A Florida man who sold cheat software for Grand Theft Auto V has been ordered to pay Take-Two Interactive $150,000 for copyright infringement damages, along with almost $70,000 in legal costs. Why’s it always ‘Florida man’ in these things?
The 'Elusive' cheat mod for GTA Online was originally taken down 11 months ago and the creator issue an apology to both Take-Two and the GTA Online community. "After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, we are immediately ceasing all maintenance, development, and distribution of our cheat menu services. We will also be donating our proceeds to a charity designated by Take-Two. We apologize for any and all problems our software has caused to the Grand Theft Auto Online community." It seems this wasn’t enough though and the matter was swiftly taken to court.
The GTA V cheat developer is one Jhonny Perez, who developed the ‘Elusive’ GTA V cheat tool before selling it online in packages ranging from $10 to $30. It’s unclear just how much revenue Perez earned from cheat software sales as he wouldn’t hand over any financial records. Take-Two’s lawyers argued he harmed their company to the tune of half a million dollars though, resulting in the defendant being given the maximum possible fine for copyright damages.
“Take-Two has been irreparably harmed by Mr. Perez’s infringing conduct and will continue to be harmed unless enjoined,” writes US District Court Judge Kevin Castel. I do wonder how they will ever recover from such a savage blow after they only sold 100 million copies of GTA5.
“Mr. Perez’s Elusive program creates new features and elements in Grand Theft Auto which can be used to harm legitimate players, causing Take-Two to lose control over its carefully balanced plan for how its video game is designed to be played,” continued Castel.
It’s a textbook case for deterring any other potential cheat creators. Take-Two has pursued the maximum possible fine in order to protect its game both immediately and in the future. They allege the cheat software discourage victims on the receiving end of cheats to halt their purchases, while the unlimited currency hack basically ruined the ‘value’ of GTA Online’s own in-game virtual currency.