via Nintendo

Capcom faces lawsuit for unauthorized use of stock photos in Resident Evil & Devil May Cry

June 11th, 2021

Author and artist Judy A. Juracek is currently suing Capcom over unauthorized use of her copyrighted materials in the Resident Evil and Devil May Cry series. The materials in question come from the 1996 publication of Juracek’s book entitled Surfaces, which is a large collection of real-life photos of surface textures that are “ready to be used in your designs, presentations, or comps, as backgrounds or for general visual information.” Surfaces also includes a CD-ROM containing digital copies of the photos.

In order to obtain higher quality copies of the said photos and for it to be used commercially, Juracek has to be contacted and paid for licensing, which Capcom reportedly never did.

via Nintendo

In the court documents are comparisons of Juracek’s original photos to that of Capcom’s supposedly copy-pasted work. If looked at closely, the similarities become blatantly clear.

Capcom

via Public Court Documents

In the screenshot from court documents, we see G079 – a photo taken by Juracek of a unique glass shatter pattern that is almost impossible to reproduce physically. We see here that Capcom has superimposed G079 directly over the Resident Evil 4 logo. 

via Public Court Documents

In another screenshot from court documents, we see the original photo from Juracek labeled as W061. Beside it we see a door from Resident Evil 4 that clearly uses this original photo and uses it as a game texture.

The photo originally taken by Juracek was from a mansion in Rhode Island that apparently is not accessible to the public. Technically, it is impossible for Capcom to have snapped a picture similar to that of Juracek’s work. 

What makes the case worse for Capcom is that when their private data was released due to a hacking in late 2020, hacked files with identical names to files in Surfaces’ CD-ROM were found.

Capcom

via Public Court Documents

Seen above is a photo file from the Surfaces’ CD-ROM known as ME009. Interestingly, a photo with the file name ME009 is seen in Capcom’s leaked files.  

There is more evidence for Capcom’s unauthorized use of Judy A. Juracek’s photos in Resident Evil and in Devil May Cry, and people on social media were understandably frustrated. 

Others came to the defense of Capcom, but not exactly with the right mindset.

Capcom already has a history of misconduct concerning copyrights, as a Dutch filmmaker is also suing the company for copying monster designs without permission for Resident Evil Village.

The beloved makers behind many of our favorite horror and thriller games seem to be in deep trouble, and rightfully so. It is only a matter of time before we find out if Capcom pays the damage fees demanded by Juracek, which amounts to a whopping $12 million.

POP! Creators/Zachary Israel Mirpuri

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