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Video Game Companies in Copyright Battle Royale

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:38 pm

Story : https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/09/24/video-game-companies-in-copyright-bat





The maker of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” complains that “ Rules of Survival” has copied weapons, vehicles, landscapes and what it describes as an iconic frying pan that can be used as a weapon or body armor. “ Rules of Survival” accuses “Battlegrounds” of trying to copyright ideas and “monopolize the popular ‘battle royale’ genre of video games.”

Lawyers who focus on the video game industry are watching closely. It’s not that video game “cloning” disputes are new. “We’ve seen cloning cases before,” says Fenwick & West associate Nicholas Plassaras, who works with gaming clients and presented last month at Gamescon Congress in Germany.

But most cloning disputes involve mobile games, where both the financial stakes and the quality of the gaming are lower, Plassaras says. “Battlegrounds,” also known as “PUBG,” and “Rules of Survival” are Triple-A titles painstakingly developed for PCs and consoles at high cost, and have likely generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, if not a billion.

PUBG v. NetEase therefore presents a new suite of copyright issues, such as whether the detailed rendering of a real-world product such as an assault rifle is copyrightable. “That is not a straightforward issue,” Plassaras says. “It’ll be very interesting to see if the court touches on it.”







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