Artist Sues “Resident Evil” Developer for Copyright Infringement

A lawsuit alleging copyright infringement was filed against video game company Capcom Co. Ltd. and its affiliate Capcom USA Inc. last week. 

The suit, filed in the District of Connecticut by artist Judy A. Juracek, claims that the defendants illegally used at least 80 images from her book “Surfaces: Visual Research for Artists, Architects, and Designers” in the video game series Resident Evil. The unsanctioned use of these images occurred over 200 times, according to the suit.

The book, which was published by W.W. Norton Company in 1996, contains photographs of unique surface textures, such as wood, stone and marble, and includes a CD-ROM with digital copies of the photographs. Anyone seeking a license for the photographs is required to contact Juracek for high resolution digital files suitable for commercial use, the suit states.

One example of the alleged copyright infringement is the Resident Evil 4 logo, which Juracek claims incorporates one of her photographs of shattered safety glass. 

“The photo was taken in Italy of a unique looking glass shatter pattern that upon information and belief would not be duplicated by any other shattering of glass in that the probability of an object hitting the same thickness and configuration of glass identically at any other location is impossible or exceptionally remote,” the suit states. 

According to Juracek, upon becoming aware of the copyright infringement, she provided Capcom with a copyright infringement letter, but the company failed to alter its conduct.

Juracek is seeking actual damages and any profits of Capcom, or statutory damages of between $2,500 and $25,000 per photograph. In addition, the lawsuit seeks to enjoin the defendants from further utilizing Juracek’s copyrights and to have all its current works including her photographs destroyed. 

According to the suit, Capcom is also being sued by Dutch filmmaker Richard Raaphorst, who alleges that the company plagiarized monster designs from his film in the recent Resident Evil Village.

Juracek is represented by St. Onge IP.