Bungie & Teenage Destiny 2 Cheat Settle Differences With $500K Permaban

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A teenager who reportedly cheated in Destiny 2, evaded multiple bans, threatened Bungie employees, and generally made the developer's life a nightmare, has reached a settlement with the gaming company. In addition to a laundry list of restrictions moderating his future behavior, the teenager has accepted Bungie's $500,000 offer to put this matter behind them.

Destiny 2Bungie’s copyright infringement-based lawsuits against cheat makers, sellers, and those who use them, have divided opinion in unexpected ways.

While David vs. Goliath battles tend to have the masses cheering for the little guy, many videogame fans have grown tired of their enjoyment being spoiled by people who intentionally set out to spoil it.

The fact that many of these individuals pay out significant sums of money to gain an imaginary upper hand only serves to rub salt in the wounds. In one particularly malicious case, Bungie had clearly seen more than enough.

Familiar Case, Unusual Features

In July 2022, another Bungie lawsuit came to light. It targeted an individual who had deployed cheats in Destiny 2 and as a result, now faced claims of breaching security mechanisms controlling access to a copyrighted work.

For each violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, Bungie sought $2,500. For modifying the Destiny 2 game, thereby creating an unauthorized derivative work, Bungie was able to demand another $150,000. While complicated enough already, it soon transpired that Bungie had unwittingly sued ‘L.L.’ – a 17-year-old minor.

Luckily for Bungie, the details of the case quickly dispersed any sympathy for the teenager; DMCA claims found themselves overshadowed by allegations of a long-running harassment campaign against Bungie employees. L.L.’s decision to mount a particularly robust defense, absent of any remorse, was completely logical and looked absolutely terrible.

At least in the short term, it wasn’t particularly effective either.

Bungie and Teenage Nemesis Eventually Agree

In a proposed consent judgment and permanent injunction filed at a Washington court early this month, Bungie systematically repeats many of its original allegations, with the defendant quietly nodding along.

The defendant used software to cheat in Destiny 2. That software displayed a graphical overlay in the copyrighted Destiny 2 audiovisual work and injected code to facilitate cheats, thereby creating an unauthorized derivative work, in breach of copyright. The software circumvented Bungie’s technological measures in breach of the DMCA, with each use of that software representing an independent circumvention violation.

Further breaches of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision took place every time a new account was opened to evade a Bungie ban, and each unlicensed download of Destiny 2 was yet another breach of Bungie’s copyrights. All told, the parties agree that Bungie is entitled to $300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement, and a further $200,000 for 100 acts of circumvention at $2,000 each.

Grand total: $500,000 in damages

Permanently cease-and-desist

To ensure no repeat of the defendant’s alleged behavior, a wall of text in the proposed judgment restrains L.L. from having anything to do with any cheat software targeting Bungie-owned properties, having anything to do with any Bungie-related game assets, or interacting with any Bungie game, ever again.

Also prohibited is the direct or indirect harassment of Bungie or its employees, or anyone who plays Bungie games. The defendant cannot travel within 1,000 feet of Bungie’s offices, nor knowingly travel within 1,000 feet of any home of any Bungie employee, “except as is incidental to travel on public highways and roadways for purposes other than to make contact with or otherwise harass” Bungie employees.

L.L. is also required to embark on a comprehensive account deletion mission.

bungie cease and desist

“This permanent injunction is binding against the Defendant worldwide, without regard to the territorial scope of the specific intellectual property rights asserted in the Complaint of the above-captioned case and may be enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction wherever Defendant or their assets may be found,” the consent judgment continues.

With that the parties request that judgment is entered in accordance with the outlined terms, including an award for $500,000 in damages in favor of Bungie. With all necessary lessons learned, the judge’s signature will bring the matter to a close. In theory, at least.

Related documents are available here (1,2, pdf)


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