Court: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine

TechCrunch has the latest on the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple (thanks Verno). As part of their dispute over royalties Apple yoinked Fortnite from their App Store and threatened to revoke Epic's ability to support the Unreal Engine. Word is the court has decided Apple is entitled to not sell Fortnite. But they've issued a temporary restraining order against dropping Epic's ability to support the Unreal Engine because of the havoc this would wreak. Here's more on the ruling:
U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple can’t retaliate against Epic Games by blocking the gaming firm’s developer accounts or restrict developers on Apple platforms from accessing the widely-used Unreal Engine tools.

“The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers,” she said, adding that even as Epic Games violated App Store’s guidelines, it did not breach any contracts related to Unreal Engine and developer tools.

“Apple has chosen to act severely, and by doing so, has impacted non-parties, and a third-party developer ecosystem,” said Rogers.

But the ruling was not a complete win for Epic Games, which had also requested the sleeper hit title Fortnite to be restored on the iOS App Store. Rogers said the game will remain off the App Store unless Epic Games attempted to bring it back in accordance with App Store guidelines.
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Re: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine
Aug 25, 2020, 12:35
Verno
 
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Re: Apple Can Block Fortnite But Not the Unreal Engine Aug 25, 2020, 12:35
Aug 25, 2020, 12:35
 Verno
 
Yeah it seems like a very reasonable ruling. It was interesting that Fortnite was not allowed back yet because Epic failed to demonstrate harm due to it being self-inflicted:

Here, the Court’s evaluation is guided by the general notion that“self-inflicted wounds are not irreparable injury.”
Al Otro Lado v. Wolf
, 952 F.3d 999, 1008 (9thCir. 2020) (quoting
Second City Music, Inc. v. City of Chicago
, 333 F.3d 846, 850 (7th Cir.2003)). Further courts generally decline to find irreparable harm that “results from the expressterms of [the] contract.”
See Salt Lake Tribune Publ’g Co., LLC v. AT&T Corp.
, 320 F.3d 1081,1106 (10th Cir. 2003) (no irreparable harm where the alleged harm “results from the express termsof [the] contract”).

At its core, irreparable harm is harm or injury that cannot be repaired.The Court finds that with respect to Epic Games’ motion as to its games, includingFortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. The current predicament appearsof its own making.
See Second City Music
, 333 F.3d at 850 (“Only the injury inflicted by one’sadversary counts for this purpose.”). Epic Games remains free to maintain its agreements withApple in breach status as this litigation continues, but as the Seventh Circuit recognized in
SecondCity Music
, “[t]he sensible way to proceed is for [Epic to comply with the agreements andguidelines] and continue to operate while it builds a record.”
Id.
“Any injury that [Epic Gamesncurs by following a different course is of its own choosing.”
Id.
Epic Games admits that thetechnology exists to “fix” the problem easily by deactivating the “hotfix.” That Epic Gameswould prefer
not
to litigate in that context does not mean that “irreparable harm” exists

Anyways we'll see how things play out, many more of these things to come. Also interesting to note that Apple seems to be taking a bit of a different tack now and apologized and re-instated the Wordpress app.
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