Epic Games is continuing their legal battle against a 14 year old, but they have addressed that he’s fourteen now. A few days ago, we covered the start of this lawsuit in depth, which if you haven’t read, you can catch up on here.
Well, they’re still suing a 14 year old. The major update being that Epic Games has confirmed that they didn’t realise they were suing a 14 year old at the time. They’re still going to do it though. Even though suing a minor is rarely successful or even possible.
The letter from Epic Games is just a formal response to the allegations of Rule 5.2(a) and Local Civil Rule 17.2 being violated. There’s no mention of the claims from the mother about:
- It’s illegal to sue a minor. (It may not be where they reside.)
- She did not give consent to play the game. (Probably something they’re working on fixing now)
- He may not be technically held to the EULA. (Being both a minor and without his parents consent the contract/agreement may be void)
- A lack of real profit loss. (Most likely waiting till the actual trial for that one)
It looks like Epic games is taking it one step at a time. The letter states:
“We did not violate Rule 5.2(a) or Local Civil Rule 17.2 because we did not know when we filed the papers that Defendant is a minor.”
Which is, technically true in the case of Rule 5.2(a) which does state:
“Unless the court orders otherwise, in an electronic or paper filing with the court that contains […]the name of an individual known to be a minor […] the filing may include only:
[…](3) the minor’s initials”
So you have to know you’re suing a minor to be in fault of releasing a minors full name.
Amazingly, they’re turning it back on the mother here, saying that of all the people who DID know the defendant was a minor, she was the one to publish his full name in her first letter. Which is true!
You can read the full response to the mother here.
One part does stick out of the letter though-
“we plan to include only Defendant’s initials or redact his name entirely in all future filings with the Court, including this letter.”
Epic Games is definitely going to be taking this forward. They just wrapped up another lawsuit against Charles Vraspir, who was allegedly in association with AddictedCheats.net.
The ruling outlined a number of rules for Vraspir going forward. Mostly, it boiled down to if he cheats, makes cheats, distributes cheats, mentions a cheat, fails to destroy the cheats he’s previously made or otherwise does anything to cheat while playing any of Epic Games games again, he will be fined $5000 for each offence. Which, is much better than the $150,000 penalty that people usually get for copyright infringement.
Interestingly, he’s not legally banned from playing. The wording of allowing him to play again but not cheat does suggest he will be allowed back, despite Epic Games FAQ on the matter:
“Cheaters are permanently banned across all Epic products.”
The wording is unclear. But, it looks like Vraspir, who allegedly created 9 different accounts to keep cheating, might get to just keep playing.
You can read the full PDF from the case here as well as all of the ruling.
It was agreed upon pretty quickly. It looks like Epic is moving through these as efficiently as they can. With the 14 year old defendant previously filing a counter claim for the DMCA, it’s not clear if this next lawsuit will go as smoothly.
We’ll just have to see how this turns out.