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