Reports from website TorrentFreak suggests that Epic was unaware they were perusing a minor, and the child's mother has written to the company in his defence
Epic Games is taking cheating in Fortnite very seriously. That's according to community coordinator Nathan Mooney who updated the community about cheats in October following the release of the Battle Royale update. "Addressing cheaters in Fortnite is the highest priority across Epic Games. We are constantly working against both the cheaters themselves and the cheat providers. And it’s ongoing, we’re exploring every measure to ensure these cheaters are removed and stay removed from Fortnite Battle Royale and the Epic ecosystem.
"We don’t want to give too many clues about what we’re doing, but we are rolling out tools and will continue to do so. Thousands have been banned and we have no plans to stop!"
According to reports from website TorrentFreak, that threat was very serious, with several people being taken to court by Epic Games for violating the terms of service and the EULA, facing a possible compensation of $150,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement. It's a move that is more of a deterrent for others than a targeted attack on cheaters, showing that Epic will take action against people who modify the game or create cheating software for its game and potential earnings. It appears however that there is a snag.
A further report from TorrentFreak over the weekend claims that one of the cases being brought to the court is against a 14-year-old. That is possibly information that Epic was not aware of and the player did create multiple accounts in false names, leading to at least 14 bans. In the American legal system, minors cannot be directly sued.
Rather than taking this matter forward to the attornies, the child's mother has written a letter to the court that not only tries to exonerate him from the matter but is also turning the attention back on the developer. TorrentFreak also obtained and published the letter.
"Epic Games has no capability of proving any form of modification, the letter reads, saying the child, "obtained existing cheats from a website with public view, not affiliated with Epic Games, INC, and used those cheats during a game with live stream via YouTube. I may add a multitude of other individuals have and currently are doing this as this letter is being typed. However, Epic Games INC failed to legally bind underage users with their EULA agreement, which is the contract between the licensor and purchaser, establishing the purchasers to use the software. This being said, the game itself was in-fact free. No purchase of said game occurred.
"Please note parental consent was not issued to play this free game produced by Epic Games, INC, the letter continues. The child's mother also calls in to question the loss of earnings that Epic claims in its lawsuit has in fact occurred.
"Epic Games INC is claiming profit loss, their attorneys would need to provide a Profit and Loss statement to prove [the child] live streaming playing their game caused mass profit loss. This is feasibly impossible. It is my belief that due to their lack of ability to curve cheat codes and others from modifying their game, they are using a 14-year-old child as a scape goat to make an example."
Epic is yet to make a comment on the suit and the child's name has been removed from our posting of the statements. Thanks to TorrentFreak and PCGamesN.