Epic Sues Minor for Cheating in Fortnite, Mother Responds

Thursday, 30 Nov, 2017

She claims that Epic is targeting individual players rather than the websites that are selling or providing the software necessary to cheat in an online game and "using a 14 year-old child as a scapegoat".

Epic Games continues to keep adding more to its online shooter Fortnite, differentiating it more and more from its Battle Royale genre peers. On the other hand, Epic is suing a 14-year-old over a YouTube dispute, a territory that's already a lightning rod for controversy in the game community because of how corporations have misused DMCA takedowns in the past.

She also points to the EULA (the terms and conditions of play) that state a minor must have permission from a parent or guardian to play. She also cites potential disclosure violations on Epic's part, including the company naming the boy and directly suing a minor, both of which are illegal in some states.

As well as new gameplay features, Fortnite will now be able to support the Xbox One X in 4K.

She claims that her son did not, as Epic allege, help create the cheat software, but simply downloaded it as a user, and that Epic "has no capability of proving any form of modification".

As TorrentFreak - who shared the letter online - points out, minors can not be sued directly, which raises the possibility that Epic Games did not know his age when it went ahead with the lawsuit.

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In a letter filed on November 15, the 14-year-old's mother addressed the allegations and made several counterpoints that may clear his name.

It would appear however, that Epic Games isn't familiar with Delaware's laws, One of which is that it is against DE law to publish names on minors, and that he is unlikely to be the developer/distributor of the cheating tools because of his age. The practice is illegal in DE when it involves a minor. Further she claims that because Fortnite is free to play, there is no license agreement between Epic and the players because no purchase occurred, establishing a contract between licensor and purchaser. Lauren Rogers said in the letter that the boy didn't modify "Fortnite", but instead obtained the tools from an easily accessible public web site that Epic Games should be suing instead.

Epic had issued a DMCA takedown request for these videos, saying they amount to a guide on how to cheat, and was then promoting it on his YouTube channel. Caleb's mom was not having any of that, and in a law-savvy turn of events, she filed a counterclaim in court defending her son against the Fortnite creators.