Call of Duty wins a ‘first amendment’ lawsuit, Tencent sues cloud company for hosting its games

    
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Of course 400 million people can be wrong. it just means they have a wider range of collective error.

Ready for some litigious gaming news? Sure you are.

In part the first, we look towards vehicle manufacturer AM General and its 2017 lawsuit against Activision’s Call of Duty series for the accurate representation of the Humvee vehicle. Activision’s counter-argument was that the suit was “a direct attack on the First Amendment right to produce creative works that realistically depict contemporary warfare,” a point that a federal judge has agreed to in the dismissal of AMG’s case.

“If realism is an artistic goal, then the presence in modern warfare games of vehicles employed by actual militaries undoubtedly furthers that goal,” noted U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels in his decision. “The inclusions of Humvees in the foreground or background of various scenes[…]are integral elements of a video game because they communicate ideas through features distinctive to the medium.”

In part the second, publisher Tencent is taking a Chinese cloud service provider to court over the addition of online games like League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter Online, and CrossFire to its own cloud gaming service without permission. Tencent is also alleging the service is “unfair competition” and is stealing customers from its own cloud-based gaming platform. Tencent is seeking damages to the tune of $1.35 billion.

Video games, right?

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Adam Russell

What was the basis of the humvee lawsuit? Trademark? Copyright? Tried the link but I dont want to whitelist a website Im not familiar with.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Since Humvees are technically paid for by the US people with tax money, I guess that’s a unique case and all and different than other licensing. It shouldn’t affect other licensing in racing and sports games and such.

Now that we’re talking about it – aren’t most military vehicles public domain for game use? I guess I’m very used to seeing them in games and never hear about official licensing of them. I know nothing about the law there and now I am curious :D

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ZenJitzu

The US military is pretty keen about its depiction in movies, so I’m assuming it’s similar in games. All of the authentic military stuff in the Transformers movies had zero chance of happening without it casting a favorable light on the military. To your original point: although the military is paid for by taxpayer money, they won’t let you just use their logos, for example. They have offices of public affairs that handle those kinds of requests and lawyers to defend the abuse of same.

Glad this worked out for free speech though. Imagine getting to the point where lawyers are all up on an indie game litigating how flimsy their exploding vehicles looked, or saying that ‘our weapons don’t jam’ in a scripted scene.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Yeah, I went to search for more information, and the only thing I could see for sure was about people unable to use the official logos for DoD stuff.

There seem to be lots of games that used real aircraft and tanks and things and I found a lot of people asking if they could do the same thing and be okay and couldn’t really find answers about it.

I found something about Lockheed wanting to offer out a license for using their Air Force planes, and the Air Force saying they wanted the planes to stay public domain. That was just the Air Force and years ago though.

And yeah, the whole thing about making them perform realistically, the companies don’t like that stuff in games for some reason. I’ve read that stuff about racing games in the past. They don’t want the realistic damage models and the cars falling apart and stuff :P

OneDollarLobster
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OneDollarLobster

The military is the customer not the owner (AMC). Like other games having the depiction is legal, but not using the brand. This is the same reason other games will have guns that look like ar15 but called something else.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Well except part of why they won this lawsuit was because it’s a military vehicle paid for by the US Taxpayer :D They decided to make that distinction as part of the decision from what I can tell, and so it would only affect military vehicles such as this and it does not cover stuff such as the free use of cars in racing games and the free use of players and teams in sports games.

There are a great many games that use the actual aircraft and tanks and such though and we never read anything about an official license or anything on them.
Maybe they did have permission and just didn’t note it in the information but instead, we’re supposed to assume that when we see the real names of tanks and planes, etc?

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I guess, “Who our customers are none of you’re business.” does not apply in China.

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starbuck1771

China has never cared about anyone’s IP. They built a WoW theme park , there’s even a U.S.S. Enterprise designed building over there.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I’d say that is changing more in China these days as they have a lot of their own stuff and IPs they want to protect now. Also, Tencent is a Chinese company, so the Chinese courts are far more likely to care about them being stolen from.

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Robert Mann

Point 2, yes. Point 1… maybe in 15 years, but it’s certainly not at anything close to a respect of other nation’s IP at this point. Heck, somebody in China would be printing the money of other nations if it would make a profit (but since it’d be kinda useless in China, and caught outside China, they don’t).

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, given that in 2019 China got more internationally enforceable patents than the US (making it the first time since the PCT International Patent System was created, in 1978, that the US isn’t in the top spot), I expect China to start pushing for strict IP enforcement within a few years, at least when it comes to patents. After all, with China in the top spot, strong IP enforcement will start funneling cash into China (and, incidentally, out of the US).

I’m not sure the US can prevent that, BTW; China has very high quality higher education for prices that, compared with the US, range from very cheap to free. Unless the US either starts making higher education far more accessible (read: cheaper), or reverses the current trend of making it harder for immigrants to work in the US, it simply won’t have enough manpower with the necessary qualifications to compete.