|Image courtesy of wlodi|
There is no indication that the developers intend to take legal action. However, if they did, the most obvious cause of action would be for infringement of their moral rights. The Copyright Act 1968 establishes a regime that gives artists and writers a number of moral rights, including the right of attribution – that is, the right to be identified as the author of their work or film. A person who reproduces, publishes, performs, communicates or exhibits to the public, or makes an adaptation of a work or film without attributing it to the author will infringe that author's moral rights.
If the developers were successful in an action for infringement of their moral rights, they could ask a court for remedies such as an injunction, damages, a declaration that their moral rights have been infringed, or even a public apology.
However, it seems to us that there is probably a reason the developers haven't threatened legal action. Where an author has consented to an act or omission in writing in respect of a particular work, that act or omission won't constitute an infringement of his or her moral rights. And where there's an employment relationship, the Copyright Act specifically says an employee may give a consent to his or her employer in relation to all the works the employee makes in the course of his or her employment. We can assume that the issue of moral rights would not have escaped Rockstar's legal team, and that the developers' contracts likely include a broad consent for their works to be used without attribution.
If this is the case, the moral rights regime won't help these developers. However, Rose has said that his intention was to draw the public's attention to the poor crediting procedures that he claims are rife in the gaming industry – and he has certainly managed that. One hundred bonus points to him, and to the other uncredited developers of LA Noire.
Partner: Paul Kallenbach