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View Poll Results: Will customer action cause GW to lower prices?

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  • Hell yeah boycott them baby!

    11 19.30%
  • Don't be dense they know we're hooked on plastic crack.

    46 80.70%
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  1. #41
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    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.
    Independently targeting particle beam phalanx. Vwap! Fry half a city with this puppy.

  2. #42

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    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.
    Last edited by weeble1000; 01-17-2011 at 06:54 AM.

  3. #43
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    Weeble stop preaching now, its tedious.

    Duke get the lockhammer out, please.
    I'M RATHER DEFINATELY SURE FEMALE SPACE MARINES DEFINERTLEY DON'T EXIST.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by weeble1000 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Gotthammer; 01-14-2011 at 02:04 PM.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotthammer View Post
    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.
    Last edited by weeble1000; 01-17-2011 at 07:42 AM. Reason: grammar

 

 
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