LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

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LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Ben2 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:37 pm

Due to the nature of the Paramount's licensing and to avoid anyone getting in any trouble, it is best to carefully restrict what gets discussed on the Mongoose boards.

See Jeans post below.
Last edited by Ben2 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby Jean » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:44 am

Folks, I cannot advise you to go anywhere to discuss anything that breaks the license. I can tell you that if we become aware of a place that breaks Paramount's IP or our license, we are obliged to act. Arranging to break the license here is not a wise act, in my opinion, as I am known to frequent the boards and do read the topics that involve ACTASF (not for violations, but just in case I know something that could help answer a question).

Obviously I do not read PMs.

I am also quite busy getting my act together to start editing the existing files for Traveller: PD and don't have time to explore bunches of boards looking for topics. If someone contacts me or SVC and tells us that folks are breaking our license over on BGG in a topic called "ACTASF for TNG" and "Borg for ACTASF," then we would be required to act upon that information.

In general, on any forum, topics that are arranging to do things that are on the shady side tend to get sticky. :(

With respect,
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby Jean » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:51 pm

We do use Star Fleet, not Starfleet. That is very important in published articles, not so much on the boards.

The biggest thing is not to use stuff outside the license. No statting up ships from other series or movies. No statting up species or empires that we don't already use and that are outside the license. No Borgs or Cardassians, for example, either with ships or as species. That includes what SVC calls "wink-nudge" statting up of the Pork alien empire that uses cubical ships. We are not allowed to use those empires and we cannot allow fans to create them for us.

We have no rights to the characters in the original series so no Captain Kirk et al.

No fan fiction. :( You can tell about your gaming experience, but you cannot make up a fictional story. That's why you always see a scenario that accompanies one of our stories.

If you link to sites that do Bad Things to either our IP or Paramount's regarding ST, then we must take official notice. We don't police the webs, but when something is brought to our attention, we must act.

Now, that is regarding official boards. What you do around your gaming table is your business and neither Steve Cole nor I will beam in and snatch away your ACTASF game and ships if you order Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise to fire upon the Gorns at the start of the (non-historical) Gorn-Federation war. That's your business as it is your business if you own a copy of B5 and want to have a go to see if the Federation can beat up the Minbari.

I won't swear the list is all-inclusive but these are the biggies, for us. I don't think I can make a sticky link. :(
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby Poi » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:44 pm

Jean wrote:We do use Star Fleet, not Starfleet. That is very important in published articles, not so much on the boards.

The biggest thing is not to use stuff outside the license. No statting up ships from other series or movies. No statting up species or empires that we don't already use and that are outside the license. No Borgs or Cardassians, for example, either with ships or as species. That includes what SVC calls "wink-nudge" statting up of the Pork alien empire that uses cubical ships. We are not allowed to use those empires and we cannot allow fans to create them for us.

We have no rights to the characters in the original series so no Captain Kirk et al.

No fan fiction. :( You can tell about your gaming experience, but you cannot make up a fictional story. That's why you always see a scenario that accompanies one of our stories.

If you link to sites that do Bad Things to either our IP or Paramount's regarding ST, then we must take official notice. We don't police the webs, but when something is brought to our attention, we must act.

Now, that is regarding official boards. What you do around your gaming table is your business and neither Steve Cole nor I will beam in and snatch away your ACTASF game and ships if you order Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise to fire upon the Gorns at the start of the (non-historical) Gorn-Federation war. That's your business as it is your business if you own a copy of B5 and want to have a go to see if the Federation can beat up the Minbari.

I won't swear the list is all-inclusive but these are the biggies, for us. I don't think I can make a sticky link. :(
This is exactly what we need. Can a mod please copy this post (not the whole thread) and sticky it please?
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Nerroth » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:42 pm

I'd also recommend adding a similar stickied thread to the Traveller boards, in light of the upcoming Prime Directive conversion.

Perhaps one that highlights those things the SFU has (30+ years of new ideas, dozens of "native" species and empires, etc) rather than only pointing out what it does not (no "TV ship or crew" et al.
The above post is 100% unofficial.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby starbreaker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:47 pm

Removed by request.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Jean » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:06 pm

Folks, please do NOT discuss where to go to break our license. That's sort of like sitting in front of the teacher and talking about how and where you are going to buy your term paper. This makes me very unhappy as I will have to involve the two company presidents and that means pulling out contracts and all sorts of legal mess. Can we please just not go there?

With respect,
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby billclo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:12 am

Didn't we go through all this a couple or three months ago? Nothing's changed since then as far as I know.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Jean » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:39 am

I like to think of it as a sign that we are gaining new players and new people. :) I am working on a formal sticky for here. I need to run it by SVC as I don't want to state something incorrectly. Then Matthew said he'd "sticky it" for me. :)

We've never done a joint venture before so we are finding out all sorts of interesting things as SFU players and ACTA players all co-mingle. I think we'll prove a stronger community for it.

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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Iapologisedon4chan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:38 am

No statting up species or empires that we don't already use and that are outside the license.
So, hypothetically, what about statting up races and ships that ARE included in the license but haven't yet been converted? For instance, I quite like the ISC's ships and ship designs, so if I converted a few ships for that faction from an SSD found in one of ADB's Communique PDF's would that be all right? Can we discuss thing like: Good ideas for how we think the ESG or PPD could work here?

What about a fan-supplement for things which are in SFB, but not FedCom and therefore wont be seen for years if not ever like PF's or Fighters and Carriers?

I found out that there's an SSD for Santa's Sleigh, if I convert that to CTA and make a scenario around it entitled "When the Klingons Stole Christmas" with a briefing delivered in horrendous rhyming verse (and prefaced with many apologies to Clement Clarke Moore) would that be allowed?
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby MoonMan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:25 am

Cor, I knew the terms were strict, but man.. What kind of hellish copyright lawyer wrote those?

If i'm reading it right, it boils down to;
Taking everything EXACTLY as we're given it, and not being able to create anything of our own of any kind, or talk about anything that doesn't have ADB copyright stamped all over at all lest we have ADB's lawyers decend upon us like vengeful gods?

Is that about right?
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Greg Smith » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:50 am

Iapologisedon4chan wrote: So, hypothetically, what about statting up races and ships that ARE included in the license but haven't yet been converted? What about a fan-supplement for things which are in SFB, but not FedCom and therefore wont be seen for years if not ever like PF's or Fighters and Carriers?
It has been said elsewhere that we can't. ADB don't want anything putting on the web that could affect future sales or could conflict with work that will be published at a later date.
Can we discuss thing like: Good ideas for how we think the ESG or PPD could work here?
Discussing rules is a whole different thing to publishing stats. That is allowed.
I found out that there's an SSD for Santa's Sleigh, if I convert that to CTA and make a scenario around it entitled "When the Klingons Stole Christmas" with a briefing delivered in horrendous rhyming verse (and prefaced with many apologies to Clement Clarke Moore) would that be allowed?
I am sure Santa's sleigh isn't included in the ADB licence. :twisted:
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby billclo » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:18 pm

MoonMan wrote:Cor, I knew the terms were strict, but man.. What kind of hellish copyright lawyer wrote those?

If i'm reading it right, it boils down to;
Taking everything EXACTLY as we're given it, and not being able to create anything of our own of any kind, or talk about anything that doesn't have ADB copyright stamped all over at all lest we have ADB's lawyers decend upon us like vengeful gods?

Is that about right?
This has all been discussed in great gory detail in this thread, see page 17 or so.

viewtopic.php?f=103&t=47628

And here:
viewtopic.php?f=103&t=49239

Essentially ADB had a license that covers only certain things, but it never expires. They've been doing Star Fleet Battles since 1978, which is practically unheard of in the gaming world. They've got to be extremely conservative in certain areas; they don't want to give Paramount an excuse to pull their license or lawyer them to death.

So as long as they adhere to certain rules, you won't have to worry about ACTA:SF going away in 5 years, unlike Babylon 5. The fans can help by not going publicly into certain grey areas, or publishing certain things. ADB/Mongoose aren't going to be going around looking for violations elsewhere, but they do have to police their own BBS boards. If someone informs them of a violation elsewhere they are required by their contract to act upon it though.
Last edited by billclo on Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Jean » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:44 pm

Actually, Santa's Sleigh as presented in Communique #12 is indeed ADB's property. If you convert it AND PUBLISH IT, then there would probably be an issue. :( (Playing it around your gaming table would be fine and we'd never, ever know.)

However, were you to submit that scenario through channels, then you'd most likely get to see your name in print. :)

And yes, the license is that strict. And yes, we enforce it. That's why there is a Star Fleet Universe after 30+ years. Other companies have an average run with a license of about 5 years with the license. Assuming six months of development, then you've got 4.5 years for the company to milk your money then drop support. That won't happen here. You'll still be playing in the SFU for as long as players support it with purchases.

With respect,
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Jean » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:50 pm

One other thing -- your personal creativity is never restricted. If you create an empire of snails who travel the galaxy at a snail-like speed, but are armored to kingdom-come, go for it! That's how the Borak came about -- a player's creativity led to what we hope is a balanced empire of ships. They've been worked into the history of the Alpha Quadrant and the playtest module was just published.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby tneva82 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:03 pm

BTW random musing. If it's not something you can tell just don't answer but started to got curious on how on earth the ADB got license without end-date? Don't licenses usually have timeline after which it needs to be renewed or something?
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Re: Where shall we go to discuss 'the thing'?

Postby Da Boss » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:24 pm

MoonMan wrote:Cor, I knew the terms were strict, but man.. What kind of hellish copyright lawyer wrote those?

If i'm reading it right, it boils down to;
Taking everything EXACTLY as we're given it, and not being able to create anything of our own of any kind, or talk about anything that doesn't have ADB copyright stamped all over at all lest we have ADB's lawyers decend upon us like vengeful gods?

Is that about right?
As I understood the previous discussion we can also make up new (*) ships for existing Empires and put them up herre - although you may prefer to submit them to MGp/ ADB in case they want to publish them. So you can kitbash and make up stuff as much as you like.

(*) but not ships that look like ships like ones from the later shows, or the films etc or other licenses.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Ben2 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:34 pm

That's a shame, as the most obvious thing to do with the millions of spare 2500 Federation dreadnoughts is to take the saucer, attach the engineering hull and attach the saucer warp engine for a new type of ship.

Have it as a post General War survey ship, or even a conversion of the Saladin class destroyer for long range operations.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby Da Boss » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:42 pm

As far as I am aware you can still do exactly that as long as it is:

a) not a ship that ADB already makes
b) not a ship (or looks like one) that appears in the shows / films etc
c) not a ship in another licence

The Ships you describe would be fine as per previous discussions on this forum.
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Re: LICENSING RESTRICTIONS (Formerly 'The Thing' discussion)

Postby McKickaha » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:42 pm

tneva82 wrote:BTW random musing. If it's not something you can tell just don't answer but started to got curious on how on earth the ADB got license without end-date? Don't licenses usually have timeline after which it needs to be renewed or something?
IMO, that depends on supply v demand, or what it is perceived to be at the time of the agreement, ie Star Trek circa decades ago, & most importantly not forgetting good negotiating skills. Also suspect it was the pioneering days of licencing of TV show IP therefore not much "usual" to go by.


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