Jagex wins two-year legal battle against bot developers

Cambridge-based Runescape developer Jagex has won a landmark legal battle against the developers of bots which targeted its free-to-play MMOG.

The two developers, brothers Mark and Eric Snellman, were ordered to pay damages to Jagex and to cease bot development for any of the company's games after it successfully argued that Impulse Software – the name under which the brothers traded – was violating copyright, trademark and computer fraud laws with its iBOT subscription service.

Impulse Software is also forbidden from assisting other bot programmers, or discussing Jagex, Runescape or the court case in public. And finally, the pair must hand over any source code pertaining to their bot development along with any customer details held and the identities of anyone who has developed scripts for iBOT.

"We began the legal action against the Snellmans over two years ago as a part of our ongoing commitment to ridding RuneScape of bots and gold farmers," said Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard.

"Faced with this significant challenge we have continued to demonstrate that we will never shy away from difficult battles, we don't compromise on taking the right course of action and, regardless of the time, money or effort involved we always do what it takes in order to protect our community.

"We have spared no expense fighting this case, as demonstrated by the seven figure bill this action has cost, but the point of this and other cases of its kind, is that we will continue bring to justice those who set out to harm the game or our beloved community. We are delighted to say that we have convincingly neutered them after a very long battle."

No details of the amount Impulse Software must pay to Jagex were made available, however.

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