Capcom stole unlicensed photos for Resident Evil games claims lawsuit

Capcom’s own hacking incident from last year provided evidence (pic: Capcom)

A designer is accusing Capcom of stealing photos she made and using them in multiple Resident Evil games.

Shortly after the release of Resident Evil Village, the game was accused of plagiarising a 2013 horror movie by said movie’s director. Now, someone else not only believes Capcom has stolen their work, but they’ve also filed a lawsuit against the publisher.

According to Polygon, designer Judy A. Juracek alleges that Capcom has used photos from her book, Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers, for multiple games in the Resident Evil series.

The book, which was published in 1996, contains over 1,200 photos of textures taken by Juracek herself. Its Amazon description does suggest that the textures can be used ‘in your designs, presentations, or comps, as backgrounds or for general visual information’ and it includes a CD containing files for every image.

However, Juracek asserts that anyone who wishes to license the images for commercial use must contact her first for permission, something she says Capcom never did.

The lawsuit, which has been acquired and shared by Polygon, highlights at least 80 photos that have been used throughout the Resident Evil games over 200 times. For example, a photo of a glass shatter pattern is believed to have been used as textures for Resident Evil 4’s logo, a game which has seen numerous re-releases since it first came out in 2005.

Resident Evil 4 logo lawsuit glass texture

It’d be near impossible for Capcom to coincidentally replicate the exact glass shatter pattern (Pic: Judy A. Juracek/Capcom)

Ironically, the Capcom hacking incident from last year has provided evidence to support Juracek’s case. Aside from unannounced projects and personal information, high resolution images of artwork from the Resident Evil games were leaked. And the filenames for at least one of them are exactly the same as ones from the CD included with Juracek’s book.

The lawsuit reads that she is entitled up to $12 million in damages (almost £8.5 million) as well as statutory damages of between $2,500 (about £1,800) and $25,000 (just over £17,500) per photograph.

A Capcom representative told Polygon that the company is aware of the lawsuit, but did not provide any further comment.

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