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Blizzard takes StarCraft hackers to court

Claims irreparable damage and copyright infringement from multiplayer cheat apps

Blizzard is pursuing court action against a number of players alleged to have authored hacks for strategy title StarCraft II.

The developer has filed suit in the Los Angeles district court against two Canadian and one Peruvian individuals, claiming their cheat programs are in violation of the EULA and infringe copyright.

In the suit (as seen by GameSpot), Blizzard asserted that the multiplayer mode cheat apps were "designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the StarCraft II online game experience," and would in turn put consumers off buying the title.

"The harm to Blizzard from Defendants' conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable," the suit claimed. "By distributing the Hacks to the public, Defendants cause serious harm to the value of StarCraft II."

Like last year's successful injunction against the Glider bot-play program for World of Warcraft, the outcome of this case may come to define what is considered a safe, permissible cheat and what is an illegal hack.

Similarly, Blizzard is again claiming that these programs use and modify its game code: "When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer's RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II."

Blizzard is demanding damages and the surrender of any profits the hack creators have made, as well as withdrawing the hacks. The company had previously banned 5000 online players it claimed were using the programs in question.

The cheat creators are named in the suit as 'Permaphrost,' 'Cranix,' and 'Linuxawesome.'

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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