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Ubisoft Being Sued Over Alleged Assassin’s Creed Copyright Infringement

By
Posted on April 18, 2012 AT 08:16am

THE BUZZ: John L. Beiswenger, research engineer and science-fiction author, is suing Ubisoft for copying his novel “Link” with its Assassin’s Creed franchise.

He claims that the series shares many similarities with his novel that explores the ideas of memories being ”accessed, recalled, relived and re-experienced” using a special device called the “Bio-synchronizer.”

According to the legal complaint filed, his novel also touches on assassins and assassinations, using John Wilkes Booth as an example. Beiswenger also claims that the Assassin’s Creed games copy themes from “Link” such as ”spiritual and biblical tones, with references made to Jesus and God, the Garden of Eden, and forbidden fruit.”

“Ubisoft have directly copied, and directly and contributorily infringed on the whole of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work,” the lawsuit states.

He is demanding $1.05 million in damages, with an increase to $5.25 million if Ubisoft admits to willful copyright infringement. In addition to this, Beiswenger is also looking to block the release of Assassin’s Creed III and all related products.

EGM’s TAKE: We know what you’re thinking, why has he waited until now to put his claim in? We’re on to the fifth game in the franchise, surely he’s heard of the game before now. You have to admit there are a lot of similarities between the novel and Assassin’s Creed if the claims made are accurate. The thing is, people make these sorts of claims all the time, with movies, books and more, and they rarely pan out. All you need is a successful property and those who have failed will come along behind and claim the idea as their own. But you can’t copyright an idea or a theme, only specific details, so just because he has past memories and assassins doesn’t mean his book was copied. Either way, fans shouldn’t worry as we doubt this lawsuit will put Assassin’s Creed III’s release date in jeopardy.

Does he have a case or is he just clutching at straws? Let us know your thoughts below.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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