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Square Enix Sues Over Deus Ex: HR Leak

By - Source: Gamasutra | B 18 comments

Square Enix wants permission from the court to issue a subpoena for information from Valve in regards to a leaked preview build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Poor Valve. The company has found itself in the middle of a lawsuit filed by Square Enix against several unknown defendants who allegedly gained access to a preview build of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and then set it loose in the torrent channels. Because the preview build was hosted on Steam, Square Enix wants the information to the related review account. Valve is refusing to cough up any details without a court-ordered subpoena.

According to a complaint obtained by Gamasutra, Square Enix arranged limited access to a preview build of the upcoming Deus Ex game for certain members of the press. The preview build was accessible through Steam, and required users to sign a non-disclosure agreement. One of these press members was with the Italian gaming magazine Giochi per il Mio Computer (GMC).

Shortly after the reviewers began accessing the code, Square Enix discovered a copy floating along the BitTorrent channels. The company download the game and examined its code only to discover "anomalies" that pointed to the GMC reviewer's Steam account. The problem was that the IP address of the reviewer's computer at GMC's offices did not match the IP address of the computer that accessed the code during the session in question.

Valve retrieved the code from Square Enix and validated the findings, reporting that the computer used to access the game preview code did not match the computer used by the authorized GMC journalist. This indicates that the account was likely accessed by an unauthorized user, and the journalist was probably unaware of the leak.

Here's the kicker: Valve said that it has more information about the "hacked" account and the hardware ID number, but its current privacy policy prevents it from releasing the information to Square Enix... unless Valve receives a subpoena. Unable to resist the challenge and the secrets Valve holds, Square Enix is now currently seeking out that subpoena to retrieve information that could possibly identify the defendants.

The complaint claims that 15 "doe Defendants" used an Italian internet service provider to illegitimately obtain and distribute the preview code. The defendants are accused of copyright infringement and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Square Enix is claiming damages in excess of $5,000.

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  • 23 Hide
    klavis , July 8, 2011 4:02 AM
    I'm glad to see that Valve is sticking to it's principles and requiring a court order. I'm glad to see Squire Enix is using due process to get the information that it would get. I'm glad to see the system, at this point, is working as intended.
Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    Darkerson , July 8, 2011 3:46 AM
    Im surprised everything doesnt get leaked nowadays.
  • 23 Hide
    klavis , July 8, 2011 4:02 AM
    I'm glad to see that Valve is sticking to it's principles and requiring a court order. I'm glad to see Squire Enix is using due process to get the information that it would get. I'm glad to see the system, at this point, is working as intended.
  • -8 Hide
    secolliyn , July 8, 2011 4:06 AM
    I have to say that this is kinda funny and if I were one of those people who downloaded it and played it I would have to say that it's a great game and I couldn't wait to get the full version when it comes out..... but I'm not saying that at all I hope it really is a great game Dues Ex-2 was a disgrace and should never have been made... ever
  • -8 Hide
    henydiah , July 8, 2011 4:19 AM
    no probably not, its all bound to leak, it is definitely not yet released any leak, it may act in person. ha ha ha :D  , now nothing will easily fast leak.
  • -1 Hide
    henydiah , July 8, 2011 4:32 AM
    Quote:
    i fully support square, go after all the idiot hackers and pirate scum bags! they are nothing but complete losers and social outcasts.

    That dimension of cyberspace, there is always a pirate, and there is always that there is hijacked. it really makes me Sad.
  • 0 Hide
    Travis Beane , July 8, 2011 5:37 AM
    dirtyferreti fully support square, go after all the idiot hackers and pirate scum bags! they are nothing but complete losers and social outcasts.

    Ouch! Insults hurt you know. :( 
    We're people too...
  • 0 Hide
    therabiddeer , July 8, 2011 5:47 AM
    Sounds like Valve will gladly hand it over once the subpoena is obtained, good to see Valve stuck with their privacy policy
  • -5 Hide
    alidan , July 8, 2011 6:03 AM
    square enix is a company that i hate, not game wise, but how they usualy conduct business, read anything that people have to say about them, it really p@%^es you off if you are a gamer.

    however im torn, square is asking 5000 in compensation, a VERY REASONABLE price considering how much most companies would claim. anyone here think the game is so good they are asking this little? i mean great publicity if the game pwns, but a loss in sales to many who get the coppy (depending on how finished it is)
  • -9 Hide
    lucky015 , July 8, 2011 6:27 AM
    alidansquare enix is a company that i hate, not game wise, but how they usualy conduct business, read anything that people have to say about them, it really p@%^es you off if you are a gamer.however im torn, square is asking 5000 in compensation, a VERY REASONABLE price considering how much most companies would claim. anyone here think the game is so good they are asking this little? i mean great publicity if the game pwns, but a loss in sales to many who get the coppy (depending on how finished it is)

    Actually they are filing it under a claim of 5k+ meaning it could be MUCH higher.

    dirtyferreti fully support square, go after all the idiot hackers and pirate scum bags! they are nothing but complete losers and social outcasts.

    What a one sided comment, I pirate plenty of games, I own 2 Legal games in total, Both of which I would not have bought had I not pirated the first one or 2 versions.

    My reasoning is a lack of money and a flat out refusal to pay for anything that I do not know if I will like and will not have the ability to resell properly later (I play PC games only).

    If I had not pirated any games I simply would not have any at all.

    In saying all of that however, I do not think it is OK for people to leak unreleased content, Unless perhaps it is being held back for stupid reasons.
  • 3 Hide
    1fastbiker , July 8, 2011 8:54 AM
    All I can say is the pirates should had been more careful, but at the same time Valve/steam should not be responsible
  • 2 Hide
    reggieray , July 8, 2011 11:28 AM
    The first Dues Ex rocked, the second turned out to be a dumbed down kiddie console port. Will wait and see about this one. I am guessing it can't be as bad as the crap they released called FF XIII.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 8, 2011 3:04 PM
    Quote:
    Square Enix is claiming damages in excess of $5,000

    It would cost more than that to get the lawyers to issue the subpoena
    ...
    Just call it quits and save some cash
  • 3 Hide
    geekapproved , July 8, 2011 6:18 PM
    They have their own lawyer. It won't cost them anything.

    Besides, its' the point. You cannot violate copyrights and get away with it, you will pay, you will go to jail. Period.
  • 4 Hide
    kelemvor4 , July 8, 2011 6:37 PM
    back_by_demandIt would cost more than that to get the lawyers to issue the subpoena...Just call it quits and save some cash

    Nah, I've hired a lawyer (and a decent one at that) before. I bet it only cost them a few hundred; or less if they have an attorney on staff. The whole project probably will cost a lot more but a subpoena I don't think so.
  • 3 Hide
    invlem , July 8, 2011 8:48 PM
    back_by_demandIt would cost more than that to get the lawyers to issue the subpoena...Just call it quits and save some cash


    Its just legal terminology, there's basically an option to claim damages below $5000, or to claim damages above $5000 (above being ANY number in excess of $5000).

    In Canada, at least, any claim under $5000 goes to small claims court, when you go above $5000 its handled by the higher courts.

    Basically all this means is that Enix is claiming an amount that will be handled by the higher courts.
  • 1 Hide
    Ramar , July 11, 2011 6:30 PM
    TemjinGoldYes, if more companies made games 100% FREE, they would go under real fast. Game companies aren't charities, they're businesses. You are deluded if you believe donation is a viable business model. Since you are such a believer of 100% FREE, why don't you start a gaming company and give all your products away 100% FREE that you pay people salaries to create.


    Funny, Radiohead's In Rainbows was released for donations, and I seem to remember them making more money that year than any other band. If you're doing it right, you don't have to be a money-whore.

    That being said, Piracy has existed since PC gaming did, and it never killed off the culture or market. This recent down-turn has far more to do with the economy sucking [creativity consistently flourishes during times of prosperity].
  • -2 Hide
    wavebossa , July 12, 2011 7:28 PM
    Oh here we go again with the "If they would just make it 100% free then we would all stop pirating!"

    Listen to TemjinGod, he actually has some common sense. Guys, companies go out of their way to give a chance to experience their products without purchasing them. They release demos. Non PC games can be rented. You can even return PC games to the store if have a receipt (done it many times). There are many other things you can purchase that you do not get to experience before you buy them, and we don't complain about that do we?

    At this point, there are no more excuses. Can the people who pirate games stop pretending they are victims of some fictional gaming conspiracy, stop pretending they would pay more than the value of the game if the system was donation based, and just own up to the fact that they pirate games because they don't want to pay for them?

    I have more respect for the pirate who honestly says, "I pirated this game because I wanted to play it and I didn't want to pay for it" than the one who says "I pirated this game but if I could, I would donate $1000 for it!!!!"

    Let's just be real, you guys aren't fooling anyone on these forums..