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View Full Version : HEX: Use of Copyrighted Art by Fans/Players???



Shinsaku17
06-22-2013, 09:25 AM
I've noticed quite a bit of user content spread around the inter-places covering various aspects of the game (some of which were recently covered in the latest Kickstarter Update). It's awesome to see that this game is infecting so many minds and (even better) to experience those who's passion compel them to reach back by creating videos, writing articles, or making fan/clan sites. My question though (having experienced other games where the company's stance is very locked down when it comes to any use of images related to their product) is... What exactly is Cryptozoic's stance on protecting their artists and their work vs letting the public use these images in non-profitting endeavors? I understand that this is a tough question and that the company's stance may vary from that of those that are working on the project. In any case, I'm curious to see how you respond.

Thanks for making this game and for everything else you guys/gals do. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to get my hands on HEX.

DjiN
06-22-2013, 09:34 AM
Look at League of Legends. Did it hinder their growth letting the community express their passion with the characters they developed? I don't think so.

Shadowelf
06-22-2013, 09:36 AM
My question though (having experienced other games where the company's stance is very locked down when it comes to any use of images related to their product) is... What exactly is Cryptozoic's stance on protecting their artists and their work vs letting the public use these images in non-profitting endeavors?


The key words here are 'non-profiting endeavors'. If ur not using the pics for ur personal gain, but for the promotion, expansion and generally the well being of the game, i don't see why cze will have objections concerning their use

khamelk
06-22-2013, 09:44 AM
I am course about this to, mainly because I do plan to host graphics (already grabbed a few) and other things in my blog while I post about what it like playing the game, and the mechanics.

Gwaer
06-22-2013, 09:45 AM
During the kick starter this was actually the only question I asked that went unanswered. I also sent forum messages to a couple CZE employees. Basically I was seeking their stance on using art, I wanted to have the urunaaz wallpaper and the shin hare wallpaper put on a custom debit and credit card, so that I could use that as a conversation piece basically anywhere I go that I had cause to pull out my cards. Sadly no answer so I didn't go through with it.

Shinsaku17
06-22-2013, 12:22 PM
I asked this question in hopes that (as a community) it would stir discussion and allow us to explore this topic. However, I can see how they may wish to adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in regards to this. I have a feeling that (being who they are) they (as individuals) probably are honored by the widespread use of the game's images and think that it's an excellent way for players to show support and pride in being part of this game and this community. Personally, I love what you guys over at Clan BlackBlade have done with your banners. By not simply creating a single banner image and instead allowing your members to select which art image they wish to use it allows a bit of that player's personality to be expressed and circulates the card image around the community. Players that have yet to see a particular image then become curious and will either search out for the image on their own... or (more likely and socially preferred) actually strike up a conversation with that particular player. In this senario, I can only see how this would benefit the community and help create opportunities to share the beauty of HEX to people that have yet to experience it.

Having said that, I can also see how their legal department could be having a fit over the fact that copyrights are one of those things that need to be defended and enforced or the owning party runs the risk of losing those rights. Their silence could basically be their way of tipping their hat and letting us have our fun for as long as we can. I'm sure that if they can find a solution that will allow free usage while at the same time allow them to maintain their rights to the images so that they can pursue legal action against malicious use (ie: those whom would exploit and use the images to seek financial gain) they would opt for that over the strong handed approach that most other gaming companies choose to apply. Still, I can't speak for Cryptozoic and I'm very curious to hear from them on this issue.

Bailin
06-22-2013, 12:30 PM
They have gone as far as to even advertise/endorse a few of the fan sites and videos of fans using the artwork, so I feel they are open to using it as a marketing tool. If we were to start printing off hats with Princess Cory on them, then we're in a bad place.

I use most of the card art in my training, so I hope their stance stays positive on this. In a non-profit environment it just works as free marketing and advertisement of the game which is something we all want currently.

Mr.Funsocks
06-22-2013, 12:36 PM
An official stance has to be retracted if it causes a problem later down the line. A tacit acceptance of what people do with fansites allows them to clamp down if it becomes an issue.

Gwaer
06-22-2013, 12:43 PM
Copyright doesn't actually have to be defended to not be lost, and you can grant or waive rights to how you use your copyright in such a way that those things can be revoked. Trademark is the one you have to defend. And then it's only in cases where your mark runs the risk of being associated with other things more strongly than your own. Like band-aids, it was such a successful brand that the term became generic, at which point they effectively lost the trademark.

Shinsaku17
06-22-2013, 02:44 PM
@Gwaer - Thank you for correcting me. I was told (from whom I considered a reliable source) many years ago that copyrights were lost if not defended. After reading your comment, I did some research and it confirmed what you said.

Now, this still leaves the question as to why they are unwilling to respond. Do you think that they are simply unprepared to give an "official" response? Could it be that they are worried to upset the artists if they take a stance that is too relaxed? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

PS - Trademark Law seems pretty quacky.

Niedar
06-22-2013, 03:10 PM
The artists don't matter, CZE owns the copyright of their work not the artist so it is not that. They don't respond because to say it is ok is to give a license to their assets and they aren't going to do that informally on a forum.

Gwaer
06-22-2013, 03:32 PM
The artists don't matter, CZE owns the copyright of their work not the artist so it is not that. They don't respond because to say it is ok is to give a license to their assets and they aren't going to do that informally on a forum.
Actually, depending on how they purchased or licensed the art they may not be able to give some permissions, it can be a very complicated issue. My guess is they were not prepared to offer an official answer, likely they need to talk to their legal department, and I doubt it was a very high priority issue.

Niedar
06-22-2013, 04:03 PM
There is no way they don't own the copyright to the art they use. It just does not ever happen. Usually they then give a license to the artist that allows them to use it for certain purposes.

Gwaer
06-22-2013, 04:07 PM
There is no way they don't own the copyright to the art they use. It just does not ever happen. Usually they then give a license to the artist that allows them to use it for certain purposes.
It does happen, and pretty frequently, it just looks the same to an observer as them owning all rights to an image.

Also, they've had art acquisition problems from one of the interviews it sounded like they were quite desperate for art, keeping an eye on places like deviant art. It's honestly very likely that the people they worked out deals with didn't know any better and turned over all rights, but it's equally likely that many of the artists retained the ability to, as an example of a common right that is maintained, sell copies of prints of that art in trade shows/on their websites.

DjiN
06-22-2013, 07:19 PM
It's part of the contract between the artist and CZE to sort the copyright issues. One possible option would be to just give artist and CZE the same rights, which is pretty likely to happen most of the time. It's cheaper for CZE, since the artist can showcase his stuff on his website and maybe even sell prints with a remark to CZE. If CZE wants exclusive rights they'd have to pay the artist probably quite a bunch more money to make him sign a contract. Depends on the financial situation of the artist most of the time. I am an artist myself (on the animation side though, no fantasy art) and I wouldn't give up my rights on my work except there is a significant paycheck involved. That's actually the case for most artists I know and maybe a reason why CZE has the problems Gwaer was talking about.

Shinsaku17
06-22-2013, 09:02 PM
It's exciting to see so many people discussing this from different vantages without having to resort to name calling and poo flinging. This game is going to kick so much @ss.

All I know is that they haven't started cracking skulls over it and (quite the opposite) have seemed very supportive with linking us to user created content that admittedly uses card art without permission. Personally, I think they are doing an excellent job in the way they interact with the community and hope they are able to maintain this level of communication in an open setting (such as this). See you all around.

Ramshackal
06-22-2013, 10:25 PM
I think this quote from the latest update comment speaks volumes on this topic:


Cryptozoic Entertainment 1 day ago

Greg: They're gone. Try refereshing/emptying cache. =)

Clint: We love promoting community content. We want to let everyone know about all the cool things people are doing out there. Thanks for the HEXDraft link. I'll link that next week.

In my mind, I believe they're just excited to have such a thriving and passionate community.

Punk
06-23-2013, 03:32 AM
Now, this still leaves the question as to why they are unwilling to respond. Do you think that they are simply unprepared to give an "official" response? Could it be that they are worried to upset the artists if they take a stance that is too relaxed? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

PS - Trademark Law seems pretty quacky.

I am pretty sure you nailed it and this is probably why they have left numerous other questions unanswered at this time.

I am sure that if we were infringing on their policies in any way, then OP_Kyle will let us know. Go make a new thread stating that you want to sell your account and see how fast he locks it down and lets you know why. =P