Ubisoft Sues Apple and Google Over Distribution of Alleged 'Ripoff' Game
Ubisoft Entertainment this week levied a lawsuit against Apple and Google, accusing them of selling a "ripoff" of its popular video game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, reports Bloomberg.
Ubisoft filed a complaint in federal court in Los Angeles, claiming that the game "Area F2," developed by Qookka Games, is a "near carbon copy" of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, aiming to "piggyback" off its popularity. Ubisoft said that it has notified Apple and Google that Area F2 is infringing its copyrights, but both companies have refused to remove the game from the Google Play and Apple App stores.
As one of Ubisoft's most valuable intellectual properties, Rainbow Six: Siege is played as a competitive e-sport, has 55 million registered players worldwide, and according to Ubisoft’s copyright infringement claim, is played by more than three million users every day. Ubisoft argues that the lawsuit can't be "seriously disputed" and that "virtually every aspect of AF2" is copied from Rainbow Six: Siege, "from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between."
Ubisoft did not elaborate on why it is suing the app store operators for enabling distribution of the game rather than developer Qookka Games itself for the initial infringement. Qookka Games, owned by Alibaba’s Ejoy, is located in China, potentially making an international copyright claim more difficult. It remains unclear whether Ubisoft plans to file a separate lawsuit against the developer, in addition to app store operators.
Area F2 has over 75,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, and more than 2,000 on Apple's App Store, and many reviews on both platforms directly note the similarities to Ubisoft's title. Google and Apple have not yet responded to Bloomberg's requests for a comment.
Top Rated Comments
It will be interesting to see the responses from Apple and Google. One of them desperately wants to get back into China (Google) and the other desperately wants to stay in China (Apple).
This seems like a weird move to try to put the impetus on Apple/Google to be the arbiters of what are “safe” similarities and what are not.... none of the app submissions guys working at Apple or Google passed the bar, worked their way up to being a judge, and have clear & definitive knowledge of copyright nuances in every area they operate in.
Think of it like this:
Wrangler starts using Levi rivets in their jeans, so Levis sues............ Walmart?
This would set a bizarre precedent & open the floodgates forcing Apple to hear every perceived grievance.
I wonder how long app submissions would take if Apple employees in that department were spending 99% of their time responding to thousands of claims from devs that competitors are too much like them, & busy trying to cross reference every single other app that has come out in the past decade to scour for similarities, so they don’t get sued.
You say Apple takes things down and makes people change apps all the time. Yes they do because they have not adhered to APPLES rules on Apps. NEVER for copyright infringement WITHOUT a court judgement. I know this PERSONALLY.
Please show me instances of Apple removing an App because it was too similar to another app? If so why are there hundreds of Solitaire games? They are all similar....
Apple is NOT required by law to go through every app and DECIDE whether its too close to another app. Its not their job and thats what a court is for.
Again you are wrong when it comes to a music copyright. If my song sounded like a Slim Shady song, I can REQUEST it to be removed from everywhere (anyone can request anything ...free country) but guess what...NO ONE WOULD have to do anything because a dispute in ownership has to be decided in a court of law.
Remember the Robin Thicke "Blurred Lines" case. Well Marvin Gaye's estate said the song sounded too much like a Marvin Gaye song. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams who wrote it said no it was different. iTunes didnt stop selling it. No one pulled it. No one stopped streaming it. No brick and mortar store stopped selling it. Not one of those entities were sued. Marvin Gaye's estate sued the WRITERS of that song for copyright infringement. It went to court and Marvin Gaye's estate was awarded millions from Robin Thicke and Pharrell NOT iTunes or any store for selling it. No store got sued and no one pulled it. Not Apple's job.
Countefeit goods has ZERO to do with Copyrights. Its illegal to sell counterfeit and if a store is doing so, they can be sued as well as arrested. That has nothing to do with this.
The game in question isn't a counterfeit. It's not calling itself Rainbow 6 by Ubisoft. Its a game that is similar. Is it too similar? Thats what a court decides.
Here is a good one...what if...the developer of game #1 leaves the company they worked for and takes his code with him as part of his agreement with that company. That code is then sold to another company and they release game #2 with that code. Its similar because its the same code...but it was purchased legally...is that copyright infringement?
That's what the legal system is for. It may be far more complex than it is on the surface. Apple didnt remove it because unless a court has said its copyright infringement then it isn't.
When Microsoft released Windows...did Apple sue every computer store for selling it? No they sued Microsoft for copyright infringement.