Call of Duty Publishers Sued for Copyright Infringement

Modern Warfare 2019's Mara character is at the center of this lawsuit.

Published: February 3, 2021 1:25 PM /



Clayton Haugen is a writer who has sued Activision Publishing Inc., Activision Blizzard Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. over the basis of them stealing his Cade Janus character in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Haugen created the Cade Janus character as part of concept art and a story treatment that was created to draw interest from movie production companies. To do so, he posted his protected images on his website and social media in order to both demonstrate his talent and provoke engagement from film studios.

“There should be no question that this was a planned, deliberate effort to duplicate the striking images created by Mr. Haugen,” said Micah Dortch of the Dallas office of the Potts Law Firm. “The evidence included in our filing clearly shows the similarities between the original images and the digitized character, as well as the actual use of Mr. Haugen’s images.”

How was Haugen's work stolen?

According to the lawsuit, the way that Cade Janus was stolen and repurposed as Mara in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is comprehensive. The Defendants allegedly used Haugen's photographs as a basis on framing their own imaging and photographs, hired the same actor from Haugen's Cade Janus photographs, and asked the actor to ask Haugen for the same clothing and gear that she wore for the Cade Janus photographs. As if that wasn't potentially damning enough, the Defendants also allegedly hired the same makeup professional who prepared the actor in the Cade Janus photographs and directed her to do the makeup exactly as she did for Haugen's Cade Janus photographs. The actor's hair was also allegedly done in the same way while even using the same hair extension.

Comparing Mara with Cade Janus
Comparing Mara with Cade Janus.

For those interested in looking up the case, the case is Clayton Haugen v. Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp., No. 2:21-cv-00035, and it was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall. We've also reached out to Activision and will update this article when or if we learn more information.

For more information on this lawsuit, stay tuned to TechRaptor.

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More Info About This Game
Learn More About Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Infinity Ward
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date
October 25, 2019 (Calendar)
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