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Legal action from EA?

PeculiarJohnPeculiarJohn Lakewood, COPosts: 8Member

I was just thinking about how John Fogerty was once sued basically for plaigiarizing the work he had produced as the frontman for CCR.  Someone else owned the rights for CCR's music when the suit was filed and claimed that Fogerty was repackaging something that they had already secured the financial rights to.

 

Although it's a little crazy to think about, it is worth considering that EA still runs and profits from Dark Age of Camelot.  I am still subbed to DAoC, meaning that I pay them for my love of a product that was developed largely by MJ.  They do have a claim to profit from the intellectual property of that game.  And so much of the development of CU seems intimately linked to our (both the gamers' and MJ's) experiences with that game.

 

It'd be a shame to see any sort of lawsuit, especially after CU is funded through kickstarter.  What assurances can City State give to its backers that this will not be an issue?  Yes, I know that MJ is a lawyer -- how are the legal aspects of this project being handled?

Comments

  • neobahamut20neobahamut20 ste-julie, QCPosts: 336Member

    Camelot existed long before videogames. EA has no claim.

    Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    EA doesn't own the rights to the Camelot IP. 

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • C3llTherapyC3llTherapy Summerville, SCPosts: 15Member
    While the name Camelot surely existed long before DAOC, it may well be argued that Camelot Unchained refers the the Unchaining of Dark Ages of Camelot. I think a very good question is posed and would love to hear what a lawyer thinks of this. I have huge hopes for this game and hope it is a major success. 
  • neobahamut20neobahamut20 ste-julie, QCPosts: 336Member
    Originally posted by C3llTherapy
    While the name Camelot surely existed long before DAOC, it may wejl be argued that Camelot Unchained refers the the Unchaining of Dark Ages of Camelot. I think a evry good question is posed and would love to hear what a lawyer thinks of this. I have huge hopes for this game and hope it is a major success. 

    Until the game is out the developpers must have benefit of doubt.  If EA comes out with any claims they will be counter-sued for professional spying while allowing the devs to change the game enough so all the claims they attempted become invalid. Also, IP laws that promote monopolies only exist in the USA and the UK. Elsewhere, you can make a copy of a game, change all the names & looks and its fine as the mechanics will see the source code compared, not how it functions when the game is running. Where is the dev team based?

    Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  • KarahandrasKarahandras Sible HedinghamPosts: 1,676Member Uncommon
    There is a decent little turn based wwii strategy game called battle academy.  Was originally called battlefield academy after the bbc series or show and ea sued over the use of the word battlefield, so wouldn't suprise me if they gave it a go.
  • cakelizardcakelizard post falls, IDPosts: 62Member
    and if the classes are similar/same would it be double trouble?
  • neobahamut20neobahamut20 ste-julie, QCPosts: 336Member
    Originally posted by cakelizard
    and if the classes are similar/same would it be double trouble?

    Nope, those are game mechanics too. If someone from EA handed the source code over and they used it without modification, then it could be trouble. I doubt anyone that wants to succeed would take source code from EA though.

    Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  • Got_Game_TVGot_Game_TV Mayfield Heights, OHPosts: 262Member Uncommon
    Two new accounts...competing company casting doubt on the game concept to affect kickstarter success? ;)
  • PeculiarJohnPeculiarJohn Lakewood, COPosts: 8Member
    Not at all.  I know you have no reason to believe that, but... no.
  • neobahamut20neobahamut20 ste-julie, QCPosts: 336Member

    They are in Fairfax, Virginia.

     

    Given US copyright laws, I hope their game in no way ressembles DAoC, for their sake, unless of course Mark Jacobs still owns some rights to DAoC, which is not impossible.

    Boycotting EA. Why? They suck, even moreso since 2008.

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by neobahamut20

    They are in Fairfax, Virginia.

     

    Given US copyright laws, I hope their game in no way ressembles DAoC, for their sake, unless of course Mark Jacobs still owns some rights to DAoC, which is not impossible.

    why would it matter if it resembled it?  Camelot is public domain and video games resemble eachother all the time.

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • boxsndboxsnd Kraxton, ARPosts: 438Member Uncommon
    MJ has said in the past that he could make DAoC 2 if he wanted. So he must have the rights.

    DAoC - Excalibur & Camlann

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    I remember an article in which Jacobs was talking about the development of DAOC.  One of the reasons they chose Camelot was the fact that it was one of the most well known IPs in the world that was also public domain, thus completely free to use.

    I guess it remains to be seen what rights each entity has, or whether or not CU infringes on DAOC.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 473Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by boxsnd
    MJ has said in the past that he could make DAoC 2 if he wanted. So he must have the rights.

    Actually, what I said was that I could make a spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot if I wanted to do so. Spiritual successors are not the same as sequels, Lots of good info out on the web about what spiritual successors are and how often they are created by the original authors of IP who have lost the rights to the IP. Now, even having said that, I am not making a spiritual successor to that game or even saying that CU is a spiritual successor because I'm not making a spiritual successor and I'm not going to lie to players about it. The title Camelot Unchained is both a bit of a inside joke directed at certain people (not EA) and refers to part of the world map used in our trailer (which nobody has yet noticed). It is also a working title but why not have a little fun at the same time.

    Originally posted by Rohn

    I remember an article in which Jacobs was talking about the development of DAOC.  One of the reasons they chose Camelot was the fact that it was one of the most well known IPs in the world that was also public domain, thus completely free to use.

    I guess it remains to be seen what rights each entity has, or whether or not CU infringes on DAOC.

    Yep, that's why I chose it years ago and fhe same reason I can use it now. Just as lots of public domain works are being used for example, including Oz. Disney's got a film, I've got a game, plays, books, etc. The use of public domain IP, especially something as old as Camelot, is very safe. It's actually funny that when we were pitching Dark Age of Camelot of all the publishers most said we couldn't protect it and that's why I told them the game is called Dark Age of Camelot and not Camelot. :)

    Originally posted by muffins89

    Originally posted by neobahamut20

    They are in Fairfax, Virginia.

     

    Given US copyright laws, I hope their game in no way ressembles DAoC, for their sake, unless of course Mark Jacobs still owns some rights to DAoC, which is not impossible.

    why would it matter if it resembled it?  Camelot is public domain and video games resemble eachother all the time.

    Without going into legalese, it simply easier to say that unless I decided to copy the exact mechanics of Dark Age of Camelot, the look and feel of Dark Age of Camelot, the classes of Dark Age of Camelot, etc. I'm in safe territory. If you want to see how this works in real life, grab the court documents from the EA & Zynga lawsuit. They will give you a great insight into the kind of stuff that would certainly get EA's dander up, as it should.

    Now, this is one of the many reasons why I didn't want to create a spiritual successor or something that was trying to be a "sequel in sheep's clothing" with CU. It's why I came up with the idea of using a shattered world, to show that this is taking some of the public domain stories that have been the basis of lots of games, books, films, etc. and giving them an entirely new slant. It's again one of the reasons I'm not lying to the players by saying "This is the sequel I always wanted to do!" or something like that. Our game is going to be very different from Dark Age of Camelot, built on a different engine, with a extremely different team, etc. and that's what counts.

    Oh, as to the whole use of the word "Camelot" thing. Well, the word camelot was not trademarked by Mythic Entertainment, the term Dark Age of Camelot was TMed and that what is protectable. the whole phrase, not a single word. In many TMs, including March on Oz, we acknowledge that we don't have a claim to use the word Oz, outside the entire TM. It's one reason why you can have so many TMs with the word Oz in it being held by so many different people. FYI, EA owns multiple TMs on the word Battlefield and that's why they are able to, if they choose, to enforce the word itself (since the single word is the TM in that case). Again, in the case of Mythic and Dark Age of Camelot, we only TMed the phrase and didn't try to TM the word since it probably would have gotten rejected and/or would have been what is known as a "weak" trademark as it is a common word in wide usage as opposed to Dark Age of Camelot which is a very strong TM. Currently, Camelot is used in over 50 live TMs (total of 194 iwith dead ones), including Kabam's "Kingdoms of Camelot" and that is a wee bit closer to Dark Age of Camelot than my working title and they haven't sued Kabam. :)

    Anyway, that's my quick info dump for those that are interested.

    Mark

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • YizleYizle Atlanta, GAPosts: 517Member
    I hope MJ is right because I can see EA trying something if it looks like CU will be a success.
  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yizle
    I hope MJ is right because I can see EA trying something if it looks like CU will be a success.

    FYI, I've also vetted everything with my lawyer first of course. Again, I'm not trying to steer close to the rocky shoals of making an "unofficial" sequel, I honestly think that would be wrong. I simply want to use some of the same core legends and then create a new and very different IP and a different game but a great RvR game.

    Heck, it could even turn out that Matt's game could be closer to Dark Age of Camelot then mine will be. We'll have to see what other stuff is revealed, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

    I appreciate the concern but I would not have gone down this path if I thought it would end up in litigation or I was trying to do something shady. I've been very upfront with potential players, especially players/former players of Dark Age of Camelot and like I said, the name is just a working title. We're still thinking about the name for the game just like Obsidian did with their "Project Eternity" Kickstarter. We've got some good possibilities but we're not ready to reveal it yet and frankly, it might not even have Camelot in its name. Those Vikings and TdD are already prickly about Arthur's realm being dad's favorite. :)

    Thanks again for the concern.

     

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

  • allendale5allendale5 kansas city, MOPosts: 124Member
    well they ripped the camelot from daoc and the 'unchained' from age of conan.  nice creativity, devs.  
  • skyexileskyexile MelbournePosts: 692Member


    Originally posted by allendale5
    well they ripped the camelot from daoc and the 'unchained' from age of conan.  nice creativity, devs.  

    I don't think anybody knowingly ripped anything from AoC, hows that turd doing anyway? still floating?

    SKYeXile
    TRF - GM - GW2, PS2, WAR, AION, Rift, WoW, WOT....etc...
    Future Crew - High Council. Planetside 1 & 2.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,787Member Uncommon

    When it comes to the name i think EA cant do anything about the name Camelot. Like MJ said, they trademarked the the whole Daoc name, not the word. With that said, If EA even try to do something about the word "Camelot" used by itself in other games then i see EA in a lot of trouble since there are 2 games called "Dark Ages", one from 1991 for MSdos, and an mmo from 1999 using those names way before Daoc.

    I think if CU is about Camelot, whether its Camelot Unchained, Camelot something else. Or "[insert name here]: camelot something", it should have the word Camelot somewhere in there since theres no problem with that  specific word.

    image
  • mugsiemugsie Massillon, OHPosts: 5Member
    Oops.
  • PeculiarJohnPeculiarJohn Lakewood, COPosts: 8Member
    Excellent explanation, Mark.  As always, whenever I ask a question about this game, I am highly impressed by the answer.  Very good sign, that. :)
  • MarkJacobsMarkJacobs CEO City State Entertainment Fairfax, VAPosts: 473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PeculiarJohn
    Excellent explanation, Mark.  As always, whenever I ask a question about this game, I am highly impressed by the answer.  Very good sign, that. :)

    Thanks, appreciate it. I want people to ask questions, it's one of the reasons I'm spending so much time writing the blogs and talking to players here. I could simply do the interview thing and that would be more than enough to help the Kickstarter campaign. I don't expect the things I say here are going to change some people's opinions and that's okay. I hope that over the course I time I'll be able to do that but it isn't going to happen before March. I'm spending so much time here and the other places I've been posting because I really, really want feedback from some of the hardest core, most experienced players that I can reach through forums. It's not a perfect sample group (no group is) but I know that the vast majority of people who post here have played a lot of MMOs and have very strong opinions. That's exactly what I need to hear now and even more importantly, what I'll need to hear if the Kickstarter funds. Like I said, I know some people's opinions wouldn't change no matter what I say and do going forward but man, it's not 2005 on so many levels it's not even funny and that, in almost every way, is both so damned good and a game changer and I plan on proving that to people, even if they still won't admit it. :)

    Thanks for the feedback, questions, etc. I hope you'll be among our supporters next month but if not, thank you.

    Mark Jacobs
    CEO, City State Entertainment

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