Following the release of a Fallout 4 Boston Red Sox Jersey mod featuring a virtual David Ortiz, the MLB declares that they will pursue legal action against the modder.
With Fallout 4 being set in a post-apocalyptic version of Boston, Massachusetts, it was only a matter of time before someone created mods to bring more iconic things from Boston to the game. One such modder went so far as to create a faithful replica of the Boston Red Sox uniform and player David Ortiz, but the MLB didn’t take kindly to it.
The MLB don’t seem to be too concerned by the recreation of David Ortiz in the game, but instead, the use of their logos and intellectual property. The MLB issued a statement with regards to the Fallout 4 mod, stating that they consider the use of the Red Sox logo to be an infringement of their rights, and that intend to “enforce those rights.” Unlike the Skyrim paid mod fiasco earlier this year, the ‘Authentic Red Sox Uniforms’ mod was available to all Fallout 4 players for free, and the mod creator isn’t earning a penny from it. Still, the MLB is apparently determined to not allow the use of its intellectual property without permission and (presumably) licensing fees.
The modder, Richie Branson, previously stated that he would take down the mod if he must, as he’s not eager to fight over a free mod against a high-paid team of lawyers. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s lost the battle, as the mod is no longer available on Nexusmods, and he’s listed it as no longer available for download on his video demonstration of the mod. Thankfully, any gamers who download the mod should be able to keep it and continue using it.
It remains unclear if Branson decided to back down, or if the MLB contacted him. In any case, it’s rather sad that the MLB so resented a not-for-profit Fallout 4 mod. Trademarks, copyrighted items, and virtual takes on real-life people appear in mods all the time without being taken down. D.C. Comics didn’t make a fuss when a Superman Grand Theft Auto V mod appeared, Nintendo didn’t sue when a modder recreated Splatoon in Minecraft, and no one complained when Skyrim‘s dragons were replaced with Thomas the Tank Engine. However, it’s not a huge surprise that the MLB would be irritated by the mod, as a great deal of their income undoubtedly comes from merchandising and in-game licenses.
While the uniform is no longer available, the in-game character creation tools have already allowed players to make a litany of replicas of celebrities in Fallout 4, so recreating David Ortiz shouldn’t be too hard. More mods recreating famous people and products are bound to be on the horizon – hopefully, other companies and corporations will be more forgiving of free publicity than the MLB is.
Fallout 4 is now available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.