What’s unclear is whether this would hold up in court for a game that is otherwise entirely unplayable and taken offline by an overseas company. There’s no direct legal precedent for how this would be handled, and we have contradictory rulings. In November of 2018, a judge sided with Nintendo in a lawsuit against websites that offered their games as ROMs for download. You can see the full complaint from Nintendo here. While just a month earlier, the Library of Congress carved out a series DMCA exceptions for video game preservation making it easier to run game emulators that have been shutdown. Neither case would apply directly, but people running rogue servers are likely to cite the DMCA exceptions, and copyright holders are likely to cite the Nintendo case as precedent. … [Read more...] about Lawful Neutral: Is it safe to play on City of Heroes’ inevitable rogue servers?
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Unfortunately for the plaintiffs, most of this is now moot. A related decision from the Supreme Court earlier this month changed the standard for filing copyright lawsuits. Previously, you could bring a lawsuit as long as you had applied for the copyright registration, even if it hadn’t been granted yet. Now, though, the precedent is such that copyright registration has to have been granted before you can bring a copyright lawsuit. As of this writing, five of the six lawsuits have been withdrawn, with only the Running Man lawsuit still in play. According to Hecht, the plaintiffs will refile the lawsuits once they’ve been granted copyright and meet the new standard. But based on Ribeiro’s and Ferguson’s defeats at the Copyright Office, it’s unlikely to they will be able to bring the lawsuits again. … [Read more...] about Lawful Neutral: Dancing around Fortnite’s copyright lawsuits
With this new influx of money, Nerd Kingdom seemed to make a recovery, putting out a few patches here and there until 2016, when it announced it had a received a $8.5 million from an investor who respected the vision for the game and allowed Nerd Kingdom to maintain control of the company. The reason for this sudden influx of money is a bit up in the air, but it’s probably safe to assume that Nerd Kingdom was, again, out of money. Who was that investor, you’re surely asking yourself? Why, it’s our old friend IGG! According to IGG’s 2015 Annual Report, on November 13th, 2015, IGG gained a controlling interest in Nerd Kingdom in the form of a third Director slot. I want to note here that in Nerd Kingdom’s announcement about the new money, the studio conveniently left out that it was now a subsidiary of IGG and that IGG was now officially calling the shots. … [Read more...] about Lawful Neutral: TUG’s Nerd Kingdom is the Real Slim Shady
The lawsuit kicked off in May of 2013 with opening arguments, and then it was silent until August 2013, when the judge overseeing the case denied a motion to dismiss, allowing the case to move forward. Everything went quiet again until February 2014, when the Rhode Island legislature passed a bill to incentivize those named in the 38 Studios lawsuit to settle. The bill stated if the defendants settled, they would be granted immunity from any new litigation brought against them over these events. It was basically, “If you settle now, neither we nor anyone else can sue you about this again.” Not a bad deal, all things considered. The idea was to pressure the defendants to settle in an effort to recoup at least some of the money the state was out. … [Read more...] about Lawful Neutral: The long fall of Project Copernicus’ 38 Studios
Who’s paying? I’m basing this on speculation because there aren’t many details out there yet for Apple Arcade or Google Stadia. If we compare the streaming/access model to similar services, we can come up with a reasonable expectation of who’s paying for what, when. We know that there will be a subscription fee for consumers. Similar services start in the $10 a month range, and streaming services like Netflix edge above that. We can assume that this lands us in the ballpark of somewhere between $10 and $20 a month. Anything more than $20 a month and they’d be excluding a large demographic with no appetite for that big a recurring subscription. … [Read more...] about Lawful Neutral: The future of MMO game design in a streaming gaming world