Epic Games Wins Default Judgement As Defendant Fails to Respond

It’s been a while since MMO Fallout followed up on Epic Games v. C.R., the lawsuit where Epic brought complaint against a defendant who turned out to be a minor. C.R. was being accused of continuing to cheat in Fortnite, and promote said cheats through Youtube videos/streaming, in spite of over a dozen account bans by Epic. Epic filed a copyright claim against his video, defendant counterclaimed, and Epic filed suit as required by copyright law.

Most of the updates on this case have revolved around sealing and redacting documents to remove C.R.’s name from the record, so I’ve taken the liberty of skipping their coverage as to not bore all of you. The last couple of months have brought some small updates, ultimately leading to a decision within the past couple of days. Those of you who have followed the case know that C.R.’s mother wrote a letter to the court asking for them to dismiss the case, and I pointed out at the time that this may be damaging as it could be construed by the court as an official response and a motion to dismiss. I wasn’t wrong, and the court accepted the letter and interpreted it as an official motion to dismiss.

The motion was denied because it didn’t properly address the plaintiff’s claims, a premise that shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that it wasn’t written by a lawyer, or intended to be an actual legal filing. Following the court’s denial of the motion to dismiss in July, Epic Games once again filed a motion for entry of default, as outside of the initial letter from C.R.’s mother, they have not actually responded to Epic’s complaint.

After continuing to miss deadlines for response, the court this week granted Epic’s motion for default judgement, meaning Epic will likely get what it wants. And what does Epic want? Let’s go back to the prayer for relief in Epic’s initial complaint.

Epic wants the court to enter judgement in their favor and adjudge the defendant to have infringed on Epic’s copyright, to have contributory infringement, to have breached the terms of service, to have interfered in contracts between Epic and its other players through their cheating, and for the court to declare that the infringements were willing in nature. As punishment, Epic has demanded that the defendant be permanently barred from infringing or contributing to infringement, ie; cheating in their games and distributing/promoting said cheats, as well as deleting any videos showing said cheats and copies of said software off of his computer.

Now let’s talk money. Epic has demanded the maximum statutory damages under 17 U.S.C. § 504, which allows up to $30,000 (as the court considers just) with an exception for cases where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving willful infringement, in which case the maximum damage shoots up to $150,000 (again, as the court considers just). Alternately, Epic may ask for the “actual damages,” which were not specified. In addition, Epic has asked for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenditures, as well as any further relief the court may deem proper.

Will Epic get paid? In my humble opinion, we’re more likely to see this end in a bankruptcy filing by the family.

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