Imminent court ruling to choke Runescape hackers
Monday, 23rd January 2012 at 2:06 pm
Humiliated iBot creators to pay damages and attorney fees in upcoming order
Jagex is to be awarded a sum “in excess of six figures” for damages after a protracted court battle against Runescape hackers, legal papers show.
The ruling has been made against Impulse Software, the makers of various game hacks, including ‘iBOT’, which allows RuneScape players to level up even if they aren’t playing the game.
Jagex initially lost its bid for a preliminary injunction against Impulse in September 2010. But the latest ruling has resulted in the defendant writing a thorough apology admitting guilt to all charges.
Documentation seen by Develop shows that a Boston court last week ruled that Impulse - and its owners Eric and Mark Snellman – were guilty of a number of offences including copyright infringement, circumvention of technological measures, as well as computer fraud.
The documents show the Boston district court has issued the demands through a court order, though the judge has yet to sign the document.
Impulse is to be henceforth forbidden from providing instructions on how to hack Runescape. Its employees will be permanently banned from playing any Jagex games.
The defendants, whose websites instructed how customers can succeed in Runescape with an AI program, will have pay for both parties’ attorney fees on top of damages.
Impulse must also transfer ownership of its websites to Jagex and destroy all bot code once the transfer had been made.
Once signed, breach of the order will result in a substantial pay out to Jagex. The final fee has not been disclosed other than it is in excess of six figures.
Impulse is barred from commenting on the matter.
The case against Impulse Software has been running for more than two years, with Jagex initially losing its bid for a preliminary injunction in September 2010 over copyright complexities.
At the time, the studio had apparently not made all of the necessary copyright registrations on its website or software – an accepted convention in the UK but no so in the US.
But the totality of Jagex’s victory was made clear in an enforced and comprehensive apology issued by Impulse.
“Throughout the course of this lawsuit, we’ve come to understand the harm that botting does to Runescape and Jagex,” read the Impulse statement.
“We’d like to apologise to Jagex and to all legitimate RuneScape players for the damage and harm iBot has done,” it added.
“In the next few weeks our websites, domains, code and customer details will be passed over to Jagex along with details of all those people who we know have developed scripts for iBot and sold or re-sold those scripts.
“Shortly, all references to iBot and Impulse Software will disappear from the internet. We’d encourage all of you who have scripts or iBot to delete them and certainty not to try and use or develop them.
“We’ve not been able to fix them anyway following Bot Nuke week, but if you did manage to get them working again, you’d be open to the same claims Jagex has made against us.”
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