Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K Games, has won a default judgment against the developer behind the Elusive Grand Theft Auto V cheat. The cheat creator, Florida resident Jhonny Perez, was ordered to pay $150,000 in damages, the maximum allowed in a copyright infringement case.
The video game company filed the claim in August of last year. Take-Two argued that creating Elusive and making it available to the public was a serious breach of copyright. The official complaint states claims for copyright infringement and breach of contract.
Griefers could also access the cheating software and disrupt the gameplay experience of others. The Grand Theft Auto V cheat was available for sale online for around $10 to $30. It was taken offline last year after Take-Two contacted Perez. The cheat creator did not hand over financial records from these sales, despite the company's repeated attempts to request them. The absence of any response facilitated the decision to go ahead with legal action.
Perez refrained from entering a plea at court, and Judge Kevin Castel ruled in favor of Take-Two. Judge Castel stated that the company was “irreparably harmed” by Perez’s activities.
In the court records, the judge listed the various consequences stemming from the “Infringing Program.” The judge noted that Elusive’s features could be used to endanger innocent players and by extension, the established gameplay. This would lead to the company’s reputation taking a hit from disappointed users and decreasing sales.
Judge Castel also mentioned that the Elusive GTA V cheat “allows its users to create unlimited virtual currency— which can then be used to purchase in-game items in Take-Two’s game— it undermines Take-Two’s pricing and sales of legitimate virtual currency.” He continued, adding “Take-Two has no way of knowing how much revenue it has lost and will continue to lose as a result of Mr. Perez’s Infringing Program.”
Perez was found guilty of both “willful direct and willful contributory copyright infringement,” and breaking the terms of Take-Two’s user agreement. The court also issued a permanent injunction preventing him from engaging in similar activities in the future.
What do you think of the punishment for the Elusive GTA V Cheat? Do you think there should be more court cases against cheat program sellers for online games? Let us know in the comments below!