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Federation Commander: Klingon Border» Forums » General

Subject: starfleetgames.com forums rss

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Jim Cote
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I signed up over there. The posting rules are a little over the top. You can't mention Enterprise, or Captain Kirk, or a competing game or your post will be deleted. Is this really how they run things? To what end would a policy like that be good for the game? Is this purely a legal thing because they license part of the Star Trek universe?
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Pauly Paul
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Interesting. I'm not sure why they do it specifically but it can't be a legal thing I'm sure. After all BGG doesn't hold the license to any Star Trek and we're free to say "Kirk" and "Enterprise" here.
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David Etherton
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From Memory Alpha:

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While this is a Star Trek product officially licensed by Paramount Pictures, it is granted only a partial license, and as such cannot mention specifics of canon Trek in the games, save for basic information. This game does not use the name Star Trek in its title, but incorporates the design of the Constitution-class heavy cruiser and the uniforms, weapons, aliens, and some of the terminology of The Original Series era. Part of this license allows the game to depict information from the Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph (such as the Federation dreadnought and Ptolemy tug) and also information from Star Trek: The Animated Series (including the Klingon projected stasis field and Larry Niven's rarely-seen Kzinti. It should be noted that the SFU Kzinti are very distinct from those of Larry Niven's works). This game's license forbids the release of characters, aliens, ships, or situations taken from any of the Star Trek movies or the Next Generation era series (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, etc.). However, Amarillo Design Bureau has continually added their own ships and races to the game system, referring to their continuity as the Star Fleet Universe.
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Xander Fulton
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I wouldn't say it's fair to say you can't MENTION those topics.

Indeed, there is a forum thread over there specifically for discussing the various Star Trek TV series (as well as threads for general SciFi fans, all kinds of other boardgames, etch).

But those are plainly labeled "off topic" threads, and are generally just for folks of similar interests to chat about topics they may be following outside of the company's business.

It IS certainly true that you cannot reference those names or characters in any discussions about the game, itself. Because, yeah, licensing prohibits it.
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Robert Sheets
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Yes their license is limited. You won't find any Borg or Cardassians in the Star Fleet Universe, but they have added a lot of new material in the 30+ years they have been in business.

The license that Amarillo Design Bureau has never expires. As long as they don't violate there license they can keep putting out new games and expansions. That is why they are so quick to explain to the people on there web site anything that could violate there license.
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Pauly Paul
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etherton wrote:
From Memory Alpha:

Quote:
While this is a Star Trek product officially licensed by Paramount Pictures, it is granted only a partial license, and as such cannot mention specifics of canon Trek in the games, save for basic information. This game does not use the name Star Trek in its title, but incorporates the design of the Constitution-class heavy cruiser and the uniforms, weapons, aliens, and some of the terminology of The Original Series era. Part of this license allows the game to depict information from the Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph (such as the Federation dreadnought and Ptolemy tug) and also information from Star Trek: The Animated Series (including the Klingon projected stasis field and Larry Niven's rarely-seen Kzinti. It should be noted that the SFU Kzinti are very distinct from those of Larry Niven's works). This game's license forbids the release of characters, aliens, ships, or situations taken from any of the Star Trek movies or the Next Generation era series (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, etc.). However, Amarillo Design Bureau has continually added their own ships and races to the game system, referring to their continuity as the Star Fleet Universe.
Yeah this makes sense when it comes to Amarillo's USE of the license. The products they create and sell. But seems really strange when it comes to a public forum.

Say I have an agreement with the lemon tree on what to do with their lemons. I can make baked goods like lemon loaf and cakes but no drinks. So I open my cafe and sell my baked goods. Then one day other people come in talking about lemonade. It would be weird to get in trouble for that. It's not as though talking about it magically creates a new item on the menu.
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Michael Tisdel
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venrondua wrote:
But seems really strange when it comes to a public forum.
Not really - consider that the SFG forum is run by ADB, managed by them, and maintained by them. They use the forum to distribute some of their intellectual property - for example when SVC posts new ship counters for Federation & Empire.

Therefore, its not really a "public forum" like here, but rather one closely associated with ADB's business. As such, they are scrupulous about protecting their IP and their licenses.
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Gabriel Conroy
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They are and always have been a bit paranoid about this, but it's probably understandable given how litigious some of these media corporations are. I think there are (or used to be) other fora where you can discuss SFB and FC more freely.

I guess what a lot of people would really like is SSDs for ships from the later TV shows and movies..
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Jim Cote
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I'm making a series of tutorial videos for FC. I was considering posting links there, but that forum seems dead compared to the BGG FC forums. So I suppose BGG might be the best place anyways.
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Pauly Paul
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jtisdel wrote:
venrondua wrote:
But seems really strange when it comes to a public forum.
Not really - consider that the SFG forum is run by ADB, managed by them, and maintained by them. They use the forum to distribute some of their intellectual property - for example when SVC posts new ship counters for Federation & Empire.

Therefore, its not really a "public forum" like here, but rather one closely associated with ADB's business. As such, they are scrupulous about protecting their IP and their licenses.
I guess I just see it differently. Going back to my cafe example. I would own and operate the cafe but it's still available for the public to discover and come into. And while there if they have a discussion among themselves about lemonade is it fair I get in trouble for that?

ekted wrote:
I'm making a series of tutorial videos for FC. I was considering posting links there, but that forum seems dead compared to the BGG FC forums. So I suppose BGG might be the best place anyways.
Ooooooooooooooooooooooo yes please. If you do I know I'll discover them to watch.
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Scott
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ekted wrote:
I'm making a series of tutorial videos for FC. I was considering posting links there, but that forum seems dead compared to the BGG FC forums. So I suppose BGG might be the best place anyways.
Somewhere on the labyrinthine mess that is the adb/federationcommander/starfleetuniverse website is a notice to the effect of 'we love you making fan tutorial videos of our game but you must send them to us first so we can check that they don't infringe on anything or make any rules errors'. That's adb claiming it has more rights than it actually has. There is no legal or moral requirement to send your videos to them first. I see you already posted your videos to youtube and BGG which was a good choice.
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Scott
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venrondua wrote:
jtisdel wrote:
venrondua wrote:
But seems really strange when it comes to a public forum.
Not really - consider that the SFG forum is run by ADB, managed by them, and maintained by them. They use the forum to distribute some of their intellectual property - for example when SVC posts new ship counters for Federation & Empire.

Therefore, its not really a "public forum" like here, but rather one closely associated with ADB's business. As such, they are scrupulous about protecting their IP and their licenses.
I guess I just see it differently. Going back to my cafe example. I would own and operate the cafe but it's still available for the public to discover and come into. And while there if they have a discussion among themselves about lemonade is it fair I get in trouble for that?
I think every reasonable person would agree that it wouldn't be fair but it's not a great comparison. It seems entirely unlikely that adb's license mentions anything about the public discussing Kirk etc. by name on a BBS or forum since Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet when the license was signed. While adb might be forbidden to mention Kirk by name in its products -- it does allude to them such as the incident between a young Federation captain and the Gorn -- that cannot be reasonably applied to user posts on the forum. However, adb has set itself up as aggressively moderating/censoring/censuring posts which would lend weight to an argument that they assume responsibility for content on the forum though how such an argument would count in light of the USA's laws regarding such is yet to be determined. adb is a small fish in a small pond which CBS/Paramount probably scarcely even thinks of even when the royalty cheque is cashed. adb also has a GW-like grasp of IP laws but to its credit, unlike GW, appears to actually think that these laws apply in both directions hence it gives the impression that it is as unwilling to infringe as to be infringed upon.

Also, the simple blanket-ban prevents people discussing on adb's forum how fedcom and sfb and fed and empire etc would be better if they had TNG and movie era elements when that can't be helped. I know people who have expressed disappointment that the sfu diverges from the rest of trek and who would not have bought in to the game had they initially known where the commonality between the stories diverged. They've largely gotten over this but it does represent a barrier to entry for some new players, especially as it's more that CBS/Paramount advertises Trek which draws people to adb than vice versa.
 
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Adrian Hague
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blaecblaed wrote:
I know people who have expressed disappointment that the sfu diverges from the rest of trek and who would not have bought in to the game had they initially known where the commonality between the stories diverged.
To be fair to ADB, their SFU cannon is far more detailed and internally consistant than the TV/ Movie trek cannon.
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Jim Cote
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It's all good. My target audience is not people who are already hanging out at the SFB/FC message boards. People on BGG/YouTube are more likely to stumble onto them and learn a little about the game.
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Jean Sexton
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Just a couple of notes. Yes, the Federation Commander and older BBS are run by ADB and monitored by them. Therefore, they fall under our contract with Paramount/CBS. We don't have rights to focus on the Enterprise or any of the characters in TOS/TAS. Our agreement doesn't extend to later shows. Therefore discussing those in relationship to our games cannot happen.

As noted, there is an off-topic section where folks can chat about shows/movies/games that they enjoy.

ADB's web-policy basically boils down to this: ANY SITE may include reviews, tactics articles, and "personal gaming experiences". You don't have rights to post SSDs/ship cards, lots of rules (or to record extensive parts of chapters), or other things that would interfere with ADB's ability to sell those items. Sorry, but we'd like to stay in business to make more new things for you to enjoy and that means we have to make money on our "stuff."

I would love to see good videos so they could be shared with others. We've got a page on Facebook with just shy of 3,000 friends that I think would like to see videos. Some people do show them to us first just to be sure that there aren't glaring mistakes (is it Lee-rans, Lie-rans, or maybe -runs), but it isn't required.
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Garth L. Getgen
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ekted wrote:
I signed up over there. The posting rules are a little over the top. You can't mention Enterprise, or Captain Kirk, or a competing game or your post will be deleted.
No, not entirely correct. As Jean said, they have a section for discussing non-game subjects where talking about Enterprise and Kirk/Spock/McCoy are fair game. Starting a thread about Kirk being a better captain than Picard will probably be stopped because, as we all know, those only turn into flame wars.

Likewise, you can talk about other games in the section dedicated to other games, including other licensed Trek games. There's not a ton of traffic in those threads because it is, after all, the SFB board and not BGG.

However, you can NOT discuss "made for SFB" modules published by anyone else. A long time ago, well before Jean joined the team, before they had that BBS, there was a guy who started a company selling "made for SFB" modules, forcing ADB to take legal action. So, no, they won't allow anything about such items to be posted. It'd be like going to CBS.com and talking about how great "Prelude To Axanar" is.
 
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