Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Activision Sued by THQ for Baja Box Art

THQ has filed suit against Activision alleging copyright and trade dress infringement. SCORE International Baja 1000 actually does look "virtually identical" to THQ's packaging for Baja Edge of Control. THQ urged the big A to uses different art, but after a million dollars worth of advertising, the A said no. THQ requested the game be enjoined and believes it will be entitled to the profits from the game.

Baja the belt, Activision!

Comparing the two packages, it is pretty clear that Activision at least referenced THQ's artwork. The similarities are ridiculous. The real question is why would Activision do this? Somehow, I doubt that they are actually trying to usurp THQ's customers in such an obvious, but not obviously effective, way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UNLV Fight Song Composer Suing EA

EA, master of the official, released-every-year, sports video games, is being sued by the composer of the UNLV fight song, "Win With The Rebels," Gerard Willis. Willis claims that his song was not properly licensed and has been used in 10 EA titles including NCAA Basketball 2009, NCAA Football 2006 through 2009, NCAA March Madness 2006 through 2008, and NCAA Basketball 2006 and 2007. He is seeking $150,000 per count of copyright infringement, ie per game used, for a total of $1.5 million.

EA, You Rebels!

If he wins, not a bad payday for Mr. Willis. Somehow, I do not think UNLV pays him this much to use the song...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Anti-Piracy Regulation Passes, ESA Stoked, Artists Not So Much

Congress passed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or the PRO-IP Act, putting in place many provisions to help protect America's IP in the future. The Act creates an IP Czar tasked with overseeing US IP protection who reports directly to the president. It also outlines specific programs for IP enforcement, targets criminal organizations, and provides additional funding for the FBI and DOJ to crack down on hackers and pirates. While the bill is supported by the big dog media conglomerates, such as the RIAA and MPAA, consumer groups are not as happy as they see this as a victory for large media and an encroachment into legitimate fair use user's rights.

What's With All of the Czars?

Will this lead to more consumers being found by the government and nailed to the wall for piracy?

Obama Advertises in EA Games

Barack Obama, living the "Change We Can Believe In," began advertising in video games this past week. He bought ad space in a variety of EA titles that utilize Xbox Live, therefore allowing for constant updates. As the article notes, one game Burnout, came out in January but the ads will be running for a limited period of time right now. There was no mention of the price of the ads, but they were bought to target the video game sweet spot demographic of young males, traditionally tough to reach for political candidates.


Good to see that politicians are heeding the times.