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Thread: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

  1. #161
    Brother Sergeant
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    About the rumoured Hollywood movie licensing or potential losses in future due to letting us release DAMNATUS:

    I thought about it in the morning and I do not think that this is the case here.

    Look at my recapitulation:
    They amended their IP policy to ban all fan movies just recently. That means that they would had lost Millions of Pounds (-> The Phazers theory) if another one would have created and released a fan film before that clear public decision.
    Perhaps they didn't think about this alleged loophole, at least they never thought about German artist protection for a long time (Goddammit, it's all my fault!!! :cries, but I doubt that they would let such things open and exploitable in their own native legal system.

    Why didn't they amend their policy in 2006 but now? Why did GW laywers (sidenote: who are really nice and polite guys BTW, who just do the jobs and follow the guidelines of the company's strategy) give me hope by speaking of the possibility of an agreement? If there would be problems with exclusive film licenses they wouldn't, would they? (In fact it was told me, that I would have to stop publishing the film if such thing would happen - and I agreed (I'd like so see a big-budget movie, too, you know )).

    So I wouldn't hold my breath for a big budget Warhammer 40,000 movie emerging soon. I speak from my own experience and can't recommend it - it leads to frustration and in the end to the making of a fan film. And what that means for you we all know now.

    I really think it's something with German laws what bothers them, and that's what they told me, but sadly not precisely and en detail which paragraph and which nuances.

    It is definitely their right to forbid our film. We knew that it could happen. (You all should if you create FanArt.) We knew that it is bad not to have a written agreement. But GW wouldn't have given us one - see their IP policy page, they only *allow* certain things. They told me that they probably would have nothing against a fan film. Probably. You do not get more.
    Was it dumb to start production? Was it dumb to invest that much time and money?
    Yes it was. But we are fans. We do that. We rely on GW's trust and goodwill.

    They pulled that from us and I think that it is a shame. They even took it from British and US American fans to go and make films although as far as I know these are clearly derivatives and thus belong to GW. And that's a scandal to me.

    It cannot be that they punish the whole community because some fans in Germany have a little more control over their pieces of art than others.

    Only banning German fan films wouldn't be fair as well though, so I can only urge GW to stop this wrong way and let us fans do what we do best: Express our enthusiasm.

    Even if I would understand and see the whole legal situation - I think a healthy relationship between company and customership is far more important than the small risk of getting betrayed by your own devotees.
    Last edited by Torwaechter; 12-07-2007 at 13:45.
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  2. #162
    Banned yankeeboy's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    How many times or ways can it be said?

    They do not have the legal right to any of these copyrights. As such, they do not have a legal right to release this production. As for not having anything to lose, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Do any of you really want to spend years and years of your time and personal money defending yourself from litigation? Anyone who has engaged in even minor litigation will admit that it is extremely tiresome, nerve-wracking, annoying, filled with anxiety and anger, as well as taxing on relationships, sleep, and general well-being. And that's often for MINOR stuff. Do you really want an international lawsuit consuming your life? All because you like Space Marines a lot? That's incredibly short-sighted and, quite frankly, a stupid thing to do.

    Besides your well-being, there's still plenty to lose. Where to start? A substantial portion of your income in legal expenses, a high likelihood of punitive legal damages. How much do you like your house, your car, or your credit? More than Space Marines? Really.....?

    For all of the "I hate GW for not releasing a fan movie", if these guys fight this, they will lose. Why? Because you don't have the legal right to release the project without a license from GW. They own the copyright. Plain and simple. No amount of crying, whining, uber-fandom, or claims of mock outrage change that. You love the game. Cool. But you don't OWN it, which makes all of the difference in the world.

    It really bugs me how many people keep saying to release it over the internet. I am no big GW fan boy, that believes that they can do no wrong. I am, however, a HUGE supporter of copyright laws. There's a reason every civilised country has adopted copyright laws. It is to PROTECT those people that have spent their time and money developing ideas. They have the right to control their ideas and to determine how they are presented. As a creative person, I own well over a hundred copyrights myself. Product and ideas that I developed. Anyone, or any institution, that develops ideas deserves to have them protected.
    Last edited by yankeeboy; 12-07-2007 at 15:06.
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  3. #163

    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Well said Yankeeboy. Thumbs up by for you. (no sarcasm)
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  4. #164
    Commander Nurglitch_PS's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Yankeeboy - you are mistaking legal/illegal with right/wrong. It's usually quite similar, but not in this case.

    Situation: those guys have toiled for years and put in heaps of their own cash into their project. This was actively endorsed and marketed by GW. This is the important point - GW knew all the time and supported the project. Now, when the project has finished, GW has a change of heart and decides to order those guys to ditch their work to the gutter. Because.

    You are stating, that GW has legal rights to do this. You are correct.
    You are stating, that GW has moral right to do this. You are totally and absolutely wrong.
    You are stating, that those guys have absolutely no moral rights to their own work, the fruit of their own time, toil and money (endorsed all the time til the very end by GW). You are totally and absolutely wrong.
    SPQR or GTFO
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  5. #165
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    yankeeboy - ho is to say that they released it, they could have got hacked and thus leaked. Then GW would have tp prove the company leaked it themselves.

    Also they're in another country so I doubt they can do much.

    As a side note, people release videos, music, books and such online all the time and there is pretty much nothing the companies can do about it.
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  6. #166
    Banned yankeeboy's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    I'm not mistaking anything.

    They don't have the legal right to do it. End of story.

    As for the morality, it has no impact on the final, legal outcome. As for my personal opinion, I don't believe they have the moral right, either, whatever that means.

    You don't have the right to re-write my ORIGINAL book, or movie, or anything that I have spent time to create and copyright. Period. As much as you may like the source material, those ideas belong to the copyright holder.

    Who has the MORAL right to control their vision, their work? Answer: the creators and copyright holders of that work. I think it's important to remember that the entire reason copyright law exists, historically, is that there came a time in which there was a prevading moral sense/idea within the western world that one's original work should be protected/controlled. The entire reason copyright law came into being was to ensure that the law reflected that moral/ethical position.

    GW has the right, just like ALL people who have created original creative works, to determine how their work is used and presented. As Torwaechter even stated, GW never signed an agreement with the production company for this film. As such, they have retained the right to control their creative work as they see fit at any time. They have the legal and moral and CREATIVE right to do so.

    Besides, it's just bad business to start a film project without an explicit written license to do so in the first place.
    Last edited by yankeeboy; 12-07-2007 at 17:13.
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  7. #167
    Chapter Master Templar Ben's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Let's not get down to that level netpixie.

    If they had made the movie and not used the unique GW icons or the terms which GW can control (saying inquisitor would be fine but saying Ordo Malleus would not) then this would not be an issue. This is a work based entirely upon what GW has done.
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  8. #168
    Chapter Master t-tauri's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Let's just make the points about suggesting IP violation/filesharing very clear.

    From posting guidelines
    Quote Originally Posted by Posting guidelines
    25: Discussion about filesharing (obviously including linking to filesharing sites) isn't welcome on WarSeer. WarSeer is trying to build up relationships with various companies and being linked to filesharing is not an image we want.
    From strikable offences
    Quote Originally Posted by strikable offences
    Rule 9: No violation of copyright or intellectual property. (For example this would include posting statlines or rules quoted directly from rule books.)
    Please don't suggest it. We've removed posts on this topic and can't tolerate suggestions of potentially illegal activity.

    t-tauri

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  9. #169
    Banned yankeeboy's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Netpixe, First of all, your "example" is ridiculous and has no bearing on the actual situation.

    As to the "pot stirring question" of "How can someone else "own" copyright on something I have produced?":

    That's quite simple, actually. You do own the copyright to work you have produced. But in this scenario, while the work itself would be copy protected (the original script, the masters, etc), the film producers do not own the subject matter (the specific GW imagery, characters, races, names, etc). As such, they can not release the film without a license from GW to do so, as GW retains the right to control their own creations.

    One can not release a creative work without ownership, or license, of the copyright source material. The only exceptions that I know of are the following:

    1. Material that is clearly a form parody.
    2. Statutory licensing rates for songs. In the United States, I can re-record any song that I want without permission from the composer/copyright holder. I can do this even if the holder dislikes my version, or artistic interpretation. However, I am compelled by law to pay statutory mechanical licensing fees for each copy that has been released. these are typically paid through the Harry Fox agency, which collects them and then pays mechanical royalties to composers/copyright holders.

    Even the last example, however, is solely based on previously written songs copyrights. The provision would not cover trademarks and non-song copywritten material. That last example does not cover films, either. Any songs used in a film that are not work-for-hire for the production company can not be included under the mechcanical license mentioned previously. They have to licensed separately.
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  10. #170
    Chapter Master asmodai_dark86's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Nah having looked at whats been said, it looks to be a real IP issue rather then anything else.

    GW arent stupid. They have most likely asked the rights to distribute it in some form which has then caused problems as theres a whole issue of ownership - if they buy the film they've relinquished there IP, and if they dont then there challenging the IP of the film makers themselves who made the whole thing.

    Its a stick situation but give it time and stop bashing them for a bit. If in a months time we stilll havent heard anything THEN we can march on Nottingham

    I do take comissions on anything for anyone in any scheme apart from bloody bretonnians. Competitive rates - will work for food!
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  11. #171
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    @ t-tauri : things like uncredited pictures of painted minis, your avatar, Firebase, many other things on this site all violate GW's IP policy. Why not the same stringent purging of those things?
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  12. #172
    Chapter Master Yorkiebar's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmith View Post
    @ t-tauri : things like uncredited pictures of painted minis, your avatar, Firebase, many other things on this site all violate GW's IP policy. Why not the same stringent purging of those things?
    GW says in its policy that it does allow forum discussion and avatars of its IP as long as it is credited to them. I would guess that somewhere on the site nick has written a paragraph that fulfils this requirement.
    Last edited by Yorkiebar; 12-07-2007 at 16:40.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    Seeems like yorkie is the only one doing drunk threaeds these days.
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  13. #173
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    I think you guess wrong... read the IP policy. Virtually everything posted to this site (material not chatter) violates the policy...
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  14. #174
    Chapter Master yabbadabba's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch_PS View Post
    This was actively endorsed and marketed by GW. This is the important point - GW knew all the time and supported the project.

    (endorsed all the time til the very end by GW).
    Where was it supported and how?
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  15. #175
    Chapter Master Yorkiebar's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by yabbadabba View Post
    Where was it supported and how?
    In its early days the project was given the ok by GW and later they supported it with an appearance in White Dwarf.
    Last edited by Yorkiebar; 12-07-2007 at 17:04.
    Note: I am not promoting Yorkie bars. Turns out Nestle are actually evil. Please don't buy their products.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    Seeems like yorkie is the only one doing drunk threaeds these days.
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  16. #176
    Chapter Master yabbadabba's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    what WD?

    Sorry I am confused. I have seen nothing official on GW websites or in the UK WD over the past few years. I stumbled across the Damnatus project by accident.
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  17. #177
    Commander The Phazer's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by Torwaechter View Post
    @The Phazer:
    You clearly seem to know much about all that, perhaps you can help me to understand it better.

    Is that so in the UK? In Germany there is a clear distinction between to give permission ("erlauben"/"gestatten" -> "tolerieren" like "tolerate") and granting a license ("lizensieren"). The first one means "ok, do it, we won't take actions against you, keep on", you do not loose any licensing rights by that here in Germany, it's still your IP, and that IP does not loose its worth. You could still sell an exclusive license because the other one only had a permission to use it, he does not have the license to commercialise it. You only let him do what he asked for. If he starts to do things he didn't ask for or just shouldn't - you could sue him.
    (I'm not a legal expert but I'm quite sure about the existence of a distinction between a "Genehmigung/Zustimmung/Bewilligung" and "Lizenzvergabe" - if a German with more knowledge is reading this, please feel free to correct me)
    As you suspect, there's no such distinction in either UK or US law, nor under any of the international treaties that underpin the laws between these territories. If you give formal permission to be used then it’s a licence. You can, of course, just ignore the infringement without giving a licence, but then you can turn round and demand it's taken down at any time, and indeed sue. There's really no way for the party making the film to be safe unless they have a formal licence, because that's the only thing that prevents the rightsholder from being able to change their mind at any point.

    That's why I always asked for permission. I never thought that it would be the same like asking for a license.
    And GW could have always refused the licence but said that they wouldn't actively persue you (You wouldn't get that in writing or on the record of course). The problem is the same you have now however - that they can change their mind at their whim and demand the film's withdrawl, and indeed perhaps even sue (though damages would be limited).

    If there is no distinction in English: How do I ask a British to let me do something without that someone else could think he is giving my a license? Is that possible in the English language or is everything a license?
    (Hm, in fact there really is no link to the English wikipedia for http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genehmigung)
    Like I say, all they can do is grant a licence, or just give you an informal agreement that they won't actively sue you. But then, since that agreement is informal and not binding they can change their mind at any point, as rather seems has happened here. The only way to have an agreement that's binding on GW is to have a licence.

    (EDIT: But what do I read on GW's IP Policy page: " The contents of this policy are in no way meant or intended to be a license of any nature." So it is possible to allow something without giving away a license, isn't it?)
    No, it's not. That's nothing but a statement of intent by GW. GW don't have to specifically mention something as non-allowable on that policy to be able to sue for it.

    Indeed, a lawyer would probably succeed in court with the argument that the policy was an implied licence regardless of that sentence, but anyway...

    And even if it was some kind of license? Why is it so easy to exploit? In Germany you have the so-called "Zweckübertragungslehre": In case of doubt you only get those rights which do exactly stand in the agreement. If GW gives me the right to publish the film, that would be all. No one may make a remake and make profit. No one may make miniatures out of the film characters and sell them. Because I may not and if I may not no one else may. I may only publish, this film, for free.

    Is that working different outside of Germany?
    This is what's known in English as 'Moral Rights' under copyright legislation and the Berne Convention (usually presented using the French however, Droit Morale). You're right that France and Germany are different to the UK and US in that it's impossible to waive your moral rights to your work, whereas in the UK and US a signed contract between the the artist and someone else can indeed waive them. However, I can't see any issue for GW there unless they intended to distribute the work themselves.

    I'd agree that people suggesting the problem is merchandising rights are on the wrong path - if your film derives from GW material, any merchandise that uses GW IP in any way would still require their permission seperately from the film itself. I don't think that's GW's issue here. It's just about the money required to draw a licence up not being worth it, especially given the risk to the value of any further film rights sales.

    Isn't it normal/human to ask if it would be ok?
    You're assuming there's some kind of correlation between "normal/human" and "legally wise" Ultimately it's a lot simpler for a company to pretend things like this don’t exist, or they just don't know about them. If GW have an agreement with a third party, they could pretend they'd never heard of your film and thus not be responsible for it. Now they have, they're being negligent if it isn't pointed out.

    And that is really not the problem - if I were an US American, nothing would have happened. Asking is ok why shouldn't it?
    The problem is the difference between the Anglo-American and Continental European legal system. They just don't work together perfectly.
    While I'm not GW's legal team, I'm not convinced the German legal system is actually the problem here. I think it's just that a minor enquiry by whoever you were originally dealing with about the German legal impression of Moral Rights meant that it got refered to someone more senior in the company, and then that senior person noted that this should never have been allowed (from GW's POV) to go ahead in the first place for the reasons I've outlined above.

    While that sucks for you guys (seriously, you have my sympathy with all this), it's why any lawyer or professional in this area would have said to get a signed contract before you started, because such things happen with large companies rather a lot.

    We had a "permission" before shooting in 2003. They told my to follow the guidelines of their IP policy. Animations were till then and are still allowed. They said we would fall into that case.
    Unfortunately, that seems very much to me to be GW trying it's best to not give an answer, since as I mention above, the IP policy isn't really binding in many things, and it enabled them to essentially try and pretend it wasn't happening.

    I do not understand enough about the English legal system, and probably its just naive (hey, we made a Wh40k film in full-feature length and thought it would only take a year or two!): But is it that impossible to just let us release it? Is it so dangerous to the Intellectual Property of Games Workshop? Is it so easy in the UK to destroy such a big and well-known company? Because they allowed a fan film into the Internet?
    As I've said, GW could essentially at this point decide to pretend they'd never heard of it, and just not do anything. But you'd be in technical breach of their copyright, and the problem is that GW can change their mind, turn around tomorrow and sue you and you've no security from that. What they can't do is give you anything that guarantees they won't change their minds.

    That leaves an awfully big risk for you, and as you hint, not one I'd be comfortable with if it were my bank account on the line. If GW decide they really don't want it out there, one could hope they'd just sent a Ceast and Desist letter first, and you could always take it down. But they *could* sue too, and I'd probably not be willing to risk that for something that wasn't making me a bunch of money, personally.

    Best of luck to you. I hope something can be worked out - all I've been trying to say in this thread is that I understand why GW have issues here, and that it's not necessarily free for them to get this out. And that some people on this thread have a wacky understanding of copyright law and economics But I certainly think they've been evasive at times with you by letting it get this far (to be fair, we have to account for the lost letters you mention too).

    Phazer
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  18. #178
    Chapter Master t-tauri's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmith View Post
    @ t-tauri : things like uncredited pictures of painted minis, your avatar, Firebase, many other things on this site all violate GW's IP policy. Why not the same stringent purging of those things?
    None of these challenge GW's IP. If Damnatus' release isn't approved by GW legal then we'll take the same stance on posts advocating it's download as we do to posts suggesting download of any copyrighted material whether it's computer games, music or game related material. See the site legal statement.
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  19. #179
    Chapter Master Bookwrak's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkiebar View Post
    In its early days the project was given the ok by GW and later they supported it with an appearance in White Dwarf.
    Which might be the problem of when the idea was presented to X and Y at GW, they thought 'yeah, that sounds awesome! Go ahead! We'll say something about it in White Dwarf' and up until now, the idea was never properly run past the legal department to make sure that it was actually something that could be permitted. Incredibly naive and careless, but not outright malicious.
    Man, I've seen this all before, and there's only one way it can end. In blood, tears, and the limp-wristed flailing of nerd-slaps.
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  20. #180
    Chapter Master Brother Loki's Avatar
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    Re: Damnatus not allowed to be shown

    According to the legal department though, they wanted to find a solution, but they were instructed from 'higher up' not to.

    Phazer - thanks for setting things out in such a clear way. It's a shame that legal/illegal doesn't seem to correlate very well with 'right and wrong' in this case. It seems that Torwaechter and the others are really being punished for having 'done the right thing' and asked for permission.
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