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  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Violation of Licensee's Rights for Replication and Redistribution

    I'm working with a small indie team of game developers, and we're making a game that uses real world weapons and we got an email saying that we're violating an airsoft's company right for distributing replications, specifically for a model of the Scorpion SMG by CZUB.

    The game is still in production, but on the web pages that we update we have images of them, and Action Sports Games A/S is saying that they're going to file lawsuits if we don't immediately cease our exploitation until we get permission to do so. The email said that they own rights to redistribute replicas, and apparently that also goes into images of their weapons.

    Here is the email:

    I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am the Director of US Operations & Global Licensing of ActionSportGames A/S, (ASG). Our company is the exclusive worldwide Licensees and rightful owner of the registered trademark of Concern Izhmash Dragunov SVD, SVDS, CZ-Scorpion Vz. 61, Franchi SPAS-12, and Accuracy-L96 plus many others with regard to trademarks, trade names, logo, product designs, use of photos, and video games with Licensors firearms, components and accessories. For your reference, we have attached a couple different copies of the Licensing Registration Certificate to this letter and also a copy of our Worldwide Exclusive Licensing Handout.



    It has come to our attention that Iron Wolf Studios (Northern Ireland-video) has or has the intentions of use various licensed firearms like those listed above in a video game titled “Northern Ireland.” See following web links

    http://www.moddb.com/games/northern-ireland-pathfinder .



    Which include some of the following Licensed Firearms below?

    http://www.moddb.com/games/northern-...v-svd#imagebox

    http://www.moddb.com/games/northern-...ision#imagebox

    http://www.moddb.com/games/northern-...s-121#imagebox

    http://www.moddb.com/games/northern-...ures1#imagebox



    Additionally we consider Iron Wolf Studios is also exploiting these license articles on Mod DB website without legal or proper authorization from Licensor and/or ActionSportGames A/S. The firearms displayed on the Mod DB website via “Northern Ireland” video game are more than deceptively close, but are officially unauthorized photograph with licensors trademarks, trade name, trade design and logos of ASG’s exclusive license of the IP registration.



    We assume that you may not have been unaware of ASG exclusive worldwide rights to use these various trademark, trade dress/designs and logo nor are you aware of the connection between Licensors and USA government organizations. The Licensed trademark and trade deigns has become well known: thus it is an asset of substantial value tour Licensors and ASG. Furthermore, the use of the these firearms and accessories, trademarks, and/or photographs in your “Northern Ireland” interactive video without the approval from ASG to us such trademarks, trade name, design, and logo constitutes trademark infringement and are a violation of trademark laws.



    As such, ActionSportGames therefore demands that Iron Wolf Studios “Northern Ireland” immediately cease from exploiting and these and any possible other firearms in included in Iron Wolf Studios video game know as “Northern Ireland.” without proper approval from ASG which we are open to discussing. Any and all photos and references to ASG Licensors Company, firearm, and affiliate companies involved with this video shall immediately cease from being named or displayed on Mod DB and any other website and/or in printed materials. This also applies to any and all other properties of ASG whereby ASG holds trademarks, trade names, designs and logos currently and soon to be announced which are exclusive properties of ActionSportGames A/S and/or its Licensors identified in attached Exclusive Worldwide Licenses handout.



    We hope Iron Wolf Studios will attempt to contact us in an effort to clear up the implied or actual use of the these photos and firearms in the video labeled “Northern Ireland” as soon as possible and avoid any further imposition or legal steps related to this infringement matter. If, Iron Wolf Studios is interested in taking proper steps to secure authorization to utilize such trademarks, trade name, designs and use of the any other firearms for Northern Ireland videos ASG is more than open to this discussion.



    Its ASG’s hope Iron Wolf Studios will be willing to discuss a resolution to this matter as soon as possible. I would request you make contact me as soon as possible to discuss the status of your use of these licensed firearms in the video and photos on the website. Note my contact information is below. Thanks you and I look forward to speaking with you very soon.
    So, anyway, I would assume that any lawsuits would come from actual manufacturers of the weapons, like Armalite or CZUB, and not from some airsoft company who has rights to replicate them. Anyway, not really sure what I need (trying to get hold of the manufacturers right now to ask about it, since I know of a lot of other games that didn't try to get permission to use weapons, just changed the names a little bit because of trademarks), but has anyone ever heard of something like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Got a Notice That We're in Violation of Asg Rights for Replication and Redistribu

    Happens every day.

    You can't use someone else's product without their permission. Further, if someone has already PAID to use that product in a certain way, you can't use that product in the same way without paying THEM.

    This isn't hard.

    I am sure you have already come up with a fantastic way to keep people from stealing your game... because YOU own the work that went into it.

    The other people feel the exact same way.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Got a Notice That We're in Violation of Asg Rights for Replication and Redistribu

    The issue that we have now is that we have images of weapons up. We're not being contacted by any company that makes the actual weapons, it's a company that makes replicas of the weapons, for having images of them.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Got a Notice That We're in Violation of Asg Rights for Replication and Redistribu

    Quote Quoting Mastevens
    View Post
    The issue that we have now is that we have images of weapons up. We're not being contacted by any company that makes the actual weapons, it's a company that makes replicas of the weapons, for having images of them.
    Okay... maybe if I say it a different way.

    If you aren't going to pay for the use of the images in your game, you will be sued into the ground for every copy you sell.

    You have been warned. You have been notified. To continue would be financial suicide.

    Replace the images or pay the person that owns the rights to them.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Nov 2008
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    13

    Default Re: Got a Notice That We're in Violation of Asg Rights for Replication and Redistribu

    They aren't stolen images is what I'm saying. WE made them, and we own rights to them, not ASG or CZUB or any other company, but ASG is claiming that by distributing, not something they made but something they have rights to replicate, screenshots of the game we're in violation. ASG doesn't own anything we're using, we've never even heard of them until now, let alone find some image they have and used them.

    To put it in a different perspective, say we went out and took a picture of a gun someone had and put it on the Internet and then someone sent us a message saying that we're violating their contract to be able to solely distribute any form of replication of that gun, which is essentially what we did only instead of a physical gun it was a 3D model that we made. No where was ASG involved in any way until we got emailed.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Violation of Licensee's Rights for Replication and Redistribution

    Fine.

    Do what you want.

    I am apparently not giving you the answer you want.... so go ahead.

    I would strongly recommend a 6 figure legal defense fund.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Key West, FL
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Violation of Licensee's Rights for Replication and Redistribution

    Apparently they have the rights to the designs and also the gun names are registered trademarks.

    You need to license the weapons to use in your game, or better yet, create your own designs and names for weapons that do not run afoul of any gun maker's trademarks. That may be hard to do.

    This really is a shakedown, but there really is nothing you can do other than not use anything that implicates their designs or trademarks.

    Otherwise, you and your company will be spending more time in court than you will be producing and selling your game.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    1

    Default Re: Violation of Licensee's Rights for Replication and Redistribution

    And, do not forget to check your contents for probable copywrite violation; because you can not get good ranking for your page on different search engines, if it contains any sort of plagiarism. You can check them with AAfter Search. You need to paste your document in the search box as follows *** and click the web search button. The search engine gives the result in the form of percentage of similarity between the original document and re-written document so that one comes to know about possible copyright violation, if any.

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