“Epic Games has no capability of proving any form of modification.”
Last month, Fortnite developer Epic Games banned thousands of cheaters from its survival shooter—filing lawsuits against whom it perceived to be the biggest offenders in the process. One player accused is a 14-year-old, whose mother has now motioned to have the case against her son dropped.
Epic Games allege the accused committed copyright infringement by modifying Fortnite—in turn cheating—and thereafter livestreaming it. The accused’s mother has responded with the suggestion her son is being used as a “scapegoat” and that Epic has no grounds to pursue a minor.
A letter issued to the Honorable Malcolm J. Howard says:
This letter is in response to the alleged allegations of copyright infringement via Epic Games, INC. This company is in the process of attempting to sue a 14-year-old child. They are claiming he prepared derivative works based upon a copyrighted work and publicly performed and displayed this as such. They are also claiming he “modified their game” to use a cheat and live streamed it. This would, of course, fall under the Copyright Act if he did in-fact modify their game.
Epic Games has no capability of proving any form of modification. Caleb obtained existing cheats from a website with public view, not affiliated with Epic Games, INC, and used those cheats during a game with live stream via YouTube. I may add a multitude of other individuals have and currently are doing this as this letter is being typed.
The mother’s letter goes on to suggest Fortnite’s terms and conditions dictate that parental consent is required for minors, which she did not give. It says that Epic claims the case is based on the developer’s loss of profits, yet Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode is a free-to-play.
It then suggests that Epic’s decision to go after specific players—and not the websites from which her son obtained said cheats—makes her son a scapegoat.
The letter adds: “Furthermore, Epic Games, INC has released the defendant’s name publicly, therefore allowing news articles and different online publications to obtain his name and in turn release additional information. Referencing State of Delaware House Bill No. 64 it is illegal to release under age individuals’ personal information by any agencies.
Epic Games INC is in complete violation of this as well as other individual websites and news reporting agencies.”