Blizzard Files Suit Against SCII Cheat Producers

In a complaint filed on October 4 (thanks GameSpot), Blizzard Entertainment has targeted a trio of men, accusing them of creating and selling hacks for the Blizzard game StarCraft II.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the complaint names Michael VanKuipers (aka “Perma” or “Permaphrost”), Michael Simpson (aka Matt Cooper, “Cranix,” or “Cranyx) and John Roe (aka linuxawesome). 10 “John Does” are also named.

Blizzard alleges that the defendants participated in the “insidious and harmful practice of developing, distributing and selling software products (sometimes referred to as “hacks” or “cheats”) that modify” components of Blizzard’s games. The company alleges that “just days” after the release of StarCraft II, the website gamethreat.net promoted the fact that “our staff is already planning new releases for this game.”

Blizzard said it notified VanKuipers and Simpson of their infringement, but that neither ceased their activity. Blizzard claims that “Defendants’ actions have unjustly profited Defendants while causing significant damage to Blizzard.”

VanKuipers is from Burnaby, Canada, while Simpson was said to be from Banff, Canada, and described as the “driving force” behind sc2hackdev.org. Roe is thought to be from Lima, Peru. Some of the 10 ten John Does may use aliases such as “Wiggley,” “Zynastor,” and “Dark Mage.”

Blizzard noted that each copy of StarCraft II features a “terms of use” clause that “expressly prohibits the player from hacking or modifying the game, including to use hacks or cheats to alter the multiplayer experience.” Its Blizzard.net service also features a binding “terms of use” agreement.

Blizzard says that it is “entitled to maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyright infringed” which covers  multiple copyright infringements, including direct, inducement to infringe, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.

Grab the full complaint here (PDF).

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