Dead Rising wins copyright case

Capcom's zombie mall horror game determined not substantially similar to George Romero's zombie mall horror flick.

Earlier this year, the producer of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead filed suit against Capcom, claiming the zombies-in-a-mall action game Dead Rising ripped off the classic 1979 horror film. However, once the complaint got before a judge, the producer's case fell apart like the rotting, fleshy husks at the still-beating heart of the dispute.

Last month, United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg granted Capcom's motion to dismiss the suit, saying that The MKR Group (the producer's company) "has not identified any similarity between Dead Rising and any protected element of Dawn of the Dead. Rather, the few similarities MKR has alleged are driven by the wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall during a zombie outbreak."

According to the judge's decision, The MKR Group listed the following principal similarities between Dawn of the Dead and Dead Rising:

--Both works are set in a bi-level shopping mall.
--The mall has a gun shop, in which action takes place.
--The mall is located in a rural area with the National Guard patrolling its environs.
--Both works are set in motion by a helicopter that takes the lead characters to a mall besieged by zombies.
--Many of the zombies wear plaid shirts.
--Both works feature a subtext critique of sensationalistic journalism through their use of tough, cynical journalists with short brown hair and leather jackets as a lead male character.
--Both works feature the creative use of items such as propane tanks, chainsaws, and vehicles to kill zombies.
--Both works are a parody of rampant consumerism.
--Both works use music in the mall for comedic effect.
--Dead Rising's use of the word "hell" references the tagline for Dawn of the Dead's release ("When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.").

While the judge determined that a review of the movie and the video game revealed "profound differences," he didn't side with Capcom on every issue. Dozens of zombie movies and games the publisher introduced as exhibits to establish genre conventions were thrown out because Capcom submitted them with synopses pulled from the user-editable Wikipedia.

And when the judge did agree with Capcom, it wasn't always in a complimentary way. Specifically, in stating that Dead Rising didn't crib the anticonsumerism theme of Dawn of the Dead, Judge Seeborg found the zombie game devoid of any social commentary at all.

"To the extent that Dead Rising may be deemed to posses a theme," Seeborg wrote, "it is confined to the killing of zombies in the process of attempting to unlock the cause of the zombie infestation. The social commentary MKR draws from Dawn of the Dead, in other words, appears totally absent from the combat focus found in Dead Rising."

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Discussion

156 comments
rshine
rshine

I wonder what the Judges have to do to figure these games out. Do they sit through the whole game and if so do they play it or does someone else do it for them while they watch. What if they get stuck fighting the dual chainsaw wielding clown? Do they delay the trial? I'll bet the Judge got totally psyched when he found out you get the mini-chainsaws after killing the clown. Such an awesome game, lol.

Xxkilershot74X
Xxkilershot74X

Dead rising is an awsome game in Dead Rising 2 i saw the trailer and it showed it will be out in the city and thats a good start because in the first version isabela told frank that her brother who was the cause of the zombie out brake that carlito ( the brother ) sent other zombies into america and bit more people then another zombie attack so thats whats guna happen in dead rising 2 probably and by the way this is agreeing with biggy

miklollipop
miklollipop

idk about u guys but i love the way they r kind of the same

soulhunter91
soulhunter91

dude kornfan_2012 have you even watched both of the movies? the remake doesn't have any news ppl, and the old one has alot of zombies with plaid shirt, and the remake didn't start with a helicopter. stop calling ppl noobs when you haven't even got your facts right

Kornfan_2012
Kornfan_2012

They were saying it was similar to the dawn of he dead remake, which it was, in every way. Gamespot is a bunch of noobs.

nooop
nooop

dead rising win because zombies wear plaid shirts

Syphofighter
Syphofighter

Wow winning a cortcase beacause your zombies were plaid shirts..amazing

tyzwain
tyzwain

Lol, Romero should have just copyrighted the zombie.

biggy887766
biggy887766

maybe dead rising 2 will happen in the city so mkr can say that its copying land of the dead =O XD

Poison_Me_Rum
Poison_Me_Rum

Personally, I would've seen it as a compliment. Dead Rising is one of the most fun games I've ever played, a stupid game you can play for hours and hours and not have to concentrate on anything. A game that provides hours of fun, and can even help you let off steam. I'm glad this case fell flat on it's butt.

Str8_2_Heaven
Str8_2_Heaven

They also happen on the same planet called "Earth". Go figure! A weak ass case if you ask me. LOL

BlackSamvara
BlackSamvara

With so many pieces of Fiction out there, Similarities are bound to occur once in a while... Unless it's downright plagiarism, I don't know why company's would waste their time with this sort of case...

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

The lawsuit was an epic fail to begin with. Since when does MKR own the concept of "fighting zombies in a mall" ? :?

SmashingX
SmashingX

so what if they did copy the movie? i've never played a game quite like it. as far as games go it's unique enough to me. nice try i s'pose =)

sgt-hawkins
sgt-hawkins

this suit faild in almost every way possibly, who the hell walks into a courtroom with wikipedia in hand and the zombies wear plaid, maybe they are in a country mall lol i think stupid is a word to sum up this piece of fail

armyman455
armyman455

the people just wanted more money is all they probably coulda known they woulda lost with thos stupid excuses but figured might as well try it anyway

cjdaweasel
cjdaweasel

MKR left off their list "Main character wears pants"! They could've won!

Skreb-Masters
Skreb-Masters

Maybe now we can get Dead Rising 2. Good news indeed.

Loudli
Loudli

Lamest suit ever, its things like this that keep great games from comming out.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

By the way, gamers and movie fans already knew this was not a copyright violation. How many western movies have nearly the exact same plot and locations? -Yeah, this suit was freaking lame.

falconclan
falconclan

--Both works feature the creative use of items such as propane tanks, chainsaws, and vehicles to kill zombies. Im killing a zombie, how do I use chainsaw? "Durr, I dunno." Come on, that is the dumbest case I've ever seen.

handofthedragon
handofthedragon

I feel bad for the judge spending all that time,effort and money in law school to be reduced to playing "your zombie looks like my zombie".lol

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

hmm, i think it was stupid of dotd's producer to try and sue capcom over a game that capcom already admitted was not endorsed by mr, remero... a waste of the courts time, imo...

deshazerg
deshazerg

Foz123, I completely agree! Your comment had me lol. So true!

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

"Hmmm , obviously the judge doesn't think that greedy fat lazy americans being responsible for the ills of the world is social commentary. whatever .. i actually thought that Dead rising had more to say than Dawn of the dead ... it's a real shame that the rights to such an awesome film are owned by such a bunch of 'soles" Greedy...fat...Americans...ahh, i love how people always say our country is racist, but they go out of their way to make stereotypical racist like comments and contradict themselves in theprocess by buying games and playing them on an AMERICAN MADE system. I love America. Gives people in other countries a reason to wake up and constantly talk trash on us, because their country sucks hard ***

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

"Jehovahswitless Posted Nov 21, 2008 4:31 pm GMT eha ooh aha ha ha who ha ha eh ah ha! bunch of muppets! and they say we have to much time on our hands! get a life why don't you! we have, and there's new lives out practically evry month! sweet, p.s hope the sequel comes out soon! lets hope its not set in a military base, and has zombies shaving! heaven forbid! " Get off Heath Ledgers **** for typing that laugh. Two, One thing that made me mad was that this lawsuit was for the game being just like the movie. Last time i checked, There wasnt a fist fight on top of a tank after shooting it apart with a railgun in the movie, nor a crazy groceyshop owner he ran people over with a cart or, a clown juggling chainsaws. None of that was in the movie.

Squeets
Squeets

zintarr - It wasn't George Romero... it was one of the producers of the original film who owned partial rights to the film... Romero has never said anything like that...

Creed-Me-39
Creed-Me-39

WHAT!? A lot of zombies in Dead Rising & a lot of zombies in Dawn of Dead wear plaid shirts!? What an outrage! Complete ripoff! Boo, judge! Boo! Also: Why did Capcom submit evidence located on Wikipedia? Hahaha! They should know better than to trust Wiki.

zintarr
zintarr

This was such a waste of time and a BS case. Yarrrr...I'm George Romero and I own all zombies. What a load.

Garren666
Garren666

The whole case was bullcrap any ways, I know this has no legal point but on the cover of my copy it says that the game has no affiliation whatsoever with the works of George Romero.

Foz123
Foz123

its like saying that the guy who started ww2 (hes dead tho :D) is gonna sue the call of duty guys cuz 4 of there games are set in ww2 :P

sonuchi
sonuchi

Wow......sad......those acclaimed similarities are somewhat like any zombie movie/game......

Jehovahswitless
Jehovahswitless

eha ooh aha ha ha who ha ha eh ah ha! bunch of muppets! and they say we have to much time on our hands! get a life why don't you! we have, and there's new lives out practically evry month! sweet, p.s hope the sequel comes out soon! lets hope its not set in a military base, and has zombies shaving! heaven forbid!

-Beatz-
-Beatz-

Yeah, every space horror sci-fi game has ripped off Aliens. Let's go file suit! Seriously, it's such little thing, shouldn't any game ever be set in a mall? l0lwut?!

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Lol. Whats the big deal anyway. Its like saying star wars and star trek copied each other because there are spaceships in space with alien creatures. If real zombies appeared now, I bet there will be a place with people trapped in a zombie infested mall...with a gun shop and chainsaws. Is someone going to say..."that was my idea, pay me for it" at such a time.

MarshTheMod
MarshTheMod

I love George Romero's Zombie films but come on George lighten up abit. I think Romero is just jealous that he didn't get there before capcom really GOOOO CAPCOM bring number 2 out now :-D brilliant game

superluigi96
superluigi96

Capcom should parody this case in the next Ace Attorney game.

SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

Secretly, Romero was probably a part of this. He's just mad because no one cares about his crap zombie idea's anymore.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

DEAD RISING should not even be compared to some crappy old movie. Games are the future.

kurohubby
kurohubby

The funny thing is that george isn't the one who sued it was that company (mkr) and George was approached before this law suit and was asked how he felt about the game and he said it was cool and autographed a copy of dead rising at comic con a few years ago(at a fans request).

nappan
nappan

Wow, I could care LESS what a federal judge thinks of a game made entirely without him in mind, except insofar as he got over his clear distate and made the correct and fair ruling. If anyone here has ever dealt with the legal system, you know how stunning that simple fact is. Oh, and BlaszingDrakul HAS to be right, otherwise George just looks like a b***.

BlazingDrakul
BlazingDrakul

George must have needed money to make Dead Dawning. lmao.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Everyone copied the Hatians. They should sue the world for stealing their "zombie" idea. Right? That's how it works, right? Yeaaaaaaahhhhhh

WestSideAzn
WestSideAzn

Hoorah! Now to continue with Dead Rising 2!!

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

"Many of the zombies wear plaid shirts". This was my favorite line in the whole article. In fact I'd wager to say that the author started with this line and filled in the rest of the article around it.

wwervin
wwervin

I don't see what the similarity is rather than the IDEA that the zombie outbreak is inside a mall. Can this even be copyrighted?