Ubisoft sued over copyright infringement

John L. Beiswenger, author of the novel ‘Link’, is set to sue Ubisoft in a case that could potentially indefinitely delay the release of Assassin’s Creed 3. Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft over claims of similarities between his novel ‘Link’ and the Assassins Creed franchise.

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Beiswenger’s novel, which was released in 2002, is based around the ability to use ‘new scientific hardware for the purpose of recalling and re-living ancestral memories of participants’. The lawsuit highlights many similarities between the two, including specific narrative themes and even the use of individual words. The document includes a variety of excerpts from ‘Link’, which refers to assassins, assassinations and the technology used to conduct the experiments.

On page 10 of the legal document, it states that both Beiswenger’s novel and the Assassin’s Creed games contain spiritual and biblical themes, mentioning similarities such as ‘Jesus and God, Adam and Eve and forbidden fruit’ and ‘interactions with historically accurate people and places.’

Beiswenger is seeking damages of $1,050,000, with that amount rising to a hefty $5,250,000 if the judge rules that Ubisoft willingly and intentionally infringed on his copyrights by stealing material from his novel. Beiswenger also requests that, if Ubisoft is found guilty of copyright infringment, they be forced to cease development, production and release of Assassin’s Creed 3 and all other products associated with it.

To be honest, I think this will be end up settled out of court, or in Ubisoft’s favor. I’m not really all that worried, as Ubisoft is, you know, a multi million dollar company that can afford lawyers more expensive than my house. In the meantime, though, just have a cup of tea and wait for all this to blow over.



Source: GamesIndustry


Posted By LocalFinn

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  • Pantera

    I doubt this will come to much, Looks like this author is just out for money or he would’ve come forward in 2007 when the first game was released. He just grabbing blindly for riches. It’s like JK Rowling suing Bethesda for using a magic college in their game. 

    • http://twitter.com/YourLocalFinn LocalFinn

      Agreed, I just think the royalty of his books is wearing off, and he’s probably been waiting awhile for this one, early retirement me thinks lol.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30316437 Doug Rivet

      If Ubisoft legitimately stole his idea than I think that he should get paid for it. Also keep in mind, building a lawsuit to go against a corporation like Ubisoft takes a lot of work.  Your legal team needs a watertight case just to get started. He isn’t fighting a parking ticket. :D

  • http://twitter.com/SoldierStevens Michael Stevens

    I love Assassin’s Creed as much as the next guy, but if this case is legit, I would be quite amused to see Beiswenger win, assuming it stayed in court. However, an out of court settlement is likely given that Assassin’s Creed is a beloved franchise and I’m sure that any further endeavors by Beiswenger would be met with lack of sales and getting trolled to death, something he must be aware of. I don’t think he would care if he came out of it $5.2 million dollars richer. Ceasing development of AC3 and anything related to the franchise, while completely warranted if he can prove the infringement, would just be a bad career move. But, then again… would he care, seeing as he would have $5.2 million dollars?

    • http://twitter.com/YourLocalFinn LocalFinn

      Yeah man. I mean like I said, I personally think that a corporation as big as Ubisoft will have enough legal knowledge to bounce in and out of this one, even if it’s settled out of court. But then again, stranger things have happened.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30316437 Doug Rivet

        Finn, I agree with you.  It sounds to me like this guy honestly believes that his ideas were stolen and now he wants to cash in.  If you’re Ubisoft you either fight hard to prove he is simply trying to cut in on profits or quietly settle out of court.  I don’t think there is any solution in the middle here.  If it goes to court everyone loses.

  • James

    Ubisoft will win hands down, the guy has no proof that that willingly or knowingly took ideas from his book

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30316437 Doug Rivet

      Except for specific narrative themes and excerpts.  Finn linked the pdf of the lawsuit. Page 7 begins a list of compelling arguments.  Besides, you don’t go after a company like Ubisoft without having at minimum a persuasive case.

  • Delavonboy12

    It seems legit. However, why did it take him this long to speak up?

    • http://twitter.com/YourLocalFinn LocalFinn

      Oh it’s legit, I linked the legal document on the article, But I think he’s been waiting for the royalties from his books to wear thin, probably been thinking about suing for a while now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517617343 Cameron Vadnais

    I expect this to get ruled in Ubisofts favor if it doesn’t get thrown out altogether. This franchise has been out for years. IMO he just trying to get Ubisoft to pay him money to stop being an idiot in public, which they’re unlikely to do.

    The case is about as solid as a bowl of wet noodles. I mean, look at the “evidence” the ONLY similarities between the two are a device that looks at genetic memory, and that it mentions people getting assassinated, other than that they have no similarities at all. If the judge doesn’t immediately see that this guy is full of crap then he shouldn’t keep his position.

  • oReBouNdZo

    That’s pretty big news. Would be interested to see who wins!

  • Toysoldierhaha

    to those who side with john B.
    what are yall talking about this is not legit if you did more research youd know he has really no case.
    plus from what ive heard the story
     for AC actually was being writtin in 2001

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