Targeting Overwatch cheaters at the source, Blizzard rallies its legal eagles

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 5 July 2016 03:23 GMT

A popular Overwatch cheat program has inspired a new wave of legal wrath from the big B.


Overwatch was on the market for less than a week before cheat programs began to sour the scene on PC. Although Blizzard has been handing out serious Overwatch bans, it wants to end the problem by going after the source.

The latest manifestation of the developer’s anti-cheat ambitions is a lawsuit filed in California against the German company behind Watchover Tyrant. This popular cheating tool boasts a number of arguably harmless features, but the one that gets a work out is making enemies visible at all times, both on radar and through level geometry. Hopefully we don’t need to spell out the advantage this provides.

Blizzard’s suit accuses Watchover Tyrant developer Bossland Hacks of “copyright infringement, unfair competition, and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision”, according to TorrentFreak‘s report.

The suit argues Bossland Hack’s freelance developers have infringed Blizzard’s copyrights, by unlawfully accessing games like Overwatch and creating derivative works – such as Watchover Tyrant’s overlay.

Blizzard says Bossland Hacks knows it’s violating Overwatch’s EULA because it announced it would improve its tools when Blizzard banned those Overwatch players found to be using Watchover Tyrant.

Bossland Hacks may have earned millions of dollars, Blizzard’s legal team claims, and the developer wants compensation for potentially tens of millions of dollars of revenue lost due to the sale of Bossland Hacks products in the US (Bossland Hacks also makes World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storms cheat tools) – as well as punitive charges.

This isn’t the first time Blizzard has taken Bossland Hacks to court, and the company has so far evaded all suits levelled at it; it’s in the middle of ten ongoing cases in Germany, apparently. Speaking to TorrentFreak, a representative said Bossland hasn’t been notified of this suit, and that a California court has no jurisdiction over the purely German company.

The launch of competitive Overwatch has made cheating even more of a concern than ever – just one of a number of hurdles the nascent scene must overcome to take off as an eSport.

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