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Confrontation: Classic


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35 minutes ago, Maledrakh said:

for my part, I think the copyright claim against LoS is a rather petty and spurious strike, and it does not reflect well upon the SD / Stellar companies or the people running them. 

 

I do not forsee this going to court, because of the international aspect and the cost of actual legal action, and I don't think Stellar expects that either. 

 

Afaik the creators of LoS  have also downplayed /obfuscated who they are, expescially their links to Cadwallon, formerly recasters of confrontation miniatures, so they are not exactly sqeaky clean either. But as far as I can tell, they actually stopped selling recasts when informed by Stellar that Stellar had the IP and were going to relaunch Confrontation.

 

also afaik the LoS campaign featured their own stuff, no matter how similar to Confrontation they might be. 

 

 

 

Take a look at the woman with the fan in the Guild of Merchants set on the LoS website and then look at the box cover for the game Arcana from FFG. I think it's a safe guess that's one of the ones SD is complaining about. I don't know if there are any others that are that close, but SD would probably win on at least that one in a US court.

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5 hours ago, cmorse said:

 

Take a look at the woman with the fan in the Guild of Merchants set on the LoS website and then look at the box cover for the game Arcana from FFG. I think it's a safe guess that's one of the ones SD is complaining about. I don't know if there are any others that are that close, but SD would probably win on at least that one in a US court.

 

On the other hand, what does Kickstarter have to do with if LoS have items that might violate an IP if those said items are not included in the kickstarter project? Surely Kickstarter is only concerned with those specific items that are being offered on Kickstarter, and not those that are made available on a third site. SD might have a claim in the specific miniature mentioned above and could maybe pursue that in court (highly unlikely) but I still don't see why Kickstarter would want to get invovled when it concerns other items that are clearly not violating any previous concept arts/etc.

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33 minutes ago, Grefven said:

 

On the other hand, what does Kickstarter have to do with if LoS have items that might violate an IP if those said items are not included in the kickstarter project? Surely Kickstarter is only concerned with those specific items that are being offered on Kickstarter, and not those that are made available on a third site. SD might have a claim in the specific miniature mentioned above and could maybe pursue that in court (highly unlikely) but I still don't see why Kickstarter would want to get invovled when it concerns other items that are clearly not violating any previous concept arts/etc.

 

At this point we can't look to see if that specific mini was included in the kickstarter, but in another forum one of the LoS backers said that it was.

 

As far as what kickstarter themselves is concerned with, they want as little negative controversy as possible while still making as much money as possible. You say you don't see why kickstarter would want to get involved and you as absolutely right, they want nothing to do with legal battles. If they keep the kickstarter closed it will be entirely because they want to stay out of it rather than any real concern for who is right or wrong.

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5 hours ago, Maledrakh said:

 

 

Are there other examples?

 

I haven't spent that much time looking. There might be more or that could be it. I happen to own a copy of Arcana, that's why I noticed that one. Confrontation has ridiculous amounts of artwork you'd have to go though to really figure it out. The original claims I saw was that LoS was using Confrontation concept art for some of their minis, the picture I pointed out obviously isn't concept art, so that at least suggests SD thinks there is more.

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Some people on the Confrontation KS comments linked to a piece of unused concept art (probably made for Rackham) and a mini that were based on that artwork.

I don't think that mini was part of the Kickstarter, but I didn't follow LoS that closely.  Still, it seems as though LoS could just drop a few minis from their kickstarter and they'd be fine.

 

7 hours ago, cmorse said:

Take a look at the woman with the fan in the Guild of Merchants set on the LoS website and then look at the box cover for the game Arcana from FFG. I think it's a safe guess that's one of the ones SD is complaining about. I don't know if there are any others that are that close, but SD would probably win on at least that one in a US court.

 

One of the things I learned from the Chapterhouse lawsuit is that you have to prove that you own the work of art that's being copied- just owning the IP that the art is associated with isn't enough.  And those rights are determined by the particular contracts with particular artists (which can be different from artist to artists, and sometimes the rights aren't clearly spelled out at all and simply revert to the artists).

 

When I was sculpting licensed minis from various book properties, I did not base them off of the book covers, because I was licensed by the author (who owns the characters) and not the publisher or artist (who split ownership of the cover).

 

I wonder if Rackham actually owned that particular piece of art, or if Fantasy Flight Games or the original artist own it.  I mean, a lot of those joint projects become unpublishable once the relationship is dissolved because the rights are muddled between the the companies (or else Heroquest, Space Crusade and Chaos in the Old World would get new editions).

But if Stellar doesn't own that particular piece of art (or if they can't prove it) then they don't have a claim (and I'm sure that FFG aren't interested in protecting the Confrontation IP).

Edited by odinsgrandson
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I couldn't say one way or the other who owns that specific art beyond that it probably isn't LoS. At the moment though SD doesn't need to prove anything to the level the courts would require. All they need to do is convince Kickstarter's lawyers that the level of infringement is enough that Kickstarter doesn't want to deal with having the project listed. If it came to an actual lawsuit I would never bet one way or the other on an IP case, even if it looked far more certain than this one. Whether kickstarter cares if whether the mini is on the KS page vs only LoS's web page is up to them. I don't know for sure if it was on the KS and we don't even know if that mini and image are ones that SD submitted to KS, it's just an example that I happened to notice. Whether just dropping specific minis is enough is also up to Kickstarter rather than any sort of legal standard.

 

I always find these sorts of cases really interesting to watch when it come to seeing which side people take. Usually it's all about how people feel about the company rather than anything to do with that actual level of infringement. Could you imagine these forums if a KS infringed on Reaper to this same level? No one would care about subtleties like it possibly being a third party getting infringed on rather than directly Reaper.

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2 hours ago, cmorse said:

 

I haven't spent that much time looking. There might be more or that could be it. I happen to own a copy of Arcana, that's why I noticed that one. Confrontation has ridiculous amounts of artwork you'd have to go though to really figure it out. The original claims I saw was that LoS was using Confrontation concept art for some of their minis, the picture I pointed out obviously isn't concept art, so that at least suggests SD thinks there is more.

Mini vs Mini is going to be a lot more solid evidence of infringement than mini vs concept art. 


I know GW lost several parts of a case involving the latter, though it's been awhile since I've looked at the art GW claimed the other company's minis were infringing upon, so i don't remember how close they were.  I know that GW claimed it was infringement largely because they had stats for those models in the game, but the court didn't accept the argument.  Their failure to release a mini for the published stats made it harder on them. 

I would think that Stellar/SD would be aware of that when making their own case to KS.  Then again, like you said, they don't need to prove it to the same level with KS as they would in the courts.  It will be interesting to see if they follow through with a lawsuit and really spend money pursuing it.   One one hand, if there is true infringement, they do have to pursue it to protect the value of the Confrontation license.  OTOH, spending money on a lawsuit could threaten fulfillment of the Confrontation KS. 

Will it come down to a "Well guys, we can finish fulfilling the KS as soon as we win this IP infringement case and get our money from them."?

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33 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

Will it come down to a "Well guys, we can finish fulfilling the KS as soon as we win this IP infringement case and get our money from them."?

 

You know, they had to rationalise unlocking all those stretch goals for free somehow. I hope this wasn't their big gamble.

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51 minutes ago, Balgin Stondraeg said:

 

You know, they had to rationalise unlocking all those stretch goals for free somehow. I hope this wasn't their big gamble.

 

Don't get me wrong, while I think from the IP side SD is more in the right than LoS and that SD's complaints aren't frivolous, I still think someone backing Confrontation has pretty sketchy odds of getting everything they're promised with or without a lawsuit involved.

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8 hours ago, cmorse said:

All they need to do is convince Kickstarter's lawyers that the level of infringement is enough that Kickstarter doesn't want to deal with having the project listed.

 

Which is a good thing for backers, even though backers don't know it. Not a good idea to fund a project of a company which could become involved in legal issues (and that could involve SD as well!). When Valley Games, of the Up Front KS, was hit by a lawsuit, someone on BoardGameGeek estimated that Valley Games settled at about the same time that they spent their funding for legal fees. Also, of course, the components haven't even been made yet, so Signum can rewrite the background to be less similar to Confrontation, drop any miniatures that are too close to Confrontation, etc. etc. Maybe an emotionally difficult decision, but prudent from a business point of view. Certainly less costly than if they were hit with an IP C&D *after* everything was printed and cast. The game system doesn't look at all like Confrontation's, so they don't have to re-develop the game.

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On 5/22/2018 at 3:00 PM, cmorse said:

I always find these sorts of cases really interesting to watch when it come to seeing which side people take. Usually it's all about how people feel about the company rather than anything to do with that actual level of infringement. Could you imagine these forums if a KS infringed on Reaper to this same level? No one would care about subtleties like it possibly being a third party getting infringed on rather than directly Reaper.

 

Brand loyalty definitely plays into this a lot.  I had seen the Signum KS while it was going on, and my thought was "those look like better versions of Confrontation figs, and I bet they deliver."

 

I was really surprised when it was taken down.  But so many people knew immediately that it was Sans Detour/Stellar- and that means that we could have seen this coming.

 

The problem with Sans Detour is that they just took 400K Euros from people and probably will never deliver.  And it isn't hard to believe that SD don't actually intend to deliver on their Kickstarter.

Signum/Cadwallon are in a better PR position, but worse legal position.  They've clearly broken the law with their recasts, but a lot of fans were happy to have the minis available at all.  Ironically, it is very possible that the Confrontation Classic Kickstarter will be responsible for the end of Confrontation minis being available to fans.

Neither company has been very honest, so there's that.

 

I wonder how Kickstarter behaves in cases like these.  I mean, do they ask for SD to bring forward their case?  Do they have then specifically name the items that they feel are infringing?  That would give Signum the opportunity to simply delete those items and restart their Kickstarter (and get funding).

From what Signum has been saying, it sounds like Stellar aren't naming particular minis or names that they want changed.  That doesn't work in a proper court of law, but if they're only dealing with Kickstarter policy, then things are different.

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2 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

 

Brand loyalty definitely plays into this a lot.  I had seen the Signum KS while it was going on, and my thought was "those look like better versions of Confrontation figs, and I bet they deliver."

 

I was really surprised when it was taken down.  But so many people knew immediately that it was Sans Detour/Stellar- and that means that we could have seen this coming.

 

The problem with Sans Detour is that they just took 400K Euros from people and probably will never deliver.  And it isn't hard to believe that SD don't actually intend to deliver on their Kickstarter.

Signum/Cadwallon are in a better PR position, but worse legal position.  They've clearly broken the law with their recasts, but a lot of fans were happy to have the minis available at all.  Ironically, it is very possible that the Confrontation Classic Kickstarter will be responsible for the end of Confrontation minis being available to fans.

Neither company has been very honest, so there's that.

 

I wonder how Kickstarter behaves in cases like these.  I mean, do they ask for SD to bring forward their case?  Do they have then specifically name the items that they feel are infringing?  That would give Signum the opportunity to simply delete those items and restart their Kickstarter (and get funding).

From what Signum has been saying, it sounds like Stellar aren't naming particular minis or names that they want changed.  That doesn't work in a proper court of law, but if they're only dealing with Kickstarter policy, then things are different.

 

I believe they need to list to KS what is infringing and with proof otherwise anyone could get a KS shutdown, its also no good just saying "their game looks like ours" as CMON and ND/S$P would be doing that to each other and to all other "Chibi" games on KS.

 

Im quite friendly with a creator that had his KS "New York Bop" miniature skirmish game brought down by 20th century fox(or which ever studio owns the "Warriors" IP) as it was "too inspired"/IP infringing, we had a good chat about it and he told me the things the film studio had a problem with, which were the theme of the KS page was all in "Warrior" colors, all minis were all painted as "Warriors" without the "Warrior" name patch  and 1 mini was to close to source, he repainted the minis a different color, changed the KS color theme and got the infringing mini re-sculpted and re-launched his game on KS under "NYC Street Wars" and had no problems, funded well and either just fulfilled or in the fulfilment stage.

Edited by Original Timmy
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