A Resident Evil 4 copyright lawsuit between Capcom and photographer Judy A. Juracek has been "amicably resolved" after less than a year.
The last few months have been pretty great for Resident Evil 4. The Meta Quest 2-exclusive VR version quickly became the fastest-selling app on the platform and a long-awaited, fan-made HD mod has finally launched. While the game had some production troubles, a larger issue emerged over the last year when a photographer filed a copyright lawsuit against Capcom.
The Resident Evil 4 Copyright Lawsuit, Explained
The Resident Evil 4 copyright lawsuit was filed by Judy A. Juracek, a Connecticut-based photographer who became aware of similarities between imagery in Capcom's game and her work.
A portion of the submitted evidence is seen above. For example, Item GO79 was a photo taken of a window in Italy, and the lawsuit alleges that details of this photo were superimposed over the Resident Evil 4 logo. Another item (ME009) shows similar patterns from Juracek's photographs replicated in textures from the game, suggesting that someone used her photographs as a base for creating these assets.
There's nothing wrong with using photographs (either in whole or part) as the foundation for other assets, even if it's for something as prominent as a logo. The issue here -- and the central point of the Resident Evil 4 copyright lawsuit -- is that Capcom allegedly did not properly license these photos. As you might expect, Juracek was none too pleased about this discovery and filed the lawsuit in June 2021.
It's been a good few months since then, but it looks like this lawsuit has come to an end according to an update from Polygon (via Reddit): both parties have resolved their dispute. Here's a statement from Judy A. Juracek's lawyer Jonathan A. Winter provided to Polygon:
Capcom and Judy Juracek have amicably resolved their dispute concerning the alleged use of Ms. Juracek’s photos in Capcom’s games. A dismissal was filed on February 7, 2022[,] with the District of Connecticut to end the lawsuit.
Considering the evidence we've seen, it's unlikely that Juracek dropped the lawsuit without collecting a hefty payday. We don't know how much money she may have received from a settlement, but I imagine that Capcom had to cut her a pretty fat check to make this legal problem go away.
Now that the Resident Evil 4 copyright lawsuit is all done, all we have to do is wait for a Resident Evil 4 remake to come out sometime in the future. In the meantime, you can buy the original on PC and consoles via its official website starting at $19.99 or your regional equivalent.
What do you think of the Resident Evil 4 copyright lawsuit? What's your favorite area in the game? Let us know in the comments below!