DigitalEro Offline

Dead Or Alive Legal Problems

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:59:35

Rastifan

A user on DA called Sticklove got a letter from Tecmo bitching about him using the DOA 5 models. It has come to our attention that you are using the mark DEAD OR ALIVE without our client's authorization on your websites http://www.sticklove.com/ and this http://sticklove.deviantart.com/ to describe your digital compositions, images, and/or artwork. Your unauthorized use of our client's mark DEAD OR ALIVE is likely to confuse consumers into believing that your digital compositions, images, and/or artwork or your business are associated with, or are sponsored, authorized or otherwise endorsed by Tecmo Co, Ltd. Accordingly, your use of DEAD OR ALIVE violates our client's valid and enforceable legal rights, and constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false advertising under the U.S. Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq. They also said! Additionally, we have reason to believe that you are currently using software to make, use, offer to sell, and/or sell digital compositions, images, and/or artwork, such as those displayed through your website. These actions directly infringe on our client's valid and enforceable patent and trademark rights, and are therefore in violation of the U.S. Patent Act, 35 U.S.C 271 et seq. Which he didn't. Are they just flapping their wings, or can they make a legal case? Not sure what to make of this. If we ever use any DOA 5 models and they complain, I will have to comply, but until then I guess it is business as usual. Unless you have other thoughts on the matter.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:11:35

Goron_Ozzy

Well, time to stop porting :P Nah but in all seriousness, this is the risk of using in-game assets outside of the box isn't it? Either way, i think it'd be fair to respect their wishes and remove what they don't want, assuming it's on appropriate grounds.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:12:39

FigureSculptor

"Rastifan" said ...
A user on DA called Sticklove got a letter from Tecmo bitching about him using the DOA 5 models. <snip> Are they just flapping their wings, or can they make a legal case? Not sure what to make of this. If we ever use any DOA 5 models and they complain, I will have to comply, but until then I guess it is business as usual. Unless you have other thoughts on the matter.
Intellectual Property Law (trademarks, patents, copyright) is an incredibly complex and convoluted area of law, so don't rely on strangers on an Internet forum for legal advice. :D So, fair warning - I'm not a lawyer and I'm not your lawyer. But here are my thoughts on the matter: I would go business as usual until or unless you actually receive something from a lawyer. Then, what to do becomes a more difficult question. In this particular case, the fact that they're falling back on patent law and false advertising rather than copyright law or the DMCA (which specifically forbids reverse-engineering protected assets in many instances) could be an indication that they have a weak case, or that their lawyers suck. The false advertising claim is laughable and this would also be a clear abuse of the intent of Trademark law. Unfortunately, there are some federal districts in the US that allow this particular form of abuse at the trial level. Disney has used this tactic many times to get around fair use and parody exceptions to copyright, and they've often been successful at it. They also use it because copyright law, except in extreme cases, only allows you to recover actual, provable damages. In cases like this, those would be nominal at best. Patent law opens the door up to much larger penalties without proving damages. The frank truth of the matter is that if you're a big corporation with lots of money for lawyers, you can often win at the trial level even if your case is weak. IP cases are notoriously expensive to defend against. To take a case through trial and to appeal (where your chances of winning go way up in cases like this where trademark is being misused), it is going to cost you seven figures. A million dollars in legal fees would be getting out cheap. In the US, attorney fees are each party's responsibilities regardless of who wins, so winning is expensive and losing is even more expensive. In the EU, I believe the situation is more sane and you can recoup lawyer fees. I have no idea what the laws elsewhere are like. As a practical matter, if they come after an individual, that individual is almost certainly going to lose, most often by simple capitulation for lack of funds to defend themselves. But, here's the thing. There's a reason why most companies don't go after people who do this kind of stuff. People who do this are typically super fans of the products they're creating fan art or extracting models for. They're people who promote the brand and the product. It's free advertising and it keeps the franchise in the public consciousness longer than it otherwise probably would. Games that allow modding and customization typically have a much longer shelf-life and are more profitable than those that don't. People are still playing Oblivion pretty regularly even today, but who still pulls out Heavy Rain? You might be thinking, "but yeah, what about here, where characters are being made to do unsavory things - why would they turn a blind eye to that?" My response to that would be "The Streisand Effect". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect. Turning a blind eye keeps this board and what we do here in relatively anonymity. If they were to come after us, it could lead to huge publicity and a shit-tonne more people becoming aware that you can extract and pose models in unsavory ways. If they come after this board, my suggestion would be to capitulate immediately, take down all links. Then start a new, private invite-only forum. Don't advertise it anywhere, and let new members be recruited only by existing members.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:22:58

Glados30

ask them if we can do fan art then we will be fixed directly on the subject if they dont np then we drop it. stupid though cause it s fan art that made me fan art of bethesda games in general their just reducetheir marketing platform cause we do it for free when we use their models any way u can still make a daz version of the chararters using images and screebnshots on the internet
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:39:49

Ganonmaster

Great insight, FigureSculptor. It all reminds me of the Shining Force video takedowns by SEGA.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 17:22:12

ValentineXRedfield

I've heard this is fake and he didn't recieve any such letter but I'm not 100% I really hope it is a prank. So many of my XNALara poses contain DOA characters ><
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 17:46:26

FigureSculptor

"ValentineXRedfield" said ...
I've heard this is fake and he didn't recieve any such letter but I'm not 100% I really hope it is a prank. So many of my XNALara poses contain DOA characters ><
That would explain what seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of law in the letter. Trademark maybe, but false advertising? Puh-lease. And no mention of copyright or DMCA? I bet you're right.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:06:17

ValentineXRedfield

Sticklove owns a site, much like this one were people can join for free and post their poses done in XPS and post download links to models they have made, if legal action was being taken then his site would have been DMCA, which it hasn't, the site is still up and running. more proof that this is bull.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:13:55

Rastifan

Hmm yes you might be right.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:22:17

ValentineXRedfield

Still, if you want me to remove any poses featuring any DOA characters I uploaded here until we find out whats going on, just let me know :)
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:32:15

Rastifan

"ValentineXRedfield" said ...
Still, if you want me to remove any poses featuring any DOA characters I uploaded here until we find out whats going on, just let me know :)
No need to do that. This might be bullshit, and if not, they have to know about us, and then they make a request for it's removal. But I doubt that is going to happen.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:39:05

ValentineXRedfield

Its offical, it was a late April fools prank by Sticklove. Tecmo isn't taking any kind of legal action about the DOA models, hmm very funny.
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:41:40

Rastifan

I see. Got me then^^
Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:47:54

ValentineXRedfield

Got me too, I deleted all my DOA poses off my DeviantArt :x Oh well no biggy, we live and learn.
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 03:46:32

Anonymous

Lol :lolol: welcome on internet :mrgreen:
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 06:30:10

Goron_Ozzy

Wow, that got me good :lol:
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:07:11

ValentineXRedfield

From the looks of things it this prank has annoyed alot of people. xo-BAHAMUT-ox on DeviantArt used to have loads of DOA5 models he made but after hearing about this legal stuff he took them all down and I don't think hes going to re-up them, I'm just glad I've gotten all the DOA5 models already downloaded ^^
Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:48:53

BlazBro

If I got an email from some dicks telling me to stop mouth-abusing their models I would tell them to fuck off. :mh: :fy: fuck the police