Blizzard Lawsuit : Korean Broadcast of Starcraft

Looks like Blizzard is on the road to another lawsuit.

Back in August, Blizzard signed a contract with GomTV which allowed them to have the rights to broadcast Starcraft II on their television network.  However, two other Korean networks [MBC Game and OnGameNet] signed no such contract, and have been airing Starcraft II tournaments on their respective networks.  Therefore, Blizzard CEO Paul Sams has filed for lawsuits against these companies for lacking the rights to broadcast Starcraft II, and has been considering a lawsuit against e-Sports Players Association, which manages the tournaments that are being broadcast.

Those on the defense are arguing that Starcraft II is part of the “public domain” [AKA: Not covered by intellectual right laws], and that Blizzard has no right or standing for the lawsuits.  Blizzard, on the other hand, is arguing that their massive amounts of investment in the product , and classifying ANY type of gaming sport as such would be infringing upon the intellectual rights of designers, and would hurt future profits of the company.  Blizzard states that it would eliminate and/or weaken the desires of game designers to create any sort of multi-player feature.

Source:  Joystiq

11 thoughts on “Blizzard Lawsuit : Korean Broadcast of Starcraft”

  1. The way that Blizzard made Bnet 2.0 (and no official Lan feature) implied that they would manage all the E-sports, I’m sure that it is integral to their business plan and definitely will not let this go without a fight. I expect to see a very effective lawsuit campaign against any who try to push these rights.

  2. BS, South Korea should be able to host/broadcast matches. I mean come on, Starcraft brood war (and sc2 soon enough) is literally their national sport. It’s not like Blizzard is losing any money what so ever due to the broadcasting and it is actually really good advertisement for the game. Blizzard is shooting themselves in the foot with this one, GG.

    1. Actually, since Blizzard can make profits with the broadcasting rights [especially considering it’s their product that is making these networks get viewers and profits], there actually is some lost revenue, and I certainly don’t blame Blizzard for their actions.

      1. You can look at it that way, but you can also look at it from the perspective that if these stations stop broadcasting or broadcast less, it also hurts sales revenue.

        A common business practice is to let other people get the better end of the deal, in this case letting these stations have the better end of the deal leads to an entire country and other countries wanting to play and buy the game more. If it wasn’t for the South Korean E-sports teams I would have never picked up Starcraft. So yeah they may be losing out on potential revenue but it isn’t costing them to allow someone else to showcase it and in that there is free advertisement and sales revenue that way. I’d wager they’d lose more than they gained if everyone had to start paying a fee for broadcasting or showcasing tournaments online.

        I really hopes this fails in court, SC2 is already having a hard enough time becoming as much of an e-sport as Brood war and if stupid things like this happen it is going to make it much harder.

        1. I forgot to mention, I can see why they are doing this I mean you can’t charge GomTV and let others get by without doing it. But the whole idea of having to pay to broadcast a game is a little silly to me, it’s not like you giving the game away and yeah their making money on it but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to charge your biggest advertisers to do something for free.

          With a sports team your not advertising any product (you can’t sell the field) your selling the entertainment value of the players. In this case your selling the entertainment of the players through the platform of a game which is getting unlimited exposure. You’d not believe how many people by this game thinking their going to be the next SlayersBoxer.

          I just think this is one area where Blizzard needs to back off a bit and just let these companies sell their games instead of saying “They’re making money! We must have some of it”.

          1. The thing about that is that Starcraft II obviously provides an entertainment value, otherwise people wouldn’t watch it.

            It might be advertising for Blizzard as a product, but it’s still a possible field of revenue for the rights to show it as a form of entertainment.

  3. What I don’t get is why do they have to pay to broadcast it? Do you have to pay the company that makes the soccer ball if you broadcast a soccer game?

    Should the broadcasters also have to pay the manufacturers of the computers that the people are using? Should they have to pay Microsoft because its being run on windows? No, so why do they have to pay blizzard anything.

    1. Because the content of the broadcast doesn’t involve the computers and the content of the soccer games don’t revolve around the ball, but rather the athletes and their maneuvers.

      There’s actually a TON of legal precedence in this case. Blizzard is more than likely going to win.

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