PDA

View Full Version : BoardGameGeek takes down resources and reviews.



neXus6
30-11-2009, 03:10
GW war on fan produced material
I'm quite surprised not to find a thread on this already. It appears that GW lawyers have been sending out C&D letters to at least boardgamegeek, if not other websites telling them to remove fan generated resources.

So far so reasonable you might think, but this is related to ALL games that GW have ever produced, not to 40k, WFB and the like. Just as an example material related to such random old games as "curse of the mummy's tomb", "judge dread RPG", "Man O' War", "Battlecars" and "Horus Heresy" has been pulled.

Seems a bit odd to me, but I was wondering if there was any impact over here on Warseer? Surely, logically, it must mean (just off the top of my head) that fan fiction, art and rules dev forums will come under the spotlight?

Original thread on BGG (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933)

Brimstone was correct in his reply to the above post that there are other threads discussing the previous C&D orders, there are however no threads specifically about BGG and what has happened there which I feel is a little different to the other C&D cases.

The forced removal of Player Aids and Reviews which mention aspects of GWs rule systems appears to be a bit of a change from the other C&D examples of website names, sites with full rules of currently avaliable games on show...etc.

Now while the removal was left up to BGG and they have not openly posted the contact recieved from GW it is possible that BGG have gone to further steps than GW asked for, however I have my doubts, and even if it was the case could you really blame a "better safe than sorry" attitude from BGG.

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 12:12
Wait, they had to take down user reviews of the games? That's pretty impressive. I'm sure warseer will get a nice C&D at this rate :eek:

surprize
30-11-2009, 13:06
Brimstone was correct in his reply to the above post that there are other threads discussing the previous C&D orders, there are however no threads specifically about BGG and what has happened there which I feel is a little different to the other C&D cases.

The forced removal of Player Aids and Reviews which mention aspects of GWs rule systems appears to be a bit of a change from the other C&D examples of website names, sites with full rules of currently avaliable games on show...etc.

Now while the removal was left up to BGG and they have not openly posted the contact recieved from GW it is possible that BGG have gone to further steps than GW asked for, however I have my doubts, and even if it was the case could you really blame a "better safe than sorry" attitude from BGG.

Hey, look I'm not questioning the inquisition, but that was the reason I started a new thread. The only other related C&D thread was already closed as far as I could see, and this is a departure in that it is moving into a different territory, that is to say removal of fairly harmless player generated aides for games that are long out of print.

The other C&D discussion seemed to be around fairly clear-cut naughtiness of using GW trademarks/images, or trying to sell something piggybacked off something GW has made (e.g. 3rd party BB figures).

I feel this represents something a bit more sinister and far less defensible. For example removal of the rules for Horus Heresy, a card counter based game GW gave away in WD about 15 years ago.

Gunless Ganger
30-11-2009, 16:44
I agree - the only other discussion of C&D letters I could find evolved into a specific discussion of Blood Bowl sites and was closed and moved to the Blood Bowl section. This is something quite different.

They didn't remove reviews of games - they pulled all the files for almost every GW game ever made.

The files are things like player aids, collection checklists, summary sheets, fan collected FAQs & Errata for old games that are no longer supported or never received any FAQs, custom characters & house rules, or even something as innocuous as tuckboxes that you print off and fold up to hold cards and counters in game.

It's a really ridiculous and discouraging move by GW - one that has upset a lot of people who spent a lot of time creating player aids and compiling useful files to help people play and enjoy the games.

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 17:00
Pulling house rules? On what terms? Were they using copyright images in the rules themselves or are they beign taken down because they are using...GW...rules......wait what?

confusion aside. If things like this are being targetted it would be a good idea for Warseer to lock and delete all the Rules-Developement thread as well as any fanfic that has been written. Lets hope it doesn't come to such extremes.

Dangersaurus
30-11-2009, 18:28
GW didn't take down any house rules, BoardGameGeeks did. We only have BGGs word that the C&D asked for those things to be removed. My guess is BGG is being purposefully overzealous, either out of spite or frustration with all things GW.

It's all bad news, either way. At least there's some humor coming out of it - the number of comicshopguy/beardos out there thinking, "I will phrase my discontent with GW in the form of a faintly amusing list on BGG," has quadrupled in the last few days.

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 18:34
All they need to do is post a copy of the letter showing what GW wants them to do. Does seem a little much to take down all the player aides though.

neXus6
30-11-2009, 19:05
Surprize I agree totally, that's why I reposted your post (hope that was okay) but specifically contained it to its own topic rather than the broader C&D topic to make sure there was no confusion about this just being a rehash of the older threads on the subject.

Whether BGG took down far more than was strictly necessary for them to do is an interesting point, and if they did it out of spite or out of a genuine feeling of better safe than sorry. Either way it is still as a result of GW contacting them.

I guess I probably shouldn't have put "reviews" in the title, but short rules summaries for the purposes of giving new players an insight into how the game plays is pretty much a review, or allowing the person to review it themselves a little without having to buy anything.

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 19:09
I wonder how these new aggressive tactics will play out over BOLS with their mini-dex collection.

Avian
30-11-2009, 19:43
Rules
We encourage fellow hobbyists to invent rules that work for them. There is no need to stick precisely to the published rules. However, if you are thinking about making your own Codex for your Space Marine chapter (in addition to following the other guidelines in this policy), please avoid making it look official as this may confuse gamers and amount to a challenge to our trademarks. Also, do not copy our official publications or documents.

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=3&aId=3900002&start=4

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 19:46
So by keeping the wording nebulous they are essentially retaining a subjective control on what they consider infringement. Who determines how close a fan-dex looks like a codex? I guess all fan-dexes will have to include a disclaimer?

Avian
30-11-2009, 19:49
Presumably if the rules made sense and didn't contain glaring omissions, that would make them sufficiently distinct from the official ones. ;)

Gunless Ganger
30-11-2009, 19:58
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=3&aId=3900002&start=4

I know - can you imagine the damage to their IP if there were a bunch of fan-made army books floating around the internet full of abusive rules and glaring typos. :p No doubt it would be very confusing to tell them apart from the real thing! ;-)

Joking aside, it is true that we don't know the actual wording on the C&D letter to BGG and whether they had any leeway about what to pull or if they were ordered to pull it all, or if they did it just to cover any possible bases.

x-esiv-4c
30-11-2009, 20:03
Glaring omissions aside, when you look at the Apoc books BOLS has put out, you easily see a resemblance to Apocalypse and Apocalypse:Reload in formatting.
Sure the content might be crappy but I think the formatting might be enough (No basis for that statement other then personal belief)

Bregalad
01-12-2009, 01:04
GW marketing has decided that the existence of GW products must be kept secret. At all costs. There are no GW products. Those denying that fact will be prosecuted and punished severely! Google just received a C&D to delete all evidence of Games Workshop in their search engine. (/sarcasm off)

VenrableOne
02-12-2009, 19:25
This sums up the sentiment on BGG. (http://images.boardgamegeek.com/images/pic616213_md.jpg)

Anyways for those who don't spend much time over at BGG, there has been a protest of a sorts towards GW. Space Hulk used to sit in the top ten games. After the C&D it has dropped to the two hundreds in a very short period of time.

Will that affect GW in any way shape or form? Doubtful, however, it does show how uphappy people are.

x-esiv-4c
02-12-2009, 19:39
GW doesn't give a **** about how many people are pissed off with them. As long as 12 year olds keep buying spase-mahreenz then all is good in the world.

Ozorik
02-12-2009, 20:07
Except that it isn't. Gw will notice when the wheels fall off.

x-esiv-4c
02-12-2009, 20:14
No they won't. As usual they are blinded by how well they tell themselves they are doing.

Like that summary though :D

Brimstone
02-12-2009, 20:41
Keep on topic please any 'generic' gw bitching will get members into trouble and this thread locked.

The Warseer Inquisition

Skaven13
02-12-2009, 20:51
I can't find much reasoning behind pulling extinct games off of websites, except that maybe GW is pushing to put them on their website at some time, and trying to have their website be the one-stop for all things GW, past and present. A "look what treasure from the past we dug up, and you can ONLY find it HERE!" mentality.

Roguebaron
02-12-2009, 21:57
or they could be selling those lines to raise capital. By removing the old stuff, and selling the lines, it forces players to buy the new product and makes the line look better to sell. If there is no support, and people want the game, then the new owner could potentially make more money, raising the initial amout Gw could charge to sell the line. Battle cars could be fun if done right, if gw is not doing it, sell it and let someone else invest their cash and gw can just enjoy the royalties.

Dangersaurus
02-12-2009, 22:00
I can't find much reasoning behind pulling extinct games off of websites, except that maybe GW is pushing to put them on their website at some time, and trying to have their website be the one-stop for all things GW, past and present. A "look what treasure from the past we dug up, and you can ONLY find it HERE!" mentality.

The most likely reason is somebody at BGG decided to just strip everything out from any game listed in the database as associated with GW, rather than try to hunt through and find the relevant offending bits. I really doubt anyone in GW legal even knows they published Cosmic Encounters or Kings & Things at any point.

Until BGG decides to share their C&D, there's no reason to think it's any different than the ones sent out to other sites over the last month. My gut feeling is someone at BGG is playing the martyr, and it's working.

Hena
02-12-2009, 22:04
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=3&aId=3900002&start=4

That is an interesting thing as is following

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=5&aId=3900002&start=6

So don't use, but if you do put this ... :angel:

Dangersaurus
02-12-2009, 22:04
or they could be selling those lines to raise capital. By removing the old stuff, and selling the lines, it forces players to buy the new product and makes the line look better to sell. If there is no support, and people want the game, then the new owner could potentially make more money, raising the initial amout Gw could charge to sell the line. Battle cars could be fun if done right, if gw is not doing it, sell it and let someone else invest their cash and gw can just enjoy the royalties.

That's a good point, and may be some of the reason behind the general rise in C&Ds this last month. I doubt they're selling any lines off, but they may be shining them up to make them more attractive for licensing.

GW's reasoning though, is almost tangential to the events at BGG. Someone rightfully told them to take SOME stuff off, and BGG took EVERYTHING off.


That is an interesting thing as is following

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=5&aId=3900002&start=6

So don't use, but if you do put this ... :angel:

Pretty selective reading there. The C&Ds that have been made public clearly mirrored the section on page 4 of that article that states what GW doesn't want fans using.

Until I see a reason to think otherwise, I think BGG overreacted to their C&D.

Tooooon
02-12-2009, 22:35
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933

That link lists a massive amount of things that were removed from just a single user, which includes things as stupid as list of cards which make up a deck of one of the older games. Heck, even games which you used to be able to download from GW for free, have had simple things like their summaries removed.

Majority of things though were simply things like summaries. I saw a post on the BGG forums saying that they were asked to remove four specific things (or types of things), but due to it being a cease and desist they took down everything which could be used as GW for them not complying with the IP.

To be honest, I completely agree with every BGG user and feel sorry for the multifarious amounts of people who spent time and effort supporting games, old or new, which have now had their work removed.

Wintertooth
03-12-2009, 00:17
My gut feeling is someone at BGG is playing the martyr, and it's working.

Exactly this. Did you see the reaction on their forums to the Space Hulk re-launch? It was hilarious. "Good-will" and "biggest fans" are not terms you could apply to anyone there.

What GW have done, no doubt foolishly, is hand a bunch of bearded meeple-fondlers the flimsy excuse they needed to purge their site of hated "Ameritrash". Give it a week and they'll have retreated to a world of zero-conflict wooden resource management games where you never have to talk to or even acknowledge the other players, and all will be at peace again.

ecurtz
03-12-2009, 01:15
Here's the nearly impossible to find message where they actually describe what files they were requested to remove.

http://boardgame.geekdo.com/article/4271330#4271330

It sounds like it will be possible to put non infringing stuff back up, but who knows if they'll bother. As Wintertooth points out it isn't exactly a hospitable place for non Eurogames.

Rick Blaine
03-12-2009, 01:57
What GW have done, no doubt foolishly, is hand a bunch of bearded meeple-fondlers the flimsy excuse they needed to purge their site of hated "Ameritrash". Give it a week and they'll have retreated to a world of zero-conflict wooden resource management games where you never have to talk to or even acknowledge the other players, and all will be at peace again.

It is the nature of geeks to feel irrational hatred for other geeks. As you so aptly demonstrate.

Hellebore
03-12-2009, 02:16
Social pressure does work on companies if enough is applied. If the C&Ds cause highly visible websites to simply remove all GW related material, justified or not, then it will have a ripple effect. You could get a pseudo boycott going.

I think part of the problem is that GW has only started 'caring' now, when there have been years for them to say something. These websites then get a lot of effort put into them and only now does GW decide to tell them they can't do it.

GW might be following the letter of the law, but that doesn't mean people have to like it. And if GW end up causing people to flip them the bird and stop talking about their products online out of spite, then they will only hurt themselves. Maybe not enough to make them care, but it will have an effect.

These sorts of things gain momentum. Not talking about GW online could become a meme. Just wait until 4chan decides it's something to make fun of.

Hellebore

Wintertooth
03-12-2009, 02:43
It is the nature of geeks to feel irrational hatred for other geeks. As you so aptly demonstrate.

I don't hate them. I think they're funny.

Avian
03-12-2009, 06:18
"You are geeky," said the geek to the other geek. :rolleyes:

lanrak
03-12-2009, 10:39
HI all.
Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt GW let the marketing and support of thier 'non core products' fall exclusivley into the domain of the 'fan base',( to effectivley get it for free?)

So now after saving a fortune on marketing and game development and support, they are snatching back everything they can after years of not careing about it?

This re-enforces my view of GW PLC corperate managment .
(No I do not have a high oppinion of them...:mad:)

grissom2006
03-12-2009, 11:23
Thats subjective some of what i've seen removed was clear copying of GW's property to the point of word for word. It's not a clampdown on fan based material it's a clampdown on breaches to what GW owns. If GW wanted to end fan based rules, codices they'd shoot themselves in the foot completely and utterly, they'd also of changed their legal page and worded it to that effect.

As it is and i've seen it a number of times what commonly comes down of a site or ceases to be done by businesses that get C&D's off GW. They cease the actions that resulted in the C&D removed the offending parts of what was done and comply. I have however known of one company that used to be close to me ignore GW and it notice to the owner to C&D from what he was doing. The owner ignored it and as such after the warning period had ended found himself in court. This was almost a decade ago.

GW never gives up it's marketing for it's products they have a exceptance that some people will commit to: Creating their own additional rules to the core rules of any game. That they will write up their own Codices/ Armybook etc. Create new vehicles and creatures within the games. What they don't want is a set produced that has a cover like GW's covers, a page layout that looks like GW's page layouts. The key here is be original with what you do and GW leaves well enough alone be a copy cat and GW will send a letter out.

Ravenous
03-12-2009, 16:13
Wait, they had to take down user reviews of the games? That's pretty impressive. I'm sure warseer will get a nice C&D at this rate :eek:

Or even better GW will start handing out C&Ds to anyone who doesnt like their buiness model. Im fully expecting commission painters to be next up on the hit list.

Dwarf Supreme
03-12-2009, 17:38
Or even better GW will start handing out C&Ds to anyone who doesnt like their buiness model. Im fully expecting commission painters to be next up on the hit list.

It's funny that you mentioned painters. Looking under "what you can't do", I noticed it's okay for someone to earn money painting GW minis, but only if that person also paints minis from other companies.

Ravenous
03-12-2009, 17:50
Well then I expect my C&D in the mail then.

I'll be sure to get the girls to do a middle finger salute at my next photo shoot just in case ;)

x-esiv-4c
03-12-2009, 18:21
Thats an interesting find Dwarf Supreme.

Dangersaurus
03-12-2009, 19:20
HI all.
Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt GW let the marketing and support of thier 'non core products' fall exclusivley into the domain of the 'fan base',( to effectivley get it for free?)

So now after saving a fortune on marketing and game development and support, they are snatching back everything they can after years of not careing about it?

This re-enforces my view of GW PLC corperate managment .
(No I do not have a high oppinion of them...:mad:)

Okay. You're wrong. :D GW has never surrendered their rights to their properties to fans, and GW is not closing down fan support. They're sending out C&D's based on what they think is infringement*. Take a look at some of the sites that complied without quite all the drama: Dark Reign, Librarium Online, TalkFantasyFootball. There's plenty of fan support still there.

* and if someone disagrees, they should show some backbone and fight it. Making a list on BGG is not fighting the power, it's just grognards doing what grognards do best - sulking and typing about it.

Trogdor
03-12-2009, 21:11
Okay. You're wrong. :D GW has never surrendered their rights to their properties to fans, and GW is not closing down fan support. They're sending out C&D's based on what they think is infringement*. Take a look at some of the sites that complied without quite all the drama: Dark Reign, Librarium Online, TalkFantasyFootball. There's plenty of fan support still there.

* and if someone disagrees, they should show some backbone and fight it. Making a list on BGG is not fighting the power, it's just grognards doing what grognards do best - sulking and typing about it.

QF-flippin-T!

BaronIveagh
04-12-2009, 07:52
Eh, I'm waiting for GW to send Irish Spring soap a cease and desist, myself.
As far as BGG taking EVERYTHING down, that was probably at the insistence of their lawyers. I showed my attorney for US civil court a copy of one of the C&Ds and he told me that there are ways of reading that would require the removal of even the mention of their products from a site.

It's a rather extreme perspective on it, but I'm told that there is precedent to support it.

Dangersaurus
04-12-2009, 08:24
Eh, I'm waiting for GW to send Irish Spring soap a cease and desist, myself.
As far as BGG taking EVERYTHING down, that was probably at the insistence of their lawyers. I showed my attorney for US civil court a copy of one of the C&Ds and he told me that there are ways of reading that would require the removal of even the mention of their products from a site.

It's a rather extreme perspective on it, but I'm told that there is precedent to support it.

Interesting. Which letter did you show him (they aren't all the same), and what's your attorney's field?

tu33y
04-12-2009, 13:35
in all fairness the info here that has already been found is quite chummy and helpful in tone... and they maybe have a point that they let ppl get away with more than most do.

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=&categoryId=&section=&pIndex=3&aId=3900002&start=4

Agnar the Howler
05-12-2009, 00:10
Interesting. Which letter did you show him (they aren't all the same), and what's your attorney's field?

Based on his post, it seems as though he specialises in civil cases, which is exactly what this is, so we've got at least some legal knowledge to toss around.

Dangersaurus
05-12-2009, 02:09
Based on his post, it seems as though he specialises in civil cases, which is exactly what this is, so we've got at least some legal knowledge to toss around.

You can't specialize in "civil cases." That's pretty much the opposite of a specialty.

grissom2006
05-12-2009, 02:24
Wouldn't have much faith in a person who isn't used to dealing with international laws as dealing with GW from the states would fall in that group.

Agnar the Howler
05-12-2009, 14:59
You can't specialize in "civil cases." That's pretty much the opposite of a specialty.

You can, you specialise in the dealings of the civil side of the law, just like you specialise in criminal cases. I don't what the hell you're chatting on about right now though, and i've tried to interpret it as best as I can.