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Tentacles & Eyeballs Minis Kickstarter

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#1 recruittons

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:12 PM

Came across this little guy today. he's been struggling along for a while now, but his designs are really very interesting and are quite good. He has sculpts of almost everything he's listing here (all but a few stretch goal minis are depicted). His prices are a bit on the higher end (since a lot of his little guys are quite small looking), but this guy is basically starting from scratch, so it's understandable with his current situation.

Currently, the batch prices are:
$53 gets you "All the Little Guys" - This includes: 3 Floating Eyes, 3 Phlemf, 1 of each of all 3 Peepers, a Wolf-in-Sheep's-Clothing, a Lensman (my personal favorite design), and a Gauth. Also, a not-beholder pin/earring

$200 gets you "All the Big Guys" - This includes: 1 Tentacle Hulk, 1 Huge Alibeth, 1 Doomkiss Eye Abberrant, and 1 DeepMother

$250 gets you "Get it all" - This includes: All of the above.

His next 2 stretch goals are only $500 and $1000 dollars away, and each adds 1 mini to the "All the Little Guys" and "Get it all" rewards

Now, there is a risk since he is brand new and untested, but I figured some of you guys might like what he's offering!

http://www.kickstart...r-miniatures-se

ETA: Frankthedm informed me of the depth at which the miniatures were copied from WoTC's monsters. I've included a copy-paste of Sean K. Reynolds' response to this KS. Pledge at your own risk.

Sean K Reynolds (Designer) Yesterday, 11:49 PM

All I'm saying, Andy, is that your kickstarter project has
a "guath" that looks like a D&D gauth
a "doomkiss beholder" that looks like a D&D bloodkiss/death kiss
a "deepmother" that looks like a D&D deepspawn
a "phlemf" that looks like a flumph
an "energy being" that looks like a D&D yag-ya/xeg-yi
a "grabbie" that looks like a gorbel
a "wail snail" that looks like a flail snail
a "deep eye" stretch reward that looks like an eye of the deep
And your response appears to be
"they haven't stopped me yet so it must be okay,"
"they haven't stopped another company's D&D lookalike minis so it must be okay,"
"nobody stopped the Big Lebowski or Scooby Doo lookalike miniatures so it must be okay,"
"there are differences between my monsters and the Wizards monsters so it's not a violation," and
"they'll never make these obscure monsters anyway so I might as well be able to" (which isn't actually true)
What's telling is you did not say "I did not copy these D&D monsters." You can't say that because you know it isn't true. This isn't an accident of parallel creativity; you have 8 monsters not only look like specific D&D monsters, they're named very similarly to those monsters. It's obvious that you based your miniatures on those D&D monsters, as much as creating minis of 9-foot-tall quasi-catlike savage warriors called the "nar'vi" is an obvious copying of the Pandora natives from the Avatar movie.
Instead of creating something based on (public domain) mythology or something entirely new, you chose to sculpt a bunch of miniatures copied from well-established monsters that were created by Wizards of the Coast. Whether or not they try to stop you doesn't matter, whether or not a court would agree that this is a copyright violation doesn't matter. You've copied someone else's idea instead of creating something that's your own.


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#2 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

Now, there is a risk since he is brand new and untested, but I figured some of you guys might like what he's offering!

Cool figures, but unfortunately I think the sculptor went too close to WotC's IP risking the project to a C&D order. The Doomkiss beholder {yes they called it a beholder} looks a lot like wotc's 3E illustration of the deathkiss beholder. The lensman entry used to reference beholders, though that was later changed to eye aberrants

I think DPS realized they came too close because they've tried to edit out the references to beholder in the project, but could not get rid of all of them because the right hand side bar can't be changed.

"Get it all -- Get 3 Floating eyes, 1 each of all 3 Peepers, a Wolf-in-Sheep's-Clothing, a Lensman, a Guath, one resin-and-pewter Huge Alibeth one resin-and-pewter Doomkiss Beholder, and one resin-and-pewter DeepMother. International backers should add $20 for shipping."


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#3 recruittons

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:57 PM

Ah yes! I had read about the possible copyright issue. He made an impassioned blog post ( http://www.dark-plat...yright-concerns ) on how he believes his project will not be targeted with a C&D order and how he believes nothing he did was wrong. I'd like to believe him, but I'm not going to assume WoTC is likely to let anything go. D&D is their bread and butter, and things that belong to that are jealously guarded. However, it's tough to tell. His pittens might not be worth it to WoTC to mess with.

And thanks for the picture comparison. I had no idea it was such an exact reproduction of that creature.
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#4 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:04 PM

Ah yes! I had read about the possible copyright issue. He made an impassioned blog post ( http://www.dark-plat...yright-concerns ) on how he believes his project will not be targeted with a C&D order and how he believes nothing he did was wrong.

So he saw it was a potential problem and made no efforts to assure the backers of what steps he would take if WOTC did say C&D? To me trying to claim the project should be fine because he thinks others others do the same thing really raises my eyebrows.

1. Yes some manufactures do make figures similar to most D&D monsters, they have been doing it for years. But, beholder types, which are fairly unique to D&D, are one of the few WotC kept a tight leash on, not treating them as open game content and loudly proclaiming them product identity.

2. Any causal observer might have noticed there are usually not so subtle distinctions between Reapers Eye Monsters and wotc's beholders. Differing limbs, extra limbs and whatnot. And not even Conjunctivus is a direct copy of wotc's art. Only company daring to go that close is Otherworld minis, which is in England. And even they had the sense not to say beholder Edit: and the beholder's armor plate patterns don't exactly match the 1E art :Edit.

Kickstarter does't have any recourse for the backer if the Project doesn't deliver, so If DPS uses the KS money to hire a lawyer after WotC gets on their case, the backers will be SOL until they follow up civilly on the matter with the project creator.

However, it's tough to tell. His pittens might not be worth it to WoTC to mess with.

The pittance DPS will make is less an issue than the legal requirements Wotc has to defend intellectual property or lose the rights to it.

And thanks for the picture comparison. I had no idea it was such an exact reproduction of that creature.

It was a fairly distinctive illo, From the tentacle's teeth to the unique pupil.

Edited by Frankthedm, 14 September 2012 - 11:33 PM.

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#5 recruittons

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:27 PM

I've never seen that particular creature. I play D&D, but don't read every monster manual or know each creature by appearance. The Deathkiss Beholder was a whole new thing to me. I'd only heard/read about the potential for copyright issues through his comments section when someone brought it up.

So yeah, knowing how badly he copied that particular creature is definitely a game changer to me. It seems like if he is going to succeed, he might want to abandon that creature, cancel his Kickstarter, and restart it with a different, more original creation.

Also, copyright does not have to be defended, you're confusing it with a trademark. If you don't defend your trademark, you lose it. Copyright is a set period of time in which you own an intellectual property.
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#6 smokingwreckage

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

I liked it but i don't have the cash for the good stuff. Pity he pretty unambiguously invoked WoTC IP.

EDIT: It's not the originality that's necessarily the problem, it's using their name for the monster. They tend to not bother people much, it seems, but the name could be an issue for them legally.

Naturally, he died because a wizard exploded.


#7 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:38 PM

And on Paizo's forum SKR weighed in on the subject.

Sean K Reynolds (Designer) Yesterday, 11:49 PM

All I'm saying, Andy, is that your kickstarter project has
a "guath" that looks like a D&D gauth
a "doomkiss beholder" that looks like a D&D bloodkiss/death kiss
a "deepmother" that looks like a D&D deepspawn
a "phlemf" that looks like a flumph
an "energy being" that looks like a D&D yag-ya/xeg-yi
a "grabbie" that looks like a gorbel
a "wail snail" that looks like a flail snail
a "deep eye" stretch reward that looks like an eye of the deep
And your response appears to be
"they haven't stopped me yet so it must be okay,"
"they haven't stopped another company's D&D lookalike minis so it must be okay,"
"nobody stopped the Big Lebowski or Scooby Doo lookalike miniatures so it must be okay,"
"there are differences between my monsters and the Wizards monsters so it's not a violation," and
"they'll never make these obscure monsters anyway so I might as well be able to" (which isn't actually true)
What's telling is you did not say "I did not copy these D&D monsters." You can't say that because you know it isn't true. This isn't an accident of parallel creativity; you have 8 monsters not only look like specific D&D monsters, they're named very similarly to those monsters. It's obvious that you based your miniatures on those D&D monsters, as much as creating minis of 9-foot-tall quasi-catlike savage warriors called the "nar'vi" is an obvious copying of the Pandora natives from the Avatar movie.
Instead of creating something based on (public domain) mythology or something entirely new, you chose to sculpt a bunch of miniatures copied from well-established monsters that were created by Wizards of the Coast. Whether or not they try to stop you doesn't matter, whether or not a court would agree that this is a copyright violation doesn't matter. You've copied someone else's idea instead of creating something that's your own.


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#8 dwarvenranger

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:41 PM

Damm, too bad I'm out of money for the month. I love that they have a deepspawn. This would be a really cool project to be a part of, assuming WoTC doesn't kill it.
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#9 recruittons

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:41 PM

Wow! I had no idea just how much of this kickstarter was an absolutely rip-off of WoTC stuff! I'm going to edit my OP with a warning to avoid, not for any other reason than this just isn't a deserving campaign.
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#10 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:00 PM

Wow! I had no idea just how much of this kickstarter was an absolutely rip-off of WoTC stuff! I'm going to edit my OP with a warning to avoid, not for any other reason than this just isn't a deserving campaign.

Well in all fairness, other than the Doomkiss, I'm not sure how directly the other figs are using D&D art for sculpting concepts. Even the Deepmother does have SOME differences. I will admit though I was surprised when reaper shared this starter on facebook, but I just assumed the reaper peep who put it up didn't realize how much the Doomkiss copied the Monsters of Faerun Deathkiss.

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#11 recruittons

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

Well in all fairness, other than the Doomkiss, I'm not sure how directly the other figs are using D&D art for sculpting concepts. Even the Deepmother does have SOME differences. I will admit though I was surprised when reaper shared this starter on facebook, but I just assumed the reaper peep who put it up didn't realize how much the Doomkiss copied the Monsters of Faerun Deathkiss.


True. I'm a bit of a reactionary (if you haven't noticed from my posts in this thread alone!) and I tend to not have hard opinions (i believe flexibility is good when it comes to receiving new information. Forming new opinions as data is assimilated). Especially when it's sense. I'll leave a pledge at your own risk warning at the top, but otherwise, this could fly under the radar (doubtful at this point. I bet WoTC has seen this already). I think it might just be in everyone's best interest to just wait this out and if the products get made, purchase them at retail. Take the safe bet, so the speak.
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#12 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:44 PM

this could fly under the radar (doubtful at this point. I bet WoTC has seen this already). I think it might just be in everyone's best interest to just wait this out and if the products get made, purchase them at retail. Take the safe bet, so the speak.

This notion of the project proceeding while hoping wotc doesn't notice really ticks me off. I'd rather DPS have the strength of character to own up to directly copying the deathkiss, contact WotC to see if wizards are cool with the project and if not, ask what chances WotC would find acceptable. If that is not possible, DPS should pull the kickstarter before folks get charged for models DPS might not be able to deliver on.
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#13 Sanael

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:06 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the "alibeth," too. Fish-with-tentacles and three vertical eyes? And these names...dyslexia and dysgraphia are not defences against accusations of IP theft.

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#14 Frankthedm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:13 PM

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the "alibeth," too. Fish-with-tentacles and three vertical eyes? And these names...dyslexia and dysgraphia are not defences against accusations of IP theft.

Aboleth was released as open content so the use of the name would not likely be a problem. Pathfinder even has it's own Aboleth. On that one, manufacturing a model based on someone else's art would likely be the only problem. The laundry list I quoted from SKR was him showing the pattern of similarity. Not that they all were infringing items.

Sean K Reynolds http://paizo.com/for...les-Eyeballs#16
(So why did I mention the flumph and flail snail at all? To establish that there is a pattern of copying monsters, whether those monsters are reserved by Wizards or open to everyone.)


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#15 smokingwreckage

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:27 AM

Yeah, but he didn't copy someone's miniature, he made his own. So I do think that little bit of righteousness is actually fatuous on SKR's part. And I don't think WoTC are necessarily going to object to fan art. I like the models and I'd like to see them made. I have no idea if contacting WoTC is the right move; it might actually put them in a bind.

Naturally, he died because a wizard exploded.




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