There are a growing number of game projects that have been removed due to a certain rule set in place not too long ago by the administrative body here on BA. I’m sure you’ve seen or experienced it yourself.
Let me explain how the rule came to be:
There was a fangame project called Duck Hunt where a nameless user contributed some work to the project. After a while that person decided they did not want their work to be used in the project, and wanted his work removed. The user called the hosting service of BA and demanded that they shut down BA if they did not remove his content. The hosting service contacted an administrator of BA and threatened to shut down the site if the content was not removed. The user did not contact an administrator or moderator first, he just went straight to the hosting service.
So, as a result of this, what does the administrative body decide to do?
They created a rule where ALL fangames would be removed without question because of the possible threat of a lawsuit by the companies who owned the original games.
Does that make much sense to you?
Normally when you make up a rule like this, it is supposed to prevent THE SAME situation from happening again. This rule was created for an entirely different situation which has never occurred in the history of BA.
Not only is this the wrong way to approach the situation, but it is a very hypocritical rule. Fan art, fan films, and other similar works are allowed to thrive while they pose the same “threat” as fangames. Not only that, but the moderators cannot dedicate enough time to the forum to ensure that the rule is correctly enforced, therefore some fangame threads will linger around while others are removed or locked immediately.
Now for all of you copyright lovers out there who support this, I have a few points to make regarding your support for this rule.
Companies always send cease and desist letters before they sue. In fact, you cant file a lawsuit until you have sent a letter first. Once an administrator recieves a letter like this, you can bet on your grave that the offending content will be removed in order to prevent the lawsuit. In the end, no harm is done.
Fangames are generally viewed as free advertising, so companies are very unlikely to sue BA for fangames. There is very little to no threat at all to the original products. The fangames here are not being sold, and are rarely the same quality as the original. They pose as much of a threat as the drawing of a copyrighted character by a 16 year old kid.
Many of the fangames would fall under fair use laws, since these people rarely use ripped work from the original games, and these games are not intended to replace the original game.
The rule must be changed to accomedate the situation that took place, and not some crazy hypothetical situation that could possibly happen, but never has before.
Anyway here is my question to you:
Do you think this rule should be changed or removed? Why or why not?