Epic Games Settles First Copyright Case Against Fortnite Cheater - TorrentFreak

Game developer and publisher Epic has settled one of its copyright lawsuits against cheaters. Both parties agreed on a permanent injunction which, if breached, will cost the cheater $5,000 in damages. In a separate case, Epic also responded to a letter sent by the mother of a 14-year-old offender that made headlines in recent days.

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morganfell295d ago

"That is, if both sides can come to an agreement."

No, if the cheaters can agree. Epic has the upper hand here and everyone knows it.

295d ago Replies(1)
rainslacker295d ago

Truthfully, this is how almost all these copyright infringement cases go.

datriax295d ago

Brilliant settlement. Let's not put any pressure on Epic to, you know, create secure software, let's put all the responsibility on users to promise to no exploit any of Epic's shoddy programming.

Who knew things could be so fair??? Amazing!

Protip Epic: If you can't secure your software or networking hardware? Maybe get the f**k out of the business. You could always go run a lemonade stand or something.

C-H-E-F295d ago

Dude, you do realize that humans make games right? Humans are flawed creatures, a team of 300 developers cannot possibly think of all of the answers to all of the questions regarding security flaws and issues with the software and account for millions of people using the game and how they all think. To think that you'd have to be one insane individual. That is why games are constantly updated and bugs are fixed, updates exist. Because there will always be oversight in development until an AI is created to learn for itself and create for itself, as long as humans are in control of the computers "thinking" process it will ALWAYS be flawed.


I can probably bet there's something about exploiting the software in the ToS that the user has to agree to. At the point in time where the user broke his end of the ToS, he/she were automatically guilty.

kreate295d ago

The ToS only applies to adults. It doesn't apply to a 14 year old. Even if the 14 year old clicked on 'agree', without legal representation, a 14 year old can click agree or sign documents all day.

Epic vs a 14 yr old boy... on a free to play game. They should be ashamed. Just block the user and move on. Trying to make a example out of a 14 yr old kid is just low.

OffRoadKing295d ago


Its not that simple maybe you didn't read the whole article but in the other cases they tired "blocking" the cheater multiple times by banning his account he just kept making new accounts so he could continue cheating so its not as simple as you think it is.

kreate295d ago

@off road king

Block the ip. Not the account. Sony, Microsoft, blizzard does it just fine. And I'm talking about the 14 yr old.

Even if it's not that easy. My point about going after the 14 yr old still stands.

rainslacker295d ago

The ToS applies to a minor if they have a parents consent. While it's easy to say that you have the parents consent without actually having it, most court cases aren't thrown out because the minor doesn't get consent. The underlying presumption both with the ToS, and the courts, is that the parents are responsible. Otherwise, it's fraud on the part of the minor, which is a criminal offense, and much worse than the civil matter of copyright infringement.

kreate295d ago

In this particular case. The parent of the 14 yr old did not give consent.

Epic has to prove the monetary loss from what the 14 yr old caused. But it's a free to play game ...

rainslacker294d ago


Most of the time, the monetary loss doesn't have to be proved unless Epic decides to seek monetary compensation. For the most part, in a civil TOS case, the presumption is anything that breaks the TOS is somehow damaging to the company.

It may not be the actual truth, but that's how most copyright cases are presumed by the court.

In any case, it wouldn't be hard to show potential money lost because the kid promoted cheating, showed how to do it, minimized the penalties to others, and based on the article actually wrote code which helped circumvent the games intended use....which is a breach of the TOS.

As far as parental consent, the underlying presumption is that the kid had consent. At some point along the line, the parents were likely paying for something. The PC or internet line, and they allowed him to use both. Even if they didn't give specific consent on this game, that has never been a defense in a court case. If it was tried, then it becomes a criminal case of fraud, because when a person clicks on that agreement without having actual rights or consent to do so, they are entering into a legal agreement fraudulently. That is a criminal case, and most people would never take that upon themselves over the typical slap on the wrist civil penalty that would come from a copyright claim.

Anyhow, there is a huge misconception that F2P also means free from profit. They are not the same, and a F2P game does not give people unfettered rights to do whatever they want because there are no potential monetary losses to the company itself. In fact, F2P relies heavily on having a stable platform to play it on, and cheaters greatly undermine others enjoyment of the game, making them less likely to spend money on the game itself. No doubt, data could be mined to show how many people say that a game is infested with cheaters who are ruining it, or show that people get frustrated because of cheaters, and stop playing the game.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 294d ago
yomfweeee295d ago

Yeah and the world's greatest safe crackers should never go to jail because they should have made those safes more secure.

Great logic you have.

LiamKreptic295d ago

I actually agree...ruining a 14 year olds life because you can’t make secure products is your fault. How many times have kidders and such had to work on various games to debug and make them work? (Looking at Skyrim). If epic can’t make their content secure then get out of networked games. As far as I have seen Bluehole hasn’t sued any cheaters...just sayin

JohnnyPremo295d ago

So if you leave your house unlocked I can come in and take shit right? If I pick your lock dont blame me blame the guys who made the lock. Those dumbasses.

bluefox755295d ago

If you listened to the youtube video the 14 year old made, bragging about cheating, and laughing at the idea that he could face consequences, you might not feel so bad.

JohnnyPremo295d ago

If man can make it man can break it. Oh and your tip is not pro until you give them the answers on how to secure their software and networking hardware. My guess is you have no idea.

MrBeatdown295d ago

It's not arson if the building isn't fireproof.

bluefox755295d ago (Edited 295d ago )

Do you also blame victims of burglary for not having strong enough locks?

morganfell295d ago

Yeah, let's not pressure human beings to act decently in a social situation. Lets put the blame on everyone else to police after people instead of asking them to take responsibility for their own actions.

And have you been living, or do you currently live under a rather large rock? No piece of software is hackproof.

IndieFolk295d ago

@datriax: cheater spotted.

UletheVee31295d ago

You guys are missing the point BY A LONG SHOT.

Why aren't you guys literally talking about, you know, suing THE DEVELOPERS OF THE CHEATS and not the cheaters? Why not tell Epic to do that?

rainslacker295d ago

They did. This case was filed at the same time.

Plus, they suspected the kid of also writing code which could enable cheating. In any case he promoted such exploits, which is just as bad IMO.

rainslacker295d ago

I'm sure they could. At which point, more people would complain that mods were impossible in games because they don't have more open code.

Can't have it both ways. Unreal is easily moddable, and uses a very specific set of instructions to handle various network and gaming tasks. This is what makes it so popular, and also makes it easy to cheat.

It's not a fault of the developers, it's a fault of the game engine.

Epic does what it does to try and curb cheating....this being one such instance. But it also does bans, and tweaks different things to restrict access as new cheats are found. While it may not be perfect or as quick as one may hope, it's not like they aren't trying.

So don't blame Epic, because this is a systemic issue across all onling games, and spans multiple engines and developers.

Epic are not shoddy programmers. They are quite literally in the top 1% of the industry in terms of talent and skill.

KillBill295d ago

Really? So then in turn just because I could make my way into your house some way then it is your fault for not having armed guards and sharks with lasers on them to prevent me from doing so? :P

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CloudStrife900295d ago

Regarding the 14 year old... I knew everything I was doing when I was 14, be it right or wrong, was down to me. The legal age of "responsibility for your own actions" in the UK is 10, and it's 10 because by that age you know (or should know) the difference between right and wrong. The last thing this kid was thinking about when cheating was legal action, and indeed we're all entitled to make mistakes, I don't deny that, still... red handed is red handed.

Killa78295d ago (Edited 295d ago )

Science suggests you can't really comprehend the consequences of your actions until much later.

10 is an arbitrary number backed up by very little to no evidence.

Even at 14, I wouldn't blame him, he should've listened to Epic in the first instance though.

CloudStrife900295d ago

Right there with you bud. The outcome will no doubt be as swift as the other case dealt with above. Still, I dare say he wont do it again in a hurry.

bluefox755295d ago (Edited 295d ago )

Sure, you don't understand consequences as a kid as well as an adult, that doesn't mean you shouldn't face them. It's not like he was tossed in prison.

Codedan295d ago

Lol how can people downvote this it is fact.

rainslacker295d ago

OK, legality aside, why not blame him when he goes on YouTube and brags about his exploits, demonstrates said exploits, admits he knows it's wrong, and admits he knows he could get in trouble for it, but also believes that he won't ever see any consequences from it?

Sure, at 14 an individual may not understand, but this kid obviously did.

In terms of legal proceedings, in the US at least, the age is 14 to be tried as an adult. But if someone is under 18, there needs to be a hearing to determine if the person in question knew the consequences and their general mental state.

I do think 10 is a bit young though. While one may recognize the difference between right and wrong in many cases, they may not always know what is right and wrong at that age. Sure, ignorance isn't an excuse, but at the same time, it comes more from just getting to a point where the mind mature and processes right from wrong in a more adult manner. I believe someone at 14 understands this, it's just more that their belief that they are free from consequence hasn't been fully established yet....thus they may not show remorse for their improper behavior.

KillBill295d ago (Edited 295d ago )

Really? Well, though that could be possible in the cases of some really ignorant people I don't imagine that to be accurate at all for the majority. Comprehension of consequences is learned easily even by animals... to imagine a child of 10 can't fathom the idea is ignorant at best.

"Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:

- act on impulse
- misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
- get into accidents of all kinds
- get involved in fights
- engage in dangerous or risky behavior

Adolescents are less likely to:

- think before they act
- pause to consider the consequences of their actions
- change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors

These brain differences don't mean that young people can't make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. It also doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held responsible for their actions. However, an awareness of these differences can help parents, teachers, advocates, and policy makers understand, anticipate, and manage the behavior of adolescents."

Read the last paragraph more closely.

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bluefox755295d ago

Good. This was smart, will definitely make cheaters think twice in the future, knowing that there are real world consequences.

rainslacker295d ago

It probably won't. Sadly, this will be forgotten. The people who make cheats will still make them. There will be plenty who never heard of this and will do it again, and some people just feel that they will never get in trouble for it.

It doesn't take much to ruin an online experience. Usually a few can ruin it, or at least disrupt it to the point of not being fun.

295d ago