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Denzark
01-06-2011, 04:56 PM
Hey chaps.

I am interested in the whole 'GW profit warning' issue. Whilst that is being discussed at length elsewhere, I thought I would like to poll the opinions of the masses - will customer action (ie buying less or even a total boycott) make GW lower prices?

Whilst we all grumble (quite rightly too) at every price rise, it has only been AFTER the profit warning that people are talking vociferously about boycott and about how GW have brought it on themselves.

Personally i think what was true today was also the same as yesterday - the profit warning isn't a vindication of peoples opinions, and I don't think this alone will change GW policy.

Indeed, if as we suspect they have official lurkers on the main 40K sites, they must know for years most veterans will buy from knock down internet companies or ebay - so I am not sure what a total boycott would achieve other than knock on to the internet companies or even crash the GW company, in which case no one wins.

Thoughts on whether not buying will lower prices, and I would appreciate any commentary from brainy types (a la Mme L'Eldargal) as to how long consumer action will take to result in price drops.

HsojVvad
01-06-2011, 07:27 PM
You are missing something in your thinking. GW thinking is, they don't care for vetreans. Vetreans to GW is anthema to them. They will not admit it. All GW wants is "fresh blood". You come in, you spend your $200+ and come back a second time so once you spent $500 or so, they don't want to see you again, since you don't buy so much anymore.

So basically GW wants you and then shoosh you out. So for us people who know of GW we have bought enough that GW doesn't care for us, so if we boycotte they don't care because we are not their core audience no more. So the "newbies" or "fresh blood" will not know to boycotte because they just don't know about GW yet. For them GW is just standard and they don't know any better.

lobster-overlord
01-06-2011, 08:44 PM
Those veterans you are quick to dismis mostly rotate armies and buy new stuff all the time....

YOU might not spend a lot of money, but hte average gamer I know drops several hundred on a new army every 4 to 6 months.

John M.

rle68
01-06-2011, 11:34 PM
and is it any wonder that in any new codex the rules are shifted to make you buy new models and that game rules are tweaked to make you buy stuff less than useful

no they dont care about the everyday player and thats a fact they cancel gamesdays and the likes and just expect you to keep forking it out again and again

i buy new dex's as they are released but i use tourney wins to get new models i havent bought models in over 2 years with my own cash

eldargal
01-06-2011, 11:42 PM
Funny thing is, when I speak to the staff of the three stores my brothers frequent they all say veteran sales are important, veteran sales are high and they have no idea why people get the impression they don't care about veterans.
I think people are taking their own local grievances, extrapolating it out to a GW wide thing and then linking up with people in the internet who feel the same way to create this idea that GW has some kind of disregard for veterans when in actual fact it is probably just poorly run stores.

fuzzbuket
01-07-2011, 12:42 AM
people have been arguing for this for years and noythikngds happend. even if 50 people stop purchacing gw and switch to WM and hate mail GW every day its not going to do much!

also GW hikes there prices with VAT, GW's goals are to
a) make monies
b) sell stuff


i agree with eldargal, people just belive the internetz, if 200 people say there going to do it on the internet, 3 do it IRL :P

-fuzz

Denzark
01-07-2011, 01:23 AM
Fair one both of you, I never thought about nerd rage online as a skewing factor.

Lane
01-07-2011, 01:55 AM
Funny thing is, when I speak to the staff of the three stores my brothers frequent they all say veteran sales are important,...

Ten years ago I did an inventory, approximately $5000 (actual purchase cost) in GW product over a span of 10 years. This year has been a bit slow but in the last two years I know of about $1500 spent. I know of several Veteran players at my local store who have started new armies in the last year and several more are expanding/ starting new armies.

With the shift to single employee stores in the US the vets at my store have been more active. Helping people with painting/ modeling questions, army list selection and occasional beginner battles.



I think people are taking their own local grievances, extrapolating it out to a GW wide thing and then linking up with people in the internet who feel the same way to create this idea that GW has some kind of disregard for veterans when in actual fact it is probably just poorly run stores.

This goes back many years. In the mid to late 90's there were frequent reports of GW stores being indifferent and occasionally hostile to veteran players. I think some people were actually told by store employees that new players were the focus (not sure, could just be old and senile).

Spider-pope
01-07-2011, 10:16 AM
I can only echo what Eldargal said, i've had nothing but good experiences at GW stores, and at no point has there been any sign of discrimination against veterans in favour of newbies. It's possibly its different abroad, but in the UK at least i can't think of any occasions that would match up with the complaints i've read on the interwebs. In fact in a number of conversations with the manager at GW Grimsby, i was told that veterans are a priority since they bring in repeat revenue.

Now if what the internet says is true and thats a big if, any attempt at a boycott would ultimately be pointless. If new customers are the priority then a veteran boycott would do nothing since Little Timmy will still be buying and won't be reading a vitriolic rant on Warseer.

MaltonNecromancer
01-07-2011, 11:16 AM
I've been a fan of GW since 1989.

They have never lowered their prices, not even once, in that time. Yes, plastic sets have been released that are (marginally) cheaper than the metal sets they replace, but I cannot recall a single time the sets have been reduced in price by GW themselves (no, that drop in UK interest rates really doesn't count).

The closest they've come is selling off old stock at extremely reduced prices, but those events are true one-offs (I remember one in 1994 and one in 1998). The other time was the Apocalypse era of bulk buying sets - that's what I'd like to see more of.
However, the idea of asking GW to lower prices? I'd love it to work, but the last twenty years speak against it. It's a beautiful fantasy, like that farm we'll own. It'lll be ours, and nobody'll can us, and it'll be ours.

Tell me about that place, George. Tell about how its gonna be.

Well, Lennie, well have a few pigs, some sheep; we'll grow crops, grain, and have a patch of alfalfa

For the rabbits?

Yes Lennie, for the rabbits.

Tell me about the rabbits George. Tell me how it's gonna be...

Well...

oldone
01-07-2011, 11:27 AM
i would like to say first that it will differ inbetween countries, but the one i vist the most has resently had its staff change because of their choice and i have not notice any difference in there behavior they all seem pleansent and still try to make me buy there wonderful models (really isn't that hard to be fair :p) so i don't think there is an negative feeling towards veterans but more so a casual one but with a speical interest in neewbies is that make sense. so they like veterans to talk to and every thing but they want neewbies to buy tons of stuff and then give up in 3 months (i had this problem with my friends 8 of us started and 3 years down the line 1 of us is left )
so no i don't think veterans boycotting GW will do any good as the company will simple close stores make less stock or even slow down (the snail pace) of undates which will just be unfair to people who don't boycott.
ok i may have got off track :o

Denzark
01-07-2011, 11:56 AM
I've been a fan of GW since 1989.

They have never lowered their prices, not even once, in that time. Yes, plastic sets have been released that are (marginally) cheaper than the metal sets they replace, but I cannot recall a single time the sets have been reduced in price by GW themselves (no, that drop in UK interest rates really doesn't count).

The closest they've come is selling off old stock at extremely reduced prices, but those events are true one-offs (I remember one in 1994 and one in 1998). The other time was the Apocalypse era of bulk buying sets - that's what I'd like to see more of.
However, the idea of asking GW to lower prices? I'd love it to work, but the last twenty years speak against it. It's a beautiful fantasy, like that farm we'll own. It'lll be ours, and nobody'll can us, and it'll be ours.

Tell me about that place, George. Tell about how its gonna be.

Well, Lennie, well have a few pigs, some sheep; we'll grow crops, grain, and have a patch of alfalfa

For the rabbits?

Yes Lennie, for the rabbits.

Tell me about the rabbits George. Tell me how it's gonna be...

Well...

LOL this is why English teachers would all be killed by the Ordo Hereticus in an ordinary decent and caring society.

fuzzbuket
01-07-2011, 12:08 PM
@ lennie

*BANG*


p.s. i hate english class >:(

DarkLink
01-07-2011, 03:37 PM
and is it any wonder that in any new codex the rules are shifted to make you buy new models and that game rules are tweaked to make you buy stuff less than useful


This keeps the veterans coming back for more, while new codices and releases get band-wagoners and noobs to splurge. GW's got their bases covered.





Yeah, english class is quite the contrast to what I'm used to. In engineering classes, you sit down and the teacher gives you precise, quantifiable data and knowledge, which you then use to accomplish stuff.

In the GE english class I have to take, I wrote a 500 page essay bull$#!#ing about how the poem Invictus changed my life. I didn't even read the poem until a year or two ago (though I really do like it). I just needed something to blabber on about.

Bit of a difference there.

weeble1000
01-07-2011, 08:50 PM
Only one thing is certain. If you don't do anything, nothing is going to happen. Anybody can be pessimistic about what any sort of customer action will achieve, but if customers don't do anything, there is a 100% guaranty that it will not achieve any results.

For me, a boycott is not specifically about prices. Games-Workshop's price increases are simply emblematic of the company's position towards its customers. There are many other ways in which Games-Workshop demonstrates a disregard for its fans and customers from its codex release schedule to the way it handles intellectual property.

Games-Workshop is losing market share and its response has been to raise prices and attempt to take control of the hobby with aggressive and overly expensive litigation. The company is attempting to claim a copyright on the term bits. That isn't just some random thing that found its way into the Chapterhouse complaint. It is perhaps one of the most glaringly evident parts of a general attempt on the part of Games-Workshop to draw as much of the hobby into its possession as possible. That is not a good thing for the hobby and it is not a good thing for any wargaming enthusiast.

If nobody does anything about it, it will not stop, guaranteed. I do not subscribe to the notion that believing nothing can be done is a reason to sit back and accept something that you do not approve of. If you approve of what Games-Workshop is doing, then let them do it. If you do not approve of it, sitting back and letting it happen will not change anything and you might as well give Games-Workshop an endorsement to keep doing it because the company will view non-action as approval, and why shouldn't it?

If there has ever been a time in recent years to effect change at Games-Workshop, now is that time. The company is vulnerable. Sales are down, stock is down, revenue is struggling to keep pace, and Games-Workshop has overexposed itself with the Chapterhouse lawsuit. This is the time when a minimal customer response could have a much more significant impact than it would when the company is healthy with a surplus of cash. Games-Workshop is trying to find a way to remain viable and profitable right now. If you send the message that its recent behavior is the right way to keep the company viable by sitting back and doing nothing, then this is the behavior and the treatment you can expect from Games-Workshop going forward.

And what is that treatment? Games-Workshop has made it clear that its goal is to expand its North American market. That's why Tom Kirby is spending 40 weeks of the year in the states and drawing additional compensation in spite of a salary freeze. And how is Games-Workshop expanding its North American market? By attempting to run a small local business into the ground.

I do not approve of it when a British company attempts to expand its market share in America by attacking local business with egregiously unfounded litigation. And this is merely one aspect of the way that Games-Workshop is attempting regain a stranglehold over this community. It is only one example of the way that Games-Workshop treats its long-term fans and loyal customers. And it is only one example of the type of poor business sense that involves eliminating a company whose products depend Games-Workshop's own sales.

I am not going to tacitly approve of this behavior by doing nothing. I am going to do my part to ensure that it stops happening and that it does not happen in the future. If you do not approve of Games-Workshop's actions or policies, then this community needs your help to protect itself.

Lockark
01-07-2011, 10:10 PM
Personally I think GW's drop in profit margins are a combination of new competitors and the global recession. (In the form of Privet press's growing popularity and other games working hard to break out.)

The strength of GW's competitors is a good thing because it encourages GW to accualy compete in terms of price and quality of content.

This is a VERY good thing for the hobby in the end. In the same way the "console wars" is good in the realm of video games.


BUT. The last thing we need is fan boys running around. Play the games you want to play in the end. But don't be affride to play new systems. I personal am starting a Malifaux and Warmachine. But still happy collect GW modles.

Denzark
01-08-2011, 03:42 AM
Games-Workshop is losing market share and its response has been to raise prices and attempt to take control of the hobby with aggressive and overly expensive litigation. The company is attempting to claim a copyright on the term bits. That isn't just some random thing that found its way into the Chapterhouse complaint. It is perhaps one of the most glaringly evident parts of a general attempt on the part of Games-Workshop to draw as much of the hobby into its possession as possible. That is not a good thing for the hobby and it is not a good thing for any wargaming enthusiast.

When GW refers to 'The Hobby' it does not mean tabletop wargaming in any and all it forms. It means those who have raised throught the ranks of starter boxes, 2-3 armies for their games system, and on to Specialist Games with healthy doses of forgeworld and Black Library en route. There is no evidence to suggest the GW 'The Hobby' and 'the wider hobby that is tabletop wargaming' are anything other than mutually exclusive, no evidence that bringing them together is GW's intent, nor that GW is stupid enough to think that it could control it all in one.

If nobody does anything about it, it will not stop, guaranteed. I do not subscribe to the notion that believing nothing can be done is a reason to sit back and accept something that you do not approve of. If you approve of what Games-Workshop is doing, then let them do it. If you do not approve of it, sitting back and letting it happen will not change anything and you might as well give Games-Workshop an endorsement to keep doing it because the company will view non-action as approval, and why shouldn't it?

If there has ever been a time in recent years to effect change at Games-Workshop, now is that time. The company is vulnerable. Sales are down, stock is down, revenue is struggling to keep pace, and Games-Workshop has overexposed itself with the Chapterhouse lawsuit. This is the time when a minimal customer response could have a much more significant impact than it would when the company is healthy with a surplus of cash. Games-Workshop is trying to find a way to remain viable and profitable right now. If you send the message that its recent behavior is the right way to keep the company viable by sitting back and doing nothing, then this is the behavior and the treatment you can expect from Games-Workshop going forward.

With all your clever arguments about how doing nothing guarantees nothing changes, again I note you only re-surfaced with this idea AFTER the profit warning became news. Hence you were bending over and taking it (sorry tolerating GW corporate policy is what I mean) quite happily until this time. A profit warning saying 'we may not meet market expectations' is different to saying 'we are on the brink of destruction and will make any changes Mr Outrage from the internetz calls for, just to get his greenbacks in my pocket.' I think you overestimate their vulnerability - the new Space Marine FPS hits this year, and that will give them a considerable royalty inject, as will Grey Knights/Storm Raven, and the 'summer of flyers'.

And what is that treatment? Games-Workshop has made it clear that its goal is to expand its North American market. That's why Tom Kirby is spending 40 weeks of the year in the states and drawing additional compensation in spite of a salary freeze. And how is Games-Workshop expanding its North American market? By attempting to run a small local business into the ground.

I do not approve of it when a British company attempts to expand its market share in America by attacking local business with egregiously unfounded litigation. And this is merely one aspect of the way that Games-Workshop is attempting regain a stranglehold over this community. It is only one example of the way that Games-Workshop treats its long-term fans and loyal customers. And it is only one example of the type of poor business sense that involves eliminating a company whose products depend Games-Workshop's own sales.

Again, the fact it is a British Company. Hell, this is like when the Aussies beat us at Cricket (not now though ha!), or anyone else at football. We invented both, and it hurts to lose. So GW comes back with American style big corporate tactics and you don't like it.

I'm not sure GW ever had a stranglehold - that implies a total lockdown to me. So how the invention of Warmachine implies a total lockdown, I don't know. Also, assuming you mean the wargaming community and given that GW company report clearly says they aren't going to produce historical miniatures, how does that match your stranglehold comment? What, aren't the historical boys part of your community?



Weeble good luck on your outrage bus.

Aldramelech
01-08-2011, 04:23 AM
A couple of years back I remember The Monopolies and Mergers commission looking into the Music Industries pricing of Cd's and whether they were taking the piss with their prices.

Perhaps the M&G commission should take a look at GW?

Edit: Ive looked into this and at the moment GW are not subject to an investigation because no one has made a complaint.

A complaint could be made to the Competition Commission on the grounds the GW have unfair share of the market or a complaint could be made to the office of fair trading that GW's prices are grossly inflated.

Food for thought.......

Duke
01-08-2011, 08:40 AM
The problem is that they aren't a monopoly... Sure they have a monopoly on their IP, but that is the whole purpose of IP law, to give you a monopoly on it. What they would argue is that they are in an oligopoly which is like a monopoly but with a few large players and entrance into the industry is very difficult because of this. They will point to Battlefront and Privateer Press and show how they have entered into the wargames manufacturing industry and they will be right. GW isn't a monopoly to the rest of the world, but it is to us gamers.

Duke

Aldramelech
01-08-2011, 10:05 AM
The problem is that they aren't a monopoly... Sure they have a monopoly on their IP, but that is the whole purpose of IP law, to give you a monopoly on it. What they would argue is that they are in an oligopoly which is like a monopoly but with a few large players and entrance into the industry is very difficult because of this. They will point to Battlefront and Privateer Press and show how they have entered into the wargames manufacturing industry and they will be right. GW isn't a monopoly to the rest of the world, but it is to us gamers.

Duke

Read my post again Duke.

In the UK the Monopolies and Mergers Commision (Now the Competition Commision) do more then investigate monopolies. They also (together with The Office of Fair Trading) investigate companies that charge inflated prices for products where the consumer has no or little choice, as the company has no direct competition. Also GW's tactics to keep people out of "their" hobby would also be of interest to the office of fair trading, you cannot claim exclusive ownership to a "Hobby".

Old_Paladin
01-08-2011, 10:02 PM
I do not approve of it when a British company attempts to expand its market share in America.

There, I've trimmed the fat and had you say what you've meant all along.

MarneusCalgar
01-09-2011, 06:51 AM
Voted for:

Don't be dense they know we're hooked on plastic crack.

Why??

Because there will always be fans and fanboys who will buy everything GW does, so...

weeble1000
01-09-2011, 08:31 AM
Old_Paladin,

I appreciate your point in quoting me out of context, but rest assured that I am not opposed to Games-Workshop's actions and policies simply because it is a British company. The fact that I'm American and Games-Workshop is a British company only serves to make what Games-Workshop is doing that much more offensive to me personally.

You're correct that Games-Workshop's nationality is one of the things that I find offensive about the situation when taken as a whole. You have, however, boiled my argument down to its least significant point. It is an effective way to marginalize what I have said, since you've focused on a single issue that can be used to characterize my entire argument as some sort of nationalistic prejudice.

I will counter that my argument can be boiled down to this single sentence:

Games-Workshop's litigation strategy is to manipulate people into believing that the company owns more than it should by attacking those that cannot defend themselves.

That is what is wrong with what Games-Workshop is doing and it would be wrong regardless of the location of the Company's corporate headquarters or the nationality of its managers. This single issue is the core of everything else that I have argued. Games-Workshop is attempting to take control of as much of the wargaming hobby and industry as possible, regardless of whether it is fair for them to do so and regardless of who it has to hurt in order to make it happen.

This strategy is emblematic of the way that Games-Workshop treats its fans, customers, and competitors. It is emblematic of the poor business sense with which Games-Workshop has been managed. Finally, it is an example of the kind of injustice that can be perpetrated by a large corporation when no one is willing to take a stand against it.

We, as in those that love, enjoy, and participate in the wargaming hobby, have been blessed with an opportunity to take a stand against this type of behavior because Chapterhouse Studios might be willing to put everything on the line in order to stand up to Games-Workshop. Chapterhouse Studios is trying to protect itself, but it is fighting for rights that we should all be able to enjoy and which Games-Workshop has been trampling. I have nothing but respect for the courage that it takes to risk everything that you have built to stand up for something that you believe in.

I believe in it too, and I cannot sit back and let something like this fail because I didn't do anything to help. Games-Workshop is a major player in the wargaming industry and no one individual in this hobby is equipped to stand up to it alone. It is this fact which Games-Workshop has used to manipulate the industry and abuse the hobbyists that participate in it.

We need to work together and we can rally around Chaoterhouse Studios.

Old_Paladin
01-09-2011, 09:57 AM
And my problem with your argument is that you turned a blind eye to all the times it actually mattered.

I didn't hear you say anything when GW sent C&D's to fantasy football groups, or when they went after Librarium or Lexicanum. Vassle chose to shut itself down when GW C&D said that the software could be used to play their game and many of the cartoonish images were based on GW models or ideas.


No, instead you've picked a company that directly tries to profit of of GW's ideas and is blantant about it (they've also stolen IP from H.R. Gieger and 20th Century Fox; just to show that that take ideas from more then one company/person).
Chapterhouse does create its own unique items (namely the bonesword and lashwip pieces); but then uses copyrighted or trademarked names and discriptions.

You seem to not have even listened to GW statements, claims or directions for the company.

You say that they are out to dominate the market and crush all compatition. That's wrong. The fact that there are groups like P.P., Wizards or the Coast, battle-tech, Mantic, Avatars of War, etc. proves to can go to many companies of tabletop and miniature gaming. In fact GW has said they are going to castle themselves up and stick to a very limited scope of gaming.

You've even said that GW should be happy that Chapterhouse makes bitz. This is both logically and legally flawd.
1) Chapterhouse loses GW money. It doesn't matter that you have to buy a SpaceMarine to use a chapterhouse shoulder pad; because GW still expects you to buy the 'special' shoulder pads/rhino door/extra armour kits from them or Forgeworld.
2) It's stuff that GW doesn't make. That doesn't matter, it's still their IP. It might be something they are planning to make later, to fill a low sales period. It could be something they want you to buy several kits to custom build. Furthermore; they don't allow people to mimic their IP because GW doesn't want to be sued. If chapterhouse wins on say just the sporepod, then GW releases a similar one later Chapterhouse might be able to go after GW for Artistic theft. (this is why most companies tell you to never send them ideas or that by sending them ideas they get 100% claim and you give up your artistic right).
To end that second part with an example: If you made Halo or Fallout minis for mass sale, Microsoft or Zenimax would sue to into the ground; and you don't get to claim that they never produced tabletop minis so it was fair game (IP doesn't work like that; it's not a 'first through the gate' law).

weeble1000
01-09-2011, 10:55 AM
Old_Paladin,

I did not turn a blind eye to all of the other times that Games-Workshop has used this deplorable tactic in the past. I recognized them, disproved of them, and did nothing about it. And as you have so efficiently pointed out, Games-Workshop has done it again and again and again. If nothing is done about it this time, we can expect it to keep happening in the future. I don't think it should ever happen.

As to why I've decided to do something about it this time, I've had enough. I've seen it happen too many times before and I don't want to see it happen again. Everyone has a point at which they cease to look away. I've reached mine and I should hope others in the community have reached theirs as well.

Additionally, the Chapterhouse lawsuit is an opportunity to take a stand in opposition to Games-Workshop's amoral and unjust intimidation. Being presented with an opportunity to fight back is an excellent motivator to take action. Chapterhouse has a very strong legal standing, as most of Games-Workshop's previous victims have had. But unlike many of Games-Workshop's previous victims, Chapterhouse has made it known that it is considering defending itself. This is an opportunity that has not existed before, and if Chapterhouse decides that it is in its best interests to take this case to court, the company will need our support.

You have suggested that my statements about Games-Workshop's intention to control as much of the wargaming industry as possible are erroneous.

I disagree with you. Games-Workshop's legal strategy has been to claim ownership of intellectual property that is so broad and boundless that it covers virtually any aspect of the wargaming industry, and much more than that. That is a direct attempt on the part of Games-Workshop to control as much of the intellectual property related to the industry as possible, and to use those claims, as untested and unfounded as they are, to push potential competitors out of the market. The fact that Games-Workshop has successful competitors does not mean that Games-Workshop is not attempting to control the industry. It just means that the company has not been 100% successful.

In the Chapterhosue complaint alone, Games-Workshop has claimed a copyright on the word "bits" and even the "weapons, methods of waging war,...and how [the armies] look, behave, and function..." (GW v Chapterhouse Complaint paragraphs 13 and 38) That broadly unspecific language is deliberately designed to capture a wealth of intellectual property that can stray as far as Malifaux and Flames of War. Yes, that seems like a ridiculous statement, but it only seems so because Games-Workshop's attempt to claim such broad intellectual property is absurdly unfounded.

The only thing that makes the existence of successful competition to Games-Workshop distressing is the fact that because Games-Workshop is losing market share to companies that are equipped to mount a legal defense, it has focused its wrath on companies, organizations, and individuals that cannot defend themselves in order to eliminate them.

We disagree about strength of Games-Workshop's claimed intellectual property and the legality/morality of Chapterhouse's business. I have very clearly explained my position on this matter and I have explained how copyright and trademark laws work. There is no need for me to reiterate that here. If you want effective refutations of your arguments, please read my other posts. If you do not believe that my arguments refute yours then an impasse has developed and further discussion on this issue would involve us talking past one another.

Old_Paladin
01-09-2011, 07:45 PM
Weeble:
You might need to re-read the actual letigation papers; as you make several false statements.

1) Just as you disliked me "taking your words out of context" to make you look ignorant; extend the same beliefs to GW.
The "weapons, methods of waging war, icons, etc... of the armies of the warhammer universe" is how that statment actually reads. Those are not vauge terms that can be applied to anything. It means specifically things like the boltgun, the leman russ battle tank, the imperial guard, the "steel rain" drop-pod assault.

2) They never claimed a copy-right on "bits" they clearly say it is a british term (not a GW term). They point it out to show that it is odd for a foreign company to use such an out of place word (it'd be like a company saying "we're sellin these things like shrimp off tha barbie, faster then the dingo ate yar baby" then being shocked to be associated with Aussies).


You are making as many leaps of association/judgement as you claim GW to be making.
And honestly, it undermines your arguments. It's hard to take you seriously when you jump to conclusions, overinflate the smallest detail, re-invent ideas/claims in order to justify extremes.

You make GW out to be this phantom-monster under the bed, out to take over the world (Of Course!...); and they'll never let anyone stop them or stand in their way.
But the truth is, Chapterhouse is the one and only company I've heard them sue (which actually says something).
There are hundreds of companies that GW never has and never will approach or consider; that have their own IP and can freely compete.
For all their C&D's, they only managed to shut down two sites and remove a couple of books. 99% of people stood up to them and nothing happened. And most people took it at face value (they were reafferming their legitimate copyrights and showing people they would defend them; people knew when GW could impose the ownership of the 'imperial eagle' and when they didn't have a leg to stand on going after 'an eagle. It might not be friendly, but it's business and it gives the world clear definitions.). You look for the sinister in the obvious.

You say that it's GW long term goals that approach the ridiculous, and that in turn makes you make ridiculous claims. Maybe you need to ignore the first for now and focus really hard on the second (because it might be the second factor that is in truth forcing your thoughts about the first claim...

Gotthammer
01-10-2011, 04:48 AM
(it'd be like a company saying "we're sellin these things like shrimp off tha barbie, faster then the dingo ate yar baby" then being shocked to be associated with Aussies).

Australians say prawn, not shrimp - Paul Hogan used shrimp to appeal to the US market. I think that's tangentally related.



For all their C&D's, they only managed to shut down two sites and remove a couple of books.

And the sites that shut down (at least TalkBloodBowl.com) didn't need to - they just needed to change their domain names and remove the donations box off the front page. BGG was asked to take down infringing files, but took down everything without getting clarification on what the infringements were. If they'd asked for a speecific list, I severely doubt it would have been every file associated with a GW game.


As for a claim of a monopoly, I'd see GW arguing that:

1) They don't dominate wargaming - they specifically said they're not going into historicals, and that's a huge market (maybe why they're not). There are also numerous competitive rulesets on the market, with large player bases, which GW has done nothing about.


2) They don't monopolise the miniature market - reaper, PP, and the myriad others out there making fantasy/futuristic easily disprove that. Sure, none are as big as GW, but it's nowhere near a monopoly as GW is just for GW games, not producing D&D, superhero, near future or Cthuhlu type minis to cover the entire market.
And depending on how broadly any competition commission takes the miniature business, they might be able to make comparisons to the massive amount of scale model makers, such as Tamia, Airfix, Dragon, Gundam etc.

Mauglum.
01-10-2011, 06:46 AM
Hi all.
Irrespective of anything said on this forum or all the others like it.

Games Workshop apears to be losing existing customers faster than it can recruit new customers.

This is why despite constant price rises OVER inflation rate.
GWs revenue remains reasonably static.

2001 to 2010, GW revenue increased at the rate of inflation , (about 35%).
However, over the same period GW incresed retail prices by about 130%!

This is BAD news for GW and its current customers, isnt it?

TTFN

DarkLink
01-10-2011, 08:34 AM
Here's (http://bloodofkittens.com/dickmove/2011/01/07/friday-night-internet-fight-round-45/#more-487)an informative and entertaining article on both how uneducated most people are with regards to business, as well as some good stuff about why GW is doing what they're doing buried inbetween the biting comments.



Games Workshop apears to be losing existing customers faster than it can recruit new customers.

You have any numbers to back that up?



This is why despite constant price rises OVER inflation rate.
GWs revenue remains reasonably static.

2001 to 2010, GW revenue increased at the rate of inflation , (about 35%).
However, over the same period GW incresed retail prices by about 130%!

Umm, you do realize that the rate of inflation is 3% in the US, since about forever, while in Europe it's drifted around between 2-3%. 35% is... a little off.

And where did you get that 130% price increase? Are you saying that in 2001, Land Raiders were $24? A unit of Tactical Marines was $16?I wasn't playing back in 2001, but I'm fairly sure that units were a little more expensive than that.

Oh, and a yearly compounding interest, such as inflation, is very, very, very different than a single percentage price increase. In fact, if inflation was really 35%, then 130% price increase would be a huge discount on our part. A yearly increase of 35% would mean that something costing $10 in 2001 would cost $149 in 2010. That's a 1490% increase overall.



This is BAD news for GW and its current customers, isnt it?


If GW really is losing revenue, then yes. Note that GW is actually still making a profit. Their financial statement means that they just aren't making as much as they were expecting to. That is to say; sales are dropping but GW is still in the black. So at this instant, we don't have to worry. But if the trend of dropping sales does continue, then it could become a problem.

And remember, customer disposable income is at a low right now. That means GW's sales are going to be low, no matter what they do.

weeble1000
01-10-2011, 10:51 AM
Old_Paladin,

I did not quote the Chapterhouse complaint out of context. I simply quoted the relevant section of it and then provided the paragraph reference. I assumed that by using brackets to replace the word "the" with what the sentence referred to (the armies) that anyone reading the quote would know that "the armies" meant the armies of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 without me having to type all of that out. Clearly, my paragraph reference allowed you to go look it up.

That assertion, even insomuch as it is limited to Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 armies, is incredibly broad and does, in fact, encompass a massive variety of claimed intellectual property that is firmly in the public domain. For example, that claim can clearly be construed to encompass the lasgun. Note that I am not saying that is encompasses the specific sculptural form of a lasgun model. It encompasses a lasgun as a model, drawing, concept, description in novels, how it is used, what happens when someone gets shot by one, etc. etc. A lasgun is a rifle that shoots a laser. That is not an enforceable copyright.

Games-Workshop deliberately worded the complaint to claim intellectual property that is this broad. Games-Workshop is saying that it owns laser rifles. And that's just the lasgun. Consider missile launchers, hover tanks, tanks with tracks, magical swords, spell scrolls, lizard people, catapults, crossbows, or anything else that is related to the weapons and methods of warfare used by any of the armies in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes.

Games-Workshop does claim a copyright on the word "bits." The complaint alleges that Chapterhouse Studions uses the word "bits" to associate its products with Games-Workshop. That means that Games-Workshop is claiming that the word "bits" is so closely associated with its own products in the minds of consumers that anyone who uses the word "bits" is causing confusion in the marketplace by associating their products with those of Games-Workshop.

It is important to seriously consider the real implications of the Chapterhouse Studios complaint and to recognize what Games-Workshop is attempting to do. This is not simply about Chapterhouse Studios. I literally had never gone to the Chapterhouse Studios website until I read the complaint. I barely knew that the company existed. The only salient issue is that Chapterhouse Studios is perfectly within its rights and Games-Workshop is using this lawsuit to attack the wargaming industry.

This has been Games-Workshop's litigation strategy for years. And it has been working in spite of how unjust, deplorable, and ridiculous it is. Manipulate people into thinking that the company owns more than it does by attacking those that cannot defend themselves. That is clearly what Games-Workshop is doing in this case.

But please recognize that even in the context of Games-Workshop's previous litigation the Chapterhouse complaint is especially egregious. It represents what I argue is an initial effort on the part of Games-Workshop to go after as much of the wargaming industry as it can get its hands on. Just look at the facts.

Games-Workshop's 2009-2010 financial report repeatedly referenced the company's defensible intellectual property and the intention to use litigation as a barrier to competitors' entry into the marketplace. Games-Workshop is publicly declaring the intention to use intellectual property litigation to squash small and up and coming miniatures businesses.

Games-Workshop has now established a pattern of using Foley and Lardner as its law firm of choice in US litigation. Foley and Lardner is a top-rated law firm that specializes in intellectual property. It is big, expensive, and scary. Choosing Foley and Lardner is a deliberate message that Games-Workshop is serious about intellectual property litigation and it intends to outspend and outclass you with the best attorneys around. And Games-Workshop is developing a relationship with Foley and Lardner, which suggests that the company has further litigation in mind.

Games-Workshop has stated that it intends to focus its expansion in the North American market. Tom Kirby is living in the US and working towards that goal. The same year that this intention was made clear, the Chapterhouse lawsuit was filed. It was filed on December 21st, which is a strategic move. This means that the complaint was drafted much earlier than December and Foley and Lardner was engaged for this purpose not long after the financial report was released, and possibly earlier.

Games-Workshop's Chapterhouse complaint goes extremely far, as I have described above, to claim the broadest possible span of intellectual property. It represents the first part of a coordinated attack on the wargaming industry. In order to ruin Chapterhouse Studios Games-Workshop does not even need to claim a fraction of as much intellectual property as is does. The complaint is worded in this manner in oder to establish a pattern of claimed intellectual property rights that, if they are never limited in court, will give Games-Workshop a better and better standing to bring suits against larger, more established competitors.

I implore those in this community to recognize the implications of what Games-Workshop is doing. If you do not believe that it is right, the way to stop it is to help give Chapterhouse Studios its day in court. Even if Games-Workshop doesn't have a long-term legal strategy in mind, Chapterhouse Studios deserves to defend itself. Anyone should be able to have the chance to defend themselves.

Games-Workshop is attacking Chapterhouse Studios because it thinks that Chapterhouse Studios will not be able to afford a legal defense. Even if you disagree with everything else that I've argued, at least recognize that this is not fair. Everyone should be entitled to a defense. It is a sad fact that mounting a legal defense is an incredibly expensive proposition. Games-Workshop is abusing that fact to its advantage in order to make accusations that will not be contested.

If Games-Workshop is in the right, it will win the case and its intellectual property will be much stronger because of it. But if Games-Workshop is wrong, if what it is doing is not fair, then Chapterhouse Studios only has a chance if we come together to support the company. Give the system a chance to wok.

fuzzbuket
01-10-2011, 12:15 PM
this is intrestin:

a lioghtheated discussion about a GW boycott turns into a SEVREAL thousand word long flame war

dear old_pladin and weeble1000 are either of you laywers or english teachers. or are you part of GW/PP/Mantics leagle team? :P

Col.Gravis
01-10-2011, 12:25 PM
*yawn*

Give the Chapterhouse stuff a break will you guys? Both sides of the argument are polarised and quiet clearly are'nt going to back down. You either believe GW have a case or don't, no number of lengthy posts which nobody is really reading properly now, perhaps bar those few who persist in flogging a dead subject, is going to change any minds.

Nobody going to suddenly stop and say, "Oh my gawd you were right!"

Just wait and see what happens like the rest of us and save yourself a bit of time, and some bandwith.

As for the original subject of the thread. If I buy GW, which frankly I don't very often these days having plenty of there product (often purchased second hand) already and an interest in other systems and manufacturers I don't particularly look at the price tag, I can either afford it with what disposable income I have or I can't.

It's a luxury item and while in the time I've played and collected the prices have increased considerably, so have prices on just about everything else as well. I'm not boycotting my favourite chocolate bar just because it's formally 0.25 price tag of about 8 year ago has now jumped to 0.45 (an incidently is now smaller then previously), shock horror, a whopping 80% price rise!

By all means if you as an individual feel strongly enough that enough is enough buy something else, or nothing at all, but don't kid yourself that this means swathes of those who buy from GW will agree. There will be no mass boycott, some people will stop buying, some more people will enter the hobby. At the end of the day most of those complaining are the same people again and again (no offence intended to those persons) and they represent a tiny fraction of GWs customer base.

Old_Paladin
01-10-2011, 12:42 PM
Weeble:
You over-reach many of your claims again.

1) GW does have full IP of a lasgun; because it is a unique weapon, that has unique properties. It is in fact NOT a 'laser rifle' as it doesn't shoot lasers. It fires a 'las bolt' which causes recoil in the weapon, both burns and explodes as it strikes the target (causing ballistic shock and bleeding in the target) the energy transfer is enough to throw a grown man across a room when shot.

So GW does NOT claim to own all forms of sci-fi weapons, but the do own very specific weapons of their IP (such as the 'bolter-melta combi weapon' Chapterhouse produces).

Also, you are right to say that GW means the terms bits is assossiative; but assossiation does not mean copyright. Don't try to extend the meaning of one word to the other; most people won't buy into your exagerations.


Finally; GW is using IP specialists to defend their IP legal claims. Shock and awe!!! :rolleyes:
They should be using divorce lawers in this case right?
Your use of legal defence 'fairness' has nothing to do with the actual law. Chapterhouse will be allowed to get a lawyer; whether they can afford the same quality has nothing to do with it (anymore then the 'fairness' of the working class dying in a hospital waiting room while a wealthy man gets to see a doctor right away; to a big name actor on drug charges gets the good lawyer and walks off with a slap on the wrist, while a normal person goes to jail for a decade).

Inquisitor S.
01-12-2011, 08:12 AM
[...]

I didn't hear you say anything when GW sent C&D's to fantasy football groups, or when they went after Librarium or Lexicanum.[...]

For the record and to avoid the creation of false rumours: Games Workshop NEVER went after the Lexicanum or even contacted us (in an official, non-GW-employee-as-a-private-person-way). And no, I don't say that because there is a legal ninja standing behind me. I say it because it is the truth.

You might confuse this with "Damnatus", which is entirely a different matter (although of course team-wise there are overlaps between the two projects).

Kind regards

Inquisitor S.
Bureaucrat, Sysop
LEXICANUM

Porty1119
01-13-2011, 03:15 PM
The price jack-ups are just getting annoying. I haven't bought any GW products in fairly close to a year, other than a handful of books. If GW wants to drive up prices and scare the daylights out of startups, I say that we boycott their products. My boycott is already in place, and I don't see this changing.

Oh, and I've started serious work on two games replacing 40k in my life. So there, startup and boycotter!!

-Porty1119, Administrator, Paradox Gaming

weeble1000
01-14-2011, 06:53 AM
Porty,

If you haven't already contacted Games-Workshop about your decision, it couldn't hurt. Although it seems that a majority of people believe that communicating with Games-Workshop won't make a difference, it doesn't hurt to try and abstaining from communication out of the belief that it won't have an impact is a great way to make sure that it does not have an impact.

I've already received a response from Games-Workshop. Although we're only talking about some customer service guy, Games-Workshop's policy appears to be to respond to customer complaints and request more information. The fact that an actual person responded by composing an e-mail is at least a sign that this sort of thing does not go unnoticed. This is a start, and I believe that combined with Chapterhouse's defense and a class-action anti-trust suit it is sure to get the attention of Games-Workshop.

geisthammer
01-14-2011, 07:16 AM
I hate price rises and the vat rise, but i think its OK value for the quality that we get. So I dont mind spending what i have left at the end of the month on a hobby that I enjoy. The rise in price will only prevent new blood from having the funds to start this expensive hobby.

fuzzbuket
01-14-2011, 09:31 AM
weeble: yes as sad as i am too say it contacting them WILL eventually lower prices

not contacting them = GW thinks lower sales up prices
contacting them = GW Customer Service noticing something!

GW looks like the loacl corner shop compared to some :P http://www.kallamity.com/ (ive always wanted one )

weeble1000
01-14-2011, 11:01 AM
Fuzzbucket, this whole thing has little to do with price increases. I'm not sure why that concept hasn't come across to most of the people posting on these threads. Games-Workshop's price increases are concerning to me mostly because the company is taking it for granted that loyal customers will be satisfied with paying a premium in spite of the fact that (and this is the important bit) Games-Workshop has done little over the past few years to deserve the loyalty of its long-term customers and is actively attacking the hobby community which the majority of these long-term customers are part of.

It's like a one-two punch, or like putting salt in a wound you just made, or just extremely arrogant and dismissive.

"Hey, you can't use Vassal to play 40K on the internet...and we're going to jack our prices up so that if you want to play 40K with your buddies it'll cost you more too."

"Hey buddy, you can't use boardgamesgeek to make replacement pieces for an out of print product 'cause we're going to release an absurdly expensive version of it and not print enough for everyone to have."

"Hey there friend, I know you'd love to buy that bit we have no intention of ever making, but we're going to run the company that makes it out of business because it's derivative of our massively broad and unquantified universe."

"Howdy guy, I know we used to encourage you enjoy our products by being creative and getting involved in the universe, but we're going to do everything we can to make you think it's illegal for you to teach your buddies how to scratch build Heresy-era land raider."

Just look at the options in this poll. Are you really going to let Games-Workshop believe that you're some kind of addict that will take any kind of abuse and still come begging for another hit Warhammer? It's certainly clear that Games-Workshop expects its customers to keep coming back even though they've been getting screwed.

Gotthammer
01-14-2011, 11:44 AM
"Hey, you can't use Vassal to play 40K on the internet...and we're going to jack our prices up so that if you want to play 40K with your buddies it'll cost you more too."

I can't run PS3 games on an Xbox - sony makes me pay for the hardware to do so. GW makes yo upay for the minis to play. Vassal's mod was also taking the GW unit designs, and potentially breaching an agreement with Relic in regards to licencing for online gaming for 40k imagrey (the similar BB online system was hit around the same time as the official BB game appeared. Concidence?).

Unless you have a complete fiscal breakdown of GW, any statements about the fairness or otherwise of their price rises is mere speculation. And their prices are comparable to other manufatureres.
Privateer has thier box of six Satyrx raiders listed at $30. GW has ten Wyches for $26. The wyches come with a huge abundance of bitz and weapon options, as well as options for command and special weapon choices. The Satyrx are just six figures, command seperately and with no options as far as I know.
When Privateer switched their boxed sets to plastic the price stayed the same - shall we call for a government inquiry into their evil price gouging too?



"Hey buddy, you can't use boardgamesgeek to make replacement pieces for an out of print product 'cause we're going to release an absurdly expensive version of it and not print enough for everyone to have."

BGG was issued a C&D over unnamed infringing files. They never sought clarification over what the files were and removed everything of their own volition. There were many BGG members at the time calling this an unnecessary overreaction.
Limited editions exist in just about every niche hobby, that's the way it is.



"Hey there friend, I know you'd love to buy that bit we have no intention of ever making, but we're going to run the company that makes it out of business because it's derivative of our massively broad and unquantified universe."

Many rumours exist of upcoming direct bonesword and whip kits for nids. Also of future plans to release a Tervigon. And I'm not sure it's fair to say Chapterhouse was derivative of a broad and unquantified universe when they're using, you know, registered trademarks - the very essence of focused and quantified when it comes to this sort of thing.
And they were mmaking the same products as GW - fleshtearer shoulder pads.



"Howdy guy, I know we used to encourage you enjoy our products by being creative and getting involved in the universe, but we're going to do everything we can to make you think it's illegal for you to teach your buddies how to scratch build Heresy-era land raider."

Don't know to what ths refers, so can't comment.



Just look at the options in this poll. Are you really going to let Games-Workshop believe that you're some kind of addict that will take any kind of abuse and still come begging for another hit Warhammer? It's certainly clear that Games-Workshop expects its customers to keep coming back even though they've been getting screwed.

Getting screwed? I've constantly seen the quality of miniatures and books improving over the last 20 years. Sure you can't get three rhinos for a fiver, but the quality of the new rhinos makes the old ones look like garbage. It's like complaining a Dragon Tiger kit is a ripoff when an Italeri one is so much cheaper. The product's quality factors into cost, and the quality has been improving massively.

geisthammer
01-14-2011, 12:26 PM
Getting screwed? I've constantly seen the quality of miniatures and books improving over the last 20 years. Sure you can't get three rhinos for a fiver, but the quality of the new rhinos makes the old ones look like garbage. It's like complaining a Dragon Tiger kit is a ripoff when an Italeri one is so much cheaper. The product's quality factors into cost, and the quality has been improving massively.[/QUOTE]

could not agree more.

weeble1000
01-14-2011, 12:30 PM
It's easy to argue that what Games-Workshop is doing is justified, but I think it is important to take a genuine look at the situation beyond a simple justification.

For example, you can say that board games geek was only issued a C&D over unnamed infringing files and that it was an overreaction to pull everything down. That's a fine way to justify what Games-Workshop did and to make the folks at board games geek look unreasonable.

But consider that a C&D means that a lawsuit is going to be filed. You can't send a C&D without the intention to file a lawsuit, unless you want to open yourself up to anti-trust claims. Lawsuits are expensive and board games geek was not in a position to defend itself. Considering the aggressive nature of Games-Workshop's legal department, pulling down everything was the one sure way to make Games-Workshop go away. It was an overreaction precipitated by Games-Workshop's intimidating behavior. Perhaps the people at board games geek didn't want to risk the entire site by getting into an argument that it was not equipped to have over content that was not essential to the site's operation. It was a safe, conservative reaction that Games-Workshop precipitated by being extremely aggressive.

You can say that the Vassal mod was taking Games-Workshop's ideas or using a game on another platform, but justifying Games-Workshop's actions ignores all of the other actions Games-Workshop could have taken to resolve the situation in a reasonable manner that was good for the hobby. Games-Workshop could have licensed the Vassal mod and strengthened its IP in the process. It could have produced its own version of a system that encouraged people to get involved in the hobby and expanded the ways for existing customers to enjoy it.

Instead, Games-Workshop used whatever legal basis it could to shut down the Vassal mod and intimidate the community. Again, this is an instance in which the victim was unable to fight back.

There's no public defender in civil suits. You have to have money to defend yourself from a plaintiff's claims, even if those claims are spurious. Oftentimes, even if you have the money to defend yourself it makes more sense in the long term to swallow your pride and give into an aggressor in spite of what you believe in because the alternative is damaging to yourself and those around you, even if you win.

Games-Workshop has little right to prevent others from making a product that it does not make and has not made known any intention to produce. Furthermore, Games-Workshop should not be able to force someone to stop selling a product simply because it could be considered to have been inspired by or to have a place within its fictional universe.

Games-Workshop has rights to what it actually produces and it does not have the right limit the creativity of others. The claims against Chapterhouse's super heavy walker are an excellent example of this. Games-Workshop has rights to every Tau sculpture it has ever made. It has rights to art that it has produced. It has rights to the words that it has written. But it does not have rights to a unique sculpture designed by someone else that could theoretically exist in its universe when there is absolutely nothing which it is specifically copied from. Making that allegation is tantamount to Games-Workshop saying it owns the unique work of that artist.

When you look past Games-Workshop's justifications you will find that the company is using predatory litigation to attack those that cannot defend themselves as a way to cut off fair competition, intimidate potential competitors, and manipulate wargaming enthusiasts into believing that it has rights far in excess of what is enforceable. And what makes this worse is that these actions by Games-Workshop are hurting the community that is ostensibly good for its business.

Denzark
01-14-2011, 12:45 PM
Weeble stop preaching now, its tedious.

Duke get the lockhammer out, please.

Gotthammer
01-14-2011, 01:00 PM
For example, you can say that board games geek was only issued a C&D over unnamed infringing files and that it was an overreaction to pull everything down.

...

Considering the aggressive nature of Games-Workshop's legal department, pulling down everything was the one sure way to make Games-Workshop go away.

A safer, saner, reaction would have been to reply: "please send url's/file numbers of the infinging documents and they will be removed". Gives BGG some breathing room and forces GW to really define what they want taken down. Also means that BGG doesn't remove completely fan-made stuff in a fit of crazyness and can open a dialogue about what is acceptable and what isn't.



You can say that the Vassal mod was taking Games-Workshop's ideas or using a game on another platform, but justifying Games-Workshop's actions ignores all of the other actions Games-Workshop could have taken to resolve the situation in a reasonable manner that was good for the hobby. Games-Workshop could have licensed the Vassal mod and strengthened its IP in the process. It could have produced its own version of a system that encouraged people to get involved in the hobby and expanded the ways for existing customers to enjoy it.

But if GW has already sold exclusive rights to PC and online 40k gaming to Relic for use in DoW, no such option would exist for them, lest they temp being sued by Relic.
GW sells rights to Relic. Vassal is doing broadly the same thing. GW could well be required by their agreement with Relic to shut Vassal down or be in breach of contract themselves. This is mere speculation without having the contracts in hand, but it's fairly standard when rights are sold to enforce them.

It's similar as recently with e-books: a number of publishers were talking about making 'interactive' books with flash based animations and sound effects, until it was pointed out that this would be an 'interactive media' or even possibly classed under the same category as film. So the publishers didn't own those rights and were forced to can the idea by various authors and entities that already held them - so they didn't have the rights to do what they wanted with the creator's IP without the creator's permission (see what I'm getting at here).



Games-Workshop has little right to prevent others from making a product that it does not make and has not made known any intention to produce. Furthermore, Games-Workshop should not be able to force someone to stop selling a product simply because it could be considered to have been inspired by or to have a place within its fictional universe.

The first point, that is true, however GW have produced both boneswords and lashwhips in the past for warriors, and they still make them - they're both in the Tyrant kit. Sure, it's not convenient if you want ten of each, but they still make them.
There's a long way from inspired by (Scibor, Dave Taylor, MaxMini), to trading items using directly copied GW iconography and designs (Flesh Tearer/Iron Hands pads, Farseers, combi-weapons [also currently produced]) using trademarked terms.

weeble1000
01-17-2011, 06:31 AM
There's a long way from inspired by (Scibor, Dave Taylor, MaxMini), to trading items using directly copied GW iconography and designs (Flesh Tearer/Iron Hands pads, Farseers, combi-weapons [also currently produced]) using trademarked terms.

Chapterhouse didn't directly copy any of Games-Workshop's iconography or designs. And since you brought up MaxiMini, consider the new siege cannon that the company produces. It is clearly meant to be used as a Medusa siege cannon and it is designed to fit in a Games-Workshop Chimera hull. By and large, what MaxiMini is doing with this product and with many of its other products, such as steam punk crusher arms, is exactly what Chapterhouse is doing; creating and selling after market accessories that are designed to be compatible with Games-Workshop products.

MaxiMini hasn't marketed its siege defense gun as a siege mortar that fits in a Games-Workshop Chimera, and I suppose that you might argue that this is why MaxiMini isn't doing anything wrong. However, MaxiMini is fully able to use Games-Workshop's trademarks within the limits of fair use. Identifying a product with which an after market accessory is compatible is clearly fair use and there's a great deal of case law to back that up.

This begs the question: Why doesn't MaxiMini use Games-Workshop's trademarks even though it is perfectly legal to do so and in spite of the fact that other companies in different markets selling similar types of products do it all of the time? I think the answer is the intimidating environment that Games-Workshop has created with anti-competitive litigation practices. Simply put, MaxiMini doesn't want to get sued by Games-Workshop so it goes far out of its way to avoid antagonizing the company.

MaxiMini's siege gun copies the Medusa inasmuch as Games-Workshop alleges that Chapterhouse's generic Space Marine shoulder pads infringe its copyrights. MaxiMini's steampunk crusher arms copy power klaws inasmuch as Games-Workshop alleges that Chapterhouse's bone swords infringe its copyrights.

You have three arguments with which you can differentiate MaxiMini from Chapterhouse Studios.

First: MaxiMini doesn't use Games-Workshop's registered trademarks. Just like Chapterhouse, MaxiMini should be able to use registered trademarks within the limits of fair use.

Second: MaxiMini does't copy directly from Games-Workshop with products like lash whips or bone swords. MaxiMini produces a siege defense gun and what are, for all intents and purposes, power klaws. The siege defense gun looks like Forge World's Medusa model and the steam punk crushers look a helluva lot like power klaws.

The similarities between MaxiMini's products and Chapterhouse's products with respect to Games-Workshop's claimed intellectual property is virtually the same. If you argue that a siege defense gun and crusher arms are too generic to copy Games-Workshop's copyrights, all you are arguing is that Games-Workshop's claimed copyrights are more limited than it claims.

Third: MaxiMini doesn't go so far as to copy Games-Workshop's iconography. Neither does Chapterhouse. Producing a shoulder pad with a three dimensional dragon head does not copy the Salamander chapter iconography. Games-Workshop does not own any and all renditions of dragon heads on shoulder pads. It owns only that which it has produced. In fact, the differences between Chapterhouse's dragon shoulder pads and the Salamander chapter iconography are more significant in terms of the way the two look than the differences between MaxiMini's crusher arms and Games-Workshop's power klaws.

You could also argue that Chapterhouse got sued and MaxiMini didn't. First, this doesn't have anything to do with whether or not Games-Workshop is right. And second, the suit filed against Chapterhouse could easily have been filed against MaxiMini excepting of course the trademark infringement claims that Games-Workshop won't be able to enforce against Chapterhouse anyway.

Companies like MaxiMini should watch the Chapterhouse suit very carefully. Games-Workshop may have simply picked Chapterhouse over MaxiMini because it could make broader claims against Chapterhouse. Games-Workshop isn't picking out the one bad guy doing illegal things among the after market bits companies, its picking out the easiest one to make an example out of.