A company who make and sell cheats for Blizzard games including Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft must pay Blizzard over $8.5 million, a US court has ruled. This is the latest development in Blizzard's battle with cheaty botters Bossland, which has so far spanned five years, the courts of several countries, and even more cases. This latest ruling says that, along with paying up, Bossland are ordered to stop selling their software in the US as it "circumvents technological measures that control access to Blizzard's games". Other cases are still ongoing, mind.
The German company owe Blizzard $8,563,600 in damages for Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations, the ruling says (as picked up by TorrentFreak). That's 42,818 violations at $200 apiece, one for each user in the US. $176,635 in attorney fees and court costs go on top of that.
Blizzard first went after Bossland in the German courts in July 2011. Undeterred, Bossland kept on making and selling new cheats for Blizzard's new games as they were released and keeping pace with anti-cheat measures. Blizzard have followed up with more many cases in the US, Germany, and the UK too.
Try to visit Bossland's site in the UK and you'll be greeted with a page blank but for a message explaining that they admitted in the UK courts that "the sale of its software [. . .] to any person resident in the United Kingdom, constitutes an infringement of Blizzard's intellectual property rights and an inducement to players of Blizzard's games to breach their agreements with Blizzard."
They're accordingly no longer allowed to sell or advertise it to UK residents, it says. Hence the exciting page we see.
Bossland have given a running commentary of legal cases on their blog, though not this latest wrinkle. Their latest, on March 18th, related to two of their multiple cases going on in the German courts. "One we lost and one we partially won," they said.
The cheaty cheaters have fought this for years with all sorts of appeals. This is surely not the end but the courts do seem to be closing in and Bossland do seem to be tiring. Earlier this year, Bossland decided that licenses to their WoW, Diablo 3, and Hearthstone bots once sold as "lifetime" are now only two-year licenses.
"We regret, if you think that this might be unfair to you, the users," Bossland said in January. "But a business only can carry on as long as the business can afford paying its daily costs, and a big amount of that daily costs are actually the infrastructure, the development and the legal expenses."
Even if Blizzard aren't declared the winners by all the courts in all their cases, their deeper pockets might let them simply bleed Bossland out.