A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Speaking of Corporate Douchebags..


For those too lazy to point and click: Games Workshop, known for being buttfaces to both customers and retailers have begun embarking on their latest way to piss off their fanbase. Going after fansites that have been keeping the flame alive IS NOT COOL.

Hell, Games Workshop will go after online retailers who dare post PICTURES of their products to sell saying it violates their Intellectual Property.


Isn't there this thing called "Fair Use"?

Is posting a picture of a box or the odd scan from a GW product or even fanart or fangames actually a threat to Games Workshop's ownership of their IP?

Do lawyers and Copyright law have any common sense? Do courts have any damned logic or sense?

(Actually no, but let me dream a little that people aren't ignorant buttweasels, if only for a little while, ok?)

I mean, its bad enough Palladium pulls some of these sorts of shenanigans basically harassing and boning people who are basically GIVING YOUR PRODUCTS FREE ADVERTISING BECAUSE THEY LOVE WHAT YOU MAKE OR MADE.

This is especially notable in the most recent bouts of Cease and Desists GW has sent as most are to RPG and Blood Bowl sites, products Games Workshop barely acknowledges they or one of their licensees produce. The fans are doing more for those products than the company that produces them!

Maybe my non law degree self is all dumb and stuff, but shouldn't there be some happy middle ground where someone else's IP can be discussed, shown, and enjoyed by the people without having to make sure its approved by the IP holder?

Its not like it actually affects the ownership of or the profits of the IP holder in many fan project/site type cases. Posting up PDFs of army books? Sure that's butt. Making a program to play Blood Bowl online or fanart or conversion rules projects? No.

If that sort of stuff was a threat Squaresoft and Capcom would be out of business instead of selling millions of copies of some of their games and tons of merchandise (including THREE dedicated SKUs to a 150 dollar joystick designed to play on ONE system and primarily for ONE game... see today's other gripey rant!) even though fans draw fanart, have websites, sometimes even dress up as the characters and play the piano. Hell, people draw comics showing the characters largely doin it (and since much of that output is from Japan doin it generally seems to mean rape. DAMMIT JAPAN STOP BEING CREEPY AND VILE!) and sell em at fan conventions and it doesn't affect the companies' bottom lines or the understanding who the characters actually belong to.

Heck, a North American publisher put out a pricey art book covering one of Capcom's more nichey fighting game series and it sold so well they are planning on doing more comics about the game.

Fan projects just don't cause the troubles lawyers seem to act like they do.

Yet fighting against the fanstuff? That does.

Maybe by the law GW and their ilk are in the right.

But by all common sense and decency they are wrong. Fox News wrong.

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