A player of Free Fire sued Garena and Google after the account was banned for alleged hacking. The Bahia Court of Justice (TJBA) sentenced the Battle Royale developer to reactivate the user’s profile, because, according to the judge’s decision, the company did not present evidence to prove the cheating. The citations to Google, on the other hand, were dismissed as illegitimate.
According to the sentence of the action – obtained by the Tecnoblog – the user had the account Free Fire disabled in June 2020, and the phone blocked to access the game with other profiles for allegedly using hacks in matches. However, Garena did not specify which cheat was used.
For the player’s lawyers, the punishment was illegal, as Garena was unable to prove the use of hacks on the user’s account. In addition, the defense claimed that the rules of the game were confusing and abusive. The TJBA judge, Maurício Lima de Oliveira, accepted the arguments and forced the company to reactivate the profile within 30 days, under penalty of a daily fine of R $ 100 up to the limit of R $ 2 thousand.
The judge, however, denied the payment of moral damages and released Google from the lawsuit, because, according to Oliveira, the company had no responsibility for the banishment of the player, nor for Garena’s actions. The author, on the other hand, was sentenced to pay R $ 1,500 in succumbence fees to Google for the illegitimate citation.
The process runs under the number 8062326-41.2020.8.05.0001 in the TJBA.
The arguments of the player’s lawyers
Soon after receiving the punishment, the player contacted Garena’s support and questioned the reason for the ban. In response, the user has always claimed to receive the same automatic communications from the developer. The messages only said that the account had been blocked by the automatic cheat detection system and could not be reactivated.
The defense also argued that the rules of the game were confusing and abusive. Under the regulation, Garena could apply the punishments without giving reasons or detailing the reasons. According to the terms of Free Fire, cheating accounts are banned forever, and the game is blocked on the phone, regardless of the severity of the problem.
As a solution, lawyers asked to reactivate the player’s account within 24 hours and to return the amount of real money spent on Diamonds, the game’s virtual currency. In addition, an indemnity of R $ 6,000 in moral damages was requested to compensate for the time in which the player was unable to participate in matches and, therefore, had the position in the rank of Free Fire impaired.
Garena defended the legality of the ban
The company also contested the reimbursement of the Diamonds, arguing that “all intellectual property, as well as its effects, is exclusive to Garena”. In addition, the developer stressed that the request to return the money could be considered as a way for the banned player to benefit financially.
For Garena, blocking cell phones is not illegal and helps to combat the use of hacks. According to the company, all users are notified of a reading of the device’s IMEI to identify suspicious programs at the time of installing Free Fire. The download will only continue if the request is confirmed.
The judge forced Garena to reactivate the account
The TJBA judge decided that Garena would need to provide concrete evidence of the use of hacks to maintain the punishment. However, the company itself explained that it would only get this data with detailed expertise. Therefore, the developer was forced to reactivate the player’s account.
The diamond refund request was not accepted because, according to the sentence, the user would already have the account returned the same way it was when it was deactivated – that is, all items purchased would be there. In addition, the judge denied the payment of moral damages.