RuneScape bot developers "neutered" in court battle

Jagex takes down iBOT brothers.

RuneScape developer Jagex has won a two-year-long legal battle with a pair of bot developers who had targeted its MMO.

Mark and Eric Snellman, who trade under the Impulse Software name, were responsible for the iBOT subscription service, which Jagex successfully argued violated copyright, trademark and computer fraud laws.

Not only do the Snellmans have to pay out damages, but they're now subject to an injunction which prevents them from ever developing botting software for any Jagex product, helping other people do so, or discussing Jagex, the lawsuit or RuneScape in public.

Additionally, they've been ordered to hand over all websites, domains, source code and customer details to Jagex, along with all details of anyone who has developed scripts for iBOT and sold them on.

"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," commented 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."

Jagex also took the opportunity to trumpet the success of its recent 'Cluster Flutter' obfuscation tool which has rendered 98 per cent of all in-game bots obsolete since it was first implemented in October last year.

"We are delighted with the results of our efforts so far and are pleased to hear the positive comments from our players," said RuneScape VP Daniel Clough.

"The economy has settled down over the past few months, the game has truly been flourishing since then and as a result the team and I are all looking forward to a great 2012 for RuneScape."

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