Last week StarCraft II developer Blizzard banned or suspended over 5,000 players from its battle.net matchmaking service for using cheats or hacks to gain unfair advantage in online play.

It has now been revealed that in the days following, the company filed suits against several programmers who have allegedly created and sold the hacking software, an act that is in violation of the game’s end-user license agreement [EULA], Battle.net terms of use [ToU], and copyright law.

According to Gamespot, who first reported the news, the suit states, “Just days after the release of StarCraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the StarCraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that StarCraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that 'our staff is already planning new releases for this game.'"

Two of the accused are Canadians and the other is Peruvian. They go by the aliases “permaphrost”, “Cranix” and “Linuxawesome.” Blizzard accuse the three of multiple acts of copyright infringement and seek damages and the disgorgement of any profits made.

Blizzard state, “When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer's RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II.

“The harm to Blizzard from Defendants' conduct is immediate, massive and irreparable. By distributing the Hacks to the public, Defendants cause serious harm to the value of StarCraft II. Among other things, Defendants irreparably harm the ability of Blizzard's legitimate customers (i.e. those who purchase and use unmodified games) to enjoy and participate in the competitive online experience. That, in turn, causes users to grow dissatisfied with the game, lose interest in the game, and communicate that dissatisfaction, thereby resulting in lost sales of the game or 'add-on' packs and expansions thereto."

As the three accused are not US residents, it’s unclear what jurisdiction the court has in the case. However, StarCraft II’s EULA states that any disputes will be settled by a court within Los Angeles County.

Three other hackers are also mentioned in the suit, under the aliases “Wiggley”, “Zynastor” and “Dark Mage” but Blizzard has not revealed their real identities in the suit.