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Activision is sued for plagiarism

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is perhaps one of the most popular and recognized games in the franchise. Released in 2019, it is the sixteenth in the Call of Duty franchise and a reboot of the Modern Warfare line. The game remains popular with fans, but it has now become the target of a plagiarism lawsuit involving the character Operator Mara.

According to documents obtained by TorrentFreak, artist and photographer Clayton Haugen has just filed a plagiarism complaint against Activision, Infinity Ward and Major League Gaming Corp. According to him, Mara would have been completely copied from his creation, the character Cade Janus, protagonist of his story of the Renaissance of November.

The prosecution says Clayton allegedly hired an actress and streamer named Alex Zedra, still in 2017, to produce photos that would create Cade’s look, ready to be used in promotional material and November Renaissance campaigns. However, when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare released in 2019, Mara would look completely based on the artist’s photos. For the comparison level, we have the following photos:

The character in the game would have been copied

The curious thing about all of this is that the accusations aren’t based on visuals alone. During the production of CoD: Modern Warfare, Activision also reportedly contacted Alex Zedra to create Operator Mara. Not only that, but there is also evidence that the studio asked her to wear the same costumes and accessories that were used in the photoshoot with Clayton Haugen. Even the makeup artist hired to compose Cade Janus’ look was asked to do Mara’s makeup, in addition to being tasked with using the same hair extensions on Zedra.

Haugen is now seeking “all monetary remedies for the offenses of the accused, including all profits derived from these violations”, as well as money to pay court costs. We still don’t know much about the repercussion of the case, but it appears to be a won case (considering only the evidence presented so far). Haugen asks that his case be evaluated and tried by a jury.

Haugen seeks “all pecuniary remedies against the defendants’ infringement, including all their profits attributable to their infringements”, as well as his attorney fees. The plaintiff is also requesting a jury trial for the case.

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