Game Lords Fakes :/
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:36 pm 
 

I sent him another taunting message. We'll see what the reply is. I'm going to try to get him to admit he copied them himself, if he did indeed do so.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:40 pm 
 

Adam Shultz wrote:
3) You know what happens when you ass u me?


:lol: I am not sure what that means but it doesn't sound good. :lol:


The worst part of that statement is the fact that I didnt assume anything. If I was assuming something, I would have flat out accused him of making the forgeries right off the bat, rather than politely ask him where he got them from because it now pretty evident that are both forgeries.


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:56 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
Badmike wrote:
bclarkie wrote:BTW, it is also illegal to sell photocopies of pages for which WOTC will be notified of as well.


Brian, what was he selling photocopies of from WOTC? On his site he's only selling the fake GameLords stuff right now.

Mike B.


Mike, he is selling Deities & Demigods with photocopied pages of the Cthulhu and Melniboinean mythos. :roll: I do have an update as well, here is his response to my latest query:


    As long as he's giving the photocopies away and not selling them, he's in the clear.  It really depends on how you word it more than anything; he'd just have to make it clear he was giving the pages away for "free" and not selling them with the book. Even then, someone has to find it objectionable and no doubt WOTC or Kenzer (whoever owns the DDG copyright) aren't going to go after this kind of nickel and dime stuff.  I mean look at the illegal cds blatantly sold on ebay all the time.
      Kind of like when he says he's selling a "copy" of the Game Lords stuff, this could be construed as an actual copy or a literal "copy" of the real item.  He's been very astute about covering his ass should he ever be challenged.

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:20 am 
 

Again, the bizarre thing is that it just doesn't make economic sense for this guy to forge the Compleat Tavern and much of the Gamelords stuff.  And the forgery is so bad to be in a completely different color too...  someone would be better off forging fanzines for a higher economic return and avoiding the scrutiny a big time rare such as Fazzle, Tamoachan, etc. would attract.  
This is one reason why I've been enjoying collecting miniatures... it would really take a lot of work to forge the minis and the boxes/blisters.  

As for the transit strike, I don't absolutely need to go into Manhattan (from Queens) for the rest of the year (though I will miss a few holiday dinners with friends), and will be in Korea for most of January; so by the time I get back it should be all settled one way or another.   :wink:

  

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:10 am 
 

Quote:

I'll tell you the same thing I told the other eBayer you are in league with. Unfortunately, he did not tell this:

1) I am not selling photocopies. Contact anyone you want.

2) Kindly go away unless you have a legitimate question. e-mail to harass is a violation of eBay rules; your e-mails have no merit and have been reported.


Giving away photocopied material is not illegal? Since when?


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:59 am 
 

Badmike wrote:As long as he's giving the photocopies away and not selling them, he's in the clear.

By that rationale, if you sell a 3E rule book and give away a free DVD of PDFs, you're also in the clear. The buyer has the option of not receiving the free DVD if they choose.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:40 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
Badmike wrote:As long as he's giving the photocopies away and not selling them, he's in the clear.

By that rationale, if you sell a 3E rule book and give away a free DVD of PDFs, you're also in the clear. The buyer has the option of not receiving the free DVD if they choose.


Legally, it's a very sticky issue. It's how private resellers of professional sports tickets get around scalping laws.  You can see the ads in the paper sometimes: "Selling this large Thanksgiving Turkey for $500...BTW, given away FREE with the turkey are two 50 yard line tickets to see the Cowboys play the Broncos this Thursday at Texas Stadium".  The buyer could always decide not to take the tickets and instead just eat that succulent $500 turkey...
  Same with photocopies.  Generally anything already freely distributed (say, the free downloads at the WOTC site) can be given away for free without represcussion.  I don't want to get into any copyright discussions (please lord Jesus no) because they devolve into 100 differing opinions all backed up with what sounds like sound advice from 100 lawyer wanna bes (and even some lawyers, who truth be told unless that is your legal specialty don't know a thing about it either) and generally no one cares because it all boils down to if you give the copies away for no profit, generally nothing can or will be done.  So case in point unless DandD guy is charging for the DDG Cthulhu pages it isn't an issue to anyone really, unless he states he is either selling them separately or charging a premium price for the book expressly because of the sheets.
     Hell, some of the stuff in the Collectors Trove auctions are photocopied.  A lot of tourneys sold are just photocopies. I've probably given away hundreds of copies of D&D articles and modules in my lifetime that were photocopied out of Dragon mags, Dungeon mags, etc.  I just don't personally have a problem with it...now, when morons pop up on ebay blatantly selling a pdf with "complete works of D&D" on it I do have a problem.  But if they go to the smallest protection of saying as you did "here is a 3rd edition book, btw tucked into the cover is a FREE pdf with the complete works of D&D" then they have covered themselves pretty well legally.  
  As refers to DandD, I would suppose nailing him on anything will prove to be impossible.  Even if he was printing them up in his basement as we speak.  Hell, multi-million dollar authors and their works are counterfeited all the time and they have a hell of a time ever getting anyone in trouble for it.  Ask Art Buchwald, his book "Coming To America" was stolen word for word by Eddie Murphy for his movie of the same name without any attribution, and it took him about 10 years in court to see one cent of damages.  This is why I keep saying watch out for the future..someday, someone is going to run adequate looking copies of Starstone or Tulan of the Isles, and there won't be a thing anyone can do about it.

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:06 pm 
 

I suppose the best thing is for Tadashi to pursue eBay for allowing the guy to sell photocopies of his property. That won't stop the listing, but it might curb his attitiude a bid.

I note that Heroic Worlds also does not list these two 'second prints', and I presume they weren't published later by Different Worlds.

I imagine in most cases it is a waste of a person's time to try to defend their copyright on eBay. The money and time spent are just wasted, and have no earned value. Why bother?


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:15 pm 
 

If Tadashie contacts ebay as copyrights owner of the material in question they will pull the items immediately. Unless they think he doesn't have the resources to sue ebay itself. This is why they are so prompt to address Hasbro's complaints that are directed through the copyright thread here.

Heroic Worlds is missing lots of info. Especially on intensive/complete print run listing. A great and early resource but is limited.  :wink:


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:53 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Legally, it's a very sticky issue.
...
Same with photocopies. Generally anything already freely distributed (say, the free downloads at the WOTC site) can be given away for free without represcussion.

Ok, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm seriously considering becoming one now. :)

Legally, it's a very clear issue.  Practically, it is very difficult to enforce every PDF out there and usually not worth the hassle of taking these morons to court.  

Just because WotC is allowing people to download material for free from their website does not imply others have the right to redistribute that material.  As the copyright holder, WotC has that exclusive right.  They may authorize others to do so, or they may not.  Perhaps they want customers to visit their site and be subjected to their advertising whilst downloading the files, for example. (Section 106(3))

D&D articles photocopied/quoted from magazines are a different issue.  Assuming you're just photocopying an article or quoting a passage, for criticism or comment, that can be considered fair use.  The amount of the material copied is significant. (Section 107(2))

As far as throwing in a bunch of copyrighted "free" material along with a legitimate sale, no dice.  It's infringement of copyright either way, only the punishment differs.  This is precisely why distribution rights are so important.  (Section 501)

Trying to prove actual damages and profits would futile as the infringer is giving away the material for free.  They should be electing to recover statutory damages instead. (Section 504(c))

In most cases, nobody will care or do anything about it, but I would.  Statutory damages can result in a fine of $750 to $30,000 as the court considers just.  There are additional possible penalties and way too much legalese, but that seems good enough to me.  (Section 504(c)(2))

If you want to read more, get the PDF (how's that for irony) of the US Copyright Law, it's really not a very difficult read:  
http://www.copyright.gov/title17

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:00 pm 
 

if tadashi contacts ebay and tells them that his copyright is being breached by persons X Y and Z with listings A B and C, ebay will pull them.

he just needs to go through the VERO programme and they WILL sort it - believe me they are as sharp as feck when you start down that route. i've been on the receiving end of that once (totally unknowingly) - the listing took 2 hrs 30 mins or so, to be removed.

Al



  

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:44 pm 
 

Giving away free downloadable PDF's and selling photocopies of copyrighted material are two different things. If that was the case, I could just photocopy my PHB and pass out copies to every gamer I know.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:51 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Badmike wrote:Legally, it's a very sticky issue.
...
Same with photocopies. Generally anything already freely distributed (say, the free downloads at the WOTC site) can be given away for free without represcussion.

Ok, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm seriously considering becoming one now. :)

Legally, it's a very clear issue. Practically, it is very difficult to enforce every PDF out there and usually not worth the hassle of taking these morons to court.

Just because WotC is allowing people to download material for free from their website does not imply others have the right to redistribute that material. As the copyright holder, WotC has that exclusive right. They may authorize others to do so, or they may not. Perhaps they want customers to visit their site and be subjected to their advertising whilst downloading the files, for example. (Section 106(3))

D&D articles photocopied/quoted from magazines are a different issue. Assuming you're just photocopying an article or quoting a passage, for criticism or comment, that can be considered fair use. The amount of the material copied is significant. (Section 107(2))

As far as throwing in a bunch of copyrighted "free" material along with a legitimate sale, no dice. It's infringement of copyright either way, only the punishment differs. This is precisely why distribution rights are so important. (Section 501)

Trying to prove actual damages and profits would futile as the infringer is giving away the material for free. They should be electing to recover statutory damages instead. (Section 504(c))

In most cases, nobody will care or do anything about it, but I would. Statutory damages can result in a fine of $750 to $30,000 as the court considers just. There are additional possible penalties and way too much legalese, but that seems good enough to me. (Section 504(c)(2))

If you want to read more, get the PDF (how's that for irony) of the US Copyright Law, it's really not a very difficult read:
http://www.copyright.gov/title17


    One reason I always hate this subject is that it gets buried in legalese.  I always ask someone to please cite the exact case where someone was awarded a monetary amount for copyright infringement, and they collected said amount, for copyright infringement by an individual for less than, say, $10k worth of damages by copying pdfs or magazine articles. You can't find them.  They don't exist.  No one cares unless you are a huge corporation with hordes of lawyers willing to spend time and money.  The best, absolute best, result is to get the listings removed from Ebay or the internet.  I don't even know if that would happen in this case we are talking about.  As for legally, good luck finding a lawyer willing to handle your case.  They are too busy chasing the next cigarette or asbestos payday, or making a steady income fighting traffic tickets in court, to get much worked up about your loss.
      I have actual hands on experience.  The Savings and Loan I worked for in the 80's went through a TWO YEAR legal battle over copyrighted material.  I was directly involved in that I was an assistant to the bank president and had to deal with the paperwork every day.  We had the company absolutely dead to rights ( I won't go into the monotonous details here) and could prove very substantial damages.  It took over two years of legal battles just to get to the point where we were basically awarded a pittance and the other company had to cease and desist (which they had already done about a year earlier).  We spent over ten times the actual damages awarded just to defend a copyright, which in the end wasn't worth it in terms of money, manhours and misery.  It was absolutely ridiculous. Which is why you see most companies, beyond writing and sending a scary sounding "cease and desist" letter, will do nothing.  
 If someone was photocopying say a magazine article you wrote, and selling it online, I could see the anger involved and the need to "nail the bastards" and try to recover damages. Any GOOD lawyer (that is, a lawyer with your best interests involved and not one just looking for someone to stick for billable hours) would tell you to ignore it (besides sending the scary sounding letter).  Otherwise you would spend money and time, which you will never get back, trying to get $500 out of someone who probably will never pay the amount anyway.  Hey, that's if you even win the judgement, I've seen slam dunks get booted out of court (ours almost was and it was pretty much a no brainer). It's a losing game unfortunately and if you play it, you are only bringing misery upon yourself.
    Look at it this way.  Speeding is against the law.  I haven't had a speeding ticket in over 10years, yet I probably speed every single day I drive.  If I speed 100 mph right in front of a cop, I will probably get pulled over. If I run 10 mph over the limit and watch for officers, slowing down when I see them, I can go ten years or more without a ticket.  The analogy applies. DandD is going about 15 mph over the limit, but he was unlucky enough to pass a few concerned citizens willing to call in his license number.  Maybe he'll get a ticket, maybe not.  Should be interesting to see how it works out.
  Someday maybe I'll write a book about the case I was peripherally involved in.  It would make you want to kill a lawyer, if you hadn't thought about it already  :twisted:

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:03 pm 
 

I see two issues here....

1. It may well be morally wrong to buy, sell or trade copyrighted materials, but the only parties who need concern themselves with that are the two parties involved in the transaction. The rest of us can be as offended as we like. It doesn't mean squat.

2. It is illegal to breach someone elses copyright. Again, the parties who need to concern themselves with that are the parties involved in the transaction, and the copyright holder. The rest of us can be as offended as we like. It doesn't mean squat.

Copyright theft doesn't mean squat unless its your copyright that is being infringed, and you have the time to waste doing something about it.

Perhaps the best way to deal with this muppet is militant action. Buy his products and when they arrive, claim they are fraudulent and get your money back from your credit card. It would be wrong to return stolen property to the seller, so mail it to Gamelords or report the guy to the police for selling you fake goods.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:01 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:No one cares unless you are a huge corporation with hordes of lawyers willing to spend time and money. The best, absolute best, result is to get the listings removed from Ebay or the internet.

No argument there.  There's something wrong with the judical system if they're wrong, you can prove it, and you still lose even after you do so.  

I figured the copyright holder could stomp them with a quick $750 (minimum) fine and be done with it.  They're distributing the material without authorization, which is a copyright infringement, and very easily provable as it's for auction on frickin' eBay!  It looked good on paper, anyway.   :roll:

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:24 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:I figured the copyright holder could stomp them with a quick $750 (minimum) fine and be done with it. They're distributing the material without authorization, which is a copyright infringement, and very easily provable as it's for auction on frickin' eBay! It looked good on paper, anyway.  :roll:

If you are the copyright holder, it isn't worth your time or money to try to bring a prosecution against an individual. And as you could never win a prosecution against eBay, it isn't worth the time or effort to try. All you can do is waste your time trying to get eBay to stop them every time one pops up. That is an exercise in futility, and sooner or later you'll get sick of wasing your time trying to do it.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:01 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:Allan, I am assuming that Tadashie is going to follow up with EBay about these fakes that are being sold. If need be I will forward my fake coipies to yourself or him directly for that matter as proof. Let me know.


I haven't heard back from Tadashi about this yet, but will definitely ping him, Brian.  He may be travelling overseas at the moment.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:10 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:if tadashi contacts ebay and tells them that his copyright is being breached by persons X Y and Z with listings A B and C, ebay will pull them.

he just needs to go through the VERO programme and they WILL sort it - believe me they are as sharp as feck when you start down that route. i've been on the receiving end of that once (totally unknowingly) - the listing took 2 hrs 30 mins or so, to be removed.


I"m not familiar with this program, Al, thanks for the pointer: eBay: Redirect

I'll point Tadashi to this, and will let you guys know the results!


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:47 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:OK, if you guys can refresh me about how to get feedback removed, I'll buy up his stuff.


Evidently you just need to put the person's name, address, and phone number in your feedback and all feedback for the transaction gets removed.... though I believe he needs to complain about it, otherwise eBay will probably just ignore it.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:47 am 
 

grodog wrote:
killjoy32 wrote:if tadashi contacts ebay and tells them that his copyright is being breached by persons X Y and Z with listings A B and C, ebay will pull them.

he just needs to go through the VERO programme and they WILL sort it - believe me they are as sharp as feck when you start down that route. i've been on the receiving end of that once (totally unknowingly) - the listing took 2 hrs 30 mins or so, to be removed.


I"m not familiar with this program, Al, thanks for the pointer: pages.ebay.com/help/confidence/programs ... ro-ov.html

I'll point Tadashi to this, and will let you guys know the results!


Wow, ebay has actually done something right, what a great prpgram. Unfortunately only the right's holder themselves can report potentially infringing items.  Still, it seems like it could work quite well.

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