Game Sued For Featuring An American Hero, Dead For 69 Years

Game Sued For Featuring An American Hero, Dead For 69 Years

General George S. Patton was one of America's great heroes of the Second World War. He died in December, 1945. You'd think both of those things combined would make it OK for him to star in a video game, but nope.

An upcoming strategy game, called Legends of War: Patton, has been sued by a firm representing estate of the deceased General, a company that as Gamasutra reports also polices the use of other historical figures such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe; Marlon Brando, Chuck Berry and Amelia Earhart.

You'd think that long-dead figures from popular history would be fair game, but it turns out there are limits that vary from state-to-state. Maximum Games, who are releasing (or trying to release) LoW: Patton, are based in California, where the law says such figures are fair game if they have been dead for 70 years.

Patton has been dead for 69 years.

Maybe the easiest thing for Maximum to do would be to delay the game until the 70 years are up. Which would make it one of the weirdest game delays on record.


Comments

    It's law, right?

    No problem there.

      Yes, the worst type of law; copyright law.

        Well. Copyright law in itself isn't all bad. It's mostly a problem when people choose to use it as a shield to hide their indefensible business practices behind. Also, it could be much worse... and will be, if lobbyists get their way in obliterating fair-use exceptions and extending the embargo on the use of 'historical' figures.

        Agreed, I believe when first created, copyright law was to help protect the original work for 8 years then be open for others to take and improve on and use. The theory was that 8 years was long enough for the author/creator/etc to make a profit and then let others have a go to better us all. One idea becomes many but nope, its the "ALLL MINE" attitude now.

    Patton pending?

      Change it to Montgomery and Patton's family will cave since Patton would never want to come second to Monty.

      *Groan that leads to catastrophic internal bleeding the ultimately results in my death*

    Either delay it, or use what you have already developed as a platform, using the engine to generate a campaign for some other well known military type person and use the Patton part as DLC when it is legal to release it

    Wait didn't one of the CoDs just have this issue with a still living dictator and it was tossed out under first amendment reasons?

      Because dictators can't afford fancy American lawyers.

      yeah but that was a non american dictator.. not an american hero or famous actor

    Smells like lawyers being greedy fuckers again

    Just write every character is fictional?

      But they're obviously real people. The game is based on the real events of a real person, you can't just say it's fictional.

        I've seen some games that based on real events with some real person but when the game launches, it does say every character is fictional and get away with it. But maybe because those people are dead for more than 70 years so it was never an issue.

    Make it George P. Patton, a completely imaginary figure. Problem solved.

      That wouldn't work if they were aiming for historical accuracy

    This is actually kind of weird because Empires: Dawn of a New Age had a campaign starring General Patton.

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