Electronic Arts is dragging Zynga into court over Zynga’s “The Ville” Facebook game. It’s obviously a rip-off of the Sims. What surprises me is that this is something that could a copyright violation. Zynga’s business model is very much built on copying other people’s successful games, but I was under the impression that as long as the source code, artwork, music, etc were independently created, that it’s not something that could be a copyright violation.
On the other hand, glancing through the court document, it appears that “The Ville” that Zynga did so much copying of the Sims, that they even offer the eight exact same skin tones as the Sims (down to the exact RGB values) – something that’s next to impossible unless you’re incredibly lazy about doing a rip-off:
The skin tones in both games have a corresponding RGB (red-green-blue) value, which is represented visually and numerically. RGB values range from 0 to 255, resulting inmore than 16 million different color combinations. As demonstrated in the chart below, The Ville uses the same precise [eight] RGB values for its skin tones as does The Sims Social. (Source)
Video promoting Zynga’s “The Ville”:
Joystiq: EA Sues Zynga over “The Ville”
Slashdot: EA Sues Zynga For Copying Sims Game