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This is an update in the MDY v. Blizzard case.  Sort of.  Here’s the deal — people who have nothing to do with a case sometimes file motions in U.S. Courts.  These motions usually take the form of the amicus brief filed earlier by Public Knowledge, a digital rights advocacy group. But sometimes they take the form of a handwritten rambling screed filed by Jonathan Lee Riches (.pdf) “doing business as Gordon Gekko, Vincent Dragonetti, Steven Iaria, and Mario Cassarino.”

Riches, a South Carolina inmate serving a sentence for wire fraud who has his own Wikipedia entry, apparently kills time while incarcerated by filing briefs like this.  Earlier this year he sued Rockstar Games over similar claims involving Grand Theft Auto IV.  Riches has, at various times, also sued George Bush, Michael Vick, National Public Radio, Barry Bonds, Plato, and the Eiffel Tower.

In the motion in this case, Riches claims that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft:

…caused Riches mind to live in a virtual universe, where Riches explored the landscape committing identity theft and fighting cybermonster rival hacker gangs.  Riches was addicted to video games and lost touch with reality because of defendants.  This caused Riches to commit fraud to buy defendants video games.  Riches chose World of Warcraft over working a legit job. Riches mind became a living video game.

The Arizona court will likely find procedural grounds to dismiss this motion without considering the claims on the merits.

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16 Responses to “Third-Party Motion in World of Warcraft Bot Case Accuses Blizzard of… Well… Beats Me”

  1. on 05 Nov 2008 at 4:54 pmDoubledown Tandino

    I am now a fan of Jonathan Lee Riches. Not exactly sure why, I guess he seems like some sort of cult activist.

  2. on 05 Nov 2008 at 7:46 pmBenjamin Duranske

    There’s a docket (57-page .pdf) that somebody unearthed where this guy has sued a list of people ranging from Kevin Bacon to “Various Buddhist Monks.” Check and see if you’re on there!

  3. [...] Some people were put here as a warning to others, crazy has a new name [...]

  4. on 05 Nov 2008 at 11:00 pmMicroblog 2008-11-05

    [...] meets unreality: inmate Jonathan Lee Riches files third-party brief in World of Warcraft case [Duranske, Virtually Blind] [...]

  5. on 06 Nov 2008 at 8:57 amRob

    I had a friend that lost his job, his wife, his house, his car, and his friends because he was addicted to WOW. HE would not do ANYTHING but play WOW. At 26 years old, he moved back in with his mother because she had an internet connection. WOW should not be responsible for his problems, though. He’s the moron that got addicted. He’s the one that allowed it to take over, and would not get help when he saw that he was in too deep. Idiots like this should not play video games if they cannot discern reality from fantasy.

  6. [...] You can see the whole, one-page motion over at Benjamin Duranske’s Virtually Blind, whom we have to thank for bringing this absolute jewel to our attention. [...]

  7. on 06 Nov 2008 at 1:29 pmPaks

    “Riches mind became a living video game.”

    Simply classic.

  8. [...] same claims about Grand Theft Auto 4 when he sued Rockstar Games earlier this year. According to Virtually Blind, he’s also taken the time to sue George Bush, Michael Vick, National Public Radio, Barry [...]

  9. on 06 Nov 2008 at 5:23 pmRichard Bartle

    Don’t you have laws on vexatious litigation in the USA? We do in the UK – there’s even an online list of the 190 extant vexatious litigants ( Riches would be the 191st on that list if he tried this kind of thing in our courts.


  10. on 06 Nov 2008 at 6:59 pmJonathan Lee Riches© | Kill Ten Rats

    [...] monks,” Denny’s, “Vern Minni Me,” Michael J. Fox, PETA, Liberty Bell… Virtually Blind reports that he has filed [...]

  11. on 06 Nov 2008 at 9:00 pmTateru Nino

    This guy’s filed more than a thousand cases. I suppose everyone needs a hobby.

  12. on 06 Nov 2008 at 10:07 pmBenjamin Duranske

    This quote from the Wikipedia discussion page regarding his entry seems to sum it up: “He is widely regarded to be a very clever comic essayist who’s chosen lawsuits as his medium. Or else he’s nuts, no one’s really sure.”

  13. [...] for Champions Online I’ll buy that for a dollar!  Errr…I’m mean 96 cents. Third-Party Motion in WoW vs Bots Thieves steal 4000 copies of Age of Conan.  Ask for [...]

  14. on 03 Jan 2009 at 11:35 pmAnonymouse

    Seems to me that Blizzard is conducting a bait and switch by selling something as a game but having a EULA that contradicts a games purpose which is to have fun.

    When I go to the store to buy a game I expect that I should be able to play it with thirdparty software that improves the game play as long as it does not modify the game.

    It this is not allowed then WoW should be required to be sold in a non game section since it is not being sold as a game and instead being turned into a legal tool where they want to pretend that the game is real and real world rules apply.

    Also, I suspect that WoW has NPCs and they are bots yet they are not removed despite being third party software from the game client and not human played characters.

    I can think of plenty more rational arguments against Blizzard why couldn’t they?

  15. on 30 Jan 2009 at 11:40 amAnonycat

    “I can think of plenty more rational arguments against Blizzard why couldn’t they?”

    Your arguments are not rational, and wouldn’t hold up in court. But if you feel that they are, you may also file an amicus brief. I’m sure the presiding judge could use the laughter.

  16. [...] Read more detail on Legal News Directory – General Legal News [...]

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