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Subject: The UEFA is 'interested' too rss

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Corné van Moorsel
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Here is a 'good' story ...

First thanks to all who were supportive in proofreading, advicing, reporting errors etc.

One 'error report' came from an unexpected direction. I got a letter starting with 'De Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) gevestigd te Nyon, Zwitserland, ... (written in Dutch). The UEFA doesn't want to buy the game, but wants to destroy it. And not one, but all. In the letter they assume the game is produced (it's not) and sold (it's not) and that they saw the final pictures (not true too). I took away those old pictures here for the moment, will place new soon (together with annnouncing 3 other game releases soon). About the old prototype pictures and rulebook versions for translators, proofreading, commenting etc. the UEFA did think that is in the game and claims that a drawn ball and the 'ball miniature' (that's a way to name a piece of printed cardboard) in some pictures was alike their UEFA Champions League logo. I didn't know that logo. It's in their letter, you can google it. It's different, but they have a point there. Would be an ugly case if that was really in the game. I don't like to connect the game to any 'brand', and I liked other possible ball pictures better already, so the option with stars on a ball I happily scrapped complete now.
Besides burning all the games (while there are no games yet) there is a bill in the letter direct. To pay EUR 1500,- within 10 days for 'ter tegemoetkoming in de juridische en andere kosten die de UEFA heeft gemaakt in verband met deze kwestie', which means 'for paying part of the costs they made to investicate this'. If they just phoned me it was solved for 10 eurocent. Of course they don't get money, and no free advertisement too. We checked every milimeter of the design again. Everything looks perfect, I hope I get no future letters from other unexpected directions. There are some minuscule small spots in the game where you assume a logo or so. But when you place it under a microscope you will see only some phantasy lines, no logoos or names. So you can buy it safely, the UEFA will not burn your house. But better be quick, before it all goes in a shredder ...

It makes me aware how happy I must be with all of you here who are supportive. Thanks!!!
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Manuel Pasi
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Yet another reason to love football but hate the UEFA (& FIFA for that matter)
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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Good luck Corné!

If only they cared about football getting more an more popular (and your game will help to), instead of only about the money...
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Jérôme
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PasiMax wrote:
Yet another reason to love football but hate the UEFA (& FIFA for that matter)


+1
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James Ondatje
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Thomas Staudt
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Sometimes it just gets insanely stupid.

I can remember when the Legends of the Five Rings logo had to be changed some 10 years ago because the Olympic organisation has a copyright on logos including 5 rings.

Corne, all the best for you and your game.
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This is surprising. I wonder how they got wind from the game since it is not even out yet. Do they just constantly survey for these things?
Evidently, they are way off in this case but surprising nonetheless.
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Thomas Staudt
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Ronaldo wrote:
This is surprising. I wonder how they got wind from the game since it is not even out yet. Do they just constantly survey for these things?
Evidently, they are way off in this case but surprising nonetheless.


This is mere speculation, and I don't want to accuse anyone of anything, but there is an official UEFA Champions League game, and the publisher of that may have asked the UEFA for action to keep the value of their license.

Or the UEFA might have lawyers regularly searching the net for potential copyright infringements.
They make incredible amounts of money from selling licenses, so this wouldn't surprise me at all.
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Corné van Moorsel
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The letter doesn't name any websites, but the pictures in it were clearly from my website and from this site. (In color, yes looked cool in the letter .) I got the impression that they looked precise at it, problaby red the complete rulebook and didn't find much to attack on. The introduction text in the letter starts about the UCL (UEFA Champions League) and about the European Championship in 2020, but no complaint about the name Champions2020 which is several times written in the letter as the name of the game (from the letter: uw 'Champions 2020' bordspellen). So they knew the name and didn't see a problem.
The focus is pure and only on an old soccer ball drawing.

In my reply to UEFA I wrote that on my website and this website it is clear that pictures were from an uncompleted and unproduced game. On my site I wrote above the rulebook files only a small text, asking people to send me suggestions after proofreading. So it is strange that they conclude that it is a produced and sold game. I searched about the Dutch lawyer. It looks like the UEFA contacted the biggest autority in NL in the brand registrations field. My impression is that the letter is real. I filled in a contact form on the UEFA website (there is no email address written), telling that someone in NL sent me a letter and tells that he writes in order of UEFA and that he demands me to pay 1500,- quick and that the letter looks like swindle. I wrote my tel-number at it, will see if that reaches the right persons at the UEFA self quick. I want to speak them, not the Dutch lawyer who can be just happy to get the chance to send bills for stupid work.

Maybe they read this too, but if they read so well then they would know that the game was under construction.
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Corné van Moorsel
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For if you doubt the story (and it is a bit weird) here a picture of the UEFA letter. I made it small to hold the lawyer house invisable. I did think about placing that name here, but lets not do that.

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Thomas Staudt
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cwali wrote:
For if you doubt the story (and it is a bit weird) here a picture of the UEFA letter. I made it small to hold the lawyer house invisable. I did think about placing that name here, but lets not do that.

...


I don't find your story doubtful or weird at all.

Neither the UEFA actually doing this nor some shady lawyer trying to fake this to make the fast money.

Which is admittedly a very sad fact.
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On the bright side Corne...you are potentially famous! Well famous enough to attract their attention.

That's it, you've made it!

If they were to take this any further or try to screw your company we would launch the biggest set of Geek/Soccer Fan protest rallies the world has ever seen!

I'm going outside to paint a sign. cool
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The funniest part of it is them asking for payment for their time in investigating and tracking you down to issue the cease-and-desist on their trademark image... How about I *don't* pay you, and you stop being paranoid *#$!s (fill in expletive of choice). I think now you MUST put in some parody of their logo to mock them... I'm not a lawyer, and especially not outside of US copyright laws... but I believe that parody is fair use in USA.
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Tim
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Write back with a bill of your own for EUR 1500 citing the time and effort it took to compile the facts which they seem to have missed.

Then tell them you're even.

Seriously, it's not surprising at all that they would have lawyers scouring the web to protect their copyright, especially if there is an officially licensed board game already out there -- the other publisher may have tipped them off. What *is* surprising is that they didn't bother to do any research and conclude that the game wasn't in print and/or commercially available. I'm not sure about foreign trademark/copyright law, but in the US they'd most likely send you a cease and desist to remove the current images from your website and call it a day.

The fact that they'd ask you to pay their "investigation" fees without the support of a court ruling is downright ludicrous. You can't just charge people for things at random. A judge would need to deem that you owed them for that service. This is the one part of the letter that makes me wonder if *maybe* it was a scam... Pretty targeted scam though.

A quick google shows that some UEFA scams have gone down in the past, but usually by email and usually of the "You won" variety that is so popular with scammers...

Best of luck.
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Corné van Moorsel
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We had an idea for a parody, but things are in production, can't do that now, so that's for next printrun. That is a leak bal with UCL logo on it on the backside of the ball tile. The leak ball has no globe shape like that logo, so then it is 'allowed'. I asked the lawyer if he has objections against that and wrote we assume permission if he doesn't react. In another game is a leak ball (a waste product to fit in a carbage bag in that game), but that game is in production now too.

I just got a short reply. With 'De UEFA was geïnformeerd dat uw inbreukmakende product reeds daadwerkelijk op de markt werd gebracht.'
That means they say they were informed that the game was on the market. And they stop about it now.

Now I wonder who's next. On the shirts are 2 stripes where the normal national sponsor has 3 stripes (the 2 stripes look cool). The German players shirts never had the design as 'in 2020' (it's like the German bicycle racers I saw yesterday). The logo on the German player on the box has no 'adler' and is different to the German soccer union logo. That should be save too. Above that logo are 5 stars (it's 3 on the real German national team shirts now, because they are 3 times world champion). So in 2020 Germany was 5 times world champion. So they won in 2014 and 2018. So I think in July 2014 the box picture is already wrong. It's a detail.
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Thomas Staudt
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cwali wrote:
Above that logo are 5 stars (it's 3 on the real German national team shirts now, because they are 3 times world champion). So in 2020 Germany was 5 times world champion. So they won in 2014 and 2018.


I'll personally pay the UEFA fee for you when the 5 stars in 2020 become real ...
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It is quite possible, along with Spain, Germany is playing consistent, good football. Brazil otoh, continues to struggle. I dread the thought thatbArgentina could be celebrating in our home in 3 years.
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Personally, if I were you I'd get onto the local media, and maybe even national/international media. With the current atmosphere around FIFA and the greed associated with football I think it'll make a good Goliath picking on David type story. You could be a 30 second segment on news stations around the world.
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Ronaldo wrote:
It is quite possible, along with Spain, Germany is playing consistent, good football. Brazil otoh, continues to struggle. I dread the thought thatbArgentina could be celebrating in our home in 3 years.


Whilst I like success to be spread around, losing at home would be a national tragedy for Brazil. I wonder if it will be a bit like England playing at home - more of a pressure than an advantage.
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It will depend on how it starts. They can either get the crowd behind them or build the pressure up. The team is relatively weak and the coach is terrible. I don't think we would like to see Italy take the fifth WC in our home (to tie for most) or Germany either. Argentina would be just a tragedy, a knife cutting through the Brazilian football pride. I guess we would rather see Spain, Holland or the nice chaps from England take it if we cannot manage to do it ourselves.
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Ronaldo wrote:
It will depend on how it starts. They can either get the crowd behind them or build the pressure up. The team is relatively weak and the coach is terrible. I don't think we would like to see Italy take the fifth WC in our home (to tie for most) or Germany either. Argentina would be just a tragedy, a knife cutting through the Brazilian football pride. I guess we would rather see Spain, Holland or the nice chaps from England take it if we cannot manage to do it ourselves.


Argentina is certainly on the rise with some quality players emerging and being in South America will see them have plenty of support.
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But you did have a big champions league ball on the box top and you did use a wc 2010 ball on mano a mano too?
 
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Roninwanderer wrote:
But you did have a big champions league ball on the box top and you did use a wc 2010 ball on mano a mano too?


No.
I ordered the artist to:
- Or design "the 2020 soccer ball".
- Or "say" in 2020 the standard retro ball is popular (Alike in the Dutch competition which I saw this weekend. Before last weeks I didn't remember drawings on a soccer ball, but I start to look at that now ...).
Then the artist came with a ball which I found a bit too carnevallesk looking (not looking like the kind of 'game' I wanted). But I first didn't want to tell him because of his work at it. So it was in the picture some time. And there were stars on it. I didn't link that to the Champions League or an UEFA logo, 'no-one' does. Untill I got that letter. Then I compared ball photo's with the version they saw. It looked like my game artist (he's on vacation after the hard work, can't reach him) designed the lines and colors self, but yes it had stars on it too. I don't think a ball with some stars on it can be forbidden to draw, but I'm happy that it's not in the game, because the intention is to make an independent soccer game, no merchandising crap. We tried to make it not connected to any "company". I looked at every detail for that reason, but I missed that some soccer ball drawing could cause a "problem". (I still don't agree with that!)

(Edit: Typo's changed, I hope.)
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Roninwanderer wrote:
and you did use a wc 2010 ball on mano a mano too?

I looked at that now, it's not my work. I see the players on the box and remember that was meant to be Benfica vs Real Madrid??? To see the ball I must enlarge the picture ... pffff, is this really interesting? ... I see a ball, it's round ... and I vagely remember the stripes on it.

I must do interesting work now.
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