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Ubisoft sued over claims that Assassin's Creed copied novel

A disgruntled sci-fi author is suing Ubisoft over the Assassin's Creed series, claiming that the open-world murder simulator rips off his novel 'Link.'


A sci-fi author is suing Ubisoft over the Assassin's Creed series, claiming that the open-world murder simulator rips off his novel 'Link.' John L. Beiswenger's 2002 story involves using technology to access ancestral memories, biblical and spiritual nonsense, and the odd assassin or two, which he says AC copied. He's seeking several million dollars in damages, and looking to block the release of Assassin's Creed III.

The complaint (via alleges that Ubisoft "knew Link existed and copied a substantial portion of the copyrighted work."

In Link, the 'Link' chair-shaped technological doodad lets people live the memories of their ancestors. In the Assassin's Creed series, the 'Animus' chair-shaped technological doodad lets people live the memories of their ancestors to stab people in the face. Beiswenger claims that both the concepts and the physical devices are similar, because Ubisoft copied him.

Also supposedly copied are a plot featuring assassins, which an evil organization tries to find using its magic tech to find other assassins. The suit points out that both reference gods, Eden, Adam and Eve, and various mystical and spiritual things.

What it doesn't do, however, is explain why Beiswenger is adamant Ubisoft knew about Link. It explains that the book was sold through various sites, but doesn't say why this means someone at Ubisoft had read it before coming up with Assassin's Creed.

Of course, one might observe that the ideas of Assassin's Creed are quite likely to spawn from a culture where The Matrix and Dan Brown's claptrap were so popular. Those too can trace their roots down through fiction, because that's how culture works.

Curiously, Beiswenger is going after Gametrailers as well as Ubisoft. The suit points out that the video site posted an official trailer for the Assassin's Creed space in PlayStation Home, and covered Assassin's Creed Revelations in an episode of GTTV. Supposedly GT did this knowing about Link, making it legally liable.

The suit's looking to block the release of Assassin's Creed III and books, videos or anything based on it. It's after at least $1,050,000 in damages, or $5,250,000 if the desired jury trial deems the claimed infringement to be willful.

You can read a sample of Link on Amazon UK, if you'd like.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 18, 2012 9:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Ubisoft sued over claims that Assassin's Creed copied novel.

    A disgruntled sci-fi author is suing Ubisoft over the Assassin's Creed series, claiming that the open-world murder simulator rips off his novel 'Link.'

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      April 18, 2012 10:02 AM

      It's not at all unlikely that the AC creator did get the idea from the book.

      Wanting to protect gaming is cool, but no need to be willfully dumb about it, which is what the extend the article writer's language goes to.

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        April 18, 2012 10:22 AM

        "It's not at all unlikely that the AC creator did get the idea from the book. "

        You have no reason to think that.

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          April 18, 2012 4:09 PM

          I think you don't know what "it's not at all unlikely" means. The specific similarities are good reason to acknowledge that.

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            April 19, 2012 4:07 PM

            No, similarities like that are certainly something you could see as a result of pure coincidence. Also the plaintiff in such a case very much does bear the burden of proof and certainly has an incentive to make any similarity seem to be more significant than it really is by carefully wording their descriptions of the similarities in a ultimately deceptive manner.

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      April 18, 2012 11:41 AM

      That book must have sold very few copies, or this would have been discovered ages ago.

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      April 18, 2012 12:14 PM

      $1,050,000 is ridiculous. Five millions is a reason to sue the guy himself.

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      April 18, 2012 1:08 PM

      I find it comical how these people wait till the games / film / etc, get popular and move a lot of money and then oooh magically see the similarities with their product (a book this time), and then expect to have credibility.
      If they cared even minimally about their product (book) and not about getting money anyway possible, they would have sued them when the first product (the game) was released, or even before that, when the info about the product started to surface.

      As much as i hate Ubisoft for their DRM , and behavior with PC gamers lately, i think they should win this time.

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        April 18, 2012 4:11 PM

        Not everyone's a gamer. Some 60 year old novelist isn't too likely to be keeping up on what Ubisoft are releasing.

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        April 18, 2012 5:59 PM

        If I didn't play a lot of video games, I would have no idea what the plot of asscreed was.

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        April 18, 2012 7:59 PM


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        April 18, 2012 8:00 PM

        it's expensive to sue somebody, and the only thing you get out of it is money. it is the entire point. if there's no money in it you have a beer to nurse your hurt feelings and you forget about it.

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        April 18, 2012 11:12 PM

        how unbelievably odd that someone might hear of something after it becomes popular! Not every author can be a hipster

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      April 18, 2012 5:39 PM

      Hmmmm, biblical nonsense? Where did you get your information that the bible is nonsense?

      I have seen and heard many people who had their lives changed from disaster to success, and they all point to the same reason : because of Jesus.

      And never mind the fact that the bible has made many prophecies, most of which have come true, and the rest is yet to come?

      Do not call the bible nonsense. It is real.

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        April 18, 2012 5:56 PM

        I thought novelty accounts were banned?

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        April 18, 2012 5:58 PM

        You're right I'm sure John L. Beiswenger is in fact the next profit of jesus how dare anyone question him.

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        April 18, 2012 5:59 PM

        Zeus, Vishnu, Buddha, Tiamat, and Marduk all laugh in your general direction.

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        April 18, 2012 6:00 PM

        Seriously guys. Can we just take a moment to thank jesus for assassins creed?

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        April 18, 2012 6:23 PM

        I agree. Yahweh is the one true God and the good book is His word. Alice should apologize.

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          April 24, 2012 10:15 AM

          So you're all in favor of rape victims marrying their rapists? Deuteronomy 22:18-29

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          April 18, 2012 8:06 PM

          Not only that, but Valhalla is cooler than Heaven.
          Heaven: Vague promises of eternal happiness.
          Valhalla: Food, drink, women, honorable battle, forever.

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        April 18, 2012 8:02 PM

        you are the ancient aliens guy just admit it

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        April 18, 2012 8:19 PM

        Jesus is awesome, I mean he takes time out of his busy schedule of saving the world to help athletes win in their respective sport. Does Jesus have his priorities right? Is that actually cheating then?

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        April 18, 2012 8:21 PM

        Y'all religious junkies are an eternal source of bemusement.

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        April 18, 2012 8:27 PM

        And thus, the lord said unto thee, 'Be Shackpiled, and in the pain of the pile, know humbleness.'

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          April 18, 2012 8:30 PM

          the last such dude was Sparkly, which turned out pretty awesome.

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        April 18, 2012 8:44 PM

        Christians destroyed every single one of my ethnic backgrounds (French, Greek, Irish) own culture and religions. Jesus is an asshole for letting that happen. Fuck the Romans too.

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        April 18, 2012 8:48 PM

        Is it too late to pull out the deck chair and settle in?

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        April 18, 2012 9:20 PM


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        April 18, 2012 11:16 PM

        Guys... can we please stop hating on Jesus and turn our attention to the biggest asshole in the history of the world: Saul/Paul? Way to supplant a message of tolerance and peace with your hatred filled, garbage. Asshole.

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          April 19, 2012 12:15 AM

          srsly. Leviticus could have stayed "done away with" with the rest of the Old Testament. Although he wrote about doing pretty much exactly that.. (Hebrews 7:11-13) Just not all of it I guess.

          I dunno why the hell I'm even posting this. TL;DR Grumbeld's post is funny

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          April 19, 2012 1:54 AM

          His song "Get Busy" is quite cool though.

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        April 18, 2012 11:38 PM

        I believe that an old man in the sky tells me not to fuck pussy

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        April 19, 2012 12:31 AM

        well, the bible is physically real in the sense that it's printed on a physical medium; paper.
        All the stories in it are made up

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        April 19, 2012 1:45 AM

        I was referring to the fanciful embellishments made in Link and Assassin's Creed. The Bible makes no mention of people using a Link machine to see ancestral memories and meet Jesus, nor using an Animus to track down Pieces of Eden.

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        April 24, 2012 1:38 AM

        Science and general common sense says "Hello!".

        Next you'll be telling me the planet is only 2000 years old and there's no such thing as the Universe...

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        April 24, 2012 10:26 AM

        Talking donkeys, talking snakes, whales with bachelor apartments in them. Crimes against god include eating crustaceans, wearing mixed fabrics, and planting two crops in a field. Claims of prophecies coming true that no one ever backs up with the actual prophecies. Believers claiming that there's no historical documentation outside the bible because it was an individual and a small group of followers at the time, yet historians might have noticed that *all the dead in the city* arose and went back home. Lovely instances of morality, like killing children, distributing prepubescent girls as spoils of war, murdering rape victims, as examples of the "just" god. The repulsive concept of vicarious redemption, where you get to wave a magic wand at your bad acts because someone else supposedly died for you. Then consider that in modern times the indoctrinated doesn't even get a choice in rejecting the idea of sacrificing another person for their own well being. The mythical act is already over and done with. It's not only nonsense, it's immoral, ignorant, and evil.

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      April 18, 2012 6:03 PM

      /]What better place to look
      beyond than through the
      mind of one who saw to
      that point but no further?]/

      Someone kill this man before something horrible like a major book deal happens.

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      April 18, 2012 8:15 PM

      I don't think he'll get much traction.

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