Court stops ‘Grand Theft Auto’ players from cheating

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NEW YORK — A federal judge on Thursday awarded Take-Two Interactive Software, the maker of the “Grand Theft Auto” series, a preliminary injunction to stop a Georgia man from selling programs that it said help players cheat at the bestselling video game.

Take-Two had accused David Zipperer of selling computer programs called Menyoo and Absolute that let users of the “Grand Theft Auto V” multiplayer feature Grand Theft Auto Online cheat by altering the game for their own benefit, or “griefing” other players by altering their game play without permission.

US District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan said Take-Two was likely to show that Zipperer infringed its “Grand Theft Auto V” copyright and that his programs would cause irreparable harm to its sales and reputation by discouraging users from buying its video games.

Stanton also said an injunction would serve the public interest by encouraging Take-Two to invest more in video games and was appropriate because of the “high risk” that Zipperer, who claimed to be unemployed, could not afford damages.

The judge dismissed an unfair competition claim against Zipperer, who, according to court papers, lives in Ellabell, Georgia, west of Savannah.

A lawyer for Zipperer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Take-Two said in a statement it will keep pursuing legal actions to avert “disruptions” to its multiplayer gaming community.

The New York-based company has lost at least $500,000 because of Zipperer’s programs, according to its March 23 complaint.

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