Author Topic: Interplay orders Cease & Desist  (Read 4322 times)

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Offline rubixcube

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Interplay orders Cease & Desist
For anyone  interested in the new Sol Contingency remake for Descent, this will come as a nasty shock. Interplay has ordered a cease and desist for reasons I cannot fathom. Hopefully the project lead can cut through the company's bull****, here's a post on Interplay's forum for those interested http://interplay.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=33202, this company needs to die already.
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Offline headdie

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
Had a discussion with Fineus over Reddit about posting this though it looks like Sol Contingency's website is down atm presumably to remove references to Descent, they also posted full information to DeviantArt where they had been posting a number of asset development works.  This post also includes a scan of the de-personalised CaD letter

http://1devilishdude.deviantart.com/journal/The-Good-the-Bad-and-the-IP-488058453
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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
So is this all that Interplay does now? Sit on old IPs and brandish a shotgun?

 

Offline The E

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
What, did you expect them to use their IP for something productive? I mean, that would lead to them making money, which is obviously not part of their business strategy.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
I easily imagine an old fool sitting in one of his rotten wooden chairs on his near collapsing porch, holding a fifty year ol shotgun, screaming "get da helll ou' a ma lawn" at the kids trying to have fun, who would laugh at the ghastly view of his teethless mouth were it not for the thought that the gun could come off at any moment due to the lack of maintenance...

 

Offline InsaneBaron

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
Aw shoot. I was looking forward to Sol Contingency...

(Goes and blows up Dravis for teh catharsis)

EDIT: Still planning to play the reskin though.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 09:12:58 am by InsaneBaron »
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Offline Aardwolf

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
Quote
Interplay has engaged in discussion with you regarding the release of Sol Contingency as an officially sanctioned Descent product or for use of material from the Descent games, but to date we have not reached an agreement and you have no such permissions

I wonder if that first part is actually true, and to what extent?

 

Offline headdie

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
messaging one of the guys involved with Sol there was discussion with i think it was a subsidiary dev studio but the CaD came from the legal department of Interplay proper and upon informing the group Sol was talking to they said sorry nothing we can do.  I dont know for sure but I believe some dev work was undertaken prior to beginning those discussions.
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Offline CT27

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
I hope this comment of mine isn't too off-topic:


I remember reading an article where people at Volition said they would have loved to make FS3 (or at least a FS2 add-on) but Interplay prevents them from doing so.  One guy even said he'd kill to make FS3 basically.

 

Offline SypheDMar

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
I don't see an issue with Interplay's decision, and they have every right to do so. While it would have been nice if they embraced their community, this is a real threat that all fan fictions face when dealing with intellectual properties. In fact, this should have been expected.

I'm happy that they have their contingency of replacing all Descent assets with original creations. While it might have been nicer to have been able to play Descent, the spirit of the game remains essentially the same.

 

Offline Hellzed

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
@SypheDMar : Interplay has every right to do so, but it doesn't mean it's not wrong.
Current copyright laws are just terrible at protecting derivative work (fanfics, mods...). Derivative work is still creativity, and should be protected as long as it's not :
- counterfeiting (being distributed instead of the original product, under the same name)
- commercial (selling products from an original IP you don't own)
- infringing on moral rights (wilfully going against the original meaning of the artistic work, if you've never heard of it it's a notion of continental European law)

 

Offline Kopachris

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
@SypheDMar : Interplay has every right to do so, but it doesn't mean it's not wrong.
Current copyright laws are just terrible at protecting derivative work (fanfics, mods...). Derivative work is still creativity, and should be protected as long as it's not :
- counterfeiting (being distributed instead of the original product, under the same name)
- commercial (selling products from an original IP you don't own)
- infringing on moral rights (wilfully going against the original meaning of the artistic work, if you've never heard of it it's a notion of continental European law)

Should be, yeah, but it's not.  Write a letter to your Senator.  Or better yet, send a check for a few million dollars.

I have to disagree with the "infringing on moral rights" bit, though.  "Wilfully going against the original meaning of the artistic work" is covered by fair use as a parody, and I'd like to keep it that way.  (Although after a cursory google search, I get the sense the law may be worded to protect parody and satire while damning deliberate attacks, libel, and slander. That'd be fine.)



For complete clarification before the subject comes up: No, nothing protects the FS Upgrade Project and especially the MediaVPs from similar retribution.  Everything distributed in the MediaVPs is a derivative work produced and distributed without license, and subject to copyright infringement under US copyright law (since Interplay is a US company and the MediaVPs are hosted in the US).  Talk to your lawyers if you want; they'll say you don't have a case.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 04:11:46 pm by Kopachris »
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Offline Aardwolf

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
I think the only rationale for this sort of thing is that in our current, flawed system of intellectual property law, if an IP-holder fails to shut down a derivative work, the creator of another later derivative work can point to that as precedent that the IP has been forfeit.

@Kopachris: stop reading what I'm typing and finishing it better, sooner! :(

Edit: that was in reference to the "infringing on moral rights" paragraph; I wrote it before your edit.

 

Offline SypheDMar

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
For complete clarification before the subject comes up: No, nothing protects the FS Upgrade Project and especially the MediaVPs from similar retribution.  Everything distributed in the MediaVPs is a derivative work produced and distributed without license, and subject to copyright infringement under US copyright law (since Interplay is a US company and the MediaVPs are hosted in the US).  Talk to your lawyers if you want; they'll say you don't have a case.
And I don't think we should be protected, as much as I'd hate to see FSU get shut down.

 

Offline Hellzed

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
Yes, moral rights laws exclude parody and satire, and are worded in a way that makes them nearly impossible to circumvent.
Currently, these laws are mostly used to avoid cases like people who don't like your work buying it in order to destroy it (if someone does that, you can sue them and ownership will not protect them).
I added the "moral rights" because things like turning kids stories into porn could arguably be infringing on moral rights.
Putting HD textures and refined models into a game would obviously not infringe on moral rights (since these refined models are mostly made after the original storyboards !).

The best possible IP laws would protect both original creations and derivative work.
I think the 10+ years of work that went into MediaVPs should be protected.

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
The reason I think companies would have for looking more kindly upon outfits such as the FSU is that the work is contained solely within the original game, which actually generates sales for them, whereas this is something you could play instead of buying the original, if I understand this correctly.

Even now, Freespace sells, maybe not in vast numbers, but I think people would be surprised at how large a chunk of those sales is down to this site.

I should point out that this is no kind of protection should a C&D letter be sent, but I would be very surprised indeed if Interplay were not aware of HLP and its projects.


 

Offline headdie

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
FS2 is 86th on GoG'2 best seller list
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quote General Battuta - "FRED is canon!"
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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
Things seem to be moving at Interplay these days, though, especially after they bought out the FS2 residuals and started selling it on Steam.
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Offline Hellzed

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
MediaVPs and other mods should stand a pretty strong "fair use" case (why would the game be distributed with modding tools !? why would the engine be open source ? why not do anything against HLP when they first knew about it ?)... But that's the point of C&D harassment : you never go to the court, and the company always wins (except if the EFF gets interested in your case).

I really hope that people at Interplay understand they make money thanks to this project.
Since what happened to SolC, I'm not so sure.

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: Interplay orders Cease & Desist
The thing is, the community would endure, it would effect Mods only visually for the main part.

What I think we would see in that situation is a reduction in the amount of Freespace Universe mods appearing, but possibly an increase in the use of the SCP as an over-arching engine for First-Person Shooter space games because of it, people will have to think of other universes to set their stories in.

The biggest loss would be all the hours and effort put in by the modellers and artists who worked on the projects like the Freespace Conversion and the FSU, but I think they are all aware of the risks of their undertaking.

Whilst I hope it doesn't happen, if it did, it would just mean a new direction, one that could give as much as it takes away.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 06:00:25 pm by Flipside »