In a rather spectacular conclusion to a lawsuit filed by Bungie last August, the owners of the… Lot 2 cheat domains, Veterancheats, LaviCheats and Elite Boss Tech, will have to pay a settlement totaling about $13.5 million in damages. The settlement calculation is based on a $2,000 fine per violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — 17 US Code Section 1201 a and b — multiplied by the approximately 6,765 unique downloads of that program.
According to a report by Andy Maxwell on TorrentFreakBungie accused the defendants of violating copyright law in addition to extortion, fraud, money laundering and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Cheating in games like Lot 2 has caused developers to use increasingly stringent methods to combat the prevalence of these programs. These countermeasures can be very difficult and costly to apply, especially in the case of live service games such as Lot 2 that have an ecosystem that changes regularly.
Bungie stated in previous court filings that, in addition to compromising the gameplay experience of Lot 2the availability of these cheats means the “anti-cheating vigil can never end” while taking countermeasures is “exorbitantly expensive”.
The case initially appeared to go to trial, but an agreement has now been reached with the defendants, Robert James Duthie Nelson, Elite Boss Tech and 11020781 Canada. This agreement states that the defendants are liable for the creation and distribution of these cheats, that the infringement was intentional, and that their software is designed to circumvent technological measures used by Bungie to control access to its software.
This settlement is consistent with other similar lawsuits that Bungie has filed in the past year in partnership with Ubisoft and another with Riot Games both of which targeted cheat manufacturers producing illegal programs for: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and brave, in addition to destination 2. The lawsuit filed with Riot Games netted the developers $2 million, while the joint case with Ubisoft is still pending.
Cases like this are becoming more common and not without precedent. Activision filed a lawsuit in January Duty cheatmaker EngineOwning cites similar charges and is currently seeking damages of hundreds of millions.