Writer's Lawsuit, Threat to Delay Assassin's Creed III Release Not Likely

Writer's Lawsuit, Threat to Delay Assassin's Creed III Release Not Likely

  • By: CM Boots-Faubert
  • Posted 20th Apr 2012

Assassin's Creed III

The plot in "LINK" includes the conception and creation of the Link device and the process through which the user accesses, relives, and re-experiences the memories of their ancestors, with its concept of the human soul factoring largely in its recognition, while the Assassin's Creed video game series' plot is based upon the Animus device and process, through which the user accesses, relives, and re-experiences the memories of the Medieval and Renaissance ancestors in order to foil the plans of a multinational corporation made up of descendants of the old Templar Order bent upon world domination using magical objects that may be constructed from small pieces of the the very matter that created the universe -- so the two stories share some similar ideas but in the final analysis are not the same story at all.

"Lawless are they that make their wills their law."
The initial Complaint and a Motion for Preliminary Injunction were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on April 17th, 2012, but with the well-established game series now on its 9th title, the request for an injunction does not appear to be for the purposes of relief or any of the usual reasons for requesting that the court halt a business from marketing its products.

"The injunctive power has long been held by the courts as a tool to restore the status quo," Carter explains. "The classic definition is 'to make whole again someone whose rights have been violated' and that is an essential part of the concept of fairness under the law.

"This is being presented as a case of theft of IP and perhaps copyright infringement -- we cannot tell for sure without examining the actual filing -- but by definition if it is copyright infringement, that is the unauthorized use of works under copyright, which infringes upon the copyright holder's 'exclusive rights,' while the issue of IP theft is not usually applied to this sort of case, in fact it is not clear that it applies here at all," Carter concludes. "Then there is the issue of the press releases, the fact that the attorney in the case has employed a PR agency, those are important considerations -- especially to Ubisoft," Carter points out.

"It's all about the Benjamins, what?" Like most lawsuits this one is about money -- $1.05 million directly and up to $5.25 million in damages...

When we asked why the use of a PR firm was significant to the case and to Ubisoft, Carter grew distinctly evasive on the issue, explaining that he preferred not to comment on that because he did not know what was in the mind or the heart of the attorney or the plaintiff. Once we agreed to move the questions into the realm of hypothesis, using an imaginary writer who hires an imaginary attorney to sue an imaginary game company over an imaginary game that has nothing to do with the lawsuit that was filed by Keller on behalf of Beiswenger against Ubisoft Carter was a bit more loquacious in his reply to the question.

"Let's say that statistically this sort of case rarely ever actually goes to court," Carter says. "You have to file the case of course, and sure there are the preliminary motions, you might even get to the point where you are taking depositions from the people involved, asking them to explain where this idea came from, or had they read the book? That sort of thing. But nine-times-out-of-ten this sort of imaginary case gets settled out of court, and any settlement would probably be connected to a non-disclosure agreement in which both sides agree not to disclose the amounts or the terms of the settlement.

"If I had a client who thought his plot had been lifted to make a video game story the first thing I would probably do," Carter muses, "is hire a PR and marketing company to reach out to game journalists and the gaming community all over the world and tell them what the big bad game company did to my innocent little client. I am not saying that is what the attorney is doing here mind you, I am saying that is what I would do," Carter said.