Artist Files Lawsuit Against Capcom for Using Art Without Her Permission
Plagiarism is frowned upon by most artists. However, when a big artist takes from a small artist, things can get a little sticky. Capcom has recently found themselves in some hot water as they were hit with a lawsuit from photographer and long-time set designer named Judy A. Juracek.
The lawsuit claims that Judy’s book, entitled Surfaces, had multiple images used in huge games like Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry. While this wouldn’t be a problem for Judy, the real issue lies in the fact that while she allows companies to use her images in their projects, they must contact her about using them. However, according to Judy, Capcom didn’t notify her of their intentions to do so, going ahead with using them in Not only the Resident Evil Remake but even in the logo of Resident Evil 4.
This comes after Capcom was also accused of stealing character designs in Resident Evil Village, which were featured in the factory level of the game. As characters like Sturm, a monster who had a propeller motor for a head and chased protagonist Ethan Winters throughout the factory. However, other characters from Heisenberg’s Factory had striking resemblances to the 2013 film Frankenstein’s Army.
A Twitter user pointed this out. The film director said that he wasn’t sure if the designs were intentionally stolen, although the similarities were too similar to ignore. While the experience would have been “super flattering,” the fact that Capcom refused to give credit to the designs ruined his excitement to see the designs. This is mentioned in the court document as well.
However, the case doesn’t end here. The document contains 146 pages of examples from Resident Evil, Resident Evil Remake, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil UC, Devil May Cry 3, and Devil May Cry 4. Some of Juracek’s evidence even comes from the 2020 Capcom data breach, which contained the same file names and types from the Surfaces CD-ROM, including images from the book. This gave her more proof that Capcom was intentionally using the files from the Surfaces CD-ROM to make textures in some of their biggest titles online. The document and all 146 pages of evidence can be viewed online for all players to see.
Juracek continues with the lawsuit, as her lawyers ask the courts for up to $12 million in damages on several accounts of copyright infringement. However, the lawyers are asking for $2,500 to $25,000 per image used from Surfaces.
While the evidence is extremely damning to Capcom, it’s uncertain what Capcom’s response will be, as they know of the lawsuit but have refused to comment on the status of the case. All of these lawsuits coming could put Capcom in serious trouble.