For those discovering GreenWatch for the first time, GreenWatch is an ongoing series held on both TechRaptor and Digital Homicides covering anything going on with developers/groups/users in the Steam/Steam Greenlight community. With that small introduction done, let’s get into this week’s GreenWatch.
Airport Master Trademarking Claims & EULA
Back on the 17th February of this year, a game launched onto Steam early access called Airport Master. The game has currently received mixed reviews from the public, however a lot of the criticism towards this title and the developer recently has been towards the trademark claiming that the developer has filed against YouTube gaming freelance journalist and reviewer, Jim Sterling.
Jim Sterling uploaded a video to YouTube playing Airport Master for 15 minutes and didn’t really say too much about the game besides saying he thought it was boring and there wasn’t too much to do in the current build of the game.
Just yesterday, Jim Sterling tweeted out that the development studio STICLI Games had filed a trademark claim against the video that Sterling had posted.
STICLI Games, dev of Airport Master, has filed not a copyright claim but a *trademark* claim against me for this. https://t.co/oF6eQjNXME
— Jim RESISTerling (@JimSterling) March 4, 2017
Most people have been questioning why the developer filed a trademark claim against the video, however the developer responded to the trademark takedown by posting a discussion in the game’s Steam community hub stating that posting videos of the game to YouTube without the development studio’s permission is against the game’s EULA, as the EULA states the following:
4. TRADEMARKS AND RIGHTS TO THE SOFTWARE
The End User recognizes that all of the rights associated with the Software as well as the rights related to the trademarks, royalties and copyrights, are the property of STICLI Games and are protected by international laws and treaties. Any use of Copyright Holder’s trademarks, imagery content, videos, graphical elements, names, plot in any activity (including but not limited to: producing 3d party video content, electronic and on-paper publishing, creation of promotional content etc.) is only possible with prior written permission of Copyright Holder.
A lot of users have been voicing out that the EULA actually violates the act of fair use and that the EULA itself is actually a legal violation in many areas. A lot of users have also pointed out that despite the developer filing a trademark takedown and despite him claiming that he has trademarked the game’s title on the store page of the game, people can’t find any results of the game name actually being trademarked.
Dentola Studio DMCA Claim Update
This is an update to a story that was covered on the Feb 19th issue of GreenWatch where it was reported that Dentola Studio, a Steam Greenlight developer, had published games onto Steam Greenlight, in which all of them were asset flips and then YouTuber SidAlpha did a video covering the studio and he was then hit with a DMCA takedown of the video, issued by Dentola Studio.
Earlier this week, the takedown was removed and SidAlpha ended up getting the original video back up. That is not the only thing that has occurred however. Additionally earlier this week, Dentola Studio were forced to remove 2 of their titles from Greenlight as they both received DMCA takedowns from the original asset creators, these games in question that were removed were Halloween Night Lands and Escape from the Tribe. We have reached out to both Dentola Studio and the original asset creator for comment but we have currently been met with silence.
Fur Fun Updates
For those unaware, Fur Fun is a multiplayer platform game that is currently on Steam early access that has been riddled with controversy surrounding the title that has already been covered on TechRaptor by writer Alex Santa Maria. The developers of Fur Fun have recently issued 2 extra copyright claims against YouTubers SidAlpha and xGhostBoyx.
Additionally, along with the 2 additional copyright filings, more accusations and claims are being made against the co-developer of the project, Doky. On a Reddit discussion about Fur Fun, a commenter told a tale about how Doky was the developer of a Sonic fan game that was going to be entered into a competition that the Reddit commenter was also entering with his and his team’s Sonic game. However according to the commenter, shortly before the competition, Doky uploaded a new trailer for the Sonic game he was creating and in that trailer, it included models that were stolen from the original commenter’s Sonic game. We’re currently trying to contact the Reddit commenter for additional information and evidence surrounding the claims.
Mr.Triangle’s Adventure Vote Bribing
Some criticism has been brought to the developer of Mr.Triangle’s Adventure and developer Red Traingle Games recently as a discussion that was originally posted by the developer, has been unearthed about him stating on the Mr.Triangle’s Adventure discussion forums that if you voted up the sequel to Mr.Triangle’s Adventure (Mr.Triangle’s Maze) then people would end up getting a free Steam key for the game once it got Greenlit. A lot of people have been pointing towards this as an attempt to bribe voters.
ProfessorVZ Kicked Off Steam
ProfessorVZ, developer of the video game Ivan vs. Nazi Zombies has recently been kicked off of Steam and has had business ties cut with Valve. Valve have not issued a statement surrounding the removal, however if you go to the community market for items relating to the game in question, it states:
This item can no longer be bought or sold on the Community Market because Valve no longer has a business relationship with the developer.
ProfessorVZ has also yet to comment on his removal.
Syrian Warfare Removed
A game on Steam called Syrian Warfare mysteriously vanished off of Steam with no reason given at the time. However 1 day after the removal, a developer of the project made a statement in the discussions of the game explaining that the game was removed due to an alleged copyright claim issued on the game by a different developer.
Dear friends, we’d like to inform you that our game Syrian Warfare, has been removed from the Steam Store due to a complaint about alleged copyright infringement. We’re made an appeal and it will be reviewed within 10 business days. We’re prepared to defend our honour and dignity in court.
World of Darkness Update
Just in case none of you read the update that was posted onto last week’s article surrounding the “World of Darkness Has a Harasser for a Writer” story, an article came out on the developer’s blog regarding the accusations about Zak Smith. In the blog post, the developer states that he’s aware of the accusations surrounding Zak Smith however, he’s stated there’s no proof linking Zak Smith to the said actions he’s done and that the developer has full faith in Zak Smith.
Regarding the recent accusations made against our freelancers: White Wolf was aware of and investigated the previous accusations against Zak before contracting him to write and illustrate the game script. Fortunately, these accusations all pertained to alleged online behavior: each accusation is connected to an online discussion, and the digital records of these discussions can be located and reviewed. White Wolf’s investigation concluded that the accusations are false, and that Zak did not engage in the alleged behavior. We have full faith in Zak and Sarah and are excited to see their great work with the World of Darkness spread!