Sunday, August 5, 2012

Electronic Arts Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

Electronic Arts ("EA") on behalf of its Maxis label, is suing Zynga for “infringing EA’s copyrights to its Facebook game, The Sims Social.”
EA alleges that says Zynga’s The Ville “copied the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social in a clear violation of U.S. copyright laws.” The degree to which Zynga copied The Sims, says EA, “was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable.”
The test for copyright infringement is: 1) copying; and 2) substantial similarity. A casual review of both games does point to some issues of genuine material fact with enough to get past summary judgment.
Zynga’s response to this, which we just received from a company spokesperson, is that TheVille “builds on every major innovation from our existing invest-and-express games dating back to YoVille and continuing through CityVille and CastleVille, and introduces a number of new social features and game mechanics not seen in social games today.” The company’s General Counsel Reggie Davis also says that it’s “ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille game."


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