Ubisoft sued for ripping off Assassins Creed idea

#1 Edited by distortedwon (7 posts) -

John L. Beiswenger, an American science fiction author, is suing Ubisoft over alleged similarities between his novel, Link, and the Assassin's Creed franchise. He claims that Ubisoft used his idea of a device that allows people to access and experience the memories of their ancestors and that his book also focuses on major historical events and assassins.

http://www.destructoid.com/ubisoft-sued-for-ripping-off-assassin-s-creed-idea-226063.phtml

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-04-18-ubisoft-sued-by-author-over-assassins-creed-copyright-infringement

#2 Posted by A_Dog (743 posts) -

Wow, it only took him 5 years to realise...

#3 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

I wonder who has a better team of lawyers ....

#4 Posted by Yummylee (21242 posts) -

Ellipses...

#5 Posted by N7 (3573 posts) -

He's also suing Gametrailers for promoting the copyright infringement LOL

#6 Edited by Gargantuan (1881 posts) -

The Ayreon CDs also involves a machine that let people experience their ancestors memories

#7 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

@ryanrulez said:

Wow, it only took him 5 years to realise...

In fairness, it's not like videogames are as well known to most people as movies are. With a movie or something, you'd probably see a trailer or read a review somewhere, but if you're not into videogames, you probably wouldn't even know what Assassins Creed is, let alone the fact it's about a person that uses a futuristic device to access memories of his ancestors.

#8 Posted by Kidavenger (3507 posts) -

@amazon said:

Book Description

Publication Date: January 20, 2003
Contrary to the beliefs of Nobel Laureate Dr. Francis Crick and most modern day scientists, but in alignment with the religious beliefs of billions of human beings on earth, the soul is alive and well and active in our daily lives. Contrary also to the beliefs of most neuroscientists, it is the soul, not the brain, which is designed to remember.

This story principally takes place in the facilities of Search International, Inc., a product research firm near Madison, Wisconsin. They call their work "product research," because the engineers, medical professionals and scientific staff are specifically focused on the development of new products for client manufacturers.

Commercialization of new technologies was the company's only objective until an unusual accident occurred; an accident which led management and the biotechnology research staff known as the Biochip Team into a discovery beyond their imaginations, a discovery which could well be considered the most important to mankind for all time.

The truly astonishing hypothesis, developed by Search International, suggests that at the functional center of the nucleus of every cell is an atemporal Particle of zero mass and infinite capacity for memory a biological singularity. The same Particle is a component of every cell in the body. It is the "fabric of the soul."

The author lets the reader be present right alongside the scientists as they uncover some of the very secrets of Creation, and while test subjects are taken back in time to recall ancestral memories, a process key to proving the existence of the human soul. Intrigue enters the plot as competitors, a foreign government, and a special-interest group learn of Search International's discoveries.

I wonder if the guy that first thought up time travel can go sue everyone for copying that idea...

#9 Posted by BiG_Weasel (524 posts) -

Shame Bill Shakespeare can't sue Disney for ripping off King Lear for The Lion King, or the writers for Dances with Wolves can't sue James Cameron for stealing their plot for Avatar.

#10 Edited by MattyFTM (14341 posts) -

This whole thing seems like a guy just suing whoever he can to try and make a quick buck. I mean, he's suing GameTrailers too. I don't know why. There almost certainly will be similarities between his fiction and Assassin's creed, but there are similarities between Star Trek and Mass Effect, that doesn't mean BioWare ripped off Gene Roddenberry.

Moderator
#11 Edited by babblinmule (1262 posts) -

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the concept of reliving a life through the eyes of your ancestors MUST have been done before this guy and the assassins creed games in one way or another. Genetic memory hardly seems like an original concept (I'm no brain... doctor.... person, but isnt there an entire school of thought devoted to the concept of genetic memory?)

#12 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

This whole thing seems like a guy just suing whoever he can to try and make a quick buck. I mean, he's suing GameTrailers too. I don't know why. There may be similarities between his fiction and Assassin's creed, but there are similarities between Star Trek and Mass Effect, that doesn't mean BioWare ripped off Gene Roddenberry.

True say.

#13 Posted by Sergio (2047 posts) -

It's still fairly Quantum Leapish.

#14 Posted by BigChickenDinner (766 posts) -

He either 1, knew it the whole time, and just wanted to let it get big for massive dmg or 2, is just doing this to generate sales of his book.

#15 Edited by ussbutte (31 posts) -

Sucks for him that "the 'ideas' that are the fruit of an author's labors go into the public domain, while only the author's particular expression remains the author's to control". [1]

#16 Posted by Gaff (1650 posts) -

From what I can see mister Beiswenger publishes his books through Infinity Publishing, a Print on Demand publisher.

The probability that a Ubisoft employee read the book is looking very slim.

Also, "Search International"? Seriously?

Online
#17 Posted by fox01313 (5061 posts) -

If his book was closer to the AC series then maybe it could have a chance but after reading the synopsis of it & seeing that the book was written in 2003, it seems like yet another case of a flimsy thing for lawyers to fight over on how much of a connection there is between the two as it doesn't look like there's going to be much confusion between the two. As much as I know that I'm not being good at the AC series, it seems quite unique enough that it can stand on it's own.

#18 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4630 posts) -

His book sounds like spiritualistic guff, anyway.

#19 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

So was Harry Potter... and any other successful franchise with a 'hook'. Ideas are out there, folks, it's how you use them.

#20 Posted by FreakAche (2949 posts) -

@BiG_Weasel said:

Shame Bill Shakespeare can't sue Disney for ripping off King Lear for The Lion King, or the writers for Dances with Wolves can't sue James Cameron for stealing their plot for Avatar.

Wouldn't The Lion King have more in common with Hamlet? Granted, I can barely remember anything that happened in King Lear.

#21 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

@Sergio said:

It's still fairly Quantum Leapish.

If Ezio had to help a random schoolgirl pass her exams before leaping to another time I'd play that.

ACTUALLY... thinking about it... if Telltale made an adventure game where you played as Sam from Quantum Leap and had to figure out how to solve the problem of that episode, I think I'd play that.

+Unless this dude's book has 8 hours of running across rooftops and swan-diving into bails of hay then it's not Assassin's Creed.

#22 Edited by believer258 (11629 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

@BiG_Weasel said:

Shame Bill Shakespeare can't sue Disney for ripping off King Lear for The Lion King, or the writers for Dances with Wolves can't sue James Cameron for stealing their plot for Avatar.

Wouldn't The Lion King have more in common with Hamlet?

Yes, but more currently, this. It's actually more that and Hamlet smashed together.

Anime rips off Disney then Disney rips off anime. Go figure.

EDIT: Insert "If this guy can sue Assassin's Creed then ___ can sue ___ for stealing ___" comment here.

#23 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -

He can't be the first person to have this idea. It doesn't look like something anyone at Ubisoft would be aware of either. It appears that he's just a copyright troll. Great.

#24 Edited by BlackLagoon (1382 posts) -

Ancestral memory is hardly a new thing, and even there the book deviates from AC, focusing on the soul and spirituality, while AC is completely secular / materialistic to the point of using the genetic memory motif even in the game menus. Nor does it seem the book features millennia of conflict between templars and a clan assassins descended from the persian Ḥashshāshīn, or an advanced pre-human civilzation. Can't really see this getting particularly far in court.

#25 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

@BiG_Weasel said:

Shame Bill Shakespeare can't sue Disney for ripping off King Lear for The Lion King, or the writers for Dances with Wolves can't sue James Cameron for stealing their plot for Avatar.

Wouldn't The Lion King have more in common with Hamlet? Granted, I can barely remember anything that happened in King Lear.

The Lion King was a Rip off of Kimba the White Lion

#26 Posted by Sackmanjones (4652 posts) -

Good lord people

#27 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

That synopsis was appallingly written

#28 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

I doubt the concept of genetic memory was thought of originally by him. It's kind of a well known concept.

#29 Posted by familyphotoshoot (653 posts) -

Frank Herbert was using genetic memory as a major plotpoint well over 50 years ago. This is dumb.

#30 Posted by jonny_mung (90 posts) -

This guy better hope that Ubisoft hasn't sent the court a bunch of pictures of their employees socks...

#31 Posted by artgarcrunkle (970 posts) -

Copyright troll. Waited four games in to maximize his profits. Gonna get settled out of court then the guy will lose all the money he stole when he gets sued by the ghost of Theodule Ribot.

#32 Posted by MattyFTM (14341 posts) -

@I_smell said:

@Sergio said:

It's still fairly Quantum Leapish.

If Ezio had to help a random schoolgirl pass her exams before leaping to another time I'd play that.

ACTUALLY... thinking about it... if Telltale made an adventure game where you played as Sam from Quantum Leap and had to figure out how to solve the problem of that episode, I think I'd play that

I actually tweeted about that exact idea a few months back. It's the perfect format for a telltale episodic adventure game. Plus, imagine the dialogue choices:

-Oh Boy.

-OH BOY!!!

-OOOOOOOHH BOY!!!!

-OH BOOOOOOOY!!!!

Moderator
#33 Posted by Kazona (3059 posts) -

Even if they got the idea from his book, he won't win this. And for good reason too. It's an idea. You can't plagiarise an idea.

#34 Posted by Kazona (3059 posts) -
@artgarcrunkle

Copyright troll. Waited four games in to maximize his profits. Gonna get settled out of court then the guy will lose all the money he stole when he gets sued by the ghost of Theodule Ribot.

I see no reason why Ubisoft would settle. Unless there is something that I'm missing, this guy's case has no chance of holding up in court.

Then again, settling is usually the easiest way. But personally I think Ubisoft would be a fool to settle. If only because that'd give the impression (true or not) that the guy was in the right.
#35 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

I don't know, there have been plenty of ridiculous lawsuits that were successful. It may just be easier to settle instead of risking their game franchise. It's the difference between a couple million and three plus years of work not being able to be sold.

#36 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@buzz_killington said:

So was Harry Potter... and any other successful franchise with a 'hook'. Ideas are out there, folks, it's how you use them.

If that's how the way things worked then the copyright laws wouldn't really exist would they?
#37 Posted by McShank (1629 posts) -

NEW Lawsuit! Digimon Vs Pokemon!!! MW Vs Battlefield!!!!!! Transformers Vs Zoid Vs Gundams Vs Mecha Godzilla!!!

#38 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@buzz_killington said:

So was Harry Potter... and any other successful franchise with a 'hook'. Ideas are out there, folks, it's how you use them.

If that's how the way things worked then the copyright laws wouldn't really exist would they?

Well, opening a burger joint named McDonald's with a golden arch logo that doesn't pay royalties to McDonald's would be deceptive and wrong. Literature is different. Unless its blatant plagarism, where passages are word for word copies from another work, a claim that anyone "stole" anything from anyone else is just bullshit. McDonald's can't sue Burger King for selling burgers at chained restaurants, because they did it first. Copyright laws exist for that reason alone. This is a pathetic, opportunistic man trying to exploit copyright laws to earn a few bucks. He knows that Ubi will probably settle out of court, because legal fees are fucking sky-high, so he's just exploiting the non-sensical American copyright laws for monetary gain.

#39 Posted by Still_I_Cry (2494 posts) -

@Tim_the_Corsair said:

That synopsis was appallingly written

Going to agree.

I usually don't like putting down the writing of others but..wow.

#40 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@buzz_killington said:

So was Harry Potter... and any other successful franchise with a 'hook'. Ideas are out there, folks, it's how you use them.

If that's how the way things worked then the copyright laws wouldn't really exist would they?

Ideas are not copyrightable. The system was not designed for that. Copyright protects the creative works that result from the ideas, not the ideas themselves.

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