We hear it a decent amount nowadays. Art being stolen is not new, and while sometimes it’s a dubious claim (a la the claims leveled over Sturm in Resident Evil Village), they can also sometimes be pretty damning.
It’s hard to argue the former for Capcom’s sake, as designer Judy A. Juracek has filed a lawsuit against Capcom over textures found in Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry. These textures seem to be ripped wholesale from her 1996 book, Surfaces.
While claims like this can often seem a bit ridiculous, the comparison photos are certainly not doing Capcom and Resident Evil 4 any favors. Juracek says that her book originally came with a DVD that contained many of the images, but that she requires licensing for the usage of them.
It is hard to imagine that Juracek would take a photo of shattered glass in Italy and interior mansion door design and that Capcom artists would reproduce the exact same pattern of shattered glass in a logo and interior design without benefit of Juracek’s photographs.”Lawsuit claim
A lot of this confidence comes from the 2020 Capcom data breach, in which many important files, emails, and more leaked from the Capcom offices as a result of a hacker. In these files, some of the claimed photos for Resident Evil 4 are still named the same as they are on Juracek’s Surfaces DVD.
Juracek is also using the aforementioned claims of theft by Dutch filmmaker Richard Raaphorst, director of Frankenstein’s Army, to elevate her own claim.
So far, Juracek’s lawyers have asked the court to award her up to $12 million dollars in damages, with copyright infringement as the basis. She might also be pushing for further damages for “false copyright management and removal of copyright management”, which could be anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000 per photo.
For now, we’ll have to see what the courts think of it all. You can read the entire legal document regarding Resident Evil 4 here.