Lawsuit alleges Capcom stole art from photographer for Resident Evil and other games

resident evil 4
(Image credit: Capcom)

A photographer and designer has alleged in a lawsuit that Capcom games from Devil May Cry to Resident Evil 4 used her copyrighted photos extensively as environments, textures, and a primary element of the Resident Evil 4 logo. 

Judy A. Juracek is the author of a collection of her photographs, called Surfaces, first published in 1996. It comes with a CD-ROM collecting the images, but using those images for commercial projects requires paying for a license. Capcom never contacted Juracek for a license. Juracek has pointed out at least 80 photographs used as references in Capcom games across extensive documentation.

(Image credit: Judy A. Juracek)

Many of the locations and objects clearly referenced in the lawsuit came from places Juracek gained special access to, or which are now gone, such as a specific pane of broken glass from 1990s Italy, or mansions and other architecture not open to the public.

Parts of the lawsuit rely on information from last year's Capcom ransomware attack, which leaked large amounts of internal information. The lawsuit alleges that one texture file found in the leak even had the same name as it does on Juracek's CD-ROM.

The following images are from the lawsuit papers themselves, and give an idea of what the allegations look like.

(Image credit: Judy A. Juracek)

(Image credit: Judy A. Juracek)

(Image credit: Judy A. Juracek)

Discovered and first reported by Polygon, the lawsuit was filed in Connecticut, USA, on Friday, June 6. A Capcom representative told Polygon that it is "aware of the lawsuit" but has no further comment. Not commenting on an ongoing legal matter is standard in this kind of case.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened recently, as a Dutch filmmaker recently pointed out that a Resident Evil Village boss looks a lot like his own propeller-headed monster.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.