Internet Meme Creators Sue Warner Bros.

May 2, 2013 -

Warner Bros. Interactive is no stranger to the fighting battles about trademarks and copyrights in courts, but a case filed by two Internet meme creators has the industry giant in a role reversal. According to this NeoGAF thread Charles "Keyboard" Schmidt (Keyboard Cat meme) and Christopher "Nyan" Orlando Torres (Nyan Cat meme) filed a lawsuit against publisher Warner Bros.

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USTR Releases 2013 Special 301 Report

May 1, 2013 -

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its 2013 Special 301 Report, detailing regions outside of the United States that are havens for piracy and do not enforce US copyrights. At the top of that list (which mentions 40 different countries) is Russia. Russia is named in the Priority Watch List, along with Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Pakistan. China gets a lot of attention in this particular report, as does Russia.

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House Judiciary Chairman Promises Series of Hearings on U.S. Copyright Law

April 25, 2013 -

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced yesterday plans to conduct a serious of hearings aimed at identifying problems with U.S. copyright laws and updating them for the modern digital age. Goodlatte was a key sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) last year alongside the bill's author, former chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Cox Communications Eschews Copyright Alert System for its Own 10+ Strikes

April 9, 2013 -

While Cox Communications may have declined the offer to join the "six-strikes" copyright enforcement and educational program (the Copyright Alert System) that a lot of other service providers have in the United States, that doesn't mean it isn't enforcing its own rules. Cox apparently has a 10+ Strikes program to deal with those who download and share copyrighted material illegally. Cox has an estimated 3.5 million subscribers here in the U.S.

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Kaiju Combat Kickstarter Suspended Over Trademark Infringement Claim

March 21, 2013 -

Update: Sunstone Games owner Simon Strange told GamePolitics this afternoon that legal counsel for Wizards of the Coast contacted him way back in December of last year to complain that "Kaiju Combat" was an infringement of its trademark "KAIJUDO."

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Supreme Court Rules That First Sale Doctrine Not Limited by Geography

March 19, 2013 -

Broadcasting Cable reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a Second Circuit ruling on a First Sale Doctrine case that could expand its protections beyond U.S. borders. The court ruled that the Second Circuit court erred when it ruled that First Sale Doctrine did not apply to work legally made abroad and imported into the United States.

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Poll: Should IP Owners Allow Fan Projects?

March 6, 2013 -

Game development team and My Little Pony fans Mane6 were working on a pretty cool looking fighting game based on Hasbro's license.  The only problem?  It's Hasbro's license and Hasbro said "no."

Same thing happened last December to an unauthorized My Little Pony MMO.

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New Scam Threatens Alleged Infringers with Jail Time if They Don't Settle

February 22, 2013 -

Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you.

EA and Zynga Settle The Ville -The Sims: Social Lawsuits

February 15, 2013 -

AllThingsD is reporting that Electronic Arts and Zynga have quietly settled their long-running lawsuit concerning their respective Facebook games The Sims Social and The Ville.

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The Tetris Company Gets Final Judgment, Permanent Injunction Against Xio in Long-Running Infringement Case

February 7, 2013 -

The Tetris Company announced that the New Jersey District Court has delivered the company final judgment in its case against game maker Xio. The company filed the lawsuit in 2009 alleging that Xio's game Mino for iOS infringed on the copyrights and trade dress rights of Tetris. The court ultimately sided with The Tetris Company, which owns the licensing rights to the popular franchise.

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Antigua’s Legal 'Pirate Site' Gets Greenlight by the World Trade Organization

January 28, 2013 -

Well it is official - the country of Antigua is one step closer to launching a legal piracy portal - according to TorrentFreak. At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially granted Antigua’s request to suspend U.S. copyrights - confirming a 2007 preliminary authorization given by the WTO to the Caribbean island.

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TNT Show Gets Name Change from 'L.A. Noir' to 'Lost Angels' After Rockstar Legal Threat

January 24, 2013 -

The director of such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile has been forced to rename his new television show to Lost Angels. Screenwriter and director Frank Darabont had originally named the show L.A. Noir, but Rockstar Games sent him a letter warning him that they would sue him if he used the name. While the show may have some minor similarities to Rockstar Games' film noir style video game, it is actually based on writer John Buntin's 2009 nonfiction title of the same name.

In a recent interview Darabont explained the name change:

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Hadopi Plans to Nearly Double Copyright Infringement Warnings in 2013

January 23, 2013 -

TorrentFreak (based on a Numerama report) is reporting that France's anti-piracy agency Hadopi expects to send out more than 1.1 million strike warnings this year - up dramatically from 668,000 in 2012 - and the agency is increasing its activities even after it saw a 25 percent cut in its 2013 budget.

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Report: Changes Coming to Norway's Copyright Act This Month

January 14, 2013 -

Norway is expected to reveal its new proposals to tackle file-sharing sites that offer copyright material which could include changes to copyright law to allow sites to be blocked, reports TorrentFreak.

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Fired Copyright Reform Memo Author and Former Republican Congressional Staffer Speaks Out

January 7, 2013 -

A Republican House staffer who penned a memo on a different kind of approach to copyright law in November of last year found himself out of work as the new Congress was seated last Thursday and the new head of the Republican Study Committee - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) - decided not to keep him on. He finally broke his silence on the whole ordeal to Ars Technica.

Tweeria Struggles With Copyright Problems

December 27, 2012 -

Yesterday we highlight the Twitter-based RPG called Tweeria in the ECA Newsletter. Described as a "lazy Twitter role-playing game" by its creators, Tweeria uses replies, retweets and activity to create Tweeria weapons, movements and attacks. Basically all you have to do to play the game is to be social on Twitter.

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Voltage Pictures Targets Canadian ISP TekSavvy

December 11, 2012 -

Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S.-based movie studio Voltage Pictures LLC. The ISP announced on Monday that it had received a request on behalf of the studio to provide subscriber information on "a couple thousand" of its users that the studio alleges have downloaded or shared such films as The Whistleblower, Balls to the Wall, Fire with Fire, and others.

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Unauthorized My Little Pony MMO Shut Down

December 10, 2012 -

When you develop a game without the permission of the copyright holder, chances are you will be in for some sort of legal action. Such is the fate of the My Little Pony MMO, which has been shut down after the developers of the game received a copyright and trademark infringement claim from Hasbro. The game was not approved by Hasbro. Fearing serious legal action the developers decided it would be prudent to just shut the game down.

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U.S. Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Delayed Until 2013

November 29, 2012 -

It looks like the whole "Six Strikes" plan concocted by MPAA, RIAA and six internet service providers in the United States has been pushed back yet again. The system was supposed to be deployed this summer and would issue warnings and - upon occasion - punishments to those suspected of committing copyright infringement on the Internet. This week the group in charge of that system, the Center for Copyright Information, announced that the ISPs involved were not ready to start sending out those warnings just yet, citing Hurricane Sandy as one of the main reasons for the delay.

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Tattoo Artist Sues THQ Over Designs Appearing in UFC Games

November 20, 2012 -

Over the weekend Joystiq reported about an interesting lawsuit filed against THQ by a tattoo artist named Chris Escobedo. Escobedo alleges in his lawsuit filed against THQ for using a tattoo he designed for MMA fighter Carlos Condit. Condit's likeness appeared - with the tattoo designed by Escobedo - in THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010 and UFC Undisputed 3.

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Tiga Launches Questionnaire Asking Developers About Copyright and Game Cloning

November 8, 2012 -

A questionnaire aimed at developers about their opinions on the issue of copyright and game cloning has been launched by UK game industry trade body Tiga. The survey, located here, offers participants 15 questions on a variety of subjects including whether business has suffered from game cloning, questions about IP ownership, some on licensing and copyright enforcement.

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Zynga Settles Lawsuit With Kobojo

October 19, 2012 -

Zynga has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against French game development studio Kobojo, according to Gamasutra. Zynga sued the company for using the "Ville" suffix on its game PyramidVille - an action it took against plenty of other developers for including Dungeonville developer Night Owl. Zynga filed its lawsuit in May of this year, but PyramidVille originally released on Facebook 15 months before Zynga took the developer to court.

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Washington Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Federal Prison for Operating Piracy Sites

October 18, 2012 -

A Federal Judge has sentenced 36-year old Sang Jin Kim to 40 months in prison and ordered him to forfeit more than $400,000 in assets. Prosecutors charged Kim with criminal copyright infringement in November of 2011 and seized the domains 82movie.com and 007disk.com. Prosecutors claimed that Kim ran an online piracy empire through his Washington-based company World Multimedia Group Inc. The sites offered pirated versions of popular movies, Korean TV shows, software and video games, according to prosecutors.

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Kixeye CEO Blasts Zynga as Former CityVille GM Faces Setback in Court

October 17, 2012 -

While Kixeye has taken some heat recently for being accused of having a culture of institutional racism, the social developer has been fighting Zynga on another front. Zynga sued former CityVille general manager Alan Patmore, claiming that when he left the firm he took 763 confidential files from Zynga containing game designs from teams in the company.

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Spry Fox Secures Yeti Town IP as Part of 6Waves Settlement

October 15, 2012 -

Last Thursday we broke the story that social and mobile game developers Spry Fox and 6Waves had quietly settled a lawsuit related to their respective mobile titles, Triple Town and Yeti Town. In its original lawsuit Spry Fox accused 6Waves' Lolapps of blatantly copying its match-three game Triple Town when it released its game Yeti Town.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 24

October 15, 2012 -

It is shocking just how many gamers have at least one or two games lying around that they haven't finished or haven't played. In episode 24 of the Super Podcast Action Committee Andrew and EZK spend a fair amount of time talking about that topic and revealing the results of the latest GamePolitics poll. They also dissect the latest lawsuits including one against Turbine Entertainment and a settlement agreement between Spry Fox and 6Waves over some unauthorized cloning of a popular iOS app. FX Network's Archer also gets an honorable mention..

6Waves Quietly Settles Lawsuit with Spry Fox

October 11, 2012 -

Attorney Jack C. Schecter, Partner at law firm Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP, passed along word that 6Waves has decided to settle its lawsuit with Spry Fox. You may remember that earlier in the year Spry Fox filed a lawsuit against the iOS developer claiming that Lolapps (a development studio the company acquired) had violated its copyright when it created a clone of its popular iOS title Triple Town.

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Megaupload Founder: U.S. Government Spied on Me Illegally Through Global Spy Program

October 9, 2012 -

Two weeks ago New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security revealed that the government had illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Specifically he said in his report that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom, because the agency is only allowed to carry out that kind of action against foreign targets. When the news became public, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom.

Report: Dutch Government Opposes Canadian-European Trade Treaty

September 26, 2012 -

A report from Holland (uncovered by IT World Canada) reveals that the Dutch government plans to fight a proposed Canadian-European trade treaty because it contains language similar to what had been rejected earlier this year when the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

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Rutgers–Camden Professor Studies the Effects of Copyright on User-Generated Content

September 20, 2012 -

Rutgers–Camden law professor Greg Lastowka is conducting research on the intersection of copyright law and user-generated content and the legal perils that might be involved. His research is being funded by the National Science Foundation. But as games like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft expand the levels of creativity that players can partake of, an old problem arises: some users will create content that infringes on copyrights. While fans see this as homage to worlds, characters, and storylines they love, the companies that hold those copyrights see it only as infringement.

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Poll

Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
Sleaker@Pap Midnight - So wouldn't it be any journalist writing about general gaming culture would need to disclose any and all links/ties to said general gaming culture to be ethical? Also @EZK to use you're own methodology, I'm still curious on the question10/02/2014 - 10:49am
 

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