Capcom is still suffering the repercussions of the ransomware attack that harmed thousands of its consumers six months ago.
Capcom is a Japanese video game developer and publisher that has generated multiple multi-million-selling game series since its founding in 1979. Regrettably, the organization is currently embroiled in controversy.
After game files purportedly revealed Capcom used dozens of illegal photos in titles like Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry, the company’s latest data breach could cost them millions in damages.
Designer Judy A. Juracek sued the Japanese gaming business on Friday, alleging that it stole pictures from her copyrighted book, Surfaces, which was first published in 1996. The book is a collection of 1,200 photos she took as a visual reference for artists, architects, and designers.
The photographs are designed for “visual research,” according to the book’s description.
The collection includes a CD-ROM containing the photographs, however Juracek has stated that if the photographs are utilized for commercial purposes, corporations must license the photos, which Capcom allegedly did not do.
Despite presenting nearly 100 instances in which she believes her photographs can be found in Capcom games, including Resident Evil 4, Juracek claims Capcom has never contacted her for a license to the images in her book.
One notable example is a photograph of shattered glass taken by Juracek in Italy, which appears to have been used for the Resident Evil 4 logo. Capcom taking a similar shot is exceedingly unlikely, according to the lawsuit.
Furthermore, given that approximately 80 or more Juracek images appear in RESIDENT EVIL and that the primary brand/logo of RESIDENT EVIL employs a specific shattered glass pattern that matches a Juracek photo taken in Italy (…), it is hard to imagine that precise duplication would be possible by independent creation.
You might be asking why Juracek is only now acting after the release of Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 4 in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Juracek didn’t believe there was copyright infringement at first, but sensitive data from the Capcom ransomware attack in November 2020 verified her suspicions.
The lawsuit contains over 80 images purportedly showing Juracek’s images repurposed in various Capcom games, including the Resident Evil 4 logo. The documents identify over 200 instances of Juracek’s photographs being used in Capcom games.
The allegation that at least one of the photographs stolen from the recent Capcom data breach had the exact same file name as the photograph from the Surfaces CD could be even more devastating.
Juracek’s lawyers are requesting that the court pay her up to $12 million in damages for copyright infringement, as well as $2,500 to $25,000 for “false copyright management and removal of copyright management” for each used photograph.
That information included “high resolution images of artwork used in Resident Evil and other games,” according to the latest lawsuit.
The lawsuit references allegations made by a Dutch filmmaker last month, accusing Capcom of plagiarising a monster design used in the recently-released Resident Evil Village.
Soon after Village’s debut, Richard Raaphorst claimed on LinkedIn that the Japanese publisher had taken a design from his 2013 horror film “without authorization.”