How a 14-year-old Fortnite cheater may rewrite EULA law

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the defendant was 14, unable to consent to contracts, and not authorized by her to play Fortnite, she concluded he was not bound to the EULA.

Roger That!


It’s not like a parent would have a legal document showing they gave their kid permission for every single game or service. There’s no way to prove or not that the kid had permission or not. I don’t think i believe the mom here, but giving her the benefit of the doubt i would hope it doesn’t absolve the kid (or mom) from responsibility for advertising a cheating service. If the kid is in the clear it’d be easy for any underage kid to break TOS for anything and claim innocence because they were too young to agree to the terms.

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I think you’re trying to say that’s ridiculous, but I think it’s right. Banks don’t lend money to children - even very wealthy children - because they can just skip out on the contract.

Just like many sites, BoingBoing includes this warning:

…the United States government has put limits on our ability to accept users under a certain age through the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. So to be clear, Boing Boing is not intended for users under the age of 13. Nobody under 13 may create an account or use any part of the Site that requires the submission of personally identifiable information, like email or name. Any account that is created by a person under 13 will be terminated and any content created will be removed from the Site.

If I was to announce, despite loads of evidence, that I’m a grade school kid, would I be banned from this site? What if there was no evidence - what if it was my first post? What if I was obviously a child, but claimed to be 21? That’s probably unusual here, but common as hell on porn sites.

We probably need a better solution, because the system we have is a farce.


They’ll just lower the age that allow a person to enter into a legally binding contract. The GOP already wants to re-instate the institution of “voluntary” child labour, so two birds with one stone.


Children can already labor - but there are rules. I think a 14-y-old can run the till at McDonalds, but not the vat of boiling grease. At 11 a kid can run a paper route, but those juicy jobs are all taken by adults now. I think the rules they want to relax involve dangerous farm equipment, because those kids today have too many hands.


Basing our legal relationships with corporations on obtuse click-through contracts is one of the stupidest things our society has ever done.


Protip: When presented with a EULA, hand your device to your child and let them tap “i agree.” Presto, you are not legally bound by the EULA.

“Yes, your honor, I let my ten year old make all internet related decisions for me.”

Actually, this means there are quite a few elderly people on the internet who are not bound by EULAs, because their middle school grandkids set up their devices for them.


Yes, i am. Clearly the kid made a concerted effort to not only use Fortnite. and not only cheat, but also broadcast the ability to cheat. While his age is a factor i don’t think that makes the kid free from responsibility from his actions. I don’t think the kid needs to be sued, that bit is up to Epic though i think they made a mistake by going after the kid rather than the people running the cheating service. An IP ban would’ve likely been enough.

Side note: Back in my Team Fortress 2 days of helping run a gaming community and private servers we could quickly/efficiently ban cheaters but my favorite thing to do was to turn on a plugin that made it to where the cheater did zero damage. I would also mute them and it was amusing watching them beg and plead to be released from mute and no-damage.


wait, why is it legal to use your EULA to prevent cheats being shared? If there’s a loophole in your game, close it, motherfucker, you literally wrote the world into existence.


This would make sense for exploits that are inherent to the game, cheating on the other hand is adversarial in nature as it depends on someone reverse engineering how the backend of a game works. This is why cheating programs often fall under the “breaching IP rights” of a developer. Also depending on how complex the backend of a game is it might be difficult and/or impossible to completely address cheating. TF2 for example has a long standing history of being unable to fully stop or spot cheaters unless manually reported by users… it’s very frustrating and one of the reasons i left the community. Things were better when Valve relied on community servers as admins were always on hand but when they started focusing on their own private servers everything went to hell in a handbasket since Valve’s response time is famously glaciar.


So…i haz a question…

Was Epic trying to sue the kid for damages or just suing to get the video taken down?

The reason I ask is this…if this were my son (who is an avid Fortnite player) and the company merely wanted the video of said cheat/exploit taken down; I would agree and support them in pursuing that and would be livid at my son for cheating in the game. On the flip side if they were suing for damages and such, then I would while agreeing the video should come down and be angry at my son for cheating/exploiting the game code or mechanics…I wouldn’t want him facing monetary punishment as a result. If he cannot be held accountable to say drive a car or own a credit card, then he shouldn’t be able to be sued by a corporation either.


Let me ask you a question. Are you bothered that he could break the TOS, or merely that he enabled cheating? For example, if the TOS forbade mechanima and he made one anyway, would you feel that needed to be enforced as much as stopping cheating?

Cheating at an online game is certainly shitty behavior. But the idea that it should be illegal is dangerous. As is the idea that a product’s user can be legally barred from any using any product in a way the seller doesn’t want them to. Sure they could just ban his IP address, but if he’s smart he’s using VPN anyway.

Again, I get not liking game cheats, even though I haven’t gamed in years. But outlawing them is a terrible idea. It’s literally creating real world penalties for a game without any real world consequences.


No, see, our team of very expensive lawyers has assured us that the EULA law is impenetrable. Very impenetrable. Mostly impenetrable. Somewhat impenetrable. Under very specific circumstances, might be slightly penetrable. Anyway, these guys have very nice suits.


Enabling cheating, but as i said previously the entire situation was mishandled by Epic. They went after the people advertising the cheat, including the kid, rather than address the root of the issue and now they’re in a lose-lose situation.


Okay, I see what you mean now. Ban the cheat service’s IP from their servers. That does make sense. I’m onboard with companies doing whatever they can from a technical standpoint to stop cheating. I just oppose it being outlawed, even as part of a EULA (EULAs being a legal clusterfuck, but that’s a separate issue).


Do those suits have shoulder pads? I bet they do and look mighty nice.




Well, it’s a reeaaally long list at this point, including things like genocide, slavery, and bitcoin. But it’s definitely on the list!