from the who's-on-first dept
Electronic Arts has a very strong case for brand confusion and I really don't see any way out of this mess for Energy Armor other than to change its name or lose in court.
Thu, Oct 6th 2011 7:40am
by Tim Cushing
Fri, Aug 26th 2011 7:43am
2. Consent to Collection and Use of Data.Now, as RPS notes, some of this wording is not that unusual. Many software companies collect system data and several will even tell you that they plan on distributing this to third parties. This includes Steam, whose EULA states that it will:
... store information on a user's hard drive that is used in conjunction with online play of Valve products. This includes a unique authorization key or CD-Key that is either entered by the user or downloaded automatically during product registration. This authorization key is used to identify a user as valid and allow access to Valve's products. Information regarding Steam billing, your Steam account, your Internet connection and the Valve software installed on your computer are uploaded to the server in connection with your use of Steam and Valve software.But, as RPS points out, there's a big difference between Valve's policy and EA's policy:
Valve's policy is self-restricted to anything on your PC directly relating to its own products. EA's is so broad that it gives the publisher permission to scan your entire hard drive, and report back absolutely anything you may have installed, and indeed when you may use it, and then pass that information on the third parties.Now, this data collection may be used in a neutral fashion, heading directly back to EA for dissection and analysis. But there are two aspects that are particularly troublesome: A.) the wording in the EULA is very unspecific and B.) you have to "AGREE" to the terms in order to install your purchased software. In other words, before you can even start playing, EA wants to start digging.
And then even more creepily, they say they intend to take such information, combine it with personal information about you, and use it to advertise directly to you. However, when selling on this free-for-all on your computer's contents, they'll at least remove personally identifying information. Gosh, thanks.Perhaps you're thinking to yourself: screw this online delivery system and its unseemly urge to dig into my hard drive and operating system. I'll just buy one off the shelf, thank you very much. Not. So. Fast.
It strikes us as beyond acceptable. And so much more serious now that EA has made its intentions clear to make so many of their games exclusively delivered through Origin. Were there a choice about what you'd use to play Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, etc, then gamers could opt out of allowing Origin on their systems while such a policy is in place. But instead it's a case of agree to such remarkable terms, or don't play their games at all.So, it comes down to this: EA wants what's in your hard drive and any other info it can pick up from your usage habits. Sure, EA has probably always wanted this information but now it's deciding that you, the customer, will only play its games if you give up your information. Apparently, $50+ for a game just isn't payment enough anymore.
by Tim Cushing
Mon, Jun 27th 2011 7:00pm
The court rejected the right of publicity claim, concluding that the Indiana post-mortem right of publicity statute isn’t retroactive and thus doesn’t cover Dillinger, and that (in light of the First Amendment) the “literary works” exception in the statute should be read broadly enough to cover video games.
The court rejected the trademark claim, finding that EA’s use of the name “Dillinger” was protected by the First Amendment, because it had some relevance to the plotline of the game and wasn’t “explicitly misleading” as to any possible endorsement by Dillinger, LLC.
It's a good start and maybe a sign that Scalf's coattail-riding days are coming to an end. The court's declaration that Indiana's unusual trademark law isn't retroactive should be enough to kick Scalf's litigious yearnings to the curb, and that seems to be really all he has going for him. Of course, we've seen the legal doors slam shut on a few other overactive players (Righthaven, the Winklevii), only to be pried back open moments later. I guess we'll just wait and see.
Maybe Scalf can secure his dubious legacy by turning this Dillinger quote into his "business" slogan:
My buddies wanted to be firemen, farmers or policemen, something like that. Not me, I just wanted to steal people's money!
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Mar 16th 2011 7:41am
EA Community bans come down from a different department and are the result of someone hitting the REPORT POST button. These bans can affect access to your game and/or DLCThat seems ripe for a lawsuit. Selling someone a video game for 50 euros (what the guy says he paid for it), and then telling him he can't play it, even as a single player game on his own computer, because he said something mildly anti-EA in a forum? Honestly, all that really seems to say is that you should never "buy" (yeah, right, you didn't "buy" anything) from EA since they can vindictively make whatever you bought stop working if someone who works there doesn't like you. That seems like a much worse message than some forum person talking about "selling your soul." Update: And of course, once the publicity came out on the story, EA is now claiming it was a glitch and has been fixed. Doesn't change that this appears to be part of EA's official policy, though (also, corrected the name of the game).
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Dec 3rd 2010 8:02am
"The real "ah ha" moment for me was seeing this really cool map that someone created of the 9 circles of hell. You see a lot of these maps, you know the "V" shaped cross section, but there was one in particular that had all the call-outs for the different sections, the "bosses" of each circle (Charon, Minos, Cerberus, etc.), and I just looked at that map and said, "that's a level-based game waiting to happen."
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Nov 16th 2010 10:03pm
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 28th 2010 7:21am
... by, among other things, making, using, importing, offering for sale, and/or selling products and services that provide game pieces that are applied to a game board at a game site, make information available about the pieces needed to complete a winning combination, allow the player to share or trade the game pieces, and enable the players to easily and securely store game pieces....Of course, you would think that since pretty much every social gaming system does this, that it would be clear that this was an obvious thing to do if you're building a social gaming system. But, tragically (and ridiculously), that's not how our patent system works.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 7th 2010 4:14pm
The court has denied Edge Games' motion for injunction, citing that it believes that Langdell made fraudulent statements to the US Patent and Trademark Office and strongly believes that Langdell is "suspect" and has been "trolling" the game industry for licensing opportunities. His actions could possibly warrant "criminal penalties."When a judge calls you a troll and threatens you with criminal penalties in a lawsuit you initiated... you've got problems. Reading through the actual ruling is incredible, in what it describes about what Langdell has done. I would argue that the above paragraph significantly downplays Langdell's actions, which the court notes, at one point, that the evidence suggests Langdell "willfully committed fraud." You can see the full ruling here:
For example, Dr. Langdell's declaration asserted that Edge Games has been selling the video game Mythora (supposedly bearing the "EDGE" mark) since 2004. Curiously, while the exterior packaging submitted by Dr. Langdell to the USPTO for the Mythora video game included a website address "www.mythora.com," this website wasn't even registered by Edge Games until October 2008 -- nearly four years after the game's purported release.... The USPTO relied upon this questionable video-game packaging when it renewed plaintiff's "EDGE" mark in 2009The ruling goes on to note many more cases of images sent to the USPTO, where the images appear to be doctored, even mockingly saying after one such "real" and "submitted" comparison:
"Once again playing "spot the differences," the specimen submitted to the USPTO appears to have been doctored in three material ways."This is a judge who is not happy.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Aug 24th 2010 1:07am
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 7th 2010 6:30pm
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