Blizzard Sues Three StarCraft 2 Hackers

By Jeff Mattas, Oct 18, 2010 12:20pm PDT Blizzard has already proven its low threshold for cheaters, issuing bans for folks who've attempted to meddle with StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty by way of third-party hacks and cheats. GamsSpot reports that the company is now suing three programmers it believes are responsible for crafting the exploits.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Los Angeles U.S. District Court, accuses the three programmers of "creating and selling hacks for StarCraft 2 in violation of the end-user license agreement, terms of use, and copyright law." The suit also sites "multiple counts of copyright infringement and is demanding damages and disgorgement of any profits reaped by the distribution and sale of the hacks," as well as asserting that the actions of the three defendants encouraged others to infringe on the copyrights.

Two Canadian programmers going by the aliases 'Permaphrost,' and 'Cranix,' and a third programmer, 'Linuxawesome,' from Peru are the suit's primary targets. The location of the alleged hackers might create some interesting jurisdictional issues for the lawsuit, given that StarCraft 2's EULA states that disputes would be handled by a Los Angeles County court.

According to the filing:

The harm to Blizzard from Defendants' conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable. By distributing the Hacks to the public, Defendants cause serious harm to the value of StarCraft 2.

Among other things, Defendants irreparably harm the ability of Blizzard's legitimate customers (i.e. those who purchase and use unmodified games) to enjoy and participate in the competitive online experience.

That, in turn, causes users to grow dissatisfied with the game, lose interest in the game, and communicate that dissatisfaction, thereby resulting in lost sales of the game or 'add-on' packs and expansions thereto.

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36 Threads* | 136 Comments

  • From their claims:

    “When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer’s RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II.”

    Selling cheats is unethical, but so is claiming copyright infringement for creating a program that copies part of theirs in RAM, so I'm not sure who to root for here. How did we got to the point where you can attach a 10-page long EULA to any product you buy and suddenly it has the force of law?

    Doubtless Blizzard will come out on top, but only because they have endless amounts of money to throw at lawyers. With claims like that, the company certainly can't clam moral supremacy.

  • I don't know how exactly I feel about this. It's good to block cheaters out of a game - and especially those that create the easy to use hack kiddy programs. I suppose that if you simply patch every time there is an exploit the hackers love the back and forth and the challenge and will keep trying (and of course finding) new exploits. The suing method works - in the case of these three - that it might genuinely discourage them from hacking blizzards stuff (and moving on to a new target instead). However, it may inspire the truly inspired hackers to not only hack blizzards stuff but be very vigilant in keeping thier location and identity secret.

    Not sure what the solution is here. It's like trying to find a catch all magic solution for crime.

  • I don't blame Blizzard for pursuing legal action. Their recent games use its online play in its marketing, and for many, is the main attraction for said product. See WoW and Starcraft 2 ladder system. So if hackers do 'game' the system on online play, its only natural that the opponent in the game would get pissed that they lost because they had a handicap against them. I think the fact that they've made the single player online too, and merging the achievements with multiplayer too, makes it near impossible to cheat in single player without getting in trouble. A bit of a shame because I know that some people are just so interested in the narrative of the games that they just want to get through all that as quickly as possible, and what better way to do that than to cheat through the game, thereby making it like skipping the game play for the cut scenes, rather than the other way around.

    On some level, I'm surprised that Valve hasn't done the same thing when people seem to try to hack their systems. I mean granted, they also frequently have to ban players for cheating and such, but I guess because they are able to monitor the activity as close to real time as possible, and so they sort out the problems very quickly. I think that Blizzard are able to act a lot more vigilantly as the bigger company, versus Valve who's business model seems to be based around being much more user friendly. See how they dealt with the L4D2 backlash and more recently when their VAC system banned innocent users.

  • Good for Blizzard. I would sue them, too.

    I play SCII (not nearly as good as most) off and on, and tho I haven't ran into any hacks (that I know of), just reading about all the cheating lately has put me off from wanting to play more often in case I do run into them.

    Quite frankly, it ruins the fun.

    As someone stated already in this thread, I would also tell people not to buy this product if it was full of hacks and cheaters, thus Blizzard losing sales.

    And we can all say they made millions off SCII and millions off WoW, but that doesn't justify them not making more money on an already excellent game.

    By all means, I'm not a fanboy, and I hate Activision, tho I'm sure they don't really have much to do with the workings of Blizzard, but lets be real here: People are making and selling hacks to distrupt the multiplayer side of the game. The single-player side of things I couldn't care less about, that's your business imo; but ruining other people's playing experience and profiting from it is just bullshit.

    And lol @ linuxawesome; stupid name...

  • visit a forum of people who play this game in multiplayer on a semi competitive basis, and the consesus is "hell yeah". This is a good move for Blizzard and the people who play and will continue to play their games long after the single player is over and done.

    All the whiners telling us we should grow up about achievement scores (as if hacking in SC2 was only about that) should take their own advice. Grow up and deal with not being able to cheat to increase yours. it's a small trade off for making the MP less cheat infested, which is what most of the players want (and I question the motives of those who don't)