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Subject: Games Workshop and BoardGameGeek rss

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Scott Alden
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As you may have already noticed, last week BoardGameGeek removed a number of the files that users had created and uploaded for board games published by Games Workshop Ltd. I'd like to take a moment to explain why this action was necessary and in the best interests of the site and the community.

BoardGameGeek recently received a cease and desist letter from Games Workshop demanding the removal of user-generated content that they believed to infringe their intellectual property rights. In order to comply with this demand, we have taken the following steps.

First, our Community Manager Matthew Monin has removed the allegedly infringing content, and has individually notified all users whose content was removed in connection with this process. Second, to avoid recurrence of this issue, we have indefinitely suspended all future uploading of files for products published by Games Workshop.

BoardGameGeek takes the intellectual property rights of publishers very seriously and urges everyone to ensure that all submitted content complies with the File Submission Guidelines that are displayed on the file upload page. The file submission guidelines are here: File_Submissions

In the near future, BoardGameGeek plans to put a process in place that will allow users to contest the removal of their content if they believe their removed content does not in fact infringe upon the rights of any third parties. Thank you very much for your vigilance in respecting the rights of publishers and for your continued support of BoardGameGeek.

I know this is a frustrating outcome for everyone involved, but I don't think that posting retaliatory game ratings is a constructive response to the situation.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, and make sure to take care of your Secret Santa!

--
Aldie
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Joel Carlson
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Thanks Aldie for the prompt and courteous explanation as always. As a big fan of Games Workshop's products and Board Game Geek, it is great to see a proactive solution in the works.
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Mick Weitz
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I for one, am glad that THAT is over.

Good Gaming~! Mick
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So if I read the post right, Aldie declares mob rule?
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Play Games - Interact - Have Fun!
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It would be nice if there was a game by game summary of which files were removed (by Title, file name and description), to allow people to remember what files may have been there and were in question.
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Eric Franklin
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Aldie wrote:
In the near future, BoardGameGeek plans to put a process in place that will allow users to contest the removal of their content if they believe their removed content does not in fact infringe upon the rights of any third parties. Thank you very much for your vigilance in respecting the rights of publishers and for your continued support of BoardGameGeek.


This alone was worth the time spent reading this post.

Thank you, Aldie, for watching out not only for the publishers but also for the community as a whole. It's tough being caught in the middle like that.

Eric
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Gamethyme wrote:
Aldie wrote:
In the near future, BoardGameGeek plans to put a process in place that will allow users to contest the removal of their content if they believe their removed content does not in fact infringe upon the rights of any third parties. Thank you very much for your vigilance in respecting the rights of publishers and for your continued support of BoardGameGeek.


This alone was worth the time spent reading this post.

Thank you, Aldie, for watching out not only for the publishers but also for the community as a whole. It's tough being caught in the middle like that.

Eric


Now if only there was an appeals process to my images that were geekmoded as irrelevant
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Hunter Shelburne
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monteslu wrote:
Gamethyme wrote:
Aldie wrote:
In the near future, BoardGameGeek plans to put a process in place that will allow users to contest the removal of their content if they believe their removed content does not in fact infringe upon the rights of any third parties. Thank you very much for your vigilance in respecting the rights of publishers and for your continued support of BoardGameGeek.


This alone was worth the time spent reading this post.

Thank you, Aldie, for watching out not only for the publishers but also for the community as a whole. It's tough being caught in the middle like that.

Eric


Now if only there was an appeals process to my images that were geekmoded as irrelevant


One step at a time
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Chester
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manowarplayer wrote:
It would be nice if there was a game by game summary of which files were removed (by Title, file name and description), to allow people to remember what files may have been there and were in question.


1) Please do this BGG Admins, if its not too cumbersome.

2) I'm looking forward to the 'appeal' option. It sounds like there were some files removed in this purge that are very questionable as to whether any IP was violated (or even whether GW owned any piece of it).

3) I remain very disappointed about GW's actions here...but its not that surprising coming from them.

4) I still like playing Space Hulk, but I'm certainly not going to check out Warhammer minis as I'd been listing towards. The decision became much easier.
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We really need to come up with a codified open license for the age old hobby of user generated content in RPGs and customizable boardgames/minies. I mean, besides D20.
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Leo Zappa
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If I read this properly, it sounds as though GW indicated rather specifically which materials (or at least which kind of materials) constituted infringing material. I don't get the impression that BGG administration played much of a role in judging for itself what was or was not infringing. Is this correct? My point for asking is to understand how much latitude was given to BGG to make these determinations (there has been quite a bit of speculation that BGG administration "over-reacted" and took down more content than GW's letter demanded. I tend to disagree with this view, but frankly, not having seen the actual letter, or a list of file that have been deleted, it's impossible to know). It might be illuminating if the actual letter were posted so that we can see once and for all just how broad-ranging and/or specific GW's demands were.
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Tim Synge
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Aldie wrote:
I don't think that posting retaliatory game ratings is a constructive response to the situation.


Entirely accepted. But it has been fun!
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Glad to hear an official response from Aldie. Personally I still find it amazing any company would want to intentionally stomp on their fanbase. We are the ones that have kept many of their games alive. I'm glad to hear there will be an appeal process. I found it rather odd what files of mine were pulled and what were not.

And hearings stories of FAQ's and ERRATA pulled make no sense whatsoever.

I still plan to not support or buy another GW game until they change their customer unfriendly stance. There are many, many other game companies that deserve my support and purchases.
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Gerald McDaniel
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Short-sighted view by Games Workshop, but appropriate response by BGG.
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Ubergeek
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Quote:
I don't think that posting retaliatory game ratings is a constructive response to the situation.


Thanks for the information and I wholeheartedly agree with your statement above. It's good to hear it from the top down. REAL gamers rate games, not the unrelated company actions to which they belong.
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John Bobek
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Thanks for the timely update. It's timely because I'm always late in doing Christmas shopping and now I can purge Games Workshop's intellectual property from my shopping list.

Just a note to anyone out there reading this, unless you post all 280 pages of my book, post whatever pix and files you like, including your variations on my rules in The Games of War.
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desertfox2004 wrote:
... there has been quite a bit of speculation that BGG administration "over-reacted" and took down more content than GW's letter demanded. I tend to disagree with this view, but frankly, not having seen the actual letter, or a list of file that have been deleted, it's impossible to know ...


Well, I know nothing, either.

But as I read it, Aldie has basically said that they took down everything that was in doubt "just in case". And that they intend to put a process in place to let people challenge each individual removal, presumably so that things that should not have been removed, can be put back, after due investigation.

And if that is right, then as far as I am concerned, Aldie and co have acted very sensibly.
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I wish everybody were treated equally. All the content I and others created for Soccer Tactics was removed, we were not notified and the website did not come forward to advise against retaliatory ratings.

I should not be surprised.
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monteslu wrote:


Now if only there was an appeals process to my images that were geekmoded as irrelevant


Just re-submit photos later. You might get a different set of GMs.
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Isaac Citrom
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At the very end of the day, especially to GW, what will count is their set of financial statements. If their sales go down they may well then rethink their attitude. If their sales don't go down or even rise, they may well have been right in their thinking.

If you know GW's product line, then you know that a wide section of it is not hard miniatures rather soft intellectual property adding value to everything else. From solely their own point of view, every time someone uploads free creative content, it makes GW's job of doing the same thing and selling it all the harder. And, that apart from the more cynical, "Warhammer 40K 4.01 (including errata) $39.99".
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While I'm glad that Aldie has posted something that shares some more information with us, I'd still like to see what the letter specifically requested/demanded, before I set off towards GW HQ with my pitchfork and blazing torch.
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Isaac Citrom
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I just hope nobody collects all those removed GW files and packages them as a torrent. That would be awful.
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Ronaldo wrote:
I wish everybody were treated equally. All the content I and others created for Soccer Tactics was removed, we were not notified and the website did not come forward to advise against retaliatory ratings.

I should not be surprised.
Perhaps they learned from that fiasco and are doing it better this time? You wouldn't begrudge them that would you?
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Walt Mulder wrote:
Quote:
I don't think that posting retaliatory game ratings is a constructive response to the situation.


Thanks for the information and I wholeheartedly agree with your statement above. It's good to hear it from the top down. REAL gamers rate games, not the unrelated company actions to which they belong.


Actually, the rating system set forth by Aldie, et al, sort of implies that a company's action might be taken into account.

If Reebok gets in cohoots with Terrorists, I'm going to stop buying Reebok product and actively encourage my friends to do so as well, also, my "likelihood" of using Reebok products goes way down.

So someone who rated Space Hulk a 10, but is now "boycotting" because they are angered by their actions, may very well have no desire to play the game warranting a 3 or 4 rating.


// EDIT

The thing that really chaps my hide, though, is that IP law was designed and implemented for the express reason of stimulating innovation and creativity. Oh how wicked our intent becomes.
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Ben Tate
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As a former employee of GW back in the day, I'm not a bit suprised at the events above.

I swore when I left I would never spend another penny on their products and nor have I, it's just depressing to learn the leopard hasn't changed it's spots.

I wouldn't be a bit suprised to find the best bits of the materials removed included in GW products in the future with no acknowledgement as to their source...

Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose... yuk
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