Earlier today, Zynga filed a scathing legal response to EA’s copyright lawsuit — with a few sensitive areas redacted. However, it turns out that TechCrunch readers are even more awesome than I expected, because one of them figured out how to un-redact the document and sent us the full countercomplaint, sans black bars.
So what was missing? Basically, more details about supposed agreements between Zynga and EA, and allegations that EA has violated the terms of those agreements.
If you read our earlier coverage, you may remember that in addition to responding to EA’s accusations that it had stolen copyright-protected elements from The Sims Social, Zynga filed a counterclaim accusing EA of anti-competitive behavior. Specifically, the counterclaim alleged that EA tried to convince Zynga to enter into a no-hire agreement and threatened to sue Zynga if not.
The counterclaim also states that during the course of those discussions, Zynga reached multiple settlement agreements with EA over the hiring of EA executives. In the version sent to reporters, the details of the settlements were redacted. We still don’t have a copy of the settlements themeslves, but the big one seems to be summarized in the now-unredacted portions of the agreement: According to Zynga, it agreed not to solicit EA employees in limited circumstances, in exchange for EA’s “release of claims,” i.e. agreement not to sue Zynga over the hires. Here’s how Zynga describes the agreement (previously redacted portions in bold):
Even though Zynga was confident that it had done nothing wrong, Zynga agreed to enter into a settlement agreement that included lawful, appropriate, and extremely narrow non-solicit restrictions in the context of a non-monetary settlement agreement that included a release of claims as well as a means to address any related dispute that might arise.
Later, in the now-unredacted sections, Zynga alleges that EA violated by “bringing suit against Zynga for purported claims covered by the releases set forth in those agreements” and “failing to comply with the mandatory dispute resolution provisions set forth in those agreements.”
You can read the unredacted counterclaim below.