UPDATED: Activision goes after individual game pirates

— 2:16 PM on September 19, 2008

Pirating games may get you in as much legal trouble as exchanging music on peer-to-peer networks. Two gaming sites have uncovered evidence that Activision is going around suing pirates, taking an aggressive, case-by-case approach much like the RIAA and MPAA.

According to a report by Edge Online, Activision has sued a New York resident for allegedly copying Call of Duty 3 for the Xbox 360 and other, unnamed games. Activision seeks $30,000 to $150,000 in damages "for each infringement of each copyrighted videogame." After looking into the issue, GamePolitics uncovered six other instances of piracy-related Activision lawsuits. Settlements in those cases ranged from $1,000 to $100,000, the site says, adding that five of the six defendants lacked representation.

Why haven't more tongues been wagging about these cases? Apparently, the settlements forbid defendants from making "any public statements that are inconsistent with any term of this Stipulation to Judgment and Permanent Injunction." GamePolitics points out that the clause "would make anyone think twice about discussing the case."

Of course, we're not entirely surprised to see members of the gaming industry getting litigious. Since last year, several high-profile game studios like Epic Games, id Software, Crytek, and Infinity Ward have sounded off about game piracy on the PC. Strangely, however, all of the aforementioned lawsuits seem to have been about console games. (Thanks to Shacknews for the tip.)

Update: The lawsuits may not be related to file sharing. GamePolitics has received a message from one of Activision's attorneys, who says his law firm has "never filed any litigation against a file-sharer on behalf of Activision."

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