a California federal court alleging that Blizzard Entertainment has unfairly terminated eBay auctions for his unofficial book, The Ultimate World of Warcraft Leveling & Gold Guide.

The 24 year-old Kopp has sold several hundred copies of his book via eBay since August 2005 for roughly $15 apiece. Shortly after his first auctions got underway, Blizzard, Vivendi Universal, and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) began demanding eBay close the auctions, claiming the book violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) as well as copyrights and trademarks held by the companies. In general, eBay takes down auctions and suspends seller accounts when it receives violation complaints from copyright and trademark holder.

Kopp protested the infringement claims, and eBay eventually re-instated his auctions after 14 days when the complaining companies failed to respond. However, eBay shuttered both Kopp’s original account and a new one when it began receiving additional complaints.

Kopp’s suit claims his book is protected under First Amendment freedoms and does not violate Blizzard’s or Vivendi’s copyrights or trademarks. Kopp is seeking financial compensation and an injunction preventing Blizzard, Vivendi, and the ESA from interfering with his book sales.