An appellate case in court this week brought by former NFL players over the use of their likenesses in video games created by Electronic Arts could make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to William Ford, a professor who teaches intellectual property law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
This week the White House nominated an entertainment industry lawyer to be the new "piracy czar." The job's main function is to coordinate intellectual property enforcement efforts at various federal-level government agencies. The new czar will be Danny Marti, who replaces Victoria Espinel; she left last year to take the reins of lobbying group, The Software Alliance, or the BSA.
Game streaming service Hitbox took a few hard shots at competitor Twitch this week after the service implemented new copyright rules and changed the way streamers can archive content.
In a blog post deriding Twitch and promoting its own service (of course), Hitbox said that forcing a 30 second or more delay on streams and applying its new automated copyright enforcement system on VODs is a "slap in the face of everyone who tries to share their passion for gaming with the world."
In a Reddit AMA, Twitch CEO Emmet Shear said that in-game music getting muted was a mistake. Shear said that the target of the mass muting of archived streams was music played in the background that was not licensed ("ambient music"). He also acknowledged in the thread that some accidental mutings occurred and that they are looking into fixing that problem. He acknowledged that it was also probably a bad idea to roll out all of this stuff without first announcing it to the community.
Twitch is making preparations for something big, and while some of those changes don't impact broadcasters and viewers all that much, the latest action by the video game streaming service will make a lot of people mad.
The prevailing rumor is that Twitch will be acquired by Google through its YouTube division later this year for $1 billion or more. And while both Google and Twitch have not publicly talked about the deal, Twitch has done a few things this week that would indicate it is getting its house in order.
UK households that repeatedly pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted material online will receive warning letters beginning in 2015. Beyond that, the new informational initiative to educate the UK populace on the ills of piracy and where to find legal sources for content seems to have no punitive component attached to it.
"We don't need more copyright," says Chapman University law professor Tom Bell in a new video interview with Libertarian publication Reason.com. "Probably we could dial it back and still enjoy this great wealth of culture that's been generated, that's already in our libraries."
Ironclad Games and publisher Stardock Entertainment are free to use the word "rebellion" in the name of its latest real-time strategy game (Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion) because it is protected by the First Amendment, a U.S. judge ruled last month. The news of the ruling was revealed by Ironclad co-owner Blair Fraser in a forum post celebrating the victory - as reported on by Polygon.
Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own.
The open sourced flight simulation game FlightGear has been around on the most popular PC operating systems since 1997. It is frequently updated too, with new aircraft added once in awhile. But one aircraft won't be in the game any longer, thanks to Honda. Honda decided to send a takedown request last week to the makers of the game related to the inclusion of one of its jets. The company told the makers of the game that including it was an infringement of its trademarks.
Dungeons and Dragons and Magic The Gathering owner Wizards of the Coast has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment related to their digital card game Hex: Shards of Fate. According to the lawsuit the digital collectible card game is a clone of the popular card game Magic: The Gathering.
It will soon be legal to rips CDs, DVDs, and other media in the United Kingdom, according to this TorrentFreak report. The UK government has released a guide informing its citizenry that an upcoming revision of copyright laws in the country which will make it perfectly legal to make backup copies of CD and DVDs for personal use. Those changes will be in effect this summer.
Angry Birds developer Rovio has won a lawsuit relating to several companies selling counterfeit versions of its popular toys without authorization. On Nov 6, 2012 Angry Birds maker Rovio sued Jong K. Park, Royal Plush Toys, Inc., Western Sales and Services Inc. and Royal Trade Int'l Inc. for making and selling unauthorized toys based on its popular game.
The U.S. government does not have to disclose the evidence it will use against Megaupload owner Kim Dotcom prior to extraditing him to the United States, the New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled. In a 123-page ruling on Thursday the highest court in New Zealand said that there is no precedent to force the U.S. government to show its evidence prior to extradition.
Last week we reported that artist Tamara Gray was upset that Feminist Frequency had used her fan art in its Tropes vs. Women in Video Games banner without her permission or any accreditation.
To your left is the image used to sell Feminist Frequency's Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series of videos. As should be clear from the name, the series examines the recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games. As such, it should come as no surprise that the series banner features a dozen female video game characters. Now, here's a question for you:
Do you think Feminist Frequency obtained permission to use any of that character art?
Gearbox Studios, who bought the rights to Duke Nukem, is now suing the former IP owner 3DRealms and developer Interceptor Entertainment for unauthorized use of the Duke Nukem property and alleging violation of its trademarks. The lawsuit is related to 3D Realms' recent reveal of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, which currently features a teaser site with a timer counting down to February 25.
Last week we asked our readers if video games should go into the public domain after a certain period of time. The results were almost split right down the middle between two schools of thought: that games should enter the public domain after a fixed amount of time and that an IP can only be renewed if it is going to be made available to the public.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about whether video games should enter into the public domain, the Pennsylvania government's report on violent video games and real world violence, EA's possible manipulation of ratings for its free-to-play Dungeon Keeper game, and a discussion on Flappy Bird.. Download Episode 87 now: SuperPAC Episode 87 (1 hour, 11 minutes) 81 MB.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss last week's GamePolitics poll (should King be able to trademark the word "candy" ?), the controversy over YouTube content creators taking money from companies and not disclosing it to viewers, and even more talk about King including accusations that it cloned a game and that it is opposing Stoic's trademark related to The Banner Saga. Download Episode 85 now: SuperPAC Episode 85 (1 hour, 10 minutes) 80 MB.
Candy Crush Saga maker and game publisher King has yanked the game Pac-Avoid from its portal after it was revealed on Friday that the company had allegedly hired developer Epic Shadow to quickly clone Matthew Cox's Scamperghost. On Friday Cox claimed that Epic Shadow was hired by King to clone his game because negotiations to bring it to the company's catalog had fallen through. Today Matt Porter, the Epic Shadow developer who created the game for King, says that he was lied to and - with his game being taken down - he feels like King has thrown him under the bus.
A U.S. Federal Court judge has overturned the findings of a federal jury who ruled in favor of original Madden programmer Robin Antonick against Electronic Arts back in July of 2012. The jury came to the conclusion that Antonick, who served as the original programmer for the game since its first game until 1996, was owed royalties because subsequent games after his departure from the company used the same features created by the programmer when the game was first developed.
Blizzard launched the beta test of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft this week, even as it prepared to sue a copycat game running on iOS and Android being served to gamers in China.
According to MMO Culture, Blizzard and its partner in the region NetEase have filed a lawsuit in China's courts alleging that the iOS and Android game Legend of Crouching Dragon seems to have borrowed core elements from Hearthstone including its card designs, values and game mechanics.