It’s no secret that Destiny 2 developer Bungie has been at war with cheaters as of late, taking some particularly egregious rule-breakers to court and suing them for millions of dollars. In these cases, defendants are usually groups of individuals or organizations that sell cheating software. This week, a judge once again ruled in Bungie’s favor, but the lawsuit in question involved only a single cheater. Still, the fallout was immense, with the individual in question being ordered to pay Bungie $500,000 and banned from playing any Bungie games ever again.
First reported by TorrentFreak, the judgment may seem harsh at first, especially given the fact that, at the time the suit was first filed a year ago, the cheater in question was 17 years old. Known as Luca Leone, the defendant repeatedly used cheat software to get a leg up on the competition. But it didn’t stop there–Leone also evaded multiple bans and eventually escalated to sending threats of bodily harm to Bungie employees, resulting in a restraining order.
The lawsuit claimed that Leone (like other cheaters Bungie’s legal team has taken on in the past) had broken copyright law by using cheat software with a graphical overlay owned by Bungie, claiming that the use of “inject[ed] code” had created “unauthorized derivative work” that violates US copyright law. Additional fees were added for each account Leone created to evade a ban, and each unauthorized copy of the game he downloaded in the process. Ultimately, both parties agreed that Bungie is owed $300,000 in statutory damages for infringement of copyright, with an additional $200,00 owed for 100 acts of ban circumvention at $2,000 per ban evasion.
Additionally, Leone is banned from:
interacting with any cheat software that may affect Bungie-owned propertiesinteracting with Bungie-owned game assetsinteracting with any Bungie game whatsoeverharassing Bungie employees (directly or indirectly)harassing anyone who plays Bungie games (directly or indirectly)traveling within 1,000 feet of any Bungie officesknowingly traveling within 1,000 feet of any homes or apartments occupied by Bungie employees
Leone must also delete all social media accounts that have anything to do with Bungie, his attempts to cheat at Bungie games, or his crusade against Bungie employees.
While many Destiny players are pleased to see cheaters get their comeuppance, some are concerned about the legal precedent set by Bungie’s recent copyright infringement cases. One Reddit user made the point that while their Fallout 76 UI mods aren’t cheats, they do fit the description used in Bungie’s case against Leone, stating that judgments like this could potentially see unsuspecting game modders facing similar charges.
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