Back in October, we learned that Epic Games had filed a lawsuit against two specific Fortnite cheaters. This is something we have seen done before, with similar cases coming from the likes of Riot Games and Blizzard. However, this week some more details about the case came to light, including the fact that one of the defendants is just 14 years old.
The two defendants in the case were accused of being associated with the site ‘Addicted Cheats' which supplies a number of cheats for online games, including Fortnite. Epic Games has left the young teenager on the lawsuit because he uploaded a video to YouTube revealing how to use cheats in Fortnite. Epic Games submitted a DMCA Takedown request on the video, but it was appealed, which meant Epic either had to escalate to legal channels, or drop the claim entirely.
Instead of responding to the lawsuit via an attorney, the boy's mother came out to his defense instead. In a letter sent to the court (via TorrentFreak) she claims her child is being used as a ‘scapegoat' in order to make an example of him. She also argues that instead of going after those who use these cheat codes, Epic Games should be going after the websites/companies that supply them: “The company is in the process of suing a multitude of players for this game Fortnite. Instead of Epic Games INC suing the websites providing the cheat codes, they are going after the individuals using these codes”
Eurogamer contacted Epic Games for a statement on the matter, to which the company replied: “This particular lawsuit arose as a result of the defendant filing a DMCA counterclaim to a takedown notice on a YouTube video that exposed and promoted Fortnite Battle Royale cheats and exploits. Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim. Epic is not okay with ongoing cheating or copyright infringement from anyone at any age. As stated previously, we take cheating seriously, and we'll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”
The issue here is that the 14 year-old defendant did not create the cheat software being used, nor did he make any money posting videos showing the cheats in action. The boy's mother is calling on the court to dismiss the case as “the infraction does not equate the suing of a minor by a major gaming company”. From the sounds of it though, Epic Games is planning to stick this out and continue on with its case.
KitGuru Says: This lawsuit just got a lot messier than we had initially anticipated. What do you guys think Epic Games should do in this situation?