Bungie & Destiny 2 Cheat Creator Accepts $13.5 Million Judgment Over Copyright Damages *TorrentFreak
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Game developer Bungie and Elite Boss Tech, a creator of cheat software for popular game Destiny 2, have reached an agreement to end a copyright infringement lawsuit. The stipulated consent judgment, in which Elite Boss Tech admits thousands of violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, includes a permanent injunction and statutory damages of $13.5 million.
At the end of August 2022, game developer Bungie filed a lawsuit against the creators of cheat software in Destiny 2.
The lawsuit named Canadian business entities Elite Boss Tech and 11020781 Canada Inc., owner Robert James Duthie Nelson, as well as a number of “Doe” defendants allegedly involved in the creation, sale and distribution of the software.
Bungie’s claims were supported by alleged violations of copyright law, including the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions. Additional allegations included racketeering, fraud, money laundering, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
In a February 2022 status report, Bungie pointed out that the commercial viability of Destiny 2 depends on the integrity of its gameplay and the positive experiences of its players. The defendants threaten the gaming experience, Bungie added, noting that the cheat mitigation technology had cost it “exorbitant sums”.
Defendants argued that during the development of the cheat software, no copies of Destiny 2 were made or distributed, and no derivative works were created. They also claimed that certain terms of Bungie’s Limited Software License Agreement (LSLA) were unenforceable and that any claim of copyright infringement was without merit.
The parties were further apart than ever and the trial seemed to be heading towards a trial. This week, however, consensus news emerged in the form of a stipulated motion asking the court to enter a consent judgment to end Bungie’s lawsuit.
Two companies and the owner accept responsibility
The agreement provides that Robert James Duthie Nelson, Elite Boss Tech, Inc., and 11020781 Canada agree to have the cheat software “display a graphical overlay” that integrates and annotates the copyrighted work of Destiny 2 by Bungie and injects code into Destiny 2’s copyrighted code, in both cases creating an unlicensed derivative work.
Defendants agree that their violation was deliberate and admit that their cheat software circumvents the technological measures employed by Bungie to control access to its software, thereby violating the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (17 USC § 1201(a) and ( b)).
The cheat software was allegedly downloaded 6,765 times, with each download constituting an independent provision of a circumvention device, also in violation of 17 USC § 1201(a) and (b).
Award of Statutory Damages for Copyright Infringement
By multiplying the number of downloads (6,765) by the statutory damages available under Section 1201 (not less than $200 or more than $2,500), defendants agree that judgment should be entered for a amount of $13,530,000, representing statutory damages of $2,000 per violation. All other allegations alleged in the complaint are withdrawn.
The consent judgment also comes with a proposed permanent injunction that prohibits the defendants (and any person or company acting in concert with them) from creating, distributing or otherwise making available any software that infringes the rights of Bungie or those of its parent, subsidiary or affiliate companies. Defendants are also prohibited from any activity of reverse engineering or similar manipulation of any game related to the plaintiff.
Any third parties related to the defendants, including domain registrars and registries, are prohibited from supporting their activities if they include trafficking circumvention devices or otherwise infringe Bungie’s intellectual property rights. Defendants are also prohibited from using any online resource to provide any content relating to their own or someone else’s cheat software.
“This permanent injunction is binding on defendants worldwide, without regard to the territorial scope of the specific intellectual property rights asserted in the suit and may be enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction where defendants or their assets are located,” reads the statement. the request.
“Any violation of this order by the defendants shall subject them to the full extent of the contempt authority of this Court, including punitive, coercive and pecuniary sanctions.”
The consent judgment has not yet been signed by the court, but it is probably only a formality.
Supporting documents are available here and here (pdf)