Science fiction writer John L. Beiswenger is suing Ubisoft for copyright infringement, claiming that its Assassin's Creed game series is lifted from his self-published work. In Ubisoft's saga, the contemporary protagonist must revisit the inherited memories of his ancestors, locked deep within his genetic code. Beiswenger's 2003 novel, Link, has a similar premise. Ars Technica's Kyle Orland finds the legal experts unimpressed.
Coincidence or not, the kinds of similarities cited in the complaint aren't nearly substantial enough to sustain a copyright infringement claim, according to Dallas attorney and Law of the Game blogger Mark Methenitis. "The level of comparison they're trying to make would be along the lines of both Back to the Future and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure have time machines as plot devices, so one must be infringing the other," he said. "A copyright does not protect abstract ideas at that level."
Beiswenger is suing for up to $5.25m dollars. A box set of Frank Herbert's Dune series is $15.25 at Barnes and Noble.