Did Intel Steal Mass Effect Fan Art?

At least one BioWare staffer thinks Intel took and edited Mass Effect fan art for a logo on their website.

This afternoon, BioWare writer Patrick Weekes retweeted an accusation by Twitter user @sa_roux. The accusation: that Intel stole fan art of Mass Effect's Tali for the logo on their latest game demo contest.

"I always loved that piece," Weekes wrote. "Really uncool and unprofessional on Intel's part."

You can see the image, originally drawn by an artist with the Internet handle Vespaz, above.

Now check out the logo from Intel's contest:


Did Intel Steal Mass Effect Fan Art?


Definitely the same piece of art, right? Tweak a few details and flip Tali's face so it's facing right: bam, Intel's contest logo.

Here's the big question: did Intel have permission both to use and modify the photo?

Intel's Mitch Lum, who runs the contest, says the art was "properly licensed."

When asked for an explanation as to how Intel licensed this fan art, and whether they got permission from EA or BioWare, Lum said he wasn't sure:

At least one BioWare employee doesn't seem to think they got permission. We've reached out to both BioWare and Intel for comment, and will update should they get back to us.