While Take-Two Interactive announced that it would be easing up on single-player mods of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) last year, it still isn’t pulling its punches with cheaters. Despite ceasing development on two popular GTA V cheats, one cheat maker has found himself targeted by Take-Two, as the publisher seeks to recuperate tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
David Zipperer was ordered to end development on popular GTA V cheats ‘Menyoo’ and ‘Absolute’ by a New York federal court last month, according to TorrentFreak. Although Zipperer complied, he claimed that all $100,000 made from exploiting the game’s code is already gone, and therefore has nothing to compensate Take-Two with in a monetary sense.
“My client has no money. He swore to this Court that the money he earned from selling ‘cheat menus’ was used to support his family, that the money is gone, and that he has none left,” explained Zipperer’s former attorney Joel Rothman before stepping back due to the inability to justify inter-district travel costs on a pro bono basis. “He is an unemployed day laborer with a ninth-grade education who taught himself to write code. I have told this over and over to Take-Two’s lawyers, but they continue to demand a pound of flesh from Zipperer,” requesting as much as “tens of thousands” of dollars.
Gaining access to Zipperer’s financial records, Take-Two allege that the defendant “has significantly more resources than he has repeatedly represented to this Court.” In particular, this is down to Zipperer’s PayPal records, which acted as a default method of transaction for the defendant while operating “illegal businesses,” according to the company.
Rothman has requested that the Court delay the case by up to 30 days while Zipperer finds another attorney or prepare to self-represent, however Take-Two has expressed concerns at this could allow the defendant to hide more of his assets.
“There are many litigants who need legal services and who legitimately do not have the means to pay for them. Mr. Zipperer is not one of them,” Take-Two says. “He is a man that has collected over a hundred thousand dollars by distributing an infringing work that harmed Take-Two and its customers who wanted to play Take-Two’s game without being ‘griefed’.”
Zipperer isn’t the first to be tackled by Take-Two, as fellow ‘Menyoo’ Christopher Pei agreed to pay damages for his infringing activity. He also won’t be the last, as the publisher gears up for a lawsuit against Jhonny Perez, a Florida resident who allegedly created ‘Elusive’.
KitGuru Says: This seems a little ham-handed of an approach, but I do appreciate the company’s efforts to deter cheats within online video games. At the same time, I do hope that the defendant doesn’t suffer too much if he truly does have no money to his name. How do you feel about Take-Two’s actions against cheat makers?