Epic Games Moves Forward In Lawsuit Against 14-Year-Old Fortnite Cheater

Fortnite Lawsuit
(Image credit: Epic Games)

Epic Games was put under the microscope of criticism when the company initially began suing a 14-year-old for cheating in Fortnite, After a mother posted a rebuttal, we thought that we had heard the last of that case, but actually, it isn't over with... not by a long shot.

IGN is reporting that Epic is moving forward with the lawsuit against the teenager for violating the terms of service and using a cheat program in the Battle Royale game, Fortnite.

There was a recent filing by Epic to keep going with the case, where the company filed disputes for four of the main points that were raised by the mother of the 14-year-old in order to have the case initially dismissed.

Despite Fortnite being a major mover and shaker in the business and making the company millions, as well as gaining exposure thanks to people like Drake playing the game, Epic still felt the need to stake a claim in the judicial arena by taking the teenager cheater to court.

In Epic's motion, the company states that him being a minor doesn't matter because he still clicked the checkbox to agree to the terms of the user agreement to play game, and that in a previous court ruling there was a precedent set for allowing a case to move forward where a minor was involved with agreeing to the terms of service, and therefore binding a contract between the user and the company.

Epic also dismisses the claim that a parental consent dropdown should be required to play Fortnite for kids underage, since it's not an industry standard, and therefore not a requirement for the game.

Essentially, Epic is not backing down. In the filing, the company makes it known that it's following through with the proper procedures after the defendant initially posted up multiple videos back in October of 2017 showcasing himself using cheat tools in Fortnite to gain an unfair advantage during the Battle Royale segments.

The issue was that not only did the 14-year-old post the videos of him cheating on YouTube, but he also instructed others on how to acquire the tools to cheat in the game. Epic states that this is a clear violation of the terms of service, and the end user license agreement that he signed in order to play the game, thus not only breaching the contract between him and Epic but also infringing upon the company's content by using prohibited software and distributing it through YouTube.

The main issue comes not from the DMCA claims that Epic filed against the 14-year-old's videos, but from the fact that after the videos received DMCA notices, the 14-year-old used YouTube's DMCA counter-claim system in order to get the videos reinstated. This forced Epic's hand because if the company did not file a lawsuit then it would mean that letting the counter-claim lapse would see YouTube reinstating the videos that were DMCA'd.

It's actually a much stickier and trickier situation than what some people might think, but it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds now that Epic has made it known that it won't be backing down in order to protect Fortnite from cheaters.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.