Earlier in the year, Capcom was accused of infringing upon the classic George A. Romero film Dawn of the Dead
with its mall-based zombie game Dead Rising
. The titles were thematically similar, and the inspiration was definitely there, but a judge has deemed
that zombies with a taste for window shopping are free from lawyers -- creatures as hungry for flesh and soulless as any undead creature.
United States Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg has thrown out the suit after ruling that The MKR Group (the movie producer's company) could not identify any protected
similarities between Dead Rising
and Dawn of the Dead
. Basically, you can't copyright the idea of putting zombies in a shopping center. Anything in the film that could
legally belong to MKR were not in Dead Rising
, including the film's social commentary on consumerism.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Capcom, however. For instance, the game developer chose to establish genre conventions by submitting movie synopses from Wikipedia. Printing out things from a page that can be edited by any user does not, apparently, stand up in court. Silly Capcom.
That snafu aside, it seems that Dead Rising
is free to roam shopping malls without fear of persecution. Bad luck to the money grubbers.