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The Split - Review

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× A place for boardgame traitors.

When the libertarians discovered copyright law

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04 Mar 2022 21:53 #331354 by Jackwraith
boardgamegeek.com/thread/2825546/harasse...sbro-cautionary-tale

C&P:
"This is not meant to start start a layman discussion about what does or does not constitute a trademark infringment, it is only a testimony (learnt the hard way) about how google acts, or more fittingly fails to act, in these matters.

Just over a year ago my niece was about to get the Cluedo board game for Christmas. I got intrigued having played it as a kid and went looking for android versions, only to find there weren't any viable alternatives. There was the official overpriced and bloated edition and only one free app on google play. Nothing wrong per se with the free app but it had too many ads in my opinion and was too far removed from the board game experience I anticipated. It also lacked the single most important thing for a seasoned player, which is a versatile notepad. Knowing I could do a decent adaptation I got to work and six months later I published the first version an google play.

Fast forward to the end of 2021 it had a small but devoted following, just as I had expected. Some amazing reviews and fan testimonials, about 100-200 daily users, and just shy of 10K downloads which I suppose is as good as you can expect for an indy niche product like this.

Then in the last days of December comes a trademark infringement notice filed ny Hasbros' legal department. I'm at a complete loss since I've read up on the legal stuff, become privy to what's OK and what is not, made sure there where no copyrighted material etc. An appeal to Google prompted a cryptic (presumably automatic) response about how I should reach out to Hasbro to resolve this issue, which is frankly like asking the assaulted to try and reason with the assailant. An email to the legal department solicited no respons until it was already too late and in January Google suspended my app out of the blue.

For those of you who don't know, a suspension is a very big deal on google play. You lose all connection to your user base and stats. Your app is no longer available, cannot be updated and all ads stop working. What's worse, it jeapordizes all future aspirations I have with other apps or games since my account might be blacklisted.

Having analyzed all correspondence carefully I've come to the conclusion that my app got noticed and removed for using the world "clue" in it's title, but I frankly don't know for sure since no definite motivation was ever given.

The same app is now available under a new name but is dead in the water because nobody looking for Clue or Cluedo will ever find it (which was the intended result of the infringment notice all along). I'm not surprised at Hasbro. Given their reputation they behaved just as I thought they would, what shocked me is how google basically looked the other way and refused to take a stand.

So indy developers beware, google will not lift a finger to help you if the big guns attack."

I did the :blink: :stare in wonder: thing multiple times during my initial read of this. And you can feel the ideology dripping off of it from the very beginning. "This is not meant to start start a layman discussion about what does or does not constitute a trademark infringment," He doesn't want to have that discussion because he knows he'd end up on the wrong side of it, but also because he just BELIEVES that his rights were violated because someone actually applied the law against him, who should be subject to no laws because his philosophy says otherwise ("As a libertarian, I believe we should have no laws until something happens that I don't like!")

There's a great suggestion further down in the thread of people unanimously agreeing that he's out of his tree and got precisely what he deserved, where someone makes a comparison to DC Follies and how they always used the Streisand Effect whenever anyone they ridiculed threatened to sue. What he could have done is made an app of the game but called it something different and in the description emphasized how this is not Clue or Cluedo so that people looking for those words would still find his app.
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04 Mar 2022 22:06 #331356 by dysjunct
The only way to make this more libertarian is if he’d offered an NFT of his Clue rip-off.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rliyen, Jackwraith, drewcula, sornars, Erik Twice, n815e

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04 Mar 2022 22:21 - 04 Mar 2022 22:23 #331357 by Sagrilarus
I’d sideload that.

I wonder how scrubbed the app was.
Last edit: 04 Mar 2022 22:23 by Sagrilarus.

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05 Mar 2022 07:01 #331372 by Msample
99% of the time Hasbro is discussed on BGG, it’s with scorn, like Asmodee. Yet this moron managed to get BGG users siding with Hasbro. Well done !
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05 Mar 2022 09:03 #331375 by Legomancer
This is fantastic.

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05 Mar 2022 09:55 #331382 by Shellhead
I don't have anything nice to say about libertarians. I wish that every country could deport them to one desert island where they could resort to cannibalism.
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05 Mar 2022 17:41 #331393 by gversace
I'm confused - what does this have to do with libertarians? I don't see any references in the post to libertarianism, or even how it would be relevant.
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