The Big Ban Hammer

Just three short days after announcing the launch of the Eveoganda Store on Zazzle, the mighty CCP Legal Department issued an official ban and demanded Zazzle take down ALL of the merchandise from the now empty store front.

As a life-long advocate for artist's rights I am well aware of the rules regarding copyright infringement, cease and desist orders, trademark, international agreements, the whole ball of wax. It would never be my intention to violate the rights of a rights holder. Having said that, there is a huge wall of gray out here in the internet. A huge wall of gray that results in:

This t-shirt still being sold on Zazzle.

This t-shirt still being sold on Zazzle.

Do a search for Eve Online on Zazzle and it comes back with 13 pages of items. And Zazzle is just one source. Do the search yourself on google and see what happens. Shirts on Cafe Press. An entire store front over on Red Bubble with actual lifted art directly from CCP. The results are rather long and involve every on-line merchandise re-seller.

I could go on and on. All of these items up and being sold before my store went live and still up and running after my store was brought down.

I want to be clear, I started asking CCP for clarification over 18 months ago. I was in contact during this past week, once more asking for clarification on the guidelines for selling ORIGINAL materials "based on" properties clearly owned by CCP. And I have yet to receive a direct answer. I have heard nothing from them. Only the notification from Zazzle, "We have been contacted by representatives from CCP Games and EVE Online, and at their request,  have removed the product from the Zazzle Marketplace."

Keep in mind that there are literally hundreds of other, more obvious rights violators, still selling on-line.

They took down everything. Even the dancing pods from the Eve Dumb Ways to Die video, which has brought in nearly 120,000 views and was hand-drawn by myself. Even the Stay Frosty logo which is NOT used in-game and which is an original creation by myself, clearly something CCP has NO rights to AT ALL. Stay Frosty is not something CCP can lay claim to, since it originally appeared as dialogue in the film Aliens, Stay Frosty has become a classic, shared, public domain saying.

Obviously I am a bit different. As usual I can't do anything half-assed. My designs are excellent and I had a very aggressive plan to roll out new products on a daily basis. I promoted the store here, on Twitter, in forums, in my in-game bio, everywhere. I did this because I am in-between jobs out here in the real world and now seemed like a good time to try and monetize my five year investment in Eve.

I am more than willing to play by the rules, but as of today, I still do not know what those rules are. And why they seem to pertain only to me. Meanwhile, I am earning nothing from my investment, others are still making monetary gains from theirs. I don't need to tell you that I see this as grossly unfair and a slightly aggressive stance against perhaps the greatest on-line champion of Eve that CCP has. Namely me.*

*I'm not trying to inflate my own self-worth here, but it would be hard to argue this fact.

If the stance from CCP is simply that nothing even remotely related to Eve can be re-sold on the internet, then fine. But why are hundreds of other products still being sold? If tolerance is zero, then so be it, but it needs to be applied to everyone. Not just to the really talented one over here in the corner.

I went ahead with the store because I hadn't heard boo from anyone telling me to stop. I was fully aware of what might happen and looked forward to hearing from someone telling me what the rules are. Instead I got an invisible giant hammer and silence.

I feel a little picked on frankly.

While even AMAZON offers Eve Shirts clearly not sanctioned by CCP.

Or this ACTUAL EVE logo sticker!!




34 comments:

  1. I was worried there would be some splash damage from the anti-SOMERblink campaign.

    Targeting you and not others (if that's what has happened) does seem unfair. Are they making an example of you as you're considered high profile within the community rather than doing the admin of seeking out all the other offenders?

    Are these the actions of an even hand or an iron fist?

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    1. Despite my "pirate" play-style in-game, I am more than willing to play by the rules, whatever they happen to be. But they should apply to everyone, and right now I feel like they only apply to me. No matter how high-profile I may be, that is not fair.

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    2. This has nothing to do with SOMER Blink. Rixx would have got the same response from Legal twenty weeks ago as he had now.

      Are you do sure they don't own some rights to Stay Frosty now, when in an EVE context? There might we words in the EULA/TOS that any in-game names are owned equally (or fully) by CCP Games. Plus, didn't your Stay Frosty t-shirt use the logo that you constructed from in-game resources?

      It sucks, them taking down your store, but I figured they would. Not without you having an official license to sell said items.

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    3. THe EULA is bull when it comes to certain types of names. If I named my corporation LINCOLN for example, CCP cannot own the rights to the word LINCOLN. Just as they couldn't for SHAKESPEARE, since he is in the public domain. Stay Frosty is a public domain issue, it would be impossible for them to own those two words. Unless they specifically file international trademark applications for it, in which case they would get laghed out of court.

      They in-game Stay Frosty logo is different from the out-of-game logo and they share nothing in common. The real logo, which I use on all materials, is 100% copyrighted by me. It is an original creation based on the one I did for Lucifer's Hammer. CCP has no rights i regards to that identity or how I choose to use it.

      I have asked for an official license but haven't heard anything about that either.

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  2. Rixx this makes me wonder if they will try to claim a copyright infringement on FATBEESWAG.com because they have a Fatbee in their game which like the SF logo they did not create can not claim a copyright on but yet still do what they did to you on your logo. I would fight their stay frosty removal full force man they have no right to take that down! CCP FAVORITISM ALIVE AND WELL! Nice job faggots (CCP)! CCP is really making it hard for me at least to want to continue playing its shitty game, with jackass moves like this.

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    1. It is rather a dick move since I've been actively asking for help on this issue for a long time, I did everything I could to do it right and play fairly. While others continue to flaunt the rules and profit from their hidden merch, there are literally hundreds of non-licensed Eve products available on the market.

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    2. But if the T-Shirt doesn't even say EVE, I don't understand why you can't sell it. For me that seems pretty stupid. Why don't you continue selling it regardless of their opinion?

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    3. Whats the difference between EvE and real life?
      Both are bitches.

      CCP is obviously doing damage control on alleged favouritism.

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    4. Sell that shit anyway, fuck CCP

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    5. My guess, and that's all any of us can do untill you get word from CCP, is it's either the eve in eveoganda or it's the derivative works that are the problem. If I had to put money on it, I'd guess the derivative works, such as the pods and 1v1 ships. Whilst it would be a shame to lose those, putting up just items you hold the copyright to would let you get some income from your work at least.

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  3. l can't do it so let's drop everyone else it. Is the the new eve mentality? you're as bad as Poe.

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    1. Only a fool could mistake highlighting unfair treatment of equals with envy.

      The only eve-related thing about Poe is the Raven. Who are you talking about?

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  4. Maybe it all got cleaned out because it's EVEoganda "the eve-online store"? Might make sense for losing even your original shit in the same storefront.

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  5. Very, very technically..Anything you say and do and create that bounces through the eve online servers is owned, lock stock and barrel by CCP.

    Which means, yes indeed, the bee logo as it is on Goons's alliance actually belongs to CCP. The stay frosty logo is not technically theirs because they do not host it. The idea of a corporation named 'Stay Frosty' does unfortunately belong to them.

    The relevant section of the term of service:

    "You hereby grant CCP an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, assignable, royalty-free license, fully sub-licensable through multiple tiers, to exercise all intellectual property and other rights, in and to all or any part of your User Content, in any medium now known or hereafter developed."

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    1. I am intimately aware of the ToS. I will be writing a follow-up to this post in which I will explain a bit more of the background here, suffice to say this wasn't my first eve store. In fact, it was my third. I ended up bringing the other two down myself after time because I just didn't have the time to dedicate to them, but on both attempts CCP never said boo about them, even though they knew.

      Plus, let's be honest here, a good team of lawyers would have a field day with that section. There are so many examples of where that would fall apart in court, it is a mass attempt to corral ALL examples when clearly ALL examples do not apply.

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    2. I was worried by this ToS quote, especially with regard to written content (as used in blogs and paid articles written by EVE players) and went off to find CCP's definition of 'User Content.'

      Both Zedrik's quote and the following definition are actually from the End User Licence Agreement, *not* the Terms of Service.

      'C. User Content

      The System may allow you to communicate information, such as by posting messages in chat rooms, on bulletin boards and other user-to-user areas (collectively, "User Content").'

      So it seems that it must go through the EVE client in some manner in order to be considered 'User Content.' This still seems a bit woolly given that the EVE client has a web browser, so technically any website viewed via the IGB could be considered 'User Content.'

      The reproduction of any chat-log or quote from in-game is certainly 'User Content' though, so any blog or website that turns a profit and includes written material that includes such content is in contravention of the EULA by my understanding.

      I'm guessing CCP get around that with given or implied permission, but this action against Rixx seems to suggest that CCP are starting to remove such permissions, which is worrying.

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    3. What doesn't make sense to me though is that you should still have your own rights to your content. If you say, create an alliance logo. For sure CCP has rights to it, and can use it, but where does it say you just sold all your own rights to them free of charge and can't use it yourself?

      Now the dumb ways to die shirt, you drew it by hand sure, but those pod designs are definitely Eve in origin. It's the same thing where people can't legally sell pictures of night elves or specific WoW characters that they drew themselves.

      My guess is that in this case, your entire store was labeled as an "eve-online" store. That's where you crossed the line. If you had called it "Rixx's space ship gear emporium" and kept it strictly to things that you created entirely yourself that contained no CCP original concepts, you should have been in the green.

      Example: A T-Shirt featuring the BNANA logo that you made with no other reference to Eve aside from our Alliance name, should be in the green. CCP can absolutely use it for anything they like given what we had to agree to for them to put it in game, but you never gave up your own rights to also use the logo as you saw fit.

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    4. Part of this was the vacuum coming from CCP when I had tried to pursue due diligence and obtain some sort of guidelines from them, to which I heard nothing. Obviously I was fully aware that some of those items crossed a "line", but I had no idea where exactly that line existed.

      I am prepared to play by the rules, but no one is sharing what those rules are with the players.

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  6. Is there anything I can do to help you. A petition to CCP, or something else?

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    1. Thank you, but I am still rather hopeful that we can come to some type of understanding. It is obvious that CCP doesn't have the willpower to chase down all violations, since a vast majority are still being sold, so it would be in their best interests to work with me on this. In my opinion at least. So let's wait and see.

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    2. Found out, that your Stay Frosty Shirt is again avaliable. Just bought one and put the Hilmar Jedi Picture over Reyjavik on the back (Try to sue me CCP legal department^^). Man I will be pround to wear this shirt (maybe I'm the only one in Germany). Go on Rixx

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  7. Sorry to hear that Rixx. My dealings with CCP's legal team has always been very good with a quick response. I wonder how much Somer-gate is influencing things at the moment.

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  8. What pisses me off is that CCP creates these shit piles with their favoritism eventually leading to them stepping in their own shit. Then they want to wipe it off on our door mats. Well fuck you, I say. Fuck you. GTFO our door mats

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  9. yeah, this strikes me more as bureaucratic idiocy more than anything else rixx, much akin to the superfluous takedown notices you often see on youtube. CCP legal is riled up at the moment, for good reason, and i suspect some of the attack minions aren't paying as much attention as they should.

    you're right to kick up a fuss and get an answer. If you don't I might have to stop being a happy cheery podcaster and start sperging like xander :P

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  10. I don't know why exactly your shop has been closed but I hope CCP will get in contact to you on this matter very soon. As there is other stuff on the web for sale which is easily found with your favourite web search, it is hard to tell where a line is. A prominent EVE sticker for a car is certainly more eve than a T-Shirt with "Stay Frosty" and logo on it.
    Their legal team might be covered in work with this somer blink stuff but if you started asking them 18 month ago, I don't understand what took them so long.

    Since they partnered with a new merchandise company (Musterbrand) they could even provid it as a service of there one, where players could create shirts and stuff. But if they stop you from selling eve related stuff they should show the effort to stop _ALL_ non-lincenced sellers from selling stuff.

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  11. I wonder if a EULA that considers everything you do their property, art you made is theirs (for free while you pay for it to be theirs?) isn't overstepping and wouldn't hold up in court at all.

    Now that they are also considering art you made supporting a group in the game but that isn't actually used in the game as theirs, I'm thinking they have definitely overstepped.

    But as written, yeah, they have 'exclusive' license to your work, which apparently means you can't use your work.

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    1. By allowing me to play EVE Online, CCP Games hf, grants me exclusive rights to the use of any facilities, funds, or personnel owned, operated, leased, or employed for or by CCP Games hf. CCP Games hf may not take adverse action against my EVE Online accounts as a result of this agreement or any disagreement arising thereof. In the event of disagreement with any term herein, the dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration, and I shall serve solely and exclusively as Arbiter of any such disagreement.
      Executed this 4th day of November, 2013.

      See? I can do that shit too.

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  12. It is my understanding that in-game corp logos can be used if they are not sold for profit. If you create and sell them at cost for your corpmates, that is typically approved.

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  13. Rixx, whilst CCP may or may not have been 'technically right' in closing your shop, the more important question remains….. is there any other avenue where I can order a SF logo t-shirt?

    If you manage to make headway with CCP and come to some resolution that's great, but in the meantime, surely your SF logo, created out of game is your property and therefore, you're allowed to merch it.

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    1. I am allowed to do whatever I want with it and I'm currently fighting with Zazzle to get the Stay Frosty stuff back up. Hopefully it will be soon, hang in there.

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  14. Lol rixx they picked you cuz some hater reported your store, that's why no one else got shut down. Just like forced name changes.

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    1. You might think that being "the greatest on-line champion of Eve that CCP has" that maybe CCP actually pays attention to your blog and noticed that you were trying to make money off of their product.

      Did zazzle send you notification for each product or just one blanked statement, if it was just one statement then maybe CCP just said take our stuff down and zazzle just pulled everything of yours to be safe.

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  15. You went in with a commercial interest, should have gotten written permission first. Your own fault, HTFU and stop whining like a little girl.

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