In recent years, game companies have filed copyright infringement lawsuits against alleged cheaters, cheat makers, and sellers.
GTA V developer Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive were among the first to go down this path four years ago.
In 2018, the game companies filed a lawsuit in Australia, targeting several people believed to be linked to the popular “Infamous” cheating mod.
This lawsuit stood out because the Federal Court of Australia signed off on several broad enforcement actions. Not only were the defendants restrained from any cheating-related activity, they were also the subject of a search and assets freezing order.
With the orders in hand, a search party was permitted to enter several buildings and search, copy, or remove evidence including any computers and documents that were linked to the alleged offenses.
The initial court documents listed the names of several people involved, which likely included aliases. As the case developed, Christopher Anderson emerged as the sole defendant.
Anderson is also the person who had several items seized from his home, including laptops, an iPad and an iPhone. In addition, PayPal froze the developer’s funds, which presumably included profits from the cheating business.
Liable for Copyright Infringement
After the early fireworks, the case proceeded quietly in the background, while confidential filings kept the general public out of the loop. One of the key rulings was handed down last year, with the Federal Court concluding that Anderson infringed GTA 5’s copyrights.
Justice Nicholas ruled that Anderson infringed Take Two’s copyrights by copying substantial parts of the GTA V software and authorizing cheat users to reproduce content without permission.
In addition, the developer and users of the “Infamous” mod breached the software’s license agreement and terms of service.
The court order also instructed both camps to reach an agreement on the profits generated from sales of cheats, plus interest, which Anderson should pay to Rockstar and Take-Two.
AU$130,000 Profits and Interest
After more than a year, both sides eventually agreed that the profits and interest add up to AU$130,000 (~$86,000). In an order issued law month, Justice Nicholas writes that Anderson must pay this amount within 30 days.
The “Infamous” website went offline years ago and, as far as we know, never made a comeback. The court previously clarified that Anderson should destroy all copies. In addition, he must do everything possible to make previously sold cheats inoperable.
“[Defendant shall do] all things necessary and desirable that are within his power to do to cause the Infamous Mod to be made permanently inoperable, including but not limited to permanently disabling any authentication service upon which the Infamous Mod relies,” Justice Nicholas wrote.
A copy of the Federal Court’s order requiring the payment of AU$130,000 in profits and interest is available here (pdf).