Activision is being sued by Clayton Haugen, a writer, photographer and videographer, due to alleged similarities between Modern Warfare character Mara and a character created for a movie called November Renaissance.
The movie is an action thriller that stars a female vigilante known as Cade Janus, a character who was photographed with a variety of military paraphernalia and registered with the US copyright office.
Activision Sued For Use Of Modern Warfare Likeness
What does this have to do with Activision? Well, the images of Cade Janus were allegedly used as the basis for Modern Warfare's Mara – an Operative and skin within the game.
Haugen notes that while comparisons were made for use in Black Ops 4, but that developer Infinity Ward actually hired the model and makeup artist for Mara in Modern Warfare's development, and even allegedly "asked the talent to try to get Haugen to lend her the same clothing and props from his Cade Janus Photographs."
"The result was an animated character and a set of photographs that were intended to be, and were, copies of Haugen's Cade Janus Photographs," the suit reads.
"The 'Mara' character is a skilled female fighter like the character that Haugen described as 'Cade Janus' in his November Renaissance Works. The 'Mara' in-game character’s appearance is substantially similar to the female fighter depicted in Haugen's Cade Janus Photographs."
"The Defendants' game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare infringes Haugen's copyrights in his Cade Janus character and his Cade Janus Photographs."
You can check out the comparisons below:
(Image credit: Activision (via Clayton Haugen))
There are undoubtedly similarities between the original shots and Activision's own, so it'll be interesting to see the conclusion.
The lawsuit names Activision Publishing, Activision Blizzard, Infinity Ward, and Major League Gaming (which is owned by Activision Blizzard). It seeks "to recover all monetary remedies from Defendants' infringement, including all of their profits attributable to their infringements," plus legal fees and any other costs.