You will remember the recent legal spat between publishing giant Activision and game developer Genius, with the smaller company claiming that Activision was guilty of dirty tricks tactics in preventing its game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ making it to market, in order to protect and maximise sales of the forthcoming DJ Hero title.
Activision has now been ordered by a US court to return the original code for Scratch: The Ultimate DJ to the developer Genius.
Other than this, the court decreed that there was "no evidence of wrongdoing" on the part of Activision in the case, though there was "evidence that…[Activision's] 7 Studios has a duty to return the work product, source code, and software of the plaintiff [Genius]."
A straightforward case
The judge told Activision's lawyer: "It is actually very straightforward. They hired you. They have terminated the deal. Their agreement requires return of materials.
"No matter how you slice this banana, they are entitled to the work product back. I don't know why your client would want to continue working on a project for which they have been terminated."
She continued: "You [Activision] turn over the source code, and then if you want it back, you can argue on 6 May as to why you should get it back. I can't under any circumstance think why you would be entitled to keep the source code.
"Show me anywhere where you can refuse to turn over source code because it incorporates your pre-existing tools and technology. … They can use it for any purpose. It is theirs. It belongs to them. They paid $6 million for it. I'm done."