Blizzard is Seeking $8.5 Million in Damages From Cheat Maker

Blizzard is Seeking $8.5 Million in Damages From Cheat Maker

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Blizzard wants popular cheat maker Bossland to pay up to $200 per infringement.

Blizzard has taken its "War on Cheats" to the highest level today, filing a suit against popular World of Warcraft and Overwatch cheat maker to the tune of $8.5 million dollars. The software giant argues that Bossland violated the DMCA by selling its "circumvention" tools and it demands to be compensated in return. It's asking for $200 per infringement, adding up to 42,818 total cheats sold.

The German-based Bossland is behind several popular cheats including World of Warcraft's, Honorbuddy and Demonbuddy, and the currently unavailable Watchover Tyrant for Overwatch. Blizzard has been fighting the company on its home turf for several years already, and last year it filed a suit at a federal court in California. Bossland initially tried to have the suit dismissed, but after failing to respond by a deadline, Blizzard submitted a motion for something called "default judgment".

"In this case, Blizzard is only seeking the minimum statutory damages of $200 per infringement, for a total of $8,563,600.00. While Blizzard would surely be entitled to seek a larger amount, Blizzard seeks only minimum statutory damages," said a representative from Blizzard in a statement.

"Blizzard does not seek such damages as a "punitive" measure against Bossland or to obtain an unjustified windfall," it added.

Blizzard is claiming that Bossland's revenue from the cheats may have been even higher than the damages they are asking for, and the $8.5 million is a conservative sum.

Source: Torrent Freak

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As much as I hate any and all cheaters in multiplayer games, I do not know if this is actually actionable the way the law is set up now.

Blizzard can ban cheaters all day but I don't think their is any law against making cheats for video games. Blizzard sites the DMCA but all bossland has to do is say they never bought the games and thus signed no DMCA.

Eric the Orange:
As much as I hate any and all cheaters in multiplayer games, I do not know if this is actually actionable the way the law is set up now.

Blizzard can ban cheaters all day but I don't think their is any law against making cheats for video games. Blizzard sites the DMCA but all bossland has to do is say they never bought the games and thus signed no DMCA.

In many states and countries, assisting in breaking the law or contract makes you guilty of a crime as well, or equally guilty as an accomplice to the act.

This is especially true if it can be illustrated/proven that your services/goods were designed specifically with the intent of breaking the law/contract in mind.

I would say serves them right.
One thing is cheating and making hack tools. Another thing is selling them. That's a thing that I find disgusting. Not only are you hacking/cheating in a product but you're also making money out of it.

Eric the Orange:
As much as I hate any and all cheaters in multiplayer games, I do not know if this is actually actionable the way the law is set up now.

Blizzard can ban cheaters all day but I don't think their is any law against making cheats for video games. Blizzard sites the DMCA but all bossland has to do is say they never bought the games and thus signed no DMCA.

I think you're confusing DMCA and the EULA. The DMCA is the Digital Media Copyright Act, part of the law. You do not have to agree to it, or have ever purchased one of the products. Blizzard is saying the maker of the cheats violated their copyright.

EULA is End User License Agreement. It's essentially a terms of service you sign when downloading games. Despite what companies want you to believe, the EULA has no root in law and is essentially a bit of fluff that means nearly nothing. It's certainly *not* a contract.

So as far as I can tell, Demonbuddy and honorbuddy are bot programs. They apparently allow people to do everything from quest to level up. And that certainly is a shitty thing for anyone to take advantage of.

I'm fine with people using things to check DPS or aide with timing their CDs but bots are straight cheating.

"Hey guys, I know we have a lot of money, but I really want enough to buy Star Wars from Disney."

"We'll come up with a list of ideas by the end of the day..."

Eric the Orange:
As much as I hate any and all cheaters in multiplayer games, I do not know if this is actually actionable the way the law is set up now.

Blizzard can ban cheaters all day but I don't think their is any law against making cheats for video games. Blizzard sites the DMCA but all bossland has to do is say they never bought the games and thus signed no DMCA.

The DMCA doesn't work like that. It's US copyright law, if you're doing business in the US it applies to you, end of. These guys are selling plug ins and they're using Blizzard's software to make them, so from that perspective it's a slam dunk. The real problem is that being based in Germany they are hard for Blizzard to reach once they get a judgement.

I'm sure this isn't the end Blizzard's plan even when they win.

So on one hand, online cheaters obviously suck ass. No argument.

But on the other, their games are insufferably grindy. Except maybe Overwatch I suppose, but even then...

Given how big Blizzard is, I've actually got a good feeling about this. Cheating in an online game where you may actively ruin the experience for others around you is one thing, selling those cheats and making a profit off of them is another. It's despicable. The only challenge they'll face is the company being in Germany.

Rule 1 of modding: Don't try to sell the mods, you dumbass. At least then, when you're screwing people trying to play the game the right way, you're not actually making money off of screwing people over.

Sympathy level: 0

Good job Blizzard. Sue the cheat creators for allowing players to help players bypass the grindwall and not be psychologically temped to shell out money for RNG lootboxes. Really showing the intent of the company there bucko.

Cether:

Eric the Orange:
As much as I hate any and all cheaters in multiplayer games, I do not know if this is actually actionable the way the law is set up now.

Blizzard can ban cheaters all day but I don't think their is any law against making cheats for video games. Blizzard sites the DMCA but all bossland has to do is say they never bought the games and thus signed no DMCA.

I think you're confusing DMCA and the EULA. The DMCA is the Digital Media Copyright Act, part of the law. You do not have to agree to it, or have ever purchased one of the products. Blizzard is saying the maker of the cheats violated their copyright.

EULA is End User License Agreement. It's essentially a terms of service you sign when downloading games. Despite what companies want you to believe, the EULA has no root in law and is essentially a bit of fluff that means nearly nothing. It's certainly *not* a contract.

er, yes, you are correct I was, my mistake.

InflatableHippo:
Good job Blizzard. Sue the cheat creators for allowing players to help players bypass the grindwall and not be psychologically temped to shell out money for RNG lootboxes. Really showing the intent of the company there bucko.

Fuck are you talking about?

It's not as if the cheat just gives them free loot boxes. It's a literal cheat that ruins competitive gameplay..

The cheaters were actively making an effort to ruin the game for 11 other people at a time, which makes them cunts. The cheat creators were assisting in that, while simultaneously profiting from someone else's product. Making them even bigger cunts.

Bossland's actions are not defend-able in any way. There are no grounds to stand on to criticize Blizzard for rightfully suing Bossland.

InflatableHippo:
Good job Blizzard. Sue the cheat creators for allowing players to help players bypass the grindwall and not be psychologically temped to shell out money for RNG lootboxes. Really showing the intent of the company there bucko.

Yeah, it's this thing called "putting everyone on an equal footing" as opposed to "letting people who can afford it get an unfair advantage over people who can't". Shocking, isn't it?

Cether:
It's certainly *not* a contract.

Technically it is, it's called a contract of adhesion.
Which has highly tend to have restrictive rules on what you can and can't sign away with it, which most EULA's are much more restrictive then the laws or court ruling let them be, but what is and is not enforceable from EULA depends on where you live.

The only real things that are enforceable everywhere are reason they can terminate/restrict your licence to the game(monthly fees, year long licence, TOS violation).

Kibeth41:

Bossland's actions are not defend-able in any way. There are no grounds to stand on to criticize Blizzard for rightfully suing Bossland.

And Blizzard is not likely going to get far by filing the suit all the way in the U.S. They would at the very least request extradition from the German government for this to actually go anywhere. Seeing as Bossland has no formal contract with Blizzard to begin with, Blizzard can do dick all about it.

International law is complicated. My suspicion on that aspect is that Blizzard's lawyers know what they're doing even if I don't. They're certainly capable of simply filing the suit in Germany if they wanted, which would make sense if they were actually interested in recovering money - but if they're not... They may be counting on Bossland being unable (or unwilling) to defend against it here. Then, they can get the courts to... I dunno, block their paypal or something?

Bossland's actions are not defend-able in any way. There are no grounds to stand on to criticize Blizzard for rightfully suing Bossland.

How so? The assumption is that he must be using parts of Blizzards code to make his cheats. What if he is actually programming the cheats from scratch?

End of the day, we can all get on our high horses about him enabling cheaters in online games, but when I see a cheater in an online game I don't blame them, I don't blame the guy providing the cheat, I blame the developer. THEY have the best and most intimate knowledge of how their game works and where the weaknesses are so it is 100% up to them to fix the game to stop cheats.

I find it's a lot easier for me to get annoyed at the idea of making a cheat/bot for a game like Overwatch, where so much of the basis of the thing is the competition between human players, than it is to get up in arms about a cheat/bot for World of Warcraft, where it seems likely the bots are less about getting one "up over" your fellow players and more about not having to grind endlessly to get basic resources. One can certainly argue that it's an odd way of playing the game, "cheating yourself" out of large chunks of the game-play, but I can't entirely hold it against a player if they just want to skip over repetitive segments that they find to be a waste of their time.

In any case, describing an award that will likely put the creator out of business and seize most or all of their remaining liquid assets as "not punitive" is a tad laughable. Whether it's justified or not I'll leave for others to judge (the general consensus here seems to lean "yes"), but just because they're not trying to seize money that doesn't exist doesn't mean it isn't a spanking.

As shitty as cheating is, especially in multiplayer, pvp-focused games, this just strikes me as petty and greedy. Ban the guy, sure, ban the people using the software, but putting somebody in debt for the rest of their lives because they let people cheat in your game personally strikes me as a huge overreaction.

Callate:
In any case, describing an award that will likely put the creator out of business and seize most or all of their remaining liquid assets as "not punitive" is a tad laughable.

In this context "punitive" has a specific legal meaning - above and beyond legally awardable damages.

9tailedflame:
Ban the guy, sure, ban the people using the software, but putting somebody in debt for the rest of their lives because they let people cheat in your game personally strikes me as a huge overreaction.

Eh, it's a company, I doubt the individuals involved will inherit the legal debt.

I'm usually against big companies coming down on individual people/hackers, but these guys made a business out of making the game unenjoyable for the fair players. Screw'em.

Callate:
I find it's a lot easier for me to get annoyed at the idea of making a cheat/bot for a game like Overwatch, where so much of the basis of the thing is the competition between human players, than it is to get up in arms about a cheat/bot for World of Warcraft, where it seems likely the bots are less about getting one "up over" your fellow players and more about not having to grind endlessly to get basic resources.

My thoughts exactly. WoW is essentially non-competitive; as long as you're not using cheats in arenas and battlegrounds, there's really no reason for anyone else to care. Cheating in PvP-only game like Overwatch, on the other hand, really has no excuse at all.

One can certainly argue that it's an odd way of playing the game, "cheating yourself" out of large chunks of the game-play, but I can't entirely hold it against a player if they just want to skip over repetitive segments that they find to be a waste of their time.

I wouldn't say it's even particularly odd. The thing about many games is that there's some interest in playing the game multiple times to see different bits of story or play in a different style or whatever, but that often means seeing the same bits and doing the same things over and over again. What may have been fun the first time can quickly become less fun on repetition, especially if you're only doing it to get to something later on. If I've already finished a game once and just want to see what a different class' high-level abilities are like or see what happens if I make a different choice at some point in the story, why would I want to waste time playing through the whole game again to get to that point if I can just skip straight to the part I'm actually interested in?

Admittedly things do get slightly fuzzy with WoW, since Blizzard now allow you to pay in order to skip straight to high level, so it can be argued that you're effectively cheating them out of that. But the very fact that they offer that shows that skipping parts you've seen to get to the more interesting parts is clearly something people want. Legalities aside, certainly the motivation shouldn't seem odd.

9tailedflame:
As shitty as cheating is, especially in multiplayer, pvp-focused games, this just strikes me as petty and greedy. Ban the guy, sure, ban the people using the software, but putting somebody in debt for the rest of their lives because they let people cheat in your game personally strikes me as a huge overreaction.

Their business is harming Blizzard's business by undermining the integrity of the competitive environment within Blizzard's games and causing potential harm to Blizzard's brand as a result. Think how bad it would be for a company's image to be known as a company that tolerates cheating in their games. That would make their games less appealing to gamers that want to play fairly and thus hurt sales. Maintaining then integrity of their games is important to protecting Blizzard's brand, so Blizz is well within their rights to sue Bossland into bankruptcy.

Good.

I wish they were hitting them harder.

If someone wants to cheat in a solo game, or to make grinding in WoW easier, I can have sympathy. If someone makes a bothack for those things and releases it for free, I shrug and grumble a little, but that's it.

But if the software is used to cheat other players like the overwatch cheats? Aimbots, autohotkey stuff, reticles that autofire if it detects that it's over the target? THAT is not ok. It ruins the entire point of the game because people are literally cheating to win.

And if people are making money SELLING those hacks to players? Screw them. Screw them, they deserve to be smacked down with all the force of the law. It's not right.

Bilious Green:

9tailedflame:
As shitty as cheating is, especially in multiplayer, pvp-focused games, this just strikes me as petty and greedy. Ban the guy, sure, ban the people using the software, but putting somebody in debt for the rest of their lives because they let people cheat in your game personally strikes me as a huge overreaction.

Their business is harming Blizzard's business by undermining the integrity of the competitive environment within Blizzard's games and causing potential harm to Blizzard's brand as a result. Think how bad it would be for a company's image to be known as a company that tolerates cheating in their games. That would make their games less appealing to gamers that want to play fairly and thus hurt sales. Maintaining then integrity of their games is important to protecting Blizzard's brand, so Blizz is well within their rights to sue Bossland into bankruptcy.

Don't get me wrong, i know it's well within their right, and that blizzard has a clear incentive to do so, but i feel like they could have gotten away with just not acknowledging it, or just sending a cease and desist or whatever. It's the kind of thing that's a bigger problem the more out in the open it is. I don't know, i'm just opposed to vindictiveness overall i guess, and this is going to ruin this guy's life forever. As much of a piece of shit move as the cheating was, there's no redemption after a 8.5 million dollar debt. This guy will never be able to get a place to live with what his credit will be, he's doomed to homelessness, which pretty much is just a slower version of hell. Seems kinda shitty just for harming a corporate image, though again, i know it's within blizzard's rights, just seems like it could have been handled without destroying someone's life.

Curious to see how this pans out.

As far as I'm aware, making cheats for a game only really violates their EULA. Possibly, you could argue that an EULA is a contract. And therefore aiding the breach of a contract is illegal.

However, EULAs themselves are often illegal, and state things which themselves are not allowed to do by law. So, if the ruling is that EULAs are contracts, they'd have to be policed a lot more strictly.

Sucks to be a bunch of cheaters right now. When you play an offline game, cheat to your little heart's content, but when you play online competitive, play by the rules or don't play at all.

I hope Blizzard nail these hacks to the wall. Then knocks the building down. Then salts the earth. Then lays a slab of concrete on top.

 

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