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

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

Post  dusktiger on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:49 pm

basically, to dumb it down to a really simple simile, its just like doing an essay in school; if you had copied your text book word for word, you got your hand slapped for plagerism, and got a 0. but if you took the information from the text and wrote it in your own words/phrasing, then you got a good mark.

what differs AB's 40k files from distributing a pdf scanlation of a codex is that same thing; they dont organize the stats and rules in the same layout as the codex appendices in the back do, its close, but not the same. and when they do describe a power or rule, they rephrase it in a summarized form instead of typing it word for word.

army builder's gotten alot better, especially the 3.x series of the program. its a far cry from how the older 2.x and 1.x series operated.

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

Post  dusktiger on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:03 pm

lone wolf posted this today in regards to the situation:
We spent the past week at PaizoCon, so we're now finally back and getting caught up on everything. In this post, I'll attempt to address a few important items brought up in posts above.

1. All of the data files, save a few from long-outdated products that haven't been updated in many years for which the author email addresses no longer work, have been re-hosted. So there has been almost zero interruption.

2. Thus far, not a single data file author has been contacted by GW. This significantly reinforces the working theory that someone in legal took action against a single site, without there being any "greater agenda" lurking behind the scenes. If GW really wanted the files to stop, they would contact the authors and/or contact us. Neither has happened.

3. As pointed out above, the assorted data file authors are continuing to develop their respective files with every intention of releasing them in the exact way they always have. The only difference is a new hosting site, which is irrelevant to users.

4. Also as pointed out above, Army Builder is sold as a framework, with the data files developed and distributed separately. We don't develop the data files for GW's products, and that's because we can't legally do so. However, we can make it easy to access the data files created by others. This is outlined on our website and in a number of places within the product. It's a lot like the distinction between Excel and spreadsheets written to utilize Excel.

5. We stand by our products and have always offered a 60-day money-back guarantee. That's not changing. If anyone wants a refund, they simply need to contact support with the appropriate order number or license number to request it.

To sum up...

This has essentially been a non-event for users. Had we chosen to stay quiet about it, probably nobody other than the data files authors would have ever noticed the change, since the availability of data files has been virtually uninterrupted through the Updates mechanism. However, it's always been our policy to be forthright with our users, so we outlined what was going on.

Based on how everything has transpired, there is absolutely zero reason to assume anything has fundamentally changed regarding Games Workshop's views towards Army Builder. There is simply no evidence to support such conclusions at this point, since not *one* action (out of many) that would be expected from GW in such a scenario have been taken. The declaration that Army Builder is "doomed" is akin to Chicken Little declaring "The sky is falling!" Given how things have played out thus far, there is simply no factual basis for that belief.

All that being said, we'll happily refund recent purchases for anyone who is still worried.

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

Post  Rhaevyn on Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:51 am

chicken little Smile

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

Post  Roland on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:57 am

They stole your line!

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

Post  dusktiger on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:10 am

basically just an overzealous new lawyer going beyond his station. like godhead said, and some others on the B&C site where they've been saying near the same chicken little commentary over there, if the owner of datafilecentral had balls'd up and said no, they couldn't back up the C&D to force him to remove those files.

rephrased, fan-made, free-sourced files like the AB 40k files can't be stopped. "You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere." high 5 if you know the quote.

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

Post  Planes on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:19 am

Serenity, yes?

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

Post  Rhaevyn on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:25 am

He killed me Mal. he killed me with a sword.

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

Post  Planes on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:30 am

Isn't that weird?

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

Post  Roland on Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:35 am

Back to what I was bringing up, and Scott followed up on:

If someone can sum up the 40K rules, and make them a free pdf, and sum up the Army List and make them a free PDF, and make a Space Knight/Bug/Elf/BDSM Space elf and sell it...

What recourse does GW have? The above example is, in essence, copying the game wholesale, and from what you're saying GW basically can't do a thing to stop it. This seems wrong to me. (maybe not from a strict legal POV, but from a "that ain't right" POV.

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

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:35 am

Roland,

That's exactly what I meant when I said I was taking some liberties with the "substantially similar" test.

I've presented the argument here as a "perfect copy" vs. "own words" copy, but the legal test is (of course) quite a bit more nuanced.

It's likely that if you packaged up the rules and stats and started selling it on your own, that GW would raise a stink about it. That would likely end up in a legal battle. GW would have to prove a number of things, and it wouldn't be a straight forward win for them. It would likely be long and drawn out and expensive for both sides. Since most people don't have the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to fight that (even if they could win), then they'd settle up early, and I'd recommend that anyone given a cease and desist letter from GW for doing what you've suggested, SHOULD cease and desist.

A lot of the final decision, if it went to trial and had a judge decide it, would be entirely dependent on context. How were the copied rules presented, how much was changed, and so on.

One of the problems, as I see it, to such a scheme, is that a lot of the GW rules depend on specific word for word interpretation. In order to change the rules enough so as to not be a copyright violation, you'd lose that, meaning that the new rules would be worth substantially less to players (and worth nothing at all to rules lawyers). It may be possible to paraphrase everything so it's exactly the same as the GW rules (right down to unintended consequences), but you'd need to run it through some seriously rigorous logical tests to make sure... Really, you'd have to do a symbolic logical analysis of the entire game system, which would probably take longer to do than it would take for GW to do a new edition.

It all comes down, as always, to specific expression. You can have a dice based game that functions exactly the same, but since you can't write it the same way that GW did, it would be hard to do without infringing.

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

Post  Roland on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:58 am

OK think I got ya.

Kinda " I can't define copying a game system, but I know it when I see it."Smile

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

Post  Rhaevyn on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:03 pm

generally the threat of litigation scares off copycats. at least i find that to be true in my line of business.

GW has a legal dept or lawyer on retainer. most web admins or people this sort of thing probably haven't made enough money to afford the cost of sending someone like Godhead to bat for them at court.

The sad part is, that even if GW were to win such a case, they would probably be the loser in the end because of the legal costs they incur.

much as we all want to believe the Games Workshop is a multinational multibillion dollar evil capitalistic empire....its actually just a small gaming company that makes money off of selling little plastic army men to a small segment of a small niche of a certain crowd. Us old folks will remember when Wizards of the coast purchased T$R for $25million (and over-paid for it at that).

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

Post  Roland on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:25 pm

or when FASA and WEG went bankrupt (the latter is especially weird).

It just seems like the basis of protecting your IP being, "we will make your life miserable with unending lawsuits which you wont be able to afford" rather than "because its obviously a copy" is rather weird.

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

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:43 pm

I find that as a lawyer, a lot of what I do is cost/benefit analysis for my clients.

For example, if you have a sure winner of a $10,000.00 case, but it costs you $100,000.00 to get the judgment and execute, then I advise you don't pursue it.

Similarly, if you have a sure winner of a $20,000.00 case, but it costs you $10,000.00 to get it, but the person you are suing has $0.00, then I advise you don't pursue it.

Generally copyright litigation against individuals falls into both of these categories. It's expensive for companies to pursue, and they can't get anything from the shlubs they're suing anyways.

The RIAA/MPAA lawsuits are a bit of an exception because they just shotgun sue everyone, and then proceed against the people with money for 85 BAZILLION dollars. But even in those cases they aren't after the actual judgments, but on the chilling effects the judgments have on the internet community.

But it doesn't cost much to send out cease and desist letters. Hell, it's probably more efficient for them to just send them out and then never follow up on them.

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

Post  ScottRadom on Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:43 pm

dusktiger wrote:lone wolf posted this today in regards to the situation:

4. Also as pointed out above, Army Builder is sold as a framework, with the data files developed and distributed separately. We don't develop the data files for GW's products, and that's because we can't legally do so. However, we can make it easy to access the data files created by others. This is outlined on our website and in a number of places within the product. It's a lot like the distinction between Excel and spreadsheets written to utilize Excel.

This is what really bugs me. I read it as "All we do is make a product that gives you access to files we don't create, we would make them ourselves but that's illegal dawg! We do however charge you money for a product that makes it easy to download files we know are illegal for US to create.".

It's just so wishy washy. Hate that shit. Legally correct or no I just can't stand it. Dunno why. I just typically ten to auto side with the big business. I mean I buy a lot of mini's that are BLATANT rip off's of the GW IP as they style etc. is easily recognizable to anyone in the hobby but as soon as I see an allegedly offending company take the stance of "Come at me bro!" I write them off. Just the way I feel. I mean in the mail today I got some awesome 40K Ork Kommissars and back packs made to fit GW plastic Orks from a company out of Poland. The advertise their stuff as "Fitting over sized bulky 28mm heroic scale science fiction green skinned aliens" and I somehow find it acceptable. When I saw the way crappy chapterhouse studios advertised their product I got wicked pissed. Also the chapterhouse stuff was really poor in quality.

Eric - As for being able to edit Army builder files I really, really know they can be edited. I don't know if you heard about the Calgary guy who used an AB list in a tourny and had around 2500 points crammed into a 2K army. Nobody called him on it because checking the math on the units as presented in the altered list it looked A-OK.

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

Post  Dom.0 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:03 am

[quote="Roland"]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.quote]
ronald have you been lissoning to happer's brand new wave of atack adds on the NDP (classic atack ad form the harpper govoroment most of it has been based on no real facts or evadance.) Socialism is like captialisum but less gready and less riping off and well unlike its big borther it was actuly finished (yea china uses a unfinished form of govorment.) and well socialism is what caused free health care to come to canada. i can go on and on about what you said is 99.9% wronmg mainly becaused thats what captitalism did, and yes it put men on the moon and whos to say socialism cant do the same because it can anfd it did put people into space the USSR's ecomany modle was based on socialism and yea it fell but they made the same mistakes that the russian monharc did. Nuf said.

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

Post  ScottRadom on Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:53 am

Way off topic but Dom there is no such thing as "free" health care.

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

Post  Roland on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:05 am

Dom I have lived and worked in both countries, and have had family that lived in Russia for an extended period of time, before the fall of the USSR.
If you really wanna debate this, feel free to PM me.

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

Post  ScottRadom on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:11 am

Roland wrote:Dom I have lived and worked in both countries, and have had family that lived in Russia for an extended period of time, before the fall of the USSR.
If you really wanna debate this, feel free to PM me.

But he already said "Nuf said"!!!!!!

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

Post  System Commander on Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:15 am

Id love nothing better then to discuss the joys of federal politics.. But.. Uh.. Yeah. . 40k !

Lets stay away from political talk and talk about something serious.. Good gaming. I get enough goofy ramblingsnfrom the ding a lings im friends with on facebook

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

Post  Roland on Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:25 pm

Hate to bring up old shit....

http://www.ab40k.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2642

so, yeah... they hit the mirror sites w/ a C&D, and now the AB40K site. Please note what is listed on the last update (1.02) of the 40k release.

Last release planned and will no longer be supported. It is also apparently being removed from the AB auto-update shortly.

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

Post  Dom.0 on Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:51 pm

yea wnna talk about good gameing then you should relly play sleeping dogs

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

Post  Rhaevyn on Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:59 am

Just fyi, for those that use AB still, the most recent 6th update is available here. mostly just adds fortifications tab. but some other updates as well.

http://www.ab40k.org/filebase.php?d=1&id=91&c_old=4&what=c&page=1

i stopped paying my AB subscription until they can get their auto updater figured out. but the subscription is just for the auto updater anyway,.. so meh.

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

Post  Lord_Commander_Stash on Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:29 pm

Good.
Army builder was the scourge of wargaming. So many illegal lists out there with the defense of "...but army builder let me do it!!"...well your codex is the rules not army builder.
Too many people using army builder and some not even bothering to bring their codex or even check it when making a list.

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

Post  Rhaevyn on Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:53 pm

You just bring your own personal illumination with you wherever you go, eh James?

For your extremely outdated information, James. AB has been extremely consistent for as long as i have been using it. its such a standard that most tournament organizers will put a persons list into it just to check if they are legal.

AB is a tool. just like your soggy napkin and crayon is a tool. just because someone uses a tool incorrectly doesn't invalidate the tool. I guarantee you that more people have used more legal lists using army builder or similar software than if those same people show up with some chicken scratch on the backside of a speeding ticket. I've played dozens of games since i came back and i know for certain that the ones using AB are not the lists you have to look out for.

the other point here is that GW should have this tool on the market today. or 10 years ago. its 2012. I would be the first person to sign up and pay for it, even if it was full of errors and problems... this is GW we are talking about.

Writing your crap down on paper with a pencil doesn't make you old school or hard core, or even less inclined to cheat, it just means you have more time to do useless shit than I do.

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

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