file PKC seeks to attack the V:EKN

28 Sep 2012 20:40 #38007 by Mael
Replied by Mael on topic PKC seeks to attack the V:EKN

Jeff Kuta wrote: Many people have asked what we want. I think we have been very clear about this throughout.

If you were very clear, then there would not have been many people asking it. There were, therefore you weren't.

Jeff Kuta wrote: In April we asked that the V:EKN not use our cards. In early September, we published our set, Guardians of the Faith, under Creative Commons. Shortly
thereafter, Johannes posted several instances where a reasonable person could infer that our original request was not being heeded. Furthermore, Johannes posted that he, personally, was in negotiations to sell print-on-demand V:TES cards--possibly including ours, inferred by his comments--for profit. Therefore, we needed to make a more official statement to the V:EKN.

A cease and desist letter is *not* an attack. It is an official document that is needed to protect intellectual property from being infringed upon. The last few lines of the letter state what we want and are not ambiguous.

That is actually untrue.
The last few lines state:
(i) you have removed the aforementioned infringing items derived from our
Work;
However there are no 'infringing items' mentioned anywhere in any portion of the letter. There is in fact a link to a post Johannes made stating that VEKN had no interest in any of your ideas, which was later clarified (also linked) to state that not all of the ideas from the design team were your ideas.
If you are trying to claim copyright on something that is a derivative from another parties work (whether that party is another member of the design team, white wolf, or other) then you should first check that you have the permission of the originating party.
Unless you are trying to do this, then what part of Johannes' posts that you linked to do you take issue with?

Or is there non-public information that you're privy to that would lead you to your assertion that your claimed copyright was being threatened? If so, you would do better to itemise how you feel the proposed card(s) are infringing on your copyright instead of making an unsubstantiated claim against the entire Danse Macabre set.

Jeff Kuta wrote: The V:TES community can judge the wisdom of posting such a document publicly by either party.

In the spirit of openness within the VEKN organisation, something that several people were requesting, I think posting such a document is better than hiding it. Clearly it would have been better if it had never been written in the first place, and therefore never posted anywhere.
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28 Sep 2012 21:02 #38009 by Mael
Replied by Mael on topic PKC seeks to attack the V:EKN

echiang wrote: We have repeatedly tried to communicate with the V:EKN and the Inner Circle:

- Since April we tried other avenues of communication to no avail. Not once did the V:EKN try to initiate a conversation with us during this period to talk about the possible use of our cards.

- In August, we offered the V:EKN the opportunity to sanction our set. About a month later, we still have not received an official response.

I would think the first post linked by you in the letter that originated this debacle should provide a pretty clear answer to that if you read it.

There is no reason to be worried about this, after all it is just a fan card submission .... I can re-assure you the VEKN issued set will not use any original ideas that have been published here

So, it is seen as a fan card submission with as much validity as any other fan card submission. With the additional caveat that the VEKN will explicitly not use any of your original ideas. (I don't know if the design team regularly adapt fan card ideas submitted by others, frankly I hope they do, but regardless of standard practice, they've agreed not to in this case).
Now this is only my interpretation of what was said above based on my ability to read and comprehend English, but I think you should accept that they don't have any interest in your cards.
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28 Sep 2012 21:44 #38011 by Izaak
Replied by Izaak on topic PKC seeks to attack the V:EKN

echiang wrote:

johannes wrote:

Jeff Kuta wrote: In April we asked that the V:EKN not use our cards. In early September, we published our set, Guardians of the Faith, under Creative Commons. Shortly
thereafter, Johannes posted several instances where a reasonable person could infer that our original request was not being heeded.


Maybe you live in a parallel universum very similar but slightly different to ours. Because in reality I said we will not use any of your original ideas. Original ideas make up intellectual property. So no need to protect IP that I explicitly said we are not going to use.


Johannes, from April 2012 to September 2012, did the V:EKN use any of our "original ideas" without our explicit permission?


What the fuck are you trying to accomplish with your juvenile actions over the past month

Look I can bold sentences too!
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28 Sep 2012 22:12 - 28 Sep 2012 22:27 #38012 by brettscho
Well, I think that it is clear that the current problem started with this post:

johannes wrote:

echiang wrote: We are cautiously optimistic about Johannes’ recent assurances that the V:EKN will not be using our cards for their separate fan expansion. This is what we asked for back in April 2012. Many of the recent controversies could have been avoided if the V:EKN had acknowledged our request at that time.


You are giving an incorrect interpretation of what I wrote. I assured everyone that we will not use any of your original ideas. You were asking us not to use any card at all from what had been achieved so far, back in April. But a lot of it is based on original ideas from White Wolf or other people involved in the early process of the design (PCK were by far not the only contributors, and I can back it up with data if needed).

Here is my post for reference.

johannes wrote: I can re-assure you the VEKN issued set will not use any original ideas that have been published here (obviously a vampire name or a discipline spread is not an original idea, it is found in the canon). There are a couple of really minor things we´ll need to correct, but that isn´t much of an issue.



Perhaps the problem here is that it is unclear what both sides mean. For example, are PCK concerned with the names of their vampires? The discipline spreads? The special abilities? The chosen capacities? Etc. It is also unclear what the VEKN intends to put into their set. I think Johannes' post above could be taken as "we have selected vampires from the same White Wolf sources as you, but no similarity exists." But it could also be taken as "we're using the entirety of your cards (aka - unique special abilities of crypt cards or whole library cards), and there ain't nothing you can do about it!"

Certainly the true of the matter lies somewhere in between these two interpretations, but neither side can be certain about the actions or motives of the other. Perhaps an actual conversation (not internet posting - nothing good comes from the internet) between the parties could help settle this by specifying what PCK is looking for, and what the VEKN currently has planned. Is such a proposal out of line? Perhaps a third party could even be present for that conversation to help steer the conversation back to the specifics of what each side is after.

Johannes? PKC people? Would you be open to such a conversation? I think that the situations you are looking for may not be so mutually exclusive, and that the compromise may be closer that you realize.

Check out my VTES blog: Gaming with BS

I also host a google doc which separates the TWDA into clans . That means I track how often clans win, which crypt groups get used, and how many people attend events. You can access all of that info here:
Last edit: 28 Sep 2012 22:27 by brettscho.

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28 Sep 2012 23:47 #38016 by DeathInABottle

brettscho wrote: Perhaps an actual conversation (not internet posting - nothing good comes from the internet) between the parties could help settle this by specifying what PCK is looking for, and what the VEKN currently has planned. Is such a proposal out of line? Perhaps a third party could even be present for that conversation to help steer the conversation back to the specifics of what each side is after.

I suspect a third party would be necessary. Direct conversation hasn't worked in the past, apparently, so there's little reason to hope that it would work now. A mediator would be a good idea. Unfortunately, both parties have, at one time or another, called in the entire community to act as mediators. I don't think this approach has worked for anyone.

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29 Sep 2012 01:37 #38018 by Juggernaut1981

echiang wrote: Johannes, from April 2012 to September 2012, did the V:EKN use any of our "original ideas" without our explicit permission?


Do you have any public information to confirm that any of your ideas have been stolen?

Could a near identical card be created from the same sources which you have used to create your material? How can you claim that these ideas are original if they can be easily derived from the sources of which you claim no copyright? (This would also be similar to the patent test of something being novel when assessed by someone of comparable skills with the current public knowledge).

What parts of those cards, which comprise the Guardians of the Faith set, are 'your ideas'?



As a playtester (and Squidalot has confirmed this) these cards are not to the standard wanted for VTES. They were given extensive feedback from the playtesters (IIRC Squidalot said 30 pages) and from what I can remember (without doing an extensive card-by-card comparison with the original versions) they are basically unchanged. So if they were to be accepted by the VEKN as a complete set, without any further review, then I am glad they have not accepted these cards. I've added further comment and, from my memory rather than an extensive cross-check, the comments I've given are basically the same. (Of course, I won't be releasing any detailed information about any of that process because of the NDA that has been signed).

@Brett
I'm assuming that the VEKN would like to have answered those questions above. Without that information, there can be no negotiation. If they claim the "cards" are their ideas, then they are claiming much broader copyright than they realise (or admit). If they claim the "names and discipline spreads" then they are claiming WW/CCP IP. If they are claiming the wording of card texts, then all it requires is the change of one or two words and that new version is not the same and therefore not infringing their copyright. (IIRC it only takes the change of a single musical note in almost any piece of music to constitute a 'new' piece of music which does not infringe against prior copyright.)

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