October 27, 2017, Epic Games, Inc. (“Epic”) sued three foreign individuals–James Mendes, Konstantin Vladimirovich Rak, and Oleksey Olekseevich Stegailo–for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, breach of contract, and, under California law, unfair competition. Epic alleges that the defendants were distributing and popularizing cheats for the game Fornite. This suit may sound familiar: Epic filed similar suits against other alleged Fortnite hackers on October 11 and on October 17.
Epic’s strategy in this case is similar to its strategy in its suit against Philip Josefsson and Artem Yakovenko: file a DMCA complaint against a video demonstrating the hacks, wait for the defendant to file a counter-notification, and use the counter-notification as basis for suing the defendant in a U.S. court. The timing of Epic’s lawsuits appears to be the result of the timing of the defendants’ counter-notification.