An artist has filed a lawsuit against Capcom alleging that the game developer used her photography in games including Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry without permission. Polygon report that the lawsuit includes over 100 pages of documentation highlighting places in different Capcom games that allegedly use these photographs, including the Resident Evil 4 logo.
The photos originate from a book of photographs of textures released in 1996 by Judy A. Juracek. The book came with a CD containing the images, which people could license to use for commercial purposes. Juracek alleges that her images are used throughout many Capcom games, but that the company did not purchase a license to use them.
Part of the evidence offered in the lawsuit was gathered as a result of last year’s Capcom data leak. In among the files leaked online afterwards were high resolution images of artwork used in Capcom games, and the lawsuit alleges that a metal texture among the files had the same name, “ME009”, as a photograph of a metal texture in Juracek’s collection.
Using photographs as the basis for textures is extremely common, especially in the era many of these Capcom games were developed. Sometimes the original photographs would be modified beyond recognition, but very often not. Interestingly, modders working on texture upgrades for Resident Evil 4 visited real locations used by Capcom’s artists so they could re-photograph the same places at higher resolution, as The Verge reported earlier this year.
Juracek is seeking $12 million in damages for copyright infringement, alongside other damages. A Capcom representative told Polygon that they were “aware of the lawsuit”, but had no further comment.