Blizzard sues StarCraft II hack developers

By on October 18, 2010, 4:38 PM
Shortly after suspending or banning some 5,000 players for cheating on StarCraft II, Blizzard has sued individuals responsible for creating the hacks. The company has filed suit against three programmers known by the handles "Permaphrost," "Cranix," and "Linuxawesome," accusing them of developing and selling hacks for StarCraft II in violation of license agreements and copyright law.

Blizzard's suit claims that the defendants developed, marketed and distributed a variety of hacks for StarCraft II only days after launch -- though we imagine most if not all carried over from the beta. "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'," said the filing.


Besides the obvious violation of Blizzard's user agreements, the company accused the defendants of inducing copyright infringement. "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."

Blizzard claims the harm from the hack creators is "immediate, massive and irreparable," damaging the value of StarCraft II and wrecking the fun of legit players. That apparently translates to lost sales, especially in future content, such as the two upcoming expansions for StarCraft II. We're not sure how much Blizzard seeks in compensation, but the company bagged $6m in a similar WoW suit.




User Comments: 14

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Interesting. Does Blizzard even know who these guys really are? If so, I have ten bucks that says at least one of them is from Korea where they are absolutely ape-shit crazy over SCII.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

From Gamespot's article:

"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."

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guess I owe ya ten bucks, Matthew.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Blizzard has always been hard on cheaters and hackers ever since Diablo 1.

motrin said:

so what kind of cheats are we talking about? i wonder what makes Blizzard feel like it has to sue.

catburst said:

I say well done blizzard.

Guest said:

Bravo

Cheaters are F******* Lame!

ruben1992 said:

Good by Blizzard.

Eddo22 said:

I'm all for Anti-cheats. But I look at suing people over it this way:

Blizzard - In July we could outright purchase 5 NHL Teams with our assets. Now we can't purchase the Maple Leafs..we have to purchase a cheaper team.

Greedy people and companies make me sick.

Guest said:

It would be great if they would sue modern warfare hack creators under the same grounds it taints the game so badly theres a hacker on every server currently if not 2 or 3 every time I join up. At least in starcraft if they can see what your doing it doesn't matter you can still beat them with great game play but in modern warfare 2 you can't out shoot a computer that doesn't miss.

Guest said:

The guy talking about the NHL teams is a bit retarded. What there doing here is actually making the game environment better for the players, that's actually helping there customers and making the game better. It's not about making them money 6 million is play cash for blizzard.

tengeta tengeta said:

These ****** make the flaws in their code, and while everyone justifies their case Microsoft can't say the same? I guess double standards exist everywhere.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

These ****** make the flaws in their code, and while everyone justifies their case Microsoft can't say the same? I guess double standards exist everywhere.

While I can't say their code isn't flawed, the flaws are irrelevant to how most cheats work. Usually the cheat reads memory space allocated for the game and then modifies that memory space, unbeknown to the game software. Fighting cheats like this requires a sort of anti-virus style software that is always needing to update and identify new attacks.

Usually the case with Microsoft is a matter of security exploits that go undisclosed or unpatched for weeks. I can assure you that if Blizzard has exploitable vulnerabilities in their games that don't receive timely patches, they too would be raked across the coals.

Guest said:

They should ban cheaters and they're well within their rights to do so. It violates the TOS.

Now, suing someone because of their butthurt over the cheats being made is just ridiculous. Unless they actually use bits of Blizzard's code the copyright argument is pretty weak. Modifying things in the ram is not the same as distributing a derivative work. Sadly, the courts and lawmakers here (in the US) mostly seem to have a serious lack of understanding of how new technology works. It will be a sad day if the courts side in Blizzard's favour.

Mostly I'd say it's just a stunt to scare off people that would make cheats.

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