Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Traverse Internet Law Federal Court Report: September 2008 Hacking Lawsuits

The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.

FILED: 9/08/2008

This lawsuit implicates the federal hacking statute in a claim relating to the "unauthorized access" of the Defendant. The various rights and obligations of parties in a "joint venture" agreement based upon revenue sharing is a high risk situation. There are many ambiguities that arise and this needs to be an area in which every business treads with great caution.

Rockyou, Inc. owns the copyrights and other property rights associated with four software applications titled "Zombies", "Vampires", "Werewolves", and "Slayers", to which the Plaintiff collectively refers as "Monster Applications". The Defendant was the developer of many aspects of the programs and transferred the intellectual property rights to the Plaintiff in return for a 60% revenue share. The Defendant is alleged to have accessed Rockyou's protected servers under the false pretense that he was performing maintenance in March, 2008. Defendant then allegedly proceeded to copy, without permission, the source code of the applications and the user database, and then loaded the data and software applications onto his own database and web server, reconfigured the application configuration keys to point to his own servers, and in effect stole the applications from the Plaintiff. Defendant is now allegedly using substantially similar code to reproduce, distribute, and/or prepare derivative works of the Monster Applications and is making them available on Facebook and other social networking websites in a substantially similar form to the Monster Applications owned by the Plaintiff.

Rockyou, Inc. sues for copyright infringement, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and in its prayer for relief requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, impoundment, seizure and destruction of the copies in the Defendant's possession of the Monster Applications, damages, courts costs, and reasonable attorney's fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1224.