Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby ChuckDaRighteous » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:02 pm

One thing I will add to the "should we help" debate:

When it comes to legal disputes: You should NEVER get involved unless you A) know what you're doing. And I don't mean reading something online and watched Law & Order a couple times. I mean actual legal experience. or B) you're asked to do something by someone who is part of it and does know what they're doing.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby RocketScientist » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:20 pm

You know, I'm actually surprised that Kickstarter's lawyers were OK with the letter they wrote. Seems like telling people they will still get what they were promised should have been off the table. Telling them that Evertide is still obligated to deliver as promised would seem like better wording. Which, in a legal dispute, wording is everything. Also, giving out Thunt's private contact information as a creator (after having denied that he's a creator) without his permission doesn't seem like it's in their best interest. Where did they even get their lawyers? Pre-law BA students?

Note: I'm not a backer. Card games aren't my thing. So I'm just going by what I've read here and in Thunt's blog.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Zenozzle » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:48 am

I assume you are referring to this letter from Kickstarter.

Kickstarter Standard Copyright Dispute Notice wrote:Hello,

This is a message from Kickstarter’s Integrity team. We're writing to inform you that a project you backed, Goblins: Alternate Realities, is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.

The law requires that we remove the project from public view until the dispute is resolved (please see our Copyright Policy and Trademark Policy for more info). Because the project already ended successfully, your pledge hasn’t been affected. The creator should still be able to move forward with the project (and send any unfulfilled rewards). If you have any questions, though, you can still message the creator from the project page.

Thanks for your patience and cooperation,
Kickstarter


The letter from Kickstarter is a very generic legal document with very generalized language that makes it appear to be a weak legal document. In reality it's a very strong legal document. Kickstarter’s letter has very flexible language that makes no claims of responsibility on Kickstarter’s part so there's lots of room to work with in a court of law.

The letter is at it's core a simple copy pasta so there isn't time wasted writing out a document for each individual copyright claim that occurs. This is a common practice with just about any business and some legal firms even have simple templates laying around and just fill in the details as necessary. You could even go to some legal firms websites and download simple example templates of things like separation agreements.

The use of simple language like the word "should" in the statement "The creator should still be able to move forward with the project (and send any unfulfilled rewards)" means that if the creator were to not be able to move forward with the project they are not liable for promising they would move forward.

The final statement that you can message the creator though the project page simply exists to say that creators that are attentive to their page can in fact still receive messages from backers. It's Kickstarter’s way of saying they are not blocking you from attempting to make contact with the creator. There is however no guarantee the creator will respond.

In comparison Tarol's letter they posted worries me a little. In particular this bit here:

Excerpt From Tarol’s Copyright Dispute Claim wrote:They do not have the right to fund or finance any Goblins, Goblins: Alternate Realities or G:AR Kickstarter projects. Richard James and Evertide Games do not have the right to the following money... $177,850 Falsely gained through Kickstarter.


The first statement itself is missing a very important word. It should legally read, "They do not currently have the right to fund or finance any Goblins, Goblins: Alternate Realities (Hereafter referred to as G:AR), or G:AR Kickstarter Projects.", as they did have the rights to do so throughout the entire time the Kickstarter campaign was amassing funds. Defaulting the lease on the rights does not make the Kickstarter campaign retroactively illegal.

A similar situation would be when LEGO makes a set based on licensed material and the license terminates for any reason. LEGO does not have the right to generate new content that falls under that IP License but what has already been generated is still legal product. They can't make anymore of the sets that already exist though.

The second statement could be true if Tarol's contract with Evertide Games included a clause that says all funds amassed though means such as crowd funding or preorders for product must be surrendered to Tarol or refunded. If such a clause doesn't exist then Evertide Games would technically still have a right to the money that based on their past expoits was probably all spent and the company disolved. Of course any money made from G:AR after they lost the rights to produce said content would be illegally amassed.

The importance in this is that in a court of law your objective is to make your case credible and discredit your opponents case. The excerpt from Tarol's copyright claim uses very rigid language which lacks flexibility and if shot down weakens Tarol's credibility and, by extension, his case.

As for Kickstarter's posting of Tarol's address, it's a fairly common legal procedure to post the sender address of such a letter as the letter generally comes from the office of a legal firm not a private residence. If Tarol had just included a simple statement requesting the address be left private they would have left it off. Tarol was just ignorant of the legal particulars here and the issue was resolved by a simple request to remove the address. Had Tarol not made a blog post and several tweets about the matter while waiting for the address to be removed it would more than likely have been mostly ignored seeing as most people care more about the content of the letter not the address in the header.

On another note:

It appears the Evertide Games website has ceased to exist. It probably only took so long to disappear because it's uptime had been paid for in advance. Seen it before with Badfish Reef Systems; the guy who runs it disappeared over a year ago and the site is still up.

Also, how does one edit a signature? I looked all over the User Control Panel but cant find it. :oops:

Edit: If anywhere in this post the wording seems a little disjointed, I apologize. I've been up for nearly 20 hours and I'm quite tired.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby nikohl » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:54 am

UCP, Profile tab, then Signature should be second down on the left :)
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby RocketScientist » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:59 am

You don't happen to be in the legal field, do you, Zenozzle? (I'm obviously not. :lol: But you seem like you might be, so I was just curious.) Interesting information either way. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Krulle » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:29 am

Zenozzle wrote: Also, how does one edit a signature? I looked all over the User Control Panel but cant find it. :oops:

Use the following link: ucp.php?i=profile&mode=signature
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Zenozzle » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:27 pm

RocketScientist wrote:You don't happen to be in the legal field, do you, Zenozzle? (I'm obviously not. :lol: But you seem like you might be, so I was just curious.) Interesting information either way. Thanks for sharing. :)


Not as such, but I have a little experience with civil matters. Enough to say legal disputes, especial civil disputes, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

An hour of testimony can be thrown out with one sentence if the other side can point out a flaw in the argument. I've seen it firsthand.

In any case Tarol should be in no direct danger from his letter at this point. Evertide Games appears to have dissolved.

And while I understand the frustration everyone is having with Kickstarter is important to look at this from their POV. When a company like them is such between two parties in a legal dispute the safest position is neutrality. To protect their interests (profit, employees, continued existence in general) they will not take any action that indicates they have taken a side even if it's the right thing to do.

On another note: Thank you all for telling me where the signature thing is. I think my account may just be too new to make one. This is only my second post after all.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby nikohl » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:55 am

I still think you should be able to... Try posting one more thing. Three's sometimes the magic number. Also, I like your hat.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Krulle » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:00 am

The signature should always work, there are members who have a signature but never posted even once.

That may have changed though, so maybe our admins have restricted access to user profile until we can be sure that's not a spambot.
(They sometimes just create accounts with a signature and links, to a) increase search engine visibility, b) lure people like me who sometimes just click on "newest members" and read a bit in their profiles.)
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby RocketScientist » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:28 am

Zenozzle wrote:Not as such, but I have a little experience with civil matters. Enough to say legal disputes, especial civil disputes, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.


Bummer. Sorry you've had crap like that to deal with. :(

I have no idea if there is a post count threshold for signature lines. Not that I'm aware of, but only Moose and Dukey have access to the server, so I guess they could have put one in.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby SeeAMoose » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:44 am

I don't think I put one in, but it's possible. If there is one though it should be around 2 posts (which is the limit for newly registered users)
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Glemp » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:46 am

nikohl wrote:I still think you should be able to... Try posting one more thing. Three's sometimes the magic number. Also, I like your hat.

It is a cool fez. Is the symbol deliberate?
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby deletethisuserplease » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:29 pm

Krulle wrote:
Zenozzle wrote: Also, how does one edit a signature? I looked all over the User Control Panel but cant find it. :oops:

Use the following link: ucp.php?i=profile&mode=signature

With 0posts, the link does not work...
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby deletethisuserplease » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:30 pm

also 1 post has no access, as well as egosearch missing as link and fuctionality... Interesting. The whole ucp seems blocked....

edit: with this postcount the access via the link works.
Last edited by deletethisuserplease on Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby BadgeAddict » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:31 pm

If you continue to double post, your named desire to be deleted may come true.. :D
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Krulle » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:38 pm

Now I cannot dlelete my posts anymore, as you posted in-between. Anyway, all links to UCP are blocked (no permission) until the postcoint is two.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby WearsHats » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:50 pm

So you now have two accounts where your signature mentions you being banned? You must really hate this place... ;)
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Krulle » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:26 pm

I am the reason why BWW thinks we hand out bans like you US-Americans candy on Halloween evening....
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby Zenozzle » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:14 am

RocketScientist wrote:
Zenozzle wrote:Not as such, but I have a little experience with civil matters. Enough to say legal disputes, especial civil disputes, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.


Bummer. Sorry you've had crap like that to deal with. :(


Thankfully that part of my life is behind me now. :)

Instead I have completely different drama in the form of trying to find a good appartment for my fiance and me without breaking the bank. :wall:

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nikohl wrote:I still think you should be able to... Try posting one more thing. Three's sometimes the magic number. Also, I like your hat.

It is a cool fez. Is the symbol deliberate?

The symbol is deliberate only insomuch as it marks that I am a member of BWW. That said I'm making a point not to post in that other thread. I am of course keeping an eye on that thread but more for curiosity.

Suffice to say I feel no need to walk on eggshells while I'm here discussing what I wish to discuss but at the same time I will not be stomping any eggs. If that makes sense.

I'm also rather fond of fezzes. In fact I just ordered three a couple hours ago. :D
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby SpeaksManyLanguages » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:45 am

Hmm, I came quite late to the party [this topic being said party], but i'ld like to confirm/stress the words of Zenozzle. Tarol's blog got quite emotional about those Kickstarter actions, but that email does not say "Evertide Game will fulfill their obligations". It says "Evertide Games should be able to". As in, "if they appear from thin air willing to commit to fulfilling the obligations, then we, the Kickstarter, are not standing in their way". It is just a legal wording that makes it safe for Kickstarter and doesn't take a stand, doesn't take any side in the "Tarol vs EG" dispute. And it is just a template document for the standard procedure that was polished by years of other legal disputes and the like. So... yeah. And I haven't seen Kickstarter do anything evil so far.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby nikohl » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:11 am

I think many/most of us are in agreement that Kickstarter aren't being dicks for the sake of it; they're being a company, doing company stuff. So yes, we agree with you, SML and Zenozzle (and those who said it before - just replying to the recent activity.)

My own personal conclusion on this is that one should not internet when frustrated. It's easy to see that Thunt feels like KS are blocking him when he wants to do what he feels is the right thing, and it's easy to see that he lets that frustration and for lack of a better word, raw unfiltered human-ness that he has going get the better of him when dealing with it. Stepping back and taking a deep breath before hitting send or tweet or post...yeah. It's vital.

He's always lived his life in the open, to a point; posting about his daily goings-on for better or for worse, his feelings and opinions on Twitter, his blog, etc. He deals with other people by talking it out, or trying to talk it out, with varying results. And clearly, pouring out your emotions on the internet at a corporation like that doesn't have the same effect at all, and won't get you anywhere good or fast, but I guess I can see why he's done that. It's who he is.

I hope that it can be got past/fixed/otherwise remediated by proper legal involvement and advice, and of course I definitely agree that is both needed now and quite overdue. That's why I personally kept popping up and trying to discourage well-meaning people from getting involved and making it worse.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby WearsHats » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:35 pm

He's also still recovering from the breakdown and overworking himself to make GAR work while still trying to get the comic back on track. Not really a good position for dealing well with stress...
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby thesilence » Thu May 07, 2015 11:19 am

We have nothing useful to add to the topic, but we had to take a moment to express our admiration for Zenozzle's magnificently patriotic avatar.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby TheGreatOldOne » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:58 am

Thunt, just saw this today:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015 ... -judgment/

If you haven't already, you should get ahold of the FTC. Looks like they'd be champing at the bit to take this on, if they knew about it.
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Re: Well, shit... (G:AR Kickstarter)

Postby RocketScientist » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:18 pm

Relevant information from Thunt in his blog. Looks like he agrees with your assessment.

http://www.goblinscomic.org/lowtide-update/
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