Cheat makers Bossland ordered to pay Blizzard $8.6 million for copyright infringement

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Update April 4, 2017: Bossland have lost their case in California.

German-based hack-makers Bossland have been ordered to pay $8.6 million (that's £6.8 million) to Blizzard, who alleged that each of the 42,818 hacks they sold in the USA constituted copyright infringement.

Alternatively, use our Overwatch character guide to get good at the game the old fashioned way.

The California District Court agreed that Bossland's hacks effectively bypassed Blizzard's anti-cheating software, violating the DMCA. In reverse-engineering the games to make their hacks, Bossland infringed Blizzard's copyrights, the court ruled.

Bossland declined to represent themselves, so Blizzard were awarded the judgement by default. On top of the $8.6 million in copyright damages, Bossland are banned from marketing or selling its cheats - for all Blizzard games - in the USA.

“Bossland materially contributes to infringement by creating the Bossland Hacks, making the Bossland Hacks available to the public, instructing users how to install and operate the Bossland Hacks, and enabling users to use the software to create derivative works,” says the court order.

This is just the latest victory for Blizzard in their war against Bossland, who have made bots and hacks for several of their games including World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. 

Thanks, Torrentfreak.

Update March 15, 2017: After winning a legal battle in the German courts, Blizzard are looking to sue Bossland, creators of cheats and hack for online games, to the tune of $8.5 million, this time in the US.

The case began mid 2016, but Bossland stopped responding earlier this year, so Blizzard are looking for a default judgement. The Overwatch developers are requesting minimum statutory copyright damages of $200 per infringement. According to the complaint, 42,818 Bossland hacks were sold in the US.

The complaint itself claims not only copyright infringement, but also loss of sales, with people put off playing Blizzard games because of online cheaters.

“In this case, Blizzard is only seeking the minimum statutory damages of $200 per infringement, for a total of $8,563,600.00," say the developers, via TorrentFreak. "While Blizzard would surely be entitled to seek a larger amount, Blizzard seeks only minimum statutory damages.

“Blizzard does not seek such damages as a “punitive” measure against Bossland or to obtain an unjustified windfall."

Blizzard say that Bossland's earnings from the cheats are likely higher than what they're asking for, since one of Bossland's hacks can cost around $200 for a year.

Update February 1, 2017: Blizzard have won in their a legal battle with Bossland, creators of cheating programs - bots, wallhacks, and more - for World of Warcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.

The victory comes from the German Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), who ruled that Bossland engaged in unfair and disruptive practises with their World of Warcraft bots.

These bots imbalanced the game’s economy and provided unfair advantages to some players, while also flooding and depriving the in-game market of certain items. 

In a parallel case about copyright infringement from Bossland, Blizzard were also ruled in favour of.

"We are committed to protecting our game experience for players, as well as our intellectual property, and are very happy with the court’s decision,” say Blizzard.

“We don’t have any further details to provide at this time, other than to say that we will continue to defend all our games in the interest of maintaining a fair-play environment."

Original Story May 7, 2016: Bossland, the creators of various hacks for Blizzard games have been sued and counter-sued across the last half-decade. They developed the Buddy series of cheats for World of Warcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and more, and now Blizzard have decided to take them to court in California over their Overwatch ‘ESP’ tool - effectively a wallhack that also adds an all-seeing radar.

In the suit, as detailed on TorrentFreak, Blizzard say that Bossland have authorised freelancers to break copyright to develop hacks for Overwatch. In doing so, Blizzard claim their business and customers have been directly harmed, not only because of the existence of the hack but how quickly it was released. Therefore they want damages to be paid.

The hack itself isn’t currently active, as after Blizzard’s first Overwatch banwave it was taken offline in the hopes of developing more counter-measures to remain undetected. Since the start of June, those who have paid for the tool - at about $15 a month - have had no access to it.

It’s not even Bossland’s only current legal battle with this developer, as CEO Zwetan Letschew tells TorrentFreak there are “over 10 ongoing legal battles in Germany already.” He says that a Californian court will have no jurisdiction over his company as they have no official business in the US, despite selling their product to customers there.

Of those ongoing battles, Blizzard recently lost one regarding Heroes of the Storm, with two others reaching a critical point on October 6.

War Thunder
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HersheySquirtle avatarAever avatarPaddyMaxson avatarPhoenixCujo avatar*sigh* avatarlistenup avatar+1
HersheySquirtle Avatar
61
1 Year ago

As much as I hate cheats (and love hearing whenever a bunch of cheaters just got banned), I don't see how it's a legal issue. They don't seem to be breaking copyright any more than manufacturers who produce specialized phone cases to fit iPhones and such—which is to say: not at all.

3
Aever Avatar
600
1 Year ago

I tend to agree. This seems like Blizzard attempting to brute force the shutdown of this "tool". Maybe they should focus on making their games more secure instead?

On the other hand, a lot of games these days come with anti-cheating tools, which can be best described as rootkits. If I was to chose between having a rootkit forcefully installed on my machine or having slimy lawyers fighting shady developers ... I think I know which option I would chose.

2
PaddyMaxson Avatar
10
5 Months ago

Let's be fair here. Blizzard are CONSTANTLY making their games more secure, but these tools require memory manipulation and aren't easy to catch unless you aggressively scan the client running them. If Blizzard did that to your PC you'd flip your shit as it's an invasion of privacy.

Honorbuddy users get caught in a banwave every 1-4 Months.

There was one in (I think) August last year, one in November and there was one today - and the last two were after Honorbuddy's supposedly improved bot detection detector.

It seems like if you're using Honorbuddy at any point you're basically risking getting caught in a banwave and it seems almost certain that getting caught is detection of the bot as opposed to being reported as lots of very careful botters get caught in these banwaves too.

1
PaddyMaxson Avatar
10
5 Months ago

To clarify a wee bit, Bossland don't make WoW cheats or hacks, they make purely a bot.

Automation can be described as cheating I suppose, but the fact is, Honorbuddy doesn't do anything a human being can't except play for 48 hours solid, but it'll get a lot less done in said 48 hours than a lucid human being would.

Now, the terms of service for WoW do state not to do this, and Honorbuddy does modify the game client in a way that Blizzard do not authorise by using memory injection to accomplish it's tasks.

It's also a paid for product, which means that Bossland are profiting from a service that Blizzard provides by charging for a service that requires Blizzard's product to run (and Bossland's products are a service, not just software).

Without getting permission from Blizzard to do this (which Blizzard will never give, if only to appear to be anti-botting) this is unlicensed use of a product for profit and certainly doesn't fall under fair use of the product, ergo Blizzard have a very strong civil case against them.

In terms of cheating in Overwatch, it's very easy to argue that Cheating lowers the enjoyment of non-cheaters and can cause Blizzard financial damage as it could lower sales.

2
PhoenixCujo Avatar
3
4 Months ago

I use a program called Chimpeon (https://chimpeon.com) to "cheat". Why? Because I have a severe RSI and if I didn't use Chimpeon I wouldn't be able to play for longer than 15 minutes. I used to use HB but the risk of getting banned was too high.

Blizzard need to consider users with injuries and disabilities and be leanient on those who need to use third-party products like Chimpeon to help with their game.

Bye bye Bossland. RIP.

1
*sigh* Avatar
237
3 Months ago

Now onto the question. Why should a German company give any shites about what a paid shill in the US thinks.

Cmon Engerland, you know the answer to this.

1
listenup Avatar
1
1 Month ago

You all are being scared - this is absolutely ridiculous. Bizzard is a multibillion dollar company and they are purposefully targeting a weak, powerless company that is not breaking any laws whatsoever in order to make even more public news as well as extra money in their pocket. I love Blizzard and have been playing their games for over half of my lifespan. However, they as of late have been letting me down in their integrity department. Blizzard, nobody cares about how much money you have (except your execs, I guess), and we love the games you put out. But when I see you go after this bullshit it makes me want to quit all of your games. Take it or leave it, you are the definition of corruption and it is something I never used to see in the old Blizzard that I know and love. I hope you wake up and get your head out of the clouds, instead of focusing on this nonsense work on your damn games and give them the improvements that they need because ever since the dawn of WC3 I have not seen a single modification that has met the standards you take such pride in setting. Wake the fuck up.

1
crystaliesz Avatar
1
1 Month ago

Now your the guy that doesn't know (Is cussing allowed? I don't know so I'll just leave it like this.) about games. When someone cheats in games such as Overwatch, CS:GO, people rage and might even leave the game entirely or delete. This is also important for competitive gameplay as you can get de-ranked from a cheater that has no skill what-so-ever. And your acting like the cheater isn't going against real people. Overwatch has tens of millions of players and we didn't spend $30-$80 just so we can get owned from someone not even trying 0.0000000001% when they have aimbot or triggerbot for it. Now let's talk about the money, Bossland has earned millions of dollars from selling cheats to people that is breaking the the Terms and Services which if you break in a video game, the developers can sue you, and that is the law. As Bossland are creating cheats which is not allowed, Blizzard can sue Bossland with the help of the government. And if you don't like the laws, just leave and go to another place like a stranded island.

1