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Out of all the things to sue EA for, it appears that they're being sued over the use of the Bell aircraft in Battlefield 3 by Bell Helicopter owner Textron. EA's response? They've pled the First Amendment.

According to Game Industry, legal documents have surfaced detailing how Textron wants a cut of the financial action that Battlefield 3 is raking in. Their claim is that EA either needs to remove the three Bell helicopter models from Battlefield 3 or pay up some royalties. EA has responded that none of the helicopters are protected by the First Amendment's Fair Use and that having the AH-1Z Viper, UH-1Y and V-22 Osprey in Battlefield 3 isn't infringing on any rights violations.

According to EA, "The Bell-manufactured helicopters depicted in Battlefield 3 are just a few of countless creative visual, audio, plot and programming elements that make up EA's expressive work, a first-person military combat simulation."

EA's stance is further supported by a 2011 ruling [via GI] that gives video games the same creative First Amendment rights as movies and literature in regards to fair use.

This is probably one of the rare times where EA is in the right and I agree with them. Otherwise they (and just about every other video game company out there) would end up paying everyone else and their mother an arm and a leg to have silly stuff in games, like satellite dishes, windows, decorations, and a number of other pointless objects that help create density and atmosphere within a game.

I'm sure Activision is sitting back in their golden-polished chairs laughing their butts off at the news, thinking "It's a good thing Call of Duty no longer has any vehicles".

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