Tweeria Struggles With Copyright Problems

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. Tweeria designer Alex Shteinikov said the development team wanted to create "a more social kind of social game." He went on to claim that the game currently has 14,000 registered users with approximately 18,000 visits a day. They plan on bringing it to mobile devices at some point so that players can check their game whenever they check Twitter.

The game was first mentioned in The Verge, but the creators of the game soon got some attention for something other than the game itself.

Fans started to note that a lot of the artwork in the game was taken from other artists and other games including Blizzard's World of Warcraft and a WOW trading card game, Sony Online Entertainment properties, and art apparently swiped from various DeviantArt users. An Ars Technica report notes all the copyrighted material in the game, and after news spread about all this questionable content tied to the game, the web site for it at was taken down. It returned, but with a new disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

"Based on World of Warcraft image files and texts. Artworks by Blizzard, Sony Online Entertainment, Kerem Beyit, Brandon Kitkouski, Tyler Walpole, Derk Venneman, Hee Won Lee. All rights belong to their authors."

Still much of the art remains in use as of this writing – and we assume that the art still being used is not licensed or authorized by copyright holders.

A subsequent update to the Ars Technica article on the game features an emailed statement from Alex Shteinikov at Twee Game:

"Up to this moment I have already deleted a plenty pieces of unauthorized art and will continue to do so. On the other hand I've got some permissions from authors and feel that people generally want to contribute their works into the project…It takes much time to check all the license limitations for each artwork. As the result and unfortunately for gamers, I've closed the option for artworks uploading and got massive delay in approval of small items.

Tweeria can't move forward to bigger project without cleaning all of those art licensing issues. I must have tighter copyright control. All these tasks are already in my schedule."

While Tweeria is off to a bad start with these licensing and copyright issues, it's a clever idea for a game that we hope can move forward after this mess has been sorted out.

Source: Ars Technica

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