Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Individual Pirates Sued by Activision

If you didn't know, Activision is an American video game developer and publisher.  The company was created in the late seventies.  As of 2007, it had been marked as one of the world's most successful third party video game developers.  However, in January of 2008, the company merged with Vivendi games.  This emergence created the Activision Blizzard company, owned by Vivendi.  That's a little bit about the company which is unusually suing and targeting more and more individual pirates.  

Activision Blizzard has been quietly suing individual citizens for what they claimed to be, 'file sharing', however, later cases revealed it was actual hard copies of games they were dealing with.  Out of six cases dealt with, almost all settled by a $100,000 settlement.  Hardly none of the defendants had any kind of representation.  In most cases, the defendant's "papers were filed, they agreed to pay, and it was all over".  But the funny thing was, afterward, the defendants later exposed how they were "scared" into costly settlements by experienced attorneys who have dealt with similar cases before having to do with infringements and the game they were accused of pirating, Call of Duty 3 never actually held true evidence that it was infringed upon.  

When the defendants were finally charged with these misdemeanors, their settlements were partly based upon the material infringed, home equity value, and the number of cars they owned.  The total amount of settlements from the game brought in at least $300,000, more revenue than the game was producing on its own.  Skeptical?  The consistency of settlement and their basis are questionable.  Settlements ranging from $100,000 and $1,000 only bring attention to the motives behind the companies efforts to counter piracy.  


Corey Laub said...

thats pretty messed up that huge companies are willing to take advantage of people who bought and supported their game.

HAYNE said...

Although what Activision Blizzard is doing seems out of character, what you're implementing is kind of a stretch. Activision Blizzard is probably THE most prestigious videogame developer in the world. They're in charge of making the Guitar Hero series, Call of Duty series, WoW, Diablo series, and Starcraft among others. As of this year, their revenue is about $3 billion. A mere $300,000 in settlements would be completely expendable from where they're standing. Have you looked into why the range is so big? I'm thinking it's because they're suing based on how much the game has been "pirated" by the defendant. I doubt that they're doing this for profit. What I'm thinking is that this is their (rather forceful) way of making a point: that pirates can be caught, so don't do anything stupid.

Patrick T said...

I agree that they are trying to make an example by going after one pirate, hard. But the extremely (relatively) high amount that Activision Blizzard is suing for is really just to try and ruin that person for pirating to make an example of him so that other pirates will be afraid that they will be screwed if they try to pirate the company's software. I don't think the $300,000 represents the loss to Blizzard, I thinks its just a claim that they got away with making against one person.

patmahoney123 said...

i agree with corey, that it is pretty messed up at how hard the companies are going after these people who purchased these games, which is supporting the company. It isnt a good idea to pirate a game, but the amount of money that they are going for is extremely high.