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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Erpy wrote:
EDIT: Well, Josh Mandel was involved with the TSL team a long time ago, but there was a falling out between him and the team and he left. (that's why they weren't using his voice for King Graham in that game) Details are unclear. I know the situation between them got nasty at one point on the Adventuregamers forums when the news of TSL being allowed by VU to continue was announced and discussed there. There weren't enough public pieces to put together for a clear picture though.

Despite that schism, Josh Mandel has apparently signed the online petition and joined the Save TSL facebook group. Guess he still didn't want them to shut the project down despite his differences with it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Since other Sierra-inspired projects have already been released, there is obviously no way Activsn. can pull back or stop those, whether or not they'd even want to. If I were on the design teams of those previously released projects, the issue that would make me nervous is what could happen to things like websites... especially very nicely redesigned and useful ones that could go on for years and years having the great value of advertising the designers' backgrounds, offering the games to new players who might happen on the site, and directing those players to future commercial games that the team might release. That must be protected. Yeah, I think it would be a good idea for these design teams to have no involvement at all with what is going on with TSL and Activsn... and even better to never even be mentioned at all in the same context as the TSL team's situation.

Anonymous Game Creator 2 wrote:
Quote:
Thankfully, Vivendi took the unexpected approach and did the opposite. But now, in 2010, I have the same concern. Activision are known to be very strict with their IP, and they're either going to see this in one of two ways:


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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:10 pm 
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This is sad news. I wonder about the exact details of the negotiation and shut down. Isn't it a grey area to begin with? I know it's quite a difficult situation under international law.

What if I made a satirical version of King's Quest? That is definately legal in a lot of countries if I'm not mistaken, satire is often protected by law. I can even make money with it.

What if I made a pop-art painting by repeating King's Quest images? Would that be legal? Probably yes, because it's art, but I'm not sure. I am most definately allowed to make it and exhibit it, and even give it away. But am I allowed to sell it?

What if I made a game inspired by King's Quest? Can't I make it, exhibit it and give it away? Isn't that art as well? That sounds almost legal, but where exactly does the law kick in when I'm not making a profit out of it? Usually this goes under intellectual property and therefore everything you do is illegal unless you have permission. But I still think it's art.

What if I place an original disc of KQ5 on a barstool, call it Objet Trouvé / "found object" and thereby art, and sell it through eBay? What if I did this with a disc of a game I made my own inspired by KQ?

What if I donated my works to a Russian after a C&D, and tell him not to share it with anybody? Can the Russian then release it and spread it all over the web without other laws being able to anything about it?

I'm inclined to try one, two or multiple of these things to test the boundaries.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:59 am 
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Yeah, those are all great points. The problem is, even if those examples *ought* to be protected under free speech laws, how many of these "fan project" game developers, after being slapped with a cease and desist letter, have the time and resources to deal with a civil lawsuit brought on by the likes of Activis'n? Does it make sense for these fan developers to say, "bring it on, baby! the law will vindicate me," or is it easier to simply give in to the C&D letter's demands and spare themselves all the legal work and costs? Who has more to lose? Why would these fan project designers want to embark on projects that have the potential to trigger a cease and desist letter (even a C&D letter which draws questionable legal conclusions)? It's sad how well-heeled individuals and large companies can create this kind of chilling effect with nothing more than the *threat* of legal action.

Spikey wrote:
This is sad news. I wonder about the exact details of the negotiation and shut down. Isn't it a grey area to begin with? I know it's quite a difficult situation under international law.

What if I made a satirical version of King's Quest? That is definately legal in a lot of countries if I'm not mistaken, satire is often protected by law. I can even make money with it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:13 pm 
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My own understanding of the essence of fair use (which includes parody) is that in order to make something that is in itself legal (such as a parody or a scientific analysis), you can take elements from a copyrighted work, but only what you absolutely need.

- If you made an online study on special effects in movies, you could insert certain action scenes from a Star Wars movie if they showed examples of the special FX you were elaborating on at that moment, but you can't take additional non-related scenes that have no direct relevance on the subject at hand. (like a scene from the movie with only dialogue)

- If you make a parody, you can use elements from the original if they're necessary to get the jokes across. But you can only take those elements for parodying use. One could argue that Quest for Glory 4 1/2 could take the backgrounds and sprites from QFG1 because that game was parodied. The parody-element of their game would not justify their use of backgrounds and sprites from KQ5, Conquests of the Longbow or even QFG3...those were merely used to save development time, but that's not covered by fair use.

- TSL used characters and famous locations from the original KQ franchise, so you could say the project took more than it needed. In order to make a fantasy adventure game in the spirit of KQ, you don't need the royal family of Daventry or any of the locales. (Tale of Two Kingdoms started its life as KQ2.5) You DO need the royal family of Daventry in order to make a KQ game that ties into the existing KQ canon, but I don't think fair use would cover that because the end result (an actual KQ game) still goes against copyright law, which says only the IP holder can authorize sequels.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:47 pm 
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Erpy, you DO need the Royal Family for a KQ game to work. Look at the KQ8 fiasco :lol. Turning Graham to stone? What were they thinking.

Well. The conlucion is that the things you name need to be determined per case and are definately a grey area. I just don't get why TSL got the C&D out of nowhere. Why not let people develop it for free and when take it after the release to try and sell it. Talk about no-development-risk / crowd sourcing! Or something.

I hope they have plans to do something with the franchise for the Wii or DS. Which they don't, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:39 am 
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Spikey wrote:
I just don't get why TSL got the C&D out of nowhere. Why not let people develop it for free and when take it after the release to try and sell it. Talk about no-development-risk / crowd sourcing! Or something.


Not to play devil's advocate, but I think people are overlooking the possibility that Activision saw the working build of TSL (the TSL group DID go to them with the game after all--that's what brought all this about, so it wasn't really out of nowhere, as you say) and just wasn't that impressed by it. I would think that if it was something that they were really interested in, they would have done just that, exerted their ownership rights and tried to sell it. Granted, they still would have had to spend the money to mass produce it, but still. I think pbpb33 may have had a point about the quality issue being a major factor in why TSL was not granted the renewed fan license with Activision.


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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:16 am 
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Well, actually I think it was something more along the lines of:

TSL: "Hi, we're TSL! We have a license with you to create a game that's now finished! Just need you to look it over!"

ActiVision: "Okaaaay. We're not sure who you are but C&D."

That's what I heard anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:14 am 
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MusicallyInspired wrote:
Well, actually I think it was something more along the lines of:

TSL: "Hi, we're TSL! We have a license with you to create a game that's now finished! Just need you to look it over!"

ActiVision: "Okaaaay. We're not sure who you are but C&D."

That's what I heard anyway.



Lol...that sounds about right.


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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:56 am 
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Except for the question that remains why they issued a C&D to someone who was already licensed. The two are usually mutually exclusive.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:27 am 
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MusicallyInspired wrote:
That's what I heard anyway.


I didn't, but I'm not surprised.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:54 am 
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The latest interview with the TSL team mentions unresolved legal matters that came in the way. So it's somewhat more complicated than MI's description of the events.

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 Post subject: Re: The Silver Lining Cease and Desist
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:12 pm 
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What I heard was the gist from a member of the team.

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