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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 408

Modern (Legal) Warfare: Did Activision Steal Call of Duty Face?

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174 174 views
5m Feb 4, 2021
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, like the rest of Activision's annual shoot-a-thon series, sold through the roof. But where there are sales there is money, and where is money, there are often lawsuits.

Now, writer/photographer/dreamer Clayton Haugen has sued Activision for "stealing" his character "Cade Janus" for the game. But while many such claims are easy to dismiss, he certainly does allege some very interesting things against the global video game giant.

Let's dive in.

This may sound two-faced, but Sean Bean is the only Janus we recognize...in Virtual Legality.

#Activision #ModernWarfare #Lawsuit


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Discussed in this episode:
"Activision sued over female Call of Duty character"
Polygon - February 3, 2021
https://www.polygon.com/2021/2/3/22264716/activision-call-of-duty-modern-warfare-mara-lawsuit-cade-janus

Haugen v Activision (group)
Filed February 2, 2021
https://torrentfreak.com/images/2-21-cv-00035-Clayton-Haugen-v-Activision-Complaint-210202.pdf

"Infringement of copyright"
17 USC 501
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/501

"Exclusive rights in copyrighted works"
17 USC 106
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106

"Hard Kill"
IMDB Page
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11656172/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_wr#writers/

"Subject matter of copyright: In general"
17 USC 102
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102

"Copyright in General"
US Copyright Office Webpage
https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html

"Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits"
17 USC 504
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/504

"Copyright protection for fictional characters"
Wikipedia Page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_protection_for_fictional_characters

Klinger v Conan Doyle Estate
June 16, 2014 (7th Cir.)
http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2014/D06-16/C:14-1128:J:Posner:aut:T:fnOp:N:1363624:S:0

CA Publicity/Likeness Law
California Code, Civil Code - CIV 3344
https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/civil-code/civ-sect-3344.html

"Recreation of news photo not substantially similar to original's expression"
Rebecca Tushnet Blog - January 11, 2013
https://tushnet.blogspot.com/2013/01/recreation-of-news-photo-not.html?m=1


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.


DESIGN WORK
Joe Ellis (Logo Design)
Chris Leroux (Motion Graphics)
For more information: contact Chris at @Chrisleroux on Twitter.

PODCAST VERSIONS ALSO AVAILABLE

Table of Contents

Timecode Title
00:00 Introduction
00:55 Case Overview
03:37 Establishing Activision's Intent
07:08 Who is Cade Janus? (Factual Background)
15:28 A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
24:21 The Claims
28:07 Protecting Fictional Characters
33:30 On Reproducing Photography
37:50 Conclusion

About Hoeg Law

The Hoeg Law Firm is a business law firm with big law experience and a small firm approach focusing on start-ups, technology, financing, and everything else a business might need.


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