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#26 2019-03-01 18:55:20

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

PS: I agree with CrazyEddie an all his posts (Not a lawyer either)

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#27 2019-03-01 19:19:06

fragilityh14
Member
Registered: 2018-03-21
Posts: 556

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Firstly, i'm really hostile to IP, and admire Jason's choice to put this in the pubic domain.

However, i've unsuccessfully tried to convince a lot of people to play this game, which is how I found out about the mobile version.

Even with my feelings on IP, I got a bad feeling from the general premise of making a mobile game that was a direct copy. it wasn't obvious to my friend that it was an unofficial adaptation (this is a month or so ago)


There's not a great solution here, and it is my view that the mobile developers are broadly deserving of the profits they've earned for the work which has been done, including adapting and translating. I think it's going to be a net positive for the PC game userbase [and it would suck to play on a touch screen anyway, i don't think they can make a better experience]

I don't think there's more to be done than accept "An unofficial mobile adaptation of the open-source game by Jason Rohrer" in the description and remain feeling kind of uncomfortable about it.

Though, adding native support for Asian languages would really help you cash in on the game's popularity in Asia.


I'll tell you what I tell all my children: Make basket, always carry food.

Listen to your mom!

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#28 2019-03-01 19:26:23

Grim_Arbiter
Member
Registered: 2018-12-30
Posts: 637

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

I hear you on Trademark, but so many of the elements of the work would have to be brought to bear as part of the trademark---it would really have a chilling effect on any and all derivative works.  I mean, is the milkweed plant trademarked?  Could it be used in someone's logo or icon?  If so, would that imply my involvement?

If I was going to do that, I might as well use copyright.

It is a quandary, alright.

Absent copyright, which you don't want to use for well-established reasons, or trademark, which you might be reluctant to use for the same reasons, your position with Christoffer and his team seems to come down to goodwill and moral suasion.

I hope you can all come to a resolution that satisfies everyone, and I wish you all maximum clarity of everyone's desires and constraints in the discussions, whether public or private.

+1


lionon wrote:

PS: I agree with CrazyEddie an all his posts (Not a lawyer either)

Yeah I'm not a real lawyer either by any means.
I do specialize in bird law though.. oh and a bit in maritime law. smile


--Grim
Them never know natty dreadlocks essential.. Them never know natty dread have credential.

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#29 2019-03-01 19:28:16

Dodge
Member
Registered: 2018-08-27
Posts: 1,222

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

start-screen-of-old-video-game-arcade-4jdthbnxg-F0000.png

cv1.jpg

"Tap screen"

If splash screen is only shown for two seconds not enough time to read

Continue screen makes it clear, shows every time the game is launched and gives enough space to write a detailed text on what adaptaption is.

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#30 2019-03-01 20:02:53

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 3,268

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Those are good examples, Dodge.

I saw those types of things so many times as a kid.... I guess they kinda just washed over me.  But they also "sunk in" to my brain.  I had a sense that I was playing "real" Nintendo games, for example, because of text like that.  I also knew the names of companies like Konami because of this.

Also, that silly golden seal on the box.

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#31 2019-03-01 20:09:36

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

A reasonable Chinese person is now likely to believe that you are the originator of One Hour One Life.

I don't believe that's true. Even if 100,000 Chinese actually have that impression (which I seriously doubt), I offer this by way of balance: shortly after out China debut, one individual caught the buzz and went looking for the PC original. He then posted a video of playing the game here:
https://www.bilibili.com/video/av43201378/
This video has more than 2.5 million views by now, so that's a lot more than 100,000 people seeing the original game. So, I think some good has been done to the PC community as a side effect.
You were definitely owed a sincere apology, and some quick actions. But we did some good too, can't you agree with that?

jasonrohrer wrote:

In the "meet the devs" video on TapTap, you describe yourself thus:  "...mostly, I work with the game's design..."

Actually, I'm saying "the games design", as a noun.

You told me you wanted a boiler plate added to that video, and it was added immediately. If you had told me to remove it instead, it would have been removed. If you weren't ok with the change you asked for, why ask for it?

jasonrohrer wrote:

72 hours is plenty of time to put these changes into motion.

Set in motion perhaps. That's all one can reasonably hope for by Sunday.

If we can't make everything the way you want it by the time you want it, what is the next step? Ask us to stop using your assets and code? Make the game not public domain anymore? Start defaming us? None of that sounds like you.

If we make everything look according to your specification, then you will have become one of the designers of our app. As a games designer, would you put your name on the re-design you want there? Do you want that as part of your legacy? Sabotaging us after leading us on? It's not how you have come across before and I hope that it's mostly anger speaking now. That said, I am acting on your words at face value. Consider things set in motion, then. I hope we will arrive at something you can feel comfortable with, as soon as possible. And if you have more ideas in the meanwhile, I am listening.

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#32 2019-03-01 21:26:21

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 257

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

The easiest way to let people know that the mobile version isn't yours is to contact Youtubers. Should be especially easy if they think you're the author.

Add some info they can cannibalize into stories for their audiences, and even those who don't care about public domain will trip over themselves to spread the news.

Last edited by Kinrany (2019-03-01 21:38:23)

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#33 2019-03-01 21:44:25

Kinrany
Member
Registered: 2018-01-22
Posts: 257

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

It's probably fine that some people are mistaken about authorship, as long as most people are not. If like 70% know which version was made by whom, they'll be able to correct the rest.

Christoffer, it's nice to know you guys are taking this seriously. Makes one hope that IRL civilization is not doomed the same way OHOL towns are smile

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#34 2019-03-01 22:32:47

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 3,268

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

72 hours was the time limit for updating the description text on the various app stores, and updating the title text wherever that can be done instantly (Apple requires a new app update to update the store title).  That seems like plenty of time to me, if my understanding of updating app store description text is correct.

1 week was the time to show me a screen shot with proper notification on the game's menu page.

3 weeks is the time to release the updated App, including the title changes where updating the app is necessary to change the title.

This seems like plenty of time to me.  I've put out my own apps before.  I know how long it takes.  The changes that I'm asking for are very small, in terms of the amount of labor involved.

Also, I've allowed for GoogleTranslate placeholders where necessary, if you can't procure human translation in that time window.


To summarize the changes that I'm requesting, and the timeline:

1.  Update the app store description text to have these lines as the first two lines (72 hours):

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer


2. Update the app title to include the word "Unofficial" (72 hours where possible, 3 weeks where not possible)


3.  Include that same text inside the app, on the menu screen, however you'd like to present it, in a readable way (1 week to see screenshot, 3 weeks to make it live)

As for me "becoming a designer" of your app, you can see here that I just want to make it clear to everyone that I'm not the designer, but that I was the original author.

There is nothing "sabotaging" about it.  It is simply the truth.

I cannot think of a more truthful or more neutral or more simple way to describe the situation, other than this:

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer

That is simply what is occurring here.

If you are not comfortable with what is occurring, and you feel uncomfortable telling people about it, then I have no advice for you.


And it doesn't matter how many extra people see or play the PC version, due to a rising tide.  If a substantial number of people are misled, that's a problem.  100,000 was my estimate.  You have the true numbers of unique Chinese accounts made.  Maybe you can share those numbers.

I know that there were over 600,000 people who "followed" the app on TapTap.  That is a huge number.  I have 8000 people following me on twitter, and 20,000 people on my mailing list, after doing this for 15 years.  600,000 people is a lot.


I'll share some numbers.  In the entire history of the PC game, on and off Steam, including sales around the world at various Steam prices, there have been 65,000 accounts created.  Of those people, 57,000 people actually played the game to the point of getting past the tutorial.

I'm sure that more than 57,000 people played the Chinese mobile demo.  We can talk about who saw what videos.  But like I said, we now have a substantial fraction of the PLAYING population who have been specifically misled about the nature of the game that they played.  Likely more than 50% of the people who have ever played the game, in any form.


I'm acting now to make sure that the number of people misled doesn't keep creeping up over time.

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#35 2019-03-01 23:27:44

Amon
Member
From: Under your bed
Registered: 2019-02-17
Posts: 598

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

If the wording seems too unfitting, I know I would be slightly turned off with that specific comment if I were a player.
For the common person, not approved is a word that eerily inches to 'should not exist', which is why I see why it might seem like sabotage. More care should be put not on what one is trying to get across, but how people of various backgrounds will read and understand it.


''The project is unaffiliated with the original author Jason Rohrer'' or not supported by, maybe. seems like a less harsh, or more elegant sounding statement, but still brings across that you have nothing to do with it.
But that's just my opinion really if it helps or not.

And honestly, I don't see who wouldn't lose nerves getting messaged about troubleshooting something you have nothing to do with. And that number only growing.

Last edited by Amon (2019-03-01 23:31:22)


My favourite all time lives are Unity Dawn, who was married to Sachin Gedeon.
If you get named Siddhartha or Shamon, it was probably me. If the name is arabic it was probably me too. I don't like giving kids common/boring/mundane names.

PIES 2.0 <- Pie diversification mod

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#36 2019-03-02 01:07:30

breezeknight
Member
Registered: 2018-04-02
Posts: 810

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

if they've wanted approval then they should have asked Jason for a cooperation or some other form of his involvement in the port which then had have been negotiated, but they probably didn't ask for that & didn't want it, so it is clearly not approved or Jason didn't want it, same as any of the other versions of OHOL is not approved but the other makers made sure nobody is confused about the nature of their version & that's the whole problem with the mobile version, people are confused

to name the project "unaffiliated" doesn't cut it, since the port uses the main portion of the orignal OHOL, the title being one of them & that means it is hugely "affiliated"

"not supported" sounds like it is affiliated with Jason but he is not the right person to ask for troubleshooting & that's not enough to clarify the situation

& why should Jason ask for an elegant wording ? it's not his port, he asked for a clarity in distiction from his work

the problem is - Jason has everything to do with the original version & the port looks like he has with it the same way


i think the makers made the port deliberately to be mixed up with the original version while Jason asked for a clear distinction from his original game, deliberately though maybe not consciously but they were fine with resulting mix up
a clearly communicated distinction would have made users hesitant to play the port because they would have realised they are going to buy & play not the original game but an unofficial port & that's the whole point of getting the message across
the port makers didn't want that realisation to happen & they indeed succeeded, people mix up the port simply as the official mobile version of the PC game, at the very least approved by Jason

i think also the makers had plenty of time to correct the misunderstanding, instead they sought after a publisher & a wider audience, that's not the right way to treat a work made by someone else, no matter if it's public domain or open source of whatever for free
Jason didn't loose his copyright on his designs only because he enabled all of this to be freely useable, there's a huge difference
it is still his game, his drawings, his sound, his music, his main idea, his title


if i would do such a port, i would have made that clear
[
"One Hour One Life for mobile" is an inofficial port of the original PC game "One Hour One Life" made by Jason Rohrer, not supported & not approved by him, any financial transaction made with "OHOL for mobile" are not benefiting Jason Rohrer
the servers used for this mobile version are in no way affiliated with Jason Rohrer's official servers
we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to use the original work of Jason Rohrer freely since the PC game "OHOL" is released as open source & public domain
]

if i wanted to make money from this port, then i probably would have asked Jason if he would take a portion of it, especially after it became clear that a publisher is interested
everything else would have felt to me as fraud & theft

but as i wrote, mobile evokes greed

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#37 2019-03-02 01:23:34

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 3,268

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Well, they did offer me a cut of the money.  They always have.  They still are offering me a cut.  They want to be the official mobile port.

I just don't want the money.

Not in exchange for "officially approving" of something that I had no hand in making.

There won't be an "official" mobile port of the game.


I don't just slap my name on stuff in exchange for money.  That's not how I operate.

If you ever see a Jason Rohrer game, you know it's really a Jason Rohrer game.


I had two "ports" made in the past by other people (DSiWare Anthology and DSiWare Primrose), and they were fine and all, but it just wasn't my work, and it didn't feel entirely right.  Primrose in particular had the visual style totally changed.... it just felt weird to me.

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#38 2019-03-02 03:35:01

fragilityh14
Member
Registered: 2018-03-21
Posts: 556

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

I don't just slap my name on stuff in exchange for money.  That's not how I operate.

C000006847-PAR-ZOOM_648a5eaf-580d-40d2-9fef-90840c38a87f_800x.jpg?v=1524074676


I love how you think in general, this is a rough situation, practically and theoretically.


I would just add, I don't think in China, where piracy of Western games has been rampant for decades, anyone is turned off by saying "unofficial port"


I'll tell you what I tell all my children: Make basket, always carry food.

Listen to your mom!

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#39 2019-03-02 07:06:24

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 3,268

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Found this case, which is somewhat relevant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilliam_v … anies,_Inc.

Also, the idea of "moral rights," which are distinct from copyright:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_rights

Moral rights are concerned with protecting "the author's honor or reputation," and never expire.

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#40 2019-03-02 10:14:19

Greep
Member
Registered: 2018-12-16
Posts: 289

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Unfortunately I think you're making threats with a fully loaded squirtgun, and since they're big money at this point they definitely know it so I may as well just tell ya.  If you look at any cases involving public domain, the question only involves "is it actually public domain?".  If it is, you got zippity doo da.  Check this out even:

"You may use public domain property any way you wish, including republishing it as is"
https://www.rocketlawyer.com/article/public-domain.rl

"Moral rights[17] have had a less robust tradition in the United States. Copyright law in the United States emphasizes protection of financial reward over protection of creative attribution.[5]:xiii The exclusive rights tradition in the United States is inconsistent with the notion of moral rights as it was constituted in the Civil Code tradition stemming from post-Revolutionary France. When the United States acceded to the Berne Convention, it stipulated that the Convention's "moral rights" provisions were addressed sufficiently by other statutes, such as laws covering slander and libel"

And with the monty python issue, they only won the appeal when it was found they had copyright, whereas BBC got let off with a slap on the wrist in the first round.

Anyways, I'm sure their engineers have seen this, so there's really no harm in it:

"This work is not copyrighted.  I place it into the public domain.

Do whatever you want with it, absolutely no restrictions, and no permission necessary"

That's the official license given I believe, which would void even trademark since that can be waived and it's considered a part of public domain, which Crazy Eddie alluded to as the only real rights thought to be held.  Basically nobody wins slander and libel in the US, so that's out, and doesn't seem to have much to do with this.

Sounds like there's no rights whatsoever to your work.  They can claim they wrote every single line of code and were inspired to write OHOL by the flying spaghetti monster.  It'd be a lie, but a perfectly legal one.


Edit:  That being the case, there is the possibility you were never allowed to release it as public domain if you look at this:

http://www.rosenlaw.com/lj16.htm

Although that looks super shaky, tbh.  Nobody really does this, so nobody really knows lol.

Last edited by Greep (2019-03-02 10:53:22)


Likes sword based eve names.  Claymore, blades, sword.  Never understimate the blades!

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#41 2019-03-02 11:03:56

Portager
Member
Registered: 2018-03-09
Posts: 216

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

I am not a copyright lawyer, but I agree with Greep in that this will be an uphill battle for you.

Even if you could file suit, we are talking about developers in China and Japan, where the court system is way different and not easily accessible by Americans.

Your best option at this point is to follow the discourse provided in the Rosenlaw link that Greep posted, and re-assert a copyright over your work. Once you have done this, you can license it under Creative Commons or OpenGNU, or some other public domain license that requires attribution.

Last edited by Portager (2019-03-02 11:04:25)

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#42 2019-03-02 11:24:31

Berry Good
Member
Registered: 2018-07-10
Posts: 22

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Hi Jason. Sorry to hear that people are profiting off of your work without your permission sad

My fiance is a business litigation attorney and he, like others in this thread, strongly recommends that you speak to a lawyer. Specifically, one that specializes in international copyright and trademark law.

He also mentioned that its usually in a client's best interest to not discuss cases involving potential damages publically.

An ideal first step would be to call your local BAR association. International copyright and trademark law is sort of a boutique practice, so if there isn't one in your area, you can ask for a list of intellectual property (IP) attornies who might be able to help.

Hang in there! We're rooting for you smile

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#43 2019-03-02 11:44:59

breezeknight
Member
Registered: 2018-04-02
Posts: 810

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

Well, they did offer me a cut of the money.  They always have.  They still are offering me a cut.  They want to be the official mobile port.

I just don't want the money.

Not in exchange for "officially approving" of something that I had no hand in making.

There won't be an "official" mobile port of the game.


I don't just slap my name on stuff in exchange for money.  That's not how I operate.

If you ever see a Jason Rohrer game, you know it's really a Jason Rohrer game.


I had two "ports" made in the past by other people (DSiWare Anthology and DSiWare Primrose), and they were fine and all, but it just wasn't my work, and it didn't feel entirely right.  Primrose in particular had the visual style totally changed.... it just felt weird to me.

yeah, i understand that

i know similar situtions where people just don't want to accept where an original creator or owner sets a limit
people who are not creative don't understand that a limit which seems unreasonable to them is more than perfectly reasonable to creative people who, if they are clever enough have to protect their work because not everything is monetizable, it just shouldn't be
one cannot buy being creative, it doesn't work that way

i have my problems with OHOL, but i wouldn't refund because i still admire what you do & that you stick to your own principles

greed tells people "why not port this to mobile, where one can reach a lot more players & make heaps of money with it ?"
your answer to that is, "i don't want to port it to mobile" & people should respect that, have to respect that, because you are the original maker & there should be no discussion about that

greed is working not only for money but simply for wanting to disable a limit set

i think if the people who made the mobile port really wanted that game on mobile & want to ommit what you're asking them to do, then there is a simple solution
pay some people who make new look, new graphics, new sounds & music, change the name, keep the game mechanics, don't refer in the title to "one hour" & give credit as "inspired by Jason Rohrer's One Hour One Life" PC game
then it wouldn't be a port but a similar game

& if some day you might decide that you want to port OHOL to mobile ? that should be your free decision & nothing else
& if it's never gonna happen, so it should because it's your game

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#44 2019-03-02 13:14:50

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

One more piece of data, for those on the forum who may still think this is about money and greed, either for us or Jason:

jasonrohrer wrote:

Well, they did offer me a cut of the money.  They always have.  They still are offering me a cut.  They want to be the official mobile port.

I just don't want the money.

Not in exchange for "officially approving" of something that I had no hand in making.

There won't be an "official" mobile port of the game.


I don't just slap my name on stuff in exchange for money.  That's not how I operate.

This is true, and part of the reason for the confusion. Most people simply assume that no-one thinks this way.
In my mind, this reflects well on Jason and shows that he puts integrity over money.

There is more to add though, so you also understand more about us on the other side. We also had an exchange on October 23rd:

Christoffer wrote:

Hi Jason,

Your Steam release seems to be coming along well. Hopefully it will change the downward trend of late for "One Hour One Life" and make it really famous. The difficulty of actually being seen on the Steam platform is severe though, as we understand it.

I don't know if you have planned any marketing activities around the release? You make really good "cutscene" videos, maybe you have thought of making some facebook or youtube ads using these skills?

We have not made a gazillion dollars, but we have made some. Rather than waiting for huge amounts, we decided that we want to make a gift/donation of some of the money we have made so far. If you choose to, you can use it for marketing of your game launch. It's free money, so it might feel less horrible to spend it on such activities than it would with saved-up money.

Provided you wish to accept this gift, there is the question of transferring funds. We have previously used the service provided by [redacted] to move funds to individuals in the US. It's a service with much lower fees than banks or PayPal (0.35%, which we will cover). Would it be ok with you if I initiated a transfer to you using this service? You would be getting an email from them with instructions on how to get the funds deposited in the bank account of your choosing.

This gift of ten thousand US dollars is in recognition of your contributions to the public domain. You set a good example and by making this donation, Dual Decade hopes to likewise set a good example to others.

All the best,

// Christoffer and Jincheng

Jason wrote:

I've given this some thought, and I think it would be better at this point to keep things completely separate.

I know that I said originally, "If you really make 'too much money,' feel free to send me a large cash gift at some point if it makes you feel better."

But I don't think you're at that point yet, and the implications of you sending me a cut of modest profits are many.

If you were at that point, where the mobile version took over the world and I was lost and forgotten, buried in pauper's grave, well.... we'd have to cross that bridge when the time comes.

Christoffer wrote:

Fair enough, Jason. Let’s hope that day never comes (the pauper’s grave I mean - taking over the world is ok by me wink

Let’s settle for us sending you our very strong wishes for a great Steam release instead.

And speaking of taking over the world, we just overtook Minecraft on the top paid app list in Japan today!

Cheers,

// Christoffer

Note that at this time, we had dropped any hope of getting our app made "official". There were no strings attached. We simply wanted to give something back to Jason for putting his work in the public domain. Note also that by this date, the total amount of money we had received from sales was around $30,000. Nowhere near enough to recoup the expenses we had had for the making of the app and the services around it. It also wasn't intended to "buy him off". We expected to receive more money from sales in the future and expected to have occasions for more such gifts.

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#45 2019-03-02 13:23:10

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Berry Good wrote:

Hi Jason. Sorry to hear that people are profiting off of your work without your permission sad

Jason, this is perfect proof that the wording you demand is misleading.
"Not approved by Jason Rohrer" is equivalent to "Not permitted by Jason Rohrer" or "Against the wishes of Jason Rohrer". Since you don't mean any of that, the statement is misleading the reader into believing a falsehood. Couldn't you ask for a wording that is not misleading? Thanks for your consideration.

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#46 2019-03-02 13:25:28

Starknight_One
Member
Registered: 2018-10-15
Posts: 284

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Christoffer wrote:
Berry Good wrote:

Hi Jason. Sorry to hear that people are profiting off of your work without your permission sad

Jason, this is perfect proof that the wording you demand is misleading.
"Not approved by Jason Rohrer" is equivalent to "Not permitted by Jason Rohrer" or "Against the wishes of Jason Rohrer". Since you don't mean any of that, the statement is misleading the reader into believing a falsehood. Couldn't you ask for a wording that is not misleading? Thanks for your consideration.

'Not affiliated with the original One Hour One Life game for PC."

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#47 2019-03-02 14:19:26

Chard
Moderator
Registered: 2018-03-04
Posts: 118

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Starknight_One wrote:

'Not affiliated with the original One Hour One Life game for PC."

I don't feel that "not approved" implies "disapproval" myself. But I would worry that others might. I like "not affiliated" or "unaffiliated", doesn't seem to have that uncertainty.

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#48 2019-03-02 14:20:41

Chard
Moderator
Registered: 2018-03-04
Posts: 118

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Perhaps this will reflect my naïvety in these matters, but:

How is this not just a straightforward trademark issue? Jason was selling the product as One Hour One Life, a mark that is clearly unique, even registered as a domain and had been doing so for a while with reasonable success (for a small business). Is it not therefore immediately illegal to sell something called "One Hour One Life for Mobile" without being Jason (or with his direct involvement)? I was of the impression that trademark protections were non-optional and couldn't be waived because the risk is not to either vendor but to the potential consumers.

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#49 2019-03-02 14:54:58

jere
Member
Registered: 2017-04-09
Posts: 17

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

I strongly disagree on this one.

This work is not copyrighted.  I place it into the public domain.

Do whatever you want with it, absolutely no restrictions, and no permission
necessary.

Jason Rohrer
Davis, California
March 2018

I wouldn't have assumed the name "One Hour, One Life" was included in that, but you're confirming now that it is. "Absolutely no restrictions".

I still have no idea why the name is an important thing to relinquish rights to. For the code and art, you're saving people literally years of work by putting these in the public domain. Allowing people to reuse the name is not helping them whatsoever, but it is causing you significant grief. They could come up with an acceptable name in 5 minutes.

And yet you relinquished rights to the name. In that case, I don't see this "port" as misleading. They aren't suggesting that the game is associated with you. They have created a similar game using assets you have released and given away rights to. They have made a similar game and have happened to call it the same name you gave away rights to. You can't say you don't want to control people and that anything is permitted and then send mockups to a developer with specifications on how many seconds a splash screen should be shown in their game.

You're worried that the new changes, which weren't approved by you (except in the sense that you've permitted everything by releasing it into the public domain and also restated such through email), might be tied back to your work somehow. But they had not said it's your work! Your name wasn't on it. You're actually now asking for it to be tied to you.

Along the way, the design changes continued, culminating around the holidays with an NPC Santa character who was running around, handing out presents.  Santa kinda looked like one of my drawings.... kinda.  A Peace Lily was also added, and I got an email from a player who said the Peace Lilly was ruing the game, and that I should remove it.  Sorry pal, not my game.  I was also getting Mobile bug reports on GitHub.  Clearly, people were still confused.

I mean, this kind of stuff happens all the time even when things aren't named the same. But most of this confusion could be prevented by having a totally different name. This is why trademark exists.

And changing the title entirely, calling it "Eve's Wilderness" or whatever, would only further confuse things, and mislead even more people.  This is a very direct adaptation of my work.  It's not just a trademark issue, in other words.

How? When the game is called "Eve's Wilderness" or "Carrot World" or whatever, almost no one is going to accidentally google your game. No one is going to file erroneous bug reports. Reviewers won't be confused.

So why would this be a problem? It sounds like you're concerned about attribution at that point. More concerned that the 100,000 Chinese players will never know who you are, rather than make an invalid connection to you. Isn't that what you signed up for?

The best solution going forward seems to be trying to protect the name and encourage the mobile developers to choose a different one. "One Hour, One Life" is not just a bundle of assets. It's a piece of art. It's a persistent set of game servers. It's a promise about future development. Why not make that clear?

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#50 2019-03-02 15:18:08

Chard
Moderator
Registered: 2018-03-04
Posts: 118

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jere wrote:

I strongly disagree on this one.

This work is not copyrighted.  I place it into the public domain.

Do whatever you want with it, absolutely no restrictions, and no permission
necessary.

Jason Rohrer
Davis, California
March 2018

I wouldn't have assumed the name "One Hour, One Life" was included in that, but you're confirming now that it is. "Absolutely no restrictions".

This text you quote says "This work is not copyrighted." Establish copyright as the scope of the declaration. Furthermore it is in a file called "no_copyright.txt" just in case you didn't read the first line. But the issue surrounding the name is nothing to do with copyright. You can't copyright a name, ergo you can't relinquish a copyright on a name. You can have trademarks on names, in many places (including the USA) you have trademarks on names regardless of whether you register that mark with any kind of state office.

In conclusion, don't conflate copyright with trademark protections.

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