2018-12-18

Game Over for Stargate playing cards

I am really sorry to have to admit defeat.

After a lot of work on this, and a lot of obstacles, I believe it is impossible to get a licence from MGM. Whilst their contract has a number of issues, by far the most problematic is that in order to purchase a licence from them, they require me to assign all copyright in my product to them. No, they don't pay me for that! If this seems backwards to you, you are not alone.

I made it clear from the start that the designs included some creative commons work - so they knew it would never work all along. Even if that could be solved by a lot of re-design, it would mean rights in my playing cards designs assigned to them - which means all the other playing cards I have made being theirs - so I'd need to buy a licence to use those (even though I designed them!). This is not, in my view, how copyright is meant to work!

Anyway, this is the video I made earlier. I have not had any further reply from the licensing people, which I can only take as confirmation of my understanding. A bit rude to just ignore me, but seems to be typical of all of the interactions I have had on this. Shame.

I went to Cal Mah, and sadly there was not much merchandise using MGM copyright material (apart from "Stargate Command" stuff which I believe is MGM) - now I know why.

Sorry for getting anyone's hopes up. I'll be removing the Alteran Bridge Club pages, etc.

5 comments:

  1. Well this is illustrative of the overreach of copyright in damaging creativity. And the over long tenure of these copyrights. At some point the public has more interest in these things than the copyright holder. It become part of our culture and should not be owned.

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  2. Does the contract say that the wholesale price has to be lower than the retail price? Surely that's a loophole right there...

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  3. Probably one of those situations where it would have been easier to pay on receipt of invoice, rather than trying to get a license upfront

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  4. Assuming you assigned the rights to MGM would that mean they would be able to send you a Cease and Desist preventing you from selling them, allowing them to pocket the £5k and then sell them themselves?

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    1. We’d have a region specific 2 year licence. They could sell elsewhere and after the 2 years. They could also revoke the license if we are not selling enough. In any case they end up with the rights and can then do what they like. So basically, I think, yes!

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