EA Halts Gun Brand Licensing

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LOL @ that.

I remember them talking about having La Rue Tactical (GREAT company) Trijicon (responsible for the ACOG family of gunsights), EOTech (COD's Holographic sight; commonly seen in other games), Magpul (full-weapons customization & specialized training) & other brands I could go on about in MOH:W, and when that game went belly up, I guess they decided to not pay excessive money for that.

Maybe instead of going for "authenticity" that wasn't even there, how about just give me Black 2 on Frostbite 3 with open-endedness, plenty of destruction & all that goodness & we'll be set?

NO! DAMN YOU EA AND YOUR STUPID SCHEMES TO RUIN VID.........!
*blinks*
Sorry, reflex action there. It's a bit of a bad habit, like smoking or 'selective genocide'...
*coughs* Anyhow, this actually seems to be making sense for once. Heck, if neither books nor movies have to pay as SkarKrow says. then why should games? Could get rid of some moral qualms for some players too that don't like the idea of indirectly supporting weapon manufacture.

SageRuffin:
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??

But they shouldn't have to. If I write a murder mystery, I don't have to make up a name for the gun used in the murder. I can call a thing what it is. This isn't Voldemort we're talking about. If someone makes their own guns and tries to sell them as Colts, that's a trademark issue. If someone takes a new gun technology or manufacturing technology and uses it without license, that's a patent issue. If someone reprints another's poem about guns, that's a copyright issue. If I say the word Colt to describe an actual Colt branded gun, that's.... nothing. If I make a drawing of a Colt branded gun, that's new art(as the gun itself is not intellectual property).

Intellectual property law is meant to be limited. It says so right in our(United States) constitution. Lawyers -being lawyers- will try to make words mean things they were never meant to, and careless legislators and biased judges sometimes let them get away with it. But IP law was never meant to keep us from describing our actual physical world. That's insanity.

Eh, on the one hand, I like fair use and don't think you should have to pay to portray a gun in a game that is a particular variety in the same way you should be able to portray styles of buildings and home appliances. On the other hand, EA is so litigous with the licenses they have (Porsche for example) that I hope they get their pants sued right the f*** off.

My philosophy on this is "All's fair in love and war". If you make something for killing and someone else steals it, you can't really blame them. Even if they're only taking it's image.

SkarKrow:

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.

Lawyers by themselves can hardly be held responsible for the monstrosity that is copyright law. Think of them as mercenary soldiers, hired for the corporate wars of the 21st century: lawsuits.

But it's EA.

Yup, their public image at this point is bad enough to warrant instant internet hate whenever they do anything that could possibly be construed as less than angelic.

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.

Quite frankly, the concept of having a "reasonable" opinion on this topic is rather arbitrary, as short of being experts on copyright law, we're all talking out of our asses.

I have to say, I hate the shit out of EA, that said:

Good on them. The media a work exists in shouldn't give it different licensing. Using something that exists outside of other fictional works, brand name or not, shouldn't be something you have to pay for. If it's real, they should be able to use it. I have to say I'm really proud of EA for doing this (never thought I would ever say that).

I really, really hope that EA will get sued left and right if they pull this off.
This is just greed, they want to save on the development of Battlefield 4 and this is an odd corner to cut.

Comparing Games to Books is absolute nonsense, set aside the fact that writing in a Battlefield game is always at high-school level.
In a book you need to paint a picture with words, sure, there is a variety of ways to describe a gun, saying "Colt" just puts a more concrete image in the readers mind. (Mind you it could be a revolver or a 1911 etc., so that's a really stupid example)

In their game they use the exact design of a gun and attach the name to it. Now many people have referred to Movies using weapons without licensing a lot and there is a good reason for that. The H&K G36C is very common in movies, but you will never, ever see the "HK" logo on the side of the gun, and nobody will say "Here take this Heckler and Koch G36!".
The shape of the gun itself is not copyrighted, the name itself is hardly copyrighted either, it's just a letter and two digits.

But once you put those two together you're creating a link to an existing product and you virtually replicate its design and function. It's nothing original you came up with. Neither the name nor the design. It's the work of the engineers and technicians at H&K.

Game devs and publishers fight so hard to protect their Intellectual Property, but once it's about using the Intellectual Property of other companies, they couldn't care less.(In this case I believe IP is the right term to use, as they aren't using the actual guns, just the design and names.)

There may be a way around it, the same way they did it in Battlefield 3. It contained the M416 and M417, which are essentially the HK416/417. By leaving out the manufacturers name in the guns name they didn't have to buy the license from H&K. But if in BF4 they actually call their gun "HK416" or "Benelli M4" or "Beretta M9" they are actually creating a direct connection between the object and the manufacturer, which the latter might not desire or not consent to. I'm sure there is ground for a lawsuit in there somewhere.

If someone tried to make a game with "Battlefield" in the name, or hell, "EA" in the name, as an acronym for something absolutely not related to Electronic Arts, they'd get sued with record speed.

Scars Unseen:
Snippage.

I must've misread something somewhere: are you saying that the developers are essentially making 1:1 replicas of these guns in-game?

SageRuffin:

Scars Unseen:
Snippage.

I must've misread something somewhere: are you saying that the developers are essentially making 1:1 replicas of these guns in-game?

that's pretty much the whole deal - most major gun companies don't want their brand associated with any IP in which the guns don't function more or less identically (within reason) to the real thing.

Hey, as long as gun companies get that much less money, it's a good thing.

SageRuffin:

Scars Unseen:
Snippage.

I must've misread something somewhere: are you saying that the developers are essentially making 1:1 replicas of these guns in-game?

You'll have to be more specific. I've made more than one post in this thread, and don't recall using the word "snippage" in any of them. I don't believe I said that though.

Neverhoodian:
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.

I don't think EA really cares. I'm not going in from the angle of business making money and the debate about it, I just think EA just really does not care.

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?

Yes and no.

It involves the manufacturers logos and digital representations of their products so it would be closer to counter-fitting than piracy.

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?

Gun makers spend MONEY to design and make those guns. The design, look, and name are trademarked.

It is a product. It is owned by them.

EA is pirating the cool designs of others and not paying for use.

templar1138a:
Hey, as long as gun companies get that much less money, it's a good thing.

But it sets a precedent that licenses are useless as long as your a big, money grubbing corporation.

Oh yeah, those same corporations who run sweat shops and run lives of the minorities into the ground is so much better than just gun dealers huh? Just as long as you work them to death and not shot, its suddenly morally right huh? /sarcasm

Scars Unseen:

flarty:

Frostbite3789:

...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.

Nope its a copyright case.

A trademark would be the name or symbol they trade under. Copyright gives the owner the right to reproduce copies of a work.

Kargathia:

SkarKrow:

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.

Lawyers by themselves can hardly be held responsible for the monstrosity that is copyright law. Think of them as mercenary soldiers, hired for the corporate wars of the 21st century: lawsuits.

But it's EA.

Yup, their public image at this point is bad enough to warrant instant internet hate whenever they do anything that could possibly be construed as less than angelic.

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.

Quite frankly, the concept of having a "reasonable" opinion on this topic is rather arbitrary, as short of being experts on copyright law, we're all talking out of our asses.

They help perpetuate it and would likely oppose any kind of reform. It's not their fault so much as it is they should really just bleed companies dry and talk in circles. Or be more discretionary, don't sue youtubers with $5 to their name for an AMV for example.

Indeed it is but that kind of thinking is unhelpful, educated and informative responses are much more helpful. I do hope EA can somehow turn it around and be a better company for us all again, I do remember the days of the mid-2000's where they were considerably less evil and put out some great titles.

I'm not an expert on copyright law but I do understand enough about it from the miracle of reading to know that any lawsuits coming from this should reallisticially be dismissed.

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".

Indeed, it'll be interesting to see how this unfolds. Both from the legal and political standpoints. I mean so far as the major news outlets in the US are concerned this is like a clash between super-evil things right there.

Like Cthulu clashing with whoever was behind Sonic 06.

flarty:

Scars Unseen:

flarty:

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.

Nope its a copyright case.

A trademark would be the name or symbol they trade under. Copyright gives the owner the right to reproduce copies of a work.

Technology isn't copyright protected. It's covered by patent law. A gun isn't intellectual property. It's physical property. I can draw a gun and sell it for profit if I choose, because I'm not infringing on the gunmaker's rights(which are to sell the physical gun and retain sole rights to any patented technology used in its manufacture). An in game model of a gun is merely a really nice sketch.

What is this, EA making good sense? how could this be! Could this be the 5th sign of Escapist? Only 2 remaining according to captcha...... i fear whats to come.....

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

What product? If i wrote a book and it had a word "Tree" in it should i pay the gardener for "using his product"? The whole idea that you need to pay money to use a name as a depiction of the item is ridiculous and shows how utterly stupid our copyright laws are.

Strazdas:

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

What product? If i wrote a book and it had a word "Tree" in it should i pay the gardener for "using his product"? The whole idea that you need to pay money to use a name as a depiction of the item is ridiculous and shows how utterly stupid our copyright laws are.

Product = the guns they designed

Why would you pay a gardener? Did he invent a specific kind of tree? If so then yes, and they are using more than just a name they are using the likeness of an actual real existing gun in their game. Not just a generic gun that people have been using without a problem in the past. EA could get their developers to just make their own model for a gun, call it the JK47. But that requires effort.

CriticalMiss:

Strazdas:

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

What product? If i wrote a book and it had a word "Tree" in it should i pay the gardener for "using his product"? The whole idea that you need to pay money to use a name as a depiction of the item is ridiculous and shows how utterly stupid our copyright laws are.

Product = the guns they designed

Why would you pay a gardener? Did he invent a specific kind of tree? If so then yes, and they are using more than just a name they are using the likeness of an actual real existing gun in their game. Not just a generic gun that people have been using without a problem in the past. EA could get their developers to just make their own model for a gun, call it the JK47. But that requires effort.

Is EA stealing their guns now?
If so then yes they are takin their product. Else, they are not. If you invent a kind of tree you should NOT have to have a right to deny others of growing such trees themselves.

Thomas Kruse:
I really, really hope that EA will get sued left and right if they pull this off.
This is just greed, they want to save on the development of Battlefield 4 and this is an odd corner to cut.

Comparing Games to Books is absolute nonsense, set aside the fact that writing in a Battlefield game is always at high-school level.
In a book you need to paint a picture with words, sure, there is a variety of ways to describe a gun, saying "Colt" just puts a more concrete image in the readers mind. (Mind you it could be a revolver or a 1911 etc., so that's a really stupid example)

In their game they use the exact design of a gun and attach the name to it. Now many people have referred to Movies using weapons without licensing a lot and there is a good reason for that. The H&K G36C is very common in movies, but you will never, ever see the "HK" logo on the side of the gun, and nobody will say "Here take this Heckler and Koch G36!".
The shape of the gun itself is not copyrighted, the name itself is hardly copyrighted either, it's just a letter and two digits.

But once you put those two together you're creating a link to an existing product and you virtually replicate its design and function. It's nothing original you came up with. Neither the name nor the design. It's the work of the engineers and technicians at H&K.

Game devs and publishers fight so hard to protect their Intellectual Property, but once it's about using the Intellectual Property of other companies, they couldn't care less.(In this case I believe IP is the right term to use, as they aren't using the actual guns, just the design and names.)

There may be a way around it, the same way they did it in Battlefield 3. It contained the M416 and M417, which are essentially the HK416/417. By leaving out the manufacturers name in the guns name they didn't have to buy the license from H&K. But if in BF4 they actually call their gun "HK416" or "Benelli M4" or "Beretta M9" they are actually creating a direct connection between the object and the manufacturer, which the latter might not desire or not consent to. I'm sure there is ground for a lawsuit in there somewhere.

If someone tried to make a game with "Battlefield" in the name, or hell, "EA" in the name, as an acronym for something absolutely not related to Electronic Arts, they'd get sued with record speed.

This whole post is dead on. The firearm manufacturers have a very, very solid lawsuit if their products are displayed this way in a game without their consent and without any compensation. This is quite different from a passing narrative in a book or film. In movies they use replicas of real firearms, but generally don't go into the make and model in high detail unless the plot absolutely requires it. In a game like Battlefield each weapon is shown and described in extreme detail along with the company's exact name and product model numbers. I'm guessing the in-game operation of the guns is very accurate as well.

There's also precedence for this: When Forza 4 was being developed, a ton of money was forked over to the automotive companies to license their exact products in the game. Not only that, those companies actually watched over game development to make sure they were absolutely accurate to the real-life vehicles. Why should firearms manufacturers deserve less if that amount of detail is going into what they produce. Oh, and if EA tried to say that the decision was based on ethics then that would be an even greater piece of hypocritical horse shit, because in that case, they shouldn't be making the fucking game in the first place!

Another thing that bugs me is that EA itself is a much larger corporation than any firearms company I know of. They're bigger than the Freedom Group (Bushmaster/DPMS/Remington). They're bigger than H&K or Glock. They're bigger than Colt or Smith & Wesson. They're bigger than the Herstal Group. And I don't just mean a little bigger, EA has 3-5 times the operational base of even the largest gun makers. I won't even bother with tiny operations like Barrett Firearms Mfg. which has maybe 90-150 employees but still has its weapons represented in games. Basically EA is just doing what they do best: bullying smaller companies.

The Short Version: Any firearms company that sues EA has them by the balls with trademark and copyright infringement at the least. I don't blindly hate EA, I actually enjoy several games they've published, but this is total bullshit. I would applaud any gun maker that steps up and tells them to pay up or pound sand. There's nothing wrong with these engineers, machinists and technicians getting a small piece of reward for their work.

The real reason they stop this, is that EA are starting their own weapons manufacturer and all future games will feature only their own guns.

Part of me have this little desire for this to play out to their ridiculous extreme and make EA incapable of using real gun designs in their games forcing them to make a sequel to 2142. (The only BF game I genuinely liked)

Seriously though I have a hard time imagining that the whole "video games cause gun violence" campaign did nothing to push for the decision to stop giving them money.

Zombie_Moogle:
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 agree.

While I think that it is odd how game developers need to pay firearm manufacturers in order to use specific names in games (you'd think that it'd be like free advertising), I can't help but think of EA as cheap and slightly hypocritical, too.

It's odd, really. Doesn't Apple, for example, pay A LOT of money in order to have its laptops shown prominently in movies? Why, when it comes to video games, is it the exact opposite? I believe that that is also why Counter-Strike: Source never had the real gun names.

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