Epic Games and ‘Cheating’ Fortnite Kid Settle Copyright Lawsuit
Frustrated by thousands of cheaters who wreak havoc in Fortnite’s “Battle Royale,” game publisher Epic Games has taken several to court.
The game developer isn’t trying to bankrupt these people financially. The main goal appears to be to stop the cheaters and prevent them from encouraging and facilitating others to do the same.
In most instances, the alleged cheaters are eager to settle the cases. However, a YouTuber called CBV, who was sued by Epic Games this summer, started out by returning fire. Despite his relatively young age of 14 years old, he showed no sign of backing off.
The alleged cheater lawyered up and responded by filing a motion to dismiss at a North Carolina federal court. Among other things, his attorneys pointed out that the Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over this client and that requiring a minor to defend himself in another state would be unreasonable.
The games company, which hit the minor (referred to as C.B. in the complaint) with several claims, including copyright infringement and breaches of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision, wasn’t planning on letting CBV get away with it though.
Epic Games countered that it had a solid case, noting that the defendant’s cheating activity continued despite the lawsuit.
With both sides choosing not to back off, the lawsuit seemed destined for a drawn-out fight. But it didn’t get to that. Behind the scenes, the parties came together to settle their differences without court intervention. This has now resulted in a settlement that’s formalized through an order of approval by the court.
With help from pro bono attorneys and his mother Kari as a General Guardian, C.B. reached a confidential settlement with Epic Games. It’s unclear whether there is a damages amount involved, but both sides have dropped their (counter)claims, effectively ending the dispute.
“Defendant’s General Guardian and Defendant agree and are satisfied that the Settlement Agreement that is the subject of this Order is fair and reasonable. In particular, Defendant’s General Guardian and Defendant believe that the terms of the Settlement Agreement properly account for C.B.’s status as a minor,” the order reads.
As part of the settlement, the defendant likely agreed not to engage in any cheating activities. This includes uploading cheat videos on YouTube, which he initially continued to do on a new YouTube channel.
The defendant also continued to develop and sell cheat software, Epic Games previously said. After the lawsuit was filed he created a new website, NexusCheats.us, which was advertised through his YouTube videos. At the time of writing, this website is no longer online.
When the lawsuit was first announced (C.B.) CBV responded with some quite aggressive language on his YouTube channel, but since then the channel has gone quiet. The last upload dates back three months and, given the settlement, it’s unlikely that any new Fortnite cheat videos will appear there going forward.
For Epic Games, these lawsuits are the only way to remove some cheat videos from YouTube. If a YouTuber continues to dispute a DMCA takedown request, as happened in this case, YouTube will restore the video unless a lawsuit is filed.