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Epic Games cracks down on cheaters in Fortnite and an unfortunate minor got caught in the blast radius.
This battle royale started a year ago when Fortnite filled a lawsuit against several, particularly troublesome cheaters. In response, Fortnite received a letter from the kid’s mother, stating that Epic cannot prove its claims and that she never consented to the user’s agreement, making it void. The judge ruled to take the letter as a motion to dismiss, but Fortnite refused.
Now this put this mess in an interesting position. Fortnite cites a lawsuit from 2008 where a group of minors tried to use a similar argument, but the court ruled against it, stating that “the infancy defense failed because a minor may not ‘use the infancy defense to void their contractual obligations while retaining the benefits of the contract”, however that was a very different situation, in that lawsuit, it was the minors who did the suing, the defendant was actually a company.
Now notice what Fortnite is actually claiming here. They’re not claiming that the lawsuit is still in effect because the minor agreed, they are claiming that the mother HAD TO have agreed. Essentially they’re saying “this contract is valid, because you must have agreed, because if you didn’t we wouldn’t be able to give you the benefits of the contract and since we were giving you the benefits of the contract, it proves that you agreed”. I feel like that’s not exactly how it works Epic.
Now I’m not a legal expert, but I don’t think a minor CAN enter into a legal agreement without their parent’s consent and it behooves the provider not to provide the benefits of the contract. Which puts the mom in a weird quantum superposition, until the ruling is made she both gave and did not give her consent to the agreement, irrespective of what she did. If the court rules in Fortnite’s favor, it would mean she did give her consent whether she actually did or not.