Epic Games continues pursuing lawsuit against 14-year-old Fortnite player

Parent's move to dismiss the case met with resistance from Fortnite developer

Epic Games is pressing ahead with legal action against a 14-year-old child for allegedly cheating in Fortnite.

The defendant, known only as C.R, is accused of using cheats to "unlawfully modify" Fortnite, and creating "unauthorised derivative work".

Epic Games' filing against the 14-year-old boy also notes that he operates at least two YouTube channels where he "actively promotes, distributes, and induces others to use cheat software".

Proceedings began last year after thousands of cheaters were banned from the game.

Epic took the extra step of pursuing legal action against several cheaters for copyright infringement, including a 14-year-old child who had been banned from the game over a dozen times.

Although Epic was reportedly unaware of the defendant's age at the time, the revelation that C.R was a minor did little to halt the process. Epic Games even reportedly hired a private investigator to locate and serve notice to the defendant.

The latest filing -- courtesy of TorrentFreak -- comes several months after the boy's mother wrote a letter defending him in court.

"It is my belief that due to their lack of ability to curve cheat codes and others from modifying their game, they are using a 14-year-old child as a scapegoat to make an example of him," she said at the time.

The letter was interpreted by the judge as a motion to dismiss Epic's claims against the defendant.

In defending her son, the mother argued four key points. Firstly that Epic cannot prove that C.R modified copyrighted Fortnite game code; that Epic illegally released the name of her underage son; that Epic cannot prove it is entitled to certain damages; and finally that Epic's contract with the defendant -- established through the user agreement -- is not enforceable as no parental consent was given.

However, in the most recent filing, Epic dismantles the four key arguments in favour of dismissal and has requested that motion be denied which, could result in a default ruling for monetary damages.

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Latest comments (5)

Daniel Trezub QA Analyst, Ludia3 years ago
They are hurting the parents this way, not really the "cheater". Any outcome will take its toll on the parents, who are innocent (no matter if the kid is guilty or not).
This is ridiculous.
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colin merrick Engineer/Artist 3 years ago
Perhaps parents should parent better. Instead of being ignorant to what their kids do.
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Tudor Nita Lead Programmer, Gameloft Romania3 years ago
@colin merrick: If by parenting better you mean use surveillance software on everything you own, just to make sure someone in your household doesn't cheat at a vidya game, then, yeah, sure ... better parenting.

IMHO, this is exactly what it sounds like. Making an example of someone.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 27th April 2018 8:38am

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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
This is the big problem with minors online - in a world with no physicality, their power is equal to that of an adult.

A minor on youtube can promote cheats that would destroy your game's playerbase and put you out of business, just the same as an adult. It has happened before.

It's the same with threats. Online, you can't tell if the person threatening you is a 12 year old cretin or that creepy friend of your ex who made 50 accounts to follow you everywhere online. Nor does being a minor guarantee being harmless - there's a reason for the "kiddie" in "skriptkiddie", and the SWAT team has guns no matter who phones them.

Maybe it's time we started to send a new message to parents about safety online. Maybe we shouldn't be asking them "Is your child safe online?", but rather "Are people online safe from your child?" or even "Are you safe from the consequences of your child's online activities?"
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T. Elliot Cannon Game Director, Gala Games3 years ago
"Are people online safe from your child?"
Good reason to stick with PvP centric games :)
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