Red Dead Redemption 2 Lawsuit: Pinkertons’ Complaint Against Take-Two Falls Under Fair Use?

Red Dead Redemption 2 Lawsuit

It looks the real-life Pinkerton Detective Agency isn’t too happy with Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive.

The long-awaited prequel to Rockstar Games’ popular western-themed action-adventure game, Red Dead Redemption was released for the PS4 and Xbox One in October last year.

Dubbed as Red Dead Redemption 2, the game is a figment of the video game publisher’s imagination and is set in 1899 in the fictional version of Western United States.

The game features a team of agents from the Pinkerton Detective Agency who are hired by Leviticus Cornwall (John Rue), a rich oil tycoon to go after a gang.

Much to the chagrin of Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive, the non-fictional Pinkerton private security and detective agency is bringing legal charges against the New York City-based video game publisher.

It is also suing Take-Two, the company that owns Rockstar Games and another popular publishing label, 2K.

According to the complaint Pinkerton has filed against Take-Two, the publisher has unrightfully used their name in Red Dead Redemption 2.

A report from The Verge suggests that the cease-and-desist order was registered last month and it offers two choices – either Take-Two pays Pinkerton back royalties for using its name without having any right to do so, or a round sum to conclude the lawsuit.

Pinkerton agents make several appearances in Red Dead Redemption 2 in one way or another.

They are been portrayed as the bad guys who are constantly prowling after the member of the Dutch van der Linde’s gang.

As the defending party, Take-Two has counter-sued claiming that the use of their brand come under fair use and is even fostered by First Amendment principles.

Aside from that, the publisher also pointed out that this is not the first time Pinkertons has been used.

In fact, media has used the brand multiple times over the years. It is also worth noting that Red Dead Redemption 2 alludes to numerous other references to 19th century America in its credible depiction.

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