PUBG Corp. v. Epic Games, Inc. - Legal battle royale

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RJ MacReady

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Gosh, if only there was some sort of origin point for all these genres so they'd not have a leg to stand on when it comes to copyright.

Battle_Royale_Japanese.JPG


Can't put my finger on it though.

Playerunknown made the original Arma mod that started the battle royale game genre as it is and has talked extensively about being inspired by the original Battle Royale book/film. The crossbow, sickle and frying pan are actually references to the source material. (Fun fact: The pan was actually a mistake. It was a pan lid but nobody corrected him until months later.) They also added licenced skins from it.

Bluehole doesn't have a legal claim to the battle royale genre, but spiritually, Playerunknown does. He also did the original design work for H1Z1 BR so that doesn't count.
 

AnOminous

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Gosh, if only there was some sort of origin point for all these genres so they'd not have a leg to stand on when it comes to copyright.

Battle_Royale_Japanese.JPG


Can't put my finger on it though.


Did you know these dumb fucks have also copyrighted pans as weapons in video games?

That was already in Left 4 Dead 2. And probably earlier but that's an obvious one.

(Obviously Battle Royale precedes that.)
 

This+

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Gosh, if only there was some sort of origin point for all these genres so they'd not have a leg to stand on when it comes to copyright.

Battle_Royale_Japanese.JPG


Can't put my finger on it though.


Did you know these dumb fucks have also copyrighted pans as weapons in video games?

Bethesda tried to sue Mojang because mojang's newest game had the word "Scroll" in the title and Bethesda essentially claimed that it was infringing on their Elder Scroll trademark.
 

Oddjob OTP

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Bethesda tried to sue Mojang because mojang's newest game had the word "Scroll" in the title and Bethesda essentially claimed that it was infringing on their Elder Scroll trademark.
My understanding is that that was somewhat different. In US copyright law you have to be shown to be protective of your claim to a word in your trademark if you want to be able to assert it later. So, while Bethesda didn't care about Scrolls or think anyone would reasonably confuse them with TES they did have to make them reach a meme "settlement" with Bethesda so that if I made a first person RPG called The Old Scrolls their lawyers would be able to sodomize me with evidence that yeah "Scrolls" is their word and they've always been serious about it.

Same thing happened with King Games (the Candy Crush Saga people) and the Banner Saga devs over the word Saga.
 

Diabeetus

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My understanding is that that was somewhat different. In US copyright law you have to be shown to be protective of your claim to a word in your trademark if you want to be able to assert it later. So, while Bethesda didn't care about Scrolls or think anyone would reasonably confuse them with TES they did have to make them reach a meme "settlement" with Bethesda so that if I made a first person RPG called The Old Scrolls their lawyers would be able to sodomize me with evidence that yeah "Scrolls" is their word and they've always been serious about it.

Same thing happened with King Games (the Candy Crush Saga people) and the Banner Saga devs over the word Saga.

It should be noted, in one way or another, that this isn't a United States case. This is taking place under Korean (specifically Seoul) law. I don't know the nitty-gritty details of how Korea handles copyright shit, but I'm guessing there are some differences between us and them.
 

This+

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It should be noted, in one way or another, that this isn't a United States case. This is taking place under Korean (specifically Seoul) law. I don't know the nitty-gritty details of how Korea handles copyright shit, but I'm guessing there are some differences between us and them.

It's mostly similar to the US copyright laws, including the Fair Use concept. Copyright Act in Korea was first drafted in 1957 to replace the Japanese one, amended twice (1986 with a new Constitution, and 2009) to better fit the international standards.

From what I've been reading, it was mostly for books (as widespread TV coverage wasn't a thing until the 80s) back then but it also covers "musical works, theatrical works, art works, pictorial works, motion pictures, and computer programs, with the integrity of the author's works also taken into account.

I suck ass with Korean legalese but 김송기 v. 신사훈 (1993 June 8, case no. 93다3073) does seem like a precedence case for something like this. The Supreme Court ruled that a work under Copyright Act must be a creative expression of the author's thinking and feelings, not the idea itself.

I'm not a legal expert (especially copyright shit that happens in SK) but Epic Games can use this to say that Fortnite's creative expression of the battle royale (which is an idea) is 'cartoony' and 'casual' as opposed to PUBG's 'realistic' and 'hardcore' creative expression.

That being said, I do know slightly more about the political aspect of SK and knowing how conservative the Courts are (it's gotten significantly better since Park Geun-Hye's impeachment, however), another real possibility is that PUBG might win just because the devs are the Home Team.
 

AnOminous

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My understanding is that that was somewhat different. In US copyright law you have to be shown to be protective of your claim to a word in your trademark if you want to be able to assert it later. So, while Bethesda didn't care about Scrolls or think anyone would reasonably confuse them with TES they did have to make them reach a meme "settlement" with Bethesda so that if I made a first person RPG called The Old Scrolls their lawyers would be able to sodomize me with evidence that yeah "Scrolls" is their word and they've always been serious about it.

This isn't copyright but trademark, but you get the general gist of it. Copyright is over the game itself and its contents. Trademark is over words (or visual or other things even including things like sounds) identifying products. You can ignore a million copyright infringements and then sue the next guy, but if you let a trademark slip into the public domain, it's gone forever.

This forces trademark lawyers to do things that look ridiculous to people who don't know trademark law, and sometimes, trademark lawyers do things that actually are ridiculous.
 

ADN_VIII

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I recall that Epic has been sued by developers before. Silicon Knights, the studio behind Too Human, tried to sue and Epic responded by revoking their license to use Unreal Engine, winning a countersuit, and getting a court order to inspect SK's servers to ensure everything that the studio made on UE3 was deleted.
 

AnOminous

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I recall that Epic has been sued by developers before. Silicon Knights, the studio behind Too Human, tried to sue and Epic responded by revoking their license to use Unreal Engine, winning a countersuit, and getting a court order to inspect SK's servers to ensure everything that the studio made on UE3 was deleted.

That's some harsh shit.

Still, fuck with the bull, get the horns.
 

ADN_VIII

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That's some harsh shit.

Still, fuck with the bull, get the horns.

It didn't help that SK sued over alleged copyright infringement and were found to have done exactly that during the trial, with code and developer comments lifted wholesale from the developer tools Epic released.

I view it like biting the hand that feeds.
 

InOtherWords

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The biggest question for me is the question of why PUBG would so much as try this, especially given the fact that Battle Royale existed prior to PUBG.
 

Slamerella

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Is it even possible to copyright a game genre? Imagine if the developers of pubg won and set a precedent for other game developers suing each other for making competing platformers and shooters.

We have plenty of kart racers, party fighters, traditional fighters, crossover fighters, collectathon platformers, and Class Based/Objective shooters to tell you the short answer is "no" and the long answer is "no one in the right mind would think this could be at all plausible let alone even in PUBG's favor"
 

Piss Clam

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I like watching some PUGB youtubers. The thing that makes me sour is they had to partner with a Chinese company to bring their product to the Chinese market (same shit, different day) and then everyone was like region lock China.
 

Anonymus Fluhre

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I recall that Epic has been sued by developers before. Silicon Knights, the studio behind Too Human, tried to sue and Epic responded by revoking their license to use Unreal Engine, winning a countersuit, and getting a court order to inspect SK's servers to ensure everything that the studio made on UE3 was deleted.
Weren't they also told to recall all unsold copies of their games and destroy them or something?