A common staple of Western fiction is the Pinkertons. They’ve been featured in countless media, such as the HBO series Deadwood or in the video game BioShock Infinite. Historically, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was heavily used as hired guns for extra security, busting unions and more. More recently, the Pinkertons were featured in Red Dead Redemption 2 as some of the many enemies faced by the Van der Linde gang. The Pinkertons (in real life) have taken issue with this depiction. As detailed by The Blast, a new cease-and desist letter sees the Pinkertons and Take-Two embroiled in a legal dispute.
The Pinkertons have stated they are interesting in talking about a “lump sum” to solve the matter, otherwise they will pursue a full lawsuit for infringement of trademarks and possibly more.
Take-Two (the publisher of the game and parent company of the developers at Rockstar Games) have responded, stating that the representation of the Pinkertons in Red Dead Redemption 2 falls under fair use according to the First Amendment. You can check out Take-Two’s full response right here.
Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold incredibly well, achieving the biggest entertainment opening weekend of all time, selling over 17 million copies in its first eight days, taking the first and second spots on the November 2018 and October NPD 2018 charts respectively.