Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The IP Hammer of Righteousness

            Unless you've been hiding in a cave with your fingers up your ass you've most likely heard about the temporary closing of several GW fan-sites, most notably Bell of Lost Souls and Faeit 212 blog.  The conspiracy theorists are out in force, and the leading explanation at the time is that Games Workshop sent copyright infringement allegations to Google, which runs the Blogger site, as a reaction to Faeit’s posting of White Dwarf page images.  Google, not wanting to be sued by Games Workshop, temporarily shut down these sites until the offending content is removed.  At this time Larry Vela from BOLS is stating that it has not received any such warning from Games Workshop or Blogger and they are having technical difficulties not related to the other blogger sites being down.  I personally think that BOLS was temporarily blocked while they delete anything Faeit 212 ever posted on their site and Larry is trying to save face, but that is neither here nor there.  The fan base has reacted in their normal way i.e. gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, etc. 

            Basically there are two sides arguing at the moment regarding Games Workshop’s handling of copyright infringement.  On one hand you have the people saying that GW has FINALLY crossed the line and that they will never, EVER, buy another GW model to support such a fascist company.  This is an argument that happens about twice a week and gets more groans and eye rolls than the recent remake of Red Dawn.  These people just cannot, CANNOT, believe that a company would try and protect copyrighted material.  Why would Games Workshop want to make money on the products they produce?  What a bunch of conformists!

            On the other hand, you have the people stating that Games Workshop is right for aggressively protecting their products, which include their intellectual property (i.e. the artwork of their games).  I would fall roughly into this category.  I cannot believe that there are people that complain when this happens.  While I am a huge proponent and avid reader of the Faeit 212 blog, they crossed the line when they posted ANY image from an upcoming White Dwarf.  Games Workshop owns the images to that magazine.  If ONE person saw the pages posted and decided to forgo buying the magazine then that is considered a breach of copyright law.  Faeit essentially caused GW to lose revenue.  People are arguing that the posting of pictures from copyrighted White Dwarf is somehow ok since they don’t like the content of the magazine.  Is that how it works?!  If that is the case why not make everything free?  I think movie studios should spend a hundred million dollars to create a movie and then show it audiences for free.  Why would they want to make any money for that?  While we are at it, I think George RR Martin should spend a couple of years writing his next Game of Thrones book and then hand it out from the back of a truck.  He doesn't need to be paid for that!  HBO should spend months of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars turning that book into a TV show and then convince Comcast to give their network out for free.

The fuck you say, bitch?

  Grow up.  Like it or not, Games Workshop has every right to protect their copyrighted material.  If you feel the need to purchase a magazine, scan it, and then distribute the material through your website, you deserve to have that website shut down.  If you are a site like BOLS and host guests that link to these sites, you deserve to be shut down as well.  So, long-winded as it is, there is my argument in defense of Games Workshop.  Something you will RARELY see.  Word to your mother.

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