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John Carmack and ZeniMax make legal peace

John Carmack and ZeniMax Media have settled their legal disputes with each other, the Id Software co-founder has said, closing one front in the sprawling legal war between ZeniMax and Oculus. ZeniMax own Id Software (along with Bethesda, Arkane, and others), see, and claim that Oculus Rift cybergoggles benefited from work Carmack did at Id before he left for Oculus. That matter is still not fully settled but Carmack’s own beef, that ZeniMax owed him $22 million related to the sale of Id, now seems resolved. I welcome all legal settlements that make my job simpler when I have to write about this mess.

“My personal legal disputes are over,” Carmack said in a Tweet last week, “ZeniMax has fully satisfied their obligations to me from the purchase of Id Software, and we have released all claims against each other.”

Carmack’s 2017 lawsuit was over $22.5 million for ZeniMax shares he received as part of the company buying Id Software. He said ZeniMax were obstructing his attempt to cash them out, supposedly because of his alleged (and denied, and fought-over) role in violating ZeniMax’s intellectual property rights in the sprawling Oculus dispute.

ZeniMax have claimed that Oculus goggs and software benefit from work Carmack did while working at Id, and was therefore work they owned. The ensuing trial ruled in 2017 that Oculus (well, its owners, Facebook) owed ZeniMax $500 million in damages. After an appeal, a judge halved those damages in June 2018 while also denying ZeniMax’s attempt to block Oculus from selling their goggs. But that’s still not all settled.

“The appeal for Oculus still goes forward,” Carmack noted in his tweet. So this isn’t all over, but it is a lot simpler now Carmack and ZeniMax have hashed it out.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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