Blizzard Is Suing Starcraft II Hackers

Blizzard Is Suing Starcraft II Hackers

Blizzard is taking legal action against a group of StarCraft II players who created a popular set of cheats and hacks for the real-time strategy game.

First spotted by TorrentFreak, Blizzard filed papers in a California court on May 19th alleging that an unidentified group of programmers infringed on the publisher's StarCraft II copyright with a series of cheats and in-game exploits collectively known as the "ValiantChaos MapHack." Designed to give StarCraft II players any number of competitive advantages when playing the game online, the MapHack was made available online through the ValiantChaos forum — provided that forum members paid $US62.50 for access to its VIP section. Blizzard's court filings don't identify the defendants involved in the case, only referring to the ValiantChaos forum.

The complaint Blizzard filed says that the company is taking action against the programmers in order to "protect the sanctity of the StarCraft II experience" against "hacks, mods or any other unauthorised third-party software" that undermines the competition central to the game's online multiplayer.

The complaint argues that "the hacks and cheats made available by Defendants, including a product known as the 'ValiantChaos MapHack', modify the StarCraft II online game experience, to the detriment of legitimate StarCraft II users, and thus to Blizzard itself."

When asked for comment on the lawsuit, a Blizzard representative told me in an emailed statement that the company doesn't "typically [...] comment on pending litigation."

"However, we can say that the quality of our games is our top priority, and we will take the necessary measures, up to and including legal action, to protect our games against cheating and other negative influences," the Blizzard representative added.

Read the full complaint below. To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.


Comments

    I understand why they're suing, but is providing a way for someone to cheat in a video game illegal? I can't imagine that they'd be able to properly prove a loss of revenue due to this product (which is the only thing I can think of they'd be able to sue over).

      Yes, it's extremely illegal. The EULA/Terms and Conditions have extensive rules regarding the use of third party programs and hacks .

      Not only does accepting/playing the game act as a legal declaration from the player that they will follow the rules, it also declares that you accept the punishment should you brake said rules.

      It's like breaking a contract except that you never signed anything, but because as mentioned you accepted the EULA you become legally bound.

        Wrong.
        EULA/Terms and conditions are not legally binding in that way. This case is about copyright.
        They can prevent you from accessing their service, or "ban" you for breaking the EULA, but not sue.

          Not wrong at all.
          It all depends on the contents of the EULA, how the EULA is delivered to the user and the jurisdiction of the court hearing the case. States/Courts that recognise the EULA as an enforcible license take in to account the end users actions and if the license itself was explicitly or implicitly agreed upon.

          A company CAN sue you for breaking the EULA, just like you can sue the queen of England for stealing your thoughts.
          The court is the one who decides the legitimacy of your claim.

          Last edited 22/05/14 8:50 pm

    Go Blizz :) Keep B.net a safe and fair place for the real players. The only people who are going to be butthurt about this are hackers and cheaters.

    It's only taken them 4 years but it's about time they actually targeted the guys that are making these programs in the first place.

    Although at the same time I can not understand why they don't block the use of them. These work by interrupting memory requests, which is a byproduct of the client - to - client system that SC2 uses. If everything went through the server (so the server controlled what information each client received) it would be a lot harder for them to actually work. Not impossible, but a lot harder at least.

    I've seen some idiots who are stupid enough to stream themselves using these hacks and it really is easy mode. Not only is the fog of war revealed, they can see the production tab (so they know what their opponent is building at any given time), they receive alerts when the opponent is building a vital structure like a spire or when there is an incoming drop, they are constantly reminded about the amount of workers on each base, they can even do stuff like automatic micromanagement like blink, splitting and burrow.

    It's ridiculous and about time the source of it was the target.

    Last edited 22/05/14 10:39 am

      Online game exploits are very common and usually solved by banning and patching the exploit. I have never seen any company actually waste their time on suing the creator of the program. They are better off patching it to prevent it from further exploit.

        Yes, I did mention that they should be doing that in second paragragh ;) They should be making it harder for these exploits to work.

        Regardless, I do actually like the stand they are taking. Banning the players that are using the exploits are only treating the symptoms, not the cause.

        Also worth considering, that to get the hack, you need to pay cash. They were profiting from this. So, why not make it not only unprofitable, but down right detrimental to your finances? If it was a "Freebie thing released", I doubt they would have sued.

        It depends how you look at it. Patching exploits/hacks and banning is all very well and good. But people make new accounts and new hacks.
        This has very little weight to stop the person in question since it has very little effect in real life.

        Suing the person gives them a criminal record, a hit to the wallet with huge fines and the possibility that any future behaviour will result in jail time.
        Chances are that person will never attempt anything like that again since their secret internet identity is no longer valid and the police can kick down the door when ever they wish and seizxe your computer. Any hacks found for any game would mean you are screwed.

    yes, good that they are targeting these lowlifes.

    now, how are they going to sue people when they admit they don't know who they are?

      Just because they don't mention the defendants by name doesn't mean they don't know who they are.

      These guys were charging money for their program, probably through something like paypal. It wouldn't be hard to track them down.

    This made my day and I don't even play Starcraft.

    Blizzard can sue them. There game's EULA states no mods which they can use in their defence . Also If the hack is using any blizzard code then that falls under copyright. Plus the programmer is screwed because blizzards lawyers are very talented and well respected.

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