Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post your topics and discussions here that you can't find a good section for.
RaDeX
Administration
Administration
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:41 pm
Reputation: 11

Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by RaDeX » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Given recent events, I believe this is a pretty interesting read. Pretty relevant.

Source:

Code: Select all

https://torrentfreak.com/blizzard-wants-8-5-milion-copyright-damages-from-cheat-maker-170314/
====

Image
Over the years video game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment has released many popular game titles including Overwatch and World of Warcraft.

While most gamers stick to the rules, there’s also a small group that tries to game the system. By using cheats, they play with an advantage over regular users.

The German outfit Bossland is behind several popular cheats including “Honorbuddy”, Demonbuddy, and the currently unavailable “Watchover Tyrant”. Blizzard has been fighting the company on its home turf for several years already and filed a complaint at a federal court in California as well last year.

In the complaint, Blizzard accused the cheat maker of various forms of copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. According to Blizzard the bots and cheats also caused millions of dollars in lost sales, as they ruin the games for many legitimate players.

After Bossland had failed to have the case dismissed over a lack of jurisdiction, things went quiet earlier this year. Bossland stopped responding, and when the Court gave the German company a 24-hour ultimatum to reply, it remained silent.


The WoW Honorbot



Image


In response, Blizzard has now submitted a motion for default judgment. According to the game developer, it is clear that Bossland violated the DMCA by selling its “circumvention” tools and it demands to be compensated in return.

Blizzard says it prefers a conservative estimate of the damages. Bossland previously testified that it sold 118,939 products to users in the United States since July of 2013, and Blizzard projects that at a minimum, 36% of these sales were cheats for their games.

This translates to 42,818 infringements for a total of well over $8 million is statutory damages.

“In this case, Blizzard is only seeking the minimum statutory damages of $200 per infringement, for a total of $8,563,600.00. While Blizzard would surely be entitled to seek a larger amount, Blizzard seeks only minimum statutory damages.

“Blizzard does not seek such damages as a “punitive” measure against Bossland or to obtain an unjustified windfall,” the game developer adds (pdf).

According to Blizzard, it is a “calculated and bad-faith tactic” of the German cheat manufacturer to go for a default judgment. In doing so, the company tries to shield its alleged unlawful conduct from the reach of United States.

Adding to that, the game developer believes that Bossland’s revenue from the cheats may have been even higher than the damages they are asking for.

“Notably, $200 approximates the cost of a one-year license for the Bossland Hacks. So, it is very likely that Bossland actually received far more than $8 million in connection with its sale of the Bossland Hacks.”

Since Bossland failed to defend itself, it is likely that Blizzard will get a substantial damages award. However, whether they will ever see a penny from the cheat maker is less certain.

User avatar
++METHOS
Administration
Administration
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:02 pm
Reputation: 27

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by ++METHOS » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:51 pm

Nothing new here; this is not the first, nor will it be the last. Always reminds me of DEFCON 19 with Mike Donnelly, and how he was Rick-rolled by Blizzard devs. :D

User avatar
Darkedone02
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:42 pm
Reputation: 7

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by Darkedone02 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:11 pm

This only aimed for bot making and other kinds of programs that does this kind of similar thing, as far as I know from a long time ago, the only thing you can do with cheat engine at the time at world of warcraft was speedhack, that's about it. You can't edit your stats or anything of the shorts like that because all that infomation is on the server side, not the client of your browser. But somehow you could speedhack your way though the game for some reason. I think I heard this during 200X so I think they could of already patched it already.

i don't know if this is still existing but when I had cheat engine running on the background after using it on a previous game but forgot to shut it off, when I launch WoW, I get this message saying "hey your running cheat engine in the background, this game will shutdown now, please turn off your cheat engine and relaunch WoW if you want to play WoW" and i'm like "ohhhhh i forgot to shut it off...." luckily I didn't get an gm contact to query about it so thankfully my account is still safe!

RaDeX
Administration
Administration
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:41 pm
Reputation: 11

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by RaDeX » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:24 pm

Yeah this specific case has been dragging on for several years now, however Blizzards complaint isn't exclusively focused at "online" cheating, rather cheating at all. In reversing the game code they broke the license agreement *shrug*

User avatar
++METHOS
Administration
Administration
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:02 pm
Reputation: 27

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by ++METHOS » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:48 pm

The unfair competition claim is what gets me shaking my head. Regarding code reversing, DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision is applicable to such things that fall outside of the scope of fair-use. However, whether or not that is really the case here is another matter -- and something that they will have to prove to a bunch of legal heads that probably know nothing about RE. :D

STN
Founder
Founder
Posts: 2847
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:48 pm
Reputation: 258

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by STN » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:00 pm

Bossland has had some wins against blizzard but blizzard is pouring some serious money into this and have opened up several cases. You can see how serious they are about this from this

https://torrentfreak.com/blizzard-stole ... ys-151119/

They actually paid their coder to give them the source code, it must be a handsome sum if the guy agreed to do this.

hedop
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:52 pm
Reputation: 6

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by hedop » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:33 pm

Doesn't matter. They are based in Germany so Blizzard can sue them in California until doomsday. US courts have no jurisdiction over a foreign entity and you can't claim these outrages damages in German courts anyway. If they were to sue them in Germany I doubt the whole thing would even make it to a trial and however much money they throw at it won't matter since that doesn't matter in German courts. Why do you think German customers of VW are hoping that the case against VW in the US will cause a change of law in Germany to allow you to sue for these outrageous demands?

Yes Germany has been known for allowing companies to sue you for 500 Euro per game that you pirated via a torrent site but only torrents. If you downloaded it otherwise you are in a grey zone and they can't press charges. Furthermore they have now revised a law making it nearly impossible for any company to sue you even for torrents since any user of wifi can not be held accountable for what others do with their wifi spot, even if you do not protect it via password. So unless they prove, and that is basically impossible, that you yourself downloaded the game or music, they can't sue you.

Germany isn't the wildwest or New Zealand. Nobody is raiding anybody with tanks or freezing assets and nobody is getting deported to America for a trial.

User avatar
++METHOS
Administration
Administration
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:02 pm
Reputation: 27

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by ++METHOS » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:38 pm

Legal reciprocity or comity aside, there are extradition treaties in place between certain countries, depending on the charges, that could forcefully put those that operate on foreign soil to be brought to the US to face charges. But even that aside, most countries have their own copyright/trademark laws, and a company as big as Blizzard has likely filed in all applicable countries. So, their legal right to protect their property is most likely justified, and any claims or charges brought against an offender could be brought about in their home country.

If you are still skeptical, a simple search will reveal that Blizzard has sales and distribution centers in Germany, so they already have a local, legal entity established, that operates on German soil -- meaning, you can bet that they have taken measures to protect their IP over there.

In other words, it is not a question of jurisdiction, but a matter of validity to their claims.

hedop
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:52 pm
Reputation: 6

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by hedop » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:56 pm

It is still a matter of jurisdiction as the 8.5 Mio Dollar claim was filed in a US Court. Yes they have filed in Germany but again amounts of this magnitude have never ever been allowed to go forward in Germany especially not since we do not have a system of punitive damages and what not and the burden of proof is much higher than in cases of civil trials in America. Blizzard would actually have to provide substantial evidence for their claims of the widespread nature of the use of the bot itself. Furthermore they would also have to argue that an entity like Bossland can actually be held in contempt of a DMCA which they, in all likelihood, never signed and which really has no legal bearing other than the clause which states that making and or selling /passing on illegal copies of the product the DMCA applies to is infact copyright infringement and therefore illegal, which is the case.

Everything else in the DMCA falls under the rights of the provider to deny you service. In that case, at least in Germany, the legal recourse is to ban the offender. That's all. It has no legal ramifications. So they could, at best, enforce a lifelong ban on any members of Bossland but there are no monetary damages that can be claimed from this violation since it's the responsibility of the provider to enforce their rules. Like say you open a public swimming pool and you ban me for life from using it. You are then entitled to enforce that ban BUT no police department will send a squad car around to make sure I will never enter the swimming pool again. If your employees are dopes who sell me a ticket and let me in and then you throw me out again, you can not sue me in court for trespassing since I legally bought a ticket from your employers and you or rather your company did not prevent me from going in. They simply have no legal leg to stand on here in Germany.

What they did and probably will do is use some grey areas to argue before a, usually, fairly multimedia illiterate judge that somehow it's not their fault for not preventing someone to play the system, try to show it was done with bad intentions and what not. Chances are this will be overturned in the next instance. Again, this is Germany not the wildwest. It doesn't cost you your house to follow a claim through to the European Supreme Court, a court that has regulary struck down most stuff that smells of big corporations trying to squeeze some money out of rather poor sods. They struck down charging suspected pirates 500 bucks for a 10 year old game or 2.000 bucks for one second of a song and much more. So this isn't as clear cut as this article or you make it out to be.

It's Germany. I can only repeat that because many people seem to have watched too many American court films and dramas on TV. We don't do business like that here, no court is impressed by a 500 Bucks an hour lawyer, we don't have stupid jurors, nobody goes bankrupt from going to trial and we still have the European Supreme Court and the German supreme court which actually decide a lot of stuff more quickly and more often than the American counter part.

In Regards to extradition treaties: Check the German ones. Sure we do have that but number 1. since America usually doesn't deliver people to us, we tend to not do the same 2. Swiss is always an option but more importantly 3. What those guys did is not a felony. Copyright infringement never is in Germany. I'm not even sure that we would extradite in all cases of felonies. Researching it it seems like we would only do so if the felony is considered violent. Either way, it's not a felony it's misdemeanor, yes you might go to prison for it but nobody would deliver you to the US especially not if you are a German citizen.

My point is not: cheer up, they can't do anything, so keep doing what you are doing. My point is: before sites like that report rubbish like that they should check the facts. The facts are: this case has to be brought before court in Germany and they can get all the default judgements they want in the US: they don't matter and in Germany they have a higher burden of proof, no jury to be outraged about the bad lil hacker boys and their whily ways, possible two supreme courts and no millions of damages they can claim. Even if they did claim them and got them those guys could simply declare insolvency life 7 years on 1.100 Euro a month and be free of the judgement in 7 years time because unlike the US going bankrupt does default everything you owe in Germany as long as you make an effort to repay as much as you can in those 7 years.

User avatar
++METHOS
Administration
Administration
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:02 pm
Reputation: 27

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by ++METHOS » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:30 pm

:roll:

User avatar
Darkedone02
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:42 pm
Reputation: 7

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by Darkedone02 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:25 pm

*munches on popcorn*

STN
Founder
Founder
Posts: 2847
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:48 pm
Reputation: 258

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by STN » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:14 pm

Yet, Bossland has lost some cases and their client's source code "stolen".

I don't know German laws obviously but it doesn't look like Blizzard is having a tough time proving anything, if anything Bossland has had some major setbacks in these trials and just a few wins.

hedop
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:52 pm
Reputation: 6

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by hedop » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:36 am

From what I have read they haven't been brought to court successfully in Germany. All those trials are pending which in Germany usually means that there is not enough evidence to either prosecute them or to even successfully ask for an investigation. Since this would be a criminal case there are a few problems. The law in question does is one that can be enforced if the courts can be convinced of the need for it. It's not like rape or murder. Basically you as a claimant would have to petition a court, they would then have to check your evidence and advice the district attorney to prosecute, it doesn't happen automatically like with felonies. Once that is done the district attorney then has to collect the evidence to make a case. This again has to be passed to the judge who then decides, on his own, whether the case can go forward or has to be strenghtened. If the case stands it then goes to trial. Since this is a criminal trial Blizzard has no standing during the trial itself apart from being the damaged party. They are not represented during the trial apart from the district attorney. This is also a criminal case and has to be tried this way and not in a civil court.

The end of the whole thing is to assign damages. Since Bossland is a GmbH "Gesellschaft mit begrenzter Haftung" this means that the maximum they can get is 10.000 Euro per partner and possibly up to 3 years in prison. This is because the GmbH is a business entity in which the owners of said entity only have to show that they each secure the entity with up to 10.000 Euro. Anything beyond that can not be claimed personally from the owners of said entity and that money is not theirs to begin with since it has to be held in a seperate account in the first place and is not available to them in the first place once they start a GmbH. That's the law.



Look no offence Methos I'm not trying to be a pain in the arse but I know German law and German law applies here. The GmbH is a German commericial entity, the company is based in Germany, by the sounds of it the owners are German citizens. So like I said all I want to do here is point out the ins and outs of this. The article itself is badly researched and implies that the default judgement in the US or the outrageous claim of 8.5 Mio has any bearing. It simply doesn't. So let point out once again:

- it's a German company, German and European law applies, not American
- it's a non violent crime commited by German citizens (not like Kim Dotcom a foreign citizen in a foreign country) through the use of a legal German commerical entity therefore there is no extradition possible
- since this is a GmbH the maximum amount of damages each owner is responsible for is 10.000 Euro anything beyond that falls under the part of mbH "mit begrenzter Haftung" which means "with limited liability" this applies in cases of criminal wrongdoing, criminal activity, bankruptcy etc.
- apart from the 10.000 Euro the maximum sentence they could receive is UP to 3 years
- copyright infringement does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence in German law which means it will probably be handed out as probation
- it's not a felony therefore it carries a higher burden of proof in that you need to actually convince a judge that it is in the public's interest to allow this law to be enforced in this particular case (that is embedded in the law itself and is not something that can be done, this provision must be adhered to, if you can not show public interest this law can not be enforced)

Again all this is stuff torrent reactor could have found out and reported by asking someone practicing law in Germany or by finding someone, like me, who speaks German and can read. There is a possibility of a civil case here. The problem with a civil case is that it applies much more directly to actually spreading the copyrighted material in question for personal gain. They didn't copy the game itself or provide it free of charge. They cracked the system and used a bot to farm something. They did not provide means to access the game illegally. Unless you own the game you can't use the bot on it so this point is totally mute unless, unbeknownst to me, they also spread the game via torrent or what not and said: here is a fun lil game, go and make money of this pirated copy by farming gold and what not and selling it on ebay. But that again would not really work. They would be prosecuted in two seperate instances, copyright enfringement and forming a criminal with the intention to commit fraud and fraud, one is civil, the other criminal. In either instance GmbH still applies. Criminally you can send them all to jail for it but when it comes time to pay it's the GmbH which will have to pay the fine. Unless they are absolutely stupid any money they earned will be long gone and therefore not associated with the GmbH anymore, therefore you can't get to it and they get off free once the GmbH has declared insolvency.

STN
Founder
Founder
Posts: 2847
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:48 pm
Reputation: 258

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by STN » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:00 pm


Schnitzelmaker
Expert Cheater
Expert Cheater
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:18 pm
Reputation: 54

Re: Blizzard Wants $8.5 Million Copyright Damages From “Cheat” Maker

Post by Schnitzelmaker » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:38 pm

The money of $8.5m is not the biggest problem for them. As hedop already described this only applies to company money, not their private money.
Also its not allow anymore to sell their product or develop similar software. Which mean they are totally fucked.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users