Court Confirms Bungie’s $3.6m DMCA Violation Win Against AimJunkies

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A federal court in Seattle has confirmed an arbitration ruling which requires cheat seller AimJunkies to pay $3.6m in damages to game developer Bungie. The cheat seller's objections to the arbitration outcome were denied. While DMCA violations are resolved now, the copyright and trademark infringement claims will be tackled at trial.

bungieTwo years ago, Bungie filed a complaint at a federal court in Seattle, accusing of copyright and trademark infringement, among other things.

The same accusations were also made against Phoenix Digital Group, the alleged creators of the ‘Destiny 2’ cheating software.

AimJunkies denied the claims and argued that cheating isn’t against the law. In addition, it refuted the copyright infringement allegations; these lacked substance because some of the referenced copyrights were registered well after the cheats were first made available, AimJunkies said.

Early Win for AimJunkies

Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly handed an early and partial win to AimJunkies. The original complaint didn’t provide sufficient evidence for a plausible claim that the ‘Destiny 2 Hacks’ infringed any copyrights, the Judge concluded.

This was a setback for Bungie, but the court allowed the game developer to amend its complaint, which it promptly did. As a result, the copyright infringement dispute is currently ongoing and progressing through the legal process.

During 2022, Judge Zilly referred several of the non-copyright-related complaints to arbitration, including allegations that AimJunkies’ cheats violated the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision and were illegally sold to third parties.

Arbitration Judge Sides with Bungie

The arbitration process was conducted behind the scenes and resulted in a resounding win for the game developer; Bungie was awarded a total of nearly $4.4 million in damages and fees.

The bulk of the award was DMCA-related damages. According to arbitration Judge Ronald Cox, the evidence makes it clear that AimJunkies and third-party developer James May bypassed Bungie’s technical protection measures in violation of the DMCA.

In addition to breaching the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, the defendants were also found liable for trafficking in circumvention devices. Or, put differently, selling and shipping the cheats.

The DMCA circumvention and trafficking violations total nearly $3.6 million in damages with the remainder of the $4.4 million consisting of fees and costs.

Court Denies Objections, Confirms Damages Award

Shortly after the arbitration result, Bungie asked the federal court to have it confirmed. This was met with protests from the cheat seller, which asked the court to vacate the damages award.

According to AimJunkies, the arbitrator denied them a fair hearing by sustaining an objection. This prevented AimJunkies to use a prior deposition of Bungie’s witness for impeachment purposes. On top of that, they argue that the arbitrator was evidentially partial toward Bungie.

After reviewing the relevant submissions, District Court Judge Thomas Zilly denied AimJunkies’ objections and confirmed the arbitration order.

According to the court, AimJunkies could have tried other ways to bring up the impeachment. In addition, there’s no evidence that the arbitrator was evidentially partial to Bungie.


The final award totals $4,396,222 and consists of $3,657,500 in damages, $598,641 in attorneys’ fees, $101,800 in expert witness fees, and $38,281 in other expenses.

Legal Battle Continues

The court’s approval of the judgment is good news for Bungie. In addition to the financial aspect, it also comes with a permanent injunction that prevents the defendants from creating and selling similar hacks and cheats in the future.

That said, the legal battle is far from over. Bungie’s copyright and trademark infringement claims remain pending and both sides are expending significant legal resources to make their case.

In addition to Bungie’s claims, the countersuit in which third-party cheat developer James May accuses Bungie of ‘hacking,’ theft, and DMCA violations, has yet to be decided as well.

These remaining issues are expected to be resolved at a multi-day trial, which is scheduled to take place later this year.

A copy of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly’s order confirming the arbitration judgment is available here (pdf)


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