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First, I'm not developing any software used for piracy, hacking or online game cheating.

Inspired by some AutoHotkey scripts, I made program that acts like a macro for some game launcher and updater tasks - ironically it also automates accepting the very EULA for that game whenever game is updated, while breaking that EULA by interacting with the game launcher.

The software is open source and I did not put great effort to hide any links between me and the software. With enough effort one could link it to my person.

In my case, the impact of the software is insignificant both by number of users and severity of violation. But my question is generic - as far as no damage is done to anyone by my software violating third party's EULA, can I be held responsible? Or is it the user - who is fully aware of the violation and actively participates in it by pressing a "start" button - who is the violator?

  • @CodesInChaos Not sure if that's relevant. The case there is about software which directly violates the EULA when used. The scenario asked about in this question is about a software which prevents the user from reading and rejecting the EULA, but doesn't seem to assist in breaking it (the software developed by the question author might or might not also violate the EULA by itself, but that's not what was asked). – Philipp Jul 12 '16 at 10:57
  • @Philipp No, you're misunderstanding. The software only skips the EULA after user allows that feature. And the software violates the "no third party software" rule. – Tomáš Zato Jul 12 '16 at 11:12
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IANAL but I posit that the other company who wrote the game would have recorse against you using a something like "Tortuous Interference", ie Intentional interference with contractual relations, or a statute codifying that in your jurisdictions.

Answer updated in response to question -

According to Wikipedia, the elements required to prove Tortious Interference are generally -

  1. The existence of a contractual relationship or beneficial business relationship between two parties.
  2. Knowledge of that relationship by a third party.
  3. Intent of the third party to induce a party to the relationship to breach the relationship.
  4. Lack of any privilege on the part of the third party to induce such a breach.
  5. The contractual relationship is breached.
  6. Damage to the party against whom the breach occurs.[4]

If your actions cause 5 and 6 to become true, I would say you are on the hook because elements 1 through 4 are met.

Specifically I put to you that you "do intend to induce a party to the relationship to breach the relationship" when you accept the EULA - thus creating an apparent relationship between the parties where none actually exists - ie you induced the end user to accept an agreement which they did not accept.

Damage to the game maker (or, for that matter end user) could occur if a breach of the EULA eventuates.

  • The main key of tortuous interference seems to be "Intent of the third party to induce a party to the relationship to breach the relationship." and "Damage to the party against whom the breach occurs.". Those statements clearly do not apply. – Tomáš Zato May 12 '16 at 23:22
  • Please see edit to my post - I could not fit answer in as a comment. – davidgo May 12 '16 at 23:53
  • If he automates signing of the EULA then the buyer of the software has not clicked it. Arguably that means that the user of the software has never agreed to the contract contained within the EULA to begin with and thus he is not encouraging breaking of the contract since he prevented it's being 'signed' in the first place. Could such an argument stand a chance if a suit was ever filed? – dsollen Mar 10 '17 at 15:32
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You are not talking about violation of the EULA. You are talking about interference with their business. The game company tries to produce a game that people enjoy, and that they pay for because they enjoy it. If that game is overrun by spineless cheaters then the customers will enjoy it less and fewer will pay. That's what they will get you for.

As far as no damage is done - it IS done. You damage the company's business. And since you do this by encouraging the company's customers to violate the EULA, that may very much be criminal. Google for "Tortious interference".

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    How is setting up to automate the updating of a purchased product "spineless cheating". All it does is automate the acceptance of the installation of the game (while accepting the EULA). It does not have anything to do with playing the game or providing game cheats (at least as the way the question is written). – sabbahillel May 11 '16 at 17:31
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    I explicitly said in the first paragraph that the software is not a cheat. Maybe read the question before answering? But the EULA strictly forbids any software, cheat or not, from interacting with any program related to the game. – Tomáš Zato May 11 '16 at 19:26

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