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Wed Mar 15 2017
Blizzard Sues Cheat Makers For $8.5 million, But Is Unlikely To See Even a Single Dollar

Blizzard Entertainment is making an example out of the German-based cheating and hacking software developer Bossland by moving forward with the legal proceedings and have filed a new motion for a default judgement.

According to a report by TorrentFreak, Blizzard is seeking the minimum statutory copyright damages of $200 per infringement with at least a minimum 42,818 units of hacking software being sold alone in the United States. This amounts to around $8.5 million in reparations, however; Blizzard is unlikely to seen even a single dollar from Bossland.

Bossland has been active for over five years creating cheating software for Blizzard titles, World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard finally took legal action against Bossland last July in lieu of the release of Overwatch and to take a stance against the rampant spread of cheating software created such as Watchover Tyrant's wallhack ability.

As stated in the complaint filed to a Californian count last July, Blizzard accused Bossland of: contributory copyright infringement, unfair competition, violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision, and violating the End User Licensing Agreement among other violations. One of many complaints include:

enabling and encouraging third-party ‘freelancers’ or contractors to fraudulently obtain access to the Blizzard Games and then, having done so, to engage in unauthorized reproduction of the Blizzard Games
In an interview last year with Torrentfreak, Bossland CEO Zwetan Letschew stated that his company will continue to make their cheat tools even harder to detect in defiance against the legal action taken by Blizzard. Letschew is not afraid of the lawsuit coming from the U.S. as a Californian court holds no jurisdiction over Bossland as they are a Germany based company with no ties with America. According to Letschew, he found it strange how Blizzard finally has decided to take legal action against them despite having been creating years worth of in-game cheats having been developed for the other Blizzard titles before the release of Overatch.
There are over 10 ongoing legal battles in Germany (that they are facing) already. Now Blizzard wants to try it in the US too. One could ask himself, why now and not back in 2011. Why did Rod Rigole [Blizzard Deputy General Counsel] even bother to fly to Munich and drive with two other lawyers 380 km to Zwickau. Why not just sue us in the US five years ago?

— Zwetan Letschew - Bossland CEO

Considering the geographical limitations in this case and how Bossland failed defend themselves, it is unlikely that Blizzard will even receive any of the damages to their intellectual property. Rather than seeking reparations, this legal action is to send a message not only to Bossland, but also to other third-party software developers that Blizzard isn't going to stay idle and allow for further damage to be incurred to their brand and protect the integrity of their games. The lawsuit reads: “Blizzard does not seek such damages as a ‘punitive’ measure against Bossland or to obtain an unjustified windfall."

South Korea which boasts a strong Esports industry has taken a firm stance to fight the problems posed by cheating software after their government passed an amendment bill last November to promoting the welfare of the gaming industry. The act of manufacturing and distributing programs that are not permitted or provided by the game developer is now deemed to be illegal and is punishable with a fine of $43,000 USD (50 million KRW) and/or up to a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

Given the how the Chinese Overwatch servers has been plagued for months of end by third-party cheat developers ever since the release of the game and how Bossland failed to reply even after being issued a 24-hour ultimatum, it is unlikely that much progress will be made in preventing cheating software from being sold.

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