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Photographer sues capcom for 12 million dollars for using her photo in their games

8 hours ago, Avocado Diaboli said:

Resident Evil 4 being an old game doesn't change the fact that it has reportedly been sold a total of over 10 million times. Not to mention that it just got a Switch port two years ago and given its high profile status (being considered one of the best games ever by some people) I would absolutely not put it past Capcom to put out a port for the PS5 and Xbox Series. And again, there is the "discovery rule", where a statute of limitations doesn't actually expire until after a plaintiff becomes aware of an infringement, which if you've been following the thread, happened because of a data leak from Capcom that revealed these assets in the first place in plain sight. Resident Evil 4 could be 100 years old, as long as there is an active copyright on the assets used and you just became aware of the infringement, you can demand royalties for them or sue others for infringing on your copyright.

But it is interesting that it wasn’t brought up before now. 

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12 hours ago, Kisai said:

Resident Evil was released in 2005.

 

image.png.784ecf6adb127aa33498139e5c8ffe34.png

The allegation is that the files were taken directly from the CD-ROM.

 

That doesn't mean that CAPCOM itself did it. It could have been someone they hired used it once, who had been using it all the time and never had the book at all.

 

Like I have 5 gamedev books (from 2003) just sitting in a corner here, and several of them came with CD-rom's at the time. Now the CD-ROM's didn't contain digital copies of the books (which are huge) but they tended to contain script, assets or even entire projects that would work in the software (eg flash) it talks about. Like look up "learn OpenGL" and the first 10 projects of pretty much every site, before you get to shaders, look the same. Also these books all have a page right before where the CD-ROM is supposed to be glued to the cover that has "this software is licensed to you for your personal use only"

 

This is what I imagine may have happened. Who knows how many times those files got copied, or if they even came from the cdrom at all while at Capcom. Maybe person who owned the book, copied the textures off the cd-rom in 1996, but didn't use it in RE4 until 1999, remaining in the assets in the 2005 release.

 

At any rate, ignorance is not an excuse. And for those of you not old enough to know what the internet was like between 1992 and 1999, there was no image search. The likeliness that they came from somewhere on the internet is quite low.

 

But stock image cd-roms, there were plenty of those back in the day, and I wouldn't have put it past someone having just uploaded them to a ftp site within Capcom without any information as to where it came from.

Okay 2005 until 2021 a mere.. 16 years?  With a long period befor it was even used.  Statuate of limitations could apply on either end.  

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13 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

But it is interesting that it wasn’t brought up before now. 

Well time played into her hands, since the original versions were rendered at a much lower resolution and also with massively downsampled textures. Even now, it only came to light thanks to leaks of actual raw image files and not because the images in the textures were discovered by playing the game and looking at them. Here's a comparison of what the various ports of the game looked like over the years.

I'm not surprised it took this long. I mean, put yourself in the shoes of the photographer, how would you even become aware that your work might have been used in an infringing manner in the first place. To me, the only way I can even see how she became aware after the leak was because of some automated image comparison tool that compared the image files from the leak to a known database and just happened to match her images. Or it was just a massive coincidence that she or someone who knew her or was familiar with her work saw these images, recognized them from the book and knew that the book versions weren't licensed to be used in this manner and gave her a heads-up. Honestly, there are a million ways you can stumble upon something like this. If she's not a gamer and this leak hadn't happened, she probably would've never come across this use of her work.

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9 hours ago, wanderingfool2 said:

They might not own the subject of the photo, but utilizing the photo to create things such as textures is still a breach of copyright.

 

You mention the filing, but it's like you didn't look at the exhibit portion of the filing (or the article).  It is quite clear form the game textures that they match up either 1-1 or simple manipulation of the image.  Admittedly there are likely a few that were manipulated heavily enough that they likely don't constitute as distributing copyright infringement anymore; but the vast majority do bear enough resemblance to the original (like in the brickwork, it is clearly sampled from her brickwork picture).

 

One doesn't have claim to bricks, stones and glass...but if you take a picture and it clearly is your picture used in a game asset, then they should be required to have a license for it.

It’s exactly like that.  I didn’t look because I don’t think it matters in this situation. Such things are never complete here.  New points are already being made just in this thread.

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10 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

They could easily get sued for false advertising if that is the case. Their description is definitely misleading if you actually have to pay an additional license for commercial use and they never stated it. I mean the advertisement clearly indicates that what Capcom did was ok and the intended use of the product. I think if they don't have anything saying about not for commercial use or you need to pay an extra license for commercial use they will lose the court case. 

 

9 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

Should and will are different things.  I suspect this is going to attempt to leverage music copywrite stuff and treat this as a case of music sampling.  That whole thing is really messed up.  There was a famous rapper of the period who did some CDs actually designed to be sampled from in the hopes that they would be so he could sue the other artist. There was this big thing at purple rain studios in minneapolis to create a copywrite safe sampling collection.  They would hire musicians to play for them just so they would have stuff they could sample.  

 

Holy shit, no. The book did not contain the commercial license. You need to contact the copyright owner for a commercial license. It's the same thing with any other produced good. You can't just take shit, be it a photo, video, song, tickets, etc. and resell them.

 

9 hours ago, Kisai said:

I said. THEY HAD THE OPTION TO MAKE THEIR OWN. That has to be something proved that they did not. For all we know Capcom licensed the same assets from someone else on a different compilation disc that instead did the first infringement.  What part of this are you not willing to understand?

 

As I said, again, a brick or cobblestone texture is not unique. If that game used dozens of textures from that cd-rom and no other source, then there is a much bigger problem. I have not looked at the capcom hack, and I'm sure there are legal problems with her doing so, as the only indication of wrong-doing came from the hack.

 

Now, it is entirely possible that she could enlist someone who could reverse engineer the GC RE4 game or one of the later ports to prove those textures are actually in the game itself, unaltered. 

 

Without knowing that inside information from the hack, the only thing she has to go on is the RE4 logo, and even then that likely would not have happened without the hack either.

 

She clearly isn't being damaged by the RE4 game existing, so what I'm predicting here is that Capcom settles without admitting wrongdoing, they purchase a license for the intangible image usage in the RE4 logo, and Capcom goes and audits the source of all their textures in their texture library and purges everything that they can't find the license for. Any future ports of RE4 end up with a different logo and some new high-rez re-created textures.

 

Capcom could also just license everything based on how many copies of RE4 exist, and if the lawsuit proceeds rather than settling, it's likely they will find those textures in more capcom games.

They clearly didn't? That's not part of the argument at all. Whether or not they could make their own textures has absolutely zero relevance, that's what I'm not willing to understand.  If Capcom licensed it from someone else who did so illegally, it's still on Capcom to make up the loss. That's an argument for the court. This may be the case, but it doesn't change the simple fact that they used her textures.

 

Yes, they are. I've never seen 2 people take pictures of exactly the same thing, with exactly the same angle, with exactly the same lighting. Just going through my texture library, let's see if we can spot the difference between these 2 stone images;

1263563504_fuckingdummy.png.effb5f87171bf0f3317ea7b8c37d7eb0.png

 

You act like you don't have eyeballs. The fact that she found out because of the hack has what bearing exactly on Capcom obviously using her textures? She clearly is being damaged by RE4 existing because they're stealing her images and making money off of them without permission. What the fuck?

9 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

That I don’t think is the issue.  That seems to actually be part of the issue in the first place.  It seems bizarrely improbable that cap on would knowingly place itself in this situation. That the thing is going to court and has not been settled implies cap on thinks there is something hinky and is challenging it.  This sort of stuff is usually settled. The issue seems to be why now, How could these things have gone from unsafe to use to being viewed as safe-to-use?  Either they were safe to use in the first place, or there was some sort of massive screw up.  12million also seems excessively large.  There’s a bunch of limitations on actionable copywrite.  1 is the substantial change limit, another is lampoon (which I don’t think applies here)  there’s also limitations involving 10% of an image or limitation of use.  It could also be that while the plaintiff WANTS to sue cap on because they at least in theory have 12 million (I get the impression that capcom is on the rocks a bit) the party they may actually need to sue is a long defunct holding company or something.  That may actually be the basis for the case.  Capcom consolidated something and is now liable for the debts of some company that could have this hung on it. 
 

Copywrite infringement of this nature is generally not the sort of mistake a company makes for obvious reasons.  There are generally multiple measures in place to prevent such things.  Therefore something weird has happened.

That is exactly the problem. The fact that a company goes to court isn't indicative of anything other than them not wanting to pay $12 million to the accuser.

Why are people so fixated on the value? You know if you pirate a movie you can be charged up to $250,000 right? Everyone goes for max value, and you're 100% not going to get that. Why is this a discussion point? I don't understand. Capcom steals her work, and for some reason everyone thinks Capcom is in the right.

 

And again, whether Capcom did it knowingly or not, they still need to pay her royalties.

9 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

Re: even if that were the case…

Possibly. Not sure how the law works on that one.  Should it be that way? Perhaps not.  Is it? I don’t know. There’s probably more than one totally dead unsuable company involved in this.  Suing a particular company because it has the money rather than them actually being at fault is a pretty shady act.  There is a reason this one isn’t being settled though, and I do not know what it is. 
 

re: Yes she is…

”was” not is.  Resident evil4 is already old news and has been for a long time.  Yet I his is being brought up now.  Kinda weird..  also the money is crazy.  12 million? 

Yes, it should be that way. I can't license you Mickey Mouse because I'm not the fucking copyright owner. If Disney finds out they WILL go after you, and you WILL have to pay them. You could then sue me because I sold you a bullshit license, but I've long since been chilling in the Bahamas. Why is this so hard to understand?

 

She found out recently because... CAPCOM DIDN'T GET THE FUCKING LICENSE. How is she supposed to just know when her shit is being used illegally? Stop talking about the money. Also, as someone mentioned RE4 got a recent switch port, still using her textures. So yes, IS, not "was". Even if it was "was" she still got fucked out of money for her shit being stolen and she's due reparations.

9 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

Re: they might not own..  

depends.  There are limitations involved in fair use.  Degree of alteration is one. 
 

Being recognizable is not the standard of measurement iirc. There is a reason this one is going to court rather than being settled.  I do not know what that reason is. I suspect it is not in the provided information at all.

HOLY FUCK. It's going to court because CAPCOM didn't license her images. That's literally the only consideration. What the hell is everyone else talking about?

 

2 hours ago, Master Delta Chief said:

I wouldn't call this stealing really since the pictures in question are predominantly textures, not something of the individual's design. From my personal view, It should not matter whether if the individual owns the digital photos, what should matter in this particular case are the subjects of the pictures. 

So stealing images is fine. Wonderful, have a cookie. Well in that case I may as well just pirate everything from Quixel and Poliigon. They don't need to like, make money off what they do for a living or anything. It's mostly just nature stuff anyways right? You can't copyright that.

Not like you own what you create or anything. Anything you do is perfectly fine for anyone else to steal and redistribute.

 

1 hour ago, Kisai said:

snip

image.png.b51c9e15e40aabb4332c91476273587a.png

It's already been a proven court case that partial images that don't show the entire structure are copyrightable. You can take a picture of the metal texture of the Eiffel tower, but (maybe) not the tower itself, particularly the night lighting which is still copyrighted. The structures in the images themselves have zero bearing on the case. I don't know why you're talking about image resolution, has no bearing on her images being used.

 

Unless the procedural textures are made entirely from math, not uses her images as a source anywhere, and they somehow happen to be exactly identical, they're still using her images. Even if she made the images procedurally, she owns copyright on them. In fact, even if all of her images were procedural and she just provided the method and math to create those images, she'd still be due reparations because she would have copyright on that math system they used to produce the textures.

 

And given the images in the source, they aren't procedural and are using her images. And holy shit there's a lot of redundant information in that ,pdf.

 

Okay, so reading through WAY more of that than required, you're reading that wrong. The textures aren't procedural. What that's talking about (If you read above that) is that whole paper is about providing procedural volumetric data for the internal structures of objects. Figure 4.7:

06-08-21_09-39_41AM.png.09189d441822c7aff7f8d0b30a6770da.png

 

The image you linked that you incorrectly assumed was procedural textures is instead talking about applying those textures to the volumetric layers. Which is why it states "Material Variations within a LAYER, such as brick and mortar, concrete particles, and wood grain, can be procedurally defined within the script by the user."

 

This had me confused, because just by looking at those images I know for a FACT those weren't procedural textures. All that point states is that each layer of the candy can have it's own photo texture. Earlier in the paper it talks about stucco falling off a building and showing bricks or stones underneath, this system allows for that volumetric depth system procedurally, which is pretty fucking cool actually. But the textures themselves are not procedural.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

re: amounts

even a fraction of that is still crazy. 1 million is still several times the value of the work.  Asking for absurd amounts and expecting to be knocked down is traditional, but that’s absurd even for absurd.  It sounds way way too much like a “how much can I screw them for” move.  

How do you know the value of her work? Who are you to decide that?

 

I still don't understand why the argument is about the content when the entire argument is solely "Did CAPCOM license her work or not?"

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3 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

 

Holy shit, no. The book did not contain the commercial license. You need to contact the copyright owner for a commercial license. It's the same thing with any other produced good. You can't just take shit, be it a photo, video, song, tickets, etc. and resell them.

 

They clearly didn't? That's not part of the argument at all. Whether or not they could make their own textures has absolutely zero relevance, that's what I'm not willing to understand.  If Capcom licensed it from someone else who did so illegally, it's still on Capcom to make up the loss. That's an argument for the court. This may be the case, but it doesn't change the simple fact that they used her textures.

 

Yes, they are. I've never seen 2 people take pictures of exactly the same thing, with exactly the same angle, with exactly the same lighting. Just going through my texture library, let's see if we can spot the difference between these 2 stone images;

1263563504_fuckingdummy.png.effb5f87171bf0f3317ea7b8c37d7eb0.png

 

You act like you don't have eyeballs. The fact that she found out because of the hack has what bearing exactly on Capcom obviously using her textures? She clearly is being damaged by RE4 existing because they're stealing her images and making money off of them without permission. What the fuck?

That is exactly the problem. The fact that a company goes to court isn't indicative of anything other than them not wanting to pay $12 million to the accuser.

Why are people so fixated on the value? You know if you pirate a movie you can be charged up to $250,000 right? Everyone goes for max value, and you're 100% not going to get that. Why is this a discussion point? I don't understand. Capcom steals her work, and for some reason everyone thinks Capcom is in the right.

 

And again, whether Capcom did it knowingly or not, they still need to pay her royalties.

Yes, it should be that way. I can't license you Mickey Mouse because I'm not the fucking copyright owner. If Disney finds out they WILL go after you, and you WILL have to pay them. You could then sue me because I sold you a bullshit license, but I've long since been chilling in the Bahamas. Why is this so hard to understand?

 

She found out recently because... CAPCOM DIDN'T GET THE FUCKING LICENSE. How is she supposed to just know when her shit is being used illegally? Stop talking about the money. Also, as someone mentioned RE4 got a recent switch port, still using her textures. So yes, IS, not "was". Even if it was "was" she still got fucked out of money for her shit being stolen and she's due reparations.

HOLY FUCK. It's going to court because CAPCOM didn't license her images. That's literally the only consideration. What the hell is everyone else talking about?

 

So stealing images is fine. Wonderful, have a cookie. Well in that case I may as well just pirate everything from Quixel and Poliigon. They don't need to like, make money off what they do for a living or anything. It's mostly just nature stuff anyways right? You can't copyright that.

Not like you own what you create or anything. Anything you do is perfectly fine for anyone else to steal and redistribute.

 

It's already been a proven court case that partial images that don't show the entire structure are copyrightable. You can take a picture of the metal texture of the Eiffel tower, but (maybe) not the tower itself, particularly the night lighting which is still copyrighted. The structures in the images themselves have zero bearing on the case. I don't know why you're talking about image resolution, has no bearing on her images being used.

 

Unless the procedural textures are made entirely from math, not uses her images as a source anywhere, and they somehow happen to be exactly identical, they're still using her images. Even if she made the images procedurally, she owns copyright on them. In fact, even if all of her images were procedural and she just provided the method and math to create those images, she'd still be due reparations because she would have copyright on that math system they used to produce the textures.

 

And given the images in the source, they aren't procedural and are using her images. And holy shit there's a lot of redundant information in that ,pdf.

 

Okay, so reading through WAY more of that than required, you're reading that wrong. The textures aren't procedural. What that's talking about (If you read above that) is that whole paper is about providing procedural volumetric data for the internal structures of objects. Figure 4.7:

06-08-21_09-39_41AM.png.09189d441822c7aff7f8d0b30a6770da.png

 

The image you linked that you incorrectly assumed was procedural textures is instead talking about applying those textures to the volumetric layers. Which is why it states "Material Variations within a LAYER, such as brick and mortar, concrete particles, and wood grain, can be procedurally defined within the script by the user."

 

This had me confused, because just by looking at those images I know for a FACT those weren't procedural textures. All that point states is that each layer of the candy can have it's own photo texture. Earlier in the paper it talks about stucco falling off a building and showing bricks or stones underneath, this system allows for that volumetric depth system procedurally, which is pretty fucking cool actually. But the textures themselves are not procedural.

Re: first one

denial followed by agreement.

 

re: second one

asked and answered elsewhere in the thread 

 

re: third one

see second one.

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2 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

How do you know the value of her work? Who are you to decide that?

 

I still don't understand why the argument is about the content when the entire argument is solely "Did CAPCOM license her work or not?"

Someone who used to be an AIGA member? There’s a list of standard fees for different things.  That number is waaay waaay outside standards.

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5 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Re: first one

denial followed by agreement.

 

re: second one

asked and answered elsewhere in the thread 

 

re: third one

see second one.

No, he claimed false advertising was at play, and you started talking about sampling. This case has nothing to do with either. Try forming an actual thought next time.

 

I don't even know what the fuck you're talking about. If anything was actually understood and answered in this thread I wouldn't repeat it.

7 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Someone who used to be an AIGA member? There’s a list of standard fees for different things.  That number is waaay waaay outside standards.

Standard fees don't mean anything, but it's cool you think you can put a price on artwork that's been stolen and redistributed millions of times.

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26 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

re: the rest of it

So you ream me for making points you later make yourself using different wording.  

 

My wording is quite different from yours.  You said that using 10% is a limitation; which it isn't.  When it comes to limitation, there are many factors that come into play, but the 10% mentality is the exact mentality that I've seen so many people use as justification that something isn't a violation of copyright.  If you have a brick texture, with 1000 bricks, and someone copies 1 to 1 a single brick and prints it off and sells it as art that is still a copyright violation.  If you take the 1000 bricks, morph the image, recolor it, blend together, to the point that it is no longer bricks but rather a butterfly (without being able to tell that it was bricks before) then sell the art it wouldn't necessarily be a copyright violation.

 

40 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

You’re acting as the judge on this one behaving as if it an open and shut case.  Obviously it isnt or this wouldn’t be going to court.

I never said it was an open and shut case.  Clearly in my previous posts I've stated it will come down to what the book says, or whether Capcom can show they licensed it in another way (that maybe she wasn't aware of).  This was filed 4 days ago, Capcom hasn't responded yet (from my knowledge).  That doesn't mean it's "going to court", Capcom could still settle before it gets truly to the courts.  Your assuming that she even contacted Capcom to settle, it might not necessarily be that case.  They can also settle before this actually reaches the trial (which in my opinion wouldn't be going to court).  This is pretty much just filings in court, so now likely Capcom lawyers are looking at it and seeing whether to settle or pursue the case (and giving justification why it was used).

 

Also, yes I'm saying if Capcom didn't have a license (and if they admit they don't have a license) then yes it's going to be a clear open and shut case [apart from the damages portion].  There is no doubt the images were copied, and even copied in the way that they can be identified in gameplay material, and given the leak they clearly used the images.  Presumably given what she is asking, the images themselves are registered copyrighted works (maybe not, but even then she could still ask for a lot).

 

1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

even a fraction of that is still crazy. 1 million is still several times the value of the work.  Asking for absurd amounts and expecting to be knocked down is traditional, but that’s absurd even for absurd.  It sounds way way too much like a “how much can I screw them for” move.  

It's punitive damages as well.  Capcom has made over $100 million from the RE4 (and that is just based on $10 profit per game sold...which it likely is a lot more).  It's like how some courier companies decided it was better to double park, blocking traffic, because the fine along with the chance of being caught was cheaper than finding parking spots.  Punitive damages would exist to dissuade future actions (but this assumes she proves they knew they didn't have a license, or actions were taken to not ensure they were using licensed pieces).

 

1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

You’re implying the stuff is recognizable, but also pointing out that they were just textures.  Which is it?

You can match up the textures you see in game with the photos she took.  It's not a judgement call.  It's not like she's saying look these bricks look similar to my bricks, she is literally showing look at this game image, and look at this photo; they match up brick for brick (even the angles).  Sure if it was just a single photo used in the game, one could argue that it was a coincidence, but multiple textures matching multiple photos (and this is me ignoring the hack proved it).  They are just textures, but that do

 

esn't mean you can't see them in game.  e.g. they used a tile pattern on the floor and you can clearly see that it matches with MA064.

 

I was saying that even if something isn't inherently recognizable that it doesn't mean there is infringement (you can still have something not-recognizable but still infringing)...but again, only one texture out of all the ones I saw was to the point where they could likely try arguing fair use (but ultimately the case as a whole is not fair use).

 

2 hours ago, Kisai said:

I'm saying that the person who made the book and therefor the cdrom has to prove that they had the rights to the subjects of those images, and you know what, if certain subjects in that image are over 200 years old, they are public domain for her to use, and she can only claim the photo itself as posed

The subject doesn't matter in this case.  It's her photo, she owns the copyright of that photo.  If someone were to go out and create a photo that looks almost the same they own that copyright as well, but that doesn't mean they could sell her photo (even though they took a nearly identical photo).  Sure, Capcom could have created those kinds of textures but they didn't, they used a set of her photos which is copyrighted.  What they would have been allowed doing is using it as a reference to recreate the original subject, but that wasn't the intent of using the picture.  It's like the Andy Warhol painting of Prince example, he recreated the image in his own style and lost in court because it was copyright infringement.

 

2 hours ago, Kisai said:

Honestly I'm not sure how this would pan out. From a very technical perspective someone would have to look at the contents of the CDROM and against the data actually on the distributed versions of the game such as the GC and PC HD version. Both of these can't be done without asking Capcom to turn over the assets used by the game during the discovery process. I don't believe they can use the hack as evidence (which is what was filing), nor can they use a reverse-engineered game. Using a basic texture-grabbing application can be used against a legit version of the game to see what textures are actually used, but will violate the copyright license of Capcom to do so.

 

Like it's really kind of weird, because screenshots of the game don't prove the images are in the game. The hack does.

Like I've mentioned in a previous post, the hack evidence does appear as though it would be able to be used in court (as the poisoned fruit concept is used in criminal not civil matters...although I think it changes if the plaintiff themselves committed the illegal act).

 

Anyways, the screenshots in the game would prove enough to do a discovery process anyways (at which point Capcom wouldn't have a choice but to hand over the game assets to be analyzed).  Actually, reverse engineering would be allowed as well...and texture grabbing would be legal as well, if it's used as an investigatory measure.

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1 minute ago, JZStudios said:

No, he claimed false advertising was at play, and you started talking about sampling. This case has nothing to do with either. Try forming an actual thought next time.

 

I don't even know what the fuck you're talking about. If anything was actually understood and answered in this thread I wouldn't repeat it.

Standard fees don't mean anything, but it's cool you think you can put a price on artwork that's been stolen and redistributed millions of times.

They’re both copywrite law involving art though.  It’s not uncommon for precedents created in one form of stuff be attempted in another. The issue with the law surrounding music copywrite is film contract law can (and has in the past) played a role there. 
 

as for “forming an actual thought” right back atcha.

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42 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

 

 

This had me confused, because just by looking at those images I know for a FACT those weren't procedural textures. All that point states is that each layer of the candy can have it's own photo texture. Earlier in the paper it talks about stucco falling off a building and showing bricks or stones underneath, this system allows for that volumetric depth system procedurally, which is pretty fucking cool actually. But the textures themselves are not procedural.

I didn't say those images were procedurally generated, I said they could easily be. Why is this a hard concept for people to grasp. You can generate anything that a repeating pattern procedurally, that includes concrete, glass, plastic/vinyl, brick, grass, clouds, roof tiles, etc. Then to make it look more interesting you change the colors to make them look older and uneven.

 

Let's say for devils advocate sake that Capcom had a procedural texture generator in-house, and then someone used an image from the cdrom to fill in some gap in the output. Do you really think the presence of the image in the illegally acquired hack constitutes proof that the game contains the original JPEG, let alone a subsampled version? No, it doesn't. Information from that hack is not any more admissible than reverse engineering the game is.

 

Notice that the filing itself points to screenshots in the HD version of the game and not the GC version? That's a VERY important point here. Were those textures originally in the GC game, or only in the HD port to the PC? The exhibits only point to the PC/PS4 version.

The GC version looks like this:

image.png.28f2cf9d9863c7f44a1fc9305028de6e.png

 

Stuff like this, which someone could conceivably procedurally generate, because it's just entropy.

image.png.4e3e35a8486e7c25709b99620a4cd1eb.png

would never be visible in the GC game, and chances are they had to look pretty hard in youtuber's LP's for their use, which they wouldn't have known what to look for without the hack.

 

It's things that are clearly manmade, like the stained glass windows , or the 6-pointed stars in this one

image.png.fbe551e125057fc3915f002bc9d6a388.png

That would not be conceivably procedurally generated.

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11 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

My wording is quite different from yours.  You said that using 10% is a limitation; which it isn't.  When it comes to limitation, there are many factors that come into play, but the 10% mentality is the exact mentality that I've seen so many people use as justification that something isn't a violation of copyright.  If you have a brick texture, with 1000 bricks, and someone copies 1 to 1 a single brick and prints it off and sells it as art that is still a copyright violation.  If you take the 1000 bricks, morph the image, recolor it, blend together, to the point that it is no longer bricks but rather a butterfly (without being able to tell that it was bricks before) then sell the art it wouldn't necessarily be a copyright violation.

 

I never said it was an open and shut case.  Clearly in my previous posts I've stated it will come down to what the book says, or whether Capcom can show they licensed it in another way (that maybe she wasn't aware of).  This was filed 4 days ago, Capcom hasn't responded yet (from my knowledge).  That doesn't mean it's "going to court", Capcom could still settle before it gets truly to the courts.  Your assuming that she even contacted Capcom to settle, it might not necessarily be that case.  They can also settle before this actually reaches the trial (which in my opinion wouldn't be going to court).  This is pretty much just filings in court, so now likely Capcom lawyers are looking at it and seeing whether to settle or pursue the case (and giving justification why it was used).

 

Also, yes I'm saying if Capcom didn't have a license (and if they admit they don't have a license) then yes it's going to be a clear open and shut case [apart from the damages portion].  There is no doubt the images were copied, and even copied in the way that they can be identified in gameplay material, and given the leak they clearly used the images.  Presumably given what she is asking, the images themselves are registered copyrighted works (maybe not, but even then she could still ask for a lot).

 

It's punitive damages as well.  Capcom has made over $100 million from the RE4 (and that is just based on $10 profit per game sold...which it likely is a lot more).  It's like how some courier companies decided it was better to double park, blocking traffic, because the fine along with the chance of being caught was cheaper than finding parking spots.  Punitive damages would exist to dissuade future actions (but this assumes she proves they knew they didn't have a license, or actions were taken to not ensure they were using licensed pieces).

 

You can match up the textures you see in game with the photos she took.  It's not a judgement call.  It's not like she's saying look these bricks look similar to my bricks, she is literally showing look at this game image, and look at this photo; they match up brick for brick (even the angles).  Sure if it was just a single photo used in the game, one could argue that it was a coincidence, but multiple textures matching multiple photos (and this is me ignoring the hack proved it).  They are just textures, but that do

 

esn't mean you can't see them in game.  e.g. they used a tile pattern on the floor and you can clearly see that it matches with MA064.

 

I was saying that even if something isn't inherently recognizable that it doesn't mean there is infringement (you can still have something not-recognizable but still infringing)...but again, only one texture out of all the ones I saw was to the point where they could likely try arguing fair use (but ultimately the case as a whole is not fair use).

 

The subject doesn't matter in this case.  It's her photo, she owns the copyright of that photo.  If someone were to go out and create a photo that looks almost the same they own that copyright as well, but that doesn't mean they could sell her photo (even though they took a nearly identical photo).  Sure, Capcom could have created those kinds of textures but they didn't, they used a set of her photos which is copyrighted.  What they would have been allowed doing is using it as a reference to recreate the original subject, but that wasn't the intent of using the picture.  It's like the Andy Warhol painting of Prince example, he recreated the image in his own style and lost in court because it was copyright infringement.

 

Like I've mentioned in a previous post, the hack evidence does appear as though it would be able to be used in court (as the poisoned fruit concept is used in criminal not civil matters...although I think it changes if the plaintiff themselves committed the illegal act).

 

Anyways, the screenshots in the game would prove enough to do a discovery process anyways (at which point Capcom wouldn't have a choice but to hand over the game assets to be analyzed).  Actually, reverse engineering would be allowed as well...and texture grabbing would be legal as well, if it's used as an investigatory measure.

rw: my wording is quite different from yours

 

sure.  What is your point?
You state I claimed there is a 10% rule.  To my knowledge while the 10% rule is a maximum it is not a minimum, and doesn’t necessarily make things allowed.  Things may become disallowed though simply because more than 10% is used.  You’re reading it backwards. 
 

re: “I never said it was an open and shut case”

you do seem to be implying it though, at least in the instances of replying to my comments. 

 

re: “you can match up the textures”

so you’re abandoning the subject matter point and going wholly with the image ownership thing. The issue with the image ownership thing is apparently this leak thing where this all derived from.  They apparently used the images for in house personal stuff but I don’t know if they released them in game as such.. or something.  The leak thing makes for multiple possible sources of images which confuses matters.  

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24 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

 

 

Like I've mentioned in a previous post, the hack evidence does appear as though it would be able to be used in court (as the poisoned fruit concept is used in criminal not civil matters...although I think it changes if the plaintiff themselves committed the illegal act).

 

Anyways, the screenshots in the game would prove enough to do a discovery process anyways (at which point Capcom wouldn't have a choice but to hand over the game assets to be analyzed).  Actually, reverse engineering would be allowed as well...and texture grabbing would be legal as well, if it's used as an investigatory measure.

Again, the author of the CDROM wasn't aware of this infringement until the hack. The admissibility of that is questionable at best. 

 

To put that in another context, you can't use the the fact that someone lives in the the neighborhood and visits the bar that is run by the mafia as proof that they're part of the mafia. 

 

For all intents, you can not have a case built upon the hack or reverse engineering the game, you can't commit a crime to prove a crime has been committed, at least not without a court order.

 

So I no doubt see a settlement happening rather than have a legal team go through and catalog every texture Capcom has ever used to see if it appears in one of Judy's books. They might just go with "assume the entire cdrom" has been copied at some point and license everything on it. 

 

At this point, I don't think "Did Capcom use the textures" is even in question, it's a question of which ones, and in what product.

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1 hour ago, JZStudios said:

 

Holy shit, no. The book did not contain the commercial license. You need to contact the copyright owner for a commercial license. It's the same thing with any other produced good. You can't just take shit, be it a photo, video, song, tickets, etc. and resell them.

 

They clearly didn't? That's not part of the argument at all. Whether or not they could make their own textures has absolutely zero relevance, that's what I'm not willing to understand.  If Capcom licensed it from someone else who did so illegally, it's still on Capcom to make up the loss. That's an argument for the court. This may be the case, but it doesn't change the simple fact that they used her textures.

 

Yes, they are. I've never seen 2 people take pictures of exactly the same thing, with exactly the same angle, with exactly the same lighting. Just going through my texture library, let's see if we can spot the difference between these 2 stone images;

1263563504_fuckingdummy.png.effb5f87171bf0f3317ea7b8c37d7eb0.png

 

You act like you don't have eyeballs. The fact that she found out because of the hack has what bearing exactly on Capcom obviously using her textures? She clearly is being damaged by RE4 existing because they're stealing her images and making money off of them without permission. What the fuck?

That is exactly the problem. The fact that a company goes to court isn't indicative of anything other than them not wanting to pay $12 million to the accuser.

Why are people so fixated on the value? You know if you pirate a movie you can be charged up to $250,000 right? Everyone goes for max value, and you're 100% not going to get that. Why is this a discussion point? I don't understand. Capcom steals her work, and for some reason everyone thinks Capcom is in the right.

 

And again, whether Capcom did it knowingly or not, they still need to pay her royalties.

Yes, it should be that way. I can't license you Mickey Mouse because I'm not the fucking copyright owner. If Disney finds out they WILL go after you, and you WILL have to pay them. You could then sue me because I sold you a bullshit license, but I've long since been chilling in the Bahamas. Why is this so hard to understand?

 

She found out recently because... CAPCOM DIDN'T GET THE FUCKING LICENSE. How is she supposed to just know when her shit is being used illegally? Stop talking about the money. Also, as someone mentioned RE4 got a recent switch port, still using her textures. So yes, IS, not "was". Even if it was "was" she still got fucked out of money for her shit being stolen and she's due reparations.

HOLY FUCK. It's going to court because CAPCOM didn't license her images. That's literally the only consideration. What the hell is everyone else talking about?

 

So stealing images is fine. Wonderful, have a cookie. Well in that case I may as well just pirate everything from Quixel and Poliigon. They don't need to like, make money off what they do for a living or anything. It's mostly just nature stuff anyways right? You can't copyright that.

Not like you own what you create or anything. Anything you do is perfectly fine for anyone else to steal and redistribute.

 

It's already been a proven court case that partial images that don't show the entire structure are copyrightable. You can take a picture of the metal texture of the Eiffel tower, but (maybe) not the tower itself, particularly the night lighting which is still copyrighted. The structures in the images themselves have zero bearing on the case. I don't know why you're talking about image resolution, has no bearing on her images being used.

 

Unless the procedural textures are made entirely from math, not uses her images as a source anywhere, and they somehow happen to be exactly identical, they're still using her images. Even if she made the images procedurally, she owns copyright on them. In fact, even if all of her images were procedural and she just provided the method and math to create those images, she'd still be due reparations because she would have copyright on that math system they used to produce the textures.

 

And given the images in the source, they aren't procedural and are using her images. And holy shit there's a lot of redundant information in that ,pdf.

 

Okay, so reading through WAY more of that than required, you're reading that wrong. The textures aren't procedural. What that's talking about (If you read above that) is that whole paper is about providing procedural volumetric data for the internal structures of objects. Figure 4.7:

06-08-21_09-39_41AM.png.09189d441822c7aff7f8d0b30a6770da.png

 

The image you linked that you incorrectly assumed was procedural textures is instead talking about applying those textures to the volumetric layers. Which is why it states "Material Variations within a LAYER, such as brick and mortar, concrete particles, and wood grain, can be procedurally defined within the script by the user."

 

This had me confused, because just by looking at those images I know for a FACT those weren't procedural textures. All that point states is that each layer of the candy can have it's own photo texture. Earlier in the paper it talks about stucco falling off a building and showing bricks or stones underneath, this system allows for that volumetric depth system procedurally, which is pretty fucking cool actually. But the textures themselves are not procedural.

The creators of the book did false advertising 100% if they need to contact anyone for commercial use. Its legitimately stated in the advertisement that it can be used like Capcom did. Regardless if what Capcom is a violation of copyright or other such things you can't really claim that if you are advertising that people can use the pictures for projects with zero additional conditions stated. There are a ton of products that are licensed for consumers that say not for commercial use so they have zero excuses if they didn't state that and also had a obviously misleading advertisement. Now I guess the question is whether the person who created the book was also the one who took the pictures or not. If it is a case of the rights holder of the pictures isn't the one who created the book then I guess that complicates things. 

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1 hour ago, JZStudios said:

So stealing images is fine. Wonderful, have a cookie. Well in that case I may as well just pirate everything from Quixel and Poliigon. They don't need to like, make money off what they do for a living or anything. It's mostly just nature stuff anyways right? You can't copyright that.

Not like you own what you create or anything. Anything you do is perfectly fine for anyone else to steal and redistribute.

Keep on twisting my words, I don't care and I'm not going to repeat myself again. The two companies you brought up are sort of relevant, just not in this particular case since we're talking about pictures, not actual 3D models or textures designed by them ready for usage. I know in the case for Quixel they do scanning of certain environments, but you can't really compare this with the current situation really.   

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2 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

The creators of the book did false advertising 100% if they need to contact anyone for commercial use. Its legitimately stated in the advertisement that it can be used like Capcom did. Regardless if what Capcom is a violation of copyright or other such things you can't really claim that if you are advertising that people can use the pictures for projects with zero additional conditions stated. There are a ton of products that are licensed for consumers that say not for commercial use so they have zero excuses if they didn't state that and also had a obviously misleading advertisement. Now I guess the question is whether the person who created the book was also the one who took the pictures or not. If it is a case of the rights holder of the pictures isn't the one who created the book then I guess that complicates things. 

Should and do are often not the same though.  Law often works off precedent and history. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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8 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

You state I claimed there is a 10% rule.  To my knowledge while the 10% rule is a maximum it is not a minimum, and doesn’t necessarily make things allowed.  Things may become disallowed though simply because more than 10% is used.  You’re reading it backwards.

I'm stating that your mythical 10% rule is wrong; copyright is nuanced and doesn't have strict boundaries.  (But in this case, baring a license they are very far from any boundary)

 

12 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

you do seem to be implying it though, at least in the instances of replying to my comments. 

No, read what I've been saying carefully.  I've said Capcom can't use the fair use argument for this case as whole because it clearly isn't fair use.

 

15 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

so you’re abandoning the subject matter point and going wholly with the image ownership thing. The issue with the image ownership thing is apparently this leak thing where this all derived from.  They apparently used the images for in house personal stuff but I don’t know if they released them in game as such.. or something.  The leak thing makes for multiple possible sources of images which confuses matters

No I'm not.  Like I've said, they clearly have in-game footage showing the textures exist.  The leaks just help prove it though (and make it easier to find).  I'm merely stating this subject should be whether or not Capcom has a license, as they clearly were using her work.

 

16 minutes ago, Kisai said:

For all intents, you can not have a case built upon the hack or reverse engineering the game, you can't commit a crime to prove a crime has been committed, at least not without a court order.

Again, if you decide that presenting the hack isn't allowed, it still alerted her of the issue and based on the in-game footage you can show that textures matched her photos.  From there it could be argued a discovery process would then give access to the assets, at which point we are back to where we are now (where she effectively has access to the "hacked data").  The fact that she discovered it from the hack doesn't mean too much.

 

Also reverse engineer or using a program to strip  out the textures to compare would be classified as fair use (as it's not taking away anything from the market, it's use would be non-commercial in the sense that she isn't reselling but using it to identify, she's not reusing the textures and only matching ones she found that she reasonably believes were hers)...so yea, it would most likely be fair use for her to strip out the textures to find ones that matched her photos.

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8 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

The creators of the book did false advertising 100% if they need to contact anyone for commercial use. Its legitimately stated in the advertisement that it can be used like Capcom did.

You know, Amazon has a neat little feature where if you click on the book cover, it lets you look at a few pages from inside. And if you do that, you come across this bit here:

 

image.png.a7eb1619d5f5b1959d02002de65adbf8.png

 

Clearly, these images are intended for conceptual work or to be used in presentations you give to others, not to be used in commercial projects sold to customers. It even hints that the original images can be obtained from the author. Seems to me like nothing here indicates that these images were ever intended to be used in commercial projects or that a blanket license of said use is ever given. And even an explicit disclaimer that such use is disallowed is not needed, because in absence of clear language, you can never assume implied permission.

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4 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

I'm stating that your mythical 10% rule is wrong; copyright is nuanced and doesn't have strict boundaries.  (But in this case, baring a license they are very far from any boundary)

 

No, read what I've been saying carefully.  I've said Capcom can't use the fair use argument for this case as whole because it clearly isn't fair use.

 

No I'm not.  Like I've said, they clearly have in-game footage showing the textures exist.  The leaks just help prove it though (and make it easier to find).  I'm merely stating this subject should be whether or not Capcom has a license, as they clearly were using her work.

 

Again, if you decide that presenting the hack isn't allowed, it still alerted her of the issue and based on the in-game footage you can show that textures matched her photos.  From there it could be argued a discovery process would then give access to the assets, at which point we are back to where we are now (where she effectively has access to the "hacked data").  The fact that she discovered it from the hack doesn't mean too much.

 

Also reverse engineer or using a program to strip  out the textures to compare would be classified as fair use (as it's not taking away anything from the market, it's use would be non-commercial in the sense that she isn't reselling but using it to identify, she's not reusing the textures and only matching ones she found that she reasonably believes were hers)...so yea, it would most likely be fair use for her to strip out the textures to find ones that matched her photos.

Re: 10% rule.

It’s not “my” 10% rule.  Are there people who get the concept wrong? Sure.  You seem to want to attack me based not on what I read, but on a desire to attack myths about it. You’re reading what you want to see. 
 

re: no I’m not.
You Kinda did. It was an observation about the reply specifically.  there seems to be an attempt here to force statements as true that I don’t know necessarily know are or not and I don’t think you know either. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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4 minutes ago, Avocado Diaboli said:

You know, Amazon has a neat little feature where if you click on the book cover, it lets you look at a few pages from inside. And if you do that, you come across this bit here:

 

image.png.a7eb1619d5f5b1959d02002de65adbf8.png

 

Clearly, these images are intended for conceptual work or to be used in presentations you give to others, not to be used in commercial projects sold to customers. It even hints that the original images can be obtained from the author. Seems to me like nothing here indicates that these images were ever intended to be used in commercial projects or that a blanket license of said use is ever given. And even an explicit disclaimer that such use is disallowed is not needed, because in absence of clear language, you can never assume implied permission.

Generally speaking if language isn't clear that opens up things like this to happen and not being able to combat it. If it could possibly be interpreted that what Capcom did was ok based on that statement in the book then they can't really sue Capcom for misinterpreting their unclear language. There is a reason who lawyers are very careful about wording things like this and often have many phrases that try to make it super clear what they mean.

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1 minute ago, Brooksie359 said:

Generally speaking if language isn't clear that opens up things like this to happen and not being able to combat it. If it could possibly be interpreted that what Capcom did was ok based on that statement in the book then they can't really sue Capcom for misinterpreting their unclear language. There is a reason who lawyers are very careful about wording things like this and often have many phrases that try to make it super clear what they mean.

Sure, but if language isn't clear, it's imperative to clarify before you do something with copyrighted material. The mantra "I'd rather ask for forgiveness than permission" isn't advisable when copyright is concerned. And I'm sorry, but to me this isn't ambiguous enough to communicate that use in a commercial product is permitted here. "Ready-to-use" is a meaningless term, because everything can be ready-to-use depending on the use case (clearly these lower resolution images from a 25 year old CD-ROM were good enough for a AAA video game) and to interpret an implied license for use in commercial products is pretty far-fetched. I mean, the book is also called "Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers" so even the title doesn't hint at practical application of its contents and materials. 

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32 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

Generally speaking if language isn't clear that opens up things like this to happen and not being able to combat it. If it could possibly be interpreted that what Capcom did was ok based on that statement in the book then they can't really sue Capcom for misinterpreting their unclear language. There is a reason who lawyers are very careful about wording things like this and often have many phrases that try to make it super clear what they mean.

 

Put this in context. Japanese developers/modelers who don't have the nuance to understand english, particularly in 1999. Japan also has a rather "no such thing as fair use" in law, but doesn't generally get into pissing wars with their fans for limited copyright infringement... except if the infringers are in Korea.

 

That doesn't excuse them, and I kinda doubt the book was even available in Japan, and if it was, that falls into another bag of license issues.

 

Like the language above I would not interpret as a commercial license either, but that's only because I've seen these before. Someone who is using a sub-sample of it probably believes they are within their right to use it because they are presented as ready to use.

 

edit:

 

Leonard now has a Youtube video about it

 

edit 2: So the big thing Leonard mentions a few times is that there is only one copyrighted work, the book that is registered, so the damages are possibly not going to be 80 images x $150,000, but probably actual amounts that Judy licensed the images to others for.

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The title of this post is misleading. They used multiple images of her works in their games with n ocredit or reference assuming free use despite it not being free use and never being free use. They've been doing it for years and there is many examples of direct and obvious usage of her work. The book was made in a time where no one thought someone was going to just use these things in a multi billion dollar franchise multiple times over.

 

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12 minutes ago, AdmiralMeowmix said:

The title of this post is misleading. They used multiple images of her works in their games with n ocredit or reference assuming free use despite it not being free use and never being free use. They've been doing it for years and there is many examples of direct and obvious usage of her work. The book was made in a time where no one thought someone was going to just use these things in a multi billion dollar franchise multiple times over.

 

It going to court though seems odd then.  There has to be something that has not been mentioned or is being missed.   Many statements here imply massive open and shut guilt on the part of capcom.  If this were the case a settlement would have been done long ago.  

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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