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Square Enix Sues Over Deus Ex: HR Leak

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.