Ubisoft sued over copyright infringement claim

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.



  1. sure this lawsuit shows what’s wrong with intellectual property but I can’t help but feel like it’s karma coming back at ubisoft

    1.  You know Ubisoft wasn’t established in America, so one of their employees might have thought about this interesting storyline for a game, but failed to do his research on other media related and publications that might come similar to that. You can’t blame this on them, but its always good to make sure your invention isn’t already invented. Oh you should try reading his books as well, the information is only read in between the lines.

  2. A quote from Beinswenger’s synopsis … no, wait, abstract … of his novel, Link:  “The truly astonishing hypothesis, developed by Search International, suggests that at the functional center of the nucleus of every cell is an atemporal Particle of zero mass and infinite capacity for memory – a biological singularity. The same Particle is a component of every cell in the body. It is the ‘fabric of the soul.'”

    wait … What?

    1.  You got it in one. The whole thing is a publicity stunt, check the publisher they are for self publishers, you pay them to publish your book no vice versa.
      Cheap publicity.

  3. Memories locked in your genetic code?!  I think it behooves the legal system to severely punish everyone involved for this Hollywood-esque silliness.

  4. If the first time I hear of your work is a story about a lawsuit, it better be damn original. Not sure how pissing off the fans of one of the most popular games out there is seen as good marketing strategy.

  5. Pfft, as if any of them had a genetic memory concept as attractive and awesome as Ezio. 

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