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#101 2019-03-04 18:08:29

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

I hope that I'm just looking at a cached version of the app store text, but as far as I can tell, it has not been changed.  9:21am PST.

https://www.taptap.com/app/153717
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta … .evolution
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/one-hou … 13914?mt=8

They seem updated to me.

1. Google Translate: "This is an unofficial extension of Jason Rohrer's desktop game "One Hour One Life" for the Android market. We've added additional game modes and changes that give them a better gaming experience on the touch screen. We are independent developers, and the mobile game world is on our servers."

2. "This is the unofficial expanded version of Jason Rohrer's desktop game "One Hour One Life", adapted for Android. We have added additional play modes as well as changes to make it play better on touchscreens. We are independent developers and the mobile game world resides on our servers."

3. "#1 RPG in 17 countries so far for iPhone, and in 9 countries for iPad!

This is the unofficial expanded version of Jason Rohrer's desktop game "One Hour One Life", adapted for iOS. We have added additional play modes as well as changes to make it play better on touchscreens. We are independent developers and the mobile game world resides on our servers."

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#102 2019-03-04 18:54:33

ryanb
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Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 214
Website

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

The point is, there are other things that forbid me from making that statement, other than copyright and the licenses that copyright empower you to grant.  You don't have to spell such things out in a license (and almost no licenses do spell it out).

Right, but if your issue is solely with them falsely claiming ownership, then a statement should only be required where they are claiming ownership: splash screen next to their logo. Other parts of the app (name, lobby, etc.) should not require a change if they do not have their own credit there.


One Hour One Life Crafting Reference
https://onetech.info/

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#103 2019-03-04 18:55:55

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

No, that's the original text that has been there all along.

The Chinese version didn't even have that text for 40 days until I asked them to fix it.

I'm asking for new text now:

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer

That text appearing will be the first sign that they are taking the steps that I asked them to take.  But the text hasn't changed.

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#104 2019-03-04 19:02:33

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

No, that's the original text that has been there all along.

The Chinese version didn't even have that text for 40 days until I asked them to fix it.

I'm asking for new text now:

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer

That text appearing will be the first sign that they are taking the steps that I asked them to take.  But the text hasn't changed.

Ah, sorry. I lost track of the requested changes.

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#105 2019-03-04 19:05:30

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

ryanb, you are correct.  Except:

They published a version where they took sole credit with no explanation for 40 days in China, where it was seen and interacted with by more people than ever saw or interacted with the game in its entire history.

The very explicit and hard-to-miss wording is an attempt to correct for that.  Hopefully, whatever Chinese people are still playing the game will be unable to miss it.

The very explicit wording may only need be a temporary thing.  I'm not sure.  Right now, there is so much confusion that more extreme measures need to be taken.


The title change is a similar measure, but also meant to differentiate the service being offered, which is NOT in the public domain.  My service is the official one, offered by me, while the mobile service is not.  Also meant to clear up confusion about where the money is going.


For example, I forgot to mention that I've also receive emails from mobile players asking for refunds.  The game didn't work on their phone, can they have their money back.  Umm...

Also, you can imagine a nightmare scenario where the mobile servers go down for a week, and everyone gets mad at me, and thinks that I'm a bad developer.

If everyone knows it's "unofficial," these confusions won't be possible.



OneTech does not create confusion about the service being offered or where the money is going.

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#106 2019-03-04 20:37:31

ryanb
Member
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 214
Website

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

jasonrohrer wrote:

They published a version where they took sole credit with no explanation for 40 days in China, where it was seen and interacted with by more people than ever saw or interacted with the game in its entire history.

The very explicit and hard-to-miss wording is an attempt to correct for that.  Hopefully, whatever Chinese people are still playing the game will be unable to miss it.

The very explicit wording may only need be a temporary thing.  I'm not sure.  Right now, there is so much confusion that more extreme measures need to be taken.

I see, if the reason for additional wording is to compensate for damages caused by the lack of credit to the China audience then I understand it better. I'm still not in full agreement though.

jasonrohrer wrote:

For example, I forgot to mention that I've also receive emails from mobile players asking for refunds.  The game didn't work on their phone, can they have their money back.  Umm...

Also, you can imagine a nightmare scenario where the mobile servers go down for a week, and everyone gets mad at me, and thinks that I'm a bad developer.

If everyone knows it's "unofficial," these confusions won't be possible.

I feel like these issues would come up in the theoretical scenario of copycat OHOL with no credit. It is a downside of having a commercial game under the public domain.


One Hour One Life Crafting Reference
https://onetech.info/

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#107 2019-03-04 20:45:55

Redram
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 112

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

DD pays some amount of popular Chinese youtubers to mention (at some length, not just a sentence) in their videos that Jason is the original creator?  Youtubers will get more views than some boring 'meet the team' video.  They do this until such videos reach Xmillion views?   Use correctly attributed videos to correct a bad one?  This seems fair, and would not potentially damage DD's product.  And I wouldn't think it would be terribly expensive, though I don't really know what that sort of social media costs.  Also could have a quick turnaround time, potentially.

Last edited by Redram (2019-03-04 20:51:05)

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#108 2019-03-04 21:06:13

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Okay, take-down requests have be sent to the Apple, Google, and TapTap.

I'm willing to cancel these requests immediately as soon as I see the mobile developers taking the clarification steps that I asked them to take.

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#109 2019-03-04 21:11:53

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

This will be very interesting to see how this develops.

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#110 2019-03-04 21:29:37

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Yes, it is interesting.  I'm trying to figure out exactly what a take-down request means in this situation.

I think it means something like this:

The mobile developers currently have no permission from me to do anything with my work, because they refused to take the clarification steps that I was requesting, and further use of my work in this way, without clarification, would compound the injury to my reputation that has been taking place.

Essentially, their fraudulent actions have rendered whatever "license" they were originally granted null and void.


(There's also the possibility of me crafting a very specific public domain license for all future code and content that I add to the game---in the public domain for everyone but the mobile developers---essentially forcing a hard fork.)


I'm looking for the most effective levers here.  Otherwise, my "request" for clarification is toothless.

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#111 2019-03-04 21:34:29

ryanb
Member
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 214
Website

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Jason, do you mind sharing the takedown request messages here? For the sake of having a record of those interactions.


One Hour One Life Crafting Reference
https://onetech.info/

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#112 2019-03-04 22:38:26

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

It seems like you are inviting speculation, so I will speculate. As usual I recommend you consult with an experienced professional.

I suspect that you have granted the mobile team - and everyone else - an unconditional license to use your copyrighted works and any trademarks that might be associated with those works. While future works you might create (including further updates to OHOL) could be released under whatever terms you like, I don't think you can revoke the licenses that you've already granted. If the issue came to a court, I suspect you would lose.

You continually use the word "fraud", but I'm certain you're using it incorrectly, and I think arguments based around it would do nothing for you if the issue came to a court.

I don't know how Apple, Google, and Tap Tap handle disputes, but again I'll speculate. I expect they will allow both you and the mobile team to present your respective arguments. I suspect they will ground their decisions around the question of ownership and licensing of intellectual property. I suspect they will be reluctant to parse the details of whether you have granted a license to the trademark and will take your word for it that you have not; this would probably force the mobile team to change the name of their app to something that you could not plausibly claim a trademark over. Once they do that, the app stores would probably decide that they've satisfied your takedown request.

In short, as I mentioned eariler, I think the only levers you have are goodwill and moral suasion - towards the mobile team, that is. I doubt that goodwill and moral suasion will be of any use with the app stores.

Someone else might know of some other levers still available to you.

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#113 2019-03-04 23:26:11

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

This is breaking my heart.

I have given one year of my life to this game, without vacations, holidays or much sleep. Heart, mind and soul. So have others.

There is a unique beauty in this game, and we wanted to bring it out from a fairly small community, to as many as possible.

Jason and we have an agreement since about a year, which he is now breaking. Yes, Jason has spent four years and is the original creator. He is also the one who told me that it was available for us to work with and bring to mobile, with absolutely no restrictions or requirements, he had placed it in the public domain. No requirements then nor in the future, was the promise. This was an empty promise, it now seems, and it may cost us dearly that we believed it. I don’t think anyone will trust Jason’s opinion on public domain again.

Jason’s interpretation of that video is questionable at best. There are elements that are true and the rest is his feelings. The fraud he is claiming has not happened. There was no claim of full authorship. We have always given full credit to Jason, except in this one instance, when it was handled by a third party. Thus, he is not speaking truth about us now, and I trust that he has also not done so in the takedown requests he has issued. How else could they be approved?

I have apologised for the hurt Jason felt over being left out in that one-minute video, and more importantly, acted to immediately rectify it. I accept the blame for that, but I also maintain that it does not invalidate our agreement. It also doesn’t change the concept of the public domain. Jason has no moral or legal right to blackmail us into submitting to his requirements.

This is Jason's forum. It is naturally inclined in his favour. Yet, many have stepped forward and implored him to work with us to find more reasonable solutions to his complaints. Perhaps because you care a lot about him. Credit to you for your integrity.

We will see where this ends. I want to maintain some hope of reconciliation, but right now I can only feel emptiness.

Last edited by Christoffer (2019-03-04 23:39:41)

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#114 2019-03-04 23:39:29

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

The take down forms available on these app stores are a poor fit for this case.  On the Apple Store, you can check various violations, and I checked Copyright, Publicity, and Trademark.  There was no fraud or libel checkbox.

I also realize that I need to make this take-down request "fit" into the usual format that Apple and Google are expecting to see.  I expect that we will delve into greater detail once the mobile developers respond.

So, for the time being, I'm simply using the term "unauthorized" to describe the current situation, and proving that I'm the one who created the original work.  Because they won't clearly label the work in their marketing, it has become "unauthorized."  It will become "authorized" again as soon as they clearly label the work.


For Apple (same wording for TapTap):

This is unauthorized use of my work.

I made the game One Hour One Life 100% by myself over four years, and they are making use of my code, graphics, sound, music, game name, etc. in their unauthorized version.

Even their Icon contains a character, rabbit, basket, and background texture that I drew by hand myself.  I have all original artwork here at home in a file box (all artwork was drawn by me on paper and scanned in).

The title "One Hour One Life" was also invented by me, and they are using that title without my authorization.

The original website is here:  http://onehouronelife.com/

I have records proving that I registered this domain name in November 2016.

The original trailer is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT4JktcVQuE

You can read about the game in this New Yorker article published in June, 2016:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultu … video-game

My official version of the game was released to early testers in July 2017, then released to the public in February 2018, and it became popular.  After that, they took my work and released their unauthorized mobile version in August 2018.

Later on, I released the official version on Steam, which can be seen here:  https://store.steampowered.com/app/5956 … _One_Life/

I have been in extensive contact with the mobile developers, asking them to rectify this situation to my satisfaction, but they are refusing.

Please remove this unauthorized port of my work from the AppStore.



And for Google:

My work is the game One Hour One Life, including game name, graphics, characters, sounds, design, and code. The entire thing was made by me, working alone, over the past four years.

The App icon contains my hand drawn artwork, background, and characters. All of the App screen shots contain my hand-drawn artwork, backgrounds, and characters. The game itself is full of my hand-drawn artwork, backgrounds, and characters, along with my hand-made sounds and music, and a great deal of my program code. All of this artwork was drawn by me, on paper, and scanned in. I have the original paper drawings in my possession.

The use of these materials in this App has not been authorized by me.

The title "One Hour One Life" was also invented by me, and they are using that title without my authorization.

I have had extensive contact with the developers of this unauthorized App, but they have refused to rectify the situation to my satisfaction.


Note that all of this is talking about the current moment, in the current situation.  Because they won't meet my clarification requirements, they are no longer authorized by me to have these apps available in the store.

The were authorized in the past.


I would explain the details to Apple and Google when they request more details.

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#115 2019-03-04 23:44:21

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Christoffer, the solution and end of hearbreak is well within your reach.  Just add this text to each app store to show me a good faith effort to correct the confusion:

Unofficial Adaptation
Not approved by original author Jason Rohrer

And change the Google title to included the word "Unofficial".

My finger is on the SEND key, ready to cancel these take-down requests as soon as I see some action on your part.


So far, there has been no action at all.  Just words.

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#116 2019-03-05 00:20:17

ryanb
Member
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 214
Website

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

The takedown requests don't mention the artwork is under public domain and the name One Hour One Life is not trademarked. I feel they don't accurately describe the situation.

I'm not a lawyer, but can't they sue for damages if your takedown request is successful and then later proves false in court? I'd suggest treading carefully.


One Hour One Life Crafting Reference
https://onetech.info/

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#117 2019-03-05 00:22:59

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Hmmm, I know you expect to elaborate if given the chance, but you don't think these takedown notices are misleading?

I made the game One Hour One Life 100% by myself over four years, and they are making use of my code, graphics, sound, music, game name, etc. in their unauthorized version.

Even their Icon contains a character, rabbit, basket, and background texture that I drew by hand myself.  I have all original artwork here at home in a file box (all artwork was drawn by me on paper and scanned in).

Beyond "game name", which as far as I can tell is the pivotal issue here, all of those things were permitted by what I thought was an irrevocable public domain license with no restrictions. You did not mention the phrase "public domain" once.

These kinds of processes are notoriously hamhanded and I would be surprised if it got the careful human attention that it deserved. But if someone does inquire about these claims to Christoffer, Christoffer would immediately link to your public domain license, particularly important since you haven't mentioned or clarified it in the requests. I would be extremely surprised if they dug further than that and gave the matter the nuance it received in this thread. Of course, they could be biased strongly towards one side by default as a CYA measure. Who knows!

I'm not convinced by this argument about onetech, terminal heist, or 2HOL. Besides none of them using the original game name as their name, the latter two don't have a large playerbase (this is equivalent to making a fan game you have NO rights to... safe until it gets popular and the owners get wind of it) and onetech is a tool that solely benefits the OHOL ecosystem.

(And by the way, my definition of "harmful" may be different from yours.... an OHOL comic book, or film adaptation, or completely different game using the engine, or RPG using the characters, or YouTube animations made with the editor.... those are awesome and not harmful, in my eyes---none of these things muddy the waters about what constitutes the official OHOL game.  None of these are "horrifying" to me.  Someone else making money isn't horrifying to me, the way that it apparently is to so many other people.)

But any game regardless of genre that uses the same name could be assumed to be connected to you, no? And if someone made a racist/sexist One Hour, One Life comic book and you start getting flamed for it, are you saying you have no qualms about that?

After rereading the thread, I shifted views a bit. I still think the name is central issue here and if the mobile version were named something completely different, the entire thing would be irrelevant. However, I no longer believe Christoffer had the rights to use the name in the first place... outside of an email exchange (since there exists no contract, formal written statement, or license on usage of the name), which should be clear in hindsight to everyone was not a great idea. Now in fact the request is to change the name by adding "Unofficial", a much worse outcome than having a different name to start.

Last edited by jere (2019-03-05 00:31:28)

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#118 2019-03-05 00:41:03

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

I was also slightly concerned about the wording of the take down notices. But I can see why Jason has done it, "looking for the right levers" as he said. And shouldn't the take down notice only provide the basis for *your* argument, the developers will surely get to have their say in the process too, I actually don't know how that goes. So in that regards maybe its fine and all points of view will be heard. All the same because it will come to that anyway maybe it would've been better to highlight that you aren't concerned  about copyright.

That said, maybe copyright should be the issue. Does the no_copyright.txt actually constitute a license? Isn't the difficulty of putting things in the public domain the very reason for the existence of CC0? Man, licensing is tricky business.

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#119 2019-03-05 00:42:37

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

ryanb wrote:

The takedown requests don't mention the artwork is under public domain and the name One Hour One Life is not trademarked. I feel they don't accurately describe the situation.

I'm not a lawyer, but can't they sue for damages if your takedown request is successful and then later proves false in court? I'd suggest treading carefully.

My understanding is that trademarking is automatic in the US and registration of the mark is only to ensure that interested parties can check if the mark exists. Also not a lawyer though. There's a lot of that going around. big_smile

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#120 2019-03-05 00:44:48

carbon
Member
Registered: 2018-08-09
Posts: 47

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Is this Jason's elaborate scheme to poke holes at how garbage international IP laws are?

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#121 2019-03-05 00:56:17

ryanb
Member
Registered: 2018-03-08
Posts: 214
Website

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Chard wrote:

I was also slightly concerned about the wording of the take down notices. But I can see why Jason has done it, "looking for the right levers" as he said. And shouldn't the take down notice only provide the basis for *your* argument, the developers will surely get to have their say in the process too, I actually don't know how that goes. So in that regards maybe its fine and all points of view will be heard. All the same because it will come to that anyway maybe it would've been better to highlight that you aren't concerned  about copyright.

I've heard apps getting incorrectly taken down from the App store on less grounds than this. With millions of apps, and likely thousands that are incorrectly using an IP, they probably error on the side of taking it down, although it may depend on the popularity of the app.

I'd be surprised if Apple reaches out to the developers first before taking it down, but hopefully they will communicate with both parties.


One Hour One Life Crafting Reference
https://onetech.info/

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#122 2019-03-05 01:31:01

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Chard wrote:
ryanb wrote:

I'm not a lawyer, but can't they sue for damages if your takedown request is successful and then later proves false in court? I'd suggest treading carefully.

My understanding is that trademarking is automatic in the US and registration of the mark is only to ensure that interested parties can check if the mark exists. Also not a lawyer though. There's a lot of that going around. big_smile

ryanb and Chard, I encourage you both to google a bit and you will likely learn the answers to your questions. It's an interesting topic and worth a bit of extra-curricular reading just for fun. I think ryanb's question will be hard to get a definitive answer to because so much undoubtedly depends on the specific facts at hand, but Chard's question definitely has some straight-forward answers.

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#123 2019-03-05 01:39:53

Redram
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 112

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

ryanb wrote:

The takedown requests don't mention the artwork is under public domain and the name One Hour One Life is not trademarked. I feel they don't accurately describe the situation.  I'm not a lawyer, but can't they sue for damages if your takedown request is successful and then later proves false in court? I'd suggest treading carefully.

This.  I think you should be more careful Jason, those requests seem dangerously reckless and misleading.  And takedown requests granted would cause actual provable financial harm to DD.  Which would be grounds for a lawsuit.  You talk so much about high principles and 'fraud by omission' Jason, but those takedown requests seem a much better case of fraud by omission than activities by a 3rd party Chinese company in another language, in a market you had no intent of entering.  Your actions are specifically targeting DD financially Jason.  this is dangerous for you I think.  You don't get to choose the timeline of the facts involved in a case.  And ends do not justify means.  Be careful, one of these levers may control a trapdoor under your own feet.

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#124 2019-03-05 02:06:10

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

CrazyEddie wrote:
Chard wrote:
ryanb wrote:

I'm not a lawyer, but can't they sue for damages if your takedown request is successful and then later proves false in court? I'd suggest treading carefully.

My understanding is that trademarking is automatic in the US and registration of the mark is only to ensure that interested parties can check if the mark exists. Also not a lawyer though. There's a lot of that going around. big_smile

ryanb and Chard, I encourage you both to google a bit and you will likely learn the answers to your questions. It's an interesting topic and worth a bit of extra-curricular reading just for fun. I think ryanb's question will be hard to get a definitive answer to because so much undoubtedly depends on the specific facts at hand, but Chard's question definitely has some straight-forward answers.

I researched! Turns out that trademark registration is optional. Trademarks exist as a result of commercial activity first and are registered separately. Lack of a registration means you have to be able to prove that you are the original owner of a mark, and if it came to suit that the infringing party was aware of the mark. There's also something about registration applying across the entire US rather than simply where you do business but I guess that doesn't apply for goods sold through and provided over the Internet in the same way. But perhaps most interestingly is that in the US you need to register a trademark for it to be internationally enforceable.

This was my source: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-gettin … ark-basics

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#125 2019-03-05 03:12:33

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

Re: Open Letter to the Mobile Developers

Eh, at this point I don't see any point in the thread:  If the takedown succeeds, they're going to sue, and then anything in the thread's just going to be used against jason.  Kinda past the friendly convincing point right now hmm  Like I'd have things to say about the wording on that takedown notice, but that's not gonna help lol, so why let people comment at this point.


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

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