A judge has issued a significant ruling against a serial cheater in the video game Destiny 2, resulting in a legal permaban and a $500,000 judgment. The defendant, Luca Leone, had been a persistent problem for Bungie, the game’s developer, as he repeatedly evaded account bans and even resorted to threatening Bungie employees.
The consent judgment, seemingly agreed upon by both parties, found that Leone’s use of cheat software in Destiny 2 constituted “copyright infringement.” The cheat software, with its graphical overlay and injected code, was deemed to create an “unauthorized derivative work,” violating federal copyright laws — Consequently, the judgment imposes damages of $150,000 for each of the two infringed works, likely referring to Destiny 2 and its expansions.
Leone’s attempts to circumvent Bungie’s account bans further compounded his legal troubles. He created new accounts and tried to argue that he could “opt-out” of the game’s license agreement as a minor, aiming to avoid the bans. However, the judge’s order found that each subsequent login without a valid license constituted a copyright violation, leading to additional damages of $2,000 for each of the approximately 100 such logins.
Permaban from any of Bungie’s games
According to ArsTechnica, in addition to the financial penalties, the judge issued an unprecedented permaban, preventing Leone from engaging with Bungie’s games in any way, including obtaining, downloading, playing, streaming, or even interacting with them in the future. He is also forbidden from possessing or promoting cheat software related to the game and from buying or selling Bungie accounts and emblems.
Also, Leone must cease operating any social media or digital messaging accounts linked to the promotion or discussion of his previous copyright infringements.
Restraining order against Bungie’s employees
Beyond the cheating, the case included allegations of threats and stalking against Bungie employees, resulting in a restraining order. Leone is prohibited from coming within 1,000 feet of Bungie’s offices or any known address of a Bungie employee and is explicitly prohibited from harassing them.
Legal actions against individual cheaters are uncommon, but Bungie has had some success in using copyright law against cheat makers in the past. This ruling demonstrates the company’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its games and protecting its community from disruptive cheaters.