Update: Ket at ownedcore.com has offered KJ hosting and a dedicated forum for TurboHud. The question is, will he accept the offer in the current landscape of gaming?
Update 2: KJ appears to have accepted Ket’s offer and is bringing back all of the TurboHud forums and software to the OwnedCore website.
KillerJohn broke the silence Wednesday with a post on Reddit after the now infamous TurboHud Website got taken down:
- Nope, I got no C&D letter from Blizzard.
- Yes, there is a GOOD CHANCE (nothing more) that Blizzard’s legal move against a known bot maker and TurboHUD forum’s deletion within a day is not a coincidence.
While it still remains speculation as to the specifics of his website getting shut down, I thought I would take the time to research some of these gaming lawsuits we keep hearing about.
The most notable lawsuit of late, being filed on August 6th, 2016 by Riot Games against LeagueSharp. Riot sued the company on 3 counts:
- TRAFFICKING IN CIRCUMVENTION DEVICES
- INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS
- UNFAIR COMPETITION
Most notably for me, is the idea that Riot was able to successfully sue and win on the grounds that a 3rd party company was creating unfair competition.
Section 44 of the complaint really summarizes why cheating in a game causes issues for not only the players, but the company itself.
Essentially, Riot Games was losing money because people don’t want to play with cheaters.
After some shady tactics, trying to hide behind a shell corporation in Peru, and failing to settle out of court, LeagueSharp lost to Riot Games at the end of January. They were forced to turn over all of their websites by the end of February, as well as $10,000,000 in damages.
How does this affect other games & companies?
It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan and very active participant in the Diablo franchise by Blizzard.
With the knowledge that game-makers have now successfully won lawsuits against individuals and companies who make cheats, I was curious to see how this would affect Blizzard.
In a very similar move to the one Riot Games just made, you may have heard there is a Blizzard Lawsuit against Bossland to the tune of $8.5 million. This part of the story isn’t particularly new, as these two companies have been going head-to-head for years in US and German courts. (as is clearly stated on the Bossland Website).
What is new however, is that on February 16, 2017 The Clerk entered Bossland’s default after Bossland requested additional time and was declined on February 10th.
According to documents filed on March 13, 2017, Blizzard is now entitled to the following:
- The Requested Permanent Injunction
- $8,563,600 In Minimum Statutory Damages For Bossland’s Violations Of The DMCA
- Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees And Costs (no less than $174,872.00)
According to the documents filed, Blizzard is actually entitled to $85,478,600 (that is, 427,393 users multiplied by the statutory minimum of $200 per “act of circumvention” and/or “performance of service”), but they are being more reasonable and only seeking the $8.5 million.
During my research, I started noticing many similarities between the Riot Games and Blizzard lawsuits.
At this point, I facepalmed pretty hard when I realized both Blizzard and Riot Games were being represented by the same group of Lawyers.
While it is true that KillerJohn did not receive a direct notice or threat from Blizzard, and that no direct explanation was given from his Webhost, it is understandable why he would say the following:
- No, I won’t host TurboHUD forum on anybody’s forum.
- No, I won’t host TurboHUD on my own forum (neither on free forum hosting, nor self-hosted payed environments).
- So I have no clue how to solve this, I can’t solve this, and probably it won’t solve itself.
Without a doubt, TurboHUD was an amazing program. The fact that it has been in the community for so long, and only grown with the game speaks volumes about KillerJohn’s talents.
It is Truly unfortunate that Blizzard never offered the guy a job, or to purchase his work, considering most of his features are still not implemented in the game.
That being said, after looking at these lawsuits, how they are ramping up, and what they are suing for, it is pretty obvious that providing cheats to a large number of users no longer comes without risk.
Something that is particularly interesting about the Riot and Blizzard Lawsuit is that the game companies are winning damages based on perceived losses, and not because the cheats are generating profits.
If you’re like me, and have personally never used TurboHUD*, you should be looking forward to the next season of Diablo 3.
Season 10 will be ushering in one of the more balanced seasons, with three classes potentially vying to kill bosses.
If this season is more fair because everyone is playing on a level playing field, and Blizzard continues to go after Botters and other cheats, then I say bring it on.
* Just because I have personally never used TurboHUD does not mean that I have never benefited from it. I am just as guilty as anyone using TurboHUD because 99% of my groups after leaving Juice have been in groups utilizing the software. It’s impossible to avoid in the top groups of Diablo3.