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United Kingdom 06/02

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EA Dropping Licensed Firearms

Reuters reports on EA's plans to drop licensed guns from their video games, or more accurately the licensing part, as they still plan to include the guns without the licenses under the fair-use principle, quoting EA's Frank Gibeau saying "A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' for example." They say recent shootings and the NRA's attempts to shift blame for them onto the games industry did not factor into this, quoting EA spokesman Jeff Brown: "The response from our audience was pretty clear: they feel the comments from the NRA were a simple attempt to change the subject." They also note that there is currently a preliminary legal action between EA and Bell Helicopter over unlicensed helicopters in the Battlefield series, which Bell says is trademark infringement, and they suggest how the Bell case turns out may reflect on the legality of using the firearms as fair use. The article also states: "Legal experts say there isn't a single case so far where gun companies have sued video game companies for using branded guns without a license." Activision declined to comment when Reuters asked whether they were considering dropping gun licenses from the Call of Duty series.

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