Blizzard sues Starcraft II hackers

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


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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, 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 Ladiesman17

@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 Rhystic1

I don't understand why popov89 was "thumbed down" for the comment, I think he's perfectly right. Seriously, sue someone just for game hacks? OK, it's completely wrong to cheat/hack an online game and everything, but suing is really too much.

Avatar image for Ladiesman17

@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.. (read that).. if someone trying to breach/break that contract, then it's wrong, no matter who you are.......... old-man, hacker, millionaire or programmer :) then if someone steal your rights, or use it with bad purpose then how would you do??? :? Blizzard defend that rights. they also do this crap for us.. defend our rights to play "FAIR" on competitve multi-player. so STFU.. that's called law dude... if you couldn't agree with me then you should stay on jungle.. ;)

Avatar image for jeremiah06

@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 masaville99

Good for Blizzard. I hope they win.

Avatar image for Frosty3223

@ rugripper40 It is next to impossible to Ban someone for life, only their IP address which is only linked to ONE computer. all they need to do is create a diff account under different names on a different computer and BAM. back in business. I agree with blizzard, hacking has Killed most good online games (CoD, WoW, BFBC2, etc...). so really their trying to keep the game competative to skill rather than who has the better hacks. Bout time a company stepped up and took control over their product. Im also pretty sure that the "Accounts" you hace under are similiar to wow, where youre only "renting" them. you do not own the rights to it. so if Blizzard Bans your account you dont get anything back because you dont own it in the first place. Its one of those Fine Print things that not really in Fine Print. w.e. SC2 rules no matter wut.

Avatar image for rugripper40

i agree...its not about fun anymore,its about money....i hate online gaming anyways...i game single player for my enjoyment only...not to brag or be the best in the game of chutes and TheGrudge13 Posted Oct 18, 2010 10:45 am ET i guess u could say that this gen is the gen of the war between game companies and hackers . ubisoft , MS , SONY and now Blizzard

Avatar image for TheGrudge13

i guess u could say that this gen is the gen of the war between game companies and hackers . ubisoft , MS , SONY and now Blizzard

Avatar image for rugripper40

what a gaming was never safe from hackers....are u kidding me...these people are making money for there talent???...hey everyones got to didnt change the game just added a god mode....most games have that thru codes,etc, plus gameshark for the old consoles was sold for years....i dont get it....blizzard should just ban the few but if they bought a legitimate game for 60 bucks,how can they do that....rediculous...blizzard should refund these players 60 bucks for there game and ban them for life from online gaming but you cant sue someone for buying a product and doing what they want with it...well not in america like buying a car standard...throwing some rims on it and a turbo charger and then getting sued cause i changed the preformance of the veihicle .....this world is going alittle bit crazy lately.....personally i hate any kind of cheats in my game...totally takes away my fun factor when its too easy

Avatar image for star-stratus

popov89: They aren't suing them to gain money, but to deter hack creators from distributing their hacks. That's the right way to go about it in my opinion.

Avatar image for Vuk0dlak

@popov89 This is probably not about the money, but more likely to set an example to other potential hackers..

Avatar image for Atari_7200

The internet would go broke if they sued counter-strike players. See what I did there? I'm so cool, I wish I had friends.

Avatar image for popov89

Does Blizzard really need more money? They have enough fans already as well. Releasing the game in Korea alone would have made them all their money back and then some. This a way too harsh move. Don't get me wrong, cheating in games sucks but this is move by Blizzard is simply too much. I doubt these hackers are rolling in the money and being sued won't help that at all.

Avatar image for Keabard

I like the fact that they are attacking the cheaters. But i mean come on! Perhaps Blizzard should be sued for charging such high prices for 1 campaign ...... ugh.... it's a great game none-the-less

Avatar image for robCROW75

I agree they should be sued to high h3ll not because they enabled cheating or managed to hack the code but because they were SELLING their hacks. Respectable hackers don't sell their wares. and they don't encourage cheating.

Avatar image for Viruses

Although there will always be hacks for this game, Blizzard is doing the right thing here by limiting their numbers. Blizzard is not one to be shy in waving that sue stick around and they have done it many times in the past defending their games. Most people should think twice before creating/using hacks online, and those that still do, tread carefully...

Avatar image for sinclairhxc

they already do this for all platforms, obviously lol. my friends brother shut down sony's servers for 3 days via socom 2. it resulted in an fbi invasion of his home, being stripped of all memory hardware/devices, banned from any kind of internet capability or contract for 3 years, 6 years of probation (including an 8 o clock curfue), and being sued 35k.

Avatar image for sinclairhxc

they already have started doing this for all platforms. my friends brother was sued $35k for shutting down sony's servers for 3 days by hacking via socom 2 lol. it resulted in an fbi invasion of his house, being stripped of all memory devices/hardware internet capability, 3 felonies, and 6 years of probation, including an 8 o clock curfue (he was only 15 at the time)

Avatar image for cejay0813

They should start doing this across all platforms... People will think twice about doing things if you threaten to sue

Avatar image for King_Jeremy_77

Cheaters never prosper.

Avatar image for NightRain

LOL, cheaters

Avatar image for b_ux

That's why competing via LAN in the same room is so much better. At least I get to inspect both computers used or perhaps I can ask the PC multiplayer LAN shop manager to make sure that all of the clients get pleasant experience by making sure that the PCs are without cheats/hacks for any particular game they installed for the customer to play.

Avatar image for bigtruckseries

Online Cheating is part of the reason I stopped playing Counter Strike. But it Blizzard's job to make anti-cheat clients for the servers to ensure cheaters get banned. There will always be some hacker out there trying to reverse engineer the product - you just gotta stay on top of them. Fortunately, console gaming doesn't get hit much by cheaters in the games I run.

Avatar image for im-a-roustabout

@theMirrorsTruth It's the principal of the matter, not b/c they have tons of money already. If people tire of playing online b/c of cheaters, then all they worked so hard to do is gone. The original creators deserve to be able to keep there entertainment properties clean.

Avatar image for im-a-roustabout

It's just the human condition, and I don't know why. To destroy everything we create.

Avatar image for AmargaVida

i agree with this, enough of the online cheating...

Avatar image for killdamn

@valent1n If I play online, I expect a fair competition, not someone who has more advantages than just skill and experience. Besides, you think Blizzard is hungry for more money, don't they have a money tree planet called WoW? Do they really get that much more from suing pitiful hack creators?

Avatar image for talshiarr

Cheaters and hackers are generally just annoying, ban them and move on. But when they cross the line and actually start SELLING hacks and cheats? Yeah, that's lawsuit time.

Avatar image for mgs_freak91

Blizzard just rule. Cheaters are just failures are life, no skill in a game so they have to play unfair just to match someones skills.

Avatar image for valent1n

Blizzard is becoming smth strange, is no the nice-company-that-makes-cool-games, it is now just that's-my-stuff-pay-for-it-and-do-not-hack-it-,-it-is-mine-company. They are so hungry, cant believe this...

Avatar image for chaos269

good move by blizzard, if you want to cheat do it when you play on your own against an AI, not against others and online just to make it worse, that just takes the fun out of it and how will you ever be good at something if you don't try it yourself instead of cheating. Good move blizzard i hope they get what they deserve.

Avatar image for needsnointro

Cheaters never prosper

Avatar image for MidnightKilla

So many ignorant users post without even bothering to check the facts... The people being sued made offline cheats for StarCraft2. Blizzard banned 5000 accounts for using said cheats in single player campaign... Blizzard should have never taken out the LAN support and linked single player campaign to in the first place... They did that so that they can have better grounds on which to sue people and get a precedent. When they say "buy our game" they actually mean "rent a license to play a game". Someone should sue them for false advertising!

Avatar image for mull20641

This is why blizzard are one of the best development companies in the world. Listen up devs you can learn from this (i'm looking at you infinity ward)

Avatar image for themovi3nut

If your going to cheat don't do it online, what idiots.....they should have seen a ban coming.

Avatar image for Rhino53

damn ricky there's a lot of comments...

Avatar image for fog90

This is one small step for men who play fair, one giant leap at showing that cheaters can't getaway with this forever. I would LOVE to see EA doing this.

Avatar image for jamesh-42

As much as I dislike cheaters in online games, I don't like the way they are doing it. Making a temporary copy of a computer program in RAM is a requirement to run it, so should not require any additional permissions from the copyright holder assuming you've legally acquired your copy of the program.

Avatar image for wernerrvos

Ha ha sweet

Avatar image for firebladedx

Why did Infinity Ward never do this?!? They like money don't they? Maybe spend less time rehashing old maps and spend the effort tracking down and suing hackers hm?

Avatar image for StaticKornSlipX

congrats to these guys!! So people can make money off modded cars but can't make money off of modded video games...sounds to me like a double standard favoring software companies

Avatar image for BillyColeman

hate lazy hackers

Avatar image for DeltaPhoenix08

good. people have to learn that this is not ok

Avatar image for supdotcom

Good move by blizzard.

Avatar image for kotetsu2k2

Man those guys are screwed. If anyone can afford good lawyers, its blizz. Not only that, but its a sound argument.

Avatar image for RyanShazam

I hope Blizzard wins :)

Avatar image for GH05T-666

good on you blizzard, F those hackers in the A, its gotta be pretty embarrassing for the people who hack, and still lose to me and every other real player who doesn't cheat. I hope blizzard take u for all u have, and they will because blizzard wont lose the trail. get a life u cheating f*ckers

Avatar image for luna_chanfui

Hackers' wifes' life sure difficult and suffer a lot..

Avatar image for Balck_soul

@CamoBullo probably cause their the ones with the biggest budget so they are sueing away :D

Avatar image for punisher70

Good for Blizzard. I'm glad they are cracking down on these techno-thugs. Blizzard puts out a good quality game all the time, id be pissed too if a couple of losers come ruin it just because they can.