Friday, 15 June 2012

Case Against Assassin's Creed Dropped, For Now

Better to comment on this later than never.

Well, this isn't exactly fresh news, since this actually happened at the end of May and right now it's the middle of June, but I did promise to cover any developments with the case of John Beiswenger vs. Ubisoft and Gametrailers over the alleged infringement that the Assassin's Creed franchise had against his novel LINK. The news is that, well, it's over, at least for now. According to this article from Game Politics Beiswenger dropped the suit "without prejudice" which means that he can bring up the suit at a later time if he so chooses.

It's worth noting that this entire thing has resolved (or rather not resolved depending on if Beiswenger wants to take further action in the future) in a rather odd manner. The reason that Beiswenger is dropping the suit is not due to a change of heart or what he views as a lack of evidence, but rather a lack of funding. In a press release covered by this Joystiq article the author states that:

"I filed the Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction in federal court because I believe authors should vigorously defend their rights in their creative works; Otherwise, the laws protecting them simply have no purpose. Regrettably, the resources required to defend those rights are unavailable to many individual creators. As a result, rampant infringement is occurring with impunity."

Now, what's odd here is that Beiswenger just came into some cash, because Gametrailers, the other defendant in the case, decided to settle with him out of court for an undisclosed amount. Surely if funding was a problem then it would be one that stood to be at least partially mitigated by the funding he got from that settlement. I will admit that unless the amount Beiswenger got was substantial that it's still probably nothing compared to what Ubisoft could bring to the table should the case actually go to court, but it should have still provided a stable base to stand on, and if Beiswenger believes with conviction that Ubisoft is in the wrong then surely he could stand to gain back what he spends and more with a successful lawsuit.

Somehow I doubt this is the last we're going to be hearing about this, but honestly I really hope it is.

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