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The Courts Games Your Rights Online

'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty 251

Posted by timothy
from the trying-to-take-ransom-for-ransom dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "King, the gaming developer behind the monster hit Candy Crush Saga, has attracted a fair amount of criticism over the past few weeks over its attempt to trademark the word 'candy,' which isn't exactly an uncommon term. The company followed up that trademarking attempt by firing off takedown notices at other developers who use 'candy' in the titles of their apps. But things only got emotional in the past few days, when indie developer Albert Ransom published an open letter on his Website that excoriates King for what basically amounts to bullying. Ransom claims that he published CandySwipe in 2010, a full two years before Candy Crush Saga hit the market, and that the two games bear a number of similarities; after opposing King's attempts to register a trademark, Ransom found that his rival had taken things to a whole new level by purchasing the rights to a game called Candy Crusher and using that as leverage to cancel the CandySwipe trademark. Ransom claims he spent three years working on his game, and that King is basically robbing his livelihood. King was not effusive in its response. 'I would direct you to our stance on intellectual property,' a spokesperson for the company wrote in an email to Slashdot, which included a link to a letter posted online by King CEO Riccardo Zacconi. 'At this time, we do not have any comment to add beyond what is outlined in this letter.' Zacconi's various defenses in the letter seem a moot point in the context of CandySwipe, considering how Ransom has already abandoned the prospect of fighting to protect his intellectual property. But the two developers' letters help illustrate how downright nasty the casual-gaming industry has become over the past several quarters, as profits skyrocket and people attempt to capitalize on others' success."
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'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty

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  • Re:Rate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by portwojc (201398) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:01PM (#46240033) Homepage

    I removed it from my mobile device just now. I too feel better.

  • Re:No Such Thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:15PM (#46240133)

    I tell my friends that if this country had a straight up popular vote, we would never, ever again elect a Republican.

    Except for:
    George W Bush
    William McKinley
    Ulysses Grant
    George H.W. Bush
    William Taft
    Ronald Reagan
    Andrew Johnson
    Dwight Eisenhower
    Herbert Hoover
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Richard Nixon
    Calvin Coolidge
    Warren Harding

    But hey, Abraham Lincoln lost the popular vote. So your theory might hold true... maybe.

  • by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:19PM (#46240165)

    No, it's just an indication that the biggest and most ruthless pricks are the most likely to get, and stay, rich.

  • Re:Tango DropBox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solandri (704621) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:39PM (#46240313)
    Same thing happened to Samsung. Here's a digital picture frame [engadget.com] they made in 2005 and sold in 2006. Long before Apple even came out with the iPhone much less the iPad. (Yes the back doesn't look like a tablet - that's beside the point since it wasn't a tablet.) After you've seen the picture frame you realize Samsung didn't copy the iPad's appearance when they made the Galaxy Tab 10.1 [arstechnica.com]. They just took their old digital picture frame design (black face, silver/white trim, and yes rounded corners) and repurposed it as a tablet. Even their name/logo is in the same location.

    But because almost nobody saw/bought their digital picture frame, they just assume the iPad was first and anything that looked like it must be a copy. I'm of the opinion that with minimalist designs like this, pretty much everyone will come up with the same design. But if you insist there was copying, it's far more likely that it was Apple who lifted Samsung's digital picture frame design when they were settling on the iPad's appearance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:57PM (#46240413)

    Betas are told that everything happens by accident, and criminals are only really found amongst the working classes. The reality is very different.

    When casual gaming was discovered to be the new growth area for gaming, very serious criminals took interest in the market, and became their MOBSTER-IDENTICAL methods to gain control of the action.

    Their experts noted that most casual games (at the time) were 'published' (to use the word very lightly) by individuals and tiny companies with no real clout. So, the experts advised the criminal thugs to simply STEAL the current games considered to have the best prospects. Steal the design. Steal the assets. Hell, even steal the code if possible.

    The experts advising the criminal thugs argued thus. Focus on getting as rich as possible, as quickly as possible, by turning the 'amateur hour' of casual gaming into something as big as organised gambling or AAA console game publishing. "Use your lawyers to threaten the people you steal from, and then, if needed, to delay court action by as many years as possible."

    "In the meantime, use your gigantic profits to buy off most of the people you steal from. After all, they were making pennies from their work, whereas you, using their stolen games, will be making so much money, a tiny fraction of your income will seem like an astonishing windfall to the people you may have to eventually pay-off. "

    Now the criminal thugs have long since established themselves, and have the income to place politicians, computer companies and law enforcement into their pockets. America was built on such corporate criminality. America LOVES profit, not whining by little guys who never really made much money, but whose ideas and work had so much potential when illegally transferred to ruthless crooks.

    The legal system, especially the civil side, is designed to reward successful criminality, so long as such criminality spreads the wealth to the 'RIGHT' people. Gaining general possession of the word 'Candy' was a simple consequence of money well spent. No legality, no justice, no morality- just money placed into the pockets of the 'right' people.

    But the thugs at the top of casual gaming publishing are pikers compared to the people that run Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple etc. Look what Microsoft intended to do with the Xbox One, before a massive backlash forced Microsoft to reverse every one of its obscene plans. Look at how Intel is PAYING companies to use its new Baytrail CPU, and PAYING legions of vile shills working for reputation management agencies to flood forums like this with the message that Intel's criminality is 'legal' and 'reasonable' (and this in the face of knowledge about how many times Intel has been successfully prosecuted in court).

    Only petty criminals get punished. The big boys are always an essential part of the 'elite' that rule over you. Go read some history, if you are foolish enough not to believe this.

  • Re:No Such Thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday February 13, 2014 @04:28PM (#46240619) Homepage Journal

    " neither intellectual, nor property, nor rights. "
    don't be daft.

    Writing software isn't intellectual? writing a book? making a movie?

    Property is something that belongs to someone. IN this case the legal right to distribute works.

    Conseptually, It's good and needed. Implementation is a little out of whack, but that's a different issue.

    "Audio, Video, and/or Textual information can be represented as a number. To say someone somehow "magically" "owns" ones a particular sequence of bits is asinine.

    That reasoning is..well.. stupid.

    You can be represented as a number, does that mean you have no rights?

    Oh, and it's not the number, it's the actual work.

  • Re:Tango DropBox (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pipedwho (1174327) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @05:16PM (#46241029)

    I know the Slashdot meme of Apple suing over 'rounded corners' is prevalent. However, the actual design patent Apple were suing over contained numerous clauses (including operational UI elements as rendered by software) that the courts evaluate for infringement as a whole. It had nothing to do with Apple claiming violation of a singular clause of their design patent.

    The only way that the Samsung/Apple example resembles the summary is that it involves lawyers and 'IP'.

    What the summary describes is a lowest of low attempt that goes well beyond any real legal entitlement, by bullying an opponent in a way that requires significant financial backing to defend. And since the financial disparity between the parties is so large, mounting a legal defence is very difficult. If this were two equal players, the CandyCrush lawyers would likely be slapped out of court.

    If you want to bring up an Apple comparison, it would be far better to find one about i* trademark claims.

  • Re:No Such Thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Valdrax (32670) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @07:27PM (#46241905)

    George W Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, and many of the people on your list bear almost NO resemblance to a modern Republican in terms of political views (e.g. Roosevelt, Eisenhower).

    Still, the GP's argument is almost as bad for much the same reason, because if the current Republicans kept getting drubbed in the polls, they'd very quickly become a different party. The parties change their mix of positions about once every 2-3 generations or so -- sometimes much faster. Heck, just look at how different Republicans were today and in the 1990s, the 1970s, the 1950s, and the 1930s.

  • Re:Tango DropBox (Score:4, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @09:02PM (#46242509)

    A picture frame is a picture frame. A phone is a phone.

    so you are one of those people that think that if you append "on a phone" to any patent it becomes unique.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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