Author Discovers Assassin's Creed Uses Same Cliche'd SciFi Trope As His Book... Sues For Infringement

from the genetic-history?-really? dept

Ah, ownership society. We see this all the time with successful books, movies and TV shows -- where suddenly someone (generally a complete nobody) discovers that a popular media vehicle is based on a similar generic idea that they once wrote about too... and they insist that the successful work must be infringing. I guess we can add video games to that list as well. Ubisoft has apparently been sued by an author you've likely never heard of, John Beiswenger, who wrote some book whose premise has a vague similarity to the premise of Ubisoft's popular Assassin's Creed game. Both stories apparently involve genetic memory -- the idea that memories can be passed down from your ancestors.

But that seems to be about as far as the similarities go. One would have hoped that a lawyer would have explained to Beiswenger that copyright only covers specific expression, rather than generic idea, but apparently that didn't happen. Of course, as Julian Sanchez points out, the idea of "genetic memory" is such a common sci-fi trope that there's a whole page dedicated to listing out stories that use the concept -- many of which predate Beiswenger's book (and nearly all of which were significantly more successful). Don't expect this lawsuit to go very far.

Filed Under: assassin's creed, expression, john beiswenger, ownership society
Companies: ubisoft


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 25 Apr 2012 @ 1:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I just support little guys being able to take big guys to court if they feel PLAGIARIZED."

    One of your regular failings is that you won't take facts into account. You FEEL that infringement is theft. You FEEL that piracy is the biggest problem. You FEEL that Mike supports piracy. You FEEL that you're intelligent. Sadly, none of these feelings are backed by fact or the law.

    Nobody's saying that he shouldn't be able to take Ubisoft to court for any real problem. However, he needs a basis rather more solid than the FEELING that he's been wronged or that he FEELS that the profits from the AC series belong in his bank account. He needs facts, and proof that significant portions of the game were copied from him. A common trope that predates his work is not proof.

    So, the facts of the case are considered. They're found to be lacking. Either present your own facts to prove that this guy was plagiarised, or STFU. Feel free to return and gloat if Mike's prediction is wrong, but I somehow doubt either of those things will happen.

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