Grand Theft Auto Cheater Loses Infringement Suit

Takeaway: Creating programs to help cheat in video games may constitute willful infringement of the original video game’s intellectual property.

David Zipperer created applications to cheat at the well-known video game Grand Theft Auto and has now admitted to copyright infringement, based on the creation of those applications in a settlement agreement by the parties. Zipperer’s settlement agreement made clear that he was admitting infringement of Grand Theft Auto and that the programs he created were unauthorized derivative works of Grand Theft Auto.

The secondary software programs he created were made with the intention to allow players to cheat at Grand Theft Auto. By creating such secondary programs, he was not only infringing, but also tortuously interfering with the contracts between Grand Theft Auto’s creator and breached its end user license agreement. This settlement comes after a preliminary injunction earlier in the case that precluded Zipperer from selling copies of his cheat software. However, he continued to sell the product despite the court’s order.