A decision in Jagex v. Impulse Software, issued by Massachusetts U.S. District Court Judge Gorton in August, has some interesting (albeit not nonobvious) lessons for software developers seeking to protect their websites from copying or reverse engineering. The decision arises in the context of a preliminary injunction – a request by Jagex to provide it with legal relief at the outset of the case, before discovery or trial – so Jagex may yet prevail in this case, particularly since most of the reasons the court denied it relief that this stage can be corrected before the case progresses much further. The plaintiff, Jagex operates an online role-playing game called “Runescape.” Runescape is a “massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (MMORPG for short, but we’ll just call it “the game”). Impulse offers online cheat tools – software that lets users advance through the levels of the game without actually playing the game. Moving to higher and more challenging levels is the goal of the game, and the Impulse software allows users to reach those hallowed grounds without investing the time and effort the game expects users to endure. And, it is possible to invest a great deal of time and effort with this game – Judge Gorton noted that the top three Runescape players averaged about 20,000 hours of playing time.