Offbeat

Photographer seeks $12m in copyright damages over claims Capcom ripped off her snaps in Resident Evil 4 art

From pictures of shattered glass to patterns on doors and much more


A US designer has sued for damages of around $12m amid allegations that Japanese games developer Capcom breached copyright by using her photos in titles including the massively popular Resident Evil.

The lawsuit [PDF] alleges that Capcom used around 80 images – originally photographed by professional scenic artist and designer Judy Juracek – in its games and without her permission.

A number of those images are said to have been published in a book called Surfaces – along with an accompanying CD-ROM – by Juracek in 1996. In the 13-page submission filed in the US District Court of Connecticut last Friday, along with 134 pages of evidence comparing her images to those in the game [PDF], lawyers acting for Juracek highlighted two instances that they say point to copyright infringement.

The first centres on a photo taken by Juracek in Italy of a "unique looking glass shatter pattern" that allegedly forms part of "Capcom's primary logo for Resident Evil."

The second relates to a photo of intricate scrollwork on a wooden panel taken inside a Rhode Island mansion that forms part of a door in Resident Evil 4.

Arguing their case, Juracek's lawyers stated: "It is hard to imagine that Juracek would take a photo of shattered glass in Italy and interior mansion door design and that Capcom artists would reproduce the exact same pattern of shattered glass in a logo and interior door design without benefit of Juracek's photographs."

In all, it's claimed that Capcom used approximately 80 or more of Juracek's photographs, which appeared more than 200 times in Resident Evil games.

Lawyers are seeking $12m in damages plus legal fees and that the case be heard in front of a jury.

No one from Capcom was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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Microsoft emits more Win 11 fixes for AMD speed issues and death by PowerShell bug

Names November as the month for Win 10 H2 update – then reveals major new feature won’t arrive on time

Microsoft has released a build of Windows 11 that it claims addresses performance problems the new OS imposed on some systems.

Redmond's announcement of OS Build 22000.282 lists over 60 "improvements and fixes" on top of a lucky 13 "highlights".

One of those highlights is described as fixing "an issue that causes some applications to run slower than usual after you upgrade to Windows 11 (original release)".

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US consumer watchdog starts sniffing around tech giants' use of your spending data

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, Square under investigation

America's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said on Thursday it is probing some of the biggest names in the electronic payments industry, requesting detailed information from them on how they collect and use people's spending data.

A strings of demands was issued by the government watchdog to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square, said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, and more could be sent to others. In addition, the agency is also looking into Chinese payment providers WeChat Pay and Alipay, saying the duo are "combining messaging, e-commerce and payment functionality into super-apps," which America's internet goliaths may try to imitate.

“Big Tech companies are eagerly expanding their empires to gain greater control and insight into our spending habits,” said Chopra in a statement [PDF]. “We have ordered them to produce information about their business plans and practices.”

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We're closing the gap with Arm and x86, claims SiFive: New RISC-V CPU core for PCs, servers, mobile incoming

As it appears Intel's attempt to gobble the upstart collapses

SiFive reckons its fastest RISC-V processor core yet is closing the gap on being a mainstream computing alternative to x86 and Arm.

The yet-unnamed high-performance design is within reach of Intel's Rocket Lake family, introduced in March, and Arm's Cortex-A78 design, announced last year, in terms of single-core performance, James Prior, senior director of product marketing and communications at SiFive, told The Register.

San Francisco-based SiFive didn't provide specific comparative benchmarks, so you'll have to take their word for it, if you so choose.

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Unvaccinated and working at Apple? Prepare for COVID-19 testing 'every time' you step in the office

Tell us you've been jabbed or...

Apple will require unvaccinated workers to get tested for COVID-19 every time they come into the office for work, starting from November 1.

Employees have been told to declare whether they’ve been vaccinated or not by October 24, Bloomberg reported this week. Staff who choose not to disclose their vaccination status will be subjected to COVID-19 testing whenever they enter the office, it's said.

The iGiant has again and again pushed back the date it wants its staff to return to their desks as the coronavirus continues romping around the planet. Although it hoped workers could go back to their campuses this autumn, now the plan is to get them working at least three days a week at their office desks from some time in January 2022.

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Google trims the cut its Play Store takes from digital subscriptions, ebooks, music streaming

But with 97 per cent of Android devs offering free software, web giant's share of mobile ad spend matters more

Google is cutting the fee it charges Play Store app developers for digital subscriptions from 30 per cent during the first 12 months to 15 per cent at all times.

Previously, Android developers selling digital subscriptions in their apps endured the 30 per cent rate during the first year, after which the fee percentage would be halved.

The revised price structure, which takes effect January, 2022, puts more pressure on Apple to further trim its iOS fee schedule, already dented by legal and regulatory pressure. Apple currently follows Google's old model of 30 per cent for auto-renewable subscriptions, dropping to 15 per cent after a year.

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Executive exodus from Intel depth and tracking tech arm RealSense continues

Former CTO leaves for car tech biz

Another key executive who was part of Intel's RealSense group – which is winding down operations – left the company this month.

Anders Grunnet-Jepsen, formerly chief technology officer of the RealSense group, has started a job as head of advanced development at Luminar.

"I will be moving across the country from Silicon Valley to Orlando to work for Luminar where I will head up development of their amazing next generation Computer Vision and Lidar products focused on making cars and trucks safer," Grunnet-Jepsen said in a note sent via a Luminar representative.

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'Windows 11 has been successfully downloaded,' says update for Xbox version of Microsoft Flight Simulator

What? No. Noooooooooooooooooo

At first glance, Microsoft appears to have torn up the infamous Windows 11 hardware compatibility list by inflicting the code on its latest games console.

Though the original Xbox (now approaching its 20th anniversary) was little more than a jumped-up PC in a hefty black box, sticking vanilla Windows on the thing was probably a step too far for Redmond.

But a Register reader updating the rather excellent (if a tad hardware-hungry and occasionally buggy) Microsoft Flight Simulator on his Xbox Series X was greeted with the strange message: "Windows 11 has been successfully downloaded."

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We regret to inform you there's an RCE vuln in old version of WinRAR. Yes, the file decompression utility

Update to v6.02 – or don't, but on your head be it

A remote code execution vulnerability existed in an old and free trial version of WinRAR, according to infosec firm Positive Technologies.

While a vuln in version 5.7 of WinRAR may not seem like an immediate threat given that version was first released two years ago and has been superseded since, simple shareware/free-to-use software has a habit of being used long after its due date.

The vuln, tracked as CVE-2021-35052, has since been patched. Users should check their installed versions of WinRAR and update if it isn't v 6.02 or later, though the practicality of the attack seems limited unless your device or network is first compromised by other means.

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GIMP 2.99.8 is here but what's happened to 3.0? If only stuff would not break all the time

Keeping up with technology changes 'taking a toll on development'

GIMP 2.99.8, a development version with many new features, has been released, but 3.0 is taking its time due to system changes that break things.

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After more than a decade of development, South Korea has a near miss with Nuri rocket test

Nation playing catch-up following release from 1979 ban

South Korea today came close to joining the small club of nations that can build and launch their own orbital-class rockets, with its maiden attempt blasting off successfully then failing to deploy its payload.

At 5pm local time (UTC+9), the rocket, named Nuri, or KSLV-II, left its launchpad at Naro Space Center, destined for low-Earth orbit with a 1.5-ton dummy payload. But while all the three stages of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle II worked and the initial payload separation was fine, the dummy satellite was not placed into orbit as planned.

It wasn't immediately clear what went wrong, although South Korean President Moon Jae-in, speaking from the Naro spaceport, said the payload did not stabilize in orbit after separation. It appears the rocket's third-stage engine stopping running after 475 seconds, about 50 seconds earlier than planned, leading to the failed deployment.

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Developers offered browser-based fun in VSCode.dev and Java action in Visual Studio Code

Looking at code here, there and (almost) everywhere

Microsoft has whipped the covers off yet another take on code-in-the-browser with a lightweight version of Visual Studio Code, while unveiling the version 1.0 release of support for Red Hat Java in the freebie source wrangler.

It comes after last month's preview of the code editor that runs entirely in the browser, and will doubtless have some users pondering the difference between this and Microsoft-owned GitHub's github.dev, which also pops a development environment into the browser. One of the biggest of those differences is a lack of compulsory integration with the VS source-shack; this is unavoidable with github.dev (the clue is, after all, in the URL.)

VSCode.dev, on the other hand, will permit the opening up of a file from a local device (if the browser allows it and supports the File System Access API) in what looks for all the world like an instance of Visual Studio Code, except surrounded by the gubbins of a browser.

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