Evony LLC squeezes $300,000 from Evony hacker


A judge has ruled that Philip James Holland must pay a hefty fine for running his own Evony server.

23-year-old hacker Philip James Holland didn’t make a strong first impression when he showed up to court in sweatpants, but that’s the least of his worries now that he’s lost his legal battle with Evony LLC. U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry has ruled that Holland owes $300,000 to the Evony developer as a result of his illegal activities in the online game.

Evony LLC sued Holland after he circumvented the copy protection in Evony: Age II, hosting his own Evony server and creating a bot that automatically played the game for users. The judge found that Holland’s actions infringed on the developer’s copyrights and trademarks, and is barred from all such exploits in the future.

For Holland, meanwhile, things actually could have been worse. Evony had originally been seeking $825,000 in damages, but McVerry ruled that many of the charges overlapped. Even so, $300,000 isn’t exactly pocket change (particularly if those pockets are stitched into sweatpants), and Holland is still on the hook for Evony’s “reasonable costs and fees” relating to the case.

Holland says that he is “barely surviving” off the income generated from his hack – he claims that he was unable to afford a lawyer – so it may be a while before Evony LLC is able to collect. Unfortunately, sympathy isn’t much of a legal defense. A lawyer probably would have cost less than $300,000, and I would have at least put on a pair of jeans rather than risk the embarrassment of losing to the company responsible for this campaign.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [via Kotaku]

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