John Beiswenger initiated a lawsuit in a federal court in Pennsylvania against the makers of Assassin’s Creed for copyright infringement on April 17. Beiswenger seeks as much as $5.25 Million in damages as well as a preliminary injunction to stop the release of Assassin’s Creed III, which is scheduled for release later this year.
Beiswenger is a research engineer and a novelist from Pennsylvania. He alleges that the Assassin’s Creed video game series is especially similar to his 2002 novel, Link, and that the makers knew of his novel and copied a substantial portion of his copyrighted work.
According to Kelley Clements Keller, one of the attorney’s for Beiswenger, “Beiswenger only recently became aware of the alleged copyright infringement… [because] it was brought to his attention by someone close to him who had read his book and told him the video games were using the same idea,” as reported by The Sentinel. Beiswenger is not a gamer, “but as he watched the video game, the similarities were unmistakeable.”
Link is based largely on the access of ancestral memories which can be ”recalled, relived, and re-experienced by the user,” according to paragraph 23 of the complaint, which is similar to story-line in the video games. In addition to the overall story-line, Beiswenger claims that there are other notable similarities including various devices, labs, and character behaviors.
Although I am not an Assassin’s Creed fanatic, like Justin Gianninoto, nor have I heard of the novel Link prior to this lawsuit, I am interested to follow this case and see whether there Beiswenger has a legitimate claim or if this is nothing more than a coincidental similarity.
If you aren’t familiar with the Assasin’s Creed series, check out the trailer for Assasin’s Creed III:
I am a bit skeptical as to whether settlement is even an option, but I do not want to make any rash judgment’s just yet. Right now, I think it could very likely be anyone’s game. What do you think of Beiswenger’s lawsuit against the makers of Assassin’s Creed? Let us know some of your thought’s in the comment section below!
We all interact with technology every day, even third year law students like me! I believe the law is an invigorating field of study and the relationship the law shares with the latest cutting-edge technologies is fascinating. Through TheTechUpload, I will share some of my thoughts about the various ways the tech and legal worlds interact.