Jonathan Blavin Publishes Article on Legal Issues Surrounding Video Game Cheating and Hacking

Munger, Tolles & Olson litigator Jonathan H. Blavin has published an article in the Winter 2014 edition of California Business Law Practitioner titled “Super Mario, Esq. to the Rescue: The Growing Legal Fight Over Cheating and Hacking in Online Video Game Play.” The article discusses the legal ramifications of and responses to the distribution of devices and software that allow players to cheat and hack in video games.

Cheating and hacking in video game play presents a significant problem for the industry and the online gaming economy. “It is estimated that this kind of conduct has cost the video game industry millions of dollars, not to mention vast amounts of time and money that game developers spend to police their game servers and to identify and ban cheaters,” Mr. Blavin writes. “Policing efforts often present a whack-a-mole problem as gamers regularly change their online identities.” For game developers, copyright law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and common law claims such as tortious interference with contractual relations are amongst the avenues that companies are utilizing to seek legal action against third parties distributing cheating and hacking devices and software.

Mr. Blavin is an attorney in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. His practices focuses on high-technology intellectual property disputes and Internet and privacy-related litigation. He has also litigated federal antitrust actions, consumer class actions in the Internet, wireless, telecommunications areas and constitutional matters. 

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