Blizzard sues Starcraft II hackers

Developer accuses Canadian, Peruvian users of creating, selling map hacks and cheats for multiplayer real-time strategy game.

951 Comments

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Blizzard ushered in the month of October by showing Starcraft II cheaters the door, suspending or banning roughly 5,000 players of the real-time strategy game for using hacks to gain an advantage in the game. Days later, the company went after some of the people responsible for the cheat programs.

Blizzard is wasting little time cracking down on Starcraft II hackers.
Blizzard is wasting little time cracking down on Starcraft II hackers.

Blizzard last week filed suit in the Los Angeles US District Court against three programmers, accusing them of creating and selling hacks for Starcraft II in violation of the end-user license agreement, Battle.net terms of use, and copyright law.

According to the suit, "Just days after the release of Starcraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the Starcraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that Starcraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that 'our staff is already planning new releases for this game.'"

Blizzard is accusing the trio of multiple counts of copyright infringement and is demanding damages and disgorgement of any profits reaped by the distribution and sale of the hacks. The company also accused the defendants of inducing others to infringe on their copyright, saying, "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."

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

The three defendants named in the suit go by the handles "Permaphrost," "Cranix," and "Linuxawesome," with the former two residing in Canada and the latter in Peru. It's unclear what jurisdiction the court has over the accused, although Starcraft II's end-user license agreement specifically states that disputes would be decided by a court within Los Angeles County. Additionally, among the relief demanded by the developer is a requirement that the defendants pull their programs hosted anywhere within the court's jurisdiction. There are other alleged hackers named in the suit, including "Wiggley," "Zynastor," and "Dark Mage," but Blizzard has not included their real identities in the suit.

When asked for comment, a Blizzard representative told GameSpot, "Blizzard Entertainment does not comment on pending litigation."

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Avatar image for Flint247
Flint247

Wow, I didn't see this coming. o.o But good, hacking for illegitimate purposes is bad. I hope people will learn from this. (which they probably won't)

Avatar image for ToRNiO
ToRNiO

Good. I hope they serve time as well. Hacks are for extreme losers.

Avatar image for Takeno456
Takeno456

Good punish the hackers like they deserve. I actually think people are too lenient when it comes to cheaters and hackers

Avatar image for Raykuza
Raykuza

It is illegal to make money off of someone's copyrighted intellectual property. That is all. Hacks or no hacks, what those guys did was wrong and Blizzard has every right to sue

Avatar image for yellosnolvr
yellosnolvr

stupidity will only rub off on you only if you have a weak enough mind to allow such a thing. anyways. just goes to show that they are just as fast filing a lawsuit as they are providing support for their games. exactly why i abhor this company now.

Avatar image for Kravyn81
Kravyn81

@Animatronic64 I don't think they give janitors Internet access when they're on duty. Of course we're all assuming way too much in that he could qualify to be a janitor at all. No, no, let's not put the cart before the horse, shall we?

Avatar image for Animatronic64
Animatronic64

@Kravyn81 Maybe he's posting from work? A lot of adults do that, too. Just saying. Also, maybe you should do the mature thing and step down from this childish argument. That's what I would have done.

Avatar image for IrishBulldog93
IrishBulldog93

can anyone tell me this : can you get banned for cheating on the campaign ??

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

spelling is over ratred...who cares...you dont neet to spell to make money in this world unless your a librarian or writer which im neither......btw tell your school teacher that the next time you see them....lol..... btw my moms 81 this yr...i thought i would clarify that for you...lol Kravyn81 Posted Oct 18, 2010 3:20 pm ET rugripper40 wrote: "....ive been gaming for 40 plus years...maybe they can bend kids minds but for me...there blowing smoke" Wow. That's impressive. So you've been gaming for 40+ years and only been spelling words correctly for, what, 4 months? You're cool, dude. I'm sure your 70+-year-old mom doesn't mind you shacking up in her basement for those past 40 years and forsaking real life activities like getting married, holding down a job and being a productive member of society rather than arguing online with "kids."

Avatar image for Kravyn81
Kravyn81

@RepThe610 :lol: Sure, whatever you say. I said nothing about doing anything outside, merely that your logic in an attempt to be "quick witted" is flawed.

Avatar image for RepThe610
RepThe610

@kravyn81 nah i do things outside.

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

i agree...its a money thing thats it Animatronic64 Posted Oct 18, 2010 3:17 pm ET Too bad this won't do a single thing to stop the issue; there will be more hacking to come. The only reason Blizzard did anything about this one was because the hackers were selling. So, Blizzard saw this as an opportunity to sue the hell out of them and make a quick buck. And they've done this before. Just look up "blizzard sues wowscape". The motive behind this case and the last is nothing more than money.

Avatar image for Kravyn81
Kravyn81

@RepThe610 Says the kid that is registered to the same site I am. LOL! Good one! You almost made sense there. Too bad your logic backfired on you.

Avatar image for NoremaC-_-
NoremaC-_-

i honestly dont understand why people are defending these cheaters

Avatar image for Animatronic64
Animatronic64

Too bad this won't do a single thing to stop the issue; there will be more hacking to come. The only reason Blizzard did anything about this one was because the hackers were selling. So, Blizzard saw this as an opportunity to sue the hell out of them and make a quick buck. And they've done this before. Just look up "blizzard sues wowscape". The motive behind this case and the last is nothing more than money.

Avatar image for RepThe610
RepThe610

does blizz have jurisdiction in peru? nahhhh

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

lol...dont you think that comment is aliitle bit off and your in dire need for medication or maybe its too much gaming,the ersb is right....lol.....of course not but that knife you bought can cut up a great steak so you can eat it...illl give you a limited license for that....lmao Ladiesman17 Posted Oct 18, 2010 11:44 am ET @rugripper40 then are you saying.. if I have Knife then I have rights to kill people... (because If I have Knife, then that object completely mine, then I can do whatever I want to do with that object) you completely wrong dude.

Avatar image for SqualzY
SqualzY

i think that every game company vshould Sue Hacker this way Hacks will Disapear fast from PC

Avatar image for nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

This is good, there has to be some consequence.

Avatar image for lilflex1
lilflex1

seems like pc games are easier 2 hack then console games

Avatar image for SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

I always love it when companies sue these idiots who ruin the online experience. When Gunbound was getting overrun by hacks, Softnyx did the same thing.. and I applauded it. Hopefully these guys are made an example out of.

Avatar image for Balidanny
Balidanny

I'm not usually a fan of litigation, but in this case... Get em Blizzard!!

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

oh and blizzards just mad cause they didnt think of this......lmao.....god mode for chutes and ladders...lol

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

and my friend i know all about what the gaming companies try to make people believe...but i have been buying games forever...card,board,video,etc...3/4 of these companies arnt in buss so i guess im breaking laws still playing these games ....lol...its rediculous....ive been gaming for 40 plus years...maybe they can bend kids minds but for me...there blowing smoke.....and they are screwing up pc gaming with drm and other protections they use...for one it screws the game up...for 2...drm saves the game and has disc checks through the net....if these game companies go broke might as well fling the disc out the window....lol......and steam i heard someone talk about....valves great but even that company almost hit rock bottom....and if it does...all those games you bought are gone forever....sucks but thats why pc gaming sucks anymore jeremiah06 Posted Oct 18, 2010 12:31 pm ET @rugripper40 It seems you're unaware of how this process works... Its not possible to "buy" Starcraft II... Everyone who has it bought a limited licence

Avatar image for lowkey254
lowkey254

It's probably mentioned to death already but they should do that for COD

Avatar image for SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

@popov89 I don't think you get it. Blizzard isn't sueing for the money. There sueing the hackers to stop them.

Avatar image for SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

Wow, that's awesome. Good job, Blizzard. Hackers shall be punished, in this life or the next!

Avatar image for 96windsor
96windsor

Nicely done Blizz!

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

funny thing...limited license...ha...another way to rip people off...first dlc and now this.....and no man i had no idea you could lease a game...rediculous...a car maybe...a kids toy...are you kidding me....lol.....and everyone is so hot about this article but these hackers been around forever.....they have been around since dos...probably big bill was a hacker himself...lmfao jeremiah06 Posted Oct 18, 2010 12:31 pm ET @rugripper40 It seems you're unaware of how this process works... Its not possible to "buy" Starcraft II... Everyone who has it bought a limited licence

Avatar image for hvypetals
hvypetals

nice to see SOME hackers are getting burned. way to go blizzard thanks for looking out!

Avatar image for solid_snake_fh
solid_snake_fh

woot can this be a turn around for idiots on the internet for cheating? i hope so at least its a start and a warning for people who make trainers to use on online play

Avatar image for DerickWicks
DerickWicks

It's about time some one started doing something about these corruptions. hackers, crackers beware, we are gamers and are sick of you ripping us off. if you don't want to pay for a game then don't play it. fair is fair i payed my share now pay yours in the slammer

Avatar image for Lycen
Lycen

Limited licence cool its like buying a spoon that fits to use as a fork too but its not allowed you can not use it like that. You must only use it as a spoon nothing els because we say so. We got money and lawyers so watch out pesant!

Avatar image for Gary345
Gary345

kudos to Blizzard, every companies should do the same =)

Avatar image for Skullcandy
Skullcandy

I hate seeing a company as profitable as Blizzard sueing people, but they have the right to. Multiplayer gaming is how many people connect with other people around the world with the same interests, and anyone trying to profit off of our social network deserves what they get.

Avatar image for Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

This is why Kerrigan blows!

Avatar image for ecw1983
ecw1983

Good , I hate hackers... next they should go after the pirates and close down any sites that promote or alow it ! On a lighter note Steam has reached 20 million accounts(and console fanboys say PC is dying)

Avatar image for calvinsora
calvinsora

One of the facets of online gaming is to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to have fun. Cheaters destroy and spit on this principle. If cheaters cannot muster the common decency to keep a level playing field, then they have no right to enjoy the product at all. Good on you, Blizzard, hope you win this.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@RadicalToenail "Again, keep thinking you know. It won't change the fact that you don't know crap. " Quoted for you, Honestly; if you wont listen to me. THEN LISTEN TO YOURSELF

Avatar image for jeremiah06
jeremiah06

@rugripper40 It seems you're unaware of how this process works... Its not possible to "buy" Starcraft II... Everyone who has it bought a limited licence. Its what almost all PC games do. They don't sell you the game (as in console gaming) you merely buy a licence to use the software. The difference it purely legal. If you bought the software entirely then you could mod it and sell it. However, buying the right to use the software means you can only use it for what your licence states(which in this case is the user agreement). Its just a tool to stop people from being able to legally hack and mod.

Avatar image for kingJord
kingJord

From a legal standpoint, cheating and selling cheats are two very different issues. You won't get sued for cheating - just banned. You can be sued if you try to profit off of something like that. The people trying to make a living off this crap deserve whatever they get, and more.

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

its people like you that let these companies get away with this copywrite bs....if i buy something its mine...no one owns it but me unless i sell it...there are no rights...its a freaking game....you buy it,play it,pass it on to your kids,etc....if you mod it...thats your freaking buss....half the games come with modding tools anyway.... .btw blizzard makes great games but even diablo people were dupping and selling items,wow always has some dude selling his charecter for money...etc....isnt that making money off someone elses licence...wtf...blizzards pissed cause there game was hacked...they need to get over it or get a more secure server........think about it...blizzards great but come on...rediculous @rugripper40 It's not about someone talent, or company who have power.... Contract agreement, EULA, end-user license, etc. was made to defend each other RIGHTS.. Company rights & User(s) rights

Avatar image for Titleieen
Titleieen

WHY DO YOU WANNA CHEAT ANYWAYS?? Just play the game how it should be, like everybody else. Stupid Programmers, hope Blizz wins and stops this madness.

Avatar image for Lycen
Lycen

There is something wrong withe this. They are all ridicules but I don't know how to describe this. Its like watching wrestling and all around me are people repeating "ITS REAL" " ITS REAL" ... spooky I feel everybody is blinded and I just cant put finger on it... from what?

Avatar image for gstealer
gstealer

Destroy the hackers! Burn the hackers! I work hard for my money, and Blizzard works hard to make great games for us, and they hack the game making it free... Think what suits you best, but I prefer my honest gaming...

Avatar image for rugripper40
rugripper40

oh i thought they bought it,modded it and then sold there mod like ive seen many times b4 in the past done b4 jeremiah06 Posted Oct 18, 2010 8:19 am PT @rugripper40 thats the thing they never bought the product. They bought a limited licence. Its basically a lease. Tons of games are starting to do that now. It means that you specifically CAN'T do whatever you want with it...

Avatar image for Parker7007
Parker7007

I hope blizzard sues them for all their sorry cheating asses are worth.. nothing is more annoying or frustrating than cheaters online, totally ruins a game.

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Ladiesman17

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]