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[Gameinformer] Bethesda Lawyers After Fallout Fan Site - Page 4

post #31 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkilbride View Post

...
Can't tell if serious.

Why would I not be serious?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Pistol View Post

Legally, you're correct.
Morally, Bethesda needs to stop being an asshat to a genuine fan. The guy isn't making any money, so frankly, Bethesda should stop being a bully and leave the guy alone.
I'm all for a company protecting their assets if they have been violated in a way that takes away from their profits, but by the sound of it, this guy is basically giving Bethesda free advertising for their franchise. On top of this, the best way for a company to piss off the community is to sue their fans for being fans... I mean seriously. This is wrong on so many different levels.

Just because someone doesn't make money does not mean no one loses money. There are plenty of precedents and once Bethesda starts to allow this to happen, well, given an inch, people take a mile. While this one person may be harmless it can snowball quite easily. Morality has nothing to do with it.

Here is a post on reddit where it is explained a bit better:
Quote:
Unfortunately, you're wrong on each count. And jurisdiction is likely in the United States insofar as your infringement was "directed" at United States consumers, was done on a website subject to U.S law, and affects directly a U.S company.

(1) It is derivative works.

The fact that you consider it "re-imagining" of existing art properties does not make it non-derivative. Use, for instance, of the Pip-boy image as part of your posters is derivative, as is the fact that many are based on existing similar artwork within the games themselves. Reinterpretations are, almost by definition, derivative.

(2) It is unlikely to qualify for fair use.

Fair use is a four-factor test, consisting of (1) The purpose and character of the infringing use (including the level of transformation), (2) Nature of the copyrighted work, (3) Amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used, (4) effect on existing traditional, reasonable, or likely to be developed markets.

In your case, the purpose and character of the use does not fall in your favor (while it is transformative, it is done without any criticism, parody, or new meaning, it is essentially a simple transformation of art elements from the games to art on your website). In a similar case, a maker of the Seinfeld Aptitude Test were successfully sued (and could not avail themselves of "fair use" protections) by the copyright owner of Seinfeld.

Your argument for non-commercial use is inapt. Commercial use does not disprove fair use, but "non-commercial" use does not prove it. Non-commercial use, especially in the context of "I do it for free" does not aid your argument, as it still competes with a traditional market for derivative works.

The nature of the work is unimportant here except insofar as it is entirely a creative work, and so deserving of complete copyright protection.

You have taken a substantial part of their art assets and concepts. And while concepts cannot be copyrighted, the particularity of these concepts would entitle them to protection.

Finally, we come to the impact on the market. There is a market for posters, and Bethesda currently licenses to other poster-makers. Your actions, while not profiting you personally, have an impact on that market. You have violated the copyrights of Bethesda, and would be unlikely to succeed on a claim of fair use.

Furthermore, as the Supreme Court found in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994), the existence of a market into which the plaintiff has not entered does not aid a fair use defense. And, as in the Second Circuit held in Castle Rock Entertainment Inc. v. Carol Publishing Group, 150 F.3d 132 (2nd Cir. 1998) a copyright holder's refusal to enter a market does not diminish their right to exclude others from it.

Your claims regarding a lack of confusion about the name (and too-cute-by-half argument that the word "fallout" cannot be protected) ignore that the analysis is a factual question, and which (in this case) you are likely to lose.

While I agree it is not in bad-faith, your argument that your domain does not cause likely confusion is factually incorrect. However, that part is irrelevant, since your bigger problem is that you did violate copyright law.

Source
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post #32 of 132
Wow I wish I read this,yesterday I would not have bought rage even if it was on sale

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post #33 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEATFISH View Post

Just because someone doesn't make money does not mean no one loses money. There are plenty of precedents and once Bethesda starts to allow this to happen, well, given an inch, people take a mile. While this one person may be harmless it can snowball quite easily. Morality has nothing to do with it.

I'd like for you to explain that one a little bit further. I agree, but I don't think that line of thought applies to this case. It's pretty clear that Bethesda is getting virtually free advertising for their fallout series because a fan decided that he's going to post some nice screenshots on his website. It's a fan being a fan, and Bethesda wins because of it (more game sales).

As for the snowball comment, it is something that could happen. If it does snowball into something that actually creates a market of merchandise that they didn't create or license, that's when they take action, but not before. If I was to post videos of me playing some particularly interesting moments in Fallout 3 or New Vegas and allow viewers to download the video too, would they come after me with their "legal team"? No, because then they would have to go after every person that posted a video on youtube about Fallout, and it would spiral into a PR nightmare. So what's the difference between some videos and a few free-to-download posters that are fan made? The precedent has already been set, and by Bethesda declaring war on this one fan of the franchise, they're essentially shooting themselves in the foot.

Also, I'd like to see what market this guy is infringing upon. I can't find such a market, because Bethesda didn't create it. Therefore, Bethesda is in no way losing money because of this guy.

Bethesda should be going after this guy instead: http://www.ecrater.com/p/14496128/fallout-3-chinese-stealth-armor-crimson

You don't go after your fans for being fans. This is common sense for a company.
Edited by Mad Pistol - 4/18/12 at 12:00pm
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post #34 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Pistol View Post

I'd like for you to explain that one a little bit further. I agree, but I don't think that line of thought applies to this case. It's pretty clear that Bethesda is getting virtually free advertising for their fallout series because a fan decided that he's going to post some nice screenshots on his website. It's a fan being a fan, and Bethesda wins because of it (more game sales).
As for the snowball comment, it is something that could happen. If it does snowball into something that actually creates a market of merchandise that they didn't create or license, that's when they take action, but not before. If I was to post videos of me playing some particularly interesting moments in Fallout 3 or New Vegas and allow viewers to download the video too, would they come after me with their "legal team"? No, because then they would have to go after every person that posted a video on youtube about Fallout, and it would spiral into a PR nightmare. So what's the difference between some videos and a few free-to-download posters that are fan made? The precedent has already been set, and by Bethesda declaring war on this one fan of the franchise, they're essentially shooting themselves in the foot.
Also, I'd like to see what market this guy is infringing upon. I can't find such a market, because Bethesda didn't create it. Therefore, Bethesda is in no way losing money because of this guy.
Bethesda should be going after this guy instead: http://www.ecrater.com/p/14496128/fallout-3-chinese-stealth-armor-crimson
You don't go after your fans for being fans. This is common sense for a company.

Clarification: Just doing something for free doesn't mean you aren't hurting anything else. For an unrelated example, imagine a good photographer offering their services for free for everyone. While they don't make anything, if they are doing it a lot they are actually hurting the market and other photographers. I'm not saying that exact case is happening here but I was just countering the argument that "well, they're not making anything from it so it doesn't hurt anyone."

As for current market, Bethesda does license those sorts of things and I think it is relatively safe to assume that most places selling Fallout merchandise are licensed (or facing similar lawsuits). And even if there is no other place selling or giving away Fallout posters, does that make it okay? Say you release a video game and have yet to license any merchandise. If someone decided to start giving away these sorts of things then you are fully in the right to take control of your stuff.

And just to be clear, I am not saying Bethesda is right in this situation. However, to say this guy has any case is just silly. Personally, I think they both have valid reasons and I see both sides as just about equal with my 'moral compass'. But that doesn't mean I'm going to get all up in arms when one party is doing what they fully have a right to do.
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post #35 of 132
Moral of the story, businesses care about money over everything else.
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post #36 of 132
... so if he posted that stuff on deviantART, it would have been ok?
    
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post #37 of 132
At first I would say copyright, understandable but he's not making money out of it. Why they sue him for?

IF he is making MONEY, then of course. You're using someone materials to make money. But he's NOT!
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post #38 of 132
I liked his response. Pretty much shoots down all of their claims.

Pretty poor taste to do this to a hugely loyal fan. No wonder they have little respect.
    
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post #39 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

I liked his response. Pretty much shoots down all of their claims.
Pretty poor taste to do this to a hugely loyal fan. No wonder they have little respect.

It does not shoot them down. He is wrong. Please read my other posts in this thread. He bases his arguments on false premises.
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post #40 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by banded1 View Post

... so if he posted that stuff on deviantART, it would have been ok?

Most likely yes, because a consumer would know that they are not on an official website for Fallout. Ok meaning the work by law might have still been copyright but because of the avenue it would have been distributed it probably would not of been a big deal, or at least not received litigation like the current situation.

Bethesda is not saying they will come after someone just because they did a fan made drawing having to do with Fallout. They are in this case protecting their brand. It is not that this guy would be making money by having people come to his Fallout webpage but he would or could be mis-leading non informed consumers to his webpage thinking it was official and costing bethesda business that the consumer would have otherwise purchased. It sounds greedy and it might be, but this also protects small business and mom and pop shops too, hard to be overly upset over this once you understand the facts.

I'm just stating the fact of why this guy is being threatened with copyright litigation.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Video Game News › [Gameinformer] Bethesda Lawyers After Fallout Fan Site