Have You Seen This Dog? Call Of Duty Pup Is ‘Plagiarized,’ Artist Claims

Have You Seen This Dog? Call Of Duty Pup Is ‘Plagiarized,’ Artist Claims
If found, please tell him he's a very good boy (Screenshot: Activision / CODSploitz / Kotaku)

If you’ve been following along with Call Of Duty lately, you’re no stranger to seeing skins that remind of something you’ve seen before, be it John McClain from Die Hard or Ghostface from Scream. A recent, very adorable, very fluffy skin, however, is looking all too familiar to one artist, and they’re now accusing the publisher of plagiarism.

The doggy skin was first shown off this week in a patch note update for Season Four of Call Of Duty: Warzone. The post details some celebrity appearances, such as the Terminators from Terminator 1 and 2 as well the adorable samoyed dog skin that bears a dramatically striking resemblance to a design originally uploaded to ArtStation two years ago from concept artist Sail Lin. Today, concept artist Sail Lin has taken to Twitter and their own ArtStation page to make accusations of plagiarism against Activision Blizzard.

Kotaku has reached out to Sail Lin and Activision for comment.

“Hello everyone, I am saillin, I am the original artist that the upcoming COD VANGUARD Samoyed skin was plagiarized from,” reads the post on ArtStation accusing the Call Of Duty publisher of plagiarism. It continues:

I only just found out at the time of the announcement that my work was plagiarized. Even though I am also a COD player, I am very disappointed to see my work being plagiarized by a big company like Activision in this way. I have reached out to Activision for an explanation and/or compensation, and hopefully the situation will be settled soon. As an individual artist, I can only do so much, and I have to speak out about this to stop things like this happening again in the future.

The post then provides both the original art, as well as screenshots of a video titled the “Floof Fury Tracer Pack – Heroic Loyal Samoyed Kim Tae Young Skin – Season 4 Reloaded.” A video with this title cannot be found on the official Call Of Duty YouTube channel, though it is viewable from a few other CoD fan channels.

Like the video showing off the skin in question, the original post from Raven regarding the skin and the rest of the updates cannot be found outside of the WayBack Machine, as noted by Polygon. The current version is dated July 28 (one day after the original) and no longer shows the fluffy boy that Sail Lin claims was stolen from him, just Arnold Schwarzenager pointing a gun off in the distance while sitting atop a motorcycle. Wasn’t this series once about realising historical battles once?

The original art in question, titled “SAMOYE MEDICAL” on Sail Lin’s ArtStation page is one of a series of anthropomorphised animals outfitted with military hardware, seemingly titled “The Monster Army.” I have to say, if there was more of this kinda stuff, I’d probably play Call Of Duty more often — but not if it’s potentially at the expense of artists.


  • It’s clearly not plagiarism, and people need to get a grip. Not every time someone posts something resembling something you did 20 years ago do you get to win the jackpot at someone else’s expense.

    I mean, a Siberian Husky in winter cammo. Who’d ever think of that one? Anthropomorphic soldiers on ArtStation are dime a dozen.

    Having said that, its inspiration is a little too obvious, particularly the scarf pattern and the arm pad, but sheesh, you don’t get to copyright an idea.

    • Dunno what you’re looking at but it’s clear they share far more than just a fleeting theme.

      There’s been a lot of problems with this kind of thing lately and they don’t usually go scorched earth when they think it’s simply a matter of coincidence.

      • No. There’s been a lot of noise with this kind of thing for the last couple of decades. Every time, in fact, that some random arse Christian rocker discovers some similarities in a stupid three chord riff in a chart topping song and wants an unearned royalty.

        The reality is that the original image was never going to make someone a single additional red cent. They did their art, they sold or attempted to sell their art, and good on them for giving it a go.

        Someone else saw it and was inspired by it, and reworked the idea for their own application. Seriously, at this point, the original artist can suck it up princess. Art isn’t about throwing shit at a wall and expecting other people to come along later to pay you for your shit.

        If the image isn’t directly copied then it literally matters not one toot. Copyright isn’t about ideas, it’s about application.

        It’s no different from all those Kotaku commentators flipping out because this is a first person shooter and that other game is a first person shooter, so, copyright bitches.

        Except no, that’s how ideas work. The world is not comprised of creative geniuses making completely new shit up and everyone else.

        The original artist threw a photo of a solider and a dog and a scarf into Paintshop and put some of their own brushwork over it. Big fucking whoop. Unless it’s a direct actual copy it’s time for everyone to move on with their lives.

        • Nah mate, you judge on its own merits, not diminish it with frivolous past examples, ridicule it’s lesser aspects that aren’t actually in question or completely ridicule the source.

          This isn’t vaguely similar music beats or simple inspiration, (Activision wouldn’t pull it based on that)
          It’s blatant and clearly discernible.

          • Companies pull shit every single day because it’s cheaper than paying for lawyers. All it proves is that the entire copyright system is badly out of whack.

            Activision absolutely will withdraw art if it means avoiding an argument with potential to undermine a system that works to Activision’s advantage 99% of the time.

          • Activision has never had an issue with fighting and dismissing claims, even when it’s looked bad for them.
            (The buyout sure as shit didn’t stop them either)

            I find it highly unlikely they’ve suddenly become afraid of a simple tweet that isn’t even pursuing a legal challenge.

            They screwed the pooch.

    • Oh so you are a qualified IP legal specialist and you have read all the discovery for this case, so you outcome is deeply based in the law and evidence?!!! We are so very lucky you just happened to stop by and give us your flawless judgement. Here on a gaming blog. Thanks.

      • I’ll happily read the discovery when someone actually writes one. I mean, what are you on dude, as if blakeavon never gives us his opinion about anything.

        This blew up in a couple of days and suddenly you’re looking for the judges summation… Let’s make a bet, shall we. If this ever even makes it to court I’ll make a contribution to your favorite charity, eh?

        In the interim, how about we compare two similar but hardly identical images, something that anyone with at least one working eyeball is more than qualified to do, with or without a law degree.

        • WOOOOOSH… there goes my point flying right by your head. You stated ‘It’s clearly not plagiarism’, a definitive statement if there ever was one. I was seeking to understand what proof you were using to justify it. When any one with even half a brain knows that in these type of cases, it comes down to a lot more than being a ten year old trying to play a game of spot-the-difference.

          The reason I dont have an opinion is because after reading a few articles on the matter I understand I dont have enough proof or details to decide either way, and more importantly, nor do I care of the outcome.

          Lets face it, its not the first time CoD artists have borrowed someone elses homework.

    • Its plagiarism by the text book definition. “The act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.” Even by your softer definition of “inspiration” too the degree its too obvious… means they should of given credit.

      That credit, does not have to be money, by both parties may disagree and pursue legal matters… but failing to give any credit, is the biggest faux par here!!!

      The thing that has got your knickers in a twist seems to be the legal pursuit of all the monies, which is the fantasy, cause that doesn’t happen, cause no one has lawyers for that.

      Even the most egregious cases in the last 5 years in gaming, just results in an investigation (which usually has one of the earliest artist sketches with the actual art pinned to it or traced as proof), an apology and the art being taken down and replaced with something else. Even look at the Wizards of the Coast case where the card designer was just cropping and recolouring fan art dragons… no money changed hands and that was straight up theft.

      • “Words and ideas” are dime a dozen. Try this for a laugh. Come up with a great story idea and then convince an author to write it and then split the royalties with you. Art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, the ideas are the easy part. it’s why you literally can’t copyright an idea.

        But you’re right, the odds of this getting to court, despite blakeavon’s assumptions to the contrary, are zip. Doesn’t mean that all this legal-sounding mumbo jumbo, take down notices and the like, don’t have an actual chilling effect. Just the threat of getting lawyers involved is more than enough.

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