Mother of 14-year-old pushes back on Fortnite lawsuit against her son
Fortnite developer Epic Games banned thousands of cheaters from the game last month. The worst of the offenders also had lawsuits filed against them. One of those players was a 14-year-old, whose mother has now motioned to have the case dropped.
She says her son is being accused as a “scapegoat” and that Epic should not pursue a minor. The case was brought over alleged copyright infringement by modifying the game, and then live streaming it.
The letter she issued to the Honorable Malcolm J. Howard reads:
This letter is in response to the alleged allegations of copyright infringement via Epic Games, INC. This company is in the process of attempting to sue a 14-year-old child. They are claiming he prepared derivative works based upon a copyrighted work and publicly performed and displayed this as such. They are also claiming he “modified their game” to use a cheat and live streamed it. This would, of course, fall under the Copyright Act if he did in-fact modify their game.
Epic Games has no capability of proving any form of modification. Caleb 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.
The argument stems from the free to play model of Fortnite. The mother says that Epic is claiming loss of profits, yet the title is free to play. Instead, she says that Epic should go after the websites where her son obtained the cheats. Anything else makes her son a “scapegoat”.
The letter continues: “Furthermore, Epic Games, INC has released the defendant’s name publicly, therefore allowing news articles and different online publications to obtain his name and in turn release additional information. Referencing State of Delaware House Bill No. 64 it is illegal to release under age individuals’ personal information by any agencies. Epic Games INC is in complete violation of this as well as other individual websites and news reporting agencies.”
You can read the full letter here.