After a bit of a long haul (mostly due to the interruption of Christmas) I’ve finally completed a catalogue file for the Battlescribe programme for the Legion of Azgorh (which works on Android phones).
Is it worth (or allowed) posting on here for people?
It’s a bit inelegant as it’s the first time I’ve tried writing a catalogue for the system but it all works and has the correct points costs for everything.
I agree with cornixt. I think this would be something that the CD community would greatly appreciate, but it’s tantamount to publishing excerpts of the Chaos Dwarf section of the Tamurkhan book here on CDO - something we know will get us in hot water
Thanks for asking though Vogon. I guess if your friends ask you for it then it’s between you and them, as long as CDO is out of the loop
Publishing you own rules based on a particular army is fine, publishing any of GWs rules will get you sued. There is a little leeway in that you will get away with quoting part of a rule or paraphrasing it as long as you aren’t doing whole sections, and when discussing in more general sense (“I don’t think bows are worth the extra 2 points”), and as part of a roster if you don’t give the upgrade costs for everything.
The guys are right. For thoes of us that have been around long enough, either here or on other forums (such as myself), typing out the rules and points cost will draw the ever watchful eye of GW and they’ll come down on you - or more correctly the site - like a bag of (War)hammers. They do publish the stat lines on their website - well, they did at one point anyway - but they didn’t put the description of the special rules and they never publish the points cost anywhere except their own publications (i.e. army books, White Dwarf, etc). In my experience displaying the points cost has actually been enough to get folks into trouble before. This is why we truly do our best to ensure that everyone gets to talk about rules and discuss points costs of ‘this army build’ vs. ‘that army build’, but without listing individual point costs. We’re doubly careful in places like the Tamurkhan thread when the book came out, as well as in the army lists section of the site. It’s just one of those things that we’ve all learned constitutes stepping over the line. It’s OK to type up your interpretation of the rules, as well as how much the Core choice for your army costed, but you can’t type out the rules, nor give exact point costs for models.
We all want CDO to be around for a long time and to remain conflict free. Well, conflict with GW-free, conflicts between members is par for the course some days
Thommy H, cornixt, Nicodemus, you are each incorrect.
Game rules are not subject to copyright. Game rules cannot be patented, although in certain jurisdictions, game mechanics can be patented. An example of a mechanic is the Magic the Gathering “tap” mechanic, which is one of the most well known game mechanics subject to a patent in the United States. Even if patented, it’s the use or application of the patented mechanic that is contrary to the owner’s rights, not the publication thereof. In fact, to obtain a patent, the owner has to make the mechanic publicly available in the patent registry. Canada specifically forbids patents based on board games, although the US and UK allow limited patenting in the case of novel mechanics following the standard tests for originality and non-obviousness.
GW can send threatening letters all they want, but they aren’t backed by anything. The fact that forums/individuals cave in means nothing except those individuals don’t understand the law or don’t have a spine to stand up for themselves.
Points costs, unit stats, and rules descriptions are all fair game. GW doesn’t own any interest in any of those. What they have is a protection of their specific expression as published in their literary works.
Note that this is how Army Builder operates so successfully.
And although I am not providing legal advice, in any way, I am a lawyer and very familiar with copyright and intellectual property issues.
I think the difference of opinions simply comes down to the law says one thing and GW’s bullying has convinced people otherwise. Rather than be confrontational even when they believe one thing over the other people have simply chosen to just walk away from the bully.
I actually agree with you. GW has copywritten its works but that protection really doesn’t extend as far as they assert. Copywrite protects the reproduction and distribution of GW’s work, it however does not protect the written or verbal discussion of that work. Quotation and citation for the purposes of discussion is not reproduction. The guy who copies all the excerpts and prints them out so he doesn’t have to buy the book, he’s the infringer. Let me put it in perspective IF copywrite were as strict as GW asserts, I could sue and win every time someone quoted my post on a public forum, since the US doesn’t require filing for a copywrite to be valid nor does the venue diminish my rights to what I said.
I think the difference of opinions simply comes down to the law says one thing and GW's bullying has convinced people otherwise. Rather than be confrontational even when they believe one thing over the other people have simply chosen to just walk away from the bully.
It's not even about "belief." It's about ignorance. Look at the links I posted. They are quite clear that game rules are not subject to copyright. Games Workshop is LYING when they send their "cease and desist" letters, alleging infringement. They are lying and capitalizing on the ignorance of the people they are sending the letters to.
Note that all of the above information means it is fair game to talk about unit stats, points costs, rules etc. but it is not fair game to post photocopies or scans of the books, because that's an infringement of their specific expression. Similarly it wouldn't be fair game to post extended quotations or express the content in a manner similar to that used by Games Workshop.
I agree with you and understand what you are saying. The problem is that even if everyone here did as well, fighting GW in court when they do try to sue you would be a long and drawn out process. It’d take 2 or more years and in the intervening time your lawyer would probably tell you to take it down just to mitigate the damages in the event you lose.
I think liar is too strong a word, because I believe GW is foolish and dillusional enough to believe what they say when it comes to their legal assertions. Take the lawsuit by GW against Chapterhouse, it started because Chapterhouse used GW’s trademarked names in describing which products Chapterhouse’s complemented… which is a specific example of “fair use”. GW still sued, expecting CH to bow out, but CH got lucky and found pro-bono representation. Over a year later GW still hasn’t shown any proof and is still drawing it out. They’ve done such a terrible job of proving their case the pro-bono attorneys hired additional council who specializes in countersuing and getting damages from companies making lawsuits to bully competition out of business. GW will have racked up millions in legal fees before this is done and the only way they can keep pressing on is if they are dillusional.
If they did, it would be an abuse of process, frivolous and vexatious and would likely result in a hugely punitive award of costs against them. This award would likely be increased further based on the chilling effect their actions have on free speech, which is generally regarded as one of the most important human rights in free and democratic societies.
I certainly don’t know of any instance where Games Workshop has sued forums or websites based on their content. I know some mean letters have been sent, but nothing has resulted in litigation, to the best of my knowledge.
You don’t need the GW armybooks to play this game. Army Builder does a good enough job. The fact that Army Builder has existed for 15+ years in the absence of a licensing agreement with Games Workshop, yet contains the full statistics and points costs and rules for the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k armies should tell you something.
I hate these kinds of debates. I like Games Workshop and I want them to write more of their rules, which they’ll only do if it continues to be profitable. Like how I’m happy to pay money for music made by artists I like, as long as I think its worth the cost.
And If I didn’t feel this way, I wouldn’t buy any of their stuff, and I certainly wouldn’t bitch about them on the internet all the time. People sometimes act like the rules and background somehow exist independently of the company and people that write and publish it all - like GW are somehow being unfair by not letting everyone just repost their rules or post thinly-veiled knock-offs of their models. "40K belongs to all of us, man!"
Why do you want to damage the company that made your hobby possible?
Its not a case of trying to damage a company. Its about not allowing a company to bully us out of some of our rights to openly discuss their written work.
Companies do not want people to speak badly of their product. Controlling our ability quote or cite an aspect of their book or product is a component to their limiting our ability to criticize and be critical of their product.
Discussing it isn’t at issue here (how open is “open”?), it’s the wholesale writing of the rules. That is not discussion. We could happily critique certain units in detail and easily get away with it, and if you had a plan to get the rules of the game/army for free that way then it is easy to set up.