Capcom have been accused of stealing photos for Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and more; with a lawsuit demanding $12 million USD.
As previously reported, Capcom announced to investors their networks “experienced issues that affected access to certain systems, including email and file servers.” This was caused by “unauthorized access carried out by a third party” but stated there was no customer information taken.
Ransomware hacker group Ragnar Locker declared they had performed the hack; locking Capcom out of their own files and making copies for themselves. They demanded $11 million USD to decrypt 1TB of stolen corporate data.
It would seem that demand was not paid, as the group began leaking the information online [1, 2]. This included information on the Resident Evil series, Monster Hunter Rise, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and more that would prove to be correct with later official announcements. The leaked information also included politically correct business strategies.
However, the leaks may be more damaging to Capcom than anyone had imagined. Polygon reports that designer Judy A. Juracek has filed a lawsuit against Capcom; accusing them of using her copyrighted photos for textures, environments, and more across multiple games.
Jaracek’s book, Surfaces, was published in 1996; a collection featuring 1,2000 photographs that Juracek had taken, along with a CD. While intended for visual research for artists, architects, and designers (as per the book’s description), but commercial use must be licensed.
The lawsuit claims that at least 80 photographs had been used over 200 times across different Capcom games, supported by over 100 pages of documentation. The PDF of the court documents obtained by polygon feature 135 pages of evidence (with the first 11 being the text of the lawsuit).
This includes a shattered glass texture in the Resident Evil 4 logo, goat head architecture being used for the cover of a book in Resident Evil (2002), and various marbled textures and ornate sculptures seen in Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and more.
“The file names for at least one of the images from the Capcom hacked files are the same file names as those used on the [Surfaces] CD-ROM,” Juracek claims. This metal texture is labeled as ME009 on both the CD, and allegedly in Capcon’s folders (on page 7 of the PDF).
Juracek’s lawyers are asking for up to $12 million USD in damages on copyright infringement, along with additional damages for “false copyright management and removal of copyright management;” at $2,500 to $25,000 USD for each image used. A Capcom representative told Polygon that they were “aware of the lawsuit” but had “no further comment.”
The lawsuit also highlighted (on page 8) the recent accusation against Capcom stealing monster designs from Dutch horror director Richard Raaphorst; and his film Frankenstein’s Army. The lawsuit claims “Capcom’s activities show a pattern of misconduct.”