PC & Video Games

Photographer Sues Capcom for $12M for Using Her Photos in Video Games

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  • Jun 7th, 2021 2:39 pm
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Photographer Sues Capcom for $12M for Using Her Photos in Video Games

"I felt a great disturbance at KFC as if millions of chickens suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced." RFD user stephroll
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The problem is she took photos of other people’s works and designs too ( sculptures and architecture that she did not make herself).
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Last I checked, taking photos of objects on display and open to the public, and creating a photo album wasn't illegal. I'm also going to figure that if her work was published, available for sale, and allowed to be referenced, that she and the publisher would have likely got permission from the various locations to be used if they were private places or original works of art, if it wasn't something like a cracked window or brick.

The photos are also original works to her. The angle, the exposure, time of day taken, the lighting, shadows, macro settings, etc. They're all created out of her mind, to get a final picture she envisioned. The photos are original work, even if what's being photographed isn't. But they're also as far as I know, public spaces and objects on display. That's like a photographer taking wedding photos and someone saying that it's a problem because the photographer didn't make the wedding dress.

Capcom could have gone through all of the work to go to these places and take their own photos to use for reference themselves. That would take hundreds of hours. Instead Capcom plagiarised tons of it for commercial use. I believe it stated that it could be used for reference, but from what I can see, that is non profit, school work, presentations, etc. Capcom didn't seek permission to use it for something that's obviously going to be used for massive commercial use and profits.

Not standing up for Capcom in the slightest for this one. It looks like a very strong case for her. I figure they'll just settle out of court though, and pay her a bunch.
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Yeah it looks like she had collected works on book and maybe even DVD/CD, I can see Capcom taking those discs and using the works without compensation. I'm sure that happens in many cases all over. Reminds me of the recent case of the Canadian voice actor that sued TikTok for using her voice without permission or compensation
https://www.cbc.ca/news/tiktok-new-voice-1.6040303

What I don't get (in comparison to the voice one) is how did the photographer figure it out? A voice you can hear plus TikTok is a huge platform, but those images are surfaces, and not as obvious to me at least! Artist's eye I suppose?
c'mon get happy!
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BernardRyder wrote: Yeah it looks like she had collected works on book and maybe even DVD/CD, I can see Capcom taking those discs and using the works without compensation. I'm sure that happens in many cases all over. Reminds me of the recent case of the Canadian voice actor that sued TikTok for using her voice without permission or compensation
https://www.cbc.ca/news/tiktok-new-voice-1.6040303

What I don't get (in comparison to the voice one) is how did the photographer figure it out? A voice you can hear plus TikTok is a huge platform, but those images are surfaces, and not as obvious to me at least! Artist's eye I suppose?
I would guess she knows her work better than anyone else...maybe she has friends who game and they noticed it.
Last edited by quicksilver7 on Jun 7th, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Apparently it first came to light from the Capcom hack last year.

https://www.polygon.com/22519568/resident-evil-4-copyright-infringement-lawsuit-capcom
Part of Juracek’s evidence comes from the 2020 Capcom data breach, which happened in November. In that leak, Resident Evil Village’s launch plans were prematurely revealed, and personal information for hundreds of thousands of people had been compromised, including customers, shareholders, and employees, Capcom said. Capcom reportedly received a ransom note in the attack, before information was leaked online. That information included some “high resolution images of artwork used in Resident Evil and other games,” Juracek said.

“The file names for at least one of the images from the Capcom hacked files are the same file names as those used on the [Surfaces] CD-ROM,” she alleged. The lawsuit shows a metal texture that was labeled “ME009” on Juracek’s CD-ROM, and labeled the same in the Capcom folders.
The link also includes the full complaint she filed. Not a lawyer, but this one seems pretty damning.
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Caerus wrote: Apparently it first came to light from the Capcom hack last year.

https://www.polygon.com/22519568/resident-evil-4-copyright-infringement-lawsuit-capcom



The link also includes the full complaint she filed. Not a lawyer, but this one seems pretty damning.
Nice. I don't really praise hackers who release data, but it's hard to deny some hacks have been helpful. A guilty pleasure I had was reading some of the neat info that came from the Nintendo hacks. Japanese companies are notoriously secretive.
c'mon get happy!
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damn, looks like capcom is screwed here... game development is pretty expensive and time consuming to do everything from scratch, but now with new current AI technologies you could do enough variations to not need to outright copy the source material when generating assets

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