Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The "Barracks lawyer" and chapterhouse v. Games workshop.

        So, natfka had a recent post where a person claiming to be a  copyright attorney commented on recent decisions in the case between chapterhouse and Games workshop. The problem here is that they sound like a "barracks lawyer," and not an attorney. For those not in the know, a barracks lawyer is someone who learns some laws or regulations, and starts giving questionable advice/opinions.

       I say this, because while parts of what was written seem legit, the end sounds more like a personal opinion, and not a professional one. While I am not a lawyer, my understanding of the case is that it rests on the assertion that Chapterhouse was not acting in accordance with "fair use,"  especially in the case of things like their tervigon kit, which they were claiming was not a violation of copyright, since they were making an after market kit. The problem I see, and likely one the court saw, was that there was no tervigon kit in existence for the alleged after market kit to modify.

    Again, I am not a lawyer, but when a company uses another company’s copyrighted names to advertise product, and then is aggressive with those who question it, I tend to believe they were up to no good. To be honest, I despise Chapterhouse. I think their product is sub standard, and their representative on heresy online was less than polite to others in a thread discussing the case. When someone said something regarding the poor quality of their products, and the poor quality of the pictures advertising their product, their representative, who claimed to be the owner, stated that we needed to see the product in person. between the rudeness and the inability to understand that people are not willing to purchase a product in order to merely decide if they like it, I believe that they are wrong for gaming.

     I wouldn't have such a strong negative feeling for chapterhouse if  either all companies making after market parts for wargaming used the same model, or if chapterhouse was not the only one being so aggressive about misusing the ip of games workshop. But the fact is, there are many companies that produce these parts and other products for use with wargaming, who practice models that either explicitly require purchase of other things, or avoid using the ip of other companies.
By refusing to acknowledge that they were putting out sub par product, being rude to potential customers, and blatantly advertising their product as if it were gw product, Chapterhouse demonstrates an unwillingness to follow a business model that helps to keep the hobby healthy.

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