In one of the strongest moves against video game cheats in Australia to date, the Federal Court of Australia issued a search warrant for two homes in Melbourne late last month in relation to the sale and distribution of a GTA cheat.
First reported by Torrentfreak, the Federal Court identified the software as “Infamous” and outlines several of its features, including teleporting, generating virtual currency, god mode, super jump and more:
The Respondent be restrained until the Return Date (as defined in Annexure D) from, whether by themselves, their servants, agents or otherwise, developing, distributing, selling and offering for sale any version of the software titled “Infamous” or any software that provides a player (Player) of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) access to unauthorised or restricted features in GTA V, including any of the following features:
(a) teleporting the Player within the GTA V game environment;
(b) manipulating the GTA V game environment and virtual currency for the benefit of the Player;
(c) generating virtual currency for the Player and other players of GTA V;
(d) the “god mode” feature;
(e) the “super jump” feature;
(f) generating “Reputation Points” for the Player, without completing any required in-game tasks or missions;
(g) creating copies of virtual currency, virtual goods or other in-game objects for the Player or other players of GTA V; and
(h) providing the Player with access to unlimited ammunition, weapons and vehicles.
A video of the cheat in action, which BBC reports went offline half a year ago, can be seen below.
Along with executing a search on two homes in Melbourne, the court also ordered the assets of five individuals be frozen. Proceedings were later narrowed down to a single individual, with the court lifting some of the previous suppression orders.
It’s a strong action by the court, and it’ll be intriguing to read the case transcript once that becomes available. The case is due back in court at the end of the month.
Isn’t there some politicians with dual citizenship racking up $30k in Internet costs while rorting travel allowance for their mistress and moving a motion that it’s ok to be white somewhere in the country that the Feds would have more fun investigating?
What’s the go with the au pairs etc etc.
Au pairs are fine as long as they’re not letting the kids play GTA V with cheats enabled.
because the police and courts can only do one thing at a time because there isn’t more than 1 of each.
IKR! it’s a wonder why criminals don’t get away with more crimes…
I gotta get me some of them white collars!
GTA Online is big business and makes a lot of money. Selling hackery for it is illegal. Makes sense for them to go after the people that do it.
If it’s such big business, why didn’t they bother to code it properly? If clients can dictate how much much they make in game without server authorization, you’re just asking for trouble.
There are too many moving parts in GTA5 to have the server act as authority on all of them, the game would never have been able to work at all in multiplayer if at least some authority wasn’t offloaded to the client.
When developing you can monitor sections of code which can wait for a problem and if a problem is detected you can write how to handle it. The more you use this feature the more CPU it will eat, if they wanted too they could monitor everything but it will cost performance big time and if people don’t get their 120 FPS then gamers cry like no tomorrow. Rockstar does a fair job in protecting the game but no one can be perfect on the 1,000,000 functions that game produces.
That sounds an awful lot like victim blaming there.
Agreed, @bob3 nothing is unbreakable. Would you blame your builder because someone was able to put a brick through your window, then charge admission for other people to come through a take your belongings or do whatever to your house?
Excuse my ignorance, what makes it illegal?
Against T&C’s sure, but illegal?
Probably under something relating to hacking laws, copyright infringement, or interrupting business.
Yeah. There are laws against everything, and if you’re a big business looking to shut down something that is impacting your business, you just hire a bunch of lawyers to find the laws that they can use to shut it down =D
As a programmer myself (but not of cheats), I’ve often thought that a lot of these cases are prosecuted on mechanisms that a lot of legitimate programming features rely on, and it always concerns me to see these justifications being used to stop cheat programs, because it (seems) to set precedents to enable them to be used for shutting down legitimate software as well, if someone were inclined to send the lawyers.
These hacks often run with permission from the user on the local machine, manipulating data generated by user action. It seems a bit of a stretch to then claim anything like copyright, hacking etc. I could see the “give free virtual currency” as falling under theft of some sort though.
I pretty much agree with phil’s take, that a lot of these things would clearly be breach of the EULA/T&C’s etc, and the user would face a ban etc. But attacking the cheat software, using the legal arguments they are currently seems a dangerous slippery slope to me.
Copyright – you are modifying the game while running in memory or whatever. It’s still Rockstar’s code.
Negative, as you aren’t selling Rockstars product, but modifying an already purchased product.
It’d be like claiming copyright for putting a spoiler on your car.
Pretty sure this was used against WOW modders back in the day.
The modifications are being shared publicly. These people are not doing this for their own amusement, they are piggy backing off a copyrighted product and modifying code which is then distributed.
Which as said, is entirely legal to do as long as the copyrighted work isn’t distributed along with it.
The car analogy doesn’t work because software is licensed, not purchased. The licence determines what you’re allowed to do and breaching that licence results in a copyright violation.
This would be more like if you got a rental car and then took it to a mechanic to have the engine modified. Your agreement with the rental place prohibits that and if you did it you’d have breached that agreement and be legally liable.
Bit of a grey area on that one, as courts have generally ruled that software is a tangible item and that ToC’s generally aren’t enforceable.
Any power reserved for the rights holder under copyright law is enforceable in terms of service. What’s not enforceable are certain types of clauses, such as unilateral change without notice (eg. Zappos). The only occasions courts have ruled against the enforceability of terms is when they’ve contained unenforceable terms. Clickwrap licences (any licence where you need to take an action, like clicking a ‘accept’, to accept the terms before using the software) in particular have almost all been upheld by courts both in the US and EU.
None of this is relevant to the copyright, however.
It’s illegal in the US under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and in Australia under the Cybercrime Act. For the latter, it falls under unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment to the reliability, security or operation of the data. Supply of cheat software falls under producing, supplying or obtaining data with intent to commit a computer offence. For the purposes of the act, ‘data’ means any information or program.
It’s a copyright case here; infringing Take-Two and Rockstar’s copyright, specifically.
Copyright is another things they can chase for that, although it’s a civil matter rather than criminal unless the scale is huge.
For sure. I just meant that this is listed in the Comcourts system as a copyright matter.
Ironic that government will take action against cheat promoters, but doesn’t take action over exploitive business practices by the games industry.
The government doesn’t recognise that there is an Australian gaming industry.
I thought the police raided his house because of a legal infringement brought to their attention by a private businesses legal team, or did scomo kick his door in personally.
I thought this story was a prank.
Isn’t GTAIV all about being the bad guy??? So when a few bad eggs LARP to the max they are punished..sheesh!!
Fantasy vs real life…mmmm….bit of a difference, no?
That’s like saying we shouldn’t punish murders because it’s ok in GTA!
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