A new lawsuit has been filed against Capcom alleging that the publisher has used copyrighted photos for creating textures in various Resident Evil and Devil May Cry games without the consent of their photographer. In a complaint obtained by Polygon, Judy A. Juracek alleges that at least 80 of her photographs were used by the publisher. Juracek licenses out her photographs for this purpose, but Capcom is not one of her customers. In her court documents, Juracek shows more than 200 circumstances where her photos might have been used in Capcom's games. Juracek's complaint was filed on Friday in a Connecticut court.
In the filing, Juracek points to a Capcom data breach from last year. As part of the data breach, some of Capcom's internal Resident Evil artwork leaked. Juracek apparently noticed that some of the hacked files had the same labels as those found on the CD-ROM that accompanies her book Surfaces. Surfaces was published in 1996 expressly for "visual research" purposes.
"It is hard to imagine that Juracek would take a photo of shattered glass in Italy and interior mansion door design and that Capcom artists would reproduce the exact same pattern of shattered glass in a logo and interior design without benefit of Juracek's photographs," the filing reads.
The Resident Evil and Devil May Cry games have always featured incredible details, and Juracek's filing shows how her photographs may have been used to fill out the worlds of these games. Readers can see several of these examples in the filing on Polygon's website, including one potentially used for the Resident Evil 4 logo.
Interestingly enough, Juracek's filing also references recent allegations towards Capcom by Richard Raaphorst. Last month, Raaphorst accused the publisher of basing some of the monster designs from Resident Evil Village on his film Frankenstein's Army. In Juracek's filing, she uses this example to establish "a pattern of misconduct" on the part of the publisher.
Juracek is seeking attorney fees, as well as up to $150,000 in damages for each of the 80 photos used, which amounts to about $12 million.
What do you think of Juracek's filing? Do you think that Capcom used these photographs without obtaining permission? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!