Home / Software & Gaming / Blizzard awarded $8.5 million in lawsuit against cheat maker

Blizzard awarded $8.5 million in lawsuit against cheat maker

Over the last few weeks, Blizzard's lawsuit against prolific cheat maker ‘Bossland' has been swiftly escalating. Bossland is behind several subscription based ‘Buddy Bot' cheats for most of Blizzard's titles, as well as an ESP hack for Overwatch. A few weeks ago, we heard that Blizzard was seeking an $8.5 million payout over irreparable harm caused to its business and this week, the suit came to a head, with a judge taking Blizzard's side and awarding it the full $8.5 million.

A California District Court agreed that the cheats developed by Bossland were built to bypass Blizzard's anti-cheat software, thus violating the DMCA. In other words, Bossland's cheats violated US copyright law. As Torrentfreak points out, since Bossland did not represent itself in court, it was much easier for Blizzard's lawyers to convince a judge to award the full $8.5 million in damages.

In a court order, the judge writes: “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.”

“Blizzard has established a showing of resulting damage or harm because Blizzard expends a substantial amount of money combating the use of the Bossland Hacks to ensure fair game play. Additionally, players of the Blizzard Games lodge complaints against cheating players, which has caused users to grow dissatisfied with the Blizzard Games and cease playing. Accordingly, the in-game cheating also harms Blizzard’s goodwill and reputation.”

In all, the court granted statutory copyright damages for 42,818 violations of copyright, adding up to just over $8.5 million in damages. Blizzard is also entitled to retrieve $174,872 in attorney fees. Aside from all that, Bossland is obviously prohibited from selling its cheats in the United States going further, or any other software that exploits Blizzard's games or services.

KitGuru Says: Given that Bossland didn't show up to defend itself in court, this ruling doesn't come as much of a surprise. This outcome also seemed more likely following Riot's recent legal win against a League of Legends cheat maker.

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25 comments

  1. This is such rubbish. The damage WAS reparable. Blizzard were the only ones who could stop the cheaters. I refuse to believe that any cheat causes irreparable damage to a company, unless they refuse to patch the method the cheaters are using. Any reputation damage from cheaters being online is 100% down to Blizzard to fix, so loss of reputation is on them, not the bot makers.

    As for breaching DMCA for bypassing their cheat protection. Their cheat protection could be a binary that just echos the name of a cheater to a log file, and by “bypassing” it you’re foul of the DMCA? Basically, my point is you don’t even have to try on your cheat protection to be awarded ridiculous sums of money for bypassing it.

    This is all wrong. Despite the fact that I’ll get called all the names under the sun for not suggesting cheaters are scum who would be assassinated, this is wrong. Blizzard haven’t even tried and have been rewarded for it.

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  3. Cheaters get what they deserve.

  4. Stuart Pentelow

    Fact : Folks will have abandoned the game because of cheaters. This is a fact : what does this lead to? Less microtransactions for Blizzard GUARANTEED. It’s not 100% down for blizzard to fix, they weren’t the root cause of the cheats. Sure it’s guranteed to happen and companies do now have to have anti-cheat teams in their games but that costs.. you guessed it money.. where does an easy source of that come from? The folks who were stupid enough to sell their cheats. It’s complete garbage to suggest somehow it’s all on Blizzard when making cheats and selling them is pretty much morally wrong.

  5. I agree and disagree. Blizzard wrote the code, so they are the root cause of the cheats. And employing anti-cheat is an operating cost for a game development company operating like Blizzard do with MMO’s and the like.

    Selling cheats is not morally wrong. Those are some weird morals.

  6. You fail to grasp some key points though.
    Firstly, no game has ever been made which prevents all cheating, so to assume that Blizzard could is unreasonable at best.
    Then you need to consider that it is much, much cheaper to spend <$200k on legal fees to stop a major source of cheating then pouring money into a black-hole by trying to constantly stay one step ahead of cheaters.

    Also who cares of some dodgy little company gets screwed over for making illegal software that costs other companies money and ruins millions of peoples gaming experience? Frankly I would have the entire staff of Bossland strung up.

  7. No, selling cheats is morally wrong……just look at the definition of cheating. With your logic selling drugs is not morally wrong.

  8. Selling drugs isn’t morally wrong, otherwise every pharmacy in the world is evil.

    Cheating in videogames isn’t morally wrong. Videogames are not that important, for god sake.

  9. I care, because it sets a silly precedent that game companies don’t have to try anymore. They can just sue. Expecting Blizzard to patch cheats isn’t unreasonable.

    Just to note, I don’t even play MMO’s, many online games or any Blizzard games.

  10. You’re either a troll or seriously spergy. It wad clear I meant illegal drugs (but hey, Cpt. Sperg needs this clarifying for him), and if you think that isn’t morally wrong then you have a huge list of problems.

    And it doesn’t matter if it is your taxes, a video game, or an exam. Cheating is wrong. If you think it is fine to break the rules you agreed with in order to get an upper-hand then again, you have a huge list of social problems, ranging from being inadequate and insecure, to narcissism.

  11. So Blizzard have not been patching cheaters then? LOL. What planet are you living on?
    Also I guess you would be happy to pay $150 dollars for your games in order to fund obscene amounts of anti cheating dev work rather than them being smart and just shutting down the asshats who make the cheating software,
    But hey, I guess solving the root cause of the issue is stupid and you should only treat the symptoms *rollseyes*

  12. Stuart Pentelow

    Selling cheats is morally wrong as you don’t care about what happens to the player if they get ban. There is no kind of protection for the buyer of the cheats and there is no real gain from cheating. All a cheat seller does is basically make someone lose money for no real gain. Again : Blizzard are not the root cause of the cheats, this is a fact. Cheats are made externally therefore are not blizzard’s fault, someone chose to take the risk to make those cheats and sell them. They knew fine well they would be getting players ban and make them lose out on their own money. Yes, it is an operating cost but only because this has been such a massive problem due to some games completely losing their playerbase and therefore their profits.

  13. Stuart Pentelow

    Also to suggest that Blizzard are being lazy when they’ve lately ban over 20,000 korean nukers (newest type of cheat) is silly. This is them just taking action to folks who are stupid enough to try and sell the cheats.

  14. I have no issues with them shutting down the writers of the cheats. I just don’t see how they should’ve gotten any money out of it.

    The wisest choice would be to hire these people, as well as shutting them down.

  15. Speak for yourself 😉

    Cheating in videogames isn’t morally wrong. Taxes and exams matter, videogames do not.

    I mean, it’s shitty to cheat in videogames. It sucks for all involved. But to call it morally wrong is intellectually dishonest.

  16. Using the DMCA to stop cheat makers is lazy, though.

  17. I’m fairly sure everyone who bought cheats from that website knew that they could be banned and lose their money.

    Gambling, therefore, is morally wrong, because people can lose their money and livelihoods.

    Blizzard didn’t write the cheats, but it’s their code, game and servers. If I get burgled and I left my door unlocked, I’m also to blame for the burgalry for leaving my door unlocked. In an ideal world, I’d be able to leave my door wide open and not have to worry; people shouldn’t come in and steal my stuff. But, the world is not ideal and I do have to lock my doors, and therefore leaving them unlocked puts some blame on me for having failed to lock my shit up.

  18. Erm, because these big fines are deterrents to everyone else. This is standard practice in the US when suing anyone in regards to corporate law.

  19. No it is still is morally wrong. Whether it matters is subjective and irrelevant as cheating means you actively disregard the rights of others in order to obtain an unfair advantage.
    Heck, as I said, just look at the definitions of cheating and immorality. Unless you think you can change the English language you are just flat out wrong.

  20. Stuart Pentelow

    Your analogy falls apart because Blizzard actually do try to keep their shit locked up otherwise we wouldn’t see any bans etc. There is only so much a company can actually do to prevent cheats.

  21. I think this discussion just proves me right; morality is subjective.

    I won’t lose sleep over cheaters in Blizzard games. I don’t and never will see online gaming cheaters as immoral.

  22. Well that’s just going to force this stuff underground, where you can’t see it. Much better to shut them down and hire them. That way they get a better understanding of the hacks, how to fix them and therefore a stronger product.

    They absolutely should shut them down, and fire all we know, Blizzard might be trying to hire them as we speak.

  23. Then you have issues. Seeing that you avoided the previous part where I called you out on having social disorders and you didn’t disagree, I feel like this might be the case of a blind person (that would be you) trying to lecture someone on what Art should look like.

  24. …If it is underground then it will be harder to access, so Blizzard will have succeeded in reducing cheating…..

    Why hire them?! What is your obsession with that? Did you work for them or someone like them? Also you assume what they made was some technical marvel when it won’t be. All it will be is basic automation scripts etc that Blizzard can’t stop you from using due to either engine limits or mainly because people cry about harsh anti cheat software that works outside of the game environment.

  25. Доброе Зло

    Don’t sweat it man.. This little bonobo got rekt by a hacker 😀 What you said is just pure logic. I can’t even understand how can they sue the maker of the cheat if it’s people who are buying it and using it 😀 What’s next? Blaming weapon makers for killing people? I lol’d