Although there's already a news article on this, I think it's worth its own forum thread.
GameInformer recently interviewed Ryan Morrison of the Morrison / Lee law firm. Morrison is also the founder of the Fair Use Protection Account, devoted to providing help to victims of copyright trolls and unfair takedowns. He had the following to say on the matter;
It actually infuriates me to see people spreading such terrible misinformation throughout various websites, especially journalists, because it encourages other developers to do the same. It quite literally ruins lives. It doesn't take more than a five second Google search to see this game has nothing to do with parody law. And if you further examine fair use, you will see it is a defense, not a right. Not charging for your product is a factor in fair use, but not the end all be all. You can't just remake a game start to finish, utilizing every asset of the original, and pretend it's okay because it's free. After so many games have been taken down over similar [circumstances], and after so many developers' lives have been ruined from this, it's just the definition of insanity at this point.
Morrison also points out that the "agreement" that Frontwire supposedly has with Valve is not actually anywhere near the kind of endorsement that Frontwire represents it as. This is something Tony Romanelli of Frontwire himself has clarified a bit on, defending his statements by saying he believes Valve would've denied the game, had they thought there would be legal problems.
Finally, Morrison closes off by suggesting that Frontwire pull the game ASAP:
“I love fair use, and I love free speech,” Morrison says. “This game is neither. Some free advice for the developer, take this game down yesterday.”
I think it's interesting. We should certainly allow fan creations of popular works, no doubt about it. As much as we like to poke fun at fan fiction, it's nevertheless an important aspect of a lot of fandoms. But this doesn't qualify as either fan art nor fan fiction. It's a fully fledged game.
Does that mean they're on the wrong side? I think it's a good idea. In fact, it's fantastic. But I'm not gonna get a pitchfork if Disney decides to issue a DMCA claim against them.
Follow A Paranoid
25th November 2006
It confounds me when everyone points at the Mouse by default when it comes to Star Wars nowadays. Just ignoring the other douche bags (Some would argue bigger)whom they are partnered with when it comes to the digital part of their property.
It's EA that stands to lose from this thing and not the Mouse, the Mouse still gets paid. (That's the beauty of licensing)
And they (Disney) need some good PR right about now considering their latest stand alone SW movie (Rogue One) seem to be running into some major hiccups.
If The Mouse was so worried about image and all that jazz, then all the chan sites would've been taken down a long time ago. (Rule 34 and it's obsession with Disney princesses)
I don't believe EA is in a position where they can issue DMCA notices, though. They only have the license to contract and develop games; they don't have the power to issue legal notices on behalf of the copyright holder?
As for Rogue One, I don't think it's bad PR they're getting. Quite the contrary. The fact they're not just letting anything pass is a sign that they know what they want. The Force Awakens was an incredible experience, and has set the bar very high for this new series of movies. Even if Rogue One is a prequel, it's still swimming in the wake of Abram's piece of art.
Follow A Paranoid
25th November 2006
Look. DIsney doesn't give a donkey's ass if this "Galaxy in Turmoil" game gets released or not. They're not it's direct competitor. EA is and if Disney unleashes a dmca it would be because EA came running and complaining to them about little timmy getting all attention in the playground and not them.
But I doubt it would even come to that since EA probably paid them in the millions for the exclusivity of the SW License, I suspect it also comes with the same power such as Disney's right to take down any SW fan made film. Sames goes for EA when it comes to the digital version of the SW products.
EA maybe a lot of things but dumb they are not.