It's the day after May Day. And since there's no good way to make a transition from that into some bullet point topics of interest for games companies, let's just get right into it, shall we?
- EA's declaratory judgment against Textron in the lawsuit over the inclusion of Bell helicopters in Battlefield 3 can stay in California. Sometimes, it pays to move quickly when threatened with a potential lawsuit.
- Speaking of lawsuits, if you're involved in a copyright infringement suit and you're seeking a preliminary injunction against an infringer, then you need to be aware that the "presumption of irreparable harm" may no longer be valid (it depends on your jurisdiction). Instead, you may need to show evidence of irreparable harm (PDF) if you are to prevail on the prelim.
- Developing Concern's own Patrick Sweeney was recently interviewed by Ayzenberg for a feature on developing trends in game finance and monetization. Great read for those who are interested in how games are getting funding and making money in today's games market.
- Amazon settles its digital purchase sales tax dispute with Texas. Amazon will now invest roughly $200 in capital investments in Texas, and will begin collecting sales taxes on digital goods sold to consumers in Texas. Read our previous coverage of the issue with collecting sales taxes on digital goods.
- The US DOJ has indicted 10 individuals for making and selling mod chips that circumvent DRM technologies. The indictments stem from "Operation Tangled Web," which was launched in 2008. As GamePolitics points out, the mod chip issue is being considered by the US Copyright Office as an exemption to the DMCA (the law under which the 10 individuals are being prosecuted). I have no idea whether the DOJ's prosecution of mod chippers will have any impact on the Copyright Office's rulemaking, but whatever the Copyright Office decides it is unlikely to be of much help to those individuals already in the DOJ's sites.
- A Pennsylvania man has sued Ubisoft for copyright infringement. The man claims that Ubisoft's marquee franchise "Assassin's Creed" infringes upon his novel "Link." The basis of the claim is that both storylines involve the ability to relive ancestral memories. Although a lot of fact development will need to occur before any final judgment can be rendered for this case, a quick perusal of the complaint indicates that a lot of the "substantial similarity" may stem not from original expression but rather from the ideas of reliving ancestral memories (there's a device that allows you to tap into those memories, while reliving those memories you interact with historical figures, good battles evil, etc.). If that's the case, the plaintiff may find it difficult to prove copyright infringement because, as we've said a few times here, copyright law does not protect ideas.
In the meantime, however, the plaintiff appears to be on the receiving end of a lot of vitriol from fans of Assassin's Creed. Sometimes, legal actions have non-legal consequences (a factor that should always be kept in mind when exploring your own legal options).
- EMI filed a lawsuit in New York federal court alleging that Def Jam Records owes UMI for making unlicensed use of EMI's music in Def Jam’s new video game, Def Jam Rapstar.