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Blizzard sues an 'Overwatch' cheat developer

Engadget Engadget 5/07/2016 Jon Fingas
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Blizzard has about as much interest in stamping out cheaters as you do, and it's willing to go to court to keep things clean. The company has filed a US lawsuit against Bossland, a German developer whose Watchover Tyrant app is designed solely to help unscrupulous Overwatch players. The software allegedly violates copyright law, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-circumvention measures. More importantly, Blizzard claims that Watchover hurts both legitimate players and the bottom line. The developer may be losing "tens of millions of dollars" in sales to gamers put off by the thought that cheaters are running rampant.

Whether or not the software did that much financial damage, there's no question that Bossland is aware of what it's doing: in response to an earlier Blizzard crackdown, it swore that it would make Watchover harder to detect. You don't do that unless you know your product is "unlawful," Blizzard argues.

The real debate may be over jurisdiction. Bossland insists that the US has no authority over a company that supposedly has no connection to the country, and that Blizzard could easily have sued 5 years ago over previous cheat software. Blizzard would likely beg to differ, though -- Watchover is directly affecting an American game producer, and it's not clear that Bossland is doing anything to stop US sales.


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