People sometimes ignore DMCA takedown requests, this is why you should not. On May 15, 2020, video game tycoon Ubisoft – known for series such as Assassin’s Creedand Far Cry – filed a complaint in California federal court against Apple, Google, and Ejoy.com (“Ejoy”) for copyright infringement of their wildly successful console and PC game, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.
The suit comes just a month after Ejoy distributed its mobile game Area F2 onto digital marketplaces such as Google Play and the Apple App Store. Ubisoft is the holder of the valid Rainbow Six Siege copyright registrations, and not only are they suing Ejoy for infringing upon their rights, but also Google and Apple for failing to takedown the game once they were put on notice of the infringement.
According to the filed complaint, Rainbow Six Siege has amassed 55 million regular players since its launch in 2015; being played by more than 3 million unique players every day. For this reason, Ubisoft alleges that Area F2 is a “near carbon copy” of the original game in almost every way, hoping to ride on the coattails of the popular franchise. There are a plethora of key similarities between the two games, such as structural layouts; in-game map designs; types of weapons, gadgets, and forms of equipment; sound effects; user interfaces or UI; method of scorekeeping; and visual screen displays. Even the promotional materials for Area F2 are strikingly similar to those used by Rainbow Six Siege, including color schemes, perspectives, and even the positions of the characters!
Ubisoft also named Google and Apple as defendants for their failure to remove the mobile game from their app markets. On April 28, Ubisoft contacted these companies to inform them of the potential copyright infringement against Ejoy. Ubisoft hoped to temporarily remove the game from the stores until the case was resolved. However, instead of providing insight on the situation, or even complying with the takedown request, Google and Apply chose to ignore it. Apple even went so far as to forward the request to Ejoy; further demonstrating that they were aware of the issue, but chose not to act on it. Ejoy has profited (at least) tens of thousands of dollars from in-app purchases through Area F2, equating to lost profits for Rainbow Six Siege if copyright infringement is found.
Ubisoft is requesting both monetary and injunctive relief for this infringement by the defendants, which includes ceasing marketing and distribution of Area F2, along with any possible statutory or actual damages the court sees fit.
Author, Shelby Shilatz-Lewis, is going into her third year at Florida State University College of Law with an interest in intellectual property and entertainment law. She is currently a legal intern with Lee Law, PLLC.