The photographer and writer Clayton Haugen has initiated a copyright lawsuit against the video maker Activision Blizzard.
The case and hand concerns the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. According to Clayton Haugen one of the characters part of the game “Mara” is copied from a character called Cade Janus created by him.
In 2017, Haugen hired a model and took photos for the action character Cade Janus. Later on, Activisation hired the same model for a photo session for the game using similar makeup, style and clothes.
According to the photographer in that way the company copied his own character. Evidence for this was the fact that both the model and the makeup professional were required to sign non-disclosure agreements, which he believes was an attempt the video maker to conceal the copyright infringement, that is to say the they use elements and inspiration from the Cade Janus.
Clayton Haugen registered his photographs that cover his character in the US Copyright Office.
The dispute arise some interesting questions. For example, is using similar makeup, style and clothes can constitute copyright infringement of photographers that are taken by different photographers. In addition, to what extent there is a copyright infringement over the character itself.