Activision accused of stealing a character on Modern Warfare

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A curious media case at the center of which it is located Activisionessentially accused of an “intellectual theft” as you can read from the story you find below.

Clayton Haugen, writer, photographer and videographer, has accused the American giant, Infinity Ward and Major League Gaming, accusing the various companies of having stolen the character he created, Cade Janusto use it in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Haugen specializes in the preliminary study of characters to be used in future films. Some of these concepts are used, while others, as in the case of Cade Janus, are not.

In his work, Haugen pushes himself to mold the characters he imagines into reality, just like in the case of Cade Janus, built in contact with streamer Alex Zedra who interpreted his face. This character in particular was made by Haugen in 2017 for a movie called November Renaissance, which ultimately never became a reality. Nonetheless, the concepts of the videographer have been made and published, and from there the accusation of plagiarism towards Activision starts.

Haugen claims that, while trying to draw attention to his work by posting it on social media, Activision and some partners have become aware of the character and have been actively working to bring it into the game with the name of Marathus disappearing from the registered trademark.

The list of allegations against Activision is quite detailed, as you can see:

to. He used Haugen’s photographs of Cade Janus as guides on how to frame his own images and photographs

b. He took on the same talent [Alex Zedra, ndr] who had posed for Haugen’s Cade Janus

c. He asked the talent to ask Haugen for the same clothes and tools she wore when he created the photographs of Cade Janus.

d. He hired the same makeup artist who prepared the talent for Haugen’s Cade Janus Photographs

And. I directed her to do talent makeup exactly as he had done for Haugen’s Cade Janus photographs

f. I directed her to style the talent’s hair exactly like she had done for Haugen’s Cade Janus photographs, even using the same hair extension, and then

g. Photographed and 3D scanned the talent using Haugen’s photographs of Cade Janus as a guide.

What makes the case in question a copyright infringement case, with a claim for damages, is that Haugen claims to have registered the copyrights for his story in 2012-13, and his photographs in 2020.

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