Following a partial victory (and partial defeat) in their legal battle with Oculus over cybergoggles, ZeniMax are trying to shut down a load of Oculus’s software. ZeniMax are owed $500 million in total over Oculus breaking an non-disclosure agreement which gave them insight into John Carmack and ZeniMax’s work on VR, and are now seeking an injunction to shut down anything that benefitted from that knowledge. Basically, they want Oculus to stop using anything built upon that knowledge, stopping the Rift SDK and other software. That’s a big ask which could have huge consequences for Oculus, if approved.UploadVR have the details and two documents filed on February 23rd by ZeniMax’s lawyers. (ZeniMax, to remind you, are the parent company of Bethesda, id Softworks, and a fair few other studios.)
ZeniMax have proposed an injunction which builds upon their partial win over the NDA breaking to crack down in several ways. They want Oculus to return and/or destroy anything of ZeniMax’s they have. They want Oculus to remove the Rift Kickstarter video which, they say, appears to show John Carmack praising Rift but is actually in reference the Doom 3 VR demo. And here’s the big request:
“Defendant Oculus is permanently enjoined, on a worldwide basis, from using, marketing, selling, distributing, modifying, servicing, copying, or offering for sale or license any products, in whole or in part, that utilize in any form or for any purpose any of the Copyrighted Materials, including but not limited to (i) system software for Oculus PC (including the Oculus PC SDK); (ii) system software for Oculus Mobile (including the Oculus Mobile SDK); (iii) Oculus integration with the Epic Games Unreal Engine; and (iv) Oculus integration with the Unity Technologies Unity Game Engine.”
So, er, that’s a load of the techguts that power Oculus Rift games. That could be catastrophic if given the go-ahead, which would likely push Oculus into dumping an entire truck of make-up money on ZeniMax’s doorstop. If this goes ahead. Which, obviously, Facebook and Oculus will fight against. Facebook told UploadVR:
“ZeniMax’s motion does not change the fact that the verdict was legally flawed and factually unwarranted. We look forward to filing our own motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and, if necessary, filing an appeal that will allow us to put this litigation behind us.”
Legal fights are a lot less exciting than real fights. Facebook say nothing about ZeniMax’s da, ZeniMax don’t call anyone a rat, and neither is shirtless shouting in a car park while their mates implore them to “leave it out.” Oculus could at least release their legal documents and public relations statements as virtual reality scenes, have players sit at a cyberdesk looking at the paper then throwing staplers, cups of tea, etc. when they get riled by accusations. This is the 21st century; movies have promised me everything would be consumed as entertainment media.