Assassin’s Plead: Beiswenger’s Ubisoft Lawsuit Dropped

By John Walker on May 30th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

And Nintendo! They totally stole from it too!

Aw, bums. That batshit lawsuit against Ubisoft has been dropped. The one where the eccentric author/inventor/dreamer of a Christians-only enclave for the end times, John Beiswenger, accused Ubi of having stolen the silly Animus plot from his classic work of literature, Link. But Joystiq has spotted that he’s abandoned his case for $5,250,000. Boo.

He’d have lost so spectacularly that the Earth would have cracked in two, but I always like to see such things get dragged through the courts. However, Beiswenger says it was just too expensive.

“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.”

This is a “without prejudice” dismissal of his own case, meaning he can pick it up where he left off, should he raise the funds to do so. He’s still awfully cross that his ideas from his obscure book were so rudely taken. Especially when he appears to believe those ideas are based in science, and has some sort of extraordinary plans to see them come to light. Along with his psychic device for predicting respiratory disease (I’m not exaggerating – he has a patent application for “Apparatus for Pre-symptomatic Health Monitoring”), a contagion monitor for spotting outbreaks of pandemics, and of course his special city for Christians only.

Just how certain he is that Ubi ripped him off is made clear by his lawyer, Kelley Clements Keller, in a rather punchy statement:

“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.”

This, I’d suggest, does rather open the door for Ubisoft to sue him right back, for slander.

Even more peculiar amongst all this is the suggestion that Gametrailers have settled. Gametrailers did nothing more than host a trailer made by Ubisoft for the game, so including them in the lawsuit was by far the most weird aspect of the claims. The terms of their settlement are, as seems to always be the case, undisclosed. But I can only presume they went, “Oh, sorry.”

We’ve contacted Beiswenger, Ubisoft and Gametrailers for a comment on the rather strange affair.

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44 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    The book’s tagline is the work of a genius. He deserves that $5.25M, every cent to that point but no further.

    • CrowPath says:

      I keep trying to reading it, but each time something gives way in my head.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Keep trying. I find it helps if you look beyond than through the mind of one.

    • JamesPatton says:

      It’s dead easy! Just gaze beyond the throughness and you can behind the nothing of entry.

    • Fistulator says:

      Had you not mentioned it, I wouldn’t have looked at it.

      Now I am amused.

      Thank you.

    • Kleppy says:

      You know how if you use google translator to translate English to Chinese and then back to English you get a rough approximation of the original phrase? This is like that. I seriously have no idea what that tagline is supposed to mean.

    • suibhne says:

      Despite the wholly different subject matter, I keep thinking of the motto on the can of “Ol’ Glory” energy drink: “Makes you feel better all over than anywhere else.”

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        It’s like the French road sign “Toutes Directions” next to the sign “Autres Directions”.

      • ChiefOfBeef says:

        Has anyone really been far even as decided…

    • crumbly says:

      Nonono, your all doing it wrong. You kind of have to squint your eyes *like this* and then look THROUGH not directly at it, then it’ll just sort of pop into focus.

  2. Milky1985 says:

    Most likely he will wait until after Ass Creed 3 is out then start it up again.

    While the number he is asking for is a bit odd, reading all of the stories about this it my not be intentional but the ideas are remarkably similar.

    Not that there are any new ideas out there anyway.

  3. sneetch says:

    “We’ve contacted Beiswenger, Ubisoft and Gametrailers for a comment on the rather strange affair.”

    Perhaps, given the nature of the court case, you or your descendants should also contact their ancestors for comments too? I heard Ubisoft have a machine for that.

  4. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    The problem with protecting your literary work is that it probably isn’t very original to start with, regardless of who you are or what it is.

    • CorruptBadger says:

      exactly, with books being written for atleast 4000 years, your “original idea” is most likely a combination of outside influences being twisted into your own image, nothing now a days is original because almost every possible idea had been exhausted. Unless you copy something near enough word for word, i don’t think plaguarism particularly applies to literature. Sure if someone copied a machines design or something, its easy to claim copyright infringement, but literature is much harder to determine.

  5. Dlarit says:

    i hear he also invented Cheese and will be sueing all supermarkets for stocking it from now on!

    • Caleb367 says:

      Hey! The novel’s called LINK! That means he invented the word and is gonna sue Nintendo for the Zelda series! Oh, and smiths making chains. ‘Cause they have LINKs in them. Then he’s gonna team up with Tim Langdell.

  6. Unaco says:

    “a Christians-only enclave for the end times”

    Ugh… can you imagine how bad the music would be in that place.

  7. lordbain says:

    He should launch a kickstart project to raise the money to sue….

    • Premium User Badge

      CheesyJelly says:

      What would the tiered rewards be?

      • gschmidl says:

        $5: 100 copies of the book and a huge mention on the website
        $50: 10 copies of the book and a normal mention on the website
        $100: 5 copies of the book and a small mention on the website
        $1000: 2 copies of the book and a tiny mention on the website
        $5000: 1 copy of the book
        $10000: you will never be contacted again.

        • kaffis says:

          Gives new meaning to the favorite Kickstarter phrase, “Shut up and take my money!”…

      • Premium User Badge

        stahlwerk says:

        10000$ front row seats in court.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      I just wanted to say the same thing. This is real entertainment value potential here, folks. I’d happily kick him a fiver.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Ah well, he’s an esoteric nutjob, but a moderate one. At least he doesn’t claim that we live in a hollow earth, that reality is a time cube, or that he is in regular contact with the angel Bob, who relays to him messages from the Galactic Federation of God.

  9. Caleb367 says:

    How odd, Beiswhatever’s comment sounds exactly like someone who got his ass kicked at Counterstrike and cries “OMG HAXXORZ”.

  10. Hoaxfish says:

    When they actually invent the Animus his descendants are going to look back and feel really stupid.

  11. frightlever says:

    I wonder if Gametrailers “settling” went along the lines of “drop the case or we will counter-sue you for bringing a frivolous suit against us.”, and then he realised that Ubisoft have 100x as many lawyers as Gametrailers. That’s what I wonder. My wondering used to be better.

  12. MistyMike says:

    This whole settlement culture is a farce. It allows any looser to extort companies for serious sums under the most ridicolous pretences. But part of the fault lies on the comanies’ side, which instead of going to court and having the case laughed out, choose the quick-and-dirty solution of paying off the bastard.

  13. MythArcana says:

    You really can’t blame the author at all. I’d drop this site for $50 of spending cash.

  14. Herkimer says:

    “This, I’d suggest, does rather open the door for Ubisoft to sue him right back, for slander.”

    Most likely not as, at least in the US, an element of a viable defamation suit is actual harm to reputation. Which, uh, I can’t really see here. Plus the somewhat more practical point that Ubisoft would likely expend more money trying to sue him than any judgment against him would likely reap.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Morlock says:

    I am a Catholic (on paper) who suffers through periods of asthma. I need Beiswenger in my life.

  16. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Why, oh why, is Ubisoft not as lawsuit-happy as Games Workshop? I would actually pay money to see Ubi throw a slander lawsuit at him (literally, if at all possible).