bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

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bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:16 pm

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2012/07/legalwatch-gw-and-armybuilder-news.html

Long Story short: The site that hosts all the datafiles for AB has been issued a C&D telling them to take down anything with GW.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Rhaevyn on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:43 pm

They will just host them somewhere else. Ab itself has nothing to do with warhammer. Its just program for manipulating databases.

Worst case scenario is that the army files go peer to peer instead of being centrally hosted.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Dom.0 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:49 pm

i got a feeling that GW was scared of people not buying a codex because the point values where all on AB of corse GW is a buch of stupid capitalisets that dont rember that all the spec rules and other factors are in the codex. PRIME EXAMPLE OF CAPTITALIUM AT WORK, and jest as you would never see a soaiclist in the tabocao bissness youll never see them be this stupid.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Rhaevyn on Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:00 pm

Because capitalism = evil.

GW has a right to protect its IP.

I just wish they would offer a viable alternative before going after a product that only enhances thier game.


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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  ScottRadom on Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:02 pm

Dom.0 wrote:i got a feeling that GW was scared of people not buying a codex because the point values where all on AB of corse GW is a buch of stupid capitalisets that dont rember that all the spec rules and other factors are in the codex. PRIME EXAMPLE OF CAPTITALIUM AT WORK, and jest as you would never see a soaiclist in the tabocao bissness youll never see them be this stupid.

Army Builder violates GW copyright. Shut 'em down. Simple. As far as I understand it you can't selectively enforce copyright anyway.

How many of you guys actually paid for Army builder software anyway?

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:40 pm

Nope, if they lets someone violate it (even if that person doesn't profit) they can lose their whole copyright.

Dom: yes you need the codex, but even basic info probably violates copyright. And capitalism put men on the moon. Socialism has families of 6 in a 2 bedroom apartment thats less than 500 sq ft.

And yes several of us have paid for it. It does do other systems.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  dusktiger on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:53 am

them going after that server site for hosting the files wont change anything for us; Army builder allows you to manually import game system files.

plus each game file it uses is made and hosted by a separate unaffiliated group. that server host site just kept copies of all the files in one place for its auto-download option, which is available only to those that have a paid subscription for auto-updates to the software and game files.

the 40k files are made and maintained at ab40k.org, which has already had an email almost 2 years ago that just told them they could not post information such as descriptions of special rules in the files or they'd have to abandon their project. this is why you'll notice all the grey knights and new necron files all say "refer to pg. XX, Codex:XXXXX for details" now for the codex specific rules when you print a roster and look at the appendix of options on the last pages.

if that server site's been told to remove its files, its more likely its because its hosting files for fantasy, LOTR, and the other game systems GW makes and the file creators that made those files blatantly entered in every last detail of information into them, not because of the 40k files, which have already been addressed and fixed to GW's liking.

they let them get away with posting the stat lines and point costs because they publicly post that stuff on the GW page itself, so its free public access, however, they don't make the descriptions of codex specific special rules public, so thats why they go after the file maintainers that post stuff with those descriptions in them.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Rhaevyn on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:05 am

+1 dusktiger.

sky isn't falling chicken little.

even if the evil capitalists want to make enough $$ so they can pay their employees to generate more content that we are FORCED to purchase. Evil or Very Mad

kidding aside, if GW put out a product like AB, i would subscribe or buy it. I find AB to be a little expensive, but its an invaluable tool.

Best GW product ever? :
Your codex comes with an access code that you log into GW's website and allows you to buy a subscription (30 days free!) to build lists online "for your codex only" they'd make a mint, a good web designer could do it in a week, and AB would fade to the realm of people still using limewire or myspace.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:40 am

True true. But this is GW and there is no telling how far they will take this. Anyone familiar with how TSR used to operate on the web in regards to stuff will know what I'm talking about.

I had tried GW's old army builder (Armies of the Imperium). Blech.

GW is entitled to make their money, I just never understood why they feel the need to bring everything in house, when they can allow licensing and such to make the products better (why waste money running a GW store, when FLGS's like the Den do the job a million times better, @ no cost?)

GW/AB make a licensing agreement. AB license goes up by $5 or something. Rest follows as Mike B put it, except AB is now maintaining the datafiles directly, and can add all the special rules, etc. Profit.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  dusktiger on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:33 am

its a nice idea, but would never happen; AB itself is just a program that lets us interact with the files that have the 40k game data.

that's a small, tiny, itty bitty portion of what AB covers.

they cover over 70+ titles, spread across over a dozen+ game designers, including card and rpg titles. there's no way any one company could license or sponsor a system like that, because there'd be issues with paying royalties to 'every' company who has a game system covered by army builder's capabilities.

see, you gotta look at AB like it's a program similar to the MS Excel program, or if you'd taken an IT course, its more accurate to say it's like MS Access for what it does and how it does it. It's a program Shell, that lets you interact with software files made by a separate, 3rd party group with no affiliation with army builder or its staff. These 3rd party groups only follow a set of guidelines laid out by a tutorial made by AB's staff on how to enter the relevant data in a way it can understand and display it.

if GW was to endorse or sponsor anything, it would be the ab40k.org's 40k files. which would mean it would be a paid purchase every time you wanted to install or update those files in your AB program.

right now, i can goto their site, and manually download their files for free. if GW licensed them, then we'd be paying $40 per codex entry, and instead of loading "40k game system" files, you'd be loading up "Codex: Necrons" or "Codex: Grey Knights". for the cost of $40 each. because you'd be buying all the relevant information in full printed detail in those files.

so essentially, you'd be turning it into an initial $40 charge to unlock Army Builder from demo mode, and then an additional $40 per codex you want AB to have the data files for.

unfortunately, there'd be drawbacks to this setup; patches to misprints and glitches in the program wouldn't be fixed within a matter of a week or two, but would now take several months, because now they'd be GW staff maintaining the data files Razz

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Rhaevyn on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:27 am

dusktiger wrote:

unfortunately, there'd be drawbacks to this setup; patches to misprints and glitches in the program wouldn't be fixed within a matter of a week or two, but would now take several months, because now they'd be GW staff maintaining the data files Razz

QFT

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:48 am

Unless GW simply farmed it out to the guys doing the maintaining anyways.....

But that prob makes too much sense for the ol' blokes.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Matthew G on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:51 pm

I think they did this as a ploy to make more money. They are a business. Shut down AB and (maybe) more people will buy their stupid iPad codex crap.
Did AB not announce they were planning to make an app for iPad/pod/bad-touch?
Its all a conspiracy to make more money.
Money> gamers

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Rhaevyn on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:21 pm

replace conspiracy with business practice and your right mathew.

GW is just protecting its IP. which is all it really has. other people can make all of their products cheaper and in most cases better quality, so the only thing they really have is a copyright to make money on. without it, they are nothing, and if they don't actively protect it, they lose the rights to it over time. they are legally bound to pursue infringement.

And as i said above, i LIKE it when GW makes money, and i Want them to stay in business. i just wish they would offer an alternative before cutting off other routes.

And, AB has nothing to do with the iCodexes, they are two completely different products that actually compliment each other and don't compete. I don't know how many of you actually use Army Builder, but its impossible to play any army with just statlines and lists of options. Its a great tool for fiddling with said options and point costs, but it in no way replaces owning a codex. on the flip side Owning a Codex in no way gives you a simple and elegant way to organize your units options and stat lines.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:41 pm

As a lawyer, who is familiar with the fields of copyright and intellectual property, I have the following to say, based on a previous post I made on Chaos-Dwarfs.com:

Game rules are not subject to copyright. Game rules cannot be patented, although in certain jurisdictions, game mechanics can be patented. An example of a mechanic is the Magic the Gathering "tap" mechanic, which is one of the most well known game mechanics subject to a patent in the United States. Even if patented, it's the use or application of the patented mechanic that is contrary to the owner's rights, not the publication thereof. In fact, to obtain a patent, the owner has to make the mechanic publicly available in the patent registry. Canada specifically forbids patents based on board games, although the US and UK allow limited patenting in the case of novel mechanics following the standard tests for originality and non-obviousness.

US:
http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.html

Canada:
http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipoin...l#whatcant

UK:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-applies.htm

An interesting article from games designer's point of view:
http://www.gamesdiner.com/2009/08/game-r...ted-by-law

GW can send threatening letters all they want, but they aren't backed by anything. The fact that forums/individuals cave in means nothing except those individuals don't understand the law or don't have a spine to stand up for themselves.

Points costs, unit stats, and rules descriptions are all fair game. GW doesn't own any interest in any of those. What they have is a protection of their specific expression as published in their literary works.

Note that this is how Army Builder operates so successfully.

And although I am not providing legal advice, in any way, I am a lawyer and very familiar with copyright and intellectual property issues.

I am fully within my rights to say the following:
A Leman Russ Battle Tank in the Imperial Guard Codex costs 150 points, has Armour Value 14 on the front, Armour Value 13 on the sides, Armour value 10 on the rear. It comes equipped with a Battle Cannon on the turret, as well as a hull mounted Heavy Bolter. It has a searchlight as well as smoke launchers standard. It has a number of options including... bla bla bla sponsons... equip, etc. You get the idea.

GW has never made the above specific expression, so they can't prohibit its publication.

In summary, datafilecentral would do well to ignore the cease and desist. There's no teeth to it.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Interesting.

So they can't copyright the game rules, mechanics or stats.....

They can't copyright the models (See Scibors Space Knights, and the whole Chapterhouse thing)/

Exactly what CAN they copyright besides the fluff?

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:07 pm

The specific expression. So the way everything looks in the book. The phrases themselves, the organization of the tables, etc. If you photocopied a page, or wrote down everything just how GW did it, that'd be a violation.

But I do think you have the wrong idea about copyright in models. Copyright does exist in the physical models.

If someone were to cast GW models, that would be a violation of copyright, and they would be forced to shut down. That's why all the recast shit comes out of China, where no one can stop them.

If someone independently created their own models that looked like GW models, that's entirely fair game. The Scibor/Chapterhouse stuff looks like GW stuff, and works alongside GW stuff, but they sculpted it all themselves.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Planes on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:08 pm

They can copyright the pretty pictures in the Codices.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Roland on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:30 pm

Godhead: thats what I meant with the models. Anybody can make their own sculpts and call then "Space Bugs" or 'Colonial Army" or what have you.

I guess the point is possibly this...

Whats to stop someone from making a knockoff kit (pretty much exactly what Mantic is doing) and throw in a rulebook that summaries the rules and a army list that summaries that particular army? ie what do you really need GW for?

This kinda reminds me of the reserve clause in baseball. "Seriously that's it? That's what they're basing this off of? They are gonna get KILLED."

EDIT: Its a hypothetical question, as the obvious answer is "Because it's their game, and if they go bankrupt, the game's dead."

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:52 pm

Eric isn't "Leman Russ" a copyrighted term though?

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:15 pm

Nah.

It could be trademarked, like Games Workshop or Space Marine or all the other stuff they have.

But all trademarks do is prevent other people from marketing similar products under the same name.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Wouldn't this violate use of a trademarked IP then? The GW data files are a marketed item that makes reference to a TM'd term that is used in their army books. Doesn't that count? I've always wanted to know more about this kind of stuff. Generally I feel there are just way too many people out there making money (or giving stuff away and keeping the right people from making money) by riding the coat tails of the people who risked their nuts in the first place to put the stuff together.

For me the quick question would be if the AB site hosted files for any of the HeroClix games that used and of the Marvel/Disney stuff. If they DO and nobody has brought the hammer of mickey against the AB site to remove those files then I'd feel safer about hosting GW stuff.

Personally my experience with Army Builder from back in the day was that it was too buggy and inaccurate so I quit using it anyway. I can't count how many Fantasy tournies had crappy Army Builder shenanigans involving people using the AB files as a replacement for the army books.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:42 pm

The datafiles aren't marketed.

They're just given away.

And besides, that's mixing it up a bit because even if the files were being sold, they aren't being sold as a "Space Marine" or "Games Workshop" product or a "Leman Russ."

And for the Heroclix version, it's called "Cardvault":
http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?context=card_vault

Note that on the downloads page (http://www.wolflair.com/rightframe.php?context=card_vault&page=downloads) it has one for Heroclix, as well as M:TG, and a bunch of other strong IPs.

EDIT:
And as to criticizing the bugs in Army Builder, well it's community maintained thing. But just because some people use it without an army book or codex handy doesn't mean you have to. If you find a mistake, fix it. It's very easy to use the editing tools to fix your copy of the datafiles in army builder. I do it all the time.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:52 pm

Does a marketed item have to be sold for profit? I thought that was the death of Napster even without a price tag attached to the songs.

If GW sells a hard copy of their army lists and AB has a site that gives away the same info then won't that be a viloation. Are the rule references in the AB files to the original GW document enough for AB to get arounf the TM's and Copyrited IP's like the after market car part business? There WAS an interesting discussion about this stuff over on Frothers UK but like all their threads it broke down pretty god damn quick so I couldn't get any answers. Though that one was involving Chapterhouse studios though.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Nah, Napster was taken down for copyright stuff. Downloading a perfect copy of a song or program is illegal.

And as to "info," go back to my first post. There is no copyright in information. Just the form that it's presented in.

Napster = perfect copy.

Army builder = writing it out differently from how GW did it.

So if you download a pdf scan of an army book you are doing it wrong.

If you download someone's spreadsheet where he writes out all the stats and rules in his own words, you're doing it right.

And in the 40k Army Builder files, most of the rules references say "see p. blah de blah in codex XYZ." The Fantasy ones contain a lot more actual rules, but not written in the same words as the GW ones.

I'm being a little cavalier with the concepts of "substantial similarity" but the Army Builder stuff is dissimilar enough from the GW stuff.

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Re: bye bye Army Builder.... was nice knowing you....

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