A 2009 lawsuit
between Blizzard and a private WoW server company has concluded with the former awarded sacks of cash
. Blizzard filed suit against Scapegaming last October for illegally running a private World of Warcraft server that let people play the game without using official servers, bypassing the $15 monthly subscription fee.
There are plenty of private MMO servers doing the same thing today, but Scapegaming had a donation/micropayment system set up where players could purchase in-game content. For instance, the company would charge $1 to advance a character two levels or $300 for a pack of rare items.
The operator, Alyson Reeves, was accused of unfair competition, circumvention of copyright protection systems, and more. A US District Court judge granted Blizzard $3 million in disgorged profits, $85.4 million in statutory damages, and $64,000 in legal fees for a grand total of more than $88 million.