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. … Read the full article