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Thread: Campaign against piracy

  1. #1
    Chapter Master Little Joe's Avatar
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    Campaign against piracy

    Raul Garcia Latorre

    We as customers/collectors/players must support the creative community we need.

    There is a lot to discuss about this topic, have at it.
    Last edited by Little Joe; 21-09-2018 at 06:30. Reason: image link not working
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  2. #2
    Chapter Master Little Joe's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    To throw a few ideas in the ring:

    I have been thinking a lot on this recently for various reasons. From a customer's point of view we need a market that supports our needs.

    Markets change: design technologies, fashion (the games we play) and product methods change. So that is just natural. Supposing that I want there to be a market there is a simple need for creative talent and healthy competition between talent to wow me. I want all that.

    I am sure many have been aware of recasters for some of the bigger lines and that has not just been GW, Confrontation (whoever had the licence) and Avatars of War have been suffering from this for a long time. I even see people openly advertising recasting and selling products on the usual selling platforms I use. Reporting them does not seem to do much.
    As a customer the solution is simple, buy from the creator, your friendly local gaming store or trusted online stores.

    That gets me to the next level I have been thinking about. I no longer have a FLGS to support, the way we demand and use products is changing fast. At the same time the industry that supports wargaming is diversifying and fracturing. With the internet and all it's available options, we as customers channel the money to sustain those parts of the industry we want.
    In my personal experience with the decline of forums, even that interaction is diminishing. There are a few growing online projects and new technological gadgets that bring us together to play games and talk hobby. The community is looking for solutions to keep itself alive.

    I do not follow 40k, but it has by far the largest market for tertiary parts. GW can't supply the demand and many companies fill needs without recasting but still copying IP or at least using very close visuals. What do we consider stealing creativity and what is healthy competition?

    3D printing and on demand manufacturing allow me to copy nearly any product for gaming or soon will give me that option. This is the next level of piracy where we as customers become the pirates.

    So at the core I think this is a lot about what do we (I) want from the hobby and how can we consume to sustain?
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  3. #3
    Chapter Master Little Joe's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    I browse the internet too much and I see this pop up at many of the smaller companies in news feeds.

    One YouTuber I follow discused it in German: DICED

    And I saw another company link to Adam Savage, who addressed it recently as well.

    So if anyone feels like discussing this ...
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    [2020] painted: 3

  4. #4

    Re: Campaign against piracy

    This DICED guy gets all riled up over nothing, in my opinion, and really got on my nerves. And I don't know if there's much to discuss, actually.

    Recasts are illegal. Period. Since that's an objective fact it's a case for the police, not some self-appointed white knight. Also he falls victim to the common misconception that this practice is theft. Theft is when I take something away from you, and you lose said item. That's not what's happening here. Clear misrepresentation of the facts.

    Next, humans are a selfish, greedy, inconsiderate species. That's why we are so successful. It's a proven fact that people will most often go for the cheapest option. This may be lamentable but again cannot be changed. So ranting on the internet isn't going to achieve anything.

    By the way I doubt Chinese recasts are on the same level of quality. Again, humans are a selfish, greedy, inconsiderate species, and I wouldn't put it past them to cut some corners in the production process. Their regard for life and safety isn't high so the cheap materials they use may well be hazardous to anyone buying them. Let Karma sort it out.

    And lastly, on the other side of the spectrum, you have companies that are greed incarnate, like GW. Their every action reeks of a cash grab and the prices they charge for some of their stuff are ludicrous. Charging over 100€ for things that have a value of raw materials in the Cent range is their prerogative but also a good way of antagonizing your fans. As we've seen with the AoS disaster a lot of fans are no longer willing to put up with their antics, and they've brought that upon themselves. May I point out that the Beastmen Limited Edition book, that was released almost a month ago and is limited to only 400 copies, still has not sold out. It shows that GW's sway over people has suffered considerably. I really couldn't care less if people are damaging them financially through piracy. In fact GW could burn down tomorrow and I wouldn't bat an eye.

    Long story short, you can't chastise the fans for being greedy when the companies set the example.

  5. #5
    Chapter Master Little Joe's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    What is being stolen is intellectual property, the time/effort/design involved to create the original that gets copied. While many grew insensitive because of pricing by the big company (including the random mark up outside the UK). For a small company it matters a lot.
    They are not cheap to start with because all costs involved must be recuperated with a small print run. When that print run shrinks due to recasts, the initial costs do not go down. They actually go up per item sold. In such cases with small margins and volumes recasting drives people out of business. The bigger companies can only sustain and promote a certain amount of talent. In a small hobby bubble retaining as much talent as possible is only possible when people pay in a way that gets at least a token of appreciation to the designer. If you call yourself a "fan", then why destroy the chance of there ever being a next product you might want?

    Now you can debate how much talent a small hobby can and should support. Competition should theoretically work for the consumer, but too much fracturing clearly does not.

    I try to only use odorless and for sure non toxic paints. Sanding resin scares me, I value my life. I think I have a Forgeworld recast of the night goblin command. It came with a collection I once bought on the big auction house. Those miniatures smelled in a bad way and I had them airing quite a while because of it. Did I use them? Yes, I have no FW experience at all to verify if it is the rel thing or not. Would I have bought them from FW? No, because their prices are insane for the quality you get. Like many I expect them and the mother company as a whole to do better.

    But can I compare them to a lonely creator or small business trying to get ideas or craftsmanship sold?
    I think in many ways customers should. Everyone must compete or go under, just product is not enough in this world.
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    [2020] painted: 3

  6. #6

    Re: Campaign against piracy

    I bought some Forgeworld cheap (thanks to Brexit) and I can assure you it does not smell.

  7. #7
    Admin blackcherry's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    I don't think recasting does the industry any favours. It's a sure fire way to race to the bottom until the actual producers of the origional sculpts can't afford to support themselves and close.

    This will be barely a scratch on the profit margins of larger companies like GW (though it was obviously noticeable enough for GW to do the whole ChapterHouse thing a few years back) which just leaves the smaller companies to suffer.

    Money is tight for everyone these days and I understand the desire to get shiny stuff on the cheap. God knows enough people have offered it to me since I took on this role. But I feel I just can't. I might make an exception for OOP models though.
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  8. #8

    Re: Campaign against piracy

    Well Chapterhouse (mostly) won, which shows how ridiculous GW's claims were. It also prompted them to rename their entire range to pseudo-latin names (= we want to sound intellectual but actually aren't) or childish cartoon names, basically killing it for me.

  9. #9
    Chapter Master Little Joe's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    IP and copyright are tough ones for small companies. There is almost no way you can protect yourself. Big companies are better equipped and to be fair, the laws force them to take action. Many big companies earned a bad name by going after the wrong targets and upsetting their customers.

    Regarding the names I think that is silly and very counter productive. In the internet age it is just stupid in my opinion. A name is not a product without a fully fleshed out background beyond basics, that's just legal tricks. Changing a name to prolong copyright is on the same level as giving medication a new sickness to heal and prolonging patents that way. It prevents innovation which is bad for companies and customers alike in the long run.
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  10. #10
    Inquisitor Lord Damocles's Avatar
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    Re: Campaign against piracy

    I still don't buy the explanation that that GW started re-naming their ranges because of Chapterhouse.

    GW calling Space Marines Adeptus Astartes, or Imperial Guard Astra Militarum does nothing to stop a Chapterhouse-alike selling Space Knight shoulder pads or Imperial Trooper heads - as evidenced by all of the 3rd party sellers who are quite happily selling models/parts which are blatantly based on GW models/designs with no legal problems. The problem with Chapterhouse was that they were selling models as actual Space Marines or actual Imperial Guard.

    I find it more likely that GW wanted to make their Imperial Guard more distinct from Start Wars Imperial Guard or the historical French Imperial Guard, and their Orcs more distinct from Warcraft Orcs or Lord of the Rings Orcs (etc. etc.), while at the same time thinking that putting more pseudo-latin into 40K makes it more grimdark (confusing this for depth and/or maturity).

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