International eSports organization E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) was served with a class-action lawsuit following revelations that it employed ESEA client users' computers to "mine" for the open-source digital currency bitcoin without permission.
According to the first page of the lawsuit, posted by Reddit user 2sXy, the claimants are Kevin Gallette, Jackson Smith and Roy Han, individually and "on behalf of all others similarly situated" in California and the county of San Francisco. Demanding a trial by jury, the class action complaint for damages relate to Californian Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act, Trespass to Chattels, Product Liability, Unfair Competition, Fraud and Conversion.
ESEA co-owner Eric "lpkane" Thunberg, who initially said that the bitcoin mining idea began as an April Fools prank, revealed in May that an employee involved in the testing of the bitcoin mining code had been using the code "for his own personal gain since April 13, 2013." According to Thunberg, the bitcoin miner was running for two weeks, from April 14, and had earned 29.276 bitcoins, estimated to be around $3,713. As an apology, the ESEA offered premium users a free month of service. The association will also donate $7,427.10 to charity and will increase its season 14 league prize pot by $3,713.55.