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#26 2019-03-07 17:36:36

futurebird
Member
Registered: 2019-02-20
Posts: 1,553

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:

But you don't have the right to make that decision. You gave that right away when you put your work in the public domain.


He can do it for the content in future updates. And, I think that would be smart.


---
omnem cibum costis
tantum baca, non facies opus

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#27 2019-03-07 17:38:35

CatX
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2019-02-11
Posts: 439

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

Eddie, if you look at that Twitter PM chat with the journalist, did you see anything misleading there?  Again, I open the conversation by explaining that the game is in the public domain.

Yes, I did. You say to him:

"I have decided that what they are doing is no longer permitted."

But you don't have the right to make that decision. You gave that right away when you put your work in the public domain.

If "copyfraud" is a thing - and it seems it is (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud), then I disagree. Jason has not given people the right to claim ownership of his work.

I really don't see why people have a problem with Jason't request. He's not saying that people can't make a new version of his game. He's saying (it seems to me) that people using his work should honor the fact that it is open source, and not claim ownership of it.

I wouldn't have a problem with playing an "unofficial adaption" of an open source game either. I fail to see why that label should hurt the mobile developers at all.

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#28 2019-03-07 17:41:14

futurebird
Member
Registered: 2019-02-20
Posts: 1,553

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

CatX that's really well put. I don't see how Jason is being unreasonable at all. And I guess what bothers me about all of this is the idea that there could be 1000s of players who think that someone else made the game. That seems really unfair.


---
omnem cibum costis
tantum baca, non facies opus

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#29 2019-03-07 18:29:56

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Responding to your plan of action, above:

I think that it will probably work, but it will take a long time to sink in, and will obviously cause a bunch of confusion along the way.  I'm assuming that this will pave the way for you making the mobile adaptation more and more into your own distinct thing, which will be good in the long run for everyone.

(Note that you making it more distinct will be bad for me financially, because the rising-tide effect will dry up----I'm pointing this out to reiterate that my interests are not financial.)

I hope that the title you chose is VERY different, so that no one will get them confused or think they are related.  I.e., the title should not use the concepts of "One" or "Hour" or "Life".

The possibilities for good, unique titles are really endless here.


And in addition to the title, I think it would be a good idea to devise your own "mascot" for the game, instead of continuing to use Original Eve (aka, my mother in cartoon form).  You did it with Santa, so you know how to do it.  Can't you have your artist make your own unique character?  Really, it's not more than a day of work (on this end, I've been able to add multiple new characters in a single day).

And that DD-created character could be used in the tutorials, etc, as the first "face" that new players see when they start up the game.  You could trademark that character.


So then you have a uniquely titled game, with a unique icon/mark.  It would really look like a different product from the outside, so that problem would be solved.


On the inside, it would still be pretty much the same game.  That will still cause a lot of confusion, especially in YouTube videos and such.  Two versions of the game floating around, but under different titles?  What?  Remember Twisted's first video, where it was like, "Surprise everyone, I'm actually playing this on my phone!"

Like I said before, the quickest path forward here would be to draw your own background textures.  Suddenly, your game would look very different.  And drawing new background textures is again a few days of work at most.  Just six 512x512 seamless textures, and maybe redo that one big "paper" texture (which mostly shows up in the snow biome, but also modulates all biome textures).

Finally, have you thought anymore about a "hard fork" going forward?  Instead of continuing to roll my new stuff into your game, start making your own new stuff in the future.  This would further help to differentiate you, and really make your game feel different, and help to make the new title make sense.  Instead of operating a direct clone of my weekly update service, you'd be operating your own unique service.


For the time being, given all that has transpired, I would pick this option:

A - mention that it’s based on the PC game One Hour One Life by Jason Rohrer, which would give Jason the best credit, but also establish the strongest connection between the app and him, for people who don’t read that carefully.


But I want to stress:  I don't think that a new title alone will be enough, unless you also start making some other changes (icon, game look, content fork).  Otherwise, you will still be just the same sheep hiding under a different fleece, and it will perhaps be even more confusing.

For the time being, option (A) makes sense, because it will help explain what is going on with this almost-identical game that is operating under a different title.

In the future, if you follow a divergent path, the notice in (A) will no longer be necessary, because there will be absolutely no confusion, nor will you be making a claim to authorship over something that is clearly a direct clone of my work.  You will be completely free of any obligations of clarification, and the true claim of authorship will be yours.


Finally, given that the work is in the public domain, there is no requirement that you switch titles or further differentiate your content as a way of clearing up the confusion.  That is just one path forward, among many paths.

But there is a requirement that you clear up the confusion.


I suggested a different path before, a path assuming that you would continue your current course, offering a almost-pixel-identical clone of my game and service under the same or similar title.

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#30 2019-03-07 18:47:42

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

Eddie, if you look at that Twitter PM chat with the journalist, did you see anything misleading there?  Again, I open the conversation by explaining that the game is in the public domain.

Yes, I did. You say to him:

"I have decided that what they are doing is no longer permitted."

But you don't have the right to make that decision. You gave that right away when you put your work in the public domain.

As an amateur lawyer, I disagree.

My public domain dedication was a "license" to use my copyrighted content.

There are all kinds of behaviors that can void a license.  Many of them are generally spelled out in the license itself, but not every single one has to be.  Some things go without saying, because they are commonly understood.

Furthermore, our email exchanges served as friendly agreements that clarified the boundaries of that license, and clearly established that fraudulent claims of sole authorship were not acceptable (that didn't need to be established explicitly, by the way, but it was).

I'm making the claim that what happened in China, and continues to happen, as recently as yesterday, was sufficient to void the license.

You're claiming that it was not sufficient, or that the license is impossible to void.  That "absolutely no restrictions" covers every possible contingency, including trademark squatting, copyrighting it out from under me, and all the other imaginable things one might do with my work.

And there we sit, two amateur lawyers in disagreement (and even professional lawyers disagree all the time---even supreme court judges disagree all the time).

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#31 2019-03-07 18:59:37

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 4,121

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

As an amateur lawyer, I disagree.

I'm not following this discussion, and am not a lawyer, but I find it rather strange to compare yourself to a lawyer while also saying that you are not one.  Lawyering is not like, for example, working as an artist or even a game designer.  There are no legal licenses to practice either of those.  That is not to downgrade their value whatsoever.  However, a term like 'amateur artist' or 'amateur game designer' doesn't lead to the same problems as a lawyer.  The lines between an artist and non-artist or game designer and non-game designer aren't exactly crisp.  They come as somewhat fuzzy.  Lawyering though requires a license, and thus someone either is currently or is not currently a lawyer with nothing in between.  Even someone who knows the law like the infamous Bill Clinton is not a lawyer, and that comes as very clear cut given the jurisdiction is either Arkansas or the Supreme Court, since he doesn't have a license to practice law.  So, I feel very uncomfortable at seeing a term like 'amateur lawyer'.  You aren't a lawyer Jason, and that's all there is to it.

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#32 2019-03-07 19:32:47

CrazyEddie
Member
Registered: 2018-11-12
Posts: 676

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

You're claiming that it was not sufficient, or that the license is impossible to void.  That "absolutely no restrictions" covers every possible contingency, including trademark squatting, copyrighting it out from under me, and all the other imaginable things one might do with my work.

That's a fair statement of what I'm claiming, and probably cuts to the heart of the matter. I do think that the license is impossible to void, and I do think it covers every possible contingency (although note that no one can "copyright it out from under you").

And I say that independently of whether I am strictly correct as a matter of law. I feel like a dedication of something into the public domain, using the language that you have used to do so, is in spirit a complete and total disclaiming of any further interest in that work, a statement to the effect of "I hereby now and forever renounce any attempt to control what anyone does with this, knowing full well that it could be used by people I despise to do things I despise, things that I would never ever want to have happen were I still to retain control."

I feel like the only ethically correct response to someone using your public-domain work in a way that you object to is to say "I am completely and utterly against what they are doing but will make no effort to prevent it, because they have every right to do it, even against my wishes."

Even if what they are doing is actively detrimental to your own goals, i.e. even if they are using your own work against you.

This is, I feel, part of the package that you chose.

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#33 2019-03-07 20:42:52

lionon
Member
Registered: 2018-11-19
Posts: 532

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Some notes:

* About layman "lawyering", yes we're all no lawyers, and those that maybe will even put brackets around like saying it's not their specialty. Anyway, "layman lawyering" is something we've to do all our lives as citizens, as we ought to live according to the laws.

* IMO it has be apparent now, it is a trademark issue. As I see it, Jason feels protective about the mark "One Hour One Life" and the "Eve"-Icon used to market his game (or any computer game in general). This is fair enough. A potential trademark claim was not waved with the public domain waiver. It would likely be best to clear that up and you can put on allowness of the use of trademark following certain conditions.  This doesn't touch the public domain, you can still call your mod "60 minutes, 60 years" (or whatever), use another icon, and thus not touch the trademark.

* Regarding fraud... well googling on US-law I don't see it going through as all of these conditions must be fullfilled (I'm just a WIkipedia-reading layman here):

Somebody misrepresents a material fact in order to obtain action or forbearance by another person
The other person relies upon the misrepresentation; and
The other person suffers injury as a result of the act or forbearance taken in reliance upon the misrepresentation.

Regarding which person you see in relation to whom, some of these are fullfilled, but I don't see all three at the same time.

* Regarding confusion to ingame similary... Dunno there is Garr'y Mod based on Half-Life 2, Counter Strike being a modded Half-Life (1) etc. I suppose that has been mostly been clear. There also so many Minecraft clones and Mods.. usually it's also works pretty fair. And don't gets started on Tetris smile or Boulder Dash.

* Some things that chinese distributer pulled off are still hard to forgive like registering the Trademark on the literal translation.

* You cannot withdraw your license of stuff already released under conditions you didn't specify. What is out is out. Also from what I understand of US version of copyright, waiving into public domain is *not* a license. It's exactly that, putting it into public domain. For countries which allow this action in the first place.

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#34 2019-03-07 20:47:00

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:

although note that no one can "copyright it out from under you"

They most certainly can.  In countries where registering a copyright is an optional-but-possible thing, and in countries where registering copyright is required (like China), someone else registering a copyright where you have not done so is a possibility.

As I understand it, that is exactly what has happened in China.

Furthermore, even without registration---open, uncontested statements of copyright are also troublesome, because the longer they stand, the more muddied provenance becomes.  That is why it is important to contest such false claims, early and often.

Also a possibility:  after doing this, they then sue you for copyright infringement, because you continue to use and distribute your own work, in violation of the copyright that they have either registered or established uncontested over time.

In countries where copyright registration is optional, like the US, you would likely win, after a long and expensive battle, as long as you could demonstrate that provenance lies with you.

In countries where copyright registration is mandatory, you may in fact be out of luck, and be in a situation where you are forbidden from distributing your own work.  If you had any chance, you would be stuck arguing not that you registered first, but that their registration was illegitimate.  You'd be arguing from a very weak and unusual position, given that you placed the original work in the public domain to begin with, and specifically did not register it.


Now, all that said, you say that the license I granted is irrevocable, even if some unscrupulous person were to engage in such acts.  Fraudulent acts that undermine the public domain itself, and that hinder the fundamental right of myself and others to make full use of those public domain works.  It seems to me that the distribution of the work is so tied up with these other acts, because of the importance of provenance.

Maybe you're right that even in that situation, where they were breaking the law, I would have no right to stop them from engaging in whatever lawful activities they were still engaging in, involving the work, in parallel to the unlawful ones.  But that's splitting hairs, because the practical tools available for stopping them are blunt.  If someone published a copy of the work with an unlawful copyright claim attached it, taking down the work is the most straight forward remedy.  The only other option is a court order for specific corrective action (keeping the work on line while removing the unlawful copyright claim.)


I practice law without a license, which I'm legally authorized to do, as long as I'm only representing myself.

I don't know what you want to call me, if not amateur lawyer.

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#35 2019-03-07 21:26:15

CrazyEddie
Member
Registered: 2018-11-12
Posts: 676

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:
CrazyEddie wrote:

although note that no one can "copyright it out from under you"

They most certainly can.  In countries where registering a copyright is an optional-but-possible thing, and in countries where registering copyright is required (like China), someone else registering a copyright where you have not done so is a possibility.

As I understand it, that is exactly what has happened in China.

It's certainly possible that someone can register a copyright to your public-domain work, but that copyright registration would be invalid (they could do the same even if you had retained and registered a copyright, and their registration would likewise be invalid). This would be true in any country that participates in the various international copyright regimes, which includes China.

So no one can "copyright it out from under you", although they could attempt administrative shenanigans that would make life difficult for you or others trying to use the same public-domain work. I'll assume that's what you meant, then, and agree with you.

In countries where copyright registration is mandatory, you may in fact be out of luck, and be in a situation where you are forbidden from distributing your own work.  If you had any chance, you would be stuck arguing not that you registered first, but that their registration was illegitimate.  You'd be arguing from a very weak and unusual position, given that you placed the original work in the public domain to begin with, and specifically did not register it.

I don't think this is an accurate statement of how things work, at the very least not in China. China, like most countries, follows the Berne convention. Works are copyrighted at the moment of creation and registration is not required in order to establish a copyright.

If you (or anyone else) were ever in a position where you had to prove that your work was in the public domain and the registered copyright was invalid, you would only have to show that your creation of the work preceded the registration of the copyright.

Maybe you're right that even in that situation, where they were breaking the law, I would have no right to stop them from engaging in whatever lawful activities they were still engaging in, involving the work, in parallel to the unlawful ones.  But that's splitting hairs, because the practical tools available for stopping them are blunt.  If someone published a copy of the work with an unlawful copyright claim attached it, taking down the work is the most straight forward remedy.  The only other option is a court order for specific corrective action (keeping the work on line while removing the unlawful copyright claim.)

Taking down a work because of a defective copyright claim when the work would otherwise be legal to publish is a remedy you would (I believe) be unlikely to obtain in a court. Your second option ("specific corrective action") is probably what you would get.

That's assuming you could make a case that you are suffering an injury from the publication of the false copyright claim. You probably could make such an argument, but it's also possible that the court would find that your case was not yet ripe, that you would first have to have been prevented from using your work because of the copyright claim, at which point you could then show that the claim was invalid.

... or so I wildly theorize. This is going way out beyond where I, as an "amateur lawyer" feel comfortable predicting what would happen.

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#36 2019-03-08 18:26:49

Christoffer
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2018-04-06
Posts: 148
Website

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Responding to Jason's post #29:

We will use option A then, both for listings and in-app info.

I understand that you think it would be weird with two games with different names essentially looking the same. So we agree to the longterm plan too, to actively work for differentiation instead of similarity. If this leaves a void for people who want to have "almost-pixel-identical" OHOL on mobile, I guess that can't be helped in the situation that has been created.

We will start with "mascot" character and new app icon in addition to the new name. Then we will follow the plan you lay out with backgrounds, etc.
The hard fork you request also seems reasonable given the new situation.

Are you satisfied now? Can we assume that you will cease action to harm our reputation and business further? Can we get some peace and time to get things done?

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#37 2019-03-08 21:35:57

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Yes, I'm satisfied with the long-term plan.


I still think damage is being done in the short term, and I would like you to take some place-holder actions to end that damage now.

Examples of this that would feel sufficient:

1.  Implementing the three changes that I originally suggested as a "placeholder" measure, to clear things up now (you can explain what's going on, and that more changes are coming, or whatever you want to explain).

2.  Taking down the Chinese version temporarily, while you work all this stuff out with your Chinese publisher.



I feel like you need to do SOMETHING right now, as quickly as possible.

Right now, Chinese players are watching ads in exchange for food, in something that appears to be an Official OHOL.

I'm bring that up, because I just learned about it, and I keep learning more new stuff each day.

Two days ago, Chinese visitors were seeing my artwork mixed illegally with Don't Starve artwork.  How long was that up there before I noticed it?  50 days?

What new troubling thing will I discover today or tomorrow?


Thus, I think you need to take drastic steps to distance your version from me and my official version, especially in China, as a demonstration that you take this stuff seriously.

If I see you take such steps yourself, then I will stop trying to "force" such steps to be taken on my end, through TapTap or any other means.

But I don't want one more Chinese person to watch one more ad-for-food and think that I might have approved of it, or that this is the way OHOL is meant to be played.  That confusion needs to stop NOW, one way or another.

Also, before you say, "Okay, we'll have the publisher disable the ads," what I'm asking for goes beyond that, because enormous damage has been done to my reputation over the past 50+ days, and taking these steps to clarify things with that Chinese audience would hopefully help to undo that damage.

Hopefully, at least a few Chinese players would see the new wording and think, "Oh, this is unofficial.  So maybe that's why that Don't Starve artwork was used like that.  Maybe that's why there were ads-for-food in this game.  Oh, you mean it wasn't made whole-cloth by DualDecade?  That's what I was told before, but now I see clearly that the truth is different."

I'm not asking you to disable the ads.  In fact, I would never ask that, because it's not my place to ask (you are free to put ads for whatever in my public domain game, even Nazi propaganda ads, whatever).  I'm asking you to take immediate steps to prevent new damage to my reputation from taking place, and to correct whatever past damage is possible to correct.


Long term, with your plan, no damage to my reputation will be possible.  That's good.  But what about now?

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#38 2019-03-09 03:26:27

GreatShawn
Banned
From: Heaven of Communism
Registered: 2018-09-08
Posts: 381

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Just looking at Jason's forum and text posts I know that he is a very nerdy person (I mean, who would type something that long in a texting app?)


Fun fact: I'm an asian kid.

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#39 2019-03-09 04:02:47

Phor
Member
From: Poznan, PL
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 6

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Well, it's just like what happened with UltraStar - a competitive karaoke game for PC made by my friend in Poland years ago. The first version was noticed by Sony and turned into Singstar, officially sharing only a concept.

Then, some other people decided to contact him and he said that he don't care ...so they copied the current GPL code and published it with their own ideas as Ultrastar Deluxe. Then, when their version got popular somewhere (in their case, in Latin America), it backfired to the original creator.

I hope you will solve this nicely.

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#40 2019-03-09 04:21:27

Shallotte
Member
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 30

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

Yes, I'm satisfied with the long-term plan.


I still think damage is being done in the short term, and I would like you to take some place-holder actions to end that damage now.

Examples of this that would feel sufficient:

1.  Implementing the three changes that I originally suggested as a "placeholder" measure, to clear things up now (you can explain what's going on, and that more changes are coming, or whatever you want to explain).

2.  Taking down the Chinese version temporarily, while you work all this stuff out with your Chinese publisher.



I feel like you need to do SOMETHING right now, as quickly as possible.

Right now, Chinese players are watching ads in exchange for food, in something that appears to be an Official OHOL.

I'm bring that up, because I just learned about it, and I keep learning more new stuff each day.

Two days ago, Chinese visitors were seeing my artwork mixed illegally with Don't Starve artwork.  How long was that up there before I noticed it?  50 days?

What new troubling thing will I discover today or tomorrow?


Thus, I think you need to take drastic steps to distance your version from me and my official version, especially in China, as a demonstration that you take this stuff seriously.

If I see you take such steps yourself, then I will stop trying to "force" such steps to be taken on my end, through TapTap or any other means.

But I don't want one more Chinese person to watch one more ad-for-food and think that I might have approved of it, or that this is the way OHOL is meant to be played.  That confusion needs to stop NOW, one way or another.

Also, before you say, "Okay, we'll have the publisher disable the ads," what I'm asking for goes beyond that, because enormous damage has been done to my reputation over the past 50+ days, and taking these steps to clarify things with that Chinese audience would hopefully help to undo that damage.

Hopefully, at least a few Chinese players would see the new wording and think, "Oh, this is unofficial.  So maybe that's why that Don't Starve artwork was used like that.  Maybe that's why there were ads-for-food in this game.  Oh, you mean it wasn't made whole-cloth by DualDecade?  That's what I was told before, but now I see clearly that the truth is different."

I'm not asking you to disable the ads.  In fact, I would never ask that, because it's not my place to ask (you are free to put ads for whatever in my public domain game, even Nazi propaganda ads, whatever).  I'm asking you to take immediate steps to prevent new damage to my reputation from taking place, and to correct whatever past damage is possible to correct.


Long term, with your plan, no damage to my reputation will be possible.  That's good.  But what about now?

Look. Jason, as a professional animator myself- what you are doing is utterly confounding to me. I totally am on your side(the fact that the game has been re-published at all is DESPICABLE to me), but understand that what you are asking him to do is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL for him. You are talking like you are in control, and he is legally obligated to do that- but he actually doesn't have to do any of it. At this current time, with no legal protection. You. Are. Powerless. You are lucky he's doing anything like speaking to you at all.

Understand, Jason. That the ONLY leverage you have on all sides- is future content updates. That's it.

The only reason Christoffer is even TALKING to you; is because he is WELL aware that you could literally file for trademarking on the name and copyright for all future updates on the game tomorrow(if you wanted to). Which would cause the mobile app to become an obsolete product; since he would no longer be able to port your assets and your programming into it. People will stop supporting the app, and would buy the actual game. Effectively cutting off a good portion of his income.

Make no mistake. Christoffer made your game into an app for one purpose only. Money. If this was about good will, he would have entered a legal contract with you and fed you royalties. If this was about goodwill, there would be no ads on his game. But he didn't and there is. So despite his fluffy words and his willingness to appease you a little bit... make no mistake that hes doing this solely for the money. You've GOT to understand that he is making free money right now. You are doing all of the work for him and others like him.

Most opensource programs(like blender) are free. That is the reason they can be open source. Because people can't profit off of a program that is free in the first place. But you making "One hour one life" -a 20$ game- open source; is literally free money for everyone that is aware they can do that. And at this time, you literally have no protection to stop it. The name of the game isn't currently legally yours, and neither is the game itself. All they have to do is take your product and sell it for less money- And all this forum and online coverage is exposing to more and more people that they can do this, so you'll be seeing even more people like Christoffer in due time.


You are concerned about the damage 'to your name' but seemingly not at ALL concerned about how he is blatantly profiting off of a game he simply ported into an app format. I just cannot understand you at all. You are making less money than him, because you are doing all the work. He is making 100% profit doing nothing, when you are paying with your time. Please understand this.

He doesn't care. Jason. So whatever you think his intentions are- you're wrong. Don't be gullible. You are blatantly being used for someone elses financial gain, and you are taking no steps to prevent it other than complaining things should change when they won't. The only reason he's even LISTENING to you is because he knows you can copyright future updates which would kill his product as a market substitute to yours.


So do it.


Trademark the game name and copyright future updates. You think you have a choice, but you actually don't. You HAVE to do it; or more and more people like Christoffer are going to surface,  until you have to cancel the development of your game entirely. Or maybe i'm wrong. You do have another choice. You COULD make the PC/steam version completely free, but that will indefinitely cut off a majority of your income.

Again. Don't be gullible, Jason. Swallow whatever pride or feelings you have about trademarking and copyright law- the fact remains that as long as you continue to ignore it; your own hard work is going to become an obsolete product while others laugh their way to the bank at your expense. There is nothing like "One hour one life" on the market right now, so your game is extremely easy to exploit for big profits. So just don't let it be exploitable. What will happen if someone elses port of your game becomes a brand as big as minecraft? You'll regret it for the rest of your life.

I beg you. Get copyright protection. I hate seeing you be used(it's breaks my heart. Actually). There are better ways for you to make your game available for community use without making it eligible for free commercial use. hmm

Last edited by Shallotte (2019-03-09 10:43:34)


Professional 3D Animator

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#41 2019-03-09 04:43:45

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Well, I'm not selling the game, or the content.  I'm selling the service.  So, that's the business model.  All the content is on Github for free for everyone, and always has been.  You can download and build the game and the server for free.

But you cannot play on my server, the only official server, unless you pay me $20.

So, that's my business model, and that's why it's at all compatible with the public domain.  It's a bit like the World of Warcraft business model (except they copyrighted the game too, where I didn't).

Christoffer is running his own separate service.  He's not just reselling mine at a cheaper price.


I'm not trying to stop Christoffer from making money or undercutting me.  I guess I just think differently about these things than you do.

Like I said, I personally violate copyright all the time.  I have very little regard for "compensating" authors for their works.  I go to the library and borrow movies and books without giving the authors a dime.  Libraries are the worst, really!  So many people borrowing books for free.  There's no way these authors can compete with "free."  It really is horrible.

Someone else making money from my work, or someone getting it for free, isn't doing me direct harm.  Not in the same way that them stealing my bicycle would do me direct harm.


And I'm making plenty of money doing what I'm doing.  So you probably shouldn't worry about me in that regard...

There are certainly ways that I could make even more money, for sure!  Like, I could go from "ridiculous money" to "absolutely silly money."  I could buy islands and fast cars and my own jet.  Maybe that would be nice, but I suspect that it wouldn't be nice at all.

But there are some things I just don't want to do in order to make more money, like make deals with mobile developers, and farm out my work all around the world to a huge, impersonal audience.

So, I could either block that stuff from happening entirely (which if I believed in copyright, I guess I would do), or I could just let go and allow it to happen, which is what I've done.


The question is this:  exactly what have I let go of?


I don't think I've let go of my name, my reputation, or the truth.

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#42 2019-03-09 05:14:49

Shallotte
Member
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 30

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

The question is this:  exactly what have I let go of?


I don't think I've let go of my name, my reputation, or the truth.

Well...I mean... you've let go of all your agency and rights to your work. Including your names association with it and by proxy, your credit for it as the creator. That's literally what it means. And I think those rights to your work are the parts you don't seem to realize you've lost.

And so, I have extreme difficulty believing you are going to feel the way you claim; if or when a bigger company lawfully takes your game and makes potential millions off of it while claiming they created all of it hmm Especially based on your reactions to whats happened so far. Your game is steadily gaining an audience... and steadily gaining traction, it's inevitable that the game will eventually become it's own thing. The problem is... you will inevitably lose all your credit for it. Legally. Whether you are okay with that or not(and evidence on these forums really implies you are not okay with it).

I don't think the library comparison is within the same league at all either. The library is a physical entity, and peoples access to it is ultimately limited by whether the library has it at all, or if it's currently being borrowed by another person or not. The internet is infinite. One copy of your game can be obtained by millions of people; if someone either steals it or posts the entire thing for free. It's a completely different ballpark, and you stand to lose thousands to millions more dollars than JK rowling ever did when her books were put in libraries. At least, so long as you won't defend your own rights to your work.

And also, libraries are further NOT a comparison... when you consider that a person(lets call him Frank)can't just borrow a Harry potter book from the library, erase JK Rowling's name and picture out of the book- and then legally republish the book in stores around the world alongside the original, for 7 dollars cheaper; except instead with 'written by Frank' in place of JK Rowlings name on the front and back. That's LITERALLY what you are currently *legally* allowing for your game. And legality is all that matters.

---

(At this very moment in time. Christoffer could literally just ignore you and legally restore *his* game to it's original state, and legally put his name/company name on it; and there is not a THING you could do about it. And his is apparently the more popular version- so in time his name would eventually be associated with it instead of yours. Especially if he had his own website for it that was identical to this one, because he could actually legally do that too(because you forfeited all your rights to it). And you wouldn't be able to do a THING about it. As the court would declare Christoffer is within his legal rights that you freely gave him. He could go further than that and legally call his version the *offical* version and his website the *offical* website as well.)

---

And that is why World of Warcraft copyrighted their game. So people can't just make a brand new game or publish the same game with their assets and legally claim they made and own all of it and the 'world of warcraft' brand for commercial profit. (So I think you might be misunderstanding their business model and copyrights role in it's regulation...;;;)

So you say you don't believe in copyright law, well, okay I guess. I don't understand it(since copyright only exists to protect the creator, not necessarily to prevent users from making their own servers), but I'll respect your opinion. But as an industry professional myself; I'm still going to caution you. The decision you are making means that what has happened to you with Christoffer and China, is only the TIP of the iceberg. A lot worse is GOING to happen than that, unless someone just posts the entire thing for free. Which is probably going to happen too. But as long as you are prepared for that... then I guess it's none of my business.

But if this game turns out to be your magnum opus, that one smash hit that would've otherwise defined your career.... I just... Personally as an individual, I would be gravely upset if I saw someone else lawfully taking full credit and ownership of my own hard work for profit. You seem to think that people will always know and knowledge that you made it, but without those protections... your name isn't going to be the first one people associate with the game forever, at the rate this is going.

Just like how people steal artists artwork, and fill their galleries to pretend to be them...stealing their identity... or selling the art on mugs and shirts. That has a very real HIGH possibility of happening to you, except on a more damaging scale. Because you don't even have the general copyright protection all artists get by default(as you declared it opensource and are actually okay with people reselling your game). And I can't help but be really concerned and stressed out about it for you by proxy.

---

Copyrights and trademarks aren't big evil things that stifle creativity and destroy things like modding communities. They solely exist so that people cannot claim to be you. To steal your credit. You could set your trademark/copyright protections so that everything you are doing now remains the same; but your brand(game name) and your credit for having MADE it is protected.

That is why everyone is confused at why you won't do it...  You are  putting so much effort to enforce your rights for your work, in exactly the way the law would handle it for you. Except the way things are currently, the people stealing credit are legally in the right and you aren't.

Last edited by Shallotte (2019-03-09 18:16:39)


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#43 2019-03-09 07:24:43

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,746

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

What about this, though?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtH2KPuQbs


This is the cultural ethos that I come from.


I'll spend some time tomorrow unpacking why I believe what I do about copyright, and trying to reflect on that a little bit.  I came up with those beliefs something like 15 years ago.  So they are overdue to be reexamined.

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#44 2019-03-09 08:51:43

Shallotte
Member
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 30

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

What about this, though?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtH2KPuQbs


This is the cultural ethos that I come from.


I'll spend some time tomorrow unpacking why I believe what I do about copyright, and trying to reflect on that a little bit.  I came up with those beliefs something like 15 years ago.  So they are overdue to be reexamined.

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

I don't know about this video, it's incredibly vague. But this isn't really a reflection your current circumstances anyway. It seems to be talking about Piracy; and seems to assume that the people copying aren't doing so for monetary gain. They are just sharing. In your case, your situation is exactly at 0:27 seconds. Someone is stealing your bicycle and making you take the bus.

As someone in the comments said;
"But when someone copies your idea or product. sells it, makes money from it,  takes credit and gives you nothing then puts you out of business with your own work, that's where copyright law is needed, but in the design field it is too expensive to enforce."

She's right. "Idea's" cannot be copyrighted. And neither can poses. But entire games and published character designs/works of art/animations can be, otherwise people would not be able to make a sustainable living off art. It just would not be possible. You'd have artists spending hours making something, and someone else just stealing it and making entire businesses on it. Which in my opinion, is happening to you.

2)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

This video is absolutely right. *edited for corrections sake, I misinterpreted* But the issue is, that taking an exact, total copy of someones work and then reselling it; claiming total legal ownership is NOT derivative. It's just stealing. Doing so is plagiarism, and such behavior is just about the worst thing you could do as artist for your professional image.

Temtem, is derivative from pokemon. But it is FAR being the exact same game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V0X31Ncwcg


3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtH2KPuQbs

Yes. 100 MILLION percent right.

BUT.

This video, like the first. Is too vague. This video is either assuming artists are protected by typical copyright, or they are GOD-LIKE LEGENDS like Beethoven. I was actually going to mention this as a point before. But I may as well do it now since this video encapsulates that point perfectly.

Basic copyright, that everyone who isn't a company has by default after posting; essentially boils down to 'You cannot repost, redistribute this work without permission or pretend that you are me'. It goes without saying that you are an INCREDIBLE JERK, if you steal someones work and rename it as your own. But under normal circumstances; your copyright protects you. But your game is open source; so you(seemingly) don't really have that. Especially since you made it clear that you are totally cool with people reselling your game in it's entirety. Which discredits your copyright.

That leads us into Beethoven. His work(not the recordings, just sheet music and score) is in the public domain, so if he doesn't have that protection(y'know. Being dead and all long before the age of copyright protection)....that means anyone can just put their name on it legally.... right? Well. YEAH.

BUT.

BUT.

Beethoven is an absolute. Mad Lad. Legend of music. ANYONE who put their name on Beethoven's original score and claimed that they wrote it; would undeniably be laughed at(and likely thrown into a mental Institution). Not JUST because that work is free to begin with(public domain); but because there is no way. ON. EARTH. That the work of one of(if not THE) most well documented legends of music, of all time, would ever be confused with some no-name beginner musician. Because they would HAVE to be a beginner, or someone who doesn't even play music; to make a plagiarism mistake that stupid. It's like walking on the street and claiming that you are god.

The same goes with the 'Dover Boys' a legendary shortfilm(for us animators) which more recently fell into public domain. ANYONE can legally make a Dover Boy's film and technically claim they wrote the original and own all the assets. But... why would they? The reason is, that no one can actually pull it off. Warner is a HUGE company, and the shortfilm is well known enough that everyone knows Warner made it. So even if someone claimed they made it, theres thousands of people who would critically debunk that with almost a half a century of factual evidence of the contrary.

But here's the comparison with these situations and yours:

You don't have basic trademark and copyright protections. Like a regular artist/indie developer would. Which protects your name and credit for making it.

And you are not an enormous, legendary enterprise. Or Animators like Glen Kene, Don Bluth, Richard Williams, Chuck Jones or even an Indie game creator with notoriety like Toby Fox; where if your work is in public domain, or stolen; legions of people will debunk those people for you.

------

So your situation is this: You are a relatively unknown indie creator with a game and concept, that weirdly enough; has no existing market substitute. Which is actually a substantial accomplishment in a world where everything is super unoriginal.

This game of yours, has a steadily growing user-base. And apparently has no copyright protection or trademarks, because you have STATED people can just resell your game and you are totally fine with it. Which to today's world; is as good as gifting your game to a corporation or business on a silver platter.

People are already reselling your game, and your audience is not yet big enough to debunk other people that other versions of the game are not the original. IN FACT, one version of the game has more users than the original, so that version is actually becoming a direct market competitor to a game YOU MADE. Which means people can(and will always) buy the cheaper version of the game; and not support you at all. That. Is a problem(why buy your version for 20$ when you could get it for 7$?). This puts more money in the pocket of a competitor that you've created by omission, and less money for you to support yourself or for development of the game(or even for making other games).

NOW ASSUMING if the game got *popular*.....

Eventually, googling 'One hour one life' will likely have several companies or usermade games at the top of the search; none of them likely being yours. And because there are so many people  claiming ownership; people will eventually become confused and split on who actually made the game(Like how no one ever knows who makes Clipart). Aside from the people who check the wikipedia page, play your version or do actual research.

But worse than ALL of that; is that if it got popular enough... your game will over-saturate the market WITH ITSELF. You know those dumb app baby games, and stupid elsa(dressup, doctor, surgery, giving actual BIRTH) games.... ? ... yeah. Those.......

At the end of it all, your game would be one of many in a sea of other-less expensive- versions just like it. You wouldn't make any money anymore. And there wouldn't be any point in continuing it when people start developing their own updates and stop depending on yours.

People could very possibly make a damn nintendo switch version with it right now. Do you know how much money that would make? And there would be nothing stopping them at this point from cashing it in(unless nintendo found out it was actually your game; and because they are normally pretty honorable about indie artistic rights, maybe they'd then reject it. IDK).

-----------

That is why copyright protection exists. It exists to stop people from becoming your own market competitors with the stuff YOU MADE, and taking all your credit.


I'm glad to hear that you are at least willing to think about your stance on this. But If you have the money to do it; I would STRONGLY recommend talking to a lawyer on what you should do(lawyers make it legally tight with no loopholes), currently, or how you can manage your trademark/copyright to get the player run server community you are hoping this game will become. Or like. File for copyright protections and trademarks... tomorrow. Lol. To stop the damages that are currently happening to you.

Trust me. There are ways of distributing your game the way you'd like for it to be distributed, without COMPLETELY losing credit and incurring incredible losses and heartache for your work. You have done really fantastic work on this game. Seriously. Please do not allow yourself to lose it; is all i'm saying.

No one is saying you need to become partners with a ginormous entity and rake in all kinds of money. But EVERYONE is saying that they don't want you to lose your rights to a game that clearly means a lot to you and has such enormous potential to really succeed.

Last edited by Shallotte (2019-03-10 00:46:59)


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#45 2019-03-09 10:07:18

Shallotte
Member
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 30

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Hell. Contact VideoGameAttorney. He's an actual legal attorney who often gives legal consultation(and sometimes defense, if i'm not mistaken) free(but not always free) for indie developers. That is like, his lifes mission. I think you definitely qualify. And yes, he is legitimate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMa6JtyAVeo https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti … developers

These are his pages;

https://morrisonlee.com/
https://www.reddit.com/user/VideoGameAttorney/
https://twitter.com/Morrison?ref_src=tw … r%5Eauthor

If he helps you, he can definitely tell you where you legally stand, and what you can do to protect yourself going forward. Even if it's not free, you'd probably save way more money than getting a different lawyer.

Last edited by Shallotte (2019-03-09 10:24:08)


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#46 2019-03-09 11:05:23

Lily
Member
Registered: 2018-03-29
Posts: 416

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

I made a post in the other thread, saying that it is possible he probably hasn't given up all his rights, and probably should retain protection for the name itself. Also that just because something is open source and free to use doesn't mean it is public domain.

However, with that said, if he tells someone the game and the name and everything is free and do whatever the heck you want with it, then it is kind of his own fault. They don't need to call it the unofficial anything, because there is no official anything. It is all out there for anyone to do whatever with. Which is why in the future, Jason most definitely needs to protect the name at the very least.

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#47 2019-03-09 13:09:14

Amon
Member
From: Under your bed
Registered: 2019-02-17
Posts: 781

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Shallotte wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

What about this, though?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtH2KPuQbs


This is the cultural ethos that I come from.


I'll spend some time tomorrow unpacking why I believe what I do about copyright, and trying to reflect on that a little bit.  I came up with those beliefs something like 15 years ago.  So they are overdue to be reexamined.


2)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcvd5JZkUXY

This video is absolutely right. As an Animator I can ONE MILLION PERCENT verify this. "Poses" cannot be copyrighted; But think about it logically...THEY CAN'T BE. The human body can only make a limited number of poses. So I can guarantee you without question; NONE of those works of art were influenced by the others. The posing is pure coincidence- because there are only so many poses that exist due to the limitation and builds of the human body.

If you could copyright poses- all of us would be out of business as artists. It's simply just not possible.

The statues aren't just picked nilly-willy and this video isn't even remotely about poses and pose copyright.
As a person with 6 years in art history, and what is stated in the description: "Our second "Minute Meme," illustrating how all creative work builds on what came before."
All works are derivate. Period. No animal has come out of the blue, just like living beings human imagination and creativity evolves, each subsequent creation built upon the previous.

Quite a few statues were taken as a display, for the video to make it entertaining of course, but look at the side statues as they present... A kouros, an early Greek statue (some influences from these statues can be seen in Egypt. A statue of Buddha was found among Vikings. Cubism has its early foundation on African masks. Humans are not all that stationary, Ideas travel, and don't let me explain about Japanese woodblocks! I can guarantee you, that there DEFINITELY was an influence among the artworks presented, even cross-culturally.)

Now to continue on with the Kouros. A very stationary statue, early in the evolutionary line of this excerpt. Most of them were created similarly, over time however the anatomy began to improve in these statues, but poses were...still very stationary.
Later in poses began to grow more dynamic, last the statues began to gradual show emotion...why did they not show emotion beforehand? The video cycles between different eras of this evolution in fact...
Romans, however, were notorious at creating copies from classical Greek statues. Absolutely crazy on the amount of copies they did! But their cultural evolution of sculptures was indeed combined with the greek approach.
In the Renaissance when the greek artistry has been rediscovered, statues absolutely flourished anew.
Baroque absolutely took the statues up a higher notch... And if I had the patience I could ramble on about all the historical evolution behind modern age sculptures.

And on the poses...There has to be the 'first' person who introduces a pose. Early age humans had all the same tools to pose people differently, but why didn't they? Why are they stationary?
Well, a concept has to be introduced...And somebody starts it, other people make a trend of it. More people then evolve it further... Nowadays we have an oversaturation of ideas, and it is hard to think back on how it was when the only sculptures that existed were the paleolithic Venuses.
And why are modern sculptures bending humans in all forms of noodle poses?
Even poses, concepts go through evolution. You need to know a pose before you can make it. Whether it be from references or other art.


Maybe gaze upon Anime and the evolution from Astro Boy till modern age titles. How much a style evolved from the western sources into what beast it is today.
Unicorns, dragons as another more 'cut out' examples. How were they depicted in the medieval ages? How are they depicted nowadays? Us creators would be unable to make such creative processes without our forefathers doing what they did, giving us a framework to work upon, deny, turn around. No artist creates a dragon out of 'null', you base them off dragons of others, and the more dragons there are, the more creative they get in their spans. You also introduce concepts from other things as well, giving things a breath of novelty.
And for all those artists turning things on their heads. You can't turn a pyramid upside down if you don't acknowledge first that a pyramid exists.


People don't even need to use One hour one life as a base for their own game to be derivate from it. You only need to take a few spiritual inspirations to still be influenced by it, even if it's subconsciously. It is even an influence if you make a conscious choice to not follow such a design.
This game exists now, and it will influence plenty of games that will come in the future no matter how minuscule the semblance is.

Last edited by Amon (2019-03-09 13:12:47)


My favourite all time lives are Unity Dawn, who was married to Sachin Gedeon.
Art!!

PIES 2.0 <- Pie diversification mod

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#48 2019-03-09 17:50:44

Shallotte
Member
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 30

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Amon wrote:

The statues aren't just picked nilly-willy and this video isn't even remotely about poses and pose copyright.
As a person with 6 years in art history, and what is stated in the description: "Our second "Minute Meme," illustrating how all creative work builds on what came before."
All works are derivate. Period.

True. Thanks for the correction. I'm not deeply educated in art history so I was thinking in a very literal sense, since the topic at hand in this thread seems to imply the idea that it's totally okay for someone to just outright take a direct copy and resell.

I didn't mean to say that you couldn't make a derivative work(look at temtem and pokemon), but the issue at hand is that nothing that's being taken is truly derivative... Other than the interface; which HAD to change for an app. So that video in this current context didn't make any sense(It's like saying look at these statues! The posing is the same, and they look similar so it's totally fine for someone to take a direct copy of other peoples work for personal ownership!). Especially to me, having written these posts until 6:30 in the morning.

If people had actually followed jasons wishes(they aren't because the exploit is there), and made other servers, a similar game with different artwork, different systems, different crafting chains... ect. Then yeah. Fine.

But that isn't happening. And to me that is the problem.

This is Temtem btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V0X31Ncwcg

Last edited by Shallotte (2019-03-09 18:25:49)


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#49 2019-03-09 20:08:33

SSDarkMoon
Member
Registered: 2018-03-05
Posts: 47

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Shallotte wrote:

....

Jason just care about his name but not money......He think chinese players are caring about "mobile ver. offering an ad funtion to get food" is design by "Jason". And this will damage his "reputation".

but real fact.....(not bad word but just fact)
no chinese players care a string of english name.
And are you sure "ad funtion to get food" will force players to hate "Jason"?

So Jason don't want to have his name on the "game", and need to claim that is not his mobile ver. game....but it is another unique game......what???


Even told chinese players the creator have his own server, I think still not to many care.
1,20USD is expensive for a small game in China.(3A game will sell a half cost in China-30USD)
2,network problem, always lag and Disconnection
3,foreigner is far from their life.
4,mobile ver. is more convenient.


Also Jason keep said if he publish a chinese ver. there will be big problem, although he won't.
?????
so what is the reason to claiming a name goin or avoid the chinese market?

Last edited by SSDarkMoon (2019-03-09 20:11:04)

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#50 2019-03-24 03:27:03

NoTruePunk
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 321

Re: Open Letter From the Mobile Developers

Jason, get a real licence for your software. You can't just dump huge amounts of work into the public domain, forfeit claim and get pissed when the public does something you don't like with it.

Implied consent means you did in fact make those authorizations you claim to have not made. They didn't smear your name, they reused the product you explicitly said they could use.

You can issue a general, restricted licence for everyone to use, and then issue less restrictive licences by request if they're really needed. Advertise that service (you could even put it in the general licence!) and make it free. Problem solved.

This whole thing is childish. Your game is great but you've got the worldview of a 13 year old conspiracy theorist, my dude. People who set general licences on their free, open source software aren't somehow equivalent to litigious patent trolls, it's a super normal and OK thing to do.

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