EA Halts Gun Brand Licensing

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EA Halts Gun Brand Licensing

Medal of Honor screen

Electronic Arts says it will no longer license gun brands for its games, but it will continue to use them.

Remember how Electronic Arts hooked up with gun manufacturers McMillan Group and Magpul last year for some cross-promotional action that used a "virtual showroom" of real-life firearms to tout the realism of Medal of Honor: Warfighter? This year it's trying the opposite approach, distancing itself from weapons makers by saying that it will no longer pay for gun brand licenses in any of its games.

Rather surprisingly, however, EA said it wasn't the dicey politics of gun control or the virulent anti-game rhetoric of the NRA that led to the decision, but simply that it doesn't believe the licenses are necessary in the first place. That distinction makes the move something of a split hair, because while it looks like a good PR maneuver at a cursory glance (at least from the anti-gun perspective), the bottom line is that real-world guns, admittedly an important element in any "realistic" shooter, will be as prevalent as ever.

"We're telling a story and we have a point of view," EA Labels President Frank Gibeau said. "A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' for example."

EA actually made a similar argument about a different kind of weapon system in early 2012, when it claimed a First Amendment right to use Bell Helicopter aircraft in Battlefield 3 without paying to license them. That case, which could go a long way toward determining whether gun makers pursue legal action against EA for unlicensed use of their products, is scheduled to go before a jury in June.

Source: Reuters

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So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

sound rather 'edgy' to me.

i suppose this would work the other way round now would it ea? Im looking at you porsche or all your licensed sports teams hmmm. Can of worms ea can of worms.

Battlefield 4? They can't have my brand. I have a special scope
Look, look through your special scope
MY BRAND!

Heh, I hope EA gets sued.

Bad enough they're doing star wars games.. another thing for them to ruin.

I'm all for fair use, & there are legitimate arguments to be made on the side of EA's stance here, but I can't help but feel like EA would sue the pants off of anyone that tried this with one of their licenses or products

I actually agree with EA on this. There's no reason to pay for these licenses. Not to mention that gun manufacturers should jump at the opportunity to have their guns portrayed in a AAA shooter. It's basically free advertisement.

I have a quote of the week

Professor at Ohio in the Reuters article:
"It gives publicity to the particular brand of gun being used in the video game,"..."On the other hand, it's linking that gun with violent and aggressive behavior."

Linking a gun with violent behaviour.

So EA want to not pay people for using their products, it's almost like piracy.

I haven't got sympathy for either here. I don't think people should profit from weapons manufacturing. Yet if EA expects copyright laws to be respected when they are on the receiving end of such litigation then they should spend the licensing money on creating fictional weapons.

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

A broken clock is right twice a day, eh?

CriticalMiss:
So EA want to not pay people for using their products, it's almost like piracy.

...this is nothing even close to piracy. I mean, what?

As much as I dislike firearms manufacturers and the NRA, I still hope that they bite back at EA for doing this.

Change the name and make small modifications to the models. Boom lawsuits averted <.<

FPS games don't give a damn about weapons authenticity when you only get to play with 2 guns at a time anyway and they do pretty much the same dmg. If they don't everyone will use the best one.

Its silly to license guns when the average FPS gamer doesn't know the difference between a Galil to an FN-Fal or an M4A1 to a HK416.

DVS BSTrD:
Battlefield 4? They can't have my brand. I have a special scope
Look, look through your special scope
MY BRAND!

looking for this?

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

BrotherRool:
I have a quote of the week

Professor at Ohio in the Reuters article:
"It gives publicity to the particular brand of gun being used in the video game,"..."On the other hand, it's linking that gun with violent and aggressive behavior."

Linking a gun with violent behaviour.

OT: Well if games are supposed to be art... I'm not sure about this, but doesn't western movies pay licensing fees for some of the revolver brands?

Adam Jensen:
I actually agree with EA on this. There's no reason to pay for these licenses. Not to mention that gun manufacturers should jump at the opportunity to have their guns portrayed in a AAA shooter. It's basically free advertisement.

Bingo, and as a I mentioned immediately above, movies don't pay squat to use guns (actual products, not digital models of them) in their productions, so why the hell should devs. It's free advertisement for the gun company.

I sense a flamewar so I'm off to dig up that article about the licencing issues with it (I believe it was on arstechnica...).

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

I'm not saying they don't have a case, I'm saying the reason for them doing this is that they figured they can get away with it. They'd happily ignore any comparison to movies/books if it was beneficial to their bottom line.

This being a large corporation, they generally prefer to mask their money-grubbing with a fancy explanation. Much like they're not hogging your contact info in order to force-feed you targeted advertising, it is to "deliver the best experience".

In this case, however, there is not a single underfed developer orphan twin in sight, merely the bare-faced admittance they'd much rather not fork over huge sums of money. Rather boring, really.

Kargathia:

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

I'm not saying they don't have a case, I'm saying the reason for them doing this is that they figured they can get away with it. They'd happily ignore any comparison to movies/books if it was beneficial to their bottom line.

This being a large corporation, they generally prefer to mask their money-grubbing with a fancy explanation. Much like they're not hogging your contact info in order to force-feed you targeted advertising, it is to "deliver the best experience".

In this case, however, there is not a single underfed developer orphan twin in sight, merely the bare-faced admittance they'd much rather not fork over huge sums of money. Rather boring, really.

Fair enough, really this is rather a non-case and not newsworthy in my opinion. Since EA has every right to not pay the gun manufacturers for their licences for these since parallels can be drawn with other entertainment companies not paying (movie studios mostly but likely TV too), and since EA is a large corporation I doubt they'll be sued over it. If an indie dev or a less gigantic publisher did this there'd be lawyers though.

They are money grubbing about but they're quite justified in doing so, since it's basically fucking off the money grubbing of another giant evil corporation.

Well... several giant evil corporations.

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:

SkarKrow:

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

I'm not saying they don't have a case, I'm saying the reason for them doing this is that they figured they can get away with it. They'd happily ignore any comparison to movies/books if it was beneficial to their bottom line.

This being a large corporation, they generally prefer to mask their money-grubbing with a fancy explanation. Much like they're not hogging your contact info in order to force-feed you targeted advertising, it is to "deliver the best experience".

In this case, however, there is not a single underfed developer orphan twin in sight, merely the bare-faced admittance they'd much rather not fork over huge sums of money. Rather boring, really.

Fair enough, really this is rather a non-case and not newsworthy in my opinion. Since EA has every right to not pay the gun manufacturers for their licences for these since parallels can be drawn with other entertainment companies not paying (movie studios mostly but likely TV too), and since EA is a large corporation I doubt they'll be sued over it. If an indie dev or a less gigantic publisher did this there'd be lawyers though.

They are money grubbing about but they're quite justified in doing so, since it's basically fucking off the money grubbing of another giant evil corporation.

Well... several giant evil corporations.

On the whole it's one of these cases where I sincerely hope everyone sues, and proceedings drag on so much that everyone loses.

I'm reminded of an episode of Idea Channel from a few weeks back:


I know EA cited business rather than ethical reasons, but this would create less of a potential moral conundrum for some players.

Kargathia:

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:

I'm not saying they don't have a case, I'm saying the reason for them doing this is that they figured they can get away with it. They'd happily ignore any comparison to movies/books if it was beneficial to their bottom line.

This being a large corporation, they generally prefer to mask their money-grubbing with a fancy explanation. Much like they're not hogging your contact info in order to force-feed you targeted advertising, it is to "deliver the best experience".

In this case, however, there is not a single underfed developer orphan twin in sight, merely the bare-faced admittance they'd much rather not fork over huge sums of money. Rather boring, really.

Fair enough, really this is rather a non-case and not newsworthy in my opinion. Since EA has every right to not pay the gun manufacturers for their licences for these since parallels can be drawn with other entertainment companies not paying (movie studios mostly but likely TV too), and since EA is a large corporation I doubt they'll be sued over it. If an indie dev or a less gigantic publisher did this there'd be lawyers though.

They are money grubbing about but they're quite justified in doing so, since it's basically fucking off the money grubbing of another giant evil corporation.

Well... several giant evil corporations.

On the whole it's one of these cases where I sincerely hope everyone sues, and proceedings drag on so much that everyone loses.

I don't because what happens then is that copyright and trademark lawyers get money and those arseholes really need to go away and stop fucking the world up. I hope it's a case where the gun companies go "oh well, it's free advertsising anyway" and EA just keeps it's mouth shut about the whole thing, that's the best we can really hope for out of it.

But it's EA. So we'll get an army of morons saying EA are stealing ideas and "loltheyrepiratesforguns" will be parotted over and over by the kind of drones that think that a zero punctuation or jimquisition episode they once watched is enough to form an educated and intelligent opinion with no reflection or reasonable thought on their part going into it, let alone the addition of extra sources.

Not accusing you of that btw, you seem reasonable, it's just that that's how these things tend to go and I find it a rather sad state of affairs that with so much information available from the internet, people use a 5 minute satire as their only source.

Frostbite3789:

CriticalMiss:
So EA want to not pay people for using their products, it's almost like piracy.

...this is nothing even close to piracy. I mean, what?

Well they are 'stealing' someones product (or rather the likeness of their product). They're even doing it to make money.

It doesn't matter if they're right or not, they would happily go after someone that did this to them. You have to be right and convince me you're not being hypocritical before I give you props EA.

CriticalMiss:

Well they are 'stealing' someones product (or rather the likeness of their product). They're even doing it to make money.

That's still nothing close to similar. At all.

Frostbite3789:

CriticalMiss:

Well they are 'stealing' someones product (or rather the likeness of their product). They're even doing it to make money.

That's still nothing close to similar. At all.

Care to explain your point, or are you gonna just keep shouting "It's not the same!"?

OT: Weighing up who I dislike more here: gun companies, or EA? Hmm...

But why would they have to pay to use a product in their game? Sarcasm by the way. I'm starting to think EA just does stupid things just to get a rise out of people and to keep up their status-quot, that being acting like complete assholes whenever and however possible then blaming the people that buy their games somehow

Frostbite3789:

CriticalMiss:
So EA want to not pay people for using their products, it's almost like piracy.

...this is nothing even close to piracy. I mean, what?

Its abuse of copyrights, something that the argument of piracy hinges upon?

flarty:

Frostbite3789:

CriticalMiss:
So EA want to not pay people for using their products, it's almost like piracy.

...this is nothing even close to piracy. I mean, what?

Its abuse of copyrights, something that the argument of piracy hinges upon?

Actually, I'm pretty sure this would be a trademark issue, if anything. Completely different.

EDIT: And even then, probably not, as EA isn't trying to use the brand names to describe their own product, merely to properly label products(or in this case digital representations thereof) being used. Either way, mechanical devices are not covered by copyright law, and patent law doesn't apply here as far as I know.

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

I would expect it to hold-up pretty well, since that's basically how copyright law works. If you catch someone using your copyright material, you basically HAVE to sue them, otherwise it's basically like saying "Nah, screw it, anyone can use it".

leave it to EA to do the right thing for the most douchiest of reasons in the most douchiest of ways.

EA-style hypocrisy again it seems. EA handles the licenses for Porsche in the "area of entertainment software". And yes, they've quite recently sent out C&Ds for mods having Porsches in them (check the link).

http://www.virtualr.net/endurance-porsche-cup-series-released-called-off

They don't wanna pay for licenses but God forbid if anyone want to shirk paying for THEIR licenses.

WhiteTigerShiro:

SkarKrow:

Kargathia:
So, to sum this up: EA thinks they can now get away with not spending money on licensing fees.

They really might've upped the creativity of their explanatory bullshit though, this explanation is actually accurate. Can't have that, now can we?

Well not quite. It isn't that at all, if you look at how the licencing works they're right with this one; other media formats don't pay licences to guns because it's essentially advertising for the gun manufcaturer. Movies don't pay, books don't pay, etc, so why should games? It'll definately be interesting to see how this pans out, if it results in legal conflict with the manufacturers then I'd like to see how the defence of "why should we pay if you don't charge warner bros" holds up.

I would expect it to hold-up pretty well, since that's basically how copyright law works. If you catch someone using your copyright material, you basically HAVE to sue them, otherwise it's basically like saying "Nah, screw it, anyone can use it".

Nope, that's trademark law again. And mechanical devices aren't copyrighted anyway. The technology behind them is patented. You're confusing 2 or possibly even three different forms of IP.

Couldn't the artists just make their own shit up? Mix and match parts, a splash of color, alter the shape from a rectangle to a tetrahedron... it can't be that difficult, right?

Right??

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