Blizzard sues StarCraft 2 hackers for selling cheats

Blizzard claims it's suffering "serious and irreparable harm" as a result of online hacks.


Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void
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Not content with simply banning cheaters, Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against those responsible for creating and selling a popular line of cheats for StarCraft II.

The lawsuit was filed on April 19 in a United States District Court in California. According to a copy of the suit obtained by TorrentFreak, Blizzard claims these hacks "not only disrupt or impair the online experience for purchasers of the computer game, but, as set forth more fully herein, cause serious and irreparable harm to Blizzard and its products."

The "ValiantChaos MapHack" cheat is specifically targeted. Sold by way of access to a VIP forum for 62.50 AUD (roughly $58), the hack does a number of things, from showing enemy units that should be hidden to revealing what users' opponents are building to automatically handling certain tasks. It also includes features that make it difficult to be detected, even by those watching a replay of the match.

Blizzard hasn't identified any defendants by name because, at this point, it doesn't actually have their names. Even so, Blizzard claims the hackers agreed to the game's EULA (the long, legalese-laden document you undoubtedly agree to without reading when first playing a new game) and are therefore infringing on its copyright.

"Defendants are well aware that they do not have any license, right, or authority to engage in any of the foregoing infringing activities," the lawsuit states. "It is well-known to the public, and Defendants certainly know, that Blizzard owns the copyright in StarCraft II, and never has authorized Defendants to develop and/or distribute Hacks or other software that modifies StarCraft II or its online components."

Blizzard not only wants an injunction preventing the hackers in question from continuing to distribute hacks, it's also seeking damages and the profits the defendants have made selling hacks (or $150,000 "for each copyright infringed"). And--just for good measure--Blizzard wants the hackers to pay its legal fees, too.

This isn't the first time the StarCraft maker has gone after those creating hacks for its games. In 2010, it went after another group of StarCraft II hackers for copyright infringement, which evidently wasn't a strong enough indication of Blizzard's willingness to take down cheat distributors.

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