How To Avoid A Lawsuit #1: Fortnite Cheater Edition

Good afternoon, internet.

In honor of my upcoming completely fictional cookbook “A Million Ways To Roast Twitter Users,” I have decided to put out a new column series expanding on the In Plain English brand. The series is titled “How To Avoid a Lawsuit” which you would know if you read the title of this piece. Every so often I am going to talk about ways you, the user, can avoid being hauled into court and be forced to hire me once I graduate from law school. I don’t offer family discounts.

Before we begin, I’d like to insert some disclaimers; (1) I am not yet a lawyer and as such none of this should be taken as legal advice, (2) this column is meant for edutainment purposes only and while it will lower your chances of being hauled into court, it cannot guarantee a 100% success rate. Check your local laws before applying, (3) some of the steps are based on an assumption that you have done something bad. MMO Fallout does not condone whatever these actions are, the suggestions are merely in response to you actually doing them, and (4) most of your problems can be solved by simply following step one.

For the first HTAL, I’m going to discuss Epic Games, Fortnite, and people cheating in Fortnite. Those of you who read MMO Fallout or at least keep up with our In Plain English articles will be aware that Epic has presently hauled at least a dozen Fortnite cheaters into court. None of the cases have actually gone to trial with the rest being voluntarily dismissed with the plaintiffs agreeing to permanent injunctions against the defendant and the threat of deep fines should they violate the terms of the settlement. Still, it provides an answer to every Fortnite cheater who has asked “what’s Epic going to do? Sue me?” Possibly!

So let’s go down the list of how to not get hauled into court, Fortnite Edition.

1. Don’t Cheat At Fortnite

This one is the easiest and essentially acts as patient zero for the rest of the list. You shouldn’t be cheating at competitive multiplayer games anyway because it makes you look like a pathetic rat creature, but given the history and details surrounding Epic’s Scared Straight program with cheaters, you really don’t want to cheat in Fortnite. It’s not good.

Like I said, this is basically patient zero. Epic to my knowledge has never sued anyone for not cheating at Fortnite, but they have for cheating at Fortnite. So if you don’t want to be hauled into court by a company with the kind of money to bribe just about every developer on the planet Earth, don’t cheat at Fortnite.

2. If You Get Banned, Stay Banned

One big connecting trait of Epic’s lawsuit defendants are that they kept returning to the game after being banned for cheating. It’s like insanity but for stupid people. I’m not aware of any Fortnite-related lawsuits where a person was banned once and then Epic immediately launched into court, and of the numerous dockets I have read the defendants in question were banned 20+ times and in one or two cases might have been using automated software to create a new account.

If you for one reason or another decide to cheat at Fortnite and you get caught and Epic bans your account, just take the L. Accept your ban, maybe work on being a better person, and go do something else with your time. You’ll thank me a whole lot more when you are not hauled into court.

3. Do Not Upload Your Cheat Videos To YouTube

This is another major connecting trait between Fortnite lawsuit defendants. If there is one thing that Epic hates more than people cheating in Fortnite, it’s people putting videos on Youtube of themselves cheating at Fortnite, and absolutely people using those videos to advertise where you can get those cheats. The more subscribers and views you have, the more likely these videos will show up on Epic’s radar, the more likely they will haul you into court, and odds are the more they will demand from you in damages.

See this one is actually really important because if you do get sued, this is going to affect what Epic wants out of you. Normally Epic does not actually ask for money with their lawsuits against cheaters. Instead they basically push the lawsuit into a settlement with the defendant agreeing on injunctions. Don’t use Epic products, don’t cheat at Epic products, don’t create or distribute cheats for Epic products. On the other hand, Epic has a habit of assuming that anyone advertising Fortnite cheats has a monetary investment in those Fortnite cheats, and that’s when they start making demands for monetary damages. Trust me, Epic has the resources to wring you dry if they want to, and you are not in the right.

4. Do Not Counterclaim A Copyright Strike

In order to dive into this tip, we must take a moment to talk about fair use. Fair Use allows for the use of copyrighted material in certain purposes such as education, parody, or criticism. Despite what the internet has told you, the Fair Use doctrine is not a “you can’t sue me” button. Think of Fair Use as more akin to a trap card in Yu-Gi-Oh! You have to wait for the opponent to make a move before you can use it. Fair Use comes up at the lawsuit and is actually an admission of copyright infringement. What you are saying is that while you did infringe on the entity’s copyright, the extent is legal. There are no definite measures on what is fair use, just past rulings that can be used as a metric, that is up to the court to decide on a case by case basis.

This takes us back to our discussion. With people who post Fortnite cheat videos to Youtube, Epic has predicated lawsuits by issuing copyright strikes taking down the person’s cheating videos. When the person files a counterclaim, that is when Epic sues. When you counterclaim a copyright strike, what you are essentially saying is “I am in the right, and I will see you in court.” After that, the copyright holder’s only option to further their claim is to file a lawsuit. Which is exactly what Epic has been doing.

5. Don’t Cheat At Fortnite

Don’t cheat at Fortnite. Do all of these things and you are probably guaranteed to not get hauled into court by Epic Games for cheating at Fortnite.

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.

RuneScape Slams Clue Scroll Exploiters With Banhammer

Jagex has dropped the banhammer hard on six accounts found to be exploiting a bug in this past week’s clue scroll overhaul. Jagex posted on the RuneScape Subreddit to note that while six accounts were banned for utilizing the exploit, more than 50 other accounts were banned for attempting to trade said exploited goods for real money. The exploit involved a very specific set of circumstances and led to rewards being duplicated and then distributed around the economy.

In the post, Mod Infinity noted that Jagex is confident that most of the items have been swept up, that the impact on the economy would be negligible, and that items that were sold to other players will be removed with the gold reimbursed to the buyer.

It was indeed much harder to reproduce than just having a full inventory, that just sends excess loot to the bank. This required you to have a specific inventory set-up, a specific final clue step, and a specific final clue challenge. Those exact circumstances sadly did not manifest in testing.

(Source: Reddit #1, Reddit #2)

Epic Strikes Again: Sues Over Fortnite V-Buck Exploit

Since last October, Epic Games has launched at least six lawsuits against individuals creating or advertising cheats for Fortnite, and as of last week you can add another one to that list. Epic has filed another lawsuit in the Northern District of California court, this time against an individual Yash Gosai, over his advertising of exploits in Fortnite Battle Royale.

While Epic’s previous lawsuits targeted creators and distributors of aimbots, this lawsuit deals with an exploit surrounding Fortnite’s premium currency V-Bucks. According to the lawsuit, Gosai is accused of developing and publicizing an exploit allowing people to gain free v-bucks without paying real money. Epic Games took the action of removing the video via DMCA takedown notice, which the defendant counter-claimed, and now the case is going to court on three claims: Copyright violation, breach of contract, and conversion (monetary damages).

Unlike the other cases we’ve covered where Epic Games is mostly seeking injunctive relief, barring the defendants from playing/cheating in their games, the fact that Gosai is being accused of both using and distributing an exploit to illegitimately acquire RMT currency for Fortnite makes this lawsuit one of the few where Epic is actually pursuing monetary damages. Epic is seeking unspecified damages plus interest and lawyer fees. As Yash Gosai is a resident of New Zealand, this case might take a while.

Both parties are scheduled for a meeting in April.

(Source: North California Court Docket Case 3:2018cv00152)

Fake News: VAC Ban Wave Has Reason Muddied

There is no massive conspiracy to Valve’s recent ban wave of Team Fortress 2 bots, but cheaters would like you to think there is. Valve recently banned a large number of accounts taking part in catbot, a hacker who has been terrorizing Team Fortress 2 servers by flooding them with a large number of bots. News websites picked up on rumors and reports that Valve was simply banning anyone with “catbot” in their Linux username as an attempt to quickly get rid of the bots.

MMO Fallout can confirm that those reports are fake. A confirmed Valve employee has posted on Reddit to deny the claims, noting that these rumors are likely being circulated by the cheating community, and that Valve has not instituted a policy of banning by username.

The bug report–and I suspect many of the posts in this thread–are a tactic employed by cheaters to try and sow discord and distrust among anticheat systems. VAC has many different types of detections and we cannot discuss what they do publicly because doing so makes them less effective. However, one thing I can disclose is that all detections require that the detection occur while a user is actively cheating and connected to a VAC-secured server.

Those of you with Catbottom as your Linux username can breath easy, and log back into Team Fortress 2.

(Source: Reddit)

Bungie’s Statement in Regards to Destiny 2 Bans

Bungie has released a statement regarding the Destiny 2 bans that MMO Fallout reported on last night. For the sake of clarity, we are posting the statement in its entirety.

We have seen lots of questions about bans being issued in the PC version of Destiny 2. To provide some information, we would like to share some facts.
The following is true:
  • Destiny 2 cannot automatically ban you, only Bungie can ban a player after a manual investigation
  • Yesterday, we banned approximately 400 players on PC
  • Bans were applied to players who were using tools that pose a threat to the shared ecosystem of the game
  • We did not (and will not) issue any bans for the use of overlays or performance tools, including Discord, Xsplit, OBS, RTSS, etc.
  • Information on using third-party applications can be found here: 
  • We are overturning 4 of the bans that were issued during the PC Beta
We are committed to providing an experience that is fun and fair for the millions of players who have joined us in this community.

In Plain English: Epic Sues Two Fortnite Cheat Creators

I’m not entirely happy with the press coverage of Epic Games’ lawsuit. If you’ve been reading the news this week, you may be under the impression that Epic Games was so angry about two particular players cheating in Fortnite that the game developer decided to take these two individuals to court. This isn’t exactly the case.

Epic Games has filed complaints against Charles Vraspir and Brandon Boom in separate cases in North Carolina district court. Unsurprisingly, Epic has chosen to go with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for their main point of attack, alleging that the cheats involve illegally modifying the game code. By going for copyright infringement, Epic is looking to slap both defendants with some potentially hefty fines (up to $150,000 each) plus damages and any additional profits that the defendants made from the sale of said cheats. In the interim, Epic is seeking an injunction preventing the defendants from continuing to use and advertise said cheat programs.

One interesting note in this lawsuit that may help their case is intent. The lawsuit docket makes several notes of both Vraspir and Boom stating that their goal is to ruin the business viability of Fortnite by making the game as unbearable to play as possible.

In an effort to adversely impact as many people as possible while playing and cheating at Fortnite, Defendant specifically targets streamers. He has declared that it is his objective to prevent streamers from winning the game and has boasted in online cheating discussion channels that his goal is to “stream snipe,” i.e., kill streamers as they stream. Defendant has said that making streamers hate Fortnite is Defendant “in a nutshell.”

Epic also alleges that Vraspir’s conduct may be related to the fact that he was banned from Fortnite PvE for cheating:


Defendant’s unlawful conduct may be the result of a misplaced antipathy towards Epic because he was banned from Epic for cheating.

This is known in court as the famous “u mad” strategy.

Now those of you who read In Plain English know that the legality of cheating has come up in the past. The court ruled that the use of bot software in World of Warcraft did not constitute copyright infringement because the software itself was found to not violate Blizzard’s copyright. If the software is found to be violating Epic’s copyright by making illegal modifications or by violating DMCA rules in circumventing protections, it could spell trouble.

This is a copyright infringement and breach of contract case in which the Defendant is infringing Epic’s copyrights by injecting unauthorized computer code into the copyright protected code of Epic’s popular Fortnite® video game. In so doing, Defendant is creating unauthorized derivative works of Fortnite by modifying the game code and, thus, materially altering the game that the code creates and the experience of those who play it.

The Fortnite cheat in question has been discontinued on the cheat maker’s website, along with a Paragon cheat that was similarly discontinued over legal disputes from Epic.

Heroes & Generals Will Still Ban You If Your Cat Cheats

Heroes & Generals developer Reto-Moto has zero tolerance for cheaters, even if your cat is the one (allegedly) installing the nefarious programs. While cheaters are regularly banned in waves, the folks at Reto-Moto want anyone thinking of giving themselves an advantage to “try it out” should know that there is a zero tolerance policy in place. Cheat once, you’re gone for good.

  • Anyone who is found to have, at any point in time, used any kind of third-party software designed to cheat while playing Heroes & Generals will lose their accounts once the cheat has been confirmed.
  • Do not “try out” a cheat, not even once: You will be permanently banned on all accounts. Neither the legitimate players, nor we, care that you were only “trying it out”.
  • Do not expect to get away with excuses like “my brother / son / cat used my account”. You are responsible for any abuse perpetrated by anyone with whom you share your login credentials (which is also prohibited by the terms of service).
  • Confirmed cheaters who bought Gold will not be entitled to any kind of compensation whatsoever.

(Source: Heroes & Generals)

It Is Now Illegal To Make Game Cheats In Korea


Making and distributing cheats for games is a great way to get sued, providing you poke big bears like Epic Games or Blizzard, but while developers have taken down cheat makers through injunctions and by playing the copyright laws to their advantage, there isn’t a law on the books that specifically states “thou shalt not make cheats,” and violating a company’s terms of service isn’t a criminal act. Until now, at least, but you knew that from the title of this article.

According to a report circulating from PvPLive, you can now be punished with a maximum of five years in jail or $43 thousand in fines if caught distributing cheats (aimbots, scripts, etc) for video games in violation of the company’s terms of service. Yes, making cheats is now a criminal offense.

The newly altered law raises a lot of interesting questions with regard to the burgeoning (and rather profitable) cheating scene, like how the courts will deal with cheat makers who live outside of the country, or how far reaching a developer can go in having conduct that they don’t approve of punishable by the court system.

In Plain English: Epic Sues Paragon Cheat Maker


Epic Games has launched a lawsuit against German gamer Robin Kreibich under allegations that the defendant violated copyright by selling cheat software for their upcoming MOBA game, Paragon. The program, known as SystemCheats, claims to be the most powerful hack for Paragon and sells as a monthly subscription for approximately $10/month.

The hack promises to give players perfect aiming with “smooth aim” to make their movement seem more natural and presumably less likely for manual detection. According to the creator, the hack is “fully undetected” and can be used with no risk for being banned. Evidently that immunity hasn’t protected Kreibich from court, but the more intrepid viewers might be wondering why a German citizen is being sued in a US district court in California by a game developer based in Maryland. The answer involves some legal wrangling.

Epic Games issued a takedown of Kreibich’s Youtube videos demonstrating how the hack works. When a person files a counter-notice to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown, by Youtube’s own terms of service they consent that any legal matters will be taken care of in Youtube’s judicial district.

It also helps Epic Games that the lawsuit be held in California’s northern district court. Back in 2013, Blizzard won its lawsuit against Ceiling Fan Software simply under the breach of contract charge. The courts agreed that the cheat software was sold with the knowledge that it would breach the contract between World of Warcraft and its users, and the court awarded $7 million in damages and an injunction against Ceiling Fan Software from selling, developing, licensing, or allowing others to use their bot software.

Epic Games is demanding a trial by jury, as well as unspecified damages including reimbursement of their own legal fees.

More coverage to come.

(Source: Scribd)

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