Content Creator


ONE.

The Eveoganda Store on Zazzle has been closed.
Petitions to Zazzle to re-post those items clearly owned by myself and in no way subject to any decision by CCP have been denied. Clearly Zazzle wishes to avoid any potential legal conflicts no matter the truth. Zazzle is, for all intents and purposes, closed to me as an avenue to sell anything, and my personal reputation has been affected. Thank you CCP.


TWO.

I have heard NOTHING from CCP Legal.
No notices, no warnings, no clarifications, nothing. Only silence.


THREE.

Other non-licensed merchandise continues to be sold on-line.
A simple Google search reveals hundreds of items that were being sold BEFORE my store went live, remain available for purchase.


FOUR.

I am worried about you.



You might be surprised at that last one, but my worry is justified. I am extremely worried about my fellow "content providers" in the community. The writers, podcasters, app developers, service providers and all the myriad others that work tirelessly to provide the Eve Community with the richness, expansiveness and uniqueness that it has become famous for.

I am worried because I tried to do the right thing. It was me that contacted CCP to ask for clarification and help in determining the right way to proceed. I've been asking for almost two years. It was me who once more alerted them to the fact of my store and asked, once more, for legal clarification and assistance. Please tell me, what are the rules? What are the guidelines? Look at all these other people out there selling your products without your permission, how can I faithfully operate under a system that clearly favors some, and not others?

Where is the line? Is there a line? Or does this all come down to simply a case of "trouble"? A reaction to a specific complaint by someone out to take me down? (It appears, from what little I have been able to determine, that a specific complaint might have been the root cause of this action. But that is not known for sure at this point.)

Back in the early eighties I stood shoulder to shoulder with people like Dave Sim and Harlan Ellison and other comic book creators in the fight for Creator Rights in that industry. I've taken companies and individuals to court over trademark violations, I've issued my own Cease and Desist orders, I've sued, wrangled and otherwise protested dozens of cases in defense of the rights of artists, writers and creators. I am not a newb at this type of fight.

A vague all-encompassing paragraph in the EULA/ToS is not a legal precedent. Just because you say you own something doesn't make you the owner of something. It doesn't work that way. You know better and I know better. All you have is a big scary hammer that you can use to scare smaller people with. And ultimately you wield the threat of banishment. And for those of us who love Eve, there can be no greater threat.

But let's be realistic. A great community is built on mutual trust and understanding. Which means, from a legal standpoint, clearly defined and reasonable criteria. Problems occur whenever we reach a point, like we have now, where no one understands the other. Vague threats and all-encompassing legal mumble mumble are not helping anyone.

I am worried. Not because those of us in the community want to become rich profiting off of your hard work, we don't. If anything, we want to help you profit off of your hard work. That is the entire nature of "fan" communities after all. My words, my pictures, my sweat equity builds a vibrant community off of which you profit. And I think I speak for the majority of this community when I say we'd all prefer to work within clearly established rules and guidelines. Rather than a vacuum.

I was well aware that certain items being sold in the store would be questionable. But others are doing it and I had heard nothing from anyone to clarify the situation. So I proceeded, well aware of what might happen. I was hopeful that the action would result in a positive outcome, that we could reach an adult understanding. I was prepared to remove whatever needed to be removed. My little store sold TWO items in the three days it was running. TWO.

Instead you eliminated an entire avenue of potential revenue. An avenue that is now closed to me. Included in that are items that are clearly not subject to any action by CCP and are solely owned by myself. 

"EVE Online and the EVE logo are the registered trademarks of CCP hf. All rights are reserved worldwide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. EVE Online, the EVE logo, EVE and all associated logos and designs are the intellectual property of CCP hf. All artwork, screenshots, characters, vehicles, storylines, world facts or other recognizable features of the intellectual property relating to these trademarks are likewise the intellectual property of CCP hf. CCP hf. has granted permission to EVEOGANDA to use EVE Online and all associated logos and designs for promotional and information purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not in any way affiliated with, EVEOGANDA. CCP is in no way responsible for the content on or functioning of this website, nor can it be liable for any damage arising from the use of this website.

Specific content not covered above are ©2010 EVEOGANDA and All Rights Are Reserved unless otherwise noted. I appreciate that you might want to link to material presented on EVEOGANDA and encourage you to do so, all I ask is for proper attribution and a link back to the original post. This is a fan site and all work presented within, with the exception of original content and certain written words, is based on material owned by CCP and all rights are reserved."

I might be the only fansite to add additional legal language to that disclaimer. Additional language which has been there since the beginning by the way.

Again, I'm not an idiot. I know exactly what CCP owns and what I own. This issue is not a question about ownership and rights. It is a question about fairness.

I have my answer. CCP Legal is not interested in fairness or in sharing. CCP Legal apparently has a zero tolerance policy that they use whenever something pops up that needs attention. I get it. Thanks.

This action changes nothing sadly. The vacuum still exists. Other non-licensed materials are still being sold by other people profiting from trademarks owned by CCP. And I will move forward with other plans which do not include providing the community with really cool Eve based materials. I will continue to create art based on those trademarks and provide them for FREE here on my site. Nothing changes.

And I guess, in the final analysis, that worries me more than anything.






23 comments:

  1. Two things

    1) This will go away for CCP if their legal department respond - but the stoney walled silence says a lot about CCP internally

    2) If they took down the store based on one anonymous complaint then that is rather sad. Sadder still is the person who made the complaint. All fair inside the game shooting you - but you are trying to make a real live livelihood from this by selling your original artwork. That person needs to check themselves are realise that outside Eve that is petty, vindictive and cruel.

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  2. There are 1,390 Eve Online products for sale on CafePress.

    178 Eve Online T-shirts available on Zazzle.

    Spread Shirt.com is selling direct Eve Logo T-Shirts.

    Any serious ten minutes of searching reveals Eve Merch being sold on Amazon, eBay, and countless other non-licensed resellers across the globe. In many, many cases these sellers are using direct logos and art lifted from CCP. Something I didn't do.

    And so the question remains, why just me?

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    1. So why don't you (or have you?) just report those to CCP legal? If you did and they did nothing, that would definitely change the tenor of the conversation. I think the possible differnce is this: they know who you are. They are in a position to ban you or otherwise take action against you. Those other guys... who knows? They issue the takedown, they repost next week under a new name. The whole thing is weird, especially in light of the scandals surrounding PLEX sellers. It seems clear that they don't apply their rules universally. I'm not surprised really. They're incompetent on many fronts. That's what happens when the original creators of something don't bring in pros to handle the details. One more example of Hilmar's arrogance.

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    2. First of all I think the problem is overwhelming. I have no idea how many people CCP Legal has on staff, but this is a big problem that would take time to address,

      Secondly, it is so friggin easy to spot the violations thru a simple search, that I do not feel it is my personal responsibility to rat out each and every offender. Especially without knowledge of which ones may or may not have "agreements" in place with CCP.

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    3. We have to find Hilmar and talk to him. Or Soundwave, or Guard... It is the only way. We need to get it out there, on New Eden lanes and YouTube lanes. The entire community is at a loss.

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  3. All I can say is this is a seriously dick move on the part of CCP and especially their legal department.

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  4. Because you're the one who blogged about it, and you actually have a popular blog. Why Zazzle thinks they can shut you down only and still sell for the other stores is beyond my understanding, and why they refuse to sell your original stuff is also beyond my understanding.

    I didn't want your crummy t-shirts with original stuff on them anyway, but darnit, it's not anybody's right to take away your right to sell your crummy t-shirts with original stuff on them!

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  5. I don't understand why anyone would buy these t-shirts, but it's your right to try and sell them and I support that wholeheartedly, even if I'm not going to buy one.

    Also, this drama is distracting you from what's really important - blogging about EVE and your awesome pirate career. And that CANNOT stand.

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  6. Why you? Because you are highly visible.
    It's really nothing new or even unfair for a business to make an example of someone. You tried to monetize something that clearly uses their property* without them telling you that it was alright to do. You also clearly knew that you shouldn't sell some of the stuff and knew the penalties, that's no-ones fault but yours.

    For a real life example look at Apple, they enforce their rules to the small local computer repair shops that work on apples without their approval, instead they go after the bigger fish, the best buys or universities. It's the way things work, don't spread your resources to thin by going after everyone, use them to go after the big fish. Again, it's not unfair, just common sense.

    * your stay frosty logo may be different, but judging from your story I can't come to the conclusion that CCP wanted that removed too, looks like zazzle just removed everything to be safe, that's my guess at least

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  7. CCP's legal department isn't really a paragon of competence. For example, the EVE EULA appears to have been copy-pasted wholesale from a form book somewhere around 2003. Hence the excessive amounts of legalese, contradictory and ambiguous provisions, inconsistent terminology, and clauses which are wholly unenforceable in certain countries. No, I'm not going to do their work for them and re-write the EULA.

    So I'm not surprised that instead of performing any sort of investigation, they decided to do the easy thing and simply mail out a form letter threatening legal action against a vendor if your merchandise was not taken down.

    As far as why you, it's because you asked. Had you simply sold stuff without asking CCP, they wouldn't have done anything. CCP has a long and proud history of going after well-meaning folk, and letting everyone else coast under the radar. It's almost like they would rather folk quietly do the wrong thing, rather than openly do the right thing.

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    Replies
    1. Well said. And sadly, I do believe you are extremely close to the truth. Lesson learned, back into the shadows.

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    2. "CCP has a long and proud history of going after well-meaning folk, and letting everyone else coast under the radar. It's almost like they would rather folk quietly do the wrong thing, rather than openly do the right thing."
      Heh, if ONLY it were just CCP. Now it applies to everything, it seems. Better to let a mistake hopefully go unnoticed than fess up and be fired for it. It might not be easier to apologize than ask permission -- but it sure seems a lot "safer" these days to go for it and hope you don't have to apologize later.

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  8. It was Sully and the Tuskers... /tinfoilhat

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  9. You are the undisputed owner of anything EVEOGANDA / Stay Frosty.
    Band together with Agony or other people selling legal shirts in suing CCP for armwrestling Zazzle to shut down independents. Get players to file a mountain of official complaints about real eve logos on amazon/ebay.

    Of course you want a solution that benefits the community, not one that divides it. Would a player petition help? At least I could sign that.

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  10. Sound like unlawful restraint of trade to me. Keep track of the damages.

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  11. How do you figure?
    According to the info Rixx has given us it's no such thing.
    Rixx keeps saying that he's had no contact with CCP legal, and the only notification that he's shown (or even mentioned) was the reply from Zazzle that says

    "We have been contacted by representatives from CCP Games and EVE Online, and at their request, have removed the product from the Zazzle Marketplace."

    That statement in no way says that CCP asked for all products to be removed, furthermore having put something up for sale on Zazzles site that was in clear violation of CCPs intellectual property and/or copyrights not only violates CCPs TOS/eula but also violates Zazzles TOS. Zazzle has every right to remove everything and ban Rixx for the violation.

    And Rixx, your personal reputation being affected has nothing to do with CCP and everything to do with you doing something that you knew you probably shouldn't do. Isn't that why you contacted CCP and asked in the first place, and don't give us that bullshit that they didn't reply, who cares, just because they didn't reply doesn't make what you did right. You knew what could happen and got caught, suck it up and move on.

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    1. That was supposed to be a reply to Mord

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    2. That is somewhat accurate. You leave out two important facts:

      1) Other people are selling non-licensed Eve Merch and have been since before I started playing.
      2) I have had two other Eve stores in the past and no one said anything about them. Both of which were promoted here on this very blog.

      In that context, which is important, I had no expectation of being banned this time. Especially in light of being proactive and trying to get an answer of what is and what isn't allowed.

      Of course I knew that some items crossed the line. But that is a line I have crossed before and that others continue to cross every day.

      I just think that this is important to keep in context.

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    3. That context still doesn't change the fact that you knew what could happen and did it anyway, you just didn't think you'd get caught.

      "Of course I knew that some items crossed the line. But that is a line I have crossed before and that others continue to cross every day."
      Does that make it right? I mean people drink and drive everyday and don't get caught, hell I've done it and not been caught (not proud of that btw). It's not the CCPs fault that you did something you weren't supposed to just like it's not law enforcements fault that people drink and drive.

      Just because you have gotten away with it in the past and others continue to get away with it doesn't make it any less your fault

      Would it have been nice for CCP get back with you when you asked, sure, but they didn't and you went ahead without permission, grow a pair of balls own up to it and stop acting like the Americans that give the rest of us all a bad name. I had no idea that the hot coffee I ordered was going to be hot i'm going to sue you, no-one told me that eating fast food everyday would make me fat so make your sizes smaller, our team didn't win it's not fair give me a trophy anyway, I've never used performance enhancing drugs oh wait yeah I did but only because others were doing it too.

      p.s. I'm not saying what you did was anywhere near as bad as drunk driving, it was just the first example that popped in my head and I don't feel like rewriting it, but you could change that out for sneaking out of the house, shop lifting, chop blocking someone in football, or skateboarding in the bible belt.

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    4. Also, what were you "banned" from? you've still had kills in EVE since you were "banned"

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  12. I had some ideas for cool Eve themed merchandize. I emailed CCP about it and got no answer. Now with your experiences, screw that. They can promote their damn game...

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  13. get your lawyer to send them a letter then

    PS: I also just cancel one of my subscription for you

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