Malcomson v. Topps: Endgame

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Calbeck
06/23/12 09:03 AM
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THE DECISION
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Scott Malcomson's "Eridani Light Horse History" is a contribution to the Battletech property.

Absent a work-for-hire contract or transfer-of-copyright agreement, Malcomson remains the copyright holder in his contribution, which is now recognized as having been part of Battletech from the date of publication, March 2002.

Although both Malcomson and Topps argued in their filings that Malcomson would be a co-owner in the entire property if he were recognized as a co-author in it, the 9th Circuit disagreed.


Malcomson's confirmation as a Battletech contributor appears to have been based on the following:

1) Statements by two ClassicBattletech.com website administrators (Warner Doles, Jason Knight) that Malcomson's work had been published to the website's "canon universe information" area, as well as a statement by Randall Bills that if something were "canon", that meant it had been "adopted as the official version of the Battletech universe".

2) The site's "Terms and Conditions of Use", which stated that the site was "owned and operated by WizKids LLC and its affiliates" at the time of publication.

3) A lengthy letter from Jason Knight, which included critical admissions of mishandling Malcomson's work, including that the company had not ordered or suggested that Malcomson's work be removed from the site or repudiated from canon.

"That decision was MINE," Knight wrote, alleging that Malcomson's inclusion of material from the 1987 "Mercenary's Handbook" amounted to plagiarism. This was despite the common tendency for re-use of previous Battletech material in other official publications, one such example being the 1999 "ComStar Sourcebook". In that book, Randall Bills wrote a version of the ELH history which also re-used some of the same material Knight was complaining about. Knight provided no explanation for how Malcomson's work would differ from Bills' in terms of plagiarism, except to assert "insider information" for which he provided no details.

Knight stated that he removed Malcomson's work anyway in what he called a "DCMA takedown", a direct assertion that Malcomson was violating the company's copyrights. But the company demonstrated no such belief. To the contrary, Knight admitted, a company representative ordered him to re-accredit Malcomson for his work during a server rebuild following a crash in 2005 ("and this was done"). Malcomson had already been accredited on the site's Credits page in 2002.

He also affirmed that WizKids had at least "minimal oversight" over the website, that the use and operation of the site was conducted with WizKids' permission, and a number of other things that solidly established the company held liability for the site's operations --- to include the publication of Malcomson's work.

Interestingly enough, although Knight called for Topps' legal counsel to bring Malcomson up on criminal charges of "plaugiarism and theft" --- which Topps ignored --- he also stated that Malcomson's work had originally been plagiarized (his term was "copypasta'd") by WizKids to begin with.


PRACTICAL TERMS
Currently, Malcomson's co-ownership of the entire Battletech property has been denied on basis that he did not meet the "three factors" of a previous 9th Circuit case [Aalmuhammed v. Lee].

However, his recognition as a contributor to the property, and his retention of copyrights in those contributions, means he is empowered to create, publish and profit from new Battletech works, so long as they are specifically derivative of his contribution.

As the contribution was an extensive historical outline of one of Battletech's most famous and enduring mercenary units, with a history spanning centuries of the game-universe timeline, he is exploring possible new Battletech products for development on this limited basis. Projects under consideration include a BattleForce-style MMO, new sourcebooks filling gaps in previous Battletech history and events, and possibly a line of novels presenting a "3052 Alternative Timeline" focused on ELH cooperation with ComStar.

No, there will be no "furries". That would be silly. And besides, only the Star-League era Canopians got into hybridized genetics (see original Periphery Sourcebook). It's LosTech at best. Malcomson previously published an article, stating otherwise, expressly to yank the chains of certain people who were giving him grief over drawing a cartoon unicorn as a Battletech character.


THE CASE GOING FORWARD
The US Supreme Court does not hear arguments about errors in law committed by lower courts. It is primarily concerned with resolving conflicts between lower court decisions, preferably related to weighty matters of substance. A mere allegation by Malcomson that the 9th Circuit erred would not be enough to sustain a petition for certiorari, the first step to having the case appealed further.

Fortunately for Malcomson, the 9th Circuit's recent decision arguably conflicts with the 9th's own express definitions in Aalmuhammed v. Lee, the 7th Circuit's extensive statements on submissions and copyrights relative to corporate copyright holders in Gaiman v. McFarlane, and the US Supreme Court's similarly-extensive doctrine regarding the definition of an author in cases such as Feist Communications and Sarony.

As the arguments presented by both Topps and Malcomson for co-ownership in the entire Battletech property revolved around whether or not he was a co-author, and were denied on grounds which actually redefine how to determine who IS an author, his co-ownership claim may ultimately be upheld as being in agreement with Topps' own assertions.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
06/24/12 05:59 AM
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Quote:

No, there will be no "furries". That would be silly. And besides, only the Star-League era Canopians got into hybridized genetics (see original Periphery Sourcebook). It's LosTech at best. Malcomson previously published an article, stating otherwise, expressly to yank the chains of certain people who were giving him grief over drawing a cartoon unicorn as a Battletech character.




Why would that even come up in the first place now or in the past?

First its quite genetically imposable to create a hybrid of humans with any other current living species. The only species that humans might have been able to crate a hybrid with, Neanderthals, has been extinct for 30,000(?) years. And from what I recall scientists think that hybrid would have looked like a human that was just out right butt ugly unless one did a some what of a detailed medical exam identifying it as a human neanderthal hybrid.

Second there are no other sentient species in the BT universe. As far as I know the only canon species that gets close to humans is a race of primates that are close to really smart chimpanzees in IQ.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
Frabby
06/24/12 07:14 AM
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Can we please *not* discuss furries here! It's unneccessary, it's off-topic, and it's bound to derail the thread.
Calbeck
06/24/12 02:01 PM
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Quote:

Why would that even come up in the first place now or in the past?




It seems to be a standard of folks who hate my guts, to bring up the fact that I once wrote an article titled "Battletech Has a Unicorn In It" (o/` Lord have mercy on our souls!).

I wrote it as a reaction to the same folks (who already hated my guts anyways for saying my work was canon), since they were dragging in the fact that I am indeed a furry as another reason more people should hate my guts.

Essentially, I trolled the lot of them by "clarifying" (ala Rowling regarding Dumbledore being gay) that Roy Calbeck was in fact an anthropomorphic unicorn running around in the Battletech Universe. The reality is, I'd dropped that line into my original article as pure rumor-mill material, just as one of those goofball "Battletech Mysteries" you run across from time to time in various fiction. Easily dismissed out of hand by anyone who wanted to.

"Clarifying" that he was actually a unicorn furry was me thumbing my nose at folks who were busy working overtime to vilify my name every time I was mentioned in a Battletech-related thread pretty much anywhere on the Internet.

I suppose that I should have realized: these people were ALREADY white-knighting what they thought was a horrible sin against WizKids (gasp! an author we don't like and insist is a plagiarist, claiming he still has copyright in canon material!). Their response was to take the joke deadly seriously, telling everyone they could that I was claiming stuff like a 2006 online roleplaying session involving the Roy Calbeck character to be canon to Battletech.

Oh, and that FASA (RIP 2000) had somehow traveled through time to specifically declare that RP session to be "apocryphal". Stuff like that.

That's why I mentioned "no furries" would be involved in any new material. Because SOME people actually believe my Secret Goal is to have Hanse Davion retroengineered into an actual fox, or some crap. Go figure.
Karagin
06/24/12 02:29 PM
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I can understand how you feel and while I am personal not against a sane introduction of a non-TERRAN set of life forms, it would have to be done as to not turn the game in to Traveler or SW.
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
Calbeck
06/24/12 03:12 PM
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Quote:

I can understand how you feel and while I am personal not against a sane introduction of a non-TERRAN set of life forms, it would have to be done as to not turn the game in to Traveler or SW.




Honestly, I've no interest there either, for several reasons.

1) "Far Country" demonstrated pretty solidly that the BT community does NOT WANT the universe fiction derailed into dealing with alien societies. The existing human societies are extremely diverse, detailed and interesting --- aliens would only tend to detract from that.

2) Game balance would be shot to hell. Battletech is a finely-tuned machine (at this point, anyway). Aliens, by definition, pretty much have to bring alien battle technology into the game for their existence to have a point --- and that means trying to figure out what could be done radically different which wouldn't also simultaneously break the game.

Really, it's not something worth doing, especially not for its own sake. We don't need Klingons here, we have Kurita. -:)
Karagin
06/24/12 04:20 PM
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I do agree we don't need them, but IF was to be done then it would need to be done right, and if TPTB listened to the players then we would not have the Jihad and all the silliness that went with it or the rush to include the Dark Age stuff nor would we have an author sit at a panel and tell fans they should have picked a better faction etc...so really listening to the fans is something they do only when they want. I read Far Country, it was decent, one shot novels, filling a gap and it was clear from the start, at least to me that it was NOT going any place else other then that one adventure. But then again I am one of the fans that 90% of the TPTB and those who think they are important to the game do not like, which I am sure you are well aware of.

Game balance is shot to hell as it is currently, five core rule books and growing...three legged mechs, mechs over 200 tons, the use of Protomechs that the fans complained about and the test groups damned but still came out...but each person sees things differently for the game and that is what makes it fun.

Now my question is this, do you plan on continuing to write stuff for BT or no?
Karagin

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
06/24/12 05:03 PM
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Would you clarify with out posting page after page of explanation of what it is that you really want out of this lawsuit of yours.

From how I understand things,

You had written some canon fluff for the Eridani Light Horse that was in a source book that was published a long time ago. What you had written has since been changed with updated canon fluff. Since you had written some canon fluff that was published at one time you want compensation for your work.

If that is what is going on I agree that you are do some compensation.

What compensation you are owed would be some dollar amount based one the amount of the fluff you had written that was published in the source book.

As I understand things you are claiming that you are owed some present of the company that owns the rights to Battletech. That I could not disagree with more unless you had a legal contract from the company that owned BT at the time stating such either before or after you handed over the material that you had written.

The amount of compensation that I would think you are owed is not worth the cost of hiring a lawyer to start a lawsuit. Some years ago I looked into a simple lawsuit of wrongful termination. I was told that there was a chance that I might have to pay the lawyer as much as $10,000 before the case was finished. From how I understand things your case is a great deal more complicated than my wrongful termination was. Basically if I was you I would have never bothered like I did with my wrongful termination case. But of course that is just me. Some people want to make sure that big corporations don't walk over the little guy no matter if they see that its not worth the fight in a fanatical way.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
CrayModerator
06/24/12 06:38 PM
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Quote:

The amount of compensation that I would think you are owed is not worth the cost of hiring a lawyer to start a lawsuit.




The going rate for roleplaying game freelance writers is pennies a word, and not many pennies. I've written far, far more for BattleTech than Mr. Malcomson, large chapters in the latest publications and books stretching back to 2002, and there was never a question of quitting my dayjob (even if that dayjob was flipping burgers).
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
06/25/12 08:35 AM
173.130.204.164

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Quote:

The going rate for roleplaying game freelance writers is pennies a word, and not many pennies.




Does what I send in have to make sense? Can I just send in hundreds of thousands of random words and be paid for it? =P
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
Calbeck
06/25/12 03:40 PM
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Quote:

you want compensation for your work.




No. I never sold or transferred my work, despite the fact that it was published as canon material. As such, I own copyrights in Battletech pertinent to my contribution.

This has been vehemently denied by certain persons who have claimed repeatedly to speak on behalf of the companies involved (FASA, WizKids, FanPro, et al), but none of whom have ever actually cited any such authorities by quote or name. Unfortunately, those persons rank very high in the community's fannish hierarchy, to the extent that they DO have communications with such authorities. This placed my status, as small as it is, in question and at risk.

It has been my goal, from the beginning, to be recognized as the Battletech contributor I am and have my accreditation upheld.

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What compensation you are owed would be some dollar amount based one the amount of the fluff you had written that was published in the source book.




That would be true, if I had actually been hired for a job. I was not. Instead, I caught WizKids stealing work I had originally done on-spec for FASA, without accreditation, something supported in court papers by Jason Knight.

A company does not get to steal your work, cut a deal with you for a new version, renege on it years later, and finally insist that it only owes what it would nominally have paid you if they had honestly offered a contract in the first place.

If I were owed monetary compensation at all, it would be somewhere between $300 and $150,000, that being the statutory range for a copyright infringement lawsuit at the time. In addition, WizKids would have been fined for the offense, up to another six-figure sum, all of this depending on how badly the court thought the company should be punished.

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As I understand things you are claiming that you are owed some present of the company that owns the rights to Battletech.




No, I am not. I am claiming that I am a contributing author to the Battletech property, and that since I still own the copyrights in my contribution, that this makes Battletech a joint work of which I am a co-author.

Although even Topps argued in court that "if Malcomson is found by the courts to be a co-author, he must be found to be an equal co-owner" in the entire property, the 9th Circuit disagreed. They nonetheless acknowledged that I have made contributions to "a small portion" of the property, which I agree is reasonable.
Calbeck
06/25/12 03:43 PM
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I've written far, far more for BattleTech than Mr. Malcomson, large chapters in the latest publications and books stretching back to 2002




And if your work had been published as canon without a work-for-hire or transfer-of-copyright contract in place, you would be a contributing co-author the same as I am.

The entire point of "work-for-hire" is that you are selling all rights in your work to the company in exchange for the hire. The company becomes, for purposes of copyright law, the author of your work. Absent such a contract, the law's default position is that the writer is the author is the copyright owner of all original expression in the work, period.

A joint work is created when two or more authors intentionally merge contributions into an interdependent or inseparable entity. Co-authors in a joint work are co-owners.

At a minimum, the Eridani Light Horse History I put together and WizKids published in 2002 contained contributions from both of us. Of fourteen pages, one and a half were excerpts from the 1987 "Mercenary Handbook", then copyright to WizKids, while the rest was my own original expression. Here, WizKids provided the smaller contribution, but they still obtained equal rights in my larger contribution, and I in theirs.

This is why my small contribution qualifies me to be a co-author in a joint work (even if, as the 9th said, the joint work in question doesn't encompass the entire Battletech property), while your much larger contribution does not do the same for you.
Frabby
06/26/12 08:13 AM
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Disclaimer: I do consider myself impartial in this case, and don't have strong feelings for either side. I have a certain professional interest as I work as a lawyer in my home country, and admittedly I have no clue about US civil code or IP legislation or jurisdiction. In that respect, I'm just an interested layman.

This said, can you provide a court case numer for the appeal ruling (or a link)? Who is the judge?

There's one point about the case which I don't understand:

You seem to base your entire line of reasoning on the fact that your work was included in BT canon. From this fact you deduce that, in accepting the contribution, the IP owners joined into a cooperation with you on the IP which in turn means you now co-own the IP (at least insofar as further aspects branch off from your contribution).

From what I gathered, your (solicited) submission was never bought, and in fact never formally accepted. Instead, it somehow (how?) ended up on a fansite. This fansite then became an official site, and that's where canonisation occurred - if it occurred. Because I don't see them deliberately accepting it. I can easily imagine WizKids being unawares of the fact that part of the official material published through the site was, in fact, not sanctioned by FASA; they probably (falsely) assumed that the site contained no fanon at all.
That is to say, there is no such thing as an "accidential" canonisation. It is my understanding that BattleTech canon is what the IP owners say is canon. You're arguing in the reverse here when you're saying you have a share in the IP because you produced canonical content.

Keep in mind that even straight canon has been de-canonised before, in particular the BattleTechnology magazine (with its substantial contributions by people like William H. Keith no less!). Not to mention a load of other apocryphal material like the Blackthorne and Malibu BT comic series, original German publications, or various computer games.

At that point, you would probably have had the right to send them a cease & desist order.
But I don't see how you can force your work into canon, with the real-world legal ramnifications you claim, against the wish of the IP owners.

You allege that WizKids deliberately "stole" your work in bad faith; that, to me, seems to be the root of this whole lawsuit. I can't imagine them doing that.

Another disclaimer: I think I understand how you feel about your work. I'm a BattleCorps subscriber with two published stories so far, and more in the pipeline. I, too, want my work to be canon, and never really cared to produce mere fan fiction.


Edited by Frabby (06/26/12 08:20 AM)
Calbeck
06/26/12 09:53 AM
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Quote:

This said, can you provide a court case numer for the appeal ruling (or a link)? Who is the judge?




10-15540, Judges Tashima, Berzon and Tallman.

Quote:

From what I gathered, your (solicited) submission was never bought, and in fact never formally accepted. Instead, it somehow (how?) ended up on a fansite.




Topps argued that, but the courts did not bite.

The Terms and Conditions of Use for the site, at time of publication, stated "this website is owned and operated by WizKids LLC and its affiliates". Since no specific affiliates were named, all authority for the site according to the site itself devolved to WizKids.

Reinforcing the point was a lengthy letter from the site's second administrator, Jason Knight, who said WizKids exercised at least minimal oversight, the site operated with company permission, and occasionally site personnel took direct orders from company personnel on how to run and do things. Knight made particular mention of obeying a direct order to accredit me for my work. This is all aside from the fact that the site touted itself as "the official Battletech website".

Although few to none of the fans who ran the site were employees of the company, they acted under what's called "agency of law", whereby a corporation authorizes a non-employee to act in its name. When doing so, a company is responsible for all actions of the agent, as though they were acts of the company.

Topps did not bother to obtain more than one witness who actually worked for WizKids (Randall Bills), and they kept their questions almost wholly to matters of WizKids' work-for-hire practices. He did not comment specifically on my work, did not repudiate it, and did not repudiate any actions taken by the site on WizKids' behalf.

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This fansite then became an official site




Actually, the site claimed from its earliest archived mention that it was "owned and operated by WizKids". Further, a statement on the site by the original webmaster (Warner Doles) expressed thanks to Randall Bills for "making me a part of the team". From this earliest moment, the website also claimed to be "official".

The act of canonization was cemented when I caught WizKids using my material without accreditation or permission, and we struck a deal whereby I provided a new version in 2002. The earlier version appeared no later than October 2001, when the site was already claiming all of the above.

Since my earlier version was stolen, I did not claim it was canon except possibly by virtue of allowing it to remain on the site as a placeholder for the new version. However, the 9th Circuit's ruling that I made "contributions" means the earlier version must be included as well, since I only ever contributed two possible articles.

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Because I don't see them deliberately accepting it.




Well, the record is, they did. The fact is, Topps didn't obtain any witnesses or testimony to even discuss the issue of who authorized what when. And I, being on the outside, never knew who exactly did it either. I just submitted my work and BAM, it was on the site within a couple of days, no comment and no questions. I'd actually asked for editorial input and review so I could improve it first, and I didn't get that much response.

They just went and published it, period, and since we don't know who MIGHT have done it, we can only go by the fact that whoever DID was acting as an authorized agent or employee of WizKids.

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That is to say, there is no such thing as an "accidential" canonisation.




One could call it that only if inclined to be charitable.

The fact is, I caught them in a clear act of copyright infringement and had every right to seek whatever redress the court would grant. Personally, I think they panicked. When I offered to smooth everything over just by creating a new version and having them publish it in the same fashion --- as canon and with accreditation --- they probably breathed a sigh of relief. That would explain the quick posting and lack of subsequent communication.

I was being nice, they were taking advantage of that, and neither party really thought about what it meant in legal terms.

Then Jason Knight took my work down, accused me of plagiarism, began slandering my name and work, and gave me a reason to find out what the legal terms were. I'd've stayed happily ignorant of my status and just pleased to say I made some small contribution to something I really like.

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It is my understanding that BattleTech canon is what the IP owners say is canon.




Aside from all of the above, I'll note that both Warner Doles and Jason Knight agreed my work was published to the section of the site reserved for "canon universe information". Randall Bills, in his testimony, clarified that "for something to be canon means it has been adopted as the official version of the Battletech universe".

The company, WizKids, was the IP owner, and it was their decision to publish my work to the canon universe information area of the site. Everything else is second-guessing, on your part and mine, because Topps did not bring any other information forward from WizKids.

Quote:

Keep in mind that even straight canon has been de-canonised before, in particular the BattleTechnology magazine (with its substantial contributions by people like William H. Keith no less!).




True, but the point of "canonicity" was to determine that WizKids intentionally allowed my contribution to merge with theirs. Once that happens, it can't be undone, because copyright is not defined by what either party considers "canon".

Now, getting away from the legalese for a moment, let's consider what that means in terms of actual current canon.

Since my work was, by Knight's own admission, improperly removed from the website without company direction, neither WizKids nor FanPro repudiated my work as being canon. Nor did they at any point after. My work remains as canon as, say, the 1987 House Sourcebooks.

What that means is most of what I've written has since been "overwritten" by newer material. None of the newer stuff has used any of mine, but it doesn't have to --- anything not contradicted, remains canon, per standard BT policies.

So, for example, Major Kyle Sessions is still the best Gunslinger the ELH ever fielded. That's never been contradicted by anything. It could be, tomorrow, but it isn't today. The Battle of Orkney? Totally contradicted by later material clarifying that the 71st Light Horse Regiment was eradicated (multiple times) on other planets.

And so on. I could, right now, write a novel about Major Kyle Sessions and his exploits during the Ronin Wars, and it would be entirely derived from my own copyrighted, yet company-canonized, material.

It's interesting to consider whether or not I'd have to fork over half the profits from such a novel to the rump-company "Former Games", which used to be WizKids until their name, brand and almost everything else they possessed were sold to other companies by Topps. Would I be exempted from having to pay at all, since my co-ownership is with a shell company with zero employees and no one there could take possession of the check? Would Topps get the money instead? I figure probably the latter.

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Not to mention a load of other apocryphal material like the Blackthorne and Malibu BT comic series, original German publications, or various computer games.




While this material is not canon, it could be made canon, if the IP owner desired. But that's only because it's part of the property regardless of whether it's canon or not, same as how much of the old House Sourcebook material is no longer canon but is still owned as part of the property.

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But I don't see how you can force your work into canon




Can't. Didn't. It was legitimately adopted. We can theorize all day, but all the actual facts on the table show that this was what WizKids wanted at the time. Why? You'd have to ask the people involved. Topps didn't, and neither could I because I was refused their contact information for purposes of obtaining depositions. I wasn't even allowed to talk to Mr. Bills, though he stood as witness for Topps.

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You allege that WizKids deliberately "stole" your work in bad faith; that, to me, seems to be the root of this whole lawsuit. I can't imagine them doing that.




It sure shocked the hell out of me at the time. There'd already been bad blood over it between me and FASA, with Morton Weisman (then President) admitting to me "we certainly made commitments to you... I'm going to have Russ write you with an offer to do some work for us".

Russ didn't respond. Randall did. With a request to submit, on-spec, a proposal for part of the Periphery Sourcebook under consideration at the time. I said I'd do it under contract only, because on-spec is NOT an offer of work. It's an offer to submit something for consideration for acceptance as work. FASA refused, I called bullshit, and then I got a notice of lawsuit in the mail saying we didn't have a contractual obligation --- which I never said we did in the first place; that's what I was complaining about.

Morton's transcribed call went into the record, with the President of FASA admitting I'd been done wrong over this very work --- and then a year later, it shows up on WizKids' new BT website. I was FURIOUS.

According to Jason Knight, my work had been "copypasta'd" by someone at the CBT site. He didn't know who; it's just what he'd heard and assumed on his own. The kicker is that Jason thought WizKids was perfectly innocent in doing so, and tried to cobble up a theory by which it could have been all a simple misunderstanding.

In the end, that's how I chose to treat it. Me and WizKids reached an amenable understanding, and settled this without legal recriminations or lawyers shouting at one another.

And then Mr. Knight had to go white-knighting after what he erroneously thought (and still claims to this day) was plagiarism on MY part.

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Another disclaimer: I think I understand how you feel about your work. I'm a BattleCorps subscriber with two published stories so far, and more in the pipeline. I, too, want my work to be canon, and never really cared to produce mere fan fiction.




Good on ya. Where can I find a link to your work? You'll understand that I've read very little BT fiction while all this has been going on --- it hurt too much.
Frabby
06/26/12 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the explanations.
I was under the impression that WizKids "took over" an exiting fansite by making it official, and that fansite had already been publishing your writeup. What you wrote above reads as though the site was official right from the start, and uploaded your work when it was already an official WizKids website?

So the onus of proving that putting up your work was an accident and not a deliberate inclusion of said work into BT canon rests with Topps, or whoever the website cites as their principal (through Jason Knight's testimony I gather)?

Btw my published stories (so far) are "Feather vs. Mountain" and "Rise and Shine". I've produced Sarna BTW writeups for both, but can't post URL links here.
His_Most_Royal_Highass_Donkey
06/26/12 12:12 PM
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Quote:

If I were owed monetary compensation at all, it would be somewhere between $300 and $150,000, that being the statutory range for a copyright infringement lawsuit at the time.




So basically you might get what ever your out for legal costs.

Quote:

In addition, WizKids would have been fined for the offense, up to another six-figure sum, all of this depending on how badly the court thought the company should be punished.




What would they be fined for? This is a civil case not a criminal case. Unless someone is being charged with the crime of theft I don't see any justification of anyone being fined anything.

From what you have said no one really knows what really happened. There are way to many people involved muddying up the water to really understand what all happened. I can see this going ageist you very easily. At best I can see you being awarded legal fees unless the defendants just out right piss off the judge(s).
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
McCavity
10/23/12 07:40 AM
66.177.237.9

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I take it, then, that the Endgame is over?

Quote:

SCOTT MALCOMSON
v.
TOPPS, INC.

No. 12-5133.
Supreme Court of the United States.

October 1, 2012.
The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.


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