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Subject: Games Workshop and BoardGameGeek rss

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Yargo wrote:
Without getting guidance from Aldie (who was on vacation) he didn't want to take a chance of doing anything that could hurt BGG. And that was smart. Oftentimes talking about a legal issue that you are in the middle of CAN get you into trouble.


DING! We have a winner...
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Dave Taylor
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Aldie wrote:

I apologize if you think we handled this wrong, but I believe we acted in the best possible manner for BoardGameGeek.


You did the best you could but I think you should become more familiar with your rights under the DMCA. I'd start with this Wikipedia article that talks about the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA. It happens to address this exact scenario!

Basically, you are not held liable for any copyright infringement of user-uploaded items hosted on your site as long as you respond to C&D requests about specific items in an 'expeditious' manner. The C&D must reference the name and address of the infringing item so it should be easy for the admins to take them down. You also must notify the owner of the item that it has been removed. That's it. They can't touch you. It's nice that you went and reviewed 700 files for them but it was completely and totally unnecessary.

Turning off file submissions is also an overreaction. As long as you respond to all valid C&D requests, you cannot be held liable. Period.
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Well isn't that just special. Since GW hasn't made any decent original games in the last couple of decades I wouldn't be adverse to just dropping all GW related entries until they go out of buisness. Then we can put it all back (for historical purposes only of course). yuk
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MikeBwithoutadot wrote:
Yargo wrote:

2)
Are you willing to personally attest and assume all legal costs and damages too?
Yes, I'll chime in my share if needed! I hate false use of copyright legal crap.

I said "all," not your share. I don't want mine to go to that. Considering these kinda battle can run into hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to fight (and thats if you WIN in the end), that would take a huge percentage of BGG money.
MikeBwithoutadot wrote:
Yargo wrote:

Quote:
WHAT YOU CANNOT DO WITH GAMES WORKSHOP'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
...
- Make any direct copies and/or scans of Games Workshop publications, images, or other materials.
...
- Use our intellectual property in relation to any third party products or third party intellectual property.

So any fan made files with GW art/logo is out.


No it's not. Maybe I'm too stupid to understand legal talk but fan made files aren't third party products. I read it as "you may not combine our artwork with products produced by other companies"

A fan could be a 3rd party. His art could be his products. Or a fan taking another fans work and integrating it into stuff. For instance, most of the graphics are often taken off the internet, its far more common and easy to photoshop stuff together, than to create it entirely from scratch.

MikeBwithoutadot wrote:
Yargo wrote:

And this:
Quote:
Photos of Painted Models

We encourage fellow hobbyists to show off their painting skills by taking photos of their miniatures and putting the on the site. Please remember to correctly credit the IP - "miniature © Games Workshop 2003. All rights reserved. Used without permission - model painted by xxxxxxx"


So all those photos of painted SH 3e models? I didn't see any one of them that correctly credited GW. They probably should be removed to be on the safe side.


Are you serious? I really don't want to waste my time going into an argument about this.

BTW, when I change a quote I like to put something like [emphasis added]
And yes, I am serious. Did you see any of them properly credited like the GW legal document I linked to says? I quoted from it, I didn't make it up.

MikeBwithoutadot wrote:
Yargo wrote:

4)
Actually it IS gw who states how they want thier copyrighted stuff to be used. You can basically state anything you like in relation to how you want others to use your IP. For instance, those GPL and copy left and creative common liscenses, they are all forms of copyright. Now our USA laws have specific exemptions in them for "fair use", but the only way to determine that is to have a court battle, since EACH and EVERY fair use case is individually determined based on several factors. For instance Parody is a well established exception, and yet there have been lots of law suits against parodies.

So, essentially the only possible responses to GW are to submit, or legally fight them (probably starting with a lawyers letter back). Since legally fighting takes lots of money and time away from BGG, do we really want Aldie going down that road? If they are going to submit, the safest course of action is to submit in such a way as that there's no question that theres any possible violation left, and thats what they've done.

I don't know about you, but I'm not anxious to have my years of donations go towards legal battles with GW.

BTW, IANAL, and this is just subjective opinions.


Yes, it's as subjective as my opinion. I can quote from GW too "For example, whilst most companies would not allow you to convert their products, we think that conversions are an integral part of the hobby, so we love them!" comes from that link you kindly supplied.




Ok let me post some additional guidelines about the conversions you mentioned:
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=...
Quote:
Any game or mod must be a "total conversion."
...
Please bear in mind that we may require you to remove the game or mod from any public forum at any time so that we can comply with any licenses that we may have with computer game publishers/developers. Be aware that we may even have to insist that the mod be destroyed.
...
The game or mod must not devalue any Games Workshop product in any way.
...
The functionality, atmosphere, and parameters of any mod or game must be consistent with the relevant IP.

Those last two give them the ability to kill conversions they don't like for any reason.

MikeBwithoutadot wrote:

Copying artwork is copyright infringement. Making something new out of it is not. And if it must, I wouldn't mind if my donations had to go towards legal battles with GW. I'd be willing to donate some more. In my opinion most of these files were "fair use".

They probably get away with their crap everytime by threatening. Just like the bully in the schoolyard that goes "gimme your candy or else" every day. If you don't stop behaviour like that it keeps going.

Actually, it can be. There's been court cases about what percentage of something is new and what is derived. Thats in fact one of the main factors in fair use. BUT the ONLY way to determine fair use is on a case by case basis in COURT.
Since the idea is to AVOID court cases (not just to win them since you are in the right), then its better to err on the side of removal.

And I agree with you about bullying. I happen to think most of this IS indeed bullying from GW. In fact maybe BGG should establish a legal fund to fight things like this, and then people such as yourself if they wish can make additional donations specifically for this purpose.

But unfortunately the only alternative to submitting to bullying is to stand up and fight it. In the case of a schoolyard bully, probably the worst is that you'd get a bit beat up with some bruises if you win. In the case of IP, that means lots of money to pay very expensive specialized IP lawyers, and expensive court cases that can drag on for many years. The system is stacked against the "little" guy in this type of thing.
Anything based upon fair use REQUIRES a court case to decide since it is ALWAYS done on a case by case basis in the courts.
There are no monetary rewards for fighting this injustice (unlike sueing a bad company where you can often get damages out of them where lawyers will fight for free if you agree to give them a big chunk of any damages), it only costs and drains mega piles of money to fight it.
Since Aldie doesn't want to spend the mega piles of money on fighting this instead of spending it on bettering BGG, I agree with his decisions.

IANAL and this is opinions
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Scott McClenaghan
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joedogboy wrote:

Let's just make sure that this is clear to everyone, since they will probably be a lot less upset that BGG decided to remove files, because they are predisposed to like BGG.


I'm trying to envision a situation in which the above is not crystal clear to someone after he reads the post you quoted.

I still think most folks place the blame squarely on GW where it belongs.
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Yargo wrote:

And I agree with you about bullying. I happen to think most of this IS indeed bullying from GW. In fact maybe BGG should establish a legal fund to fight things like this, and then people such as yourself if they wish can make additional donations specifically for this purpose.

Well I'm glad we're basically feeling the same about this, and I'll leave the argument here about GW.

I just had hoped Aldie & the admins would have taken the route Dave Taylor suggested a couple of posts above.
 
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Aldie wrote:
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.


I disagree. I think it's the most appropriate response for users who disagree with GW's actions.
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Im sort of torn on this, 40k is how I started into this hobby, but I left it do to the outrageous mini prices and the quality of the molds.

Then I hear about GW doing stuff like this and it makes me not want to buy any of their products period.

But then on the other hand, for the people that do enjoy their products, BGG seems to just bow down before the all mighty C&D letter and follows what ever it says to the letter. Regardless of whether or not GW has a leg to stand on, with all or parts of their letter.

3rd party player aids can hardly be described as copy right infringement.

I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight some parts of the C&D letter?

"Roll over BGG."
*Rolls over*
"Play dead."
*Plays dead*
"Wipe out everything fan made supporting our products."
*Wipes out everything squeaky clean*
"Powder our noses, they get chapped from being held so high."
*Powders noses and wipes bums for bonus points*

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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight some parts of the C&D letter?


Of course not! After all, lawyers are free.
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sulles wrote:
Aldie wrote:

I apologize if you think we handled this wrong, but I believe we acted in the best possible manner for BoardGameGeek.


You did the best you could but I think you should become more familiar with your rights under the DMCA. I'd start with this Wikipedia article that talks about the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA. It happens to address this exact scenario!

Basically, you are not held liable for any copyright infringement of user-uploaded items hosted on your site as long as you respond to C&D requests about specific items in an 'expeditious' manner. The C&D must reference the name and address of the infringing item so it should be easy for the admins to take them down. You also must notify the owner of the item that it has been removed. That's it. They can't touch you. It's nice that you went and reviewed 700 files for them but it was completely and totally unnecessary.

Turning off file submissions is also an overreaction. As long as you respond to all valid C&D requests, you cannot be held liable. Period.


I'm sure it feels nice to say "Period" so definately, but someone can take you to court for anything any time. And you still have to pay your legal expenses unless the judge awards legal expenses. For example, RIAA has been taking people to court and then dropping cases after running up a bill when they realized the people were going to win. And SCO sued over a lot of software it didn't even have the rights to.

GW could hit BGG with a $3k to $10k legal bill every time it wanted to and if the content was ambiguous, probably would not have to pay BGG's legal fees. Businesses do this all the time.
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Im sort of torn on this, 40k is how I started into this hobby, but I left it do to the outrageous mini prices and the quality of the molds.

Then I hear about GW doing stuff like this and it makes me not want to buy any of their products period.

But then on the other hand, for the people that do enjoy their products, BGG seems to just bow down before the all mighty C&D letter and follows what ever it says to the letter. Regardless of whether or not GW has a leg to stand on, with all or parts of their letter.

3rd party player aids can hardly be described as copy right infringement.

I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight some parts of the C&D letter?

"Roll over BGG."
*Rolls over*
"Play dead."
*Plays dead*
"Wipe out everything fan made supporting our products."
*Wipes out everything squeaky clean*
"Powder our noses, they get chapped from being held so high."
*Powders noses and wipes bums for bonus points*



Look, I know how you feel, but keep in mind, GW is roughly a $150 million per year corporation with its own legal department. BGG is Aldie and Derk and a couple of other guys, selling some advertising and receiving donations. If this thing were to devolve to a legal fight, it's tough to see how BGG could hang with GW financially. Besides, legal fights take a lot of manhours, manhours that Aldie, Derk, and Co. could better spend building and supporting a website whose content is 99% non-GW products. I for one would rather they spend their elsewhere than fighting this fight. But, yeah, it doesn't make it any easier to swallow, I agree!
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight this just some parts of the C&D letter?

"Roll over BGG."
*Rolls over*
"Play dead."
*Plays dead*
"Wipe out everything fan made supporting our products."
*Wipes out everything squeaky clean*
"Powder our noses, they get chapped from being held so high."
*Powders noses and wipes bums for bonus points*


See I love the idea of fighting the power/man etc. But BGG is how Aldie, Derk and 3 others put food on the table, how they pay the mortgage. They can't take a chance at getting embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit. Certainly not over something this little. Yes it sucks the files were removed. But Aldie has already said they will offer a solution for users to contest removal, so the files being gone is only temporary. (At least for some, anyways.)
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So from what I understand, GW asked for 4 specific IP-infringing files to be removed, along with anything else that violated IP, then BGG did the right thing, erred on the side of caution, and are now going back to more closely examine the files? Seems to me that a bit of a misunderstanding started an angry geek mob which will hopefully die down as everything is sorted out.
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spearjr wrote:
See I love the idea of fighting the power/man etc. But BGG is how Aldie, Derk and 3 others put food on the table, how they pay the mortgage. They can't take a chance at getting embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit.


Which is why users should pick up the rifle on their behalf.
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Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight some parts of the C&D letter?


Of course not! After all, lawyers are free.


So your saying and speaking for the administration of BGG that they would rather cow to a C&D letter, than fight it? That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about my donations.

"Oh this may cost some money...so of course its not worth it! Screw the community and the up-loaders, it'll cost us money!"

Is that what your saying on behalf of the BGG administration?

HappyProle wrote:
spearjr wrote:
See I love the idea of fighting the power/man etc. But BGG is how Aldie, Derk and 3 others put food on the table, how they pay the mortgage. They can't take a chance at getting embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit.


Which is why users should pick up the rifle on their behalf.


Exactly why I said "BGG as a WHOLE". We all stand against this, bring it GW. I never contributed a player aid to any GW game, but Im willing to re-upload someone elses with their permission so I could get hit with a C&D letter as well. Id love to see them spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to sue each and every uploader.
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sulles wrote:
Aldie wrote:

I apologize if you think we handled this wrong, but I believe we acted in the best possible manner for BoardGameGeek.


You did the best you could but I think you should become more familiar with your rights under the DMCA. I'd start with this Wikipedia article that talks about the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA. It happens to address this exact scenario!

Basically, you are not held liable for any copyright infringement of user-uploaded items hosted on your site as long as you respond to C&D requests about specific items in an 'expeditious' manner. The C&D must reference the name and address of the infringing item so it should be easy for the admins to take them down. You also must notify the owner of the item that it has been removed. That's it. They can't touch you. It's nice that you went and reviewed 700 files for them but it was completely and totally unnecessary.

Turning off file submissions is also an overreaction. As long as you respond to all valid C&D requests, you cannot be held liable. Period.


In this regard, Aldie, you may want to consider registering yourselves with the U.S. Copyright Office to take advantage of the laws discussed. See http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp. On quick review of the list of designated agents, I didn't see that BGG had one.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Edit: This would be potentially helpful with respect to future disputes, not necessarily this particular one.

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I'm a fairly smart guy. Aldie's a pretty smart guy. I'm certain that if we had personal opinions about such matters which had legal ramifications where said opinions posted in public forums, that...

Oh, I'm sorry. I lost my train of thought. What was the question again?
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basilmichael wrote:
Aldie wrote:

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.


I respectfully disagree. Sorry, I just think it sends the right message.


I agree with this since there is little else anyone seems to be able to do. Why give them any PR benefit after their actions?
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I work at a software firm where I'm the resident expert on copyright law.

It seems to me that as it has been said, actions were taken more from a legal safety perspective than from a PR or marketing point of view.

GW has two issues to deal with: the more complex one are their trademarks. Their logo, their fonts or any of the stuff they have registered as their Trademark (read: trade mark, what distinguishes them from generic clones) they have defende it, in order to keep it. Any fan-made files, containing the GW logo, fonts or any of their Trademarks are technically phony files falsely representing themselves as coming from GW. This is not a copyright issue, but a trademark issue. It is not GW's choice to tolerate this or not: they are mandated, by trademark law to not tolerate it.
It' as if my neighbor started a hamburger biz with a big yellow curvy M on the building. Everybody would know it's not McDonalds, but still the lawyers would come for him.

However, thats where GW's proper behavior stops, IMHO. Trademarks are one thing, Copyright is another. A trademark is something that is not actually yours, but a concession from the society, for the exclusivity of use of the stuff that gives identity to your brand. There are actual laws that compel you to defend your trademarks or otherwise they'd be considered abandoned and become public. To see the point, imagine what'd happen if you went and tried to register in your trademarks the word "MP3" or that peace symbol of the 60's.

Copyright in the other hand, is totally, and completely yours. Thats is why the stuff for which you have the Copyright is called intellectual Property. You own it, you can do with it what you want. You can give it for free like Richard Stallman (the father of free software) did.

So in the biz world more often than not (quite frequently, actually) companies have to tolerate, to endure one or other form of copyright infringement, for the purpose of making more money. You wouldn't believe the scale at which this happens in computer hardware (specially back in the early days, but still today). Microsoft is all too tolerant of the piracy of its Office suite of software, (even decades after MSWord defeated wordperfect/wordstar) because they know how the viral nature of file format compatibility ends up forcing people who receive files to make their company buy upgrades/licenses. ¿How many companies upgraded from office XP to 2007 just to take a break from the inability to deal with all those incoming .docx and .xlsx files?

Copyright law does not push anything upon you. You can tolerate as much infringement as is good for your business, and according to people like Karen Croxson (see http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball1647/Piracy.pdf) it is, up to a certain point. GW failed to achieve balance here: By asking BGG to remove "any material infringing their copyright policy", they went beyond what's good for biz. Knowing how convoluted copyright policies are (theirs is not really an exceptional case, go see Oracle or Blizzard), and knowing that many of those files actually increase their sales, they should have either focus on trademarks (¿the 4 files?) and left copyrights alone, or they should have at least given ample time for BGG to filter out files and solve those "when in doubt" cases applying marketing/sales wisdom (rather than lawyer criteria). Those options, however, went out the window the minute they sent a "cease and desist" letter with a deadline. There were better ways to do it, they chose the wrong one.

¿what's a community site going to do? hire a lawyer, or delete "when in doubt"? These days nobody goes to court to establish fair use, so the BGG reaction was not only reasonable but foreseable from miles away by GW.

So I say, it is their bad, and they should bite the bullet and come around here and try to do some damage control, ask BGG to put back the files removing only the 4 they requested and then taking some time to inspect material they are uncomfortable with. Even if people didn't lower their ratings on GW games, the lack of pictures, files, variants, erratas, FAQs will spell doom to their sales, the games they sell are for a specialty audience, not for the masses (They are GW not Hasbro), so believe me on that. GW will only hurt from the ban on new content for those games, yet unless they are forthcoming about it, it'd be unwise for BGG to lift it, at least for a while
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maxo-texas wrote:

I'm sure it feels nice to say "Period" so definately, but someone can take you to court for anything any time. And you still have to pay your legal expenses unless the judge awards legal expenses. For example, RIAA has been taking people to court and then dropping cases after running up a bill when they realized the people were going to win. And SCO sued over a lot of software it didn't even have the rights to.

GW could hit BGG with a $3k to $10k legal bill every time it wanted to and if the content was ambiguous, probably would not have to pay BGG's legal fees. Businesses do this all the time.


I didn't say you couldn't get sued. I said you could not be held liable. As you say, you can always get sued so it's a stupid thing to worry about. The best you can do is act so that you have no liability.
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sulles wrote:

You did the best you could but I think you should become more familiar with your rights under the DMCA. I'd start with this Wikipedia article that talks about the Safe Harbor provision of the DMCA. It happens to address this exact scenario!

Basically, you are not held liable for any copyright infringement of user-uploaded items hosted on your site as long as you respond to C&D requests about specific items in an 'expeditious' manner. The C&D must reference the name and address of the infringing item so it should be easy for the admins to take them down. You also must notify the owner of the item that it has been removed. That's it. They can't touch you. It's nice that you went and reviewed 700 files for them but it was completely and totally unnecessary.

Turning off file submissions is also an overreaction. As long as you respond to all valid C&D requests, you cannot be held liable. Period.

Be VERY careful about saying things like "Period" in something that could be deemed legal advice. 5 seconds of checking that webpage you linked shows this:

Quote:

Knowledge of Infringing Material
To qualify for the § 512(c) safe harbor, the OSP must not have actual knowledge that it is hosting infringing material or be aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent.

That sounds to me like you could be held liable if you've read the GW guidelines (which they have) and are aware of files that might violate those (which they are). Unlike youtube which has automatic approval of uploads, BGG has individual approval by people/mods.

You are thinking of places like youtube or a picture site like flikr that has automatic approval, where the sheer quantity of content means its impractical to review it. Since no humans review it, the owners have no knowledge or awareness of such unless they are notified.
And that doesn't even take into account cases like Napster.

It pains me to respond to incorrect stuff like this, because basically I'm handing what could be legal arguments over to GW, but the risk of BGG following potentially incorrect advice is worse.
I see a couple other potential problems with a quick glance at that wiki page but I'll refrain from mentioning them since I don't want to give extra ammo to GW.
sulles wrote:

I didn't say you couldn't get sued. I said you could not be held liable. As you say, you can always get sued so it's a stupid thing to worry about. The best you can do is act so that you have no liability.

And I'm pretty sure you are incorrect about them having no potential liability in this case.
But you are absolutely correct that the best is to act so that they dont have liability. That pretty much means deleting everything like they have been doing.

IANAL and this is opinions.


Luftwaffe Flak wrote:

So your saying and speaking for the administration of BGG that they would rather cow to a C&D letter, than fight it? That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about my donations.

"Oh this may cost some money...so of course its not worth it! Screw the community and the up-loaders, it'll cost us money!"

Is that what your saying on behalf of the BGG administration?

Keep in mind that its not just the cost of "some" money (and the "some" could be hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars), its the fact that the money would be taken away from something else on BGG. Remember that in the last year or two, donation drives have enabled BGG to hire a couple full time programmers. And they've been able to move to a more reliable ISP, and upgrade servers.

Would people be willing to give all that up and make serious sacrifices of BGG service so that money could INSTEAD be used to fight ONE company over a very few games compared to the total? Thats the question at stake here.

Luftwaffe Flak wrote:

Exactly why I said "BGG as a WHOLE". We all stand against this, bring it GW. I never contributed a player aid to any GW game, but Im willing to re-upload someone elses with their permission so I could get hit with a C&D letter as well. Id love to see them spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to sue each and every uploader.

Those hundreds of thousands of dollars GW might spend will also have to be matched by BGG hired IP specialist lawyers to defend BGG. And thats only if BGG wins. If they lose, then there could be millions of dollars in damages.

And if they go after particular users, the same thing applies, those users will have to spend that money to defend themselves. Plus, with your statment here, they could deem it wilful and go after punitive damages. Do you have a few million to spare?
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desertfox2004 wrote:
J.L. - how do you get this from what Aldie wrote? The way I read his words, BGG did in fact review files versus GW's IP rules as posted on their site, and deleted files that appeared to violate those rules. At least, that's what I thought I read. You are saying this isn't what they did?


Considering that every other site that received this letter received it last week, I can't help but presume that BGG did, as well. Knowing also that the fine Admins here probably did not have time to kill last week, between returning from BGG.con and preparing for the holiday weekend, that leaves a hastily-done job to slash and burn rather than a well-thought-out and detailed analysis of each and every file.

Now, I'm not trying to paint Matthew (Octavian) as the "trigger man" in this debacle. But this should have been a decision made by more than just one individual. There should have been some sort of concensus (not by proxy) by ALL of BGG's Admins in determining which files should stay and which should go.

I'm saying that they could have taken more time to review things before deleting files. Such a review may have saved some of the files which are now nothing more than archive pages. And remaining in communication with GW would demonstrate the site's cooperation with GW's request, even if it would take more time than the non-binding "deadline" the letter set.

I know everyone involved was doing what they feel was best. But, if it were my website, I would have pursued every last avenue in an attempt to save as much data as possible, rather than simply capitulate and destroying files assuming that GW would take issue with them.

EDITED: for clarification.
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I think Matthew is the unsung hero here. He's going blind on Space Marines when he'd rather be doing X-Mas stuff with his family.
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Aldie and others involved in the decision making, thank you for the response. You're covering your butts, and with GW waving their giant lawyercash-willy around I personally don't fault you at all.

I'd love to see this discussed fully with GW (a moderated thread with posts needing mod approval would be wonderful!). I rather hope this is all just blown out of proportion given the legal formality of it all. A nice email woulda done the trick, I'd think.

*goes to that Southerners happy place of binding-handshake deals and sirs and ma'ams*
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Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
Kobold Curry Chef wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
I was never one for the whole 'fight the power/man' spiel line of thinking. But damn would it have hurt BGG as a whole to fight some parts of the C&D letter?


Of course not! After all, lawyers are free.


So your saying and speaking for the administration of BGG that they would rather cow to a C&D letter, than fight it? That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about my donations.


Your donations? What ... $12 in February and $15 in December of last year? Seriously? $27? GeekMail me your PayPal address, and I'll send you $27 on my next payday (the 15th). That way, you are relieved of the burden of worrying about what Aldie and company do with your money.

Me? I'm thankful for the more stable server and vastly improved interface. And that's without factoring in the community this site has fostered.

Have I gotten my money's worth from BGG? Absolutely. I've received dramatically more than I've invested. And I'm a long ways from the biggest investor here.

Quote:
"Oh this may cost some money...so of course its not worth it! Screw the community and the up-loaders, it'll cost us money!"


Do you know how much they pay for servers and bandwidth cost? I don't. I've got a hunch that Aldie's salary doesn't allow him to have caviar-breaded deep-fried lobster for dinner most nights, either.

Quote:
Is that what your saying on behalf of the BGG administration?

HappyProle wrote:
spearjr wrote:
See I love the idea of fighting the power/man etc. But BGG is how Aldie, Derk and 3 others put food on the table, how they pay the mortgage. They can't take a chance at getting embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit.


Which is why users should pick up the rifle on their behalf.


Exactly why I said "BGG as a WHOLE". We all stand against this, bring it GW.


This is what all the calls for boycotts are doing. They are letting GW know we are unhappy with them.

Will they do any good? It depends on how many calls, e-mails, and snail-mail letters GW receives.

Quote:
I never contributed a player aid to any GW game, but Im willing to re-upload someone elses with their permission so I could get hit with a C&D letter as well. Id love to see them spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to sue each and every uploader.


The problem is that you wouldn't get hit with the C&D. BGG would. Even though BGG policy gives ownership of your files to you, GW wouldn't care - the file is hosted on BGG. If you uploaded "infringing files" over and over and over, then GW would get tired of C&D's pretty quickly - they'd sue BGG for not stopping the infringing behavior.

It's the Napster argument from ten (was it that long, already?) years ago - BGG isn't causing infringing behavior, but BGG also isn't (to the eyes of GW) doing anything to prevent the infringing behavior. Worse, by hosting the files, BGG is aiding and abetting this same behavior. Remember what happened to Napster? They lost and the name is now owned by Best Buy. I, for one, don't want to think about BGG under the gaming industry's equivalent.

Needless to say, I think that the admins reacted appropriately to the situation.

Also: Notice that not all files are removed from (for example) Space Hulk 3rd Edition. According to Aldie (on page 3 of this thread), one admin personally reviewed over seven hundred files with the GW IP Policy in front of him. I do not envy him that task.

Eric
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