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Lawsuit alleging copyright infringement in Assassin's Creed dropped, Gametrailers settles

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Novelist John Beiswenger has dropped the lawsuit against Ubisoft, in which he alleged the Assassin's Creed universe stole ideas from one of his books, Link. Gametrailers, whom Beiswenger sued in the same case, settled with the author on May 18 under undisclosed terms.

Beiswenger voluntarily dismissed all action against Ubisoft before any formal adjudication on the validity of his claims could begin - the Internet made up its mind about his claims a while ago. Beiswenger has dropped the case, citing the expense of federal litigation:

"I filed the Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction in federal court because I believe authors should vigorously defend their rights in their creative works; otherwise, the laws protecting them simply have no purpose," Beiswenger's official statement reads. "Regrettably, the resources required to defend those rights are unavailable to many individual creators. As a result, rampant infringement is occurring with impunity."

Beiswenger was seeking $5.25 million in damages and the potential cessation of all Assassin's Creed endeavors, including the third game currently due out in October. Beiswenger filed the dismissal "without prejudice," meaning he can pick up the claims and the case again in the future.

If he ever does, we don't think Ubisoft will sweat it too much; the Internet has already done most of the debunking already, unless Beiswenger can somehow prove that he owns the rights to "spiritual and biblical tones" or "assassinations."

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GAMETRAILERS SETTLES. UBISOFT PUSHES FOR CHANGE OF VENUE. BEISWENGER VOLUNTARILY DISMISSES ACTION.
Author John L. Beiswenger's voluntarily dismisses his action against Ubisoft
regarding the Assassin's Creed franchise copyright infringement due to redistribution of funds

(PENNSYLVANIA - May 29, 2012)-On April 17, 2012, American author and research engineer, John L. Beiswenger, filed a lawsuit against Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. and its subsidiary companies, and Gametrailers, Inc., alleging that the storyline behind the popular Assassin's Creed franchise features many similarities to one of his novels, LINK. On May 18, 2012, Gametrailers reached a confidential settlement with Beiswenger under undisclosed terms. On May 29, 2012, Beiswenger exercised his right as a federal litigant to voluntarily dismiss the action against the Ubisoft defendants, without prejudice. There has not been any adjudication on the merits of Beiswenger's infringement claims.

While Beiswenger entered this suit with full knowledge of the scope and expense of litigating in the federal courts, together with his wife, he has made a very difficult, yet strategic decision, and elected to suspend his fight to focus the resources he reserved for the litigation on unrelated business matters. Beiswenger's dismissal was filed without prejudice, which preserves his claims should he choose to bring them again in the future.

Kelley Clements Keller, Esq., legal representative for Beiswenger, said, "My client's decision to exercise his right to voluntarily dismiss the action, without prejudice, in no way diminishes his stalwart conviction in the merit of his claims against Ubisoft. He is unwavering in his belief that many key components of the Assassin's Creed video game franchise infringe on many key components of his novel, LINK. We believe Ubisoft has engaged in egregious acts of copyright infringement and, should he choose to seek redress through the courts in the future, we remain confident that a trier of fact would agree."

Beiswenger issued an official statement regarding the dismissal: "I filed the Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction in federal court because I believe authors should vigorously defend their rights in their creative works; Otherwise, the laws protecting them simply have no purpose. Regrettably, the resources required to defend those rights are unavailable to many individual creators. As a result, rampant infringement is occurring with impunity." For more information regarding this suit and the reasons for the voluntary dismissal, visit www.johnbeiswenger.com.

The initial Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on April 17, 2012. The Voluntary Dismissal of Action under FRCP 41(a)(1)(A)(i) was filed in the same court on May 29, 2012.

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