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Volstruis

Petition against NetrunnerDB Cease & Desist

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You are missing the point: the information is publicly available.

 

Do you want to cease and desist Wikipedia or Boardgamegeek because they publish data and pictures of the game?

 

Totally different part of the law... for  the most part. Wiki and BGG are using it for reference and review so it falls under fair use. On a band's wiki page you can put clips of songs for review purposes, but you can't put the full album up and claim it's fair use. The pages that BGG puts up with links to all the spoilers are close to crossing the line, but they are doing it for reviews, so FFG likely cuts them some slack. They would be well within their rights to ask the reviewers to lower the resolution or watermark the images they use.

 

Just because FFG puts info on THEIR site does not give anyone the right to use the info and data how they see fit. They would be well within their rights to block hotlinking of images as those images belong to them. If someone set up a table on their front lawn on a hot day with a pitcher of cold water and cups with a sign that said "have a free drink", that does not give you the right to just take the the water and set up your own table on your front lawn and give the water out for free. Perhaps the water was there to draw traffic to their house because they were having a garage sale, and now you are diverting traffic away. With the API, you are not only taking the water, you're basically tapped into FFG's water line and giving out their water for free, claiming "I don't see what the problem is, they were giving it away anyways." They have the right to decide how their assets are distributed. Why do you think GW can refuse to let retailers use their product web pics on the retailers own sites?

Edited by Dstinct

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This is the reaction from AEG, the publisher of Doomtown:

 

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/17089116#17089116

 

Just so no one misses; this is how a company that cares about its customers reacts:

 

"Thank you for this! We at AEG really appreciate having this great resource available to our players."

 

I haven't bought the last two data packs. Now I'm tempted to actually put that money toward Doomtown, simply because how AEG communicates (and the game is also supposed to be really good ;) ).

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FFG had an equally supportive relationship with Cardgamedb for many years before actually acquiring it for themselves. They have a great relationship with AGOTCards. It's churlish to claim FFG doesn't care about its customers based on an action they were contractually bound to take, and it's churlish to compare what AEG does with its own product line versus how FFG deals with copyright violations on a product line it doesn't own.

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This is the reaction from AEG, the publisher of Doomtown:

 

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/17089116#17089116

 

Just so no one misses; this is how a company that cares about its customers reacts:

 

"Thank you for this! We at AEG really appreciate having this great resource available to our players."

 

I haven't bought the last two data packs. Now I'm tempted to actually put that money toward Doomtown, simply because how AEG communicates (and the game is also supposed to be really good ;) ).

They even promote fan made resources on their websites... including the Doomtown plugin for OCTGN !

http://www.alderac.com/doomtown/category/developer-news/

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FFG had an equally supportive relationship with Cardgamedb for many years before actually acquiring it for themselves. They have a great relationship with AGOTCards. It's churlish to claim FFG doesn't care about its customers based on an action they were contractually bound to take, and it's churlish to compare what AEG does with its own product line versus how FFG deals with copyright violations on a product line it doesn't own.

Is this what you mean by churlish?

"Yeah they loved it so much that they bought it up, slowly hired a couple people to take it over who still have yet to contribute to it after a year, all while expecting Darksbane to keep voluntarily working on it, on their terms, for free, without providing better infrastructure to allow him to reintroduce features that he removed from the site.

Don't be silly. FFG's purchase of CGDB was a horrible decision that made no business sense and only led to them becoming IP bullies to shut down one of the best fan projects they had out there on their side. Pretending like that made them good guys strikes me as really foolish."

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/17107044#17107044

Edited by mtgred

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that guy is entitled to his opinion but I fail to see 

 

 

FFG had an equally supportive relationship with Cardgamedb for many years before actually acquiring it for themselves. They have a great relationship with AGOTCards. It's churlish to claim FFG doesn't care about its customers based on an action they were contractually bound to take, and it's churlish to compare what AEG does with its own product line versus how FFG deals with copyright violations on a product line it doesn't own.


Is this what you mean by churlish?

 

 

Yes. Further down in the very thread you linked to are people pointing out what that poster said was wrong.

 

People will seemingly believe anything that confirms their desire to lay blame.

Edited by Grimwalker

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NetrunnerDB seems to be back up. Maybe FFG has decided to stop being idiots.

 

By the way Grimwalker, my main issue with your argument, is that while a lot of what you say make perfect sense, the notion that FFG has to be uber protective of WotC IP, seems spurious. It could be I'm wrong, since I'm not really familiar with IP law. It is just that as a layman it strikes me as very unlikely.

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Edit: Per Alsciende's twitter feed, he's throwing caution to the wind, putting the site back up, and we'll see how that ends.

 

I have no problem clarifying, since most threads on this subject where I laid out my basic premises have thankfully died. I think it comes down to the subtle difference in the nature of the license. FFG licenses all sorts of "settings" IP: LOTR, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Warhammer, Lovecraft...the list goes on and on.

But with those, the actual game design is FFG's. If they ever lose the Thrones license, there's nothing preventing them from slapping on a new coat of paint and continuing to publish it under some other imprint.  

 

But Netrunner is unique: they're actually reprinting the game itself. The card design is recognizably descended from WotC's game. That means when NetrunnerDB starts distributing card images to other sites and apps, it's passing around WotC's property, of which FFG is only a custodian. They can't be benignly neglectful of that, as they are with other sites and deckbuilders.

 

And if they don't show due diligence in protecting that IP, they could wind up in breach of contract. I don't think they're "acting like idiots" to try and avoid that, since the alternative to annoying a small percentage of the fan base is losing the license entirely.

Edited by Grimwalker

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I haven't bought the last two data packs. Now I'm tempted to actually put that money toward Doomtown, simply because how AEG communicates (and the game is also supposed to be really good ;) ).

 

 

Same here.  I was to be considering myself to be a new player and trying to learn the game and this crap was too much.  The loss of a decent site, the loss of the cyberdeck on the phone.  Momentum killer.  Then having some opinions here and having the famous Grimwalker countering every opinion here on the C&D site, trying to win back hearts and minds. Too much.

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I'm just a fan. In addition to gaming, my hobbies include science and skepticism. It leads to a penchant for getting into online debates, I enjoy the process. It also gets up my nose seeing people be irrational, holding false beliefs, and reacting based on false premises. I live in downstate Illinois, I'm a project planner in a systems organization, I'm just another commenter. The only reason you're calling me "the famous Grimwalker" is because you want to belittle my position, because you don't have the facts on your side.

 

The loss of Cyberdeck on the phone is an object case in why Alsciende got into hot water for distributing copyrighted material. It's as simple as that. 

But, if you want to get out of the game, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. You've done nothing but ignorant spouting off since you created your account, rather than doing anything constructive.

Edited by Grimwalker

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I'm also a sceptic, and I have to say that I see a lot of issues with the argument you are making. Yes, I understand all the things you are saying. I've read your posts before. Your reasoning is sound, what it lacks is any kind of evidence. Do you have some legal expertise on IP issues? If so can you give us actual examples of IP law working in this way?

 

Yes, I'm aware of the history of netrunner originally in WotC hands, I was there, I was playing it back then. I don't disagree at all that this is what happened. I don't disagree at all that it is plausible that since they don't own the rules or the IP they need to be more diligent with their protection of said IP.

 

What I'm asking is do you actually KNOW that this is the case, do you actually KNOW of similar cases?

 

I apologise if you've shown such evidence before and I've managed to miss it. If you don't have such evidence, you are making a rational argument, but it is based on conjecture as much as anyone else's here.

 

If you are an actual sceptic, you know where I am coming from with these questions.

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Your objections are clear and understandable. The main facts are:

1) Copyright protection clauses are standard in licensing agreements. I've had conversations with people with experience in multiple industries.

1a) I've also had prior research into copyright and trademark issues. I was an officer in the Camarilla fan organization when it was issued a C&D several years ago due to copyright issues. It was actually taken over by White Wolf games as a result. Also a controversial topic when White Wolf filed an infringement suit against Sony Pictures claiming the Underworld movie infringed on the World of Darkness IP. And while Sony's response was "LOL NO," it was educational regarding due diligence issues.

2) FFG has historically has a cordial and supportive relationship to fan sites and deckbuilding sites. NRDB is the only one that's ever had action taken against it. X-wing Squadron builders also get a pass.

3) FFG acknowledges that Netrunner is WOTC's copyright. It's the only *game* they've licensed outright with enough of a fan base for it to be an issue. (There's not exactly a Nexus Ops "meta" on the scale of an LCG for example.)

4) NRDB was engaged in profligate distribution of Netrunner card images, which are all marked copyright of WOTC. This is easily seen by the number of sites and apps that were impacted by the takedown.

And while I normally eschew arguments from ignorance, no other theory accounts for all these facts and the conspiratorial theories are contradicted by one or more of these facts. So the only other confirmation I could have is direct word from someone at FFG, which Wouldnt be given on record anyway.

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Yes, I cannot really argue with the plausibility of the scenario you present, even if it is conjecture. Particularly where your fourth point is concerned. It seems reasonable to me that the main issue FFG would have with NRDB would be its API.

 

My main gripe is the lack of communication from FFG's side. In the absence of any kind of word from them, we have to believe that Alsciende, offered to remove the API but was instead told to bring down the site anyway. Now I'm given to understand that they can't communicate in fear of litigation. This while sadly believable, is ridiculous to me, there has to be some way they can go around that and communicate in some fashion to their fans.

 

In any case, I myself have modified my stance. I am still buying Netrunner cards and I am still buying Dark Heresy books. To do otherwise would primarily punish me, not FFG. However even if I find the scenario your present plausible and likely, it does seem to me a case of FFG putting the customers second, and as such will not be buying new products from FFG. For example no Conquest for me and no Imperial Assault.

 

Thank you for clarifying.

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I'm just a fan. In addition to gaming, my hobbies include science and skepticism.

 

...rather than doing anything constructive.

 

I had said I was done with the pissing contest and had then asked you, because you seem intelligent on some level, what factions you play etc...    And you didn't have a response in anyway.  Except for a week later to try to piss a little further beyond your own perspective over my perspective commenting on xsdogstar this or that...

 

Alsciende is a true runner.

 

Alsciende 1  FFG 1

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Ohh-kay! So, if Grimwalker's correct, the return of NetrunnerDB must mean... the death of Netrunner!

Quick, everybody! We have to beg Alsciende to close the site again! Or else WotC won't renew the contract, and Netrunner will get canceled!

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Ohh-kay! So, if Grimwalker's correct, the return of NetrunnerDB must mean... the death of Netrunner!

Quick, everybody! We have to beg Alsciende to close the site again! Or else WotC won't renew the contract, and Netrunner will get canceled!

 

Well, if we assume Grimwalker is correct about FFG's motivations, specifically that they are contractually obligated to defend the IP, then depending on how the contract is written, sending the C&D might be enough. If not, then the next thing to happen will probably be FFG filing suit against NetrunnerBD, and probably Jinteki.net as well.

 

Don't let me distract you from your ridiculous and blatant misrepresentations though, please carry on.

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NetrunnerDB was/is an extremely popular deckbuilding and community site. In addition to its card library, it also provided a card image source to a number of other websites and apps.

 

About a month ago, maybe a little more, NRDB was served with a Cease & Desist order because its operations constituted copyright violation. This generated a lot of outrage and ill will in the community as FFG said nothing about the whys and wherefores of it. The administrator of the site tried to reach an accommodation with FFG but the company was unwilling to compromise. Unhappiness has mostly centered around the perception that the action as a whole was unreasonable, as both FFG and WOTC habitually ignore or even support fan-produced sites, and that FFG has ignored the demands of its fan base for any official comment, apology, or withdrawal of the order.

Anything beyond these known facts is necessarily speculative. Some have opined that FFG is merely stomping on a popular fan site in order to drive traffic to CardgameDB, which in addition to overall resentment is generally considered an inferior site to NRDB.  I personally don't think this is very plausible. I have maintained that because Netrunner, the entire game, is a licensed property of Wizards of the Coast, FFG doesn't have any leeway in accommodating questionable copyright usage. IP protection clauses are standard issue in licensing agreements, and the fact that NRDB was actually distributing the copyrighted material crossed some kind of line that FFG could no longer ignore. 

While FFG has told various fan sites on a case by case basis that they're ok to continue operating and have said that they'll be coming out with an Acceptable Use policy soon, they have not done so to date.

The admin of NRDB has stated that he feels unfairly targeted and victimized in this, and despite taking down the site for a few weeks, has put it back up in its entirety on the assumption that FFG will not actually follow through with bringing legal actions against him. (And he may be right; FFG's due diligence responsibility to their business partner may well be satisfied with just the C&D but who the heck knows.)

 

And, if anyone I've argued against on this thread thinks I haven't described all sides fairly, please let me know, I'd never want to actually misrepresent other views.

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Anybody else beginning to feel like FFG may be following a similar path to Games Workshop. I HOPE that this is not the case, as I purchase quite a bit of their quality product. However, in the past year/year and a half I have not been quite as happy, beginning with FFG's decision to print small cards for the neutral factions in the Invasion card game instead of the large kingdom tiles supplied to the other races in the game. The small kingdom cards that we received with the Hidden Kingdoms expansion created the impression that they did not care enough about their product or their customers; the end result felt half-assed, cheap and tacked-on.

 

To those of you over at Fantasy Flight Games, I ask you this question, "why couldn't you have printed the kingdom tiles for the neutral factions that later became playable factions so that they matched the other sets. If it was a matter of cost, then, at the very least, you could have produced them separate from the Hidden kingdoms expansion as an alternative for those of us who wanted the complete kingdom tile set."

 

I quit GW after 5th edition 40k switched to 6th edition and quit playing Fantasy altogether because of the outrageous pricing. I still play 5th edition 40k because the rules are tight and the game is still competitive and fun. I realize that FFG is a juggernaut gaming company that desires to turn a profit. However, it seems to me they may have forgotten that they were not always the BMOC they now are. It seems somewhat Hypocritical of them to turn around and dump on those of us that have supported them throughout the years.

 

Cheers,

Edited by Eighth Air Force

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