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 SpamCoo
SpamCoo

well they deserved that

Avatar image for CamoBullo
CamoBullo

It's quite funny how everyone else does it and Blizzard's the only one who gets pissy.

Avatar image for Crystall3d
Crystall3d

i always wondered what the chips neo was giving to those punks "dont get caught using these" at the begginning of the movie matrix. so figures:).

Avatar image for ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

The they only care because some one was making money :D

Avatar image for ZMajor
ZMajor

looks like starcraft 3 won't be hitting the pc

Avatar image for hahnasty
hahnasty

good for blizzard. It's good to see that even in a game with this many users that they're going after these individual cheaters. They're getting what they deserve.

Avatar image for huskerman34
huskerman34

hell ya i would dropp the bomb on these fools. Its buttholes like thes that ruin online gaming. I hope they go down and in a hard way .

Avatar image for nevryn
nevryn

@Dudeman315 That's just legal technicalities to provide for rationale to sue, which there is already some precedent for their claim regardless of the verdict in this trial. Essentially they're going after them because they are ruining the game and making money off of it. Unfortunately, there is no rule that you can sue people for being jerks, so they have to base much of it on technicalities. As long as you aren't doing something to piss them off, I would not worry about them coming after you. On the other side of this though, good luck actually catching them. They'll likely just grab their stuff and run for somewhere else. If it were that easy, all of the crackers and hackers would be gone already.

Avatar image for destroyeur
destroyeur

@VarietyMage - in sc2 multiplayer matches your computer "knows" what your opponents are doing, therefore a simple hack to remove the fog and show them onscreen was developed.

Avatar image for dussan2
dussan2

Get em Blizzard. Apparently these clowns where SELLING the hacks. I would sue their asses too.

Avatar image for Dudeman315
Dudeman315

I kinda hope they lose but only because of the, "they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer's RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license," part. So if my computer glitches and copies an extra bit of data are you going to sue for that? Dangerous precedent and all that.

Avatar image for VarietyMage
VarietyMage

I see both sides equally. If I jump into an MMO, and farmers are camping on all the good loot drop spots to where I can't get any good loot, I'll be ticked off and leave. On the other hand, if they want to hack the game and cheat, it's up to them to roll the dice and be prepared to take the consequences of their actions. I see how item farming/tool creation for games in foreign countries is actually a real-currency-profitable enterprise, so given how poor most countries are, and how bad OUR economy is, I can't really speak against them. But I have to ask: if they're playing on legitimate Blizzard servers, why aren't the servers authenticating the client software prior to game start? Failing that, why not force the client software to download maps prior to game starts, avoiding any hacked static maps/tools? Of course, that probably wouldn't stop hackers, either. :)

Avatar image for SamuriChamploo
SamuriChamploo

Why do people cheat at games? Seriously, just keep playing. You get better

Avatar image for kokonut1971
kokonut1971

Who the frack cares about this? I dont'! if blizzard feels violated, then it is up to them to make their system hack proof! Spys dont play fair! Zergs certainly dont play fair! The very nature of the game is the idealogy to win against the un-winable! Blizzard should concentrate on building better software instead of going around and crying violation! There is a new saying in town: there is one certain thing in life: "death and taxes" well you can ad "hackers" to that quote now! so open up a case of beer and get over it Blizzard...you aint the only gunslingers in town anymore!

Avatar image for GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

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

Avatar image for LOXO7
LOXO7

Hey now maybe they can get a job at Blizzard for not letting this happen again.

Avatar image for edblevins
edblevins

Thank you gentlemen

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@edblevins Will do.

@JimmyJimJim, if you wish to continue this, PM me. Up to you, dude.

Avatar image for edblevins
edblevins

JimmyJimJim, RadicalToenail Would you guys give it a rest please? Your spamming the boards with this pointless argument...

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@JimmyJimJim Where is your vast experience on hackers coming from? Do you have any, other than being butt-hurt from losing to one? I can very easily stereotype a group of people that I know a lot about. The majority of hackers won't be scared of threats like this. It's part of the whole mentality to become a hacker, to buck the system, fight the power, and so on. As I have said before, every hacker, at their start, thinks "Should I really do this." after that point, they won't stop. Legal action will only scare the small percentage that wouldn't have really done anything anyway. Little wusses that don't know enough to even be called hackers.

Sure, the rest may take note, but it won't keep them from doing what they love to do.

Again, keep thinking you know. It won't change the fact that you don't know crap.

Avatar image for Elrax
Elrax

I'm with blizzard on this one. Mods and cheats for OFFLINE play are fine. But these guys are making something for ONLINE, which does serious damage to everyone except the people using the hack.

Avatar image for jazilla
jazilla

O Canada.

Avatar image for SpedKnight
SpedKnight

lol

Avatar image for elbert_b_23
elbert_b_23

theres nothing blizzard can really do they wont have the power to have the hackers brought over to usa, the only thing they can do is ban in ip from their games

Avatar image for doomonger
doomonger

I totally agree with Blizzard on this one and I sincerely hope they'll go for the head (zombie pun!). I'm Canadian and sincerely sad about this. They need to make an example with this case.

Avatar image for Tekcor
Tekcor

@tehepicpwnzor I'm not sure what you're saying. It's not your terminology that is wrong, it is your logic. Key generator, key-code generator, code generator - whatever, they're all the same thing and equally unrelated to my point.

Avatar image for Tekcor
Tekcor

@EliteNamedSteve If you read my earlier comments, you'll see that while I think it's a good idea, it won't be very effective.

Avatar image for edblevins
edblevins

@williamssonoma LOL... respect man... Now if only you could sue a user for being a 13 year old spaz...

Avatar image for williamssonoma
williamssonoma

I wish other developers would go after similar creeps ruining multiplayer experiences (*cough* Infinity Ward *cough*)

Avatar image for edblevins
edblevins

@Tekcor Agreed... which is why Blizzard might as well make an example out of them imo. It may not seem like it "works" but I'm certain it'd scare the crap out of allot of hackers. While you'll never eliminate the 1%ers you can do all you can to keep that number from growing.

Avatar image for ApatheticClone
ApatheticClone

@Miroku32 International copyright laws, brah. Peru's no more exempt from them than any other countries.

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@JimmyJimJim You're beginning to not make any sense at all. Stereotype a group of people? Where the heck is that coming from? The only "group" of people I've mentioned are hackers, but where's the stereotyping? That we won't be scared of this? Do you even know what the heck you're typing now?

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@ RadicalToenail Yup that's it, Let it all out. Let's stereotype a group of people to, that's right.... not ignorant. You're totally right. You're getting pretty far down there, might as well continue on though.

Avatar image for OleanderX
OleanderX

Banning them for the next 2 million years would have been fair justice, but suing them? isn't that a bit overkill? wait...they should have known better....sue them kids dry...have a nice life hackers :)

Avatar image for KidKupo
KidKupo

Trolls need to move on with their lives...

Avatar image for Miroku32
Miroku32

I wonder how they will do with the peruvian hacker. It is easy for Blizzard to put a lawsuit on someone from Canada thanks to the friendship or United States and Canada but on someone on Peru. In fact, if each country of America (with the exception of United States and Canada) had a hacker and Blizzard wanted to put a lawsuit on each one of them I find it hard for them to win this one.

Avatar image for trfritzen
trfritzen

Read "Steal this computer book 4.0" will help you understand the different kind of hackers out there and that there are all different kinds good and bad...yes there are good hackers. But I never agree to hacking to gain advantage in a multiplayer game...what's the point? Just cheating you're self out of the whole experience of a game, and others. Bravo on Blizzard for taking a stand, would like to see more companies do the same.

Avatar image for tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

@Tekcor My bad, key-code generator. Not code generators. But w/e.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@RadicalToenail Suggested? A simple observation is far different than knowing a person. Rather brash and quite a stretch. Sorry still stuck in that hole, keep trying though.

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@JimmyJimJim You suggested that I'm ignorant. That's suggesting you know something about me. Obviously, you know nothing about me and you continue to think that you know more about this subject than I do.

You don't know more about it and, most likely, never will.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@ RadicalToenail Sadly I don't care who you are and never once had I suggested I know who you are. But you keep going with that hubris astute ability to put words in peoples mouths. It's digging a mighty deep hole.

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@JimmyJimJim Keep thinking you know me, dude.

Here's a bit of a hint on the kind of person I am: this lawsuit hits a bit close to home.

Like I said, continue to think you know what you're talking about.

Avatar image for KidKupo
KidKupo

Wish they would do something about SC1 hackers. Would take a single programer a matter of minutes to patch issues thats plagued the SC1 community for years now.

Avatar image for KidKupo
KidKupo

Sad when you got to cheat at an VIDEO GAME because its the only way you can WIN so you can feel good about yourself. What a life.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@RadicalToenail "Just because you're on the internet does not make you knowledgable in every topic relating to computers and the internet." Quoted for you, you said. Now listen to it.

Avatar image for RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@JimmyJimJim Do I have to say this again?

YOU HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE MINDSET OF HACKERS. YOU DON'T KNOW A THING ABOUT THE CRAP YOU'RE SPEWING.

Just because you're on the internet does not make you knowledgable in every topic relating to computers and the internet.

You want to continue to think that this will actually do something? Go ahead. Just know that when someone first gets into some serious hacking, one of the first thoughts in their head is "Should I really be doing this? I could get in serious trouble." If they don't stop there, they never will stop. No matter the threat. No matter who it's from.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@ RadicalToenail Since when did I say it was a new concept? "outside of blizzard?" You love putting words in peoples mouths. Infact companies always say they're aggressive in stopping hackers, but to my knowledge. No company has been anywhere near this aggressive. But you go ahead and keep thinking that possibly owing millions of dollars isn't a big deal and doesn't effect the mindset of the developer one bit, ignorance shall be ignorant.