Blizzard Sues StarCraft II Hackers

Last week Blizzard filed suit in the Los Angeles US District Court against three programmers accused of creating and selling hacks for StarCraft II.

Blizzard kicked off October by suspending or banning around 5,000 gamers from its just-released sci-fi RTS StarCraft II for using hacks, thus violating Blizzard's end-user license agreement. Now the developer is going after "Permaphrost," "Cranix," and "Linuxawesome" for allegedly developing and selling tools for StarCraft II hacks. According to the lawsuit, the three programmers have violated copyright law, terms of use, and the end-user license agreement.

"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," the company claims in the lawsuit. "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.'"

The three defendants now face multiple accounts of copyright infringement. Blizzard is seeking damages and disgorgement of any profits made by the sale of the StarCraft II hacks. The company also alleges that the programmers are inducing players to infringe on Blizzard's copyright by loading StarCraft II copyrighted content into the system RAM and creating derivative works.

"The harm to Blizzard from Defendants' conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable," the lawsuit 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."

According to the suit, Permaphrost and Cranix reside in Canada whereas Linuxawesome resides in Peru. The suit demands that the hack programs be pulled from hosts located anywhere within the courts jurisdiction. The suit also lists other alleged hackers including "Wiggley," "Zynastor," and "Dark Mage."

When asked for a statement regarding the lawsuit, we received the following response: "Blizzard Entertainment does not comment on pending litigation."

  • HansVonOhain
    I thought that a ban was enough...
  • hellwig
    Wow, I remember back in high school when I actually wanted to play Starcraft and WarcraftII and Diablo. Thanks Activision, you've sure taken the company in an exciting new direction.
  • tronika
    banning is fine with me, but a fine? get some better programmers before blaming everyone else. same with mw2. my god if i can play a game without a waller or aimbot im having the time of my life.
  • pbrigido
    Nail them good! Keep SC2 clean for me!
  • Sabiancym
    So if I make a controller with a rapid fire mode and sell them, should game companies sue me because others might be using it?

    Some people hack for fun against willing players. I know there are CS servers where everyone on them is using hacks and they're open about it. They do it for fun.

    Ban the people using them in anonymous games, but that's it.
  • tolham
    good for blizzard. **** cheaters.
  • mlopinto2k1
    Cant wait to read all the crap that'll be spewed here in the comments section. Serves em right. Follow the rules or beat it. =D
  • rhino13
    Tag the crackers while your at it.
  • IM0001
    It is nice to see they really trying to be aggressive against both hackers and the hacks they use. The way SC2 is intertwined both singleplay and multiplayer into one account and keeps with a competitive and fairly robust matchmaker system, hackers and cheaters would easily make the entire system useless and make the game no fun to play whatsoever. Why would anyone who is playing legit want to play after getting Zerg rushed .2 seconds into a ranked game? With a game this balanced and competitive, a few cheaters and hackers definitely can ruin the whole experience for the masses. Sad too how if you cannot learn the game and play, you have to cheat which makes the whole point of strategy and winning pointless.
  • Zoidman
    Wow that seems extreme, but I can unfortunately understand Blizzard's position, it is true hacking does damage the games value. It causes players (or in Blizzard's view, potential future customers) away from a product with which the sucker... err, customer would have otherwise been enjoying.

    Compare it to a movie, if all my friends say the movie sucks, I'm very unlikely to go spend money and see it myself. If all my friends say a game sucks because of hackers, I'm very unlikely to go out and buy it.