Can level design be copyrighted?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Roman Budzowski, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    Thank you for your feedback. It looks like we sorted out the case with games publisher. They agreed to pay a fee for use of our level design in their game. It doesn't make me happy that they used our content without permission, but I'm happy that they didn't get away with it.
     
  2. Grey Alien

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    Great to hear you made some progress Roman!
     
  3. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    That's a great result really Roman. The cost of suing them would be massive and not worth your while. Getting them to take their game down wouldn't have made any real difference to you. This way you get a slice of the pie, just make sure you stay on top of them when it comes to reporting sales.
     
  4. Grey Alien

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    Actually I remember a while back when some company stole + modified some of Amanda's graphics from her Grimm's Hatchery game, she made some kind of rev share deal with them instead of frying them. Always seems like a good way to go to me as legal stuff would just be horrible.
     
  5. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    This way it actually encourages people stealing someone's work to make profit. However you slice it.
     
  6. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    g247 - I don't think it encourages theft as much as it makes the best of a bad situation. I have a 12 year old settlement for 56K which I will never be able to recover and the time and money I spent on the case is gone as well.
     
  7. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    lennard, it does. How come it doesn't?
    So you would have rather asked for a cut? Ha ha well that is an encouragement itself. If you get caught you can still make a deal.

    Edited:In your words it's a win win situation for the criminals.
     
    #27 gamer247, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  8. luggage

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    It's easy to say when you're the one not involved. What's the options.

    1) Ignore it. Only people who benefit here are the infringers.
    2) Take it to court. Costs an absolute fortune, the good guy will end up out of pocket.
    3) Strike some kind of deal. At least get some financial compensation for it.
     
  9. Roman Budzowski

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    When it comes to international law it is very hard to get anything at all, and when you're just small indie your chances are even lower. Six years ago I was negotiating a deal with US publisher and they accidentally admitted that if they paid me advance and I decided to screw them they wouldn't be able to get on me, and they weren't small.

    That said, publisher of Wonderland Solitaire paid the money (I already received it), hopefully it will make the authors or him think twice when doing something like that. I could go to court (in this case it would be a bit easier because Poland and Germany are neighbors and within EU), but time wasted in courts wouldn't get me a better deal than a new game developed in that time.
     
  10. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    I'm just observing where it is all leading to.
    And as I said it looks like " It is ok to steal, ripoff games and sell them", if you get caught you strike a deal with the developer, if you don't get caught well you don't get caught.
    I'm 100% sure there are sites selling your games now. And it's probably been like that for the last 10 years.

    @luggage - How do you know I'm not involved? Can you read people's minds? Maybe I have been, maybe even now my games are been sold somewhere and I can't figure out why I'm having low sales.
     
  11. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    Roman can you tell us how did it all go?
    Did they actually admit what they did?
    Did you both sign an agreement after that?
    Was it the publisher who developed it?
     
  12. Roman Budzowski

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    I received the money from them and the case was closed quite fast... faster then I expected. They never said they admit to it, initially they said they are huge fans of Avalon Legends Solitaire, but when I said that removing 1-2 cards from our level designs doesn't make the work original and proposed reasonable fee (and by that I mean something that they can pay, that would cover cost of level design for them x2, and wouldn't be more than their game earns at the same time) they agreed to pay. On the invoice I wrote "License to ALS design for WS". That's all the paper work we did. In the credits the game mentions only 2 people, but I expected they worked on "work for hire" basis for publisher.
     
  13. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I am surprised that you were able to get them to come to the table. Good job and I'm glad you got something out of it for what seems like a reasonable investment in time and no $$$.
     
  14. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'm not saying you're not on the receiving end of copyright infringement. But if you had even a glance at what it would cost to put a copyright infringement case through the courts, even in the same country, you would realise that what was done in this case is perfectly sensible.

    If you want, you could list the games you've worked on, we find sites distributing them illegally and you can keep us all informed on how the court case goes. It would be quite interesting to follow.
     
  15. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    This is exactly what you said. Do not deny what you say.


    Again you are not reading my posts, are you? Please reread them all.

    I would not like this kind of publicity for my games, nor do I want disclose my company.
    Do you want to carry this talk to private?

    As I said not only it gives a loophole to steal, ripoff games, it also encourages doing it.
    You are just mad because you do not see any alternative except for negotiating a deal with the people who stole your content.

    I do not have the right answer to this problem since many factors are involved and mainly are the cost of taking someone to the court to face justice.
    Also the g-people do not want to spend their time on relatively small crimes where the accuser comes from abroad with a case on their own citizen. Take it from a guy whose friend works as a prosecutor in my city. And his dad works as a chief prosecutor of a province.

    All I did is made the point that people will carry on stealing. With things going on like that.

    So do not ask me “ What should we do?”

    However if you can afford it you should press charges.
     
  16. Nexic

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    Am I the only one who finds all of gamer247's posts extremely annoying?
     
  17. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    Don't read them.
     
  18. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    And if you can't afford to sue, what then?
     
    #38 luggage, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  19. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    Then change your job. Obviously you are not making enough.
    Your games are sold illegally by some people , and you do not even know it wondering why my game doesnt sell well , hence you are not making enough money.

    Remember in your way you want to deal with criminals if you caught them red-handed. What is the probability of you catching them?
    And even when you catch them. They go like " Ok how much do you want 2-3 k$?, ok let's pay him we already made 30k$ on his game. But we are still going to do what we do. And next time we'll make damn sure you don't find/catch us again"
    Don't forget to ask for the receipt from them, and ask for guaranties that they won't ever steal your game.
    Ok?

    Personally my revenue depends on the first quarter of the release of my games. I do not care what happens after. However if you have a long-term model, which is what you depend on, then you might want to consider an alternative career.

    On the last note: Don't make crap games nobody wants, maybe then you'd have enough to take someone to the court.
     
    #39 gamer247, Mar 30, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  20. lightassassin

    lightassassin New Member

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    Nexic I was here nor there with them at first... but that last post proves your observation to be correct =)
     

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