John Beiswenger, the author suing Ubisoft for allegedly infringing his novel Link with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, has defended his lawsuit against angry fans.
His lawyer, Kelley Keller, has told Eurogamer that her client is legally obliged to protect his copyright and will continue with the suit despite a recent spate of angry Amazon reviews posted about his novel.
“We understand that many gamers are upset about the litigation and potential for delay in the release of the next Assassin’s Creed video game, and as a result of that anger have been posting negative comments on Amazon – and other forums – about our client and his novel Link,” said Keller. “However, copyright laws exist to protect authors and creators from others who copy or create works that are, under the law, substantially similar; failure to enforce copyright laws renders them meaningless.”
“The Amazon ‘bombing,’ storm of negative comments, and threats to our client have no bearing on the appropriateness, merits, or outcome of this suit. They have no material effect on the legal claims.”
The lawsuit claims that Ubisoft knowingly stole story ideas from his novel and is demanding $5.25 million in damages. More details about the actual lawsuit can be found here.
When asked to defend the insane amount of damages requested she replied: “Copyright holders are entitled to statutory damages as set forth in the complaint. Calculations are set forth therein. The law is very clear on damage amounts.”
You have to love how innovative video game fans can be, they actually took the time time to write quite cohesive and well thought out reviews that at the same time manage to bash the author. He has learnt a valuable lesson, never annoy a group of passionate gaming fans – especially when it’s a franchise as big as Assassin’s Creed. If he’d have brought the lawsuit forward when the first game came out then it would have been more credible, but waiting this long just makes it look petty.
Does he have a case or should he quit now?