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On January 10th, 2012 in News

Battlefield 3 chopper
Battlefield3 features vehicles of all kinds (see full list of Battlefield 3 vehicles), and most vehicle makers are usually happy to see their creations replicated in games, and some receive a licensing fee as well. But not Textron, the owners of aircraft manufacturer Bell, who want EA to remove its aircraft from Battlefield 3. It concerns helicopters such as the AH-1Z Viper and the UH-1Y Huey, both of which are represented in Battlefield 3.

According to Kotaku, EA and Textron were in licensing negotiations late last year, but those negotiations broke down, resulting in EA filing a pre-emptive lawsuit against Textron, citing the First Amendment right and free expression. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that video games are protected under the free speech right, which might help EA’s case.

Usually game makers are required to pay some form of license fee to manufacturers of guns, weapons and military vehicles that appear in video games, but EA was unable to reach such an agreement with Textron. The outcome of this case might have broad implications for future games, and whether game makers can freely use and recreate weapons and vehicles in future titles.



64 COMMENTS & TRACKBACKS

  1. KeepWalking567
    January 10th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Omg, what’s their problem, it’s just a game, Jesus Christ, Textron…

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 60 Thumb down 6
    • Dude
      January 10th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      You’re right, of course.

      But in response to your question: their problem is $$$. They saw an entity (EA) whom they could potentially squeeze a few dollars out of (for essentially doing nothing but clearing their throats).

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0
      • Other Brian
        January 10th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

        You’re right about it coming down to money, obviously, but I don’t think we can necessarily say who’s squeezing who yet. It’s entirely possible that EA lowballed them in negotiation, then filed suit when Textron rejected their offer (remember that it is EA suing Textron, not the other way around). I could definitely imagine EA doing that.

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0
        • Dude
          January 10th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

          That’s a good point. I could definitely see EA doing that as well.

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
        • TruthSlayer
          January 10th, 2012 at 11:43 pm

          Yeah I could see EA doing that too also. Definitely could see them doing that.

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
        • Brandonian
          January 11th, 2012 at 12:51 am

          hmm… i agree as well shallow and pedantic

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0
        • Machiavelli415
          January 11th, 2012 at 2:33 am

          Indeed, quite shallow and pedantic…

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
        • Your Friendly Neighborhood Poster
          January 11th, 2012 at 3:06 am

          Hmm, yes, indeed. *adjusts monocle and sips tea*

          HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
        • Menno
          January 11th, 2012 at 4:17 am

          the whole thing is a bit lame to start with, why whine about licenses in a game where your basicly getting free advertisement for them? As it is EA they must have fucked up the negotiations bigtime and asked an idioticly low price and thus they refused. Could not be a big problem with bf3 being a major hit game imho.

          Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
        • Bloody Ghillie
          January 11th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

          Indeed, my thoughts exactly *Bends back on chair and crosses fingers*…

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  2. ThexDLolNoob
    January 10th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    They say no to free commercial… Business is weird these days.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1
    • Cammanron
      January 10th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      You would be so surprised who says no to free publicity… I work in television, and it is amazing how many people turn us away….

      …that being said, I think they are more worried about how the military ‘weapons’ are in the public eye… they would rather do their business far away from publicity and the scrutinizing public eye.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
    • Other Brian
      January 10th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      I doubt marketing is really much of a concern for a manufacturer of *military* aircraft. A big ol’ pile of cash is much more appealing to such a specialized manufacturer.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
    • w00tmaster
      January 11th, 2012 at 6:50 am

      You really think a manufacturer of military vehicles needs commercializing?

      Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • fps freek
        January 11th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        ya and why does battlefield have vehicles anyways? in cod u could just run everywhere. Also the maps are so big and so boring. DICE needs to make smaller maps like high rise

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13
        • Razor7
          January 12th, 2012 at 12:42 am

          what? why does bf3 have vehicles? That’s like saying why do cars have tires? or why do jets have engines? This is what the battlefield community likes: Big maps and a lot of vehicles. And if you don’t like that, well then go complain somewhere else and stop hating on bf3!!!! Battlefield 3>Cod

          Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • Purple Thunder7
          January 12th, 2012 at 1:36 am

          I gotta a feeling your kidding (I hate the term trolling) but even if you are they have tdm with no vehicles and smaller areas.

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  3. TheC1aw
    January 10th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Here Textron, take the Havoc instead

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2
  4. Other Brian
    January 10th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The assertion that Brown v. EMA will have a strong impact on the outcome of this case seems silly. The fact that video games are now considered a form of speech has no bearing on copyright claims. Films have been covered under the 1st Amendment for years and they still can’t use an unlicensed copyright without passing a very specific legal test regarding *how* the copyrighted material is used.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • RadleyDog1984
      January 12th, 2012 at 4:09 am

      Youre right that the First Amendment doesn’t have anything to do with this case, but I suspect that this is a trademark case, not a copyright case. The shape or appearance of a product ( like a helicopter) is usually a trademark issue.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Dodek
    January 10th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I think giving game developers permission to use something in their creation is the best commercial nowadays. I wonder how many people knew about KH2002 before BF3 for example.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
    • Colt_Gun
      January 10th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      Yea, but something tells me that people arn’t going to rush to the gun store asking to buy a new gun they saw in BF3… Weapons and Military Aircraft don’t need advertising/publicity like say a new competitor in the Energy Drink market, or a brand of Clothing would.

      But still, Textron should consider it an honor to even have their aircraft in the game, especially since all of their helicopters in game are statistically superior to their Russian counterpart.

      Ah well if all else fails there is always the equally awesome (but not as authentic) Black Hawk and Apache to fall back on from BC2.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0
      • Other Brian
        January 10th, 2012 at 11:05 pm

        If I had tons of disposable income, I would totally buy my favorite guns from FPS games.

        But alas…

        HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0
      • EuroScept1C
        January 11th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

        I don’t think so it would be so easy if it fails…

        Then, every manufacturer of every gun/vehicle there is, will be able to request profit from each war-game… Can you imagine what can happen?

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Dodek
        January 11th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

        http://www.google.com/trends?q=kh2002 No words necessary.

        I’m not saying that every single person will go to the store to ask about the gun, but it certainly does have a lot of influence as you can see in the link above. I also have a buddy that bought an airsoft replica of his favourite gun in BC2, probably most people do search for the favourite items from games, be it vehicles or weapons or whatever.

        I agree with you, there are many many choppers out there and it does look like an honour to have their product installed in the game.

        Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  6. Tim Kaz
    January 10th, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    How about the Apache instead. Let’s assume the the have a deal w/ boeing since they are using the F/A-18 in the game. F the viper. use Apache and Sikorsky Blackhawk. Get it done.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
    • ROD SQUADREN430
      January 11th, 2012 at 12:41 am

      I don’t think you get that, they use these vehicles to match the branch of the military. I would hate to see an Apache and a Black Hawk in BF3. You want to know why? Because the Marine Corps doesn’t have those, The Apache and Black Hawk are Army helicopters ONLY. It wouldn’t make any sense at all to put Army helicopters in a game that when you’re the U.S. you only play as Marines. It DOESN’T make any sense at all. Also, this would mess up the whole game if EA took out the Viper and Venom, because the those are two needed helicopters in BF3 to make the game balanced. It would suck to have a CH-53 on the battlefield, that massive heap of unmaneuverable metal. Also it would suck to have the CH-46. It would suck to have both on one battlefield, going against a Havoc and two Fighter jets, they would get blown to pieces. But that’s all i have to say, I said too much, I got a little carried away.

      Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
      • Pugachev Cobra
        January 11th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        I sure wouldn’t mind a good ‘ol Pavelow or Sea Knight, despite their being out of service.

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
        • DDP73
          January 11th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

          Only the USN retired the Phrog, the Marines will be using them until they either all fall out of the sky or there are enough Osprey to replace them. Highly unlikely you’d ever see a Shitter (Pavelow is USAF), it’d be like a flying house that would last all of about 20 seconds with all the fire it would attract from anywhere on the map.

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • Bix
        January 11th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        The US Army is not the only one to fly the H60 series helicopters. The Navy flies the SH60, the Air Force flies the HH60, even the Marines fly an H60. Ever heard of Marine One? H60 with Presidential livery. So it could be in the game as an “authentic” weapon system. Just with a glossy green and white paint job. “Hey! Watch the paint!”

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  7. J2500
    January 10th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    if EA cares about the first amendment maybe they will stop supporting SOPA which will make producing websites a legal minefield
    this site could be closed under SOPA for using copyright images of bf3

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
    • Implied
      January 11th, 2012 at 12:48 am

      EA/Nintendo/Sony etc. are part of ESA who supports SOPA, but those 3 independently withdrew their support last year.

      Ubisoft/Activision support SOPA through ESA, so don’t buy CoD. But that really goes without saying. After all, its CoD. And Ubisoft. Their constipation with PC Pirates will never end until they get new Management.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
      • Bloody Ghillie
        January 11th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        My statement might be wrong, but kind of ironic since CoD spawned many commentators on YouTube and wouldn’t they lose their job if SOPA wins?!

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
        • Implied
          January 12th, 2012 at 12:40 am

          Actually it seems Activision doesn’t support SOPA in the end…. TotalBiscuit confused Acti with Sony. Lol >..<)/Nvidia (lol?)/Square Enix/THQ/a bunch of others do however…. Bah. And Microsoft. No surprise there tbh.

          Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • RadleyDog1984
      January 12th, 2012 at 4:14 am

      You’re right about SOPA but this isn’t a First Amendment case. The First Amendment only applies when the government is trying to suppress speech, not a private party like EA.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. Admiral Ackbar's Trap
    January 10th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    worst thing that could happen is textron remains the a-holes they are, and Dice has to take the vehicles out of BF3 and replace with the Apache and Blackhawk from BC2

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  9. Tank
    January 10th, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Nooo, please don’t take away my AH-1Z Viper.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  10. IZEP3NT
    January 11th, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Apache? hells yeah i always wanted to blow up the Antenna with Hellfire Missles. But then EA would have to change faction to US Army or Joint Forces or some crap like thaaaaat replace the F/A-18 with oh i dont know the superior F-22 Raptor and remove all the aircraft carriers to improve the realism and then get into a legal battle with boeing and then BOOM!

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
    • Colt_Gun
      January 11th, 2012 at 4:17 am

      Or change the helicopters to the suprisingly similar looking and handling “AH-1s Vipar” and “UH-1v Huoy” that I’m pretty sure don’t have copywrite protection.

      HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0
      • IZEP3NT
        January 11th, 2012 at 10:37 am

        True, true. But Battlefield was built on realism. They already renamed the HK416 and HK53 to the m416 and g53, respectively. Maybe Sukhoi and Mil should sue, then! I mean come on guys, its a videogame! If you don’t want your helicopters to “be iconized in a warlike environment” then don’t make military choppers.

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
        • RebornShadow
          January 11th, 2012 at 11:43 am

          It’s not built on realism, ffs.
          Why can’t people understand it? Authenticity =\= Realism.

          Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  11. O0Fox
    January 11th, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Must be CoD fan boys gettin jealous.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  12. Capo Status
    January 11th, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Don’t take the viper away I went 70-10 with that….rip

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  13. Midwaynl
    January 11th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    It’s not only about license but the whole game is f*cked up.
    its just 1 thing .. money. this game is full of bugs and sh*t and they are talking about new dlc/game 2143 or something like that .. why dont they just fix the bugs first? … because it cost a lot of money and they earned enough also of battlefield 3 so they /care, they think lets make a new game to earn more money.

    the good old days like bf2 .. were almost perfect… the hit box was also sh*t but u can live with it … but it was waaaayy more balanced then bf3.

    if u take off with a heli you only hear Locked tutututututuuttutt. a stinger/aa can lock 60%/70% of a map.

    or disabled? … last match i disabled 8 times a fcking aa tank with a jet .. but they rape your ass in 2 secs.

    rlly guys … this is just World of Warcraft in shooter mode.

    and about the bugs. its cost time to fix them … and we all know the saying.

    Time is Money Friend.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  14. RebornShadow
    January 11th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I was going to buy myself a nice AH-1Z SuperCobra… but then BF3 was released and then I changed my mind about buying the chopper.

    HIGHLY RATED Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  15. MRLoadingERROR
    January 11th, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Meh, they’re just mad that the Havoc rapes the Viper.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  16. Mastiff
    January 11th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    here we go again. The military is tax payer money. Here in the USA, they can not tell them they can’t use it because its public domain.
    Another company trying to win some money. If the military finds out that such and such companies are making money off the us tax payers property, the military will fine them.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  17. Blonderbuss
    January 11th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Maybe we will get lucky and this lawsuit will go through and force EA / Dice to develop a futuristic version called Battlefield 2143 in which none of the aircraft created would have copyright infringements.

    Oh boy!

    Oh, and in the future the soldiers on the ground would have some sort of voice enabled communications to their squad members all over the battlefield.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  18. Reaper
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    And ofc this shit never happens to COD. First they get told off cuz u kill a stupid rat and in COD they have C4 Dogs and noone said shit about that. Now theyr bitching about helis, well i guess they can always go back to the Bad company 2 helis they werent bad at all. But like srsly im tired of seeing stupid situations like thoes…. They should be happy they got a replica of theyr heli in the best FPS game of nowdays but noooooo some ppl are NEVER happy.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Kierenblade
      January 11th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Yea WTF, Activision doesn’t get bashed for putting C4 dogs in and you can kill dogs that attack you. But DICE gets in trouble for killing a RAT?

      And now they get in trouble for free advertising?!?!

      Dafuq do these people have against BF?

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
      • Trolollface
        January 11th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

        Hell you can even crack the head of a dog in CoD,also there could be cows lying on the fields cause they have been slaughterd by Spetsnaz :) ??

        Then,the rat,the rat made by technical stuffs :/ Get bithced about.

        They should also be happy that over 1 millions guys have used the helicopter they made (Not really but you get the point….hopefully?..)

        Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  19. plumokin
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    idk even kno wat to say to this… its just so stupid

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  20. Anonymous
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Considering the V-22 is already in the game, it’d be nice to actually have it in multiplayer for once. The only game I’ve ever seen it in in a pilotable state is the AIX mod for BF2.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  21. kareemoz02
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    YOU ARE GETTING FREE ADVERTISING SO SHUT UP

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  22. kareemoz02
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    YOU ARE GETTING FREE ADVERTISING SO SHUT UP

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  23. kareemoz02
    January 11th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    some reasone my post came out twice…

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
  24. JFaL
    January 11th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I hear ‘god’ is not to happy on the human likeness..

    Y YOU NO CLEAR IT WITH THE BIG BOSS FIRST!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  25. Mr Pink
    January 11th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Obviously someone at Textron has too much free time. I’m surprised this is a serious headline. I think Textron’s gonna end up making an ass out of themselves

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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