John L. Beiswenger, an American Science Fiction author, has filed a copyright infringement suit against Ubisoft for alleged similarities between Assassin’s Creed and Beiswenger’s novel, Link.
In Assassin’s Creed, the main character lives the memories of his ancestors that lie locked in his DNA through the aid of the ‘animus’ device.
Beiswenger thinks this constitutes an infringement of his novel, Link, in which a new device allows "ancestral memories can be accessed, recalled, relived, and re-experienced by the user."
The lawsuit also cites similarities such as the mention of assassins and assassinations in the book, the character’s "use of the first person", a battle between good and evil, and references to Jesus, Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden.
Requested damages amount to $1.05 million, with that amount rising to $5.25 million if the court finds that Ubisoft intentionally infringed upon Beiswenger’s copyright. The suit also asks that Assassin’s Creed III cease production.
Beiswenger has written two other novels, and a non-fiction book entitled "The Truly Astonishing Hypothesis", in which he posits the idea of ancestral memory as a scientific hypothesis.