Florida man Jhonny Perez, creator of the Grand Theft Auto Online cheat program Elusive, has been found guilty by default by a district court in New York of copyright infringement, and has been penalised with both a fine and legal costs.
As Torrent Freak report, Elusive was a cheat program that allowed Grand Theft Auto Online players to circumvent the game’s rules and economy, even letting them generate unlimited currency.
Take-Two, publishers of the game, contacted Perez last year and ordered him to cease the sale (users had to purchase Elusive) and distribution of the software. He complied with this request, but further moves to contact him were met with silence, including an initial attempt at discovering how much money Perez had made selling the cheats, and whether an out of court settlement could be reached.
Because of this the publisher went ahead with a lawsuit, and when Perez didn’t show to defend himself the court found in Take-Two’s favour by default, saying that “Take-Two has been irreparably harmed by Mr. Perez’s infringing conduct”, and that “the Infringing Program harms Take-Two’s reputation for maintaining its gaming environment, discouraging users from future purchases and gameplay.”
Take-Two have been awarded $150,000 in damages (£115,000), with Perez also ordered to pay $70,000 (£54,000) in legal fees.
You can read a full copy of the court’s finding at Torrent Freak.