Epic Games Sues 14 Year-Old Fortnite Cheater Drawing The Wrath Of His Mom
In the case of Epic Games, it went a step further with legal action (citing copyright infringement) against two people that used Addicted Cheats' aimbotting services -- which can be had obtained for between $5 to $15 per month – to wreak havoc in Fortnite.
“In using cheat software to modify the game’s code in this way,” said Epic in its original complaint against the two defendants. “[The Defendants] and other cheaters who use the cheat create unauthorized derivative works based on Fortnite in violation of the Copyright Act.”
While taking cheaters to court is a rather curious avenue for Epic to peruse, it appears that the company may have bitten off more than it can chew with its legal fight. As it turns out, one of the two defendants is actually a 14-year-old boy, and his mom is livid that her son has been thrust into this legal three-ring circus.
In a letter addressed directly to the court, the boy's mom lays into Epic, accusing the company of bullying her son. The mom digs her heels in hard, pointing out that the EULA, which Epic makes heavy mention of in its complaint alleging that the cheaters modified the game's code, requires that minors get permission from a parent of legal guardian in order to play Fortnight.
While most gamers don't take the time to read EULAs, she alleges, “Please note parental consent was not issued to [my son] to play this free game produced by Epic."
She goes on to state that her son is being used a "scapegoat to make an example of him" due to Epic's "lack of ability to curve cheat codes and others from modifying their game".
Also at issue is that notion that Epic says that it had experienced a loss of profits from the cheaters. The boy's mom contends that since Fortnight is free-to-play, Epic is going to need to prove that her son's actions resulted in a "massive profit loss" for the company. She goes on to add that instead of suing gamers, Epic should be going after the companies that provide cheat tools for games like Fortnite.
And that isn't all; the 14-year-old's mother takes issue with the fact that her minor son's name has been publicly revealed due to the lawsuit. "Epic has released the defendant's name publicly, therefore allowing news articles and different online publications to obtain his name and in turn release additional information," she claims.
"Referencing State of Delaware House Bill No. 64 it is illegal to release under age individuals' personal information by any agencies. Epic is in complete violation of this as well as other individual websites and news reporting agencies."
In the end, the child's mother asks that the judge dismiss the case since "the infraction does not equate the suing of a minor by a major gaming company."
For its part, Epic is not backing down -- for now. “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”, said Epic in a statement to Kotaku. “Under these circumstances, the law requires that we file suit or drop the claim.
“We take cheating seriously, and we’ll pursue all available options to make sure our games are fun, fair, and competitive for players.”