Designer Sues Capcom for Millions

Designer Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Capcom For Copyright Infringement

Designer and photographer Judy A. Juracek filed a lawsuit in June 2021 against the Japanese game company Capcom. In her complaint, Juracek alleges that the company used dozens of her copyrighted photos in various video games. She is asking the court for up to $12 million in damages for copyright infringement. Juracek also wants an additional $2500-$25,000 for each photograph Capcom used for the “false copyright management and removal of copyright management.”

 

What Are The Allegations of The Multimillion-Dollar Copyright Case Against Capcom?

Juracek claims that Capcom used photos from her book “Surfaces” in some of its video games. Juracek holds the copyright to her book, which was published in 1996. “Surfaces” contains more than 1,000 images of different “textures,” all of which were photographed by Juracek. According to the book, its intended use is for “visual research.”

The book comes with a CD-ROM containing the images. Juracek asserts that she requires companies that wish to use any of the pictures for commercial use to obtain a license- specifically that the CD contains a copyright notice. The CD also allegedly contains information about suggested uses and instructions on how to request and receive commercial licenses of the image. The lawsuit also claims that those who obtain a license of the images receive higher resolution files than the CD. Juracek alleges that at no time did Capcom request or receive such a license.

The lawsuit alleges that more than 80 of Juracek’s images were repurposed for Capcom games, including the logo for Resident Evil 4. Her complaint claims that Capcom used her pictures more than 200 times in various games. In the more-than-140-page lawsuit, she alleges that architectural details, floors, and walls contain her photos in addition to the logo.

At least one of the images had the exact same file name as the one found on the Surfaces CD ROM.

In addition to asking for millions in damages, Juracek wants all of the video games and other products containing her unlicensed images to be destroyed.

Interestingly, some of the evidence for Juracek’s claim came from Capcom’s data breach that occurred last year. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of data were stolen from its servers. Juracek alleges that some of the information stolen included “high resolution images of artwork used in Resident Evil and other games.”

At least one expert thinks this lawsuit might result in significant damages for Juracek. Kain Jones, the CEO of Pixsy, stated, “This case highlights what we see on a daily basis; some large organizations believe they have the upper hand against creators. Unfortunately, the law does not agree. As Capcom generates significant revenues from the unlicensed use of Ms. Juracek’s work, significant damages would seem fair and in line with copyright law.”

We will have to wait and see what the outcome of this case is but it might mean millions for Juracek.

 

Photographers Call Our Copyright Infringement Lawyers For Help

Call the Liebowitz law firm today to find out how we can help you enforce your copyright. We want to ensure that photographers and other artists are not taken advantage of by big companies like Capcom. You have rights. When someone violates your copyright, you might be entitled to significant damages.

Call us at 800-778-1660 to learn how we help photographers around the globe collect compensation for copyright infringement.

 

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