Author suing Ubisoft for copyright infringement with Assassin’s Creed

Wednesday, 18th April 2012 08:27 GMT By Johnny Cullen

An author is taking Ubisoft to court over claims the publisher infringed some of his copyrights in relation to Assassin’s Creed. Link author John Beiswenger is taking the action after he claimed the book used a system in where people could access gain access to ancestral memories. The Assassin’s Creed series uses the Animus as a key aspect to its story.

There’s a full report on the case here. Via Kotaku.



  1. The_Red

    So he has patented the process of accessing memories of someone’s ancestor? Unless his story is exactly like AC in terms of Templars, artifacts and stuff like that, this is one GIANT asshole and idiot wrapped into a shit sandwich.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. shogoz

    You should read the pdf attachment, there’s more to it than just that! :P

    #2 3 years ago
  3. The_Red

    Too lazy! My comment was only based on the VG247 post but even then, I find it hard to believe that 2 plot devices can be so similar that warrant a lawsuit after more than 4 bestselling games in the AC series.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. shogoz

    The author must have been jealous that the developers made the story better. He musn’t have made that much money off his book which is why he thought he would wait and see if they were successfull so he could try to get money on copyright grounds + advertise his book at the same time lol. I’m pretty sure every idea has been thought of in some way or another anyway. the people who made avatar claimed it was an “original” idea but there was also a book which had the same premise and was released earlier than the movie lol.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Hunam

    @4 You do actually have to protect your copyright’s etc and to be honest, they are super similar.

    This will get settled out of court for sure.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. shogoz

    @5 yep lol

    #6 3 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    First off, the idea of genetic memory is not something this guy came up with for a novel published in 2002. It’s a scientific concept that most university genetics or similar molecular biology degree courses will probably mention (at least in passing) that has been extrapolated and adapted into a great many works of science fiction.

    So when it comes to using genetic memory as a plot device I think he’s clawing at air there.

    The design of the Animus from ACII – a dentists chair like thing – is somewhat similar to the device described in the plaintiff’s book, but in all honesty this is just as likely to be down to the fact that the design is generic as fuck more than anything else. The original Animus was pretty much just a table with spinal contours, it’s still a similar device, but the design of it (or the ACII Animus) doesn’t seem ripped off, it just seems like an appropriate form-factor for such an apparatus to take.

    The good vs evil thing, come on bro, all games have good vs evil plot lines, I think arguing that that was lifted directly from your book is a bit of a stretch.

    The religious bit too, not utterly convinced that the implementation in Assassin’s Creed which takes the concept of the Christian creation story and completely fucks it in the arse vs someone’s ancestor spoke to Jesus one time is really theft.

    The concept of some prophet or entity speaking through one character to reach another that the prophet knows is “watching” through the eyes of someone else is not new. As I recall in the 2nd ep of sci-fi series “Lexx” (1997) the Time Prophet speaks to one of the crew of the Lexx through someone elses recorded memory knowing that they would accidentally view that memory far in the future.

    Basically I find it very believable that 2 different people at 2 different times could come up with 2 works of fiction of this degree of similarity without anybody ripping anybody else off. The thing is Ubisoft can’t prove that and the similarities are there. I reckon at trial the guy will get the Animus, and if he gets the Animus they’ll have to give him a couple of the other things purely because if they accept that Ubi copied part then they must’ve copied at least some of the rest.

    #7 3 years ago

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