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Subject: Martin Wallace accuses Winsome/FRED of copyright infraction rss

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Eric
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This whole thing reminds me of an old saying among lawyers:

Quote:
There are three sides to every story: what my client says, what your client says and the truth.
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Terry K
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I'm not up on my copyright law, but would John be the only one Martin goes after? Could he also go after FRED for printing it, maybe for not doing something like due diligance?
 
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Larry Levy wrote:
Daddys_Home wrote:
Where did he write this?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/384743/page/1
About midway down the page.

Direct link: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3173850#3173850
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Andrzej Barchanski
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I am so tired of those quarrels about Age of Steam infringements. I thought they were finished, but it is my impression that some BGG users have been constantly trying to aggravate the conflict. The critical mass was finally achieved in the other thread, Mr. Wallace lost his nerve got nervous and re-enter the dispute, and now I am afraid to open BGG because some new annoyances about the conflict may appear.

In my opinion it is not appropriate for us BGG users to keep on coming back to an already finished discussion about AoS. Quite obviously conflict in that matter was difficult and unhealthy (think of nerves and raising blood pressure) for both parties involved. Why constantly come back to this? What is the point? As everything was already said before, I cannot see any.

And as it comes to lawyers (I am one), my favorite reply to a question about a legal problem is "And which party is our client?".
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Ethan Tan
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Well the point would be for every self-respecting geek to boycott this reprint, and get Steam instead, if they wanted an AoS game.
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barchan wrote:
I am so tired of those quarrels about Age of Steam infringements. I thought they were finished, but it is my impression that some BGG users have been constantly trying to aggravate the conflict. The critical mass was finally achieved in the other thread, Mr. Wallace lost his nerve, and now I am afraid to open BGG because some new annoyances about the conflict may appear.

You are being too funny.... so it's the fault of BGG user's? Aha... and Martin lost his nerve? Give me a break... I guess if one were a fan of John Bonner they were happy with what they thought was "over" but if anyone has continued to aggrvate the conflict it's been Mr. Bonner with his often sly remarks and sometimes not so sly but outright childish actions.
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Bruce Murphy
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boing123 wrote:
Well the point would be for every self-respecting geek to boycott this reprint, and get Steam instead, if they wanted an AoS game.

Or, specifically, if they don't want an AoS game, because it's a different game.

B>
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JeffyJeff wrote:
barchan wrote:
I am so tired of those quarrels about Age of Steam infringements. I thought they were finished, but it is my impression that some BGG users have been constantly trying to aggravate the conflict. The critical mass was finally achieved in the other thread, Mr. Wallace lost his nerve, and now I am afraid to open BGG because some new annoyances about the conflict may appear.

You are being too funny.... so it's the fault of BGG user's? Aha... and Martin lost his nerve? Give me a break... I guess if one were a fan of John Bonner they were happy with what they thought was "over" but if anyone has continued to aggrvate the conflict it's been Mr. Bonner with his often sly remarks and sometimes not so sly but outright childish actions.


I am pretty certain that phrase wasn't meant in the sense you took it. I hope you find that Mr Bonner and make him pay, though. He sounds like quite a rotter.

B>
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Jon W
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Hammy wrote:
One year later when the games had been printed John changed his terms, demanded one euro per copy printed and a licence of 1 euro per copy of the first Age of Steam reprint. As at the time I was in the process of divesting myself of finanical interest in Warfrog and John's demand was for virtually the same amount of money as I would have paid anyway I just paid up as I couldn't be bothered with a row.

This is the part that never made sense to me since I've been following this controversy. You "couldn't be bothered with a row," yet look what's happened. If Bohrer's demands were unreasonable, why accede to them? Granting that little "licensed from Winsome" has just never made any sense to me.

Granted, Bohrer is among the most unlikeable characters in geekdom, but was this license a "help a buddy out" kind of thing, or was it "look, the game is in large part mine, so let's be fair"? We'll likely never know the exact truth of that, unfortunately.
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Steve Bachman
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barchan wrote:
In my opinion it is not appropriate for us BGG users to keep on coming back to an already finished discussion about AoS. Quite obviously conflict in that matter was difficult and unhealthy (think of nerves and raising blood pressure) for both parties involved. Why constantly come back to this? What is the point? As everything was already said before, I cannot see any.

The point is, there are many who feel that this AoS printing is an injustice and they want to make everyone aware of it and rally support for a boycott of sorts. That is why they return to it, and that is fine.

I'm surprised that someone of your nationality would have such a "none of our business" attitude. Wasn't it exactly that attitude that allowed Hitler to run rampant through your country and continent? The least we should have learned from WWII was that inaction in the face of injustice is encouraging and condoning such misbehavior. I'm not comparing Bohrer to Hitler, as much as illustrating the "if it doesn't affect me personally, it is fine by me" attitude prevalent in both situations.

If you feel strongly about something, sitting idly by should not be forced upon you if you have the courage to stand up for your principles. Those who you are chastising are standing up for what they believe in - you should try it too.
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Bruce Murphy
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Ward wrote:
barchan wrote:
In my opinion it is not appropriate for us BGG users to keep on coming back to an already finished discussion about AoS. Quite obviously conflict in that matter was difficult and unhealthy (think of nerves and raising blood pressure) for both parties involved. Why constantly come back to this? What is the point? As everything was already said before, I cannot see any.

The point is, there are many who feel that this AoS printing is an injustice and they want to make everyone aware of it and rally support for a boycott of sorts. That is why they return to it, and that is fine.

I'm surprised that someone of your nationality would have such a "none of our business" attitude. Wasn't it exactly that attitude that allowed Hitler to run rampant through your country and continent? The least we should have learned from WWII was that inaction in the face of injustice is encouraging and condoning such misbehavior. I'm not comparing Bohrer to Hitler, as much as illustrating the "if it doesn't affect me personally, it is fine by me" attitude prevalent in both situations.


Wow. Just wow. "Anyone isn't a rabid Wallace supporter is letting Hitler win!!!11!!!". Presumably the terrorists also.

Wow.

B>
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Jeff Michaud
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Ward wrote:
The point is, there are many who feel that this AoS printing is an injustice and they want to make everyone aware of it and rally support for a boycott of sorts. That is why they return to it, and that is fine.

I think this is a mischaracterization... John Bohner, even after "winning" on the Trademark front, has not "let it go" himself trying to rub Martin's nose in it all the time, as well as trying to screw Martin when ever he can (anyone else remember the Essen '08 hotel incident, or the "Scheme to Riches", ...). Martin on the other hand has, at least relatively speaking if not absolutely speaking, has been a gentleman.

In this case the "return to it" was by Martin himself... but over valid legal reasons... he couldn't take legal action from my understanding over the copyright of the logo until the copyright was actually violated (ie. in this case the FRED reprint was shipping).
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Steve Bachman
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waddball wrote:
Hammy wrote:
One year later when the games had been printed John changed his terms, demanded one euro per copy printed and a licence of 1 euro per copy of the first Age of Steam reprint. As at the time I was in the process of divesting myself of finanical interest in Warfrog and John's demand was for virtually the same amount of money as I would have paid anyway I just paid up as I couldn't be bothered with a row.

This is the part that never made sense to me since I've been following this controversy. You "couldn't be bothered with a row," yet look what's happened. If Bohrer's demands were unreasonable, why accede to them? Granting that little "licensed from Winsome" has just never made any sense to me.

Granted, Bohrer is among the most unlikeable characters in geekdom, but was this license a "help a buddy out" kind of thing, or was it "look, the game is in large part mine, so let's be fair"? We'll likely never know the exact truth of that, unfortunately.

Yes, excellent points. That's why it is so important to maintain a separation of personal relationships from business relationships. The favor is credible, as is the claim that Bohrer felt the bulk of the game's success was from development. A written contract would have made all the sense in the world, but hindsight is much clearer than foresight - especially when working with someone you consider a friend.

Not that JB was riding MW's coattails, but the inaccurate design credit to MW (for the other rail game) and the "licence agreement" make sense if you think of a friend who did good work for you and you want him to succeed in a new field, so you help him how you can. Obviously, it was a very bad business decision, and it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't from the free legal advice JB reportedly has whispering in his ear that, "Hey, this license label gives you the rights to the game. Or at least I could easily argue that for you and most certainly win."

Hammy not wanting to get into a row over something he was trying to get out of makes sense too. If you're leaving a business, you are likely thinking more about the future than the past. You claim JB's request was unreasonable, but Hammy explained the amount in question was reasonable. It was the implications that were not reasonable, and apparently not fully understood.
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Drew1365 wrote:
It is unfortunate that access to lawyers often means that one party automatically wins disputes because the other party can't afford the legal fees. I wonder if there's anyone who would take on Martin's case gratis?

Well maybe not gratis but maybe on contingency... assuming there was belief winning could mean a cash reward (which as has been indicated was not the case regarding the Trademark dispute)
 
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Steve Bachman
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thepackrat wrote:
Ward wrote:
I'm surprised that someone of your nationality would have such a "none of our business" attitude. Wasn't it exactly that attitude that allowed Hitler to run rampant through your country and continent? The least we should have learned from WWII was that inaction in the face of injustice is encouraging and condoning such misbehavior. I'm not comparing Bohrer to Hitler, as much as illustrating the "if it doesn't affect me personally, it is fine by me" attitude prevalent in both situations.


Wow. Just wow. "Anyone isn't a rabid Wallace supporter is letting Hitler win!!!11!!!". Presumably the terrorists also.

Wow.

B>

Way to read the whole post Packrat - good job!

Since you apparently haven't read the history books through to the end either, I'll give you a spoiler:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Hitler is dead. He did not survive WWII, and therefore could not win anything via our actions today.
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Threads like these kill me. Invariably everyone forms opinions based on statements from one or two people. They then go on to act as if these ill informed opinions are based on some kind of infallible knowledge, when in reality they know just a hair more about what actually occurred than my pet hamster.

Do all you people invoking Hitler, injustice and the downfall of civilization as we know it actually have first hand knowledge to form these judgments? More likely you're bombastic hamsters I think.

If people want to offer actual facts, please let us know what meeting between the aggrieved parties you attended or what legal representation you provided etc., otherwise I wish you'd all STFU.
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Jon W
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Ward wrote:
You claim JB's request was unreasonable

No, I just asked the question. In any case, I agree with you that the request's implications were likely not fully understood.
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Dan Schaeffer
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Without getting into the specifics of this dispute, here are some basic copyright points (U.S. copyright law only) to consider:

1. Copyright protects any original (though not necessarily novel) creative work, as long as it falls into certain categories. This would generally include game rules and artwork.

2. Copyright attaches as soon as the work is "fixed in a tangible medium," i.e., is put on paper/recorded on tape/etched in stone/painted on canvas/tattooed on someone's buttock, etc. The key point is, registration of the copyright is not required in order to have the applicable rights. Copyright notice is also not required, though it prevents an infringer from claiming as a defense that he/she didn't know the work was copyrighted.

3. Registration is required in order to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement and obtain damages.

4. The creator of the work is presumed to be the owner of copyright in the work. There are two main exceptions: (1) a work may be a "work made for hire" if it fits into certain defined categories and is created by an employee in the course of his/her employment; (2) a work may be assigned by the creator to any other person/entity, as long as that assignment is explicit and in writing. If a work is a "work made for hire," the employer is considered to be the creator of that work. If a work is not a "work made for hire," then the assignee of the work is merely that - the owner of rights by assignment.

5. To clarify, when someone creates something as a contractor, and not an employee, he/she continues to own the copyrights unless there is an actual written assignment of those rights. (Note: an exclusive license of all copyrights is considered an assignment.)

6. Infringement damages can be either actual damages, including amounts the copyright owner lost and the infringer's profits, but those can be hard to prove; or, under certain circumstances, statutory damages, which are fixed by law. If the work is not registered within three months after publication, or prior to the alleged infringement, then only actual damages are available.

More information can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office homepage. Check out Circular No. 1 in particular.

EDIT: This is obviously not an exhaustive listing of the potentially relevant factors in any copyright dispute, let alone this one. As I said, I'm not getting specifically into the Bohrer/Wallace/Warfrog/FRED dispute, and will not do so (unless paid ). But given the way misinformation tends to spread in discussions like this, I thought some basic truths about U.S. copyright law might be helpful.
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Yikes! Godwin's Law strikes again! I guess it was inevitable. shake
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barchan wrote:
The critical mass was finally achieved in the other thread, Mr. Wallace lost his nerve, and now I am afraid to open BGG because some new annoyances about the conflict may appear.


Dont be daft. No-one is forcing you to read these threads.
I know from personal experience that it entirely possible to avoid reading threads I am not interested in following.
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barchan wrote:
I am so tired of those quarrels about Age of Steam infringements. I thought they were finished, but it is my impression that some BGG users have been constantly trying to aggravate the conflict. The critical mass was finally achieved in the other thread, Mr. Wallace lost his nerve, and now I am afraid to open BGG because some new annoyances about the conflict may appear.

In my opinion it is not appropriate for us BGG users to keep on coming back to an already finished discussion about AoS. Quite obviously conflict in that matter was difficult and unhealthy (think of nerves and raising blood pressure) for both parties involved. Why constantly come back to this? What is the point? As everything was already said before, I cannot see any.


Then just avoid it. Is it too hard not to click on a thread? And while you feel there is nothing more to say, others have the rights to feels otherwise and discuss it. And if you have nothing more to say in a conversation, why do you keep participating in it

Edit:typos
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James Hamilton
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waddball wrote:
Hammy wrote:
One year later when the games had been printed John changed his terms, demanded one euro per copy printed and a licence of 1 euro per copy of the first Age of Steam reprint. As at the time I was in the process of divesting myself of finanical interest in Warfrog and John's demand was for virtually the same amount of money as I would have paid anyway I just paid up as I couldn't be bothered with a row.

This is the part that never made sense to me since I've been following this controversy. You "couldn't be bothered with a row," yet look what's happened. If Bohrer's demands were unreasonable, why accede to them? Granting that little "licensed from Winsome" has just never made any sense to me.

Granted, Bohrer is among the most unlikeable characters in geekdom, but was this license a "help a buddy out" kind of thing, or was it "look, the game is in large part mine, so let's be fair"? We'll likely never know the exact truth of that, unfortunately.


At the point when I just paid the money to John I was in the process of throwing in the towel with Warfrog and was very concerned that I may well lose a lot of friends over the state of things.

When Warfrog went 'proffessional' I invested a lot of money and took a big risk, the various helpers invested time and got various minor perks as a result but were never staff and neither they nor I wanted that. When Struggle of Empires and the AoS reprint 'sold out' within a few weeks the relationship between my risk and my helper friends became very strained. The point that John changed his possition coincided with all the stress and other issues I had with Warfrog at that point. To me the difference between what I had agreed and what John was demanding was very small and may infact have been in my favour. John was being anything but pleasant and I really couldn't take the grief.

Nothing was ever signed, nothing was done on any basis beyond a handshake.

Age of Steam (or Brummie Rails) as it was when Martin created it was changed during the development by John but there is no way that John did any more that he was paid to do.

I have avoided a lot of the threads on the AoS saga because they annoy me so much. I was aware that Martin had raised the copyright issue with FRED and when I saw this thread I decided to post.

I am really annoyed by the various comments that imply I am a liar. Everything I have said in the posts on this thread is true. I was at the meeting with John where the distribution of profits for maps as I owned Warfrog and ran all the finances at that point.

I know that John 'extracted' copies of Age of Steam from my stock in the German warehouse without my permission. I also know that I paid John a considerable sum for his work and for the Winsome designed maps that Warfrog printed.

Over the years I have dealt with several US games companies all of whom seem to be run by really 'nice' people. The problem comes when they feel that they might be able to abuse a relationship and if I ever do any businsess with US games companies in the future I will insist on very tightly worded contracts and upfront payment.
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Ward wrote:
I'm surprised that someone of your nationality would have such a "none of our business" attitude. Wasn't it exactly that attitude that allowed Hitler to run rampant through your country and continent? The least we should have learned from WWII was that inaction in the face of injustice is encouraging and condoning such misbehavior. I'm not comparing Bohrer to Hitler, as much as illustrating the "if it doesn't affect me personally, it is fine by me" attitude prevalent in both situations.

If you feel strongly about something, sitting idly by should not be forced upon you if you have the courage to stand up for your principles. Those who you are chastising are standing up for what they believe in - you should try it too.


- blink -

- blink -

Somebody tell me this is a joke. Please tell me a gamer isn't taking another gamer to task over his attitude towards copyright infringement... because he's Polish. Please tell me he didn't just compare standing up for the logo of a boardgame about trains to standing up to Hitler.

I've seen a lot of loony shit posted on the internet. But this may just be the looniest - bigotry, ignorance of history, unprovoked hostility, an astonishing lack of perspective. Wow is right.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Hammy wrote:
I know that John 'extracted' copies of Age of Steam from my stock in the German warehouse without my permission.


I don't know what this means, but it sounds pretty awful.


Yeah how could he do this if nothing was in writing? (Just based on a handshake)
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Rob Doupe wrote:
Somebody tell me this is a joke. Please tell me a gamer isn't taking another gamer to task over his attitude towards copyright infringement... because he's Polish. Please tell me he didn't just compare standing up for the logo of a boardgame about trains to standing up to Hitler.


I take it this is your first experience with Godwin's Law, then?

pk
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