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US judge blocks man from selling Grand Theft Auto Online cheat programs

Take-Two claims software by David Zipperer has cost the firm more than $500,000

The publisher behind Grand Theft Auto has won a US court case that will prevent players from cheating in its online game.

The case centres around Georgia resident David Zipperer, who has been accused of selling software that enables GTA Online users to alter the game or manipulate its mechanics to give them an edge over other players, Reuters reports.

Take-Two claims that not only has this enabled 'griefing' of its online community, it has also cost at least $500,000, according to a complaint filed back in March.

Yesterday, US District Judge Louis Stanton of Manhattan awarded the publisher a preliminary injunction that prevents Zipperer from selling his software. In the ruling, he said Take-Two was likely to prove that Zipperer had infringed its copyright and that his programs cause irreparable harm to the game's sales by discouraging consumers from buying it.

While not the harshest punishment, Stanton believed an injunction was appropriate due to the "high risk" that Zipperer could not afford damages, given that he claims to be unemployed. He also dismissed an unfair competition claim against Zipperer.

In a statement, Take-Two said it would continue to pursue legal action to prevent "disruptions" to the GTA Online community.

Despite being five years old, Grand Theft Auto Online continues to perform well. In Take-Two's most recent financials, the publisher reported the game has surpassed expectations for its most recent quarter, although CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry.biz he expects this to "moderate this fiscal year."

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James Batchelor

Editor-in-Chief

James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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