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1960: The Making of the President» Forums » General

Subject: Z-Man poaching images from eBay? rss

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Martin Manning
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I recently got a reprinted copy of 1960: The Making of the President. Today, I pulled the game off the shelf, in anticipation of getting it to the table for the first time.

While looking over the artwork on the box cover, I noticed there are depicted several ballot forms for the state of Kentucky. Curious, I started trying to read the fine print on the ballot paper, and that's when I noticed it...

About two inches above the 'T' in 'president' is a watermark that I was sure I recognized from somewhere. It only took a quick browse of the interwebs to jog my memory: eBay. You know the little watermark that eBay adds when you upload a photo for an auction? Yep. Seems Z-Man may have "borrowed" some of their archival images from some rather unusual sources.

Memo to Z-Man: When poaching images, it's a good idea to cover your tracks and remove any watermarks. Or, you know, acknowledge somewhere where the images came from...



EDIT: Picture added.
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Aaron Cappocchi
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Wow - that certainly appears to be what that is, although it may be the contracted cover artist, and not Z-Man as a company, who did the "borrowing".
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Steve Bauer
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I am a little bit frighten that you were able to notice that.
Do you have amazing keen eyesight or did you stare at it for a very long time?
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Sean
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So, how does an eBay watermark get on a "Kentucky ballot"? Someone selling Kentucky ballots on eBay...?
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dustin boggs
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Its obvious here that ebay stole the image from the ballot makers
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Bob Flaherty
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Reminds of Okami for the Wii. The cover artists snagged the cover image off of IGN complete with IGN's watermark. That one is very noticable.
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Key Locks
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Wow. I just looked at my own copy of 1960 to make sure you weren't lying and sure enough, it's there. Plain as day.
 
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Fred Beukema
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YellowLab wrote:
Reminds of Okami for the Wii. The cover artists snagged the cover image off of IGN complete with IGN's watermark. That one is very noticable.


My thoughts exactly. The big fat IGN watermark was right in front of the snout of the main character (a wolf), and therefore one's eye was drawn to it (see here). This carried over to store displays and strategy guides for the game, too. Capcom ended up offering replacement box art for people who bought the Wii edition. I never got mine, despite ordering it. Jerks. Do you suppose Z-Man will ship us some alternate box lids for free? laugh
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Justin Fitzgerald
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My copy is the same way.

I bet there's a story here. The orientation of the eBay image to the document it is on seems odd.
 
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Martin Manning
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
My copy is the same way.

I bet there's a story here. The orientation of the eBay image to the document it is on seems odd.


They've used a single image of a kentucky ballot paper and repeated it several times, rotated at different angles.
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Douglas S
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What is the purpose of posting this message? To get Z-Man in trouble? You want to hurt the game industry? Are you a lawyer for Ebay? Why didn't you private message z-man and tell them you noticed this and to correct it in order to be careful?

You, sir, Martin, are a troublemaker, tattle-tale, etc. shake

It also boggles the mind that you spotted this.
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Duglis wrote:
What is the purpose of posting this message? To get Z-Man in trouble? You want to hurt the game industry? Are you a lawyer for Ebay? Why didn't you private message z-man and tell them you noticed this and to correct it in order to be careful?

You, sir, Martin, are a troublemaker, tattle-tale, etc. shake

It also boggles the mind that you spotted this.


I am thumbing this and quoting it so i can thumb it again.
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Robert Wesley
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I was informed that 'moi' ought to & should CARE about this matter, while just as SOON that I can observe and take advantage of ANY "rolling donuts", then I shall be willing to "give a flying F***" at these for all concerned, and thus NOT one moment before such!
shake
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fierman wrote:
[COLOR=#3388ee][b][i]*reaches for the popcorn & cola and settles down*


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Martin Manning
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Douglas, I'm not sure if you're using some kind of sarcasm that I can't detect, but if you're not, shame on you for being such a droll, humourless git. Also:

Duglis wrote:
What is the purpose of posting this message?

I spotted the mistake, and thought it would be fun to share it. You know, in the same way people post about errors in movies on movie websites.

Duglis wrote:
To get Z-Man in trouble?

No, in the same way that I'm sure the guy who spotted "art dept" written on the bottom of a bin in Independence Day wasn't trying to get the set designer fired.

Duglis wrote:
You want to hurt the game industry?

Nope, not at all. In fact, I'm sure there'll be a few people who, having seen this, will pick up the box in their FLGS and have a look. A few may even buy a copy.

Duglis wrote:
Are you a lawyer for Ebay?

Shit no. Calling someone a lawyer is not a nice thing to do. Besides, if you want to be lawyerish about it, eBay may have watermarked the image, but they don't have the copyright - that belongs to the user who uploaded the image.

Duglis wrote:
Why didn't you private message z-man and tell them you noticed this and to correct it in order to be careful?

Because that's really not the point. I doubt Z-Man cares. I don't think anyone is going to go after them over this, so there's no point changing it on that account. I find the error humorous more than anything, so there's no need to change it on my account either.

Duglis wrote:
You, sir, Martin, are a troublemaker, tattle-tale, etc. :shake:

Troublemaker - Yes I am, though not in this instance - the hottest wives geeklist that I started was a much more successfull trolling. Tattle-tale? No. Z-Man put that watermark out there for all to see.

Duglis wrote:
It also boggles the mind that you spotted this.

Like I said, it was historical curiosity. I was trying to read what was written on the ballot.
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Matt R
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Martin,
I'm sure
Douglas S
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and N/A were only being sarcastic, but if they were, they possibly could have thrown in a couple of , whistle, or even a nice simple or to help show it.




Then again, I could be wrong and they actually are just a couple of first class legitimate knuckleheads who have no tact. whistle
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Matt R
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Plus, I think the only way I would have noticed that watermark is if the cover looked like this:

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Noonespecial wrote:
Plus, I think the only way I would have noticed that watermark is if the cover looked like this:



Sorry, dude, that was only available on the first limited-edition print from Essen.
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Noonespecial wrote:
Plus, I think the only way I would have noticed that watermark is if the cover looked like this:



...took me two takes to even see anything wrong with that picture. shake
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Matt R
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lamplite wrote:
Noonespecial wrote:
Then again, I could be wrong and they actually are just a couple of first class legitimate knuckleheads who have no tact. whistle


If you couldn't detect mine was pure sarcasm then you're the knucklehead wow yuk angry


I was positive you were being sarcastic. So no knucklehead accusations from me...
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dustin boggs
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GROGnads wrote:
I was informed that 'moi' ought to & should CARE about this matter, while just as SOON that I can observe and take advantage of ANY "rolling donuts", then I shall be willing to "give a flying F***" at these for all concerned, and thus NOT one moment before such!
shake


What the hell doest this mean...
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Andreas Krüger
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Quote:
but they don't have the copyright - that belongs to the user who uploaded the image.


I think the copyright belongs to the creator of the ballot, and it may even be public domain because it was government stuff. But I am not an expert...
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Richard Dowdy
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Thamos von Nostria wrote:
I think the copyright belongs to the creator of the ballot, and it may even be public domain because it was government stuff.


For the copyright on the ballot, true, but a photograph of the ballot is a derivative work belonging to the photographer.
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Josh Cappel
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Hi, Josh Cappel here. I did the cover for 1960 (as well as all of the graphic design for the game) and I'd like to respond to this issue directly.

I am always as careful as possible to observe copyrights and other IP issues when creating graphics. I'm in the creation business myself and I definitely respect the rules and laws that are in place to protect our creations, byzantine as they may be sometimes. I pay to license fonts when I need to (for a handy example, the title of 1960 is in the font "Dirty Headline", duly licensed for use from Cumberland Fontworks http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/fonts2.htm), I purchase stock photography when I find something I want to use (for example the american flag in the background of the 1960 box, purchased from iStock http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id=1231481), and I try to always ensure that any un-purchased photography I use is public-domain or solidly defendable as fair use. What I'm trying to say here is that I'm really not the poaching type.

My understanding is that the election ballot is a government work and is therefore a public domain item, free to be used in derivative works such as this one. I wanted to include an authentic 1960 ballot in the box design and, not having one lying around, I went online to find a suitable image; eBay had one.

A note on photographs of photographs: One cannot take a photograph or make a scan of a copyrighted work and then claim copyright over the image. For example I couldn't take a picture of the Mona Lisa and claim it as my own, or of a Transformers movie poster, or of a Caylus game box.

In the same manner, one cannot take a photograph or make a scan of a public-domain item and claim copyright over it, particularly if you have not modified it in any way to create a truly derivative work. The election ballot scanned flat without any alterations cannot be protected from being copied or recopied, as it is in the public domain. From Wikipedia: "For copyright protection to attach to a later, allegedly derivative work, it must display some originality of its own. It cannot be a rote, uncreative variation on the earlier, underlying work. The latter work must contain sufficient new expression, over and above that embodied in the earlier work for the latter work to satisfy copyright law’s requirement of originality." The image that I used is a straightforward reproduction of the original document.

The eBay watermark is automatically added to listings on eBay to help uploaders identify and protect their own already-existing copyright over the posted images. It in itself does not confer copyright. Since this particular scan of this item had no copyright to protect, the watermark is merely vestigial. It does identify the image as having come from eBay, but it can't help protect a copyright that never was.

My failure here was to notice it and crop it out before going to print. Actually I hadn't even noticed it myself until this thread popped up, some two years after the game's release. I actually am more embarrassed about that as a graphic designer than anything else.

Hopefully this helps to clear up any impressions that I might be a conniving graphics poacher. I really do care about that stuff, and these factors were carefully considered before I used the image.

Thanks for listening.

~Josh
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Martin Manning
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Josh,

Thanks for clearing that up. I'd intended this post to be tongue-in-cheek (although some people clearly didn't realize that), so I apologize if I came across as accusatory.

Ironically, although the ballot paper image was public domain and therefore not copyright, the eBay watermark itself probably is copyright. Oh well, mistakes happen!

By the way - I am a big fan of the box art. The fact that I noticed the watermark should be an indication of that - I was looking at it quite closely.
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