A Cheater’s Guide: An Analysis of Whether Third Party Cheat Software in Video Games Violates §1201 of the DMCA

Charles Hotnog, Executive Editor 2017-2018

Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal

           League of Legends (“LoL”) is an incredibly popular “multiplayer online battle arena” game[1] that at one point in 2014, had over 7.5 million players playing the game concurrently.[2] The game has garnered a huge following spawning regional and international tournaments[3] which are broadcast internationally online with viewership occasionally exceeding some high profile sports events.[4] Competition in such tournaments is often fierce, with the prize pool for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship series exceeding a total of five million dollars (including fan contributions).[5]

           Such a high degree of competitive play, even among regular players, as with physical sports, may often generate a desire for those who wish to someday compete to seek any edge on the competition possible; from “screen-jacking,” that is looking at another’s screen to gain an advantage,[6] to outright unfair play such using scripts to obtain otherwise inaccessible advantages and “botting” – automating the game to effectively play itself or enhance accuracy.[7] The desire to increase play efficiency or competitive advantage in some multiplayer online games has driven some computer savvy individuals and companies to develop and distribute software assisting or entirely enabling users to cheat; in many cases, this requires the cheat software to be updated in response to updates made by the game developer to stymie such cheating.

           In response, a growing number of video game developers[8] have filed suit against the cheat software creators alleging a violation of 17 U.S.C. §1201(a) and (b) regarding anti-circumvention of a measure that “effectively controls access to a work protected under [the DMCA]” and trafficking in such circumvention technologies, respectively.[9] Using the §1201 of the DMCA to prevent circumvention of anti-cheat technological measures is improper, as the cheat software at issue often does not trigger any copyright violation against the copyright holder, and enables copyright holders to weaponize the DMCA in order to prevent unwanted user alterations not protected under copyright law. Indeed, a policy allowing circumvention for non-copyright infringing purposes should be implemented to prevent abuse of the DMCA and allow beneficial hacks and the like to perpetuate.

I. Background

A. Riot Games, Inc. v. Argote.

           One of the few current cases regarding circumvention of an anti-cheat technology is Riot Games, Inc v. Argote.[10] In Riot Games the plaintiff, and developer of the game League of Legends, filed suit against the defendants, three German individuals (“Argote”),[11] alleging that Defendants created a cheating service and software named “LeagueSharp” (“L#”) which violated 17 U.S.C. 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), “by selling, importing, offering, providing, and otherwise trafficking in technologies that circumvent or evade Riot’s sophisticated anti-cheat software.”[12]

           In particular, Riot’s anti-cheat software consisted primarily of an “anti-hacking and anti-cheating software module,” which, among other things, checks “for the presence of third-party programs that facilitate cheating or any other prohibited modification to the LoL software.”[13] Riot claims this software to be a “technological measure[ ] that effectively control[s] access to LoL, including access to the dynamic audiovisual elements that comprise LoL.”[14]

           Additionally, Riot’s “Terms of Use” (“TOU”), an acceptance of which is required in order to play the game, prohibits players from using third party programs (such as cheats, scripts, and bots) which interact with the game “including any unauthorized third party programs that intercept, emulate, or redirect any communication between the Software and Riot Games and any unauthorized third party programs that [read the RAM].”[15]

           The defendants’ L# program, upon installation, reveals hidden objects, “intercept[s] game actions and respond[s]s with inhuman accuracy,” allowing the user to automatically dodge attacks, and “enhance a player’s field of vision.”[16] These cheats or hacks are accomplished by locating “important locations in a computer’s memory, alter[ing] the being processed [in these locations], and/or inject[ing] new or additional code or ‘scripts’ into the computer’s memory,”[17] or alternatively “intercept[ing] and manipulat[ing] data ‘packets’ transmitted between Riot’s servers and players in an online game.”[18],[19] Additionally, L# offers a “botting service” allowing “users to automate multiple accounts simultaneously[,]” and increase an account’s level.[20]

           Of particular interest, however, is how L# was created and how it circumvents Riot’s anti-hacking and cheat software. The defendants obtained free copies of the game client and after assenting to the TOU, allegedly reversed engineered (or “disassembled [or] decompiled”) portions of the client and server software to determine and obtain access to “restricted memory locations.”[21] With this information, the defendants’ L# software was allegedly crafted to circumvent or bypass Riot’s anti-hack and cheat code by “intercepting and falsely responding to checks performed by the [anti-hack software,]” and continually updated to “keep pace with improvements” to Riot’s technological measures.[22]

           Riot argued primarily that it’s anti-hack and anti-cheat software was circumvented by the defendants’ L# software, continually updated to maintain its circumvention of Riot’s software and then distributed over the internet, thereby violating both the TOU, as well as 17 U.S.C. §1201(a)(2).[23] The complaint primarily focuses on L#’s use as a scripting application, with little mention of the botting service provided; however, under MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm’t, Inc., the defendant’s botting service would likely also be considered a violation of §1201 as well.[24]

           Before the parties ever reached trial, and therefore before any discovery reached the District Court, Riot Games settled with the defendants, and the court entered judgement “against Defendants on [all three claims for Relief] in the amount of ten million U.S. dollars ($10,000,000)[,]” and an order to cease creating, and distributing the L# software, and otherwise stop the use or attempts at exploiting League of Legends or other Riot games.[25] As such no ruling was entered in regards to the defendants’ alleged violation of §1201 of the DMCA.

B. Technical Terminology

           While the complaint does an admirable job defining L# and how it potentially circumvents a technological measure, it does not do so to a sufficient degree, and is weighted in Riot’s favor.[26] That is not to say it is inaccurate. Indeed, there are not very many reliable sources outside of the LoL scripting community relating exactly how these scripts work. Seeing as this author does not have an depth technical background with the C# coding language[27] (or coding in general), an in depth analysis of the script in question ought to be left to an individual skilled in the art. Nevertheless, what follows are a few definitions as defined by the LoL community (or the scripting sub-community), and as such should likely be inspected and compared with other more verifiable sources. However, these definitions may prove to be far more helpful than those provided by the complaint, and are therefore a useful starting point.

           The primary focus of the complaint revolves around L#’s use of scripts.[28] Scripts are pieces of code that basically automate some user actions. At the most basic level a script may simplify a series of complex inputs to, potentially, a single key press.[29] More complicated scripts allow for responses and actions a human would be unable to reproduce without computer aid,[30] visibility of “future attacks” (“telegraphing” or the placement of lines on a user’s graphical interface that indicates the reach of certain attacks),[31] and canceling,[32] among many others[33]

           At a more technical level,  a complex script may intercept a communications packet sent from the Riot LoL server, and use the information contained therein to augment the user’s inputs to their benefit.[34] A packet is defined as: “a short fixed-length section of data that is transmitted as a unit in a communications network.”[35] Packets are sent back and forth between the client computer and the server and carry such information as user actions and inputs, position, abilities, as well as coordinates for other players and enemies.[36] A script, then, by intercepting the packet, reads this information and allows the user’s computer to react to incoming attacks or other stimuli quicker than the user may be physically able to.[37] However, a script does not have the ability to access more information than is sent by the server or available on the user’s computer.[38]

           By contrast, bots are far more straightforward; a bot is “a software ‘bot’ (short for robot) that automates play” of a game for the user.[39] Effectively, a bot may automate the entire process of a game, and, as the complaint states, is likely used to automate and artificially level accounts (though unlikely to be used for competitive online play).[40]

           Based on these definitions of scripting and botting, it seems less likely that, were this case to have reached trial, section 1201 of the DMCA would apply.

II. Legal Analysis

           17 U.S.C. §1201 effectively bars the creation and trafficking of technologies that circumvent “technological measures that controls access to a [copyrighted work].”[41] In particular, §1201(a)(1) states that “no person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title”;[42] §1201(a)(2) bars the trafficking of said technology (A) “primarily designed . . . for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure[,]” (B) having a limited commercially significant purpose outside of circumventing said technological measure, and (C) and “marketed by that person or another acting in concert with that person with that person’s knowledge for use in circumventing a technological measure.”[43]

           The statute, however, does not specify whether copyright infringement is a necessary prerequisite to violate §1201. As such, the courts have, by necessity, moved to interpret whether merely circumventing a technological measure protecting the work is enough to trigger §1201 protection, or if a violation of the copyright holder’s rights in addition to circumvention (a nexus between the two) is necessary. There is currently a circuit split, with the Federal Circuit arguing a nexus is necessary in Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Techs., Inc.,[44] and, subsequently holding the same, in Storage Tech. Corp v. Custom Hardware Eng’g & Consulting, Inc;[45] and the Ninth Circuit holding a nexus with copyright is not necessary in MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm’t, Inc.[46]

A. A Nexus Between Copyright and Circumvention is Required.

           Chamberlain and Storage Tech are the two primary Federal Circuit cases that argue a necessary link between copyright infringement and circumvention of a technological measure to violate §1201 of the DMCA. In Chamberlain, the intellectual property at issue was a special garage door opener, by Chamberlain, which utilized a specific “rolling code” RF signal, and the alleged infringer, Skylink’s, use of a universal garage door remote which circumvents the rolling code.[47] Chamberlain, argued that Skylink’s universal garage door remote, in circumventing the rolling code, thereby violating the DMCA by circumventing a controlling technological measure.[48] However, the court there determined that there was no infringement as individual consumers were authorized to use a copy of the software in the garage door openers,[49] and that to prove circumvention of a technological measure, the copyright owner must prove the circumvention either “infringes or facilitates infringing a right protected by the Copyright Act.”[50]

           The following year, in Storage Tech, the Federal Circuit effectively echoed its decision in Chamberlain.[51] In Storage Tech, Storage Technology Corporation (“StorageTek”) manufactured a type of automated tape cartridge library that was capable of storing “massive amounts of computer data.”[52] The primary issue, however, was not the physical technology, but rather code utilized upon the libraries’ first turn on; the library executes two sets of copyrighted code[53] which were useful for maintenance of the tape machines. Custom Hardware Engineering & Consulting (“CHE”) used a program (the Enhanced Library Event Manager or “ELEM”) to mimic the codes at issue in order to avoid a password protection system (“GetKey”).[54]  Like in Chamberlain, the court determined that there must be a nexus between the circumvention of a technological measure and infringement of a right protected by copyright.[55] Indeed, the court held that the ELEM, in bypassing the GetKey code, and thereby allowing “access to the copyrighted work concurrently with the copying does not mean that the ELEM or LEM [the prior system of circumvention] ‘facilitates’ copyright infringement.”[56] As such, the DMCA then, must be read “in context [with] the Copyright Act, which balances the rights of the copyright owner against the public’s interest in having appropriate access to the work.”[57]

           Between Chamberlain and Storage Tech, it is clear, then, that the Federal Circuit interprets a nexus between copyright infringement and circumvention of a technological measure to trigger a §1201 violation. If the Riot Games case was not settled, and the district court were to have applied the Federal Circuit’s nexus requirement as per Chamberlain and Storage Tech, it is unlikely that Argote’s L# software would have been found to violate §1201. L# does not attempt to infringe or facilitate infringement of Riot Games copyright; it merely bypasses the anti-hacking and anti-cheating software module in order to facilitate augmented game play - thereby violating the TOU, but not necessarily Riot Games’ copyright.[58]

B. No Nexus Between Copyright and Circumvention is Required.

           On the other end of the spectrum is the Ninth Circuit Court case MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm’t, Inc., effectively holding no copyright-circumvention nexus is necessary.[59] Blizzard focuses on cheating in an online game; however the cheat in Blizzard  revolves specifically around botting.[60] In particular, MDY developed a bot program named “Glider” for the game World of Warcraft (“WoW”); the bot was specifically used to automate play during a character’s beginning levels.[61] Significantly, the bot “does not alter or copy WoW’s game client software,” and was not developed to infringe on Blizzard’s software.[62]

           Upon Blizzard’s introduction of Warden, a technology “developed to prevent [WoW] players [from using] unauthorized third-party software, including bots,”[63] MDY actively modified Glider in order to avoid detection from the Warden technology, in violation of the TOU, and, according to Blizzard and the court, a violation of §1201’s prohibition of circumventing a technological measure.[64] The court specifies that Glider does not infringe, or enable infringement of, Blizzard’s copyright,[65]  as the literal elements (World of Warcraft’s source code on the player’s hard drive[66]) and the individual non-literal elements (“discrete visual and audible components of the game, such as a visual image of a monster or its audible roar[ ]”[67]) are accessible to the user without connecting to the server or initializing the game.[68]

           Nevertheless, a §1201(a)(2) violation still exists because Glider circumvents Warden to gain access to World of Warcraft’s dynamic non-literal elements[69] - the “real-time experience” of playing and enjoying the game’s in world sights, sounds, and “encountering [the world’s] inhabitants and monsters, and encountering other players.”[70] The court applies “six textual elements,” defined by §1201(a)(2), to find a violation of WoW’s dynamic non-literal elements by MDY: “MDY (1) Traffics in (2) a technology or part thereof (3) that is primarily designed, produced, or marketed for, or has limited commercially significant use other than (4) circumventing a technological measure (5) that effectively controls access (6) to a copyrighted work.”[71]

           Glider was held to meet each element on its face, save the fifth element, which elicited some elaboration from the court. The fifth element was met primarily because Warden’s components “require[ ] the application of information, or a process or a treatment . . . to gain access to the work” by checking for bots or cheats, and occasionally reporting “portions of WoW code running in RAM to the server” in order to continue accessing the work.[72] Therefore, in preventing use or access to gameplay if such conditions are met, Warden’s checks constitute an effective access control measure.

           As such, the Ninth Circuit refused to apply the “infringement nexus requirement” holding no need for copyright infringement to find a violation of §1201(a). Indeed, the Ninth Circuit explicitly rejected the Federal Circuit’s reasoning in Chamberlain and System Tech,[73] and instead based its interpretation on the plain text and the legislative history of §1201.[74] In particular, it distinguished between §1201(a)(1)(A), the prohibition on circumventing a control measure; §1201(a)(2), the prohibition on the “trafficking [of] devices that facilitate circumvention of access control measures”; and §1201(b)(1), the prohibition of “trafficking in devices that facilitate circumvention of measures that protect against copyright infringement.”[75] Effectively, the Ninth Circuit held §1201(a) to prohibit “the circumvention of any technological measure that effectively controls access to a protected work[,]”[76] with §1201(b)(1) protecting against “circumventions of measures that protect the copyright itself[, entitling] copyright owners to protect their exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.”[77]

           Blizzard does not require any copyright infringement to find a violation under §1201(a). Because Glider circumvented Warden to obtain access to the dynamic non-literal elements, MDY was found to have violated §1201(a), despite no copyright infringement.

           Riot Games is, in many ways, extremely similar to Blizzard, and it is likely that, if Riot Games and Argote were to have continued forward with litigation, the district court may likely have held in favor of Riot Games finding L# to violate §1201(a)(2) as per the six textual elements outlined in Blizzard, whether or not L# infringed upon, or enabled infringement of, Riot Games’ copyright. Indeed, Riot Games analysis of a §1201(a)(2) violation in regards to LoL’s dynamic non-literal elements would likely be almost the same as Blizzard’s: Argote traffics in a technology (elements one and two), marketed specifically for circumventing LoL’s anti-hack and anti-cheat software module (elements three and four), which is used to “effectively control,” by restricting access to gameplay, a copyrighted work (elements five and six).[78] Under Blizzard, then, L# would likely be found liable under §1201(a)(2) in a similar manner to Blizzard, without copyright infringement.

III. Policy Analysis

           As it stands, the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of §1201 in Blizzard removes the need for a nexus between the DMCA and copyright, in opposition to the Federal Circuit’s interpretation requiring the same. In terms of video games and software, there seems to be a slowly growing trend of developers and publishers utilizing the DMCA in order to prevent their customers from creating and distributing hacks, cheats, or bots, which may or may not circumvent an anti-hack measure.[79]

           However, some hacks, a few of which circumvent a technological measure established by the developer, are less than malevolent and may repair or enhance a game for themselves and other users, a task which the original developers may be unwilling to spend time or resources on. Nevertheless, these hacks and fixes would be considered a violation of the DMCA even though their purpose is not to illegally distribute the software. For instance, the Steam[80] release of a Windows version of the 2003 video game Tales of Symphonia was plagued by a variety of issues such as in-game glitches, an inconsistent translation, broken controller functionality, loading problems, among a few others.[81] Further, the port included a version of the “VMProject” anti-tamper system, a specific digital rights management software (“DRM”), which randomly generated “named executable files for each run” in an attempt to prevent modification and illegal distribution by users.[82] Modders[83] managed to circumvent the DRM and developed fixes for the known and perceived problems of the game, distributing their fixes over the internet to aid other uses attempting to run the game.[84] Under the Blizzard interpretation of §1201, this “fix” would likely be found a violation of the statute despite no intent to infringe on copyright. Indeed, the fix itself likely does not cause harm to the developer or publisher (and may even benefit them).

           Utilizing the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of §1201 in Chamberlain and Storage Tech, requiring a nexus of infringement would likely allow non-copyright infringing hacks, some of which may prove beneficial such as the Tales of Symphonia fix, to still be distributed while still providing for legal action for hacks developed with the purpose of infringement.

           Another method may be a policy of “fair circumvention.”[85] Professor Timothy Armstrong, in his article Fair Circumvention, draws from the development of fair use in the courts[86] to suggest that the DMCA is informed and guided by the Copyright Act,[87] and, further, that the courts should adopt something of a fair circumvention defense similar to that of fair use.[88] Indeed, in terms of fair circumvention, Professor Armstrong uses fair use as an analogy, providing a parallel between current fair use factors and possible fair circumvention permutations. For instance, Professor Armstrong suggests that the courts may “usefully differentiate between circumvention aimed at allowing the circumventor to access and copy a creative, expressive work . . . and circumvention that merely enables access to less expressive, more utilitarian works.”[89] Likewise, he further suggests a distinction between circumvention to provide a “complete substitute for authorized purchases of an expressive work . . .” and circumvention which creates more marketplace competition.[90]

           Professor Armstrong later suggests that fair circumvention could be applied for cases with non-infringing purposes.[91] This function is illustrated through the use of exhibiting a short clip of a film, extracted from a DVD (and thus copy protected), by a professor to a class.[92] Effectively, a fair circumvention exception or defense would allow such circumvention, and allow the courts to consult “outside sources for guidance,” whereas a plaintext interpretation does not and the professor in the example would be liable for violation of §1201.[93]

           Applying these fair circumvention “factors” to a defense of a non-copyright infringing video game hacks and cheats, would possibly lead to a similar, if more varied, result as the Federal Circuit’s interpretation. L#, for instance, which does not attempt to violate copyright law nor seek to substitute League of Legends microtransactions,[94] may still potentially fail the final example fair circumvention “factor.”[95] However, because L# likely does not actually violate the Copyright Act itself, L# could nevertheless be found wholly protected by Armstrong’s example fair circumvention factors. The Tales of Symphonia fix would likely fair even better, as there is less reprehensible conduct involved.[96]

IV. Conclusion

            As the courts have stated, circumvention of a technological measure protecting a copyrighted work does not always lead to copyright infringement. In terms of software hacks utilized primarily to alter or repair aspects of a game or other application, §1201 applied without finding a nexus of copyright infringement allows copyright holders to enforce rights not protected under copyright law. In order to protect the creation and distribution of potentially beneficial software hacks which may circumvent a given technological measure, an adoption of the Federal Circuit’s nexus requirement or a fair circumvention-like defense ought to be applied--especially in cases where there is no direct harm.

[1] Multiplayer online battle arena’s or MOBA’s are real time strategy video and computer games derived from StarCraft and Warcraft III custom player made maps Aeon of Strife and Defense of the Ancients, respectively, whereby the player’s goal is to destroy the opponents’ main structures while controlling a premade player avatar. See Multiplayer online battle arena, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplayer_online_battle_arena (last accessed Nov. 4, 2017).

[2] Paul Tassi, Riot’s ‘League of Legends’ Reveals Astonishing 27 Million Daily Players, 67 Million Monthly, Forbes, (Jan 27, 2014, 4:24 PM). https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/01/27/riots-league-of-legends-reveals-astonishing-27-million-daily-players-67-million-monthly/#28f1a7c26d39.

[3] Often referred to as “esports” or “electronic sports”; that is, competitive video game play in a manner similar to analog sports. See, eSports, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESports (last accessed Nov. 7, 2017).

[4] Patrick Dorsey, ‘League of Legends ratings top NBA finals, World Series clinchers, Espn, (Dec. 3, 2014), http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/page/instantawesome-leagueoflegends-141201/league-legends-championships-watched-more-people-nba-finals-world-series-clinchers; Alex Walker, More People Watched League of Legends Than The NBA Finals, Kotaku, (June 21, 2016, 2:30 PM), https://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/06/more-people-watched-league-of-legends-than-the-nba-finals/.

[5] Riot Magus and Riot Bradmore, Update: Fan Contributions to World Prize Pool, LoleSports.com, (Oct. 28, 2016, 2:00 PM), http://www.lolesports.com/en_US/articles/update-fan-contributions-worlds-prize-pool.

[6] See Brendan Drain, League of Legends tournament cheaters fined $30,000, engadget, (Oct. 10, 2012), https://www.engadget.com/2012/10/10/league-of-legends-tournament-cheaters-fined-30-000/.

[7] Scripting essentially inserting code into packets sent to the server requesting more information and may include hotbar button timers or telegraphing (which is the placement of effect line outlines on the ground prior to an enemy attack). Botting is most often used to further simplify redundant tasks such as leveling. See Eric Von Allen, How Not to Cheat at League of Legends, Kotaku, https://compete.kotaku.com/how-not-to-cheat-at-league-of-legends-1794293198 (April, 13, 2017); see Christiane Schwieren & Doris Weichselbaumer, Does competition enhance performance or cheating? A Laboratory experiment, 31 J. Econ. Psychol., 241, 2010. (Implying poor performers of a given task indulge in cheat behavior in competitive situations.

[8] See Riot Games, Inc v. Argote, No. 2:16-cv-5871-RSWL-AJW (C.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2017) (LEXIS); See also, Blizzard Entertainment v. Bossland GMBH, No. SA CV 16-1236-DOC (KESx), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58185, (C.D. Cal. Jan. 25, 2017) (Decision establishing jurisdiction; claims in complaint assert violation of 17 U.S.C. §1201); Complaint, Epic Games, Inc. v. Kreibich, No. 3:16-CV-03380 (N.D. Cal.; Current through Nov. 7, 2017) (WEST). None of these cases have reached trial.

[9] 17 U.S.C. §1201(a) and (b) (West 2017).

[10] Riot Games, supra note 8.

[11] The three individuals are named as Matthias Oltmann aka “Joduskame”; Stefan Delgado Argote aka “Ohm”; Tyrone “Tom” Pauer aka “Beaving”; all of whom are alleged to have incorporated a company under Peruvian laws to escape liability: Chachani Misti y Pichu Pichu S.R.L. Complaint, Riot Games, Inc v. Argote, No. 2:16-cv-5871-RSWL-AJW (C.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2017) (LEXIS).

[12] Id. at 1-3.

[13] Id. at 9.

[14] Id. at 15.

[15] Id. at 10-11.

[16] Id. at 12. Note that the L# software and service required a monthly subscription fee of $15. Botting was accessible through a $50 per month fee. Id.

[17] Id. at 9.

[18] Id.

[19] Note that Eric Von Allen, supra note 7, seems to indicate that packet interception is often utilized in conjunction with or through scripting.

[20] Complaint, Riot Games, supra note 11, at 12. Said users may turn around and sell such “artificially leveled” accounts. Id.

[21] Id. at 12-13. Restricted memory locations likely refer to the RAM where the packets are likely to be temporarily stored after being obtained from, or before being sent to, the server.

[22] Id. at 13. Note that the Complaint and Amended Complaint do not specify all the specific measures that Defendants allegedly took to circumvent Riot’s technological measures, how the bots circumvent said measures, nor did the case reach discovery which would likely reveal such measures.

[23] Id. at 16.

[24] Id. at 10-14. For a more detailed analysis of MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Entm’t, Inc., 629 F.3d 928, (9th Cir. 2010) see below. Further note: all citations to the Blizzard case will henceforth refer to the amended decision, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 3428, rather than the original.

[25] Permanent Injunction, Consent Judgment, And Dismissal Without Prejudice, Riot Games, Inc v. Argote, No. 2:16-cv-5871-RSWL-AJW, 1 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2017) (LEXIS).

[26] See Complaint, Riot Games, supra note 11, at 11-14. Note that the complaint does not specify (though perhaps, it need not) how exactly a script “injects” into the code of LoL and therefore allows circumvention. Id. at 12.

[27] Leaguesharp is a C# scripting program. Leaguesharp blog, http://leaguesharp.blogspot.ca/ (last visited Nov. 11, 2017).

[28] Complaint, Riot Games supra note 11, at 11-14.

[29] Van Allen, supra note 7. See also, Leaguesharp Blog, supra note 27 (referring to L# enabling “Space bar to win” play, that is, push the spacebar to win the game.)

[30] See TheJakeinator (Original Poster), How to Spot a Scripter From a Scripter, League of Legends.com (Forum), (June, 2017), https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/mN8NytVR-how-to-spot-a-scripter-from-a-scripter.

[31] Van Allen, supra note 7.

[32] See TheJakeinator, supra note 30; What is Scripting?, LOLSCRIPT.com, http://lolscript.com/what-is-scripting/ (last accessed Nov. 10, 2017).

[33] See Id.

[34] Jakob De Hertogh, How do League of Legends scripts Work?, Quora, https://www.quora.com/How-do-League-of-Legends-scripts-work (last visited Mar. 18).

[35] Packet, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (Online), https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/packet.

[36] Jakob De Hertogh, supra note 34.

[37] Id.

[38] Id.

[39] MDY Indus. LLC v. Blizzard Entm’t Inc., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 3428, *4 (9th Cir. 2011). The use of bots to automate gameplay is similarly defined between games. Do not confuse user “botting” with fully A.I. controlled bots players may compete against online in lieu of other players: see Bot, League of Legends Wiki, http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Bot (last accessed, Nov. 8, 2017).

[40] Complaint, Riot Games supra note 11, at 12.

[41] 17 U.S.C. §1201 (West 2017)

[42] Id. at (a)(1).

[43] Id. at (a)(2). §1201(b) extends liability to those who use such devices to facilitate infringement; however, this part of the statute is not at issue in the current case.

[44] Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Techs., Inc., 381 F.3d 1178, (Fed. Cir. 2004).

[45] Storage Tech. Corp. v. Custom Hardware Eng’g & Consulting, Inc., 421 F.3d 1307, (Fed. Cir. 2005).

[46] Blizzard, supra note 39.

[47] Chamberlain, supra note 44, at 1183-84.

[48] Id. at 1185.

[49] Id. at 1193.

[50] Id. at 1203.

[51] See Storage Tech, supra note 45, at 1318.

[52] Id. at 1309.

[53] The “9330 code” and the “9311 code.” Id.

[54] Id. at 1310.

[55] Id. at 1318.

[56] Id.

[57] Id.

[58] But see, Blizzard, supra note 39, at *14 (discussing the potential of a violation of the TOU to be considered a violation of copyright and remedied under copyright law; specifically if the violated term is considered a condition to a license rather than a covenant).

[59] Blizzard, supra note 39, at *51.

[60] Id. at *4.

[61] Id.

[62] Id. at *4-5.

[63] Id. at *5.

[64] Id. at *6.

[65] Id. at *59-61.

[66] Id.

[67] Id.

[68] Id. at *52-55.

[69] Id. at *52-55.

[70] Id. at *25.

[71] Id. at *55-56.

[72] Id. at *57-58.

[73] Id. at *45.

[74] Id. at *28, *35.

[75] Id. at *34.

[76] Id. at *29 (Emphasis added).

[77] Id.

[78] See id. at *55-56.

[79] Such as Riot Games, see also, Blizzard v. Bossland, supra note 8.

[80] Steam is a popular digital distribution platform primarily focusing on selling computer video games, among other distribution and social functions. See Steam (software), Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_(software) (last accessed Jan. 7, 2017).

[81] Peter “Durante” Thoman, Broken PC ports like Tales of Symphonia are unacceptable, PcGamer.com, (Feb. 2, 2016), http://www.pcgamer.com/broken-pc-ports-like-tales-of-symphonia-are-unacceptable/. (Feb. 2, 2016).

[82] Id.

[83] Hackers or other individuals who modify how a game looks or behaves. See, Mod (video gaming), Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mod_(video_gaming) (last accessed Jan. 9, 2010).

[84] See, Kaldaien, Tales of Symphonia “Fix” -0.10.5 [New DLC Manager] (10/16/2016), SteamCommunity.com, (May 11, 2017, 10:43 PM), http://steamcommunity.com/groups/SpecialK_Mods/discussions/6/2741975115064747798/.

[85] Timothy K. Armstrong, Fair Circumvention, 17 Brooklyn L. Rev. 1, (2008).

[86] Id. at 40-43 (Suggesting the courts should not be so quick to relinquish their policymaking abilities in regard to the DMCA, and aid in developing the law in the face of the DMCA’s ambiguities in a manner similar to how courts have historically developed fair use).

[87] Id. at 29-32.

[88] Id. at 44.

[89] Id. at 45.

[90] Id.

[91] Id. at 46.

[92] Id. at 46-47.

[93] Id. at 47.

[94] League of Legends business model revolves around free distribution of the game, with cosmetic in game items requiring in game currency bought with real currency see League of Legends, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Legends#Business_model (last accessed Jan. 9, 2017).

[95] As court may not find a non-infringing modification of a game for online cheating purposes “fair.”

[96] That is to say, the creation and distribution of a fix used in a single player game to the benefit of the user, may be considered less reprehensible than a hack or cheat utilized to gain an unfair advantage in a competitive multiplayer game, despite both circumventing a technology.

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