Epic Games Settles Its First Fortnite Copyright Case Against Cheater
Game developer and publisher Epic Games has been rather openly upset with the thousands of cheaters that have been running amok within its Fortnite battle royale mode. As such, the developer chose to take several of the cheaters to court, likely in hopes of setting an example for those that are openly exploiting a PVP game and ruining the experience for others. Now, it appears that the first Fortnite copyright case has concluded, though the resolution may not be enough of a deterrent to others.
The Fortnite copyright case in question is between Epic Games and defendant Charles Vraspir, a Minnesota resident who goes by the name of “Joreallean” online. According to Epic Games, the defendant was banned at least nine times for copyright infringement and breach of contract, with Vraspir allegedly injecting self-made computer code into Fortnite in order to cheat. Despite being banned multiple times, Vraspir would simply register new accounts in order to continue using his cheats.
While cheating in a game is one thing, writing your own code and creating your own way to cheat in Fortnite put Vraspir right in Epic Games’ spotlight. “Defendant’s cheating, and his inducing and enabling of others to cheat, is ruining the game playing experience of players who do not cheat,” said Epic Games. This could have been a lengthy legal battle between Vraspir and the publisher, though both sides apparently came to an agreement and chose instead to resolve the case through a settlement. Epic Games requested that the court enter in a permanent injunction that forbids Vraspir from partaking in any copyright infringements going forward, destroying all of his code related to cheating, and never cheating again. Vraspir is also prohibited from “creating, writing, developing, advertising, promoting, and/or distributing anything that infringes Epic’s works now or hereafter protected by any of Epic’s copyrights.” It is unknown if Vraspir agreed to pay Epic Games a fine out of court as part of the settlement, though he will have to pay $5,000 if he breaches any part of the agreement he now has with the developer.
As previously stated, Epic Games’ actions during the first Fortnite copyright case may not be enough of a deterrent for other cheaters. The settlement between the publisher and Vraspir appears to be a rather long-winded slap on the wrist, which could spur cheaters to more liberally act without fear of serious repercussions. We will have to see how Epic Games’ other copyright cases play out to see if a pattern develops, or if the publisher attempts to inflict harsher punishments moving forward. Fortnite is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
So, thoughts on the Fortnite case? If you were Epic Games, would you have let Vraspir off with a simple warning? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, stay tuned to Don’t Feed the Gamers for all the latest gaming and entertainment news! Don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for our 24/7 news feed!
Ryan "Cinna" Carrier2990 Posts
Ryan is the Lead Editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.