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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

GW's legal department strikes again - R.I.P. Faeit 212

The big bad wolf goes on a rampage - again

Update: Exclusiv Interview May 14th: Faeit back up end of may, interims site.

The madness continues.

Here's Games Woooorkshop!
One of the most pro-GW blogs that probably existed, Faeit 212, has been taken down by the legal inquisition of Games Workshop (see DMCA note here). I am shaking several body parts in disbelief. 

For those who do not know Faeit 212, it was the #1 source of information about new releases and rumors mostly for the different Games Workshop Universes in the bloggersphere. 

Just to put things in perspective. We have a little over 230,000 views. Faeit 212 was close to getting to 20,000,000 (thats 20 million) views. 

If our company had a site that would leak rumors and images about our upcoming products and got me 20,000,000 views FOR FRAKKING FREE, I would definitely hire that person as my marketing  advisor, not shut him down. Plus free product for life. 

Gary, if you read this, I feel very sorry for what happened to you. You seem like a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is. You have spent years building up a loyal base of engaged hobbyists with what I can only describe as one of the best blogs. EVAR.

I'd love to hear from you.

Interlectual Property - you're doing it wrong

First of all, I have to say that in my previous life as a CIO of a multi-billion-company I had to deal with copyright and IP issues as well. I am not a legal expert, but I know a little more than just the 'basics'. 

In my opinion, Games Workshop is one of the only Companies out there that at least try to appear to be running IP law by the book. Someone got the book 'IP for dummies' and read and implemented it in 24 hours. (Wikipedia IP)


Don't call me stoopid!

I will try to make it short: If a company claims their IP rights, they have to actively protect their IP. If they do not actively protect their IP, then they might lose the rights to the exclusive use of their works. What GW allows people to do with their IP, however, is completely up to them. They defined these rules easily accessible for everyone on their website.

Example of how far it went: Not allowing your distributors to use product fotos you took is not a clever move. 

In my opinion, its stupid.

Throwing the dice

Like so often, Games Workshop's action seem rather random. There are thousands of blogs and forums out there. Cherry-picking just one will not protect their IP. Why it took 20,000,000 views for GW to decide to finally take Faeit 212 down is just bizzare. "OK, 19 million views is acceptable, but 20 million - NEVAR!"

Of course, it sends the message to many bloggers out there. Like a warning shot. "See what can happen to you, when we don't like you much."

Good timing


As a company, the first thing to do when I am under criticism for price increases, bad quality (Finecast) or service cuts (Games Day Tickets), where they actually have to take down their Facebook Page because of a flaming, disgruntled customers there are two possible options you could pursue: 

1. work with the community to increase your corporate image
2. work against them, just to make a point. 

GW, sorry to break it to you, but not being able to post angry comments on your facebook page does not mean there are no angry customers. Just sayin', true story bro. 

Shareholders et al.
I wished I was a majority shareholder of GW. I would raise some serious questions. Of course, in the last few years, GW has increased their profits - but if you read the report, you know how: They raised their margin by selling directly to the customer (webstore) and in the process taking down more and more small hobby stores (e.g., miniwargaming.com). Overall sales did not increase. 

That is a short term strategy. Sorry, Shareholders, spoiler alert. But wait, is there any good reason to treat your customers badly? Any at all? Yes there is!

The only good reason to raise short term profits is if you want to sell your company. Hasbro? Mattel? Wizards of the Coast anyone? Would be consistent with the latest shift in the shareholder structure. Remember, you read it here first.

Do your frakking homework first!

Dear GW, how about instead of shutting down blogs and fans alike because auf 'leaked' material, you try to stop material from leaking? Get the responsible person in China where you have your books printed - they leaked it first! Treat your staff right so they have an active interest in protecting their own company instead of sending out internal memos. 

If it wasn't this sad it would be kinda funny... Like a not-how-to step-by-step tut.

Geeez, this makes me mad. 



Bring it on!


Now, dear legal department of GW. I will let you in on a secret. In order to defend your IP you have to take down any infringement that you know of. Not just the one's you don't like. 

I am sure you know a few more hundred blogs and forums that infringe upon your precious IP. Get jiggy with it! 

Would be interested to see where people would get their information from in the future. From the stores? No, they are utterly clueless and get their information from customers and blogs. 

White Dwarf? Don't make me laugh. The only reason to get your hands on a WD is to leak early pictures (or like in my case, have a complete collection, starting at #1).

Come on, GW, SHOOT THE PEOPLE THAT LOVE YOU!

Galactic Self-Preservation Act of 2013


So just in case our blog gets taken down as well, you might want to hop over and register to paintingbuddha blog below. I don't intend to use it as we are planning our own website right now, but at least you would be able to get information as soon as 'This blog was deleted' is all you see: paintingbuddha blog.

What do I care?

I stated it on this blog often - I love Games Workshop & Forge World. Maybe I just love the memory of what Games Workshop used to be and just have not realized yet that we both have moved on. 

Letting go is hard and I am not ready. Yet. 

I need 640 million pound. 

If someone has 640 million pound for me, I would like to buy Games Workshop. So if you know a multi-billionaire, please link him to this blog. 

COMMENT BELOW
What do you think of GW's latest coup?
Tell Gary from Faeit 212 "Thank you!"



And here a little something for GW's Legal Department:

CHILL DUDES!

48 comments:

  1. http://mcahogarth.org/?p=10661 worth a read for the comments about how GW are trying to enforce "trademarks" in the book world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a fellow writer, I totally love this story....There is something massively ridiculous and entertaining about GW trying to be a bully, particularly in the world of sci-fi, from which GW borrowed most of it's ideas in the first place. Yes, their IP is very cool.....but it is also derivative. That's part of the reason it has such a large appeal.

      Delete
    2. Borrowed hell, they got sued b HR Giger back in the days of Rogue Trader for tracing some of his artwork to create the genestealers.

      Delete
  2. Read via Facebook Link, Nice ranting. My Feelings exactly.

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  3. sigh, another nail in the coffin. booo. perhaps time for a "buy games workshop" kickstarter campaign? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly my thoughts, lets get it started :D

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    2. Can't use the term 'Games Workshop' in a kickstarter campaign. They'll sue you! :D

      Delete
  4. I can't believe what GW turned into. Instead of working together with their fan base they are destroying it. First they wanted their products removed from webstores everywhere, then they tried to take down scifi writer for using term space marine in his work (I always tought that Heinlein was first who used that term). What's next? Sue Tolkien for copying Warhammer Fantasy Battles? Or maybe Catholic church for using word Inquisition couple of centuries ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I might use that Inquisition reference in the future. Hillarious! Please don't sue me, even if I don't explicitly credit you with this particular piece of IP :D

      Delete
    2. Actually, the term "Space Marine" is older than Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It goes all the way back to the Lensman series by EE Doc Smith...all the way back in 1933.

      So GW is itself violating the IP of an (approximately) 80 year old book X3

      Delete
  5. I love the "buy GW idea"! We are putting so much money in the miniatures, why not buy in an decide with them what we buy? Surely the community would be gib enough. Would be like an "anonymous"-attack... just in the real world :D

    To Gary: Thanky ou for all the hard work you have put into our hobby!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its a shame, that GW is getting kind of customer unfrindly. Its like copy protection for games and dvds that only hurt the leagl customer.

    PS Mr. President: If i had that 640 million pound, I would buy GW by myself :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you could not run it Paintingbuddha style :D
      Non-Profit baby!

      Delete
    2. I vote we have an election for "Galactic Future President of Games Workshop" (I'd vote Zaphod Beeblebrox) and then we could start a kickstarter with a 640million pound goal. Sound like a plan?

      Delete
  7. What a joke...

    I am sorry you have received the sharp end of this Gary - I am a new follower of your blog, but had become an avid reader. If I am honest, it was your previews which got me buying WD again.

    I wont be buying it this month out of principal

    ReplyDelete
  8. hehe

    The Buddha is in Rage and i am with you bro

    i worked for them, i gave my life up for them, my wife changed their life for them and then is was kicked in tha balls from them

    This company is the stupiest i ever worked for....they dont give a shit of what the customers say, they dont give a shit on their shareholders ( yess i still have the management Black Book here in my hands within 20 pages of what GW thinks about and handels with their shareholders and thats for sure not funny if you are a shareholder and get hands on it ;)
    They are just interested in the total global domination in Fantasy and SiFi plastik toy soldiers....
    They give a shit about the personality of their employes, customers and shareholders....

    They are weak and all the things in last couple of years shows that this company fights against her own death, but with non sharp weapons cause thy are blinded whats going on inbetween their own company....its long time to change the complete management....not one or 2.....give the company to ppl who know how to handle with customers and employes....or shut down and take your minis and stick them where you want in some black brown holes....

    they are so stupid that they clap their hands and make a big party when they have officially fucked someone up....

    go to hell GW

    and take your focking Reichsadler shit with you

    nuff said

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wouldn't cringe to get me some shares...If we all would do that....
    Aaah communism doesn't work either ;)
    But I'm as educated as the president in this field but I have quite some experience with multi million projects/companies and sometimes GW-HQ feels like toddlers: Going full pelt in one direction and all of a sudden....shiny colours(something else has stolen their full attention span). It's kind of lacking consistent direction.
    Maybe we should send a plea to Sir Branson ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What an horrible shame !!

    "After the third slap, even Bouddha got on his nerves" I understand you my Dear Président Zaphod...

    Even the seppuku would not clean your mess GW...

    I will not cry for you...

    Thank you Faeit 212, so long...

    Morikun

    ReplyDelete
  11. I gave up on GW about 30 years ago as a KID. I saw all this shit coming when they changed WD into an in-house product catalogue rather than a all around gaming magazine. This move told the gaming world what their business strategy was going to be back then and we all knew things would get worse. the best thing to do is just steer clear of their products and games and vote with your wallets. money talks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, I have fond memories of White Dwarf reviewing other companies stuff, sci-fi films and best of all was a column about sci-fi literature that was a real education. Plus Thrud the Barbarian and the Traveller sci-fi cartoon I can't remember the name of now...

      Delete
  12. I gave up on GW about 30 years ago as a KID. I saw all this shit coming when they changed WD into an in-house product catalogue rather than a all around gaming magazine. This move told the gaming world what their business strategy was going to be back then and we all knew things would get worse. the best thing to do is just steer clear of their products and games and vote with your wallets. money talks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I too, was an avid fan since pre teen days, even worked for them til 2010, but them as a company- I hate them now. they aren't the finest miniatures in the world- they are sloppy, messy, over crowded sculpts painted as gaudily as possible. I have the staff black book, and that's just as much a joke. in 2010 I discovered Mantic. not as developed- yet!- but getting there.

    it's a hard thing to do, but make the break and play something else. I know you've all spent a lot of money on them, but you can use Warhamster models in kings of war and 40k models can substitue in sedition wars or infinity or warpath.

    make the break. it'll hurt at first but it's the best thing you could ever do!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. As I explained it to someone recently, GW has built the last 25 or so years of building up goodwill from its gamers. Many of us fondly remember playing GW games when we were young; Many of us have played GW games for more than a decade, we've literally grown up with GW.

    Now GW seems like it is doing its best to put all of that good will into a big stack and they're burning it as fast as they can. Like some sort of glorious bonfire of gamer goodwill.

    It will continue for years, some people aren't burnt yet, but more and more are and it will probably end in high stock price for GW, extremely low sales and lots of other games becoming more popular.

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  15. This is just so sad and yet here I am looking forward to my next two Golden Demon competitions; Germany and UK this year...

    Maybe those will be my last...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you Gary!!
    I really love GW, but over the last few years they began to fight with whole miniature world, I sometimes think that they want that "miniatures world" only for them...

    And Thank you Gary again!! Faeit 212 was a great source of knowledge! Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Camelson.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A couple of things.

    First, it looks like GW asked for one thing to be taken down. I'm not sure why the entire blog disappeared. Could be that Google takes a "nuke them from orbit - it's the only way to be sure" approach to DMCA notices for blogger sites.

    Second, you mentioned miniwargaming.com as a site that GW's policies took down. But if you actually listened to their rant video they actually state that they were probably going to do this anyway - the policy changes just made the decision easier. A lot of people have been skipping that part.

    As for retail stores being clueless - I'm not sure if you meant to be disparaging to your FLGS, but if they are clueless that is also because GW chooses not to share information with them and, when they do, use other restrictions to keep them from sharing that information with their customers in order to, oh, I don't know, generate interest and solicit pre-order sales.

    I'll agree with the rest of what you've written. I thought that your description of IP for Dummies was particularly spot-on. There's more than one way to handle your IP as it comes to the fans. Look at Lucasfilm for a better way to do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jay.

      I guess Google takes down the blog as they cannot/should not take down individual posts. Same happens on YouTube (e.g., Beasts of War). I don't even know if there is a way to 'get to your data' or even to get the blog back at all.

      As far as miniwargaming.com is concerned, I did see the full video, I am a big fan of those guys - and yes, GW's new distributor policy was not the sole reason, but it put the 'nail in the coffin'. None of the small distributors live in luxury and if a significant portion of their sales dissolves, which Games Workshop's decision clearly did, it just does not 'add up' anymore. Any business is in it for the profit, after all.
      GW's release and distribution policy clearly aims at directing traffic and customers to their own webstore. That increases their margin significantly (!) and makes the shareholders happy. If you look at their recent half-year report, you will see what I mean. But you are right, there is of course no 'one' reason that makes miniature stores go out of business. GW just does not make it easier for them.

      And yes, the store staff always jokes with me that once, on a corporate chart, there was an 'information manager stores' position and they always wondered what that person actually does ^^.

      Delete
  18. This is so sad as I so much like the 40k-verse they have created. Though there are things more important than just background story, I'll find some other as pleasing background story.
    I'm not going to buy new GW models anymore. Not until there will be change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://heios.blogspot.fi/2013/04/more-what-fuck-gw.html

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  19. Someone else pointed out earlier that GW is a gateway company that gets people into gaming and miniature painting, but there are now plenty of high quality games and miniatures (and paints) to chose from. I moved away from GW games and miniatures almost entirely when Warmachine came out and have been happy in my new gaming home with them for the most part.

    It would be interesting to see if they really are just trying to ruin/run things in order to sell off the company. I'll keep in mind that I heard it here first :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hasbro IS WotC.

    GW has shown again that they don't understand their customer base.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooops! I completely did not know that ^^
      Hasbro bought WotC in 1999... Must have been busy that day :D

      Thanks Loquacious!

      Delete
  21. This whole thing makes me want to rage quit anything to do with GW. As I said on Porky's blog, that would be like hurting me to make them suffer (which I believe is GW's new Marketing strategy)so I will just try to enjoy the hobby, ignore the politics and support those affected with kind words and any help I can give. Gary, thanks for what you do andf for being big enough to want to work it out properly. If all else fails just fire up a new blog under a new name and we can all help spread the word. Better yet, guest post on a different blog each week and they won't be able to track you down o_O

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  22. Naftka, Gary thanks for everything I read your blog everyday avidly for the past year and half and you remotivated back into the hobby after 5 years away, and now a feel myself wanting to walk away once again, just for how they are treating you and anyone who truly loved the hobby, we hope to hear from you once again, until then goodbye GW, naftka you will be missed

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  23. After reading up on Copyright Laws, the DMCA and stuff, I have some residual hope that GW actually overstepped their legal limits and are possibly subject to purjery. Not purgatory, thats later, first purjery...

    Let's see if Natfka files a counterclaim (as he should) and is back up without a scratch...

    My Buddha-Senses are tingling...

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. This whole " Buy GW " idea is kinda cool. I would totally go for it to take down the behemoth that GW has become. Do you know what i would like to hear? What does GWs founding father has to say about what his company has become. kids love it - but everybody who questions GW even a little Knows how much this company fucks up all the time.

    And you know what? i still go to games day to compete. Why? becasue of the community! So if I would get the chance to stop GW and buld it up again - I wouldnt even blink a second!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Sir, we will met at games day and enjoy the time together.

      Delete
  26. Well said. I love Games Workshop's world, but their company policies are some of the most offensive and irrational I have ever encountered.

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    Replies
    1. One sentence that summarizes it all ^^

      Delete
  27. Don't mess with GW, the build the Landraider for only one reason as 1:1 "model"! Totaly world domination!!!
    ( ...and free trip for afternoon tea :-D )

    What they aktually do is exactly the same the "German Telekom" does, try to hold there monopol in a world without monopols... Hope they come to the same result, DO GOOD WORK OR DIE TRYING!

    Equil they do, the hobbyist will suffer for that...

    ReplyDelete
  28. It is surprisingly a similar pattern that was seen with WoTC before they got sold to Hasbro, they started to 'hack and slash' anyone having some WOTC stuff on their website (legitimate or not) by cease-and-desist lawyer notices (DMCA did not existed then). They also rolled out great changes in the game systems at a more rapid pace. It happened about a couple of years before they got sold to Hasbro. They were also very aggressive in their pursuit of threatening website owners and this put a major set back with their loyal customers base (namely the old loyal ones). This situation is almost the same with GW launching overly aggressive actions against any perceived copyright infringement and scraping away the old costumer base. It smell a sell off in less than two years...

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  29. Gws is going out of business that's the next rumor they dont want to let it out haha theyre profits haven't changed for the best in years. Models may have gotten better but the machines to make them have seem to have replaced the soul meaning why this hobby was created in the first place.

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