The Last Of Us Faces Another Rip-Off Accusation - UPDATED

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K84:
It's a hobby made rendition of a subway map.
More like some weird kind of fanart actually.
Is that intellectual property nowadays, really?

First of all, it's not a rendition, it was made specifically to demonstrate changes and additions that he believed would improve the subway. As such, yes it is intellectual property, the map was made to demonstrate ideas that are his and his alone.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Too late, Apple already has a patent on rounded rectangles.

No, really.

No, not really.

That Verge article is highly biased and misleading. If you read the actual design patent, it is not a patent on rounded rectangles.

If he can demand compensation for use of his work. I see no problem with the city of Boston demanding compensation for theirs.

for a guy who owns the entire Boston transit system he's pretty upset
oh wait what nvm lol

I still think the whole Ellen Paige thing was pretty amusing tho

It didn't surprise me to find the original was very, very similar to his "work".

Look, if MBTA had commissioned him to create this map (well they'd want their money back) but you could pretty much grease up the lawyers right now, it would be his and their property and Naughty Dog would be implicitly not paying a fee.

However, in this case, his screeches of "my IP" are complete nonsense. In a legal sense he drew a picture of a picture, made several intentional changes and called it an original work, he doesn't hold any IP rights in this case as his picture is of something and for the purpose of something he has no claim to. I believe that he did work hard and probably improved on the design, which is why this must be frustrating for him, but he has to understand his work was a dead end. It was not used to replace the current map, he was never going to make a penny from this. He knew that, yet after putting his redundant map online at a resource that makes it clear the maps are unofficial, he now suddenly believes he deserves money for this.

Someone in the Naughty Dog art department is probably getting told off for this, the only money he could claim is what the game artist would have been paid for his time if he hadn't used Google image search...

Dahemo:
He knew that, yet after putting his redundant map online at a resource that makes it clear the maps are unofficial, he now suddenly believes he deserves money for this.

When did he say he deserves money for this?

Aardvaarkman:

Dahemo:
He knew that, yet after putting his redundant map online at a resource that makes it clear the maps are unofficial, he now suddenly believes he deserves money for this.

When did he say he deserves money for this?

Presumably at the part where he says he deserves money for this.

Andy Chalk:
"To be clear: at no point have Naughty Dog contacted me about using my intellectual property (this visual representation of the Boston rapid transit network) in their product. To be even more clear: if you want to use my work commercially, payment before usage is required. If you're making money from your product, then you can pay me for my work as well."

That part.

Andy Chalk:
"Naughty Dog seems to have known that they couldn't use the official map without paying a hefty license fee.

It's shit like this I hate. Would Naughty Dog actually be REQUIRED to pay a hefty license fee, or is it just that you see this large company as prey, and a good opportunity to make some quick easy money off of your modified transit map that you probably made without permission in the first place?

Spartan448:

Andy Chalk:
"Naughty Dog seems to have known that they couldn't use the official map without paying a hefty license fee.

It's shit like this I hate. Would Naughty Dog actually be REQUIRED to pay a hefty license fee, or is it just that you see this large company as prey, and a good opportunity to make some quick easy money off of your modified transit map that you probably made without permission in the first place?

Riiiiight, poor ND is the one being preyed upon by the evil graphic designer from whom they stole!

I will repeat all these points again, since apparently nobody seems to be grasping them despite their incredible simplicity.

1. It doesn't care how any of you feel about the law, or what you think the law should be, etc. It matters what the law is.

2. If ND wanted a map of the system and the original was already licensed, they have TWO choices. ONE: PAY someone to do the work for them, or TWO: pay to use an already created work. Oh, but wait, there's a third: steal it from someone! Then they don't have to pay any licensing fees, they don't have to pay to employ someone to do the work, and they get it for free! Yay! Oh wait, except let's take this idea to its logical conclusion. If ND can steal this one small part its game, why not steal everything else? Lets make all the character models in the game in the game by stealing character models from previous games. I mean, sure, people worked hard on those models, they deserve to be paid for their work and not have it stolen and have someone else take credit for it, but whatever. Next, lets steal some dialogue from a movie. Wow, this game is reall coming together, and we haven't even spent a single cent yet!

3. Anyone here who thinks that just because his map is based on an original map means he either doesn't have a claim or is a thief himself has no concept of the law. Do you know what the copyright status of the original map is? No? ok then. Those who are claiming he didn't make enough changes to the original also have no concept of copyright law.

People deserve to be paid for their work, not have it stolen from others. Single graphic designers are not the enemy. Companies that steal from others, but then turn around anf yell piracy at every opportunity are the enemy.

EDIT: and the cruel irony is that these companies have been engaging in these practices for ages. How is a graphic designer supposed to make any money if you can just steal his ideas? These are people's LIVELIHOODS we're talking about. Their jobs. The way they put food on the table for their families and children. These are entire industries on which ND and others are preying. People are being left out, not getting paid for their work, all so ND can save a few dollars that wouldn't matter much in the scheme of things to them, but that is huge to a single graphic designer. Many people here also seem to have little concept of money, jobs, employment, and how people get by in the world by doing work and getting paid for it. J

And those who complain simply because they don't like the overall effect IP law is having on things? Why do you think those effects are happening? I'll tell you one thing after spending the entire last YEAR studying copyright law at Fordham Law School and applying it to this industry on my own time: it's because companies like ND and EA are using those laws improperly or maliciously, not some little designer in Massacussetts.

EDIT 2: and these "stifling creativity" arguments are even worse. This guys claim is not the kind of thing that stifles creativity. You know what does? Companies like ND. If you're, say, a designer, creating workes and hoping someone will pay you to use them, but knowing that your work will likely be stolen anyway and you won't be paid for it. Why bother doing your livelihood when people are just going to steal it instead of pay to use it or pay you to make a new one?

ClockworkUniverse:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Maybe it showed up in Google Images and they thought it was free source.

That would still be remarkably unprofessional. Ensuring that you have the rights to everything you use is a pretty basic legal requirement when making something like this.

But it can be impossible to determine if something is free source, especially something like this. For all we know someone posted this image saying "This is free to use even for commercial use" in a way that implied or even specifically stated that they had the right to say that. I think they should still reimburse the guy, but it is easily understandable if they did not realize that this map had a copy right claim to this man.

The second question I have is how much claim does this guy actually have on the map? Is it a retouched version of the city map? or did he create the entire map from scratch? If it is a retouch, did he obtain the right to do so?

There are too many questions for me to take either side, but this guys reaction is kind of excessive given the known facts. If he felt he had a legitimate grievance he should have contacted Naughty Dog before swearing all over twitter about how big of bastards they are. Your first point of contact when you have a legal grievance should not be swearing over twitter.

Aardvaarkman:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Too late, Apple already has a patent on rounded rectangles.

No, really.

No, not really.

That Verge article is highly biased and misleading. If you read the actual design patent, it is not a patent on rounded rectangles.

Source? That's the first I've heard of that one. Even the article on that page says they had other, earlier patents that were more narrow and didn't quite cover rounded rectangles with no other features, but this one did.

Besides, they own the friggin' page turn. I've seen the design patent for that one, and there's really nothing original or unique about it. Even if they couldn't actually enforce it, the fact that they bothered to file for it implies that they think they might eventually be able to use it as a weapon. I cannot support a branch of law that pretty much exclusively exists to allow for that sort of crap.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Too late, Apple already has a patent on rounded rectangles.

No, really.

I'm just sick and tired of intellectual property law on the whole. It's getting to where I don't care whether it's a little guy or a big corporation, I have no sympathy for anyone trying to make a claim under that branch of the law. It's supposed to spur creativity[1], and instead it stifles it. I can't understand how anyone would support something like that.

People should have the right to their own creation, but when it's something like a map based off of a real thing, or the aforementioned shapes, people really need to just back the fuck off. I'm with you at this point, I don't care who's calling foul, it's just annoying now as people are doing it too often over things that have little evidence of actual content stealing (that whole case involving Ubisoft and that dude whom wrote a book that had only one similarity to Assassin's Creed and that was the genetic memory crap). It's a fine line, especially when it comes to ideas, but I'm so tired of this crap.

[1] Yes, that is what it's about. It's not supposed to reimburse the creator, it's supposed to encourage people to create by allowing them to be reimbursed. What it's doing instead is preventing people from creating new things, because someone somewhere owns the rights to every idea past, present, and future. Or at least they do if you ask the lawyers.

Apparently they've reached a settlement, we can all calm down now.

...Unless one of you is willing to explore the possibility of Naughty Dog intimidating the graphic artist. Just saying, it's a company vs one guy. No? Good.

I'm curious about this though, if it was a "Hefty fee", would a sorry over the telephone negate that?

bug_of_war:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Too late, Apple already has a patent on rounded rectangles.

No, really.

I'm just sick and tired of intellectual property law on the whole. It's getting to where I don't care whether it's a little guy or a big corporation, I have no sympathy for anyone trying to make a claim under that branch of the law. It's supposed to spur creativity[1], and instead it stifles it. I can't understand how anyone would support something like that.

People should have the right to their own creation, but when it's something like a map based off of a real thing, or the aforementioned shapes, people really need to just back the fuck off. I'm with you at this point, I don't care who's calling foul, it's just annoying now as people are doing it too often over things that have little evidence of actual content stealing (that whole case involving Ubisoft and that dude whom wrote a book that had only one similarity to Assassin's Creed and that was the genetic memory crap). It's a fine line, especially when it comes to ideas, but I'm so tired of this crap.

First off, I just want to point out that this isn't a case of "Oh, that thing in this one game looks kind of like a thing of mine! I'm going to sue you." This was a case of the guy going "Holy shit. That's -my- work in there!" As in -actually- the custom-designed map he'd made. Confirmed. No question about it.

Secondly, I'm glad to see this updated to show that Naughty Dog and this fellow have agreed on some sort of terms in recognition of this error. If it was a harmless accident by some new guy working there, or an underhanded tactic to try to save a few pennies in production costs, we may never know. And it doesn't matter.

Lastly, it's honestly disturbing to see how many people see this guy with a legitimate claim and immediately rush off to the company's defense. Really? Like developers have never screwed anyone over before, ever? You have to be -REALLY- damn desperate to claim that a map CONFIRMED to have been made by someone other than the makers of the OFFICIAL map is undeserving of rights. You people are acting like all he did was put some squiggly lines on a copy of the damn thing in photoshop.

He -DESIGNED- a new version of the map, with changes which he deemed worthy of being made to the public transit system for the betterment of everybody. If that somehow doesn't fall within the lines of what qualifies as Intellectual Property to you... thank whatever God you please that you're not responsible for making that call. I shudder to think what fresh hell a world governed by you would bring.

Glad to see everyone's coming away from this happy. I just wish I hadn't had to lose all remaining faith in the goodness of humanity in the process.

Cheers! I'll be back around when Fallout 4 gets announced.

[1] Yes, that is what it's about. It's not supposed to reimburse the creator, it's supposed to encourage people to create by allowing them to be reimbursed. What it's doing instead is preventing people from creating new things, because someone somewhere owns the rights to every idea past, present, and future. Or at least they do if you ask the lawyers.

From a completely unbiased standpoint.... I can honestly say that I never even heard of "Beyond Two Souls" until I read this article.

I remember seeing pictures of Ellen Page with all the digital tech on her face, assuming she would be put in either a game or animated flick.. but I never actually read what she was doing.

When "The Last of Us" came out... my logical conclusion was "Oh... that's what Ellen Page was doing, they did a good job with that tech, looks just like her"

Not until this story popped up on The Escapist, did I realize that it wasn't supposed to be her.

...just sayin.

So? Is the whole universe going to descend on every successful game and greedily grab for a slice of cash? Of course they are!

Hooray, an amicable resolution.

To clarify for people who don't think a reworking from the ground up of a subway map deserves creative credit, look at it this way: graphic designers make their living create slick and communicative graphics. A subway map is a fairly abstract representation of the relationship between the different lines and stations. Reassembling the elements and changing the presentation of such a map constitutes an exercise in enhancing its clarity and/or aesthetic appeal. It deserves credit.

Owyn_Merrilin:

I'm just sick and tired of intellectual property law on the whole. It's getting to where I don't care whether it's a little guy or a big corporation, I have no sympathy for anyone trying to make a claim under that branch of the law. It's supposed to spur creativity[1], and instead it stifles it. I can't understand how anyone would support something like that.

I appreciate your sentiment, but I don't agree with you. I'm not necessarily in favour of people holding the rights to things that, were they able to be freely distributed, would benefit society/humanity/whatever but this isn't one of those things. It's an image someone has spent time and effort on. As someone who aims to make images for a living (completing an MA in Illustration (hopefully)) I have to put my work on the internet in order to publicise myself. I want to believe that if someone wants to take one of those images and use it (I can hope, right?) I can expect reimbursement for my trouble.

[1] Yes, that is what it's about. It's not supposed to reimburse the creator, it's supposed to encourage people to create by allowing them to be reimbursed. What it's doing instead is preventing people from creating new things, because someone somewhere owns the rights to every idea past, present, and future. Or at least they do if you ask the lawyers.

"I likewise apologized for my initial vitriolic post."
Translation: They paid me tons of money.

Lo Flying Frying Pan:
So? Is the whole universe going to descend on every successful game and greedily grab for a slice of cash? Of course they are!

Or maybe you should have said, "is every game company going to try to steal someone else's work instead of paying someone to do that work or paying someone who has already done the work in order to use it? Of course they are! Why spend money on a part of your game when you can just steal it from someone? Sure, it's their livelihood, it's how they hope to make money to feed and house and clothe themselves and their families, but screw that, right? Naughty Dog made a successful game, so all legality and ethics don't matter anymore!"

I gues if they also stole character models from someone who creates them, dialogue from someone's movie script, mechanics from someone who created a small game nobody has heard of, a story from someone's blog, etc., that would also be totally cool, right? Those people shouldn't ask for reimbursement just because someone stole their property so they wouldn't have to pay to develop something themselves, right? Your opinion, taken to its logical conclusion. Let's just steal every facet of our game from someone. Each facet is small on its own, but it adds up to tons of savings if you keep stealing them, and then if someone tries to make a claim against us, we can count on the Escapist community to defend us!

Captcha: face the music. Good advice for a lot of people on here.

PhantomEcho:

First off, I just want to point out that this isn't a case of "Oh, that thing in this one game looks kind of like a thing of mine! I'm going to sue you." This was a case of the guy going "Holy shit. That's -my- work in there!" As in -actually- the custom-designed map he'd made. Confirmed. No question about it.

Secondly, I'm glad to see this updated to show that Naughty Dog and this fellow have agreed on some sort of terms in recognition of this error. If it was a harmless accident by some new guy working there, or an underhanded tactic to try to save a few pennies in production costs, we may never know. And it doesn't matter.

Lastly, it's honestly disturbing to see how many people see this guy with a legitimate claim and immediately rush off to the company's defense. Really? Like developers have never screwed anyone over before, ever? You have to be -REALLY- damn desperate to claim that a map CONFIRMED to have been made by someone other than the makers of the OFFICIAL map is undeserving of rights. You people are acting like all he did was put some squiggly lines on a copy of the damn thing in photoshop.

He -DESIGNED- a new version of the map, with changes which he deemed worthy of being made to the public transit system for the betterment of everybody. If that somehow doesn't fall within the lines of what qualifies as Intellectual Property to you... thank whatever God you please that you're not responsible for making that call. I shudder to think what fresh hell a world governed by you would bring.

Glad to see everyone's coming away from this happy. I just wish I hadn't had to lose all remaining faith in the goodness of humanity in the process.

Cheers! I'll be back around when Fallout 4 gets announced.

I don't think I ever said he was wrong to claim copyright, I just said that I'm sick of hearing about all this crap and that it's getting to the point where in which I feel as though anything can be claimed copyright. It's honestly gotten to the point where I would rather not here about copyright claims or even rumours because of similar reasons you got angry at me for, people get the wrong idea.

I know everyone is busy pointlessly arguing but I'm happy both parties worked things out and apologized for both their actions. Wish more industry problems were solved this nicely

Dr. Witticism:

I gues if they also stole character models from someone who creates them, dialogue from someone's movie script, mechanics from someone who created a small game nobody has heard of, a story from someone's blog, etc., that would also be totally cool, right? Those people shouldn't ask for reimbursement just because someone stole their property so they wouldn't have to pay to develop something themselves, right? Your opinion, taken to its logical conclusion. Let's just steal every facet of our game from someone. Each facet is small on its own, but it adds up to tons of savings if you keep stealing them, and then if someone tries to make a claim against us, we can count on the Escapist community to defend us!

Captcha: face the music. Good advice for a lot of people on here.

You do realize that would only benefit humanity in the long run, right? Having the whole of human creation available as a kind of open source library would allow people to re-use the things that already work, while only adding the parts that are actually new. It would cut down on the huge bars to entry into the field, and allow a myriad of amazing new works to be created.

I mean, how do you think Disney got so huge? By building on works in the public domain. And now they do their damndest to make sure nothing ever falls into the public domain again, because if it did, that would mean their work would go PD too, and somebody else might make something amazing with it, and by golly, we can't have that, can we?

Gamers are a funny bunch.

"oh my God! Pirates are killing the industry!" seems to be the general idea, but when a big company "borrows" someone else's work, "hey that guy is a dick, BigCompany did nothing wrong, they make some pretty good games, what a tool."

Yea...

Wintermute:
Gamers are a funny bunch.

"oh my God! Pirates are killing the industry!" seems to be the general idea, but when a big company "borrows" someone else's work, "hey that guy is a dick, BigCompany did nothing wrong, they make some pretty good games, what a tool."

Yea...

Not quite. It's not the same people arguing both points, more an ideological divide within the community and then a question of how far you take it. For example, I find the idea that "piracy" is killing the industry -- or even appreciably damaging it -- laughable, and always have. But I also see intellectual property laws in general, in their current state, as broken and counterproductive. And I see it being used as a weapons so frequently that I no longer care who is actually pointing it, I just want to melt it down and turn that sword into a plowshare, or at the most a shield.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Dr. Witticism:

I gues if they also stole character models from someone who creates them, dialogue from someone's movie script, mechanics from someone who created a small game nobody has heard of, a story from someone's blog, etc., that would also be totally cool, right? Those people shouldn't ask for reimbursement just because someone stole their property so they wouldn't have to pay to develop something themselves, right? Your opinion, taken to its logical conclusion. Let's just steal every facet of our game from someone. Each facet is small on its own, but it adds up to tons of savings if you keep stealing them, and then if someone tries to make a claim against us, we can count on the Escapist community to defend us!

Captcha: face the music. Good advice for a lot of people on here.

You do realize that would only benefit humanity in the long run, right? Having the whole of human creation available as a kind of open source library would allow people to re-use the things that already work, while only adding the parts that are actually new. It would cut down on the huge bars to entry into the field, and allow a myriad of amazing new works to be created.

I mean, how do you think Disney got so huge? By building on works in the public domain. And now they do their damndest to make sure nothing ever falls into the public domain again, because if it did, that would mean their work would go PD too, and somebody else might make something amazing with it, and by golly, we can't have that, can we?

First, allow me to clarify something: I am not defending IP law as it stands. It is patently (pardon the pun) unfair in many cases and favors corporate entities. Current IP law does NOT, in any way, favor graphic designers like the guy who went up against ND. When I finish law school, I plan to try and get a job with a non-profit organization that fights corporate-favoring IP law system at the expense of individuals.

But what you're sugesting is the opposite extreme of the spectrum from the current laws. There needs to be a middle ground. You can't just make the "whole of human creation available as a kind of open source library." then nobody gets paid for anything. Sure, Disney made money by building off of public domain stuff, but they also maid money by PAYING people to animate, write dialogue, etc. Most of what went into Disney movies at the time you're talking about was not public domain, just an overall work on which it's based was. The animation, dialogue, etc. was all done by paid workers, workers who wouldn't have made a cent off of their own sweat, labor, and time if they could simply have their work or someone else's stolen from somewhere else. And eventually Disney's copyrights will expire (some already have), thus making them public domain.

Just because something might increase creative output doesn't mean it's a good idea, and that's a philosophical argument anyway that has little evidence to support it. People aren't going to create much if they need to get another job or two to support creating those things just because they can't be paid for it. To suggest that whatever someone creates should just become public domain automatically would not only put millions out of jobs, but would destroy entire industries. Every artist, graphic designer, etc. would no longer be paid for their work. Nobody woould have to hire them because they could just find prior works and steal them.

Your idea would work if we didn't live in a society based on money, but we do. We don't live in a barter and trade society where we can simply trade something we created that someone else needs for something we need. Instead, we must be paid money for the work and creativity we put into something. Until we live in some Marxist utopia, your system is unworkable.

Furthermore, shouldn't laws be concerned with humanity in the long run, not just the short term?

I appreciate that you're one of the few people here who are expressing their opinions and trying to back them up. And I appreciate that you're engaging in this conversation instead of making sweeping statements about the law that are untrue or merely making philosophical points. Thanks for that.

Oh, one more thing. Copyrights do NOT last forever. They expire, and then automatically become public domain. Do you know why some of the things Disney used were public domain? Because the copyrights had already expired. It would have been no different for them if they made those movies today, because the things that were public domain then are still such now, and many more things are as well. Copyrights do not last forever.

EDIT: so really, what you want is already, in a sense, part of our system. The whole of human creation does, eventually, become public domain. It just takes several decades (or the renunciation of a copyright by its holder) to become so. What you want is already in place in most regards. The point is that you can't steal a work someone just recently made. Also, with regards to your point about laws only helping humanity in the long run: isn't that what we should be looking toward? Laws should not be made just for current circumstances. Laws should and MUST look toward the future. What's the point in helping humanity now when it will hurt it down the road? It's like climate change. Sure, everyone is happy with how things are going for now. But does that mean we shouldn't start passing laws in anticipation of the huge amount of chaos, turmoil, and suffering that will occur in a few decades? What about the people who will live in the future? We are not the only ones who matter.

EDIT 2: I just want to clarify a matter on which you might be unclear. Disney or anyone else can take someone's work and create something NEW from it. They cannot, however, take someone's work and jsut make it an element of their new creation without changing it in any way. Taking someone else's work and simply putting it in the larger context of a new work is not ok. Using someone else's work and BUILDING on it is. That's why the guy's map was ok to make: he didn't take MA's transit system map and simply claim it as his own or put an exact copy of it into a larger work. He made very significant changes to it. See, you can actually do creative work based on something that is copyrighted, so long as you make sufficient changes to it to create something new. That is not what Naughty Dog did. Instead, they took something and simply placed it in something larger, rather than paying to have it made by an employee or paying the original creator to use it.

Wintermute:
Gamers are a funny bunch.

"oh my God! Pirates are killing the industry!" seems to be the general idea, but when a big company "borrows" someone else's work, "hey that guy is a dick, BigCompany did nothing wrong, they make some pretty good games, what a tool."

Yea...

I think people have a lot of trouble separating the idea of IP law between corporate entities who take advantage of it and individuals who simply must use it in order to get justly compensated for their work. People see copyright and automatically assume it's unfair. The cruel irony is that the reason IP law has become such a burdensome system and a hot topic of discussion is because huge companies like Naughty Dog, EA, Microsoft, and others continually abuse the system in order to try and ensure that they don't need to pay people, like some single graphic designer who posts his work online in the hopes someone will recognize him and/or employ him or pay to use his work.

IP law does not treat everyone equally. Using it to your benefit does not automatically make you a leech, extortionist, or any other term that's often thrown around at people. In fact, it is becoming more and more difficult with every court ruling in this country for guys like this designer to get properly compensated for their work, while making it easier and easier for corporations to steal, claim false copyrights, or use it for other nefarious purposes. And yet, the result is that people start defending the corporations who (1) have lobbied for all the changes that have been made to this system to make it increasingly unfair an untenable, and that the people railing against it hate; (2) have made a habit of using it to simply abuse individuals, knowing that those individuals will almost certainly not have the resources to defend themselves in a protracted legal battle; and (3) are using it to sue individuals and/or to lobby for further policy reforms so that they can control all creative content without having to pay employees or original creators, and to keep others from creating competing products and ideas.

Let's get it straight: the entities that have created this system through their lobbying power and legal system abuse are not people like this graphic designer. It's companies like Naughty Dog. And, since they are the ones who have forced this system onto us and continue to affect change on it to their benefits, how can anyone think that it's individuals like graphic designers who are the ones benefitting from or trying to abuse it?

Dr. Witticism:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Dr. Witticism:

I gues if they also stole character models from someone who creates them, dialogue from someone's movie script, mechanics from someone who created a small game nobody has heard of, a story from someone's blog, etc., that would also be totally cool, right? Those people shouldn't ask for reimbursement just because someone stole their property so they wouldn't have to pay to develop something themselves, right? Your opinion, taken to its logical conclusion. Let's just steal every facet of our game from someone. Each facet is small on its own, but it adds up to tons of savings if you keep stealing them, and then if someone tries to make a claim against us, we can count on the Escapist community to defend us!

Captcha: face the music. Good advice for a lot of people on here.

You do realize that would only benefit humanity in the long run, right? Having the whole of human creation available as a kind of open source library would allow people to re-use the things that already work, while only adding the parts that are actually new. It would cut down on the huge bars to entry into the field, and allow a myriad of amazing new works to be created.

I mean, how do you think Disney got so huge? By building on works in the public domain. And now they do their damndest to make sure nothing ever falls into the public domain again, because if it did, that would mean their work would go PD too, and somebody else might make something amazing with it, and by golly, we can't have that, can we?

First, allow me to clarify something: I am not defending IP law as it stands. It is patently (pardon the pun) unfair in many cases and favors corporate entities. Current IP law does NOT, in any way, favor graphic designers like the guy who went up against ND. When I finish law school, I plan to try and get a job with a non-profit organization that fights corporate-favoring IP law system at the expense of individuals.

But what you're sugesting is the opposite extreme of the spectrum from the current laws. There needs to be a middle ground. You can't just make the "whole of human creation available as a kind of open source library." then nobody gets paid for anything. Sure, Disney made money by building off of public domain stuff, but they also maid money by PAYING people to animate, write dialogue, etc. Most of what went into Disney movies at the time you're talking about was not public domain, just an overall work on which it's based was. The animation, dialogue, etc. was all done by paid workers, workers who wouldn't have made a cent off of their own sweat, labor, and time if they could simply have their work or someone else's stolen from somewhere else. And eventually Disney's copyrights will expire (some already have), thus making them public domain.

Just because something might increase creative output doesn't mean it's a good idea, and that's a philosophical argument anyway that has little evidence to support it. People aren't going to create much if they need to get another job or two to support creating those things just because they can't be paid for it. To suggest that whatever someone creates should just become public domain automatically would not only put millions out of jobs, but would destroy entire industries. Every artist, graphic designer, etc. would no longer be paid for their work. Nobody woould have to hire them because they could just find prior works and steal them.

Your idea would work if we didn't live in a society based on money, but we do. We don't live in a barter and trade society where we can simply trade something we created that someone else needs for something we need. Instead, we must be paid money for the work and creativity we put into something. Until we live in some Marxist utopia, your system is unworkable.

Furthermore, shouldn't laws be concerned with humanity in the long run, not just the short term?

I appreciate that you're one of the few people here who are expressing their opinions and trying to back them up. And I appreciate that you're engaging in this conversation instead of making sweeping statements about the law that are untrue or merely making philosophical points. Thanks for that.

Oh, one more thing. Copyrights do NOT last forever. They expire, and then automatically become public domain. Do you know why some of the things Disney used were public domain? Because the copyrights had already expired. It would have been no different for them if they made those movies today, because the things that were public domain then are still such now, and many more things are as well. Copyrights do not last forever.

EDIT: so really, what you want is already, in a sense, part of our system. The whole of human creation does, eventually, become public domain. It just takes several decades (or the renunciation of a copyright by its holder) to become so. What you want is already in place in most regards. The point is that you can't steal a work someone just recently made. Also, with regards to your point about laws only helping humanity in the long run: isn't that what we should be looking toward? Laws should not be made just for current circumstances. Laws should and MUST look toward the future. What's the point in helping humanity now when it will hurt it down the road? It's like climate change. Sure, everyone is happy with how things are going for now. But does that mean we shouldn't start passing laws in anticipation of the huge amount of chaos, turmoil, and suffering that will occur in a few decades? What about the people who will live in the future? We are not the only ones who matter.

EDIT 2: I just want to clarify a matter on which you might be unclear. Disney or anyone else can take someone's work and create something NEW from it. They cannot, however, take someone's work and jsut make it an element of their new creation without changing it in any way. Taking someone else's work and simply putting it in the larger context of a new work is not ok. Using someone else's work and BUILDING on it is. That's why the guy's map was ok to make: he didn't take MA's transit system map and simply claim it as his own or put an exact copy of it into a larger work. He made very significant changes to it. See, you can actually do creative work based on something that is copyrighted, so long as you make sufficient changes to it to create something new. That is not what Naughty Dog did. Instead, they took something and simply placed it in something larger, rather than paying to have it made by an employee or paying the original creator to use it.

Except literally nothing has gone into the public domain since Steamboat Willie was released, at least not through the usual channels of copyright expiring. Ever hear of a mickey mouse law? The technical term is the "Copyright Term Extension Act," and it's something that Disney forced through congress the last time Steamboat Willie was due to go into the public domain. It even retroactively brought some works that were in the public domain back out of it.

As for the rest of it, I know that system works because it's the system that existed for the vast majority of human history. This isn't me preaching some crazy Star Trek future, it's me complaining about the obnoxious Blade Runner present.

Edit: Forgot the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

Owyn_Merrilin:
[quote="Dr. Witticism" post="7.819938.19783808"][quote="Owyn_Merrilin" post="7.819938.19783375"][quote="Dr. Witticism" post="7.819938.19783265"]

snip

Except literally nothing has gone into the public domain since Steamboat Willie was released, at least not through the usual channels of copyright expiring. Ever hear of a mickey mouse law? The technical term is the "Copyright Term Extension Act," and it's something that Disney forced through congress the last time Steamboat Willie was due to go into the public domain. It even retroactively brought some works that were in the public domain back out of it.

As for the rest of it, I know that system works because it's the system that existed for the vast majority of human history. This isn't me preaching some crazy Star Trek future, it's me complaining about the obnoxious Blade Runner present.

Edit: Forgot the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

I do know about the Act, but it things still eventually expire. Moreover, this proves my point that it is huge corporate entities with near-unlimited resources that are protected by and which are abusing the system, not people like this graphic designer.

I feel like you still haven't answered most of the points I made. So what if that's how things were done earlier in human history? We don't live in that same world anymore. Most of human history was not based on capitalist principles and did not revolve around money, but rather barter and trade, which, like I said, is the only system in which your idea of what the law should be could possibly work. Just because you don't like the current state of things -- and hopefully I made it clear that I don't like it either -- doesn't mean we should go to the opposite extreme. Please, tell me what's wrong with a middle ground? I did not defend Disney doing the things they do, nor did I defend this current system. What I said is that what you're suggesting is too extreme and isn't workable in the current economic system.

Moreover, even in earlier days as capitalism developed but there was still much bartering and trading going around, people STILL got paid for their creative works. Artists were commissioned by people to paint things, they didn't have those paintings stolen from them. Etc. etc.

Finally, your point about the whole of human history also doesn't stand in this debate because the whole of human history didn't have electronic transmission of properties (read: being able to post creative works on the internet for all to see). Today's world makes it insanely easy to steal from others, whereas this was not the case at any time before. At no other time in human history could you go online, find the thing you need to put in your project that you expect to sell and make money from, and use it without the person knowing or paying them. You might occasionally find something you needed, but today you can go online and find anything. Back then, you still had to PAY someone to do the things you needed. The electronic age has changed that. There is no going back.

Here are just a few other things that were perfectly acceptable and/or workable for the whole of human history until recently: trading women as property; slavery; a farming-based society; and I won't bother to continue listing examples because I think I've made the point.

Please tell me how your system can work in today's world. Also, please tell me why everything should automatically become public domain instead of us finding a middle ground between today's laws and what you're suggesting. Additionally, tell me how people like graphic designers and the thousands of other industries based on individual's creativity are supposed to do in your world, how they are supposed to live off their talents, etc. Finally, please tell me why a middle ground would stifle creativity and be a burden on humanity.

Lonewolfm16:

[snip]

Except the map wasn't his livelihood. it was made as part of a hobby. And as others have pointed out, he used the logo of the MBTA... meaning he violated copyright in his creation of the map in the first place.

Um, no. It's part of his job as a graphic designer... http://www.cambooth.net/about

Did you not even bother checking the source material for this news?

lacktheknack:

Presumably at the part where he says he deserves money for this.

Andy Chalk:
"To be clear: at no point have Naughty Dog contacted me about using my intellectual property (this visual representation of the Boston rapid transit network) in their product. To be even more clear: if you want to use my work commercially, payment before usage is required. If you're making money from your product, then you can pay me for my work as well."

That part.

That's not demanding money - that's complaining that the company used his work without negotiating terms or asking permission. Again - where is the demand for money?

Owyn_Merrilin:

Aardvaarkman:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Too late, Apple already has a patent on rounded rectangles.

No, really.

No, not really.

That Verge article is highly biased and misleading. If you read the actual design patent, it is not a patent on rounded rectangles.

Source? That's the first I've heard of that one.

My source is the actual patent document, which describes the overall design of the iPad, and does not claim a patent on rounded rectangles. It's pretty straightforward.

s_h_a_d_o:

Lonewolfm16:

[snip]

Except the map wasn't his livelihood. it was made as part of a hobby. And as others have pointed out, he used the logo of the MBTA... meaning he violated copyright in his creation of the map in the first place.

Um, no. It's part of his job as a graphic designer... http://www.cambooth.net/about

Did you not even bother checking the source material for this news?

Not to mention the fact that even if it was a hobby, that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. People will make any argument, no matter how silly.

If it's my hobby to build Cesna's, I guess someone should be able to just come along and steal one of them. I mean, I wasn't making them for the express purpose of making money!

It's also remarkable that people like the person you quoted seem to think they can divine the intentions of others solely through a single article that doesn't mention anything about their intentions. Whoops, turns out this is his livelihood (even though whether it is or not has absolutely NO bearing on the situation whatsoever). What will the next feeble defense be?

Oh, and apparently that commenter and some others are absolutely sure that using the MTBA logo in a new work is copyright infringement. So many people here think the law follows their own internal logic. Very, very, very thankfully, it does not.

EDIT: not to mention the fact that our laws are not based on some principle of "hey, the guy who is accusing me did something wrong at some point too! Therefore, I can steal from him."

bug_of_war:
People should have the right to their own creation, but when it's something like a map based off of a real thing, or the aforementioned shapes, people really need to just back the fuck off.

So, if a painter makes a portrait of a real person, or a painting based on a real landscape, it should not have copyright protection, because it's based on a real thing?

s_h_a_d_o:

Lonewolfm16:

[snip]

Except the map wasn't his livelihood. it was made as part of a hobby. And as others have pointed out, he used the logo of the MBTA... meaning he violated copyright in his creation of the map in the first place.

Um, no. It's part of his job as a graphic designer... http://www.cambooth.net/about

Did you not even bother checking the source material for this news?

Yes he's a graphic designer, but he wasn't paid to make the map. Its just something he made. Only related to his job as a graphic designer in that he knows how to make things like that because he is a graphic designer.

Dr. Witticism:

Owyn_Merrilin:
[quote="Dr. Witticism" post="7.819938.19783808"][quote="Owyn_Merrilin" post="7.819938.19783375"][quote="Dr. Witticism" post="7.819938.19783265"]

snip

Except literally nothing has gone into the public domain since Steamboat Willie was released, at least not through the usual channels of copyright expiring. Ever hear of a mickey mouse law? The technical term is the "Copyright Term Extension Act," and it's something that Disney forced through congress the last time Steamboat Willie was due to go into the public domain. It even retroactively brought some works that were in the public domain back out of it.

As for the rest of it, I know that system works because it's the system that existed for the vast majority of human history. This isn't me preaching some crazy Star Trek future, it's me complaining about the obnoxious Blade Runner present.

Edit: Forgot the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act

I do know about the Act, but it things still eventually expire. Moreover, this proves my point that it is huge corporate entities with near-unlimited resources that are protected by and which are abusing the system, not people like this graphic designer.

I feel like you still haven't answered most of the points I made. So what if that's how things were done earlier in human history? We don't live in that same world anymore. Most of human history was not based on capitalist principles and did not revolve around money, but rather barter and trade, which, like I said, is the only system in which your idea of what the law should be could possibly work. Just because you don't like the current state of things -- and hopefully I made it clear that I don't like it either -- doesn't mean we should go to the opposite extreme. Please, tell me what's wrong with a middle ground? I did not defend Disney doing the things they do, nor did I defend this current system. What I said is that what you're suggesting is too extreme and isn't workable in the current economic system.

Moreover, even in earlier days as capitalism developed but there was still much bartering and trading going around, people STILL got paid for their creative works. Artists were commissioned by people to paint things, they didn't have those paintings stolen from them. Etc. etc.

Finally, your point about the whole of human history also doesn't stand in this debate because the whole of human history didn't have electronic transmission of properties (read: being able to post creative works on the internet for all to see). Today's world makes it insanely easy to steal from others, whereas this was not the case at any time before. At no other time in human history could you go online, find the thing you need to put in your project that you expect to sell and make money from, and use it without the person knowing or paying them. You might occasionally find something you needed, but today you can go online and find anything. Back then, you still had to PAY someone to do the things you needed. The electronic age has changed that. There is no going back.

Here are just a few other things that were perfectly acceptable and/or workable for the whole of human history until recently: trading women as property; slavery; a farming-based society; and I won't bother to continue listing examples because I think I've made the point.

Please tell me how your system can work in today's world. Also, please tell me why everything should automatically become public domain instead of us finding a middle ground between today's laws and what you're suggesting. Additionally, tell me how people like graphic designers and the thousands of other industries based on individual's creativity are supposed to do in your world, how they are supposed to live off their talents, etc. Finally, please tell me why a middle ground would stifle creativity and be a burden on humanity.

The reason we need to go to the opposite extreme is right there in your post -- the big corporations who have lots of money to use to pervert the laws. The term of copyright only expires on paper, if you think there won't be another law passed the next time Steamboat Willie is up to go into the public domain, I have a bridge in brooklyn to sell you.
Essentially, any middle ground would only remain middle ground for as long as it takes the first massively profitable property to go into the public domain, and then we'd have yet another extension.

As for copyright coming into existence along with capitalism: hah, no. Most of the world (even the developed world) either didn't have it or played fast and loose with it straight through the end of the 19th century, a period which was, if anything, even more capitalism focused than we are now. Don't even bother to compare this to slavery, that's effectively a reductio ad hitlerium (Hitler did it, therefore it's bad. Even if it's just something like brushing your teeth).

At any rate, people would still get paid for their work. Graphic designers, for example, like the guy in the picture, really don't have a problem, because anyone who wants custom work done would have to buy it from them. They may even be on salary somewhere, you know, like they are more often than not already. Sure, once it was released other people could profit from it, but they'd have the benefit of having released it first. Kind of like how people still buy Colgate toothpaste despite there being cheaper but functionally identical alternatives.

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