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Subject: Age of Steam Controversy: Glenn Drover remarks on the conflict between FRED and Martin Wallace. rss

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Jonathan Degann
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Glenn Drover, the individual who negotiated the acquisition of rights to Age of Steam with Martin Wallace, has offerred some comments on boardgamenews.com.

He maintains that the contract which has been posted by Wallace, and which was submitted in FRED's lawsuit, is the correct one negotiated with Martin Wallace. He also describes exactly what was paid and what (he understands) was being purchased. He also submitted emails to BGN which he asserts are between Martin Wallace and himself which support his position. The emails were not published in this article, but BGN says that there is more to come.

http://www.boardgamenews.com/index.php/boardgamenews/comment...
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Re: Glenn Drover remarks on the conflict between FRED and Martin Wallace regarding Age of Steam
I just have to assume that some of the people involved in this situation (specifically Mr. Wallace, and now, Mr. Drover) are not listening to their lawyer's advice in this matter, if in fact they are consulting with attorneys at this point. Having dealt with legal matters, including lawsuits, both threatened and real, everything I've ever been taught tells me that if you are a party to such a situation, you keep your mouth shut - advice that obviously goes beyond spoken words to things like sending and posting emails. I just continue to shake my head in wonder at the continual communication to the public of various aspects of this matter. This behavior just seems like a bad idea for all involved.
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Re: Glenn Drover remarks on the conflict between FRED and Martin Wallace regarding Age of Steam
desertfox2004 wrote:
This behavior just seems like a bad idea for all involved.


It suggests, nay shouts, to me that the primary intent of these communications is not resolution of the dispute. On Martin's side it appears to be an attempt to manage public perception (which is back-firing). FRED haven't said a word. Glenn's motives are less obvious.
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Re: Glenn Drover remarks on the conflict between FRED and Martin Wallace regarding Age of Steam
desertfox2004 wrote:
I just have to assume that some of the people involved in this situation (specifically Mr. Wallace, and now, Mr. Drover) are not listening to their lawyer's advice in this matter, if in fact they are consulting with attorneys at this point. Having dealt with legal matters, including lawsuits, both threatened and real, everything I've ever been taught tells me that if you are a party to such a situation, you keep your mouth shut - advice that obviously goes beyond spoken words to things like sending and posting emails. I just continue to shake my head in wonder at the continual communication to the public of various aspects of this matter. This behavior just seems like a bad idea for all involved.


Although this is beyond a legal dispute. It is about branding, image and public goodwill. Up until recently FRED has been loosing the PR battle. Martin's accusations of FRED tampering with the contract is pretty harsh. If it's a false statement I can understand why FRED want to correct it - publically.
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Re: Glenn Drover remarks on the conflict between FRED and Martin Wallace regarding Age of Steam
marqzen wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
I just have to assume that some of the people involved in this situation (specifically Mr. Wallace, and now, Mr. Drover) are not listening to their lawyer's advice in this matter, if in fact they are consulting with attorneys at this point. Having dealt with legal matters, including lawsuits, both threatened and real, everything I've ever been taught tells me that if you are a party to such a situation, you keep your mouth shut - advice that obviously goes beyond spoken words to things like sending and posting emails. I just continue to shake my head in wonder at the continual communication to the public of various aspects of this matter. This behavior just seems like a bad idea for all involved.


Although this is beyond a legal dispute. It is about branding, image and public goodwill. Up until recently FRED has been loosing the PR battle. Martin's accusations of FRED tampering with the contract is pretty harsh. If it's a false statement I can understand why FRED want to correct it - publically.


That may all be true, but the reality is that all of these statements are admissible in court, which to my mind trumps concerns about public perception. And to this point about public goodwill, these posts seem rather unnecessary, as seems that Wallace and FRED supporters have steadfastly and repeatedly declared their loyalty to their respective designer/publisher, if the posts on this site are to be believed. Based on the posts on this site, it seems hard to believe that any further posts from anyone in this matter will sway a follower in the opposing camp. I'd further say that as the games we are talking about represent such a sub-niche of a hobby niche of the boardgame market, there probably aren't many casual or undecided customers out there struggling to make up their minds as to who they support and whose products they will buy. This micro-market appears to be made up of hard-core gamers and it seems fairly polarized. Frankly, it's hard to believe that either camp will lose much business based on this issue - those who support Wallace will continue to buy his games, and those who side with FRED will continue to buy from them, regardless of what either party posts on this or other sites. I still maintain these guys are doing themselves more harm than good if and when this does go to court.

Just to be clear, I have no horse in this race. Train/pick-up and deliver games are not my thing. I just couldn't help reading this (and the earlier posts) because I find them fascinating from a human perspective. I just felt compelled to comment when I read this latest post because I could just hear my corporate attorney scream "shut up" when I read it. I've been through enough of these to know that when someone makes a bunch of communications on a potentially litigious subject, they are essentially tying the hands and restricting the maneuvering space of their lawyer.
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I would like to put forward that, perhaps, neither side expects actual time in court. Instead, they are doing what tabloids have done for ages, which is free marketing through controversy and scandal. How many new people have been exposed to the system through public postings? Could [Age of] Steam be the BGG equivalent of a celebrity breakup? Could both sides benefit through continued "dispute"? Inquiring minds want to know.

[No offense meant to either party. Post mostly for discussion. I really love AoS]
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desertfox2004 wrote:
I just have to assume that some of the people involved in this situation (specifically Mr. Wallace, and now, Mr. Drover) are not listening to their lawyer's advice in this matter, if in fact they are consulting with attorneys at this point.


It's possible that Drover is not directly involved in this (in a legal sense). He's no longer part of Eagle Games. He might just want to do his part to ensure that the real truth comes out.
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For boardgamenews.com, this is like the O.J. trial, and I'm tuning in nightly to see what new developments there are.
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lmnop wrote:
For boardgamenews.com, this is like the O.J. trial, and I'm tuning in nightly to see what new developments there are.

Or it's more the the trial of Hans Reiser, the guy who wrote Reiser File System for unixoid OSs.

Nerds and geeks are still human. Nobody is a saint just because he designs games or writes software for the world.
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I've just been dragged into this and I'm not liking what I've seen. I'm not a party to the lawsuit, but had unique access to critical documents and communications that Mr. Wallace conveniently lost.

This entire affair is unfortunate. I think that Mr. Wallace showed extremely bad judgement in airing his dirty laundry to the public rather than trying to work out a solution. Apparently he felt that trying to damage the reputation of a publisher that he worked with was a good tactic, even though they had tried to work with him to solve the problem that he created when he sold a design that did not belong to him.

It also seems at the very least unethical that Mr. Wallace would have sold a design to the good people at Mayfair that he had already sold to Eagle. (Quite convenient that he 'lost' the contract). The substantial check that he was sent was not so easily lost.

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Budley wrote:
I've just been dragged into this and I'm not liking what I've seen.


Honey... Could you make another bag of popcorn please?
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Budley wrote:
I've just been dragged into this and I'm not liking what I've seen. I'm not a party to the lawsuit, but had unique access to critical documents and communications that Mr. Wallace conveniently lost.

This entire affair is unfortunate. I think that Mr. Wallace showed extremely bad judgement in airing his dirty laundry to the public rather than trying to work out a solution. Apparently he felt that trying to damage the reputation of a publisher that he worked with was a good tactic, even though they had tried to work with him to solve the problem that he created when he sold a design that did not belong to him.

It also seems at the very least unethical that Mr. Wallace would have sold a design to the good people at Mayfair that he had already sold to Eagle. (Quite convenient that he 'lost' the contract). The substantial check that he was sent was not so easily lost.



Yikes. It stinks to be dragged into litigation against your will as a party to the lawsuit OR as a witness. In this case, you are a witness with testimony that hurts a fellow designer. No fun all around.

I wonder how many lessons have been learned from all of this... and how this litigation will change the games industry...
 
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mjacobsca wrote:

I wonder how many lessons have been learned from all of this... and how this litigation will change the games industry...


Hopefully, designers and publishers will start to act a little more professionally when it comes to business matters.

...

...

...

Who am I kidding? shake
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Glenn Drover wrote:
It also seems at the very least unethical that Mr. Wallace would have sold a design to the good people at Mayfair that he had already sold to Eagle. (Quite convenient that he 'lost' the contract). The substantial check that he was sent was not so easily lost.


Why would it matter whether Martin has lost his copy of the contract or not?
And why would that be 'convenient' for him?

One original copy signed by both parties should be sufficient - and it seems to me it would be 'very inconvenient' for Eagle Games should they have lost their copy.

I don't see what Martin would gain, whether he had the contract or not.
 
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Great Dane wrote:
Glenn Drover wrote:
It also seems at the very least unethical that Mr. Wallace would have sold a design to the good people at Mayfair that he had already sold to Eagle. (Quite convenient that he 'lost' the contract). The substantial check that he was sent was not so easily lost.


Why would it matter whether Martin has lost his copy of the contract or not?
And why would that be 'convenient' for him?


Because he's the one claiming that the copy attached to the court summons is not of the actual contract. He just can't tell what the supposed actual contract looked like, despite being in the possession of it just a very short while ago. The inference is that he's just making things up about losing the contract, rather than admit that he signed something he now wishes he hadn't.

Quote:
One original copy signed by both parties should be sufficient - and it seems to me it would be 'very inconvenient' for Eagle Games should they have lost their copy.


Eagle went bankrupt years ago. It's not an outrageous idea that the physical contract got lost during that mess. Martin's copy was obviously still around last year.

Quote:
I don't see what Martin would gain, whether he had the contract or not.


For one, his claims about the contract being something he'd never sign (and the implication that Fred are a bunch of contract-forging crooks that people seem to draw from that claim) would actually have some factual support?
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desertfox2004 wrote:
And to this point about public goodwill, these posts seem rather unnecessary, as seems that Wallace and FRED supporters have steadfastly and repeatedly declared their loyalty to their respective designer/publisher


Could you point me to the people who are defending FRED? I've got some dice I'd like to sell them.

B>
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thepackrat wrote:
Could you point me to the people who are defending FRED?


Own a mirror?
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
thepackrat wrote:
Could you point me to the people who are defending FRED?


Own a mirror?


yes, but not on this continent. All the borrowed ones here show are someone who has complained at and about FRED on production values in the past. Of course the Wallace camp's portrayal of anyone who isn't "with" them as a terrorist or worse a FRED supporter is comical.

B>
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lmnop wrote:
For boardgamenews.com, this is like the O.J. trial, and I'm tuning in nightly to see what new developments there are.


AWESOME IDEA!

I can't wait for the low-speed chase with Glenn Drover chasing Martin Wallace (in a White Ford Bronco) down the 405 on every network (well all the gaming networks anyway).

 
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LibMats wrote:
lmnop wrote:
For boardgamenews.com, this is like the O.J. trial, and I'm tuning in nightly to see what new developments there are.


AWESOME IDEA!

I can't wait for the low-speed chase with Glenn Drover chasing Martin Wallace (in a White Ford Bronco) down the 405 on every network (well all the gaming networks anyway).



I hope not! I don't want MY commute home bogged down by that crap!
 
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desertfox2004 wrote:
That may all be true, but the reality is that all of these statements are admissible in court, which to my mind trumps concerns about public perception.


Almost right, but the lawyer part of my brain needs to say that Martin Wallace's statements are admissible in court, but not Glenn Drover's.

Beyond that, my only input is that I'm bummed about this whole situation. I don't know who, if anyone, has done anything wrong here, but I know that every person or company involved in any of this litigation has designed, published, or distributed games that I love. Everyone has gotten in so deep here that it seems unlikely that any of this stuff will end amicably, but it sure would be nice for the fans.
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The lawyer part of your brain needs to go to law school.

The agreement in question that Martin claims to have lost was negotiated between he and I, and no one else, so my statements about that agreement would be admissible.

I also still have in my possession the computer that contains all of the email communications related to the negotiation leading up to the agreement, as well as the agreement itself.




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Glenn Drover
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thepackrat wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
And to this point about public goodwill, these posts seem rather unnecessary, as seems that Wallace and FRED supporters have steadfastly and repeatedly declared their loyalty to their respective designer/publisher


Could you point me to the people who are defending FRED? I've got some dice I'd like to sell them.

B>


I'm one of them.

FRED isn't some big faceless company, they're just a few people like Martin trying to make a living in this business by providing boardgame fans with good games to play. It seems like many of Martin's 'fans' feel like he's being oppressed, and have said some pretty nasty things in these forums as well as in emails to FRED. The truth is that Martin is the one who has acted unethically by selling a design that doesn't belong to him to Mayfair, and by wrongfully accusing the good people who work at FRED of forging documents, and flat out lying about the intent of the agreement by claiming that he never sold the rights to the design.

I'm here to tell you that he needed alot of money at that time (way more than a boardgame designer usually gets paid)... so I tried to find a way to justify paying him that much. The only way that I could was to purchase the rights to the design (the simplified Age of Steam) so that we could use it in future games, as well as Struggle of Empires, and a third game to be named later.

The emails and the agreement itself all show this pretty clearly, so if this does go to court, I don't like Martin's chances. ...and as for FRED, they're only trying to protect the assets that they own. If Martin had any sense, he'd stop trying to win some PR battle on BGG and try to work things out.

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Budley wrote:

I also still have in my possession the computer that contains all of the email communications related to the negotiation leading up to the agreement, as well as the agreement itself.


I recommend you make a backup of that computer, if you haven't already.
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But honestly, all this bad blood between Mr. Wallace and the FRED-folk was just a smokescreen put up by the nefarious villains at Winsome Games, right? Everybody knows that this whole thing is just Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler on the bias. We're all going to be having a good laugh about this stuff down the road, right?
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