GTA V Cheat Maker Ordered to Pay Take-Two $150,000 in Copyright Damages

Megalith

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Florida resident Jhonny Perez was sued by Take-Two Interactive last August for developing (and selling) cheat software for Grand Theft Auto V, which allegedly resulted in severe losses of at least $500,000. The publisher was already confident it could prove his guilt, but Perez made things even easier when he ignored the complaint and never showed up to court, prompting a default judgment in favor of Take-Two that granted maximum statutory damages ($150,000) plus $69,686 in attorney’s fees. “This is the highest damages amount that has ever been awarded in a game cheating case.”

In addition to the monetary damages, the Court also issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the cheat maker from continuing infringing activities moving forward. Elusive hasn’t been available for sale since last year. It was taken offline after Perez was contacted by Take-Two. “After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, we are immediately ceasing all maintenance, development, and distribution of our cheat menu services,” a public announcement read at the time. At the time, the cheat maker informed its users that it would donate the proceeds to a charity which Take-Two could pick.
 

odditory

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Dumb bastard may have to drive Uber or under-table cash jobs for a long time, because any legit paychecks will get the garnish hammer. Pretty sure you can't BK out of a judgment like that either.
 

DukenukemX

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This doesn't sit well with me. I hate cheaters like everyone else but a $200k fine? Also copyright infringement damages? What exactly did this cheat do to infringe copyright? Also half a million in damages? I also like how they claim this will be a deterrent against other cheat developers. I don't think that's going to stop many people, if any. Look how well that worked for piracy.
 

HAL_404

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he didn't show in court and therefore he wont be paying anything anytime soon ...
 

Ragenrok

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This doesn't sit well with me. I hate cheaters like everyone else but a $200k fine? Also copyright infringement damages? What exactly did this cheat do to infringe copyright? Also half a million in damages? I also like how they claim this will be a deterrent against other cheat developers. I don't think that's going to stop many people, if any. Look how well that worked for piracy.
Chances are it would of been way less but he was a moron and didn't show up making it an automatic maximum penalty. Also some of these cheats invoke reverse engineering game code which how they can push the copyright claims, I mean of course it's just an easy way to sue them but it's a lot easier to claim copyright rather than hacking cost us money.
 

GlowingGhoul

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Lisa Su has a PhD, Jensun Huang has a masters in EE, Craig Barrett (former Intel CEO/chairman) has a PhD in materials science. Micron's CEO has an EE masters, Qualcomm's CEO has an EE masters, TI's current CEO is an EE major, Globalfoundries' current CEO has a PhD in engineering...


I think the point is that there are plenty of CEOs with a strong technical background in the U.S. semiconductor business, as well as Intel's past, so a CEO who isn't an engineer is what's notable.
Wrong. All he has to do is file for bankruptcy, and boom, judgement is gone. Now, if he has any significant assets, he will lose those, but depending on the state, a bankrupt individual may get to keep a lot (like a house, vehicles, retirement savings, etc).
 

maxz01

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Dumb bastard may have to drive Uber or under-table cash jobs for a long time, because any legit paychecks will get the garnish hammer. Pretty sure you can't BK out of a judgment like that either.
He can choose to escape life too. Which is the wisest and best choice for any human.
 

umeng2002

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Just incorporate your life and live off the expense account. It tells you how broken the system is when you can be sued for copyright infringement for making a game cheat.

The shame of it is that if he created a corporation and sold the cheat thru a legit company, his personal assets would be secured.

The system is rigged against individuals. Incorporate as much as you can. Companies can get away with anything.
 
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kju1

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Wrong. All he has to do is file for bankruptcy, and boom, judgement is gone. Now, if he has any significant assets, he will lose those, but depending on the state, a bankrupt individual may get to keep a lot (like a house, vehicles, retirement savings, etc).
Not if he lives in Florida...just ask OJ Simpson.
 

Vader1975

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This kinda backs up to what did he make?
69K in lawyers fees really? Seems excessive. But 219K bill. So what did he make? That continues to be the question. If he made 500K then he still makes out and this isn't enough. If he made 10K then he will end up bankrupt.
 

sfsuphysics

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Wrong. All he has to do is file for bankruptcy, and boom, judgement is gone. Now, if he has any significant assets, he will lose those, but depending on the state, a bankrupt individual may get to keep a lot (like a house, vehicles, retirement savings, etc).
Eh.. it's not quite as simple as saying "I'm bankrupt, now all debts go away", first the judgement already is in effect Take-Two has the power to raid any savings accounts or garnish wages right now until bankruptcy is filed, so if he has all that money sitting in a checking account or something then yeah they can make claim to it, usually if it looks like you're going to be sued into oblivion you file for bankruptcy before the lawsuit. Second depending upon what those other assets were bought, the court may decide that he does have to give up his house, if you steal millions and use that to buy a mansion it's not like the courts will say "well we don't want to make the guy homeless", ditto with vehicles and retirement savings. Now if he threw away all the money on hookers and blow then yeah there's nothing left, but even then filing for bankruptcy does not automatically make any debt you had magically disappear, the bankruptcy courts ultimately get to decide that and the requirement to pay off debt in some fashion very well might still exist after bankruptcy.
 

HockeyJon

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This doesn't sit well with me. I hate cheaters like everyone else but a $200k fine? Also copyright infringement damages? What exactly did this cheat do to infringe copyright? Also half a million in damages? I also like how they claim this will be a deterrent against other cheat developers. I don't think that's going to stop many people, if any. Look how well that worked for piracy.
Well, it sits great with me, because screw they guy.
 

HockeyJon

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Chances are it would of been way less but he was a moron and didn't show up making it an automatic maximum penalty. Also some of these cheats invoke reverse engineering game code which how they can push the copyright claims, I mean of course it's just an easy way to sue them but it's a lot easier to claim copyright rather than hacking cost us money.
If he was selling it, which he was, and therefore making money on it, it’s really not difficult to successfully argue a copyright violation.
 

Nobu

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If he was selling it, which he was, and therefore making money on it, it’s really not difficult to successfully argue a copyright violation.
Depends on what the cheat was. If it was a binary which incorporated parts of or interacted with libraries from the game (and was not clean-room reverse engineered), or if it was a modified game binary, then I'd agree. If it was a patch or binary which was made in clean-room circumstances, then I'd disagree. But he didn't go to court so it doesn't matter either way.
 
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DNMock

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Just incorporate your life and live off the expense account. It tells you how broken the system is when you can be sued for copyright infringement for making a game cheat.

The shame of it is that if he created a corporation and sold the cheat thru a legit company, his personal assets would be secured.

The system is rigged against individuals. Incorporate as much as you can. Companies can get away with anything.
Oh trust me, there are way ore loopholes for the individual to get away with stealing from a company than there are the other way around.

As for the judgement, fat chance Take-Two see's a dime of that money. I've got a dozen judgements against people on my desk right now going back a decade and none of them have panned out. May be legally owed the money, but those are at the bottom of the hierarchy of who gets their money first when someone dies or declares bankruptcy.

All you gotta do is keep dump your assets into a trust and then make sure you personally are always in debt, (take out a 2nd loan on your house and dump that money into the trust, lol) and you will never have to pay up on a judgement.
 

WBurchnall

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This doesn't sit well with me. I hate cheaters like everyone else but a $200k fine? Also copyright infringement damages? What exactly did this cheat do to infringe copyright? Also half a million in damages?
Someone already mentioned in many states being a no show gives you the maximum penalty but I just wanted to chime in and say in regards to the half-a-million in damages...

If you were playing on a friend's console thinking about playing the game or watching your friend play it and suddenly he gets gibbed from a thousand miles way or some guy runs out and starts dropping piles of 1 billion in cash on the ground, your friend's run a few piles and it crashes his game b/c he has more than the max amount of money added at once, etc... and your friend says 'Damn hackers. This happens every round!', I'm sure that could affect one's purchasing decision. Maybe you'd buy it anyway for the single player. However, the idea that at $50 dollars a copy, that 10,000 people would be dissuaded from buying it when they see there is rampant hacking is not unreasonable considering the auidence for GTA5 is in the tens of millions and that would just be a loss of 0.01% of sales.

One could make an argument for future GTAVI sales too. If GTAV had a hacking problem, that might persuade 0.01% less people to buy GTAVI which would instantly be $500k in damages.
 
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viscountalpha

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Depends on what the cheat was. If it was a binary which incorporated parts of or interacted with libraries from the game (and was not clean-room reverse engineered), or if it was a modified game binary, then I'd agree. If it was a patch or binary which was made in clean-room circumstances, then I'd disagree. But he didn't go to court so it doesn't matter either way.
He got a default judgement against him. The courts never look kindly if you don't even show up to try and defend yourself. You are a fool if you don't at least try to appease the courts.
 

AceGoober

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Outstanding. He (cheat creator/seller) deserves every penalty levied against him. Cheating in a single player game I haven't an issue one with. Creating and providing cheats to alter a level playing field in a multiplayer environment, throw the book at them.
 

Youn

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So if I'm rich enough I can cheat? ok lesson learned...
 

Darth Ender

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One day soon in the future, there will be an absolute personal ID associated with you that is completely unique and unchangeable and unspoofable. Then these multiplayer games can finally ban people from purchasing, registering, playing the games they cheat in. It'll be the one upside to the orwellian hellscape that such a future will certainly be. Until then, bankrupt every one of these wastes of space.

n
 
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