GamesBeat

Author settles copyright infringement suit against Ubisoft over Assassin’s Creed story

Ubisoft has settled a copyright infringement case with author John Beiswenger, who claimed that big parts of the Assassin’s Creed video game story were taken from his book, Link.

The out-of-court settlement comes shortly after Beiswenger settled a related lawsuit with Gametrailers. Beiswenger reserved his right to file a lawsuit again and said through a representative that he made “a very difficult yet strategic decision, and elected to suspend his fight to focus the resources he reserved for the litigation on unrelated business matters.”

Beiswenger’s lawyer, Kelley Clements Keller, said, “My client’s decision to exercise his right to voluntarily dismiss the action, without prejudice, in no way diminishes his stalwart conviction in the merit of his claims against Ubisoft. He is unwavering in his belief that many key components of the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise infringe on many key components of his novel, Link. We believe Ubisoft has engaged in egregious acts of copyright infringement and, should he choose to seek redress through the courts in the future, we remain confident that a trier of fact would agree.”

Beiswenger sued because he said the ideas used for the technology in the Animus device in the game series were first used in his book, Link, a self-published novel. He alleged there were many other similarities between the Assassin’s Creed storyline and his 2002 novel Link according to the complaint filed in a Pennsylvania district court. The novel’s plot includes the creation of a device that allows people to access and relive ancestral memories. The video game series, first launched in 2007, features a similar device called the Animus that allows the protagonist, Desmond Miles, to relive the memories of his killer ancestors.

The complaint states that characters in Link experience “notable and historical moments” through their ancestors’ memories, and the novel makes numerous references to assassins and assassinations.


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